Archive for June 6, 2018

New Avaya IP Office Now Available Globally

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2018 by itnerd

Avaya has announced that the new Avaya IP Office™ release is now available globally. Avaya IP Office helps businesses drive greater productivity and streamline collaboration through a single application for all communications channels, meetings, team collaboration and content sharing. Avaya IP Office adds support for Avaya Equinox®, the company’s signature UC experience, as well as other new capabilities that provide an enterprise-level experience with the ease of use and management that small and midsize businesses require.

The enhanced IP Office solution includes Avaya’s innovative unified communications and collaboration capabilities and can deliver greater value through flexible deployment options – cloud, hybrid and on-premises. Avaya IP Office can leverage the unique Avaya Vantage and newest J Series desktop phones for voice and video, in addition to the Avaya Equinox soft and mobile clients. For European customers, the solution also nearly doubles scalability for DECT users.

 

For the small business, a new highly affordable, cradle-to-grave reporting and tracking package improves measurement of call activities to enable even the smallest of organizations to enhance customer engagement. Avaya Chronicall for IP Office, OEM’d from Avaya DevConnect partner Xima, provides over 50 standard plus customizable reports that support visual call management, customizable displays and agent performance, and is available in both on-premises and Powered by Avaya IP Office cloud deployments.

Partners utilizing Avaya’s Powered by IP Office cloud platform also benefit from these new capabilities and can offer them to new or existing customers in either a full cloud or hybrid cloud deployment delivery model. Partners will also have new installation wizards and management tools to make it even easier and faster to deploy and manage both premises-based and cloud options. For example, the new Cloud Operations Manager simplifies administration of large multi-customer cloud deployments, upgrades, patching and application inventory with role-based administration that helps ensure security.

Read the blog entry for more info about the new capabilities of Avaya IP Office.

 

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Sonos Announces Sonos Beam & AirPlay 2 Support

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2018 by itnerd

Today, Sonos introduced Sonos Beam, the most versatile smart speaker for the living room, delivering incredible sound for virtually any streaming content and support for 80+ music services, support for Amazon Alexa at launch, and multiple voice assistants over time.

The $399 USD Sonos Beam will ship globally starting July 17 and is available for pre-order today on www.sonos.com.

With Beam, Sonos has combined three products into one – a Sonos smart speaker featuring Amazon Alexa, a sound bar that packs more than enough punch for most rooms, and the one device you need for all your music and streaming content in the living room. Like all Sonos speakers, Beam is part of the Sonos home sound system, meaning owners can easily integrate Beam into existing multi-room set-ups.

Sonos also announced that AirPlay 2 will be available on Sonos in July via a free software update. With AirPlay 2, you can play music and podcasts from their iOS devices directly on their Sonos speakers, including the new Sonos Beam, Sonos One, Playbase, and the second generation Play:5. With a single supported speaker, AirPlay content can be streamed to other Sonos speakers in the system. Customers also gain a new voice experience with the addition of Siri to start a track from Apple Music and play in any room on Sonos.

 

TELUS Extends Low-Cost High Speed Internet To More Low-Income Canadian Families

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2018 by itnerd

TELUS is expanding the reach of its Internet for Good program by participating in the Federal Government’s new Connecting Families initiative, announced earlier today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Major Canadian ISPs have committed to participate in the Connecting Families initiative, which is entirely funded by the service providers and comes at no cost to the Federal Government or taxpayers.

TELUS has a long-standing commitment to bridging the digital divide and helping at-risk Canadians achieve social and digital equality. In 2016, TELUS launched Internet for Good in British Columbia and Alberta in collaboration with provincial governments and not-for-profit partners — ensuring that Canadians in need are #allconnected to the invaluable resources an internet connection provides. This innovative program offered nearly 30,000 low-income single-parent families access to TELUS Internet 25 and 300 GB of data for only $9.95 per month. The federal Connecting Families initiative enables TELUS to extend Internet for Good to even more families across B.C., Alberta and Quebec who now qualify if they receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

TELUS is also supporting youth transitioning out of Foster Care through TELUS Mobility for GoodTM. The program launched in 2017 in collaboration with the provincial government of British Columbia, and recently expanded to Quebec and in Ontario in partnership with the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada (CAFC). The TELUS Mobility for Good program provides vulnerable youth with a free smartphone and plan for two years, enabling them to stay connected with friends and potential employers, and helping to prevent social isolation as they transition to independent living. TELUS and CAFC will expand this critical program to even more youth in the near future.

TELUS Internet for Good and Mobility for Good are complemented by TELUS Wise, a free program that offers workshops and educational content to help Canadians stay safe online. TELUS recently launched the TELUS Wise Digital Pledge, which encourages all Canadians to take an active role in making the Internet safer for everyone as part of a nationwide #EndBullying campaign.

 

HP Introduces The New HP ProBook x360 440 G1

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2018 by itnerd

Business owners and mobile professionals want a powerful convertible PC that delivers the business performance features required to help address their company needs – both in and outside the office. These are users with passion for business (not IT) that need a versatile device which combines style, powerful processing, and “built for business” features to deliver enhanced business experiences that typically cannot be achieved with a consumer PC.

HP ProBook x360 440 G1_Dancing Modes.jpg

Powered by Windows 10 and high-performance 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, the ultra-slim HP ProBook x360 440 delivers the power, security, and durability growing businesses demand in a versatile 360° design. Users can quickly turn thoughts into action with the optional HP Active Pen, and easily transition to desktop productivity with a single cable that supports docking via USB-C™.

The new ProBook x360 440 also features:

  • Built for business: Defend against malicious attacks with built-in security from HP BIOSphere Gen4, a firmware ecosystem that automates protection of the BIOS, plus get commercial-grade durability and easy serviceability.
  • Power to boost productivity: Power through your day with a high-performance Intel® Core processor™, long battery life, and support for USB Type-C™ docking enabling data, video and power through a single cable.
  • Adapts for the way you work: The ultra-slim notebook adapts throughout the day, with four use modes – tent, stand, tablet, and traditional laptop – so you can create, present, and collaborate in a comfortable way.

The new HP ProBook x360 440 G1 will be available for purchase later this month.

Facebook Served Up User Data To Chinese Firms… One Of Whom Was Flagged By Feds

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2018 by itnerd

Facebook is back in the news for all the wrong reasons via this New York Times story where the firm has been accused of handing over user data to four Chinese firms. Including one flagged for being a national security threat:

Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies, including a manufacturing giant that has a close relationship with China’s government, the social media company said on Tuesday.

The agreements, which date to at least 2010, gave private access to some user data to Huawei, a telecommunications equipment company that has been flagged by American intelligence officials as a national security threat, as well as to Lenovo, Oppo and TCL.

The four partnerships remain in effect, but Facebook officials said in an interview that the company would wind down the Huawei deal by the end of the week.

This is on top of data sharing agreements that the New York Times found out about earlier this week. But in any case, this seems troubling to me and I hope people in power ask questions about this.

Oh wait. They are:

Senator John Thune, the South Dakota Republican who leads the Commerce Committee, has demanded that Facebook provide Congress with details about its data partnerships. “Facebook is learning hard lessons that meaningful transparency is a high standard to meet,” Mr. Thune said.

His committee also oversees the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating Facebook to determine whether the company’s data policies violate a 2011 consent decree with the commission.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia pointed out that concerns about Huawei were not new, citing a 2012 congressional report on the “close relationships between the Chinese Communist Party and equipment makers like Huawei.”

“I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers,” said Mr. Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.

All of this really doesn’t pass the smell test and makes me think that Facebook has a lot more going on that the world needs to know about. And I suspect that given the scrutiny that the company is under, we might get those details sooner rather than later. And we may not like what we see.

Guest Post: Top 16 Small Business Management Apps of 2018

Posted in Commentary on June 6, 2018 by itnerd

By Kristina Skindelyte, Co-founder of Blue Oceans PR

The right business apps can benefit small business tremendously by making work more efficient, teams more aligned and information more organized. Cutting down on tedious and time-consuming tasks can help business owners and theirs staff become more productive and focused, allowing business to grow on solid foundation of good business practices. So what are the 15 must-have business efficiency and productivity apps of 2018?

Team Communication Tools: 

  • Tipi is the newest team communications tool. It encourages asynchronous communications model where people do not need to respond to messages in real-time. This boosts productivity, team alignment and optimizes the time and resources. Some of the main features include real time chat, private and public folders, and convenient integration with email. The app has a cool feedback feature that can help increase team engagement. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Web-Based.
  • Slack – one the most widely used team communication apps, best known for facilitating instant communication between team members and fun integration of tools like Giphy to get your Cat photo fix of the day. In some circles, however it is receiving some backlash for it being too addictive – with teams spending a lot of time chatting about work as opposed to getting work done. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Web-Based.
  • Join.Me is an easy to use voice and video conferencing solution. Even though Skype remains the most popular voice and video communication tools around the world, join.me is a great alternative for those who need advanced voice/video meeting capabilities, including instant screen share, file transfer, internet calling, meeting tools (annotation, presenter swap), salesforce integration and more. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Web-Based.

Task Management Tools:

  • Trello is an app that can help your team manage multiple projects in an easy to navigate platform. In essence, the app allows creating and assigning project tasks that are organized as movable cards. Organizes what you are working on by creating, assigning, updating and monitoring how different tasks are being completed.  Available on Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OS, Web-Based
  • Zenkit integrates a lot of work organization tools into one. It offers both a Kanban board, mind mapping tool, a to-do list and a calendar. It is essentially a project management resource library that helps with both task management, scheduling, resource allocation and even budgeting. People who like making ‘To Do lists’ swear by this app. Available on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Mac OS, Web-Based
  • Basecamp helps organize your team work flow by compiling the information into projects. You can discuss the project progress in a chatroom or a messaging board, upload files, create a ’to do’ lists and make use of a calendar to mark the important project dates. Available on Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OS, Web-Based

Motivational Task Management Tools:

  • Carrot – A to do list with a personality. If you need a nudge to complete tasks, Carrot can certainly help with motivation. All you have to do is get things done to get rewarded. You don’t want to know what happens if you don’t complete the tasks at hand. The carrot does not like slackers. Available on iOS

Productivity Tool Platforms:  

  • Parallels Toolbox helps speed up a variety of simple tasks by offering a plethora of tools that you can access with an individual or team account. Access a number of tools that can help speed up building presentations, perform screen captures, launch several apps with one click, or archive files in bulk and more. Available on Windows and Mac OS

Communication Tools:

  • Astro Mail – AI-powered application that can take care of your emails from multiple accounts, prioritizing emails by way of importance, while cleaning up the email box from unnecessary clutter. Interesting features include smart notifications, email snoozing and calendar customization. Available on iOS, Android, Mac OS
  • Fuze – high-definition, cloud-based video conferencing tool that integrates messaging and convenient file upload system in hopes of enhancing collaboration for an ever growing mobile workforce. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS

Time Saving Business Tools: 

  • Pocket. If you go through a lot of published content and want to save articles or even app content for later reading, Pocket is an app that allows you to do that. Save links to news pages, images, videos and pretty much anything online to come back to access it later via a neat panel. Access saved pocket account info via iOS, Android, Kobo, Web Browser
  • TripIt is a tool that can consolidate all of your travel plans into an organized itinerary that can be accessed on any device. TripIt app collects all the travel information you’d email it. Later on, when it’s trip time, you could access organized information along with helpful location based travel tips about the weather, directions and so on. Available on iOS, Android, Web-Based
  • Evernote – Users can make, save or upload personal notes, images, audio, video and more into the app with easy sharing capabilities. You can easily scan your documents, receipts, notes, pictures, whiteboards or other text, or save information found online – neatly saving as high quality jpegs or PDFs that can be shared and sent quickly to your work team members. Available on iOS, Android
  • Proven is an app that consolidates your HR-related tasks. Proven helps you post your job listings to multiple job boards with one click on your phone. Once you start receiving responses to your listing, you can look through the application responses in the same platform – categorizing the candidate applicants into “yes,” “no” and “maybe” categories, noting when you need to follow up with a candidate. Available on iOS, Android, Web-based
  • Canva is a fast design solution that can save you time. Rather than designing from scratch, a virtual design platform allows you to choose from a huge selection of template layouts, design elements and a huge library of images. Available on iOS, Android, Web-based
  • The Hootsuite App allows businesses or individuals to schedule posts for various social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. You can monitor your social account status and measure the impact of your campaigns by using Hootsuite’s reports. Available on iOS, Android, Web-based