Online Business Model For Your Website
,

Does Your Website Fit Your Online Business Model – 5 Questions You Want To Ask Yourself

In 2017 – everything is online. Communities, shopping, music, and entertainment – it’s all online. Your business should be too. As of January 2017, 77% of Americans own and use a smartphone every day. 88% of America is on the internet daily. What does this mean for you as a business owner?

It means not only should you have a mobile-friendly website, but you need the RIGHT kind of website.

Your website should fit your online business model – think “what is the true purpose of your business”. The wrong kind of website can severely impact your new client base and potential profits as well.

Not sure if the website you have fits what your business is about?

Check out some 5 questions that point to whether your website matches your online business model.

5 Questions To Determine Your Online Business Model

1-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Information About Services?

Is your online business model more about providing a visual aid to the types of services you offer? Instead of focusing on actually selling items, the website functions like a business card or brochure, providing useful information about what your company does and how it does it. Most small business websites are modeled after this one – The Portfolio site. They require minimal content updates and provide a useful visual aid for sales staff. However, unless your business has a powerful sales staff referencing and using the site– don’t expect too much natural or organic lead conversion via search engines.

2-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Sell Products and Services?

Does your business sell products and/or services? Can potential customers purchase what you provide without visiting a physical location? If you provide products directly to your customer than your website should be set up as a Commerce site. What is a Commerce site? Well, similar to a portfolio site, the website not only provides information but also a shop that allows users to purchase products or services online. The Commerce site is a great way to gain additional profit from users who might not necessarily shop at a physical location. With ecommerce becoming more and more of a trend as technology advances, you don’t want to miss out on this potential profit market!

3-     Am I Using My Website Primarily As A Space To Share My Message or Educational/Entertaining Content?

Is the sole purpose of your website to provide specific educational or entertaining content to your desired audience? Are you providing this content for free while advertisers pay you to get their message or product in front of your audience/subscribers? If so, then your site follows the Content model. Imagine the front-page of “Yahoo!” or “Buzzfeed” – There are various types of free content surrounded by ad space. Essentially, advertisers fund you. Consider the classic newspaper and magazine business: whose main source of revenue came from ads mixed in with the daily news or various articles. This “business model” isn’t really new but many business owners and content creators use it to turn profit while sharing their message with the public.

4-    Am I Using My Website To Provide A Sense of Community?

Are you a government body, a support forum, or a collaboration of freelancers/consultants? Then you know the way that your business survives is based on the level of community users feel when accessing your website. Success of the site is determined by the amount of users who interact and collaborate together – bringing them together as a community. Sites dependent on interaction and collaboration are called a Community site. The purpose of the site is to not only provide information but to provide a space for people to work and collaborate – providing a hub to voice concerns and ideas.

Why is this important for an online business model? Because having a place for constituents to interact directly with higher ups provides a sense of inclusion that this opportunity to work together and even interact with “industry experts” creates brand and user loyalty. This is a very unique business model but when leveraged properly online, you can see great success through your digital presence. NOTE: These sites are highly dependent as well on social media integration and management. After all, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are just another example of the community online business model.

5-    Am I Using My Website To Provide Ongoing Services?

Are you providing ongoing service to existing and potential clients? If so, then you might fall into the final online business model type: Subscription. The Subscription site is just that – providing users an ongoing experience for a reoccurring rate (either monthly or annually). Think Netflix, Spotify, HBO – all of these adhere to the Subscription style website – providing content via ongoing registration to their content at a set price. Other business have taken this model and applied them for their services or tools.

An example of this would be MOZ – a well-known SEO campaign tool and report compiling service. Access to their software and reporting toolkits are only allowed via a subscription – something set at either a monthly or yearly rate or which will allow for the user to access their tool or content. This is extremely profitable if you have a particular service you are wanting to sell to potential customers – something that is wholly online.

What is the difference between Subscription and Commerce? Commerce is a one-time payment of a good or service that is bought and sold online but can result in physical products being delivered and inventoried. Subscription is ongoing and service-focused, usually providing the user access to a particular tool or content. Both are quite successful, as long as you are applying it the correct way for your business.

Online Business Model – Where Do You Fall?

Overall, the 5 types of online business models are fairly easy to implement, the hardest part is figuring out which one works best for you and your business. Most successful business websites usually end up being hybrid of 2 or 3 of these items. Research and strategic planning allow for designers and owners to accomplish multiple business models/approaches with a single website.

The key is to figure out what your true online business model is and apply it in a way that achieves maximum potential.

Not sure how to achieve that yourself?

Andromeda’s website development team is here to help you analyze and maximize your online business model and provide your end users a satisfying experience. Call one of our reps today!

Integrated Biometrics Security
,

Say Goodbye To The Password – Integrating Security, Biological Data & Your Bank Account

Biometrics have held a home in many a sci-fi fan’s heart for decades now.

Does the phrase, “Open the pod bay doors” mean anything to you?

What is Biometrics Data?

Use of biological data (fingerprints, voice, retinas and more) as an access tool used to be reserved to television sets and movie theaters.

Star Trek made great use of biometric technology for storytelling.

  • Voice ID – A spaceship capable of identifying different passengers by their voice and more
  • Retina Scan – Passengers using retina data to access specific data
  • Basic Vitals – With a device called a “Tricoder” body scans when done that would give data on lifeforms, vitals and medical information.
  • Face Recognition – Face scans allowed characters to gain access into “Darkness”

Now, Star Trek was not alone in the creative use of biometrics for storytelling. Other films and shows have taken their own spin on futuristic uses of biometric data as well.

Biometrics Security In Reality

These days we have access to many forms of biometric security . . . many times at the tip of our fingers (pun intended).

The modern day smartphone has a fingerprint scan to unlock the phone, facial scanners that recognize eye contact directed at the screen, voice activated IA (think Apple’s Siri) and more.

At work, biometric scanners grant access to buildings and zones or clock employees in and out.

Facial recognition software allows government entities to find criminals and missing persons.

It is safe to say that the future of Biometrics has arrived and with ongoing advances in technology, these scans and devices will become more available for developers and engineers to integrate into our daily lives.

Just last week we published an article on different tips and tricks for best password practices.

Dual authentication increases security of your accounts in a big way. There are a few different options available. Users generate random number and sent it to their phone/email or some provide separate applications that generate timed codes themselves to use.

With Biometric data, dual authentication can use fingerprints, voice, face recognition or any other number of biological data points to ensure only the correct user has access to whatever is being protected.

The Use of Biometrics Data in Financial Institutes

To take this a step further, specific institutions such as banks and other financial services are producing their own biometric dual authentication applications for added security and protections.

Most banks have apps for phone access. This is almost a must for the industry and a commodity for users these days.

With heightened regulations and cyber threats every day, companies like Wells Fargo, Barclays, Citigroup and more are looking to security professionals and app developers to integrate biometrics with cell phone applications and produce security powerhouses.

With one out of every 2500 calls into financial institutions cited as a fraud call. It is in both the user and bank’s best interest to bring on this added level of security.

Companies like EyeVerify are developing applications. These applications make use of current/future technologies in smartphones to perform retina scans on the go. This is the perfect answer to the financial industries ongoing battle for user security and increased dual authentication practices.

Keep on the lookout for biometric advancement and integration across the tech and security sphere.

If you believe added layers of security or authentication via biometric data could improve your day to day or have a question, feel free to contact our account management team.

IT Password Protection Quick Tips | IT Data Networks
,

Password Quick Tips – 6 Do’s And Don’ts

We’ve been polling our readers recently for topics of interest. Of course, cyber security and ransomware are hot topics but many of you mentioned that you are interested in quick tips you can follow or use yourself.

You ask – we deliver.

Without further ado – check out these 6 quick tips for best password practices

  1. Create passwords with multiple cases, symbols and numbers. Just be sure to avoid passwords such as “123456”, “qwerty”, “football”, “princess” or “password” – some of the most common passwords in 2016 according to SplashData.
    Password Security - IT Data Services Chicagoland - Cyber Security
  2. Don’t create a password based on personal details such as your birth date, an anniversary, phone number, social security number etc. While not everyone may know these details about you, they are among the first a cybercriminal or evildoer will attempt when trying to hack your account. Even worse, if your password data is compromised, imagine what a cybercriminal could do with that social security information if it was exposed.
  3. Avoid using the same password on multiple sites. We get it, remembering different passwords for all of your different sites and needs is difficult. It is important to create something unique for every login you maintain. Remember, if a hacker gets ahold of your password for one account, the first thing they will do is try that bad boy on bank accounts, social media, emails and anywhere else they can to grab sensitive information or even your hard earned money.
  4. Change your passwords regularly. We suggest changing passwords every 90 days. This can be a pain but if you maintain this practice you make getting into your accounts that much harder.
  5. Do Not keep a list of your passwords on your computer. Keeping a list of passwords is dangerous in any format. You open yourself up to great risk in doing so. The worst method for this is keeping a list of your passwords in a file on your computer. Instead, keep a list of each site and next to it write a specific clue that will only make sense to you. This can help jog your memory without spilling the beans if someone stumbles upon the file.
  6. Use Dual Authentication. Many apps and sites now offer dual authentication as an added security measure. Once you login to your account, you will be prompted for a code (either one you create or a randomly generated code). You put this code into the site as a second proof of your identity. This feature greatly reduces if not eliminates the likelihood of someone breaking into your accounts.

Password Security | IT Managed IT Services Chicago | Password AuthenticationPassword protection is difficult. The average Joe has anywhere from 20-200 passwords. We recognize that is a big gap but even memorizing 20 different passwords is a difficult task. With that said, we would like to provide you with a few useful tools that can free up your memory and manage your password security for you.

Password Managers

There are a variety of password managers on the market. We have used and enjoyed LastPass which comes with a free and premium subscription as well as an app for your phone. If you want to check out a variety of password managers and how they stack up – PC Magazine released their “Best Password Managers of 2017” earlier this month.

Password Security Tests

Platforms and websites do exist that will check the security of your password. There are even some websites out there that will tell you how long a hacker would have to spend to crack your code. Check out our recommended tool here .

Email Alias Tools

We’ve found an interesting tool that can help you keep track of your passwords but also creates aliases for your email address. This is useful because without your email address, a password is essentially useless. Now, of course you don’t want someone to have your password at all but this also helps you keep your inbox clear of spam and unwanted mail.

Any of these tools can help you out. If you have any questions feel free to reach the Andromeda Team Today!

voip phone systems chicago
,

Can You Hear Me Now? The VoIP Option: Pros & Cons Explained

Since VoIP came on the telecom scene back in the early 2000’s it has grown in popularity and become a commonly used term in the business community. With more and more technology moving to internet/cloud based delivery it makes sense that our phones do the same.

Now, VoIP offers many features that a legacy phone system doesn’t, but when it comes to choosing a system that connects your business to the outside world, you’ve got to take many factors into consideration.

That being said, we would like to provide you a brief list of pros and cons to VoIP systems. Remember, each business and each setup interact with VoIP differently. Some of these may or may not apply to your company. It is always important to consult a reputable vendor who understands both your telephone and your current IT setup first.

The VoIP Option: Pros & Cons Explained

Pros

Monthly Cost Savings: Perhaps the biggest advantage of choosing VoIP is the opportunity for monthly savings. Traditional systems depend on landlines (POTS lines) to connect your calls. Some VoIP systems allow you to cancel all landlines and connect calls via internet. This cuts out the middle (your phone company). Do not be fooled though. You still pay for service to this system on a per phone basis.

Lower Hardware Costs: VoIP systems are typically less costly up front. This depends on the type of system you are purchasing and the options your vender offers. Sometimes there is no upfront cost at all for these systems. However, we all know nothing in life is REALLY free. Many times when a company offers free hardware, they build that price into your monthly cost. Be sure to look into this before signing on the dotted line.

Versatility and Scalability: VoIP allows you to tailor your phones and features to your business needs. Systems come as basic or feature rich as you want. Do you need CRM features? Call parking? Auto attendant? Twinning? Presence Management? These are all features that VoIP can provide. It should be mentioned that PBX systems offer these functions too.

Portable/Professional: VoIP is great for people on the move.  Switching from an office phone to a mobile phone? VoIP can make a switch between phones seamless.  These features allow clients to transfer quickly between phones. Imagine you are on the phone with a prospect and don’t want to hang up but you’ve got a meeting you have to leave for . . . with enhanced features you can press a button and transfer that call to your cell phone without the prospect even knowing you’ve left your office.
VoIP Chicagoland Providers

CONS

Sound quality: When transferring calls over the internet instead of a landline, there can be a decrease in the sound quality. VoIP takes up more bandwidth and depends on a strong internet connection for best call quality.  Not only do you need a constant and steady internet connection, you also need to make sure that your bandwidth will support the demands of your office.

Power outages: VoIP requires power and an internet connection, so if power goes out you can expect service disruptions for your phones.  Having one emergency landline or call forwarding takes care of this problem, in case an emergency ever arises.

Hidden Costs & Hardware Ownership: While we mentioned cost savings as a plus for VoIP phones, those same savings can bite you in the end. Be wary of a provider offering free equipment. This typically means they are charging you EVERY month for hardware. On top of that, many VoIP providers entice customers with great deals on hardware but aren’t clear about who owns what. If you aren’t clear about those finer details you may find yourself paying every month for years on hardware you don’t even own only to have it taken away when you switch providers.

If you’ve made it this far into this article, I’m sure you’ve noticed that each characteristic has positive and negative elements to it. Phones are a very tricky topic for many business owners.

The one absolute positive you have is that by collaborating with Andromeda, you’ve chosen a technology partner that puts your interests above all else. We help our clients install all varieties of phone systems including PBX Systems, Hybrid IP Office systems, Cloud VoIP systems and more. The most important piece of the VoIP puzzle is choosing a vendor you trust.

If you are considering a new phone system for your business, give us a call today and let us guide you through your options.

heatmaps web design analytics
,

Heatmaps: The One Tool That Can Actually Tell You Where People Focus On Your Webpage

Websites are a lot of work. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into planning, designing, building and executing a well-developed professional website. However, the work is not over once the site launches. Continued analysis of your site is needed, as it not only helps increase your traffic flow as well as keeping your visitors up-to-date on your business’s happenings – it is needed to ensure that visitors are getting the right information when they need it.

Analysis – that must mean Google Analytics, right? Well, yes – Google Analytics does certainly help show what pages are being viewed, how many times and for how long. Great metrics to use when trying to determine what users are wanting when viewing your website. However, they do leave out one important detail – what the user is looking at when they are on the page. That is where Heatmaps come in.

What Are Heatmaps and Why Do They Matter?

Heatmaps are visual tools that allow for you to see where visitors go on a specific page of your website. Heatmaps allow for a visualization of what content is being viewed, or not viewed on the page. By being able to see where your visitors are going, and ultimately viewing, you can tailor your most important content to the heavily viewed areas. Highlights of varying intensities depict the density of user activity at each point of the page; typically annotated with data. For instance, number of clicks on elements and other useful ratios like clicks/hovers. Broadly, there are two kinds of heatmaps:

Eye-tracking: A variant of usability testing – this method asks you to engage in a sample size of your website’s visitor population and tracks their eye-movements as they engage in designated webpages. The Eye-tracking method is a bit more expensive and only somewhat reliable as it is only tracking a sample of the website’s population.

Mouse-tracking: The mouse movement heatmap tracks all mouse movement and activity of all users to the website over a period of time and are represented graphically. It is also a fairly good indicator of eye movement as studies found that eye-movement and mouse-movement have an average distance between curser and eye gaze of about 90 pixels. This method is the more preferred method as it is also the most affordable on top of being the most accurate.

What are the different kind of Mouse-Tracking Heatmaps?

There are three different kind of mouse-tracking heatmaps available. Each of these provides useful insight into how visitors are viewing your content- how they engage your website and how to increase your click-thru-rate.

Mouse-Movement Maps

Mouse-Movement maps are probably the closest way to getting an eye-tracking test without having to pay huge amounts of money for it. These maps do what they say in their name – track the mouse movements of users (hover and click-thru) and then converts that data onto the page. They provide insight into how users read and navigate a page on your website. Mouse-movement maps also show analytic data, such as how many visitors hover over a particular areas of the page – which can indicate how well content-areas are being received.

mouse movement heatmaps web design

Scroll Maps

Scroll maps analyze how visitors use the scroll on the page and where they abandon the page altogether. You can utilize this data be seeing where those points are and adjusting the length of the page for optimal effectiveness. According to a Nielsen Norman Group study, 80% of visitor’s attention is spent above the fold (or the space seen when loading a page before having to scroll).

scroll map data heatmaps

Now, that does not mean that your conversion rate will suffer if your webpages are long. However, it is good to test out where people lose interest. These maps provide analytic data in terms of the percentage of people dropping off from the page at any given point. Data from Scroll Maps can tell you if people are missing important content tucked away below the fold – and if you should restructure your page.

scroll heatmaps web design analytics

Click Maps

Click maps analyze where users are clicking on your website. How can this help? It gives insight into where users flounder on the page, weeding out any unnecessary or unwanted distractions that could be blocking your conversion rate – or getting users to the contact or order pages and thus getting new business. You can see if links are working against each other on a given page as well as if any design elements are clogging up the works, so to speak. Having click maps gives that visual as to what is drawing the attention and where the user experience is going. With this information, you have the ability to clean things up and improve user experience.

click map heatmaps web design analytics

In essence, heatmaps are a great tool to help you visually understand your visitor’s experiences. They allow you to make sure the content you express to potential customers is getting viewed and processed, This allows you to focus on tactics that improve website conversion for your business. Just like any analytic tool set, having the data and numbers can help shape the ongoing user experience you have with your users. Still not sure about heatmaps or not sure how to set one up? Andromeda’s website development team can help! Give us a call, or reach out and we can start getting your website into top shape!

Andromeda Integrated Security System Pro-Watch Honeywell Dealer
,

Integrated Security – It Does A Whole Lot More Than You Thought Part 2 (2 Part Series)

Last month we dove into three functions integrated security can offer your business: Enhanced Environment Regulations, Productivity Boosters and Visitor Management. (check out part 1 in case you missed it)

In this second part of our two part series on Integrated Security we will dive into a couple more features and introduce you to the Honeywell Pro-Watch Ecosystem.

Integrated Security – It Does A Whole Lot More Than You Thought Part 2

Employee Training & Certification Management – I know what you are thinking. How can a security system help me manage my employee certifications and training? Well, with applications and the right security suite, you are able to manage this information easily. On top of that, you can connect these pieces of information to key fobs and employee access protocols. For example, imagine your facility requires certain certifications and ongoing training for compliance reasons. You can monitor employee information. Fobs will automatically shut off access to controlled areas of your building if an employee does not have the proper documentation on file. This is only one piece of Compliance Report Management available to you with a professional integrated security suite. Never spend time worrying about compliance for NERC, Title 21 HIPAA, TSA etc. again.

Mass Notification – with integrated communications management you have the ability to automate notifications to assigned groups. The most common use for this is to send out information. Most notably to customers, employees and community members about closings, weather alerts and/or other urgent information. Get your message to the masses with a few clicks of a button!

Now, with all of these features in mind, it is important to point out that not EVERY integrated security suite provides these features. One of the most important things you need to be aware of when considering your solution is whether it is open or closed platform.

An open platform solution integrates easily with third-party systems. This means you can customize your solution to the needs unique to your business. As new technologies emerge and new software comest to market, an open platform system will grow with you. These same flexibilities are not easily attained with a close system product.

integrated security system pro-watch honeywell ATS IS servicesUltimately, this is why Andromeda Technology Solutions partners with Honeywell to provide our customers a range of professional integrated security options via the Pro-Watch Ecosystem.

For more information on Pro-Watch and other Honeywell products, give us a call and speak with a representative today.

 

Data Encryption Protection PII
,

3 Ways Data Encryption Can Save You From Unnecessary Stress, Spending & Headaches

When you think of data encryption, you might imagine top-secret files and espionage. Historically, militaries and governments protected messages and sensitive information using encryption. These days encryption has many more uses. And with hackers and cyber criminals constantly after your data, it is important that you make use of this security measure.

Encryption is defined as scrambling data or text to make it unreadable. This protects stored data and personal information from  displaying to those without a proper clearance or key to decode that information. There are all kinds of pieces of information you have on file that a disgruntled employee or criminal could make use of:

  • Home addresses
  • Email Addresses
  • Drivers Licenses
  • Credit Card information
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Medical history or records
  • Financial information – routing numbers, account numbers etc.

Depending on your industry, this information may be subject to state and federal regulation, hefty fines and, in cases of negligence, even jailtime (we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars). Businesses close their doors over this stuff.

While employee training and proper cyber protocols are great at protecting you and your business from user error and data breach – encryption is an added layer of security every business benefits from.

3 Ways Data Encryption Can Save You From Unnecessary Stress, Spending & Headaches

  1. Encryption Saves Your Reputation – More and more employees are working on the go in 2017. With employees working from home, sales staff in the field and the hustle and bustle of every day, you don’t want to hold your employees back or decrease productivity by preventing devices from leaving the office. But imagine your employee runs into the neighborhood Starbucks and leaves their company laptop in their front seat. While they are ordering their venti latte, a criminal breaks into their car and steals their belongings – your laptop included. Now you’re out the hardware but more importantly, you have a criminal at large with sensitive data. If this data has any sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) on it, you are required to report the incident. Do you want your customers losing valuable trust in your company? In fact, this fear of reputational damage is the reason that three out of every four victims to ransomware, data breach or cyber-attack do not report the incident. Think back to 2013 when 41 million people found out Target compromised their sensitive data. You’d probably think twice about shopping there again if you were one of them. If the stolen laptop had been encrypted, you wouldn’t have to report an incident. The criminal would have no way of deciphering data on the equipment.
  2. Encryption Keeps Designated Information Private – Let’s bring this example back into your office for a moment. Even if you don’t keep sensitive customer information on file or process credit cards. You have personal information for employees on file: Performance reviews, social security numbers, salary information and more. You don’t need a hacker or even a disgruntled employee gaining access to these records. With encryption you can ensure that even if an employee accidentally or intentionally stumbles into an area they shouldn’t be, they can’t make sense of any of that information. 
  1. Encryption Can Save You From The Unexpected – Whether a device goes missing from the office, is stolen from a front seat or possibly snatched by a disgruntled employee, you can’t have sensitive information at large. Your reputation aside, as mentioned earlier, these types of breaches can result in very large fines, prosecution and years in prison. Nobody needs that on their mind every night. With encryption you can rest easy that even in the wrong hands, your data can’t be manipulated or exposed. To take this a step further, certain encryption management tools have the ability to remotely disable and even wipe devices. This comes in handy in all of the examples we have described. So now, not only is the information on your device useless, but after your IT company takes necessary steps, the device shows nothing but the “blue screen of death”.data encryption blue screen of death

Encryption is a powerful tool. It is an incredibly useful and we would say necessary piece of your cyber security and data protection plan. It is important that you protect sensitive information. Even if you don’t want to believe it, there are criminals and people out there that would wreak havoc with that data if given the chance.

For more information on our encryption software and other cyber security training, protocols and plans, give us a call at (815) 836-0030.

And be sure to click here and explore our Unlimited Security Training Program. Over 80% of data breaches are a result of human error and the first step to prevention is education.

Mention this blog and receive 50% off your first annual subscription.

Enhanced Phone Features for Enhanced Business Part 3
,

Enhanced Phone Features for Enhanced Business Part 3 (3 part series)

For those of you following this series, this is the third and final installment of a 3-Part Series: Enhanced Phone Features For Enhanced Business. If you’re just tuning in, make sure to check out part 1 & part 2. In the last two articles we’ve covered twinning and the different functions it has in your office as well as hunt groups and the multiple forms they come in. Both of these features can increase communication within your organization as well as productivity. In this final article we are going to dive into two more enhanced phone features: Queuing and Hot Desking.

Enhanced Phone Features: Queuing

Queuing allows calls to a Hunt Group to be held in a queue when all extensions in the group extension List are busy.

For example, when you call your local pharmacy and direct your call to the pharmacist, you are placed in a specific call queue for that department. That is a combination of the hunt group and queuing feature.

When an extension becomes free, the queued call is then presented. Queue limits can be set so that only a certain number of callers can be in line at any one time. While queuing, a caller can listen to a recorded message or be directed to leave a voicemail for call back if this is configured in your system.

Enhanced Phone Features

Enhanced Phone Features: Hot Desking

Hot Desking allows multiple users to use the same extension on your phone system. Every user is assigned their own identity so they can receive calls and can access their own Voicemail as well as other functions.

For example, your outside sales staff who visit the office infrequently can be provided with telephony and Voicemail services without being permanently assigned a physical extension. This is also a valuable tool for remote workers. If you have employees in multiple states etc., they can still have a physical extension.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is the final portion of a three part series on phone features and how they can enhance your business. Make sure to check out the first two sections:

You have a phone system already (we hope) but there’s a strong chance you aren’t leveraging it to full potential. This month we are offering a free consultation meeting to review your current solution and what features best compliment your business. This offer expires 9/15/17 so make sure to take advantage!

Fill out the form below to get in touch with a representative or give us a call today to schedule your consultation.

wordpress plugins for cms website development
,

Top 3 WordPress Plugins You Didn’t Even Know You Were Missing

A Website is essential to business; whether you are a startup or a titan of industry – websites provide an essential digital impression for your consumer base. What many people do not know is that for many Content Management System-based (CMS) websites, like WordPress, there are tools available to help take your business website to the next level. In an age where almost everyone is on the internet at any given time, it is key to help promote and protect your site. Here at Andromeda, we know some of the best WordPress plugins to add-on to any WordPress website and want to share our knowledge with you.

Top 3 WordPress plugins you didn’t even know you were missing.

  1. Sucuri Security – The first in our showcase of the best WordPress plugins involved website security. If you know anything about websites, then you might have heard of Sucuri. They are the leading website security platform out there. These platforms include packages offering complete firewall protection against various types of attacks that can be harmful to websites (i.e. malware, DDoS attacks). Packages for Sucuri do cost quite a bit. However, they do have a free firewall plugin that works great as a 1st step, basic protection. Allowing for top tier firewall protection, the Sucuri plugin also has a malware scanner that you can activate at any time – providing you a respected and resourceful tool in making sure your content is secure.
  2. Yoast – Second in our WordPress plugins showcase focuses on search engine optimization, or how users find your website in search engines. Yoast is one of the better-known, and most powerful, SEO plugins out there. While they do have premium plans, their free plugin provides a guiding step for optimizing the pages and content. These steps help your website achieve higher rankings within popular search engines like Google. With very easy-to-use features and guides – Yoast provides the input you need to make sure your website is being ranked and remains competitive with direct competition.
  3. WooCommerce – And the final plugin in our WordPress plugins showcase involved eCommerce. If you are any sort of retail or resale business, you need to look into WooCommerce for your WordPress website. WooCommerce is ranked the #1 plugin for eCommerce, allowing for you to manage your inventory, sales and processing all in one convenient place. The best part? WooCommerce actually comes pre-installed for many templates, all it needs is to be activated. In order to remain competitive, it is crucial to have single inventory/processing system and WooCommerce offers just that!

There are plenty of other WordPress plugins, both free and paid. We have simply found the three described in this article very helpful and user friendly. Site Speed, Spam Prevention, and Interactive Composers – the possibilities are endless. However, don’t feel too overwhelmed. Andromeda is here for all your website needs. We can be sure to guide you in the right direction and make the changes on your behalf.

ATS Integrated Security Systems What Else Can They Do
,

Integrated Security – It Does A Whole Lot More Than You Thought Part 1 (2 Part Series)

Professional integrated security systems are important to every business. We’ve shared the different features burglar systems provide that have nothing to do with a break in , the top five reasons you should replace your traditional lock and key with an access control system, and other educational materials over the last few months. Many times, customers consider security systems as separate components:

With integrated security your solutions can work together to improve security, reduce risk and even improve productivity. That being said, we’ve decided to dedicate the next few Security Blogs to this topic.  Thru our next blog posts, we will be covering different scenarios/features that can be maximized with integrated security solutions.

Integrated Security – It Does A Whole Lot More Than You Thought

Environment Regulation – your burglar system can be equipped with special temperature sensors that will alert you if specific areas – a server room for example – exceed or dip below assigned parameters. This can save you from a great deal of hardware trouble and headache. Imagine though that with integrated security you can take this concept to an entire office building or warehouse. With integration, you can set up your facilities to monitor activity via security cameras and configure automatic lighting, heating or cooling settings for when people are present/absent. This can reduce your utility costs greatly and is an eco-friendly option for your business.

Improved Productivity – increased productivity is something everyone benefits from both personally and professionally. Traditionally, employers depended on security cameras or time clocks to monitor productivity. This was a start but hardly a way to collect data or truly motivate staff. These days software can be integrated that monitor’s user activity via the network. Keystroke logging software, web traffic logs, firewalls and other software applications can track productivity. On top of this, the data gathered show user/department trends, and any number of additional data points a company wants to gather. While some employees may grumble at the idea of close monitoring, this data can be a way for business owners to dole out promotions, bonuses and other rewards.

Visitor Management – with integrated security, visitor management for professional buildings and residential buildings is managed with software and closely monitored. No more sign in sheets, lost badges or calling up for an escort/permission (of course you can still do these things if desired). Integrated security reduces labor requirements and demands while also increasing security and protocol. A proper solution can automatically register visitors, print passes, give instructions on where to go and alert appropriate staff/persons of visitor arrival. There are even components that can be used to manage traffic flow within a facility to avoid wandering (both by foot and behind the wheel).