6 Security Measures That Protect Your Business

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Most companies have experienced at least one instance of check theft, in which a bad actor washed a legitimate check and cashed it. Cases of check theft dipped in the early 2010s as companies and banks shored up their security. But according to the Association for Financial Professionals’ “Payments Fraud and Control Survey Report”, 82% of companies experienced fraud in 2018—the highest number in a ten-year period. The fraud was a blend of old-school check and new electronic payment security threats. This is because as companies adopt more processes for each payment type they utilize, another set of potential security threats also emerges. 

Electronic payment fraud occurs most commonly when AP teams make changes to secure data—which, in this case, refers to data such as bank account information, remittance email addresses, and recipient names. Criminals hack into company emails and request to update legitimate vendor records with their own temporary bank account number.

Fraud is often under-discussed, but should be a top consideration as you think about integrating a payment solution. It’s essential to know how potential payment automation solution providers (henceforth referred to as “provider”) handle fraud cases, which can give you insight into how instances of fraud would be treated if your company became a victim.

Any company that you share sensitive data with should be protected by the highest industry security standard. The following list is a variety of compliance types and security procedures which potential providers may mention:

1. SSAE 16 and SOC Compliance

SSAE 16 replaced SAS 70 as the definitive security guide in 2010. SSAE 16 compliance includes SOC auditing, which publicly tracks company compliance statuses. Three types of SOC auditing exist:

  • SOC 1: Heavily audits internal controls of a service organization. This report can be used by an entity to assess a service organization for relevant and effective controls. Typical entities include, but are not limited to, publicly traded companies subject to SOX reporting (see below).
  • SOC 2: Heavily audits data relating to the Trust Services Principles (TSPs) in information security: Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy.
  • SOC 3: Lightly audits IT controls relating to TSPs. This audit’s controls are more relaxed than SOC 1 and 2.

2. SOX Compliance

Also known as Sarbox compliance (in reference to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act created in the early 2000s), SOX compliance is a set of government-mandated regulations to which publicly traded companies must adhere. These regulations offer transparency into companies’ financial records, as well as their wholly-owned subsidiaries. It was enacted to protect shareholders from dishonest internal practices. If your provider is either a publicly traded company or the wholly-owned subsidiary of one, they are legally required to be SOX compliant.

3. PCI DSS Compliance

PCI DSS compliance—or “PCI compliance” for short—audits companies associated with cardholder details, whether they store, transmit, or accept secure card data. This compliance ensures that companies have a secure protocol in place to limit fraudulent card payment instances. Please note, if a company is SSAE 16 compliant, they are also PCI DSS compliant, but the reverse is not always true.

4. Fraud Coverage and Assuming Liability

Some providers are financially able to offer a guarantee on all payments through their insurance coverage. Sometimes their insurance plans can also benefit you in other ways than the guarantee—for example, you may be covered for forgery or other fraud instances. Before signing on with a provider, take a moment to ask them if you are also covered under their insurance plan, and for what instances.

5. Employee Security Training

Because fraud often occurs due to human error, staff security training is key to prevention. Ask your provider what sort of training their employees undergo—especially those who interface directly with your vendors. Many providers also have other protocols in place, such as using security questions to verify calls. Understand the measures your provider takes to protect your company’s financial wellbeing.

6. Positive Pay and Positive Payee Tracking

A necessary evil of the AP staff’s day is reconciling cashed check payments against the issued payments in order to catch and prevent instances of fraud. Typically, banks will match client records against their own to determine if the account number, check number, and number of recently-cashed checks match up—a process known as Positive Pay. A related process, Positive Payee, tracks that same information along with the customer’s (payee’s) name, which creates another layer of security. Some banks don’t offer Positive Payee tracking, which is a shame. 

In those cases, if a fraudster washed the name on a check, but kept the other information the same, the fraud would be undetectable until the intended recipient claimed no-receipt. Some providers offer Positive Payee tracking as a service, so be sure to ask if yours does.

At the end of the day, your company’s security standards will always evolve to protect against ever-shifting fraud threats. It’s important to find a provider that can scale to meet those changes without sacrificing your high security standards. While fraud prevention remains a priority, it’s also important to know how your provider handles fraud instances and repairs damage.

If you’re already searching for a payment automation solution, take some time to research each prospective provider’s security offerings, and learn about their protective measures. Doing so will ensure that you choose a provider that prioritizes security and has your company’s best interests at heart.


Alyssa Callahan is a Technical Marketing Writer at Nvoicepay. She has four years of experience in the B2B payment industry, specializing in cross-border B2B payment processes.

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The Pros and Cons of Office Relocation for Employees

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What do General Electric, Expedia, Coca-Cola, and Pinterest all have in common? Each company has gone through a major office relocation. 

Whether your business is big or small, and whether you’re moving to a new city or just across town, changing office spaces comes with both significant benefits and challenging disruptions. 

Businesses that include employees in the office relocation process keep employees excited, engaged, and happy. However, a company that fails to consider how a big move impacts employees’ daily lives may face a workforce disgruntled by its decisions.

In this article, you’ll find key pros and cons of office relocation plus suggestions for ensuring your office move goes as smoothly as possible.

Pros: Boost Productivity in a Well-Designed Office Space

Moving into a brand-new office presents your business with a golden opportunity to create a space that enhances overall productivity. Open floor plans, huddle rooms, cubicles, conference spaces, and private offices — there are no limits on how you arrange your new office. 

First, consider the ways seating impacts the workday. Choosing the right office setup will significantly impact how employees work and collaborate throughout the day.

As Inc. points out, an office arrangement that keeps managers behind closed doors might discourage employees from asking questions or engaging in casual conversations. 

Similarly, teams that collaborate frequently should be seated close together, cutting down on miscommunication and encouraging closer relationships. 

Next, look for an office that supports mental health and wellness. In 2013, a Northwestern University study concluded that exposure to natural light during the work day can help employees experience improved productivity, quality of life, and even better sleep. 

Similarly, your new office might be closer to a park or green space where employees can take a break during the day. 

Proximity to shops, restaurants, and doctors’ offices can also provide conveniences throughout the day, as employees complete occasional errands during break time. 

These small perks can cut down on stress and help employees feel refreshed and ready to focus.

Above all, businesses should prioritize their employees’ self-reported needs and desires. More than 50% of employees say they value their personal space more than any other spot within the office. No matter what floor plan or design you choose, giving employees small choices about their personal spaces can help them feel invested in the move. For example, offering a choice of plants, lamps, or other small accessories can go a long way toward creating variety within the office and helping employees feel at home.

No matter how you set up your office after relocation, there are psychological benefits to moving into a larger space. 

As Business.com points out, relocating to a better office can be “a signal of success, determination and dynamism.” Employees will be proud to host clients in an office that reflects your company’s growth.

Cons: It’s Impossible to Please Every Employee

Despite the many benefits of office relocation, there are also challenges involved. Each employee brings different needs and preferences to the table, and each decision means taking another option away. 

It’s also possible that your business will take a short-term dip as customers adjust to your new location.

One of the most hotly debated issues is how office relocation impacts employees’ commutes. After all, a location that’s closer to one employee might be further for another. Choosing an office that’s disconnected from public transportation could strand employees without a way to work or even force them to consider getting a new job. 

Before you announce your new location, The Spruce recommends reviewing your employee database to predict how it will impact employees’ commutes. This step will allow you to be proactive about communicating the change in a thoughtful, considerate way.

For example, your business might send all employees a detailed plan that includes information about public transportation and parking at the new office, or announce a new commuter benefits program to soften the inconvenience. 

Managers should also follow up with individual employees who will be significantly impacted by the new commute to make sure they feel supported and heard. Be sure to allow extra flexibility as employees adjust to new timing and traffic patterns in the morning. 

Finally, remember that the process of office relocation doesn’t end when the final moving van pulls away. Because most companies can’t afford to lease two offices simultaneously, there could be up to a year of remodeling after your staff has settled into place. 

According to Moving.com, companies that appoint a “move manager” can reduce distractions, even if some are unavoidable. A move manager is a dedicated employee who has final authority over the move. This person will maintain spreadsheets of which items go where, label boxes, and create a detailed plan that will cut down on the time it takes your team to settle into its new digs.

Being organized, setting realistic expectations, and inviting feedback from employees will all help your business endure these bumps in the road. 

Relocate Successfully by Listening to Employee Feedback

Every office relocation will encounter unique perks and challenges, but the key to any major change within a business is maintaining an open dialogue with the employees who keep all systems running smoothly. 

By inviting feedback, minimizing disruptions, and anticipating concerns, you can ensure that your office relocation will be a success.


Kristen Herhold leads the real estate and marketing segments for The Manifest, the leading online B2B news and information source.

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SEO Changes to Expect for 2020

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Expanding your company’s digital presence requires a firm understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), but this area of digital marketing is a game where the rules constantly change. Navigating the Google Search algorithm can be incredibly difficult; the only constant aspect of Google’s algorithms is that they are always changing. 

To keep your SEO strategy competitive, stay updated on the latest Search algorithm changes. 

Unfortunately, there is no real way to prepare in advance for Google algorithm changes. Business leaders must coordinate their marketing and SEO teams to rapidly respond to these changes as they occur; no one really knows what a Google algorithm change entails until Google implements the change – and even then, it’s a lot of guesswork based on response. However, industry leaders have made educated predictions of what to expect in the SEO world in 2020. Keep a close eye on announcements from Google as you take your company into the new year and remember the following predictions to stay ahead of the curve. 

Strive for User-Focused Optimization

Last year saw the release of Google’s BERT search algorithm, and SEO professionals have been trying to determine the best way to optimize for BERT since its release. Leading SEO experts suggest focusing on a user-focused approach to optimization – whatever else they understand about Google, they know it prefers positive UX above all. Modern search users have more avenues than ever before to search for and find content on the web, so it’s vital for business leaders to direct their marketing, SEO, and programming teams to ensure clean site architecture while reassessing user access points and aligning content with them.

The goal of the BERT implementation was to move Google Search toward intent matching instead of just purely string matching. Over the past several years, marketing teams have shifted away from stuffing content full of keywords and keyword strings and toward more relevant, valuable content; now this shift is even more important. Creating content to match intent is one of the best ways to optimize with a user-centric focus. 

Start Thinking Beyond the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey – how we describe a customer’s relationship with a brand from initial exposure all the way through a successful sale – has been a cornerstone of modern marketing philosophy for several years now. However, as consumers move toward companies that offer more personalized experiences, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to start thinking beyond the standard buyer’s journey and begin considering their relationships with consumers after successful sales. 

As you move your company into 2020, you can build your digital presence and attract more business by thinking about how to continue providing your customers with value following their sales. 

Post-sale product and service support, sharing advocacy opportunities, building online communities, and staying relevant for future purchasing are just a few of the ways your brand can take the buyer’s journey to the next level in the new year. 

Gather Customer Data Directly from the Source

Too many marketing teams try to effectively market their products and services without really knowing their target consumer bases on a deep level. They rely on analytics to develop customer profiles and ultimately sell to those profiles instead of trying to sell to their customers. As you take your brand into 2020, start thinking of ways to reach out to your customers more directly. Speak with customers one-on-one if possible, and ask them about their experiences with your company, why they decided to buy from you, how they found your content online, and glean as many insights as you can from this exchange. Use the gathered data in every marketing decision you make going forward. 

Content Quality Is Even More Important

For years, “content is king” has been the leading mantra of the digital marketing world. Your customer base wants relevant content tailored to their needs and interests. By delivering it on a consistent basis you ultimately build your brand credibility. As you take your company into the new year, make sure your content development team is on track to produce high-quality content with a user-focused approach. Make it a goal for 2020 to have the most valuable and most relevant content available to your niche. 

Accomplishing this can be easier said than done, of course. While you take a more user-focused approach to your site architecture and reassess the user access points consumers use to connect with your brand online, you must also be working hard to develop content that doesn’t just rank well in search results. It must also resonate with your consumer base on a deep level. In 2020, it will be increasingly important to understand who your audience is and the best ways to reach them, and then connect with them through high-quality content that reflects their intentions and goals. Position your brand as the leading choice within your niche to solve your customers’ problems and consistently remind them of your authority as an industry leader with high-quality content. 

Content Auditing Is Even More Crucial

As Google Search moves toward more intent-focused algorithms, it is now more important than ever before to audit your content on a consistent schedule to ensure older content isn’t effectively cannibalizing your newer content’s rankings. Have your content marketing team perform a thorough audit of all the past content published to your site so they can identify overlapping rankings. Ideally, your team should adjust archive settings, linking, and redirect structures so that each page ranks for different sets of keywords. Depending on the scope of the content your brand has published, some of your content may be inadvertently knocking your other published content down in search result rankings. 

Your EAT Ranking Will Be Even More Important in 2020

Every website has an EAT ranking that measures expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Your brand’s EAT score will heavily influence your search result rankings. While negative reviews, bad publicity, and poor reputation will certainly harm your search result rankings in the new year, you must also consider the nuts and bolts of your company’s website. Poorly constructed websites, bad redirect paths, security issues on your site, and other technical issues will certainly bog down your SEO efforts in the new year. Make it a point in 2020 to address any shortcomings with your brand’s EAT score. 

When anyone in your company publishes content to your website, make sure the author has a solid set of credentials to back up his or her position as a thought leader on the covered subject to increase your authoritativeness rating. Take time to address negative reviews from past customers and work toward repairing those relationships. Connect more closely with your audience through social media and other channels to boost your trustworthiness score. Keep investing in the highest quality content you possibly can to ensure your brand has the expertise rating it deserves. 

Keep Track of Your SEO Strategy in the New Year

The upcoming year of 2020 is sure to bring many changes to the SEO realm, and those changes aren’t going to stop any time soon. Start reviewing your current SEO and content marketing strategies and think of ways to connect with your audience that you may have overlooked in the past. The new year could be the perfect opportunity to reshape your branded content delivery strategy and boost your SEO results.


Stephen Moyers is an out of the heart writer voicing out his take on various topics of social media, web design, mobile apps, digital marketing, entrepreneurship, startups and much more in the cutting edge digital world. He is associated with SPINX Digital a Los Angeles web design company & digital marketing agency. When he is not writing, he can be found traveling outdoors with his camera. You can follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenMoyers

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Word of advice on exactly what to expect from SEO in 2020

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Between 2010-2015 the SEO industry went from being seen as a shady backroom box of tricks to a leading and essential marketing channel, driven by data, trends and user behavior statistics.

With ongoing changes Google kept SEO agencies, freelancers and internal teams on their toes by releasing update after update to hone and shape not only what they want search results to look like, but how they want us to act and work within them. This included the once-famed Penguin Update, aimed at webspam and link building practices, supposedly impacted around 0.1% of searches when originally launched, but went on to shape the importance of positive link building, utilization of tools and data and birthed job roles around SEO content strategy while strengthening the importance of content marketing.

Long term with the development of RankBrain and (perceived) closer to real-time algorithm changes, more core updates on a regular basis and the journey through ‘Content is King’ to UX – SEO has become theorized in some sense, with many of us having our own opinions and approaches to the same end result.

As we’ve reached 2020 we have in some parts see new developments from Google slow down, with the company’s focus seemingly on updating reporting suites and core updates that offer little more than ‘an improvement to search results’. We’re no longer beholden to the next big Penguin or Panda updates, but more to the inner workings of Google and sporadic updates to its Search Quality Guidelines – with this in mind, what exactly can we expect from SEO in 2020? Adhering to Google guidelines becomes harder, or easier?

We all know how SEO works and many of us will have specialisms or approaches to SEO we feel get results quicker, but with vague updates and unannounced tweaks to algorithms, is it becoming harder to adhere to Google’s guidelines?

Certainly, the unpredictability is a factor at times – with the recent updates to search guidelines on YMYL and E-A-T being announced, there’s a perception the goalposts are moving ever so slightly, every so often.

This means that if you’re scoring just inside the post on Monday, you might be wide of the mark by a fraction on Tuesday. For websites where the SEO team is at the mercy of web development or other factors outside of their control, this can prove a challenge.

Of course, any SEO agency or specialist worth their weight in gold will be able to outline and approach any issues with a solution in hand.

The flipside to this is, however, is that we all have a clear idea of what a good website looks like and what is going to rank page 1 for chosen keywords. With guideline updates, an industry that shares knowledge like no other and a focus on developing strategies that are future proof, there is no reason for every update to send SEO campaigns spiraling.

In 2020, we predict that the next wave of guidelines will be released, and our prediction is these again will be focusing on trust and authority – not a million miles away from where we’ve been for the last few years.

Actioning and adhering to search quality guidelines

Google Search Quality Guidelines regularly update – these guidelines reflect how Google wants you to work within a website and the process the search engine’s algorithm will take to evaluate the relevance of the website for keyword usage.

These guidelines take into account:

  • E-A-T – The Expert, Authority, Trust of the website in relation to the target subject
  • Page Quality – How the page is laid out, how it works and whether it has the user’s best interests at heart
  • Needs Met – Factors around whether the page ANSWERS the needs of the query

The page quality is assessed to identify where the text is placed, the wording used, content used and the quality of the content.

Google’s most recent updates put E-A-T elements at the heart of the Page Quality section of its guidelines, based on industry and type of product.

The blanket approach, and the actions needed to adhere to (or in fact exceed) Google guidelines are that the page should be “more specific than the query, but would still be helpful for many or most users because” the company is reputable in the area.

Top nine factors content managers should audit for on-page SEO

Element to Optimise Definition
Landing Page URL URL of the landing page (after the website name)
Meta Title This is the blue link that shows in Google
Meta Description The text that shows under the blue link in search results – to draw a user to click
Heading 1 Tag A title that shows at the top of a page
Heading 2 / 3 Tags Additional titles which are placed within the content of a page
Content The physical content on the page needs to meet particular criteria
Keyword Density The percentage of keywords to total text ratio on a page
Images The size, name, and title of an image on the page
Internal Links Links which point to other pages on the website

Dependence on technical SEO reduced but is still important

Technical SEO has been on the rise for a number of years but the buzz behind it has somewhat plateaued in the last 12 months or so – although it is still essential to audit from a technical perspective regularly. Traditionally, technical SEO would include web structure, speed, hosting and so on – with JSON, mark up and structured tagging following on from this.

Across client bases we’ve seen the need for technical SEO regularly drop by just under 50%, with wider-ranging audits, working with web development on new site builds and regular crawls on health being the norm.  Working in this way allows for time to be split effectively across multiple areas of SEO and better use of budget. Education on the technical aspects client-side also means SEO agencies and professionals can focus time elsewhere.

Within semi-regular technical SEO audits, there are some core elements to check, all of which will help identify issues and improve the technical performance of a website, without impacting the day-to-day of search marketing.

Top eight factors you should audit for technical SEO

Element to Optimise Definition
Web structure and URL Structure Essentially the folders in use website is built
HTTPS/SSL Security for customers or users visiting the site
HTML Build Code-behind core elements of a website
CSS / Javascript Code behind the theme and functionality of a site
Schema / JSON Code that allows websites to send additional information to search engines
Server Speed The speed in which servers respond to requests from users
Sitemaps/Robots Used by Google to crawl websites
Accessibility Are all pages able to be found

2020 and beyond

As always, Google is likely to throw a couple of curveballs – However, the SEO industry is coming of age again and it’s no longer an area of expertise that “anybody” can have a go at. There’s a need to understand the market of your clients, their customers, their collateral and the demands of Google to achieve success. Following clear structure, regular audits and systematic approaches will allow all of the above to be achieved.

Keith Hodges, Head of Search at POLARIS, is an SEO expert with over eight years’ experience in the industry. 

The post Word of advice on exactly what to expect from SEO in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Is It Possible to Start a Cheap Online Business That Drives Profits

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If you want to get into the world of eCommerce but you’re on a shoestring budget, you may be wondering if it’s possible to start a cheap online business and actually generate profits and revenue. The fact of the matter is that you can start a profitable business online with relatively little money, but you need to know what you’re doing and what type of business you want to start. If you are new to the world of eCommerce development and you want to start an online business sooner rather than later, you need to ask yourself the following questions before pursuing any business opportunity.

How Much Money Do You Have to Invest?

While you may be on a budget, you do need to have at least some money to start an online business. Even if it’s just the registration of a domain name, you’ll need to have the funds available to cover your initial business expenses. When starting a cheap online business, the first thing you need to do is determine exactly how much money you have available to invest. If your budget is only $50 to $100, that’s fine. You just need to know where you stand so you can budget accordingly. You don’t want to have $100 available and invest it all in the design of your site only to find that you don’t have the funds necessary to market it.

Are You Interested in Selling Items Online?

If you have products that you want to sell online, you should consider setting up seller accounts at sites like eBay and Amazon. These sites do the advertising for you and bring in massive amounts of traffic. The downside is that a large number of sellers realize this and there is quite a bit of competition on these sites. That means that you may have to reduce your profit margin, but what you lose in the amount of profit you make per sale, you can make up for in the volume of sales you make. Once you bring in customers from these sites, you can add them to your mailing list and drive them to your actual website to create return customers and recurring revenue.

Do You Want to Provide Services?

If you don’t have products or items to sell, but prefer to offer services such as writing or Web design, you’ll want to look into sites like Guru and Elance. These sites require a minimal upfront investment and provide you with access to a large client base. You can jumpstart your business by generating clients from these sites. Once you have an established reputation and online presence, you can grow your business from there. 

Again, the good thing about these sites is that you don’t have to pay for marketing. You merely have to place bids on projects and market your skills to potential clients.

Are You Interested in Operating a Blog?

A blog is a great way to start a cheap online business. When you create a blog, you want to position yourself as an expert in a niche market. Then, you can promote products and services within the pages of your blog and use affiliate links to generate a profit. The key in monetizing your blog is to make sure that you offer valuable content to your readers in addition to promoting products and services. For every 10 posts that you publish on your blog, at least eight of them should contain content that provides value to your readers. The other one to two posts can promote a product or service that you have an affiliate link for so you can generate revenue from your blog. Blogs cost very little money to create and you can begin to generate revenue within a few months if you manage your blog and affiliate relationships properly.

Are You Interested in Creating Info Products?

Informational products are big sellers online. Whether you create an eBook on how to fix a marriage or how to flip real estate, there are people all over the Internet who are looking for the knowledge that you have to offer. If you are an expert in a certain area, create an informational product that will help others who are interested in learning what you have to share. Then, use a program to promote your product. While you will have to share a percentage of your sales with the people who are promoting your product, the volume of your sales can be significantly higher when you have others promoting your product for you. While you will need to invest time and money creating and promoting an informational product, the return on your investment can be very lucrative.

If you want to generate a substantial income from the comfort of your home, the world of eCommerce may be exactly what you are looking for. From online stores to informational products, there are a number of ways to make money online. The best part is that you don’t need a lot of money to get started. You can easily start a cheap online business as long as you know exactly what you want to do and how to get started

Use Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a concept in which computing services can be run over and delivered by the internet, rather than by local hardware. These services can include virtually any ordinary computer capability you can imagine, although some (like data backup) are more common than others. 

The “cloud” is a reference to a centralized location online where data and programs are stored, allowing you to access them from anywhere through your own computer. This can potentially offer a tremendous cost savings for a small business.

Back Up Data

It is vital that your data, including your sales records, inventory data and client information, be backed up regularly to ensure that it is not lost in the event of a system error. With a cloud computing backup system, your data is copied off-site and is updated as you make changes to it on your end. This protects you from drive failures, natural disasters and the like.

Create Functional Mobile Offices

Cloud computing allows you to access many of your essential programs on the go, instead of being tied down to an office network. This means your office can be taken with you wherever you go, since accessing and synchronizing data is so easy.

Share Data

With cloud computing, you no longer need to use email, flash drives and the like to send files from one person to another. Instead, you can simply access these files through any computer from the cloud.

Store Files Efficiently

Larger files like video, audio and images which occupy large amounts of disc space can be stored in a centralized location instead of being stored locally. This reduces the amount of hard drive space and other system resources you need to purchase yourself.

Minimize the Need for Tech Support

Most businesses need to hire staff to perform such services as setting up software, installing updates, correcting system errors and the like. In the case of cloud computing, however, the cloud vendor takes care of the maintenance of all the services and applications.

Cloud computing makes it possible to consolidate various application needs like emailing, calendar scheduling, document creation, file storage, website creation, conference calling and so on These can all be provided through one agreement for far less than each would cost individually through more traditional means.

You continue to utilize the latest features of any application since those provided by cloud computing are generally updated automatically on a regular basis. This saves a lot of money and time compared to continually buying and installing updates for traditional programs.

Instead of purchasing a server, setting it up and installing all essential software to begin operating your business, you can launch your business and see it grow much more quickly and easily with cloud computing. The need to buy much of the software and hardware once considered essential for business operations is eliminated. The savings to your business can be measured not only in cash, but also in time and frustration, making it possible for you to compete on a much more level playing field with your larger competitors.


Diane H. Wong works as a business coach for beginners. Besides, she is a personal business adviser at domywriting.com. By the way, Diane is interested in the digital marketing and personal development spheres.

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How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Marketing

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Artificial intelligence has influenced diverse fields of business. One of them is marketing. New, AI-driven tools like machine learning, business intelligence, and data science can be highly beneficial for companies operating in marketing.

To take full advantage of new technologies, first, we have to obtain a basic knowledge of how they actually work.

AI – What Is It Really About

What does artificial intelligence really mean? To put it as simply as possible, AI is a set of algorithms specially created to imitate the intelligence of humans.

How is it different from other computer programs? Well, artificial intelligence can do more than any computer system ever written. AI is able to learn from given data and drive valuable insights from it. It is capable of making complex predictions, in most cases – AI software is more accurate than human specialists.

Artificial intelligence’s unique features give extraordinary opportunities for businesses from diverse fields. The processes which used to be time consuming can now be completed quickly and without the need for human engagement. The extra time of employees is precious for the development of any company. Staff can now focus on creative challenges rather than waste time on repetitive tasks.

Let’s take a closer look at a few particular areas where the implementation of AI-driven solutions would significantly increase the growth of your business.

Influencer Marketing

It is a new emerging trend in digital marketing – and by 2020 is expected to be worth $10 billion. Artificial intelligence-powered influencer marketing is expanding especially in three areas:

  • identification of the right creators
  • defining impactful workflow actions
  • creation of relevant content

Nowadays, customers are exposed to thousands of ads daily through multiple devices. It is extremely difficult to attract consumer attention to your business. This is why brands need to create relevant content that reflects the client’s needs.

Artificial intelligence solutions can support companies by finding the right creators using classification programs.

AI is able to detect fake engagement, as well as fraudulent influencers through the analysis of patterns among followers.

Another use of AI is in the process of identifying the relevant types of content. AI can process vast quantities of data and determine which kind of publications are the most popular.

Personalized Customer Experience

The rapidly growing market of e-commerce has changed customers’ expectations. A personalization of marketing activity has become an industry standard. The messages sent to clients have to be different, depending on where the particular customer lives and what language they speak.

According to the research conducted by Gartner, 90% of all brands will be using personalized marketing by 2020, especially to create individualized content which has always been the main struggle for marketers since it is an extremely time-consuming task.

AI algorithms offer a solution. AI-based software can learn the behavioral patterns of each user and then suggest personalized content. And that’s not all.

Improvement of Purchasing Experiences – A New Way of Shopping

A currently emerging trend is the virtual fitting room. It enables customers to “try on” clothes before buying without actually having to change. They just have to stand in front of a screen with a camera and select clothes. Then, the virtual fitting room shows a real-time image of what the customer would look like in a particular outfit.

Automation of Processes

Marketers have been introducing automation to different processes for many years now. The problem is to bring all those programs together into one, multitasking system. Artificial intelligence is able to create such a system.

One of the main struggles that marketers have to deal with every day is the allocation of assets. Now, there is an innovative solution called the digital asset management system. It is able to store, organize, search, and finally share digital content, saving marketers countless hours and giving them the time to invest in development.

Prediction of Users’ Behavior

The key to success is to be always a few steps ahead. Artificial intelligence is able to predict the most likely behavior of particular customers, all thanks to its ability to process massive amounts of data gathered by a company about existing and past customers. An AI-driven system defines a priority lead basing on earlier identified criteria and the profile of an ideal customer.

Artificial intelligence is not only able to come up with predictions. What’s even more important is its ability to act on those predictions in order to define the best actions leading to the desired outcome.

AI-powered analytics software processes behavioral data and compares it with statistical models. The system is then able to predict the future behavior of particular customers and can prevent unwanted actions in advance, for example by sending a targeted marketing message.

Artificial intelligence-based analytics opens the door to individualized marketing. Each customer can be treated differently, depending on their characteristics, and behavioral patterns. Such an approach boosts the effectiveness of marketers and sales teams.


The implementation of artificial intelligence tools has become a new standard in marketing. If you want your business to grow and be competitive in the market, you need to invest in AI-driven solutions.

The application process is complicated, but there are companies as well as specially designed platforms that will help you with artificial intelligence software development.

Thanks to accurate predictions and personalized marketing actions your company will be able to gain customer interest which will result in an increase in sales.


Amanda Antoszewska – I am a growth specialist at Addepto – a company offering data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence solutions, and business intelligence consulting services. I specialize in writing articles for entrepreneurs who are looking for innovative solutions which they can implement into their businesses.

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7 Ways That Schools Can Benefit from ERP Software

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Did you know that more and more businesses are using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to organize their work and ensure that students get better grades? 

This isn’t surprising because the software provides an integrated management platform to streamline all organizational processes. The ERP software allows students and teachers to have access to numerous educational resources and reap the benefits of the digital world.

The concept still needs to be simplified. We will look at the ways and means of benefiting from school management software.

7 Ways That Schools Can Benefit from ERP

While the benefits to use ERP software are countless, we will focus on the 7 simplest ways how both teachers and students can boost their performance by using the online tool.

1. Work Management

ERP software allows teachers to manage work conveniently. For instance, a teacher does not have to write notes on every student’s note book to relay instructions. Instead they can convey all such communication to them by using the software. The ERP can also help them manage the attendance of students and maintain monthly records.

The use of such software is also helpful in sharing different notices with students and their guardians promptly. It also allows teachers to speedily share classroom progress with the parents. ERP software can even help in managing, organizing and updating data related to leave applications.

2. Advanced Automation

Advanced ERP software lets you automate your data without having to worry about adding data each time. The data that can be automated may include attendance, exam results and faculty and student work progress. Prompt automation can also allow administrators of the institution to analyze data rapidly and make better decisions. 

ERP software also streamlines your process by automating the data and brings all critical data on one platform.

3. Reduced Workload

Needless to say, enterprise content management software reduces administration workload by a huge margin. The software digitizes the data of each and every individual in an institution and categorizes it for easy access.

 Secondly, it promptly retrieves the required data through the use of a robust built-in search engine. The reduced workload results in enhanced staff performance who are able to focus more on achieving performance milestones. 

4. Integration with Technology

Because ERP software uses digital tools, it allows staff to be more exposed to newer and advanced technology. Ultimately, the usage of the software makes the school staff more tech-savvy and competent. 

The integration also allows them to improve collaboration with each other and in turn be more productive for their institution. It also lets them adopt a more secure environment for exam papers and receiving of fees with the help of data security. 

The exposure to technology also grooms students in terms of the latest advancements.

5. Enhanced Accessibility

The use of school management software allows administrators to access critical institution  information and remotely access data related to attendance, exam schedules, and important notices as well as relay crucial information. 

The software also lets administration handle several departments and monitor the activities on one single platform. Administrators can synchronize data and use it as per their specific requirements.

6. Hierarchal Distribution of Work

ERP software allows you to maintain a perfect hierarchal balance as far as distribution of work is concerned. In other words, it allows role based access to the entire staff. With the online tool, you can assign responsibilities to staff in accordance with their access to the software. This reduces the risk of overlapping of responsibilities and a haphazard distribution of work, ultimately increasing the productivity of the school.

7. Student Engagement

The use of enterprise content management software lets you meet an important purpose of the school’s foundation and that is to engage people in educational activities. 

The software allows students to engage with each other in a better way and brighten their chances of achieving better grades. It also makes them productive as they go out into the world because ERP software can get them into a habit of thinking and implementing their ideas at a fast pace.

Which ERP Software Suites You

The question that arises here is which ERP software will suit your needs and create possibilities for your institution to streamline its work and achieve its goals. 

The answer is quiet simple and convincing. 

Smooth Solutions can help you achieve all of your goals related to school management by offering you several services. The company has more than 25 years of experience in scanning and converting all sorts of data. They also have plenty of experience when it comes to school management software. 


With ever increasing competition, ERP software can prove to be the building block for your educational institution’s success. The software can have a phenomenal effect on staff and student performance and increase their productivity. 

It is also bound to benefit you in terms of digital advancement and online tools that allow you to make the best use of technology. If you need to streamline your school system, then using the software is definitely the answer! Get in touch with Smooth Solutions today!


Brandon Harris is the vice president of Smooth Solutions founded by his father Michael Harris, who has been a pioneer in document scanning industry for over 35 years. A leading Document Scanning Services in New Jersey, they are experts in providing document services and affordable book scanning services and Convert Microfilm to Digital.

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