Monday, December 20, 2010

Business Websites Need a Purpose

Every website should have a reason for being there. For some websites the purpose may be clear, however for the typical corporate website the purpose may have gotten lost.

Most businesses make the mistake in thinking they need a website for the sake of having one. Though I think all businesses should have one, I also feel most business websites should be built to achieve one of these three goals:

1) Build Awareness/Credibility.

Simply put, building a website to raise awareness of your brand or services is a great purpose for a website. Having a great looking site will also help your business be more credible when they are comparing it to their competitors. More and more users look to websites to evaluate if the company is credible.

After putting your website online you should then utilize social media, online marketing tools such as Google Adwords, to increase exposure to the masses. Awareness isn't going to be built simply by having a site, you need to get people to your website!

2) Lead/Sales Generation.

Using your website to gather leads is a great purpose for some industries. To do this, you not only need to have marketing initiatives that focus on driving traffic, but also you should have clear "call to actions" on your website. This may be a form for the user to fill out to request information, an instant online chatting device, or a way for visitors to sign up for your services.

3) Provide Information.

Information based websites typically provide and educate their customer. Some service based industries may provide a blog or white papers to provide timely information to their customers. While businesses that have products may share product information, reviews and information to keep visitors coming back for more.

Most website may fall into more than one category. For instance a print services company's website may be geared about building awareness but may also have lead generation forms to capture information about their potential customers.

What purpose(s) do you want your website to serve? If it is not currently fulfilling them all then contact your local web designer to help.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Windows 8 Plans Leaked

With Windows 7 gaining market share and customer support, is now time to talk about Windows 8! It has recently leaked that Window 8 is planned for release mid 2012 and may be available to preview and test late this year. So what type of features is Microsoft planning to put in their new operating system (OS)? The biggest changes involve the inclusion of an apps store, improved energy efficiency, fast startup and easy reset button.

Windows' App Store

Windows 8 will be developed to have an app store similar to that of the iPhone. Users will be able to easily download and install applications. Applications will also be able to share information across each user's devices instead of only on one PC.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Microsoft is making its new OS use less energy to enhance the user experience on mobile devices and laptops. To do this they are coming out with numerous versions of Windows 8, one for each type of device it will be used on.

Faster Startup

Windows 8 will be faster to startup and in some cases will resume from sleeping instantly. Logging off and logging on will be sped up for faster switching between various users.

Easy Reset Button

This is a unique feature that allows a user to reset Windows 8 back to the default settings while maintaining all their applications and files. This will empower users to have more control over their PCs.

Other additions include facial recognition for easy login and expanded help and support. For details about the product and to see Microsoft's road map please visit

All of these features are planned and the actual features and dates have not been officially released.

Is your copier a major security risk to your customers?

Most companies pride themselves on the steps they take to keep their customer's and their employee's data safe and secure. But in many cases this sensitive data is readily available when a company discards their old copier. A 60 Minutes report earlier this year showed how much of a liability these copiers can be if they are not property configured or disposed of after you're done.

Nearly every copier sold since 2002 contains a hard drive, much like the one in your computer, which stores every document scanned or copied by the machine. This means if your copier is resold or disposed of improperly all of your sensitive information: copies of bank statements, checks, tax forms, and insurance statements are available for a thief to view.

In the 60 Minutes investigation they retrieved over 300 pages of individual health documents and 95 pages of checks containing social security information. All of these documents were taken from copiers a health insurance company and a construction company disposed of.

So what can your company do to protect itself? There are two common solutions.

1. Purchase a security kit for your digital copier (MFP).

These security kits act like a paper shredder for your scans and copies; after a copy is made the file on the hard drive is destroyed. This is a must for any company in accounting, legal or insurance.

2. Have the hard drive destroyed at the end of your lease.

Make sure your copier dealer offers a service to destroy the hard drive when you are done with the machine. This will eliminate any secrets that your machine may be hiding.

Take the steps to ensure your customers and employee's data is safe. Don't end up on the next 60 Minutes.

Read more about 60 Minutes Report