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Copeland Data News - October, 2013

Price SqueezeWelcome to this autumn edition of Copeland Data News.

Business competition today forces all of us to provide more to our customers with less margins. Technology is central in allowing us all to accomplish these business challenges and needs to be considered at all times.

While browsing this newsletter, if you think of anything that you would like to discuss as it applies to your situation, never hesitate to drop us a note.  We are here to help and serve you in any way we can.

Thank you,

Tom

In this issue of Copeland Data News

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Secure Email

The use of Email has continued to be a center of correspondence. At the same time, Email challenges continue to surface when using Email in business - one of them being the security of the email being sent.

GolferTraditional email can come to you in a few ways, namely "plain text", "rich text" as well as HTML-based email. However, each of these email methods brings a common problem in that they all lack security. Anyone, from a number of locations, can "pick-off" that recently sent email and take action on it. It is not technically difficult to do that.

That being said, businesses everywhere are now implementing the ability for associates to send and receive SECURED email. Secured email ensures that the recipient, and only the recipient, can read the content or attachment of the email message.  The use of secured email messages are common in the following scenarios:

In summary, for any information that you are not comfortable in putting out in the Cloud using tools like Facebook, Twitter, or even Craigslist, then you need to seriously consider using encrypted and secured email to send that message.

Voltage SecuritySecureMail, from Voltage Security, is the preferred secure email solution for providing "On-Demand" email encryption.  Once an account for a company is setup, then associates whom you choose can have this offering to create, send and receive encrypted email information using the SecureMail Cloud system. SecureMail is accessed by the cloud, so you can access this from anywhere. Additionally, many Outlook plugins are available so you have direct access to SecureMail directly from Outlook.

Voltage Security offers a 30 day "free trial" allowing all business can take this for a test run. You can purchase an annual license for Voltage for $99 per user per year. You can select which users should or should not have access to this powerful encryption tool to keep your information safe and secure.

Learn more about Voltage HERE.

If you have any questions on Voltage's SecureMail Cloud, or anything else for that matter, please do not hesitate to drop us a note.

Meet the BNBEA

The Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Association, or BNBEA for short, is an association who raises community awareness and pays tribute to companies that consistently demonstrate ethical conduct in everything they do.

At the national level, the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP) established the American Business Ethics Award in 1994 to honor companies that demonstrate a firm commitment to ethical business practices in daily operations, management philosophies, and responses to crises or challenges.

Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics AssociationIn 2007, the Buffalo Chapter hosted the first local Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Award (BNBEA). Every year since then, the BNBEA has been celebrating business ethics by honoring local companies who display business ethics both internally and externally. Award recipients will be honored at a celebratory event in May, at which time the Crystal Award will be presented to the recipient company president or CEO.

BNBEA seeks nominations from the general community for companies with fewer than 50 employees, 50-150 employees and over 150 employees. Each year a call for nominations is issued. A business may be nominated for an award by a customer, client, employee, vendor, company or a private citizen who is impressed with a company's demonstration of ethical business conduct. Businesses are also invited to self-nominate. Business people and organizations from throughout the area are encouraged to participate in the nomination process by completing a Nomination Form.

BNBEA Crystal AwardWe at CDS encourage all of our customers to learn more about the BNBEA, and to be a part of something great - to be associated with other great organizations for the way in which they conduct themselves in business. There is no greater honor in business than to be associated with the BNBEA and everything that it stands for. Copeland Data Systems was the 2011 recipient of the Crystal Award. We know firsthand what the BNBEA organization means to us and what it means to the entire business community in Western New York. Please consider being associated with the BNBEA, whether as a sponsor, or for a nomination for the Crystal Award. You can learn more at www.buffalobusinessethics.org. The nomination period for this year's Crystal Award ends on November 1st, 2013.

Did You Know?

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Using Virtualization technologies to support servers has become mainstream. Consider consolidating your servers into 1 physical machine, and having logical instances of your servers available to your users like you have had previously. Using Hyper-V or VMWare technology is the next step in managing your servers.

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BYOD stands for "Bring Your Own Device" into the workplace. While there are business advantages to this, major disadvantages are starting to settle in as security becomes an issues on these personal devices. Also, many businesses are reporting "lost" time as associates are using their devices on company time for personal matters. It may be time to properly re-define company policy on all "BYOD" situations.

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When downloading free software, you can avoid the situation where other "unwanted" software also gets downloaded and installed on your PC. Watch the download dialogs closely, and "uncheck" options that represent this undesired software. You can find out more HERE.

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Nokia, the phone maker, is set to be purchased by Microsoft for 7 billion dollars. Following the recipe that has made Apple successful, Microsoft wants to better control the hardware its products land on and work with, creating a better integrated offering to the end user.

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Smartphone type watches - "smart-watches", are starting to be announced. Samsung, for one, is following in their successful "Galaxy" series of Smartphone devices, is coming out with Galaxy Gear - a watch based on the Android operating system.

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Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer plans on retiring from Microsoft over the next 12 months. There is plenty of challenges at Microsoft these days, so whoever does take over as the CEO will be faced with protecting the current product's  revenue stream while at the same time, announce new product lines that may eat away at the current revenue stream. This is a pivotal time for Microsoft, as they need to get this transition of "old versus new" right.

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Cyber-attacks are on the rise. Now is the time to rethink your password strategy enterprise-wide. Strong passwords include at least 1 uppercase, at least 1 lower case, at least 1 number, and at least 1 special character (like &, !, etc.) Passwords should be 8 characters in length or larger.

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PC Sales have dropped in 2013 due to the popularity of other access devices like tablets and smartphones. Tablet sales are starting to level off, and Windows 8 is gaining in maturity, which means that an end of the cycle of decline for PC sales is likely.

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Windows 8.0 was released last year with much to talk about as it is somewhat different than past revisions of Windows. This month, Microsoft is set to launch an update to Windows 8 calling it 8.1. Windows 8.1 will be available for current Windows 8 users as a Windows update. The goal of Windows 8.1 was to shorten up some of the shortcomings of Windows 8.0. Some of the new features of Windows 8.1 can be found HERE.

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Related to the Windows 8.1 release, Microsoft has made a Windows 8.1 Preview available. This preview cannot be un-installed - so once it is in place there is no turning back. While more information on the Windows 8.1 preview can be found HERE , the installation of the preview on a currently "in use" machine is not recommended for most users.

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QR CodeUse QR Codes for your business. QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are 2 dimensional barcodes that can be linked to almost anything.

QR Codes can be generated online for free, and the barcode can be used in company, product and service promotion. Smartphones today typically have a QR CODE reader "App", so you can be very creative in linking this barcode to the details of a product or service you offer on the web as most smartphone users can easily read QR Codes.

Your comments are always appreciated...

Have a comment on anything in this issue of Copeland Data News, or maybe an idea for a future topic you would like us to cover?  Please connect with us on Facebook and let us know your thoughts!