Copeland News - April, 2014
Welcome to the Spring edition of Copeland News.
Technology continues to march forward in so many ways, and realizing what tools are available allows you to make informed decisions on how to adequately stay ahead. We all want to serve our customers the best we can, and technology is just one of the keys in doing so.
That being said, if you come across anything that you would like to discuss, never hesitate to drop us a note. We are here to help and serve you in any way we can!
In this issue of Copeland News
Every so often, our surroundings need a new look. Sometimes that may be as simple as a fresh coat of paint; other times, it means a complete "redo" from the ground up.
The same holds true for your web presence. A worthwhile exercise is to revisit your website while wearing your "customer" or "prospect" hat to experience what they see. Take a fresh look at what may seem familiar to you and make sure your copy, design, colors and imagery adequately convey your vision of your brand.
A new trend on the web is "flat design." It commonly employs colorful, eye-catching imagery up-front with simple, large navigational elements replacing the traditional textured or rounded buttons with drop shadows. Flat design proponents argue that device users have grown more sophisticated and no longer require that degree of "heaviness" that earlier styles reflected. Its simplified designs and draws attention to your copy and supporting imagery (photos, charts, infographics) rather than distracting design elements.
We recently gave our website a bit of a facelift using some components of flat design. Flat design is very appealing because it's simplified interface works well across various screen sizes and resolutions. This is the main reason why Microsoft and Apple have elected to go with flat design in their latest offerings.Is it time for that fresh coat of paint for your site? If so, please take a look through our Gallery of recent web projects, some of which also utilize "responsive web design" that we talked about in our October 2012 issue.
CDS Mobile Connect App
We are happy to announce that we have published our own app in Google Play and iTunes. CDS Mobile Connect is designed specifically for our customers. Its main features include:
- Manage current support tickets or projects.
- Request support or add a project.
- Chat with us from a mobile-optimized interface.
- Easily email any associate from the integrated directory.
- Quickly call us with one click - no need to scroll through your list of contacts.
- Important, timely news or reminders appear below the Main Menu.
We hope you install and review our app. As you do, think about what kind of functionality and information you can provide your customers in your own app. Up until a few years ago, writing an app for Android and iOS meant two separate sets of hardware, development platforms, programming languages, and code bases. We've been using a product that unifies that process and brings everything together with just one code base, meaning development time and maintenance is essentially cut in half. Let's work together to build and publish that app you've had kicking around in your head for some time now!
Download the app from iTunes or Google Play today.
With the ever-increasing cost of doing business, organizations continue to look at ways their associates can work at peak performance. Now, more than ever, matching the right PCs, servers and routers to your team is critical for optimal and uninterrupted work.
CDS now has the ability to monitor and collect information about your equipment's performance using our Network Monitoring Service. This tool watches your PCs, servers and routers. It collects historical performance data and recognizes if a potential problem is occurring. Our team is alerted and depending on the severity, a service ticket may be automatically created in our system.
Businesses can utilize this service in a variety of ways, including:
- Watching servers and server programs (email, websites, databases) to ensure they are up and running.
- Identifying any potential problems with a hard drive before a PC or server goes down to insure maximum uptime.
- Running reports to see who the heavier users are to ensure they have the right hardware for their job responsibilities.
Businesses today are doing more to make sure the investments in their associates are optimized. One way of doing so is to monitor the systems they use, all to promote peak efficiencies. Drop us a note if you want to discuss Network Monitoring as an option for your environment, as most folks find that the monitoring of systems does wonders in protecting the investment in your associates.
We asked 100 people what they thought Document Management was.
The result: 100 different answers!
Document Management is a business practice defined by the way in which your organization controls its document information. Once documents are included in an electronic system, they can be accessed from any device and any system.
Here are some key functionalities of a Document Management System:
Searching: Search thousands of files in seconds by customer number, invoice number or other key pieces of information. You can also search the text of all PDFs, office documents and email attachments.
Control: Prohibit users from creating folders inside of folders and even more folders. The search functionality allows users to find what they want without several layers of separation.
Security: Hide electronic cabinets, folders and even documents from users that do not have the correct permissions.
Versioning: Check in and check out a document to keep multiple versions of documents and track changes. Examples would be changes to spreadsheets or Word documents.
Businesses today are finding that they cannot compete effectively using legacy methods to manage documentation. Document Management is key to manage all of this paper and electronic correspondence, and it has been a part of our solutions at CDS for many years now.
Did You Know?
Secure Email is important and in many cases, required by law for different types of correspondence. "Voltage" is our answer and can be given a free 30-day test run from our website.
2-in-1 PCs are the latest "tablets that think they are laptops" and "laptops that think they are tablets." 2-in-1 PCs are essentially tablets with an optional keyboard, a touch screen monitor, and a full version of Windows 8, which allows it to be a great laptop upgrade option since it can run all your current Windows applications. Dell, HP and Microsoft are among the leaders for 2-in-1 PCs. If you're considering Microsoft, make sure you look at the Surface Pro (as opposed to the Surface) since only the Pro version can run full Windows applications. Many users will be upgrading their laptops with 2-in-1 devices this coming year.
PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance is a continued challenge for businesses today. Unencrypted credit card data can never be stored in any system, and newer encryption technologies (sometimes called "end to end" or "point to point") are available from many credit card processors, including Mercury Payment Systems. This technology keeps your business safe by ensuring that credit card data is never seen (or stored by) your systems. We have been implementing this for our customers and can integrate it into any of your systems as required by PCI.
Microsoft is scheduled to stop all patches and updates for Windows Server 2003 in July, 2015. If you have Windows Server 2003 running in production, you may want to start setting the stage for an upgrade later on this year.
Digital Signage is hot these days. Business are using digital signage to bring information and advertising in front of their customers. It can be used in-house as well to provide information to fellow associates on the status of orders, inventory and other information central to a department or organization. We have recently designed Digital Signage Systems that include real-time dynamic content from any source, including your business system. Let us know if you want to talk more about digital signage for your business.