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Virtual Private Server or Dedicated Server? Which solution is best for your business?

You need a home to live. Similarly, your website too needs a place to live, or to be specific, it needs web hosting. Without it, your website will not work. 

Choosing the right web hosting solution may seem a little difficult, since there are several choices available like shared hosting, cloud hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) and Dedicated Server. 

If you are an established business with decent traffic on your website and have concerns for security, and uptime, then you should go with either VPS or dedicated server. These hosting options vary in terms of performance level, scalability, as well as cost – but how are they exactly different?

To get the wisdom in your choice, you need to understand the main differences between VPS and dedicated server so that you can determine which option suits best for your business. 

Read on. 

Virtual Private Server and Dedicated Server: Model Explanation

Before diving deep into the hosting comparison, let us know a bit about each of them. 

Solution 1: Virtual Private Server

A virtual private server (VPS) is a multi-tenant architecture in which a hosting provider offers you virtualized server resources over the internet.

Here, the VPS customers get a share of a physical machine that runs multiple virtual private servers, managed by the hosting provider. These virtual private servers run on a hypervisor (virtual machine monitor or VMM) where each VPS runs its own operating system independently. And, therefore, you get full access to the system which is completely dedicated to your website. 

VPS Pros

  • Adequate performance
  • Less expensive

VPS Cons

  • Limited features
  • Restricted control

Solution 2: Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a form of single-tenant cloud architecture in which a provider gives access to a physical machine (or a private server) and all the hardware resources to its end users, which is not shared with other tenants. As the customers here get full control over the physical machine, they should know how to independently use and manage the server.

Dedicated servers, sometimes, offer close to the bare metal-like implementation that have typically more cloud-like features, such as fast provisioning, higher-end hardware, and minimum billing increments.

Dedicated Server Pros

  • High performance and huge resource availability
  • Full control for direct access

Dedicated Server Cons

  • Technical expertise needed
  • Relatively more expensive

VPS Server or Dedicated Server: Which is Right for Your Business?

Here are key differences you should read before purchasing one of them.

Performance:

The performance of web hosting is mainly related to the hardware specifications of a server. If we assume that they both have the same specifications, then a dedicated server will likely have better performance.

How?

We know that the VPS server provides you with a separate virtual environment, but you can only access a portion of the total system resources here because you share the same physical machine, and therefore, the overall performance here is slightly lesser.

On the other hand, a dedicated server provides you with all the system resources by default. Having full access to these resources increases the performance of the website and its loading speed. Note that the smoother and faster a website page loads, the more a visitor stays on the website.

Scalability:

As a website grows, you need a scalable hosting environment to deal with the increased load on the server.

Between the two, a VPS is often considered a superior solution when it comes to expanding the site storage. A VPS is managed virtually, in which your provider can easily upgrade your storage by providing additional resources from the existing ones. 

In dedicated hosting, you need to manually add additional resources to the server. This process is time consuming, expensive, and might cause downtime as you expand the resources.

Configuration:

Both VPS and the dedicated servers provide the option of managed and unmanaged services. In VPS, you do not get direct access to the hardware as most of the part is managed by your hosting provider. This restricts you from managing the maintenance and upkeep of your server. 

Comparatively, dedicated servers can be configured easily as per your business needs, or you may choose to get it managed by the hosting provider. 

You can also install third-party software in both VPS and dedicated server. This means that you can install any software that is specifically designed for your business. 

Source: Pixabay

Security:

In VPS, you have full access and control over your virtual server, but don’t think that they are secure enough because your physical machine is shared with many other VPS users, and this might increase the probability of a cyber-attack via the hypervisor layer. 

A dedicated server is more secure because you have complete control over your server, without sharing hardware resources with other users.

If you want complete peace of mind, then you should opt for dedicated server hosting. Its single-tenant architecture assures security as well as confidentiality.

Cost:

In general, a VPS is less expensive than any dedicated plan. The less cost is mainly due to the multi-tenant nature of VPS hosting. In contrast, a dedicated server is quite expensive due to data center operations and hardware costs. 

Keep your web hosting budget in mind before you choose one of them.

Should you choose a VPS or dedicated server for your business?

Most people will find VPS a better solution than a dedicated server due to the easy implementation, great support, and low-cost options from reliable web hosting providers. In most cases, a VPS can get you the same or better support, performance, and flexibility as a dedicated server in a much less expensive package.

To help you better, here is a summary comparison:

VPS Dedicated Server
Implementation Requirement Moderate level technical knowledge is required when choosing an unmanaged VPS solution. Generally, high technical knowledge is required due to full control and management requirement of the resources.
System Control High High
Server Resources Partitioned from other VPS users. Separate machine for each dedicated server user.
Price Low High
Security Comparatively less than dedicated server. More secure than VPS.
Resource Allocation Flexible resource limits. Massive resource limits.

 

Use VPS hosting if:

  • You have a small business or large personal website.
  • Your blog traffic is growing, you need a better hosting solution, but you have a low budget.
  • You need flexibility and resources to scale but don’t plan to purchase a complete server.

Use a dedicated server if:

  • You have a medium to large business, or large business website.
  • You need high-performance hardware and software and have the expertise to set this up.
  • Security is your highest priority.

READ NEXT: How to choose the best web hosting provider for your website

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Cloud data hosting options for small businesses: from start-up to scale

Cloud computing is one of the crucial technologies for companies looking to grow in 2021 and beyond. How a company leverages different elements of cloud infrastructure such as networking, collaboration, data storage, and the server is a big factor in the ability to scale. Cloud data hosting options cater to a wide spectrum of companies — from startups to scalable SMBs.

Early hosting options

For startups that are just trying to get a foot in the door, utilizing cloud hosting options accurately will free up time and resources to invest in other avenues. Here are some of the most popular cloud options in the start-up world.

Dropbox

Dropbox has been a leading cloud storage solution for over a decade. What started as a data storage and file sharing platform has since then evolved into a powerful, collaborative workflow thanks to Dropbox Business.

As an all-in-one content collaboration tool, Dropbox Business offers a plethora of new features. You can control document behavior and permissions at the granular level, smart sync cross-platform folders, and remote wipe files and operations securely. Dropbox lets users create and edit Google and Microsoft files and features popular integrations such as Slack, Trello, and Zoom.

Box

Box is one of the most compelling alternatives to Dropbox. The core is what Box calls the Content Cloud. You can create, edit, collaborate, and sync files, leverage the dedicated e-signature service called Box Sign and automate workflows with Box Relay.

A big part of Box’s credibility relies on its security. The end-to-end protection in Box Shield manages document security and prevents data leaks. Apart from offering a secure, seamless cloud hosting service, Box offers 1000+ integrations and comes tailored to meet the demands of various teams of a company such as finance, marketing, sales, and HR.

DigitalOcean 

DigitalOcean is a cloud computing platform suitable for startups to host their website, develop apps, and rollout automated services. DigitalOcean has been created to simplify backend services for startups that can’t afford dedicated admin channels.

By using configurable droplets, DigitalOcean offers ready-to-deploy SSD-based virtual machines (VM), custom image deployment, and managed services. As a cloud hosting solution geared towards startups, DigitalOcean offers competitive and customizable pricing.

Scaling option 

Cloud hosting options stated above provide an ideal framework for startups to hit the ground running. But when companies look to scale further, they require bigger platforms, better services, and future-ready tools.

Microsoft SharePoint 

Microsoft SharePoint is the collaborative system for the internal grid of a company. As a content management tool, it simplifies content creation, streamlines flow and consumption of data, enhances cross-platform communication and teamwork.

SharePoint features Apps that bring additional functions to improve specific internal business operations. By combining on-premise SharePoint servers with SharePoint Online in Office 365, users can access hybrid storage that offers cloud functionalities in the local environment.

SharePoint smoothly brings different modules of a company together and it’s massively scalable. The Office 365 ecosystem helps get the best of SharePoint and startups looking to grow should leverage the limitless possibilities of SharePoint.

Read Next: How to choose the best web hosting provider for your website

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Cloud Computing for Kids

In the past, businesses and institutions could purchase and maintain their computer services and resources. The IT department would be responsible for buying, maintaining, and managing the company’s computers, storage, and networks, which required a lot of space. The systems would also get outdated progressively while better ones emerged at lower prices. As on-premises infrastructure continued to become unsustainable, cloud computing was born.

Read on to learn more about cloud computing and how it works.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to accessing computing resources like servers, databases, storage, intelligence, networking, and analytics over the internet. Cloud computing comes in three key forms: public, private, and hybrid. Public cloud computing refers to web-based computing services that companies like Google and Amazon provide, while private cloud services are accessed using a secure internet connection. Hybrid cloud computing combines public and private cloud computing to give you the best of both worlds and offers more tailored IT solutions.

A distinctive characteristic of cloud computing is that it is provided and managed by someone else. Therefore, you are not responsible for computer resources such as licenses and software upgrades. You can only access cloud computing services on a subscription basis where you pay for the services whenever you need them, just like you would other utilities. The pay-as-you-go method eliminates the need for acquiring your own computer resources, especially when you have unpredictable needs.

Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing services come in three main types, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. While they all have their unique differences based on what they offer, the three service models can also interact and form one comprehensive cloud computing model.

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is the most common cloud computing model. It offers the fundamental cloud computing infrastructure, including storage drives, servers, processing, networks, and operating systems. Businesses can, therefore, scale their services as they deem fit, depending on their needs. It also makes it unnecessary to have hardware in the office. IaaS is available in private, public, or hybrid infrastructure and is ideal for small businesses that need to find cost-effective solutions.

  1. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Unlike IaaS, PaaS offers both fundamental hardware as well as a software framework. However, it supports the fast and seamless development of applications so that companies can run them on their own. It is ideal for companies where developers work on multiple projects at once and is also scalable. For example, you can develop an eCommerce platform that runs entirely on the provider’s servers.

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Here, the consumer uses web applications that already run on the provider’s cloud.  You can access the applications through a browser or program interface. However, the consumer does not control the underlying infrastructure or applications except for specific application settings. SaaS is ideal for applications that require a lot of mobile or web access and is great for CRM. A great example of SaaS is Google Documents.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate and has become one of the most significant assets for digital transformations. Below are the benefits that cloud computing offers.

  • Cost Efficiency. With cloud computing, businesses don’t have to incur the costs of purchasing and maintaining computer resources. Users pay for cloud services on an on-demand basis, which allows them to only pay for the services they need.
  • Cloud computing enables businesses to scale up or down depending on workload, choose cloud features and options that suit their needs. Organizations can select the amount of control in terms of cloud service models.
  • Security and Backup. Cloud service providers strive to provide the best security possible to protect their client’s data in the cloud. The cloud also acts as a disaster recovery tool as it offers a means to backup and recovers data remotely from any device. In case of disasters or security breaches, you can easily access and recover your data in the cloud.
  • Competitive Edge. Cloud boosts productivity as organizations and businesses get to focus on other critical business activities instead of managing computer resources. It also promotes collaboration and sharing of ideas and offers access to the latest updates without maintenance costs.

Despite the numerous benefits of cloud computing, it has its drawbacks. The overreliance on service providers can lead to inconveniences in case of outages or withdrawal of some services. Cloud computing services also require a stable internet connection which can be limiting for areas with limited broadband.

Coding and Cloud Computing for Kids

Cloud computing is an asset for developers, as they can create a coding environment or migrate existing code to the cloud easily. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services support both deployment and product management, making it ideal for developers. Kids interested in cloud computing need to learn to code to enjoy the benefits that cloud computing offers developers. Fortunately, numerous resources exist for kids to learn to code and gain the necessary cloud coding skills. If your child is interested in cloud computing, consider enrolling them in coding lessons as part of their childhood education to prepare for their future careers.

Read Next: The inventor of the WorldWideWeb exclusively at CloudFest!

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Top 10 cybersecurity trends in 2021

The financial impact of global cybercrime is expected to reach a horrendous amount of USD 6 trillion in 2021 and can increase to USD 10.5 trillion annually by the year 2025. (1)

Terrifying, isn’t it?

Cybercrime is turning out to be a pressing issue for businesses worldwide.

The advanced businesses that deal with a lot of data are at the top of the vulnerability risks. From malicious viruses, malware, denial of services’ attacks, ransomware attacks to the latest Solorigate attack – the one that took place on the SolarWinds software and affected a lot of related organizations, the cybersecurity threat landscape is constantly evolving.

The attacks are becoming more sophisticated and are well-funded. This means the attackers are capable to use advanced technologies to break into the strongest of the security systems. All they need is a weak door.

As cybersecurity evolves, it is important for you as organizations or individual users to be aware of the latest cybersecurity trends.

Let’s look at the top 10 cybersecurity trends to watch out for in 2021.

Top 10 cybersecurity trends

1. Cloud, 5G, IoT threats are witnessing an increase

The rise in technologies like Cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Artificial Intelligence, etc. is no doubt helping the world become more interconnected. However, the primary downside to this growth is the increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

Cloud has emerged as an ally for businesses worldwide by allowing them to shift their operations beyond the physical boundaries of their premises. While global businesses were already adopting cloud at an increasing rate, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the same. However, rapid cloud migration is set to trigger a host of new security challenges and threats in 2021.

Organizations will need to amp up their cloud’s security measures and continuously monitor and update applications to safeguard against any data leaks. Cloud services from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are though equipped with security measures from their end, the end responsibility lies with the users.

Major cloud security threats include access to cloud storage, data breaches and leaks, data loss, and insecure APIs.

According to Trustwave Global Security Report 2020(2), the volume of attacks on cloud-based services more than doubled in 2019 and accounted for nearly 20% of all investigated incidents.

2. Zero trust networks are finding increased acceptance 

With increasing threats from both within and outside an organization, traditional security architecture models tend to be inadequate.

According to Gartner, the zero-trust architecture model can be defined as a digital identity-based perimeter with four primary capabilities – identity-based schema, continuous trust evaluation, resource secure access, and adaptive access control.

It helps organizations establish a solid network security architecture with dynamic authorization, comprehensive identity, management automation, and risk measurement.

You might relate a Zero trust architecture (ZTA) to a Virtual Private Network (VPN); however, it is different from that. ZTA is much more secure when it comes to defining policies and controlling remote access to specific applications.

In ZTA, organizations can identify a ‘protect surface’ – which is made up of their most critical and valuable data, assets, applications, and services. They may be unique to every organization. It is identified within an organization i.e., the organization is well aware of how traffic is flowing within the protect surface, ensuring secure access to it.

According to Gartner, 80% of new digital business applications will be accessed through ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access) by 2020, and 60% of enterprises will move from remote-access VPNs to ZTNA by 2023.

3. Work from home (WFH) threats are rising

The pandemic has completely changed how work is done and more importantly from where it is done. With a large number of organizations switching to a flexible or remote working model, security experts predict a rise in cyberattacks targeted at the weak and unidentified home networks.

Take a look at this image below that covers the top WFH cybersecurity concerns of organizations. This is an extract from the “Enduring from home: COVID-19’s impact on business security” report by Malwarebytes (3). 45% of the respondents consider devices at home to be unsafe and at a greater risk of being compromised.

Source: Malwarebytes

Threat actors are prepared to take advantage of current working situations and exploit those who are the most susceptible.

As work changes, organizations too will need to update their security policies. They must come up with solutions to protect their remote workers from cyber threats.

Remember, even the most secure system can fail if your employees are not aware of the security threats and their role in keeping the company’s information safe and secure.

Hence, organizations must invest in cybersecurity training as well, especially for those who are working from home. After all, all it takes is one wrong click to compromise your company’s entire network.

4. Patch management software will see good growth

Unpatched vulnerabilities are the most common points of entry exploited by the cyber threat actors during a cyber-attack. Patch management primarily involves fixing any vulnerabilities on software or application that might be exploited by cyber-criminals.

With increasing cyberattack incidents based on exposed vulnerabilities and unpatched systems, patch management is an important cybersecurity trend to look forward to, this year.

A good patch management program will help you regularly and timely identify unpatched software and take remedial actions to close the security gaps as soon as possible.

5. Supply chain attacks have become more sophisticated

The recent attack on the SolarWinds Orion platform brought global attention to the need for businesses to make cybersecurity a top priority in 2021.

A single attack on a third-party vendor compromised the data of multiple government and private organizations associated with the victim. This is probably the major reason why supply chain attacks are increasing at an alarming rate.

One point of failure can open multiple attack pathways. Attackers look for the weakest link in your supply chain network. They may be companies with fewer security measures. Below is the visual representation of rising supply chain attacks revealed in a report by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC).

Source: ITRC

6. Ransomware is still the #1 cyber attack

News stories covering ransomware attacks have been hitting the headlines for many years. The trend does not seem to be ending this year as well.

Cybersecurity experts still consider ransomware as one of the most prominent types of cyberattack that is a serious concern for organizations worldwide. The issue will not be magically resolved. It requires organizations to take effective steps to improve their security status.

Ransomware attacks are highly targeted. As the ransom is demanded in bitcoins, it becomes difficult to track the real culprits. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the hacker will share the decryption key once he gets the ransom. Their objective is only to extract money out from you. Don’t expect them to give great customer service. ?

So, the best way here is to take all precautionary measures and train your employees on how to not fall prey to ransomware attacks.

7. Having Security Service Centers will soon become the norm

Security service centers (SOC) refers to a facility that includes an information security team that continuously monitors and analyses an organization’s security posture. It may be a third-party or a centralized function within an organization.

You can think of it as a central security hub that keeps track across an organization’s entire IT infrastructure – devices, networks, appliances, etc.

They keep a stock of all available resources with a clear view of how information, data, and assets flow within and outside the company’s network.

Continuous network monitoring helps the SOC team to be aware of even slight anomalies. It is a viable option for small and medium-sized organizations that cannot afford to hire a full-time internal security team. Large enterprises normally have their own internal SOC.

According to the Marketsandmarkets report, the SOC service market is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2025 from $471 million in 2020.

Suggested Reading: Top 11 Cyber Protection Solutions for Businesses – a comparison

8. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework is being adopted

Research firm Gartner defines SASE as a security framework designed to enable secure and faster cloud adoption. It ensures that both users and devices have secure cloud access to applications, data, and services from anywhere and anytime.

With increasing cloud adoption, the traditional enterprise framework defined within a physical location is diminishing, giving way to a dynamic set of edge capabilities that can be delivered as a service from the cloud.

This new framework also makes organizations rethink their risk and security management policies. SASE tends to help organizations adopting this new framework by combining networking and network security into a single, cloud-delivered service to support their digital transformation goals and ensure workforce mobility.

9. Automotive hacking is on the rise

The automotive hacking concept would have sounded straight out of a sci-fi movie, a few years back, but not today. As cars and other vehicles become smart, thanks to technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Bluetooth, Wireless, IoT devices, etc. automotive hacking is set to become a top cybersecurity trend in 2021.

Car hacking can take place when a hacker exploits a weakness in an automobile’s communication systems, software, or even hardware components and gains unauthorized access to it. Modern cars contain several computerized equipment like a controlled area network (CAN), key fob entry, etc. that can be attacked in multiple ways.

Attackers can also use it to control an automated vehicle – engage the breaks, steer it, or change gears. Vehicle manufacturers have started researching more on automotive cyberattacks and what measures can be taken to curb them.

Automotive related cyber-incidents doubled in 2019 as compared to the previous year (a 605% increase from 2016). (4)

10. Insider threats are now more pronounced

Human errors remain to be one of the most common threats to an enterprise’s cybersecurity status.

This becomes more critical today as companies shift their workforce to a remote working model. As employees work from home or use their own devices to log into company accounts, they are at constant risk of being targeted by bad actors.

Weak passwords, unauthorized access, unsecured networks, etc. are the top concerns organizations should work upon to improve the system security of their remote employees.

Insider threats constitute those employees who either are careless or have no idea that how their actions can compromise their company’s security or the ones who have legitimate user access to the company’s data and wilfully extract it and exchange it with third-party users.

According to Forrester, insider data breaches are poised to increase by 8% in 2021 and account for 33% of all cybersecurity incidents.

Bottom-line

Preparing and securing against cyberattacks have now become strategically important for organizations. Cyber-attacks can ruin your company’s position in the market and make it difficult for the customers to trust you again.

While you cannot rule out their presence entirely, you can take steps to protect your company’s data. And you might start by being aware of what’s trending in the cybersecurity space.

Do you have anything to add to our cybersecurity trends’ list? Do let us know in the comments section below.

Sources:

 

 

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The inventor of the World Wide Web speak exclusively at CloudFest!

When surfing in the water, you move from wave to wave. When surfing the Internet, you jump from web page to web page via clickable hyperlinks or move within a web app. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee’s concept for a network based on servers, links, and browsers – the WorldWideWeb (www.) – was convincing.

The Internet was conceived by several people, but the World Wide Web was conceived by only one man. A holistic system that revolutionized Internet use and provided a space for global exchange!

Sir Tim made history with his core question: How can we optimize and properly network the untapped potential of computers connected to each other via the Internet? Despite some setbacks, he eventually succeeded in creating the 3 most significant technologies of the Web: HTML, URL and HTTP.

After the first website was made available to everyone, the WorldWideWeb and its spread were unstoppable! Since then, the power of this development has determined and controlled every process, even in the private lives of individuals, and has changed our entire way of thinking.

The background to this great story and even deeper insights will be told by Sir Tim Berners-Lee himself at CloudFest 2021 – an exclusive interview with the man of the Internet revolution should definitely be entered in everyone’s diary!

CloudFest 2021 will take place between March 23-25, 2021. The three-day virtual event will cover everything that is trending in Cloud. Get ready to explore content built around three unique themes for the three days – The Intelligent Cloud, Web Pros in The Cloud, and The Secure Cloud.

The event is the annual get-together of the leading cloud professionals and experts. This year, the event will take place virtually due to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, it promises much more content and networking opportunities this year. Many other highlight speakers will ensure a content marathon at this year’s CloudFest! For more information visit: https://www.cloudfest.com/

Register now for free for CloudFest 2021 and get more input from the world of cloud and hosting in 3 days:
https://www.cloudfest.com/reg?code=TimBernersLeeCloudFest21

Daily Host News (DHN) is the official media partner of CloudFest 2021. Follow us at @dailyhostnews to get more updates or subscribe to our newsletter to get all the latest updates in your inbox.

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Articles Technology

10 telemarketing tips for 2021

The telemarketing landscape has changed so much from the days of the black rotary phone and yellow phone directory pages to the outbound call center era and mass telephone listings. One thing’s for sure—some of the most remarkable sales rallies were achieved by teams of telemarketing staff relentlessly dialing those phone numbers and engaging potential customers.

So much for that nearly superhuman achievement, but things are about to go through a massive shift again in the world of telemarketing. One of the innovations in telemarketing, which has been around for several years now is the autodialer. This technology is quite popular among organizations for remote dialing operations because of the need to make sure their dialers are not used for other purposes aside from telemarketing campaigns.

Telemarketing in an automated world

With the advent of automation in all sorts of business operations and the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, the use of automation technology in telemarketing is changing the industry even more. Here are a few things you can do to stay on top of the telemarketing field in 2021.

1. Don’t sound like a telemarketer

Yes, you read that right. The first thing you have to know to become an effective telemarketer is not to sound like a typical telemarketer. Be spontaneous and warm, if appropriate. Use everyday words, not jargon.

The call recipient has most likely received similar dozens, if not hundreds of sales calls. Spiels are very common, so try to be different. Try to sound like you really want to connect with the person you’re calling.

2. Use mass texting

Another innovation you can employ to create mass awareness about your marketing campaign is the mass text app. Although mass texting has been around for quite some time now, most of it was done through phone subscription arrangements with telephone carrier companies. The mass texting app takes telemarketing to the next level because everything is now done through an app that sends out your messages to target recipients.

Incorporating empathy into telemarketing engages the prospects and conveys an image of an organization that’s genuinely interested in helping meet the clients’ needs through the solution presented by the product or service you’re offering. Mass texting, in a nutshell, disseminates basic information about your product or campaign.

3. Stay ahead of regulatory compliances

There are current laws and regulations on the telecommunications industry that can affect telemarketing operations. And new and upcoming ones get added each year. Call centers and telemarketers need to be actively aware of the impact and of these rules and regulations.

These regulations are not just for big companies, since these can affect anyone in the business of contacting consumers. Thus, telemarketing and call center operations need to be more careful and think about how their operations can avoid fines and lawsuits by staying compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

4. Work around call blocking

One of the biggest challenges for telemarketers is the difficulty in getting potential customers to pick up the phone. Several factors contribute to this challenge, and the most common one is that phone carriers can now configure their systems to block calls based on certain algorithms. Also, some consumers download 3rd party apps that can block calls or report specific numbers as spam.

A procedural change that can affect telemarketing operations is a standard framework called Secure Telephone Identity Revisited/Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using toKENs (STIR/SHAKEN). There’s no easy way to go around this obstacle. If your call center is not prepared for this change, then it could negatively impact and even potentially devastate your operational ability to effectively contact leads. You can work around this through smarter outreach strategies and effective management of Dialer IDs based on call volume and geography.

5. Leverage reliable data and analysis

The best telemarketing operations don’t just make phone calls and then close sales calls based on simple questions and basic information. The smartest telemarketing teams also ensure that their database consists of reliable data. The data fed to your dialers have to be verified and vetted if you want to get the best results from your dialing operations.

Reliable data is also critical for efficiency. This is why telemarketing managers need a dialer to provide flexibility in real-time and historical reporting. To be able to improve the Return-on-Investment (ROI), dialer managers need to be able to track the right call center Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), with detailed reports so they can optimize lead generation and track agent performance.

6. Integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It’s been quite a while now since predictive dialers and AI technology tools were introduced to the call center industry. Presently, more and more telemarketing operations are adapting and actively employing AI to become more effective in engaging with their potential customers. With data flooding, AI also plays a pivotal role in giving you a competitive edge.

One of the key advantages of AI is its ability to sift through mountains of data and pre-qualify, sort, and farm out your leads. Even though people prefer to talk to live human agents, AI can radically streamline your inbound operations by simply sorting out leads and sending them to agents they’re familiar with. For outbound operations, AI can arm your telemarketers with more focused information about the potential customer.

7. Provide support for remote teams

The ongoing global pandemic has only hastened what was already a steady shift towards offsite work and remote collaboration. Because of the need to stay connected, telemarketers are learning to apply the first advantage provided by telemarketing— connecting agents to prospects through distance communications technology. More are shifting to remote collaboration arrangements.

Due to the need for call centers to stay on top of their operations through effective monitoring of their agents and teams, they are also starting to realize the need for internal communication and collaboration platforms and tools more suited to remote work and collaborative projects.

For instance, they’re realizing the need for technology that can support what used to be done through face-to-face team meetings, side-by-side (SBS) call monitoring, peer interaction and support, supervisor calls, and one-on-one engagement with leaders.

8. Study your analytics

One of the advantages of digital telemarketing is that phone calls are recorded. Phone calls are then listened to by a team of Quality Analysts (QAs) who go over the calls to find out if the telemarketing agent followed the spiels, best practices, as well as upselling tips given by the trainers and team leads. It’s also an opportunity to find gaps in call handling and identify missed opportunities and areas for improvement.

Taken together, all the phone recordings collated and reviewed by the quality assurance team consist of calls, data, figures, and statistics. All of these data can prove to be very useful if the management can sift through the massive information to learn more about their prospects, know their usual complaints, and study effective ways to overcome the resistance to sales or offers.

This is where analytics comes in. The best telemarketing teams would study the analytics of all the data available to predict the behavior of their prospects. They utilize all the strong analytics tools to make sense of the information, and how to move forward with their telemarketing campaigns and operations.

9. Train agents how to handle objections

Another thing you should do to improve the performance of your telemarketing operations is to train your agents some ways of handling objections. Objections are very common in sales calls. This is especially true in telemarketing since it’s easier to say no or hang up the phone.

telemarketing tips

Train your agents to embrace objections as part of the selling process. Objections will always be present in calls. Some people will definitely say no to what you’re selling, some even impolitely. You can teach your agents to work out the possible objections and prepare answers ahead as far as practicable, based on the key advantages and best features of the product or service offered. This way, they wouldn’t be surprised when a prospect objects.

10. Plan your operations

Plan your operations way ahead of time. Don’t just randomly assign prospects to your teams. Once you’ve sifted through the database, instructed your quality assurance team to review the call handling skills of your teams, studied analytics, and trained your agents on how to handle objections and follow through with upselling—then you also have to plan how to go forward with your operations.

You shouldn’t randomly farm out the prospects to your teams. Farm them out based on the call handling skills of your agents and the predicted behavior of the prospects. Use the data from your analytics to predict the typical objections based on the prospect’s profile and train your agents on how to overcome these specific objections using persuasive language.

Staying ahead of telemarketing

There are various ways of staying ahead in the telemarketing industry even with the technological and regulatory changes in the past several years. You can do so by following the given tips.

These tips will help streamline your operations and allow your team to engage with the clients smoothly. You can also read more on the current telemarketing techniques and update yourself with the latest trends.

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How to connect a remote to a TV?

Technology may have introduced new modes of entertainment, but television remains the most common one. Finding its way to every home and being an essential part of the American lifestyle, television is our first-hand source of entertainment. With the remote control in your hand, you can access myriads of channels and watch whatever you want.

A promising cable TV plan like Spectrum silver can provide you with an extensive channel lineup, so you can keep exploring the never-ending list of channels and be mesmerized with the never-ending entertainment. However, for that to happen, you will have to connect your remote to the TV set if you haven’t yet. That will take a couple of minutes and before you know it, you will have complete control over your TV and can scroll through the channel list to look out for exactly what you might want to enjoy watching.

First things first! To connect a TV remote to a TV, you require a clear path without any object causing any sort of hindrance. This will ensure that your TV set evenly receives the signal that is sent out by the remote.

In case you are using a universal remote, it makes use of a three-digit code to sync with the various TV models. You can follow some quick and simple steps to complete the process and start using your remote. Let us guide you through the steps, and we promise that within no time, you will be done connecting your remote to the TV set.

Let’s begin!

  • You must press the program button present on your remote control for a few seconds. Look at your remote to find a PRG button and hold it.
  • You will observe that the LED light on the remote turns on. The light will stay on during the process.
  • Next up, find the TV button on the remote and press it. This is to sync the remote and your TV set.
  • Universal remotes have multiple buttons for various devices. You can connect to your DVR or audio system, for instance, by pressing the respectively marked buttons.

Finding codes

You must look out for the proper codes, usually available on the websites, as per the make and model of your TV set. Once you find the three-digit code, press the corresponding number keys on your remote and then hit the Enter button.

In case the code is correct, the light will switch off and the TV set will be turned on, once you push the power button.

If you see that the light is still not turned off, try getting near your TV set and remove any objects placed between the remote and the TV that might be obstructing the signals. Start with the programming process again from the beginning. Reconfirm the three-digit code or try another one until it works.

Connecting the remote to a Smart TV

In case you have a Samsung Smart TV, the remote control sensor will be present at the bottom right side of the TV set. You must push and hold the Return and Play buttons at the same time for a couple of seconds. The TV set will sync with your smart remote.

How to reset a TV Remote?

To reset your remote control, you should first take out the batteries and press the 1 button on the remote. Hold it for around a minute or two. Now, put the batteries back in the remote and switch on your TV.

Troubleshooting

In case your TV remote control is not responding, do a quick check of your TV buttons to see if they are operating properly. Remove any external devices that are connected to your TV set like an external USB. Power off and then power on your TV again.

If that does not work, try checking the remote control for any jammed buttons or poor batteries. Remove the back cover to see if the batteries are adjusted properly. You should also clean the terminals of the remote and insert fresh batteries.

The Bottom Line

The aforementioned simple steps provide you an easy guide on how to connect a remote control to a TV. Make sure the batteries are properly installed in the remote control and there are no obstacles between the remote and the TV set. Look for the three-digit code for your particular TV set by taking the help of the manual or code sheet that comes along. You can also find it out online. The correct code will be required to complete the programming process and to allow the remote to connect to your TV set.

If you still face a problem and your remote control is not working properly despite following the above-mentioned troubleshooting tips, you can contact the customer service representative of the manufacturer to resolve the issue.

Author: Robert George, Content Writer & Strategist
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Questions to ask before selecting an Automation Testing Provider

By now, you already know that automation testing tools form an essential component of successful software development projects. They will speed up the test process by allowing you to simulate time-intensive tasks to ensure that your software meets the required metrics before launching.

While automated testing will give you an insight into what performs as expected and what needs more work, it might be overwhelming to select a software testing tool. There are too many options out there, all with varying features and price tags. And for that reason, you might get spoilt for choice if you are on the market for an automation testing tool.

But there’s no need to feel upset, asking your vendor these questions before you sign the purchase order will help you get the right tool for the job.

Is the testing tool compatible with existing OSes and apps?

Compatibility of your existing OSes and apps with the testing tool you want to acquire is one key thing you need to understand. Your provider should tell you whether their tool supports test management and test automation on all platforms.

If a provider claims to offer a one size fits all solution, run! Getting a Linux tool to work with a Windows-based build server can be problematic. Remember that every software has unique needs, and there’s no way an effective tool will be everything for everyone.

Therefore, do some due diligence to establish what the tool is designed to support. A good rule of thumb is to get one that lines up with your current app or OS. Doing this will ensure that the tool you select perfectly integrates with your current platform and workflow.

How much will it cost me?

Cost is another critical aspect when choosing a vendor for an automation testing tool. For some teams with little or no budget, open-source options are best suited to their product. But that often requires the team to handle the basics of automation testing in terms of installation, patches and maintenance.

If your organization requires customizations that exceed what an open-source tool can offer, a “paid for” solution might be a good fit. However, you must ensure that your saved-up budget aligns with the tool and the support and training offered by the provider.

Does the tool require knowledge of special languages or additional training?

Training is often unnecessary if your software development team can use the selected testing tool in their native or desired language. Java, .NET, Python, and Ruby are some of the basics of automation testing tools. However, these are not always the languages used for tools.

If, for instance, the tool requires a proprietary language or syntax, it might limit your team’s ability to integrate it with other tools, especially if the testers and analysts in your team don’t understand the tool’s language.

The best thing to do is ensure that the tool you select uses well-known and readily available languages. This will make life a lot easier for your team, particularly if they understand the basics of automation testing.

Other possible questions may include:

  • What is the lifespan of your automation suite?
  • How well does the tool integrate with your workflow?
  • Are there any technologies and third-party dependencies that we need to integrate?
  • How will a testing software help solve my problems?
  • Can I try before I buy?

Parting shot

Choosing the right automation testing tool is no easy feat. However, asking the right questions before selecting a vendor will help you avoid many issues during your software development cycle. More specifically, it will help you get a tool that aligns perfectly with your software, thus ensuring your product’s quality.

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Top managed services for your company

The days when you had to build an entire company department to run your IT operations are long gone. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) prefer to delegate non-core business tasks to a managed service provider (MSP). This way no matter your geographical business location, you can pick your remote partners from a vast pool of technologically skillful and experienced professionals around the globe. What managed IT services can do for your company is that they give you a competitive advantage to concentrate on business development and core business processes on a lower budget than keeping an in-house expert team.

From my experience working in a bespoke software development company, I learned that the best way to ensure business success is to know what your competencies and capabilities are in regards to your core business. Cultivate and master those, while you delegate tangential tasks, and you have a recipe for success. For example, a financial consulting business would like to focus on delivering excellent quality products and R&D skills, while their IT support, server monitoring and maintenance can be outsourced to an expert MSP.

Below are the top three managed services for your company, regardless of your main business industry.

1. Cloud Implementation

Experts claim that an era of cloud-only technical environments is coming to stay. Among the most popular types of cloud managed services are as follows:

  • Public Cloud offers broad cloud computing functions over the Internet and usually come in three main forms. The first variation is Software as a Service (SaaS) which makes the installation of applications obsolete as these are designed to run entirely on the cloud, significantly reducing hardware-related costs. Secondly, there is Platform as a Service (Paas) to support the software development infrastructure and provide version control and compile services. The third type is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) represents complete outsourcing of an entire company’s data center to a cloud provider. The most influential public clouds are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud.
  • Private Cloud provides on-demand data and resource distribution across your whole company. Offers the highest security and control management because private clouds require a personal internal network to run. IaaS and PaaS can be distributed through private cloud environments. Many of the benefits included in the public cloud are also present here with additional features such as a higher degree of confidentiality and customization, which makes it a perfect fit for SMEs.
  • Hybrid Cloud is essentially a combination of the previous two cloud types and encompasses data and application sharing across an organization. This cloud type allows you to benefit from the agility and swift adaptation to changes in market and client demands as well as business growth.
  • Community Cloud specializes in distributing cloud computing throughout several enterprises or a limited number of employees, sharing the same performance objectives, security preferences, and compliance requirements. Its key benefits are that shared information is easily controllable and conveniently accessed from trusted community members only.

If you want to make your company benefit from technological advancements like cloud computing but also want to spare your IT team of menial maintenance and monitoring tasks while paying less, managed services are the answer to your dilemma. MS providers are also an invaluable source of outsiders’ refreshing perspective when it comes to business insights and a company’s growth journey you can embark on together. Nevertheless, make sure your future partner follows and is licensed for established IT quality practices such as the ITIL methodology focused on increased stability, transparent costs and optimized risk management.

2. DevOps Practices

DevOps is a mixture of practices including software development and IT operations with its main goal being a shorter systems development lifecycle through the implementation of enhanced processes. Combining various tasks into one model leads to increased efficiency and velocity of development, speeding up the product delivery time for clients. DevOps is also famous for adopting continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) practices, which are software benchmark models for small and regular software updates.

Usually once a day, the dev team will commit code updates in a repository, receiving immediate feedback from the CI server if there is a code failure that needs to be resolved. In short, CI enhances the whole development process through quick bug inspection and bug fixes while CD plays the role of an automatic transfer point from the CI server to the testing or production environment. Both CI and CD are incredibly important to preliminary bug findings which help prevent merging problems later on.

To name some of the most popular DevOps tools and technologies in 2021 are Git, Docker, Puppet alongside Ansible, Openstack, and Kubernetes. When you consider a partnership with a managed service provider, be curious about the industry-standard quality of their technical expertise and if this is up to date. This is essential because in the dynamic technological world, well working solutions emerge more often than in any other sector and to provide an excellent service, one needs to constantly be on a quest to acquire new technology-related skills. A good DevOps MS can ultimately result in continuous improvement of products.

3. Database Management

Your database is essentially the backbone that keeps your business running and its management requires efficient performance monitoring to preventively identify database structural flaws and minimize the risk of accidental downtime. Many modern and traditional businesses nowadays operate with huge amounts of data. Packed together to form a database (or DB), the whole company’s data needs to be properly managed for daily business operations to run smoothly.

While data is one of the most powerful assets for any company and possesses a huge potential, it is also increasingly important to be able to extract meaning from this data as opposed to just collecting and storing it. Understand what your data entails and manage its properties is one of the key factors to achieve optimal business performance. Commonly, databases are managed using a database management system (DBMS).

DBMS plays a crucial role in keeping data-driven business applications perform optimally and also helps reduce risks involved with data compliance regulations or legal security requirements. А major focus of a DBMS service provider should be to offer thorough and informative efficacy monitoring, including regular reports and security patches according to highest standards.  According to your unique requirements, be sure to look for MSPs who are experts in standard relational databases such as Oracle, MySQL and Postgres or non-relational databases like MongoDB, Microsoft Azure, etc.

Wrap up

In the highly digitalized society we live in, it is getting extensively harder to reveal your true value and business capabilities and stand out from your competitors. Last year made it clear that the digital connections are so intertwined with our “offline” lives and work that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them. Fortunately, the pandemic also showed that we can count on each other for support when needed. The same can be said for the business world, in which a reliable partner can help you elucidate your core strengths and thus play a huge part of your business success.

Author: Aleksandrina Vasileva 

Aleksandrina is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background mixed with interests in psychology drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and enthusiastic blogger, always looking for the next inspiration. 

Suggested Reading: Top 6 revenue opportunities for managed service providers in 2021

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Email Authentication: What it is and how it works.

There is a rising prevalence of email attacks nowadays. Just last 2020, phishing and ransomware attacks took spots in the top 8 of cyber threats. These attacks commonly happen when users open fraudulent emails that impersonate legitimate businesses by copying their domain names or mimicking their employees’ email addresses.

Because of these threats, email and internet service providers have increased security measures in keeping their client’s critical data secure, resulting in many email marketing campaigns sent to the spam box. As a responsible business owner and email marketer, you need to comply with these security measures through setting up email authentication.

This will protect your customer’s critical information and your business’s reputation while ensuring every email you send goes straight to your customers’ inboxes.

What is Email Authentication?

Email authentication is a collection of cybersecurity protocols designed to make legitimate emails from businesses and marketers more secure. This is done by email senders setting rules in the domain and mail servers where the emails are sent from. The rules, policies, and instructions are then sent to the receiving party to view for authentication and what action to take during the verification process.

To explain email authentication simply, think about you sending a physical mail to someone. Then you have to call your mail receiver through the phone telling them the watermarks they should check for on the envelope. If the receiver confirms that the watermarks are complete as described, they should open the letter and read it. Otherwise, they can choose to send back, trash, ignore the letter, or report it to the postal authorities.

What are the advantages of Email Authentication?

Because of email authentication, spammers can easily be filtered out by the internet and email service providers (ISPs and ESPs) who try to impersonate businesses in performing nefarious deeds.

Not only that, the rules, policies, and instructions in emails cannot be tampered with during transport. If so, it will be noticed. So, if a hacker, spammer, scammer, or phisher were to hijack an email during delivery, the receiving end will know about it and block the email.

As a business owner, it’s safe to assume that your business’s reputation will be safe as well as your customer’s data and experience. In addition to these advantages, your emails will reach your customer’s inbox instead of the spam box because email authentication increases your email campaign’s deliverability.

Email Authentication protocols you should know about

1. Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

SPF is an authentication protocol specifically designed to prevent domain spoofing – the act of attackers using a company’s domain name to send malicious emails while impersonating the business itself or the employees in it.

Usually, domain spoofing is done by making the emails appear from a legitimate sender by using a legitimate business’s domain name with email headers that have their characters slightly altered.

For example, if the email address of an employee from a legitimate business is tylertechsupport@business.com, attackers will use Tylertechsupport@business.com

to impersonate that said employee while using the business’s domain name.

This can trick a customer into giving the attackers their private data. Sometimes, attackers also use false domain names that are close to a legitimate business’s name, like business.com being the legitimate domain and business.c0m being the false domain. This may be an obvious indication that an email is fraudulent, but it still manages to trick many innocent users.

With SPF authentication set up in your domain, you can choose which email addresses are authorized to send emails using your business’s domain. ISPs and ESPs will then verify the policies and rules of the domain name used in your email to see if that email address is authorized for sending emails by that said domain.

2. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

Another type of email fraud is intercepting a sent email and altering or tampering with it before it reaches the intended receiver. This is called a Man in the Middle Attack (MITM). Attackers of this style usually insert malware, phishing links, spoof, or spam in the sent emails.

To prevent this attack from happening, DKIM authentication allows you to publish a cryptographic key in your domain name system (DNS) records. When your mail has been sent towards your recipient, your email sending server will then generate a unique DKIM signature for the header of your email and your DNS records.

Before your email reaches the receiver, the receiver’s email service/server will access the domain where your email is sent from the public cryptographic key. This key will be used to detect and decrypt your email’s DKIM signature and compare it against the version which was generated for your DNS records.

Phishing attackers can tamper with an email for malicious purposes, but they can’t do so without changing the DKIM signature. In the event when an email is proven to have been tampered with, the email will not reach the intended receiver.

3. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC)

It isn’t just attackers that cause your emails to be rejected by receiving servers. Even simple mistakes such as typos in setting up your SPF record can cause your emails not to reach your customers.

The question is, what happens to the rejected emails you have made as well as the tampered and spoofed ones? Through DMARC authentication, both your SPF and DKIM authentication policies are merged. You can set specific instructions on what to do with the rejected emails sent from using your domain name.

You can configure your DMARC authentication to let the receiver’s server return spoofed emails to you and identify who your spoofers are. You can also configure this authentication protocol to reject, block, flag, send to the spam box, and ignore emails that fail the authentication process.

It is highly advisable to go for the latter because your email receivers are at a high risk of getting attacked, which could destroy your business’s reputation. However, the best part of DMARC authentication is that you’re immediately notified if an authentication error occurs so that you can make quick adjustments to your marketing emails and ensure your messages reach your customers.

Conclusion

Email authentication is a must-have for all email marketers. Not only does it increase the email deliverability rate of all your future campaigns, but it also protects your customers’ private data, which in turn safeguards your business’s reputation.

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