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Productivity Posts


Wireless Charging in the Workplace: iPhone Joins Android

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Wireless charging in the workplace has the potential to make it easier for your employees keep their arsenal of devices running throughout the day with fewer of those pesky low battery warnings. Until recently, wireless charging hasn’t been as good at increasing productivity as it could be because one of the major device manufacturers has held out on supporting it. Apple has finally jumped on the wireless charging bandwagon with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, which means that a number of devices in your workplace that support wireless charging will likely reach a point where it may be worth it considering investing in some wireless chargers.

A Standard Emerges

One of the biggest problems holding wireless charging back has been a lack of a consistent standard; while some devices work on just about any wireless charger, others are more selective. Now that Apple has chosen to support the Qi standard, the two largest smartphone manufacturers — the other being Samsung — share a supported charging standard for the first time ever. The shared standard means it is now a safe investment for your workplace to get a Qi wireless charging mat for the conference room with the confidence that most of your staff will be able to use it.

The Problems Wireless Addresses

Wireless charging has a few advantages over its wired counterpart:

  • Reduces Port Wear: Outside of dropping your device and cracking the glass, breaking the charging port is the next most common way to disable it. Wireless charging actually gives new life to a device with a broken charging port and reduces wear-and-tear damage on the charging port because it isn’t being used as often.
  • One Charger, Multiple Devices: As Business Insider points out; wireless charging pads can charge more than one device at a time. This means an employee can place their smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, and earphones on the same pad instead of needing four charging cables.
  • Freedom from Easy-to-break Cables: Unfortunately, all that bending and twisting catches up to USB and Lightning charging cables: they tend to break from everyday use. Wireless charging solves this problem by eliminating the entire component.

The Downside to Wireless Charging

While wireless charging is convenient, advances in fast charging technology have made wired charging incredibly quick. For example, the new iPhones can charge 50 percent in 30 minutes and the Samsung Galaxy S8 can go from 0 percent to 100 percent in 80 minutes over fast charge. In order for wireless charging to meet those speeds, both the charging mat and the devices need to share a fast wireless charging compatibility. Therefore, if an employee is in a pinch to recharge a device quickly, a wired connection will be the safer bet.

If your business is looking to find better ways to use technology in the workplace, the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks can help. Contact us today!

Flash Drives: A Productivity and Security Guide

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

With proper planning, your business can take advantage of USB flash drive technology to increase productivity, while eliminating most of the medium’s inherent risk. The USB flash drives likely lying around your business offer excellent opportunities to increase productivity and make workflow easier, but also can be a data security breach waiting to happen. Properly used flash drives can be a great tool for your company, while improperly used flash drives are a major source of lost work and data.

Boundless Productivity Benefits

It’s an understatement to say that flash drives are really useful devices. The following list includes just a handful of the ways your business can utilize flash drives in the workplace:

  • Move large files between computers quickly on demand: Flash drives work very well when transferring large amounts of data between devices in cases where shared network connections and credentials are not viable. Using the flash drive means that you can copy from one system and paste to the other whenever it is convenient instead of at the same time, and it isn’t contingent on transfer speed from the local network or Internet connection.
  • Take work with you: Not all employees work on the same device all the time; flash drives are an easy, offline way to move work with you.
  • Make a toolkit: A flash drive toolkit is filled with software your staff may find useful including recovery and portable applications. Alternatively, the toolkit may include installers, patches, and serial code libraries for regularly used software your business uses.
  • Quick-and-dirty backup or recovery: Flash drives can be very helpful when making a quick backup of a computer or transferring data off of a distressed system that needs to be reformatted.

Data Theft: Drives that Contain Confidential Information Should be Encrypted

Flash drives feature a very small form factor which is great for portability; however, the smaller size also makes the devices prone to being lost or stolen. Therefore, any flash drive that is going to be used to store confidential data needs to be encrypted. Your business can purchase an encrypted drive or use specialized software to encrypt a standard drive. However, many encryption software options aren’t very portable or cross-platform friendly because they require software on any device accessing the encrypted drive. Windows 10 users can use the built-in BitLocker system and Mac users can use the Disk Utility application to password protect their flash drives.

Data Loss: Broken Flash Drives

While failure rates aren’t as bad as they used to be, flash drive technology is still prone to failure when improperly used. Live saving, or using a flash drive as the primary data storage location for a frequently updated file, can lead to a higher failure rate as can improperly disconnecting the device. Get the longest lifespan by primarily storing data on the local device and copying it over to the flash drive when done.

Is your business using its IT technology to its best potential? The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help businesses in San Francisco, San Mateo, San Jose, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area make sure that they are. Contact us today to learn more!

Screen Mirroring Mini-Guide

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Setting up your conference room for wireless screen mirroring is the answer to employees sharing in a collective groan when it’s time to connect a computer or mobile device to show a presentation. While setting up the conference room television or projector doesn’t have the same level of disdain as the office printer, it can still be a major source of frustration when half of your staff is in the conference room waiting for the technology to cooperate.

Screen mirroring allows any presenter, even a guest, to take a BYOD approach to giving a presentation with minimal effort. Not having to fiddle around with running cables and sorting through a “junk drawer” collection of video converters not only saves time but also increases productivity.

What is Screen Mirroring?

Screen mirroring, or screen casting, is when you duplicate the content on a computer or smart device on either a television screen or projector. In the past, someone would connect a computer to a TV or a projector through a cable which the device would treat just like a monitor. However, screen mirroring is different because it replicates the content on the device’s screen instead of treating the presentation device as a second screen. Modern smart devices and computers support screen mirroring, but the main problem arises when trying to find a setup that will support all of the common standards.

The Platforms:

  • Windows & Android Devices
    • While Windows and Android devices aren’t running software from the same companies, if a screen mirroring device supports one it more than likely supports the other. If your office has a smart TV or a smart projector, it might support screen mirroring out of the box for Windows and Android devices. However, if the TV or projector doesn’t have smart functionality, you can add support with a relatively inexpensive streaming device like MiracastRoku or WiDi adapters.
  • Mac Computers & iOS Devices
    • Supporting screen mirroring is very straight-forward, but there’s only one headache-free way to ensure support: connect an Apple TV device to the TV or projector. We’ve previously discussed setting up AirPlay through Apple TV. If you’re not going to use Apple TV, you’re stuck relying on finding a third-party receiver or app that supports AirPlay or messing with network settings every time you want to connect a device.

Device Checklist for Full Support

What your business should do is create a checklist for each of the four main device types and run a test of each to ensure compatibility. First, see which device types you can connect with your existing configuration. Next, determine which additional devices you’ll need to purchase for full support. An example setup could be a Samsung Smart TV paired with Apple TV or a standard LG TV with a Roku and Apple TV.

Streamlining your conference room screen mirroring setup is just one way the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks can help your business increase productivity. Contact us today!

The System Is Down: How To Stay Online When Your Service Provider Is Offline

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

It’s easy to take a functional Internet connection for granted until it’s no longer working. When that Internet connection inevitably goes down, your business could be left scrambling to figure out how to keep working until service is restored. The best solution your business can utilize is to develop an advance plan or an Internet outage backup plan for business continuity in the event of an Internet outage.

Purchase a Secondary Service

The safest and most reliable strategy your business can rely upon to work around Internet outages is to purchase a secondary Internet service. This service doesn’t need to be as high-speed as your main connection and it should be viewed as a safety net. The transition process can be as straight-forward as switching which modem connects to the office router.

Additionally, your business should invest in a different backup connection technology than your main connection; if your main connection comes from cable, try considering a DSL or T-line. If your business runs on a fiber service, your secondary platform can be from a cable provider. However, the secondary provider option may not be the most cost-effective solution for businesses with fewer than two-dozen employees.

Go Mobile (Internet) for an Internet Outage Backup Plan

Mobile Internet connections are another viable continuity option for smaller businesses: a tethered smartphone or mobile hotspot can work as a backup. The mobile option works well for smaller businesses and remote-employees. After all, mobile connections aren’t as fast and can lead to substantial data charges for businesses moving large amounts of data, so it’s not a good option if your business needs to move large files. Your corporation can also look outside of the cellular service providers for dedicated 3G/4G/LTE-based ISPs as an alternative secondary service option.

Nearby ISP Hotspots

If your company works out of a large office building with many nearby businesses you may be able to lean on your neighbors for some extra backup. Some ISPs offer Wi-Fi hotspots over all their rented modems. Then, if your business is on Verizon DSL and experiences an outage, you can use your home subscription to connect to a nearby Xfinity hotspot.

Hit the Street

If your employees need to get back online to handle immediate work, your company’s last line of defense is to lean on public Wi-Fi. You can find these hotspots at local libraries, cafés, coffee shops, and other storefronts. However, this comes with some major potential security risks; your employees shouldn’t come to rely on it with extremely confidential information.

One such risk is that it’s very common for hackers to set up “spoof” hotspots that resemble business hotspots, but are actually designed to steal your information. In other words, you have to make sure local hotspots are legitimate before using them. Keep a list of nearby secure Wi-Fi hotspots your employees can use in the event of an Internet outage. It’s of the utmost importance that this list is devised in advance because there are inherent risks in using another business’s Internet connection.

Never let an Internet outage keep your company from working: formulate an advanced backup plan so that your vital staff can keep working. If your company is looking for help developing an outage plan, the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks can help. Contact us today!

3 Lessons SMBs Can Learn From Retailers On Thanksgiving Weekend

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Online retailers are already working on business strategies for the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday online shopping weekend months in advance. These three days are the busiest online shopping days for retailers, bringing in nearly $6 billion in revenue combined. An online retailer’s worst nightmare on these days, in particular, is to lose business by overloading their platforms and losing customers because of long load times or crashes. SMBs can look at how retailers prepare and manage massive traffic influxes for insight into running a better online presence.

1. Do not launch a new service or platform when you expect to be busy

A robust testing and QA process is a business’s best tool to releasing features like a website update, a new software implementation, or a new hardware system as seamlessly as possible. However, some problems don’t reveal themselves until your business has pushed changes into the wild; in other words, your business doesn’t want to introduce new features that could expose problems at a busy time.

Therefore, it’s better to go with a “soft launch” for new implementations than try to run a high-traffic promotion to show off something new. Introduce new features and sweeping changes at a time when your company expects business to be slow.

2. Sometimes “bells and whistles” need to be dropped to stop from damaging functions

People tend to love “bells and whistles” features because they can take a boring product and turn it into an exciting experience. The more improved visual experience is great until it becomes detrimental to the performance. For example, retailers like Amazon will actually disable some of the rich content features on their product pages over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, which simultaneously reduces the amount of work the servers complete when generating pages. This allows customers to load pages with minimal delay.

Retailers have to keep in mind the “user experience,” which includes the process of using a service as opposed to focusing on how it looks. SMBs can take this philosophy to heart when approaching technology: provide the best “form” as possible as long as it doesn’t impede “functionality.” A visually striking product preview page won’t do your business any good if customers refuse to sit through a long load time.

3. Don’t be a victim of your own success

Website overloads on Cyber Monday are a particularly great example of how a business can become a victim of its own success, which SMBs should keep in mind when running promotions. Unless a website’s hosting infrastructure is built with scaling potential or uses a CDN, a huge traffic spike can bring the site offline which translates to lost potential business and a negative brand impression.

Retailers typically use performance testing and monitoring strategies to prepare their platforms for massive traffic influxes. SMBs should keep a “ready-to-grow” philosophy in mind concerning their web presence because opportunity can strike at any time. Bracing for traffic spikes is particularly important when running social media promotion campaigns: if your business goes viral, you don’t want to miss out because your website is overloaded.

Whether your business is looking for opportunities to keep up with growth in cloud computing or seeing if new software would increase productivity, the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help. Contact us today!

When Windows 10 Support Stops

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

In July of 2017, some Windows 10 users received an error message when trying to install the Creators Update, stating, “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC.” This first-of-its-kind problem stems from an incompatibility with a handful of Intel’s Clover Trail CPUs found in some of the earliest laptop, tablet, and 2-in-1 devices that shipped with Windows 8.1. While the issue affects a relatively small number of devices, it stands as a reminder that aging devices may not always be able to support the latest Windows 10 feature updates. The issue won’t create a security headache for users, but it could block new features your employees would otherwise use in order to increase productivity.

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There’s No Windows 11

Up until now, PC users have generally expected that devices working with a given version of Windows will continue to work on that version indefinitely; replacement time comes when the device can no longer run a newer Windows iteration. However, Windows 10 changes that because there won’t be a Windows 11; instead, Microsoft will continue to update Windows 10. Therefore, the system requirements for Windows 10 can’t be expected to stay the same as Microsoft updates the operating system so that devices running on today’s most recent version of Windows may not run all of Windows 10’s future features.

The Case of the Clover Trail Atom CPU:

As of July 2017, the Creators Update compatibility issue only affects the Atom Z2760, Z2520, Z2560, and Z2580 CPU models. As previously stated these CPUs belong to the Clover Trail family which was first released in Q3 2013. The issue has less to do with the processing power of the device and more to do with a compatibility problem with the CPU’s hardware drivers being incompatible with features in the Creators Update.

Windows 10 Support: Problems Down the Road

Hypothetically speaking, there are a number of issues that Windows 10 feature updates could add to the operating system that will render older devices incompatible or unable to run at a smooth speed. Lower-end devices that run inexpensive and weaker hardware are the most prone to being unable to support future updates. Some possible compatibility issues could include:

  • Insufficient RAM
  • Unsupported hardware drivers
  • CPU too slow
  • Not enough storage

What Next?

The good news here is that the devices are still compatible with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which will continue to receive security updates throughout the original Windows 8.1 device lifetime support window. The devices will still receive security updates, making it safe to continue using the devices. This isn’t like running a Windows XP computer on the modern Internet; if the device user doesn’t need the new Windows 10 features from the update, this really isn’t a big deal. However, after 2023, affected devices should be replaced.

Make sure your company’s computers and other devices are secure and able to perform to their highest ability. The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help in San Mateo County and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to keep your hardware and software up-to-date. Contact us today!

Avoiding Hardware Overkill: IT Consulting to the Rescue

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Spending far too much money on excessively overpowered computer hardware can quickly deplete your company’s IT budget, taking funding away from other important expenses. Two exciting products released in June 2017, Apple’s new iMac Pro ($4999) and Intel’s Core i9 CPU family (starting at $999), are poised to put an incredible amount of computer power in reach of professional-level users with a matching high price tag. However tantalizing these new devices seem, they are power overkill for employees outside of niche roles. IT consulting services can help with matching device power to employee usage to increase productivity.

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“Pro” is More than Marketing

While “pro” and “high-end” products are inherently better devices based on power, they are niche products targeted to specifically high-end users. In many cases, they’re less like a better interior package or more powerful engine for a sedan and more like a different class of vehicle like a fully-loaded pickup truck.

A power overload is an unnecessary expense, but it’s still preferable to err on the side of more power than what is needed than wasting money on underpowered devices that hurt productivity. In the case of the iMac Pro and the Intel Core i9, the higher-end base iMac and the Core i7 are the devices suited for most high power users.

“Pro” is only Better if you Need it

A Core i9 won’t offer much of a difference in performance for the average user running word processing and web browsers over a three-year-old Core i5. Other parts of the computer are much slower, like the hard drive and the Internet connection, which create a performance bottleneck. The faster CPU won’t do a thing to alleviate these problems.

More Power Delays Obsolescence with Diminishing Returns

A computer is obsolete when it no longer supports the software employees need and hinders productivity through poor performance, and not because there’s a faster model on the shelf. It’s common to delay obsolescence for as long as possible by spending as much money as the budget allows to get the most powerful hardware; unfortunately, the law of diminishing returns hits hard.

Enough Power to Last the Replacement Cycle

The big question is, “how much hardware power do computers need for employees in specific roles?” The device needs to offer sufficient capabilities to last the user through the next replacement, which is a question for IT consulting. Needs vary wildly between roles:

  • A minimal-needs salesperson who mostly uses email and PowerPoint could get away with a lower-powered laptop with a longer battery life.
  • A power-user video editor needs lots of CPU power and a capable GPU for smooth work and fast video processing.
  • A mid-to-power-level accountant who works in massive spreadsheets needs lots of system memory, but won’t see any benefit from a beefier GPU.

According to a PC World article, the average computer replacement cycle has shifted from a three-to-four year interval to a five-to-six year interval. The Core i9 and iMac Pro devices are both designed to meet the needs of employees who work with graphic design, video editing, financial modeling, and programming through the longer replacement cycle.

The IT consulting experts at MPA Networks are ready to help your company determine the ideal computers and devices for your office needs. Expert desktop and workstation management services can keep those devices running in top form so that your company can get the most out of its technology investment. Contact us today!

Spare Computer Parts: Which Ones To Keep For Disaster Recovery

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

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It happens in every office eventually: an employee is going about their workday and suddenly their computer or monitor won’t turn on. Fortunately, there’s gold in those unused desktops and laptops stuck in the storage closet. Aside from the computers having literal gold in some components, your business can reuse spare, compatible parts from storage as a quick disaster recovery fix. With a little know-how of modular computer parts, a quick swapping can get your staff back to work right away.

Plan Ahead for Reusing Computer Parts

The replacement part storage strategy is particularly helpful for businesses that replace devices on an as-needed or staggered basis as opposed to all at once. Do not spend money on parts you may or may not need in advance: instead, take from computers that are no longer in use. If a laptop’s motherboard fails, its SSD can be used to fix another device with a broken storage device and the RAM can be used to upgrade another laptop.

Your IT staff will need to know which parts to keep around, how many of those parts to keep, and how long to keep them around for. The average computer replacement cycle has grown to five-to-six years, which created a longer part compatibility time frame. If a device breaks after four years, its working parts can help fix other devices for at least another two years. Realistically, your IT staff should only keep two or three of each replacement part on hand to manage repairs. After all, this is a disaster recovery strategy, not a repair shop.

Computer Parts to Keep

  • Hard Disk Drives and Solid State Drives: Both laptops and desktops can use replacement storage devices to restore failing ones or increase total storage space. Storage device failure rates can be fairly high in comparison to the rest of the system. Remember to properly dispose of unused storage devices to avoid data theft.
  • RAM: Keeping a few RAM modules on hand works well for replacing broken parts and upgrading aging computers. However, these parts come in laptop and desktop variations and lose compatibility across generations.
  • Laptop Batteries: Battery storage capacity degrades through subsequent charges, so if your business has several laptops of the same model, keep the batteries from the first few that fail in order to replace batteries for the working ones down the line.
  • Power Supply Unit: Keep one or two desktop power supply units in storage to replace failing ones. These devices usually have limited compatibility issues, except with high-performance machines.
  • Video Card: Desktop video cards tend to produce substantial heat and are consequently prone to failure. While swapping one may require a bit of legwork to adjust the drivers, it is much faster than ordering a replacement.
  • Cables: Since cables bend, they may wear down over time. Hold on to a few extra SATA, USB, and Lightning cables to avoid having to buy new ones. For proper storage, tie up all cables.
  • Peripherals: While these devices tend to last a long time, they seem to break at random. Keep a handful of spare keyboards, mice, and monitors around just in case.

Any parts your business doesn’t intend to keep should be recycled or otherwise properly disposed of. If your business is looking to improve its strategies with disaster recovery and desktop managementcontact the experts at MPA Networks today!

79% of Businesses Were Hacked in 2016. Was Yours One of Them?

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

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Getting caught off-guard in a cyber security attack is a disaster for any business, large or small—and the frequency of attacks is only getting worse.

According to the CyberEdge 2017 Cyberthreat Defense Report, hackers successfully compromised security at least once for 79.2 percent of businesses over the last 12 months.

These figures may be alarming, but keep in mind that all businesses can (and should) be taking proactive steps to prevent attacks, and to make a quick recovery from any breaches. Here’s how you can protect yourself, with help from a Managed Service Provider.

Increase in data breaches

Even if your business has not been attacked in the past year, the odds of staying under the radar aren’t in your favor. In 2016, businesses experienced a 40 percent increase in data breaches over 2015. The situation is especially bad for smaller businesses: 60 percent of small companies that suffer a major cyber attack go under within six months.

Less severe incidents are more common, but businesses are typically ill-prepared for them. A staggering 63 percent of small business owners report their websites have come under attack by hackers or spammers; of those attacked, 79 percent say they have no plan for what to do if it happens again. Most businesses find that mobile devices and social media services are the weakest links in their online security.

Protective Measures against Cyber Attack

The best protective measures against digital security threats are to secure networks, websites, applications, and social media platforms, and to implement a reliable backup system. The following tips provide a baseline to help your business minimize its security risks:

  • Use unique, secure passwords for all accounts including internal services, external services, email, and connected social media to prevent data breaches.
  • Activate “2-Step Verification” for applicable services.
  • Use Secure HTTP for websites and applications that pass personal information.
  • Take advantage of desktop management services; make sure computers are running up-to-date software to minimize exposure to known security holes.
  • Keep antivirus and anti-malware software updated; run scans on a frequent basis to protect from malware infections.
  • Program internally developed services to prevent SQL injection.
  • Secure the Wi-Fi/Internet and manage employee credentials.
  • Secure mobile devices, tablets, and laptops so they can be disabled if lost or stolen.

In Case of Emergency: Disaster Recovery

Ransomware is major concern for businesses these days: 61 percent of businesses say they were compromised at least once by malware demanding payment to return data. Unfortunately, some companies that decide to pay the ransom still don’t get their data back. The best thing your company can do to protect itself from ransomware is to limit the amount of damage an attack can do through backup and disaster recovery. Using the “3-2-1 backup rule” and running frequent backups can be the difference between losing all of your data permanently, and losing a single day’s work.

Digital security should never take a break. If your business is looking to build a better defense against cyber threats, the experts at MPA Networks can help with both desktop and server management. Contact us today to learn more.

Amazon Alexa in the Workplace: What Could You Do With a Virtual Assistant?

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

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Amazon Alexa, the voice-based intelligent personal assistant you may have seen an early adopter friend use at home, has surprising business use potential to increase productivity in the workplace. Like Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana, Alexa is able to perform tasks for the user via voice commands. However, Alexa’s decentralized nature makes the system well-adapted for shared use in the workplace.

Amazon Alexa Increases Workplace Productivity

The virtual assistant is especially helpful at keeping employees focused on their primary tasks by simplifying interruptions—from adjusting a meeting time to looking up an address—into a simple voice request. In short, Alexa is a powerful tool for automating and streamlining common work procedures.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo is a hands-free, smart speaker that serves as a gateway interface to the Alexa Voice Service. Echo is the most practical way to use the assistant, featuring a different style of interactivity compared with similar services (which are primarily run on phones and tablets). For those who prefer a device-based option, Alexa also runs on Amazon Fire tablets.

As of January 2017, Amazon has sold over eight million Echo units.

Alexa Simplifies Workplace Tasks

Alexa is very good at automating and simplifying mundane, simple tasks in the workplace. While the real power lies in programming Alexa to perform unique tasks, the assistant is already powerful out of the box. For example, businesses can put an Echo at the conference table during meetings and ask it questions that come up instead of opening a phone or computer and performing a Google search. Alexa is also helpful for tasks like announcing the weather forecast, adjusting background music, and controlling smart lights—all through voice commands.

For more advanced users, Alexa is compatible with Microsoft’s Office365 and can be put to work on tasks like calendar collaboration. Requesting a day off or adjusting meeting times is as simple as asking Alexa. Some businesses may find the assistant helpful for streamlining office supply orders; Alexa allows employees to add items to a shopping wish list. (Gone are the days of endless email chains and formal paper requests.) If someone discovers that paper towels are running out in the break room, or the stock closet is low on staples, they can say “Alexa, add X to my shopping wish list.”

Alexa’s Custom Programming

Good ideas don’t always come at the right time. Imagine one of your staff members thinks up a great idea for an upcoming project while they are working on a more urgent one. Writing down or recording those ideas while trying to stay focused on the task at hand can be difficult and disruptive. With custom programming, that employee could tell Alexa to attach a note to the upcoming project and then get back to work. Alexa’s custom-programmed “skills” can work as standalone features or be integrated with existing applications and services to serve your business’s unique needs.

Back in the conference room, Alexa could be used on the fly to gather custom analytics like “what was our total profit last week” or “how many products did we ship in February and March” for fast responses. Programming is pretty straightforward, but the downside is that Alexa needs to recognize a range of specific phrases to work correctly.

If your company is looking into new ways to increase productivity with new technology, the IT consulting experts at MPA Networks, serving businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and nationwide, are ready to help. Contact us today.