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Janalynne Rogers

Amid the self-isolation and quarantining of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has matured into the most popular platform around for video conferencing. It faces stiff competition from existing players like FaceTime, GoTo Meeting, Skype, and new entrants like Facebook's Messenger Rooms; for the time being, however, Zoom rules the roost.

So far, if you've only used whatever features of Zoom you've needed to get by, you should be aware that the platform offers tricks and features that make your time on it easier and more productive. While you can join someone else’s Zoom meeting without setting up an account, to access these settings and functions requires you to set up a free account. You can also log in and make changes or customizations using your Google or Facebook accounts. What follows are ten Zoom tips to help you to get the most out of the tool.

Enter Quietly

If you'd like to get on a Zoom call in progress without being disruptive, Zoom allows you to make your entrance silently. It's a feature that can be useful when you need to enter a meeting that you're late to. You can quietly make your way in without anyone noticing.

To enter a Zoom call silently, click on the Settings gear icon in the Zoom app, click on the Audio tab, and check the box for 'Mute my microphone when joining a meeting'. You can unmute the microphone using the button at the bottom of the screen when you need to speak during the meeting.

Thursday, 07 May 2020 14:11

The Customer Communication Connection

It's all about the relationship. Whether we are talking about business, friendship, or family, the resilience of the relationship is what makes that connection last and grow. Relationships grow strong and enduring because we look after them. We feed them. We show the people we care about, in all different kinds of relationships, that they are significant to us. We make them a priority by making knowing all about them a priority so that we can understand how best to serve them in terms of the relationship we have with them. This is important whether we are talking about our family, our friends, or our customers.

Caring Enough to Know

If you didn't know your child's favourite sport or remember your mother's birthday, what would that say about your commitment to the relationship? Really, not as much as you might think. You might be preoccupied or mistaken. But you know that, to your child or your mother, it might seem like you aren't paying attention.

As business people, we have very good intentions to bolster the evidence that shows our customers that we are paying attention. If we care enough to remember details about their business, their purchase history, past requests, even their birthday, they might feel like we are paying attention. If we are paying attention, then maybe we are making our relationship with their business a priority. Caring enough to know means that we pay attention to what they need, and that's what will reinforce the business relationship into something sustainable.

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnectivity of all devices, from smartphones and wearables to smart vehicles and homes. As of 2020, there are over 24 billion IoT devices and according to technology experts, that number is multiplying rapidly. As the number of interconnected smart devices continues to grow, it will indisputably transform life in many ways.

1. The Internet Will Become Even More Interconnected

Currently, most devices, apps, and websites work independently of each other. However, as the IoT grows, the digital world will become more of an extensive ecosystem. This Internet ecosystem will be built on smart devices that are connected to central hubs to make sharing data across platforms faster and more straightforward.

2. Smart Appliances Will Do Mundane Chores for You

In the future, your smart appliances will be capable of doing many of the mundane chores that are currently your responsibility. For example, smart refrigerators will manage your grocery lists. Your fridge will take inventory and inform you when you are low on certain food items, and you’ll even be able to set it to (automatically) reorder specific grocery items for you when they’re running low.

3. Cloud Computing Will Continue to Grow

The most effective way to facilitate the rapid growth of the IoT is through the use of cloud-based platforms. That's because your smart devices must be able to run cloud-based apps so that they can stay connected, wherever you go. Therefore, as the IoT keeps expanding, cloud-based platforms will grow too.

Today, there are many choices you can opt for if you want to provide your customers with a satisfying mobile experience. Depending on your application requirements, you may consider building either a native or a hybrid app. Before making the big decision, it's important to delve into the pros and cons of the two approaches to mobile app development to ensure you choose the most suitable one for your customers.

Native vs. Hybrid Apps

Native apps are those apps that are developed specifically for a chosen platform. An app developed for Android phones will not work on an iOS system, and vice versa. Native apps provide users with a platform-tailored UX experience and high performance. They can also include advanced functionalities by making use of the proprietary features of the platform.

To build native apps, software developers need to be knowledgeable in the programming language specific to that operating system. For Android systems, it's Kotlin or Java. For iOS, it's Objective-C or Swift.

Social media exposure can be both good and bad for you. During times of crisis, it can be a worthwhile tool in accessing the right information and staying up to date with current news. However, it can also be a source of anxiety, since it's so easy to see posts from friends and acquaintances that are often fearful, misinformed or uninformed. If you are staying home during a pandemic lockdown, knowing how to use social media to your advantage is crucial if you don't want this useful tool to morph into a source of accelerating anxiety.

In this age of pandemics and lockdown, read on for tips on using social media a better way. 

1. Stick to verified and reliable sources

It's easy to get overwhelmed with information, from facts to opinions to everything in between, when your eyes are glued to social media all day. This information overload can get worse if your friends on Facebook and Twitter are posting and then sharing each other's posts. Streamline the information you consume by sticking to verified and reliable sources. Start with sites like CDC.gov, the WHO website, official national websites (think Canada.ca) and their Facebook or Twitter pages, and the social media output of scientists and doctors who are at the forefront of fighting and studying the virus that's causing the pandemic.

Thursday, 12 March 2020 15:02

How an API Can Be Leveraged to Boost Sales

For an online business, it's difficult to stand out from other competitor businesses, but an API can make it possible. An API can passively spread the word about your business and give developers a reason to integrate it into client software. Once integrated, it can be a long-term revenue stream that continually generates income opportunities for the business.

Creating a new API for your business is a task that's not to be taken lightly, and it comes with a considerable upfront investment. You need a developer to create the application programming interface (API), quality assurance (QA) people to test it, and penetration testers to ensure that it meets cybersecurity standards. You might wonder if it's worth the upfront time and money investment, but APIs can increase your organization's revenue and get your brand name recognized through word-of-mouth. Even with the upfront cost, your own API can be an impressive revenue stream for your business.

Many of the biggest technology companies (like Google and Microsoft) are investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) technology that will someday soon reshape business. According to Fortune Magazine, companies will invest over $50 billion/year by 2023 - and artificial intelligence will add more than $13 trillion in economic growth by 2030. This massive growth in AI spending will transform the way that companies do business.

1. New Capabilities Will Get Added to Existing Job Roles

Despite all the hype about AI eliminating millions of jobs, most human jobs will be fine. For example, before 2020, AI has created 2.3 million new jobs while only eliminating 1.8 million jobs. According to experts, AI removes repetitive tasks to allow employees to focus on more productive tasks. Therefore, new roles are being created for human workers to perform that increase productivity.

2. Companies Will Hire More AI Professionals

In addition to most human jobs being safe, many businesses will have to hire more AI professionals. For example, most machine learning platforms are built and run on Python. Therefore, the demand for computer programmers with Python experience is growing. Other new job opportunities will include data analysts who can manage massive amounts of enterprise data.

An IT service provider offers a variety of benefits for business owners. Outsourcing your IT support is one of the best ways to save money while maximizing uptime for your company. However, not all IT providers are the same, and it is a wise idea to perform thorough research before you decide to outsource your IT services.

Here are a few things to consider before you choose to invest in a managed service provider:

Thursday, 23 January 2020 21:00

How to Maximize your User Experience (UX)

User experience (UX) design is an essential aspect of modern technology. Most people interact with technology every day, and there's so much more to it than just the code. Having a paramount UX is all about making different elements of usability and accessibility in a product come together and form one cohesive and pleasant experience for the user. Every interaction that the user has is a reflection of that UX design. The ultimate goal is to understand the context of use for the user base and work within the organization's constraints.

Leanne Tillaart, Director of Client EngagementLONDON (ON) — At STEP Software, we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our new Director of Client Engagement, Leanne Tillaart. Leanne has consistently proven herself skilled at the initiation, development and management of customer relationships.

We chose this role because we identified the need for someone with an abundance of experience to work with STEP customers to foster positive, enduring connections that yield meaningful results. It’s an investment in our commitment to client satisfaction - throughout the project lifecycle. 

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5 Tips for Creating a Great UX  - STEP Software Inc. - Custom Software Development https://t.co/I4cPf4ngRS https://t.co/PmPDcrLJwr

Our exceptional talented developers and supportive team, combined with our highly effective, well-developed methodology has provided custom applications to Fortune 500 corporations and entrepreneurial companies.


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