Category Archives: Information and Communications Technology

The Highest Talking Point: How Communications Satellites Work

How A Satellite WorksThere are nearly four thousand man-made satellites in orbit today. Four thousand satellites that are a product of decades of research, with several technologies coming together to relay data from the Earth to the skies and back again.

The Talk and the Walk

There are four primary components to a satellite, most important of which are radios. Several antennas and transceivers can bounce back radio waves to distant places on Earth. Mobile satellite communications allow people to talk or exchange data with others from very remote locations. In places without phone lines or radio towers, satellite-enabled devices provide clear and uninterrupted access to people on the field.

Satellites constantly re-adjust their position during use. A built-in rocket engine pushes the satellite back above its service locations. Geostationary satellites orbit the planet in range of a single region. The limited fuel supply usually lasts 20 years, before the satellite is unable to keep up with its designated location and is retired.

The Brawn and the Brain

Fuel is not the primary source of power, though. Solar panels allow the satellites to function for decades, with the unlimited supply of sunlight present in space. They are integral to the existence of the modern satellite, taking engineers decades to figure out. There are two solar cell layouts satellites use. The first is the ‘spinner’ type, where the panels cover the surface of the satellite. The second, more recognized layout is the ‘three-axis’ system. This is where solar panels extend like wings from the satellite’s body.

The solar cells power the final component: the on-board electronics. This is the heart of the satellite- monitoring and controlling every function. Radio waves are processed and relayed back to Earth by the satellite computer. It also monitors its exact position in space and makes the necessary adjustments to keep itself on track.

As the global market expands and the demand for faster communication increases, satellites make for the most reliable means of communication today. Boasting fast, consistent transmissions, satellites enable many aspects of global connectivity to exist.

What Mistakes Can Ruin Your PPC Campaign’s Profits?

PPC

PPCIn paid search advertising, everything ultimately comes down to the bottom line. A PPC campaign is successful only when it is profitable. As simple as this rule sounds, however, many businesses struggle to break even, leave alone achieve the fantastic returns that so many brands have experienced.

PPC is a field where even minute differences can have significant consequences. For instance, a slight change in the wording of your ads can result in a 10% increase or decrease in conversions. While there are best practices to follow, any PPC company can tell you how important it is to be creative. Digital marketing expert C1 Partners shares that an ad that looks like everyone else’s will not get many clicks.

Many inexperienced advertisers can trace their losses back to a few simple, yet crucial errors. If your campaign’s performance has been lackluster, then you may be making one of these mistakes.

1. Too many competitive keywords

One common mistake is to only focus on high traffic, generic keywords in your niche. These tend to be expensive and difficult to get a high ad rank on. It’s usually far better to structure your campaign around keywords that have a smaller (yet highly targeted) user demographic.

2. Ignoring quality score

There are few things more important than creating great ads. Not only does it affect your click through rates, Google also uses it to determine bid prices and ad rank. Make sure your ads are relevant and well written.

3. Weak or non-existent calls to action

If you want to attract users that are actually willing to buy, then strong CTAs are essential. Don’t use language like “View More”, a phrase like “Buy Now” is far more effective and appropriate for PPC ads.

4. Not enough split testing

Finally, there is no substitute for actual data and testing. Theories and best practices can serve as a good foundation, but your strategy should always be directed by customer behavior.

At the end of the day, experience and skill definitely count in PPC advertising. If you are still struggling to meet your targets, hire a consultant. Advice specific to your situation can make an immense difference.

Infrastructure Architecture: Still Relevant in Business Operations

Systems and Networks

Systems and NetworksThere is no business without infrastructure—which is indispensable for any enterprise today, especially with the continuous modernisation of information technology. Every application makes use of infrastructure: its centralised storage, its network and security, among many things. Can you name an application that can do away without it?

Automation makes life convenient, but systems are not always reliable or predictable. Though a lot of attention today is trained on information and application architecture, you should note that automation requires infrastructure services as well.

Infrastructure is all about the hardware, the systems and networks that support a business, allowing it to seek and define solutions within a set of constraints. Here is why it is worth it to invest in an infrastructure architect:

• Structure

Infrastructure management company Netstrategy.com.au shares that bridging the gap between current infrastructures and trends involve dedicated experts.

For the sake of managing business continuity, you need someone to structure and standardise the infrastructure landscapes, which provide a strong foundation for organisations to adapt to the changing market.

• Business continuity

Clients and stakeholders trust that your business carries things out properly. Proper cloud infrastructure architecture translates information and application into products and services that actually work in the real world. Basically, it enables you to do your business.

• Productivity

With the advent of cloud computing, it is crucial for any business to find new ways to work and keep up with huge amounts of data. And with it, technological advancements.

Businesses must face the important issues of integration, security and management while continuously maintaining and improving systems, reducing costs and increasing productivity.

With the spotlight on applications, infrastructure is taken for granted. However, the innovation of software will always require the reliability, availability and security of the infrastructure. This goes to say an infrastructure architect is invaluable to any business.

Web Conferencing: Turning its Disadvantages into Advantages

Conference

ConferenceA good majority of businesses these days rely heavily on web conferencing to get their deals done. Yet, as integral as it is, it does come with its own inherent disadvantages. There will always be issues that can undermine the success of a web conference.

Here are ways for you to turn what may seem like disadvantages of Web Conferencing into advantages:

Technology Issues

There will always be problems that will need troubleshooting. http://adigo.com, provider of web video conferencing services, attests that the proper knowledge and training with regards to handling suitable hardware and software is critical for web conferencing success.

Facility Issues

To have web conferencing capabilities, you will need to acquire plenty of equipment so you can effectively communicate with the participants of a meeting. Yet by making use of such facilities, you can establish your company’s identity as a forward-thinking one that embraces new ways of doing things.

Cultural Issues

The issue of cultural differences will always be there whenever you are dealing with others from a different background. While the idea of web conferencing may appeal to the tech savvy, some may find it downright confusing. But by using it, you can make simple conferences much more exciting.

Inter-Personal Issues

While there is often no substitute for face-to-face contact and web meetings may not always be suitable for all types of gatherings, you can see its worth in the fact that it breaks down barriers such as time zone differences. In addition, you can always schedule meetings on the fly (depending on the availability of all involved), whereas you may need to take long business trips otherwise.

Having the inherent ability to turn something bad into something good can take your business to greater heights. With these tips, you can utilize web conferencing to the fullest and turn what others may deem as disadvantages into solid advantages.

Raising the Bar: How the Barcode Changed the World

bar code number

bar code numberHere’s a little something to think about: next time you go to the mall or supermarket, take a close look at all the items you put in your basket. You may not have given barcodes much thought before, but these series of lines with different girths are revolutionary and have changed how business is done worldwide. Have you ever stopped to wonder how these seemingly insignificant things have made life simpler and easier?

A brainchild by Joseph Woodland and Bernard Sliver, the barcode system is derived from the Morse Code. Instead of dots and dashes, Woodland used a series of lines with varying needs. What started out as a simple method of collecting information in one go turned out to be a valuable invention that would benefit different industries.

Here’s how this technology has changed the world:

Retail

In the retail business, long queues used to be a problem because of the lengthy procedure at the checkout counters. With the introduction of the barcode, customers no longer had to wait long since the recording of their purchases has become faster. It’s also made the lives of inventory managers easier by helping them keep track of the store’s SKUs or stock keeping units.

Manufacturing and Logistics

Other than keeping track of products, the barcode has become beneficial for businesspeople managing manufacturing and logistics plants. Companies use barcodes in line with inventory management software from companies such as Roshtek.com.au, to keep track of their heavy assets, like trucks and machines.

Improved Decision-Making

The barcode technology has helped businesses, especially those in the service industry, reduce labour costs. As it helps collect information more accurately, companies reduce mistakes in recordkeeping. This, in turn, gives managers correct data that they will use in decision-making.

There are other situations where this technology is an asset to the organisation. For instance, military groups use barcode to track rations and their other assets. Delivery companies utilise it to keep track of packages.

Succession Planning Myths: How To Prevent Risky Business Transitions

work place

Many business owners struggle in planning the succession of the business’s leaders. When the top executive exits because of forced or voluntary resignation, unexpected departure or illness, the company should remain stable.

work placeThe business may suffer without clear succession plans. Even riskier events may dawn upon the company if the wrong ideals and myths mislead the board of directors.

Here are some myths in succession planning that you should watch out for.

Promising candidates are outside of the company.

According to Creagh Weightman Lawyers, a paradox in succession planning continues to exist, where internal successors gain fewer promotions even when they present lower risks than external candidates. This usually happens when the board of directors prefers the person they don’t know, rather than the one they already know and have worked with for years.

Others find it difficult to have confidence in someone who has been operating in a less important role for years. Placing them on a pedestal seems like a strange move. The internal candidates, however, hear over and over that they’re a step closer to being at the top.

You need a “ready now” executive.

Just like in the movies, the stakeholders want a grown up man to handle the company. Strike out the concept that “the successor has to be ready now.” This might only leave you without a competent and skilled successor. Don’t let a candidate get tired of waiting, and eventually venture into another business, and make you realise that he is the one fit for the position.

Keep in mind that you’re looking for a team player rather than a one-man show. Of course, the primary decision-making lies on the top executive, but the boards can refute any final decision, given strong support from other members.

The business requires a CEO “clone” to continue what has been done.

When a board plans to replace an ideal CEO, they may tend to look for the exact replica of the outgoing executive. The stakeholders fear losing their buckets, the discontinuation of current projects and a new work mechanism. What the company will need in the future months, however, differs from the demands during the previous periods. An individual with a new eye in the business may be a viable CEO.

To prevent risky transitions, conduct an initial market scan internally and externally to identify the key players. Analyse how they differ and how one topples the others. Scout for new skills and check their background experience. A thorough observation and focused planning can help your company live the legacy, even with a new top executive.

Ways to Improve Data Center Energy Efficiency

Server network cables

Data centers are designed for optimal reliability, but usually at the expense of efficiency. Managing your company’s data center requires a significant amount of capital and operational expenditures, which affects financial bottom line.

There are steps you can take to improve data center energy efficiency and cut costs, without compromising reliability. Here are some of them:

Reduce cooling power consumption

Only half of the power available in a typical data center is used by the IT equipment, with the rest going to the cooling system. You can reclaim much power by eliminating cooling inefficiencies, making greater use of outside air, and upgrading your system to allow for variable cooling.

Server network cables

Consider Infrastructure Management Solutions

Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) will help you measure, monitor, and control your data center utilization and the energy consumption of your IT equipment. Tracking the performance and resource costs of your equipment helps you make informed decisions regarding energy-efficiency upgrades, troubleshooting, and consolidation.

Virtualize and Consolidate

One of the biggest sources of waste in most data centers is poor server utilization. Virtualizing your servers will increase your overall utilization from around 10 percent to between 20 and30 percent. You can increase efficiency even more if you use a more dynamic data center management system.