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PSPinc will help your business thrive by providing for all of your technology needs. We offer a wide array of products, including Web & Email Hosting, Website Development, Email Marketing and Data Storage Solutions. Visit pspinc.com to learn more.

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AI and Automation versus the Human Component

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are critical components to the future of business. Some experts say, “AI will add nearly $16 trillion to the global economy by 2030.” (Source: Forbes.com) As our computing power gets stronger and faster, smart devices are reaching the speed of our brains, calculating the probabilities and possibilities of an outcome, creating more AI-like results. Automation is a similar technology on a simpler scale.

AI calculates the countless possibilities and outcomes in a matter of seconds, returning the results (of a process) back to you so you don’t have to do the actual “thinking.” But these calculations are based on the rules and computing commands humans create, so the rules and commands we provide (or teach) to AI limits its ability to get what we want from it. It’s kind of like raising a child: we teach them to think for themselves, according to what we know.

The AI that’s most difficult to refine is speech recognition and language generation. Have you tried your smart speakers or voice commands in your car? Have you ever asked Siri a question? I tried to start a phone call in the car with voice command and ended up turning on my radio instead.

The downside to AI and automation is the lack of human touch and compassion. Human sensibility, sensitivity and emotions can touch the heart of your customers, and neither automation nor AI may ever be able to deliver that.

The bottom line is: AI and automation are the wave of the future, but still a work in progress. There are automated systems that may benefit your business model and fill the gaps where needed – as long as you’re not sacrificing a critical human component your business and your customers need.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #AI #ArtificialIntelligence #Automation

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Automation Tools for Sales and Marketing

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Automation Tools for Sales an...
When you consider your marketing or sales process, where do you see the cracks? Is there room for improvement? Do you need to boost productivity in any particular area? Could you fill the gap with an automated experience to improve the customer experience?

If you answered yes, let’s nail down the type of tool(s) you should consider:

Marketing Automation:

Marketing is different from sales. And that’s the first thing you need to decipher when looking at automation tools – is it for marketing or sales. If it’s for marketing, it should produce another way for potential customers to hear about you and your story. Here’s what you might consider:

• Newsletter system for solicitation and subscriptions, which can also be customized/personalized
• Automatic thank you notes to subscribers and new inquiries
• Automatic follow-up emails
• CRM tools to track new inquiries and store into database as leads
• Tracking analytics tools to understand user behaviors online and better understand potential customers

Sales Automation:

When customers are in touch with the sales team, you want to give them the very best experience but that can be tricky. Salespeople are human and humans are the most unpredictable elements in our society. Automation tools can close any inconsistencies and help your best salesperson be more efficient in making the deal. Here’s more tools you might consider:

• Sales demonstration videos
• Automated follow-up emails
• CRM integration and reminders for leads
• Integrated sales calls
• Automated outbound emails

Some of your business processes can’t be automated because you may want to ensure different results, and that’s just fine. You know what’s best for your business, but now you have some ideas to research if you think automation can help any areas where business is slipping.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #AI #ArtificialIntelligence #Automation #Marketing #Sales

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Can you Benefit from Automation in the Workplace?

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
Automation in the workplace is an interesting field with growing opportunity. Automating your business processes can prove to be beneficial, but it can come with its own growing pains. The first thing you need to do is figure out where automation can really help your company become more efficient and improve performance.

So where can you improve performance?

For PSPinc, we always want to make sure our customers are getting the tech support they need when they need it. But automating tech support may not be the answer to improving that part of our business. Automation can’t always replace human interaction. You really have to weigh the pros and cons of automating a process before you move forward.

Some automation can give you the consistency your business desires. For example, in your sales process, what if a person meets with an interested customer but never follows up? Wouldn’t you want to make sure your company is consistently following up with every potential customer? This might be an opportunity to look into automating the follow-up procedures.

Automating your phone system could be another way to improve the customer experience. If you have an answering system that picks up within three rings, you’re showing your customers their call is important to you. Wouldn’t this be a great feature to create consistency and efficiency in your company?

Automation does not necessarily make your workload easier, but it can improve your business’ performance. Think of areas in your business where you need improvement, where you may be falling behind, or where there is opportunity to be more responsive, and research ways to automate the process as a way to run things more efficiently.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #AI #ArtificialIntelligence #Automation

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Happy Birthday to PSPinc: A Timeline of our History

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Happy Birthday to PSPinc: A ...
This month PSPinc turns 32 years old. In that time our company has evolved quite a bit, so today let's stroll down memory lane and reflect on our timeline of events.

PSPinc was born in July 1987 on Mercer Island, Washington. Working in his apartment, Ken Uchikura started the business with a vision to introduce U.S. PC software technology to the Japanese market. The Japanese PC market was behind, and Ken believed introducing U.S. tools would help the Japanese PC market grow.

In the late 80s, PSPinc focused on developing tools that would help U.S. companies create “double-byte enabled software” for overseas markets. Chinese, Japanese and Korean are all double-byte languages. English is a single-byte language. Back in those days, multiple languages were not supported on computer platforms in Japan. Ken helped U.S. software companies close this language gap by helping them understand the differences.

In the early 90s, the PC market along with Macintosh started to emerge in Japan, allowing PSPinc to introduce more business and consumer products to the market. PSPinc localized and distributed over 100 products to Japan between 1987 to 2000. Some of those are: Symantec Timeline for DOS, Bungie Software Pathways into Darkness, Marathon, and other titles.

During the 90s, PCPinc also introduced KanjiWORD and KanjiKIT. These products helped non-Japanese Windows software read and write Japanese characters – eliminating the need to buy the additional Windows software in Japanese.

In 1995, PSPinc explored the possibility of emerging into the business of the Internet, which was still very new at the time. We soon discovered it was not cheap to have a server for our business. Therefore, PSPinc innovated and developed the tools and software needed to reduce the hosting costs – launching our first hosting service in January of 1996.

Today, we provide our hosting and web services to over 40,000 businesses worldwide, continuing our (ad)venture of creating better technology for the future.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #PSPSoftware

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Marketing to Generation Z's Purchasing Power

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Marketing to Generation Z's P...
On Tuesday we talked about Generation Xers and Millennials. Today, we’re taking a look into the up and upcoming Generation Z. We’ll look at how our marketing efforts will need to change in order to reach them.

Before we start, let’s identify Gen Z. They are the generation after Millennials and are often called Post-Millennial, Homeland Generation, and iGeneration. They were born between the mid to late 90s and the 2000s, meaning most of them are now teenagers and will be entering the workforce in a few years. That’s important for businesses because Gen Z's purchasing power will increase soon.

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So how do we market to Gen Z?

Share Values

Gen Z cares about environmental, socio-economic, and political issues more than any other generation (including Millennials) according to NRF. This generation spends money on companies whose values align with their own. Will you have a positive impact on the world, or are you just here to make money?

Find your company’s core values and purpose and communicate this clearly to Gen Z.

Meaningful Communication

It’s difficult to earn this generation’s loyalty. They expect interactions with brands to be meaningful and personal. Feeling like a cog in a giant machine just won’t do. This means your company needs to open up meaningful discussions and ask for feedback.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Everything is happening on mobile devices for Gen Z. Businesses need to optimize their mobile websites, apps, and social networks if they plan on reaching this group of consumers. Optimizing your social networks means finding out how Gen Zers use each social channel and creating content for each one specifically.

Privacy

This generation understands, perhaps more than anyone else, what’s happening online. They know the importance of privacy and look for companies to be transparent and committed to keeping their information safe.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #GenerationZ #GenZ #ModernWorkforce

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Millennials & Gen Xers in Today’s Workforce

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Millennials & G...
Millennials are now the biggest generation in the workforce, with 95 million people between the ages of 20 to their late 30s. With that many millennials working their way up the corporate ladder, we’re sure to see some changes in company cultures. But, how do millennials and Gen Xers differ? And how do they work together in today’s business world?

Communication

Perhaps the biggest gap between these generations is the ways in which they communicate.

Gen X grew up with landlines, mail, pay phones, and beepers and prefer to have conversations face-to-face. Although this group were early adopters of email – they did not grow up with communication supplemented by technology. This does however give them an advantage when communicating with Millennials, compared to Baby Boomers.

Millennials grew up with the Internet, cell phones, and social media. To an outsider, it seems like they communicate in a completely foreign language. Millennials are experts when it comes to communication through texts, social media apps, and memes. But, they still believe important conversations should be had in person.

Work Life

When it comes to work life, Gen Xers idealize loyalty and working long hours to be valued by their organizations. They hold onto jobs longer than millennials and expect to be taken care of by their companies in return for their loyalty. They are okay with less work-life balance and accept the typical nine to five work day.

Millennials have a more relaxed view of work life but that doesn’t mean they take it any less serious. They came into the job market with less security and end up changing jobs more often. It’s important for them to find value in their jobs and feel as though they are making a difference. They dress more casual and prefer to live in cities so it’s important for companies to offer more remote work options.

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These two generations have one major thing in common – they both want to be respected in the workplace.

Together, Gen X and Millennials can fill in the gaps left by the other, to create a fully functional and successful workplace. One way to do that is by offering mentorship within your companies. Giving these groups an open environment to talk and challenge each other can be extremely beneficial for individuals and companies alike.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Millenials #GenX #GenerationX #Workforce #ModernWorkforce

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5 Marketing Trends in 2019

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5 Marketing Trends in 2019
Check out the following 5 marketing trends that can help your business stay on track with the ever-changing landscape of the digital business world.

1. Use audio to reach new audiences.

There may be more screens in front of us than ever before, but audio is far from being dead. Think about all the ways audio has been integrated into our lives, from the smart speakers we talk to, the podcast we listen to, and the music we stream. Creating audio content can be an attractive way for your audience to interact with your business. One easy way to start creating audio content is to try a free trial of our service – Click It Audio.

2. Be the expert in your field.

This is a trend that is unchanging. When was the last time you worked with a company that was uninformed in their area of expertise? If you have knowledge in a certain field you should be sharing that with your customers. This can be in any form as long as you’re proving that you have a passion and knowledge in that area. An easy way to become a leader in your field is to start your own blog.

3. Be aware of security updates.

Last summer we covered the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) set in place by the European Union. Security is still high on our trend list in 2019 because of upgrades to TLS and requirements by Google and other companies to have SSL certificates for your websites.

4. Create native ads.

Have you ever liked or commented on an Instagram or Facebook post - only to realize it was an ad? More brands are taking a less obvious approach to their marketing by creating native ads that are more subtle and blend into the platform environment. Google search results ads blend into the list of results and can appear to be organic versus paid. The same goes for social media ads that appear to be normal posts, but are in fact, ads.

5. Show CEO transparency.

Following CEOs on social media has become a common way to keep up with the “personalities” of our favorite brands. CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and John Legere attract millions of social followers. Putting a face and personality to your company’s online presence isn’t just for Fortune 500 companies. Small businesses can take a page from Elon’s playbook by becoming the company’s spokesperson. CEOs that step into a spotlight and interact with their customers on a direct basis can help improve their businesses trust, authenticity, and relationship with their customers.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Google #BusinessTrends #2019Trends #Marketing #DigitalMedia #OnlineMarketing #WebTrends #DigitalTrends

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Why Your Business Needs SSL Protection

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image source: pixabay.com image source: pixabay.com
SSL is your front line of defense and protects your sensitive information as it zips across the Internet. We wrote about the importance of SSL on our blog last summer, find it here!

SSL (Security Sockets Layer) is the process of encrypting sensitive information, providing authentication, and trust to your website visitors. SSL makes data that travels between computers or servers impossible to read.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a more secure and updated version of SSL – but it’s still more commonly referred to as SSL. When you buy SSL, you’re essentially buying the most up-to-date version of TLS.

Google announced last summer that websites without SSL certificates would rank lower and be labeled as “Not Secure” in the URL. Businesses who have SSL will receive a boost in their ranking and visual cues such as a green URL or lock icon to show they are secure.

Buying an SSL certificate will benefit your business in 7 ways:

1. Protects against hackers
2. Provides authentication and trust
3. Chrome will display your website correctly
4. Improved search engine ranking
5. It’s inexpensive
6. Improved website speed
7. SSL has been upgraded to TLS

Not sure if you have an SSL certificate?

Even if you’ve lost touch with your website developer, we can help with SSL certificates. If you have any questions, or want more information on how SSL affects your business, email support@pspinc.com or call 1-800-232-3989.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #SSL #TLS #Encryption #DataSecurity #Security

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What we Learned from Facebook’s Privacy Breach

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Last year, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was asked to answer questions from congress regarding improper privacy practices, but how well do you know the backstory?

Facebook’s trouble came when the New York Times published a story about election consultant, Cambridge Analytica, gaining users’ personal data via Facebook. Cambridge Analytica saw opportunities from a Facebook app, “This is My Digital Life,” to give out personality tests to users. The app, which users downloaded, harvested personal information from the users and their friends. The professor who made the app gave the information to Cambridge Analytica so they could influence users with targeted ads during the presidential election.

So why was Facebook responsible for this privacy breach?

Facebook knew that Cambridge Analytica had gained the data and requested Cambridge Analytica delete it. But in reality, the data was never deleted and Facebook neither followed up nor went public about this incident back in 2015.

The moral of the story is: When we have any sort of privacy breach, small or not, as a business owner it is very important to come clean to your customers, take the necessary actions, AND FOLLOW UP! It’s not an easy thing to admit you made a mistake, but in the long run it’s the only way you can retain your customers’ trust and stay out of hot water.

The other moral of the story is: Be wary of surveys or personality tests or even seemingly innocent quizzes on social media platforms. It’s best to ‘not click on’ or download any new apps or give out any information because you don’t know if the source or app developer can be trusted.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Facebook #PrivacyBreach #DataHarvesting

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Be Aware of Credit Card Identity Thieves

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"Carding" became a thing in the 80s as the use of credit cards became more popular. It’s a form of fraudulent activity where your credit card (or bank account) is hacked and used to purchase expensive goods. It’s sad there’s a group of bad people taking advantage of something that is supposed to make our lives more convenient. These hackers are also known as “carders.”

Be aware of these common techniques carders use for hacking:

Malware

Carders can embed malware onto your computers and devices, trying to steal your personal and login information. Scan your devices with anti-spyware and anti-malware software regularly. Don’t click on any links you don’t trust.

Phishing

Hackers pretend to be legitimate service providers with phishing emails/sites that will trick you into entering your personal or credit card information. Do not click any emails warning you to take action immediately – always check to make sure they are legitimate first. Most of those emails and websites look like the real thing, even though they’re not. For example, the IRS will never email you to enter your info online. General rule of thumb, if an email is asking you to verify or enter personal data, don’t do it unless you call or check with the source from a website you know is legitimate.

Carding Forums

There are many forums for hacker wannabes to visit. It is said Russian carding forums are bigger than anywhere else. They exchange stolen identities and credit card information.

Always, always check your statement; do not click any links that ask you to make payments, and stay on top of your credit card and bank activity! If and when you find questionable activity, please call your financial institution right away.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Technology #SmallBusiness #BusinessTips #Carding #Carders #Hacker #Hacking #Malware #Phishing

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