Published September 20th, 2017 by

 

 

Cloud computing has grown from being a concept on paper into a crucial element of modern enterprise IT solutions. This comes as the need to cut costs, boost efficiency and streamline operations continues to grow in importance in the business world. The applications and resources offered by most service providers also make cloud computing viable for organizations of all kinds.

Shortchanged Expectations

Often, companies move their workloads to the cloud with huge expectations. With time, however, a good number of them find that the benefits associated with cloud computing haven’t materialized. In particular, most managers find that the access to readily available resources they were promised hasn’t lived up to expectations.

But whose fault is it, one might ask? Amid the excitement surrounding the cloud, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s just but a single piece of the IT puzzle. As such, the benefits you stand to gain will only materialize if your network allows it. In other words, you still need to invest in improving your in-house infrastructure even after you’ve shifted your operations to the cloud.

Just as a plumbing system can be affected by a single clogged pipe, a neglected network can also get in the way of the great user-experience most people expect of cloud computing. And the reason is simple — the cloud transforms the role of the network, along with the accompanying software and hardware, which ultimately diminishes the potential benefits one stands to gain from the platform. Any organization seeking to get the most out of cloud services should thus examine their network to see what upgrades would be required to do so.

Getting Ready for the Cloud

Having a good idea of the kind of applications you’re going to deploy will help you prepare your network accordingly. To ensure you do this right, you might want to work with an expert to help you figure out how you’ll get your infrastructure ready for the cloud. In fact, having the same vendor take care of the whole process, from the initial assessment to application deployment can make things much easier for your company. With a good provider, you can rest assured that you’ll get the great network services Winnipeg firms get from the cloud.

Thanks to cloud services, start-up enterprises of today are able to take advantage of enterprise IT solutions that are flexible enough to support growth, but don’t require much in the way of capital expenditure. Still, your ability to harness the power of the cloud all comes down to how well your infrastructure can cope with the platform. So before moving your company to the cloud, have a professional take a look at your IT setup to see what issues need will need to be fixed first.

Published June 11th, 2016 by

Many people are seeking alternatives to the traditional TV set and movie rental. One such alternative is using a video streaming service to enjoy one’s favorite TV shows and movies. The three main video streaming services that are available for less than $10 a month each include: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus. Each service comes with its own advantages as well as its own disadvantages.

Netflix

Netflix is one of the older services that started out with providing customers with DVD rentals each month before providing the streaming service. Members of Netflix can choose the DVD or the streaming service for around $8 a month each, or combine the two for $15 dollars a month. The content on Netflix includes many new and old shows and movies, as well as holds a monopoly on all Disney Channel shows. Netflix also streams its own produced shows available exclusively on the site.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a yearly subscription of $80 for express delivery of its products, discounts on products, and exclusive streaming of thousands of shows and movies. The content includes mostly newer shows and movies, and also includes many old Nickelodeon programs. The search engine for shows and movies is a little challenging to navigate for browsing…one almost has to know exactly what one wishes to watch to see if it is offered. Amazon also has several shows and movies that the company created and they are free for Amazon Prime members. This is the only service that charges yearly, though the price for month is about the same as the other two.

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus offers many older shows as well as many new shows…this is the only service that provides recently aired content within a day (sometime a week) of airing. The price per month is $8 and the service is the only one of the three that come with commercials and ads, which are just as frequent as watching television but not as long. There are a few movies, mostly independent, older, or generic family films. The service also has a lot of full seasons of ABC and NBC shows.

The Perfect Service

Each of the above video streaming services provides different shows and movies—as such there is not exact perfect choice, one must decide which shows one want access to before choosing one, two, or all three services.

 

Published March 27th, 2015 by

America loves its smartphone, so why isn’t there a cheap and fully functional smartphone available in the country? The low end phones still cost more than most phones in other countries. There are reasons why it hasn’t been done, and a few reasons of why it may not ever work.

Why can other countries bring it in so low?

The UK, China, India and several other countries have proved that it is more than possible to bring in a cheap smartphone that lets more people connect to the Internet than ever before. They used in-country technology and production to lower costs. The government supports an extensive digital infrastructure that makes have a smart phone an asset in a person’s life no matter who they are. Many of the phones are also underwritten by governments and agencies to promote healthcare and education initiatives as well.

Would it work in America?

While there may be a lot of smartphones in America, there aren’t a lot when you really look at the distribution of phones and population. In fact, feature phone sales are on the rise while smart phone sales have slowed noticeably. A lot of that has to do with the cost of a smart phone. The pay-per-month plans require you to buy the phone outright, while annual plans finance the phone with a hefty finance rate. The real issue is in how people use cell phones in America. While in many other countries they are a source of news and education, as well as a way to connect to services; smartphones are still mainly served by the infotainment industry in the US. It would take a concerted effort to create a demand for a cheap smartphone in the country.

What stands in its way?

It would take a combined effort of industry and government to create a digital infrastructure within the US that supported viable information online, plus in-country manufacturing of the device to begin to offer what is so easily available to everyone in other countries. The marketing company experts and digital agencies of the world will need to get on board. The focus of the infrastructure would be service oriented, tying into various networks to help people navigate life better. More extensive health networks and literacy efforts could be enhanced with smart phone access. The main thing that stands in the way of all of that is a lack of resources. There aren’t dedicated monies to develop such programs along modern programming, and there also isn’t money or means to affordably manufacture components stateside as well.

Published January 27th, 2015 by

If you use Google Docs on your computer you probably love the ability to move from device to device and still access your work. No more flash drives, no more cumbersome process of downloading and uploading files you are working on – and no more confusion about what version is on the screen too. Google Docs is such an asset it has caught many people off guard to find out that some features, like word count, aren’t available in the App version. Even after several updates, and many complaints, it’s as if Google doesn’t think it is important.

What it says about the whole Google Drive

So why can’t you count words in the Docs App when you can in the desktop version, and more importantly, who cares about word count? Word count is exceedingly important when it comes to writing and editing documents. This is becoming more of a specialized skill in all industries, which may explain why you can only count words in the desk top version. The majority of business people need the ability to read a document on the go – they aren’t writing it. By not adding in this feature to the latest release of the Docs App, despite it being one of the most complained about things, shows that Google isn’t interested in catering to “that” crowd on mobile devices. They are looking for the worker bees, not the innovators; with good reason, there are a lot more of the former than the latter.

Where are the institutional customers going to go?

Writing and editing documents requires word counts. This is the type of business process that is going to become more and more specialized as the years go by, especially on mobile devices. In the same way that the transition from Unix language to use the Internet to GUI applications; the specialty work of producing and editing documents is slowly leaving the general workforce. Google may be making an advanced decision to push that crowd over to another company.

Making the BlackBerry Passport look a little bit like a plan

Think about the recent release of the BlackBerry Passport and the care with which the keyboard was kept integrated in the enlarged touchscreen body and you could almost concoct a conspiracy theory that Google plans to “let” them have the people who need to get work done on their devices. The rest of the world needs buttons to push and word entry, heavier duty applications may be left to other companies to develop on separate devices.

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Published October 17th, 2014 by

This is the age of the tablet and mobile device, and they do make a lot of things easier – but there are some old school technologies we long for to come back. They had some advantages over the modern day devices that just may give some designer somewhere an idea. Here are 4 of the old school technologies we at Transparent Solutions (Top Vancouver IT Companies) wish we still had.

#1.Devices with multiple ear-phone jacks

Most devices that are designed to play music files now come with a sharing option, but they don’t come with multiple ear jacks. Some of the old Sony Walkman and analog recorders had this feature and it made life much easier. If the reason you are listening isn’t to dance, there are some benefits to being that close – and being able to privately plug in. It reduces the number of devices brought out in a meeting, which can reduce the number of distractions too. It also allows for users to know that what they are hearing is exactly what the other is hearing too.

#2. Calculator watches

Calculator watches were one of Casio’s big claims to fame in the 80s. Sure, we may have calculator apps on phones but they can be a process to use. The advantage of the calculator watch is it put a fully featured calculator on your wrist with real buttons that was easy to use. You didn’t have to flip through screens to get to it.

#3. Beepers

Beepers make the list because they do something that no mobile phone on the market does today, let you stay connected and screen your calls without a major disruption. The beauty of the beeper is that it was small, and could be passed around. That made it perfect for offices with on-call responsibilities and onsite ones too. Using the company phone is just too cumbersome, and expensive.

#4. Pocket-TVs

Pocket TVs? It all comes down to a dedicated gadget. Being able to pull a pocket TV out to watch the game was perfect. Unlike watching it on a mobile phone, you didn’t have to pay for extra streaming (just batteries), and best of all – no one could call through or text you in the middle and interrupt what you were watching. The life of the batteries also makes it still a winner compared to the battery draw of watching on a mobile device.

Published June 6th, 2014 by

houston cloud computing and IT servicesNetflix is shaking up the television industry by offering a streaming service of unique programming to subscribers that rivals cable TVs offerings. For many consumers, this is heralding the future of Internet TV and visions of being able to stream Netflix into the living room are filling people’s heads. The price for the subscription and the quality of the offerings are already outstripping much of what is on cable. For industry insiders, there is much alarm at the turn of events.

What ever happened to Net Neutrality?

Perhaps the most shocking thing about the Netflix jump into subscription Internet TV is that it goes against what they stood for, and stood up for in their beginning years. IT companies like Netflix are a staunch advocate of preserving Net Neutrality. This refers to standards that prohibit sites from creating custom streaming content as it was considered to begin a privatization of bandwidth and ISPs that were meant to be openly available to all on a first come, first served basis. With the launch of their Internet TV subscriber service, Netflix has become the embodiment of the very approach to using Internet resources that they once stood so firmly against.

How big a threat is Internet TV to the Cable Industry?

The Netflix Internet TV offerings pose a great threat to the sustainability of Cable TV and a significant threat to the movie industry as well. For starters, Netflix has a far lesser operating cost than Cable TV in producing and broadcasting these shows. There is not special equipment that Netflix must contract with to be made, or users have to purchase. Everything you need to watch Netflix Internet TV is available through your computer, tablet or smart phone. Developing programs for Netflix Internet TV also puts the cost solely on the independent programmer, who can then apply to have the Netflix brand placed on their show and for distribution. This cuts production costs significantly as well. The movie industry is also threatened by streaming Internet TV because it introduces Cable quality shows on a regular basis with a far lesser cost to produce and distribute as well.

What about that bandwidth?

What has alarmed most industry watchdogs about the popularity, and promise, of Netflix Internet TV is the demands it places on a public infrastructure of bandwidth. While already reporting that it has more subscribers than all the Cable TV networks combined, should they all start to watch at the same time – it could very realistically bring the Internet down. Streaming any kind of audio and video places huge demands on the ISP servers. For the consumer, there may be a hidden shock cost at the increase in data rates that ISP and data service providers may have to put in place to deal with the increased usage of bandwidth as well.

Published June 6th, 2014 by

If you are interested in getting into affiliate marketing, like so many others have recently, then you will want to make sure that you are focusing on your success.  You shouldn’t expect to jump straight in with the knowledge to make you wealthy overnight.  It does tend to take some time.  The good news is that there are a few tips that you can follow that can help to contribute to your success rate.  Here are a few ideas to start out with.

Research Successful Products

The first thing that you will want to do is research successful products.  You will want to find products that are a hit, and products that people can research about.  There are certain databases out there that will help to make this process easier for you.  There are actually people that have already done this research, and you can just jump straight in using their statistical data to find the best products to market.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some further research though.

Create Your Own Website

You will also want to create your own website.  If you don’t have a website, then you will probably not be able to have much success.  You can’t just put in the links here and there on the web and have great success.  You need to have a reputable online reputation, and your own site is the best way to do just that.  You can get your own site started quickly and easily, using templates if you aren’t familiar with web design.

Use Linking, Banners and Blogging to Your Advantage

Finally, you will want to take a look at what linking, banners and blogging can do for your business.  These are the best ways to get people to click through and buy a product using your affiliate link.  If you haven’t ever use these tools, then it is time to research them and incorporate them into your plan.

As you can see, you really can have success with affiliate marketing.  You just have to make sure that you know how to do it right.  You will also want to be patient, because like we said you won’t get results overnight.  If you are patient, and take your time to research and put together a site that is well thought out, chances are you will have a lot of success with it – just like so many others have.

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Published June 6th, 2014 by

sony-4k-tv-xl4k video TVs are starting to appear at consumer trade shows and generate a lot of interest, the question is whether or not this technology is going to ever reach a market bigger than its failed 3D cousin. 4k video TVs, or Ultra High Definition TVs, are already showing more promise than 3D TVs for capturing a significant market share, and that is without there being any 4D content available.

What is it?

It is an oversimplification, but accurate, to see that the greatest advance offered by 4K Video TVs is the screen is bigger than anything else offered. What was demonstrated by the 3D TV experiment is that consumers would rather pay for a large screen to gain a full immersion experience than a smaller one that required an accessory be worn to view it. The new 4K Video TVs offer screens that are almost 4 times the size of the largest HDTV and contain 4 times the resolution quality. One of the current issues with 4k Video TVS is the lack of industry standardization for what that resolution will be. This has led to the adoption of the term, Ultra High Definition (UHD), to try and assign a consistent pixel quantity of at least 3,840×2, 160 pixels. This range makes it inclusive of the TVs marketed as Quad HDTV as well.

Why watch it?

With no real 4k media content, why would anyone purchase 4k Video TVs when their base list price is coming in at over $17,000 a set? The answer is quality. While lacking its own specific content, the 4k screen has the unique advantage of being able to deliver a 1080p viewing experience to each eye of the viewer. This means that HD and 3D content, when viewed on the UHD screen, is sharper and more real. It transforms the 3D viewing experience into near 3D without the assistance of glasses as well. As more and more movies and television shows are begin shot digitally, the potential for a mass release of 4k enhanced content material is great. Given the success of the re-mastering of Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace, into 3D; which was only made possible due to large sections of the film being shot digitally there is a library of available content that may come into play.

Is it ready to buy?

The television industry has suffered in the past decades from releasing new television technology while it was still within its beta stages. One of the greatest harms to the potential of the 3D TV came from the demo models not functioning reliably. The new 4k video TVs are past the beta stage and can be a good investment for some. Until there is more accessible content, and viewers know the price range of the subscription content, 4k video TVs are not going to become more than a novelty.

Published June 6th, 2014 by

amazon shoppingIn last few years, busy consumers have tried to find ways to save time by cutting out wasteful errands and tasks. One new tactic is the increasing use of online shopping, which allows consumers to shop anytime and be assured that the product is in stock. With advancements in computer science, it has never been more simple to get all the needed shopping out of the way without even leaving the house—people can even online shop for their groceries.

Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping has become just as much of a tradition as attending church and singing carols. Though, with stores competing for sales and customers competing for the perfect gift—it has become an overly exhausting experience from October to December. Once stores realized some people would rather stay home then fight for a scarf, they started to use the advancements of modern computer science to provide their buyers with an alternative. Now, it is rather easy to fine all the items on your loved ones’ Christmas Lists without all the hassle and stress.

Grocery Shopping

Many companies have started a service of delivering groceries to consumers who pick their needed items out online. This is really convenient because you can use coupons and you can ensure you buy things right in your budget. Online grocery shopping allows you to spend time elsewhere and also allows savings on gas, because the items are brought right to your door.

More than Clothes

Many stores now offer the chance to shop for products online and have them shipped to a local store or the buyer’s home, shipping to a store is typically free. With this option consumers are able to browse for the perfect item in the comfort of their own home. Additionally, buyers can preorder movies and games and are usually provided with a low price special—for example, Amazon offers customers the guarantee of reimbursement if a preordered item is reduced in price prior to its arrival. Movie lovers have also been given the added treat of online shopping…movie tickets can now be purchased days or weeks ahead of time—and some theaters even allow you to pick your own seat. Vacationers can also take advantage of online shopping by purchasing plane tickets, hotel reservations, and attraction tickets weeks or months before their vacation. Online shopping provides consumers with the benefits of shopping without all the stress.