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eLearning & Distance Education: Still a Place at the Table?

eLearning has developed a poor reputation as a viable part of a sales enablement strategy. But is it time to turn our back on a training tool once so full of promise? Let’s take a look at what eLearning can offer, where it has fallen short, and how it can still be a tool for the future.

It’s Supposed to Be Exciting

Bernard Luskin, an early proponent of eLearning, says “The ‘e’ in e-learning means much more than “electronic” when applied to e-learning — think instead of a big ‘E’ for ‘exciting, energetic, engaging, extended’ learning.” While this may not be an accurate description of your experience with eLearning, here are some advantages to adding an eLearning component to corporate training:

eLearning: Benefits of Distance Learning/Training

With employees spread out across large areas, decentralized training reduces travel costs and time out of the field. eLearning can provide up-to-date training in a flexible timetable at a lower cost than training in person.

1. Changes are Updated Instantly for All Participants

Materials and training programs can be edited, with updates occurring instantly across the system.

2. Modules are Highly Interactive

High-quality eLearning modules provide interactive, memorable learning experiences with multimedia and simulated hands-on workplace training.

3. As-Needed Training for Learners

Training doesn’t have to be limited to a few instructor-led sessions a year. New hires can jump into training immediately. New information, such as handling objections b in response to recent news reports, can be developed and distributed instantly.

4. eLearning Can Be Part of Blended Learning

eLearning can supplement and support instructor-led training, video segments, textbooks, mobile apps, and other forms of instruction and performance support.

5. Less Expensive than Instructor-Led Training

Assembling a group for ILT is costly in many ways: travel expenses, the opportunity cost for the time out of the field, cost to provide the trainer, space, and bowls of candy on the tables.

6. Learning is Self-paced

eLearning modules can be responsive to the needs of the learners, who progress at their own speed. If they need to backtrack and spend more time on an unfamiliar concept, they can take as long as they need. In some cases, learners can move on through material they have already mastered.

7. Consistent message

eLearning provides a consistent message throughout the entire company. There is no risk of unapproved materials or messages. This is especially important in highly-regulated industries.

Learning Management System (LMS) Tracks Progress

An LMS will track an individual’s progress, completion of modules, and test scores. It will also allow you to maintain records of who has completed mandatory training for audits.

The Deadly Sins of eLearning

With all of this “exciting, energetic, and engaging” potential, why has eLearning earned a reputation as the torture chamber of training? The horrible eLearning experiences that make us wince in memory are the result of unimaginative, lazy, and cheap development. Here are the consequences:

Nothing More Than An Electronic Binder

Take the pages in a binder, move them to a screen, add an advance button and voila! Instant eLearning module and a torture device. This is the worst kind of eLearning program, and one of the reasons it has developed a bad reputation.

Ignorance of Multimedia Learning Principles

what makes elearning easyDr. Richard Mayer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been doing research into multimedia learning principles for years. Among his findings? The best learning occurs with a memorable image and narration—not with paragraphs of text on a screen. Mayer’s work is well-respected and widely available, so there’s no excuse for doing things in ways that are proven to be ineffective. Get the words off the screen and into the voice-over and give the learner an image to remember.

Reliance on Basic and Boring Interactions

Most basic interactions fall into one of two categories: click and reveal or drag and drop. But these basic functions can be jazzed up. Even better: create interactions that will actually mimic real-life job functions.

Important Information Embedded in Course

Why leave important information embedded at minute 35 of a 50-minute course without the ability to return to it easily? Menus should enable the learner to easily return to a completed course without having to pass 3 quizzes to get to that one bit of information. Even better, put that information into a .pdf that can be printed out for future reference.

Poorly Planned Development with Unclear Objectives

Information should be delivered in an organized, logical way to the learner can mentally store and retrieve it easily. This is not unique to eLearning; the same principles apply to ITL, binders, and your closet.

Information Download with No Learner Discovery

Adult learning principles are crucial in the design of an eLearning program. Learners who are motivated to discover information have better understanding, retention, and application than passive learners. Design the program with the end user’s needs in mind rather than the trainer’s needs. For example, beginning the program with a description of the learner’s benefits rather than the objectives shifts the focus from the trainer to the learner.

It’s too long!

It’s tempting to add in just a bit more information based on how long our ILT sessions are, but eLearning is a different animal. Keep it under 45 minutes—30 minutes is even better. Anything longer loses effectiveness.

Boring!!!

I think we all get this one. But steps are been taken to further make e-learning as interactive as possible. With massive investment in this industry, the future learning environment could feature interactive media and one on one learning experience with instructors even while on public transport. It is already in practice, just yet to be fully enrolled for the larger part of the audience. 

How can eLearning be an effective part of a sales enablement strategy?

elearning tree

With all of its potential advantages, eLearning still has a place at the table. What does that look like? Here are some ideas:

Make it Part of Blended Solution

Are you starting to hear a buzz about mlearning—moving training to mobile devices like an iPad? It’s a wonderful idea, especially since sales performance support apps are becoming common. But mobile devices have limitations, including smaller screens, less memory, multimedia limitations, and security issues. The best solutions will continue to be a blend of ILT, eLearning, and mobile, where each type can play to its unique strength.

Creates interactive, sticky, imaginative experiences

We’re getting better at creating real-life experiences, and eLearning will follow in Call of Duty’s path. eLearning doesn’t even have to be very good in comparison to gaming to become a whole lot better than it’s been.

Don’t make it simply an electronic binder

Get the text off the screen. This is so important, I’ll say it again. No text on the screen. Yes, I mean you. We can do better than that.

Emphasis on understanding, retention, application

When we focus on the three areas of understanding, retention, and application, and encourage thoughtfulness and creativity, eLearning modules will morph into effective programs that are enjoyable (because that is important to all three areas) and effective.

eLearning is not dead yet. We can revive it by using it with care in the right places and applying best practices to its design.

Do you have additions or questions to raise about the benefits of eLearning in this modern age? I’d love to discuss them with you below. Hit me up!

Is Facial Recognition Technology Ethical?

Facial recognition technology (FRT) continues to receive a tentative rollout. This is as different sectors continue to deploy facial scan devices in their different work stations. While some countries only use facial recognition technology as a security measure during high-profile events, others seem to have accepted its use across all sectors.

You will find that most of the airports and other public facilities that you visit have this facial recognition technology in place. This raises the question: isn’t this monitoring getting overboard?

This article discusses the important ethical issues surrounding facial recognition technology. We will also suggest effective ways of safeguarding your anonymity in a world that wants to spy on your every move.

Table of Contents

  1. What is facial recognition technology and what are the emerging trends?
  2. Definition of facial recognition technology and how it works
  3. Recent trends in facial recognition technology
  4. Is the use of facial recognition technology ethical?
  5. Advantages of facial recognition technology
  6. Disadvantages of facial recognition technology
  7. How you can protect yourself?

What is facial recognition technology and what are the emerging trends?

Is Facial Recognition Technology Ethical_
The rate at which the adoption of facial recognition technology (FRT) keeps increasing, it is becoming essential to review and do some facts checking in order to plan ahead for what the future holds.

Definition of facial recognition technology and how it works

Facial recognition can be simply defined as the use of cameras to identify a face from a photo or a video. Through an artificial intelligence system, a computer is able to mark the distinct features of a person’s face by taking note of key characteristics such as the actual measurements between the eyes and the ears, the structure of the jawbone, and other prominent facial features.

After gathering these features, the facial recognition device creates a face print or face map which is then stored in the system’s database. From this point, the face-scanning device can identify matching faces by simply comparing them to the face prints that are in their database.

Recent trends in facial recognition technology

Facial recognition technology is on the rise and the earlier we are aware of the trends, the better. Here are the recent trends that is shaping the path of this innovative and controversial technology;

1. Improvement in face-mapping innovations

There are more developments happening around this innovation. For instance, recent months have seen an improvement in this technology’s vision and capture ability. It’s now possible to take clearer captures that help depict the exact physical states of the individuals appearing on photos or on recorded videos.

2. Face recognition for internet banking

In a bid to enhance the security of their customers’ accounts, internet banking experts are now including facial recognition features as an additional security layer to the traditional verification methods such as passwords and email verification.

This technology is becoming more common as more online industries take it over as a fraud mitigation method.

3. More cameras at the airports

Various airlines from across the world have implemented a face scan technology at their airports. Many more airline companies have voiced their intentions to deploy the same across different airports all over the world.

This move continues to digitize check-ins and other travel clearances at the airports.

Is the use of facial recognition technology ethical?

Critics of the facial recognition technology say that it overrides on basic human rights. We’ll let you be the judge. Here is a look at the good and the bad about this technology.

Let’s explore them below.

Advantages of facial recognition technology

It is trendy! In fact, it is a state of the art and innovative technology! And it doesn’t end there, these are other advantages of facial identification;

1. Better security

With the use of surveillance cameras, facial recognition has made identification and tracking of criminals such as thieves and trespassers much easier. Government security agencies are also able to identify terror suspects with the help of this technology.

2. Streamlined identification process

Facial recognition technology has helped phase out the traditional identification processes that were not only time consuming but also suffered high inaccuracies. The facial recognition identification process provides an alternative that is not only fast but also secure. 

3. Fast and more secure processes

A face recognition process is fast and secure. It outdoes the other authentication processes that are always susceptible to attacks. It provides instant results which makes the identification process flow more smoothly.

Disadvantages of facial recognition technology

Although it might be changing the way many things are done, facial recognition has its dark side. For anything that is termed innovative and disruptive, there is always room for abuse/misuse and here are the disadvantages of using facial recognition in this modern-day era.

1. Possibility of recognition errors

Being a system that runs on artificial intelligence, a slight change in the positioning of a recognition camera can give an erroneous result.

If this happens in an identification or authentication process, a user may be denied access because of the slightest changes in appearance or the camera’s capture position. 

2. Data breaches

This is where the question on the ethical viability of facial recognition rises. While the collected data may be intended to track down the lawbreakers, it can also track everyone else down. Including you; anytime, anywhere.

3. Lack of regulation

Most countries do not have any regulations governing the use of facial recognition technology. As a result, different entities continue using it without a clear and consistent framework. Without a regulated guideline, data collected from these processes can be misused.

How you can protect yourself?

The thought of having your every move monitored can be overwhelming. However, it is difficult for you to stay away from all public places that have a surveillance system in place. Aware of the existing vulnerabilities in this technology, you can do a few things that will keep you protected. They include:

1. Wearing a mask

You can always prevent a facial scan device from capturing your face by wearing a mask. This will make it difficult for the device to scan the bottom area of your face. A mask will help hide the targeted areas such as the nose and jawbones.

2. Wearing a hat

Wearing a hat is another way to protect you from unwanted surveillance. Hats with brims help obscure the shape of your face protecting a shield from cameras especially those that are mounted on high walls.

3. Editing your photos before sharing them on social media

Memorable moments are marked by memorable photos and we all love sharing them online. It is, however, advisable to vary the original photos by modifying them. Go for modifications that make photos hard to scan using a facial recognition system.

4. Styling up wisely

Maintain a look that is difficult for the cameras to scan. Consider stylish looks that block sections of your face that are mostly targeted by facial scans. Areas to disguise in your looks include the eyes, nose, forehead, and jawbones.

5. Opting out of the Facebook recognition feature

Facebook uses a facial recognition feature that enables it to identify your face from photos in order to suggest a tag. Stay out of this recognition feature by turning it off. Once logged in, you can disable this feature from the settings and privacy tab.

6. Using VPN to safeguard your anonymity

The government and other spying agencies may go out of their way to spy on you. However, you can still safeguard your online activities by using a VPN to guarantee your anonymity.

VPNs encrypt online interactions making them invisible to any third party. This is to say, should any spy agency succeed in accessing your face print from some facial recognition database, they still will not be able to track you down based on your online activities.

VPN data encryption technology makes data invisible to spies and therefore inaccessible. It’s a sure way of keeping important information relating to your personal data private.

Conclusion

As different sectors of the world continue to deploy facial scan devices in their work stations, facial recognition technology (FRT) is on an upward curve, and it is not going to stop anytime soon – that is why exploring the dangers and the benefits look ideal today. Clearly, the rate at which facial recognition equipment has been embraced tells us that this technology is here to stay. This is despite the many ethical concerns that surround its use. Governments need to wake up and protect their people by coming up with legislative policies that take care of the privacy and data breach concerns.

As we wait for the much-needed actions to be taken, you can maximize the tricks discussed above. Practicing them can make your face difficult for the systems to identify and you might just be able to get away with some anonymity.

Post-COVID-19 Solution: How to Start Accepting Crypto Payments

A mini-guide for entrepreneurs in preparation for the Post-COVID-19 era where accepting crypto payments (cryptocurrency payments) will soon become the norm, and the future of online payments, written in partnership with TechAtLast by the PARSIQ team.

Do not wait for your customers to ask when you will start accepting cryptocurrencies. There are many advantages that your business can gain by adding this payment method. 

A simple mention – “We accept Bitcoin” – on your website is guaranteed to get noticed by customers who are looking for the opportunities to pay with cryptocurrency, not fiat. These people are extremely likely to tell their friends about a new crypto-friendly merchant they found.

“Since we started accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment three months ago, our sales have jumped a whopping 427%,” Lynx Art Collection team reported last year.

LYNX ART COLLECTION

Companies should consider accepting cryptocurrencies in order to not only offer new payment methods to existing customers but also to acquire new clients from the crypto and blockchain ecosystem. This is a real win-win path to increasing revenue that cannot be ignored.

Are cryptocurrencies payment a salvation bay during and after the crisis?

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, cash has become one of the threats to human life and health. According to researchers, a total of 397 bacterial species representing more than 20 bacterial phyla live on the surface of banknotes.

Microbes found on circulating currency in New York City during the summer period
Microbes found on circulating currency in New York City during the summer period. Credit: doi.org

In order to protect people from an additional source of coronavirus infection, the Chinese government decided to disinfect cash with ultraviolet light, and the South Korean authorities quarantined cash and even burned some of the banknotes.

Besides the fact that banknotes have become a kind of old-fashioned payment, most companies have transferred their employees to remote work. Therefore, in self-isolation conditions, consumer habits gradually changed. As a result, most purchases have gone online – the number of global e-commerce transactions increased by 23% after the rise of the pandemic.

Cryptocurrencies are a separate and very promising type of online payment. Therefore, in this document, we will emphasize the main aspects of connecting digital currencies to your business.

“Since PARSIQ works as a bridge between cryptocurrency payments and traditional business finance, we noticed a new wave of demand for automation of cryptocurrency-related activity. Therefore, we can assume that businesses consider cryptocurrency a new way to grow profits and gain new customers,” says Tom Tirman, Co-Founder of PARSIQ.

The rise of cryptocurrency payments

On the CoinMap portal, you can find a world map with indicated locations of all the stores and ATMs accepting cryptocurrency. According to the site at the time of writing, there were 19,369 such venues around the world.

Indicated locations of all the stores and ATMs merchants accepting cryptocurrency payments
Illustration (heatmap graph) indicating locations of all the stores and ATMs merchants accepting cryptocurrency payments around the world. So far, as at June 3, 2020, there are about 19400 venues all over the world. The figure will keeps increasing as the adoption of cryptocurrency payments increases worldwide.

Cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity as a means for value exchange and as a method of payment for goods and services. In the US, crypto is not considered legal tender. However, it is fungible, as exchanges are considered to be money transmitters, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This enables businesses to legally accept digital currencies as payment.

In most jurisdictions, cryptocurrency regulation is enforced when it is exchanged as security. As a method of payment and in general use, however, such jurisdictions as the European Union, most require that utilization is under KYC and AML regulations to ensure that cryptocurrencies are not used for illicit or illegal purposes, such as terrorist financing and money laundering.

Having multiple options for cost reduction, crypto wallets, and exchanges enable businesses to have flexibility in terms of accepting B2C or B2B payments using cryptocurrency.

How to start accepting cryptocurrency payments

Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments - How to Start Accepting Crypto Payments During Post-COVID-19 Era for Entrepreneurs
TechAtLast partners with PARSIQ team to bring you a mini-guide for entrepreneurs in anticipation and preparation for the Post-COVID-19 era in which we strongly believe that accepting cryptocurrency payments for business transactions will be the new normal same way that Covid-19 has rendered oldfashioned business processes obsolete. It will be a very smart decision for business owners and industry leaders to invest in research and development of cryptocurrency based payment solutions going forward. For this reason, TECHATLAST, as an industry leader is spearheading the research and data gathering process to help intending business owners make informed decision on accepting crypto payments. Read and enjoy!

Here are some options that your business can consider in accepting cryptocurrency payments:

Payment processors. The most straightforward and simplest means to accept crypto payments would be through a payment processor. This partner will basically accept the payment in cryptocurrency and then remit into your business account in fiat currency or other preferred means. Some examples are Dash, BitPay and Coinbase Commerce.

Crypto wallet. The most direct means to accept crypto payments would be the peer-to-peer option, wherein you provide your payment address. This will require that you establish a wallet account available on mobile and desktop apps, or even as a physical device. 

You can then utilize exchange services to convert your crypto into fiat or even into other cryptocurrencies. Some wallets have convenient built-in exchange functionality so that businesses can quickly convert from one crypto to another, or even to fiat, with minimal hassle.

Point-of-Sale solutions. Another option for accepting cryptocurrency payment is through a PoS solution that accepts digital currencies. As with payment processors, this will also entail the service provider remitting the funds through fiat or other preferred means after the transaction goes through.

Regulations, compliance, and establishing trust in the crypto ecosystem

As earlier mentioned, most jurisdictions require compliance with KYC and AML regulations, which means businesses will also need to provide such information when establishing accounts for receiving crypto payments. Transparency in transactions is one way to ensure compliance with such regulations. 

This also enhances trust between the parties involved. Instant notifications provided by PARSIQ’s Smart-Triggers, for example, gives both merchants and customers the assurance of transactions as they are confirmed on the blockchain. There is no need to manually monitor the progress of such transactions. The platform automates this crypto monitoring, analytics, and notification platform so that your business can focus on what matters–building value for your customers and industry.

Pros tips for accepting crypto payments:

Cryptocurrency payments provide unique advantages over traditional digital payment solutions. Businesses can start accepting crypto payments to save time and reduce transaction fees while staying compliant.

Pro tips for accepting crypto payments using PARSIQ
Accepting crypto payments offers unique advantages than traditional digital payment solutions that we have been used to. Lets explore some of the advantages of accepting cryptocurrency payments for your online and offline business.

Save time. Automate your business needs–save hours or manual work using customizable notification services. In just a few clicks, you can specify how and where to accept crypto payments from your customers. No need to manually accept payments each time. 

Lower cost. Existing digital payment options, most notably credit cards, can charge fees up to 3%. This can add up to exorbitant costs for businesses over time. Instead, crypto payments can drastically lower transaction costs, as seen in the case of a cryptocurrency exchange who transacted US$1.26 billion worth of Bitcoin for just US$124.60, or less than 0.00001% of the payment volume. Businesses can automate the processing of payment deposits at scale to save costs over time. 

Stay compliant. Keep up to date with the latest AML and KYC regulations by making sure you have the right compliance measures in place for accepting crypto payments. Using transaction monitoring services, businesses can monitor payment transactions at scale to collect and analyze important regulatory information. Know if incoming payments originate from blacklisted or high-risk addresses so that your business can take appropriate action in real-time.

PARSIQ monitoring enables businesses to set up alerts according to amount thresholds, such as limiting the maximum payment accepted per transaction. When thresholds are triggered, the service notifies you through your connected application with the transaction details, so that you can quickly react with proper compliance measures. 

Summary on accepting crypto payments

Digital payments have proven to be a necessity in today’s economic climate. According to the World Economic Forum, central banks around the world are recognizing the viability of digital currency as an alternative to cash, since it reduces physical contact and thus the possibility of spreading the coronavirus.

The global pandemic has led many businesses to close down physical operations and shift toward digital commerce and payments instead. Accepting crypto payments can accelerate your business’ digital transformation, and it will enable businesses of all sizes to quickly recover and even thrive during and after the economic uncertainty resulting from COVID-19.

A little bit about PARSIQ

PARSIQ is a blockchain monitoring and workflow automation platform that serves as a multi-level bridge between blockchains and off-chain applications. PARSIQ’s features automate the blockchain analytics and monitoring process, providing customizable workflows with real-time intelligence.

People behind PARSIQ are experienced and highly qualified industry professionals that are passionate about blockchain technology. Our ultimate goal is to push forward the mass adoption of blockchain technology by providing the necessary solutions. We want to give everyone the ability to understand and manipulate blockchain data streams.

With PARSIQ, we are making it easier to integrate blockchain infrastructures into existing businesses with an additional layer of monitoring and automation for blockchain-specific asset management.

Details on solutions provided by PARSIQ can be found here.

Conclusion

With this guide, you should be able to start accepting cryptocurrency payments anytime soon as the world of industries is bracing for the impact of the aftermath of the novel Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled almost every business around the world.

Other resources on blockchain and cryptocurrency:

How to Fix ‘Cannot Open Your Default Email Folders’ Error in Microsoft Outlook

MS Outlook from Microsoft is one of the foremost used email clients serving not only Windows users but also Mac users (as Outlook for Mac) providing ease with email handling. With lots of perks on one side, there are some drawbacks to the other. From many Outlook users, many undergo sudden issues popping on the sort of nowhere such as “cannot open your default email folders error”. Microsoft launched numerous service & product specific forums on which the users can post their queries. If you’ll have a sight on Office forums, it is easy to notice the wave of issues with which users are struggling with and the ways in which they are affecting their productivity.

How to Fix ‘Cannot open your default email folders’ Error in Outlook
There are many errors to look forward to while running Microsoft Outlook in compatibility mode, and one of them that is so popular is “Cannot open your default email folders. The information store could not be opened”. We are going to be proffering possible solutions to fixing the error.

Understand why OST file corrupts!

OST files are Offline Storage Tables, which holds a replica of the first mailbox available on the Exchange Server. This copy synchronizes at specific intervals. Thus it enables the account owner to possess access to the mailbox all the time even without the server connectivity.

There are several reasons why Outlook’s OST emails become inaccessible (Cannot open your default email folder):

  • Deletion of file(s) or folder(s) from Exchange folder.
  • Malware or virus attack.
  • Synchronization failure due to abnormal shutdown failure.
  • The outlook is crashing because of internal discrepancies.
  • Bad sector error within the disk drive where the OST file is stored.
  • Changes in the internal structure of the Outlook OST file.
  • Add-ins are causing damage to the OST file.

How to Fix OST file corruption issue

  1. Remove silent (not in use) Outlook OST profiles:

Open Outlook and navigate to File tab > Account Settings > Manage Profiles; click Show Profiles. From there you’ll select all the silent Outlook profiles and take away them.

  1. Make another copy of the Outlook OST file; this may eliminate all the problems related to the old OST file.
  2. In case if the error isn’t sorted even after browsing the above steps then, create a replacement profile.

Error due to running in Compatibility Mode

Generally, Compatibility Mode isn’t required for Outlook (any version) on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. So, it’s not suggested using compatibility mode for any application that’s designed for Windows.

Below are the most common errors which you might have encountered because of running Outlook in Compatibility Mode:

  • “Cannot open your default email folders. The information store could not be opened.”
  • “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook Windows. The server is not available. Contact your administrator if this condition persists.”
  • “Cannot display the folder. File access is denied. You don’t have the permission required to access the file: C:\Users\XYZ\localsettings\application\data\microsoft\outlook\outlook.ost”

Compatibility mode creates conflicts if enabled for Outlook. Therefore, you must think of disabling it if you face any issues.

Steps to Disable Compatibility Mode on 64-bit Windows OS

  1. Navigate to the address: C:\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\Office XX\Outlook.exe.
  2. Right-click on the application (exe), click on Properties, and select the Compatibility tab.
  3. Remove the checkbox named Run this program in compatibility mode, click Apply; click Ok.

If still, the Compatibility tab is missing, then execute the steps below:

  • Click Start > search for Program Compatibility Troubleshooter.
  • Start the utility; click Next;
  • Select Outlook XX from the list of programs.
  • Follow the steps for disabling Compatibility Mode.

Addittional Guide

Use a professional tool

Using a professional OST to PST Converter tool is that the best thanks to repairing and recover OST file data and avoid any chances of things going bad. It is quite common that not all the users are techy and possess enough technical knowledge to return over issues like this, especially once you are handling your business email with Outlook.

With this tool, you can re-create and recover damaged OST files without even worrying about fixing the issue in the first place. The tool offers a fragile GUI for simple access & offers standard user-friendliness. You can even import multiple corrupt or damaged Outlook OST files directly and repair all of them during a single go.

Conclusion

It is often difficult to seek out out an appropriate solution for the error you are facing with Microsoft Outlook, as there are many errors that will occur and reflect badly on user’s productivity. We’ve listed the most appropriate methods which can come handy in such a situation in dealing with cannot open your default email folders error. Overall, it’s recommended to use a knowledgeable tool initially to avoid data loss.

There are many errors attached to running Microsoft Outlook in compatibility mode, one of them is “Cannot open your default email folders. The information store could not be opened” which happens to be the focal point for this article, I strongly believe by following the guidelines above, you should have a breakthrough with fixing the issue.

5 Apps To Maximize Your Smartphone’s Performance

Brian and his squad made a sudden plan to go camping the next day. All his friends rushed to the mall to buy some clothes and other essentials. But Brian plopped on the couch with his laptop and smartphone. His phone was acting weird lately, and he wanted to fix all issues before they leave. After all, you can manage with old tees, but a poor performing phone is simply not an option. Brian is smart. Be like Brian.

It is inevitable that, over time, the performance of your smartphone will diminish. As you gather more files and the number of installed apps on your phone increases, the OS gets burdened and slows down.

According to mobile phone usage statistics, the average smartphone owner uses their phone for more than 3 hours a day. With such broad usage length, you cannot expect a device to maintain a similar performance level for its entire life.

There will be a point when it gives up. And when it does, consider using either (or combination) of the following apps for performance maximization:

How To Maximize Your Smartphone Performance With Performance Test Apps
To keep your smartphone performance under check, there are smartphone performance test apps that you can use to improve its health.

1. Antutu Benchmark

A meticulous inspection helps you make better decisions.

Antutu Benchmark is one of the leading benchmarking applications with more than 100 million users. It helps the user to check the performance of their device. It gives your device an overall numerical score and assigns a rating for every test it performs.

It comes in pretty handy when you plan on installing a new game or app with high-resolution graphics. There are three phases of Antutu Benchmark:

First – It checks the performance of RAM on your device using continuous data streams for testing device endurance

Second It simplifies how your phone terminal handles 2D graphics

Third It analyzes the endurance using 3D graphics, using a 3D sequence

Antutu recently claimed that their latest tests “better reflect real-world use cases.” With its precise scrutiny structure, the app focuses on providing detailed info about battery level and its internal temperature.

Antutu Benchmark is more or less similar to the Droid Optimizer, as it follows the same pattern of ranking system.

2. Battery Doctor

Get your phone a diagnostic run with this doc!

Battery Doctor is a comprehensive battery health app that will give you an idea of how you are using your phone and ways to extend its life. There are options to optimize performance where you can automatically adjust the settings to limit connectivity and data usage.

Over 100 million Android users are using it for its intelligent power prediction and professional charging capabilities. It shuts down the background apps, unused functions, and dims the screen. Plus, it keeps the phone battery healthy by notifying when to start and stop charging.

It shows a small battery percentage indicator on the taskbar, having a green ring when the charge is good enough. But when it reaches the mid-range, the ring goes yellow. These colors give you a quick assessment of the battery situation.

The combination of these features makes it a highly relevant app for those looking to prolong their battery life and boost their phone performance.

3. Clean Master

A complete package to beat the internal/external threats.

CleanMaster is one of the most popular junk cleaning apps in the virtual marketplace. Recent stats show that the app has 43 million reviews on the Google Play Store.

The app offers a bunch of tools like memory booster, app manager, junk cleaner, and file shredder. You can use it to check if your system contains malicious files that eat up resources or crash the device. Unlike an antivirus program, this app provides a detailed review of the data flagged for deletion.

Clean Master (Phone Master) Cleans junks, saves battery and extend data life
Clean Master, now known as Phone Master, is all-round smartphone performance enhancement suite that cleans junks, saves battery and extend data life, etc. It does more than we can detail here.

In addition to removing unwanted files, CleanMaster provides you an option of boosting the current operating state of the phone by terminating unnecessary procedures in the background.

As for the malware and bugs that creep into the system, CleanMaster deploys an algorithm similar to AirG spam-free apps that rids your phone off all harmful spam and bugs. Hence, not only internal, but it also minimizes external threats.

When you use this app, you will notice a clear difference in the phone’s performance and optimization.

4. DU Speed Booster

Striking out the straining elements is just one tap!

DU Speed Booster falls into the list of super cool optimizing apps. Currently, it is running on more than one million devices across the globe. With a single-tap optimizing feature, you can enhance the speed of your phone by 60%. It has a user-friendly interface, with clear calls-to-action (CTA).

DU Speed Booster serves multiple purpose of cleaning trash, saving battery, protecting your phone and enhancing your smartphone performance, all in one place. With its update layout and improved security features. Updated Device layout, you can speed up your phone performance with ease.

It has the following features for boosting the speed of your smartphone:

  • Clears up RAM space
  • Cleans out system trash, cache, and assorted downloaded files
  • Shuts down background apps
  • Checks for viruses and harmful files
  • Evaluates charging level and speed
  • Turns your phone silent as per your instructions

This app has an integrated active engine to monitor and release the resources when required. It seems to be the perfect choice when you have overloaded the device and need guidance on how to refresh it.

5. Advanced Mobile Care Security (AMC)

Perk up your phone with exceptional optimization!

Advanced Mobile Care Security by IObit has more than 20 million users worldwide. It is an all-in-one security and performance app that performs real-time virus scans and comes with multiple other optimization features.

Advanced Mobile Care Security (AMC Security) - Cleaner, Booster, Antivirus
To maximize your smartphone performance, Advanced Mobile Care Security (AMC Security) could be an ideal app to install. It works as a cleaner, booster, and at the same time, as an antivirus.

It helps to clean all kinds of junk files (residual files, privacy records, cache junks, etc.) to clean phone memory. Like other apps, this one also contains regular features of RAM boost, averting useless notifications, and deletion of unwanted files. Also, it has a Privacy Locker to protect your photos, videos, and all other private data from prying eyes.

AMC has three battery saving modes to extend battery life and inform users about apps consuming the most power. When you kill unnecessary tasks and make regular backups with this app, the performance of your phone will eventually improve.

Final Thoughts

A poorly performing smartphone is irritating and highly inconvenient. However, it’s a given that your phone will gradually slow after a few years. The best remedial action is to give it periodic fixes through optimization apps.

We hope you will get your phone running back at full speed through the apps listed above. If you think there is more to add, feel free to tell us in the comments.

When speed matters a lot, having some of these smartphone performance apps to improve the device health would be an ideal way to

How to Troubleshoot YouTube Videos Are Not Playing Issue

If you have smartphone or computer that is not playing youtube videos, we have covered in this article step by step guide to fix the issue.

Sometimes, when you open YouTube to play and watch videos, you may face different kinds of issues like YouTube black screen, Not Playing Youtube video, YouTube won’t play, YouTube green screen and YouTube videos not loading, etc; these issues will stop you from watching YouTube videos successfully. But how can you fix it?

How to Fix YouTube Videos Not Playing Issue
As the #1 Video search engine all over the world, you can’t ignore the massive impact Youtube is having on people. From tutorials to comedy and other entertainments, we can’t just get enough of it. But there’s a challenge, inability to play videos.

There can be so many reasons/issues behind YouTube videos won’t play error that prevents YouTube videos from playing such as computer issues, mobile issues, internet issues or browser issues, etc. So, if you’re facing difficulties in playing videos on the ‘YouTube platform’ then, it is suggested you can perform the basic troubleshooting tips to eradicate this ‘YouTube won’t play’ error easily.

Therefore, here’re the basic troubleshooting ways to fix the above-mentioned reasons/issues behind “YouTube Videos Won’t Play” error:

  • Internet issues: To fix it, check the Internet Connection and if it’s slow, you can try to lower the YouTube video quality before playing it. Other than that, try connecting with another Internet Connection or fix the local networking problem by reconnecting back your modem and Wi-Fi router
  • Browser issues: To solve it, restart or refresh the browser page, clear the browsing history and cache, etc. Also, if required update the browser or disable extensions from settings in order to play YouTube videos smoothly.
  • Computer issues: To resolve many computer problems, give a quick reboot to your system or update your operating system with the latest update.
  • Mobile issues: To eradicate mobile issues, clear the cache data of your YouTube app and then open it again. Also, if needed, uninstalls the app from your mobile and then download as well as install it again on your device to play YouTube videos effectively.

Now, as you know all the basic fixes to bring your YouTube back to normal again, but there are also some users who are still unable to fix YouTube not playing error. So, in this case, try the other ways that are below-given to resolve the YouTube error:

Modify the YouTube Videos Quality:

  • To do so, you have to click on the ‘Gear Icon’ that is there at the bottom of the YouTube video.
  • After clicking that, a menu will pop-out in front of you, and from that you have to click on the ‘Quality’ option.
  • Then, from all the available options of the YouTube video quality, select the smallest number of quality values.
  • Now, try to play the YouTube video, if it loads successfully then you can even raise its quality a little higher until and unless you figure-out the highest quality which your internet network can stream easily.
How to Troubleshoot YouTube Videos Are Not Playing Issue
To watch your favorite Youtube channel, you will need a good internet connection. But in a situation where Youtube videos are not playing, what do you do?

Check YouTube-Server:

Many a time, YouTube platform server issues also lead to YouTube videos not playing error. Therefore, in this case, use the online detector service to check whether the server is down for everyone or just for you.

  • To do so, you can try the following services:
    • Down Detector
    • Is It Down Right Now
    • Down For Everyone Or Just Me
    • Outage Report
  • Then, directly go to the search bar of these services, and then type ‘YouTube.’
  • That’s it! Now, the website will provide you the server report of YouTube with the help of which you can find out that server is down for everybody, or is it just for you.
  • If it is for everybody, then you have to just wait until it rectifies from the YouTube side only.

Download the YouTube videos directly on your mobile device or computer system:

If still the issue is not resolved then why not simply download and save the YouTube videos to your mobile or to your computer system in order to watch them anytime, anywhere without the Internet connection.

To do so, download a YouTube downloader such as a ‘MiniTool uTube Downloader’ which is a free utility tool with which you can download the YouTube videos that you need to watch. Not only that but, with this tool you can download the video in different types such as:

  • YouTube to MP4
  • YouTube to MP3
  • YouTube to WebM
  • YouTube to FLAC, etc

After completing the installation process of this software on your device, you can access its main interface which is very similar to the YouTube interface that means you will not face any difficulty in using it.

  • Now, to download a YouTube video, sign in with your Google account and search for the one using this software’s search bar.
  • Then, once the video opens, simply click on the ‘Download’ button to download the YouTube video which you want to watch. Also, make sure to select the video quality before downloading it into your computer.
  • That’s it! Now, go to the downloaded YouTube videos folder to watch YouTube videos easily.

However, if then also, you’re unable to resolve the issue then take help from some technical site like GetAssist in this matter as their technical team will definitely help you with all your technical queries.

Virtual Meeting Apps – A Reality for the future in the Event Industry

Virtual meeting apps seemingly looking like the future recipe for event organizers around the world as Covid-19 offers new reality for the event management industry.

One of the primary objectives for the guests to attend any physical event is to meet new people in their industry and network. But with the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, hosting physical events seems to be a wish far removed from reality. Since face to face meeting is almost impossible nowadays, so we have to host events virtually. That seems to be the future of keeping the event industry smooth and running.

In our daily routine, we do a lot of stuff virtually. For example, you might start your day by answering to different emails and checking out the Google doc shared by your colleague. Inform your colleague that the sheet that he/she shared is ready. Later in the evening, you might be reporting your daily tasks and achievements to your reporting officer through a virtual meeting app. There are different other tools that you are using in your daily life. But there is only one aspect of business that is untouched and yet to use any virtual platforms, that is the event industry.

Virtual Meetings Apps - A Reality for the future in the Event Industry and Organizers
With the look of things, virtual meeting apps are becoming more popularly and highly in-demand on daily basis for event organizers in the wake of novel Covid-19 pandemic around the world, let’s explore what the future looks like for the event managers in the industry.

The event organizers and attendees are not used to attending a total virtual event. We all are accustomed to the only face to face meeting and the schedule includes boarding a plane for the conference, carry business cards, have a detailed study on the keynote speakers, sessions breakouts, and presenting our products and features in front of probable customers. 

Virtual events seem to the only way to sail through the event industry during this COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has taken the world by storm, it had a very serious effect on the event industry, with most of the events either getting canceled or postponed for an indefinite period. So the event industry needs extraordinary measures for both event organizers and software providers.

The good news during this turmoil is that most of the event organizers have started using virtual meeting apps to host virtual events. The most important change is that virtual events are gaining popularity and some of the organizers have already started to believe that it is going to totally replace the in-person events. The main advantage of the process is that any attendee can join from anywhere using any device. So it increases the rate of attendance with the comfort of everyone.

Now, the question is which part of an event to be hosted virtually. A simple one to one discussion session can be managed through a simple virtual streaming platform. But a complex matchmaking event needs an event management software. For instance, a Q&A session can be managed through a robust streaming platform, which allows a specific number of attendees to join at the same time. For more complex meetings or conferences like business matchmaking events, different types of virtual meeting platforms can be used. These applications normally have the same type of features as a complex business matchmaking app and is a great way to foster remote networking.

The virtual meeting app is based on a new concept of networking from home. A virtual event app acts the same as a business matchmaking app giving a chance to communicate between buyers and sellers, start-ups and investors, corporates and MBEs, exhibitors, and attendees. It creates an environment for the guests in creating a group matching by sitting in the comfort of their homes.

There are many advantages to virtual events. For starters, it helps in increasing participation by reducing cost as the event organizer doesn’t need to book any venue. Everything in a virtual meeting is recorded and that can be shared with the attendees at any time. Users also know whom they met, what has been the conversation which can later help them in generating leads. It reduces the cost by cutting down the accommodation cost. Not only that, but it also helps the attendees to interact with each other without spending a single penny on flight fare and hotel charges.

It also helps the speakers, they don’t have a move or bear any extra cost from moving one place to another. They have to be just present in front of the computer/laptop/mobile/tablet on a specified time to interact with the other attendees. It saves time and costs too.

The long list of advantages doesn’t stop here. The most important advantages include broad reach and free recordings. Virtual events don’t have any boundaries. Anybody from any location can join from the comfort of their home through just one click.

Finally, there are some places were hosting an event or even coming from that place to attend any physical event is almost next to impossible. But virtual event solves this problem. You just have to be present in front of any device to attend the event from any place around the globe and under any circumstances.

There are some other reasons which prove that virtual events will rule the event industry in the coming years. First, live streaming is one the rise nowadays as most of us are having smartphones with proper internet connections, and videos are an integral part of our daily life. Communication has become a lot easier nowadays. It is available within a single touch on your mobile phone. Video calls, Facebook live streaming have become an integral part of our daily life. So the event industry won’t stay behind also. The event organizers will realize the benefits and most of the events will be shifting to virtual. Secondly, the benefit of tracking attendee feedback digitally helps in creating personalized follow-up content for the attendees. The organizers will be able to track session wise engagements and it can help in creating materials that can be shared among the attendees. Apart from that, the event organizers will be able to conduct polls, surveys which will help them to measure session wise engagements, which will help them to create related materials later on.  

In conclusion, COVID–19 has changed the way of planning and hosting an event. Today, event planners are considering virtual meeting apps to host complex matchmaking events. It is not only helping the organizers to host an event, but also creating an environment which is more interactive and mirror-in person events. That is why most of the event organizers are turning towards virtual meeting software to create networking opportunities for attendees and create a personalized experience for everyone involved.  

The Event Industry is going through a revolution with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event organizers are moving towards virtual events nowadays. It seems that this is the added feature that is going to rule the future of the event industry. And with this, the event tech companies have also started to develop software to help the industry sail through this situation.

Coronavirus outbreak unleashed the new normal on us and virtual meeting apps could end up being one of the tools that event management business owners could be relying on to meet up with the new event industry standards.

Are you into event management? What are the ways Covid-19 had, either positively or negatively, impacted your business? Do you care to share?

7 Ways to Nurture Customer Loyalty with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Using artificial intelligence (AI) can help you offer personalized experiences to your customers and potential buyers. But did you know that it can help you build customer loyalty? Here is how:


Grand View Research, Inc. predicted that the global artificial intelligence (AI) market size will grow to $390.9 billion by 2025.

Why will this market grow so much?

Because marketers who want to stand out from the competition are finding ways to implement artificial intelligence to grow their businesses.

A Gartner study found that 59% of marketers adopted AI-powered solutions for their businesses in 2019. Most marketers planned to implement more AI-powered applications by 2022.

Gartner study found that 59% of marketers adopted AI-powered solutions for their businesses in 2019
A study by Gartner found that organizations foresee substantial acceleration in their adoption of artificial intelligence-powered solutions, unlike others.

There is a need to offer better customer experiences and automate tasks. And AI-powered solutions can help you do that effectively.

With AI, you can make better decisions, follow a customer-centric approach, and improve customer experiences. All of this will eventually help you build and enhance customer loyalty.

But how can AI help you do all of this?

Let’s find out.

Table of Contents

How Can AI Help You Build and Enhance Customer Loyalty?

1. Leverage Personalization

2. Reduce Resolution Time with AI-Powered Chatbots

3. Run Data-Driven Customer Loyalty Programs

4. Predict Customer Behaviors

5. Engage Your Customers Better

6. Offer Dynamic Pricing

7. Incorporate Self-Service Options

Are You Ready to Nurture Customer Loyalty with AI?

How To Nurture Customer Loyalty with Artificial Intelligence
AI can help you offer personalized experiences to your customers and potential buyers. Here is how you can nurture and enhance customer loyalty with Artificial Intelligence (AI) while improving your ROI by over 50%.

How Can AI Help You Build and Enhance Customer Loyalty?

AI is continuously shaping the future of marketing.

It is offering marketers a way to offer custom experiences that meet the needs, interests, and preferences of individuals. Offering personalized experiences can encourage customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value (CLV or often CLTV).

Here are a few ways in which you can use AI to nurture customer loyalty:

1. Leverage Personalization

Using AI-powered solutions can enable you to identify the needs of each customer by tracking their behaviors and interests across touchpoints. You can then use this data to give them custom product recommendations and offers.

This will help you channelize your marketing efforts in the right direction and deliver better customer experiences. It will, eventually, help you build loyalty.

91% of consumers are more likely to shop from brands that remember and recognize them and give them relevant recommendations and offers. Another study found that 72% of consumers only engage with messages tailored to their interests.

With personalization, you can offer consumers what they are actually looking for or what they’re interested in. And when you do so, they are less likely to look up to your competitors for solutions.

2. Reduce Resolution Time with AI-Powered Chatbots

Have you ever had to wait for a long time for a customer service agent to pick up your call?

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Offering consumers fast response times is crucial for businesses that want to stand out. But it isn’t always easy to do so.

You need to leverage the right technology to handle large volumes of customer inquiries. This is where AI-powered chatbots come into the picture.

There are many chatbot platforms that allow you to build custom bots for your business. These automated, AI-powered bots can help you handle multiple customer requests at once and provide faster, reliable solutions.

They can also help you improve the quality of customer service experiences you offer to your existing customers and potential buyers.

Using these AI-powered chatbots can help you:

  • Offer personalized customer care support, 24/7.
  • Set up a knowledge base with responses to basic customer inquiries.
  • Bots can learn with every customer interaction using machine learning. So, you can offer improved experiences every time.
  • Collect more information about your customers/clients that will help you deliver better experiences. Your human agents will be able to see each consumer’s full history, issues highlighted, and solutions offered.
  • Some intelligent bots can also help you drive sales by recommending, cross-selling, and upselling products to customers.
  • AI chatbots can also ask relevant questions and use the customer’s responses to make tailored suggestions.

3. Run Data-Driven Customer Loyalty Programs

AI-powered solutions allow you to collect data and segment customers based on their past purchases. This can help you determine their customer lifetime value (CLV), their future buying potential, and how likely they are to leave.

Using these details about your customers, you can offer incentives to your most-valued and high-paying customers. This will help you enhance customer loyalty, improve your retention rate, and bring in more business.

4. Predict Customer Behaviors

AI-powered solutions can help you predict the future actions of your customers using predictive analysis. By analyzing a customer’s past behaviors and purchasing history, AI-powered tools can help you identify what they may look for next.

You can also find potential threats that could derail customers from the buying journey.

For example, you can keep track of what a customer purchases and how often they purchase it. Tracking this can help you ensure that you have enough stock and you don’t run out of products.

You can also send personalized discount offers on their favorite products, right when they are thinking of buying them. This can help you shorten their sales cycle.

By keeping customers happy, you can nurture their loyalty towards your brand.

5. Engage Your Customers Better

What is an important driver of customer loyalty?

A study by PwC found that consumers are likely to endorse a brand, make repeat purchases, and be more loyal to a brand if they feel appreciated. They are also willing to try additional products from brands that deliver superior customer experiences.

One of the best ways to engage your audience and make them feel valued is to interact with them on social media.

You can use AI-powered social listening tools to identify the products or services they like, their top complaints, and the type of content they resonate the most with. You can use these insights to address their common questions and concerns and encourage positive interactions.

You can also engage them by hosting activities that are easy to participate in. For example, you can host a photo-sharing contest or a simple poll to generate engagement.

If you find it difficult to plan and manage consistent social engagement activities, you can also hire a marketing agency with a portfolio of successful social campaigns.

What’s more?

Consumers are willing to pay more for greater convenience, and friendly, welcoming experiences. The same PwC study also showed that 65% of U.S. consumers find positive experiences with a brand to be more influential than great marketing.

AI can help you offer better customer experiences through seamless communications, 24/7 customer support, omnichannel experiences, and personalized messaging. This can, in turn, help you build and nurture customer loyalty and boost your retention rate.

6. Offer Dynamic Pricing

Did you know that consumers value price more than personalization?

Think I’m exaggerating?

See for yourself:

Engage your customer more
According to Deloitte Consumer Change Study 2018, consumers across age groups and income level value price, convenience, and products over core values and personalization as main reason for selecting a retailer. | Image Credit: Deloitte.

So, how can AI help you offer great prices and deals to your customers?

Using AI can help you strike a balance between making a profit and offering fair prices to customers with self-learning algorithms.

AI-powered tools can help you analyze pricing scenarios, past transactions, contextual data, and competitor prices. You can use these insights to gauge the willingness of customers to pay a certain amount for a specific product.

You can then determine if you’ve overpriced or underpriced your products. AI solutions can help you predict product prices that are likely to drive more sales.

Offering products at reasonable prices can also help you build loyalty.

7. Incorporate Self-Service Options

Do customers have to reach out to your support team for all inquiries and issues?

Why don’t you make it easier for them to find resolutions to basic issues?

You may be wondering if that’s even possible.

Of course it’s possible.

You can easily start a blog with a FAQ section or Help section to provide answers to commonly asked questions. You can also introduce a self-service portal or forum where customers can get instant resolutions on their own.

You can use AI solutions to help customers find the information they need.

For example:

When a customer wants to learn about a procedure or process, your AI chatbot can redirect them to a specific link of the FAQ section, blog post, or discussion thread that answers their question.

This way, your customers can learn more on their own and will not have to call or email your support team for further information.

However, there’s a catch:

Articles on the self-service portal should offer value. They should answer all related questions that the customer may have. They should be insightful articles that can help resolve the customer’s problem.

If you provide value through self-service solutions, this can help consumers save time and have good experiences with your brand. This, in turn, can help you enhance customer loyalty and increase your retention rate.

Are You Ready to Nurture Customer Loyalty with AI?

If used correctly, AI can help you build and nurture customer loyalty by giving them what they need.

AI-powered solutions can help you get real-time feedback that can help you provide immediate solutions to resolve issues. You can offer exceptional customer experiences, provide relevant offers and deals, and build loyalty.

That’s why implementing AI is good for your business’ growth.

Do you have any questions about how to use AI solutions to enhance customer loyalty? Let me know in the comments section below nurturing customer loyalty by gathering knowledge.

Top 10 Remote Tools for Working from Home During Coronavirus Pandemic

With almost everyone working from home nowadays, remote tools for remote teams are exploding. Businesses are investing in project management tools, employee training software, virtual classroom software, LMSs, video-conferencing tools, and more.

Will things go back to normal once the virus is no more? Will businesses stop using the remote tools they invested in? Is remote work here to stay?

According to an estimate by Global Workplace Analytics, employers can save around $11,000 per year for every employee who works from home half of the time. That’s definitely something to think about.

But for the time being, your team needs remote tools, so here are the 10 must-haves to consider.

10 Must-Have Remote Tools in the Wake of COVID-19

Top 10 Remote Tools for Working from Home During Coronavirus Pandemic
With almost everyone working from home during this pandemic era, remote tools are now the saviour of businesses. Let’s explore the best virtual meeting tools available out there.

1. Trello

When working remotely, you need a project management tool. Trello can help you oversee all projects, assign tasks, boost productivity and accountability, and track progress and performance.

It’s a web-based tool that makes organizing projects a breeze. You use boards to create projects, lists to create tasks within projects, and cards to provide all relevant information regarding each task.

Every Trello list contains to-do, in-progress, and completed tasks, so it’s easy to see what needs to be done.

Trello cards are for adding deadlines, notes, attachments, and anything else necessary for completing tasks and projects.

There’s even an AI bot that can help you automate the workflow.

Remote Tools - TRELLO
If you want to work collaboratively and be productive, Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun-loving, flexible, and rewarding way. It is one of the best remote tools that you can rest on during this Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Slack

Communicating with your workforce seamlessly is a must when working remotely

Sure, there are lots of instant messaging apps where you can create group chats. But you need something more dedicated and secure for business interactions.

Slack Team
Leverage the power of online project collaboration that Slack offers. You can conduct online team brainstorming and strategy session right from this app. It also comes with third-party app integration that makes automation easier.

Slack is an enterprise communication and collaboration app. It’s not your regular IM app that gives you one overstuffed inbox. It features channels for communication, which you can search and use to share files and review documents.

You can create channels for company-wide announcements, departments, groups working on a particular project, and even external communications.

You can also send direct messages, and make audio and video calls, which support screen sharing.

SLACK Remote teams in action
With Slack, you can keep your communication flow and remote tools in one place. Slack makes your team work together with ease, wherever they are by leveraging the latest cloud hosting solution.

3. DeskTime

How can you know what your remote employees are doing during business hours? Are they really working or video-chatting with friends?

DeskTime will let you know that. It’s a time-tracking tool for helping you identify inefficiencies and boost productivity.

It shows you what websites, documents, and apps they’re accessing during work hours. You’ll know when they clock in, when they are most and least efficient and productive, how much time they spend on tasks when they’re taking breaks, and more.

This tool also takes automatic screenshots for overseeing everyone’s activity. There’s also a private time feature when your teammates need to do something unrelated to work quickly.

Desktime is real-time automatic time tracking software for teams
With DeskTime helps you maximize your remote team productivity and keep your projects right on track with its simple and secure time tracking app.

4. Zoom

Zoom is one of the most popular video-conferencing tools these days. Everyone seems to be using it, and for a good reason.

It supports online meetings, video-conference rooms, video webinars, cross-platform messaging, screen and file sharing, and even an enterprise phone system.

You can also use breakout rooms, private and group chat, interactive whiteboards with co-annotations, and much more.

Zoom’s largest plan allows you to include 1,000 video participants and 10,000 event viewers. The free plan allows unlimited video meetings for up to 100 people, but they can’t be longer than 40 minutes.

Still, that should be more than enough if you’re looking to spend less time in meetings and increase productivity.

Zoom video conferencing tool

5. ProProfs Employee Training Software

If you need to train employees during the coronavirus lockdown, ProProfs employee training software might be just what you need.

It allows you to create online training courses that you can administer to any number of users across all devices and operating systems. There are over 100 customizable courses to choose from, and more than 100 fully-integrated quizzes for assessment. You can also embed surveys and tests in your training courses, and track performance and engagement with in-depth reports.

This virtual classroom software also comes with collaboration and knowledge-sharing features. You can create a knowledge base consisting of manuals, FAQs, how-to videos, and a self-help portal for 24/7 access.

Remote Tools - ProProfs Employee Training Softwaress

ALSO READ: 7 Killer Data Visualization Tools for Meetings

6. Mailbird

Email still plays a huge role in team communication, but it can be overwhelming and distracting if you have multiple accounts. Mailbird can solve that problem for you, saving you a lot of time.

Mailbird is an email client that doesn’t require you to open a new account. It’s a desktop platform for unifying all your email accounts into one inbox.

So, instead of switching between apps, you can switch between inboxes within a single app. You can link contacts, preview and search attachments, integrate with other apps, and customize the layout.

You can also speed-read emails and snooze certain messages.

Keep in mind that Mailbird is only available for Windows users.

Mailbird makes emailing easy and beautiful - It saves you time managing multiple accounts with one of the best email client solution for Windows
Mailbird makes emailing easy and beautiful – It saves you time managing multiple accounts with one of the best email client solution for Microsoft Windows 10.

7. TeamViewer

TeamViewer is a remote connectivity platform for providing remote support to all your employees.

If they encounter a technical issue, you can remotely access their devices to solve it. The platform comes with end-to-end encryption, so you don’t have to worry about security.

You can also keep your team’s productivity high with remote monitoring and management. This feature will help you stay ahead of any issue.

For instance, if an employee needs a software patch, TeamViewer will notify you and enable you to patch the software remotely.

You can also provide remote AR support to resolve problems more efficiently.

TeamViewer Remote Access
Teamviewer is an online remote access solution that makes it easier to offer support based services to individuals and company anywhere around the world. With myriad of remote tools and solutions, you can rest assured of getting the best of experience.

8. Doodle

Doodle is a web-based calendar for scheduling meetings, which can come in pretty handy when working from home.

Instead of going back and forth with emails or chats to arrange virtual meetings, you can simply create events in a shared calendar.

Your teammates can set their own hours to tell you when they’re available, which is perfect if they are dispersed in different time zones. They can also vote for the best meeting times using polls.

You can set automatic reminders, so no one forgets about a meeting, as well as schedule personal events and appointments.

Doodle
It shouldn’t take 30 emails to schedule a 30-minute meeting With Doodle, you can schedule meetings faster with its smart scheduling feature. And with the integration of Zoom, you can seamless schedule meeting with flawless video conferencing feature. This is the best remote tools combination of the year.

9. Google Drive

Since you currently do all the work from home, you need a secure, preferably cloud-based solution for file storage and sharing. Google Drive is one of the best for the purpose.

It allows you to create and store documents in any format, and easily share them with your team. Anyone can edit them in real-time, and communicate via chat within documents for seamless collaboration.

The best part about Google Drive is that it’s free. Anyone with a Gmail account gets 15 GB of free Drive storage by default. That’s more than enough storage to keep years of documents.

However, you can upgrade it anytime if you have a lot of videos, designs, and other large files.

Google Drive Gathers All Your Files in One Place
The top remote tools list won’t be complete without mentioning Drive by Google. It is the best resource out there that helps in business processes from storing files to editing content, emailing and collaboration. The list goes on.

10. Zapier

If you utilize all these tools, it may be tough to manage everything and stay sane during the coronavirus lockdown. Constantly switching between all the platforms doesn’t make for a very productive time.

Luckily, Zapier can integrate all your apps into a single platform and this sole feature makes it one of the best remote tools out there.

It lets you set triggers for starting different workflows called Zaps, which automatically complete actions in connected apps. For instance, when you receive an email, Zapier can send its attachment to Google Drive and notify you in Slack.

Zapier supports integrations with more than 2,000 apps, including all Google products, Trello, Slack, Zoom, Doodle, and many other tools.

Zapier lets you connect apps and automate business processes and workflows
Zapier is one of the best remote tools that lets you connect apps and automate business processes and workflows.

Wrap up

Except for the free Google Drive, all these other remote tools offer a free trial, so make sure you give them a test run. Many have even extended their free offers during the pandemic.

We recommend you use all of them if you can because each is designed for different purposes. By doing so, you’ll empower your remote workforce and supercharge productivity.

6 Presentation Tools to Win Over Your Audience

The creative industry is booming massively, thanks to creative online presentation tools that make it easy for business owners to create marketing and presentation materials on the go. Currently, PowerPoint is the most widely used presentation tool. However, a common problem with this tool is a conspicuous lack of interactive features that can win your audience over. If you wish to overcome the shortcomings of PowerPoint and create a presentation that commands the attention of your audience with its brilliance in interactive design, read further for our picks of the top six most effective presentation maker tools. 

Table of Contents

  1. Prezi
  2. Visme
  3. Emaze
  4. Canva
  5. Piktochart  
  6. Genial.ly

6 Best Online Presentation Tools for Cutting Edge Creative Professionals

As online presentation tools are concerned, Microsoft PowerPoint lags behind in the pecking order for digital presentation tools to turn to. In this article, we are going to be itemizing the best interactive and cool presentation tools that can get the job done.

BEST ONLINE PRESENTATION TOOLS FOR CUTTING-EDGE CREATIVE PROFESSIONALS
As online presentation tools are concerned, PowerPoint lags behind in the pecking order for visual presentation tools. Here are the ones we recommend.

1. Prezi

The distinctive feature of Prezi lies in its strong analytics. Not only does it offer templates that appeal most to viewers, but it also lets you track your performance by showing the analytics of the viewers. You can find out what impressed them the most about your presentation helping you improve your presentation execution. The tool also allows you remote controlled access to your presentation from your mobile. 

Add-on features like video insertion, adding presenter notes, unlimited presentation creation, sharing presentations both online and offline, and virtual training needed to make better presentations make Prezi a powerful presentation tool.

Prezi offers a basic free plan as well as paid plans. The expected difference between the two is that paid plans come with access to Prezi’s most sought-after features, while the basic plan limits you to online access and a selected few features. 

Pricing – Basic Plan at no cost; $5 to $59 for paid monthly plans.

Presentation Tools - Prezi let's you make an instant impact with designer templates
Prezi lets you create an instant impact with designer templates, unlimited number of reusable presentations. With its own PowerPoint-to-Prezi converter, you can easily convert your powerpoint files to Prezi format with ease.

2. Visme  

Visme is not too different from Prezi and is an excellent alternative online presentation maker tool. If you desire to create presentations that flow like a story well told, Visme has everything you need to meet this goal. Like Prezi, you can add audio-visual features to your presentation with Visme, and the tool allows you to share your presentation on social media or embed it into any other website. 

Sharing your presentation created on Visme comes with both online and offline accessibility. Download as a PDF and share with as many people as you want, or share online offering access via password protection

Like Prezi, Visme has both paid and free user access plans. However, premium users have access to even more features of Visme; as compared to free access use, which is, in fact, a time-bound trial version of this popular presentation tool.  

Pricing – Free Trial Version, $10 to $60 for Monthly Plans.

With VISME, you can create engaging presentations, documents, top-notch infographics, and visually attractive contents online
With VISME online presentation tool, you can create engaging presentations, beautiful documents, attractive social graphics, infographics, and other visually attractive contents online.

3. Emaze 

Among the most sought-after presentation maker tools, Emaze is a 100% cloud-based platform that allows you access from anywhere, and from any digital device. Emaze comes with the option to embed live social media feeds, GIFs, and audio-visual content. 

There is no shortage of video backgrounds and templates on this platform, and it’s most advantageous and highly interactive features include pan, zoom, and smooth transitions application to your content. You can surely benefit from the use of 3D and 4D slides to edit and review your presentation on any digital device and share online in any country by taking advantage of the automated language translation feature. When needed, your presentations are also accessible offline in downloadable PDF format

The Emaze free plan allows you to import one PowerPoint document, create and share with up to five projects, and only offers audience analytics insights for one month. The paid plans come with many more unlimited access features. 

Pricing – Free Basic Plan, $12.5 to $39 Monthly Plans.

EMAZE let's you create all types of presentation contents with ease
EMAZE let’s you create all types of presentation contents with ease. It is one of the best presentation tools that stands as Powerpoint alternatives.

4. Canva

Compared to the other presentation creation tools on this list, Canva comes with limited features and is best described as a drag and drop tool. Canva is the tool for you if you are on a quest for hundreds of presentation layouts to choose from, various fonts, colors, and over a million stock photos. Drag and drop and add any of the above to your presentation to give it that extra edge over the regular PowerPoint project. 

Furthermore, Canva allows easy edits to your presentation at any time, using a variety of filters and texts. You can choose to share your presentation on social media or do the same on your Canva account

The free Canva plan comes with limited storage, access to stock photos, templates, and design types. On the other hand, a paid monthly plan has so more to offer including unlimited storage, and Canva’s inexhaustible library of stock photos, fonts, filters, and more. Paid Canva access also allows you the use of brand controls to supervise and control what your presentation team members can access and work on using your Canva account. 

Of all the Powerpoint alternative online presentation tools in this article, Canva is my favorite. I use it every blessed day to create, edit, and retouch multimedia content. In fact, it is the official design tool that the entire TechAtLast team relies on for minimalistic designs.

Pricing – Free Basic Plan, $12.95 Monthly Plan.

Design and publish creatives with Canva online presentation and design studio
Design and publish creatives with Canva presentation studio. It is the leading free presentation tool available on the internet as at today.

5. Piktochart

Piktochart is a winner for more reasons than one. This presentation execution tool is ideal for creating infographics, which can then be presented as slides. Import data from SurveyMonkey or Google Docs to add to your presentation, and use Piktochart’s library of 600+ templates, industry-specific icons, and stock photos.  

Like most of our picks, Piktochart allows for easy sharing of presentations, online or offline. Download your project in several formats, including PDF, JPG, and PNG.  

Piktochart allows free and paid access. This tool’s free access is limited in terms of access to stock photos, storage, image uploads, and color schemes. At the same time, paid plans give you greater access and password-protection for published visuals, among other benefits.  

Pricing – Free Basic Plan, $15 to $29 Monthly Plan.

Piktochart is your best presentation tool
If you trying to create an easy-to-use and interactive presentation files, Piktochart is your best online presentation tool you can lean on.

6. Genial.ly

Import content from YouTube, Spotify, Google Maps, or Amazon to make your presentation an audio-visual treat, with the help of Genial.ly. Moreover, Genial.ly allows you the creative liberty to add animation and interactive graphics to your presentation. 

Like the other presentation maker tools on this list, Genial.ly has an amazing library of stock photos and premium templates and allows you to share content via email, on social media, or even on WhatsApp. Genial.ly comes with presentation Analytics and allows for embedding content into your website. 

Free Genial.ly access is pretty basic, but you have access to all of Genial.ly’s features and benefits with paid access. 

Pricing – Free Basic Plan, $11.52 to $115.82 Monthly Plan.

Presentation Tools - Genially
If you want to create something that matters, Genially is what you should turn to. You can create stunning presentations, videos, infographics, and many others within seconds.

Conclusion

With knowledge of the online presentation tools available, the choice is yours to pick the best tool and ace that presentation! Have you used any of these online presentation maker tools? Have they been able to meet your objectives and created the desired impact on your audience? Let us know in the comments below.

Top 6 Emerging IoT Trends for 2020 and Beyond

To go into the details of IoT trends, let us first understand what IoT means. IoT is also known as the Internet of Things. In this many computing devices are connected in an interrelated manner, to transfer data among devices, over the network. 

A drastic change is expected to happen in the year 2020 for IoT technology, or the world of technology for both IoT app development companies and the user.

You will be amazed to know the drastic changes in the world of technology by IoT in 2020. Take a look. 

Top Emerging IoT Trends for 2020 (Internet of Things Trends)

IoT will be part of our day-to-day life soon. IoT devices can keep the Internet exploitation-free.

There are lots of IoT trends that will come up this year, and here are the major ones:

Top IoT Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Top IoT Trends - Emerging Internet of Things Trends for 2020

1. Big Data Convergence

IoT app development has not only changed the ways of doing business and living life, but it generates a huge amount of data. Big data platforms support the massive demand for data storage and management. It helps IoT app development company by extracting complete information. This is a new trend that we are facing and can expect it to grow soon.

IoT and big data share close bonding, and nowadays, many new devices can be selected for sharing data and information. IoT can harness the power of cloud data storage that is also capable of controlling the analytics and storage requirements of big-data junctions.

2. Edge Computing for Data Processing

One of the significant weaknesses of IoT is to add up devices that are behind the firewall of the network. It may be easier to secure a general device, but it is quite challenging to secure an IoT device. For this, we need to incorporate the security between software applications and network connections that are linked with IoT devices.

IoT devices can be cost-effective and efficient if they can process data. Self-driving vehicles and intelligent traffic lights like smart devices may require faster data processing. Edge computing is the solution to such problems that can provide faster data processing in IoT devices.

Edge computing performs well if it is used and implemented through the cloud. Fast processing may result in low latency, and that is the case in edge computing. Data processing in IoT can be implemented by combining them with edge computing and cloud. I guess this will be the icing part on some of the current IoT trends going forward. 

 3. Maximized Consumer Adoption

In the next ten years, one will see a huge change in IoT. In the coming years, consumer-based IoT implementation is expected to decrease, and industrial IoT implementation will increase. This IoT trend for infrastructure and platform will require time to evolve. Some popular industries like Swift Navigation and BetterView that are using industrial IoT will surely build IoT architecture. Due to this, in many other industries, including agriculture, telecommunication, transportation, a vivid reduction will be found in the capital expense.

4. Increase in the Demand of Smart Home

We have seen in recent developments that IoT apps and IoT app development companies have surged with the idea of smart home technology. This is to make the home more automated and interactive. In the future, people will not be directing the devices, but the devices will inform the people about the house and what they should do. 

But what we should not forget is that IoT app development companies are also facing security and fragmentation issues. This may hinder steady growth in this sector. However, in this present time and the future, IoT equipped smart homes will be a hot topic for every homeowner. This reason makes smart home introduction one of the IoT trends to look out for this year. 

5. IoT for Healthcare Adoption

Just as retailers can take the benefits of IoT capabilities, the wearable devices can also be used by the healthcare sectors. Healthcare sectors can see steady and stable development soon. In fact, this is one of the emerging IoT trends that’s going to rock the entire Healthcare industry. It is like a time bomb that is waiting to explode, with iot implementation in Healthcare, patient profiling becomes automated. 

By this, all the medical devices and equipment will become capable of storing the patient’s data and information and images for intelligent systems. No doubt that this will surely benefit the government. But we must not ignore the fact that this could also aid corruption inclined government in perpetuating crimes against its citizens with the acquired data. 

6. Auto Machine Learning or ML for Data Security

In the present days, the developers are trying to find the methods by which they can share data in a secured manner like by using blockchain-like technologies. Many of the industrial companies will start adopting IoT and machine learning model forecasts to prevent the downtime. 

Model training for machine learning is completely automated, and in the future, it will become more popular. Industrial companies will surely increase their substantial capital assets associated with IoT.

Final Words on IoT Trends for 2020

Soon, the users of the Internet of Things and IoT application development companies will see major changes in the trend of IoT technology. IoT devices will be able to harness the power of other emerging latest technologies like Big Data, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and many more. By this, not only consumers but also the industries will be able to leverage the advantages of IoT enabled devices and machines. 

These IoT trends are just a few of many things to be expectant of in the coming months, we just outlined these ones based on the data available today, the future IoT app development is already wrapped up in positivity. We just need to prepare for what’s coming, especially that disruptive technology is impacting the world positively during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic around the world.