What Purpose Do Command Centers Serve?

Summary: Command centers are much more than just another room in an office. These centers serve as central hubs for large and small businesses.

In order for any company to succeed, plenty of things have to be on the right track. Any sustainable business needs much more than just a good idea. Communication and execution are arguably more important, as solid cooperation can lead to flexibility when challenges inevitably arise.

A key component of executing a vision and working towards a goal is keeping team members both informed and on the same page. Command center consoles are high-tech environments that can do just that via provide streamlining solutions.

Increased Productivity

Today, many businesses operate online and carry out their operations through digital means. As a result, it is not uncommon to be working with a lot of information. Analyzing the data and statistics on a company can give employees an idea of how the business is doing. A command center can act as a central location for critical information coming from many different sources, making it possible to stay up-to-date with ease.

For example, a command center for a broadcast company may have an LED video wall with all of the camera feeds. Having this all in one location can make it easy for employees to pinpoint any issues with the broadcast and ultimately make informed decisions.

More Collaboration

Another benefit of having a command center in your office is that it encourages and facilitates the process of collaborating with coworkers. These centers, provided by professional providers, can put crucial information from all departments at anyone’s fingertips. This type of availability and transparency can lead to individuals working together to tackle problems brought to their attention.

Ergonomic Furniture: Does it Improve Efficiency?

Summary: Ergonomic furniture has its pros and cons. But, is it useful in the tech industry?

One of the many questions business owners are asking is whether or not ergonomic accessories are worth the investment. There’s no simple yes or no answer. It actually depends on the type of environment that you have in your command center.

Improved Posture and Improved Comfort

Ergonomic chairs are designed for users that require a more comfortable chair under their operations center desks that keeps their spine aligned and postured. Does it directly impact performance? It may, depending on the user. For instance, if an operator were to suffer from chronic back pain and used an ergonomic chair, it may reduce the overall amount of pain he or she is suffering from, therefore impacting his concentration levels.

A Happier Environment

A psychological factor that plays a large role in efficiency is the happiness of your employees. If they’re treated fairly and spoiled to ergonomic chairs, it may increase their productivity. However, there’s no guarantee that it will, but studies have shown that happier employees are prone to higher efficiency when on the job.

While it may be great to provide you employees with something new every once in a while, you have to consider limitations as well. The purchase itself isn’t going to turn your company into a powerhouse, but it’s the gesture that helps. Listening and changing their environment may make them happier, but you also have to combine this with a solid work plan to go with it. Most A/V integrators claim a more efficient workplace will improve employee productivity. The less tools the employee has to work with, the more sluggish he or she will become.

How to Increase Efficiency Through Staff Management

Efficiency has to be one of the most important factors when it comes to operating and managing a command center. However, today’s centers are plagued with poor management, improper equipment like a poor video wall with 24/7 monitoring that doesn’t even work, and ineffective staff management. Now, all of these problems can be solved relatively easily – assuming the situation hasn’t spiraled out of control. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Make the Unpopular Decision

There are times where you need to evaluate the situation and approach it in a manner where you have to take control of your staff. Are the specialists performing their duties in an efficient manner? Do they require additional training? Is your organization finding success through the command center? There are thousands of questions that you could ask, but when it comes down to it, you’ll want to make sure that your specialists are doing their job.

If they’re not, you might have to either make the decision to provide additional training or even go as far as replacing them with someone that’s more efficient. Yes, it may be the unpopular choice but you have to consider the fact that one mistake could be detrimental for your entire organization.

Devise a Training Schedule

If you’re implementing new hardware and software and are not looking to hire new employees, you might want to consider creating a training schedule that covers every aspect of the new operation that you’re implementing. Now, while you’re at it, you could cover other topics that need to be addressed, which will give you a chance to essentially retrain your specialists. Additionally, you can also opt for the route of completely revamping your command center by contacting an A/V integrator to assist in any modifications that are needed.

Ways to Use a Spare Smartphone

Summary: If you have a spare smartphone, continue reading for some ideas on how you can still use them.

It seems like every year dozens of new smartphones are released to the public. With these devices becoming so popular and useful in our daily lives, they almost never leave our sides. Most cellphone contracts with major carriers can last up to a couple of years, and with each new release coming with new and improved features, such as cameras, processors, batteries, and form factors, there is a good possibility you have either replaced a smartphone with another or are thinking about doing so in the near future.

If you have one or more smartphones that you no longer use regularly, there are ways you can still get use out of them. Continue reading for some useful tips.

Secondary Phone

If you have a spare smartphone you can still use it as an actual phone. Even if the SIM card has been deactivated you can set up a free Google phone number to make calls, send text messages, and check your voicemail. All you need is a stable internet connection, which could easily be established via a home wifi network. This can be useful if you and your housemates need to somehow get a hold of someone at home or if you want a separate phone you can use solely for business or personal reasons.

Security Camera

Home security is incredibly important and sometimes a home alarm simply is not enough. If you want an affordable method of keeping an eye on a particular area while you are away, such as your bedroom or the front door, you can put your spare smartphone’s camera to good use. Apps like Presence can let you access this phone’s camera from another smartphone whenever you want.

 

How to Travel With Your Tech Without Being Slowed Down

Summary: If you feel lost about how to travel with your devices, below are a few tips that may help you out.

You never want your travels to slow you down. Some want the ability to work wherever, whether that be at home or out of the house while they travel. However, traveling with your your devices can seem like a nightmare if you do not prepare. Below are some tips on how to effectively take your tech with you.

Back Your Work Up

If you plan on traveling in the near future and you want to work while away from home, make sure to back your work up. If you somehow lose or break your laptop while you are traveling, you want to be certain that all of your important information is still secure. Cloud-based services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive allow users to store files on remote servers that can be accessed almost wherever you can access the internet.

Physical storage options, such as external hard drives, are great if you wish to travel with more information than your laptop’s hard drive can store. Most are light and ultra portable, making them easy to store in a backpack or suitcase.

Charging On-The-Go

When you are out and about you do not want to have to rely on outlets for power. Companies like Anker offer a wide variety of portable batteries that can easily fit in a backpack. If your smartphone, tablet, Bluetooth headphones, or nearly any other device is low on battery, you can easily plug your device in and continue your day. Some of the larger, more powerful powerbanks can even charge laptops.

 

The Portable AC Movement: How to Save Money the Right Way

Summary: Portable air conditioner units can keep you cool while saving you money.

As you already know if you’re a homeowner, the cost of running a central air conditioner unit can add up over time and cost you a significant amount of money if you’re reckless with leaving it on. Yes, these central AC units are useful, and they can keep the entire household cool, but if you’re looking for spot cooling in a specific room, why waste an enormous amount of electricity when you can opt for a cheaper option.

The Portable Solution

One option that you can purchase as a substitute is a portable room air conditioner. Again, there’s no reason to turn on the entire unit if you’re looking to cool a specific room like a home office or a bedroom. With the costs of electricity rising dramatically, it’s important that you look to save as much as you can, or you’ll end up being hit with a jaw-dropping electrical bill.

Additionally, these portable units, as their names state, can be moved around the house with relative ease – some units are rather heavy but many of them include wheels for increased mobility. Having a spot cooler in a specific room can help reduce the amount of electricity that you’re utilizing while still providing an adequate amount of cool air within a room that’s actually occupied.

The Bottom Line

Opting for a portable air conditioning unit from a company can provide you with an alternate cooling option for your home. If you’re the type of homeowner that’s looking to save money while staying cool, keep your options open and look into a portable AC unit.

LED Video Walls Vs. Projectors: Which is More Beneficial for Command Centers

Summary: LED video walls can produce a higher quality picture, display, and functionality than a projector.

LED video wall panels are now becoming the industry standard in today’s operations centers due to their bright image displays, ease of use, and attractiveness. With the widespread increase in demand for these video walls, the cost of owning or renting them continues to decline. Here are some benefits you might want to think about before considering anything other than an LED wall. Read More

Layered security for your systems

Security is a key aspect of managing IT systems. Hackers and state-sponsored groups are breaking into whatever systems they can, with the assumption that one day that it will be useful at some point in the future. One of the keys to preventing breaches like Yahoo and the DNC is to layer your security systems.

There are several layers, and you can insert them at different points of your network. The firewall usually sites at the top and blocks both incoming and outgoing connections that do not conform to the rule set. The firewall also separates the various segments of your network. When you colocate to a facility like Rack Alley, the firewall component is available as a service.

Segmenting your network is another important part of layering your security. For example, place your applications servers, database servers, clients, and backup systems on different network segments. You can now use your firewall to allow only select communication between the different segments. For example, only the application server can connect to the database servers and the clients can only connect to the application servers.

Another layer consists of systems like IDS and IPS to deal with potential intrusions. You can place this later above the firewall or after the firewall. IDS use signatures that recognize potential attacks and block such connections.

Firewall, network segmentation, IDS, and IPS are just a few methods of layering the security in your network. There are also other systems like Honeypots, Anti-virus, Anti-malware, desktop firewalls, etc. that you can add as other layers. When you layer your security like this, even when a hacker breaks into one system, he cannot easily access another. All of this is possible whether you have all these systems in-house or have everything at an LA data center.

 

The challenges with scaling your EDI system

There are several challenges organizations face when implementing or managing their EDI systems. EDI enables the kind of supply chain efficiency that organizations could only dream of before. You can now deliver a product from a manufacturer that you never physically handle, to someone else’s customer automatically. The biggest challenge that most organizations come across is scaling their EDI applications. There are three things you need to do:

Multiple sets of trading partners

The first thing is to ensure that your EDI software can or will support multiple sets of trading partners and types of documents. There is a lot of data and structure that unique to every trading partner and your software should be able to handle all that variation. A single trading partner can have as many as a 100 business rules.

ERP integration

When you have a handful of trading partners, you can handle the manual transfer of data from your EDI system to your ERP. It is very difficult to scale data transfer from one system to another manually once you exceed that threshold. The only way is to look at native integration, which might require an upgrade of your ERP.

EDI outsource

An in-house EDI implementation can be expensive and time-consuming. Also, communicating with all the trading partners and testing out the business rules for each those partners are both time consuming and expensive. When you outsource your EDI system to a third-party, you save a lot of time and only need to direct the project.