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9 Trending Business Productivity Apps To Try Out Now!

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9 Trending Business Productivity Apps To Try Out Now!

Are you feeling unproductive lately? 

It’s okay, we all swing by onto guilty procrastination trips from time to time, but it’s easier to summon your motivation when you have technology laying around! Being an entrepreneur or playing a similar role needs you to be productive round the clock – something which is easier said than done. But business is business, and it won’t wait for you to catch up, so here is a quick list of apps that can act as great booster add-ons to your productivity in general.

Improving Time Spending

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Asana

Asana is a time and task tracking application that lets you track activities going in your team in a centralized dashboard. You can assign tasks to yourself or your team members with the added functionality to attach due dates, files and category labels.

It was conceptualized by the Facebook guy, Dustin Moskovitz, himself and has become a popular alternative for entrepreneurs to manage their teams well.

For Business Owners: You can integrate the app data to your CRM!

Hours

Hours, as you would guess from the name, makes a well-organized timeline of the numerous tasks you perform throughout the day and displays them in a neat and comprehensible format.

The app can be used to gain insights on your extra time consuming habits and plan your timetable much more productively. You can add a whole team to the app and enjoy the enhanced work environment on PC and iOS.

For Business Owners: Check project progress in a colorful report rather than a drab excel sheet.

Waze

Waze is a smart solution to dodge traffic jams or simply save yourself from arriving late at an important business meeting. It is a community of on-the-go users who report location based traffic status via the waze app. So, if there is a horde of cars coming up the North exit, you can check that on the map and prepare your next turn accordingly.

For Business Owners: Waze has a large community of drivers, so you can rely on its statistics.

Note Making

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Just Press Record

Don’t have the time to jot it down? Just press record. That’s what this app says and does. It magically converts your voice notes into text notes that you can use directly into your documents or study in silence later.

The app supports over 30 languages and is iCloud syncable, which means, your phone can easily become your personal notes taker. You can add an external mic for important discussions, if just so you require.

For Business Owners: You can write emails, to-dos, and make lists without smashing the keyboard!

Evernote

Evernote is one of the most widely used note making apps that’s available both on android and iOS. It doesn’t do anything special but it’s highly convenient to use. You can quickly make lists, notes, add images, audios or files and once a note is made, it’ll be stored on the Evernote server, so that you don’t lose it accidently and access notes easily on the PC while working.

For Business Owners: Features like work-chat, note collaborators and easily share a note as a link among the team.

Digital Marketing

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Buffer

One of the many roles that Entrepreneurs play, marketing could be the most time consuming one, especially, staying socially active. Buffer is made just for that. It brings all your social networks in a single dashboard from where you can post to all of them from a single browser tab, with a single login. Convenient, right?

For Business Owners: Buffer professional suite has tons of marketing features such as hashtag research and instagram scheduling embedded into the app.

Mention

Mention is a market research tool that brings you all the relevant news surrounding a given keyword or a set of subjects. It works like Google Alerts but it is much more advanced than that.

It is a great way to both stay updated about the latest in your niche and also discover information content that you can work upon in your marketing strategy.

For Business Owners: Save a hell lot of time going through Google results daily to find relatable industry news.

Automation

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Wave

Wave brings payment handling and invoice generation to your smartphone as a great automation feature. You can design invoices, generate them and track their status all from a single app.

It is one of the most useful apps for small business owners who need to get invoices on a daily basis. You can even fetch reports, which acts as a great money dashboarding feature.

More For Business Owners: The app also supports payroll management, which’ll make things much easier to track for you. Adding credit cards is chargeable.

IFTTT

IFTTT is a logic based task automator for business people. If you ever attended a coding class, you’ll know about the “if” statement, that is used to divert the flow of a program based on a certain criteria, such as, if a is true, then do b, else do c.

You can use it to do wonderful things such as automatically sending broadcasts when you finish typing the day-report or turn on your office lights, when you arrive in the morning via Uber. And the list goes on.

For Business Owners: Here are some business specific use cases for IFTTT.


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TECHNOLOGY

Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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TECHNOLOGY

Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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