4 Ways To Tell If Your Digital Marketing Agency Is The Right Fit

As time goes by, more and more brands and establishments are beginning to realize the importance of hiring a Digital Marketing Agency. In a nutshell, this is an agency which takes care of the marketing of your brand, in the digital realm. With that said, most of the work they do is in front of the computer screen, and the reason behind their importance is the fact that more and more people are also connected to the internet everyday.

If you are one of the companies that have already hired a Digital Marketing Agency to take care of online advertisement and marketing needs, and have qualms about hiring them, or maybe you haven’t got one yet but would want to make sure that you get nothing but the best, here are 4 tips to tell on whether or not the Digital Marketing Agency that either you have already hired, or have yet to hire is the right fit for your company or brand.

Good Reputation 

 

The easiest way to tell on whether or not you are in the right hands is most definitely recommendation from others by word of mouth. If you don’t know anyone else who has hired a Digital Marketing Agency, make it a point to look for sites that have legit testimonials and awards from award-giving bodies. You could also check on resources such as the Better Business Bureau. Lastly, as much as possible, stick to local-based digital marketing agencies to keep the language, culture, and time-zone differences kept at an ultimate minimum. If you may decide to hire a brand new Digital Marketing Agency, and if there really isn’t much information about them, do a background check such as their LinkedIn.

The agency understands you 

If you really want to have a smooth relationship between you and the Digital Marketing Agency you have decided to hire, then choose one that totally understands your needs. With that said, it really pays to get an agency with a wide array of skills, which are normally acquired through handling several business types prior. Another means in order for agencies to properly choose would have to be your “gut feeling”. If they listen, can relate to, and agree with most, or if not, all your plans, and if you’re comfortable with how they present themselves, if they are fully transparent with both their fees and how they work, then rest assured, you’ve found the right fit.

Diverse Set of People, Expertise, and Skills 

One of the ways in order for a Digital Marketing Agency to be composed of a diverse team of experts, who are all willing to contribute talents and skills to come up with a successful online marketing scheme for your brand. With broad skills also comes a broad range of technologies to be used, such as the ability to create marketing effectiveness, as well as social media and website analytics, SEO rankings, e-blast, and online reputation monitoring. A great way to tell this is their openness to plans, as well as the wide array of options that they get to share in a bid to help you achieve business success. Deadlines, approvals, decisions, and the like wouldn’t really be all that hard to effectively implement if you have hired a Digital Marketing Agency that’s the right fit for you.

The Price is Just Right 

Not all the times when the Digital Marketing Agency asks for cheaper rates doesn’t mean you’re going to save, and just because they demand high prices doesn’t really guarantee that you’re right, either. With that said, make it a point to choose a Digital Marketing Agency that prices reasonably. The greatest metric, and most effective means in order to justify this are the positive reviews, as well as the range of services they offer. If you haven’t found the best one for you yet, make it a point to not just settle with the first one you see. Instead, go and canvass as many local-based Digital Marketing Agencies you could find.

6 Best Productivity Apps To Help You Organize And De-Clutter Your Life

Productivity is something that is greatly valued, whichever workplace it may be.  Having said that, companies often equate productivity, or the amount of work input being done by any employee with effectiveness and efficiency of that particular employee. A lot of the advancements in modern technology have greatly helped people to be more productive in nature, where a lot of the things that are done either manually or with separate, bulky machines could now be done through digital means, and in devices that easily fit in the palm of anyone. One of the major manifestations of this is Productivity Apps, which is basically the umbrella term for apps that are designed to help with pertinent business matters. There are literally hundreds, if not, thousands of apps that could be labelled as such. We have scoured the web, and here are the 6 best productivity apps you could use for Organizing and De-Cluttering your life.

Pen and Paper

Some people simply feel that they are more productive if they write things down. The dilemma that they keep on facing however, is whether or not to bring with them notebooks and pens along, given that it may cause extra bulk and could be a hassle to carry around. With the Pen and Paper app, they are able to prevent themselves from dealing with that dilemma, as you could not scribble, doodle, and make important notes through your tablet or your smartphone. What’s even greater is that you could use either your stylus or your bare hands. Adding text boxes, making diagrams, as well as making your text bigger or smaller could also be easily done through this app. To put the icing on the cake, it is also compatible with Dropbox, allowing you to both annotate and import PDF files and other formats. This app is available for both iOS and Android users.

Buffer

To those whose work is in the online realm, specifically on Social Media, such is the case for Social Media Managers and Web Designers, the buffer app definitely comes in handy. With its extra user-friendly platform, you are able to quickly schedule your posts on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. The app works through linking the accounts for your company to a single email. If you are to make use of just one social media profile, then it’s free. For more profiles or team members, you would have to pay for a minimum monthly prescription. Either way, this makes you a more productive individual as you need not worry about logging in and posting every now and then. Your time is more easily divided between coming up with catchy content and posting them at the right time. Apart from being available for Android and iOS users, it could also be used online.

Drop Task

If you work in a company that requires you to come up with projects in groups, and if you’re doing leadership and/or managerial tasks, then DropTask is a great free app for you to make use of. Available for both iOS and Android powered Smartphones, the app primarily makes use of a workflow board that’s customizable. With this board, you are able to easily check up on who’s doing what. This works well for as many as 5 workmates per task. It also syncs for various devices, and is cloud-based in nature. The app helps to cut down confusion, and makes the workplace seem a lot hectic than it may be for others. To make this app an even greater one, you could get it for absolutely zero charge.

Harvest

One of the most important aspects in any business or company is most definitely finance. With that said, a lot of companies, to ease with this burden, hire an accountant or financial manager to deal with all this. If you run a business on your own, and if it is not too large scale, then you might as well would opt to do all the financial transactions on your won. One of the apps to help you with that is Harvest. Through this app, you are able to manage your finances as it allows you to send invoices to your clients, as well as monitor their status, on whether they have already been paid, added, viewed, etc. It primarily deals with time and expense sheets. It is a free app, but if you wish to expand the number of transactions you could do, then you could opt to have a paid subscription.

Bria

Just like finance, communication is also an equally important aspect in any business. Keeping communication in check ultimately allows a company to grow and thrive, as this is the primary means through which important ideas for growth and progress are communicated and executed. With that said, you would definitely need an app that would help to ensure that communication is made as seamless and smooth as possible. The perfect app for this would most definitely be Bria. This is a communication app that is business-grade, and is compatible for both Android and iOS. It does its job through making an SIP-based softphone client with either cellular data or Wi-Fi. It makes use of your contact list, and has an intuitive interface which allows you to manage calls, either through merging, splitting, or swapping. You could also do transfers, whether unattended or attended. Apart from making transactions easier for you, security is also boosted, thanks to the built-in audio encryption.

Pocket

All work and no play makes John a dull boy, the old saying goes. While productivity is being highly valued, one of the things that people also value dearly is rest and recreation, wherein a sufficient amount of it would also help support your productivity as well. One of the most popular forms of recreation known to man is reading and watching videos online. With Pocket, you are given the opportunity to save things like articles, e-books, videos, and the like for faster access once you would want to relax and make use of them after a hard day’s work. No need to visit websites and waste time looking for things to use. Lastly, you could make use of this without having to worry about storage, as the storage it offers is unlimited. The app is both for iOS and Android, and is a free app as well.

Conclusion

As previously mentioned, productivity is something that is greatly valued in the society nowadays, not only in workplaces, but in life as well. Having said that, modern technology should be treated as something that would help you become a more productive individual, and not as something that could somehow get in the way with your productivity. The apps that are mentioned above are perfect for different aspects of the workplace, such as Finance, Personnel and Task Management, Communications, Social Media Platform Management, and of course, for recreation after a long productive day. These apps don’t really consume that much space and we highly recommend that you install all of these. While some may come at a minimal cost, purchasing of productivity apps like these could be considered an investment which could quickly be realized.

Best Free Alternative To Skype In 2017

Skype is one of the first applications that come to mind when it comes to video chat and messaging tools. Even before it was purchased by Microsoft in 2011, Skype succeeded to develop itself a big hit. The application continued to improve ever since.

Skype is really comprehensible. It allows you conduct video chats and sent messages based on text without a cost. However, it is not the only choice out there.

Here, we take a look at some Skype alternatives to prove that there are a lot of options beyond Skype.

  • Viber

This is the best free alternative to Skype since it offers free video calls and text messaging for both mobile and desktop.

Thanks to the fact that it’s available as a desktop, Windows 10, Android, and iOS app, Viber gets off to a fairly great beginning. This means that Viper is a service that has all the foundations covered. One great feature for mobile users is that you could communicate to other users through their mobile number. This integration level means that it very happily sits together with your existing messaging apps and phone so you could take complete advantage of the free assistances whenever you want to call some you know.

Viber provides video and voice calls, and text without a cost. You could use Viber Out to make calls to anyone around the world if you are willing to pay. This feature could be used from the PC. Group chat is a good feature for friends. Also, Viber is an application that is free from ads.

  • WhatsApp

This is probably the well-known and largest messaging application of its time. It is also very unlikely that you have not heard about it. However, it does not mean you have used it simply because you have heard of it. What are you missing out on if you have not? WhatsApp is cross-platform software like most other tools in this article. You do not even have to make an account just to use it. This is because of that fact that it could make use of the number of your phone.

To dispel the fears of people with security alarms, end-to-end encryption is included. It must be enough for every individual, even though the group chat is only limited to only 10 individuals. On the other hand, video calling in not available yet to all platforms, while you could perform voice chats and send media files to and fro between contacts. So, this could be one of the reasons why you should or should not use WhatsApp.

  • Talky

This is somehow different to most messaging platforms since it is a service based on web primarily. There’s an app available for iOS. However, you are going to have to look somewhere else if you are looking for a cross-platform application. You could have a group video chat for up to 15 people. This makes the platform good for friends, family, and most importantly, collaborative working. Also, it’s possible to activate sharing of screen so everybody in the conversation could see what is happening on the display of a certain person.

Making a chat room is really easy. You just go to the official website of Talky, type the URL you would like to utilize, and you are good to go. All you need to do is to share the URL with individuals you want to chat. Rooms could be protected with password if you want to keep it private. However, you cannot deny that Talky has little features. However, there will be times that simple is what we only need.

5 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives For Mac Users

The Windows OS is, without question the single most popular Operating System for all computers across the world. Having said that, a lot of the basic software that we make use of nowadays are tailored to suit the preference and/or compatibility with Microsoft OS users. Despite the massive popularity of Windows, there just are some people who wish to jump ship. The second most highly-preferred operating software is Mac OS, which is used across all Apple Computers, or the Mac. Whatever the OS, one of the most popular software/applications used is the office suite, with the Microsoft Office one which is the most highly preferred.

The shift from Windows to Mac, however, would entail purchasing the software all over again, which could be a hassle and a financial burden for anyone. Because of this, a lot of people may opt to use free software, or maybe those which would cost less than that of Microsoft. If you are willing to adjust, then here are the 5 Microsoft Office Alternatives you could make use of for the mean time.

LibreOffice

One of the best known open source software that effectively serves as a substitute for Microsoft Office is LibreOffice. As the name itself suggests, this is an Open Source, and thus, free software which you could easily find and download through the internet. Apart from being free, it also has the ability to host a wide array of platforms, making its use much less of a headache for anyone.

This is the Office Suite that is touted to replace OpenOffice, which has previously been hailed as the best open-source alternative to OpenOffice. As a matter of fact, OpenOffice has not been developing lately, with bosses even contemplating on quitting the venture altogether.

Lastly, one of the features that make it stand out is most definitely the fact that LibreOffice is equipped with an online component, which enables you to sync and then edit files straight from Cloud-Powered Drives, like Google and/or OneDrive.

iWork Suite

If you wish to fully adapt to the Apple or Mac Interface, and abandon even Microsoft Office altogether, then one of the great alternatives for you to make use of is the iWork Suite. For Mac users, you need not look far as this is made by Apple itself, with the iWork Suite, consisting of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote being alternatives to Word, Excel and Powerpoint of Microsoft.

One of the characteristics of the Mac and or Apple Product Interfaces is the clean, polished User Interface. This is something that is carried over on the iWork Suit, where manipulating of elements are seamless and smooth, despite the customizations being relatively limited. The great thing about it is that the files you create work well with MS Office formats, too.

Quip

Another tool that’s a great alternative, even if it’s not that heavily featured, is Quip. This software is a haven for those who love a minimalistic approach to file editing. This is because with Quip, there are absolutely no complex, unsightly menu bars which abound in other software. The formatting toolbar only pops up once a text is to be selected. Primarily, the formatting takes place with the use of shortcodes, which you may have to memorize a bit, apart from the common shortcuts we already are familiar with.

Collaboration is also cool, clean, and smooth with Quip, albeit not having as many features as popular tools has. It has comment and multi-user editing functions. For those who also have iOS-powered devices, they also come with an app for editing documents. If you wish to have crafty, artsy-looking documents, then they also have default themes which you could most definitely use.

Google Suite

One of the best “transitional tools” that you could use in shifting to Windows to Mac is the Google Suite. This is probably the most familiar Office Suite to anyone. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets serve as their alternatives to Microsoft’s Word, Powepoint, and Excel, respectively. You are able to experience its great benefits when you integrate it with your Google account. Files are easily imported and passed around. It is one of the pioneers in terms of user interactivity, where people could collaborate and edit a single file, as well as put comments.

The cloud prowess, as well as the add-on gallery, the nice templates, as well as the great research tools, plus the search capabilities of Google all work together to make this a great substitute for Mac Users. To take its Mac compatibility to the next level, it also has iPhone and iPad features that work great as well. The only major downsite is the lack of an actual desktop app. Nevertheless, you could still work offline through Google Chrome’s Offline Mode.

Office Online

The last, but definitely not the least tool that you could use in lieu of the Microsoft Office Suite on your Mac device is Office Online. If you’re not good with all the other substitutes we previously mentioned, and if you still don’t want to buy Microsoft Office for Mac, then this is the best one for you to use. This is because it is Microsoft Office’s basic and free MS Office service that would work effectively online.

While it may not have as much features as the offline MS Office, it still has all of the basics, such as spreadsheet formulas, presentation options, and of course, document editing. To make use of this, simply login to Office.com.

Conclusion

One of the primary reasons as to why we try and look for alternatives is simply the fact that the original office suite is one which may be extremely expensive for some, and that a lot of these alternatives offer the same range of functionality that we commonly use in Microsoft Word. Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that looking for a free, open-source, or online substitute is much better that trying to cut corners and obtain the Microsoft Office Suite through an illegal manner.

5 Examples Of Artificial Intelligence That You Use In Everyday Life

Artificial intelligence, the term may seem too science fiction-like that the robot and alien movies come first to mind. But you’d be surprised that you’re actually using a number of them in daily life. Artificial intelligence presents a huge impact in your life regardless if you’re aware or otherwise. Its influence will only broaden in the years to come. If you don’t believe us, here are some common examples of artificial intelligence we’re sure you use.

  • Virtual Personal Assistants

On various platforms, Siri, Cortana and Google Now are the common intelligent digital personal assistants. Whenever we need certain information, all we have to do is give out a voice command like ‘Where’s the closest pizza parlor?’ or ‘call mom’ and ‘remind be about my meeting at one o’clock.’ Your virtual personal assistant will then search for the information, do the command and send commands to relevant apps. These apps centers around artificial intelligence because they’re the ones that collect information and use what they collect in order to better serve the users. As stated by Microsoft, their Cortana it has the ability to ‘continually learn about its user’, eventually it can anticipate just what the user needs.

  • Purchase Prediction

Established retailers like Amazon and Target all make use of purchase prediction; they tend to make higher sales if they’re able to anticipate just what their client needs. The anticipatory shipping project featured at Amazon strives to suggest products to clients before the products are actually needed; hopefully, you’ll say good bye to stressful last minute shopping sessions. Though the technology itself is still not in place, other retailers use similar ideas through coupons; the coupons you receive at stores have already gone through predictive algorithm, so more likely than not, you’ll end up using them.

  • Video Games

Video games are the kind of artificial intelligence that most people can relate to and they have been around of a long period of time. Alongside the games themselves, they artificial intelligence used has also increased and improved through the years. Some of the video games available today contain characters that learn from the player’s behavior, respond efficiently and react in surprising ways. A great example would be the first-person shooters like Call of Duty and Far Cry. It’s amazing how the artificial intelligence in the game programs the enemies to analyze the surroundings and search for objects that help them survive.

  • Security Surveillance

Remember those old fashion surveillance systems where one person watches over multiple video cameras? Well, that’s not the most effective kind of security surveillance out there; people tend to get easily bored and keep track of numerous screens at once can be tricky even on a good day. An easier way would be to train computers to monitor the cameras instead. Through specific training exercises, your security algorithms can grab certain inputs from security camera footage and decide if there are actual threats. Once the artificial intelligence detects a warning sign, it will immediately notify the security officers.

  • Smart Home Devices

Tons of smart home devices have now included systems that can read the behavior patterns of the user and actually help the said user save money in many ways; the most obvious would be the automatic adjustment of the thermostat and other appliances in order to conserve energy. Lighting can also make use of artificial intelligence by setting preferences and defaults. Lights located inside and outside your home can be adjusted based on where the people are and what they’re doing; dim lights for watching movies, a brighter setting for cooking and a middle options when eating.

4 Ways Wearable Tech Can Change The World We Live In

There’s no stopping the ever growing popularity of wearable tech and they will be more in demand in the years to come. And so, developers and manufacturers continue to search for better and innovative ways to incorporate them in our lives. A great example would be the Apple Watch and how it lets the user access most of the iPhone’s features without using their hands. But there more ways that wearable tech can help change the world.

  • Helping People Save Up on Health Insurance

Insurance rates typically increase every year due to numerous factors, but what if people are given the opportunity to affect the rate that you pay and give you a reward for exercising as well? Tons of wearable technology like Fitbit is under the radar of insurance industries and even established employers for their potential to lower all the healthcare-related expenses. Wearable tech under this category is still young, but they still have the ability to affect insurance premiums; it’s just a matter of time before we discover if it a positive or negative effect and thus affects the way you take care of your health.

  • Remote Health Monitoring

Those of us who are obsesses with fitness have looked into Fitbit in order to track all their workouts. On the other hand, what about people suffering serious health issues that constantly need to be monitored? There are wearable techs that companies are investing on the development of remote health monitoring solutions; if things go well, then the device will help staff reduce time and money spent on in-person monitoring. A great example would be Biotricity’s Mobile Cardiac Telemetry units, which can be available for both hospitals and individuals. The device can be used in monitoring respiration alongside heart rhythms. Not only that, but it can assist physicians when diagnosing certain medical conditions involving cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. So bottom, patients can receive faster diagnosis and are given the opportunity to watch over their condition through wearable tech.

  • Reduce Accidents Caused by Distracted Drivers

On a daily basis, people get into accidents involving vehicles regardless of where they are. Majority of these accidents could be linked to the usage of mobile phones while driving. As you may have noticed, the Apple Watch has contributed to the prevention of such accidents by making it all that easier to answer important calls through a hands-free process and conversation. In the near future, we’re looking at wearable tech with expanded capabilities; maybe something that can start and end calls without necessarily taking your eye off the road even if the phone itself isn’t near.

  • Improved Safety in the Workplace

Workplaces, no matter the category, have claimed the lives of people for years and the records wouldn’t have reached astounding digits if safety was prioritized. Regarding this issue, wearable tech offers a lot of potential applications; uses can range from offering the workers the chance to actually test the equipment in a simpler and easy way to monitoring noticeable increase in stress and anxiety levels of numerous employees. Wearable tech in this category can also be given to employees undergoing crucial training, to help them access life-saving information during related events and crisis. Even now, developers and manufacturers are paving their way towards groundbreaking new wearable tech. There will come a time where all these incredibly life changing wearable tech will become as common as phones and TVs. There’s no telling what they can come up with next, one more amazing than the other; with the rate that they’re going, we’ll have better technology in the near future.

7 Things You Should Check Before Purchasing A Web Hosting Plan

Dozens of web hosting companies offer their own plans where clients can choose from. Each one claims that they are the best option or that they have 99% uptime, knowledgeable support as well as unlimited resources. So how exactly can you see through all the jargon in choosing the best web host and web hosting plan? Well, you need to clearly understand what exactly the web hosts are trying to say before you make your decision.

  • Price

Considered by many as their deciding factor, the price of the web hosting plan will be the first to catch the eye of the potential client; but it shouldn’t be that way, never base decisions solely on price. Whenever you see that the price of one package differs from the other, remember the saying that goes ‘we get exactly what we pay for.’ Grabbing the cheapest options is not always the best idea, this is especially true if the website is critical in for you income.

  • Tech Support

A crucial factor for a lot of people, the tech support should be reliable as well as efficient. Let’s say that, for any unknown reason, your website goes down, will you be able to call anyone from their company? It’s better if they communication through phone or even video. More importantly, can they quickly find out what went wrong? Read up on their reviews regarding customer support.

  • Email Features

A lot of you might not have considered the email features when interviewing your web host or when asking for their help. Whenever spam problems pop up, a good reason for this might be the inadequate solution of the web host when facing spam complications. Ask the web host for general email practices as well as spam solutions that they can offer; you can also read up on reviews in case you want to also base on opinions.

  • Area of Expertise

Not all web hosts can offer what every client needs, they also have their own field of expertise that might not be what some people were looking for. Some web hosts may offer amazing shared plans, but lack in providing solutions for growing businesses. Meanwhile, some offer the best solutions but are just not the best candidate for people with blogs. Remember, before you purchase a web hosting plan, have a look at their area of expertise.

  • Hardware

Well, in terms of hardware, you might be required to do some reading or question-asking in order to find your answers. Exactly what kind of machines and technology does the web hosting company have in their process? Are they the latest model available? Do they get regular checking? Or are they a group of spare parts all mixed together in hopes of things going well? In case the web host company doesn’t immediately mention the servers that they currently use, then it’s up to you to ask. It might seem a little too much but keep in mind that the hardware that they use will affect the performance of both your website as well as their own servers.

  • Add-Ons and Features

As you read the features and add-ons offered by a web hosting company, think about ‘what makes this specific web hosting company better than the rest?’ What else can they provide, like a bonus or an incentive, in order to make transactions all that more attractive and favorable? Regardless if it’s numerous data centers, additional features, free domain privacy, regular data back up or energy-saving practices, they should offer more than general servers.

  • Reputation and Customer Reviews

Don’t go for the reviews that are displayed on the official website of the web hosting company; obviously, they won’t post any unsatisfactory reviews. If you want to find unbiased reviews, you need to be a little creative in your searches. Try Twitter or Google Blog search since people post almost everything nowadays in their accounts and that would include reviews. Are they easy to contact in case problems arise? Do they take an immediate and effective course of action? Are the services worth the amount paid for? Take note that one of the best things that came out of social media is the opportunity to ask anything and people reply more often than not.

5 Surprising Skills That You Can Pick From Gaming

Almost everyone has played a certain video game or mobile game, especially when we have nothing else to do at home. Once or twice, you may have heard of the phrase ‘why are you wasting your time with gaming when you never learn anything from it?’ Well, it’s not entirely true, gaming has taught us numerous skills and we might not even take notice of it.

  • Organization

Learning how to properly organize is crucial is many aspects of our lives; when your work is organized then everything go smoothly and if your home is organized as well then it will offer better hygiene. Games like Tetris and Organizations are some of the classic games that discretely taught us this skill. For those that don’t really feel like playing these puzzle games, majority of games available today will still involve organization. Resident Evil 4 for example, you have to organize missions, fight demons as well as organize all the items you need for your mission.

  • Timing

As the saying goes ‘timing is everything’ and games like Super Mario Brothers can testify to this. No matter how good you are at something, if the timing is all wrong then it will mean nothing. Sure, the timing you need in gaming is small compared to what you need in real life, but it’s your stepping stone in developing the perfect timing. The Prince of Persia game is another great example, you spend most of your time sprinting in order to pass dangerous obstacles and even backing up when avoiding immediate danger. So how does timing apply in everyday life? If you live in a busy area and always cross the street then you need to pay attention to the stoplights. As time goes on, you’d notice a pattern and know just when to start crossing the street; crossing the street and only getting halfway when stoplights turn can be incredibly confusing.

  • Managing Resources

Learning how to properly manage the resources that you have is crucial in the gaming world as well as in real life; in gaming it adds to the challenge, plus you can’t really get unlimited resources unless you cheat. Resource management is requires in almost every game genre out there; ammunition reserves in first person shooting, inventory items in role playing games as well as building and finding items at real time strategy games. RPG on the other hand would have you spending most of your time shopping and organizing the menus, it’s even more frustrating if you want every little item to match the outfit. In the end, you’ll always run out of one thing and leave other items untouched. The key would be to know which item should be saved up for emergency, the items that rank high on your inventory list and when to use the rare ones.

  • Interior Design

Not really the first skill that comes to mind when talking about gaming, but you can pick up some serious interior design skills with games that let you choosing and decorate a room or a city. Of course there are games available out there that revolve around designing your home or area. Games like the Sims or the Sim City lets you design your home as well as the appearance of your character. Some of us have even spent hours solely on the appearance of the character. You get a clear picture and see of every item, color and accessory works out.

  • Basic Morality

Aside from gaming, there are tons of other places to get an idea of morality; home, parents, school, church, movies, books and more. Almost all of the RPG game available in the market features storylines and characters on the good guy’s side; you strive to do missions for other people and for the common good. Players get a good idea to the storyline, who should win, the cause of the good guys and a deeper understanding of the other characters that they meet along the way. The more mature players out there likely complain that the win should go to the bad guys and that they want to experience the alternative storyline, but good will still prevail.

8 Things You Should Look For In A Cloud Service Provider

As you go from one cloud service provider to the next for the relevant needs of your company, it’s simply not enough to visit their homepages and read the reviews. While looking for the perfect scalable cloud hosting service that can greatly improve the success of your business, choose for compatible cloud service providers, the ones that can gibe virtualized infrastructure.  A guide would be extremely helpful if you don’t know where to start and that’s what we’ll give you.

  • Pricing

Before purchasing any package that they have, take a look at their pricing plans. If course majority of the cloud providers will state that they have the lowest prices and rates available, but you still won’t be able to avoid immediate payments and long-terms contracts that are part of the requirements. Go for the account that offer flexible pricing and actually lets you increase or decrease services according to your needs over time.

  • Reliability

All in all, how reliable can the cloud service provider be? As for the cloud servers, can they constantly handle data exchange and vigorous bandwidth?  Do some research and verify if the cloud service provider can easily handle the overall hosting environment; this is especially true if your website has enough traffic as it is.

  • Customer-driven

Like in any other service provider out there, it’s quite difficult to work with a cloud provider where you feel that they’re only after profits and sale. Be sure that the cloud provider that you want to work with is customer-driven and offers customer support 24/7. Not only that, but they should be reachable through various forms of communications like email, chat and call. To be extra certain, you might want to do some additional research and compare the customer ratings of a handful of cloud providers.

  • Expertise

Handling something as important as this should go to expert cloud service providers, those that have already established their name in the industry and not to the ones who are only starting out; we’re not saying that they’re not any good but they may lack experience. Professionals know almost every nook and cranny in their respective fields; from addressing special cases to knowing the best software to use. Expert cloud service providers know exactly what enterprise users require and jump on ahead of all their competitors.

  • Financial Stability

You may not have thought to take the financial stability into account, but it’s important in choosing a cloud service provider. Specific factors that you have to look into involve their current position in the stock market as the numbers of years of their experience; a cloud service provider who’s been in business for over 10 years is highly recommended. Search for the latest news and updates regarding the stock prices, financial reports and earnings of the cloud provider of your choices.

  • Transparent

Aside from pricing plans, other factors should also be transparent so take a good look into the managed service agreements, terms of service, data policies, security and other fine prints; no one wants to be with fees that they thought they didn’t sign up for or limitations as to the package they chose. By taking careful measures, you avoid compromising the private information of your clients as well as high possibilities of outage when peak seasons come in.

  • Easy to Manage

A cloud service provider should not be difficult for the IT staff to manage, maintain and control. Overall, it should be simple and efficient, not more trouble than it’s actually worth. Search for a cloud service provider that lets the user see all the service through a single and unified interface.

  • Integration

All those late adopters tend to have reservations when it comes to shifting the entire infrastructure to cloud; the main reason for the hesitation is the wide of use of a premise working environment. But once they see the amazing potential that cloud can add to their business and services, then all the reluctance will disappear. Once you’re convinced, all that’s left is to search for a cloud service provider that can integrate the current network resources into apps and services using the easiest method possible.

5 Big Data Trends Affecting Financial Organizations

Today’s financial institutions are being affected and redefined by five big data trends. Institutions keep a close eye on the regulatory capital requirements while taking into account that there are relevant technological advancements on a daily basis.  All the while they need to watch out for new participants in the market, especially the ones that can cause serious changes in capital sources, returns and investments. And to top it all off, they have to watch out for the behavioral and demographic changes caused by the younger generation.

  • Regulatory Complexity and Changes

Because of the series of financial crisis we had in the past, regulatory pressures have considerably increases the cost of capital. Banks have turned to divest in risky or capital intensive departments and businesses. Banks have backed away from lending to specific divisions like infrastructure and SMEs, all the while investing and recruiting majorly in compliance to new regulatory requirements. Despite the pressure from all the regulations, the non-banking financial institutions offer competitive services to any client of the bank like establishing certain funds as well as investments in brand new challenges. FinTech firms are not subject to the exact same financial pressures.

  • Advantages in Technology and Digitalization

Financial institutions and the services that they provide are changed by all the significant technological advancements. This has paved the way for new challenges to disturb all the traditional business models; this opens opportunities in the new market. The universality of significant technology all over the world, like mobile phones and the World Wide Web, gave birth to companies that offer affordable service for the traditional services; common examples are online trading and e-payments. The technology that we have today has significantly improved the way customers interact with any financial institution. Sure, investing in the IT infrastructure has become common but numerous traditional banks still remain as they are.

  • Advancements in Capital Sources, Returns and Investments

There has been significant delay on returns and additional demands for time management because of the new regulatory capital requirements. Banks all over the world comply with stress tests in responding to numerous regulatory investigations or managing ever rising regulatory fines. A handful of non-bank financial institutions are considered are more profitable compared to banks. Aside from that, they are large and significant when concerning global stability. Competitors under lighter regulatory rules have entered divisions previously taken by banks and such new opportunities are created; lending, ownership of assets and insurances are the most common.

  • Behavioral and Demographic Changes

The younger generation, specifically the millennial, have totally different expectations and ways of cooperating with numerous financial institutions; they opt for social media and online based platforms. Social media has been a major method of connecting or communicating their praise and complaints; not going for traditional customer loyalties. Meanwhile, retirees and more mature customers demand higher returns from their investments. Bottom line, there is tremendous regulatory and government pressure on asset managers and pensions fund to lessen the management fees but still maximize the returns as much as possible.

  • Global Talent and Skills Race

Due to the new challenges created by technological advancements, regulatory pressures and risk management, a lot of the top leaders can’t keep up. New leaders are needed by financial institutions, leaders that can understand, manage and identify emerging risks. New leaders are required by FinTech firms, traditional banks, regulators and NBFIs. The competition for the spot has become even fiercer since the talent pool has continued to decrease but the demand has slowly risen over the years. The advanced technology we have will diminish the physical divide but only effective leader can remove cultural differences.