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  • Black Friday Cyber Monday Blur

    Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when many retailers become profitable. Stores were closed on Thanksgiving (Thursday) and then opened early on Friday. After Black Friday, when people go back to work, many shop on Cyber Monday (on their work computers). But, this year, since Thanksgiving came in the last week of November, the shopping time until Christmas is shorter. In order to increase sales over last year, many managers made the decision to open their stores on Thanksgiving Day. Nielson reported, "While shopping tendencies among all consumers didn't shift dramatically between 2011 and 2012, there were some significant changes among multicultural consumers." See the infographic below. Nielson states, "The line between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is blurring, as many U.S. consumers are going online for holiday deals on the biggest shopping day of the year for brick-and-mortar retailers." What is wrong with the in-store shopping experience? Why do people want to shop online? If you were a store manager, would you change the in-store shopping experience? If so, what would you change?
  • Google's Maps Engine Pro

    Brian McClendon, vice president of Google Maps, said that Google's new Maps Engine Pro "will be the new document type, and Google's adding it to the arsenal. Every user can and should be a cartographer." Heather Folsom, the Maps Engine Pro product manager, explained, "Anything that has an address or physical place of being is not helped by spreadsheets. Maps Engine Pro uploads that info and places it on a map. She added that companies can use public data sheets as well, such as building development plans for a growing area or an area that's being rebuilt" (Source: Seth Rosenblatt, "Google Maps charts new territory into businesses," CNET, October 21, 2013). In the video above, Pure Fix Cycles demonstrates how they're using Google Apps and Maps to manage their operations as efficiently as possible. Map pins can be based on units and maps and drawing boundaries can be annotated. Seth Rosenblatt reports, "Google hopes that businesses will use Maps Engine Pro to help them chart and plan strategies, as it can be used for plotting not just client or customer addresses, but different price regions, locations where business is weak or nonexistent, and potential new locations." Think of a business situation using a spreadsheet. Could that information be placed on a map? How could that map help employees visualize a situation and then, its progress? How can managers use Maps Engine Pro?
  • Will a robot take your job?

    Technology, computers, and robots are doing the jobs of secretaries, administrative workers, repairmen, and manufacturing workers. In "Dancing with Robots" (see attached) "economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane point out that computers replace human workers only when machines meet two key conditions.First, the information necessary to carry out the task must be put in a form that computers can understand, and second, the job must be routine enough that it can be expressed in a series of rules" (Farhad Manjoo, " Humans 1, Robots 0 ," The Wall Street Journal , October 6, 2013). View the video above. How do real-life robots differ from robots in TV and movies? Farhad Manjoo reports that software developer Martin Ford said that in the future, " all but the most non-routine-type jobs " will cease to exist. Read the attached article. What can you do to keep robots from taking your job?
  • Tips to Save Time with Microsoft Office

    We all want to be more organized and productive at work. In this video, Melissa Esquibel, a Microsoft certified trainer and contributing editor for Business Management Daily's Office Technology Today newsletter, shares five tips to save time when using Microsoft Office. Save an often used document style as a template. Use quick parts to save clicks. Create PowerPoint slides quickly by typing your bullet points in the outline tab. Use Excel Table Styles for lists. Use Outlook Rules to folder emails you don't need to read right now, but need to keep. Ms. Esquibel says these 5 tips can save you 24 hours. Which of these tips have you used? Which one will you start to use? Share a Microsoft Office tip that has saved you time.
  • Facebook Introduces #Hashtags

    Facebook announced in a blog post last week that users will be able to click a hashtag to see a feed of discussions about a particular topic. A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #, created by Twitter users as a way to identify their messages. Hashtags identify topics being discussed and allow users to search for them. Even though hashtags did't work on Facebook, many people used them anyway. Perhaps Facebook managers read research from Nielsen. " Among tablet owners, general Web searches (76%) and general Web browsing (68%) are still among the top second-screen activities. But consumers are also using second screens for activities that are directly related to the content they’re viewing, as almost half of tablet owners look up information about what they’re watching." It seems reasonable to predict that Facebook will incorporate hashtags into its advertising business. Source: Nielsen http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2013/action-figures--how-second-screens-are-transforming-tv-viewing.html Do you think that Facebook added hashtags to satisfy customers or to make more money from advertisers? Explain. When do you want to find out what others are discussing? How do you search the conversations? How could managers use hashtags to communicate with employees?
  • How Google Understands You

    When you want to know something, do you 'google' it? How does it work? Vertical Measures answers that question with an infographic. How does literal search differ from semantics? What jobs might this technology replace? Infographic by Vertical Measures
  • National Data Privacy Month

    Data Privacy Month began as National Data Privacy Day on January 28th four years ago. Legislation in 2009 declared every January 28th as the day for national data privacy awareness. Privacy is concerned with how data/information is managed, used, and disclosed. Security deals with the protection of data/information from being lost, stolen, or improperly accessed. SANS and EDUCAUSE developed this privacy awareness video used by colleges and universities. Managers train employees to incorporate the following work habits into their day-to-day activities. Share information with authorized personnel. When in doubt, don't give it out. Limit the amount of company information you carry. Change your passwords periodically. Position monitors so that bystanders cannot see internal or confidential information on your screen. Lock information whenever you are away. Lock your screen or workstation before leaving your workspace using any of or a combination of the three methods: Simultaneously press the Windows logo on your keyboard and the L key.Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys simultaneously.Set your computer to time out after a set time of idleness. Lock file cabinets. Lock office doors. What other tips can you share to insure privacy and security?
  • Cookies and Behavioral Tracking

    Privacy is the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance. Security is the degree of resistance to, or protection from, harm. It is the freedom from danger, risk, etc. The video below, "How Advertisers Use Internet Cookies to Track," explains how advertisers use cookies to track your online habits. Is it a coincidence when you see Web ads for products that match your interests? Do managers use your information to provide you with better products and services? If so, what is the problem with advertisers using cookies to track?
  • Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season

    This holiday season, more people than ever before will shop online using their smart phones, tablets, and computers. In this video, John Stewart , Chief Security Officer at Cisco shares the information people need to stay safe online this holiday shopping season. He says, "Nearly half of all shoppers in the United States will find gifts online this holiday season and while this trend is convenient, it opens the door to major security threats." What concerns do you have about shopping online? Were your questions answered?
  • October is Cyber Security Month

    Did you know that in 2011, Virus protection software detected and blocked over 5.5 billion cyber attacks - nearly double the number from 2010. But it's not just the sheer volume of attacks that's worrisome. They're also getting smarter and more sophisticated. Some highlights: Web based attacks increased by 36% with over 4,500 new attacks each day. 403 million new variants of malware were created in 2011, a 41% increase of 2010. SPAM volumes dropped by 13% in 2011 over rates in 2010. 39% of malware attacks via email used a link to a web page. Mobile vulnerabilities continued to rise, with 315 discovered in 2011. The attached file gives some useful tips to keep your identity, your computer, and devices safe. Most jobs use computers. In the past, different jobs could be depicted, but today every job looks the same because it is depicted with someone sitting at a computer! Is there any job that doesn't involve using a computer? What is it?
  • Search Engine Complexity

    Courtesy Stone Temple Consulting With trillions of pages on the Web, managers want to make sure that their company's Web site is found. The infographic above depicts the massive numbers involved with indexing and searching the Web. How can managers ensure that their company's Web pages are found? Do you take search for granted?
  • Customer Service is Social

    The use of social media improves customer service. Sword Ciboodle , a global provider of customer engagement solutions, and customer experience advisory thinkJar, developed a survey to answer the question, "How can an organization embrace social channels and technologies to improve customer service?" Managers can use this information to improve their organization's customer service. According to the report, 60 percent of companies polled in the U.S. and the U.K are using both Facebook and Twitter to answer questions from customers. Eighty-five percent of companies use one source - Facebook or Twitter -- to address feedback. In this Sword Ciboodle video, Paul Greenberg, President of the 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light discusses the social customer. This is The Part 1 and there is The Social Customer Part 2 . Mitch Lieberman , vice president of market strategy at Sword Ciboodle, noted, "The most successful customer service program will happen for businesses who incorporate social into their overall customer engagement practices." In the video, Lieberman discusses systems of engagement and systems of record. How have you engaged (interacted and communicated) online with a product or service? What records (transactions, details, and contact information) does the company have on you? How does this information help managers improve customer service?
  • Technology Trends

    High-tech know-how can result in management success. Managers must search for information, evaluate content, and present information. In order to promote understanding, managers need to develop channels of communication. The last few years have seen a shift in consumer behavior, which has driven companies to embrace Web sites, social media, and online videos. (Employees are consumers, too. In fact, we are all consumers.) Computers support the work of managers. At work, managers are active users of the Internet and email, word processing, spreadsheets and databases, and calendar and scheduling. Comprehensive company Web sites should differentiate the company from the competition, because consumers have access to products and services 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). The Web is the starting place for many consumers as they shop for products and services. They search for information on the Web, and many begin their search with their mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet PCs. Managers can take advantage of technology trends to benefit their companies, as well as their careers. Proper use of communications technology gives managers more control over how the company is perceived by others. Trends in technology include cloud computing, mobile apps, online videos, more data, and social media. Cloud Computing - In cloud computing, data is stored off-site instead of in on-site computer hard drives. Paperwork can be automated. Managers can create virtual folders that give employees access to documents and information. These folders can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet. Mobile Apps - Software applications on smart phones (apps) give employees real-time access to information. Online Videos - Videos can be used to share information with employees, as well as to train employees. Messages can be conveyed through email, video, or Web chats. Videos are already mobile compatible; they are fun, they add a face to a company's product, and are inexpensive to produce. Plus, viewers can share videos with their friends. More Data -As more documents are digitized, online data becomes more complete, and managers and employees have access to more information. This should result in better decision making. Social Media - Social media connects managers with employees. They can create blogs, wikis, Twitter handles, and Facebook pages as ways to pass along information, start conversations, and engage users. Social media should be used as a tool for honest communication. If customers are unhappy, managers can speak directly to customers about how the situation can be corrected. Plus, social media can be shared. Managers can become influential if they write, take speaking engagements, talk to their audiences, and connect. If not, they become irrelevant. Which technology trends do you think will be the most important to managers and employees? Explain your choice(s).
  • IBM Global 2011 CIO Study

    Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are responsible for managing digital infrastructure and enforcing security, data integrity and system availability. IBM interviewed 3,018 CIOs from 71 countries and 18 industries. The research identified four distinct CIO mandates defined by the predominant goals of the enterprise. The role of information technology (IT) is to leverage, to expand, to transform, or to pioneer. CIOs with a Leverage mandate use collaboration and communication to improve operations and increase organizational effectiveness. CIOs with an Expand mandate refine business processes and enhance decision making. CIOs with a Transform mandate simplify internal and external processes. CIOs with a Pioneer mandate innovate products, markets, and business models, which drive new revenue and boost profitability. Global CIO study highlights are available for the following industries: banking, insurance, financial markets, retail, consumer products, travel, transportation, government, U.S. government, healthcare, life sciences, communications, media and entertainment, energy and utilities, automotive, electronics, and chemicals and petroleum. A self-assessment tool is available, featuring the same questions IBM asked the CIOs. The assessment compares individual results with the study findings, and provides the individual with a specific mandate that outlines what ther organization is looking for from IT.