Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Choosing The Right Retail Technology Partner

Would you ask an unsuccessful person how to become more successful? Or ask a friend with a run-down car what the best vehicle is on the market? I would think not.
So, it is suffice to say that you shouldn't ask a fellow retailer who is struggling with their business technology where to get software technology from. In more cases than one, you'll find they got software that didn't suit their needs, and have a retail service provider who isn't helping them succeed.
Having the right technology is one thing. Having a good retail technology partner who knows retail and backed by an excellent support team is quite another. These two things go hand-in-glove.
These service providers, or "Value-added Resellers" (VARS), are a key factor to helping a retailer boost efficiencies and increase profits. They will help a retailer make the right business decisions on technology and ensure that the technology they chose fits their business needs.
A retail technology partner should know retail, not just retail technology. When choosing a VAR, look for these key factors:
* Retail experts able to consult with you about your needs and who help you with making the right technology choice.
* Retail sales consultants who provide the best technology tools to help you in running your business.
* Knowledgeable and highly experienced technical support staff.
* Support staff who are quick to respond and always available when you need them.
* Tailored support plans to get the most out of the system.
* Technicians with the ability to customize the system to fit your needs, handling everything from seamless installation and conversion to project management.
* Retail consultants that help train your employees on a new system and provide on-going training and education.
A home furnishing and gift store in Mesa, California turned to a VAR to help them with their choice in a retail point of sale system. The store Fleur De Lys partnered with One Step Data. The company installed Retail Pro® as the best choice for the store and, since the installation, owners Shannon Ritter and Josephine Pfeiffer have maintained a proactive relationship with One Step Data. "We are always getting information regarding new products and system information," says Ritter. "I certainly don't feel we've been abandoned since our purchase. It's like having a corporate Help Desk or IT department."
Having expert help makes a big difference for retailers. Who else can they turn to if they don't have knowledgeable experts who know retail?
"Technology is an important tool for business, especially for retailers," says Scott Kreisberg, owner of One Step Data. "The market has exploded with literally thousands of companies offering different technology solutions. But not all companies are alike."
Kreisberg's company has been helping retailers with their business and point of sale systems for over 20 years. His confidence in his company being able to offer the right solution to retailers comes from having the best products at their disposal, and over two decades of experience and knowledge implementing technology in retail businesses.
"We have become the central nervous system of our customers," claims Kreisberg, "and are constantly working on ways to help them improve their store operations."
Retailers should contact a VAR to meet with them personally and determine whether or not that reseller fully understands retail, not just retail technology. The VAR should be able to find a solution that fits with the way the retailer does business and work with them every step of the way to help them achieve their goals.
Candy Ross is a contributing retail technology writer for One Step Retail Solutions’ publications.

The Rate Of Technological Development

If we look over the last century and examine the rate of technological growth. We can forgive ourselves for feeling a little proud about how quickly things have moved forward compared to the previous centuries. Flying at speed. Moving underwater stealthily. Travelling in space to name a fraction of what the human race has achieved in such a short span of time.
The big question though, is could we have progressed any faster and further in that space of time? The answer to that question is a big resounding YES!
Since we have been civilised enough to be able to maintain a system of currency, we have had to rely on that very method of exchange, and commerce has taken full advantage of this situation. In fact, commerce has become so powerful that it actually controls the rate at which we progress.
There are currently three levels of technology in existence.
1) Commercial Technology.
This is the technology we use in everyday life. Covering all manner of toys, tools and useful objects. However, the level at which commercial technology is at. Is higher than that used in commercially available products. Now we could argue that the technology they hold back, is not fully tested, and therefore not completely safe. This might be true in very small percentages. The major reason for holding back is good old money. It's all about making as much money out of a particular product before they move on to the next one. How many times have you seen products advertised as cutting edge at cut price? Only to find that they are outdated months later. Hard selling of latest technology at low prices is a key indicator that commerce is about to release a technologically superior product. So perhaps you can now see the control. What would happen to our technology if this didn't happen?
2) Military Technology.
This is more advanced than commercial technology. There's a lot of military technology we know about, and a lot we don't know about. Governments will hold back the release of this technology into the commercial arena, because it can give them a tactical advantage in a military sense. The components used in military hardware will generally have a longer life than those used in commercial products. I remember having a component catalogue in the 1980's. I could buy standard or military components. Standard were guaranteed for 1 year. Military for 5 years. They are generally more expensive. Commerce avoids using these products. The excuse is cost but it's more likely to be because they want to sell you products at regular intervals. Having a product that lasted for a long time would be counter productive to them.
3) Experimental Technology.
This area is way ahead of commercial technology, but is closely watched by the military. There are developments currently in progress which are things that you possibly, couldn't even comprehend, or didn't even think was in the realm of possibility. The deepest and most secret of these are run by government bodies, and some of them, apparently, don't exist. Again, this is for tactical reasons. If you could see what they were cooking up you would be amazed in one sense, and possibly frightened out of your skin.
So there we have it. After taking all these points into consideration, it's quite obvious to see that progress is thwarted by these processes. Well, let's see what the next few decades bring. Don't worry though. Most of it is already here.

How to Select an Information Technology Consultant for your Business

Choosing the right information technology consultant for your business can be a critical business decision. The computer and network support company you choose directly impacts your productivity, your flexibility, and even your bottom line. Technology plays an integral role in today's business world. Blackberries, laptops, email and instant messenger have all become tools of the trade when communicating with clients. But what happens when your email goes down? Or when you can't connect to the internet to collect time-sensitive data for a customer? The benefits of technology can come at a price, and it is times like these when businesses, especially smaller companies, need a reliable IT partner who can reduce downtime. You may think the number one criteria when selecting an information technology consultant should be expertise. Although expertise is definitely a deciding factor, a potential computer and network support company's customer service approach should be considered closely as well. After all, what good is an expert when you can't get in touch with him to fix your critical IT issues?
The Difference Between an IT Partner and a Vendor
It may seem like semantics, but there is a real difference between a network support company that signs on to be your IT partner and an information technology consultant that is just another vendor selling applications and services. An IT partner should have a customer service model that aligns with the long-term goals of its clients and is focused on helping to grow clients' businesses.
Many computer and network support companies' approach to customer service leaves something to be desired. You call to schedule an on-site visit because your network is having issues, and it is slowing your turn-around time down to a snail's pace. You get a call back four hours later from an employee that you have never spoken with before. They can come, but it will have to be tomorrow or possibly Monday, because all of their guys are working on a network issue at a major law firm. To these vendors, your company is just another small fish in a sea of bigger clients.
To an information technology consultant that is a true partner, your business, whether large or small, is their business. A network support company that take the partner approach does not take technical issues lightly because they understand that IT can make or break a company. A partner takes the time to get to know the ins and outs of your business from day one. They understand what your company needs, from a technological perspective, to be successful, and they will not only provide that, but also offer advice on how to use technology to grow your business. Overall, this type of information technology consultant provides much more than services - they act as an extension of your business.
Signs of a Dependable Computer and Network Support Company
When searching for the right computer and network support company, you should keep an eye out for some tell-tale signs that will provide insight into whether the partner you are considering is a good fit for your company. First, ask the following questions when researching potential partners:
  • Will my company be assigned one individual who will act as our primary information technology consultant? If the potential computer and network support company says no, then there is a good chance that you will be talking to someone different every time you call in with an issue. This can get tricky because when more than one person is responsible for your account, your requests can slip through the cracks. Also, the blame game will likely occur with this scenario - "I thought Bob said that he was going to call you back."
  • Can you tell me about your escalation process when dealing with client issues? This is an essential question because some issues are more time-sensitive than others and, if your information technology consultant is unavailable, you need to know what back-up plan measures are in place to expedite resolution of your issues.
  • Will my IT contact be able to break down technical jargon into something I can understand? Most of us are not as technically savvy as our IT consultants - after all, that is why we hired them! There is nothing worse than paying top dollar for technical expertise but not being able to understand a word the expert says. And, some consultants come off as down right egotistical when they fail to notice that you are lost as they are describing your network infrastructure. A good information technology consultant has the technical smarts but knows how to communicate so that even the least technically savvy person in the group can follow.
Use your instincts - you can usually glean a lot from your first conversation with a potential IT and network support company. If your questions seem to stump them or, if they act as if they are hurried, expect more of the same behavior in the future. A network support company whose focus is on partnership will likely play an integral role in achieving your company's long-term goals. That is why it is essential to treat the research and selection process as if you are hiring on a full-time employee.
Conclusion
There are many factors to consider when searching for the right information technology consultant. The selection process will be unique to a certain extent for each company, but asking key questions about the potential computer and network support company's service should help single out the best candidates. Most companies will agree that a blend of expertise and a dependable customer service model make for a good IT partner.


Woodrow Cannon the founder of Thought Streams, Inc., a computer and network support company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Woodrow has more than ten years of experience as an information technology consultant for a wide range of hardware and software packages. Thought Streams, Inc. specializes in affordable Atlanta IT support for small and mid-sized businesses. To learn more, visit www.thoughtstreams.com.

Impact of Information Technology on Organizational Performance

Investment in IT is usually aimed at improving productivity, profitability and quality of operations but Devaraj and Kohli (2003) were unable to identify the impact of technology on the organizational performance. Kelly (1994) found out that the reason for the inability to properly explain the relationship between technology and productivity was due to the aggregated unit of analysis at the organizational level which adds to the complexity of isolating the effects of any individual technology. He noted that the chance of finding IT usage impacts depends on how detailed the analysis is. Devaraj and Kohli (2003) stated that examining the amount of money invested in IT may not yield accurate measure of IT effectiveness because levels of usage could be different across industries, firms and processes. In their own contribution to the fledging debate on IT usage impacts, Goodhue and Thompson (1995) explained that the fit between task and technology would have to be established before IT utilization can lead to individual performance impacts. In order to achieve task- technology fit, the technology and targeted application would have to be compatible as well as the availability of qualified users who will use the technology (Goodhue & Thompson, 1995). This proposition implies that IT infrastructure and the organization's business goal would have to be in alignment.
The IT usage literature has shown that there is difference between voluntary use of IT and mandatoriness. Subjective norm was found to affect mandatory IT use whereas it was absent in voluntary use. Also, it was noted that pay off in technology do not usually occur instantaneously but are realized over time (Devaraj and Kohli, 2003; Hartwick and Barki, 1994). Peffers and Dos Santos (1996) conducted a survey on the impact of IT in banks and observed that cross-sectional studies that are done soon after applications are installed may not yield desired results by not finding benefits even if their is potential for large benefits. Their study indicated that impact of IT on performance became apparent after certain time lag and that benefits from IT accrued more to early adopters than late adopters.
References:
Devaraj, S., & Kohli, R. (2003). Performance impacts of Information Technology:
Is actual usage the missing link. Management Science, 49(3), 273-289.
Goodhue, D.L, & Thompson, R. L. (1995). task technology fit and individual performance. MIS Quarterly, (19)2, 213-236.
Hartwick, J., & Barki, J. (1994). Explaining the role of user participation in information system use. Management Science. 40, 40-465.
Kelly, M. (1994). Productivity and Information Technology: The elusive connection. Management Science, 40(11), 1406-1425
Peffers, K., & Dos Santos, L. (1996). Performance effects of innovative IT applications over time. IEEE Trans Engrg. Management, 43(4), 381-392.
Dr. Austin Umezurike is an experienced Information Technology management consultant with more than 15 years experience in business technology consulting. He has unique experience in utilizing the mix of technology and business to achieve organizational and industry leadership in technology and to gain competitive advantage. His interests include Organizational IT strategy, Organizational assessment, Business IT alignment, Outsourcing/Sourcing, Supply Chain management, IT Audit/Compliance, training and new business development strategies.
Dr. Umezurike holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology Management and Masters in Information Technology from Capella University, Minneapolis, MN

Is Science a Blessing Or a Curse?

The gifts of science are indisputable and countless. There can be no denying the fact that science has made so much progress that life of a man, society, nation and the world has advanced tremendously. The knowledge gained learn through science and scientific technology speaks volumes about man's ingenuity and skill. If all this was not achieved by science it would be no wonder that, even today, man might have been the animal as he was in the ages past - i.e. just another animal. It is science that has given us all the amenities of modern living that we can proudly boast of end enjoy.
The drudgery of household work has been reduced to an almost nil by the numerous gifts of science. You have much task to do, and there is a machine to do it for you. In its social aspect, no matter where we want to go, whomsoever we want to meet, the scientist has helped us and we have umpteen scientific modes of traveling to and fro. We want entertainment, the radio and then the television are at our doorstep to do the job, in our drawing rooms or in the bedrooms. If we want to gain knowledge we have other media - books. This is also the result of mechanization of solving problems. When we want to know more about other countries of the world, we have the internet to help us out. So, in a nutshell, we can say that, the twins of science and mechanism have brought us out of the darkness of the woods. Let us understand that, is the subject, and mechanization is the outcome. We can say the two are like two bodies and one soul.
Our lifestyle is now undoubtedly much above and the animal that of man ages back. This journey has taken man centres but, it has been worth it. Now, having studied the gifts of Science to mankind, it will do us some good if we do some introspection and try also to study how, and to what extent we are now misusing our scientific knowledge. As far as science is helping man to make life better it is very good but, does man stop there? He continues his so-called study and research which further leads him on to the destructive capability of science. We are in for making bombs, using nuclear energy for purposes of destruction. Today man has the most destructive weapons ever produced. One bomb can annihilate civilization. In the event of a third world war, there is no doubt that man will perish. It is at this aspect of scientific growth we must put a stop whose gain will it be, if the world is destroyed? I am sure it will benefit none. Yes, none at all. We must understand that we should not pursue the track that leads to annihilation. All the gifts of science must be enjoyed to the full and that can happen only if man survives to taste the fruits of mechanization. Production of destructive weapons the greatest curse of science to men.
On the home front also it is felt that, too much mechanization, accounts for our inability to work of our own self. We get so used to machines that our bodies get absolutely frozen and become unfit to do any work. Moving about all the time in cars makes our physique. This creeps several diseases. We become basically very lazy.
On the national front, mechanization has led to industrialization which, in turn has given birth to extensive unemployment and capitalism. Machines being devices to save labour, have mercilessly thrown thousand out of employment, and capitalism has led to class struggle, the big capitalists exploiting the poor labourers.
At the lowest and smallest level of life, man has lost his own humaneness as though he himself has become a machine. He has got so enmeshed in the machines that the has lost all contact with his own species who make for his live company. This live company has been sacrificed for the mechanical idiot box. As son as man loses touch with his kin, he is most likely to become a machine whose company he keeps all the while. The human touch which was so special about a family and the society is getting lost as every individual has become more or less a machine.
Besides these mundane and down-to-earth results of scientific growth, there is one very important aspect which has got lost. Science leaves no place to accommodate God or religion. For the scientific and mechanical mind can understand only what he sees or, something that can be explained with some amount of reasoning. God and religion are two things that can have no mathematical formulae to explain. Today's man cannot understand this so called foolish premise of the existence of any God.
This disbelief in God is leading to further degeneration of the family and the society, the two essential composites of a healthy nation. There does not in today's context seem to be any force that can convince man of the necessity of being God fearing and thus being good. Man understand only what he can see and these days his vision is too blurred to see the place of God in the scheme of things. This irreligious attitude of man is further bringing down to the lowest ebb, the sensitivity of our very beings.
Thus we see that the blessings of science though innumerable, have a matching number of abuses. The abuses are so great that they even pose the danger of complete annihilation of the human race, both physically and mentally and of course spiritually. Looking at the sum total of the scenario the abuses outnumber the blessings. This is because man is basically destructive by nature and getting too much of scientific know-how will only confirm his doom.
Rajesh Mohan is a Indian Poet and Freelance Writer. For more, check out
• Kerala Backwaters [http://keralabackwatertour.org/]
• Calicut University MBA [http://universityofcalicut.in/calicutuniversity/calicut-university-mba-admission-notification/117]

Elementary Science Fair Projects - Growing Crystals

In this elementary science fair project we are going to look at crystals and we are going to try and grow crystals. In nature we find crystals in all shapes and sizes. We get ones that are considered valuable, like diamonds, and others that are not considered so valuable. All crystals have their own quality and are beautiful. Crystals are easy to grow and are therefore a very suitable elementary science fair project.
The definition of a crystal according to the Oxford Dictionary:
A piece of a homogeneous solid substance having a natural geometrically regular form with symmetrically arranged plane faces. Chemistry: any solid consisting of a symmetrical, ordered, three-dimensional aggregation of atoms or molecules. A clear transparent mineral, especially quartz.
For our elementary science fair project we are going to grow crystals in a gelatin solution. Because heat is going to be used, this science experiment should be done under adult supervision.
What you will need for this experiment:
  • A 1-pint glass jar
  • A ¼ cup of table sugar
  • A ½ Cup of distilled water
  • 0.25 ounce of unflavored gelatin
  • A small saucepan
  • Spoon
The method for this elementary science fair project:
  1. First you have to pour the water into your saucepan.
  2. Now you sprinkle the gelatin over the water and allow it to soak for a few minutes.
  3. Place the saucepan on the stove and heat the water while you are stirring to dissolve the gelatin completely in the water.
  4. Continue stirring while you add the sugar.
  5. Continue until the sugar is completely dissolved in the water.
  6. After the solution (what is a solution?) has cooled down for about 5 minutes you have to pour it carefully into your jar.
  7. Now you have to leave the jar undisturbed for at least two weeks.
  8. Make daily observations and write them down carefully.
  9. It might even be a good idea to take photos of your elementary science fair project every day to use in your display. Remember a good display is almost as important as the experiment!
  10. Take note that more than one thing happens at a time with this experiment. What are the two things?
  11. Why is it happening?
If you did this elementary science fair project right, the gelatin in the water will cause the water to set. (Think jello!) The other thing that happens is that after a few days clear crystals form inside the gel and it appears to be suspended throughout the gel. Remember to take photos every day to show how the crystals grow bigger and bigger every day. You can also draw charts to show how the crystals are formed throughout the gel.
Now you also have to be able to explain why it happens:
As you heat the water, more of your solute (that what is dissolved in the water) will dissolve in the water (called your solvent) as would have when the water is cold. Now when the water starts to cool there is more sugar dissolved in the water than would normally have been dissolved in it. Now we get what is called a supersaturated solution.
Now, as the water evaporates your solution becomes even more supersaturated and it becomes unstable, now any disturbance will cause the microscopic molecules of the solute to stick together and form crystals. At first the crystals are too small to be seen but, as they grow they become bigger and visible as they form clumps throughout the gel. The reason for the gel in your elementary science fair project is to keep the crystals suspended and thus ensuring that many crystals form.
For an even better elementary science fair project you can do more than one experiment. Repeat the above but change some of the conditions. See what happens of the solution cools down slower by maybe placing your jar in a big thermos flask. You can also use a bottle with a narrow mouth instead of the jar and see if the slower evaporation of the water makes a difference. You can even make a solution with different kinds of sugar such as sucrose glucose and fructose and see what happens then. The possibilities are endless and this elementary science fair project can be as simple or as involved as you would like.
Get more Elementary Science Fair Projects when you visit. Magriet also have a website with Fun Science Fair Projects [http://www.learnerscience.com/documents/elementaryscienceprojects.html] and just for the fun a spinning egg one at Magriet Recommends [http://www.our-crazy-world.com/documents/sciencefairprojects.html]

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Complete Forensic Nursing Education

Forensic nursing education is offered by all small and big schools and universities in the US today. Forensic nursing is an in demand job these days. With the excellent work that forensic nurses are doing in crime investigation and law enforcement, they have become a necessity for the crime branch of the United States. Crime rate in our society is increasing at an alarming rate which calls for new and innovative means to take on and defeat the crime and the criminals. Several criminal investigation teams and organizations want to have forensic nurses in their team and they are looking for fully trained and educated forensic nurses.
Forensic Nursing Education makes you fully trained to take up the job of a forensic nurse. You are trained to provide not only medical aid but also legal aid to the victims of physical attack, sexual abuse and mental trauma. You are also trained to provide psychiatric help to the accused and make assessments on that basis. You learn the nuances of forensic sciences like how to safely recognize, collect and preserve evidence, diagnose and examine the victims and so on.
There are different branches of forensic nursing education. You can choose what field you want to pursue. SANE or sexual assault nurse examiner is trained to help victims of child abuse, domestic violence, spousal abuse, rape, molestation or any other form of sexual abuse. This job category recruits the most number of forensic nurses. It is also preferred by the most number of students as it does not involve investigating on crime scene or diagnosing dead bodies. They teach you how to help the victims cope with suffering and trauma. You also learn to detect and collect evidence from the victim's body.
The next is Emergency Room Nursing. Most of the times, valuable evidence is lost in the chaos and confusion of emergency room, education in forensic nursing teaches you to recognize signs of violence and abuse and also take particular care that the evidence is not spoiled by any means. You can also take up the Medical legal consultant studies. It would teach you how to provide legal and medical aid to victims. Medical Legal Examiner courses will teach you how to diagnose, make examinations and assessments on the victims. Evidence collection training makes you specialized in collecting medical and other evidences from the crime scene as well as from victims. You can also learn how to work with law enforcement teams. There is another department called medico-legal death investigator. A medico legal death investigator investigates into the causes of death and determines whether the causes were natural or if there are suggestions of foul play.