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Category Archives: Future of Tech




Deer Valley Data Joins the Newtek Family of Companies

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Greetings Deer Valley Data customers!

Newtek is pleased to announce that Deer Valley Data and its Atjeu brand have joined the Newtek Family of Companies.

If you’re not familiar with Newtek, you’ll be pleased to know that Newtek Technology Solutions is a leading managed technology and I.T. infrastructure company that has been around since 1997.

Newtek’s technology operations are based out of Phoenix, Arizona, and have a data center footprint — with redundancy and backup — in Arizona, New Jersey, Colorado, London, and Singapore.

Newtek is a profitable and publicly traded company that owns and manages over $350 million in assets, and has more than 100,000 business accounts in its portfolio. You may also find it refreshing that Newtek is a completely open and transparent company. You are invited to download and read Newtek’s financials by clicking here: Newtek Financials.

 

What Does This Mean For You?
First and foremost, we can assure you that you will only see an increase in quality of service, technical expertise, and innovation. Whether you are a Deer Valley Data, Atjeu, or Newtek customer, there will be no immediate change to the way business is transacted. You can continue to count on service and support from the same customer team and contacts that you currently have. In the coming weeks, we will keep you informed of our progress as the integration process evolves.

We will also be upgrading your co-located and hosted systems to our state-of-the-art, tier 3 data center facility. In short, your services will no longer encounter some of the power and network-attack issues you have experienced in the past.

 

Welcome to Our Team
A dedicated team from across the organization will ensure that the transition period is seamless for you while seeking new ways to improve overall service levels. Our customer relations representatives are standing by to explain our additional services and to assist you in getting the most from Newtek. You can reach us, day or night, at 1-866-820-8910 techsales@thesba.com.

And finally, your complete satisfaction is our first priority! We are delighted that you are now a part of Newtek and we want to hear from you. Should you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please contact a member of the integration team by sending an email to techsales@thesba.com and we will respond promptly.


What You Can Expect From Newtek:

World-class facility features
  • Dedicated humidification system that creates optimal hardware operation conditions
  • Advanced temperature controls that ensure servers are always running cool
  •  Advanced cooling systems that handle high level heat loads, doing much more than AC alone
  • Onsite, third-party security with around-the-clock surveillance
  • Man-trap entry point that features bulletproof glass and weight-measurement technology to deter unauthorized “piggy-baking” into the facility
  • State-of-the-art biometric retina scanning
Enterprise-class network & network security
  • Multimillion-dollar network infrastructure with complete network redundancy at all key points, from peers, border routers, core routers, and firewalls to ensure your services are always online.
  • Multiple Tier-1 connectivity providers with redundant 20 GigE connections for a superior level of thru-put and uptime (in comparison, the Deer Valley Data facility has a 1 GigE connection)
  • An advanced DDoS mitigation infrastructure that can handle large-scale attacks, mitigating the issue before it impacts services in our datacenter
Other benefits you will receive at Newtek include:
  • As a public company that manages assets in the financial and payments sector, you immediately receive the added security benefits as a result of our heavy compliance requirements. Newtek is SOX compliant, PCI Compliant, and maintains a SSAE 16 certification.
  • Newtek’s support team is staffed by tenured system administrators. Put simply, Newtek doesn’t believe in help desk-level support. When you call Newtek for technical assistance, you will speak with a real system admin who is empowered to resolve any of your issues. If you have any questions, call us at 1-866-820-8910.
  • Newtek is a solutions-based company that is committed to helping you grow your business, reduce costs, and minimize risk. Newtek is Your Business Solutions Company: a provider of Business Financial Solutions, Payment Processing Solutions, Managed Technology Solutions, and Payroll & Benefits Solutions. You can learn more at www.newtekone.com.

Virtual Reality is Going to Change Retail Forever

Virtual Reality (VR) has been on its way, but not quite here, for whatVirtual Reality feels like an eternity. Similarly to how 3D TV’s were hyped up for months before they ever came to market, gamers, developers, and technology fans have been foaming at the mouth over VR since the Oculus Rift was announced. It seems like every phone manufacturer out there is trying their hand at a VR headset as well, with Samsung being the obvious frontrunner with their Gear VR.

None of this should be news to anyone who follows the pulse of technology, but there are plenty of people who simply don’t keep up with the latest tech trends. VR is a big one though, and for small business owners, Virtual Reality is about to be your biggest game-changer for the way customers experience your store.

When people think of retail, they think about getting to see, touch, and possibly even use the product. For some people this offers a resounding sense of confidence when making their purchase. For several years, however, these experiences have been passed up by the convenience of online shopping. For consumers, same day deliveries and the convenience of placing orders from your smartphone regardless of your location simply beat out the perks of retail shopping. If you’re a small business, chances are you’ve noticed this change and are looking for a way to make the experience of being in your store more appealing. That’s where Virtual Reality comes in, to put the power of a unique, immersive shopping experience in your retail store.

Let’s say you do flooring for houses, and offer consultations in an office where customers come to meet you. Instead of looking at 1”x1” slabs of materials on a posterboard, they put on a headset and see the entire floor covered in those same materials. Virtual Reality can demonstrate different lighting, furniture, spill and scratch tests in a way that retail stores never could before.

Remodeling companies, furniture stores, clothing companies, and more will be able to apply to their businesses this groundbreaking technology that maybe only originally appealed to gamers and geeks. Even if your experience isn’t as immersive as some of the work Oculus, Samsung, and Microsoft have been working on, having some sort of VR experience will get people talking about your store and make more people want to stop by.

 

Facebook to Shut Down Mobile App Platform Parse

Parse is shutting down on January 28, 2017. The mobile application platform (purchased by Facebook in 2013) announced on Thursday that they would be “focusing resources elsewhere”. While these unforeseen migrations can mean trouble for developers who are already busy supporting their applications, this change may be better in the end for the internet as a whole.

Parse-Shutdown-Notice

Facebook, for several years, has made efforts to be more than just a social network. Facebook is many people’s primary source of news and communication, and has been expanding its “family of apps” to cover more aspects of the internet. Parse’s shutdown is a chance for developers to break free from their largest competitor. No matter what your application is, chances are Facebook is moving to bring that content, service, or experience to their brand. As a company specialized in serving small to medium sized businesses, Newtek is excited to see business owners and developers get an opportunity to take control of their application hosting and bring user focus out of Facebook and into unique, independent mobile apps.

This also gives developers a chance to look into the various service providers associated with running their app. With this change, devs can look into alternatives and find the best providers of services like data storage, usage analytics, BaaS and push notifications.

Given the multi-step process of migrating, and the fact that most mobile apps are free, it will be interesting to see how many developers just decide to let their apps go down with Parse. If there is no money to be made in their app because it hasn’t taken off yet or might just be a fun side-project, how much work is it worth putting in to move the services out of Parse’s environment?

Kevin Lacker of Parse made a note that they are striving to make the migration as easy as possible on developers who currently use the service. They have open-sourced Parse Server and are providing a data migration tool, so you can install it on your own server. If you have questions about hosting your mobile application currently with Parse on a Newtek server, contact 1-877-323-4678 Option 2.

Use Location-Based Mobile Marketing Services to Reach Local

location servicesHave you ever used your phone to find a place to grab a drink or dine while in an unfamiliar neighborhood? If you have, than you’ve used location-based services. This is a clever kind of mobile marketing that allows businesses to target local consumers. A location-based mobile marketing service allows small businesses to attract random passerbys by serving them with information about their business through search. Location-based mobile marketing is a powerful strategy that’s not only affordable, but also easy to do.

Any mobile strategy should begin with your company’s website. Content you post on your business site and associated social pages should be able to be consumed on various mobile devices. Why? Because web content recognized by Google’s search engine (which rewards mobile-friendly content!) will put your location on the map.

Start with the basics; make sure web content related to your business is correct and in order on search engines as well as on your company’s website. For example, your locations, hours of operation, products and/or menu items, parking instructions, etc. should all be easily searchable from a mobile device. When consumers use the web to search for information, they have a better chance of seeing your website if it’s correctly configured for mobile.

Another key component of a successful location-based mobile strategy is reviews. In addition to being the simplest marketing you can do, establishments with overwhelmingly positive reviews on Yelp and other mobile-first sites are proven to garner more business than those that do not. Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers to review your business, offer an incentive in exchange for their review. A special discount for customers who leave reviews provides for repeat business and a healthy digital reputation.

Small business owners must consider the impact that mobile marketing can have on sales and brand perception. A successful mobile strategy, one that incorporates location-based marketing services to reach a local audience, will reap major rewards.

Start Planning Now: Support for Windows Server 2003 is ending on July 14, 2015

HomelandSecurity-WinServ2003-blogThe US Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning about the consequences of not upgrading Windows Server 2003 systems by July 14, 2015.

This is the date Microsoft will stop providing software updates for the aging platform, meaning new exploits will not be fixed.

Homeland Security stresses that consequences could mean exposure to cybersecurity threats, which may lead to malicious attacks or electronic data loss.

Newtek Is Here To Help

If you have self-hosted or on-premise systems running Server 2003, now is the time to consider upgrading and moving your servers to a secure data center. Benefits of this include:

  • Avoiding the high upfront costs of buying new server hardware
  • Keeping your servers in a hyper-secure Newtek data center
  • Having a 24/7/365 team available to address issues immediately

If your organization has Server 2003 systems hosted at another provider, now is time to reassess your solution:

  • Newtek regularly beats competitor pricing on server hosting, and we are currently offering special incentives for Server 2003 upgrades
  • Our server operations team can assist with your upgrade to a newer platform, along with the migration to our data center
  • We offer both virtual and dedicated solutions that can meet your organization’s specific needs.

If you’re currently hosting a Newtek Dedicated Server running Server 2003, now is the time to start planning your upgrade.

  • We can help you with your upgrade and migration
  • With both dedicated and virtual server options available (running Windows Server 2012), we may be able to reduce your currently monthly costs
  • We are heavily experienced upgrading Windows 2003 systems to Windows 2012

Newtek Solution Architects are also available to review any of needs at no cost or obligation. Contact us today to get started.

NOTE: Newtek Shared Web Hosting Customers do not need to take any action regarding this alert. Newtek has already upgraded most of its legacy shared hosting servers that are running Windows Server 2003, with remaining systems scheduled for an upgrade well before the July 14, 2015 deadline. 

PCI Compliance and Your Business

PCI ComplianceIf you’re a business that accepts credit card payments, you’ve become familiar with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard for protecting cardholder information, commonly referred to as “PCI”. As credit card processors, banks, and businesses get more serious about credit card data security, you owe it to your customers to choose compliance every time.

In just this past year, we’ve seen data breach, after data breach, on top of data breaches across all industry sectors. Your customers want to know that you value their security and are serious about protecting their information. Showing your customers and clients that your organization is serious about data security will not only increase the legitimacy of your business, but you will be rewarded with satisfied lifelong customers who will spread the word about your good business practices.

Show your customers your business is serious about PCI compliance in the following ways:

  • SSL or Nothing – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server (website) and browser, or a mail server and a mail client (like Outlook). SSL allows sensitive information (login credentials, credit card numbers) to be transmitted securely.  Make sure your business is only collecting customer data on a secure webpage; this will be indicated by a little lock icon coupled with “https” in the webpage URL.
  • Be Loud and Proud – Ensure your payment processing system is PCI compliant and take the necessary steps to keep your business certified. Flaunt your compliance standards and make it a prominent part of your marketing approach. You will put your customers at ease, as they know you’re doing everything possible to protect their personal information.
  • Help Develop Good Habits – Although an increasing number of consumers are becoming technically savvy, many people are still naïve about the vulnerabilities of email and other online messaging systems. Assume the mom-role and rebuke your clients for sending card numbers, banking numbers, or passwords via email. They may be put off initially but in the end, they will thank you for the lesson.
  • Don’t forget the CVV – Those three little digits (four for AMEX) on the backs of payment cards are not stored on magnetic strips or chips, meaning – in theory – you must have the hard in hand to know the code. Always ask for the CVV security code when processing a telephone or online payment. You should never store this information, but it will show the buyer you’re taking extra steps to authenticate the transaction.

Responsive Design v. Mobile Website: What’s the Difference?

Mobile website_responsive designShould you have a mobile website or a responsive website?

This is a debate among website developers, SEO companies, and business owners alike. As a decision maker within your company, how do you determine which is the best platform for your business?

What is the difference between the two platforms?

A mobile site is a replica of your website, optimized to be viewed on smaller screens such as phones and tablets. In this instance, the server does the work to deliver a page that is smaller, easier to navigate, and loads quickly. It is important to point out that having a dedicated mobile app created for your website is not the same as having a website that is optimized for mobile.

With responsive design, the website has been coded to recognize what is accessing it, and automatically adjusts according to a device’s screen size and orientation. After the device is identified (phone, desktop, etc.) the best version of the site for that particular device is rendered. Well-designed responsive sites will deliver the same comfort and usability to the mobile user as the desktop user.

Important considerations you should know about mobile sites and responsive design: 

Domain Identification

A mobile site has a separate domain from your main site: m.domain.com which identifies it as mobile only.  Changes made to a website need to be made on both the standard site as well as the mobile site. It is more costly to have a developer maintain both sites, and – if you’re not very careful – can cause for a disjointed user experience.

With responsive design you have just one URL for your website.  Any changes made to the site rollout through desktop and mobile simultaneously.

Search Engines Favor Responsive Design

Statistics report that 65% of website traffic comes from Google, which makes their opinion crucial in your decision to create a responsive website. Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on separate mobile sites.

User Experience

Responsive design allows for a cohesive user experience; one website that looks equally awesome on all types of devices. A website optimized for mobile will, in most cases, sacrifice content for usability. A desktop user and a mobile user probably won’t consume the same content, and it’d certainly be delivered in two very different ways. In this case, a website designed specifically for mobile will deliver a better experience to the mobile user. However, if someone were to share you mobile site with someone using a desktop, his or her experience would be rather poor. While mobile sites look awesome on mobile, they do not have the ability (like responsive websites) to look awesome on any other platform.

Looking for More Information on Responsive Design or Mobile Websites?

Call 866-820-8910 today and speak to one of our Project Managers regarding your website needs.  Our design team will collaborate with you to create a visually appealing Digital Storefront designed to attract and convert potential clients for your business.

Responsive Design: An Industry Buzz Term or A Necessity For Your Business?

responsiveOver the past year and a half, the concept of responsive design has played a prominent part in discussions regarding website design and development. While there are countless blogs, webinars, etc. discussing this topic, many people are still uncertain of the benefits. Is responsive design an industry buzz term that will fade out, or a necessity you need to consider for your business’ website? There are many reasons why adopting a responsive platform for your website is a progressive business decision. However, the following provides proof that this web movement is indeed a business necessity:

Mobile Usage Is Increasing

There are many statistics that prove responsive design is here to stay. However, these two statistics below are the most telling:

  • 47% of all emails are opened on mobile phones (as of April 2014)
  • In 2013, more than half of local searches were done on a mobile phone

The fact is, if your website isn’t easy to navigate on mobile devices, people will quickly leave. The first statistic proves that without a responsive design you are likely missing out on at least 47% of potential clients just from your email efforts. Can you imagine how many others you have missed that came from mobile searches?

User Interaction and Conversion

A successful website is defined by easy to use navigation and the user interaction.  These two items prompt users to convert (buy from you). Responsive design allows your users to easily navigate through your website without having to “pinch and zoom”.  When building your site in a responsive platform, our developers can manipulate how all of those conversion elements will display on mobile and tablet.

Why Responsive Design is good for SEO.

Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, tells us that Google does in fact favor websites featuring responsive design techniques.  Responsive design uses CSS3 media queries to alter the way the page renders on all screen sizes, including mobile and tablet devices. You then have one URL, one content, one HTML code along with but CSS media queries to specify which CSS rules apply for the browser displaying the page. Google indicates the advantages of one URL making it easier for your users to interact with the page and enables Google’s “algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content.” Basically, it is more efficient when Google is crawling your content because Google doesn’t have to crawl multiple pages.

Reasons to Seriously Consider a Website Built in a Responsive Platform

Simply said, if you do not have a website built in a responsive platform, you will lose customers to your competitors who do. Is this a chance you are willing to take with your business?

Looking for More information on responsive design?

Call 866-820-8910 today and speak to one of our Project Managers regarding your website needs.  Our design team will collaborate with you to create a visually appealing digital storefront designed to attract and convert potential clients for your business.

Apple Makes a Move on Mobile Payments

applepay_applewatchSmartphone makers have been trying to replace our wallets with digital pay methods for several years. While the trend has yet to widely catch on outside of the tech sphere, Apple (so often the bridge between the super geeky and super chic) believes that they may be able to change that.

On Tuesday, Apple announced it would soon be offering its own version of the mobile wallet, dubbed Apple Pay. Apple claims to have already established relationships with three major credit card companies, and retail giants like Target and McDonald’s – meaning soon you’ll be paying for your Number 3 with your iPhone or Apple Watch.

While the mobile payments market remains in its frontier stages for now, Forrester Research expects it to reach $100 billion in the United States within the next five years. Apple feels that the opportunity is now ripe for them to make their move on the industry. Apple wants consumers to believe that Apple Pay is a safer payment method than traditional payment cards with “exposed numbers and the outdated and vulnerable mag stripe.” Apple promises that credit card information will not be stored on the devices or on Apple’s servers. But in light of the recent iCloud hacks, consumer’s unease over privacy and security may be cause for concern. However, if anyone has the power to persuade the general public, famous tastemaker Apple is the company to do so.

Initially, Apple Pay will only be available for the iPhone 6iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch.

Billions of Login Credentials Stolen by Russian Cybercrime Ring CyberVor

hackerBy now you’ve likely heard about Tuesday’s New York Times report of the largest  stockpile of stolen online credentials in known history. The mammoth hack job was brought to light by the cybersecurity firm Holden Security LLC, which revealed that a Russian hacking group has stolen 1.2 billion sets of unique login credentials, and more than 500 million email addresses.

The New York Times reports that the data comes from more than 420,000 websites ranging from well known companies to smaller operations. Holden Security says it isn’t revealing the names of the sites right now because doing so could pose additional risks to users. The so-called “CyberVor” gang collected more than 4.5 billion records in all, 1.2 billion appearing to be unique. There are about 2.9 billion Internet users worldwide… so it’s very likely that you’ve been affected.

Luckily, according to the Times report, many of the records have not yet been sold and are primarily being used to send spam to social networks. Unfortunately, this is yet another painful reminder that our online accounts are not nearly as safe as we think. Do yourself a favor and beef up your password security before the (inevitable) next hack is uncovered.

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