Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Every small business should care about Millennials, here's why...

The ways that Millennials spend money matters. Millennials add an estimated $1.68 trillion in purchasing power annually to the U.S. economy and as their wealth grows, so will their financial influence. Take a look at what small business owners should keep in mind when dealing with this up-and-coming group of spenders:

Millennials Value Experiences over Financial Advantages
A study from Eventbrite found that 75% of Millennials would rather spend money on doing something, rather than owning something. They take trips, go out to eat, and are comfortable spending money on experiences. As a result, they care about how they are treated and how they feel at the places where they do spend money; and this is where small businesses have an advantage with this young-to-mid adult demographic.

Millennials are More Electronically Connected than Ever
Almost 90% of Millennials who own smartphones say that they have them at their side all of the time, even when they are sleeping at night. Small businesses need to find ways to have a presence on smartphones, tablets and devices, even if they do not have a dedicated application for their businesses. This can be accomplished through strong social media accounts that prompt engagement, weekly newsletters and even opt-in choices for text messages. In order to really reach Millennials, small businesses must be mobile.

Millennials like Customization
Millennials appreciate when brands really understand who they are, and what it is that they want to buy. Targeted marketing is effective and they say that they would gladly trade personal information, like contact details or social media accounts, with brands in exchange for incentives (like coupons, discounts or insight into products that are a good match). Small businesses should get to know their Millennial customers and their needs as intimately as possible in order to keep them informed of products or services that benefit them.

It’s important for small business owners to not simply write-off the Millennial generation when it comes to a mobile presence, retaining customers and daily operations. Even the smallest companies can tap into their marketing techniques to better reach this growing group of spenders and maximize revenue in the process.

Do you target Millennials specifically in your marketing strategies? IES can help setup and run a targeted marketing plan. Give us a call today at 781-816-9437 to get started.

Monday, November 24, 2014

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, online scams are on the rise.

It's the holiday season for the bad guys too...but not the way you might think. They go into scam-overdrive mode. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest online shopping days and they are out to get rich with your money. So what should you look out for?
  1. At the moment, there are too good to be true coupons that offer free phones or tablets on sites all over the Internet. Don't fall for it. Make sure the offers are from a legitimate company.
  2. Watch out for alerts via email or text that you just received a package from FedEx, UPS or the US Mail, and then asks you for some personal information. Don't enter anything.
  3. There is a fake refund scam going on that could come from Amazon, a hotel, or a well known retail chain. It claims there was a wrong transaction and wants you to "click for refund" but instead, your device will be infected with malware.
Be safe this holiday season. Remember to only use credit cards online, never debit cards. Be wary of bulk email with crazy, too good to be true now offers and anything that looks slightly off.

If you think you might have been scammed, stay calm and call your credit card company; shred that card and get a new one. Then call us to have your devices scanned for any infections.

IES, Inc.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Switch to Carbonite Cloud backup and get up to $200 cash!

We are able to bring this offer to all customers thanks to our new partnership with Carbonite, the world's leader in cloud backup. From now until further notice, when you switch cloud backup providers, you can get up to $200 back.

For a $100 rebate, purchase a new Carbonite Pro subscription through IES. Carbonite Pro includes 250GB of HIPPA compliant storage to share between an unlimited number of:
  • laptops & desktops
  • external hard drives
  • NAS devices
For a $200 rebate, purchase a new Carbonite Server subscription through IES. Carbonite Server includes 250GB of HIPPA compliant storage to share between an unlimited number of:
  • servers (physical and virtual)
  • databases and live applications
  • hyper-v
  • NAS devices
  • external hard drives
The legal mumbo jumbo:
For this promotion, you or your company must switch and be able to prove that you are switching (see verification methods, below) from one of the following paid companies / products to a Carbonite Pro ($100 rebate) or Server / Appliance ($200 rebate) subscription purchased through IES, Inc. To purchase your Carbonite subscription, please email or call / 781-816-9437.

Acronis Backup
Asigra Cloud Backup
CA (ArcServe)
CommVault (Commvault Edge, Simpana)
CrashPlan PRO
CTERA Agents
Dell (AppAssure, vRanger)
Druva (inSync)
EMC (Avamar, DataDomain, MozyPro, MozyPro Server, Syncplicity)
Google Drive
HP (Autonomy Connected, LiveVault)
iDrive for Business
Intronis (Channel only white label solution)
LogMeIn Backup
MS OneDrive (Formerly SkyDrive)
NetApp (Snap Manager)
SOS online backup
Symantec (BackupExec)
Vision Solutions (Double-Take)

Verification methods:
1.    Cancellation notice to the competitor with account / end-user name and product defined,
2.    Invoice from competitor showing account / end-user name and product defined, or
3.    Screen shot of competitor portal showing account / end-user name listed with product defined.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Got $100 burning a hole in your pocket? Monitor your cat's bowel movements via smartphone app.

Yes, you read that right. For just $100 you too can know when your cat takes a potty break!

We have a few different ways to make sure our cats are eating, but what about tracking the natural consequence of all that kibble? That's where Tailio comes in! It's a smart scale that sits under the litter box and monitors the, "behaviors" of your favorite feline.

The creators say that this is to make keeping an eye on your cat's health easier, and act as an early detection system for any possible ailments. They also claim that it's the first product of its kind.

Naturally, all of the collected data is accessible via a mobile app that can even send reminders for when the box needs cleaning -- you know, in case you've gotten used to the ever so sweet smell of cat urine and feces.

Ready to make your dreams of cat-poo analytics a reality? Check out the company's Kickstarter page using the link below.

Source: Kickstarter

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Switch from an iPhone and not receiving text messages? You may still be registered as an iMessage user. Apple has finally released a tool to fix the problem.

Customers who switched away from the iPhones have always had one nagging problem: iMessage. Apple has finally come out with a quick fix for that.

Apple quietly introduced a new tool over the last couple of days that solves one of the biggest headaches for former iPhone owners - lost messages.

The problem begins when iPhone users sign up for iMessage in the first place. The service, which Apple introduced in 2011, helps iPhone users communicate with one another over data networks and Wi-Fi, instead of using text messages on cellular networks. To do this, Apple keeps track of a user's phone number so that when another iPhone user tries to send a message, it can shift to iMessage instead.

What happens if users no longer own an iPhone? Until now, they had to turn off iMessage on their old phone before turning on a new Android / Windows Phone / Blackberry device. Some users, however, have said turning off iMessage doesn't always solve the problem.

Unhappy and former iPhone owners have sued Apple over the issue, stating that they fell into a void where iMessage texts do not travel. Worse, the sender usually thinks the message was delivered even though it never was.

Apple's new tool includes step-by-step instructions for unregistering iPhones still in the possession of their former users. And for those who longer have their iPhone, the page includes an option for typing in their phone number and receiving a confirmation code that can be entered to confirm their choice.

Find more information and unregister your number at this link:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Stay at Starwood hotels regularly? You will soon be able to use your smartphone to gain access to your room.

Forget losing your hotel key card in the small hours of the morning and facing a night sleeping in the corridor - thanks to a new Bluetooth connected app, guests at Starwood Hotels will soon be able to access their room using their smartphone.

Starwood Hotels, owner of more than 1,200 properties across the world, has announced the rollout of the feature for 10 of its hotels, with keyless access expected to roll out across all Aloft, Element and W Hotels in 2015.

The keyless entry works on Bluetooth LE enabled iPhones and Android smartphones thanks to the company's free SPG App. Guests simply sign up through the app, and when they checkin for their booking they will have the option to use SPG Keyless to access their room. Getting into the room is as simple as holding the phone up to the Bluetooth panel on the door and waiting for the green light.

The app also allows guests to view the details of their stay and receive push notifications on the status of their room, such as information on upgrades. But the biggest bonus is the time saved - visitors will be able to bypass the front desk when they get to their hotel, taking control of everything through the app.

Starwood Hotels promises advanced security, partnering with smart lock company Assa Abloy to ensure that specific room keys only work on specific phones and allowing digital keys to be wiped if a phone is lost.

Starwood's move is part of a worldwide shift towards smart hotel technology, with Hilton Hotels rolling out smartphone technology that allows users to enter their room without a key and even choose their room off the floor plan before they arrive.

Source: CNET