Staci Stickovich

How can custom applications help your business?

Custom applications to help businesses improve operations and be more productive; therefore, it isn’t surprising that Good Technology’s Mobility Index Report showed a 731 percent growth in custom applications from 2013 to 2014. The report also found that custom apps represented 29 percent of all smartphone apps. Mobile devices have become the primary way for people to access information quickly – it only makes sense that businesses leverage those devices to connect with customers and employees.

There are many benefits that come with custom apps for business. Read on to see a few of our favorites. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Is your technology a business investment, or an expense?

For small and midsize businesses, technology can be the driving difference that propels your company ahead. Modernizing your IT can set you apart from your competitors by providing you with deeper insights into your business, better tools for productivity and collaboration, and streamlined, more efficient processes.

But how do you leverage technology to gain a competitive advantage?

First, you need to determine you business goals – whether growing sales, increasing efficiency, enabling a mobile workforce, or keeping data protected. A whiteboard session can help dig in to your core business processes and highlight organizational goals and challenges to help you prioritize what is most important. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

AT&T receives hefty fine for offshore customer data leak

AT&T has to pay a big price for the data breaches it experienced between November 2013 and April 2014. According to InfoPackets, regulators with the Federal Communications Commission held the telecommunications corporation responsible for cybercriminals stealing private information from around 28,000 customers, including names and Social Security numbers. AT&T will have to cough up $25 million.

The FCC issued the fine because they didn’t believe AT&T did enough to prevent the data theft. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the commission will not let AT&T get away with what he described as its careless data security practices. In addition to paying the fine, AT&T must inform all of its customers about the breach and offer credit monitoring services as compensation.  Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

5 benefits of mobile apps for small and midsize businesses

What was once done from a laptop or PC, is now being done from smartphones and tablets. As the consumerization of IT continues to grow, businesses are challenged with finding new ways to reach their markets and stand out from the crowd. Mobile apps are one way to delight customers while providing easier access to products and services.

Below we’ve listed five benefits of mobile apps for small and midsize businesses: Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Efficiency and performance are most important to ERP customers

Enterprise resource planning makes daily operations much simpler for businesses because it combines all business management functions into one system. According to Marianne Bradford, author of “Modern ERP”, integration and visibility of data are the biggest benefits of ERP. These benefits can lead to more accurate reporting and more strategic decision making. ERP software also can reduce data duplication and is beneficial for businesses that want to improve their financial reporting and regulation compliance.

Although implementing an ERP system is not cheap, Mark Jeffery, research director of technology initiatives at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, says that it is important to look at more than just the cost. “If you look at the productivity of employees and the transparency of information, that’s where you get the real gains,” he said.  Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Make the most of tight IT budgets

Although the strategic value of technology is on the rise, IT budgets are at a stand-still. As a result, CIOs must be smarter about  how they allocate their spend. Since 2012, IT budget growth has consistently come up short of leading research firm Gartner’s expectations.

Gartner forecasted only a 2.4 percent year-over-year increase in global IT spending in 2015, which is actually down from earlier projections of 3.9 percent growth. This is likely due to a challenging market as well as increased competition for relatively low-priced but highly capable assets such as tablets. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

New study reveals 30 percent of IT professionals would pay money for data return

The estimated annual cost over global cyber crime is 100 Billion dollars1. Cybercriminals target businesses to steal their important data and documents. Alarmingly, a poll uncovered that 59% of ex-employees surveyed admitted to stealing company data when leaving previous jobs1. Stolen data can critically hurt a company – so much so that some companies are willing to pay get it back. According to a recent survey conducted by Opinion Matters, one in three IT professionals would ante up cash for the safe return of this data.

During the study, 250 IT professionals were asked to share their thoughts on cyber crime extortion. 30 percent of the professionals said they would agree to pay a ransom to recover stolen data while 86 percent admitted to knowing other people who paid off cybercriminals in the past. But is it worth it? Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

Pinnacle extends Sitefinity partnership with latest Sitefinity Certified Developer

Sitefinity Certified Developer
This week, Sr. Developer and UX Consultant, Ryan Clark successfully passed the Sitefinity Developer Certification Exam. The test requires in-depth technical expertise and knowledge of Telerik’s extensive content management system (CMS).

This continues Pinnacle’s commitment as a Sitefinity Partner and providing robust enterprise solutions for our customers. Version 8.0 of the platform was released this month, bringing with it a host of new capabilities including a full-featured command center for managing your marketing efforts.

Congratulations to Ryan and the rest of our development team!

Learn more about Sitefinity and how it can help you manage your business’s web presence.

Staci Stickovich

Cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics GP: The next big thing in ERP?

Cloud-based enterprise resource planning has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional ERP in recent years, especially among small and midsize businesses. The causes of this shift are easy to understand: SMBs are looking for greater flexibility in their ERP systems, as they attempt to scale their operations to accommodate growing demand, and the cloud delivers where legacy technologies cannot.

With cloud infrastructure at their disposal, organizations don’t have to sink upfront CAPEX into a traditional ERP solutions designed for volume rather than agility. Instead, they can invest in cloud services that entail fewer hardware expenses while including amenities such as automatic security updates. Platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics GP have been enormous boons to SMBs, providing cutting-edge features and robust functionality. Continue reading

Staci Stickovich

What businesses can learn from recent WordPress plug-in vulnerability

WordPress has become the go-to content management system for many of the Web’s most prominent sites. Through the middle of 2013, WordPress powered almost 19 percent of the Web, having been downloaded more than 40 million times. By 2014, WordPress accounted for 22 percent of new domain registrations in the U.S. and was the CMS underpinning roughly half of the Technocrati Top 100 rankings. Sites such as Mashable, CNN and eBay depend upon WordPress to support articles, photos and videos that reach millions of viewers.

Risk and reward with self-hosted WordPress sites
Many individuals and businesses opt for the commercial WordPress.com. Its ecosystem of blogs and news sites actually gets more monthly traffic than Amazon.com, and it accounted for about 50 percent of all WordPress utilization at the start of 2014. Self-hosted sites that use technology from WordPress.org are similarly popular, greatly outnumbering rivals that are built upon Drupal or Joomla. Continue reading