Mannassi IT Solutions

Blog

What's happening.

Posts in Trends
Monkeys Banging on Keyboards: AI for Small Businesses
monkey gif.gif

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been burning up our Twitter feed of late. Every day brings a new AI development for business, and this doesn’t appear to be slowing down in 2018. Even though this tech has the reputation of being only for large enterprise businesses, there are more than a few AI developments that you can utilize for your small business as well.

With 2018 comes the perfect time to start turning your eye toward AI. This is one phenomena that isn’t going to go away. But if you’re not building Westworld-esque robots what do you need AI for anyhow?

From customer relationship management to human resources, to marketing to analysis, there’s something AI can do for you, no matter your company’s size.

A great example is Monkey Learn. This awesome machine learning platform can turn text from emails, surveys, or even tweets into actionable data! With applications in marketing, sales, and customer service, you can get the power of knowledge without having to crunch all the numbers yourself.

Of course, most people in the tech world have heard of Watson from IBM. Besides beating world champions at chess, IBM has now released a Watson Ecosystem for small businesses enabling you to do everything from translate voice to text, to build your own analytic environment.

In short, AI is not only for the big guys! Spend some time thinking about how artificial intelligence can serve your business in the new year.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest AI and tech updates.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: 2017 in Review

As 2017 now fades into the history books, we’re reflecting on the best and worst advances (or rollbacks) in technology.

THE GOOD - Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)
2017 brought the explosion of SD-WAN, an amazing technology that provides high availability, failover, optimized traffic and in some cases a replacement for expensive MPLS.  SD-WAN is an affordable tech option for small and medium sized companies providing benefits once only available on an enterprise class budget.

THE BAD - Ransomware and Cyber Hacking
The worldwide pervasiveness of hacking has continued to dominate the headlines. No one is safe, whether you are a person checking your email and getting ‘spear phished’ or the Pentagon or UK National Health Service disabled by state sponsored cyber terrorism. In 2017 there didn’t seem to be anywhere safe from cyber criminals. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care, so in 2018 we’re doubling down on our vigorous backup and security regimens. While you can never be 100% safe, you can put a plan in place to mitigate disaster.

THE GOOD – Cloud Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
2017 was the year the cloud really took off! Many companies have invested in comprehensive backup programs, but have not addressed what to do when disaster strikes. The ability to spin up servers and production networks in minutes as opposed to days or weeks, is now a reality with cloud solutions, making disaster recovery a minor headache instead of a full blow migraine.

THE BAD – Disrespecting The Technology
Computer networks are an integral component of every business, and you need to make sure you’ve got the tech that can do the job properly. In 2017 we still found companies buying technology that is just not suitable for business needs. From trying to get by with residential routers, or computers bought off the shelf at Best Buy. You’ve got to have the right tech to keep your company running. In 2018 don’t risk your business because you thought you were saving money. Remember the old adage: you get what you pay for.

THE GOOD – Internet of Things (IoT)
If you loved sci-fi as a kid you’ve probably been stoked by the advances in the IoT over the last several years. From vehicles with connected technology that allows manufactures and drivers to know when they need to be serviced or provide directions to the nearby gas station when the tank is running low to paying your mortgage by voice on your digital home assistant. This year was the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the IoT can bring to businesses. In 2018 watch these connected goodies for even more exciting innovations. 

THE UGLY – Dismantling Net Neutrality
The big fight for the web in 2017 was certainly a low point. The current administration’s FCC has begun the process of removing the laws protecting Net Neutrality, paving the way for ISP’s to preference their own content and throttle competitors. With Net Neutrality rules in place you the consumer can load every website, app, video, .gif, etc., equally, regardless of where the content is hosted, or what its message is. Accessing Netflix is the same as sending a tweet. Without Net Neutrality there’s nothing to stop ISP’s from demanding premium prices for “premium” services like video streaming, or social media, or blocking content they disagree with entirely. The open internet is vital to small businesses, and freedom of speech so this threat is very unsettling. Here’s to hoping in 2018 congress can get behind a bipartisan effort to save the open internet.

What were the trends you were most fascinated by in 2017? Tweet us with your top hits and misses, and what you’re most anticipating in 2018.

To Partner or Not to Partner, That is the Question

When Amazon announced its purchase of Whole Foods Market many people were scratching their heads—how would this seemingly bizarre new partnership affect their grocery budget? Now that the purchase has taken its training wheels off and you can order your organic groceries from your laptop while sitting at home in your PJs, we’re wondering what other surprising partnerships could shake things up and make us wonder how we never thought of it before! Other recent team-ups include Taco Bell and Lyft joining forces to bring you straight to your late-night cravings, as well as the seemingly contradictory recent link up between USPS, UPS, & FedEx.  

You may find yourself wondering how partnerships between competitors work. In the case of the FedEx x USPS x UPS dream team these three competing companies have united to bring service to remote and underserved areas. If you live in an area FedEx or UPS do not service, your ordered items will be delivered first to your local post office, then your regular mail carrier will bring them to your door. It’s this type of teamwork that expands services and builds sales relationships—with new delivery options come increased sales—making the benefit outweigh the risks of working with a direct competitor.

Are there surprising partnerships lurking out there for your company? After seeing the success of these strange bedfellows, it may be time to consider companies that may have flown under your radar before.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up with all the recent tech buzz.

Tech Trends for 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, most of us start looking forward to what 2018 holds in store for us tech obsessed. So, what’s on its way to the top in 2018?

In the future, we’ll need to make smarter decisions more quickly, and that means bringing Artificial Intelligence (AI) into mainstream business practices. Customized machine-learning systems that can target a specific job using algorithms that are optimized the task are the next tech wave. A perfect example is the new driverless vehicles we’re seeing just beginning to pop up.

With the rise of AI apps will need to be more intelligent, so we should all be asking software and app vendors about the artificial intelligence strategy for their products.  AI will bring business analytics to a new level and ultimately enhance user experience. Look for AI to become pervasive in everyday life as well, we are already seeing vacuum robots that maneuver around your home and lawn mowers that cut just the grass and not your prize roses.

Also look for Virtual Reality (VR) to become more common in business. With VR you’re no longer limited to one or two monitors on your desk, but instead can have an almost limitless display that you can manipulate with the swipe of your hand in the air. All signs point to 2018 being an exciting year for technology and business, but it’s going to be a wild and bumpy ride, with new developments coming so quickly. Make sure you hang on tight!

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay in the loop with the latest tech trends.