Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

What Does Google Suing the US Government Have to Do With Your Business?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Google LawsuitIn a bold move, Google has decided to sue the US Government because they feel they were unfairly excluded from a $58m contract to over haul their email systems. The law suit says that Google feels the terms of the contract make it impossible for them to offer their products; despite the fact it was told there would be “full and open competition “ and its ‘Google Apps’ could provide an equal if not better service. Google was supposedly told that only Microsoft’s business software could be used. Google had produced a special version of its apps for government systems to address all the security issues, but the Department for the Interior claimed the product did not comply with their security requirements.

Google is not happy.

But what does all this have to with you and your business?

Cost

One of the major arguments Google has lead with, after the apparent favouring of Microsoft, is that their system would cost a lot less than that of Microsoft. With 88,000 staff the Department for the Interior, a few dollars saved on each unit could make a big difference. This saving could then be passed on to citizens and businesses. Also, you may well have a business that interacts regularly with the Department of the Interior, so you may be forced to take up a compatible, more costly system to stay in business.

Competition

One of the main things Google is doing this for, (and let’s just agree that they don’t need the money) is to stand up for fairness. If Google really does have a superior product, and the agency just chose not to bother changing their provider or something, surely this is setting a bad example for all business ethics across the country. If the government doesn’t need to be fair, why does any business need to be fair? Google is standing up for your rights as much as their own.

Certainly, a level playing field is something that Lancore strongly agree with. We strive to provide the highest quality of online credit card processing to all our clients with the most secure payment gateways. How fair would it be if we reserved a better service for ‘privileged’ customers? Allowing a business to have unfair benefits within an industry is something that has cropped up in legal battles for Google and Microsoft in the past.

Customers

The real story here is not Google suing the US government, its Google’s immortal battle with Microsoft. This battle holds no bars, has no rules and is only after one thing above all: more customers. If Microsoft is seen to win in this situation, some customers (88,000 in fact) will use this at work, and then will probably use them at home and show them to their friends. If Google can use every weapon in their legal arsenal to get those customers, it will.

Would your business choose Microsoft or Google? Do you know what your customers prefer? Knowing your customers and if they prefer one system over another could well be a key to more sales.

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Google vs. Bing – Which One Should You Optimise Your Business For?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

When you are building a business online there are many factors which you need to consider before you rush into things. First you need to ensure you have your business goals in line with the rest of your service mediums as well as sorting out a business merchant account to handle payments. Then you need to work out what you want a website for and on the back of this…what content you should have to best get your message across and ensnare your customers. Part of your marketing for your online business will (hopefully) include search engine optimisation (SEO). Now if you have ever used a search engine the chances are it will have been either Google or Bing (possibly Yahoo, but Yahoo is now just Bing in disguise so let’s just say Bing for both), and each of them have slightly different interfaces and algorithms for deciding where to rank websites.

You must decide whether you want to focus on Google or Bing. Here are some points to note when considering this:

Google

Google is by far the largest and most popular search engine in the world. It has the majority share of the search market and with all the extra stuff it is doing now like: email, TV, AdWords, Analytics, social networking, driverless cars etc. before long you won’t be able to remember what it was like before your life was in some way supported by Google. Some people however, see this hegemony as a negative. Despite Google’s consistent message that they are not evil, some feel that they have their fingers in too many honey pots and are neglecting their simple roots. These people think that the smart money is on Bing.

Bing

With the spending and technological power of Microsoft behind it, Bing is a new kid with a silver spoon in its mouth. With all the support from many big brains, a rising market share, a hefty advertising budget and now with all the power of search veteran Yahoo incorporated too, Bing could be where the smart money is.

So Which One Should You Choose?

Both of course! It is that simple. Right now when people want to find something online they ‘Google’ it, they don’t ‘Bing’ it. But as Bing gets its place in browsers search bars and other clever locations, its popularity will rise. Also, with the privacy issues Google has faced you can expect their popularity to decrease…a bit. With the extra time you spend now optimising for both, you will save yourself money in the future and potentially boost the revenues you gain, served through your payment service provider.

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Top 3 Ways Lancore Will Affect Your Online Business?

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Business SuccessWhen you open an online business or make the wise decision to move your business online, you will need a partner who knows how to handle your money in a fast, reliable and professional manner which allows you to relax safe in the knowledge that all the hard background work is being done for you. That way you can focus on what you started a business for in the first place.

Working with Lancore by your side, you will open up a host of opportunities which would be impossible to manage on your own:

Increase Your Sales

Lancore’s global payment gateways are part of a cutting edge system which links your business to countless banks around the world. If you thought you were making money, just wait until you have orders coming from all four corners of the planet. That’s over 6 billion potential customers and with the world going online and mobile, the opportunities which having a strong payment gateway provides are too good to miss.

With solutions for every kind of online payment for every kind of business from small one man operations all the way to large ecommerce companies, you will give your business a huge boost and maximize your profits in no time at all, by getting in touch with Lancore.

Open You Up To New Markets

Having a business can be an extremely rewarding endeavour but how often have you wished you could spread your empire further afield. Lancore can help you spread your operation not just to the outskirts of your town, but all the way around the world. The relationship Lancore has built with international banks has given them the tools to give your business global reach. Multi currency transactions are just part and parcel of Lancore’s services.

Secure Your Money

Dealing with countless banks and customers transactions can be a struggle for even the most accomplished businessman. What Lancore promises, is to provide you with the most secure, most reliable financial money transfer services available online. Their servers are the Fort Knox of online security with multilayered encrypted data to ensure that when you join forces with Lancore, you will be sure that your future is safe.

The bottom line is that Lancore’s range of services will help you make more money for your business. Their innovation and technical prowess shines through starting with their customer service all the way through to their final product.

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It’s Never Too Late to Add Features to Your Website

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Website FeaturesWhen you look at your website what do you see? A business card you are proud to direct your potential clients towards? A valuable platform which reliably sells all your products? A shaky place where you are either too scared or too technologically unsure to change anything for fear of erasing the internet? However you might view your website you may not have changed anything or have even touched it for a while. Time to act!

The best thing about online businesses compared to brick and mortar premises is that when you want to expand you don’t have to knock down walls, get planning permission or call in an architect. Your online presence can be boosted in a number of ways without too much hassle. With the rate at which online commerce is accelerating, if you want to keep up with your competition you need to be constantly evolving your website. Here are some things you should be thinking about…

Online Payment Service

Obviously Lancore knows a thing or two about online credit card processing. As well as having a host of other very useful online business tools which can massively increase the profitability of your website, Lancore is the perfect company to help you start taking credit card payments directly from your website. They take all the hassle out of taking payments and provide you with regular reports, full security and professional advice. Without this service you will be lagging way behind your competitors.

HTML 5

Upgrading your website to HTML 5 will open up video and audio to your visitors with ease. If you are currently operating in the older version of HTML you will have to ask your visitors to install a plug-in in order to play a video, but with HTML 5 visitors won’t have to do this. Being able to grab your visitors long enough for them to make a purchase should be your goal. Video is an excellent way of doing this. Look into it now…you know it makes sense.

Social Media

There is no escaping the social networking revolution. If you haven’t done so already it is important for you to start building a social brand now. Starbucks for example appreciates the erosion of trust felt between customers and big businesses over the last few years and has worked hard to focus its main advertising push through social networking. Facebook and Twitter are a good place to start. Remember: your company needs friends on both side of the business divide. Otherwise your payment gateways might end up with more cobwebs than a witch’s cauldron.

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Why the Father of the Internet Wants Free Access for All

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Global InternetYou may be sitting there flying around the internet downloading files, watching videos and flicking through pictures to your heart’s content. But spare a thought for the majority of the world who don’t have access to the internet at all. Now you may consider this no big deal as many people who don’t have the internet won’t even know about it and so won’t miss it. But when you think of all the benefits the internet could bring to so many of the needy or vulnerable people in the world you begin to see just how valuable it can be.

Tim Berners-Lee created the internet back at the very end of the 80’s. At the recent Nokia World conference in London, he asked the question: What about the other 80%? By this he means the other 80% of the world’s population who don’t have access to the internet. In his speech he explained how he would like his creation to be available to everyone on at least a low-bandwidth level to begin with. For some people in the world, having access to medical advice over the internet could mean the difference between life and death. In a way he is saying that the web should be essentially a global human right and as he is the one who created it (he is the creator if you will) his opinion deserves a lot of respect. (Maybe he has an ‘off’ switch?)

Tim Berners-Lee also spoke out about net neutrality. You may well be aware of the recent brouhaha about net neutrality and the potential for service providers to throttle bandwidth for certain users or for certain content. Tim outlined his position saying that he feels web traffic should at all times be treated equally no matter where it comes from or what it contains.

For online businesses, both issues will have impact in the future. Imagine you could open up your web services to the other 80% of the world’s population. Or imagine that the speed at which people could access your services were being throttled by your service provider because your competitor had paid some money. Both of these scenarios could play out in the near future which is why recent net neutrality talks and Tim Berners-Lee’s position is something for online business owners to really pay attention to. For now though, as long as you have a strong payment service provider, flexible payment gateways and strong money transfer services, your business should be fine, for now!

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Why Using Legitimate Software is So Important for Online Businesses?

Friday, August 20th, 2010

With the latest mobile operating system, Android, being targeted recently by virus writers, it feels appropriate to reiterate just how important it is for people, and especially online business owners, always to use legitimate software when operating on the web.

This latest piece of malicious software came tucked in alongside an app which on the surface worked as a regular looking media player. While under the surface the ‘Trojan SMS’ would send premium rate text messages unbeknownst to the hapless innocent user, racking up large bills with the money landing in the virus writers pockets.

This latest situation should stand as a strong reminder to online business owners who rely on the integrity of their site and email systems to maintain their reputation. If for some reason you chose not to use legitimate software, perhaps downloaded from an erroneous third party site, you leave yourself open to be taken advantage of. Plus, with the rapid expansion of social media throughout the internet, the increased use of smartphones, mobile internet and online money transfer services cyber criminals are experiencing a new lease of life and are about to dust off some old school tactics to use in this fresh medium.

In order to thwart cyber criminals, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your business.

Get Some Proper Antivirus Software

The first thing you can do is get yourself some proper anti-virus software. Not some free trail that keeps asking you to upgrade, real antivirus software that will regularly update and check your system. Illegitimate versions of antivirus may even be laced with a virus themselves. Stick to a reliable brand and do your research and especially if customer details will be kept on your machine.

Download From Reliable Sources

The Trojan SMS app was downloaded from somewhere other than the official Android app store, which is available from every Android phone. By choosing to download from a legitimate source you can avoid downloading anything that can harm your smartphone. Even if you do download something from outside the official app store, Android phones always ask your permission to allow an app to have control of certain actions on your phone. Check them out before you agree to install.

Beware Scam Emails

Scam emails always have and always will be a problem. The best advice is to check the legitimacy of the source of the email by researching any sites that send you a link and check with any friends or client in person or on the phone who send you any out of character emails, especially if they are asking for money or personal details.

As a leading payment service provider, Lancore pride themselves on the secure payment gateways that they provide for their clients as well as their highly secure internal systems. In this line of work it is imperative to not only know good security but to utilise it effectively.

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What will the Future Hold for Online Business in the UK?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

A recent study by the Royal Society have found that the way schools in the UK are teaching Information and Computer Technology is causing less and less pupils to consider this as a subject to pursue. It was found that the number of students sitting the ICT GCSE had fallen by 33% over 3 years and a 33% fall over 6 years in those sitting the ICT A-level. Without a large number of people finishing school and pursuing a career in this subject, the UK is in danger of falling behind the rest of the online world in terms of computer science skills. And with our world becoming increasingly digital in nature, a lack of girth in this area could cause a distinct gap in the number of appropriately skilled workers. Basically, we can’t afford not to have people skilled in the right areas, especially as those without these skills will be left without jobs entirely as they will be ill prepared for the future job market.

What the Royal Society is doing now, is launching another study that will look at exactly how the curriculum can be improved to entice students back to ICT. This will no doubt involve looking at the courses themselves, making them more up-to-date and vocational; they will look at teachers and how they can be better trained and motivated in order to pass on the correct knowledge from a modern and authoritative perspective; and they will look at facilities (which may be a huge stumbling block), including computers, networking infrastructure, software and other digital media. Unfortunately, for all the good intentions and wise foresight in the world there is as much economic head scratching and political fumbling.

There is hope for the future though. How many teenagers today do you know that can use a PC without a second thought? Most of them right? Well I bet that most of them didn’t take ICT class at school and still manage to perform enough online and computer based tasks to get by easily. Computers and the internet are getting faster, more intuitive and less expensive every day too, so over the next couple of decades, learning how to use computers and information technology is only going to get easier.

There’s more to computer sciences than just fixing PC’s. We need web developers, software programmers and web businesses to handle online credit card processing. What the Royal Society does need to do, is entice those with an aptitude for science to take on the highest level of computer science so that these rapid advances in computer technology which are happening right now, have some British stamps on them. Not just for online business and economic reasons but to inspire our youngsters to want to travel down this exciting digital path into the future. Don’t we just need a British Bill Gates, Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg?

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