BROSIX https://www.brosix.com Tue, 07 Aug 2018 12:35:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.brosix.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-security-brosix-32x32.png BROSIX https://www.brosix.com 32 32 File Sharing vs. P2P File Transfer https://www.brosix.com/blog/file-sharing-vs-p2p-file-transfer/ Tue, 07 Aug 2018 07:12:06 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12638 Today, the internet offers a number of ways to both share and send files. If you’ve heard terms like “file sharing” and “file transfer,” you may have wondered what the difference is. While file sharing and file transfer both allow you to share and send files, it’s important you know how they differ so you can make the best decisions regarding the transfer of your or your enterprise’s data. What is File Sharing? File sharing generally involves uploading a file to a cloud-based system, where any number of users with access to the system can then retrieve the file. Cloud-based technology includes some household names which you’ve likely heard – Apple’s iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive to name a few. Cloud storage technology has become increasingly popular as an enterprise solution for its ease of use, convenient backup alternative, and storage immortality. Most cloud-based systems allow users to simply drag and drop files between their devices and the storage system. Files can be uploaded and accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and by anyone with access to the system – especially convenient for teams distributed across geography and time zones. Often, the cloud is used as a secondary storage option for businesses, providing a crucial backup of important files and documents. The files are stored on servers at a remote location – a real life-saver in the case of emergency. What’s more, file-sharing through cloud-based technology offers the opportunity to bypass the risk of purchasing additional hardware which could soon be obsolete. You pay for the capacity and performance your business requires, and your provider shoulders the burden of keeping the technology up to date. What Are the Drawbacks? You should know, however, that using a cloud-based alternative as your primary means to share files comes with some risks. When you share your files on a cloud service, the data is typically taken outside of your enterprise’s IT environment. As a result, you’re surrendering control of potentially sensitive data and information to a third-party, naturally leading to concerns surrounding the security and privacy of data stored remotely. Not only could the data be mishandled by the cloud service provider, but as such platforms are multi-user, the likelihood increases of sensitive information making its way into the wrong hands by way of user error or carelessness. As these seven infamous breaches signify, data shared via the cloud is not without significant internal and external security risks. Regardless of whether or not you’re using a cloud-based platform, make sure you’re taking measures to protect your data. In addition to the security risks and depending on the cloud provider you choose, there could be a bandwidth allowance. Many cloud storage services have such an allowance and if your enterprise surpasses this allocation, the extra charges could be significant. If your business transfers a large amount of data, these additional costs can really add up. Simply put – the more space you need for your data, the more you’ll pay. Lastly, if you’re […]

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Atlassian will discontinue Hipchat and Stride – What are the Alternatives? https://www.brosix.com/blog/atlassian-will-discontinue-stride/ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:34:48 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12629 The recent announcement that Atlassian will discontinue Hipchat and Stride is yet another shakeup in the rapidly changing field of personal and enterprise instant messaging platforms. With the news, it was announced that Slack, the popular team chat service, will acquire both Hipchat and Stride. Atlassian attributes the decision to dramatic changes in the real-time communications market and claims a partnership with Slack is the best way forward. In a bid to better position itself in an ever-competitive market, Atlassian had tried to move its Hipchat customers to a newer platform – Stride – offering audio and video conferencing and project tracking. Having proved unsuccessful, Atlassian customers will now have to look elsewhere to meet their real-time communication needs. The announcement comes amidst the recent discontinuations of two other household names in the field of IM – AIM and Yahoo Messenger. Despite Hipchat and Stride falling victim to the ever-competitive instant messaging market, users still have a wealth of other options. But with so many alternatives out there, if you’re a Hipchat or Stride user, where do you turn? For starters, you need to consider things like compatibility across your platforms and devices, features, and crucially, security. Importantly, Slack is offering a transition to its platform and expects most Atlassian customers to utilize this migration path. Slack Slack is banking on the majority Atlassian customers transitioning to their platform. The popular team-chat service is already used by more than 500,000 organizations and boasts over 8 million daily users. Launched in 2014, Slack has become a hit for its integration options and features like the Slackbot. By integrating third party apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Trello for project management, you can more easily share content and collaborate. What’s more, the Slackbot gets you started by answering your questions, allowing you to add customized responses, and reminding you of tasks and important details. Slack also makes it easy to send links. When pasting a link into a chat, Slack automatically adds a headline, description, and picture, so you don’t have to. Whether or not your planning to migrate to Slack, make sure you’re familiar with the process of exporting your data. Hipchat and Stride users can find that information here. If you’re not sold on Slack, you might be wondering what other choices you have. In that case, here are a couple of other options. Microsoft Teams Atlassian users aren’t the only ones facing an upcoming transition. Since September, Microsoft has been in the process of integrating Skype for Business into its Teams platform. In the process, Microsoft has been enhancing Teams in preparation for its incoming Skype for Business users and, at the moment, the two platforms are interoperable. Offering document collaboration, one-on-one chat, team chat, and more, Teams already serves 200,000 businesses and is fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365. This integration effectively allows you to utilize Word, Excel, Meetings, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and a number of other apps as associated tabs which replicate the functionality of the app – […]

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The Risks of Using Personal Instant Messengers for Your Business Communication https://www.brosix.com/blog/using-personal-instant-messengers/ Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:12:09 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12616 With the growing number of instant messengers out there today, you probably aren’t alone in thinking they’re mostly all the same. You probably even have your favorite platform – which allows you text, voice and video chat, and probably even file transfer. But if you or your employees are using a personal instant messenger for your business communication, you could be exposing your business to a number of unnecessary and costly risks. How Do Personal and Enterprise IMs differ? All instant messengers are basically the same, right? Not quite. While both personal-grade and enterprise instant messaging (IM) solutions provide consumers the ability to connect and communicate quickly and efficiently, the difference lies in the details. IM has often been used as a cheap or free alternative to traditional phone calls and email, but for private use. While platforms like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp boast user numbers in the billions, their communication channels are far-reaching, often extending to friends, family, and even social media contacts. Enterprise IM, on the other hand, utilizes the features that have made personal IM popular – direct communication via text or group chats, voice and video calls, and file transfers – but is business specific and with enhanced administrative, collaboration, and security tools to meet the demands unique to your corporate environment. Mixing personal use IMs with business can be risky. In fact, a 2014 study by Infinite Convergence found that 70% of IT executives were worried about employees using consumer-oriented chat apps for business communication. What’s more, 77% of enterprise IT executives indicated a highly secure, simple, and intuitive internal messaging solution would be valuable. So what are the risks exactly? Using a consumer-grade instant messenger as an enterprise alternative jeopardizes your corporate security while hindering efficiency and productivity. Security In today’s hyper-connected world, security must be a top priority. Allowing employees to share private company information on personal-grade IM platforms puts your organization at risk of unnecessary data leaks. A 2016 study by the Ponemon Institute estimates the cost of a major data breach between $2.2 and $6.9 million, though possibly much higher depending on the number of records and files involved. And recently, doubts have been raised over the security of platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Targeted Ads By now, it’s possible that you’ve had an experience that goes something like this: You’re chatting with your friend on the phone. You hang up, then open Facebook, only to see an advertisement about the very thing you and your friend were just chatting about. Sounds a bit creepy, right? If you’re uncomfortable sharing your personal information and data this way, why would you treat your business information and data differently? Lack of Functionality Unlike email, IM is a proprietary tool isolated between its users on a specific platform. Suppose you’re a WhatsApp user, for instance, while your colleagues swear by Viber. Senior management, on the other hand, may be using Skype. The lack of interoperability between these platforms means you need […]

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Voice Chat – What Is It and Why It Must Be Part of Your Business Strategy https://www.brosix.com/blog/voice-chat/ Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:32:49 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12608 Communication is an integral part of your business strategy. As technology continues to evolve so should you. Importantly, that means employing different methods of communication to better streamline your team collaboration. One of those methods is voice chat. Read on to find out what voice chat is and why it must be part of your internal communication and collaboration plan. Why Voice Chat? The phone has been around for a long time. But with the internet came email, instant messaging, and smart phone technology – all vital innovations in their own right, but which have no doubt contributed to a decline in the use of voice calls. If you’ve ever had to communicate valuable information by email, text, or instant messaging, though, you know how much of challenge it can be. Not only can composing the right message be time-consuming and difficult, but misunderstandings are a real possibility which can further delay responses and hinder the bottom line. And not only that. Your emails and instant messages lack one crucial component – the personality and sincerity of a human voice. For communication to truly be effective and meaningful, voice is key. What’s more, for teams distributed across time zones, long-distance and international phone calls can be inefficient and expensive – costing you valuable time and money. What is Voice Chat? So what is voice chat? It’s important to understand that, while the end result of a traditional phone call and voice chat is much the same, the technology utilized is not. Traditional phone calls travel through copper lines over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Voice chat, on the other hand, employs data networks such as the internet or LANs and utilizes packet-switching technology – the same principle underlying all communication over the internet. Known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), your voice is converted into various data packets which are then sent to their destination, often separately. Upon arrival, the packets are reassembled and converted into sound. By taking advantage of existing broadband and internet connections, VoIP needs no separate infrastructure – saving you money. Keep in mind, however, that VoIP is dependent on an external power source and internet connection. If these are knocked out for any reason, you may be without VoIP service. How Voice Chat Benefits Your Team You probably spend a fair amount of your workday at the computer and this likely involves emails and IM. While efficient in their own right, over time these impersonal means of communication can be harmful for both your team collaboration and camaraderie. Voice chat provides your team meaningful, immediate, and efficient communication and collaboration. As more and more teams are distributed, more meaningful communication means more successful collaboration. And the key personal touch provided by voice chat allows you to provoke a response. In a 2016 Yale School of Management study, listeners were found to more accurately gauge speakers’ emotions through audio-only conversations. Let’s say you’re working on a project or report using a tool like virtual whiteboard […]

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The Best Business Messaging Apps for Android and iOS https://www.brosix.com/blog/the-best-business-messaging-apps/ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 14:12:59 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12574 The number of business messaging apps available for Android and iOS is head-spinning thus choosing the right alternative for your business, and your devices, can truly be a challenge. Check out these five potential solutions and better meet your internal communication needs. Slack Slack was launched in mid-2013 by the team that built Flickr and, thanks to a wide array of features, has become a popular way to chat in groups. One of those features is a notification system for keywords. Suppose you’ve got a project called “Yukon.” You can set Yukon as a keyword in your notifications and whenever it’s used in a public channel (not in a direct message or private channel) you get an alert. People seem to have fallen in love with Slack for its myriad integration options. By affording you the ability to integrate third party apps, Slack has streamlined communication for all your teams. Let’s say you’re using Trello for your project management needs. By linking it with Slack, you can reach existing Trello cards, make updates, and even receive notifications when an update is made in Trello. Without a doubt we’re multitasking more than ever. Having that in mind, Slack allows you to balance all your groups – work and private – in the same app. Microsoft Teams If you work for an organization that pays for Microsoft Office 365, then you may be familiar with Microsoft Teams. Available to more than 85 million 365 users, Microsoft Teams looks and feels like Slack, but as its immediate competition there are some features which set it apart. Allowing you to integrate apps from the Microsoft Office 365 Suite into your chats, you can effectively add Word, Excel, Meetings, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and a host of other apps as associated tabs which then replicate the functionality of the app without leaving Microsoft Teams. With your distributed teams in mind, Microsoft has built Skype straight into its Teams platform. A video icon next to a channel means there’s an ongoing video meeting and, by clicking the team and then “Join Conversation,” you can jump in mid-meeting. What’s more, with Teams you don’t have to worry about email integration, as every channel has a dedicated email address where emails can be directly forwarded. Though an excellent team collaboration solution, Teams can only be used as part of Office 365. Twist Twist provides a radically different framework from Slack or Microsoft Teams, aesthetically closer to email. From there, it begins with channels which can be public, private, or by invitation only and then organized accordingly by topic, department, or theme. Channels are broken down into threads – similar to email messages and including a ‘Notify field’ and subject line. While Twist can feel like email, it does differ in a few ways. Everyone in the channel can see the threads, including those not directly involved in the conversation. But unlike the ambiguity of being cc’ed in an email, the Notify field means you’ll always know if a message directly […]

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How to Improve Team Collaboration While Avoiding Burnout https://www.brosix.com/blog/improve-team-collaboration-while-avoiding-burnout/ Thu, 05 Jul 2018 10:32:24 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12560 Workplace burnout is a serious problem facing companies and employees the world over. In order to understand workplace withdrawal, first and foremost, you need to recognize the signs and symptoms. Furthermore, know that burnout is preventable and can be avoided by examining how you communicate, employing more sensible communication methods, and simply taking better care of yourself. Have a look at these tips to avoid burnout and in the process boost collaboration and teamwork. Communication is a MUST Your workplace teamwork is only as good as the communication tools you have at your disposal. Luckily, technology has afforded us myriad ways to keep in touch, and while email and phone calls have their place, an instant messaging (IM) platform could take your communication and collaboration to the next level. What’s most important, however, is that you avoid the workplace disconnect that can arise when you and your team aren’t on the same page. This disconnect can ultimately lead to a decrease in motivation, lack of effectiveness and productivity, and eventual burnout. The right communication method will not only keep your team in constant communication with each other, but as a result enhance efficiency and workplace satisfaction. Talking to One Another Still Has Value Between our devices and seemingly endless ways to communicate, there’s no denying that we’re more connected than ever. But as technology changes the way we communicate, we unfortunately seem to be forgetting how to talk to one another. In-person communication and human contact are crucial to your mental health, social skills, and general well-being, so make sure you’re taking the opportunity to get up and speak to your colleagues, face-to-face. Of course there are instances when in-person interactions simply aren’t feasible – for example if you’re working remotely. At these times, try to use features like voice and video chat. You won’t physically be in the same space, but it’s the next best thing. Work Smarter Your ability to organize and manage your daily work-related tasks can drastically affect your stress level – resulting in ineffectiveness, a lack of attention to detail, and dissatisfaction. Make to-do lists, prioritize your tasks, and importantly, don’t procrastinate. Utilizing the right tools allows you in real-time to discuss work-related topics, ask and answer questions, as well as send and receive files. This way you’re not putting off your communications and then struggling to respond to everything. In the process, the real-time connectivity and communication boosts collaboration and teamwork. Socialize Maybe you’ve heard the saying – A team that plays together stays together. People are inherently social creatures and this social nature should be utilized even in an office environment. Make an attempt to socialize with your coworkers on breaks or at lunch and try not to discuss work. Moreover, participation in team-building activities outside the office can significantly improve morale. Suggest an escape room, go-karting, or a ski retreat – something fun where the emphasis is not on work. Such activities can foster the mutual respect, trust, and camaraderie vital to […]

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The Dos and Don’ts of Remote Work https://www.brosix.com/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-remote-work/ Mon, 25 Jun 2018 15:42:37 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12487 The option to work remotely is often a highly sought-after opportunity. And understandably so. Who wouldn’t want to ditch their commute, 9-5 schedule, and staff meetings for a little more freedom, flexibility, and family time; all from the comfort of your own home. If it sounds enticing it’s probably because it is. A recent survey found that 43% of employed Americans opted to spend at least some time working remotely. While those numbers are increasing, you should know that remote work does come with its own challenges and hassles. Prepare yourself with these dos and don’ts of working remotely and enhance your remote work experience. Do Be Resourceful Taking the leap to remote work doesn’t automatically mean your job just got easier. When questions arise, your colleagues are no longer in the next cubicle. Nor is your boss right across the hall. You’ll have to be resourceful about how you keep in touch and that means finding a connection method that works for you. An instant messaging (IM) platform with the right features can improve your effectiveness, connectivity, and vitally, well-being. The latter, after all, is why you decided to work remotely, right? Stay Connected Sounds obvious, right? But those who work remotely often overlook this crucial factor. Sure, email is a great tool, but it can be redundant and subject to delays. What’s more, it can’t provide you the human contact which you’ll miss while working remotely. Luckily, it’s far from the only resource available to you. Voice and video chat can help you optimize your connectivity. Staying connected via voice chat is easier than sending emails and better yet, there’s less risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding. Video chat, on the other hand, adds the all-important personal touch often absent from remote work. Whether you’re collaborating on a project or discussing the latest report, you’ll more effectively gauge each others’s thoughts and reactions, share ideas, and maybe even share a laugh or two. Stay Organized Your ability to stay organized is a key factor in how efficient and productive you are. Set aside a designated workspace with all your devices and items handy and, most importantly, keep it clean! Moreover, a routine is necessary, and instant messaging can help. Designate a time to check in with your colleagues via group chat, text conference or even a quick IM. Your organization isn’t limited to your workspace though. You’ll want to maximize your screen space. Tabbed chats organize in a single window all your chat conversations, allowing you to switch between chats with ease. Take Advantage of Tech We all have our preferred devices. But whether it’s a desktop system, laptop, tablet, or smart phone, make sure you’re utilizing not only the latest tech, but software compatible across a range of devices and platforms. Do your due diligence and make use of P2P technology and unlimited size file transfer. The last thing you need when you’re working remotely is an error message that the file’s too large to send. What a […]

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IM for Beginners – What Do You Need to Know? https://www.brosix.com/blog/im-for-beginners-what-do-you-need-to-know/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 15:58:18 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12473 A Brief History You probably remember the days of buddy lists on AOL instant messenger (AIM), or even ICQ (I Seek You) before that. If you’re new to instant messaging (IM), though, you’d be forgiven for not knowing that it has actually been around much, much longer than that. Beginning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1961, the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) allowed up to 30 users to log in and send messages to each other. While rudimentary IM programs like CTSS connected universities and research labs, those early days have since morphed into an industry spanning myriad platforms, social media and business environments, and billions of users – enough to make your head spin. Why Instant Messaging? With technology evolving on a daily basis, you’re not alone in wondering why IM? The advantages of IM are multifold, though, for both private and business users. The first and foremost benefit of IM quite literally lies in its name. IM is instantaneous, whereas any number of circumstances – from the capacity of the recipient’s inbox, internet connection, and even the weather – can slow down email communication. With IM, there’s no wondering whether the message has been received or lost in an overcrowded inbox. Nor must you annoyingly refresh your browser repeatedly to see if a response has come. With many IM programs you can see that the message has been received, as well as when the other individual is replying. IM allows you to match the communication to the message. There’s no need to waste time with busy signals or voicemails when you only need to engage in a fast but brief conversation with someone you know. IMs are meant to be short and sweet, so you can avoid the extra time needed to format and proofread emails. Moreover, should the need arise for another form of communication, many IM programs feature a variety of built-in communication channels; from group, audio, and video chats to shared collaborative workspaces. On the business end, communication is key. Breakdowns in communication undermine worker morale and hinder productivity. Fortunately, business IM affords employees and staff the tools to communicate and collaborate flexibly and efficiently while increasing productivity and cost savings. According to Carleton University researchers, the average person spends nearly seventeen hours per week – that’s more than two days out of the work week – on email. With business IM, employees are constantly connected thus reducing the time needed to compose and check emails; meaning workers can focus on what they’re paid to do – work! The benefits of business IM aren’t limited to worker productivity and efficiency, though. It can also save you money. In today’s business climate no advantage is too small, especially when it concerns the bottom line. With ever-increasing numbers of remote workers, many located all over the world, tools like video chat and virtual whiteboards can simulate face-to-face meetings and group environments; reducing costly travel expenditures and eliminating hassles like phone bills and postage. So what […]

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Yahoo Messenger will Cease Service- What are the Alternatives? https://www.brosix.com/blog/yahoo-messenger-will-cease-service-what-are-the-alternatives/ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 11:40:48 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12456 Yahoo Messenger, one of the pioneers in the field of Instant Messaging, will be discontinuing its service as of July 17, 2018. The announcement came as Oath Inc., the parent company of Yahoo messenger and part of Verizon Communications, announced that it is looking for a replacement for the messenger service. As of yet, Oath Inc. is still in the experimentation phase for an alternative. Given that it seems a replacement product is a long way off, Yahoo Messenger users are now forced to take their business elsewhere for the time being. The Latest IM Shakeup Much like its one time competitor and recent sister program, America Online Instant Messenger, which Oath Inc. also shutdown less than a year ago, Yahoo Messenger struggled to maintain its relevance in an ever-changing IM landscape. Initially launched as Yahoo! Pager in 1998, the messaging program was a trend setter with many first time features, and continued to have moderate success with its mobile version to the present day. However, with the advent of a wide range of competitors, Yahoo struggled to retain its original market prominence and relevance. While the lessons from this latest IM program closure will certainly be analyzed in the months ahead, there is the more pressing question at hand: which program do Yahoo Messenger users turn to for their messaging needs? In order to make an informed choice it’s important to weigh the strengths of some of the options currently on the market. Where to next? Luckily for Yahoo Messenger users the amount of alternatives is growing every day, and it has never been a better time to choose a new IM program. While this means that users have a wide range of replacement programs from which to choose, it can also be a challenge to make the right choice and not become overwhelmed by the sheer number of alternatives. When approaching this choice there are certainly many factors to consider. Do Yahoo Messenger users need a program that is stronger in mobile messaging, or desktop? Do they use their messaging program for communicating with friends, or in a business environment? How heavily do they weigh security concerns when choosing a program? These are some of the questions that users are surely asking themselves. In order to help in the process of Yahoo Messenger users selecting an alternative messaging program, four of the best choices are listed below along with their relative strengths. Skype Founded in 2003, Skype has been a mainstay on the IM market for over 15 years. While it has faced stiff competition from competitors in its own right, it has maintained prominence over the years, particularly in the international calling market since its release of the video calling feature in 2011. For those users looking for a replacement program that can facilitate this type of video messaging, Skype is a solid choice. Facebook Messenger Messenger has evolved into a standalone app from the Facebook Chat service launched in 2008 as part of the Facebook platform. […]

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Thoughts on Communication from 7 Top Business Professionals https://www.brosix.com/blog/thoughts-on-communication-from-7-top-business-professionals/ Tue, 12 Jun 2018 13:38:01 +0000 https://www.brosix.com/?p=12445 It is hard to argue with the fact that we live in dizzying times. Breakneck technological development is altering not only where, when, and how we work, but importantly how we interact with each other. While it can be hard to keep pace, one constant remains just as important as ever – communication. Though we are more connected than ever, with more possible means of communication than ever, how you communicate can mean the difference between success and failure. The difference between gaining a client, or losing one. The following white paper shares the experiences of seven top business professionals and how they prefer to keep in touch. How do you communicate? Want to see the Whitepaper? Just click here or on the image below:

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