How Can Small Businesses Compete With Wal-Mart Or Amazon?

It is difficult for small businesses to compete with big brands but they can improve brand awareness through simple unique touches. For example if the business will hold an event, visitor passes made from plastic and printed through plastic ID card printer can gain a good impression. It is traditional for promotional events to use paper medium for visitor passes; be different so that the brand will be retained in the consumer’s memory.

The advent of the internet and SEO marketing strategies has managed to increase competition. Small businesses struggle to make consumers aware of their brand. There was a time when consumers patronize small retail stores but large stores like Wal-Martwere introduced as one-stop shops for all consumer needs. For businesses that compete online, there is Amazon to reckon with.

Amazon offers almost everything that a consumer needs and it difficult for ecommerce sites to compete. When consumers search for certain products, Amazon is always in the first pages of the Google search results. To be able to compete, small businesses must undertake SEO at every level of the website.

The entire website must be designed with SEO in mind from About us page to the description of the products. Research for the right keywords and do not use the keywords that big brands are using because they already dominate search engines. Focus your attention on long-tail keywords that are specific to the brand.

Generate additional content that you can publish on some ecommerce sites. The more content the business has with the right keywords, the greater will be the chances of appearing in the first pages of Google search results. Content can promote the website even to people who are not actually searching for your product. Create interesting blogs, videos and Infographics and publish them on a regular basis to generate leads and conversions.

There are many instances when the plastic ID card printer helps a business generate brand awareness. If the business gives away loyalty cards or information cards that are printed in plastic, it creates recall because it is different from the common paper medium that competitors use. The consumer will always remember the plastic card that has good design, colour and clarity.

500 Billion Devices Connected To The Internet – A Dream For The Future

A decade ago, the number of devices that were connected to the internet was less than a billion. Now, the number is an overwhelming 20 billion and bound to increase in the coming years. Mobile computing, driverless connected cars and interactive refrigerators will be a reality in the years to come.

Since 1980, John Chambers, the executive Chairman of Cisco Systems became seriously involved in the internet infrastructure. This week, while on a Doha trip he was asked about the future of internet, what economies will be the leader in the next internet evolution and whether the Arab world has the potential to advance over other countries in terms of innovation.

Chambers presented his digital outlook for the future wherein the impact of the internet will be 3 to 5 times in the digital era. It can be called as the Fourth Revolution of technology or digital revolution because every country, city and company all over the world will turn to digital.

In terms of economic benefits, the digital revolution will generate about $19 – $21 trillion or 1 to 4% of the GDP of every country in the world. It will transform every city, country and industry and when the transformation is done right, it can be inclusive across the 7.5 billion world population.

France and India are making the effort to find creative methods to connect their societies. The Arab world will leapfrog and skip a generation in leadership which can probably bring peace in the Middle East through the power of digitization. Start-ups and middle-sized businesses will become much larger. This can be a dream or a reality.

According to Chambers, when Cisco started in 1984, there were only 1,000 devices connected to the internet. Today, there are 17 billion devices. In 10 years, the number of devices will likely reach 500 billion. The end result will be new business models.

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The Internet Ensures The Globalization Of Tech Work

Before the executive order limiting immigration from several countries, tech workers employed by the United States were outside the country and they stayed in touch through emails, social media, video conferencing and chat programs. Since most of the tech work was done through computers, it does not matter if the employee is inside the Google campus in Mountain View or waiting for a flight in Tehran.

There are no walls when it comes to creative intellectual work that can be done through a computer. Because of the upheaval caused by the executive order, it will become harder for tech companies to hire highly skilled foreign workers. However, the restrictions will only result into more tech workers working remotely. High paying software development jobs may move permanently to offshore companies. Eventually, big tech companies will decide to relocate to other countries that are more committed to openness.

It is inevitable that more jobs will be done overseas. For example, coding is one of the most popular jobs that are outsourced to other countries. At present, tech companies want their employees to work in the same room together because of the idea that proximity may inspire creativity. However, this is already an outdated idea that people have to work face-to-face in an overpriced office in Bay Area to create tech magic.

Some tech companies would certainly prefer to keep their teams intact than outsource the job elsewhere but there is no stopping the company if it wants to outsource the whole project. If skilled workers cannot be bought to the US, the entire company might as well be moved to another country.

This is already happening because some giant tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Cisco have opened hubs in Canada. The success of technology depends on skill and this gives tech company’s the initiative to seek out talent no matter the nationality.

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Making Daily Life More Manageable And Efficient Through Amazon’s Alexa

People who were lucky enough to watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in the 1980’s are familiar with the technological innovations for the future. The film had a 24th century setting with 3D printers, visors with artificial lights, virtual reality simulator “holodeck” and the supercomputer that has the capability to locate people, open doors and retrieve answers to highly complicated questions.

Amazon has purchased a version of the supercomputer, a few centuries than was predicted in Star Trek. In an interview with Fortune last July, David Limp said that the idea of an all-knowing machine with access to most of the world’s information has captured his imagination when it saw it on TV.

Amazon decided to call the device Alexa, a shorter name for Alexandria. The device was primarily designed to work with a suite of wireless speakers made by Amazon and called Echo, Echo Dot and Tap. The possibilities for the device are limitless. Alexa is described as a smart personal assistant that can play your favourite song, read you a paperback novel and dictate a recipe while you are cooking. Alexa can also learn new skills from third party developers who want to integrate Alexa into their products.

During the first few months of 2106, 135 skills were designed for Alexa but this year, Alexa can do 7,000 skills. Alexa can call an Uber for you, order your pizza, check your bank balance, control the TV, measure carbon monoxide emissions and buy your coffee.

It is also very interesting that Alexa has turned from an experimental device into a fascinating household fixture. This is surprising given the track record of Amazon when it comes to hardware. Alexa’s success may be based on luck but something about the future feel of the device including convenience and ease has captivated the attention of consumers triggering dozens of Alexas in homes.

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How Hacking, Fake News And Poisonous Messages Proliferated The Internet

This year, the internet experienced the consequences of its actions from hacking, fake news and poisonous online communication. As result, internet users also suffered from the internet’s tragic flaw which is optimism or in simple terms, arrogance.

The first issue is hacking which could have been avoided if the internet has been designed with more security; however, the creators prioritized openness. The growth of the internet was very fast because people immediately saw its usefulness. The creators of the internet were very optimistic that it connected people who trusted each other. Now, the internet has become an ideal pasture for hackers.

The second issue is the proliferation of fake news. The idea of Google, Twitter and Facebook is to organize the world’s information, to provide people with a forum where they can exercise freedom of speech and to connect people from all parts of world. The business model was left until later but the platforms soon found out that the only sustainable model is advertising.

Everything was free for people but it also meant engagement that eclipsed all other considerations like truth, decency and respect. People spent a lot of time using online services but the internet is now dominated by harsh and vicious comments and outrageous stories became viral.

The more information that social media platforms knew about a user, the more profitable it became for them. Social media often reminds you of old memories or when a friend has joined Instagram. An item of clothing that you Googled will follow you patiently as you browse the internet with advertisements and newsfeeds on your email.

If information is interesting to advertisements, more so with the government who has access to your internet history. Information is also interesting to hackers because it has become easily accessible. The right solution is to be a less trusting and to treat each other better online.

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Current Options For Smart Heating

Smart heating systems already came to their own within the past years, with a few solutions now available to allow control using a smartphone.

Pocket-lint shares several heating apps and services, which are already available in the UK currently, that help save money on the heating bills.

Honeywell Evohome

This is a heating system which is wireless connected. It allows control of individual radiators, therefore particular rooms. It connects to a boiler and existing radiators where the whole heating system is controlled via a central console or a mobile application.

Honeywell’s Evohome costs £249 for its Connected Pack, while radiator zone kits can be purchased separately at £77 each.

Tado 2.0

Tado can be added to a current heating setup. It makes use of a cloud-based app to control heating from a smartphone. This also has a home control in a square control unit having LED lights which display current temperatures.

Tado also gets the house ready when the homeowner returns by measuring a weather forecast, the time required to for a homeowner to get home and the fast a house heats up.

The Tado 2.0 costs £199. It can also be rented for £4.99 per month for a year, followed by a £7.99 cost a month after.


This is also called the learning thermostat, since it has an ability to learn how a homeowner uses it and prepares a heating schedule correspondingly.

Over two weeks, Nest is going to learn the patterns of how a homeowner has the heating on, the time period and which temperatures.

The UK version has a True Radiant feature, which reduces temperature swings and begins heating early.

The Nest Learning Thermostat costs £179. For a professional installation, it costs £249.

British Gas Hive Active Heating

This replaces current controllers with its wireless system and a connection to a home’s broadband. Once this is installed, the heating and hot water can be controlled via a free Android or iOS app or through the website. This means that it can be controlled from anywhere.

The Hive system costs £149 for British Gas customers and £199 for others.


And when a heating system needs to be repaired or serviced, professionals from the Technical Heating Services are the people to contact.

App Allows Anyone To Call Any Number In The World – For Free

Who knew that the advent of the internet based calling or VOIP made the traditional calling’s life complicated? Things are becoming more interesting but also trickier with the high speed internet being available anywhere in the world, offered in public hotspots or Wi-Fi. Still, telecommunication giants increase their rates remarkably.

Now, there is finally a solution that seems too good to be true – an application which allows its users to make calls to anyone on any number in the world. This is also free. Anyone is able to call internationally. Likewise, calls to landline numbers are possible. The app is available for download in both iOS and Android.

A new app that allows calls for free to anywhere in the world

CallPal has bridged the gap between VOIP and the traditional calling. Rustam Singh from Entrepreneur India checks the app and has found out the following information.

Key Features

  • It is absolutely free to call to any number.
  • The call recipients will not need to install the app.
  • The call recipients will still see a caller’s registered phone number, so this means that they wouldn’t know that the app was used to make a call.
  • It is able to call international numbers too.
  • Likewise, the landline numbers can be called too.
  • During sign up, there are no long forms to fill in.
  • There are no spam on an app user’s phone.
  • There are no built-in premiums, credits, coins or any other proxy ways that will extract money from the user.
  • The app ensures that a user is never spammed with continuous and repeated reminders to make use of the app.
  • It works on iPhones as well.
  • It also syncs with a user’s contacts so as to mirror a regular dialing pad.


With the advent of the internet and the rise of technology, many apps like CallPal are being created to make everyone’s life easier and to make communication more convenient. Anyone from the India can now call to their families living in the United States, or an American retiree calling that Pattaya condo for sale to finalize a transaction. Everything has been made uncomplicated.


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