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  • How Learning An Additional Language Could Influence Your Business May 6, 2019

    I’ve written extensively about the ways good grammar and command of the English language can make or break a business (or a career). But what about your ability to speak another language, in addition to English? Is it mandatory? More importantly, is it worth the investment, in terms of your company’s additional potential for revenue gain?

    Benny Lewis, the author of the new book “Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone At Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language From Anywhere In the World,” believes that it is. Lewis is a self-proclaimed polyglot who speaks more than ten languages. He writes the popular language learning blog In 2013 he was named National GeographicTraveler of the Year because of his focus on communicating with locals during his travels.

    Back to the focus on business, Lewis notes that other countries beyond the U.S. (like Britain for example) have established progressive initiatives to make their workforce more multilingual to improve their economic advantages. Yet the issue goes largely unaddressed in America, he maintains.

    The majority of American entrepreneurs view English as the global language and the international language of business. This idea tends to feed the misconception that Americans don’t need to invest time and effort in language learning in their education and business strategies. Because of this (in addition to America's geographic isolation), America is a shockingly monolingual nation. Only 18% of Americans speak more than one language, versus 56% of Europeans according to research from the European Commission.

    This thinking is seriously undermining America’s economic potential, experts believe. The U.S. Committee on Economic Development (CED) suggests that American businesses lose more than $2 billion a year to language or cultural misunderstandings.

    To be successful, international businesses (which is pretty much all of us these days, as foreign trade has become a substantial component of the U.S. economy) need to adapt to the needs of foreign clients as well as to communicate with foreign partners effectively.

    Continue reading:

    Additional sources for reading:
    How to speak Spanish
    Best way to learn Spanish
  • ACH API Provider 2019, what is needed? Mar 11, 2019

    If your organization is looking to integrate ACH payment processing, you likely have compiled a list of what your requirements are that are needed from the ACH API Provider. Integrating organizations can differ greatly in their needs, so be sure to have your transaction flows documented.

    Moreover, having your transaction flow requirements ready to go for discussions with a potential ACH API provider might not be enough. Let's consider some areas outside of the transaction flow requirements:
    1. Will the ACH API provider assist with customer adoption? Let's face it, credit cards are extremely popular, and for merchant organizations who have already been allowing transactions to take place via credit cards and are just now integrating for ACH payments, converting customers can be a chore. Sure, incentivizing customers to convert is one option, but there are other methods that can be of additional help. A good ACH API provider knows the barriers to converting and it should be part of their service to the integrating partner. Services could include document preparation, conversion marketing tools and even conference attendance. Make sure your conversations with any potential ACH API provider include customer adoption towards ACH payments.
    2. ACH processing partnership. If you're a software organization where your application serves multiple organizations or businesses in managing their business and it's customers, you should consider revenue share by way of a processing partnership. The simple fact of the matter is that your organization and software platform becomes a defacto sales agent for the ACH API provider. Sales and marketing cost money, and because the application is providing that from the integration effort, your organization should be involved in some revenue share for that sales and marketing being done. For too long these payments partnerships have been underserved by processing facilitators. Software organizations that have a significant vertical reach can add a healthy dollar sum to their bottom-line by way of a payments partnership, all the while providing a better than market rate when compared to an individual merchant organization acquiring ACH capabilities on their own.
    3. Understanding your business. If you're part of a SaaS organization that serves multiple merchant organizations, it's critical that your ACH API provider completely understand your business model and everything that surrounds it. This is where talking to a sales rep most often doesn't cut it. Far too many of them only know the X's and O's of pricing and API specifications. You are due being able to speak to someone with significant experience in having worked with many organizations in facilitating ACH integration needs. We're talking C-Level contacts here.
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  • How Virtual Connections Make The World a Better Place Oct 19, 2018

    In the past, businesses relied on physical marketplaces to trade. With huge set-up costs, the profit margins were thin and customers had to spend more to buy an item that would have cost them less if the seller was more accessible. Thanks to virtual marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, transaction costs have gone low and both sellers and buyers go home happy.

    Virtual connections go beyond business transactions. Here is why the world is a better place with virtual connections:

    Community with shared interests
    Through virtual connections, people with the same interests can interact easily. Professionals can have lengthy discussions that are in-depth and value-adding to both contributors. Also, communities, with ease of interactions can influence the world because of the power of oneness of voice. Within these virtual groups, scientists, leaders, media personalities, policymakers, and artists can make a focused discussion on social issues that impact the world population...

    People can tell their own stories
    While traditional media can influence opinions, very few of them tell the stories accurately. Today, fortunately, there are online media platforms that allow 'subjects' of a story to tell it in their own way. Platforms like OneWorld, accept original content from people all over the world hence real stories can get out there. Information influence opinions and great changes begin with real conversations, but only when people own their stories can the policymakers make impactful decisions.

    Larger group connections
    When people come together, a lot can be achieved. The advantage with larger connections is that it creates a pool of professionals with varied experiences. Unlike the past when people depended on immediate inner-circle connections to outsource expertise, today technology has made it possible for larger groups to connect share experiences, and make decisions that improve the state of the world.

    In conclusion, virtual connections improve trust in humanity. You can now log into eBay and order an item from a complete stranger with an assurance that your money is safe and the product is in the best condition. You can enroll for a course on Udemy, learn a new skill and improve your employability. Whichever way you look at it, the world has become a better place with virtual connections.
  • IT Outsourcing Trends in 2018 - What Should We Expect? Aug 10, 2018


    While previously businesses were outsourcing IT services to reduce their operational expenses, a large number of them now focus on the credibility of the IT service provider and the value of their services. With the IT industry expected to grow steadily throughout 2018, companies will choose outsourcing services so as to leverage the next the generation technologies such as mixed realities, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics.

    Since technology is dynamic, it poses a huge challenge to the outsourcing industry. Due to this, companies need to be in tandem with the IT outsourcing trends. Developers will also need to improve in both their areas of expertise and the adoption of new development trends. Here are some of the IT outsourcing trends that will dominate 2018.

    The demand for soft skills will rise
    Although the pressure to get the right skills will still increase, the need for human soft skills will become more critical. Soft skills such as being a team player, communication skills, knowing when to say no among others will have a lot to do with the success of IT projects. Since there will be no place to hide, developers must prepare themselves to acquire both hard and soft skills that are needed in tomorrow's market

    Shortage of IT skills will intensify
    As from 2016 hiring a skilled IT professional has become very hard. Specialization will be one of the crucial points in outsourcing software development. This trend is expected to continue in2018 as businesses are increasingly incorporating technology into their activities. This will result in companies outsourcing some IT roles that were previously done by the internal staff.

    Because of this, there will be a heavy demand for skills such as open source, mobile, and Microsoft software development skills. Programmers with skills in new technologies will become even hard to find and network resources will also be in high demand.

    Early adoption of the use of blockchain technology
    In the past few years, blockchain has increasingly become one of the most interesting trends. By offering convenience in payment issues and getting rid of the middlemen, it has made business contracts and payments very easy. Apart from banks, several other organizations have come up with new ways of facilitating the use of this technology in the currency loan platforms among other applications.

    The media, healthcare organizations, legal firms, and telecommunication industries are also investing a lot in the new technology. Companies are, therefore, expected to come together for the use of one blockchain based currency. Developers who have experience in blockchain will also be in high demand.

    Companies will focus more on value
    While cost was one of the main factors in IT outsourcing, clients are now focusing more on value and the kind of services being provided. The market is expected to see an increased emphasis on areas such as security, productivity, and quality.

    Since today's customers are highly educated, they can easily detect any failures associated with outsourcing. This will increase the need to deal with clients in a transparent manner and provide better value for their money. Customers will pay more for high quality and value-added services. The focus will move from costs to value.

    Specialization of IT expertise
    In 2018 organizations will become more focused in their areas of specializations such as big data, blockchain technology, bioengineering, automobility and more Experts will also be required to work on projects and software solutions that create applications.

    Companies who have narrower specialization are likely to have more knowledge on the few solutions that they provide. Whether it's embedded software development, automotive, or IT solution, it's upon the outsourcing company to choose which type of specialization to focus on.

    Since technology has become vast, more and more companies are expected to outsource in 2018. However, most companies will explore high-quality software development services and different ways to leverage emerging technologies. Since every company will be starting new IT projects, 2018 is expected to be a very interesting year.
  • Tips For Cleaning Up After A Renovation May 17, 2018


    If you intend performing a DIY renovation to your home or office, you might be surprised at how much dust and debris you create. Below are a few tips for cleaning up after a renovation, as well as keeping your work area as clean as possible while you work.

    Rent A Mini Bin

    By renting a mini bin you can easily clean your work site as you go. The size and scale of your renovation will determine the size and type of mini bin you require. The type of waste you generate may also require more than one type of bin—such as one bin for soil, and another for concrete.

    Seal Off The Surrounding Rooms

    Minimize dirt and disruption in the rest of your home or office by sealing off the surrounding rooms. You can find large roles of plastic sheeting at any home improvement store. Just make sure that the tape you use to seal the area is safe for the walls they are taped to. Tape all four sides, including both walls, ceiling, and floor. To really minimize the transfer of dust, use 2 layers for rooms you will not need to access —and 3 layers for rooms you will be going in and out of; two that function as flaps on each side of the slit you use to access the space. Also, cover any smoke and CO2 detectors in the room, or the volume of dust may render them obsolete.

    Renovation Clean Up

    Once your renovation is complete, comes the time-consuming job of cleaning up. Start at the top, and work your way down to the flooring. Rent waste removal services an industrial vacuum to suction up the fine dust that remains after wiping down the ceilings and walls with a dust mop or microfiber cloths. Don’t forget to pay special attention to light fixtures, smoke and CO2 detectors, and vents. Last but not least, change your air filters directly before and after your renovation—and again in the next 2 weeks.
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