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Alex Pope Business Solutions Posts

The Internet of the Future?

Access to high-speed internet is becoming more important for both individuals and businesses in today’s world but many, more rural areas, don’t have the access that they need. An example of the challenges is this CBC article about Xplornet discontinuing internet service in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.

A new possibility for internet access with fewer limitations is being launched by Starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX. Starlink is targeting service in the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020 with rapid expansion in 2021. They have already launched a significant number of their satellites. You can sign up on the Starlink website for updates on service in your area (I have already done this myself). I am very interested to see if this service is successful in attracting sufficient customers and changing the way we access the internet.

To learn more about Starlink, check out this video by Tech Vision:

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Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a customizable business applications platform that was launched in 2016 as a unified suite of CRM and ERP applications. To better understand the applications that are encompassed by Microsoft Dynamics 365, check out this article titled What Is Dynamics 365? You can also read about the evolution and origins in the blog post titled A brief history of Microsoft Dynamics.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 can either be implemented as a software-as-a-service in the cloud based on Microsoft Azure, or as locally hosted software, although 80% of customers use a cloud implementation. Some of the pros and cons of each implementation method are discussed in Cloud or on-premise? A Dynamics 365 deployment FAQ?

If you are looking at upgrading your organization’s software, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is likely worth a closer look.

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AntiVirus Protection

AntiVirus software is critical to protect you from computer viruses, as well as a variety of malware, spyware, adware, and ransomware that is lurking on the internet. Don’t overlook adding this to every computer in your organization.

PC Magazine regularly provides independent reviews and recommendations on a variety of products are are worth checking out any time you are thinking about acquiring software, so be sure to read about their recommendations for The Best Antivirus Protection for 2020.

A number of the companies that produce AntiVirus software provide both a free (or trial) version and a premium version. Definitely take advantage of the free version to try it out but if you value being able to use the software, please consider upgrading to the premium version. If they’re not making money selling the software, they’re not going to stay in business to support you.

There are other things you can do to stay safe using the internet such as using a VPN, firewall, and spam filter. We’ll write about some of those another day.

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Contact Tracing and COVID-19

One of the more important tools that is being used in British Columbia, and many other places in the world, is contact tracing. As an individual, it is helpful to maintain a list of people you have been in contact with, and places you have visited, in case you are exposed to COVID-19.

In your organization, maintaining a list of people who have visited your place of business along with contact information can be a great help should contact tracing be required. For some businesses, such as food services in some jurisdictions, this data collection is mandatory. This list should include the data and time of any visits, along with a way to contact those individuals.

It is important to note that any information you collect for this purpose should be treated with confidentiality, not used for other purposes such as marketing, and destroyed after 30 days.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has an excellent summary of Contact tracing, including a video and an infographic, on their website.

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Data Quality Audit

A data quality audit can be done on its own, or as part of a more complete software audit. Most organizations will find they have at least some bad data in their database systems. A data quality audit can identify and correct this bad data, recognize patterns from which solutions can be determined to prevent similar problems in the future, and develop strategies for monitoring data quality.

If you are interested in reading more about data quality, here are some recommended resources:

Information Week (2004, June 25): The Data Quality Audit.

Li Cai and Yangyong Zhu, Data Science Journal (2015): The Challenges of Data Quality and Data Quality Assessment in the Big Data Era.

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