New Technology - Trick or Treat?

Futurists Predict...

Tech Tip: Email Marketing Solution

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Tech Tip:
Email Marketing Solution

A customer recently asked me if we use a program for ASI's email marketing campaigns, such as The ASI Archive. We do and I thought other ASI customers may be interested as well so, I'm happy to share with you what I shared with him.

Our email marketing tool of choice is AWeber. It offers us great flexibility to manage contacts, has low cost plans with unlimited email and extensive reporting capabilities. It is similar to Mailchimp in many ways and differs in some ways of course. There are plenty of online articles you can read that detail these.

So that's what works for us. Please feel free to email me directly if you have other solutions that work for you!

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Please send payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
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New Technology - Trick or Treat?
Scott Bidwell, ASI President/COO

tech trick or treat miageDo you remember The Jetsons? If you're of a particular age, you may recall that it was a cartoon about George Jetson and his family living in a future that featured inventions that seemed too fantastic to ever be real. Revisit a few episodes and you'll see that it seemed to be a pretty good predictor of where technology was headed. (Check out this article to see a few inventions from The Jetsons that are common today.)

From the cloud to drones flying through the clouds, there's no doubt that technology changes how we live and how we work. When it comes to your business, determining which technology to invest in can be a challenge. I recently came across an article on warehouse automation. It provides a compelling business case for incorporating robotics for certain warehouse applications. Is this a solution for a records center? How would the robot retrieve a box that's two or three deep? As the technology matures, robots may become the future workforce for records center warehouse operations, time will tell.

RFID Technology
I remember when the RIM services industry embraced RFID technology for its tracking accuracy, among other advantages. It seemed like a perfect business solution and many RIM service providers and their clients invested in the technology. Put into practice, RFID's limitations began to emerge, such as the inability to read RFID tags due to physical limitations, or low and inaccurate read rates. One example is tags are sometimes unreadable due to "nesting". This occurs when RFID tags are so close together, the first one is read; however, the tags behind it are unreadable because the first one cancels them out or hides them. This isn't to say that RFID isn't used successfully today or that it doesn't have a role to play in records management; however, until the can of spam in the middle of the pallet can be read with 99.99%, accuracy the cost-benefit of this technology in its initial stages simply didn't add up, but maybe someday it will.

The Cloud
Cloud technology is another example of how data storage and sharing has evolved and will continue to do so. With its many benefits, there are areas for consideration. For example, cloud storage is more affordable than ever. A few years ago, the cost for a server for ASI's cloud services was around $10,000. Today, the same server costs $2,000 and is about a thousand times faster. The cloud also offers great accessibility - as long as you have an Internet connection. No Internet connection, no access to your data. It offers usability, enabling files to be exchanged between cloud storage and local storage; however, users should copy/paste vs. drag/drop if they want to retain the document’s original location. It's also important to consider where the data is geographically stored and what is the loss of functionality when relying on cloud versions of certain software programs. QuickBooks online is significantly different from the locally hosted version. The online version of QuickBooks does not allow the user to import invoice information. For ASI customers, this means that if you generate an invoice in VCK- SQL, it cannot be imported in detail, but would have to be manually entered, resulting in errors, time lost, etc. Conversely, the locally hosted version of QuickBooks imports invoices with line item detail.

What I'm getting at is, when investing in technology for your business, consider how the technology will be applied. Will there be enough volume to offset automation costs for ROI? What are the perceived and/or real benefits vs. limitations of the technology, and what support will you have access to should you need it? There is rarely a "one size fits all" solution. Just as the creators of The Jetsons couldn't have suspected they were foreshadowing the future, no one knows how far technology will take us in the next few years. Invest wisely and I suspect the possibilities are limitless as to how much technology can benefit your business.

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Futurists Predict...

Check out what these world-renowned futurists have to say about technology in the coming decades and how it will affect our lives.

Ian Pearson
Ian Pearson, a futurist with an 85% accuracy record, has a lot to say about the new technology we can expect to see by 2050 and how it will change the way we live including:

  • A Hyperloop could take us in between cities in just six years.
  • Virtual reality could replace textbooks during the next decade.
  • Clothing could give people superhuman skills in the next 10 years.
  • 3D-printing could be used to construct more houses in 20 years.
  • The smartphone will become obsolete by 2025.
  • Machines could start thinking like humans as early as 2025.

Click here for the full article on Ian Pearson and his predictions for 2050.

Dan Burrus
Futurist Dan Burrus in 2014 said, "Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest one is the Internet of Things."

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