5 Quick Online Safety and Privacy Tips

February 7th, 2017 marks National Safer Internet Day.

What better way to support the safe and positive use of digital technology than by brushing up on some online safety and privacy tips?

We have 5 easy things you can do to keep yourself, and your organization, safer on the internet:

1. Store your data offsite by considering cloud computing. The cloud will keep your data safe against all threats and costs that come with the risk of in-house storage, such as server meltdown or building damage.

2. Update your passwords frequently. Use a strong mix of letters, symbols, and numbers, and don’t use the same password across multiple platforms.

3. Never click on questionable links. If you come across a link or attachment in an unsolicited email or SMS, delete it immediately.

4. When on a mobile device, make sure your connection is securedYou can check to make sure your browsing securely by looking at the beginning of the URL; if “https://” is included – your connected to a secure network.

5. Add Firewall & Security Scanning to your hosted website. Keep up with security protection and website scanning with proactive protection to detect Layer 7 DDoS attacks, malicious attempts for access, and malware removal.

For company owners, another tip to keep your organization safe is to make sure your employees understand your Internet Policy. The more your employees are educated on the sensitivity of company information on laptops, phones and other devices, the more you’ll have a way of controlling and safeguarding that information.

For more information on how World Synergy can help keep you and your organization safe, contact us or give us a call at 440.349.4940.

Cost of IT Operation in a Small to Mid-Sized Business

Is your organization in a crunch for time, money, or resources?

Chances are, you are not paying close enough attention to supporting your IT systems. Maintaining a proactive and healthy IT support and services program helps your business leverage technology to run more efficiently and gives you the time to focus on what is important to growing your business – your customers, products, and well-being of employees.

What are the benefits of outsourcing your IT support in a small to mid-sized business?

We have a breakdown:

(Download here)

IT Infographic WS

Outsourced IT

 

For more information on how World Synergy can provide outsourced IT support for your small to mid-sized business, contact Joanna Zinna at (440) 479-9818

Have You Ever Wondered WHY We Split A Wishbone?

The term “tradition” is a familiar yet thought-provoking word. Traditions are often something that people associate with others – whether it’s their friends or family, coworkers or peers. They bond groups together and provide a purpose for acting in a certain manner year over year.

If you think of the traditions that you participate in, have you ever considered the reasons behind WHY you hold on to such traditions, or WHY those traditions exist?

As the winter months draw near, the presence of holiday traditions becomes more and more abundant. While traditions may vary based on the culture of your surroundings, one that stands out as being a universal – yet a more modern American – tradition is the breaking of the wishbone at Thanksgiving.

The wishbone, otherwise known as the furcula of a turkey, is a bone that connects the birds head with its neck; similar to a human’s collarbone. The tradition holds that two people hold on to the turkey’s wishbone, make a wish, and then pull until it breaks; ultimately the person left with the larger half will have their wish come true.

The custom of snapping a turkey’s furcula into two came to the United States from the English, who got it from the Romans, who learned about the tradition from the ancient Italian civilization called the Etruscans. The Etruscans held a belief that turkeys were lucky and could predict the future, and would rely on them to interpret or solve pressing issues. When a turkey was killed, the furcula was laid out in the sun to dry so that it could be preserved and so people would still have access to the bird’s powers after eating it. After it dried out, people would pick up the bone, stroke it, and make a wish on it – hence why it’s modern name is the “wishbone.”

Legend holds that the reason behind snapping the wishbone into two began with the Romans and problems with supply and demand. There weren’t enough Turkeys to go around for everyone to make a wish on, so two people would wish on the same bone and then break it so that they could each keep a piece of their wish. The tradition then further twisted into who got the bigger piece, also got their wish.

Written by Glenn Smith

Glenn Smith

What Are You Thankful For This Season?

The Holidays are right around the corner, and World Synergy is giving you something to be thankful for this season: peace of mind when it comes to protecting your network security.

According to a study presented at the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, small-business networks are attacked every 39 seconds by some type of hacker or malicious software.

This should scare you – no matter how small or large your business is. As hackers continue to battle to take over your network, you can’t afford to fight alone.

So what can you do this season to better protect your business? We have one answer: work with us. By working with our team of IT professionals, we put your security first and provide you with the following “techie” reasons that you can be thankful this holiday season:

You can say goodbye to cyber thieves.  Make sure your networks are covered to stop hackers from accessing valuable information. Having the proper firewall and office network security tools will prevent cyber hackers from getting their hands on your network.

You can put downtime in the past. Hot fixes, patches, and security updates are items that when maintained, generally keep a network healthy and up and running. Cloud based remote management tools allow us to access your system from anywhere, meaning should downtime occur, we can get your network back up and running in no time.

You can be confident in your network backup plan. If a disaster occurs, your business is at risk for being down for days if not weeks. Implementing a backup and disaster recovery solution can help prevent this risk as they virtually copy what is stored on your computers on a daily basis and store the information elsewhere. If you need to access what you thought was lost, we can simply restore what was most recently backed up – and you are back in business.

Want to feel thankful instead of frustrated with your computers this season? Claim your FREE Network Audit with World Synergy before November 30th, 2016 and we will send one of our Network Engineers to your office with no cost or future obligation.

Is Your Computer Network Ready for an Upgrade?

As technological advances continue to shape the world around us, your business needs to continue to keep up. In order to effectively keep up, you need to plan ahead and take notice of the trends that are occurring in the present or are soon-to-occur in the future, so you can have a plan in place before it’s too late – and your left falling behind.

What is your organization’s plan for keeping up with technology changes over the next 6-12 months? As cloud computing becomes an increasingly popular – and nearly mandatory – practice for keeping your network security safe and protected, you should begin by implementing a plan for upgrading your office computer network.

The idea of upgrading your computer network may seem like a strenuous, costly, and complex process – but it doesn’t need to be.

By utilizing smart, efficient cloud computing technologies, we simplify IT for your company, and eliminate the need to purchase, install, and maintain complex and expensive IT systems in house.

In fact, we typically lower our clients IT upgrade and maintenance costs by 25% while simultaneously:

  • Eliminating or reducing system crashes, viruses, slowness, and other technical problems.
  • Providing instant disaster recovery, meaning you’ll never lose data due to a data-erasing disaster.
  • Delivering the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere at any time, from any device.

Begin preparing your organization for a better future by working with us. At no cost or obligation, we’ll come to your office and conduct a thorough review of your computer network, backups and technologies. From there, we’ll show you a simple, cost-effective plan for upgrading your network to the cloud versus the traditional on-premise server and network you currently have.

Claim your FREE Cloud Readiness Assessment with World Synergy today.

World Synergy Announces Move To Beachwood: Crain’s Cleveland Interview

World Synergy was recently featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business on October 26th, 2016. 

Read the original article below:

World Synergy lands what it’s looking for in Beachwood move

World Synergy LLC, an integrated marketing firm, couldn’t find the new office space it wanted to stay in Solon, so it’s bound for Beachwood after finding the right combination of office space and incentives.

The 24-person company has received an incentive agreement from the city of Beachwood providing it the ability to receive a check annually from the suburb equal to 30% of the city income tax paid by its employees. The incentive would be in place for three years. The firm’s application said it plans to expand its payroll with another 22 jobs over the next three years, which would take its payroll to $2.85 million annually from $1.6 million in 2015, the first full year it’s scheduled to be in Beachwood.

Glenn Smith, founder and CEO of World Synergy, said the company needs room to grow.

“We’re literally sitting on each other’s desks here,” Smith said in a phone interview. Over the past 11 years, the firm grew to its current size in a 3,000-square-foot office at 6830 Cochran Road. The 5,500 square feet that it has agreed to take at 3700 Park East Drive, which is known by its address, will give the firm room to expand and accommodate additional hires it forecasts making, Smith said. Moreover, owners of 3700 Park East, an affiliate of Beachwood-based ORG Portfolio Management, agreed to make additional space available if the company needs it.

World Synergy had its tenant rep, the Cleveland office of Avison Young, scour the market for opportunities before it settled on the Beachwood location, Smith said. The company ruled out a move to downtown Cleveland because it did not want to burden its employees with additional drive times, Smith said, and “not a lot of our clients are downtown, although it was an exciting idea.”

Smith founded World Synergy 18 years ago with the idea of combining both web, and later mobile, technology services with other more traditional marketing services so clients did not need to hire multiple vendors.

“Then it was like a boxing match between the right brain and left brain,” Smith said of the idea of combining programming capabilities with more traditional marketing skills such as email marketing. “Once they began communicating, it was refreshing.”

World Synergy has forecast its gross sales at $3 million in 2016, a 27% increase from last year. Its clients are primarily middle market companies in manufacturing, distribution and professional services.

When World Synergy settles into Park East this December, it will occupy space on the building’s third floor that was formerly occupied by Brandmuscle, a technology services firm that outgrew the space to move downtown.

“There’s a good vibe there,” Smith said.

Edward Schwartz, an ORG principal, confirmed the owners of the building are doing a deal with World Synergy.

5 Easy Things You Should Do To Protect Your Business Today

What have you done to protect your business this month?

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, so we’ve decided to celebrate by offering a FREE 60-minute “Protect My Business” consultation. We will send one of our Senior Network Engineers to your office to help you address a checklist of questions that you should be considering to help keep your organization stay safe from a technology disaster:

  1. Is your general liability insurance up to date? Review your business insurance and make sure it covers all of the assets you’ve accumulated in your office over the years. Computer equipment and devices, desks, chairs, art, supplies – the list goes on. It’s important to take the time to review your general liability insurance and update your coverage because should damage occur, you will need something to rely on to help pay the cost.
  2. Is your company well-equipped enough to take advantage of a move to the cloud? Store your data offsite by considering cloud computing. Keep your valuable data and assets in a highly secure, highly available data center with failover and redundancy built into it. The cloud will keep your data safe against all threats and costs that come with the risk of in-house storage, such as server meltdown or building damage.
  3. Is your data secure enough to be protected from theft? If you keep any sensitive information on laptops, phones and other devices, make sure you have a legitimate way of controlling and safeguarding that information. Theft is ever-present in today’s advanced world – and is an entity of its own that you do not want to encounter.
  4. Have you developed a simple disaster recovery plan? Help to ease the stress of an already stressful situation by making your recovery plan as simple, but efficient, as possible. ‘Simple’ is the key word here – because if it becomes too complicated, you will have a hard time implementing it should you ever need to.
  5. Do your employees understand your organizations internet policy? As more and more time is spent on the internet, it is extremely important that your employees know where the line is and what information they can and can’t post online. Make sure you internet policy is up to date and recognized by the employees of your organization.

Schedule your FREE 60-minute consultation today at worldsynergy.com/protectmybusiness or call us at 440.479.9818.

World Synergy: Your eCommerce Prophet 21 Integration Solutions Partner

Here at World Synergy, we have a team of strategic partners ready to streamline your business processes with Prophet 21® ERP integrations. Our team of Prophet 21® Engineers and Business Analysists, Magento Developers, and Digital Marketing Strategists will work from start to finish by your side to ensure a seamless Prophet 21® eCommerce integration in order for you and your customers to experience top-notch technology, including stunning websites and mobile applications.

Work with World Synergy and Prophet 21® to reduce labor costs and pricing oversights, simplify product information and order processes, and increase productivity and profits.

Our integration services for Prophet 21® ERP includes:

  • P21 system support, administration, and training and implementation services.
  • DataLINK Connector API for P21 integration services for eCommerce third party software platforms. Join your P21 system to leading third party software applications like Magento eCommerce, ROC Commerce, AspDotNetStorefront, Big Commerce, and more.
  • Integrate P21 with your eCommerce solution and/or your CRM system, as long as your CRM system offers its own API connectors.
  • Integrate P21 as a solution to solve supply chain management business challenges – custom or mainstream.
  • Integrate your third party software application with your P21 system, as long as it has an API or WPI.

Our team brings years of experience in being consultants, advisors, programmers, and developers all in one package. Work with us and we will provide technological competence, customer-centric service, and an understanding of the complex code/framework that the Prophet 21® ERP system is built on to better your business for you and your customers.

For more information about how World Synergy can align your business processes with Prophet 21® ERP integrations, contact Joanna Zinna at (440) 479-9818.

Better Your Content Marketing Strategy: CM World Takeaways

Here’s a little known fact: Cleveland is the Content Marketing Capital of the World.

At least, that’s what our marketing team learned earlier this month when we attended the largest content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World Conference and Expo. Given that Cleveland is known as The Land of Champions, and, of course, we reside here, it is no surprise that we have been given such a title. Just add it to the ever-growing championship list!

cmworld

Content Marketing World brought on a week of learning, innovating, and networking with over 550 companies from around the world in efforts to further explore the industry that is always keeping us on our toes. With over 150 sessions and workshops presented by 225 of the world’s leading brand marketers, the opportunities to grow as a strategic content marketer for the week were endless.

Throughout the course of 4 days, our team attended a wide variety of workshops, working sessions, lunch and learns, and labs. With all that is going on in the ever-changing marketing industry, staying up to date and learning all that is new is crucial for our business and our client’s success. The week provided us with the opportunity to educate ourselves in order to keep our marketing efforts moving forward in a successful direction. Leaving this year’s conference, we headed back to the office with bags full of free branded belongings and, more importantly, heads full of new strategic processes that we couldn’t wait to put to work.

Here are some of our key takeaways on how to better your content marketing strategy, given our experience at Content Marketing World 2016:

Make the effort to be more strategic when creating content. This was a huge point that was emphasized throughout the week. Andy Crestodina, Co-founder and Strategic Director of Orbit Media, hit the nail on the head during his keynote speech as he discussed what makes or breaks a content strategy, and what qualifies for good content.

As Crestodina asked in his presentation, “how many people are waiting for your article to go live? Make sure it’s not zero.” It is important to understand who your audience is and who is following you for the content you are publishing. Crestodina provided a helpful tip to practice in order to gain traction on a follower base and publish content that is sought after and beneficial for readers: “What do people in your industry always say but rarely support? Find the missing stat.” Find the things that people want to know, but don’t have easy access to getting information on. Provide useful content, and do so by collaborating with others, gathering original research, and driving strong opinions.

Understand your why. Comedian and keynote speaker Michael Jr. challenged each of us to deeply understand why we do what we do when he stated, “if you understand your why, you have a lot of options for what… but your why never changes.” When you have everything you need to create a great content strategy, take a step back and question if it aligns with your why. Why are you sending this content out? Helping our clients understand their why is an extremely important element of our value proposition process, which then carries over to the content that is implemented.

Recognize that depth wins. Don’t be shallow when it comes to the content you create. Tell your story with purpose, and keep your content with a recognizable tone of voice. While some content is limited to 140 characters, content with depth and meaning is much more valuable long-term to brands.

Team

For more information about how World Synergy can help your organization increase rankings and SEO results with digital marketing support and strategy, contact Joanna Zinna at (440) 479-9818.

A Simple First Step to a More Effective Social Media Report

It’s no surprise that businesses are utilizing social media more than ever in 2016. As social platforms continue to grow, businesses are continuing to grow with them.

That said, it is not uncommon for organizations to have a presence on every social platform across the board – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Google+, YouTube – just to name a few. Content is constantly being created and posted, and with so many channels to keep up with, social media management can be overwhelming.

With everything that is being posted and pushed out to the social-world, how do companies track their social efforts and define what should be reported on to help move their social media strategy, and overall company welfare, in a productive direction?

Most social platforms offer some form of available insights to see how many views, clicks, likes, shares, etc., your page or post gets. While those numbers are important to keep track of, they only show a glimpse into the metrics that really should be tracked in regards to moving a brand forward through social media efforts. To dig deep into measuring how your social media efforts are impacting your brands performance, you need to make sure you are observing more than just the shallow provided numbers.

Here is one simple tip to help you get started on thinking differently and reporting on your social efforts more effectively: track follower engagement in comparison to your number of followers.

Numbers need context to mean anything. A report might show that you got 50 likes last month on your Facebook posts – great! Some might choose to accept the 50 likes and move on to the next reported statistic. However, take a second look at that number and compare it to your 400,000 followers – still so great? Probably not.

Getting into the habit of using the following conversions can help you to see the reported numbers in a different light and how your brand is actually influencing its followers:

Applause rate % = (total # of likes on posts ÷ total # of followers) x100

Tracking your applause rate will show how many of your followers are actually interested in your post enough to engage with it.

Amplification rate % = (total # of times posts were shared ÷ total # of followers) x100

Tracking your amplification rate will provide insight into how many of your followers find your post interesting enough to share to their networks.

Conversation rate % = (total # of comments on posts ÷ total # of followers) x100

Tracking your conversation rate will show how many followers feel strongly enough about your content to speak to it.

For more information about how World Synergy can help your organization increase efficiency and results with digital marketing support and strategy, contact Joanna Zinna at (440) 479-9818.