Added about 1 year ago
Whether you’re spending this Australia day having a BBQ, at the beach or listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100 (we’ve tipped Drakes Hotline Bling) please take note of our changed operating hours for January 26.
Business emergency support will be available for urgent matters. See here for details.
Regular operating hours will resume Wednesday, 27 January. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Happy Australia Day!
Posted by Nathan at 1:51 pm 0 Comments
Added about 1 year ago
Netflix has begun to block Australian subscribers from viewing American content according to geo-dodging facilitator uFlix. The Melbourne based company announced on their website that some customers had been blocked from Netflix and warned to remove any unblockers or proxies. This comes a few days after the content giant announced it will finally be putting a stop to people using VPNs and proxies to gain access to programs from outside of their own country.
Since its official launch almost one year ago Netflix has gained 2.7 million legitimate Australian subscribers, according to research conducted by Roy Morgan. Yet many are not satisfied with the limited content provided to the Australian library compared to its U.S counterpart. Hit television shows like ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Parks and Recreation’ and classics like ‘The X-Files’ are only available in the U.S or if an American VPN or Proxy is installed.
VPNs and Proxies re-route a user’s internet connection, disguising the IP address which reveals the users geographical location. Due to current licensing laws, content providers must negotiate different licenses dependant on geographical territory. It is a problem Netflix VP David Fullagar is looking to overcome.
“We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere,” he announced on the Netflix website last week.
But before this is achieved, Netflix will be shutting down users viewing content that is unlicensed in their geographical region.
“In coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be available to access the service in the country where they currently are.”
Netflix is still Australia’s most popular paid streaming service, leading local competitors Stan and Presto. With 1 in 10 households currently subscribed to some kind of on-demand television streaming service, video steaming has been one of the biggest tech trends last year in Australia.
The mass move to streaming has meant plenty of users are using up their internet plan quotas and then some, in turn heating up the DSL plans market competitiveness. With price points shifting, make sure you’re still getting the best value out of your internet plan provider. MyNetFone offers some of the best-value plans on the market – see how our DSL plans and NBN internet plans compare.
Posted by Nathan at 11:03 am 1 Comments
Added about 1 year ago
Technology changed dramatically in 2015, setting foundations for an exciting year ahead. There have been big changes in the home and in the workplace. We’ve listed four tech trends to look out for in 2016.
The End of Internet Explorer
The browser most commonly used for exploring the internet has been discontinued just shy of its 20th year in operation. It’s the end of an era, as for many Internet Explorer (IE) was probably the first browser they ever used.
After announcing IE’s retirement earlier in 2015, Microsoft confirmed it will no longer support versions 8, 9 or 10 from January 12.
Explorer 11 will continue to receive security updates and technical support until the browser is slowly phased out. Taking the place of Microsoft’s long standing home browser is the new ‘Microsoft Edge’ (ME).
One of ME’s features is your own personal assistant, Cortana. She can take orders through the search box or you can speak to her directly over the microphone. You can ask Cortana to send emails, take notes, find files or even cheer you up with a joke.
An additional feature is the ability to draw directly on any web page which can then be saved, stored and sent. This allows the user to highlight specific text with their mouse or finger or doodle on pictures and share.
Currently, Google Chrome is the most preferred web browser according to web analyst Clicky, quickly rising to market domination after its release in 2008. Chrome is favoured for its speed, apps, extensions, and sleek, user friendly interface.
While ME’s extensions are limited, many of the beloved characteristics of Chrome are being implemented in Edge. Showing if you can’t beat them, join them.
Chrome’s lead in the market is still considerable, but its lead in performance is not. As Microsoft broadens their own selection of apps and extensions we may just have another entry in this one-horse race.
According to NBN Co around 1.4 million premises are currently ready for the ultra-fast broadband service, a number growing by nearly 1,000 per week. There’s certainly plenty of uses for the increased internet speeds that come with NBN - the average Australian household currently has 9 internet-connected devices at any given time.
This number will rise by 30% in 2016 alone, according to industry analyst Gartner, for a total of 6.4 billion connected appliances. By 2020, we can expect a mind-boggling 29 connected devices per home on average. Garden appliances, home security systems, televisions, gaming consoles, fitness trackers and even white goods will all soon be interconnected.
The latest in connected appliances is the 'Family Hub Refrigerator'. The kitchen is thought of as the heart of the family home but who knew it could also be the brain.
Samsung’s Hub has a command screen on the exterior door which can manage the family’s schedules, post updates and leave notes, all operated from selected smart phones. The fridge also has three high quality cameras which can be accessed from your smartphone to check what’s inside without opening it.
Home automation will become much more accessible with connected wall plugs. A thin attachment set between any standard power point and home appliance means every electrical appliance can be operated directly from your smart phone.
Some of the wackier prototypes released this year are ‘Diaper Detectors’. A pager sized device strapped to a baby’s nappy to notify parents exactly when an accident occurs and what to expect. And the ‘Smart Belt’, which measures any changes in your waistline and records your daily step count and seated time.
Of course, to power all these data-hungry devices, you will need a high-speed internet connection like NBN. With speeds up to 100mbps, it will allow plenty of bandwidth to run all of your home’s new ‘smarts’.
As cloud computing improves, it’s becoming recognised as an increasingly valuable technology for both the business and at home. The ‘cloud’ to be put simply is an external computer network that stores and processes information.
As internet speeds improve it’s no longer necessary to store or process information locally as it can be accessed instantly from a distance. Using the cloud can cut costs, simplify equipment and make data storage/sharing more user friendly.
Cloud based technologies will promote the rise of digital only banks in 2016. These banks do not require a physical branch. All payments, applications and transactions can be made using a smart phone to be processed securely through the cloud.
For businesses, switching to cloud-based services often means significant operational savings and increased efficiency. From cloud-based Accounting software like Xerox, to storage based software like Dropbox, there are plenty of opportunities to embrace the cloud.
Where to start? How about a cloud-hosted business phone system – Virtual PBX from MyNetFone. Scaling from 2 to 20+ lines, it will grow with your business and is easy to manage via an online portal. Find out more.
The Apple Watch released in April last year missed its mark in both sales and innovation, while Google Glasses have hit a standstill after the first generation was met with mixed reviews. There has been little success in the wearable technology market to date, but we’re expecting to see some new contenders in 2016.
L’Oreal recently released a wearable tattoo called ‘My UV Patch’ which detects UV radiation. The patch then translates this information into real-time data available to the wearer, warning them if UV exposure has reached a dangerous level.
Wearables aren’t just for humans. ‘Nuzzle’ is a new GPS tracking system that fits snuggly on a pet’s collar to be tracked by the owner’s smart phone. The tracking system will even send you a notification if your pup strays to far from home.
Tokyo based company Hitachi have taken wearables a step further and developed an electronic monitoring system attached to their employees. The ID tag worn around an employee’s neck will activate when in close range of a fellow worker. It will begin to record audio and video files to be sent to a central database to monitor workplace interactions. While Hitachi claim to have installed the technology with the best of intentions, they seem to be straying past the point of innovation and more towards intrusion.
Advances in technology are having flow-on effects across a range of different industries. Improvements in infrastructure promote innovation in software, IT services and even home appliances. We're expecting an exciting year ahead.
Posted by Nathan at 10:38 am 0 Comments
Added about 1 year ago
It's time to make the plans that will help build your business in 2016. We've mapped out 5 New Year's resolutions to help market, improve and grow your business in the year ahead.
Relative to countries like the U.S and the U.K Australia has a much smaller population. With less potential customers available it’s important to cast a wide net and aim for a nationwide market.
Adding a 1300 number to your service will give your business a certain air of professionalism and doesn’t limit your clientele to a specific geographical region.
Toll free numbers like 1300 numbers are affordable and easy to setup, adding great value to your brand. 1300 numbers can cost as low as $9.95/month. Want to know more? Contact our business team on 1300 733 995 or learn more about 1300 numbers online.
Grow your Business
It’s exciting to see your business expand and important to pick the right staff to fill those growing positions. You’re looking for someone not only with the right skills but more importantly, the right attitude.
In the end ‘skills’ are more easily taught than social intelligence, and a positive working environment often correlates with positive working relationships and increased productivity.
Hiring extra staff is not as daunting as it sounds. Websites like au.indeed.com work as an aggregate for a number of separate job seeker platforms, making the process simpler.
Once you’ve hired the right person, ensure they hit the ground running. One thing they’ll need is a business phone – and not just a phone, but one that is integrated into the call flows of your business phone system.
By choosing a hosted phone system for your business, you can ensure this process is easy and quick. For example, MyNetFone’s Virtual PBX hosted phone system is managed via a user-friendly online portal, so you can add phone numbers, setup or change call groups and add more phone lines in near-real time. Plus, our Australian support team is only a phone call away to answer any questions.No need to wait for (and pay for) technician visits.
Improve Customer Service
Customer service is the lifeline of your business. Positive customer service experiences can promote brand loyalty and help gain new customers via positive word of mouth.
The first step to winning at customer service is ensuring every call to your business is answered. Every time. This ensures those valuable enquiries can be converted into sales and problems quickly resolved.
Setting up proper call routing on your business phone system can ensure every call is handled professionally, even during peak times.
On the MyNetFone Virtual PBX phone system, different settings allow you to route unanswered calls directly to your mobile, to a receptionist or colleague, or even send voice messages left on your work number directly to your email address as audio files.
Find out how to setup Voicemail to email, create call hunt groups and more in this Call Features FAQ.
If you find yourself doing 100% of a project but you’re so overworked you can only deliver 70% of your effort you end up with a sub-standard result. A lot of business owners take on too much as it’s easier just to do a job themselves.
Sharing projects with competent colleagues or employees allows you to focus on more important tasks. It’s important to be focused on the bigger picture of your business if you want it to flourish.
A good exercise is to think about if someone else were doing your job – how much time should they ideally spend on strategy and ‘big picture’ items, versus time spent on the small daily tasks that anyone else can do?
Most likely, you’ll arrive at something like 80% for ‘big picture’ and 20% for the ‘daily grind’. If this doesn’t match your current reality – make it a resolution in 2016 to get there. This will allow you to focus on growing your business, instead of spinning the hamster wheel.
Giving back to the community can help you both personally and professionally. Not only will you feel better about helping those in need, it can expose your business to likeminded professionals and potential customers.
Start the year by committing to donate a certain amount of time or product (it doesn’t have to be just money!) and include the project in your annual schedule.
If you use social media for your business or send out newsletters, make sure to promote the initiative there – it will help give the charity some much-needed exposure, and earn some goodwill for your business. Win-win.
Hopefully these tips can help you kick start your business into a productive 2016 or provide inspiration to create a list of your own. Have some other resolution ideas? Share them in the comments section below.
Posted by Nathan at 8:50 am 0 Comments
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