Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

5 apps to help prepare your small business for tax season

Piggy bank and calculator that says taxes

Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As we spring forward, small business owners are bracing themselves for tax season.

While the approaching deadline sometimes creates feelings of distress and pressure, the digital age has helped ease the filing process. These five apps can help you get organized before time runs out this year and help you prepare for next. Remember that deadlines may vary depending on your business so be sure to check out the CRA website and file early!

Smart Receipts – In hindsight, you’re probably wishing hadn’t let your expense receipts pile up all year. In 2013, consider choosing Smart Receipts (Free, Android) to help you stay ahead. This app tracks receipt data and allows you to generate both PDF and CSV reports that can be shared with your email accounts.

Tax Receipts Shoebox – Similar to Smart Receipts, Tax Receipts Shoebox ($2.99, BlackBerry) creates electronic versions of receipts to make expense reports a breeze. It also has features for tracking billable work using your BlackBerry contacts.

PwC Tax Rates – Tax rates change. That isn’t new. What is new is getting them on the go, so you can save time investigating current rates. PwC Tax Rates (Free, BlackBerry, iOS) puts the latest provincial and federal corporate and personal tax rates at your fingertips.

KPMG Tax Hub Canada App – KPMG’s new Tax Hub Canada App (Free, iOS, BlackBerry) provides timely news and facts to help you adapt, plan and respond quickly to tax changes—helping you gain a competitive edge. The app highlights breaking tax news, articles, newsletters, the latest tax rate tables, as well as tax facts and figures.

H&R Block –H&R Block has been in the tax business for more than 50 years. The company’s app (Free, Android, iOS) has a new feature that allows you to upload your documents and send them to your tax pro. What more could you ask for? (Aside from your own personal tax pro, of course.)

What apps help you stay organized for tax season and beyond?

Chris is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz

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Manage your business’s privacy with mobile app protection

Mobile security tips from RogersAs devices become more intelligent and mobile technology is used more frequently in your business, mobile security is essential. In the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing mobile security tips that can help you whether you are a small business owner or manager of the IT department.

Recently, we wrote posts about security tips for  BlackBerry, iPhone and Android. Today we’re talking about security on mobile applications for business and how to stop them from accessing off-limit data.

Apps can be essential for day-to-day business. Before downloading them to your device, it is essential to know the full capabilities of these programs, including the amount of information they may take from you or your employee’s device.

Here’s how adding apps to your regular mobile security check can help keep your business safe:

  • It helps prevent staff from unintentionally exposing your network and devices to viruses and hackers.
  • Helps to limit the downloading of malicious, pirated or repackaged applications from unofficial websites.
  • Helps to ensure that apps on business-used devices are not accessing sensitive business data without your permission or knowledge.

What can you do today?

  1. Say ‘no’ to app permissions
    Some apps are able to access users’ locations and contacts. Make sure users know when to say ‘no’ to  apps that are requesting this kind of information access.
  2. Create a pool of approved apps
    Define app download policies and make sure users only download (and update) approved software.
  3. Use application access control software
    Not all apps are what they seem. But there are tools that can be downloaded for free or purchased to help monitor how your device is behaving and, if it sees something suspicious, can quarantine and can even remotely wipe it.

Want to learn more?

  • Watch this video from No Panic Computing to learn how to change Facebook privacy settings to stop it from accessing employee information.
  • Check out Mobile Application and MDM tips in our mobile security e-book.
  • Find out how mobile apps access personal data and explore security with this report from Lookout Security.

Are you using apps for business? What security features have you found useful?

Lauren is a regular contributor to Redboard Biz

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Celebrating Connected for Business magazine

Connected for Business magazine from RogersMarking the first anniversary of Connected for Business – a Rogers magazine exclusively for business customers and enthusiasts – we’ll be featuring articles, interviews and how-to tips, here on RedBoard Biz. Providing original up-to-date content on the latest technology news, advice and innovations to help your business grow, Connected for Business is a great source for keeping up with what’s current.  And the best part? It’s free!

In the winter 2012 issue, there’s a great article about how – Canada is one of the best countries to be an entrepreneur.   According to the article, a recent Ernst & Young report indicated that Canada is a leader in things like:

  • business confidence
  • affordable start-up costs
  • education programs, and
  • new business registrations

To read the full article, or the rest of the winter edition of Connected for Biz, head over to http://connectedforbusiness.ca/digitalmagazine.

Note that the virtual magazine is best viewed from your PC, or on your iPhone or iPad using the mobile optimized version which can be found here.

Lauren is a regular contributor to Redboard Biz

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Are you ready for Android in your business?

Rogers RedBoard Biz asks: Is Android ready for business? A few weeks ago we brought you some tips to boost security on your iPhone. In doing so, we acknowledged a growing trend toward “the consumerization of IT”— the use of personal devices, especially those once thought of as consumer products, in a business environment. Along with iPhones, Android devices are flooding into businesses small and large, and IT administrators are being asked to support a “bring your own device” policy.

For those in charge of IT, security and device management are critical concerns.  As Android has boosted its profile in business, it has also been closing the gap with its competitors in terms of the security and management features it offers. Some of these are native to the operating system, such as device lock, password protection and data encryption. Others must be provided through third-party apps and solutions.  The result is that businesses are letting their employees use the device of their choice without feeling that they are putting their data and systems at risk.

If you’re considering supporting Android devices in your business (or if you’ve already embraced them), there are some steps you should take to play it safe. We provide a few key suggestions here and link you to some additional resources.

1. Stop ‘just saying no’ to personal devices. Chances are someone you work with is already using one. The last thing you want is a rogue experience at your company. An informed IT department is the best way to ensure your business is secure. Seek reliable advice on how to manage personal devices at work.

2. Use Google apps to manage Android security policies. Google Apps Device Policy Administration can help you enforce security policies such as locking idle devices, setting password requirements and wiping lost or stolen devices.

3. Adopt mobile device management (MDM). These solutions enable businesses to monitor, manage and support Android and other devices, usually through a centralized console that enables remote access and updates. There are many MDM products on the market, including Juniper, MobileIron and Trellia. Do your research, and look for an integrated solution instead of many different tools.

Want to learn more?

Are you using Android for business? What security features have you implemented?

Geoffrey is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz

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Stay on top of business and industry trends with the Rogers Business Series App for iPhone

Rogers Business Series iPhone appAs part of our ongoing efforts to help you gain insight and information from the latest industry news, we have launched the Rogers Business Series App for iPhone. Whether it’s saving time, cutting costs or increasing productivity we all have our reasons for using apps. For the small business on the go, an essential tool is the Rogers Business Series app.

The app was designed specifically for business customers to help you gain insight, information and tips quickly from the latest industry news. To ensure quality content, Rogers partnered with PROFIT to provide you with daily updates and weekly videos on:

  • Business news, leadership tips and strategies from PROFIT’s Editor-in-Chief, Ian Portsmouth
  • Articles and features including: succession planning, business funding, setting up an advisory board and much more

To download the app, visit www.rogers.com/businessseriesapp or search for “Rogers Business Series” in Apple’s App store.

Allison is regular contributor to RedBoard Biz

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Five business resolutions to kick off 2012

Cardmunch appWith the new year already in full swing and most of us back to business as usual, now is a great time to look toward the future. To help you get the most out of 2012, we have compiled five resolutions for the new year, each with a mobile application that can help you along the way to a profitable and efficient 2012.

Better Time Management

Time is money, especially for small businesses on the hustle. It is so important not just to properly manage time but also to accurately log actions and keep employees (and yourself) accountable.

Harvest is an all-around timekeeping powerhouse app available for Android, Apple and offers a desktop widget. Harvest has all the timekeeping features you expect (individual and group projects, start and stop timers, search, etc.), with the ability to create online invoicing, reports and track expenses. The app  has tiered pricing starting at $12 a month but a limited version is available free.

Get Organized

Those cluttered, disorganized, “where-did-I-put-that-note” people who are looking for a way to finally get organized this year might benefit from using Microsoft OneNote – a free digital notebook that is available for Apple, Android and Blackberry. OneNote brings together some critical tools for business, particularly small business owners by capturing ideas and entrepreneurial insights the moment they strike.  OneNote has a powerful search, easy-to-use shared notebooks, and has the ability to synchronize information content between all your devices (desktop, phone or tablet).

Create New Market Opportunities

For an easy way to manage and track sales opportunities and generate revenue forecasts, try Sales CRM EZi. With this app you can view promising prospects and set communication or action plans for each lead. It also provides sales status updates and commission calculation tools for keeping track of any type of sales. Available for Apple devices, at $9.99.

Network in the Real World

The days of rifling through a desktop rolodex are no more! CardMunch is an automated business card reader that inputs contact information directly into your Smartphone’s address book by snapping an image of the card. CardMunch also enables you to invite newly made contacts to your LinkedIn network – perfect for keeping track of new faces. This app also backs up and syncs contacts to a web account, providing added security in case you lose your phone, with the convenience of accessing it from any web browser. Available free for Apple and Android.

Stay Connected

Traveling to meet with clients, collaborate with partners or attend a trade show? Forward your booking confirmation details to plans@tripit.com and the TripIt app organizes and shares your itinerary with family, colleagues and even social networking contacts, making it easier to coordinate schedules. Itineraries can be customized to include weather, maps and directions. Available at $9.99 for Apple, Android and Blackberry.

What are your business goals this year and what technology is helping you reach them?

Lauren is a regular contributor to Redboard Biz 

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Beyond the basics with iPhone security

iPhone security tips for small business from RogersWhether you’re a small business owner or manage the IT department for a larger company, the security of your mobile devices and data probably keeps you up at night—at least occasionally. For this reason, we regularly try to share mobile security tips through this blog. Recently, we wrote a post about BlackBerry security tips. Today we’re talking about security on the iPhone.

Enhanced security is just one of the ways that Apple has made the iPhone 4 and 4S strong competitors as business devices. However, a lot of small business owners may not be doing anything more sophisticated than activating pass codes. That’s a missed opportunity, because Apple has beefed up its operating system with security that extends well beyond pass code locks. With support for Exchange integration, remote wipe, encryption, and VPN integration, business users and IT managers can now keep their iPhones and the data they access safe.

So are you ready to take your iPhone security to the next level? Here are some things you can start doing now: 

  1. Manage iPhone through a central console. Set up accounts, set restrictions, and configure devices quickly and remotely using a third party console for mobile device management. Click here to find out how.
  2. Set up VPN access and teach your employees how to turn it on, so you can communicate private information securely over a public network. Get help on setting up VPN here.
  3. Get a security app. Security apps can add another layer of protection for business, from biometric security apps that authenticate users with the touch of a finger, to alarms that protect your device from theft or loss.

You can find a lot more information from Apple about security features for iPhones here.

What mobile security issues keep you up at night?

Geoffrey is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz

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The best pieces of communication technology – shared by YOU!

Communication Technology from RogersEver-growing communication technologies help power small businesses from the day they launch. Devices — from straightforward mobile phones to smartphones and tablets —give smaller businesses the ability to operate more nimbly and cost effectively. As part of the third installment of our Share Your Know-How Contest, we asked you to share with us the most important piece of communication technology you own or use in your business, and we’d like to share with you some of our readers’ favorites:

Blackberry

The BlackBerry was the device selected by most as their favorite communication technology, proving that it’s still a powerful tool for business. Robert writes, “My BlackBerry 9780 is an essential communications technology tool I use every day for receiving my push emails, bbm messages, text messages or using my WordPress app for publishing blogs to my website. As a communications technology developer I rely on Blackberry to test my apps and themes and believe it is an essential tool for my business to succeed.”

Mobile Internet Connection

“My most important piece of technology is my mobile internet connection. It allows all of my devices to work together easily and efficiently. The cloud is great for storing and sharing documents and my Blackberry and iPad are great mobile devices, but a good mobile connection is the difference between being ahead of the curve and falling behind.” – Gordon

iPhone

The mighty iPhone has long been a favorite with consumers, but it’s also a top-three choice among the businesses that responded. Sabinah says, “I could not live without my iPhone. For effective communication, one must have their email, twitter, and texting at their fingertips. I work remotely from BC and my office is in Manitoba. I’m a Rogers business client and I could not have continued to do my job so effectively if I didn’t have my iPhone as a communication tool.” – Sabinah

Tablet

Combining the portability of a smartphone and the processing power of a netbook computer, tablet devices have moved quickly beyond personal entertainment and are now deployed in companies all over the world. They were also a favorite with our respondents. “Hands down, my iPad, with a few apps and mobile me (now, iCloud), I can run my business on the go without being weighed down by a laptop. Also, the iPad allowed me to “go green” with paperless transactions.” – Trevor

For more insight from Redboard Biz readers, check out the other comments submitted for part one and part two of the Share Your Know-Contest.

Lauren is a regular contributor to Redboard Biz

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BizLaunch.ca guest post: Top 10 apps for small business

Andrew Patricio of BizLaunch.caAs a small business, you often need to be the jack-of-all-trades. Luckily technology has made this a bit easier and it can be even more so now with the abundance of mobile apps available for BlackBerry, Android and iPhone devices.

To learn about the most popular apps for small business, we invited Andrew Patricio, co-founder of Canada’s largest SMB training company, BizLaunch, to share his top ten list of mobile apps for small business:

Top 10 Mobile Apps for Small Business from BizLaunch

These days, apps for your phone or tablet aren’t just for entertainment. Many apps make it easier for small businesses to communicate, give presentations and connect with others.

1.    Evernote

Ever been on your morning commute when genius strikes? You certainly can’t pull over to write down your amazing idea, nor do you want to text while driving.  Evernote lets you take notes from your phone or tablet, and you can even use voice recognition software to get those ideas down while on the go. It connects with your account, which can also be accessed from any computer.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, BlackBerry Playbook, Palm Pre

2.    Wunderlist

If staying organized is hard the minute you leave your desktop, try Wunderlist. With its iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux, Mac OSX and Windows versions (whew!) you can organize and prioritize tasks for home and work.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android

3.    Podio

Podio is fantastic for small business teams who need to collaborate virtually. Create projects, assign tasks and upload documents that your team needs.

Available for:  iPhone, Android

4.    Roambi

Roambi turns plain data into interactive images. Ideal for sales presentations, this app provides visual appeal to interactive mobile analytics. Presentations can easily be shared with anyone who wants a copy (cuts down on printing!).

Available for:  iPhone, iPad

5.    Work etc.

Managing contacts, projects and time gets difficult out of the office, but  Work Etc. makes it easier. Designed as a simple Customer Relationship Management platform online, the mobile app lets you access your projects virtually, as well as track your time spent on projects.

Available for: iPhone, Android

6.    Kindle

Small business owners often travel, and no one wants to be weighed down with magazines and books on a flight. The Kindle app turns your mobile device into a bookstore so that you can get your reading done without the weight.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android

7.    Salesforce

If you use Salesforce.com to manage your sales cycle, you can also use the Salesforce mobile app, which lets you access new leads and stay on top of customer service issues from your phone.

Available for: iPhone, BlackBerry, Android

8.    Google Maps

Late for a client meeting? The Google Maps app has got to be the most underrated small biz app ever (or app for anyone, really). You can even find sales prospects by finding businesses in the area where you are.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia, Windows

9.    Hootsuite

Everyone’s got a favourite social media app, but  Hootsuite by far packs the best punch. Check social network statuses and post your own updates for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Keitai

10. Facebook Mobile App

So many small businesses use Facebook, so adding the Facebook mobile app to this list makes sense. You can view and post updates directly in the app, or by texting or emailing your updates from your phone.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Palm, Sony Ericsson, Windows

What’s your favourite mobile app?

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How to set up your new BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBookThe BlackBerry PlayBook , described as the first professional grade tablet, is now available for Rogers business customers. The WiFi version of the device is available in three versions:  16GB model for $499, 32GB for $599 and the 64GB model for $699.

Paired with your existing BlackBerry smartphone, the PlayBook has many features that can help your business be more efficient while on-the-go.  Over WiFi, email is accessible via the Web – by logging into Outlook Web Access for example. If you have a BlackBerry smartphone you can securely access your BlackBerry smartphone’s e-mail, calendar, documents and other content on the PlayBook using a secure Bluetooth connection with the BlackBerry Bridge software.

What is the BlackBerry Bridge?

The BlackBerry Bridge lets you connect PlayBook to your BlackBerry through a secure, wireless Bluetooth connection to access information already on the smartphone like your email inbox, the ability to view and edit attachments or documents, check calendar appointments and tasks.

This feature is a key security benefit because the data is wiped from the PlayBook once the BlackBerry Bridge connection is terminated. This feature is ideal for business professionals on-the-go allowing email and other data to be viewed in a larger format well-suited for productivity.

How do I set up BlackBerry Bridge?

  • First, ensure that your BlackBerry is running OS (BlackBerry Device Software) 5.0 or higher. There may be an update available for your handset, which you can check for by going here from your computer or laptop.  If an update is not available for your specific BlackBerry smartphone, talk to your account administrator about upgrading.
  • Ensure you have a Rogers data plan of 1GB and above.
  • Install the BlackBerry Bridge software from BlackBerry App World.

If you’re using an Android device or iPhone that has a mobile hotspot capability, you can connect the PlayBook to these devices to get 3G Internet access.  You can also access 3G internet on the PlayBook through a Rogers Rocket Mobile Hotspot.

For more details on how the BlackBerry PlayBook can benefit your business, check out our demo video with BlackBerry expert, Jeff Gadway.

Interested in the BlackBerry PlayBook for your business? Call 1.800.850.4217 or visit your local authorized dealer.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz

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