Author
admin

5 key considerations when choosing a field service software

The digital bandwagon is here, and the companies that get on board stand to gain a lot. A field service software is key to streamlined business processes. Here are key considerations to make when integrating the system.

1. Understand your business needs

A field management software is an investment in your business. However, you should not go in blind. It is best practice to first define your business needs and establish how this system will serve your business. You need to explain your business needs to the system provider so that you are on the same page. A good provider will provide a custom tailored system that best addresses your needs as a business. A system is only useful if it meets your specific business objectives.

2. Conduct a comparative analysis

There is so much to choose from when it comes to field service management software. One of the best ways to get what works for you is to conduct a comparative analysis. The comparison needs to be done based on what works for you. It is important to also look at the weaknesses and the limitations of each of these systems. Measure this against your core business so as to make an informed decision.

3. Engage your field technicians

You need to engage your field technicians and get them excited about the field service management software. Remember that these are the people who will be using this system. You need to involve them right from the selection stage. Get to hear their concerns and the challenges that they face out there in the field. The last thing you want is to introduce a system that will be resisted by the field operatives. Engaging with them throughout the process is also a way to harvest great ideas. Mobile application technology can also be integrated into the system. Ensure that the tech department and the operatives are all on board. This will guarantee a smooth integration and harmonized operations.

4. Understand what you are buying

When searching for a field service management software, you are likely to hear lots of technical words. It is ill-advised to dismiss or assume these words, if you do not understand them, ensure that you make inquiries. It is important to know exactly what you are buying, do not simply assume that you do.

5. Adaptability to your business

The system you choose should grow with your business. A technologically obsolete system is not worth the investment. Consider the technological capacity of the system in light of the business growth projections you have. You need to answer the question whether this system can grow with you.

Taking time to make these considerations will work to ensure that you get an efficient field service software.

4 Ways the Field Service Industry can Leverage Artificial Intelligence

Advancements in technology have led to a lot of changes in different industries, but when it comes to implementing artificial intelligence (AI), the fundamental question is whether to enhance or replace the technology in place. Studies have also shown that by 2021, about 6 percent of jobs in the United States will be replaced by bots and AI. For employees, this sounds threatening, but it’s important to figure out the types of jobs that are changing as a result of AI.

Companies across different sectors are now taking advantage of virtual assistants and AI to increase productivity and streamline communication. For instance, the field service management industry has begun tapping into AI to improve efficiency and also enhance workers skills. Also, the emergence of AI-powered bots has streamlined support for clients.

Here are some of the areas where companies are leveraging AI to improve customer service:

1. Automatic dispatching

The emergence of AI in field service software is slowly taking over the dispatching duties. Once it’s integrated into the dispatcher process, bots will take over the human functions since they automatically record inquiries and data. What’s more, they can help in assigning specific duties as well as organizing daily tasks for field technicians.

AI not only streamlines the building of technician’s process but it ensures that field workers are completely satisfied. The dispatcher process oversight has always been a huge challenge for most companies since it’s difficult to determine whether things are running smoothly or whether the dispatchers are behind schedule.

2. Enhances the role of call centers

Artificial intelligence integration into the field service industry can help in completing basic tasks. For example, instead of manually collecting and inputting data, AI can take over such a task which means that employees can focus on responsibilities that require more analysis and insight.

Also, the number of calls received by customer support can be overbearing and overwhelming for agents to keep track. However, with AI in place, you can easily manage a high volume of information by collecting and recording customer service requests. This is important since the call center can easily process basic information which provides more room for customer agents to handle complex issues.

3. Streamline Data Collection

Apart from automatically inputting incoming inquiries and information, it’s also possible to capture vital information and report customer inquiries through AI. This will not only allow the agents to improve on customer service, but it will also increase productivity and streamline the administrative processes. Although it’s nearly impossible to replace agents, it’s easier to automate admin processes, which in turn improves efficiency and allow workers to focus more on important responsibilities.

4. Image recognitiones

AI can streamline the service process, whether it’s installations, preventive maintenance, or break-fix. In fact, it can help technicians to identify parts and make an order, especially if it’s integrated with the service management software. It’s also easier to have a record of parts that are consumed in the context of the work order and enhance swift replacement.

Soon, AI will integrate machines and humans to make them more customer-oriented, responsive, and efficient. Human technicians shouldn’t have to worry since AI wouldn’t replace them, but the “people” component is something that will be enhanced as a result of the change. This will not only improve efficiency, but it should bring about up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

IPv6 Adoption Continue to Vary Across Nations

IPv6 adoption is a major issue in the world of information technology. Each device that connects to the Internet needs a unique IP address, but the current IPv4 standard simply does not have enough of them to keep up with demand. IPv6 can solve that problem, but transitioning to it is a significant project. The effort involved has kept many people from switching over, but that is starting to change. However, the rate of adoption varies significantly from one nation to the next, and some parts of the world are falling behind.

Top Performers

Europe is leading the way when it comes to IPv6 adoptions. Belgium has been leading the adoption efforts by a significant margin, but several other nations are close behind it. Greece, Switzerland, and Germany have also made significant efforts to adopt IPv6, although none of the nations have managed to have an adoption rate of at least fifty percent according to the majority of sources.

While Europe is home to the majority of leading countries, there are a few in other parts of the world. The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago has managed to keep pace with the leading nations and has surpassed many European countries in spite of its small size. The United States has done just as well, Brazil is doing comparably to many of the European nations in the middle of the pack, and Canada only falls outside of the top ten rapid adopters by a small margin. The majority of the rest of the countries in the Americas have significantly lower rates of adoption, largely due to their relative poverty. Asia shows lower rates of adoption than Europe and the Americas, but India has still managed to earn a place in the top ten. The experts at www.bluecatnetworks.com are capable of providing you with further information.

African Support

Africa has fallen behind many other parts of the world in regard to IPv6 adoption, but there is evidence that suggests that will change in the near future. Chris Ujawe, a leading technological executive, recently spoke on the topic as part of a IPv6 panel at a recent conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ujawe took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of IPv6 adoption for the development of the African economy. His position is that any African nation which fails to adopt the new standard will fall behind the rest of the world and suffer a serious disadvantage during economic competitions. Some African nations, such as Nigeria, are making efforts to adopt the new standard, but Ujawe does not believe that they have been sufficient so far. To the contrary, he believes that the current situation should be considered a technological emergency. It remains to be seen if his plea for a greater focus on IPv^ will be heard, but it may lead to rapid adoption in Africa’s future.

7 DNS Security Threats That Can Leave Your System in Ruins

DNS, by virtue of its simplistic design, is open to breach. Businesses have continuously faced threats and attacks by hackers trying steal data or corrupt their servers. To keep your organization safe, www.bluecatnetworks.com offers a variety of services to manage, secure and protect your DNS from third party attacks like the following.

Kaminsky Bug

Source

Discovered by researcher Dan Kaminsky in 2008, the Kaminsky bug was a serious weakness in the DNS systems that could poison the cache provided by the ISPs by compromising the root servers. In one of the rare instances of prevention before attack, the flaw was detected before it could be exploited on a large scale and Kaminsky and his team were successful in plugging it.

Widespread DDoS

DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service Attacks are particularly efficient at scrambling DNS tables and denying service to users. On October 21, 2002, hackers attacked and compromised 9 of the 13 DNS root servers in an unprecedented scale of attack. Added security failed when an even larger attack successfully disrupted services in February 2007.

Conficker

Source

Conficker was a worm that targeted vulnerable Windows devices and generated tens of thousands of domains in order to replicate itself and distribute its command and control centers. It was finally brought to heel by an organized effort by Microsoft, ICANN, law enforcement and other agencies.

Hijack of ICANN’s domains

Source

The global repository for domain names was attacked by a team of hackers going by the name NetDevilz. On visiting icann.org, users were greeted by a message from the attackers. Though the change was reset within 20 minutes, erroneous information had already been propagated through the channels and users continued to see the message for 48 hours.

Security Firm Bankrupted by DDoS

Source

Israeli-American startup Blue Security was the victim of a concentrated DDoS attack by spam networks after its controversial anti-spam software Blue Frog tried to give the spammers a bit of their own medicine. Realizing it was being attacked, the security firm redirected its DNS records to its corporate blog hosted by Six Apart, which in turn, suffered major losses due the volume of attack. Two weeks later, Blue Security was out of business

Massive Cyber Attack takes down multiple sites

Proving that even all these added security is not enough, a massive cyberattack took down multiple websites like Netflix, Twitter, Etsy, Github, Vox, Spotify and Reddit in October 2016. A tweet by WikiLeaks implied that the attack was organized in protest against the manhunt for WikiLeaks founder Juliane Assange.

 

What You Need To Know About The DNS Firewall

DNS: The Connective Tissue Of The Internet

Canadian businesses are typically fairly knowledgeable and savvy when it comes to technology. By necessity, however, most businesspeople do not have intimate knowledge of the behind-the-scenes processes that make the internet work. Hopefully, more Canadian businesspeople will learn about the salutary advantages of using a DNS firewall. To fully explain what you should know about the DNS firewall, it is helpful to start with a quick primer on DNS. Also called the domain name system, DNS is essentially the connective tissue of the internet. A kind of virtual address book, DNS is the fundamental technology that allows your browser to find your favorite websites. To a layperson, using the web is as simple as typing in something like “MyFavoriteWebsite.Com.” On a basic level, however, internet IP addresses look like this: 4.382.43.99. DNS is the system that converts the alphanumeric URL you type into the numeric IP address that truly identifies a remote server in the network.

A New Type Of Firewall That Works

A DNS firewall is a tool that harnesses the power of DNS routing for your benefit. Normally, you would rely on your internet provider to handle all DNS routing. In most respects, ISPs are authoritative institutions that you can trust. However, most ISPs still treat all DNS requests equally and without discrimination. This means that your ISP will not interfere if you accidentally direct your browser to a known malicious site. Neither will the ISP normally take action to stop incoming DNS traffic from suspicious hosts. Hopefully, ISPs will learn how to better balance impartial traffic management with the security needs of clients. You may be able to learn more at the www.bluecatnetworks.com website.

Using a DNS firewall, you can proactively introduce selectivity into the way your system interacts with remote servers. Available as a hardware device or a software solution, the DNS firewall automatically blocks all incoming DNS requests from known bad actors. Just as importantly, the DNS firewall (DNSF) provides you with the tools you need to identify and block intrusions from malicious sites that were previously unidentified.

DNS-Based Hacking: A Growing Threat

Securing a DNSF could represent one of the most important investments you’ll ever make for your business. Because security researchers have closed many of the loopholes that previously abetted hackers, DNS-based attacks are increasingly important components of the hacking toolbox. DNS signalling is one off the most alarming ploys in DNS-based hacking. Put simply, DNS signalling is a kind of false messaging that can allow malicious parties to literally take control of your DNS requests. Hackers can use DNS signalling to direct you to malicious, counterfeit web servers. With a DNSF, you can protect yourself from this and many other related hacker tactics.

Why The World Needs More Open Source DNS Servers

Introducing Collaborative Software

By now, domain name system (DNS) servers have achieved a fair amount of exposure in the public eye. This is largely due to the fact that unknown hacker groups have brazenly used distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to bring many DNS servers to a crashing halt. Since these hacking attacks regularly make front-page news, the general public is more aware than ever that DNS is the backbone of the Web. However, far fewer people realize that the Internet needs more open source domain name service if DDoS is to become a rare occurrence once more.

Although for-profit DNS providers work hard to foil hackers, certain aspects of corporate governance stand in the way of unfettered technical innovation. For-profit tech companies naturally tend to be secretive about the inner workings of their infrastructures. Since commercial DNS providers and security firms compete directly, each company sees only a small part of the larger picture when it comes to cybersecurity. Even including major national governments, nonprofits only provide a small part of the overall pool of cybersecurity expertise. Since open source software is released to the public free of charge, open source development attracts idealistic cybersecurity experts who would otherwise remain in the shadows. Anyone is free to edit or add to open source software. In a unique and powerful way, open source programmers share crucial information about security risks.

The open source movement could do much to reduce the Internet’s vulnerability to DNS hijacking and DDoS attacks. This massive collaborative effort unites people from throughout the world. Whether one operates a true domain name server or a virtual one, open source provides a incomplete but welcome answer for insecurity. You can find more information at www.bluecatnetworks.com.

Using Open Source Domain Name Service To Counter ISPs

Although ISPs have every legal right to redirect users to any sites they wish, many users have complained about the way some ISPs brazenly hijack misspelled URLs. Some ISPs have partnerships with promotional sites and receive some financial rewards for redirecting users to their partners. Needless to say, this troubling occurrence is rare. Most ISPs engage in fully ethical and praiseworthy behavior.

Open source domain name servers allow people to take control of their online lives. It is highly possible that these open source servers will greatly multiply over time. While using one of these alternative servers requires altering a few router settings, most people of average intelligence can easily make these alterations with proper instructions. At least in North America, it seems clear that for-profit domain name software will remain completely dominant into the foreseeable future. However, every person who uses open source domain name software helps reverse this trend in a small but important way.

7 Features of An IPAM Software Which Make Your Life Easy

You might be wondering what an IP Address Management Software does, right?  IP address management is related completely to the way Internet Protocol address space is used in a network. It is a means of planning, tracking and managing the address space in the network. Now, if you will observe closely, the name of the software says it all. It is a software that eliminates IP conflicts and saves time by managing DHCP, DNS and IP addresses. Managing multiple IP Addresses is not the task you’d like to handle without such software backing you up whenever things get tricky. The key features of IP address management software are as follows:

1. Automated IP Address Management

IP management software has the feature of automated subnet discovery and scanning of the IP addresses which scours the network so that the user gets a clear idea of the use pattern of IPs.

2. Conflict Alert And Troubleshooting:

A good software always detects the conflicts between the IPs, or the cases where DNS entries won’t match. Also, it is capable of tracking the depletion of subnets or scopes and will effectively report and troubleshoot as required.

3. History Track And IP Details:

It is very important for the user to sometimes figure out how the IPs have been used in the past. The software logs all the events and is hence capable of giving detailed descriptions of the IPs, giving a much clearer idea of who did what on the IPs and when.

4. Entrusted Administration:

The IP management software comes with a feature by which IP administration can be easily entrusted so that the system and the network administrators can manage their own range of IPs efficiently. This feature proves to be very useful in boosting the overall efficiency of the software.

5. Integrated DHCP And DNS Control:

The Software is capable of finding an open IP and making DHCP reservations along with DNS entries in a flash. Also, the software allows all this to be performed on a single console boosting the efficiency and providing ease of use.

6. Boosted Search:

After the software has listed all the subnets and has scheduled them for scanning, the admin can take the help of global search option which is capable of fetching all the details of an IP address. The search can be carried out using multiple things such as the IP address, MAC Address, Alias Name, DNS Name, etc.

7. Flexibility:

The IP address management software does provide flexible scanning options such as scans which can be scheduled to run at specified intervals. The administrator has the freedom to choose from multiple scanning options that include Ping, SNMP, DNS, etc. For subnets that are shielded behind a firewall or not directly accessible, the administrator can stop the scanning and mark the statuses of the IP addresses as either used or available manually. It can also reserve an IP address for some specific use as per the requirements.

The Greatest Diversion on the Internet

One of the most overlooked security measures in today’s enterprise is what some call the “IT Perimeter.” This is the border between the inside of your company and the outside world. All communications between employee systems and outside web domains, even for e-mail, must travel across this electronic bridge. Additional resources can be found at BlueCat Networks.