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Why Is My Macintosh OS X Crashing? Tips to Diagnosing Symptoms of Trouble

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When you have responsibility for hundreds of clients’ advertising, marketing, public relations, graphic design and website files within your system, computer crashes risking possible data loss can be a major reason to panic! What to do?

I’ve been in the marketing business for more than thirty-five years. I have active clients whose work I need to address frequently. I also have inactive clients who unpredictably surface every now and then who also need immediate attention.

Regardless of whom asks, I need to be ready, willing and able to perform what is needed on a moment’s notice. This means I must maintain a comprehensive archive of work performed which I can access at all times to revise, update, reference or otherwise adapt to new applications as requested.

This library of work includes huge high-resolution Photoshop files which may have had hours, days or weeks of work devoted to them to enhance original images in some way; extensive Quark files of final text, photos and artwork composed with sophisticated and meticulous design, which also undoubtedly required many, many hours of setup, not to mention client reviews and final revisions; extremely complicated Dreamweaver website files; equally involved Flash files for impressive website animations; immaculately produced vector files of artwork created in Adobe Illustrator; a multitude of various drop-down menus for website use created in Fireworks; hundreds of PDF files created with Adobe Acrobat Distiller for high quality output; and a pot pourri of other work utilizing music, movies, videos and other miscellaneous files.

Since thirty-five years is a very long time, and has spanned several technological (and not-so-technological) eras in the process, this work is in a variety of formats, including scans of older work, as well as actual digital files from native programs, some of which are now obsolete or no longer produced. Having learned years ago that trying to both store files and work on them on the same hard disk with limited space can lead to problems, I have resorted to always having an external hard drive or two as extensions from my computer system so I always have plenty of open disk space for digital “percolation,” for lack of a better term.

My external hard drives have included both firewire and USB data transfer systems, the firewire being the faster and more expensive version. And, as would be expected, each time I have needed a new external drive, the capacities have increased dramatically, while ironically the costs have not.

Through the years, I have had many different Macintosh computers, usually the most expensive, fastest and most glorified versions available. But I presently work on a more conservatively priced iMac using OS X 10.4.11, with 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM (memory) and an internal hard drive with 232.89 GB of storage capacity. I bought this system several years ago, have used it practically eighteen hours or more every day and have loved every minute of it, particularly its gorgeous monitor. I fully intend to upgrade my whole system probably later this year when the new OS X operating system is released. I say this with full knowledge that such an upgrade will require that I also upgrade all of the previously mentioned software programs I use, which will add up to a nice, hefty, but necessary, investment.

Until just about two weeks ago, I had two external hard drives connected to this system: a Firewire filled to capacity which I stopped using on a daily basis because it was making a funny noise and I thought I should preserve what’s left of it; and a Western Digital “My Book,” which has about the same storage capacity as my internal hard drive (approx. 232 GB). After some two years, I have only used about half of its available space. So, when my system started to crash repeatedly one recent afternoon, I was deeply troubled because I didn’t know what was causing the problem.

I was immediately suspicious about the “My Book” because it had exhibited some unsettling symptoms over the past six months which I usually was able to dismiss or deny. These included taking a long time to mount, or failure to mount at all on the desktop, without obvious provocation. However, with computer restarts, the drive would mount and I chose not to dwell on the incident.

In discussing the crashing occurrences with my husband, who is a retired specialized IBM technician and engineering advisor, he immediately asked me what I had been doing just prior to the crash. I said I was trying to save my work in any one of a number of programs which included Quark, Photoshop and others. He too felt the MyBook was the culprit because that was the target of my saved data. I said I hadn’t even gotten to the point where I had told it where to save the data so I still had my doubts that was the problem.

I decided to do some tests in an effort to eliminate some possibilities. I conducted a Disk Utility diagnostic test on the internal and MyBook hard drives and both were reported as problem-free, something I seriously doubted. Then I copied some of my most frequently needed files onto my practically empty internal hard drive and restarted my system without turning on the MyBook. I was able to work and save files without any crashes. That seemed to confirm to me that the MyBook was at fault. But why?

I shopped online for a new external hard drive and in reading and researching the issue, I learned that external hard drives don’t like to be put to sleep and then rudely awakened to suddenly perform some immediate function. Since I tend to be an impatient person driven by not enough time in the day and too much to do in the time I have available, I realized that this scenario was a common phenomenon in my work life. In checking my system preferences under Energy Saver, I noticed that my system was set to go to sleep if idle for more than 15 minutes (the default setup) which happens quite often when the phone rings or I get up to attend to some other activity periodically during the day. Probably as the MyBook has gotten older and slower (as we all do as we age), it just can’t keep up with the paces I try to put it through. Perhaps also a function of how much data is on the drive, it just needs more time to do everything, especially wake up and perform.

Also, I read that it may be asking a computer system too much to multitask with many programs open at one time all of which are drawing on the available RAM, albeit a generous amount of it. My husband chimed in with the thought that maybe I hadn’t allocated my memory properly. That rang a distant bell in my mind…a very distant bell. I remembered the days of allocating memory for each of my programs, dividing up my available RAM according to what made sense: more for Photoshop, less for Quark, for instance. I realized I hadn’t done that task in many years. But in researching the subject on Google, I quickly found that those days were long over with the advent of OS X which automatically allocates RAM as needed. No wonder!

So, I decided to restart my system with the My Book connected and try to limit my program usage to one at a time and adjust the sleep mode to “never” allowing it to go to sleep. That seemed to be the magic bullet. However, with the knowledge that the MyBook was getting old and possibly overwhelmed with data, I decided to invest in a new external hard drive with the goal of putting all of my most essential files on it as an additional backup.

At Mac Mall, I found a very reasonable Fantom GreenDrive 1TB External eSATA/USB 2.0 Hard Drive with the help of a customer service rep which was compatible with Windows and OS X 10.4 or later, for approx. $50 after rebates and free shipping, which I couldn’t resist. Complying with the instructions, I installed it into my USB hub and formatted the new hard drive for use with OS X.

Just as with the MyBook, it recommends always starting the hard drive before turning on the computer and always dismounting before turning off the computer to avoid any damage or loss of data. What no one seems to ever mention is that when the power goes off unexpectedly as it does every time the wind blows the wrong way where I live, the computer abruptly turns off and no hard drives ever get dismounted properly in the process. So far, the new Fantom drive seems to ignore such events and mounts right away without any apparent repercussions.

However, from past experience, I know the MyBook doesn’t react favorably to such incidents and I recently learned that the best way to deal with any negative results is to completely unplug the MyBook from its source of power and let it clear itself for about a five-minute respite before plugging it back in while the computer is off. I also find that if I restart my computer system once and shut it down in between starts with the external hard drives connected, as a similar “clearing out” interlude after such an electrical outage or any crash incidents of any kind, the whole system works better subsequently.

Just using common sense has helped me to sort through this problem, find a solution and work on rectifying my situation with the equipment I have to work with. I have started up my system with the MyBook and Fantom both connected, set the sleep mode to “never,” waited the long time for the MyBook to mount and then judiciously dragged many of my files from the old hard drive to copy onto the new hard drive while I sleep at night so I don’t annoy the system with multitasking demands. While the MyBook has continued to misbehave periodically when asked to dismount after a long session, again crashing the whole system, I have been able to move all of my important files over to the new drive and now don’t need to even turn on the MyBook at all anymore. I can now work successfully on the Fantom or on my internal hard drive with multiple programs open simultaneously without any worry about crashes as long as I keep my sleep mode set to “never.” When I plan to be away from the computer for an extended period, I dismount the Fantom and turn it off, restore the default sleep settings and go away knowing my system will be able to wake up when I return without worry about crashing and loss of data. What a relief!

Of course, the motivating factor which finally got me to focus on this problem – the total loss of a complete MyBook folder of some extremely important data I had been working on when my attempt to save a simple file caused a recent system crash – has been a valuable lesson in confronting what is important when you run a business: you can never have enough reliable back-up systems!

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Top 10 Tips For Beginners And Veterans – Escape From Tarkov

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Top 10 Tips For Beginners And Veterans - Escape From Tarkov

New at the legendary Escape from Tarkov? Or have you been playing it for quite a while now? In either case, a little help never hurts.

You might be unfamiliar with specific tactics that could enhance your game and make you better. But what are those? To know more about these ways to ace your game, visit Battlelog. Escape from Tarkov hack from their team is the best way to master the game. Plus, we also have these 10 tips and tricks for EFT below that you can check out!

1.  Master Maps One-by-One

Being a trader of all crafts and master of none never benefited anyone. And if you do that with Escape from Tarkov, you’ll never improve your skill. As a beginner, try not to divert your attention to various maps unless you’ve mastered one or two.

When you start playing EFT, begin by trying maps like Customs and Interchange. These maps aren’t too tricky and familiarize you well with the game. Once you’ve mastered them, move on to improving your fighting skills. But remember, learning maps one by one is the best way to become an expert.

2.  Pro-tip: Practice Offline

You’re an EFT pro, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need practicing occasionally. In fact, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. But practicing in the online mode isn’t a wise option. Because you will keep losing health and spend your money unnecessarily.

So to practice, switch to offline mode. It’s the best way to learn how to fight Scavs well, how the maps work, and where extraction points are located. Keep polishing up your skills in the offline mode.

3.  Insurance Works in EFT too

Insurance isn’t just for your car and home anymore. In EFT, you can insure your weapons and belongings. This doesn’t mean that if the enemy loots you, you’ll get compensation for them. But it’s still advantageous because it often lets you have your weapons even after you die.

If you’re an experienced player, insuring your weapons is even better. If the enemy who loots it from you later dies, you can claim your weapons back. This way, you don’t lose those precious guns and rifles after a challenging game.

4.  Be Careful After Killing

You might be tempted to loot an enemy as soon as he dies. Even experienced players often do it. But this isn’t always a wise move.

When you kill someone, there might be some other enemy lurking around. And in your fit to loot the dead, you might not even pay attention to the enemy who’s hiding nearby. So after you kill, wait for a little to see if anyone surfaces or makes a sound. If you feel like the territory is safe, proceed to loot and move on.

5.  Be a SCAV friend when playing as a SCAV

Escape from Tarkov often lets you play as a SCAV. When you do, you don’t have weapons of your own. But you also don’t carry any liabilities. So even if you die in the game, you won’t lose essential weapons.

But here’s something every pro player knows that a beginner should too. As a SCAV, you shouldn’t attack other SCAVs. But why? Isn’t that foolish? Well, not really. In fact, doing that will attract negative attention to you and make the game difficult.

6.  Complete Quests – Lots of Them

Completing quests in a shooting game might sound lame to you. But it is an excellent way to gain experience and some other perks.

In Escape from Tarkov, you can complete various quests to get rewards and gear. Of course, some quests don’t reward you as much, and the items they grant aren’t helpful. But you can always trade them or sell them to stock up on weapons. Use the Flea Market for trading such goods.

7.  Go to Dorms

This tip isn’t really for beginners. But for experienced players, it makes the game thrilling and more rewarding.

Dorms are a dangerous location because they often contain the best loot in EFT. They are also home to the SCAV boss, and many players frequent this place looking for loots. But when you’re feeling up to it, raid a dorm to get the best loot possible.

8.  Switch between passive and aggressive style

This rule works for any combat game, but for EFT, it does wonders. As a player, you should have enough instincts to know when to play passively and go aggressive.

As a rule of thumb, be as passive as possible unless you’re faced with an opponent. Move around sneakily and make as little sound as possible. But once you’re in a fight, don’t shy away from landing a few hard blows of your own.

9.  Have a CMS Kit

In Escape from Tarkov, it will be too difficult to win if your limbs are dead or wounded. You have to reach an extraction point without your feet working properly. But recently, the makers added a surgical kit called the CMS to the game.

With the CMS kit, you can get your limbs healed quickly. It is a significant investment, and whenever you plan to go for combat, keep this one handy.

10.Know Your Sounds

EFT has an excellent sound mechanism. You can hear your enemies, and they can listen to you. In fact, everything from aiming a gun to moving makes a sound. So you have to be highly conscious.

While trying to ambush or kill someone, aim at them from as far as possible. This way, there’s little chance of them hearing you. Similarly, move stealthily to make fewer sounds. And no matter what, pay attention to enemy sounds too.

Conclusion

Whether you’re an expert veteran or a newbie at the game, you will benefit aplenty from these 10 EFT tips. Comment down below which one helped you the most in your game.

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Work Breakdown Structure and Outsourcing

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Every outsourcing project should create and make a WBS available to all its outsourcing staff. What is a WBS and how can it help you manage your outsourcing project? All projects consist of small tasks and quality control procedures. A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) breaks down all the tasks that must be performed on the project and estimates timing and resources for each task as well as the order the tasks should be done in. It pays to have a clear and effective WBS in all your outsourcing projects.

An effective Work Breakdown Structure starts with high level activities (these may be your milestones) and breaks these activities down into lower and lower levels until you’ve covered every conceivable step in the process. Before you ever begin work on a project, also confirm with your outsource staff that they understand the overview and the individual components of your WBS and give them the opportunity to ask questions. It is never helpful to assume that they have it all under control. It is preferable that if any questions or problems arise they do so before the project has even started.

An example of a WBS is if one of your milestones is submission of the first draft of chapter one of a book someone is ghostwriting for you. You would then break that down into its smaller steps, like research, outlining, and writing. These steps would then, in turn, be broken down into even smaller steps, like types of research, verification of facts, and so on.

For each low-level task, estimate time needed for completion, start and end dates, human resources required, and in what order each task should be completed. Obviously, facts can’t be verified until the research is done but you get the gist.

If you have the knowledge and background to begin a WBS during the planning stages for your project, please do so. Regardless of whether or not you’ve already started the WBS, work with your provider to nail down the details and finalize the breakdown.

A well thought out Work Breakdown Structure is of immense help to any project, small or large. It enables your freelance staff to work with confidence and it enables you to know that your outsourcers can carry out the work competently. A good Work breakdown Structure will also minimize hiccups, saving time, money and energy.

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Potential Cost Savings Associated With Legal Outsourcing

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“How much can I save?” “What is the cost of legal work done offshore?” “Please give me a quote for 100 hours per month for legal work done in India.” “What is your hourly rate?” “How much do you charge for ______?” These are the questions and requests directed my way at the beginning of conversation when someone contacts me about sending certain legal tasks offshore for completion.

Regularly I advise potential clients that the first question to be asked, either of a lawyer or someone potentially assisting in the outsourcing of a legal project, is not “how much?” Instead, at the outset, determination should be made whether those who would work on the project have the skills, training and experience to complete the assignment(s) in a quality fashion. This necessarily involves a clear delineation of the proposed undertaking and the expectations of the outsourcer. Further, what are the assurances of confidentiality? Can the time deadline for completion be met? What about conflicts of interest? These questions should be asked of every U.S. lawyer whose services might be retained. Likewise, they should be asked of every person or entity involved in outsourcing legal assignments. It should be noted that offshore lawyers are not licensed in the U.S. and do not provide “legal services” or advice. Foreign attorneys, working offshore, complete assignments under the supervision and review of qualified U.S. attorneys in generally the same manner as paralegals, summer law clerks or junior associates in the U.S. Indeed, the Code of Professional Conduct requires such supervision.

Cost savings achievable from outsourcing, however, seems to be the burning issue of the day. Large law firms, in particular, are looking for ways of cutting costs to maintain profitability or to even survive in challenging economic times. Dan DiPietro, client head of Law Firm Group of the Citi Private Bank, offered Storm Warnings (American Lawyer, Dec 2007) in observing “for the first time since 2001, expense growth actually outpaced that of revenue from January through June, depressing profit margins.” Sounding an ominous note, DiPietro observed that the biggest expense increases were in associate salaries and in occupancy and technology costs. His warning proved prophetic, as a number of old-line law firms closed their doors in 2008 including Heller Ehrman, Thelen LLP, and Thacher, Proffitt & Wood. Other large law firms are reducing staff and lawyers, including de-equitizing partners. Corporate clients are cutting the number of outside firms they engage, while pushing them to become more efficient. It is becoming increasingly apparent that difficult decisions are on the horizon for many law firms and their clients. Law firms want to retain their rainmakers, secure the best legal talent available and keep their profits per partner high. Clients want their overall costs for outside counsel reduced. How will these issues be addressed, particularly in a difficult economic climate? Outsourcing is one way of potentially confronting the challenges. Thus, the question, how much can I save?

Assuming the proper initial inquires have been made and adequately addressed, what are the cost savings reasonably attainable by an outsourcing U.S. law firm and its clients? Answering that question necessarily involves a comparative analysis of revenue and expenses. Suppose a large U.S. law firm wishes to consider outsourcing work that might otherwise be performed by one U.S. associate working exclusively for one of the law firm’s corporate clients. The junior associate bills 2000 hours annually at the lawyer’s hourly billable rate of $200.00, for a total annual cost to the corporate client (and income to the law firm) of $400,000. The law firm’s expenses chargeable against the income produced by its associate include the lawyer’s base salary ($160,000) and bonus (say $20,000) plus the associate’s share of overhead expenses for occupancy, support staff, benefits, marketing, recruitment, technology and other expenses. In its 2006 survey, Altman Weil, the well-regarded legal consulting firm, estimated average annual law firm expense per lawyer at $161,893. (Doubtless those expenses have increased since 2006, but, for the purposes of conservatism, we will use Altman’s 2006 number in our example.) Altman’s breakdown included promotion ($7,136), reference ($4,655), equipment ($9,299), occupancy ($25,879), staff ($55,147), paralegal ($17,911) and “other”($41,866). In the Altman survey, “other” includes malpractice insurance premiums and settlements, payments to former partners, recruiting costs, and other expenses not shown separately. Adding the associate’s share of expenses ($161,893) to the associate’s total earnings ($180,000) it is apparent that it costs the law firm a total of $341,893 to produce $400,000 in associate income. Let’s call it a $60,000 law firm profit attributable to the associate’s efforts. Put in other terms, it costs the law firm $171 per billable hour of the associate’s time to produce $60,000 of profit.

Now, assume the same 2000 hours were produced offshore at a cost of, say, $75 per hour instead of $171 per hour. (Higher end outsourced work such as legal research or writing might cost in the range of $75.00 per hour, while other kinds of work such as document review would likely be less. For purposes of our analysis, we estimate the overall offshore costs toward the higher end.) The actual cost to the law firm for 2000 offshore hours at $75 per hour would be $150,000 instead of $341,892. Further, the law firm’s client could be billed, say $240,000, for this work instead of $400,000. (Recent bar association ethics advisory opinions allow for a reasonable supervisory fee by the law firm, providing the client is advised of the off shoring and the Code of Professional Conduct, particularly Rule 1.5, is followed). The client would happily achieve a savings of 40%, while the law firm’s profit would also likely increase. Moreover, the law firm would require fewer associates at the ever-escalating salary structure (now starting at $160,000 base) for lawyers from top tier law schools. Because of overall lower costs and a fewer number of new associate hires, the firm would be able to more effectively compete for a reduced number of premier U.S. attorneys it decides to hire. Over time, partner equity and distributions would be shared with a fewer number of individuals. Thus, an outsourcing program for selected legal assignments, carefully implemented and supervised, can potentially result in greater client satisfaction and retention as well as enhanced law firm profitability.

In 2007 Mayer Brown, a 1500 lawyer Chicago based law firm, purged 45 equity partners. While denying any sort of crisis, James Holzhauer, chairman of the firm, commented on the move: “It’s necessary to manage a law firm like you manage any kind of big business and make sure you have the right staffing going forward.” Outsourcing, seen by some law firms as the enemy of law firm profits, may in fact be the opposite. Without doubt, even if some law firms are reluctant to change the traditional ways, their clients are not. In August of 2007 Bloomberg.com observed that “clients are pushing firms like Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis to send basic legal tasks to India.” It is significant that this “push” came well before the global financial collapse of the last quarter of 2008. Regarding law firms, Holzhauer cautioned in March of 2007: “This (law business) is to a certain extent a fragile business. Our greatest asset is our people. If you’re not economically strong so that you can retain your best people and attract other strong people from elsewhere, a fragile business can have problems.”

Corporate clients are on a mission to reduce legal costs. Some of those clients would prefer to supervise the outsourced work in house, while others apparently are content with their chosen outside U.S. counsel overseeing the offshore work. Irrespective, legal outsourcing is on the table for consideration of cost control. “How much can I save?” is a question being asked by those who, a few short years ago, never imagined entertaining the concept of legal assignments being completed offshore.

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ICT Outsourcing Definitions and Types

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ICT outsourcing can be said as one of the current trends for companies around the world to do their business processes. It is estimated that ICT outsourcing starts in the early 1990s where Kodak uses external partner to handle its ICT resources. As Kodak does not have the expertise in ICT, they hire another company to help them handle the ICT resources. This phenomenon occurs because companies would like to concentrate their core business functions among other benefits. After merely 20 years, outsourcing is now needed by a lot of companies mostly at customer support and also back-office processes and this affects Malaysia as well. Currently, Malaysia is known as a main outsourcing hub for the world, where it is currently ranked third globally behind China and India in the outsourcing industry. This shows how significant outsourcing is to developing countries in Asia.

Outsourcing Definition

Outsourcing is defined as a concept of contracting out part of the organization’s business process to a third party that has the specific skills and services. The third party must have the skills needed by the organization so that the outcome of the outsourced job is as expected. Outsourcing can also be explained as the movement of one or many business functions of a company including its assets to an outside service provider who gives a defined service for an agreed duration of time and payment on a written agreement.

From these two definitions, we can see that outsourcing can be defined with the following characteristics:

1. A company transferring one or many business process to a third party.

2. A third party has the skills and services required for the business process.

3. Has an agreement or contract between the two parties on the price and expected outcome.

Types of Outsourcing

Outsourcing can be separated into two types, namely total outsourcing and selective outsourcing.

The first one is total outsourcing, where the IT budget being used to pay the external vendors is approximately 80% or more than the total. For outsourcing activities that only took less than 80% from the total IT budget, it will be called as selective outsourcing. It is named as ‘selective’ because the company will select only one or several IT functions to be outsourced to a third party.

Aside from these two main outsourcing types, there are also other types of outsourcing that are usually the sub-division from these two main types like insourcing and transitional outsourcing.

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Medical Transcription Outsourcing – The Great Advantages

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If you haven’t started outsourcing your medical transcription work, it may be time you start considering this option. This process includes taken information that is dictated and putting it into a text format so the information can be put into records for patients. You’ll actually find that there are many advantages to going with medical transcription outsourcing. Here is a look at a few of these advantages that your medical facility will appreciate.

One of the main advantages to going with medical transcription outsourcing is the time that you will save. There are many types of reports that must be done in clinics and hospitals, such as consultation notes, discharge summaries, physical reports, lab reports, and more. Having to take care of these files on your own can take a lot of time. Instead of doing this in-house, you can simply send files to a transcription company and once they are transcribed they can be sent back via the web. Outsourcing gives medical facilities the ability to focus more on core activities that are important, such as patient care.

High end security is yet another of the benefits of going with medical transcription. When you send these files to the company, they are sent securely on the web. Then they are transcribed into a format like HTML, ASCII forma, MS Word, or other formats. Then the files are going to be returned through a process that is password protected so only those who are authorized are able to access these files.

When you choose a company to take care of this for you, you can be assured that the transcriptionists working on your projects are highly skilled in the profession and they have a good understanding of the rules for producing these records. Transcriptionists that understand the terminology helps to ensure that your reports are done error free.

Of course, the cost is definitely a big advantage that you’ll enjoy when you go with medical transcription outsourcing. There are many companies that provide you with low cost outsourcing, which can save your medical facility a lot of money. Instead of trying to take care of transcription within your facility, hiring the work out can save money and ensure you get your records completed as quickly as possible.

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How to Succeed With Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

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As outsourcing becomes an indispensable part of corporate business strategy, especially during economic downturns, BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) has emerged as an important driver of IT Enabled Services. In very recent years, it has progressed from being considered for limited peripheral activities to encompassing very critical business activities that contribute to strategic advantage.

Though traditionally cost reduction has been the key driver for all outsourcing activities, other drivers such as speed of development, flexibility, expert skills and political maneuvering are equally important, if not more.

To succeed with Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), you must first research and determine if outsourcing should be pursued at all – an initial understanding of the expected size and nature of the deal is a must at this stage. This phase is known as the Assess phase as the involved parties try and establish senior stakeholder expectations at this stage. At the end of this phase, stakeholders should have clarity on the expected benefits, costs and risks of the potential engagement.

Next comes the Prepare phase which encompasses the vendor selection process. More often than not, organisations roll out RFPs (Request for Proposal) documents to find the right outsourcing partner. Fundamental elements of all other phases are defined and agreed upon in this Phase.

Evaluate phase is the third stage of the outsourcing lifecycle and it focuses on structured and thorough evaluation of the proposals received from vendors. At the end of this phase, you should be able to negotiate with selected vendors.

This phase paves the way for the Commit phase which is essentially the pre-contract stage. The Commit phase is by far the most resource intensive and commercially crucial phase as the deal design is finalized and the transition plan is developed in this phase.

Next comes phase 5 which is the Transition and Transform phase. In this phase, a robust transition plan is implemented. In addition, a reporting mechanism is also brought in place at this stage of the outsourcing lifecycle.

The Optimise phase, which comes next, focuses on managing the vendor relationship efficiently, tracking the vendor fees against the original proposal and monitoring contractual obligations. In principal, this phase is an ongoing one until the contract is renewed, renegotiated or exited.

When implemented properly, outsourcing contracts are likely to bestow immense benefits on organisations. No wonder that BPO is seen as a disruptive force that has huge impact on the cost-structure of nearly any industry and that is why it is not easy for organisations to ignore it. The hype around BPO may subside soon, but the business advantages that come with it are here to say as it enables many enterprises to succeed.

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Payroll Outsourcing

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Payroll outsourcing is a very common and growing practice these days. Payroll is an important business function that deals with the process of paying employees for services rendered. Payroll outsourcing can be defined as the accomplishment of a payroll task by some external agency. There are many reasons why companies outsource payroll, but the most prominent benefit lies in the fact that it often saves money. Basic payroll outsourcing services include calculating paycheck and tax obligations for each employee, printing and delivering checks, and providing management reports.

Every business owner knows that handling payroll can be a headache. Preparing payroll internally can cost valuable hours of employee time every pay period, and require expensive accounting software and training. Besides, the person handling payroll of an organization internally needs to keep up to date with changes in personnel, deadlines, and tax requirements on an ongoing basis. Payroll outsourcing is an affordable way to take away these burdens, because it is a time-saving and cost-effective alternative to internal payroll processing.

Payroll actually commences with the worker signing up with a company. A typical payroll report contains items such as gross hourly wages and gross salaries, bonus payments including stock given as a bonus, overtime pay, severance pay, per diem and travel allowance, and contributions to deferred compensation by employees.

Today, payroll outsourcing is a vital part of an organization’s payroll and benefits functions. This will improve employee satisfaction and enable the organization to focus its assets on mission-critical areas. The market for payroll outsourcing services is competitive and there are a number of key points, such as speed, accuracy and ease of use, to consider when opting to use a payroll company.

Though payroll outsourcing may prove highly valuable for many organizations, it also has many drawbacks. It is essential that every company precisely assess its requirements to determine if outsourcing is a feasible alternative.

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Why Hire an SEO Content Outsourcing Firm?

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Every small and big company has a website today. A website has all the information about the products and services a specific company has to offer. Websites make the selection process easy for the customers. But what if the customers are not able to access or find the website? This can ruin the company’s business, bringing in losses. Exposure can really help a company sail through.

There are some major elements which can be added to a website to make it more popular, user-friendly and search engine friendly. These elements include the right animation, pictures, colors and content. Content is one of the most important elements of a website. SEO based content can bring in amazing results. A good SEO content outsourcing firm can help you earn more money. Along with this, it can:

· Help in search engine optimization of your website

The search engine optimization process depends on the website’s content to a great extent. An SEO content outsourcing firm can make your website’s content rich and interesting. Along with this, its experts put a lot of relevant content in the website to make it search engine friendly. SEO content writing also includes producing keyword rich content which helps in the link building campaigns. The usage of latest keywords related to your products and services can help search engines read your website’s content more often. This will make the search engines display your company’s website in the first few search results when a user types in a related keyword.

· Help in link building campaigns

The SEO content writing firms offer an array of services today. These services include SEO content writing as well as article writing. The latter basically helps a website get more exposure. The articles written by the experts of these companies are submitted on various article submission websites. This helps in the process of your website’s link building. Article writing services can help your website receive more traffic which can ultimately help you get more customers.

· Help people to know your company better

A good SEO content outsourcing firm can help people understand your company better. The website content and company related articles can be used to express your mission and vision. You can even use these platforms to share the background of your company. All these things may help the customers connect with your company.

SEO content writing and article writing services can help you earn people’s trust. They can bring in huge traffic, high conversion rate and many other benefits. You can use these services to set up your company’s rapport and to make it even more popular internationally. So, hire an established SEO content outsourcing company and gear up to earn the profits!

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Things to Consider When Outsourcing Support Functions of Your Organization

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Outsourcing is defined as hiring a third party provider to take care of certain non-core areas of business like technical support and customer care support. By outsourcing support functions of a company, one can save on a lot of skilled manpower that can be used to develop core areas like business development while at the same time cutting costs by outsourcing without compromising on the standards of excellence of the company. Technical support and customer care support are the two main areas where large companies or even relatively new startups outsource.

Usually, technical or IT support is outsourced to other countries to cut costs. This can prove beneficial to the company in the perspective of a long term contract. But at the same time, this requires a lot of careful planning and research. Some of the main points to be bare in mind while outsourcing these tasks are outlined briefly below.

In the extremely competitive business environment of today’s world, outsourcing supportt especially customer support is a crucial factor in determining the position of a company among its peers. While outsourcing customer support services to a service provider, one should always research the credentials and client history of the company. This gives a fair idea of the company’s standing and what you can expect from it. Also, one needs to determine whether the company holds regular accent training classes to make its employees familiar with the language they are required to speak in.

Outsourcing support of the technical kind is a very lucrative option for companies since many countries offer highly skilled technical expertise which can be utilized to further the company’s prospects in a global environment. But you should always do a thorough background search on the level of competence in technical areas of a business and the best way to do it is to visit the place personally and get a first hand account of the way things are done. Also, one can ask the service providers to complete a few projects on a trial basis and a fair judgement of the service can be done to analyze their potential.

Before outsourcing support of any business process the first factor to be considered is whether it is a viable option for the company. Sometimes, certain companies spend more on outsourcing than on the core areas of the business like business development. A detailed analysis of the company should be done and after considering the various risk factors and the benefits, a final decision should be taken in the light of the company’s future plans.

Another point to be taken into account is the commitment of the service provider in executing the projects in time. There is a difference in the time between any two countries which could lead to a lot of confusion in the setting of the deadlines. The company should have a strict policy in case of assignments submitted late or projects not done satisfactorily. If all factors are kept in mind, then the company can have a very lucrative future due to outsourcing support.

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TPF Outsourcing – What Does It Mean And Why Are More Businesses Doing It

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When was the last time that your made a major purchase or even a small purchase for that matter? Do you remember what took up most of the businesses actual man hour time when you made the purchase? If you stop to think about for a moment, it was when you were completing the transaction or paying for what you were purchasing that occupied the most amount of time of the person or business that you were dealing with.

TPF – Transaction Processing Facility

TPF stands for “transaction processing facility” and this, in simple terms means anywhere in a business where the actual money and paper work is changing hands. This, in most businesses that you visit on a daily basis would be the main focal point of their operation many times. It is the “front office” or the “check out counter”.

It All Makes perfect Sense

TPF outsourcing is the means by which a business hands the responsibilities of this mundane task to a source that is outside of the main business operation. If you stop to think about it, it makes perfect sense, because once a customer or client has made the decision to patronize an establishment, the job of the business should then shift to finding more customers or clients and also servicing the customers or clients that are active.

TPF Outsourcing for the Travel Industry

The travel industry is one area where TPF outsourcing has began to take hold in a big way for a number of reasons. One of the big reasons this is so, is because unlike other business where the customer or client leaves after they have made a purchase. In the travel industry the client has to be dealt with after the purchase is made. In simple terms TPF outsourcing in the travel industry frees up the businesses to fly the planes instead of manning the ticket counters.

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