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TECH EXPERTS’ TIPS – 10 USEFUL BUSINESS TERMS FOR ENTREPRENEURS TO BUILD SUCCESSFUL STARTUPS

TECH EXPERTS’ TIPS – 10 USEFUL BUSINESS TERMS FOR ENTREPRENEURS TO BUILD SUCCESSFUL STARTUPS

If you have finally mustered all the strength and the confidence to launch a startup in tech or any other field, then you are on your way to the top percentile of business owners. Being successful in business is tough and statistics show that more than fifty percent of startups close down within two years after their inception. In most cases, the problem isn’t the lack of a unique idea but more of poor management.

As the founder of a business, you will find that you will have to make many tough decisions and since you may not be a business major graduate, it could be hard for you to catch up with investors or partners in meetings when they throw big words or abbreviations that may seem alien.

Sujain Thomas

Sujain Thomas

Fortunately, it isn’t a mistake that you don’t know all those terms, but it will be a bigger mistake if you ignore the terms after the meeting. For your business to succeed, you should open yourself up to new things by engaging in continuous learning. This article is for you with big business ideas and a startup baking but without much information on the basic business terms in the entrepreneurial world. The most important terms and acronyms include:

  1. ROI (Return on Investment)

This is the measure of the effectiveness of the investment you have made in your company. This is a mathematical unit that tells of the value of the investment. The return on investment is calculated by subtracting your gains from the investment from the cost of the amount input in the investment. The difference is divided by the cost of the investment and the solution to that gives the ROI.

  1. CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)

Other experts call this fiscal measure the pay per acquisition (PPA). Regardless of the name, this is an online pricing model for advertisements. This is; the amount paid by an advertiser for specified acquisition. It is an important metric that matters when tracking sales made from advertising. To know how much you pay to get a customer who pays for your product, you need the CPA. It is therefore crucial in determining the true returns on investments and the revenue generated.

  1. COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)

COGS refers to the exact and the direct costs that are attributed to the production of the company’s products. COGS include the cost of materials used, and the direct labor costs.  Distribution and sales costs aren’t included in COGS. It is included in the income statement and deducted from revenue when calculating your company’s gross margin.

  1. The KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

This is the index used to calculate or to measure the success of your business. Different companies use different metrics in determining their business’s performance. While some businesses use customer loyalty to measure KPI, others use the business’s net revenue.

KPIs demonstrate how your business is effective in achieving the objectives that you set out to achieve when starting the business. The metrics used to measure success vary with the industry the business. For accurate results, you should have software to track performance on a dashboard. Remote DBA experts use similar KPI reporting tools to measure the performance of software applications and cloud hosting systems

  1. DBA (Doing Business As)

This is basically the name of your company rather than the name you have registered your company in officially. It is the informal name that your customers know your company as and thus should be simple and desirable.

In the tech world, DBA has a totally different meaning. When discussing strategy with your tech team, you will hear the acronym DBA used often. DBA stands for Database Administrators. To cut down costs and to operate effectively, your business will probably have some or all its operations on the cloud. A DBA from the cloud hosting company will be needed to ensure that everything runs effectively and there are minimal downtimes.In-house and remote DBA experts ensure that errors are rectified in time and that you can access business data easily from any location.

  1. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

CSR refers to practices and initiatives undertaken by your company to benefit the society. CSR practices include environmental efforts, ethical labor practices, philanthropy, or volunteering in areas of concern without expecting anything in return. CSR is important in creating sustainability through creation of value for society and the company.

  1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

These are the strategies, practices, or technology used by your company to analyze and manage data and customer interactions throughout your customer’s purchase lifecycle. The tools and strategies utilized help to bolster positive relationships with clients resulting in higher sales and business growth. Some of the most common CRM systems include websites, emails, social media platforms, direct mails, live chats, marketing campaigns and materials, and telephone calls.

  1. UI (User Interface)

The user interface refers to the design and the aesthetics of your products. The look and feel of your company website, goods, marketing tools, and the general presentation of your business to your clients and how these systems engage with the users refers to the user interface. The interactions of a customer when using your mobile or web applications is the UI.

  1. UX (User Experience)

This refers to how easy it is for a customer to use your products or navigate your website. The technical elements of a website or a mobile application should have customers in mind during development and design to ensurethat a customer goes through the purchase or search process with ease. UX is also called the user experience design and it takes into account the analytics and technicalities of the company.

  1. POS (Point of Sale)

As you run things, you will need to know when and where a transaction transpired. The Point of Sale software will moderate the transactions making analysis of sales data and history easy. Future adjustments can be made easily with these POS details.

In conclusion, these finance, tech, marketing, and general operations terms are essential for you to know how to run and analyze the performance of your business. Take your time to know these and many other terms and strategies to run a successful startup.

Author Bio

Sujain Thomas is a freelance writer for startup tech firms. She is a professional DBA and works with a team of professional remote DBA experts by outsourcing their services. Check out her blog for more business insights.

Technology

How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line

How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line 1

An investment in green AI enables financial services firms to align people, profit, and planet

By Nick Dale, EVP business development, Verne Global

Green investing is widely regarded as a mega trend, with chief executive Larry Fink of BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, stating, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects … awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

The recent seismic shift in public opinion about climate change has not only increased attention on the sustainability and societal impact of investing in a company, it’s also influencing the decisions being made in finance industry boardrooms overall, whether that’s implementing innovative business models or adopting new partnerships and technologies. However, as business leaders strive to make green choices, many are unaware of the hidden environmental costs of the technologies they are employing.

AI in the finance industry

The use of AI has become ubiquitous across industry sectors, and is now an integral part of the technologies being used in financial services, from optimising asset portfolios and underwriting loans to assessing risks.

AI is especially beneficial for things like quantitative trading, which uses large data sets to identify patterns that can then inform strategic trades. AI’s machine learning models can analyse vast and complex data and make predictions accordingly. But AI models are not only data-hungry, they are power hungry.

Power-hungry AI

Supercomputers train and test mountains of data for AI models, and can run 24-hours a day, for hours, days, or even weeks. These applications consume huge amounts of energy, and as AI technology continues to grow and develop, the computations behind it are also increasing in size and complexity. The carbon emissions from training a single AI model for language translation is roughly equivalent to 125 round-trip flights from New York to Beijing (AI Now 2019 Report).

The carbon cost of AI becomes even higher when you factor in the energy required to keep the computing equipment housed in data centres cool – overheating can impact performance and damage equipment. As a result, in a conventional data centre, at least 40% of all energy consumed goes towards cooling.

But sustainable AI is possible if financial services organisations take positive steps to minimise its environmental impact.

Minimising AI’s carbon footprint

Location, location, location

Many tech giants are committing to reducing their carbon footprint, with Amazon pledging to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024, and Google investing in data centres in Nordic countries specifically for better energy efficiency.

Nick Dale

Nick Dale

This is because in the Nordics, data centres are largely powered by renewable energy sources. Iceland, in particular, uses 100% renewable hydroelectric and geothermal power – with no nuclear power sources – and is connected to a reliable power grid. These renewable energy sources are much less harmful to the environment because, unlike fossil fuels, they don’t cause pollution and don’t generate greenhouse gases. Not to mention, renewable energy is based on natural resources that can be replenished within an average human lifetime, as compared to fossil fuels, which can take thousands—or even millions—of years to replace.

Over 80% of compute doesn’t need to be near the end-user, and in those situations, choosing data centre locations in cool climates has a significant impact on carbon emissions. AI compute can be located in places like Iceland, which can utilise all-year-round, free cooling due to its temperate climate.

Data centres that are located in hot climates, like Arizona in the US, require high-powered cooling systems in operation around the clock. With average high temperatures of 40° Celsius in the summer, these data centres can use up to 4 million gallons of water a day to absorb heat through evaporation into cooling towers. Consequently, when location doesn’t hamper performance or accessibility, housing AI compute in data centres with natural cooling is a no-brainer.

Energy efficient and cost-effective

Many in the financial sector have traditionally viewed sustainability as a trade-off between profit and planet, but when it comes to green AI, financial services firms can have it both ways. By housing the servers that train AI models in data centres powered by renewable energy sources, businesses can substantially reduce energy expenses and benefit from long-term, fixed pricing.

And when renewable energy sources are combined with year-round, cool climates, the energy demands and costs of AI can be dramatically reduced. AI is here to stay, but by making the right choices, companies in the finance sector can still drive profitability whilst making real and measurable progress on sustainability.

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Technology

Survey of IT decision makers exposes the increased pressures IT organisations face amidst covid-19

Survey of IT decision makers exposes the increased pressures IT organisations face amidst covid-19 2

Independent Survey Uncovers the Limitations Traditional IT Infrastructure Imposes, Exacerbated by a Remote Workforce

Nebulon, Inc.®, the pioneer of Cloud-Defined Storage, released today the results of an independent survey completed by IT decision makers at 500 companies in the IT, financial services, manufacturing, retail, distribution and transport industries across the UK, US, Germany and France. Conducted in June of this year, the survey exposes the biggest challenges enterprises face in transforming their on-premises application storage environments, which have only been exacerbated during this COVID-19 era. While IT organisations cite multiple restrictions, the survey reveals limited infrastructure automation and high CAPEX as the most significant challenges for those deploying enterprise storage array technology, forcing them to re-examine IT spending and operations even more so than usual amidst the pandemic.

While increasing automation and reducing costs may seem like mainstream initiatives for any large organisation, the pandemic and resulting workforce restrictions mandate significant progress in days or weeks, versus months or quarters. The results of the survey, undertaken by Vanson Bourne, further reinforce this as respondents also highlighted their on-premises application storage environments are difficult to maintain, and reveal that they lacked the in-house expertise necessary to manage them. Even more disconcerting, respondents indicate that their traditional external storage arrays are not suited to handle new workloads, including containers and NoSQL databases. This is unsurprising as modern workloads have been architected for local versus shared storage resources.

British IT decision makers specifically ranked “expensive” highest, with 57% making this one of their top three challenges, followed by “time consuming to maintain” (50%) and “difficult to automate at scale” (49%). Respondents from smaller organisations (1,000-2,999 employees) were more likely to mark “lack of in-house expertise” highly compared to larger organisations (3,000+employees) (59% compared to 31%) while these larger companies were more likely to consider cost a top challenge (61% compared to 35%).

“The impact of the pandemic is forcing CIOs worldwide to reconsider their operations,” said Siamak Nazari, Co-Founder and CEO of Nebulon, Inc. “Reducing costs through server-based storage alternatives without the restrictions of hyperconverged infrastructure, and reducing operating cost pressure through cloud-based management of the application storage infrastructure are crucial initiatives for IT organisations looking to survive this new normal.”

For companies with a growing class of mission-critical data that cannot or should not move to the public cloud, Cloud-Defined Storage is an alternative to expensive storage arrays, offering enterprises a cloud-managed, server-based approach for mission-critical storage. By combining a cloud-based control plane, called Nebulon ON, with server-based storage that is powered by the Nebulon Services Processing Unit (SPU), Nebulon enables organisations to reduce cost for enterprise storage by up to half without compromising on enterprise data services. This is made possible by Nebulon’s unique architecture that makes use of commodity SSDs in industry standard servers, Ethernet in favour of Fibre Channel, and by eliminating operational complexities by moving management to Nebulon ON with an as-a-service model.

Nebulon ON uses AI to analyse application workloads during operations, provides actionable recommendations for IT organisations and provides a single API endpoint that greatly streamlines automation at-scale. Customisable application templates, tailored for customer’s application clusters, eliminate the guesswork in configuring infrastructure and produce repeatable, reliable infrastructure services for modern, mission-critical workloads. With the architectural and operational simplicity of Cloud-Defined Storage, application owners gain a self-service infrastructure provisioning that is unmatched with existing on-premises storage solutions.

“IT organisations have been seeking a cost-effective alternative to external storage arrays for years,” said Nazari. “With our Cloud-Defined Storage offering, they finally have the opportunity to reduce costs while also deploying a self-service solution for application owners that also reduces the operational burden.”

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Technology

Are you ‘prescribing’ the right security solution to your merchants?

Are you ‘prescribing’ the right security solution to your merchants? 3

By Sandra Higgins, Chief Marketing Officer at Sysnet Global Solutions, draws parallels between taking multivitamins for the body to keeping small businesses ‘healthy’ using an all-in-one security solution

When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right food, taking regular exercise, and maintaining a positive mindset are key. However, despite these best intentions and practices, you still might not get all the nutrients your body needs to ensure it is working as effectively as possible. To combat this, a doctor might suggest taking a daily multivitamin as an insurance policy, to guarantee the body gets all the minerals and vitamins it needs, avoiding any shortfalls. Makes sense, right?

This same logic can be applied to businesses and the importance of cybersecurity and compliance solutions, especially in the current climate and the risks associated with remote working. Like a doctor prescribing a multivitamin to help their patients’ minds and bodies function effectively, in the same way, acquirers can offer security ‘prescriptions’ to help merchants keep on top of business health. The prescription is then deployed by a security software provider, much like a pharmacy would, dispensing the multivitamin of data security services and tools to help keep businesses in good health.

Just what the doctor ordered

With a wide variety of data security and compliance solutions available, like the streams of vitamins you see on pharmacy shelves, smaller businesses can often become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of available tools and may forego sourcing their business ‘medication’ altogether.

Taking the stress out of trying to understand what the business needs, it’s an acquirer’s responsibility to prescribe one solution that allows merchants to stay security fit and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed at the choice available. That way, merchants don’t end up buying the wrong solutions or supplementary add-ons at additional cost, that they don’t actually need.

The benefits of an all-in-one solution

Like with medicine, merchants need to know the long-term benefits of prescriptions before administering it, and with an all-in-one solution, the benefits are vast. In addition to easy compliance with payments standards such as PCI DSS and access to security tools that are appropriate to business set-up, other benefits of all-in-one security solutions include;

  1. Increased energy levels. With business security taken care of, business owners will have more time to focus on what matters, giving them more energy to run other areas of the business.
  2. Reduced fatigue. If a business has to work hard to manage its security levels, or its owner is losing sleep over not managing it at all, resulting in overdrive just to perform simple tasks, being compliant with regulations, like the PCI DSS standard, becomes much harder.
  3. Long-term healthy lifestyle. By taking an all-in-one security solution, businesses will become ‘compliance and security fit’. Everything will run more efficiently, without security issues slowing things down and preventing a business from moving forward.
  4. Improved mood. Certain studies have shown that a daily multivitamin has positive effects on a person’s mood and emotional well-being. Not having to think so much about security and compliance lifts a burden and has the same effect – business owner don’t feel guilty about not paying it enough attention and there’s no need to worry about breaches or facing fees from not being PCI compliant.
  5. Reduced stress and anxiety. Similar to having an improved mood, by simply attending to security matters, businesses will have one less thing to worry about.

Strength in numbers

Not only is there a multitude of long-term benefits attached to having a fully managed data security solution prescribed by acquirers, allowing businesses to be faster, simpler and more profitable, it also means that costs are kept low. Many people buy vitamins in bulk to help share the cost with family or close friends. By buying security tools at scale, costs are kept down for merchants. This means that when a business is weighing up their budgets, they can be sure their compliance and security cost is entirely affordable.

When buying a multivitamin, customers will likely buy from a reputable brand so that you can rely on the quality and effectiveness of the daily dose, as reputable multivitamin providers undergo meticulous analysis and rigorous quality controls during the manufacturing process. In the same vein, humans wouldn’t want a substandard multivitamin for their own body, so businesses wouldn’t expect this from an acquirer’s prescription.

Easy to consume

Multivitamins can provide patients with numerous health benefits but the biggest benefit of all is having these solutions in one place. It makes it easier to ensure the body gets all it needs to stay healthy. It is the same thing for businesses. Taking a security ‘multivitamin’ will greatly take the stress out of addressing compliance and security, and provide a business with more time to focus on other pressing tasks.  If small businesses, in particular, can get into the habit of taking a regular multivitamin, a straightforward all-in-one solution, to address compliance and security at their business, they will be more open to trying other things too that may lead to an evolution of the business.

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