Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (Nov 2014)
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- Using touch screen keyboards on tablet computers for long periods of time may lead to chronic shoulder problems, as touch screen keyboards lack a feedback mechanism indicating a key has been pressed and you must keep your fingers hovering above the keyboard to avoid accidentally activating the keys.
- Because of app-based car services like Gett, UberX and Lyft, being a passenger has never been more practical. Your best strategy is to use all of them, because depending on when you need it, one may be more suitable than the other. In addition, compare fares before ordering a ride because rates vary during peak demand periods.
- According to research, the best time to search for airfares has changed. The best day to find low-fare domestic and international round-trip airline tickets is Sunday, followed by Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Monday and Friday are most expensive.
- If you suspect that you should have more free space (or time) left on your DVR to record movies and shows, you may be right. Some DVRs have defective software and do not release all disk space after a recording is deleted. Rebooting it may recover the unavailable free space.
- If your cell phone is lost or stolen, having a tracking feature enabled can tell you exactly where your phone is. You can also delete sensitive information remotely. On Apple and Windows phones the feature is called Find My Phone. On Android, use Android Device Manager to enable phone tracking.
Software-Defined Data Centers (SSDC)
The Software-Defined Data Center (SSDC) enables the consumption of IT infrastructure services as programmable software. This simplification of IT operations is achieved by centralizing the control of the core data center components - software-defined compute, networking and storage - through virtualization software and hardware-independent management.
Provisioning network resources for a new application environment deployment is often a time-consuming and configuration-intensive process that requires advanced networking skills. Software-defined networking simplifies the enterprise application deployment process by using the business logic to translate the application requirements, SLAs and cost considerations into network rules and resource allocations.
Software-Defined Network benefits a cloud computing multi-tenant architecture because it allows for a more flexible and efficient management of network traffic, which enables the IT infrastructure to more quickly respond to changing business requirements. One such cloud computing service model is known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Contacting customer service is an inevitable, and oftentimes, dreaded task. Many times, service representatives are pleasant and helpful. Unfortunately, an awful customer service experience can leave you angry and disgruntled. Some of us are familiar with Comcast’s infamously leaked customer service call during which a customer simply wanted to cancel his service. Instead of Comcast’s agent assisting him with the relatively simple request, the customer was forced to endure a 20 minute interrogation of why he was canceling his service.
Handling a difficult customer service representative does not necessarily have to end with a frustrated hang-up. Before you call, be prepared. When an agent answers, immediately jot his/her name down, and then if necessary, request the information again, along with an identification number, later during the call. Prepare a bullet-point list of chronological facts and explain them in a clear and succinct way. You may request to be provided with a survey in which you can provide feedback about your experience. Even if the representative becomes rude or impatient, continue to be polite, yet resolute in your position. Sometimes the agent is unaware of other possible solutions that are available to resolve your issue. Try suggesting a solution, or even a compromise on both ends.
If all else fails, do not hesitate to courteously ask to speak to someone in a higher tier of customer service. If that also brings forth another dead end, take it to corporate or an escalations department. You may be surprised to learn how many “trivial” customer service issues get resolved at the highest level, especially in this age of social media and companies' fears of "free" brand-bashing en masse.