Mercedes Benz GLA Class Facelift Review & Test Drive

Mercedes-Benz GLA Overview

Mercedes-Benz with the GLA targeted a segment, it wasn’t really part of. Frankly it didn’t have any competition for the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1. But when the GLA was first launched in India, most dismissed the car as an A-Class on stilts but Mercedes-Benz knew the potential of this car and the facelift finally made its public debut in January 2017 at the Detroit Motor Show. A little over six months and has now been launched in India with prices starting at ₹ 30.65 lakh (post-GST, ex-showroom).Now, let me make it quite clear; this is probably the mildest of facelifts you’ll see on any car but there’s a lot that’s new. To begin with, the front and rear bumpers of the car are new, they’re reshaped and this has helped it look less like a hatchback and more like an SUV. There’s a simulated underguard in bucket-tooth design with silver chrome in the front bumper. It also gets what Mercedes-Benz calls ‘Powerdomes’ on the bonnet and all this adds to the muscular look of the car. View offers on Mercedes Cars from Mercedes dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Mercedes-Benz GLA Style

The overall design remains the same and you’ll have to squint a little to notice the changes. The front end features a revised bumper and a new grille, which along with the muscular creases on the bonnet makes it look a little more aggressive. I personally like the grille and the big three-pointed star logo it proudly flaunts. It actually gels with the attractive canyon beige colour on our test car.The headlamps are brand new and feature a full-LED set-up, which Mercedes-Benz regards as a high-performance unit. It certainly delivers what it proclaims as illumination at night is indeed bright and has adequate focus and spread.The side profile remains the same, but it’s not that it needed any touch-ups. The crease line that begins from the headlamps and runs along the length of the GLA to disappear into the rear wheel arch is what catches your eye. This angle also highlights the GLA’s hatchback roots, evident from the short pillars and small glass area. While it’s not a cause for concern, the shape and size of the windows does hamper your view from the cabin. So parking in tight areas or manoeuvring in heavy traffic requires a little more attention. For 2017, the GLA also gets new, 18-inch alloy wheels with a five-spoke design that looks quite appealing.

The rear bumper is tweaked slightly and gets a new faux skid plate along with a set of dazzling full-LED lamps. They look similar to the GLC’s tail lamps, and to my eye, a bit better than the ones on the previous GLA.On the whole, the GLA looks sporty and, as I’ve said before, just as what the crossover rule book states.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Space

The interior, shared with the likes of the A-Class and B-Class is typically classy and sporty. The centrally mounted screen combined with the three large air-conditioning vents lends an aeronautic touch to the GLA’s interior. The AC-vents though have been slightly updated with more intrinsic styling elements embedded into them. The GLA also comes standard with a huge panoramic roof and sunroof package that gives the cabin an airy feel. One can opt for three interior color packages. The all-black version with a silver accent piece running from left to right, looks mature and goes well with the silver accent on the steering wheel. On the other hand, the all-beige and the black-beige combination interior options look classy and will surely appeal to the Indian customer.

The GLA-Class comes with electric seats for both the driver and the passenger. While one can choose a black interior package, the more popular beige version makes the car feel airier and larger on the inside. Although there is a decent amount of legroom in the back seats, we found a severe lack of under thigh support. This factor would make the passengers in the back of the GLA feel rather uncomfortable on longer road trips.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Engine

The facelift might be a mild one but there are no changes to the engines on offer. The 2-litre petrol and 2.1-litre diesel motors continue to power the facelift of the GLA and we got down to driving the diesel. The 2.1-litre diesel churns out 168 bhp (which is the same as before) and the torque of 350 Nm kicks in at around 1500 rpm which makes sure you have power at hand early. That 7-speed dual clutch gearbox helps in seamless transfer of power to the wheels and the paddle shifters make your life easier. The 200d and the 200 petrol do not get the AWD system but the 220d comes with four-wheel drive as standard and thanks to this, you get off to a brisk start right from the word go. Sadly, as the revs build up and go past 2500 rpm, the engine grunt becomes obvious. It’s not an enjoyable sound and you immediately get off the gas. There’s a big change though in the way the GLA rides. The bouncy ride has now given way to a bit of comfort, however, I still feel that the suspension could have been tweaked to be on the softer side, but the ride is not a bumpy one now and that’s a big plus.

It’s more agile too and the higher ground clearance has not hampered the performance of the car. As I’ve told you earlier, all-wheel drive is now standard on the GLA 220d and it comes with Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) which helps to handle steep downhill driving. The speed can be set between four and 18 kmph which makes it easier to navigate through terrains. Driving modes include – Eco, Individual, Off-Road and Dynamic and in each you can tweak the setting of the steering and the engine. The best option is individual, where you put the steering response into Eco mode and the engine response into Sport mode and well, it all falls into place. The 18-inch tyres give you the much needed grip and the GLA maintains its composure when driven into a corner. Now, Mercedes-Benz calls it a genuine off-roader and we can’t wait to test that part out.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Driving

The GLA is set up stiff, so the ride is a bit bumpy at slow speeds, especially when driving over potholes or undulations. Pick up the speeds, however, and the ride does get a bit better. But the joy of this set up lies in corners, and that’s where the GLA shines.Despite its 171mm ground clearance, the GLA handles just like a car. It remains flat and true to an intended line around a corner. There is good feedback from the steering too, and the grip from the fat tyres and the all-wheel-drive system make the GLA enjoyable around canyon roads. This, with the added peace of mind that you won’t have to worry too much about scraping the underbelly on bad roads.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Safety

The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class comes loaded with everything you might want from a luxury compact SUV in today’s day and age. The typically Mercedes-Benz centre console with the inbuilt telephone and audio controls does look a little outdated although they do their job well. With additional features like a reverse camera, parking sensors and GPS-navigation, the GLA is right at par with everything else in its segment. The GLA also comes with safety features like tyre pressure monitoring sensors, attention assist and seven airbags.Mercedes-Benz’s Command system that controls all the function on the main infotainment screen is as good as ever and offers the driver and the passengers an intuitive experience. That said, we did find the infotainment screen to be slightly smaller than what we could have expected and as with the A-Class and B-Class, a slight after though on the part of the designers.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Cost in Hyderabad

Mercedes Benz Gla Class Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 31,70,935/- (GLA Class 200 d Style) to 38,01,700/- (GLA Class 220 d 4MATIC). Get best offers for Mercedes Benz Gla Class from Mercedes Benz Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Benz GLA price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Mercedes-Benz GLA Conclusion

The Mercedes-Benz GLA is not only the most important car Mercedes-Benz will launch this year, we believe it will be the most important car Mercedes-Benz will launch for a while. With the new C-Class and the stunning CLA-Class on its way to India soon, the only thing Mercedes-Benz will really have to be worried about is the GLA cannibalising traditional sedan customers with the lure and aura of a multipurpose platform like a compact SUV.Should the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 be worried about the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class wooing audiences in a way they have never had to worry about in the past? Considering the fact that the GLA offers good performance, handing and interior trim while managing to look as good as it does, the answer is a resounding YES!

The Best Keyword Research Tools For SEO

 

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If you’re improving SEO, you’re going to need a few tools. We’ve mentioned a couple of them already, but here’s a full list of the keyword research tools we like. Many of these go way beyond keyword data to help you analyze different aspects of your marketing.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an all in one toolkit to help you improve search traffic.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public shows you the questions searchers ask to help you with content targeting.

Bing

Bing includes a keyword research tool in Bing Webmaster Tools. The tool provides volume and keyword suggestions.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner

Google Adwords Keyword Planner provides monthly global and local keyword search volumes.

Google Trends

Google Trends is a useful tool for deciding which of several similar search terms is more popular For Digital Marketing Companies Check Vivid Digital

Keyword Eye

Keyword Eye brings together keyword data from Google, YouTube and Amazon, and helps you find keywords, questions and competitors’ keyword and advertising data, as well as trending content.

Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy is a downloadable keyword tool which helps you to identify competitors’ keywords and find related terms you can use in your own content and marketing.

Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool is a free online tool that generates around 750 Google keyword suggestions. It also offers keyword suggestions for Bing, YouTube, Amazon, eBay and Apple’s app store.

Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro includes a number of useful keyword research features. As well as simply finding keywords, you can assess ranking difficulty, competitiveness and can filter results in various ways, such as by local search.

LSIGraph,

LSIGraph, mentioned earlier, provides a long list of Google autocomplete suggestions.

Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Keyword Explorer allows you ten free searches a month. If you need more, you’ll need to upgrade to Moz Pro. You can search for keywords to find related terms and search volume.You can also filter results according to similarity, volume and range of sources.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a comprehensive marketing toolkit that includes a lot of SEO tools. You can try out a free keyword search on this page.

The SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool

The SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool aggregates search data and provides volumes, related terms, and more.

SERPS keyword research database

The free SERPS keyword research database lists related terms and provides search volume, cost per click and value for each keyword phrase.

Soovle

Soovle provides autocomplete suggestions from multiple sources on a single page. In addition to Google, YouTube, Amazon and Bing, it includes data from Wikipedia, Answers.com and Yahoo.

SpyFu

SpyFu is a paid tool that uses 11 years of historical data to help you find your competitors’ most profitable keywords and the keywords they’ve used for SEO and ads.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest provides lists of keywords, though you’ll have to install the Keyword Everywhere extension to get search volume and cost per click data.

Wordstream Keyword Tool:

Wordstream Keyword Tool: This tool uses browser searches, information from internet service providers and search data to include a wide keyword database. You can get 10 free searches then one daily search for free.

Honda Amaze Performance & First Drive

Honda Amaze Overview

This is the all-new Honda Amaze. Everything from the chassis to the body shell, the interior design, the features, safety equipment and, very importantly, the transmission has been changed. The engines are not all-new but get improvements of their own for improved driveability, fuel efficiency and comfort. Honda says the goal for their R&D Asia Pacific department was to make a ‘one-class-above’ sub-4 metre sedan based on the feedback from both existing owners of the previous-gen sedan as well as potential customers of the all-new one. View offers on Honda Cars from Honda dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Honda Amaze Style

Honda Amaze now comes in a completely new avatar. It is very different from the outgoing model. The car is underpinned by an all-new platform and the exteriors look appealing. It is now more stylish, and premium looking. The platform has made it longer, wider and the wheelbase has also increased.

Front

It gets the signature thick chrome grille of Honda and the front is flat in design. The grille blends into the headlamps, which are now much sleeker. The headlamps are regular halogen ones and are not projectors, even on the top end VX trim. The car gets LED daytime runnings lights integrated into the headlamp and the turn indicators are also embedded. The fog lamps are round in shape and have a black bezel. The bonnet has grooves which make it look muscular.

Side

The side of the 2018 Honda Amaze looks much more evolved now, especially with the well integrated boot. It looks more like a premium sedan from the side now. The door pillars are blacked out and it also has new door handles which are identical to the City. There is a shark fin antenna as well. The car gets 15-inch ally wheels on the top two V and VX variants. The base E and S variants get 14-inch steel wheels. The spare wheel is a 14-inch steel wheel, across all variants.

Rear

The rear of The new Amaze looks sportier. While the car we has earlier seen at the Auto Expo has a chrome strip on the boot, the production model does not get any chrome at the rear. The tail lamps are attractive and are of a split design. The rear bumper is large and extends low with an integrated skirt.

Honda Amaze Space

The second generation Amaze gets a completely new dashboard. Everything inside is new, starting from the 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel, instrument cluster with MID display, automatic climate control buttons, design on the AC vents and a DIGIPAD 2.0 touchscreen infotainment system. The materials used inside the cabin too feel more premium. Needless to say, the dual-tone black and beige treatment on the dashboard makes the cabin feel airy and large. The steering feels good to hold and in terms of features, the new Amaze offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirrorLink, cruise control, steering-mounted audio and cruise controls, push-button start, rear parking camera with sensors and electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs.

The front seats provide great comfort and support, the side bolstering deserves a special mention. Cabin space is much improved in terms of headroom, shoulder room, legroom and knee clearance. The rear seat is a much more comfortable place to be in. However, under-thigh support is strictly average for both the front and rear seats. Ingress and egress are comfortable too. The almost flat floor at the rear seat also makes the new Amaze a comfortable 5-seater compact sedan. The AC is pretty impressive and cools the cabin quickly. Honda has increased the capacity of the compressor to ensure quick cooling in our country’s tropical climate. Boot space is up by 20-litres and now measures 420-litres, which is best-in-class.

Honda Amaze Gearbox

The same engines do duty in the 2018 Honda Amaze. One is the 1.2 litre, four cylinder, SOHC engine that produces 89bhp of power at 6000rpm and 110Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. The power and torque are slightly improved now. This engine comes with a 5-speed manual transmission and also a CVT. The engine feels smooth and refined. The manual one, though not outrightly punchy, suits easy driving. The gearshifts are fine and the clutch is light. The CVT transmission focusses more on comfort and is laid back in acceleration. It takes it own sweet time and can get boring as well.The second engine is the 1.5-litre diesel engine with 99bhp of power at 3600rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1750rpm. The engine is now tweaked to offer better performance and fuel efficiency. It comes mated five-speed manual transmission. The manual diesel is the most fun to drive of the lot. There is good grint in the engine and has sprightly performance. I was quite suprised at the way the NVH levels are controlled now. There is considerably less noise intruding inside the cabin now. Not that its not noisy, but much better than before.

The highlight here is the new diesel CVT which is seen for the first time. I wasn’t so convinced about it, until I drove it. It feels good to drive. Of course, it again focuses on comfort rather than outright performance, but it is not disappointing either. The acceleration is smooth as the speed builds up in a linear fashion. Now this engine has a reduced power of 80 bhp, which is 20bhp less than the manual version and the torque is also 160Nm. The reduction of power and torque is due to the fact that diesel engine has a flatter torque available across a range of rpms, hence unlike petrol, the diesel CVT does not require high power. However, the drive experience of this one was quite impressive and we do recommend it if you prefer long leisure driving.

Though we did not do a detailed mileage test, however, we estimate a city mileage of around 12 km/l and highway mileage of 16km/l for the petrol manual. The petrol CVT will return around 10km/l in the city and around 15 km/l on the highway.The diesel manual is the most fuel efficient one with a city mileage of around 15 km/l and on the highway it will return close to 19-20km/l. The diesel CVT will return 12-13km/l in the city and around 17-18km/l on the highway.

Honda Amaze Driving

The new Amaze is a big improvement in this department. The new chassis is lighter and so the car is more chuckable. It handles better than the earlier model and the steering response is also better. High speed stability is good and it gives more confidence during cornering. The brakes are fine, but I would have preferred some more bite, specially at high speeds. What impressed us most is the rear seat ride quality. The new suspension has revised damping and the feel is close to a European car. The car also doesn’t get unsettled easily o bad patches. The glove box of the car kept popping open whenever we ran over a speed breaker. A lock adjustment would solve that issue.

Honda Amaze Safety

In terms of safety features, the 2018 Honda Amaze continues to get dual airbags and ABS with EBD but now as standard across the range. The Japanese automaker’s after-sales service has been great and the network is wide-spread too.

Honda Amaze Cost in Hyderabad

Honda Amaze Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 5,62,455/- (Amaze E MT Petrol) to 8,99,900/- ( Amaze V CVT Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Amaze from Honda Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Amaze price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Honda Amaze Conclusion

The exterior design may not appeal to everyone, the interior design, space and equipment on offer certainly will. Couple all this with one of the best ride-and-handling packages on any car in the sub-4 metre sedan segment, the Honda Amaze should feature on top of your list if you are looking to buy one in the near future.

“The 2018 Amaze feels like an all-rounder and, at least with its diesel MT/CVT variants, makes a good case for itself “

What Are The Top Search Engine Optimization Ranking Factors

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If you’re looking for the top search engine ranking factors, the answer isn’t a million miles away. Google’s been clear on its top three:

A. Links
B. Content
C. RankBrain, or user experience
Let’s look at these in more detail.

1. Links

Links are a crucial SEO ranking signal because they’re what the web is built on. When you’re talking search engine ranking, three types of links matter:

A. Inbound links –

links coming to your site from external web pages

B. Outbound links –

links from your web pages to external sources

C. Internal links –

links within your site to your own content

Inbound links help Google figure out if your content is relevant and authoritative. As we mentioned, if your web page gets a link from a site that’s already an authority, that link is more valued than a link from a low quality site.In contrast, low quality inbound links can hurt your search ranking, so keep those to a minimum. We’ll explain how to do that in a minute.

To find your inbound links with SEMrush, you’ll need to set up a project to track key metrics for your domain. Then go to SEO Toolkit » Link Building » Backlink Audit. This will bring up an overview report. At this point there are two things you can do:First, to find low quality backlinks, look at the Domains by Toxic Score section.Click on the toxic percentage to see suspect inbound links. SEO Agency in London visit Vivid SEO

Then you can choose to keep or whitelist those links (if they’re not really toxic), or remove or disavow them if they are. Google suggests website owners exercise caution with link disavowal.Here’s the second way to check out your inbound link profile:Go back to the main Backlink Audit report in SEMrush, and click on Analyzed Backlinks to see inbound links.

In terms of outbound links, it’s important to create links to authoritative sites relevant to your topic. This shows visitors and Google that you’re creating quality content. Often, you will find authoritative content when researching a content topic. Then you just need to make a note of it so you can add it to your content.

You can also increase the value of your own pages by interlinking your content to create internal links. An authoritative page can pass on search ranking or link juice to other pages on your site. So if you have an in-depth resource, you can link to it every time you talk about your topic.

2. Content

Content is the second major SEO ranking factor, and is just as important as links. As we’ve said, relevance and quality are two crucial factors for search engine rankings.

There are several areas to optimize here. Aside from keywords, which we’ll look at in a later chapter, it’s essential to understand what people mean when they type in a search term. This is called search intent.Sometimes the intent is clear, like when they type in “compare” or “buy.

But at other times, you’ll have to think more carefully. For example, if you want to rank for “arizona real estate”, you might think it’s a good idea to optimize your content for people wanting to move to a house in Arizona. But it might turn out that the people searching for that term are realtors looking for property they can list.Optimize for the wrong search intent, and your page will never rank.

There’s one more thing. The research shows that the length of your content can also be important. That’s because content that’s more than 2000 words long tends to get more top ten places in SERPs.Longer content also gets more links (another ranking factor) and more shares. As we’ll see, shares can contribute to an indirect ranking factor: social signals.So, it doesn’t hurt to include longform content in your content strategy when you’re thinking about SEO.

3. RankBrain (User Experience)

The third major SEO ranking signal is Google’s artificial intelligence search ranking algorithm. The company calls it RankBrain, and it’s all about user experience.

There are three important aspects of RankBrain:

A. Clickthrough rate – how many people visit your site from a SERPs entry

B. Bounce rate – how many people bounce a short time after following a SERPs entry to your site. A quick bounce means they didn’t get what they wanted

C. Dwell time – how long they stick around on your site after arriving. Clearly, longer is better, as it means your site delivered what they wanted

Together, these tell Google how users interact with your site and if your content is relevant, which can affect search ranking. Learn more about RankBrain and SEO here.

Other SEO ranking factors include: accessible URLs, domain age (older is usually better), page speed, mobile friendliness, business information, and technical SEO. We’ll look at some of those ranking factors in more detail as we go through the guide.

What Are The Services Are There In Virtual Receptionist

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Virtual receptionist is a great alternative to having an actual employee. Many companies have employees that are under performing on the job every day. They spend money and time to recruit, hire and train new employees. After someone is hired into a position, you will need to wait for them to get up to speed. The liability and expense of the new employees can be more of a hassle to a company.

A virtual receptionist is an phrase used in the business sense that refers to an individual who answers phones or performs the duties of an on-site receptionist, but is not actually located at the primary business’s location. Customer service representatives, answering service agents, and even appointment schedulers could all be classified as a virtual receptionist if they are working off-site or at a remote location. In the majority of cases, the receptionist is working from a home office.Check for What are the Services Are There In Virtual Receptionist in Linkedphone

SOME OF THE VIRTUAL RECEPTIONIST SERVICES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1 Customary Greeting:

Customer interaction is an experience and correctly greeting the customer will shape the first impression about your company. At ExpertCallers, we record customized greetings to ensure the customer is treated professionally and routed to the point of contact at the earliest.

2 Your Way of Call Routing

We can route each call the way you want. We believe, treating every call uniquely is important. That’s why we enable the companies to set rules to route the customer according to type of caller, time of calling and many other criteria. And, all this can be updated as and when required on the dashboards.

3 Refined Call Screening

This feature helps you to avoid those intruding unwelcomed calls, as we screen the calls on the basis of specific time and route calls or voicemails to precise departments and people.

4 Instant Connection

Our click-to-call feature, provides rapid and easy web to phone connection within no time, thereby providing a better avenue for customer to connect.

5 Automatic Call Recording

Every call will be recorded effectively and can be used for quality, training and compliance purposes in future.

6 Effective Multi-level IVR

We provide round-the-clock IVR, which provides limited prompts and enable customer to reach the desired person quickly.

7 Real-time Analysis and Report generation

We empower the companies with real-time data and encourage them to analyse it to streamline the operations.

5 Confidence Ways To Answer a Business Call

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The phone solutions available through hosted PBX phone systems are revolutionizing the way in which small and medium size businesses support their human resources and serve their customers. A reliable communication system can substantially increase the business productivity.

Working in a small business in a position that involves inbound telephone calls requires a high degree of professionalism and confidence. If your job entails answering the telephone and handling calls from customers, vendors or other businesses, the manner in which you answer the phone may directly affect your company’s success. You are responsible for creating an appropriate first impression, making your phone skills extremely important. Check for Confidence Ways To Answer a Business Call in Linkedphone

Promptness

Avoid letting the telephone ring more than two or three times before answering it. Pause whatever else you’re doing at the moment to take the inbound call. If at all possible, never let a call enter the voice mail system, as this can frustrate customers.

Greeting

The speed, pitch, and tone of your voice are important for creating a positive experience during a call. Answer the phone with a relaxed and pleasant tone. Keep your greeting short but informative, with just enough information to let the caller know whether he has reached the right destination. Typically in business environments, it is considered more professional to say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” rather than “Hello.” Clearly state your name followed by either the department you work in or the company name. For example, “Good morning. This is John with ABC Company. How may I help you?” is an appropriate greeting, as opposed to an overly lengthy, drawn out greeting like “It’s a great day here at ABC Company! You’ve reached John in the Accounting Department. How can I be of service to you?”

Acknowledgment

Listen to the caller’s reasons for contacting you. Remain quiet and do not interrupt during his explanation of the situation. Acknowledge your understanding of the issue at hand, repeating back the main points if necessary. Assure the caller you will properly address his issue or concern, or transfer the call to the appropriate destination.

Pleasantries

Avoid lengthy conversations involving the exchange of pleasantries. While it is often considered appropriate to make minor small talk about the weather or some other irrelevant issue, do not engage in such discussions if they result in wasted time. Understand that you should be friendly but not friends with people on the telephone.

Ending

End the call with a positive statement. Once you have resolved the caller’s issue or determined how to proceed, promptly and politely finish the call. Thank the person for contacting you or your company, then hang up. For example, say “Thanks for calling Mr. Smith. Have a nice day.”

U.S. Department of Education offers a new tool to help schools measure ed tech results

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A new tool from the U.S. Department of Education will help school districts rapidly measure the results of education technology.The Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach was announced last week at the Blended and Online Learning Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. It’s still in the early stages, so those interested in using the tool must apply to be part of the inaugural group.

Technology vendors tend to make grandiose claims about the usefulness of their programs. But there’s precious little research, aside from marketing materials and vendors’ “studies” of their own programs. Independent, high-quality methods commonly used to study educational programs tend to move slowly. In technology that can be a problem, because technology changes so rapidly – by the time the study is complete the program has likely reinvented itself. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

Teachers and schools aren’t waiting for gold-standard research before they begin test-driving new tools in the classroom. As a result, teachers find themselves using programs and products without any clear method for evaluating whether or not they will work.

“Districts and states are spending millions of dollars buying educational apps [technology applications, tools and platforms], many of which have minimal evidence supporting their effectiveness,” Katrina Stevens, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, wrote last week. “Additionally, once a purchase is made, there is often no systematic process for reviewing the effectiveness of ed tech tools before renewing contracts, which collectively can run into the millions of dollars.”

The Department’s new program will guide school leaders and teachers through the steps they should take before buying education technology. The “RCE Coach” will help schools define goals, create effective pilot programs, gather evidence and measure results. The research tool is being created with help from SRI International and Mathematica, two well-known (and highly regarded) research groups. The tool will not provide the same results as working closely with a traditional researcher, but it will allow schools to measure if technology is helping them meet whatever goal school leaders have set for themselves.

It will be available to schools in January. In the meantime, the department of education needs help from district- and school-level administrators who are willing to try the program. They are accepting applications from schools. It’s free. Educational Evaluations in US visit here

“The goal is to fundamentally change the procurement and implementation process to include a continuous cycle of evidence-based decision making and to help states and districts spend millions of dollars more effectively,” Stevens wrote.

Top Advantages & Disadvantages Of Having A Toll Free Phone Number

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When a business house fails to offer a toll free number, prospects are most likely to pass on to the ones that does. This means a company can simply lose business due to lack of toll free telephone number. Can such a situation be tolerated in today’s fierce competition scenario?If used judiciously, a toll free number not only meaningfully increases sales revenue, but also provides a cost-effective solution to high-end advertising. Most start-up businesses have a limited budget and would need s a viable option to promote and popularize its products/services. A personalized, 800 number is the most splendid way to showcase products and services. This will save on costs, promote company identity and generate rewarding sales leads.Till a decade ago, toll free numbers were considered as luxury and were only used by large corporations. Check for Advantages Of Having A Toll Free Phone Number in Linkedphone

A toll free phone number is a must if you wish to provide customer satisfaction for your fixed clientele. Toll free numbers are necessary if you want to initiate a home-office set up, to increase the credibility of your business among the customers. The advantages of acquiring a toll-free number overshadow the disadvantages Toll free numbers further aid small businesses that cannot invest in advertising on a mass-scale. Recent studies have highlighted the fact that 28% of television commercials feature toll free numbers as a point of direct response.

Some of the Advantages of Toll Free Phone Number are as follows ;

1 Point of Contact

A toll free number is a point of contact for your home-business set up. The customers can contact you pertaining to any queries about your product or service in particular.

2 Point of Sales and Information

Customers or prospects will contact you via the toll free number to place orders or seek information about the product like discounts, pricing and shipping charges. This is the reason why they are also known as a marketing approach for creating sales.

3 Customer Care and Support

Another important function of toll-free numbers is to provide customer service to the customer base. This particular feature can be used by home-office businesses to resourcefully handle consumer needs and doubts.

4 Removes Obstacles

Customers are hesitant while dialing any company number. The toll free numbers eliminate any sort of uncertainty in the caller’s mind. The ‘free’ aspect encourages increased number of enquiries and orders. This ultimately will translate into a higher profit margin. Additional advantages, such as the voicemail system, will further help you to solve routine queries.

5 24/7 customer support

The ’round the clock customer support’ facility eliminates the constraints of time. Customers can thus dial anytime throughout the day as per their convenience. The same technique helps to establish a long-term relationship with the customers.

6 Reducing Costs

Subscription rates for toll free numbers are comparatively lower than regular telephone devices. A phone line is sufficient for the purpose. If you have a small home office set-up, then you can convert a single telephone number to a toll free number. The installation charges are also minimal. Along with the toll-free provision, service providers also offer other services like voice mail, ignoring unwanted calls and a message center. A toll free number will help your home office set up to reduce operational costs by restricting the work force.

Some of the Disadvantages of Toll Free Phone Number are as follows ;

1 Expensive Hardware

The hardware used for installing the toll-free number is expensive, compared to the traditional device.

2 Unnecessary Calls

The ‘free’ provision of toll free numbers results into a vast number of unsolicited calls.Miscreants use this provision for pastime. You will have to deal with a number of callers, who are not even remotely concerned with your product or service. People will end up calling you, even if they have no intention of buying the product.

3 Not a Stand-Alone Medium

Toll free numbers cannot be used as a sole medium to boost the sales figure.There are both significant ADVANTAGE and DISADVANTAGE to using a toll-free line for your business. Take both into consideration while deciding whether or not a toll-free line is right for yours.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing is now evolving like never before, with companies of all shapes and sizes adapting to this new technology. Industry experts believe that this trend will only continue to grow and develop even further in the coming few years. While cloud computing is undoubtedly beneficial for mid-size to large companies, it is not without its downsides, especially for smaller businesses. 

As more and more charities and libraries move to cloud services, this technology is no longer novel: it’s becoming the dominant paradigm in IT.When Tech Soup surveyed NGOs, nonprofits, and charities around the world in 2012, we found that lack of knowledge was the biggest barrier to adopting cloud services. We suspect that it is still a barrier. This article will help you understand what the cloud is and support you in investigating whether cloud solutions are right for your organization. We’ll introduce some basic cloud computing terminology and outline some of the advantages and disadvantages to cloud computing. Check for advantages and disadvantages Cloud computing in Linkedphone

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Tierney Smith of TechSoup Canada sums up the advantages nicely: “The move towards the cloud holds a lot of exciting potential for nonprofits of all sizes. Not only are many organizations able to realize cost savings through not having to run and maintain their own server(s) (or pay a consultant to do so), many cloud tools enable new levels of sharing and collaboration, which can transform how we work. We live in a world where our supporters are looking to us for greater transparency and there is an increasing need to partner with other organizations to achieve real impact. Using the right cloud tools can help us break down the barriers we currently face and be the more open, effective, and resilient organizations that we need to be.”

Reduced Support and Hardware Needs

As you move more business-critical applications into the cloud, you’ll likely find that you don’t need to upgrade computers as regularly, and many employees can make do without higher-end computers. That’s because the actual computing isn’t happening on the computer: A $200 tablet can access your Salesforce and Google Apps accounts just as quickly as a $2,000 premium laptop can. Similarly, you may find that a cloud computing infrastructure requires a smaller IT staff than a traditional IT setup does because your organization won’t be managing the software anymore.

Anywhere, Anytime Collaboration

Software as a service can act as a great simplifier for many organizations. If you have staff members working off-site, they can access their work just as easily at home as they can in the office. If they’re using a private or secure Wi-Fi connection, there’s also no need to set up a virtual phone services (VPN).What’s more, cloud tools can make it easier to collaborate with colleagues from outside the organization. If you’re planning an event with staff from another nonprofit, for example, it’s easy to create a Basecamp project where everyone can see each other’s work. People working in the same organization might benefit from team collaboration tools like shared calendars, video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing via Office 365.

A Green Choice

Cloud computing solutions are also generally greener than traditional IT because they require less in-office IT equipment. While huge datacenters require a lot of electricity, it’s still a lot less than the thousands of office-grade computers it would take to perform the same big tasks. Large cloud computing providers can also optimize their datacenters for energy efficiency much more precisely than manufacturers of desktops and laptops can.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Security and Availability

Security and availability are still the main concerns that most people have about relying on cloud-based services.You’ve probably heard of the many high-profile news stories of security breaches in cloud-based services. Although you should certainly think about the implications of a breach in your organizational data, you should also consider that in both cloud-based and on-premises software, most security breaches are attributable to human error. That is one reason why we published our 12 Tips to Being Safer Online.When thinking about cloud security and availability, you should also have a realistic sense of your current technology situation. Fears about the cloud are sometimes based on a utopian vision of an organization’s current situation. Odds are that your security isn’t perfect, you don’t have 100 percent systems uptime, and you may not have staff resources dedicated to IT management. In the cloud, security and management are in the hands of trained, dedicated experts.

Cloud Vendors Going Out of Business

Cloud computing is still a quickly changing field, and there’s always the danger that a new company might go out of business or radically change its service. A sudden change in service might not be too detrimental if you were only using the application for a one-time project, but it could be disastrous if you were using it for your entire donor database.When evaluating cloud providers, find out what options you have for backing up and extracting your data. The best services allow you to download your data in a standard, nonproprietary format.

The Need for Reliable Internet Service

Finally, you will become more dependent on a good Internet connection if you rely on the cloud. As more mission-critical work is done on the Internet, organizations will need much more bandwidth and few, if any, failures in Internet connectivity. If consistent Internet access, connection speed, or bandwidth are problems for your organization, cloud solutions may not be right for you at this time.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services today said that it has returned all the petitions of H1-B visas

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services today said that it has returned all the petitions of H1-B visas, popular among Indian IT professionals, that were not selected in the computer-generated lottery system in April. The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China. Check for H1B Visa Evaluation in UT Evaluators

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that it has returned all the unselected H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2019, beginning October 1 which were submitted to the agency in April. The Congressional-mandated cap of 65,000 H-1B visas and another 20,000 in the advanced degree categories were reached within the first five days after the USCIS started accepting H-1B applications.

As an H-1B non-immigrant, the applicant may be admitted for a period of up to three years. The time period may be extended, but generally cannot go beyond a total of six years. However, there are some exceptions to it. On April 6, around 94,213 H-1B petitions were received in the general category and 95,885 in the advanced degree category, as a result of which the federal agency resorted to a computerised draw of lots to select the successful applicants. Petitions of those not selected have now been returned, the USCIS said.

The H-1B application process began from April 2 as the top federal agency temporarily suspended the premium processing of all such work visas subject to fiscal cap. The suspension of premium processing of all the H-1B petitions which are subject to the annual caps is expected to last until September 10, 2018. H1B Visa Process Check here

During this time, the USCIS said it will continue to accept premium processing requests for the H-1B petitions that are not subject to the fiscal 2019 cap. According to the USCIS, between 2007 and 2017, it received the maximum number of 2.2 million H-1B petitions from high-skilled Indians. India was followed by China with 301,000 H-1B petitions during the same period.