Staff picks for the week of Aug. 25, 2015

Staff Picks GeneralToday we look at new tech, a new tech hotspot, and an unfolding challenge for tech startups.

The Noise Around You Could Strengthen Your Passwords (Read by Heidi B.)

Who knew the clink of a dish could better protect you from hackers? The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is making that possible with its new Sound-Proof authentication tool. When users log in to a Sound-Proof-enabled site, the tool automatically (read: you don’t have to do anything!) pings both your browser and your phone, captures a few seconds of ambient sound from each, and compares the two to ensure they are indeed in the same room. This is in contrast to standard two-factor authentication, which requires you to enter a code from your phone to access a website on a PC. An effortless way to better protect yourself – that’s something I can get behind! (more…)

Legacy and emerging partner performance fuel first half revenue jump

Earnings ReleaseSHI President and CEO Thai Lee kicked off SHI’s Global Sales Conference this morning by confirming what most employees had already suspected: SHI’s strong start to 2015 continued into Q2 resulting in a record first half performance in our 26th year in business.

Through June, SHI’s year-to-date revenue was up 15 percent over the same period in 2014 with double-digit growth experienced in all domestic sales verticals. SHI also saw significant increases within international divisions, notably in Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. (more…)

Staff picks for the week of Aug. 3, 2015

Staff Picks GeneralLike the people who use it, technology constantly evolves. Today’s staff picks show just how far it’s come in the last decade.

The evolution of Windows startup sounds, from Windows 3.1 to 10 (Read by Nick G.)

For years Windows users heard a distinct sound every time they started their computers. But the times are changing, and this startup music has been cut from the new version of Windows. Whether you’re sad or overjoyed, take a walk down memory lane with Mashable and enjoy the nostalgia.

Today’s Kids Have No Idea How the First iPod Worked (Read by Heidi B.)

It seems like it was yesterday that I got my first iPod, so it’s hard to believe that today’s kids don’t know how to use the click wheel device that was such a big innovation at the time. In this video, you’ll see kids tinkering with a first generation iPod and the confusion that follows — the lack of a touch screen and the music-only functionality boggles the minds of these little ones. It’s amazing how quickly technology has advanced; less than 10 years ago we were taught how to use a touch screen, yet today’s youngsters have never known life without it. It makes me wonder what tech will be like 10 years from now.

The US Navy is 3D-printing custom drones on its ships (Read by Camillia S.)

The U.S. Navy is combining two of the trendiest technologies to make drone missions easier for sailors at sea. Naval ships will leave for sea with the necessary parts to make a drone (like motors, controllers, and GPS units) but the body of the device will be emailed, printed, and assembled on board. With more ships being equipped with 3D printers for medical supplies, it seems like custom 3D-printed drones are the next wave for Navy missions.

What HP’s split means to you

HP split into HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard EnterpriseIt’s not every day that one of the world’s largest technology companies splits into two Fortune 50 companies — but it’s happening. On Aug. 1, 2015, HP will begin the process of breaking into two separate companies, which will be finalized this fall.

So what does that mean to customers? Anarchy in the streets? People running wild? Papers flying everywhere?

The short answer: not much. There will be plenty of internal changes at HP and its partners, but for most prepared customers, it will be business as usual.

So what is changing?

HP’s big split was announced last October in a blog post by Meg Whitman, HP’s current CEO. According to the post, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will be run by Whitman, will focus on data center and infrastructure products and services, and HP Inc. will provide printing and personal systems. The chart above shows the breakdown.

Though the name of the company you purchase certain products from will be changing, how you acquire and manage your HP technology needs will be the same.

Important dates to know

From Aug. 1 through Aug. 5, HP’s systems will undergo upgrades to accommodate the separation. At that time, the company will be unable to process new quotes, orders, or shipments, but SHI is working closely with HP and our HP distribution network to ensure inventory levels can cover expected demand during that time. In fact, SHI was one of the first HP partners to complete the “Operational Readiness” checklist – meaning SHI has met HP’s requirements for the transition and customers shouldn’t experience any disruption. Customers planning a HP technology rollout around this time or thinking about scheduling one should coordinate with your SHI Account Executive to ensure inventory will be available.

On Nov. 1, HP will officially no longer exist, and will legally change to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.

Why things are staying the same for customers

For the most part, HP was already organized by product lines and grouped into enterprise solutions and printing and personal systems, which helps ensure a smooth transition for both customers and partners.

We’ll continue monitoring the changes coming from HP, and keep you updated with relevant news as the official split approaches. But for now, breathe easy.

Have a question about the split we didn’t address? Let us know in the comments below.

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Staff picks for the week of July 13, 2015

Staff Picks GeneralFrom hunger and employee worth to treasuring the past, this week’s picks speak to the human needs in all of us.

Spoiler Alert App Makes Donating Surplus Food as Easy as Tossing it in a Dumpster (Read by Heidi B.)

A whopping 30 to 40 percent of the food supply in the U.S. is wasted. Ironically, nearly 50 million Americans have a hard time obtaining food. I try to be waste-conscious in the kitchen and supermarket, but since most waste occurs when businesses toss out products that are about to expire, a bigger effort is needed to make a real impact. That is exactly what Spoiler Alert is trying to do. The new B2B app connects businesses with donation organizations, keeping food in bellies instead of landfills, and saving businesses money along the way. (more…)

Staff picks for the week of June 29, 2015

Staff Picks GeneralIt must be summer: We’ve got travel and water on the mind.

Jaguar Land Rover wants to read driver’s brainwaves to predict car accidents (Read by Nick G.)

Sensors are invading our world, measuring and tracking all kinds of data points about us. You might think that tracking brainwaves may be taking it a little too far, but Jaguar Land Rover wants to develop steering wheels that can detect your brainwaves in order to keep you safe through steering wheel and pedal vibrations. Would you invite this tech into your life if it helps keep you safe? The trade-off is something we’ll all have to think about. (more…)

Staff picks for the week of June 22

staff technology picksSHI’s communications team meets with subject-matter experts each week, and we scan our news feeds daily for information about technology, products, and program changes that affect the way our customers do business. As we do, we come across technology-related stories that are interesting, but — like some top golfers this past weekend — don’t quite make the cut.

In the past, we would’ve read these stories and moved on to focus on other interesting news about, say, a change to a well-known volume licensing program or a Windows Server 2003 migration. But, we’ve decided that these stories are just too good to keep to ourselves, so we’re starting a new series to bring the fun, quirky, entertaining, or otherwise thought-provoking news to you.

Without further ado, here are four fascinating technology stories that we found riveting and potentially industry-changing. (more…)

Why Forbes’ feature on SHI’s CEO couldn’t have happened without you

SHI Headquarters

This will not be Thai Lee’s favorite SHI Blog post. When we next pass in the hallway, she might ask me a slight variation on a question commonly posed by our CEO: “How did [this blog post] help our customers do their job well today?”

I have the rest of this post to come up with a good answer.

Normally this space is reserved for sharing information pertaining to the technologies and programs SHI’s 17,000+ customers use to smartly acquire, deploy, and support the technology that powers their organizations. Our next post will once again strive to accomplish exactly that. But for now, this space will simply be used to say, “Thank you!” (more…)