Getting Started in Online Marketing for Established Businesses

A lot of small businesses still don’t have a fully functioning website or much of an online presence at all. You may have a page that lists your opening hours and contact details, or you may have entries in online directories, but when someone tries to find out more about your business, they are met with a frustrating blank screen. This most often happens with locally focused services, who perhaps have been running for several generations and those who don’t feel the need or lack the knowledge and enthusiasm to get involved with online marketing. You probably have a regular customer base and don’t see that websites and Twitter accounts are relevant to you – but are you missing a trick?

You don’t know it won’t work

If you haven’t tried online marketing, you truly have no idea whether it would generate a lot of new business for you or only make a moderate difference. If you are making a reasonable living you may feel that you have enough to do as it is, and therefore believe that creating an online presence is more work than it’s worth. You could be operating the same marketing strategy that you have been for years, with ads in local publications and an event every summer. There could be hordes of frustrated people looking for your product or service in your area who you haven’t managed to reach, and as a result, you could be missing out on valuable revenue.

The problem with not being visible on the web

More and more people are using an Internet search as their first route to finding something they need. If you are a feed merchant and you’re not present in the search results when someone enters a query for chicken corn suppliers in your location, they will be unaware that you exist and will select from the results they find. Even if your name comes up in a directory that lists local animal feed suppliers, if it only has your address and phone number, the implication is that you are living in the dark ages. Unfortunately, this leads to people assuming you will be remote, expensive, and probably a bit odd! What consumers want is to be able to find out about you on the Internet, get a feel for your stock ranges and prices, and see if you are worth visiting. A lot of potential customers won’t bother driving over to see your business to find these things out, so if you haven’t made your offer clear, they will simply move on elsewhere.

Take it slowly

You don’t need to overload yourself and open an account with every social media platform or start investing heavily in Google advertising. Instead, start with something simple, like a single page website where you can list all your most important information. You can create your own website very easily with an online tool that can take all the complexity out of design and requires no technical know-how whatsoever. When you have that setup, go through the online directories and update your details to include the website link. Doing so will immediately improve your visibility and make a better impression on potential customers. Include an email address too, as many people prefer this to make a phone call. Get used to dealing with email communications and keeping your webpage current, and once you are used to it, you can start to add more, like a Facebook page. Do everything in slow steps until you feel happy before adding anything new, and make use of the wealth of free resources online to help you maximize the beneficial effects of your efforts.


NewPush Recognized as Top 20 VMware Cloud provider 2017

CIO Review recognition

NewPush started using VMware technologies from its inception in 1999. At the time the first dot com boom was just heating up. Many virtualization technologies were emerging for the Intel platform. Over the years we kept focusing on providing enterprise-grade infrastructure. Meanwhile, we have kept increasing the role of VMware as we understood that for Intel-based hardware VMware provided the most reliable enterprise solutions. As a result, we have moved the use of VMware from our development labs to our production systems and data-centers. Since the 2010’s we are formally a VMware partner providing VMware Cloud solutions. Most noteworthy, the last few years have shown a tremendous growth in the capabilities VMware Cloud delivers. Therefore it is our pleasure to announce that once again, CIO Review has recognized NewPush as a top 20 VMware technology provider.
20 most promising VMware Cloud solution providers - 2016

VMware Cloud Solutions

Important milestone for NewPush

This recognition for the second time in a row is a milestone that is important to us. We have worked hard to pioneer and to be successful in deploying state of the art VMware based cloud technologies, and we have worked harder even to maintain a leadership position in this crowded space. Our work continues to focus on NSX, vSAN, and the vRealize suite. As we continue our quest to provide the best cloud services to our customers, we look forward to deploy advanced analytics capabilities centered around Splunk Enterprise security essentials.

Forward-looking posture

Cloud technologies keep changing at an ever-increasing pace. In this year’s edition of CIO Review, we dive deeper in iGRACaaS, identity governance, risk and compliance as a service. Companies who stay ahead are going to continue to have a competitive advantage, by providing a better customer experience. By partnering for technology decisions with NewPush, you can spend more time with your core business, while ensuring that you have a trusted partner with a proven track record to help you keep a competitive edge on the IT front. If you would like the NewPush advantage for your company, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. We are here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Newsletter – November 2016

NewPush newsletter – November 2016 edition

I would like to welcome you to our newsletter of November 2016.

René - Newsletter welcomeDid you know that NewPush has been in business since 1999 providing stable and reliable service to our customers in both North America and Europe? Our cloud vision was implemented many years prior to the time the term ‘cloud’ was coined – we simply called it ‘Nethosting.’ Today, we compete successfully with major cloud providers by providing more support and superior services at a lower cost. Our easy-to-understand pricing results in predictable costs. Our pricing is geared to offer higher value than the likes of Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. We do that by tying the price to the value of our services. You don’t have to be at the mercy of some complex and opaque formula based on uncontrollable metrics. Forget about worrying what peak hours or periods of high server loads mean. We know that these are virtually impossible to verify and most importantly impossible to predict.

In addition to hosting and cloud services, we also provide help with software and website development. We offer a single point of contact for support regardless of the services, making it simple, and saving time. Our recent offerings popular with developers and system integrators include testing as a service (TaaS) and cybersecurity as a service. Both provide a competitive advantage to online operations. We serve private and government entities in locations around the world. Our business shows strong growth due to our simple business proposition: we deliver quality on time and within budget. Simply put: we deliver more for less!

In this day and age, the basics are taken for granted. To differentiate our offering, NewPush includes complimentary value-added features. Here are three examples that show how these features can make a difference for businesses.

  • Spend less time on junk mail and more time with what is important. We have improved on standard spam filtering by deploying a professional solution powered by SpamExperts (SPEX). The spam filtering cluster has been custom tailored to fit each of our customer’s needs. Whether you are using a control panel, or an Exchange cluster, with SPEX we increase the filtering efficiency and allow you to manage global filtering rules as well as personal preferences. Our system even learns from feedback based on what millions of users choose to release or block in their inbox. As a result, you are able to spend more time on what is really important.
  • Increase your audience by keeping your website current and relevant. Many customers love to use a simple content management system (CMS) like WordPress. It is easy and efficient. We made sure that our support engineers are trained to provide help and guidance with WordPress website development and maintenance to help you stay relevant. In addition, we can provide advice and support for keeping your website safe too.
  • Cyber Security continues to gain in importance. At NewPush we design our infrastructure and build our service with cybersecurity in mind. Our high BitSight score (the industry standard for Cyber Security) is a testament to our commitment and our results. The key to success in Cyber Security is to treat is like an arms race. We always search for ways to improve security by leveraging technology and experience. Besides industry best practices, we develop, test, and deploy new tools to monitor and protect our network. We proactively fix security issues, to head off problems before they impact our customers.
    These were just a few examples of how we differentiate our services to give you a competitive advantage in IT. And as IT needs are shifting, new challenges appear. We aim to provide a stable platform, with trustworthy and professional support.

Many of you know us from the work we have been doing for you. For others, we become invisible because ‘it just works.’ And in some cases, you know us from the work we have done for you, but you don’t know of other areas where we could help you achieve a business advantage. We would like to fix that – hence this and future newsletters. We plan to share with you on regular basis news, offerings, blogs, and discussions on the topics of interest in this fast moving IT space. We know you have a choice of vendors, and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to earn your confidence and trust every day. We hope you will enjoy reading this and future newsletters.

Sincerely,
Rene Sotola, CEO

Our featured customer for this month: The O’Shea Report

Kris and Tim O’Shea started their careers in HR, training, and sales by day. They honed their comedic skills in theatres and comedy clubs by night. Their experiences enable them today to be motivational speakers who understand people’s daily strife in a corporate environment. Their mission is to boost morale among employees while motivating them to thrive in a challenging world. The O’Sheas have been voted among the Top 5 Entertainment Keynote Speakers four years in a row by Speakers Platform and have presented The O’Shea Report to corporate audiences, such as General Motors, McDonald’s, State Farm, Panasonic, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. We are proud to have provided our small business hosting solutions to them for over a decade.

Tim, co-founder of The O’Shea Report explains it best:

“NewPush has been a solid and reliable partner of ours for over 15 years. They provide us with all necessary IT foundations to run our business: website hosting, email, spam filtering and virus protection. Their performance has consistently exceeded our expectations. They go the extra mile whenever it is needed and always respond quickly and efficiently if we need assistance. There is a reason we have been loyal customers of theirs for so many years: they provide outstanding service. Thank you NewPush!”

Success story: Web Hosting services for The O’Shea Report

“Providing essential hosting services (our website, email, spam filtering, and virus protection) enables us to focus on our business,” says Tim O’Shea, co-founder of The O’Shea Report. “What makes NewPush different from others in hosting? In one word: caring” he adds.

At NewPush, we believe that the foundation for good service is caring about the customer. We understand that to best serve our customers’ needs we need to take their perspective. This is exactly what we have done hosting for Kris and Tim O’Shea for more than 15 years now.

Product highlight: Automated testing

Functional testing is an industry-wide challenge. As timelines slip, testing gets shortened. Subsequently, test coverage (defined as the percentage of function points) decreases and the risk goes up. While most software bugs don’t result in a loss of life, they can result in a loss of reputation and a damaged brand. Frequent tests uncover bugs quickly and allow intensive testing and increased test coverage while minimizing costs and elapsed time.

Manual testing is slow and expensive. Industry automated testing relies on scripts which – while better than manual testing as they allow some automation – are still relatively slow to write and hard to maintain, and the scriptwriter becomes a bottleneck.

NewPush provides testing as a service. Using leading industry tools – CGI’s TestSavvy – integrated with different “engines” (e.g. HP’s QTP, Selenium) NewPush can ‘automate the automation’: specifically, test cases are easily created by GUIs, and then test execution can be performed by anyone, or started on a particular date/time automatically.

Users can choose to execute the test immediately or schedule the execution for the future. The color coding makes the test results easy to understand. Tests can be grouped into subsystems corresponding to functional areas, or software modules, or submodules. The reader can receive a summary (e.g. just failed tests) or look at all tests executed and then drill down on specific test results using GUIs. NewPush provides this solution as a TaaS offering (a combination of SaaS and testing services).


Testing – Best Kept Secret in Software Development

The majority of projects in IT are over budget and miss their deadline.  We often notice that IT staff works hard just to stay in one place.  While there are many causes, one of the key factors to mitigate the problem is testing.  In this article, we will define show what happens if you:

  • let testing become an afterthought.
  • let testing to be reckoned with after the software exists.
  • fail to consider all kinds of testing: unit, system, performance, and acceptance testing.

When these happen, the benefit of testing will be very limited: thumbs up or down on software, the final mark of quality, or the lack thereof.  What are the opportunities missed with this view?

Requirements testingsoftware testing

Hardly anyone disputes that a lack of clear, well understood and documented requirements is a land mine likely to blow in the development cycle, often causing overruns in both timelines and budgets.  Yet a lot of companies miss the low hanging fruit in this phase: creating test cases, where each test case corresponds to each functional requirement.   (Think of specifying technical requirements and performance requirements in this phase to improve effectiveness.)  More often than not we find requirement “bugs” using this simple method. At this stage, we can easily clarify and fix them.  Cost of defect fixing is exponential – 1x in requirements, 10x in testing after coding and 100x in production.  This is often referred to as the 1:10:100 rule.*

If we find a bug when the software is live, it is likely tarnish the reputation of the software supplier or service company. We have seen when a bug can even sink it. The example of Sybase in the area of RDBMS demonstrates this best.  (Who remembers today that they used to be Oracle’s strong competitor?)  Yet how many times does a team rush to design? How often do we see people making assumptions and finding out these were incorrect in the latter stages of development?

Frequency of testing and test automation

It’s more a rule than an exception that monolithic projects with a massive delivery at the end – often nicknamed “the miracle happens here” – don’t work.  We believe that small deliveries have the advantage of realizing business advantage early antesting between releasesd enabling adjustments.  Whether you practice true ‘agile’ methodology or phased development, testing is an integral part of this cycle.  When we optimize testing using automation tools, it saves both elapsed time and costs.  In small phases, this becomes a necessity, as developers can leave testers in the dust when doing sprints with manual testing, with all of the negative ramifications.  

When we developed automated testing, we realized that most of the tools require scripting and in turn need a qualified scriptwriter. As it takes time to become a scriptwriter, we noticed in many cases teams often end up using developers to write scripts. As a result, we found that scriptwriters end up creating bottlenecks. That would increase costs and create delays.  The solution we found was to use tools which allow test creation through GUIs so that anyone can create such tests.  

Summary

Finding bugs early is cheaper and saves time.  It is key to maximize ‘test coverage’ defined as the percentage of the code covered by test cases.  A simple matrix illustrates the challenge:

Bugs Known Unknown
Major X
Minor

It is the major unknown bugs which present the biggest challenge – we don’t know what we don’t know.  How do we minimize this quadrant?  The higher the test coverage the lower the likelihood of unknown bugs.  Automating testing through tools which provide agility in the creation of test cases and updates in conjunction with doing test cases parallel with requirements can significantly change the probability of success of your project while decreasing its cost.  Why not do it?

At NewPush we provide Testing as a Service to help start testing. Our service offers minimum difficulty while reaping all the benefits.  There is no prior knowledge of testing needed. We create automated test cases which can be run at any time.  We also provide project management consultancy and we can create test cases upfront during the requirements phase.

*Ralph Young: Effective Requirements Practices: Defining the Real Customer needs.


IPPAY NON-INTRUSIVE MAINTENANCE NOTIFICATION

***IPPAY NON-INTRUSIVE MAINTENANCE NOTIFICATION***

Duration of Maintenance: 60 minutes

Start Time of Maintenance: 10:00pm CST, Thursday, July 2, 2015

 Stop Time of Maintenance: 11:00pm CST, Thursday, July 2, 2015

Scope of Maintenance: To ensure the most reliable environment is maintained for our customers, IPpay Technical Services will be performing planned system updates. We expect the impact to service to be minor, if at all.

Impact of Maintenance: We do not anticipate you will experience any service interruptions as a result of this maintenance and transactions attempted during this window should not be affected. We do however request that pre-scheduled batches be moved outside of this maintenance window to aid us in completing the maintenance with the least activity on the systems. Based on our extensive testing prior to this maintenance, IPpay does not foresee any noticeable changes to your current experience during or after this maintenance is completed. If you do experience any anomalies during or after the maintenance window, please contact support immediately.


New Available Build Notification (85380)

This is our spam / virus filter update for customers on the mx1 / mx2.tnpw.net filtering cluster. The information is brought to you by our vendor, SpamExperts.

What’s new this week:
Change from Apache to NGINX
We’re excited to announce that to further improve the responsiveness and performance of the webserver, we’re switching from Apache to NGINX over the next weeks. There is no action required on your end for this, and nothing will visibly change for your users.

Changelog:

Filtering (services):

  • The logging system now stores the decoded version of the ‘To/CC/From/Subject’ headers (#23203)
  • The logging system now distinguishes recipient rejection that is the result of a cached lookup rather than a fresh callout (#16480)
  • The ‘api_set_administrator_callout’ API call now allows setting a blank email (i.e. removing any contact) (#22489)

Front-end / GUI:

  • Admins can now manage sub-admins using Control Panel API: /api/admin/update ; ‘/api/admin/wipe’ ; ‘/api/admin/binddomains’ ; ‘/api/admin/unbinddomains’ ; ‘/api/domain/getowner’ (#24195)
  • Resolved issue with ‘Release and Train’ option not working from the Log Search (#24276)
  • You are now able to assign an Admin under a sub-admin (#22245)
  • Increased the speed of transferring domains (#22602)
  • Changed the Bandwitdth Overview so it is now showing if a domain belongs to a sub-admin (#23543)
  • Admins are now able to remove Sub-Admins via API : ‘/api/admin/remove/username/’ (#23391)
  • Resolved issue with: “Invalid request parameters” error when trying to view the Error Details for a message in the Log Search (#24366)
  • The Control Panel API ‘/api/domainslist/get/’ can be extended to provide information about available services for each domain (#21596)
  • The SpamPanel now recommends using a Password Manager when creating custom passwords (#22393)
  • Improvements to the SpamPanel API ‘/api/domaincontact/set/domain/’ (#24452)
  • Updated error messages when using setting cluster update times and allowed SSH IP’s (#22030)

Plugins & Integration tools:

  • cPanel: Resolved issue with erros showing in log when terminating an account (#24389)
  • Plesk: Resolved issue with PHP Warning: “Illegal string offset id” when clicking the Domain List (#24399)

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 


New Available Build Notification (84851)

This is our spam / virus filter update for customers on the mx1 / mx2.tnpw.net filtering cluster. The information is brought to you by our vendor, SpamExperts.

 What’s new this week:

Quarantine retrieval / release via the API:

We’ve recently added the ability to retrieve and release messages via the software API.  It’s likely that you are already using the API, e.g. to get a list of messages in the quarantine matching certain criteria, and so retrieving or releasing messages via the API should be much simpler than also having to manage doing this via an IMAP connection.

This also allows you to build your integration with tighter security controls, as you can create a dedicated API user that only has access to the specific required functionality, rather than having to use the admin IMAP credentials

Updated reputation system:

We have updated the SpamExperts IP/URL reputation system with this release, to make more efficient use of our centrally produced intelligence data. This will not only further improve the filtering quality, it will also ensure that any reported false negatives/positives are processed more quickly to ensure optimal spam and virus filtering for your clients.

Changelog:

Filtering (services):

  • It is now possible to retrieve and release messages from quarantine via the API (#21713)
  • It is now possible to use the value “default” when setting the default value, which will change the default back to the value used when installing the cluster (#5100)
  • Default values may now be used with api_set_maximum_messages_per_connection (#18614)

Front-end / GUI:

  • Resolved issue with Overview returning a blank page in Internet Explorer (#24196)
  • Add retry time as an action for log search results (#21935)
  • Resolved issue with Add Domain page not showing correctly (#24251)
  • Resolved issue with not being able to remove the `&` character in restricted local parts via the interface (#23860)
  • Resolved issue with “Authentication failed” error when trying to view / release quarantined messages (#24235)
  • Resolved issue with Manage Administrators page not loading list of administrators when French language is used (#24271)
  • Changed the way Outgoing Reports is showing to make it more clear (#24227)
  • Resolved issue Overview search field not searching for the following format `.net` (#24313)
  • Resolved issue with api/admin/add/username failing to add uppercase usernames (#24351)
  • Resolved issue with domain unbinding from an admin account (#24308)
  • Resolved issue with admin contact email address not being added correctly (#24361)
  • The SpanPanel API ‘/api/admin/transferdomains/’ requires accepting the domain before it is assigned to the new admin (#24304)

Plugins & Integration tools:

  • cPanel: It is now possible to enable / disable reseller access in cPanel plugin (#19245)
  • cPanel: Resolved issue with cPanel terminate account not removing addon domains (#24079)
  • cPanel: Resolved issue with cPanel not displaying domains and returning the error: “There are no domains on this server” (#24325)
  • Plesk: Resolved issue with Toggle Protection not adding the correct route (#24286)

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 


New Available Build Notification (84419)

This is our spam / virus filter update for customers on the mx1 / mx2.tnpw.net filtering cluster. The information is brought to you by our vendor, SpamExperts.

 What’s new this week:

System Administration:

We have now implemented the ability for our clients to select one or more contacts which should receive our automated server problem notifications emails. To configure this for specific contacts please make sure that the option “Monitoring emails – Receive notifications about server problems” is ticked in the client area (https://my.spamexperts.com).

Filtering (services):

  • This build includes general filtering/performance updates only

Monitoring:

  • You can now choose which contact will receive the monitoring system notifications (#19510)

Front-end / GUI:

  • No new updates this week

Plugins & Integration tools:

  • cPanel: It is now possible to enable / disable admin access in cPanel plugin (#19245)
  • cPanel: When using the “Terminate Account” option in cPanel, the domains are now removed from the filtering server (#24079)
  • Plesk: Resolved SecurityError: blocked a frame with origin (#24241)
  • DirectAdmin: It is now possible to use branding in DirectAdmin (#22918)
  • DirectAdmin: Removed the term “SpamPanel” from the plugin (#24043)

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 


New Available Build Notification (83705)

This is our spam / virus filter update for customers on the mx1 / mx2.tnpw.net filtering cluster. The information is brought to you by our vendor, SpamExperts.

 What’s new this week:

Email user level whitelist & blacklists

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been working hard on getting the email user level whitelisting and blacklisting option available from the interface. This is now available, and allows the email users to manage their own list of sender domains and email addresses that they would like to whitelist or blacklist.

Changelog:

Filtering (services):

  • This build includes general filtering/performance updates only

Front-end / GUI:

  • “Cancel 2FA” is no longer available once the user set the 2FA (#23749)
  • Resolved issue with “Sender is invalid” response when trying to whitelist or blacklist a domain (#24133)
  • Resolved issue with “You have no permission to remove admins” error when using api/reseller/setproducts API (#24148)
  • The 2FA is no longer required the second time when the page Manage Email users is refreshed (#24142)
  • The labels no longer use the term “SpamPanel” (#24045)
  • The Admins are now able to get a list of their sub-admins via API call (#24169)

Plugins & Integration tools:

  • No new updates this week

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 


New Available Build Notification (83328)

This is our spam / virus filter update for customers on the mx1 / mx2.tnpw.net filtering cluster. The information is brought to you by our vendor, SpamExperts.

 New “Overview” page for super-admins and admins

The “Overview” page, where super-admins and admins are able to view a list of the domains configured in the system, has been significantly modernised.  The page looks similar, and all the old functionality is there, but the page now only has to load once, and can then refresh the content (e.g. when you change page or search) without having to reload.  Working with the overview page will be a much smoother and faster experience.  Over time, we’ll be modernising more of the web interface in this way.

You are now also able to transfer a domain to an admin, or unbind a domain from an admin, directly from the overview page.

We’ve also made a few changes to the whitelist and blacklist pages.  You can now search and sort the lists, and also export the lists to a CSV file.

Plesk for Windows SpamExperts add-on

We’ve completed the initial release of our opensource Plesk for Windows integration. Detailed instructions on how to install this add-on can be found on our knowledgebase here. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Changelog:

Filtering (services):

  • A new API method, api_set_recipient_protection_report_template(), is available, for making bulk changes to protection report settings (#23822)
  • A new API method, api_set_recipient_protection_report_language(), is available, for making bulk changes to language settings (#23979)
  • An error has been fixed that would cause the api_get_domain_count() API method to return an incorrect value when domains had multiple destinations (#23989)
  • When a message expires from the delivery queue, the status (in the logging data) is now updated to either “bounced” (if a delivery status notification was generated) or “queue-expired” (#19762)
  • When a message is not fully processed (e.g. the sending server gives up before completing) the status of the message (in the logging data) is now set to “not-accepted” (#24003)
  • When a message is removed from the quarantine, the status of the message (in the logging data) is now set to “quarantine-removed”. This also prevents these messages from appearing as releasable in protection reports (#19763)

Front-end / GUI:

  • It is now possible do assign domains directly from the Overview (#13683)
  • It is possible to add Local recipients that contain only ascii characters (#24054)
  • Added option to export user defined white and blacklists (#22856)
  • Added option to search the user defined white and blacklists (#22855)
  • Added search option to use defined white and blacklists (#22854)
  • Removed the term “SpamPanel” from the interface (#24043)
  • Resolved issue with email user not having access to sender whitelist / blacklist (#24069)
  • Resolved issue with Archive search date option showing the wrong date (#24044)
  • ‘Download .eml’ button is now displayed in the incoming|outgoing delivery queue (#24085)

Plugins & Integration tools:

  • 0: MX record changes are handled in the instance settings (#23362)
  • 0: It is now possible to handle auto protection on multiple subscriptions for one customer (#23929)
  • 0: Resolved issue where unprotecting a domain enabled the original MX records of other domains as well (#23981)

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.