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  • So the other day, I attended the PTC Benefits Fair down on the 3rd floor at the Seaport HQ. I actually found the event quite helpful because I had a lot of questions about my various benefits that were answered. In fact, the WageWorks rep was truly helpful telling me about a commuter parking pass debit card that would make my life a lot easier because I wouldn’t have to file a reimbursement claim for parking expenses, and also have to upload a bunch of receipts. This is the obscure yet imporant kind of information that new employees really need to know about. One of the vendors, Burnalong, was particularly interesting as I am a fitness enthusiast and try to get over to the Fitness Center (also on the 3rd floor) as often as I can—gotta stay in shape to catch all of those digital criminals! The interesting thing about my visit to their table was that, like a plethora of other fitness apps (some of which I pay for), they too had an app, and it is free! So, I signed up for it and downloaded the app.Which got me thinking about a few other apps that we use here at PTC. First, and arguably to most important app, is Benefitfocus. This little app holds a lot of power for PTC employees. Here you can check or modify your company benefits, receive reminders and tasks concerning your benefits, shop for products related to your benefits, and set up a well‐being checklist (e.g. get a flu shot), and more all in one convenient place. When Digital Batman joined PTC, the first thing I did was download this app, which has proven itself quite handy at times—especially on vacation believe it or not Next up is the aforementioned Burnalong app. This...
  • Mobile communications such as text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messaging, SnapChat, Skype, and FaceTime are all seeking to supplant Email these days as the preferred form of digital communications. Not so for business or for professionals where Email still reigns supreme. Email access essentially comes in two forms: Email Software, or Client-based Email – E.g. Microsoft Outlook (costly subscription fees), Mac Mail (comes with Mac OS X), and Thunderbird (free open-source download) to name a few. Cloud Email – E.g. Google Mail (GMail), Yahoo Email, or AOL Email (yes, it still exists)—all free and accessible via a web browser Let’s delve into the key differences between them with an eye on how each form manages Email in their own unique ways. It should be noted that regardless of what method of accessing your Email is used, all Email actually sits on a server somewhere in “The Cloud” and simply waits for you to get it one way or another. Email Software Client-based (meaning: on your computer) Email still has many years of unparalleled usefulness that other services can’t match—the main advantage being security. Say you’re an employee at Company X and check your email like everyone else does everyday. You can rest assured that the Email sitting behind your company’s firewall is as secure as it gets. Even when logging in from home, you are usually using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to establish a secure connection between your laptop and your company’s Email servers. There’s very little chance of your Email being hijacked as you send your messages to your fellow employees or out to your clients. Microsoft Outlook allows a massive amount of Email filtering features, rich text (like HTML) messages, Email organization into shared and group folders across the entire organization, remote Email access via a Web-Outlook interface, and comes in cross-platform versions for Mac OS X and Windows (all versions). And the final advantage is group organization capabilities like employee calendars, scheduling...