What Is A Cap-Exempt H-1B & Who Are H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates

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The regular H-1B visa cap dedicates 65,000 petitions to foreign workers with the required skills and qualifications. An additional 20,000 petitions are allotted to individuals holding advanced degrees at a master’s level or beyond.  Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

An exemption category is available to U.S. employers that fall into one of the three exemption categories including:

A. Higher education institution

B. Non-profit organization associated with a higher education institution

C. Non-profit research or government organization

It’s important to recognize that there are two overarching classifications of H-1B cap exempt petitions. Those are petitions filed on behalf of cap-exempt candidates and those filed by cap-exempt employers.

Who are H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?

If you have previously been granted an H-1B cap exemption then, according to USCIS guidelines, you will not be subject to the cap. If in the past you were under H-1B status and are currently outside of the U.S. you might qualify to have an employer file a cap-exempt petition but you must be able to show that you were in status (in the country) in the past six years and haven’t reached your maximum duration of stay. For H1B Visa Process Visit here

For instance, we once had a client who was employed in the U.S. from January 2003 to November 2006. He approached our office wanting to know if he would be eligible to file a new cap-exempt H-1B petition. Unfortunately, since he wasn’t in status the past six years he was required to file the next lottery season.

Ford Figo Aspire Facelift Review & Test Drive

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

This is the latest iteration of the Ford Aspire. A much-needed refreshment has been brought in three years after this sub-compact sedan was first launched in India. The carmaker has made a host of cosmetic changes like a revised face, tweaked rear and an updated cabin. This comes along with mechanical upgrades in the form of a five-speed gearbox and two new petrol engines. The latter are from Ford’s new Dragon engine family that was already seen on the new Ford Freestyle and the EcoSport. So, how effective are these changes? We find out. Book a test drive for Aspire in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

Check for Ford Figo Aspire  On Road Price in Pune

Ford Figo Aspire Design

The new Figo Aspire as already mentioned above is the sub compact sedan based on the new generation Figo hatch, so except the extended boot at the rear everything while everything else looks identical to the new Figo hatchback which will be launched in the market after the sedan.

Ford retained the typical styling DNA even in this new sedan and that is quite obvious from the typical Ford Trapezoidal grille towards the front which gets the four slats while the long elongated headlamps adds the little touch of sportiness to the front face, the Blue oval logo has found its place on the tip of the front hood while talking about the front hood the new hood looks sculpted and has also got two vertical crisp lines on them which starts from the windshield and end towards the Ford logo placed towards the front tip. Besides these there is nothing much interesting to describe towards the front except the raked windshield and some sweeping lines towards the front hood which according to Ford conveys a sense of movement.

Towards the side profile there is a distinct character line which starts from just behind the front headlamps and blends perfectly towards the rear taillamps. You will also love the blacked out B pillar which adds a premium touch to the side profile so are the 8 spoke alloy wheels and side blinkers integrated with the ORVMs (available only on top end variants), the other variants will get side turn indicators placed on the fenders.

Walk towards the rear of the sedan and the extended boot has been perfectly blended with the overall design so the car’s shape does not appear boring or odd. The smaller wrap around tailamps looks stylish but unfortunately does not get LED configuration to them while the chrome finished slat runs across the rear boot of the car while the rear bumper gets some Black treatment towards the lower half which adds the premium feel to the overall sedan.

Ford Figo Aspire Cabin

As you step inside, you will notice the new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The centre console looks neater now as the massive onslaught of buttons has been removed in lieu of the slick Sync 3 system (even lower models get a touchscreen and not the el-cheapo mobile docking system). The equipment list remains the same as earlier with a few more features, it now gets auto-dimming cabin mirror, reverse parking camera, reverse parking sensors, automatic headlights and automatic wipers. The car also comes with push button start and both the sun visors now get a mirror. There are two USB ports right ahead of the gear lever.

The Ford Aspire offers decent amount of legroom and headroom on the rear seat, however getting three adults in the rear isn’t easy due to the width of the car, Ford knows that and hence there are only two adjustable headrests at the rear, there is a centre arm rest too but that gets no cupholders, neither do the door pads. The seat back is scooped out, there are magazine holders behind the front seatback and the only cupholder for rear seat passengers is the one in between the front seats. The Aspire gets a new key which has boot release on it, imperative as there is no electromagnetic tail gate opener. The car also misses out on a passive entry system which could be added in the near future.

Ford Figo Aspire Gearbox

The 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine from the predecessor is now replaced by an all-new, Dragon petrol motor that debuted on the Freestyle. This three-cylinder, 1.2-litre Dragon petrol mill produces class-leading 95bhp of power and 120Nm of torque. There’s also a new five-speed manual gearbox that is standard even with the diesel engine, which we will talk about in a while. Let’s first get to the petrol. We tapped the engine start button and the powerplant started without much of a noise. The idling is silent and the refinement is good enough for a three-cylinder mill.

Start moving, say from standstill and you realise the low-rpm throttle response is ordinary. The surge only starts to come above 2,000rpm otherwise below that, the punch (torque) feels weak. However, as you speed up, you realise it has enough pep to push the car. Above 4,000rpm is where I’d like it to be. Use the gearbox judiciously and the engine performance feels not just acceptable but on par with segment standards. Of course, as you accelerate to higher rpms the three-cylinder thrum becomes audible. The tyre noise also seeps into the cabin when doing three-digits speeds.

The diesel, on the other hand, gets the tried-and-tested 99bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder TDCI motor. The mild clatter is still there but with 215Nm of torque; this one allows the car to putter around the city in third or fourth gear at 30-40kmph, without the engine lugging at all. Overtaking slow moving vehicles doesn’t make you feel nervous and you can take on the highways easily thanks to its good mid-range with torquey nature. The performance also starts getting stronger as the rpm needle climbs, while cruising at triple-digit speeds remains to be a breeze.

Then, the highlight is the new five-speed gearbox with short throws and well-defined gates. There’s no notchy feel in the shifts and that makes it a slick transmission to use. This, along with a light clutch with short travel, makes it great for the city. Furthermore, the steering at parking speed is light and weighs up nicely with increase in speeds. It is direct and quick to react making things easier within the city. The compact sedan continues to feel very chuckable and even around tight corners handling feels safe. There’s minimal body roll too.

Ford Figo Aspire Driving

Ford has got a good balance of ride and handling on the Aspire. With the bigger wheels, the dynamics are even better. Ride quality is pliant and absorbs almost everything in its stride although bad roads are felt inside but only at higher speeds. The steering offers good feel too, it’s light at lower speeds and weighs up at higher speeds but isn’t in the same league as the hydraulic steering assisted first generation Figo. There is some amount of body roll but the car is quite poised around the bends and is a whole lot of fun, no matter which engine is powering it. Brakes too offer good stopping power but the ABS is over sensitive and pulsates just too much under heavy braking.

Ford Figo Aspire Safety

Ford has given special attention to the safety of the occupants inside and thus the new sedan comes with robust passenger cage created from high-strength steel, both driver and passenger side airbags and for the first time in the history of Indian auto industry Ford has even provided side and curtain airbags for the occupants as an option. The top end trims also gets ABS and EBD and also hill assist which is available only with the auto transmission variant though.

Ford Figo Aspire Cost in Chennai

Ford Figo Aspire On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 6,22,722 to 9,18,648 for variants Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT and Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT respectively. Ford Figo Aspire is available in 11 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Ford Figo Aspire variants price in Chennai,Check for Aspire price in Chennai at Carzprice

Ford Figo Aspire Round Up

Ford has played their cards well with the Aspire facelift. Its looks are a differentiating point, cabin is well designed and reasonably spacious with some new equipment. However, it still misses out on some basic features like DRLs, projector headlamps and rear AC vents, which have now become a norm in this compact sedan segment. Nonetheless, the Aspire nails the spot with class-leading safety equipment, most powerful engines in segment, excellent driving experience and prices lesser than its outgoing model. It’s also competitively priced between Rs 5.5 lakhs to Rs 8.14 lakhs (ex-showroom) undercutting the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze by good margins. An Aspire to aspire for then then?

Tata Tigor Hatchback First Drive & Overview

Tata Tigor Overview

Last time Tata Motors tried its hands at getting a slice of the compact sedan market with the Zest, things didn’t turn out to be to their desire. The Zest, despite indicating a transforming Tata Motors, failed to grab the consumers’ attention, primarily due to lack of a totally fresh design. Now though, Tata Motors is having another go at the segment with the Tigor, which was earlier known as the Kite 5. We’ve driven the Tigor and its different variants to find out if Tata Motors has the right ammunition this time to go against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, Volkswagen Ameo and Ford Aspire. The brief drive around Delhi NCR turned out to be quite a revelation in itself and you might be surprised to find out why. Book a test drive for Tata Tigor in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

Check for Tata Tigor On Road Price in Ahmedabad

Tata Tigor Design & Look

The Tigor is a fresh offering in the compact sedan segment. As per conventional norms, under-4 meter compact sedans are crafted by adding boot to the hatchbacks in order to make them look like a sedan. But Tigor is a bit different than other traditional cars as it has been given a lot of thought process in design. The vehicle looks pleasing to eyes especially from the rear which somewhat remind us of BMW X6. In the latest version, the headlights of the car have been slightly tweaked with new dual-chambered projector headlamps finished in chrome.

The grille styling has also been changed with the front fascia getting new diamond shaped with chrome accents. Moreover, the chrome treatment is also given to the fog lamps on the bumper. And in the facelift also, daytime running have not been included, may be company thinks it’s irrelevant and adds to the overall cost. Apart from this, the front end looks as cheerful as before. Coming to the side profile, here is what the real difference in design comes into the picture. Starting from the B-pillar, the rear half of the car is completely different from its alter-ego hatch sibling. And with rolling roofline, the coupe-like design lends it a more expensive car look. The carmaker has added new 15-inch alloy wheels besides the standard 14-inch wheels being offered in lower variants.

At the rear, the best angle to view the car is the three-quarter especially when looked with the new clear lens tail lamps. The chrome strip beautifully runs across the breadth of the bootlid and merges into the tail lights. The car now comes with shark fin antenna which does add a sense of sportiness. And the roof-mounted spoiler incorporating LED strip across the width of the stop lamp raises its appeal a notch further. A new colour option named Egyptian Blue has also been added. Overall, Tata has really upped the ante with Tigor as it is one of the best looking sedans in the class.

Tata Tigor Cabin & Space

Stepping inside and one will find familiar interior as that of Tiago hatchback. But this time around, the cabin gets black and grey treatment along with faux leather seats finished in titanium grey. The seats are knitted with roof liner. Tata has hit the right chord with another biggest change in the form of 7-inch capacitive touchscreen unit which has placed this car in the line of the contemporaries. The new infotainment is compatible with Android Auto. The system is provided by Harman with 4-speakers and 4-tweeters to groove into the music. The infotainment also supports USB, Bluetooth, Aux-In and iPod connectivity, voice command functionality and image and video playback. The reversing camera also relays feeds on to the same screen. The lower variants continue to come with the 5-inch ConnectNext infotainment system.

The car now comes with digital controls for the automatic climate control system. The air conditioner is excellent in terms of quickly cooling the cabin but is slightly loud even if run at low fan speed. The placement is also a bit odd as between the switches there is a lot of empty space which could have been used for other stuffs. The aircons located at the extreme end of the dashboard gets contrasting exterior colour which does add a sense of richness. The Tiago features cooled glovebox while the instrument cluster is the same as of Tiago housing the two silver-coloured pods featuring speedometer and tachometer. The center of the instrument gives info on distance covered, temperature, average fuel economy and trip meter.

Further, the steering wheel is identical and so is the gear stick. The car comes with 12V socket placed between the front seats and another one on the central console adjacent to USB and Aux-in ports. The door panels have fabric highlights though a little more padding could have been better. The black colour of the door panels and the grey coloured plastics feels a bit dull. In terms of stowage, there are cubby holes to put your wallet, phones or loose coins. One of the major highlights of the interiors is the rear seat. As the wheelbase is lengthier than the hatchback sibling by 50mm, the space inside especially the leg and knee room is ample. The angle of the seatback is more reclined than the Tiago with the overall experience of the seats is comfy as they extend from pillar to pillar. Moreover, they are well-cushioned and with the addition of centre armrest there is increased sense of richness and comfort. Even for the tall person there is more than average knee-room at the back which is really an impressive thing in an under 4 meter car. Headroom is also good while the seat is wide enough to absorb three reasonably sized adults.

Coming to the front seats, they are comfortable as well with the top end model giving height adjustment functionality. However, the placement of the seat is a little upwards and a tall person’s head might be touching the roof. In terms of features, one will find one of the best music systems in the car as the company has collaborated with Harman. The central console also features digital controls for FATC while image and video can also be played on the device till the speed of 5kmph.

Another interesting thing in the same centre console is the placement of boot release button. The driver can release the boot by pressing the button located on the center console adjacent to the ECO driving mode switch. Though the release button comes handy, it only works when the ignition is on. And there is no pull release button so from outside you either have to press the light button on the key fob or insert the key to open the boot. The top variant also features reverse camera with rear parking sensors. Other features in the car include electrically adjustable ORVMs, interior lamps with theatre dimming and collapsible grab handles.

Tata Tigor Engine & Transmission

The Tigor compact sedan is powered by the same powertrains found in the Tiago and before you get worried about the lack of performance due to the additional weight of the boot, the Tigor only weighs 50 kg more than the Tiago. Hence, the effect of weight isn’t much on the overall performance. The 1.2 litre Revotron petrol engine develops 85 hp, while the 1,050 cc Revotorq diesel is good for 70 hp. The diesel motor looks underpowered on paper but in the real world, it has just enough power to move the Tigor with ease. While performance isn’t brisk, once past 1700 rpm, the engine delivers better power but tapers past 4,000 rpm. This motor is meant for city usage primarily and occasional highway runs only. The petrol motor is the more lively of the two and lets one have some bit of fun as well. Power delivery is linear and beyond 3,000 rpm is when the power surges in. The engine is a refined mostly but feels rough towards the top end of the power band.

Tata Tigor mileage figures range at 23.8kmpl for the petrol variants, while the diesel variants return 27.2 kmpl (ARAI specified).Tata has done a lot of tweaks to various components to enhance the fuel efficiency of this vehicle. The carmaker claims that the petrol engine is able to deliver 20.3kmpl while the diesel one can return 24.7kmpl, certified by ARAI. The petrol automatic gives the same mileage as that of manual, however, real world figures might be different.

Tata Tigor Ride & Handling

Although the components are the same as that of Tiago, the overall suspension system has been tweaked to suit the weight and weight distribution of the sedan. And this is clearly evident when you drive the car over uneven road patches as it absorbs the bumps elegantly. It even doesn’t feel firm as the body control is quite good.A bit of difference can be seen in ride and handling as petrol variant comes with 15-inch rims with 175/60-section tyres and the diesel one features 14-inch rims with 175/65 tyres. As a result, the diesel one feels a bit stiller on highway. The petrol variant feels more keen and responsive especially at corners. The steering wheel is nicely weighted and while it does not give sharp response, the suspension adds a bit of confidence to it.

Tata Tigor Safety & Security

Tata Tigor specifications include disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear as standard. As for the safety of occupants, the company has incorporated a plethora of premium safety features, like dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control (CSC), speed-dependent auto door locks, follow-me-home lamps, park assist with sensors and camera, and seat belt with pretensioners and load limiters. Sadly, the base grade XE doesn’t get any of the aforementioned features.

Tata Tigor Cost in Chennai

Tata Tigor Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 4,70,547/- (Tigor XE Petrol) to 7,04,172/- (Tigor XZ O Diesel). Get best offers for Tata Tigor from Tata Dealers in Chennai. Check for Tigor price in Chennai at Carzprice

Tata Tigor Conclusion

Overall, the Tigor is an impressive product on many accounts, especially exterior design and the infotainment system. Smart features such as the smart four-link boot too reflect the focus on providing functionality to consumers. There are bits that could’ve been better but most of them aren’t going to make any major difference to the cabin experience.

Where the Tigor stands out is its design because in a segment challenged by dimensional restrictions, we’ve become used to seeing ugly vehicles mostly. The Tigor on the contrary comes across as a handsome vehicle despite the challenges.

Mahindra TUV300 Facelift Review & Test Drive

Mahindra TUV300 Oveview

TUV3OO is a compact SUV offered by Mahindra in India. It is powered by a 1.5 litre mHawk diesel engine that is in two states of tune. In one state, the engine generates 85 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and 230 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 2,250 rpm while in the other the same engine churns out 101 hp of power at 3,750 rpm while the torque remains the same. For the AMT (Automated Manual Transmission), the torque is 10 Nm higher in the same rev range. Along with the AMT, the Mahindra TUV3OO also gets a 5 speed manual transmission which is available in both states of tune of the engine. The compact SUV measures 3,995 mm in length, 1.835 mm in width and 1,839 mm in height and has wheelbase of 2,680 mm. View offers on Mahindra Cars from Mahindra dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Mahindra TUV300 Style

The design of the TUV300 is perhaps a complete reversal from what we have seen so far in Mahindra vehicles. Seriously, it is one of the improved designs that has rolled out by Mahindra’s design and engineering team in so many years. Reasons? It’s not excessively designed and sprinkled with ornaments of XUV500 and Scorpio. In fact, with the squared-out design inspired from battle tank, brawny haunches and prominent wheel arches, this SUV fit the right prospects when it comes to flexing muscles off road.

The front profile is dominated by typical multi-slat grille and well-designed carbon black finished headlamps that gel nicely with the overall design. The headlamps shows some traits of Bolero while the rectangular shaped fog lamps gets black chrome inserts boasting of a great combination of macho and manliness of the car. Come to the side and you will see how dexterously, Mahindra has hid the boxy appearance of the SUV. For instance, the D-pillars have been blacked out to give it a floating roof while the B and C pillar have been raked back along with thick shoulder line lending it some character.

There are straight lines and sharp angles that run across the length. The way 15-inch wheels have been designed is really appreciable, though they are puny in appearance. Instead, Mahindra should have used 17-inch wheels on this SUV just like in other cars such as Scorpio and XUV500. The understated design of the front is carried forward at the rear with majority of the focus on huge spare wheel mounted on the tailgate. The tail lights and the rear bumper are vertically placed which is nice but the rear steps looks like an eyesore.

Mahindra TUV300 Space

Step inside you will see how drastic transformation the carmaker has done to enrich the in-cabin experience. It is arguably the best interiors you will see in a Mahindra vehicle. There isn’t any silly plum finished plastic and desperately designed air cons here, but a nicely designed dashboard draped with dual beige and grey combination. The TUV300 follows the traits of other cars launched in the past couple of years by using glossy back plastic console for the infotainment system at the centre. Other parts of the cabin including the door handles and the AC vents are adorned in aluminium finished silver plastic.The apt placement of buttons on the central console shows the minimalistic approach of the carmaker. Especially, the way the top beige layer of the dashboard shelters or say surrounds the center console and instrument cluster without breaking the lines, is truly awesome. The quality of the plastics and the fit and finish shows that Mahindra needs some serious business here. The faux leather seats give a more comfortable experience to the occupants.

Coming to the space, the cabin is remarkably good in terms of headroom, legroom and shoulder room. However, the front seats that come with lumbar support are slightly on the firmer side and will not entertain passengers on long journeys. The carmaker could have added more padding around the lower regions. The bench seats at the rear too come with ample space and can absorb three adult passengers with enough legroom. But here again, they will not prove comfortable for longer distances due to lack of thigh support. Then there is third row which can also snug in 2 adult occupants but still not best for longer journeys. In terms of storage, you get plenty of bottle holders and cubbyholes in the cabin along with a huge illuminated glove box which is practically helpful in storing knick knacks.

Talking about the equipment, Mahindra has given a lot. The car comes with 7 inch touchscreen infotainment unit that comes with GPS, Bluetooth, USB photo/video viewer, voice messaging system as well as iPod support and 4-speakers to add more to the music experience. The reverse parking sensors relays relevant feeds on the screen. Other comfort feature in the car include height adjustable driver seat, internally adjustable ORVM, steering mounted audio controls, follow me headlamps, rear wash/wipe and second row full seat fold.

Mahindra TUV300 Engine

The Mahindra TUV3OO is powered by a 1.5 litre mHawk diesel engine that has two states of tune. In the lower tune, it generates 85 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and 230 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 2,250 rpm. In the higher tune, the same engine develops 101 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and the torque remains the same. That said, the AMT variant has 10 Nm more torque in this tune of the engine. Both states offers a good balance between performance and fuel efficiency.There are two gearbox options on the Mahindra TUV3OO, a 5 speed manual and a 5 speed AMT or Automated Manual Transmission. Both transmissions have been tuned for the right balance between performance and fuel efficiency. That said, the AMT does have prominent shift shocks during a gear change.For more info on Mahindra TUV3OO visit tamc2011.com 

The Mahindra TUV3OO has a certified fuel efficiency of 18.49 kmpl both, manual and AMT versions. These figures are acceptable for a compact SUV and are comparable with the segment.Fuel economy on offer stands at 18.49 kms in a litre which is commendable for a SUV. Like other Mahindras, this one too comes with a micro hybrid technology which includes a start-stop function. This feature in turn aides towards enhanced fuel economy. Besides, there is an option for eco mode too, that again enables increased efficiency.

Mahindra TUV300 Driving

Seems like Mahindra had worked really hard on this one, not that it performs brilliantly, but the SUV is certainly impressive. The 80 PS diesel engine is capable enough to give a good start to the vehicle. There is that initial grunt like other Mahindras, hence there is lack of refinement. In fact there is an insignificant turbo lag too, but it does not bother much. Steering wheel is heavy, but responsive at the same time. Overall, it is a well suited car for city driving as it enables easy manoeuvrability.

Mahindra TUV300 Safety

The TUV3OO from Mahindra comes with ABS (Anti lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), dual front airbags and ISOFIX mounts for child seats on all variants except the base T4 trim. Standard features include a digital immobiliser, collapsible steering column, seat belt reminder, auto door lock when the vehicle is in motion and side intrusion beams.

Mahindra TUV300 Cost in Hyderabad

Mahindra Tuv300 Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 7,92,154/- (TUV300 T4 Plus) to 10,64,305/- (TUV300 T10 100HP AMT Dual Tone). Get best offers for Mahindra Tuv300 from Mahindra Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for TUV300 price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Mahindra TUV300 Conclusion

Mahindra has come with a boxy SUV which may be liked by many and may not be liked by some, but it has not over-styled it which makes it a winner for us. The space on offer inside the cabin despite confined length is something to learn from Mahindra engineers. Seven-seat option is again viable for large Indian families but does it really allow enough space for the last two passengers seated on the jump seats? Interior quality and styling is good, equipments embedded are ample and even the performance is appreciable. At this price, TUV300 is a complete package.

Volvo XC60 Performance & First Drive

Volvo XC60 Overview

Over the past two years, Volvo has really upped their game. And their products speak for themselves – right from the XC90, S90 or even the relatively niche S60 Polestar and the V90 Cross Country. While all of these are impressive products in themselves, their best-selling model has always been the XC60. Volvo claims that nearly 30 percent of their overall sales in India is thanks to this mid-sized SUV. It is no wonder then, that Volvo has a lot of hopes from the newest version of the XC60. Volvo XC60 price range in India is between 52,99,500/-to 52,99,500/, check for detail pricing of Volvo XC60 in Carzprice

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Volvo XC60 Design

The 2018 Volvo XC60 takes design inspiration from its bigger sibling the new XC90 SUV.The SUV is underpinned by a shorter version of the SPA architecture. It sports Volvo’s signature Thor’s hammer LED headlights. Also, the front grille gets chrome garnishing and boasts design cues from the flagship SUV model in the range.At the side profile, the SUV features stylish appearance with the turn indicator integrated ORVMs, sporty alloy wheels and sleek roof rails. The rear fascia of brand new XC60 gets vertically positioned LED taillights and looks sharper and more stylish compared to the outgoing model. The exterior is understated but has a typical luxury stance of a modern Volvo.

Volvo XC60 Cabin

Step inside and for a minute we think that we are stepping inside the XC90 – the same finesse, the same excellent interiors that set the benchmark for the XC90 – everything is repeated here though with some changes. There is now a wood strip that goes around and cradles the dashboard – and is again very distinct, with a driftwood finish, adding a Scandinavian charm to the cabin. The same 9in vertical touchscreen sits in the centre but with a reworking of the icons, making them even easier to use with even larger touch areas and a simpler layout. The instrument panel is digital, displayed on a high res LCD screen, and the heads-up display adds another information source for the driver.The start-stop knob though is now unidirectional, and has to be turned in clockwise to both start and shut-off the engine. The drive mode select knob is also a replication of the XC90.

Volvo XC60 Performance

Although internationally, the new Volvo XC60 comes with several engine options, here in India we will only get the 2.0-litre diesel at the time of launch. The XC60 in the D5 form produces 232bhp and 480Nm. All of this power is put down to the road in a very linear manner. In fact, even with its near two-ton weight, it feels energetic and rather quick to gain speeds. One of the biggest let downs with most diesel offerings is the turbo lag, but Volvo has managed to develop a smart solution that overcomes the issue. The XC60 comes with what the Swedish carmaker calls PowerPulse technology. With the help of an air compressor, this system pumps more air into the engine which results in a relatively immediate power delivery. The engine feels its best in its mid-range where it has enough and more energy on tap. The most impressive thing about the XC60 is just how refined the engine is. Irrespective of your speed, the powerplant doesn’t feel under stress and you won’t hear even a hint of discomfort inside the cabin. Of course, due credit must also be given to the insulation for inside the cabin. The XC60 is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly but it isn’t the fastest box out there.

Volvo XC60 Ridei ng

Volvo has fitted the XC60 with air suspension on all four corners. It allows the mid-sized SUV to offer a phenomenal ride quality. Although we didn’t get a chance to drive the XC60 off-road, en route to our shoot location, we did encounter some pretty bad roads but the XC60 managed it all with astonishing plushness. The 223mm of ground clearance at full stretch meant that the underbelly doesn’t scrape either. As far as handling is concerned, the XC60 manages well for the most part, but there is still that floaty feeling from the air-suspension that robs away some of the fun. Having said, Volvo has clearly tuned the suspension to be a lot sportier on this one than the luxury-centric XC90.

Volvo XC60 Safety

Front and back, the seats are amply supportive and comfortable. The driver, as well as the passenger, get ventilated seats with massage function. Funnily, passengers at the back only get heated seats. Speaking of which, the rear door doesn’t open wide enough to make ingress and egress a rather smooth affair.The XC60 gets all the features that you’d expect from a car in this class. As you’d come to expect from a Volvo, the XC60 too comes with a brochure full of safety features like Blind Spot information, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, 360-degree camera, semi-automatic parking and more. View offers on Volvo Cars from Volvo dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Volvo XC60 Price

Volvo Xc60 Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 52,99,500/- (XC60 Inscription) to 52,99,500/- (XC60 Inscription). Get best offers for Volvo Xc60 from Volvo Dealers in India

Volvo XC60 Verdict

All in all the India spec car with be loaded with all the systems, features and equipment available anywhere on an XC60. This would include all the radar based safety systems that have been missing from the Indian cars, air suspension, a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, wood inlays, Napa leather perforated seats and a heads up display.Given the length and breadth of the features and equipment list, the fact that the car is spacious and can seat five easily plus the pricing strategy that Volvo employs in India, the XC60 will be the pick of the cars in its segment as things stand and it remains to be seen whether the new Audi Q5 or the upcoming new BMW X3 can match up.

H-1B Visa Transfer Premium Processing

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H-1B holders can expedite the transfer process through premium processing. Premium processing will be able to provide a USCIS decision within 15 calendar days for a fee of $1,225.

However, it is important to note that premium processing does not guarantee that your transfer petition will be accepted. It only speeds up the processing time for your petition, nothing more. If you are transferring from a cap-exempt to a cap-subject employer, then you will need to be entered into the H-1B lottery. In this case, premium processing will also not guarantee you a spot in the annual cap or otherwise exempt you from the lottery.

You should also note that premium processing does not change your employment start date. You will be able to begin working for your new employer on October 1st of the year that the petition was filed. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

Important Update (3/3/2017):

The USCIS has recently announced that it will not be offering the premium processing service for all H-1B visa petitions for up to six months. This includes not only new H-1B petitions, but also petitions filed for H-1B extensions, H-1B amendments, and H-1B transfers.

Since this suspension will go into effect on April 3, 2017, the same day that the USCIS will begin accepting petitions, it applies to all petitions filed for the 2018 season. Fortunately, the USCIS will offer a refund to petitioners if the following to requirements are met:

A. The premium processing form I-907 was filed before April 3, 2017.

B. The USCIS failed to process the petition within 15 calendar days

The reason for this temporary suspension is so that the USCIS can address some petitions that have been pushed aside due to the increasing number of premium processing petitions being filed.

H-1B Visa Extension

Interested in revalidating or extending your H-1B visa? As a general rule of thumb, a United States visa is typically revalidated if you have the same classification in your passport as that which you’re trying to extend (or revalidate). Say you’re trying to get an H-1B visa but are currently in a different category.

That’s the type of situation that would be best suited for a transfer.If you meet the qualifications to file for an H-1B extension rather than a transfer, you’ll need to follow very specific protocol. Upon entering the country, the port of entry officer will issue an I-94 in your passport. For H1B Visa Evaluation Visit here

They will then write the validity period in the country on your I-94, which is basically the date in which your can stay legally in the U.S. until. At that point, you should file for an extension of stay as soon as possible before the duration of status expires.

H-1B Transfer Processing Time

Although it may vary from case to case, processing for an H-1B transfer typically takes 4-8 weeks after the application has been submitted to USCIS. Other factors that affect the H-1B transfer process length is the location of employment and which USCIS processing center is responsible for the application.

 

Land Rover Discovery Sport Overview & Performance

Land Rover Discovery Sport Overview

Land Rover India has introduced the 2018 edition of the Discovery Sport in the country. The updated luxury SUV gets a host of new features for the new year with prices starting at Rs 41.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). More prominently, the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport boasts of the InControl Pro Services and Wi-Fi hotspot, which provide access to a host of other connectivity features. A replacement to the Freelander 2 in Land Rover’s line-up, the Discovery Sport is one of the more affordable SUVs from the British car maker’s stable and is offered with a diesel heart. Book a test drive for Discovery Sport in Trya;ldrive

Check for Land Rover Discovery Sport  On Road Price in New Delhi

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is now offered only with a diesel heart and draws power from the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine, which is available in two states of tune. The Pure, SE and HSE trims get the 147 bhp version of the engine with 382 Nm of peak torque. On the other hand, the range-topping HSE Luxury variant gets power uprated to 177 bhp and 430 Nm of peak torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission and All-wheel drive is standard on both versions. Land Rover is not offering a petrol engine on the Disccovery Sport.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Exterior

These spy shots give away a few clues. First, check out that fuel door. It’s massive compared to the current design and likely indicates big changes underneath. Speculation is running ramped that the 2020 Disco Sport will have an entirely new architecture, meaning things like the fuel filler neck don’t exactly line up with the current body. If true, that means this test mule could be running the new chassis with the current body shell bolted on to fool onlookers.The second clue is the exhaust. A look up its skirt reveals a single muffler with dual tips at the vehicle’s left-hand side. The current SUV features a single exhaust tip at each end of the bumper.

Then again, these changes could indicate updates to the powertrain. Currently, the Discovery Sport’s diesel exhaust fluid reservoir tank is located under the hood and requires a special DEF bottle to refill. Land Rover could be relocating this filler neck to under the fuel door. The new exhaust layout also suggests powertrain changes and the need to better control diesel emissions. Still, we won’t know until more information comes to light.As for the front, this test mule has a slightly revised fascia with very minor changes. The lower chin sticks out further than before and with a sharper edge, giving the crossover a more aggressive appearance. The rest seems oddly unchanged despite the swirly camouflage.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Interior

Refreshing, especially for its class of cars. The German’s approach to luxury includes wood and busy layouts; high-tech screens and complicated multi-media systems. Land Rover, though, goes for warmth, simplicity and functionality. And the Discovery Sport’s interiors are exactly that. With easy to read and use controls, blocky and clean-cut dash design, and subtle colours and highlights, you know this one isn’t about bling; it’s about purpose.We love the driving position, the excellent visibility all round and the space, including that for the luggage. Land Rover has got the seats spot on too. These aren’t cushy but are large, supportive and well designed to keep you comfortable over long hours of travel, and this is true for both front and rear. Additionally, the rear ones can recline, and slide fore and aft further adding to creature comfort.

This here is the lesser powerful 148bhp, TD4, five-seater version and it is available in three trims – S, SE and HSE. But all three get Land Rover’s signature elements like hill descent, roll over and stability control systems besides Terrain Response as standard fitment. This apart, the S trim is pretty basic and doesn’t even get a two-zone climate control system. The SE, with two-zone AC, parking sensors and split rear seats and not to mention automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers and a panoramic sunroof, is much better specced.With a rear view camera, 8-way adjustable front power seats, keyless entry and start, leather upholstery and something called perpendicular park assist over and above what one gets in the SE trim, this one has a high pamper co-efficient. But, it also takes the TD4 very close to the likes of the X3 and the Q5 in terms of pricing. The HSE TD4 costs Rs 55.7 lakh ex-showroom.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Gearbox

The current Land Rover Discovery Sport is offered with both gasoline and diesel engines in a range of power levels. Outside the U.S., the Disco Sport is available with the 2.0-liter TD4 with 150 horsepower or 180 horsepower. Those who like shifting their own gears will appreciate the manual transmission available with those engines. A nine-speed automatic is optional. There is also the 2.0-liter SD4 turbodiesel with 240 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline option also displaces 2.0 liters but makes 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Both the upper turbodiesel option and the gas engine come standard with the nine-speed gearbox. Here in the U.S., we’re confined to the 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 237 horsepower as standard or the 286-horsepower version optional in the HSE and HSE Luxury trims.

As for the future, we know Jaguar Land Rover has committed to electrifying every model it makes, so the next Discovery Sport will indeed have a plug-in hybrid powertrain as an option. The specifics of the driving range and battery size aren’t yet known, obliviously.The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport can actually be had without 4WD, believe it or not. Outside the U.S., the Pure E-Capability trim level with its efficiency-tuned, 150-horsepower turbodiesel is front-wheel drive. Land Rover could expand the FWD’s reach to more markets in hopes of selling to the eco-conscious crowd. Perhaps FWD will be paired with the hybrid powertrain, leaving 4WD to be an optional extra.As for the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engines, expect only minor updates since they fairly new. They belong to the JLR’s Ingenium engine family and are as cutting-edge as current production engines go.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Driving

It’s great for inter-city travel (with it being rock solid in a straight line, no matter what speed or surface) or to spend time pondering over board meetings while the chauffeur battles rush hour traffic. But, it’s only when the going gets slushy, sandy or grassy that the Discovery Sport comes into its own.The Terrain Response System seems to have a cure for nearly every road condition on earth. Gravel, snow, grass, mud, ruts or sand, press a button, ease into the seat, and get tapping on that throttle. Soon enough leisure off-roading turns into child’s play.

The drivetrain impresses too. The 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, diesel, isn’t the most refined or powerful, and on its own, it isn’t a match for the BMW or Audi engines. But, the quick-shifting, seamless and efficient 9-speed automatic box, masks the engine’s shortcomings beautifully. It’s only when you rush the engine do its chinks start to show.Where the Sport fails to impress, though, is the way it rides. We won’t call it uncomfortable, but it is anything but cosseting. It crashes into bigger potholes, jiggles over road joints and no matter how smooth the surface; it never rides with the pliancy expected of a luxury automobile.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Safety

Equipment armed in the SUV for the safety of occupants includes dual front airbags with side-bags, perimitric & volumetric protection, Drive Control Monitor, Intelligent Speed Monitor and Lane Keep Assist. Other than these, it also gets hill descent control, electronic power assisted steering and adaptive Dynamic with MagneRide.Exterior profile gets a fixed panoramic sunroof, power adjusted heated exterior mirrors with power-fold and memory functions. In front, it sports adaptive Xenon headlamps with LED signature, fog lamps and rain sensing wipers. Inside the cabin, it is gets Windsor leather seats, 10 way adjustable electric front seats with driver & passenger memory and sliding arm-rest on centre console.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Cost in Mumbai

Land Rover Discovery Sport Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 41,98,338/- (Discovery Sport 2.0l Diesel Pure 5 Seats) to 51,75,305/- (Discovery Sport 2.0l Diesel HSE Luxury 5 Seats). Get best offers for Land Rover Discovery Sport from Land Rover Dealers in Mumbai. Check for Discovery Sport price in Mumbai at Carzprice

Land Rover Discovery Sport Conclusion

It’s hard to tell what Land Rover has up its sleeve at this point, but the Discovery Sport is clearly about to change. Whether it’s a refresh or a complete generational update, that’ has yet to be seen, but we’re betting on the latter. Adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain to an existing platform isn’t an easy proposition, after all.The new Discovery Sport will undoubtedly be more advanced, more efficient, and more techie while still appealing to active families who might occasionally venture off the beaten path.

Renault Captur Hatchback First Drive & Transmission

Renault Captur Overview

The Captur(pronounced Capture) is based on the same platform as the Duster SUV, which means that robustness is proven. It looks more premium as well and will offer better equipment levels too. Renault hopes that the stylish exterior will be the talking point and help the car find takers in the highly competitive SUV segment. Well that’s the plan anyway. But is there more to this car than just looks and can it beat the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass? That’s what we should figure out by the end of this review. Book a test drive for Captur in Tryaldrive

Check for Renault Captur On Road Price in Mumbai

Renault Captur Design & Style

The Renault Captur is designed as a crossover using the French car maker’s global design language and has been positioned as a premium offering. India gets the Captur (with a C) moniker, same as the European version, unlike the Russian version that uses ‘K’ in its name. The design is quirky on the compact SUV with the bold grille and diamond logo up front, but looks smart and likeable, and very urban too. While the standard name is Captur, Renault India has added the ‘Platine’ suffix to the top-end variants to differentiate more effectively.The Renault Captur is a lot premium and comes with some bold styling and a bunch of premium equipment. Up front we have a stylish chrome accented grille, flanked by LED headlamps with integrated daytime running lights and a primary set of C-shapped LED DRLs on the front bumper. The SUV get s faux silver skid plate as well along with some subtle lines on the bonnet that give the Captur an imposing stance

Renault Captur Cabin & Comfort

When it comes to Renault Captur interiors, there is a lot to talk about. It is one of the most attractive and premium-looking car from inside as well. The dashboard layout and design is much better than what is found on the Duster. It looks fresh, decent yet dynamic with butterfly-shaped instrument cluster, large digital speedometer with tachometer and a fuel gauge. The cabin is lighted with ambient LED lights that look really cool and premium. The plastics used are of decent quality.The top-end variant of Renault Captur features a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Aux-in and USB connectivity options. It also supports voice command, navigation and acts as a rear camera display, when needed. However, it misses Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Other features on the inside include steering mounted controls, cruise control, electrically operated wing mirrors and automatic climate control, which is a standard feature acoss all variants.

2017 Renault Captur is quite a comfortable car. The two-tone white-and-black leatherette seats are very comfortable and they look good too. It offers good under-thigh support, knee room, back support and shoulder room, which makes Captur a perfect car for long journeys. Even three average adults on the rear won’t have any complaints regarding space and comfort. The rear gets its own set of AC vents too.

Renault Captur Engine & Gearbox

The Captur is available with both the 1.5-litre H4K petrol and K9K diesel engines. But the diesel motor will only be offered in the more powerful 110PS/245Nm tune. And this is the motor we had on test. It’s coupled to a 6-speed manual (the petrol is paired to a 5-speed manual), but considering that the Captur is aimed at a new ‘stylish’ customer, one more likely to stick to urban environments, we feel that Renault could have considered adding in the option of its Easy R-AMT transmission as well.At idle, the engine is quieter than in the Duster. But that’s more to do with the better cabin sound insulation than a different engine tune. On the move, you do get a fair bit of road and wind noise, but they sound a little softer when compared to the Duster. But in the city, where it really matters, the Captur doesn’t feel much more urbane. You have to get the K9K spinning up to over 1700rpm to make progress and, when combined with the heavy clutch, you can look forward to developing some strong left leg muscles if you do a lot of city commuting. One way to get around this is to hold either 2nd or 3rd gear for a little longer and then skip one gear on the upshift by going to 4th or 5th gear. This cuts down on the number of gear shifts on the smooth shifting gearbox, and if done right you should still be in the power band as well.

Out on the highway, the engine and gearbox are more at home and the Captur likes to stretch its long legs. From a standstill, it will hit the ton in 13.24 seconds if pushed hard. But once there, it’s happy to sit at triple-digit speeds all day. When cruising along the highway, the Captur returned a strong 21.09kmpl and in the city, that number decreased to 15.50kmpl.The suspension setup feels slightly firmer than the Duster and this means that the Captur feels a little better going around corners. At highway speeds this stiffness actually keeps the chassis more composed but at city speeds, the small imperfections like level changes and ruts are heard and felt as well. The steering feel is also great but if you push it hard through a set of corners you will feel that familiar kickback through the wheel. For a crossover SUV it’s not quite as car like to drive in the city as say the Creta for example and not quite as sporty as the looks might suggest.

Renault Captur Ride & Handling

Handling is good I have to say. surprisingly because I was worried that the rather generous 210 mm ground clearance would make it wobbly or top-heavy feeling. It is neither. The car takes corners well, though they wouldn’t go as far as to call it very sporty. Again – think Duster! So it holds an intended line, and the steering is properly stiff with decent feedback. The ride quality is also sorted and the suspension set up is indeed like the Duster’s. So it’s a supple ride, with the capability of swallowing up mostly anything. But the Captur does not get AWD, as Renault believes the buyer in this space isn’t really looking to go off-roading. And if they are then the Duster is the option for them anyway. I did mange to go off the road briefly – nothing too intense though. But the car handled it very well. Now the ground clearance certainly helped! Renault says that of all the Captur iterations worldwide, the India spec has the highest clearance. 5mm higher than Russia’s Kaptur, and our Duster!

Renault Captur Safety & Security

The list of Renault Captur safety features include Front Disc Brakes, Drum on Rear, ABS with EBD, Rear Parking Sensors, Central Locking, Driver & Passenger Airbags, Crash Sensors, Rear Seat Belts, Seat Belt Warning, Power Door Lock, Child Safety Locks, Side & Front Impact Beams, Passenger Side Rear View Mirror, Rear Camera, Centrally Mounted Fuel Tank, Engine Immobilizer, Automatic Headlamps, Follow Me Home Headlamps and ISOFIX Child Seat.In terms of features, the Captur does tick a fair number of boxes like the 7-inch touchscreen, six-speaker sound system and climate control. In terms of safety features, there’s four airbags in the top-of-the-line Platine variant (two airbags standard) and ABS with EBD, brake assist, and hill hold assist that are common across all variants

Renault Captur Cost in New Delhi

Renault Captur Ex-Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 9,99,999/- (Captur RXE Petrol) to 14,14,699/- (Captur Platine Diesel). Get best offers for Renault Captur from Renault Dealers in New Delhi. Check for Captur price in New Delhi at Carzprice

Renault Captur Conclusion

This puts it head to head in competition with the Hyundai Creta that’s nearly Rs 50,000 more expensive. The Duster which is also in the same market space is approximately, variant to variant, 1.5 lakh cheaper.Judging by the number of heads the Captur turned on our test, Renault seems to have certainly hit the mark in the design department. The better sound insulation, ergonomics and richer looking Interiors have managed to address some of the Duster’s shortcomings. However, it hasn’t gone whole hog either. The lack of automatic transmission options, the tiresome clutch and bumpy suspension feel in the city and the lack of a better infotainment system hurt its case. So, the Captur delivers on it’s promise of being a stylish and modern SUV, but somewhat halfheartedly.

Affordability Of Having A Toll Free Numbers

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Yet another important benefit of having a toll free number is its portability. If you move your business for any reason, you can still be reached by your customers, and there will be no disruption to your customer communication. Interestingly calls to your toll free phone number can be sent to your cell phone, pager, email, and even her home phone and this ensures you do not miss out on your incoming customer calls. Interestingly, even if you change your service providers, you can still retain the same toll free number. Check for  Affordability Of Having A Toll Free Numbers in Linkedphone

If you find that customers are reluctant to contact your business over phone because of the phone call charges, the easiest way out for you is to opt for a toll free phone.Having a toll free number lends your business a corporate image and greater credibility. Prospective customers will develop a sense of confidence when dealing with you. Once you possess a toll free number, you straightway acquire a level playing field with big corporations. Please know that much of the success of your business depends on your image and brand recognition.As people will start making call to your company without inhibition, your customer base will enlarge leading to increased sales and concomitant profits. Several studies have conclusively shown that mentioning a toll free number in a trade advertisement elicits 40 percent more response than the ones that does not provide toll free numbers.

The plain truth is toll free numbers motivate prospective customers to call your business, because they are not required to pay the call charges. Even your existing customers will call you more frequently and this will help you build strong customer rapport. A toll free number makes it easier for your customers to reach you and get their queries about your products/services answered. Many marketing professionals agree that toll free numbers help CRM (Customer Relations Management).

It will be much easier for your customers to remember your toll free number if you opt for a vanity number. The vanity number will also contain a word broadly indicative of your brand or type of business. For instance, if a florist has a vanity number like 1-800-Flowers, it is lot easier for a caller to remember than a toll free number like 1-800-356-9377. Customers are more likely to call you with a vanity number and that will possibly generate more sales and more than compensate the incoming phone charges you will pay. With the recent release of 855 numbers, there are more vanity numbers currently available.

Toll free numbers are also easy to install and come with a host of useful features and bonuses. These include audio conferencing, voice notification, call recording, call forwarding, automated attendant etc. Toll free numbers come in five different matrices – 1-800, 1-888, 1-877, 1-866, and the newest, 1-855. These toll free number codes are only seemingly different but function in the same manner.When obtaining a toll free number for your business, you must understand how important your new toll free number will be to your business, in what different ways it will serve your customersPsychology Articles, and how useful it will be to your branding efforts.

 

Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing Which Could Affect Business

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Cloud Computing Is Ideal for Small Businesses we say that cloud computing is the best thing for small business since the invention of the stapler. But that doesn’t mean that there are no cloud computing disadvantages and that every small business should immediately throw out all their servers and desktop software and conduct all their business operations in the cloud. Performance-intensive applications such as video editing are not suited to the cloud, nor are other types of software that require high-performance desktop computers (such as those used for graphic design). Small business owners have different needs and different comfort levels. It may be more advantageous for you to use cloud computing only for certain applications. Or even not at all.Before you throw caution to the winds and leap wholeheartedly into the cloud. Check for Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing Which Could Affect Business in Linkedphone

Consider how these disadvantages of cloud computing could affect your small business.

01 Possible Downtime

Cloud computing makes your small business dependent on the reliability of your Internet connection. When it’s offline, you’re offline. If your internet service suffers from frequent outages or slow speeds, cloud computing may not be suitable for your business.Another thing to consider is how dependent your business would be on cloud reliability – even the most reliable cloud computing service providers suffer server outages now and again.As described in CRN’s The Biggest Cloud Outages of 2015 on May 20th, 2015 Apple iCloud had a seven-hour outage that affected email and various other cloud services such as iCloud Drive, Documents, etc. Can your business function in the event of a prolonged outage of your cloud services?

02 Security Issues

How safe is your data? Cloud computing means internet computing. So you should not be using cloud computing applications that involve using or storing data that you are not comfortable having on the internet.Established cloud computing vendors have gone to great lengths to promote the idea that they have the latest, most sophisticated data security systems possible as they want your business and realize that data security is a big concern; however, their credibility in this regard has suffered greatly in the wake of ​NSA snooping scandals.Keep in mind also that your cloud data is accessible from anywhere on the internet, meaning that if a data breach occurs via hacking, a disgruntled employee, or careless username/password security, your business data can be compromised.And more data breaches are happening to more supposedly secure companies all the time. You would think that the IRS, for instance, would have one of the most secure systems of all, but even they experienced an IRS data breach in 2015.But switching to the cloud can actually improve security for a small business, says Michael Redding, managing director of Accenture Technology Labs. “Because large cloud computing companies have more resources, he says, they are often able to offer levels of security an average small business may not be able to afford to implement on its own servers” (Outsource IT Headaches to the Cloud (The Globe and Mail).As a small business owner, you have to decide if the levels of security a cloud computing company provides offset the potential security disadvantages of cloud computing.

03 Cost

At first glance, a cloud computing application may appear to be a lot cheaper than a particular software solution installed and run in-house, but you need to be sure you’re comparing apples and apples.Yes, cloud applications (also known as Software as Service applications or Saas) do not require large capital investment for licenses or support infrastructure, but does the cloud application have all the features that the software does and if not, are the missing features important to you?

Having to customize your cloud-based software to suit your needs can add greatly to the cost. If you use custom-developed in-house software, it may not be possible to move it to the cloud without an expensive re-write – definitely a disadvantage. To be sure you’re saving money, you have to look closely at the pricing plans and details for each application, taking into account possible future expansion.For example, the president of a non-profit organization that recently switched to a cloud-based membership application found that when their membership numbers recently exceeded the limits on their contract the price to go to the next tier was nearly double. Like cell phone plans, the devil can be in the details with cloud service contracts.

Data Transfer Costs

If your business involves transferring large amounts of data, be aware that while transferring data to the cloud (inbound) is free, outbound data transfers over the basic monthly allowance are charged on a per GB basis.If your business requirements will include regularly downloading large amounts of data from your cloud applications or data storage, the additional costs can add up. (See, for example, Microsoft Azure data transfer pricing.)Fortunately, cloud computing is a very competitive business and costs are generally decreasing, so check current pricing.

04 Inflexibility

The inflexibility of some cloud apps can be another serious disadvantage of cloud computing. Be careful when you’re choosing a cloud computing vendor that you’re not going to become a “forever” customer because their applications and/or data formats do not allow easy transfer/conversion of information into other systems.Just ask someone who has gone through the painful process of migrating from one accounting package to another. As an even simpler example, you can’t insert a document created in another application into a Google Docs spreadsheet. Some vendors deliberately attempt to “lock-in” customers by using proprietary software/hardware, so that it is impossible or very expensive to switch to another cloud vendor.If you are considering a move to the cloud, make sure that your cloud vendor contract stipulates that you retain ownership of your data and that the vendor offerings conform to current standards.Also, make sure that you can easily (and inexpensively) add and subtract cloud computing users and data storage as necessary as your business grows or contracts.

05 Customer Support

In the early days of cloud computing, poor customer service was a constant complaint from users. Fortunately, most vendors have made great strides in improving technical support over the past few years, but better service comes at a price.Google’s basic “Silver” support package for their cloud platform currently costs $150/month, which has four hour response time (during business hours only) and does not include phone support. Other cloud vendors such as Microsoft have similar support plan options.If your business needs are such that you need a rapid response to customer support issues, make sure that your cloud services vendor has plenty of options available for technical support, including email, phone, live chat, knowledge bases, and user forums. Be prepared to pay for higher levels of support, particularly on evenings or weekends.​