Patrick Leonard

Patrick Leonard

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AI Coming to Auto Dealerships

Patrick Leonard

If you’re in the auto industry, you undoubtedly have heard about autonomous vehicles; this is just one type of artificial intelligence (AI) that is disrupting the industry for auto dealerships. Nearly every car manufacturer is working on autonomous driving vehicles, including some newcomers to the industry, and AI shows up in other aspects of today’s “smart cars”. All that technology is making its way to auto dealerships too.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

Biggest Security Risk: Your CEO

Patrick Leonard

Research on Cybersecurity repeatedly shows that a company’s biggest asset is also their biggest risk, their employees. Companies are more susceptible and more likely to be attacked internally by an employee, whether malicious or accidental, than by a hacker outside the company. Furthermore, a company’s CEO and other C-suite executives are the biggest targets for hackers, which has led to a new term in cybersecurity – whaling. A whaling attack is a phishing attack or scam that targets a “big fish”, a company’s executive. (Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and financial records, often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.)

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Topics: Data Protection

Lot Management Solutions Drive Profitability for Auto Dealerships

Patrick Leonard

We’re always on the lookout for ways to utilize technology to help our auto dealership clients increase their profitability. One way to protect their assets is to utilize a lot management solution, which takes geofencing to another level for auto dealerships. To learn more about this technology, we asked the experts, Dean Powery and Richard Boyce at Trifecta Dealer Solutions.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

7 Technology Priorities for Every Auto Dealership

Patrick Leonard

It is hard to remember the days when auto dealerships weren’t chock full of technology. Many vehicles today have more technology in them then a typical auto dealership had just a couple of decades ago and faster internet than just 15 years ago. Technology is no longer something “neat” or an option; auto dealerships need to utilize technology to stay competitive and because customers demand it. If you whip out a typewriter for a loan document, you’ll see many customers cringe and some will walk out the door, not to mention that you’ll deter younger employees from working for your company. Auto dealerships need to make technology a priority in order to succeed in today’s marketplace.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

What is Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for Email?

Patrick Leonard

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) can mean a lot of things, but when describing an email feature, it is a tool created to stop email threats from hitting your inbox. Since the majority of ransomware and other viruses enter a company’s network via malicious email attachments and links, it is imperative that companies do what they can to minimize their risk of a cyber-attack. (Note – ATP is called ATD by some companies, which stands for Advanced Threat Detection. For the most part, the difference in wording is semantics, but some companies use the two terms to denote email protection versus firewall protection.)

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Topics: Data Protection

9 Things to Consider When Selecting a DMS (Dealership Management System)

Patrick Leonard

A Dealership Management System is the core software application for nearly every auto dealership, and it integrates each department of the dealership from sales and F&I to accounting and service. Typically, a DMS stores customer information including transactional data, accounting functionality, service history and job tickets, vehicle inventory, and more. Enterprise-level DMS software integrates with third-party software, such as listing websites, providing a single dashboard for General Managers and executives.

Considering to use a Dealer Management System is a relatively easy decision, yet selecting which DMS to use requires much thought and analysis. After assisting clients with dozens of DMS analyses and transitions, we’ve developed this list of considerations to ensure you find the right fit and to prevent you from having to replace it in the near future, which is costly.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

What is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)?

Patrick Leonard

Two-Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security that requires more than just the user’s name and password. To gain access, the user must present something via a different method such as a token, fingerprint, web cookie, or code from a text message or authentication application like Google Authenticator. Two-Factor Authentication is known as 2FA for short, or even Two-Step Verification (TFA). For comparison, Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) only requires your username and password, and it is still the most common form of access because of its low cost and ease of use, but a hacker can breach most password-based security systems easily.

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Topics: Data Protection

Top 3 Auto Dealership Cybersecurity Mistakes

Patrick Leonard

Although most auto dealerships have robust security systems and processes in place to protect their inventory of cars and parts (and money), many auto dealerships are inept in their cybersecurity. Generally, the absence of cybersecurity is from a lack of knowledge of the threat and ramifications of a cyber-attack. Many General Managers feel their dealerships are too small to be targeted by a hacker or they think if they ignore it long enough, the problem will never arise.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

What is an Auto Technology Specialist Anyway?

Patrick Leonard

After writing my blog post, Where Auto Dealerships Use Technology to Drive Profitability, I received emails regarding one line in the introductory paragraph all asking, “What is an Auto Technology Specialist? Tell me more about that.”

The line that I wrote in my initial post:

Cars have so much technology packed in them that many auto dealerships now have an auto technologist on staff just to demo all the gadgets on board to the new owners.

In short, an Auto Technology Specialist isn’t on the IT or network side of technology like myself. The person in this position demonstrates all the technology in the vehicle to the new owners.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

Geofencing for Auto Dealerships

Patrick Leonard

A geofence is a virtual perimeter that you can draw around a location, such as your dealership’s sales lot. A geofence uses the GPS satellite network or local radio-frequency identifiers, such as Wi-Fi nodes or Bluetooth beacons positioned onsite, to create the virtual boundary. You can set your geofence to be as big as an entire city or as small as a flagpole.

A hardware or software application is needed to create the geofence and create a game plan for the actions you’d like taken when someone or something enters or exits the virtual perimeter. For example, a rancher could get a text alert if his cattle strayed too far, a construction company can “clock in” workers when they enter a construction jobsite each morning, and a retailer can alert customers walking nearby of a sale.

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Topics: Auto Dealership IT

About My IT's Blog

We believe an educated client is the best client, therefore, we share our knowledge with executives and business owners looking for a fair, knowledgeable IT firm that fits well with their company and objectives.

My IT helps companies to protect their data, become more efficient and productive, and to boost high-growth using technology. In our blog, we discuss these topics and our extensive expertise working with medical practices, construction industry companies, and auto dealerships.

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