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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The IoT Continues to Expand

Whether it’s RFID sensors, mobile devices, or commercial goods, the Internet of Things (IOT) is an exponentially expanding industry. Which makes us think, “What can we expect in the near future for IOT?” Today, we will answer this very question.

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Green Technologies for Business

Green technologies just a short time ago had a reputation for being costly, rather than cost-saving. However, business owners are starting to see a multitude of benefits for going green, from cost savings to increased customer appreciation for environmental conservation.

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ALERT: Skimmers are Targeting Local Area ATMs

You would think that Upstate New York would be the last place cybercriminals would pay attention to, but as recent events show us, no place is safe from fraud. In May of this year, our area was under attack from a SMiShing scam, then in June there was a rash of phone scams. Now, our area is facing a skimming attack. Read on to learn more about it and how to protect yourself.

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Why Managed Services: IT Procurement

Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need.

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Android Work Profiles Enable Productivity

Many users want to use personal devices in a business setting, but some businesses do not support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) due to fear of data loss. There are a few options to separate work data, but not restrict users from their own personal apps or data. Today we will look at how your business can take advantage of employees that already having a capable device, and how you can keep them from compromising security.

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An MSP is Helpful... Even if You Aren’t Ready for Full Managed Services

We spend a lot of time talking about managed IT services. That’s where you pay a monthly contract to have your technology taken care of for you. There are a lot of pros to this, especially for a business that values uptime and efficiency... but sometimes, you just need that certain computer working, and signing another contract isn’t in the cards. We get it. Here’s how we can still help.

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The Other Features of VoIP Fuel Business Communications

For the small business looking to transform both their communications system and their IT budget, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great solution. VoIP can deliver clear and reliable calling services that some landline services simply don’t offer. We take a look at VoIP’s more interesting features in this week’s blog.

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Why Managed Services: Data Management

Managed services offer businesses an improved means of obtaining and managing the technology they rely on. With data being so important to the modern business, much of this technology is devoted to storing, securing, and leveraging this data. Working with a managed service provider can help a business get the most value out of their data management practices. Let’s go over how.

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How to Make Chromecast Your Employee of the Month

The Chromecast, Google’s offer to the growing streaming market, is a pretty handy device - even in the business setting. I know, I know, it is a consumer device, but some of its capabilities directly translate to professional use. Here, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up your Chromecast, four useful-for-business features, and the process of resetting your Chromecast if it ever needs it. 

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Why Managed Services: Consulting

While information technology is an important part of the modern business and its processes, it isn’t always the easiest topic for the average business user to figure out. In this series, we’ve been exploring how a managed service provider can add value to your business and its IT. Here, we’re focusing on how the managed service provider can serve as a knowledgeable consultant.

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Your Business Can be Cyberbullied

While the issue of cyberbullying is often associated with young people, in reality it is a phenomenon which transcends age, gender, and class. The 24/7 online, anonymous, and always available without respite virtual environment has changed not only how we communicate with each other, but the mores of society - including the business world.

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Why Managed Services: IT Support

Information technology support has developed and evolved as the methods and equipment used have improved. As a result of this development, there are a variety of ways that managed IT providers can deliver additional value through their services. In this series, we’re exploring the many benefits a business can gather through managed services - here, focusing on the support available.

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RFID Business Implementation

As technology advances, gadgets are invented which can be beneficial to not only our social lives but in our business practices. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a relatively new technology which businesses have been progressively utilizing.

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Oneonta Employers Should Look to Local Schools for Prospects

Every summer, there is a new crop of recent graduates seeking employment opportunities. This is especially true here in Oneonta. Area businesses should be paying close attention to these young graduates and trying to entice them into employment, as they are likely to have fostered precisely the skills these businesses are seeking.

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Why Managed Services: Proactive Maintenance and Management

In order for one methodology to replace another, it has to provide more value than the one that came before. In terms of IT support, managed services can deliver far greater value than the familiar break/fix method. In this series, we’ll explore the value that managed services contribute to a business, starting with their proactive nature.

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Should Big Tech Be Reined In?

It’s not a secret (well, not anymore) that the big tech companies have influence. These companies, that include Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have been in the spotlight more and more as the argument of data privacy has gotten louder and louder. Public sentiment is starting to blow back on their business model--and since, Yahoo, once the predominant name in Internet-based services, was broken up and sold to Verizon for cents on the dollar after being at the center of the largest data breach in recorded history--there have been rumblings that there has to be something done to protect the public from major publicly-traded technology companies that use individual’s data in ways that some deem unethical.

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Can Apps Provide Secure Password Management?

Do you use different passwords on every account you’ve created? Are these passwords sufficiently complex? Chances are at some point you have used a repeating password. Remembering 35 different logins for 35 different applications is hard enough, so it’s not surprising that the majority of people will use the same password for many applications. Bad password practices are all too common. So, how can you fix this?

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Recycling Technology: Is It the Best Answer?

Let me ask you a simple question: how many cell phones have you had over the years? For some of us, upgrades are a yearly occurrence. For others possibly bi-yearly. Have you ever wondered where your old cell phone goes after it is out of your hands? 

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Tip of the Week: Three Ways the Cloud Boosts Businesses

Thanks to the increasing capabilities of modern computing networks, businesses have been able to experience enhanced productivity. One such capability, cloud computing, has allowed businesses to reach outside of their physical location to conduct their operations. Here, we’ll review some of cloud computing’s other benefits.

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Tip of the Week: Extend Your IT Budget

Budgeting for your technology can be pretty difficult. You never really know when some problem is going to present itself and cost your business an arm and a leg. Since you can’t always see what’s coming, saving money when you can is important. Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can save money on your business’ IT.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part V

We have finally reached the end of our guide to help you purchase your next computer. In the other four parts, we covered how you could identify the specifications your device would need for your intended use of it. Here, we’ll review some other assorted considerations to keep in mind as you finalize your new device.

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Building a Secure Wi-Fi Network

Maintaining network security is always a priority for the security-minded company, but if your organization’s strategy is to fly under the radar, you need a new plan. No business is too small to be a victim of a network breach. What most people who are tasked with coming up with a network security strategy for a small business don’t always realize is that threats are everywhere. Today, we’re going to take a look at planning a secure and reliable Wi-Fi strategy that doesn’t inherently add to your business’ risk. 

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part IV

No matter how well your new computer works, you aren’t going to be able to do much with it if you can’t see what you’re doing. You will need a display. Of course, there are a lot of considerations to make when selecting one. Here, we’ve outlined these considerations, with some of the options you’ll encounter.

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The Endless Line of Costs from a Data Breach

Picture this… In your office you have a bag filled with thousands of envelopes. In each envelope there is $242 in cash. Unbeknownst to you, a thief has gained access to your office, but you don’t realize this until 279 days later. How much is this going to cost your business?

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Lessons from the Business World for Otsego Schools Dealing with Bullying

When it comes to addressing bullying in our schools, whether it is ‘traditional’ or cyber, communication is critical to not only support victims of bullying, but also to prevent it. We’ve been following debates held by the Cooperstown PTA to discuss how to handle bullying and wanted to share our thoughts. Although bullying and cyberbullying are very tricky subjects, we feel that we can learn a lot about how schools handle these sensitive issues and share these insights with other businesses.

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Tech Terminology: The Dark Web

Deep web and dark web. What’s the difference? Perhaps you’ve been using these words interchangeably. The dark web has a reputation for being the most toxic place on the internet, and for quite a few good reasons. Today we will dive deep into the dark web and why this reputation has been formed.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part III

As we continue our computer buying guide with part three, we’re diving into the topic of storage space. As a general rule, modern gadgets have a few available options in terms of storage - not to mention external storage options - but the brand and version of the device can have an impact on the amount of space available. As you select your desktop or laptop, its storage capacity is crucial to consider.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part II

Part two of our desktop buying guide will dig into the details of RAM, or random-access memory. We hope to clear up misconceptions about what RAM actually is, as many users don’t understand the difference between storage and memory. Who knows? You might learn a thing or two to take with you when you purchase your next desktop.

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Let’s Take a Look at 50 Years of the Internet

Without a doubt, the Internet is one of humanity's most impressive inventions. 50 years ago, the predecessor to the Internet that most of the world depends on, called ARPANET, was launched. Today, we will talk about how that innovation turned into the Internet, and reorganized the way people interacted with computing systems. 

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Help Desks Help Remedy the Following IT Problems

Downtime is a major problem for businesses, and it’s largely a result of technology taking over the workplace. Since many jobs rely on technology to be done properly, it stands to reason that broken-down technology can pose a considerable issue for businesses--not to mention the costs that are associated with downtime and maintenance. A help desk can alleviate some of the pressure that the average employee feels as a result of relying on technology in the workplace.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part I

When you are in the market for some new computers for your business, ensuring that you are targeting the right hardware is important. To educate people on what they should be looking for in a new computer, we have decided to put together a multi-part series detailing the different parts of a computer. In part one, we will take a look at the CPU.

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Hacking Doesn’t Take a Computer Science Degree

There’s a reason that cybercrime is so popular: it is no longer reserved for those with extensive programming knowledge to profit from. Now, according to a report by Deloitte entitled Black Market Ecosystem: Estimating the Cost of “Pwnership”, there is a complete economy built around easily accessible hacking tools that don’t require specialized knowledge to leverage.

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Tip of the Week: Usability of the Taskbar

If you take a look at any computer in an office environment, there is a solid chance that it is running the Windows operating system. Whenever we have the opportunity, we like to share tips and tricks to help both normal and power users alike get the most out of their operating system. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to make navigating your computer just a little bit easier.

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Are You Ready for a Ransomware Resurgence?

Ransomware attacks grew less common in both 2018 and thus far in 2019 when compared to 2017. Unfortunately, recent events have made it more likely that this trend will reverse in the near future. Why is that? Simple: some municipalities have set a precedent of paying up.

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Evaluating Your Business’ Information Technology

It’s imperative that you keep your IT infrastructure under control, but many organizations push it to the side. The problem is that ignoring IT often makes it so that you aren’t properly evaluating your technology infrastructure and support, meaning that you could be wasting time and resources that would be better spent elsewhere. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not your IT systems are being maintained properly.

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Five Reasons Managed Services Even Work Well for Small Businesses

Consider something for a moment: aside from their size and the resources at their disposal, what makes a small to medium-sized business so different from a large, enterprise-sized one? If you really consider it, there isn’t all that much. This is why many SMBs have turned to managed services… to receive IT support comparable to what the large businesses get.

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How to Test Your Disaster Recovery Preparedness

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

This quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while it may not have actually been said by the Founding Father, it still teaches a valuable lesson - especially where disaster recovery is concerned. In other words, you need to make sure you have a working disaster recovery strategy - working being the key point.

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CPT: Satisfy Your Pineapple Craving

Do you like pineapples as much as we do? Let us drop a bit of knowledge on you about this tropical fruit.

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Secure Businesses Go Beyond the Firewall

Some terms are thrown around like everyone knows what they are. This is especially the case with IT and technology solutions. Perhaps it’s a result of them being around for quite some time in professional environments, but it doesn’t help those who are unfamiliar with the technology. One term that we should all understand is “firewall,” as it’s omnipresent in the business sector, but it’s far from the only security solution you’ll need to guarantee safety.

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Tip of the Week: Easy to Remember Windows 10 Tips

Windows 10 calls on the success (and failures) of previous versions of the operating system to deliver a truly dynamic solution to users. To get the most out of your Windows 10 workstation, we recommend following these five tips. They are simpler than you might think, and you can get unprecedented value out of them.

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Understanding the Different Types of Cloud

Many businesses have taken the cloud into consideration as their next technology implementation… but there’s more to adopting a cloud solution than going to the cloud store and asking for one. First, you need to determine what kind of cloud solution is best suited to your needs.

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You Can Attribute a Lack of Productivity to Downtime

Business owners try to avoid downtime like the plague, but it’s often a challenge to do so. The impact of downtime can be devastating for even the most well-to-do business, and this is even more so the case when you bring profits and bottom lines into view. We’ll take a look at how you can calculate the cost of a downtime event.

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Keeping Your Smartphone Safe Helps Everyone

Mobile devices accompany us more or less everywhere, leading us to use them more and more frequently in all aspects of lie, including for business purposes. As a result, cybercriminals have even more motivation to target them. To help you avoid a mobile device being the downfall of your company’s security, we’ve assembled a few practices you and your staff should adopt.

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Are You a Security Threat?

Just like you can form habits to be more productive, you can also form habits that expose your organization to risky situations, namely security problems. Your employees in particular are likely to have picked up a couple of nasty habits over time, so it’s up to you to address them and keep them from becoming an issue in the long term.

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4 Reasons You Should Implement Company Lunches

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti

While breakfast is commonly known as the most important meal of the day, lunch can be an influential part of the workday, especially where team building and morale is concerned. Here at Directive, we’ve long used our Crock-Pot Thursday lunches as a means of creating a more cohesive team.

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Four Ways Cloud Storage Can Benefit Your Business

Cloud solutions have proven their value in many different business applications, a major one being the ability to use a cloud service as a storage solution. By doing so, a business can enjoy a few additional advantages as compared to one that relies on more traditional storage solutions.

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Blockchain Leads 2019’s Business Technology Trends

We are in a very interesting part of history. Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in and for every part of our lives. For the modern business, emerging technologies can mean big profits if they are implemented and utilized properly. Today, we’re going to take a look at a couple of the emerging technologies that businesses are using to enhance the long-term outlook of their endeavor.

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Backup and Disaster Recovery Can Keep You from Losing It All

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) might seem like a singular process, but in reality it’s more of a combination of processes that work in tandem with each other. Backup and disaster recovery both require a different perspective and approach in order to make sure they play nicely with each other. We’ll attempt to address this difference and give you the information needed to make the best decisions possible for your solution.

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Four Essential Business Software Types to Consider

While each business today features its own balance of company culture and processes, there are certain varieties of software that all companies in operation today should be leveraging. Here, we’ll go over what these solutions are, and how they can benefit you.

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Some Employees are More Hackable than Others

Habits can be a very effective way to improve your internal productivity, but others can expose your business to security risks. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that your employees may have picked up the latter. This means you need to learn what to look for, so you can identify any problem areas within your business - and work to break the habits that led to these problems.

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What’s New in Office 2019

Microsoft Office is the most utilized productivity suite in the world; and, there are several reasons why. One of the most cited is that they routinely update the applications with new and innovative features. Office 2019 has been out for just under a year and today, we’ll talk about the biggest improvements Microsoft has made within their signature productivity suite. 

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CPT: Creamy, Cheesy Goodness

Here at Directive, We LOVE cheese, so it’s no surprise that macaroni and cheese is a Crock-Pot Thursday dish we just keep coming back to.

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Tip of the Week: Valuing Managed IT

It’s difficult to put a value on your organization’s technology solutions. While you might be tempted to assign a monetary value based on how much it all saves you, you also need to examine how much it costs you in the long term. Can you optimize your network even more than it currently is? Can you even keep track of the countless moving parts of your IT infrastructure? Managed IT might be able to help.

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Tip of the Week: Organization Inside Windows 10

If you don’t take care of your PC’s files, you will quickly discover that it’s easy to lose track of where everything is. You have countless file types, folders, and applications sitting around without any real sense of organization or continuity. Today, we’re going to focus on how to help you better organize your files in a way that it easy to find and understand. You should be able to do so in either your operating system file explorer or in your cloud-based file storage.

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Alert: Microsoft is Retiring Two Major Operating Systems

Windows is a great operating system, but unless you’re keeping track of which version you have, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when it comes time to upgrade. In just six short months, there will be two Windows End of Life events for major technology solutions: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. You need to start thinking about upgrading now before it’s too late to do so.

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Best Practices for Setting Up Your Backups and Your Disaster Recovery

When we discuss backup and disaster recovery (BDR), it may seem as though we’re talking about a single process - after all, there’s just one acronym for it. However, the reality is that - while these two processes are related to one another - backup and disaster recovery each require a different preparation process, with different considerations made for each.

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Should You Be Holding Your Staff Accountable for Failed Phishing Tests?

It can be a real head-scratcher when one of your otherwise well-performing employees routinely falls for the simulated phishing attacks that you roll out as a part of your cybersecurity awareness strategy. For all intents and purposes, the person is a great employee, but when it comes to acting with caution, they fail. If you’ve made a point to prioritize your staff’s working knowledge of phishing attacks, do you replace this employee? We’ll take a look at it today.

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In Cybersecurity It’s Fool Me Once, Shame on Me

In the course of doing business everyone has their own specific responsibilities. One overarching responsibility that all employees need to have today is a keen eye for detail. The health of a business depends on it. A staff’s failure to properly shoulder their load of security can have an immensely negative result for both the employee and the company. Today, we’re going to explain that when your organization gets breached by hackers, that fault is largely found in the mirror. 

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CPT: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with This Summer Treat!

Do you ever get a craving for something sweet?

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Tip of the Week: Using Digital Signs

If you walk into any office out there, chances are you’ll see signs on the wall indicating who is located where, as well as those that identify points of interest that visitors might need. With digital technology taking over many aspects of the office, it was a given that it would eventually impact signage. If it’s used right, digital signage can highlight important parts of your office and encourage employees to give it their all during the workday.

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Tip of the Week: Extremely Useful Tips

All Windows machines are capable of leveraging built-in shortcuts. While it might sound ludicrous, using keyboard shortcuts can eliminate the eight days that the average employee spends every year moving between the keyboard and mouse. Shocking, right? Keyboard shortcuts let you retake all of that lost time and use it to be more productive.

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Automation Growth and Your Business

Automation has been a hot button term for some time. Whether it is in reference to robots that manufacturers use to make their assembly lines more effective, the integrated workflows that today’s customer relationship management software presents, or A.I. crawling through mounds of data to help an entrepreneur better understand his/her business, automation is helping businesses move faster and be more agile. Today, we will look at how organizations are using automation, and how, even if it isn’t a big part of your business strategy today, it will need to be in the future.

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Productivity Can Be Stymied By Using Too Much Data

In business, productivity is the goal. Unfortunately, there are so many interruptions in the workday, you absolutely have to capitalize on the moments where you’re in the groove. To find the groove more frequently, and to measure the ability of workers to find their groove, companies have started using trackable systems fueled mainly by their management software--typically a CRM, but sometimes a larger, more integrated solution--to pump out metrics designed to give managers an idea how their teams are performing, and give them an idea about how to best utilize them. 

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How To Prepare for Literally Any Change in Your IT

Technology changes rapidly, whether we like it or not. Most of the time, that change is beneficial; you can get more done, gain more visibility, stretch your resources further, and do things you wouldn’t have thought possible (or at least affordable) a few years ago. Other times, technology changes come with the frustration of having to learn something new, develop new processes, and deal with a cavalcade of other annoyances that just make you want to go back to ‘simpler’ times. Today we’re going to talk about how to prepare you and your organization for the inevitable changes that your IT will be facing over the next few years.

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Too Many Accountants are Fielding Technology Queries

Accountants are asked a lot of questions. You’d expect as much as they manage a lot of organizational money, and can give small business owners and executives straight-forward advice about whether or not investments make sense for a company. With the recent increase in technology use for small businesses, accountants have been fielding more than financial queries, they’ve been directly asked about whether a business should implement technology. Today, we are going to explain why, regardless of the answer, your accountant is the wrong person to ask.

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Tip of the Week: Here’s How to Calculate Your Projects ROI

As you company grows, you will need to invest a good deal of the revenue that you take in to keep operations from falling into complacency. In order to get a good idea what investments would be most advantageous, doing a proactive ROI analysis of project you plan to undertake can put your business in a position to be able to properly anticipate every aspect of a successful project. Let’s take a look at the variables of an ROI analysis.

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The End of OneNote as You Know It, Part 2

Microsoft is effectively ditching OneNote 2016 in favor of the OneNote application bundled with Windows 10. The note-taking app will still be supported until October 2020, with extended support offered after that, but Microsoft will no longer be adding additional features to it, and is instead putting all of their efforts into making the version bundled with Windows 10 the definitive version. Here are some details to keep in mind when making the switch between these two solutions.

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Are You Putting Your Business at Risk by Neglecting Upgrades?

It’s expensive running a business, especially here in Upstate NY. For smaller businesses, sometimes making payroll or getting through the first of the month is a matter of being frugal or cutting back a little.

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Our Top 7 List of IT Myths and Wild Conspiracies

Being in IT, we’ve seen and heard it all. Between the campfire horror stories of technicians to the outlandish IT conspiracies and ‘home remedies’ that get passed around, we’ve decided to compile a list of some of our favorite IT and technology myths.

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The End of OneNote as You Know It, Part 1

OneNote, Microsoft’s note-taking application, will soon be reaching its end of life, along with the rest of the Office 2016 suite. Thankfully, most PC users already have the heir to OneNote 2016’s throne installed on their devices, so its end of life this October won’t be such a big deal.

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65 Bitcoin Ransom Paid by Florida City

65 of any currency doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you are dealing in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it adds up quick. One city on Florida’s Atlantic coast is finding that out the hard way after getting hit with a ransomware that stymied the city of 35,000 government’s ability to function. Let’s take a look at the situation that made the city’s leaders agree to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to scammers.

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Shadow IoT and What to Do About It

For much of the last five years, we’ve been told that the Internet of Things was going to be the most important innovation since broadband Internet was introduced. This growth, while its largely happening under the proverbial radar, is happening. There are around seven billion “smart” devices in 2019 with expectations that it will be three times that by 2025. With that many Internet-connected devices, there are bound to be some that come with vulnerabilities, whether it comes from being designed poorly or not frequently updated with modern threat definitions. Today, we’ll take a look to see if the Internet of Things should be considered a threat to your business.

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Oneonta Businesses Need to Train Staff on Cybersecurity Best Practices

As much as your employees are some of your greatest assets, they also have the potential to be some of the biggest security risks that your business can encounter. To help mitigate these risks, you need to make sure your employees are trained to recognize threats and respond appropriately.

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Instant Messaging Tips for Greater Productivity

Communication is a key part of the workplace, and modern tools have made it more efficient than ever before to stay in contact with one another. One of the most important tools in the modern business’ repertoire is instant messaging, which is somewhat challenging to utilize without a way of ensuring productivity and professionalism.

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Tip of the Week: Working Around Windows’ Restore Point Issue

One would think that a program called System Restore would be one that would be prioritized as one to get right. Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case, as utilizing one of your restore points after performing a Windows Update can cause some serious issues. For our tip, we’ll go over how to avoid these issues with a workaround.

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The True Power of Social Media

While it is common to consider social media just another form of entertainment or worse, an outlet for narcissistic behavior, it is for some one of the few outlets people have for their voices to be heard and listened to. A computer, tablet, smart phone and - as the IoT becomes more prevalent - even your appliances will allow average people to not only communicate with their ‘friends’, but with the world. While good social media practices are essential to many a business, we also need to recognize the power that social media brings to the people and by extension to your business.

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Network Security is Crucial for Every Organization

Avoiding risk is important for every business, unless your business is as a daredevil, then mitigating risk will have to do. Nowadays, with technology being an omnipresent element in most businesses, technology-based risks have grown in concert. As a result, the modern business owner and IT administrators need to understand the new risks and how to proactively work toward avoiding (or mitigating) them.

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Smartphones Have New Roles in Business

No doubt you’ve noticed the increased use of smartphones. No matter where you go, people are on their phones. Sometimes they are using them in places you wouldn’t even imagine. For the modern business, employee smartphone usage can be a major pain in the side. Today, we’ll go into how smartphone usage helps and hurts a business and how to go about keeping employees from being on their phones for large chunks of the workday.

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Why Microsoft 365 is a Solid Option for Businesses

Microsoft 365 has been on the market for a while now, and we thought it would be a good time to go into the different tiers of the platform to give you an idea of what it is, why it is useful, and how your business fits into the latest cloud platform offered by Microsoft. Let’s start with what it is.

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SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is Done For

Two of Microsoft’s most popular relational database management systems, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will be losing support on July 9, 2019. If your business continues to use one of these titles for its database management, you are running out of time before you need to upgrade. Today, we’ll take a brief look at what the software is used for and what options are open to you going forward.

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Getting to Know Technology: Application Programming Interface

Software runs the world, or so they say, and it’s all thanks to the ability to integrate with one-another through the use of APIs. This tech term, which stands for application programming interface, and it’s crucial to understand what these do in today’s technology environment.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part V: Other Considerations

In parts one through four we talked about choosing the right specifications for your desktop, depending on its role. We talked about selecting the right CPU, RAM, storage, and display options. This final post we hit a few other tips and ideas we came up with that didn’t fit into the other posts.

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Is Offering Remote Work a Benefit for Your Business?

Technology has become so commonplace in the office environment that work can be done from just about anywhere on any device. This has led to many organizations implementing a remote workforce--at least some of the time. There are actually several benefits to remote work, even for the employer, surprisingly enough.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part IV: Videos, Graphics, and Monitors

Your new desktop isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have a screen to plug into it. Let’s talk about considerations to make when purchasing a new desktop when it comes to your display.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part III: Choosing Storage

We’re on to part three of our Desktop Buyer’s Guide. When comparing all of your options when shopping around for desktops, one of the main features you’ll see is how much storage they have. We’ve seen this with smartphones and tablets as well - you can buy an iPhone with 64 GB (gigabytes) of storage or 128 GB of storage, etc.

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Microsoft Ending Support for Major OS Titles

Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, and as such, developers are always hard at work on the next new version of the OS. However, organizations are often stuck in a tricky situation whenever end of support occurs for any popular operating system. When your reliable technology solutions finally stop receiving updates and patches, what do you do? Well, users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will have to answer this question next January.

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Tip of the Week: Stretch Your Legs and Get Healthy at Work

The office is a place where work gets done, but it’s also known as a sedentary lifestyle. Workplace wellness programs might be an $8 billion industry, but the effectiveness of these programs has yet to be determined. Let’s take a look at what kind of office wellness programs might work for you.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part II: How Much RAM Do I Need?

In part two of our desktop buying guide, we talk about one of the most confusing specifications you’ll see whenever you purchase a computer. We’re going to demystify memory, also referred to as RAM.

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Wow That’s a Lot of Money - Otsego County Residents Lost Nearly $70k to Scammers So Far This Year

According to the New York State Police, Otsego County residents have been experiencing and falling victim to a slew of scams that have resulted in the reported loss of nearly $70,000 so far in 2019.

Let’s take a look and talk about how you can protect yourself and inform your friends, family, and coworkers of this threat that is definitely feeling too close to home for many of us.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part I: Choosing the Right CPU

Are you looking to purchase a new desktop for your business (or for home)? We’ve put together this handy guide to help demystify the computer-buying process. This is the first part of five in our series, selecting the right CPU.

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Don’t Fail to Backup Your Data

Often times it’s not the big bad hackers out there that pose the biggest threat to your organization's continued survival. More often than not, it’s simple issues that create a world of problems for your business. One common way that an otherwise sound business plan could be disrupted is through an unexpected disaster derailing operations without having an adequate data backup solution in place.

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Your Business Needs to Prioritize Network Security

There is one constant in the business environment, and it’s that your organization will be placed in a constant state of being at risk the second you start to make a name for yourself. What a lot of organizations don’t understand is that it doesn’t matter how high or low-profile a business is, there will always be data on a network infrastructure that is valuable to hackers and is targeted by threats.

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European Union’s GDPR: One Year Later

2018 will be remembered as the year where data privacy was altered forever. From Facebook’s many problems to the launch of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, data privacy has never been a bigger issue than it is today. Let’s take a look at how the GDPR has affected the computing world in 2018-19 and how the past year’s events have created new considerations in individual data privacy.

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There’s a Wealth of Young Talent in Oneonta... Here’s How to Keep Them Around

Here in Oneonta, we have not one, but two institutions of higher education… which means we have quite a bit of talent being developed locally. In 2016, 2,003 degrees were awarded by our local universities - and one of the most popular majors, Business & Managerial Economics, provides a resource that can assist in making educated business decisions. It only makes sense that businesses around Oneonta would want to keep this kind of talent around.

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Oneonta Businesses Shouldn’t Write Off Older Workers

Let me ask you something… how would you describe your ideal employee? Many people would rattle off a list of qualifications and personality traits - dedicated, focused, and experienced - with little issue, but seem to never be satisfied with the experience level of their young applicants. However, another group could make a great source of promising candidates: older workers.

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Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts for Slack

Collaboration is crucial in today’s work environment, which is one reason that solutions like Slack are so popular among businesses. Another reason that Slack is a popular option is how user-friendly it is - especially with the many shortcuts that are built in. We’ll go over a few of these shortcuts.

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Tip of the Week: How to Improve Office Work

Working in an office is the reality for a lot of people, but it doesn’t need to be an unpleasant one. There are plenty of ways to make life easier while working in an office. Here, we’ll review five simple adjustments you can make to streamline your time throughout the workday.

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Invest in Your Business By Investing in Your Staff

It only makes sense that you would want your staff to know what they are doing as they tackle their daily work responsibilities - otherwise, there isn’t really the chance for very much work to be done. This is why training your staff is so important - it’s practically a prerequisite for productivity.

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Google Docs Finally Adding Microsoft Office Support

Businesses generally have to make an important choice about which brand of productivity software they will implement for day-to-day operations. Two of the heavy hitters in today’s business environment are Google and Microsoft utilizing their respective productivity solutions. While the choice of which service to work with seems exclusive, Google is making strides to break down this barrier and allow certain file types to be edited in Google Drive.

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SQL Server 2008 R2 Has Reached the End of the Line

Technology doesn’t last forever, and this is especially true for software solutions. Granted, software is a little easier to upgrade than hardware, as they can be administered patches and updates remotely, but what happens after that support ends? Well, it turns out that the widely used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be reaching their end of support date soon, meaning businesses will need a plan in place to overcome these challenges.

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