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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.

If You’re Struggling Due to Cash Flow, You Aren’t Alone

Between you and me, how is your business doing financially? If you answered with something along the lines of “not great,” you are certainly not alone. Cash flow is an issue for businesses all around the world, as a recent report from Intuit makes all too clear.

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3 Things You Can Do to Hold More Effective Meetings

Do you ever feel like your business’ meetings simply don’t go as planned? These are often the most dangerous kind of meetings, as employees who have better things to do may find that meetings aren’t a great way of using their time (or their skills) properly. If you are having meetings that just seem like a waste of time, it’s your responsibility to start thinking about how you can improve them. Here are a few tips:

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We Break Down Break/Fix

In business today outsourcing your IT management or project management is routine. It wasn’t always so. For the first couple of decades of IT for business, that was the only way you were going to get a piece of technology up and working again without massive capital investment. Today, we will take a look at the break/fix method to IT management and how it is far more expensive than you may think.

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Don’t Make the Solutions More Complicated Than the Problem

The act of “yak shaving,” also known as “bikeshedding,” is a specific kind of procrastination that can hold you back from getting the most out of your workday. This week’s tip is dedicated to explaining what this nonsensical phrase means and why it’s beneficial to keep your employees on track.

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Is Your Effort Getting Things Done?

You can’t have a successful business without a little bit of productivity. Unfortunately, some office environments can have a negative influence on the way your employees get their work done. Take a moment to ask yourself this question: “Are you simply busy, or are you actually being productive?”

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Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Need to Prioritize Data Management

For the small business, being more efficient with resources can make a massive difference. In fact, it can be the difference between organizational sustainability and organizational failure. The bottom line is that, no matter how big or small they are, today’s businesses need to be smarter to compete. As a result, some businesses have begun to utilize data management platforms (DMP) in order to put themselves in a better position to understand their business, their market, and their customers. Let’s take a look at the DMP, and how it works to help businesses like yours be more effective.

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Social Media Can Help and Hurt Any Business

In many ways, social media is the defining characteristic of the information age. It has transformed the way people communicate, market their products and services, and it has brought a litany of issues into the public consciousness. On the other side of the coin, social media currently costs many business billions of dollars a year in lost productivity. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of social media, and how your business can put yourself in a net-positive position regarding the technology.

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How Automation Rejuvenates Productivity

There are some cases where productivity is a challenge, especially in the case where you’re being asked to work on something repetitive or monotonous. To make these tasks more bearable, automation solutions can be used. Although, depending on the purpose, they can become an integral part of your business’ productivity strategy.

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Tip of the Week: How to Calculate the ROI of Anything

All businesses are part of their respective markets, and depending on that market, the business will implement technology solutions designed to help them best cater to their business. However, you should only implement technology that can yield a satisfactory return on investment, or ROI. We’re here to help you get the most return on your investment as possible.

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A.I. Growth and Data Analysis

If machine learning is one of those technologies that you keep hearing about, but don’t quite know exactly what it is, you aren’t alone. Most people only know that it has something to do with A.I. Some of the most successful businesses in the world are using machine learning, and its artificially intelligent capabilities to improve their offering or effectiveness. Today, we will begin to explain what exactly machine learning is and how it is beginning to work for businesses just like yours.

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The Future of IT; 2019 is The Year Your Business Hires a Managed Service Provider

Chances are that if you are a business owner that has been in business for a decade you’ve seen how emerging technologies have changed the face of business. Technologies like cloud computing have opened up opportunities for many businesses to get the powerful computing infrastructures they need without massive upfront costs. As this trend continues, the IT services has begun to move past core IT management and support and onto providing real solutions for the modern business. Today, we will look at how the Managed Service Provider (MSP) is at the forefront of a data revolution that has no end in sight.

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Can You Stay Productive In the Face of Constant Distraction?

The modern office is filled with distractions, and that’s to say nothing about the everyday user’s life. With so many devices and notifications interrupting focus for users all over the world, it’s more important than ever before to have a strategy for how to deal with these issues and become as productive as possible in the workplace. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the biggest distractions in the workplace and how your employees can overcome them.

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What To Do When You’ve Had Enough of Your Broken Technology

Chances are that you’ve dealt with the following scenario: You are working along fine and you try to open an application only to be rebuked by an error message on the screen that tells you that there is some type of critical error. You close that out hoping that it was a one-time exception, but nope, it pops up again. You think to yourself, “Why does this always happen?”

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3 Backup Nightmares You Don’t Want to Happen to You

Your business needs to have data backup and disaster recovery, period. There is no exception to this rule. The hard truth of the matter is that your business is risking far too much by not implementing data backup and disaster recovery. Today, we’ll examine scenarios in which a business might find its data threatened, as well as how modern businesses can keep their data safe, even when the world seems out to get them.

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Strategizing Your IT Leads to Better Business

Business technology continues to grow in importance for the small and medium-sized business, especially as many prepare for 2019. Where enterprise-level companies have long been using technology to bring people together and drive overall productivity, many SMBs are new to these opportunities. The availability of cloud resources, coupled with shifts in security, mobility, and other core technologies, makes it important for every organization, no matter what size, to have a comprehensive technology strategy.

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Signs That Your Business Needs to Upgrade Your Crucial IT

Chances are if you are in business today, there are a lot of devices on your network that you haven’t touched in years, might not be using, or don’t even need. Unfortunately, there are times when the technology you have doesn’t really do much other than take up space. If you feel like you are spending too much on your technology, you may not be wrong. By finding the IT that helps your business do business better, and scrapping plans for implementing technology that doesn’t provide sustainable returns may be a good strategy.

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Human Error is a Major Problem for Businesses

There is always going to be user error in the workplace. Even the best workers make mistakes sometimes. You naturally want to reduce these occurrences as often as possible, but for the purposes of training and whatnot, you want to assume the worst: that any worker, even the most dedicated veteran, could potentially make a business-ending mistake. Thankfully, there are ways you can make sure this doesn’t happen for your business.

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Instant Messaging Is a Valuable Tool for Businesses

Once thought to just be a cool feature of the Internet--or the entirety of the Internet to your Great Aunt Maddie--instant messaging has a long history on the web. In fact, one could argue that it was the first great Internet-based application. Today, we take a look back at the history of Instant Messaging and how your organization can use it to create a better business.

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A Busy Staff Isn’t Always a Productive Staff

Productivity is one of the most vital parts of running a business, as without it no work can get done. Even if your employees look like they are keeping themselves busy, a study from the Harvard Business School suggests they may not be as busy as you think they are. How does this work, and what can you do to resolve this issue?

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Co-Managed Services Can Help Build a Better Business

Let’s say that your organization has experienced considerable growth over the past couple of years. It’s not outpacing your IT infrastructure, and the cracks are starting to show in more ways than one. This makes it difficult to plan for the future, implement new IT initiatives, and react to issues as they crop up. If your business doesn’t have an internal IT department heading these developments, outsourcing can be a viable option to make sure all of your organization’s technological needs keep your progress moving forward.

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Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?

Data recovery can make your break your business’ continuity plan, and you absolutely cannot underestimate how important this is for the future of your organization. There are countless ways your business could lose data, and if you encounter even a single one of them, your organization could be put at serious risk. We’ll take a look at operational data loss and how your organization needs to strategize data recovery.

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Improving Your Collaboration Can Improve Performance

With the exception of a sole proprietorship, a business of any size relies on its team in order to function properly. As a result, this team needs to be able to work together towards a common goal in order to succeed. To accomplish this, collaboration technologies are becoming more and more common in office environments, and generally benefit the performance of the business in its operations.

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Fake Tech Support Knows Way More than It Should

Tech-support scammers traditionally are people who dial random numbers and try to convince the people on the other end of the phone that their computer has problems and they can fix them if the user allows them to remote into the device. They use tactics that are as generic and vague as possible, to avoid having to mention any specifics; and, since some people (especially those who have computers that are a few years old) find that their system’s performance is sluggish, they will give these people access. This typically ends in disaster.

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How Much Time Do You Spend Managing Vendors?

Vendors… how many do you have to deal with? Chances are, quite a few. Now consider how much time is spent managing each of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to reduce this time to effectively nothing? Well, we have some good news for you.

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Help Desk Support Benefits Small Business

Technology support can be one of the major pain points for businesses, and it’s not something that your organization wants to invest in without thinking about the details. Technology support as a service has a lot to offer when compared with the break/fix method. We’ll help you make the right decision by explaining why remote IT services are a major benefit for any business.

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Can You Afford Your IT Initiatives?

Your operations are, more or less, contingent on your budget. As such, your business will rely on its budget to guide it fiscally through the next year of operation. Unfortunately, IT resources care little about your budget, and you can see this in how unpredictable it can be. We’ll discuss ways that you can keep your IT budget from breaking the bank, as well as how you can improve success over time through proper management of your IT assets.

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How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

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Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

At every turn, it seems as though there’s another best practice or upcoming trend to learn and implement in the realm of business technology. Are you doing all you can to keep your company up to date, relevant, and competitive? Below, we review some of 2018’s biggest IT revolutions so far.

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Is E-Commerce an Option for You?

The Internet has made quite a few common processes easier, including buying and selling goods and even services. However, while e-commerce is experiencing extreme growth, it may not be the right fit for every business. There are a variety of considerations to balance out to determine if e-commerce is something that you should be leveraging.

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Incorporate Sales With Your SEO Strategy

When we think of SEO strategy, we usually focus on developing great content to drive visitors to our website in order to collect data, which will be used to optimize our SEO strategy to drive visitors to our website and rinse and repeat. However, what is often forgotten in our desire to drive traffic is the reason why we’re doing all of this in the first place: Sales.

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Why Should Your Vendors Decide What’s Right for Your Business?

You serve as a vendor to your clients, providing them with a necessary good or service. Likewise, you have vendors that provide you with the goods and services that enable you to do so. However, how well are your vendors managed?

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Leave Your Moving Stresses In Your Old Office

There’s nothing quite like signing off on your first business space. It’s like officially saying, “My business is up and running. Visit my office today!” What’s even more exciting, however, is when your organization is growing so quickly that your business space becomes cramped or too small to grow unhindered. Either way, the way you set up your office is going to be an important part of running your business.

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Tip of the Week: Lead Your Remote Workers to Success

Organizations that have a workforce outside of their normal office location are presented with a unique challenge. In the case of remote employees, businesses have to figure out how to keep them connected to the workplace, productive with their time, and part of the organization’s culture. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping your organization’s remote workers become more successful--or, specifically, how you can help them be successful.

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Business Communications Are Changing Rapidly

Communication solutions for business are changing rapidly, and most of the new solutions go a long way toward using existing technologies that allow these organizations to save money and get more for the services they already pay for.

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Have You Really Considered Your Maintenance Costs?

Computers need to be maintained in order to ensure that they are working as optimally as possible. It’s also known that technology solutions are prone to failure, be it from users making mistakes, deliberately ruining something in a fit of rage, or components simply failing. If you’re concerned about the wellbeing of your organization’s IT, then you need to rely on a technology specialist who can manage and maintain it.

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A Short History of Data Backup and Storage

Data backup has become an essential piece of the modern business’ computing infrastructure but the act of protecting data from being lost is centuries old. Before there was recorded civilization, there were humans writing on the cave walls and carving notches into bone to aid counting and other primitive mathematics. Today, we take a look at the history of backing up data, and how it has brought us to where we are now.

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Value-Driven Managed IT Services Boosts the Bottom Line

Businesses of all sizes use varying degrees of technology to improve organizational productivity, efficiency, and security. The more a business depends on its data, the more crucial it is for them to manage and maintain the systems in which this data is dependent. For organizations that have a lack of financial resources to support these systems, it is often left to unqualified employees, putting your business at risk. What do you do when you need expertise that you lack and can’t afford to hire in-house staff?

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Why (and How) SMBs Should Strategically Adopt Technology

There is no question that a small business can benefit from technology, as has been proven time and time again. However, an issue can arise if a business bites off more than it can chew, so to speak, and ultimately creates a spike in costs. A responsible business owner will resist this temptation and prioritize the solutions they need over the ones they want - building profitability and generating capital needed to make other improvements.

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Credit Card Skimmers Are a Real Threat - Be On The Lookout

If you thought that small town Oneonta wasn’t at risk of cybersecurity attacks and scams that you see in the headlines, you might want to think again. Most of the time, smaller businesses (especially around upstate New York) feel that they’re not a viable target for cybercriminals. After all, these kinds of issues are just concerns for bigger companies in larger cities, they surely don’t happen here, in Oneonta... right?

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The Monopoly of ISPs

Many of those in favor to end net neutrality focused not on the issues of technology, but on the principles of the 'invisible hand,' otherwise known as the free market. Their argument, as espoused by Ajit Pai, is that regulation - particularly that of net neutrality - stifled innovation, and it’s that lack of variation which is the cause of so many of us being stuck with crummy internet options. In fact, Mr. Pai has a valid point, states and countries with multiple ISP services, do seem to have better outcomes for their customers. The problem is most of us don’t live in those places and don’t have many, if any, choices but one or two.

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Which Management Software Is Right for Your Business?

On the surface, you might think that customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) are the same exact thing. However, they both have very specific niches for a business--particularly when it comes to managing organizational assets and interactions with consumers. Here are some of the specific situations in which you’ll find these solutions helpful.

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Managed IT Services Is a Solid Solution for Saving Money

How much money does your business waste on managing its technology solutions? You might be surprised by the answer to this question. Depending on the way that your organization takes advantage of technology, you’ll have different needs than other businesses, but no matter what kind of organization you manage, it’s critical that you try to get the best return on investment for your solutions.

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Using the Right Communication Tools Can Bolster Productivity

Productivity is a major consideration in any business environment - that’s largely why so many solutions designed for a business’ use focus on increasing productivity as much as possible. One method of doing so that many businesses have found effective is the adoption of Unified Communication and Collaboration solutions.

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How to Fire Stress from Your Business

Stress is a reality of everyday life, especially in the workplace. Of course, different people find different things to be stressful, as well. Here, we’ll review some of the biggest sources of stress to be found in an office environment, and what some of the effects of this stress can be.

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How to Compose a Successful Business Continuity Plan

If you don’t consider the worst-case scenario when preparing your business’ disaster recovery strategy, you’ll inevitably suffer from it when it does happen. Taking into account all of these nuances is one of the main ways your organization can prepare for such an occasion. All of these instances need to be considered when putting together your organization’s business continuity plan. We’ll discuss some of the major parts of it, and why they are crucial.

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Mobile Computing Works to Boost Productivity

Mobile technology is allowing businesses to make great strides in the way that they conduct their operations, but one of the key reasons why it has been so helpful is that it decreases their costs considerably. Thanks to developments in the way that mobile technology works, it can be fit into pretty much any business model, all the while improving your return on investment for your expensive technology solutions.

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Spend More Time Managing Your Business, and Less Managing Vendors

Chances are, you most likely view your vendors as a necessary evil. While you have to work with them to get the things that your business needs to function, it’s hard to not think of everything else that could be accomplished in the time you spend dealing with them. Unfortunately, there are even more costs to dealing with vendors that you may not have considered.

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What Effect Does Available Streaming Have on Your Employee’s Productivity?

Business owners know that streaming in the office can be a considerable detriment to productivity, but the type of media that is being streamed can play a large role in whether or not the workplace is enhanced or affected adversely by it. How does your organization approach streaming? Depending on its policies, you might want to change the way that you approach this touchy subject.

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How to Balance Your IT’s Value Against the Cost

No matter how you look at it, technology is expensive. You’ll rarely look at your IT invoices without cringing a little on the inside. However, it’s important that you take a glance at these every once in a while to understand just what you’re getting from your technology budget. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your IT purchases are yielding a positive return on investment, and therefore, providing value for your organization.

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How to Calculate if That Print Job Was Really Worth It

There are a few sounds that are familiar to any office: keys clacking away, coffee being sipped (or slurped), and the rattling, squawking hum of the printer. Yet this image presents a crucial question: do you know how much your printer is costing your business each time it is used? In today’s blog, we’ll review how you can calculate this investment.

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4 Strategies to Improving Your Backups

How does your business leverage data backup? Depending on the way your business functions and your specific needs, your data backup solution will vary from other organizations in your industry. Yet, one thing is absolutely certain, and it’s that your organization can’t afford to not implement some type of data backup system. In the event of a data loss scenario, you won’t want to be left wondering if you could have prevented it with a little proactive action.

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Data Analysis is Becoming a Major Factor for Small Businesses

Data has always been important, but more recent trends have placed emphasis on using it to make important, educated decisions regarding the future of your organization. This month, we want to take a concentrated look at the data revolution and how your data has become a commodity. Just how much value is there in an individual’s data, and what does this mean for the future of computing?

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Small Business Communication Options to Boost Productivity

Miscommunication is something that plagues even the best, most organized organizations. Small businesses might be more tight-knit than your traditional enterprise, but humans are prone to miscommunication, and can be a major problem. We can help your business improve the way that it communicates and collaborates, and it all starts by considering how you can eliminate miscommunication in your office.

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“Due Diligence,” what does it mean to you?

dil-i-gence (diləjəns) - 1. careful and persistent work or effort.

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Have You Considered Outsourced Project Management?

Project implementation is a tricky subject for small businesses to approach primarily due to a lack of funding or dedicated personnel. Nowhere is this more true than for technology project implementation, be it a new email server or a revamped networking infrastructure. Depending on your business’ specific situation, it’s often more convenient to simply invest in outsourcing the project management to a third party.

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3 Types of Software and How Businesses Use Them

For the modern business owner or executive, making smart business decisions has become a necessity. Margins are small, efficiency is key, and if we were to be completely honest, business is a day-in and day-out grind. In the course of doing business much is made of cost reduction and curtailing inefficiencies that lead to wasted capital. Much is made of collaborative systems that allow for remote access. Much is made of protocol, process, and performance. With so many moving parts in every business, there has to be the “glue” that allows for cohesive actions to be taken. That “glue” is software.

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Has Your IT Team Attained these Goals Yet?

For any business to be successful, it needs access to the technology solutions that allow it to operate efficiently. Your IT team is responsible for ensuring that this access is not interrupted, which isn’t an insignificant responsibility. However, by clearly defining goals for your IT team to strive for, you provide a benefit to all members of your staff.

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4 Skills Needed for IT Project Management Success

An IT project manager is an important part of any new technology initiative in your workplace. Therefore, you should be looking for specific requirements when finding a project manager for your latest project implementation. Here are some specific traits that your business should look for in an IT project manager.

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Outsourced Project Management: A Good Option for Small Businesses

Small businesses often have to rely on different means to achieve the same level of project management as enterprises. This is due to the demands of project management being significantly different in scope, but also the way that your company implements new technology solutions. Instead of worrying about the specifics of project management, you can outsource these responsibilities to a managed service provider.

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Is Your Business Considering Moving to Managed IT?

Your business relies on its technology being maintained properly, but it’s not always as simple as updating a software application or replacing a hard drive following a catastrophic failure. You have to think about who you’re paying to maintain your technology solutions, if there’s anyone doing it at all. You need to consider what happens when you lose data or when your organization experiences downtime. How do you keep technology from becoming a hindrance for your business?

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Is Your Business Prepared to Do Away with Paper?

There’s no denying that digital records have quite a few advantages over paper documentation. Benefits of ‘going paperless’ include simplified search capabilities, more efficient storage, heightened security and automated backup capabilities. There are plenty of sources around the Internet that discuss making the switch to paperless documentation, but to keep your business documents safe, it is better to know what you’re getting into.

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Why You Need to Be Certain You’re Using Licensed Software

Using pirated software or abusing your software licenses for your business is heavily frowned upon. However, many software companies, in an attempt to protect their products, have unleashed a practice that can actually reward those who let it happen in the first place.

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Identifying Personality Types will Help Your Networking Efforts

One experience that almost everyone has been involved in is the clashing of personalities. This is only natural, as different people are born with different predispositions and are raised in differing environments. However, in the business world, one should do their best to keep personal differences from affecting the professional relationships they form.

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5 Ways to Reduce Technology-Related Stress in the New Year

Your business either has a sound plan to manage its IT maintenance, or it does not. There is no middle ground here. Either you have an internal team dedicated to maintaining your IT infrastructure, or it’s not being taken care of as well as it should be. Even if you do have an internal team, you might notice that they simply don’t have time on their hands to handle all of their responsibilities. We’re here to introduce you to one of the most notable ways of keeping your technology in proper working order: managed IT services.

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Business Communications You Can Depend On

Would your business fall apart if communications halted? This is one of the major pitfalls that businesses have to deal with, as without proper teamwork and communication, operations can fall apart and productivity can be lost. What are some of the ways that your business manages the many modes of communication that it relies on?

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How Does Your IT Stack Up to These Standards?

Selecting a managed service provider should be like selecting any employee. You need to make sure that your expectations are going to be fulfilled, and that your selection will be there when you need them to be. However, the criteria you examine your potential IT service provider by should be a little different than how you evaluate your other prospective team members.

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Unpaid Invoices are a Major Problem For SMBs

While many different people open businesses, the primary reason that they all do so is to make money. A positive cash flow is essential if the business is to generate funds that support a cause or provide a decent living. However, to collect this cash flow, a business must have their invoices returned. As it happens, this doesn’t often occur in a timely manner.

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Battle of the Benefits: Break-Fix vs Managed IT

As a managed service provider, we’re naturally going to be a little biased when comparing the positives and negatives between an in-house IT team and an outsourced approach. However, each has its benefits in the right situations, and each can have its downsides. Today, we’ll discuss each to establish which is the better choice for your situation.

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4 Benefits You Won’t Believe About Managed IT

How does your organization manage its mission-critical technology solutions? We know that most small businesses have some sort of trouble with this topic, either due to budget constraints or a lack of personnel. Either way, we know that there is a better way to manage your business’ technology, and it’s all thanks to managed IT services.

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Small Business Bill Promotes Technology Use

In order for small businesses to remain competitive in this economy, there has to be the opportunity for them to participate as a viable competitor. This is the goal of a United States bill that has passed through the House of Representatives and is moving forward to be voted on by the Senate.

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Google Is Becoming More Secure for Certain Users

Google is taking steps to protect the data of a small group of its users who run the highest risk of experiencing a data breach or hack. This new service, the Advance Protection Program, shows promise in protecting the information that these select few can access.

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Business Continuity Allows You to Keep Your Business Safe

It should come as no surprise that the practice of business continuity planning is one that every business needs to undergo. This planning serves as essentially your only insurance against some form of data disaster or another. Consider your own business for a moment--could it survive a fire, a critical failure in part of your infrastructure, or theft? With a business continuity plan, there’s a chance it just might.

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Managed IT Services Can Help Your Organization Grow

For the majority of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), finding the right technology solution is the key to growth. According to a recent study, businesses with 250 employees or less whose primary goal for 2018 is growth cited IT systems and technology applications as their top strategy for facilitating growth. However, in order for technology to provide the most ample amount of growth for your business, they must be the right selection for your individual needs. By working with an MSP, you’ll have a team of business technology solutions experts as your disposal, at a fraction of the cost of hiring an internal IT department to find and implement the IT required to accomplish your desired growth.

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Mobile Is More Than a Trend for Businesses

Today’s business environment is no longer just a drab gray office setting filled with workstations lining the wall. The office is the coffee shop across the street, or the airport lobby while you’re waiting for your plane to arrive. It’s the client’s office while you’re out on a business trip, or the venue for a business conference where you make valuable connections and exchange contact information. The office has gone mobile, and your business needs to adapt to this change.

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IT Outsourcing Has a Surprising History

You might have only recently heard about outsourced IT services, but you might be surprised to hear that they have been around for far longer than you previously thought. Even before managed IT, however, business owners and individuals alike were using the outsourced services of others to simplify operations and day-to-day tasks related to their technology management.

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3 Steps to Successful Business Continuity Planning

By now, you’ve probably heard about the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery planning for small businesses. According to FEMA, more businesses have business continuity plans than ever before. With so many SMBs looking to secure their future, there are still a few aspects of business continuity planning that today’s business need to comprehend. After all, there is more to it than just data backup. Disaster recovery is something that needs to be planned, practiced and updated.

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How To Keep Your Company Out Of The BSA’s Crosshairs

Let’s say that you have an employee who wants to do some good for your business and save your IT some cash on a piece of business software. They find a “free” version of it on the Internet, thinking they have found you a bargain deal. Little do you know that there is an agency out there that’s specifically looking for businesses like yours that don’t keep track of their software licensing, just to make a quick buck off of copyright infringement.

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What is the MSPs Role in Maintaining a Regulation Compliant IT Infrastructure?

As a business, your clients trust that you’re taking every measure possible to protect data, like personal information or financial records. However, with the number of businesses using electronic records continuing to climb, along with the rise of cybercrime attacks, many industries have begun to impose regulations and compliances that are designed to keep personal information secure. Health and finance are two of the most heavily regulated industries, with the government having stepped in and set a specific standard of data security regulations that these companies must comply with.

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Is Your Business Prepared To Survive A Major Weather Event?

As a business owner, you expect to stay in control of what your business does. Unfortunately, there are certain variables in running a business that simply can’t be controlled, like the weather. Therefore, you need to take special care to ensure that these uncontrollable instances don’t become a threat to your business’ prolonged existence. To this end, we recommend a business continuity plan.

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How To Co-Author A Microsoft Word Document

As one would expect, a business will run a lot more smoothly when its employees have the resources to work cohesively toward a common goal. This is why collaborative solutions are becoming a staple in many office environments. Today, we’ll examine how one of these solutions, Microsoft Office 365, can help a workforce to achieve its goals.

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Managed IT is a Great Way to Improve Your Business' Productivity

IT is meant to help your business function more smoothly, not hinder operations. This is the cornerstone of the way that most organizations need to think about technology maintenance. Unfortunately, there are some organizations that either don’t have dedicated IT support, or waste valuable time and resources working with break-fix providers who don’t have their business’s best interests in mind. To keep your organization from falling victim to these practices, you should consider managed IT for your technology maintenance.

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Are Shortcuts Sabotaging Your Progress?

When your organization is implementing a new project, there are a lot of expectations and deadlines that are watched with a close eye. While it might be ideal to get the project finished as quickly as possible, doing so can put a lot of pressure and stress on it that can ultimately be its downfall. For example, if you don’t think out the planning phase carefully, the entire implementation process can suffer--particularly when working on new IT initiatives.

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Save Time and See Results with Managed IT

Managing a business is a tedious endeavor where time is a precious commodity. Therefore, it’s the goal of every business owner to dedicate as much of their time as possible to leading profit-making initiatives, which, let’s face it, can’t happen if you’re busy troubleshooting computer and network problems.

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Run a Small Business? Here’s Why You Need an IT Consultant

The concept of deferring to an expert is not new, especially in terms of running a business. If your business encounters a problem in its plumbing, you call in a plumber. When it comes to your business’ IT solutions, there are professionals who can help with issues there as well: IT consultants.

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Business Intelligence Making Strides With Small Businesses

When people talk about a business’ efficiency, it’s typically referring to the ability for the organization to bring a product or service to market quickly with a small amount of wasted resources. The prevailing theory is that an efficiently-run business costs less, makes more, and grows faster than one that is inefficient. With the way business is headed--that is, with smaller profit margins than ever before--boosting efficiency has become a core business strategy. In fact, in today’s technology-driven marketplace, there are many that would argue that the efficient business is the only good business.

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3 Ways Remote Monitoring Helps Businesses

It’s time to face the fact that those times when your technology acts up, you don’t have the time to spare waiting around for the issue to just go away...you need to react. Many small businesses just don’t have the means to maintain an in-house IT resource to solve their problems. What if we can offer you a different solution.

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Solid Vendor Management Leads To Solid Successes

In order to function properly, any business will need to procure certain pieces of equipment. Some of this equipment will be specialized to the business’ purpose, while some will be the sort that may be more commonly found in offices everywhere. This equipment must be procured from somewhere, and this is where vendors come in--but who in your organization is responsible for your vendor management?

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Would You Be “Happy” to Lose 24 Hours’ Worth of Data?

When we talk about best practices, we are typically referring to the practices used by successful companies to garner the best results. A new study by Disaster Recovery has shown that, as backup and recovery solutions go, enterprises are providing some pretty disappointing results as many fail to continuously back up their data and it results in additional inherent risk.

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Increased Mobile Device Use Means Increased Risk for Businesses

Smartphones, laptops, and Chromebooks empower today’s workforce to be more mobile, and employees are often the driving force behind this. Chances are, if your business hasn’t even begun to think about your mobile IT strategy, a percentage of your staff already has.

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Why it’s a Big Mistake to Overlook Big Data

Managing your businesses technology is important because your operations rely heavily on efficient access to information. One advantage that secure and reliable IT provides is the ability to remain competitive, as the slightest advantage could mean a world of difference in your given market. One new IT trend is the analysis of big data. If it is leveraged properly, you could help your business get the leg up on local competition.

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Two Approaches to IT Support. One Clear Winner

As a modern business, your success depends on your technology functioning properly. As many businesses have discovered when their solutions did not function as intended, the effects can have considerable impact to their success rates. To help keep your business running, you need to be sure that your solutions are maintained.

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Outsource IT Maintenance to the Pros and Worry Less About Malware and Breakdowns

Information technology is a necessity in today’s world. No matter the industry, IT solutions play a major part in daily operations, so businesses need their solutions to be in working order. In order to ensure that they are, many have turned to managed service providers.

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Common-Sense Steps You Can Take to Make Meetings More Productive

How much time does your staff spend actually doing work compared to simply communicating about work? There’s a big difference, primarily in terms of making you money versus costing you money. Truth be told, employees spend nearly 80 percent of their time either in meetings, on the phone, or responding to emails. By finding ways for your team to communicate more efficiently, they will effectively spend less time yapping and more time making you money.

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How Should Business Owners Respond Appropriately to the Mobile Revolution?

Mobile devices have a prevalent place in the modern office. In fact, a recent study by Gartner found that 80 percent of all employees bring their personal mobile device with them to work. This Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend comes with a host of benefits, like improved productivity and employee morale, but it increases the risk of a corporate data breach if not properly managed. How should a concerned business owner respond to this trend?

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Virtualization Means Accessing Game-Changing Tools for Your Business

Virtualized technology services are great assets for businesses with limited budgets. Three of the best ways that your organization can take advantage of cloud computing and virtualization services are Software as a Service (SaaS), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and hardware virtualization.

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When Employees Argue, Quality Suffers. Here’s What You Can Do About It

When you talk about your employees, you hopefully often refer to them as a department, or a “team.” These terms often come with predetermined assumptions, with one of them being that the employees work together to accomplish something specific. However, it’s often not so simple. If your employees aren’t working together as a team, how can you fix this dilemma?

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Getting to the Root Cause of an IT Issue Means Seeing the Big Picture

When your business experiences an IT outage, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A typical response (after expressing frustration) is, “How long until operations resume?” An answer to this question isn’t always obvious, which leads to another question, “Why did my system go down in the first place?” Being able to quickly and accurately ascertain what’s behind an IT outage is a responsibility that every business should have handled, yet implementing such a procedure is often overlooked until it’s too late.

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Boost Revenues By Outsourcing Your IT Services

Fundamentally, business is simple: if you take in more revenue than you have expenses, your company is a success. There are just so many elements to manage to ensure that revenues outpace expenses that it becomes difficult to ascertain what you can do to cut costs and see a higher degree of profitability for your efforts.

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Why Those Who Don’t Take Data Loss Seriously Live to Regret It

No business owner wants to experience data loss in any way, shape or form, which is why it’s so crucial that preventive measures are taken. If you don’t have protections in place, you may find yourself out of business due to a data loss disaster. While that’s certainly the worst-case scenario, the other consequences of data loss are downright troublesome in their own right.

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The Right Place at the Right Time: the Story of IBM

IBM is perhaps one of the best known technology companies out there, but do you know all of the details about Big Blue’s legacy? IBM has built itself a reputation for pursuing advances in innovation and revolutionizing the way that businesses utilize computing, all the way back to its inception 100 years ago.

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