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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.

Five Methods to Improve Team Productivity

If you want your organization to be efficient, you must increase productivity. However, this is often easier said than done, as plenty of obstacles, communication challenges, and resource allocation issues can stymie even the most well-thought-out plans. Let’s look at how you can improve productivity for your business by considering these common issues.

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Tip of the Week: Creating Google Forms that Auto-Populate Google Sheets

There are several reasons to use a form to collect data for your business, from customer impressions and service needs to employee feedback about internal matters as a means of collaborative decision-making. The trouble comes when it is time to compile all the responses… unless you know how to use the tools at your disposal.

For this week’s tip, we’re walking through the process of creating a form that self-populates a spreadsheet using Google’s toolkit.

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How to Keep Engagement Up (Even in a Remote or Hybrid Workplace)

Remote and hybrid work models have become more popular than ever, in no small part thanks to the improved technology businesses of all sizes can now access. Nevertheless, this shift has brought new challenges for organizations everywhere. One such challenge is maintaining and enhancing remote workplace engagement—a crucial aspect that directly impacts employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

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How to Use Technology to Support Your Team’s Wellness

It isn’t easy to be a member of the workforce right now. While we won’t cover them in detail, plenty of stressors—related to and separate from the workplace—can easily impact an employee’s performance. As a result, it is often in your company’s best interest to invest in your team’s well-being, and one way to do this is by implementing and encouraging the use of different technologies.

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How an MSP Can Aid in IT Project Management

It’s always an exciting time when you commit to a new IT project that promises to change your organization for the better. Of course, the exciting stuff is what comes after the implementation process—a process that can range from easy-as-pie to incredibly complex and stressful, depending on the expertise your organization employs.

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How to Scale a Growing Business (Using Technology to Your Advantage)

If you could generate more revenue without spending more, wouldn’t you?

If you share most people's goals and aspirations, the answer is a resounding and enthusiastic “yes.” Scaling a business is an important element of continued success—provided it is carried out correctly. Let’s discuss how you can help ensure your success, partly by implementing the right technology.

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How to Tell Your IT is Performing as Expected

One of the most important considerations that a business that relies on technology needs to make is how efficiently its technology works. Let’s discuss some ways to measure this benchmark and ensure that it is optimized to meet your business needs.

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How to Make Templates for Google Docs

Templates are a handy feature that popular word processing platforms, like Google Docs, offer to help users create specific types of documents. While there are plenty of prebuilt templates available, there’s always the possibility that you have a need that isn’t filled by one of them.

In these cases, you always have the option to build your own. Let’s go over how, and discuss some of the elements and options that your custom Google Docs templates can support.

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Tip of the Week: Take and Share Screenshots in Windows 11

A screenshot can be a remarkably handy thing to have on hand, for both your own purposes and especially for the purposes of technology support. While there are many tools out there that can help you take effective screenshots, there is a modern solution available for all users of Windows 11. Let’s look at how you can use it!

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How Your Nonprofit Can Secure Grants for Your Technology Infrastructure

Nonprofits typically rely on the funding provided to them by grants in order to operate. Fortunately, there are many grants out there for the nonprofit to take advantage of, many based on the cause the nonprofit works towards and many intended to support the use of technology by these organizations. Let’s explore what makes IT so critical and impactful for the nonprofit, and where technology grants may be found.

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How to Figure Out When You Get the Most Done

There’s no denying that productivity is one of the primary goals of any business nowadays, with countless examinations into the concept of productivity, theories on how to maximize it, and methods to promote it in the workplace. Today, we wanted to take one of these theories and explore it so that you can perhaps capitalize on it yourself.

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How to Manage Google Drive’s Connected Applications

If your business uses Google Apps, then there is a good chance that you have some sort of integration set up with other services. If you grant permissions to other applications or programs to access and use Google Drive, you should know that you have some power over these permissions, and it’s incredibly important that you understand what permissions you are granting.

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How to Make a QR Code in Google Chrome

QR codes have cemented themselves as one of the most common technologies used to direct people to important resources or information about goods or services provided by an organization or company. You see them on menus in restaurants, instruction booklets, and even on business cards. How can you make QR codes for your business?

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How to Add Dropdown Menus to Your Business Spreadsheets

Modern spreadsheet programs, like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, carry a plethora of functions under the surface that—if used correctly—can take their utility to another level. For instance, the cells in your spreadsheets can be turned into dropdown menus. Let’s go over how to do so in both Excel and Sheets.

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How to Help Keep Your Mobile Devices Kicking for Longer

It’s a common enough frustration—just as you really need it, your mobile device’s battery is on its last legs. This is something that we all would like to avoid if we could. That’s why we wanted to take the time to share a few ways to prolong your device’s battery life just a bit longer.

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How to Identify and Fix a Network Bottleneck

Have you ever wondered why it sometimes takes longer than you might expect for certain tasks to be accomplished with your business’ network? It turns out that technology is far from a simple thing, and small issues can seriously derail productivity and efficiency of complex information systems, one of which is the notorious network bottleneck. How can you identify and rectify this issue for your network?

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How to Take Advantage of Zero-Trust in Your Business

Considering what today’s cyberthreat environment looks like, more and more rigorous cybersecurity is strictly needed. One means that businesses have to accomplish this is a cybersecurity practice known as a zero-trust model.

Let’s go over what zero-trust entails, and how to put it in place.

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How To Design a Workspace with Productivity in Mind

The workplace is, fittingly, a place for work to be done. While there are a lot of factors that can contribute to a person’s day-to-day productivity, having a space that is conducive to accomplishing their work tasks can be seen as essential. Let’s go over how you can design a workspace that does just that:

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Broken Computer? Do These Things Before Taking It to the Shop

Try as we might, we can’t prevent all computer issues from occurring—for instance, there’s not much that we can do if a stick of RAM dies, at least, not remotely. However, if you’re stuck with a broken computer and need to bring it in for repair work, there are a few things we recommend you do.

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How to Get Get More Done and Feel Better About It

Maintaining a standard of consistent productivity can be difficult. This is doubly true if there is constant distraction. For many workers, handling these distractions is work in itself. When trying to maximize productivity it is important to undertake actions that support that goal, and when there are a lot of consistent distractions, it is useful to have a baseline of knowledge on how to do just that. Let’s take a look at five solid tips to help you maintain productivity.

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Three Useful Tips for Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most utilized platforms in business today because it delivers the results that organizations need. Unfortunately for some of these businesses, their employees may not be as proficient with Word as they need to be. Today, we thought we would provide a few quick tips about using Microsoft Word that you can share. Let’s take a look:

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How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication for Your Google, Apple, and Microsoft Accounts

Two-factor authentication is commonplace in the office environment, but it’s not commonplace enough, if you ask us. Too many organizations pass on it, placing their security at risk for no good reason. While the methods might vary, the benefits of two-factor authentication are too good to ignore. We’ll walk you through how to set up two-factor authentication for three of the most common accounts in the business environment: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

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Working with Images on the Web, Part 2 - Resizing Images

In a recent post, we talked about the various image formats you should use when sharing images over email or online. The goal is to generate an image (or images) that are the smallest file size possible to make them easy to share and quick to download, without reducing the overall quality of the image.

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Working with Images on the Web, Part 1 - Image File Formats

Whether you are sharing them online, emailing them to a colleague, or putting them on your own website, it’s important to understand a few basics when it comes to image files and sizes. This guide will hopefully save you a lot of hassle when trying to email large images, update your website, and use social media, whether it be for your own personal use or for your business.

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How to Use Google Drive to the Fullest

For the business seeking out a comprehensive cloud-based content management and collaboration solution, Google Drive is an option that warrants serious consideration. While we don’t want to recommend it over another one of your options, per se, we did want to provide a brief beginner’s guide to putting it to use. That way, any business that does elect to adopt Google Drive—and the associated solutions it comes with—has more information going in.

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How to Combat the Digital Divide for Students at Home

As the country continues to embrace remote work and distance learning, the digital divide has become more apparent. In fact, according to a Newsday article, New York State ranks 26th in the nation in regards to the percentage of households with school children not having broadband access, any internet access, or computers. The digital divide has been ongoing for decades, but it has taken the pandemic to finally put the focus on it and bring it top of mind.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Easily Identify a Phishing Attack

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve seen us reference a phishing attack. Whether you are being asked by some supposed Nigerian prince to fork over money or you are getting an email by what seems to be your bank that directs you to download an attachment, you are probably a potential victim of a phishing scam. The difference between being a potential victim and a victim is knowing how to identify it. Today, we’ll give you five ways to identify a phishing message so that you—or your company—won’t be scammed.

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How to Spend Less Time in Your Email Inbox

While email is an indispensably useful tool in the office, it can quickly become a time-sink if finding the right messages to read and respond to becomes an overbearing responsibility. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to remedy this that, after spending some time learning about the full capabilities of your email platform, can once again make your email the useful tool it is meant to be.

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Don’t Get Phished Out of Your Stimulus Payment

Wherever there is money, there are scammers. So it may not be a big surprise that scammers are out en masse trying to get between you and your federally mandated stimulus money.  It’s bad enough that we’ve already seen a couple of phishing scams using the COVID-19 pandemic that are designed to help hackers get into accounts they have no business in, now that these scammers know that people are getting cash, the scams are kicked up a notch.

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Efficient IT Goes a Long Way

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing businesses to rethink their operational strategies, many businesses have had to make a quick digital transformation. Many businesses have accomplished this before the stay-at-home orders, but with employees working from home, we thought this was the perfect time to take a look at four tools businesses can use to improve their work-from-home strategies. 

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How to Get Rid of an Old Computer Without Sacrificing Security

Time passes, and things get old. This is especially true of technology, as new and better options are developed and released all the time. Sooner or later, you’re likely to find yourself in need of a new system… The only question left is how to get rid of the old one.

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Tip of the Week: Email Signature Strategy

The email signature is an often-overlooked opportunity for an organization to appear that much more professional. Here, we’ll look into how to set up your email signature in Gmail.

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How to Leverage Parallelism to Up Your Productivity

As unfortunate as it is to hear, science has pretty definitely kyboshed the notion that multitasking works. However, while multitasking may not actually have any true benefits to productivity, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any ways to accomplish more in less time. Today, we’ll give you a better option than multitasking, a process known as parallelism.

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How Can You Find that Lost Smartphone?

One of the major aspects of smartphones is how portable they are. Thanks to them, business professionals can be productive while out of the office, no matter where they are. Unfortunately, this also means that they have more of an opportunity to lose their devices, along with the data they contain. If the device is Android-based, then you can alleviate this trouble thanks to built-in features that can help you find it.

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How to Frame Your Marketing Around Major Holidays

Whenever a major holiday is coming up, you’re likely confronted with multiple reminders of it in your daily lives. You may see commercials on TV, receive emails from companies, get flyers in the mail. You’ll see specialized packaging for brands you buy every day that reflects the upcoming holiday. It makes sense why companies are doing this - holidays celebrated by the general population give a business an excuse to get in contact with the consumer. And, this often leads to an uptick in sales.

You can do the same for your small business. The key to succeeding with holiday marketing is framing your marketing correctly in terms of your language and the imagery you use.

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Getting to Know Technology: Breadcrumbs

In the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, the titular characters decided to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind them, so they could find their way back home. While this strategy didn’t work out very well for the siblings, the same concept is used in computing today. We even refer to it as breadcrumb navigation in honor of the German fairy tale.

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Your Emails Won’t Be Secure Without these Safeguards

Are your employees putting your organization’s security at risk due to poor email practices? This is a question that all business owners need to consider--especially if you deal in sensitive information. We recommend that all businesses utilize a two-pronged approach to email security, including both technology measures to secure communications on the technical side and training to secure on the human side.

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What Makes Managed Services Worth It?

Most modern businesses depend on technology in at least some capacity, whether it’s for productivity, efficiency, or even security purposes. Without access to important data and applications, your business is a shell of its former glory. This is why it’s so important for businesses like yours to implement managed IT services. It certainly beats having untrained employees maintain your crucial computing systems!

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CPT: When Faced With a Choice, We Have Twix Up Our Sleeve! [Video]

With all of the debate going on as to whether the left or right TWIX is superior in the media today, we decided to settle this for ourselves. The conclusion is that the Twix Cookie dessert recipe we had today is in fact the top Twix! Don’t get us wrong, the real-deal candybar is great... BUT when you don’t have to choose a side, start a debate, lose friends AND you get the entire gooey cookie to yourself; is there really a comparison?

Find out for yourself with the recipe below and let us know what part of the cookie was your favorite!

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Tech Term: Encryption Key

It is no secret that security is an absolutely crucial part of computing in the modern era. Data can very fairly be called the most valuable currency today, which means it needs to be protected. One way to do this is through the use of encryption keys. In this Tech Term, we’ll go over how these keys can protect your data, and how they do so.

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Claim and Manage Your Business Online with Google My Business

You’ve probably noticed that when you search for a particular business using words like or similar to “near me,” Google will display three business options at the top of your search results, and then will load additional businesses once you click “More places.” Remember - people in your area that are looking for a business like yours will probably be doing exactly that. How can you make sure you are in those top three results?

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Facebook Makes Two-Factor Authentication Easier

If you use Facebook, you likely have a lot of personal information stored there. If you use it for your business, then your professional reputation also partially relies on what you put into the social network. If you aren’t protecting your Facebook account, you could be at risk for identity theft or worse. That’s why using two-factor authentication on your social media accounts is becoming more important than ever.

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Getting to Know Technology: Plug-In

The Internet is an amazing tool in and of itself, but like many tools, it can sometimes work better if other tools are used alongside it. These additional tools are called plug-ins. Here, we’ll discuss what a plug-in is, and how they all help us use the Internet a little better.

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5 Ways to Make IT Security Top of Mind

The most significant resource any business has is their team. Yes, unfortunately, many companies view their staff as disposable cogs, to be worn down and tossed once every ounce of passion for their job has been drained away. Some of these businesses even manage to turn a profit.

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Are You Ready for the GDPR? [FREE DOWNLOAD]

GDPR was introduced by the European Union, but it applies to businesses all over the world, especially if you could potentially collect personal data from a person residing within the EU. We feel, as a business, it’s important to safeguard personal data of your prospects and customers, and think the GDPR is a big step in the right direction to provide transparency and understanding to your users.

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Recycling eWaste is Easier Than Ever

At Directive, we live, speak, and breathe technology and our office is filled with the latest and greatest. However, when you use the latest and greatest, something has to happen to the old and broken. Electronic Waste (eWaste) is becoming an increasing environmental problem as we dump millions of unused products into landfills. Directive, as an industry leader, doesn’t send our old tech to the dump, we recycle it... and encourage that you do too!

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How to Best Utilize a Physical Backup

How does your business handle its on-premise, physical data backups? This is a question that you don’t necessarily have to ask yourself under pressure of a looming data loss incident. Despite the cloud being the clear victor in terms of restoration and reliability, physical data backup is still an important part of the business continuity process. In the worst-case scenario, a physical backup can be helpful for getting back on track.

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How to Go About a Technology Needs Assessment

If there is one thing that you can always count on from your business’ technology, it’s that it will inevitably fail at some point in the future. Therefore, your business should have a plan to keep this from happening at all costs. It’s understandable that you would want to make sure that your needs are properly evaluated both now and in the future. To this end, a technology assessment is incredibly helpful.

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What You Need to Know About Data Recovery

Data backup is one of the most critical parts of protecting your business, but there are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered before implementing a solution. For example, did you know that data backup and disaster recovery are two different things completely? While they may both be involved in the business continuity process, the two represent equally important, yet disparate, parts.

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Reduce Your Technology Headaches Go with Managed IT

Does your business have trouble with managing and maintaining your technology? If so, you’re not alone. Many small businesses struggle with even the most basic elements of IT maintenance. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take this responsibility and shift it off of your employees? The best way to approach technology maintenance is to implement managed IT services.

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Spring Cleaning Your Business and Its Technology

Spring seems to be the natural time, after what are commonly dreary winter months, to revitalize and refresh your environment - why shouldn’t your business be included? Not only does it help your operations, a clean environment also has many direct benefits for your employees. Let’s review the effects of keeping your business, and its technology, in order.

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Tech Term: Virtualization

There are plenty of topics we reference frequently that may seem a little advanced or complicated at first but are actually pretty simple concepts. Take, for example, virtualization. For today’s tech term, we’ll take a clearer look at this method of computing.

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Managed IT Services Provide Good Value for SMBs

Every business needs technology support. This statement is more true today than it has ever been before. As your organization adds new technology to its infrastructure, it will naturally grow more complex and difficult to maintain. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to go about this alone. By working with an outsourced third party, your business can take advantage of all kinds of great solutions for a fraction of the cost.

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4 Ways a Managed Service Provider Can Help Your Business

How much does your business rely on technology to keep your organization running forward? As business technology becomes more complex, it’s becoming increasingly popular for organizations to have their own internal IT departments to manage and maintain it. Yet, small businesses don’t often have the necessary funds for such a feat. How can your company afford quality IT service? You can start by pursuing managed IT solutions from a managed service provider.

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Strong Internal Communications Can Bring Major Benefits

Internal communications are remarkably important for a business with multiple moving parts. In a world with many choices for communication, how does your company keep in touch? We’ve put together five great ways that your company can take advantage of today’s networking technology to create an infrastructure meant to help your employees stay connected to one another and promote organizational cooperation.

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MSPs Face Many of the Same Problems Your Business Faces

The average business relies on several technology solutions that make maintaining a network infrastructure more challenging. Eventually, it gets to the point where technology becomes difficult to maintain without the help of an on-site IT department. Unfortunately, small businesses often have trouble supporting their infrastructures, as they don’t have the funds to hire and maintain an internal IT department. What’s the best way for a smaller organization to keep their technology in working order?

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Do You Have a Unified Strategy to Your Business' Communications

Communication is one of the cornerstones on which your business functions, and without it, you will find that going about your daily duties is considerably more difficult. Communication is one of the many ways your organization accomplishes both major and minor tasks, so you want to pay especially close attention to how your business handles phone calls, email, and even mobile devices--both in and out of the office.

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How to Keep IT and the Rest of Your Staff on the Same Side

There are some facets to IT that are universally accepted as important, such as security. However, there are also others that create some conflicting opinions between management and IT personnel. When surveyed, business leaders and IT management held vastly different opinions as to the importance of various IT tasks. Is there a way to unify these priorities?

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Managed IT Services Present Opportunities

How does your business manage its technology solutions? If you have an in-house IT department, you might think that you have a better shot at keeping your business safe from a hard drive failure, but this is only if your IT department isn’t already overwhelmed with work. You might find that implementing new solutions is tricky, which wastes time and resources on your part. What’s the small business to do?

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Warehousing Your Organization's Data Can Bring Serious Benefits

Your data is one of the most important assets at your business’ disposal. It’s really indispensable. Not only are large amounts of it the result of successful operations, it also can help your organization better understand the intricacies of its own operations, and where you want it to go in the future. Does your business have a process for collecting, storing, and sorting vital data so that your organization can figure out where to go next?

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Managed IT Delivers Some Serious Value

How does your organization manage its IT? For some businesses, it’s not an easy choice or even a remotely affordable one. Some companies are forced to endure subpar services from break-fix IT providers that don’t necessarily have the tools available to prevent issues from happening. Others try to prevent issues from evolving into major concerns. These others are the organizations that have the right idea behind technology maintenance.

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Preventing Productivity Loss After a Natural Disaster

Considering the recent weather events in the Southern United States, it only seems prudent to address a few considerations that may not be the first to come to mind when making business arrangements for such occurrences. For instance, what are the expectations that employees are held to in the case of a weather disaster?

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Small Businesses Face Challenges in 2018

The modern small business will face several challenges in 2018. The world is changing, and with it, so is business. For many small businesses, this can either be looked on as the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, or, it can be viewed as the beginning of the end. No matter what situations you are faced with this year, understanding what problems your business faces, and how to solve them is imperative to your small business’ success.

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Getting Back to Basics with Data Backup

It’s no industry secret that one of the most important pieces of IT any business should have is a data backup solution. However, this is like saying that every business should have a plant: the type of plant, and (by extension) the type of data backup, matters. You want a data backup that is more like a peace lily or a cactus, hardy and resilient, and less like a basil plant or orchid, high-maintenance and requiring very specific conditions to prosper.

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Get Your Staff to Stop Shopping and Start Working

With the growing popularity of Cyber Monday sales and explosion of all types of eCommerce, employees are more than likely tempted to shop during work hours. There are a lot of promotions exclusively available to online shoppers that take place during a business’ hour of operations. Many companies allow occasional use of company time for personal use. However, some employees are going to take advantage of this generosity and abuse the privilege.

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Keep Work from Interfering with Your Home Life

The holidays are a time when everyone questions whether they will be able to spend their time at home with their families, or be stuck at the office trying to beat a nasty deadline. The increase in mobile technology hasn’t made getting away from work any easier, but it has made it easier to work away from the office. Since this constant How can you achieve a precious work/life balance for your workplace duties?

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The Value of Outsourced IT

IT maintenance is something of a sensitive topic for some organizations. While most understand that it needs to be done, they often don’t have the resources to make it happen, either due to a limited budget or timeframe. How does your business handle IT maintenance? If your organization is having troubles managing its annual technology budget, or if you are consistently experiencing profit-sapping downtime, consider managed IT services the answer to your problems.

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Looking for New Productivity Software? Try Software as a Service

Most businesses rely on software solutions in order to stay productive throughout the work day. Whether it’s a word processor, a spreadsheet builder, or simple data storage in the cloud, software is deeply ingrained in the modern business world. Shouldn’t your organization be taking advantage of it to its full extent? You can start by implementing Software as a Service.

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Have You Tried Google’s Cloud Printing?

Most people don’t think to try and print something out from their smartphone--particularly because it’s such a new concept. With smartphones quickly becoming just as fast as desktops from just ten years ago, it shouldn’t be such a stretch to suggest printing from them. Thanks to the cloud, you can use your Android smartphone to print something directly from the device.

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Useful Tips for Project Management

If you’ve ever managed a major IT project, you’re probably well acquainted with Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Every project is going to have some rough patches. The key to overcoming these challenges lays not with the execution of the plan, but with the preparation. Here are four things to consider when you’re planning your next long-term IT project.

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Remote Maintenance Makes Technology Management So Much Easier

“The good old days” usually refer to times long past, where things were more simple. Businesses a few decades ago didn’t have much complex technology in their office, but nowadays organizations have multiple server units and plenty of workstations--all of which need more maintenance than ever before. What’s the best way for your organization to approach IT maintenance?

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4 Tips That Can Help Your Business Better Manage IT Projects

Have you ever tried to manage a major IT project yourself? If you have, you know that it’s a huge time sink and that there’s a lot involved with the process. We’ll discuss four of the best ways that you can save time and resources while managing your latest technology implementation project.

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Here’s How We Help You Avoid Tech Trouble

Wouldn’t it be great to have a fully-trained and certified staff of IT professionals sitting in the corner of your office, keeping your technology in line? Unfortunately, small businesses often don’t have the budget required to hire an internal IT department filled with security analysts and network technicians. Even if they do, they don’t have the workforce to handle all of the responsibilities of a full IT department. What’s the best way to handle your organization’s IT?

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Selecting the Best Software as a Service For Your Business

Small and medium-sized businesses have increasingly turned to SaaS, or Software as a Service, to access the tools and resources they need to complete their objectives. Rather than maintaining a solution in-house, SaaS is delivered as a web application or through the cloud. However, not all SaaS solutions deliver the same functionality.

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How To Keep Your IT Technicians From Having A Bad Time

If you have an in-house IT specialist, they are very likely the unsung hero of the office. Working behind the scenes to ensure the solutions you rely on are functioning, their efforts also enable you to improve and drive your business forward. However, many technicians can find themselves fighting an uphill battle against overload.

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Can Your Business Succeed with Its Current Communications?

Communications are crucial for any business. Whether you own a restaurant, a junkyard, or a corporation that is looking to go public, communications are a base line item on any business’ long term plan. Communication drives sales, collaboration, and the support of your offerings. Are you leveraging the best communications technology for your needs?

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What Makes Managed IT the Best Option?

Who would you rather hire--an employee who comes in late, after your systems have encountered an issue, and takes twice as long to fix them as he said, or an employee who was ahead of the game, and managed to avoid issues before they influenced your business? This scenario is precisely the same one that you encounter when you weigh a break/fix IT provider against a managed service provider.

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Tips on Business Continuity Planning from Financial Institutions

Few organizations take business continuity planning as serious as financial organizations do. The Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the organizations they oversee, depend heavily on technology for their daily operations. For these establishments, a severe data loss event or significant downtime has the potential to cripple the economy, depending on the severity. As such, they require all of the institutions that they have jurisdiction over to meet certain business continuity benchmarks.

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Maintaining Your IT Is Easier With An MSP

Technology maintenance and management is one of the major pain points of all businesses, but it comes more easily to large organizations that have large budgets. Unfortunately, small organizations are often left out, placing such an important aspect of managing their business on the back burner. How, then, can you take advantage of proactive IT maintenance without breaking your budget?

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Are You Frustrated with Business Technology? Managed IT Can Help

How does your business maintain its critical technology assets? Organizations with limited budgets and workforces often resort to forsaking technology support entirely, only getting the help they need when something goes wrong. This is called break-fix IT, and it can become a major detriment to your organization in the long run if left unchecked. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution, and it doesn’t involve hiring in-house technicians or breaking your budget.

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How Software License Mismanagement Can Hurt Your Bottom Line

Whenever you install software on your computer, you agree to certain terms put in place by the developer or vendor. Even free software, such as Google Chrome and Firefox, have terms that the end-user opts into during installation. One of the most important terms business owners need to be aware of are those that pertain to software licenses; if you aren’t, someone else will be.

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Equipping Employees to Resolve Their PC Issues Has Never Been Easier

It’s a far too common scene in businesses: an employee is working on an important project when their workstation starts acting up. Flustered, they call in the IT department, but they won’t be able to make it up to them for an hour at least. So, what’s a worker to do? Just sit there and wait? With a Help Desk solution, this wouldn't be an issue.

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5 Steps to Take Before Going to a Computer Repair Shop

Fotolia 98669974 SUh oh, your PC or laptop is starting to act up again. If it’s been checked for software problems, you’re most likely dealing with an issue with the hardware. Looks like it's time for a trip to the repair shop--but before you go, you need to make a few preparations. Here are the five things you need to consider before taking your computer in for repair.

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3 Tips to Get the Most From Your Data Backup

Business owners require ubiquitous access to certain information stored on their organization’s infrastructure. Thus, there’s an immediate need to safeguard this data from any sort of impending destruction. We’ll discuss ways that you can prevent the worst when it seems like your data will fall victim to a loss incident.

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Is Spectrum-Time Warner Cable Ripping You Off? How to Make Sure You're Getting the Internet Speed You're Paying For

Fotolia 49622659 SIn February, the New York State Office of the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Spectrum-Time Warner Cable and its parent company, Charter Communications, alleging that the company has been systematically defrauding customers since 2012 by promising and charging for Internet speeds that it knew it couldn’t offer. This case of fraud raises an important question, “How do you know if you’re really getting the Internet speed you’re paying for?”

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Want the Best IT Support? You Need Exceptional Availability

When your technology breaks down, can you rely on your IT provider to be there in a moment’s notice? What if you need someone to talk you through a troubleshooting procedure? During the weekday you expect them to be available, but what if you’re burning the candle at both ends over a weekend to finish an important project? Furthermore, your office might be closed, but your IT infrastructure still needs to be attended to.

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How to Get "All You Can Eat” IT Support Without Overspending

Let’s say you get a bill in the mail for technology support, but you don’t necessarily know why you got it. Pretty troubling, right? Clearly someone in your organization isn’t privy about the proper method of getting help for their technology, but if you regularly work with a break-fix IT provider, this kind of correspondence (and cost) is unavoidable. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

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3 Benefits to Managed IT that Are Too Good to Ignore

You’re in the middle of a project when your computer starts acting up. You smack it around a little bit to see if that has any effect, but it only makes the problem worse. Suddenly, there’s a blue screen and you have no clue what to do. What happened to your data? What will happen to your project? What will you do about the workstation replacement? Read on to find out.

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4 Symptoms of Hard Drive Failure and What You Can Do to Fix It

If your PC isn't performing as well as it used to, then it's in your best interest to troubleshoot the issues and find out why. If ignored, these issues will quickly develop into major problems that cause downtime. In a worst-case scenario, you'll experience a hard drive failure and lose valuable data.

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How to Choose the Right Hosting Provider for Your Data Needs

By now, you've heard about the many advantages of hosting your data and applications in the cloud. To take advantage of these money-saving benefits, you'll want to select the right cloud provider to host and manage your data. Otherwise, you may end up with poor support and disappointing service.

To help you pick the right hosting provider, you first need to familiarize yourself with your options. Here's a walkthrough of what you need to look for.

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What’s Driving the $3.49 Trillion Global IT Industry?

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to improve your business’s operations is by investing in quality technology solutions. However, as is the case with any type of organizational spending, IT expenditures are subject to change. After a brief hiatus, Gartner predicts that next year will be another big year in which organizations invest heavily in new technology and IT systems.

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You Can’t Afford to Overlook These 3 Benefits of Server Hosting

Every business from any industry probably has servers that hold important and sensitive data. However, not all organizations have the assets and skills necessary to manage and maintain these complex pieces of hardware. In particular, small businesses struggle with this aspect of running an in-house server, but there’s another option--an outsourced server hosting service from a third-party provider.

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How Unused Applications May Be Hurting Your Budget

When a business finds new software solutions that can effectively replace their older, less efficient systems, applications can often go unused for extended periods of time. However, these unnecessary apps can waste time and money for your business, which can add up quickly. In fact, as much as 38 percent of enterprise applications are wasting away on organizations’ networks.

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3 Ways to Give Your IT Department the Boost They Need

If you have an internal IT department, chances are that they’re functioning in a similar manner to a help desk team. They provide technology support for your less-adept employees, or those who encounter errors that they’re unable to resolve. Chances are that your IT department could use a hand every now and then, so here are a few ways you can lighten their help desk workload to free up time for more efficient purposes.

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Let’s Clear Up Some Major Misconceptions About Data Backup

Data backup is a critical component of a business continuity plan, but there are many businesses that fail to understand why data backup is important, as well as what it entails. We want to clear up some facts about how data backup is important, and why you need it for your business. Only with a thorough understanding of how your data backup saves your infrastructure can you effectively use it for business continuity.

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How to recover your laptop from a nasty spill!

Since the invention of laptops, “the workplace” has become a phrase that may describe many more places than the office your business is established in, as mobile computers encourage taking your productivity with you by their very nature. However, this “productivity anywhere” feature does not come without its dangers to the poor laptop.

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Tip of the Week: Use Screenshots to Better Communicate PC Problems

b2ap3_thumbnail_screenshots_400.jpgHave you ever tried describing a PC issue on the phone to tech support, and you get nowhere because you’re having such a difficult time describing the problem? To be sure, this is a frustrating experience. By taking a screenshot, you can send an image of the exact problem you’re experiencing, which will really help clear things up.

Taking a screenshot is as easy as using the right keystrokes. Here’s how you do it.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Customer Service [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_customer_service_400.jpgThe Internet gives customers a platform to be heard like never before. A customer’s opinion of your business dealings, when amplified online, can make or break your company. This reality requires modern enterprises to take customer service very seriously, which is easier said than done.

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Tip of the Week: A Clever Way to Make Your Computer Talk to Itself

b2ap3_thumbnail_talking_computer_400.jpgComputers can feel one dimensional, requiring the user to read and type. Humans don’t naturally interact like this. We communicate best with our voices and our ears. One day, our PCs will have artificial intelligence and we will be able to communicate with them as if we were talking to a person. Until this technology becomes mainstream, these two audio features will have to make do.

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Tip of the Week: What it Takes to Prepare and Deliver a Dynamic Presentation, Part 2

b2ap3_thumbnail_public_speaking_tips_400.jpgFor last week’s tip, we gave helpful advice about how to prepare for a presentation; tips like, how to develop your idea, how to size up your audience, and the importance of rehearsing. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over what it takes to deliver a presentation that’s both effective and memorable.

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