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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.

reCAPTCHA: The First Line of Defense

Security is paramount. These days, hackers are aggressive and relentless when it comes to using exploits to test your security. So much so that even when applying multiple layers of protection across a site, the server, and keeping everything patched, threats can sneak in. This is why it is critical to have a first line of defense; in this case, a CAPTCHA.

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Putting The Social in Social Media

Recently, we have been sharing insights on some best practices regarding social media. This time, we’re going to discuss the primary function of social media: engagement. Engagement is simply how you interact with your audience and whether or not you are able to develop a relationship with them. Engagement is also one of the most important and resource-consuming aspects of using social media as a tool for marketing and the promotion of your services.

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Investigating the Value of Managed IT Services

Managed IT services can present a lot of benefits for small businesses. Since not many smaller businesses can afford to staff expert IT technicians, managed IT services are an attractive alternative that allows an organization to get the IT support and management they need to keep their business running efficiently. Today, we’ll go over all the benefits a managed service provider can present a small business,and just how a MSP delivers significant returns on your IT support investments.

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

It’s October, and time again for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to bring extra attention to the issue of security. This year there is a focus on the personal and professional interactions that intersect in the virtual space. The more these two worlds become connected, the more likely the possibility of a hacker gaining access to one or both worlds, using access they acquired from one or the other.

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How to Ensure Your Business is Hurricane-Ready

As headlines shout about Hurricane Florence approaching the East Coast later this week, with Helene and Isaac also stirring in the Atlantic Ocean, it seems as good a time as any to discuss preparing your business for hurricane season; and, really any adverse weather effects that could negatively influence your business. Preparing your business for events like these is key to its survival, making it crucial that you know what your responsibilities are when awaiting a potentially devastating event such as a hurricane.

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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 Exactly Do We Mean by “Managed” Services?

Managed services - what are they? The short answer, other people managing the IT systems that you rely on every day to be productive and accomplish your tasks. In essence, they are a freedom from dealing with the troublesome and time-consuming parts of leveraging technology. You may have heard this much about managed services before, but have never been given a deeper understanding of what they entail. That is precisely what we aim to accomplish below.

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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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Is Your Password Policy A Security Risk?

With every successful intrusion and theft of data, the images of hackers as criminal masterminds and unstoppable forces of technology gone awry grow. In fact, there’s an increasing narrative that hackers are everywhere, just waiting to use their mad ‘skillz’ to steal your credit card information and buy their limited edition dolls, sorry, “action figures.” Worse, they’re just waiting to hold your data hostage and extort ransom from your business.

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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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The Protection of Data Is Best with BDR

Data backup is a critical part of any business endeavor, because if you don’t have one all of your hard work could be taken away in an instant. It’s not great to think about, but your business’ infrastructure could be put at risk of sudden annihilation. With so much at risk, what is the best way to approach managing your data? There are a lot of options out there, but there is only one that will allow your organization to get back in action following a crippling data loss incident.

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Can You Stay Compliant While Using the Cloud?

One of the inevitabilities of working with the cloud is that you have to face a tough question; what kind of compliance requirements are there for cloud-based data? If you’re storing data for your business in a cloud-based environment, it becomes your responsibility to know where and how this data is stored--particularly if you’re not the one doing the actual cloud hosting. How do you maintain compliance when you seemingly have so little control over how your computing platform is managed and maintained?

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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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Should You Be Concerned About Cloud Security?

If you think that working with the cloud doesn’t have risks, think again. It’s inevitable that you’ll face security compliance concerns when it comes to your cloud-based data. If your organization has data stored in a cloud-based environment, you’ll want to pay particularly close attention to how compliance laws affect the way that you access and store this information. How can you make sure that your cloud-based data isn’t in violation of some cloud compliance laws?

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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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Today’s Students Depend Heavily on Technology

Technology has changed the way that a lot of different industries approach operations, and academia is no different. Depending on the type of student, however, the use of technology differs and varies considerably. We’ll discuss how those in education take advantage of technology in ways that may have seemed so far away just a few decades ago.

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Smart Technology: An Update

The term “smart technology” has been around for a while. There are now millions of products that are now “connected”. They include smart forks, smart tortilla makers, and most inexplicably, a smart egg tracker; and, that’s only in the kitchen. For most people, the smart tech that they are considering is that of Internet-connected devices that actually have some day-to-day practical utility. Today, we will look at some sectors of the smart technology industry that are making great headway as we speed toward a ubiquitously-connected future.

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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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CPT: Celebrating Our Troops with an Outdoor BBQ [VIDEO]

This week’s meal was a bit different from our usual Crock-pot Thursdays. To celebrate the upcoming holiday (thank you to our troops!), the team gathered to enjoy a feast of American staples like cheeseburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni salad, and more, with strawberry shortcakes for dessert. Thankfully, we lucked out and were able to sit outside while enjoying the beautiful weather. The plethora of food quickly dwindled as plates were piled high. But, we still managed to have leftovers the next day!

Watch the video below to see the delicious food and hear what the Directive team is doing to celebrate this holiday/long weekend.

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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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CPT: It’s pronounced "tuh" + "HEE" + "nee" Chicken! [VIDEO]

After the Directive team learned how to pronounce today’s crock-pot recipe, tahini marinated chicken thighs with cucumber/tomato salad, everyone went back for seconds! The first time of the year I was able to grill our meal on the deck was a success, and gave us a real taste of summer. What is more “summer” than grilled chicken?? The cucumber/tomato salad was also a hit and the fresh mint that was included had the entire office smelling fresh. Although some team-members had their doubts about today’s meal while seeing it prepped, no one had any complaints when it was served! What is your favorite summer recipe? Check out this recipe and our video and let us know what you think!

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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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Medical IT: How Is HITECH Doing?

Compliance laws regarding the storage and dispersion of healthcare records were implemented with the intended purpose of urging healthcare providers to better take care of their patients’ personal information, but how effective are they? Unfortunately, there are many providers that have failed to meet the standards for the HIPAA and HITECH compliance laws, and it has brought a hefty price tag along with it.

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Automating Maintenance Saves Organizations More than Just Time

How much time does your business spend every day on issuing patches and security updates? How about basic maintenance and management practices that leave your network technicians tied up for hours on end? Thanks to automation, these menial tasks that take a considerable amount of time and resources can be simplified and offer a great return on investment.

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Hackers Prey on Social Media Users

Social media has been an emerging technology in recent years, and has produced many threats. Hackers have learned that they can take advantage of these communication mediums to launch dangerous new attacks on unsuspecting users. With enough ingenuity on a hacker’s part, they can potentially steal the identity of a social media user. Here are some of the best ways that your organization can combat identity theft through social media.

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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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FinTech is Improving and It’s a Good Thing for Consumers

As financial services have become a much bigger percentage of the economy in the United States, more interest, and capital, is being poured into improving financial services technology. Known as FinTech, there have been many great recent innovations that provide better information, opportunities, and ultimately returns for investors. This month, we take a look at what the FinTech industry is trying to do, and the effects it has on investors, and the economy as a whole.

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Varieties of Smart Tech to Consider

How often do you see smart technology in headlines? The term is thrown around a lot, and it’s because there are countless products circulating in both the consumer and business environments. These connected devices range from smart forks to smart cars, so you can imagine that there are a fair number of useful (as well as useless) applications of this technology. How has it changed in recent months, and what will smart technology look like in the future?

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Solid Communications Provide Businesses with Strong Collaboration Options

Is there anything more important to your business’ success than communication? If you’re not ready to communicate, it becomes difficult to collaborate and make strides on major projects. Thankfully, like many topics in business, technology allows for more effective communication and collaboration than ever before. Let’s take a moment to review some of the best technologies to streamline communication in the office.

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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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5G Improves Upon What 3G and 4G Established

You might see 3G and 4G on your mobile devices and wonder what it all means. If so, we have an answer for you, and just in time for a brand-new iteration: 5G. With this new technology on its way, it’s time to take a look at what exactly 5G should be capable of, and how it can differentiate itself from its predecessors.

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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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The Benefits of Centralizing Your Data and Infrastructure

Technology helps businesses of all kinds keep their operations running soundly, but depending on the way that it’s managed, it could have detrimental effects on your company. For example, if you have all kinds of solutions hosted on specific servers or workstations, you’re keeping them from being accessed by devices that aren’t connected to that specific network. Wouldn’t it be better if everything was centralized so that all of it could be accessed at a glance?

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Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

Your business relies on technology to ensure operations proceed smoothly, but the way that it’s managed can have a major impact on the way your company functions. Think about it like this: if you have software solutions hosted on different computers, but not in any centralized location, only those computers will be able to use these solutions--potentially hampering your staff’s ability to be productive. How can you make sure that this doesn’t become a major problem?

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CPT: Would You Tell Us About Your First Time? [VIDEO]

There is a first time for everything. And there is no other feeling that can top the very first time you tried something. It is a lasting impression that is hard to compare. So, when we ask you when was the first time you…

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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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A New Perspective on Ransomware

We are going to switch things up a bit and walk you through a retelling of a ransomware attack through the eyes of a business owner. Usually when we talk about these types of threats, we approach it from our perspective and talk about what you should do to prepare and what the threats are, but we wanted to try to show you what an event like this could feel like, for you, in your position, and in your own eyes. We hope that this will raise awareness of how crippling an event like this can be on your company, and we hope you let us know if this perspective helps you, your colleagues, and your staff get a more personal sense of what ransomware can do. Enjoy!

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World Backup Day Highlights the Importance of Backup Practices

March 31, 2018 is World Backup Day. Data is a commodity, but unlike other commodities--it can be replicated without hurting its value. As a result, data backup has become a critical need for the modern business. World Backup Day has been created to remind people to protect their assets by backing up their files.

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Leveraging Content Marketing in a B2B Strategy

When engaging in business-to-business marketing, your content plays a huge role in your success. Whether you’re creating social media content, blogging, creating articles for your web pages, creating newsletter content, or even working an in-person event, you need to make sure your content is effectively benefitting your marketing.

We’re here to help, so we’ve compiled some key considerations to make as you shape your content marketing strategy through each of the above tactics.

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What the Future Holds for Ransomware

Ransomware is a growing problem for businesses, being one of the most difficult threats to remove from an infrastructure. Not only is it easy to spread, but difficult to avoid as a whole. How can your organization prepare for this threat? It starts by being mindful of how ransomware is spread and how your employees react to it, both now and in the future.

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Security Questions about the Internet of Things

We often talk about how the Internet of Things can create security issues in businesses if not properly handled. While there are some very real threats that can be posed by the IoT in the workplace, there is no denying that it can also serve some very real utility there as well.

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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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The Value Managed IT Services Gives Your Business

Whether you’re just a small business looking to get operations moving in your chosen location, or you’re an enterprise with multiple offices across the country, one thing is universally the same: you need IT support in some capacity. As more technology is added to networks of all sizes and complexities, the need to manage this technology improves. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to go at it alone--you have third-party outsourcing at your disposal, which can save you both time and money in the long run.

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CPT: We Struck Gold With Our St. Paddy’s Crock-Pot Thursday!

On a day where everybody is Irish, of course we are going to have corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. However, this braised brisket recipe is sure to make you green with envy! Our dessert was mint chocolate chip cookies that were as green as the Emerald Isle! A feast this plentiful, was sure to have made St. Patrick proud. Sláinte, in other words "Cheers!”

Try your luck with the recipes below!

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Do You Know the Real Value of Your IT?

How much value does your company get from its technological assets? This might seem like a simple question, but it doesn’t have a simple answer. You can implement the latest and greatest solutions, but you don’t necessarily gain value from them, or as much as similar organizations in your field. With businesses aiming to cut costs and secure a profitable future, how can you make sure that IT is providing value to your organization?

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What Is All This Talk About the Cloud?

Cloud computing is one of the best ways that your business can compete with larger enterprises. Today, you can adopt the cloud and take advantage of countless services, but are you doing so yet? If not, we’ll help walk you through some of the best ways that your organization can leverage the cloud.

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Failing Technology and Your Data

The sad truth about computers is that when they inevitably break, you have to get them fixed; or, you have to order a new one. When PCs started to be utilized for mass productivity, however, businesses had to find a better way. It’s been years since the first managed services provider hung out their shingle, and over that relatively short time the managed services industry has grown to be a $150 billion-a-year industry. The combination of IT becoming an important part of nearly every business resulted in the obvious demand for affordable IT support. This trend has seen many businesses cutting IT staff to make way for outsourced managed services, and all it provides. A problem that both businesses, and the MSPs that they hire, face is that computers eventually break.

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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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Another Easy Chicken Meal, But We Are NOT Complaining!

Do you ever decide what to cook based on how many dishes you will dirty in the process?...Well here is your new favorite meal. It not only tastes great, but you only need to dirty one pan, or in Directive’s case, 4 pans! We could not get enough of today’s Crock-Pot Thursday meal, Pepper Jack Chicken and Stuffing.

To try it out yourself with the recipe below!

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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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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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Here Are the Benefits of Using Cloud-Based Document Management

How many documents does your organization accumulate just by simply staying in business? There’s no doubt that you’re sick of the traditional filing cabinet, which is both hard to move around and a pain to organize. Thankfully, modern technology solutions have afforded businesses just like yours with the ability to host and manage documents in a digital, cloud-based environment.

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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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Large or Small, Data Breaches Can Wreck Your Business

It’s no secret that a data breach can have serious consequences for any business, especially after some of the events that occurred throughout 2017. From the costs to repair any internal damage done to the efforts it takes to regain client trust, recovering from such an attack is no easy feat--and they’re only poised to get worse.

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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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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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Redundancy: a Benefit When Dealing in Data

Data is the backbone of any modern business. Since your organization relies so much on it, you need to have measures put into place to ensure that your business can access it in some way, shape or form at all times. This is easier said than done, especially for a business on a budget. We’ll walk you through how you can implement a comprehensive data backup solution to protect your organization.

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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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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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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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A Social Media Strategy Helps Businesses Start the Conversation

Building a social media strategy can be somewhat troublesome for the modern business. Not only do you not know how it can affect your organization, you also know that your competitors are likely using it. To this end, we’ll go over how your organization’s social media practices can influence success.

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There are New Ways to Secure Your Data

Security is an aspect of running a business that absolutely cannot be ignored, regardless of whether or not you see it as a considerable issue in the near future. The fact remains that your organization will always be at risk unless you take actions to keep it safe today. By taking advantage of some of the latest and greatest security tools on the market, you’ll be able to protect not only from the basic threats, but more advanced ones as well.

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Business Technology Continues to Shift to the Web

Businesses today rely on so much technology that it’s impossible to think about operations without considering how technology can make them more efficient. In fact, many organizations would completely collapse without the innovations brought about as a result of technology development. One of the hottest trends over the past few years has been the shift from in-house assets to web-based assets, ranging from application access to infrastructure hosting.

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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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There Is More to the Internet of Things Than You Know

Do you know how the countless devices entering the workplace will affect your business’s infrastructure and security? It’s important to remain future-minded about how the Internet of Things and connected devices will influence your business in the near future. According to HAX Hardware Trends, 2018 will see a multitude of changes in how we approach the Internet of Things, as well as how businesses manage it for their networks.

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Data Recovery Considerations: the Other Side of Your Backup Plan

If we asked you how your organization backs up its data, would you be able to smile and tell us all about it in detail? While it’s important to be optimistic about the future of your organization, you should never believe that you are impervious to data loss. We’ll discuss some of the most important terminology behind data backup and recovery, as well as the best way to protect your organization from the crippling situations presented by data loss.

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Is Your Backup and Recovery Strategy Solid?

Does your business know how it takes data backups and restores data following a disaster? It’s one of the most important parts of managing a business, especially in a world where hackers and mistakes can happen in a moment’s notice. Do you know how to ensure that your business is as secure as possible in the event of a disaster? A good place to start is understanding the various terminology associated with data backup and disaster recovery.

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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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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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Using 2017's Examples to Maintain Network Security in the New Year

Network security is a crucial consideration for every single business, especially ones that utilize the Internet. There were a lot of negatives and some positives that came out of 2017 in regards to cybersecurity. Below we have listed some of the most troubling cybersecurity statistics collected in 2017, and we’ve followed it up with suggestions on how to keep your business safe in 2018.

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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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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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Is Your Organization Utilizing Software from the Cloud?

All businesses require at least some type of software in order to perform as expected. It’s how organizations acquire this software that has a considerable impact on cost. For some, software can be a budget-breaking nightmare, but others have found a much more convenient way of acquiring this software: as a service.

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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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Giving Thanks, Techie Style!

For the last several years, we have annually asked the members of our team what they were grateful for. It doesn’t have to be a major thing, just some way that technology has improved our everyday lives. After a few silly answers, like memory foam (which is great) and forks (also important technology), they ended up coming up a few great technologies that they are thankful for. Here’s a few stand out items that we wanted to highlight:

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This Holiday Season, the Greatest Gift of All Could Be Your Personal Information

Hackers always love the holiday season. Lots of people are spending lots of money (both online and in-store) for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. When there are so many people making purchases all over the world, there are countless opportunities to steal information. Data such as credit card numbers and personally identifiable information can be taken and used to make people’s lives pretty miserable, during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

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Thieves Materialize Most Around the Holidays

In terms of identity theft, data loss and good ol’ fashioned pickpocketing, the holiday season is one of the riskiest times to travel. When it comes to protecting your personal information, thieves and cybercriminals are counting on you to be distracted and make careless mistakes. In 2016, the number of fraud attempts went up by 31% during the holiday season. In addition, credit cards, mobile devices, and open Wi-Fi are common targets throughout the holidays.

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Backup and Recovery Move to the Cloud to Protect Businesses

The cloud has been a major game-changer for business technology, but perhaps its most important contribution has been to the backup and disaster recovery process. Businesses no longer have to suffer due to unforeseen circumstances such as hardware failure or hacking attacks. Instead, a cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solution, also known as BDR, can provide a considerable failsafe for your organization.

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Why Hasn’t Mobile Payment Really Taken Off?

Digital payment options have become commonplace in today’s society. In fact, ever since people could purchase goods and services off of the Internet, some of the world’s most successful companies are a result of digital payment. It was a natural progression then, as the mobile device boom came, that mobile payment would take the place of cash and/or cards and bring these digital payment options beyond the Internet, and into our retail stores. This simply hasn’t happened and here are four reasons why.

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Fun With Fall Foods and a Little Bit of Philly

 Fall is always a great time for cooking, especially in Upstate, NY. Today was a perfect cool day to open up the oven and try a new fall dish. So, for today’s Crock-Pot Thursday we tried; Philly Cheese Steak Bake, Tangy Broccoli Salad, Lemon Butter Roasted Asparagus, and finished off with Lemon Bar Cupcakes. Yum is an understatement. Want to try this meal out for yourself? Check out the recipes below!

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Could Your Business Use a New Telephone System?

Telephone solutions have long been a major pain point for businesses. Smaller organizations attempt to get the most bang for their buck, especially for something as important as communications, but it’s not always so simple. How can you get the greatest return on investment from your business’ telephone solution? You can start by implementing Voice over Internet Protocol.

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Should Companies Be Punished for Data Breaches?

We’ve all seen and heard about companies and government departments that have experienced major security and data loss events. Once the event is made public, there is a media frenzy of coverage disclosing answers to questions like: Were your records compromised? How can you protect nonpublic information in the future? What should you do if you are a victim? However, as the media focus moves to another topic, the breach becomes yesterday’s news - and there is very little coverage of what repercussions and penalties those entities that were breached faced - if any.

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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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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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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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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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Protect Yourself in the Future By Learning from These Past Phishing Scams

Would you be surprised if we told you that cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to the success of your organization? Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the fact that your business will be under fire from all sides by security threats. One of the most notorious methods includes phishing--email scams that are designed to harvest credentials and other information from unsuspecting users.

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Natural Disasters Can Have a Major Impact on Business

A recent surge of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and floods have crippled major cities and devastated entire regions all over the world. In the aftermath of these events, business owners are faced with a few glaring truths - one of which is the undeniable vulnerability of their business’ future in the event of a disaster. Most of the major news outlets are reporting this figure: according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of small businesses never recover from a disaster. Despite all the literature and precautionary tales surrounding these catastrophic events, there are still an overwhelming amount of businesses that choose not to prepare for a disaster until it's too late.

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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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Data Backup isn’t as Simple as You May Think

The protection of your business includes many facets. Physical security, training, and network security get most of the attention (and rightfully so), but does your business have a plan in place if those strategies fail? For the growing business, understanding that your data is an asset doesn’t have to come after you lose some. If your management team prides itself on taking proactive measures to keep business running smoothly, one element that has to be on the table is the practice of data backup and recovery.

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Ransomware: The Smaller The Business, The Bigger The Problem

The variety of malware known as ransomware exploded in popularity in 2016, encrypting victims’ files and demanding cryptocurrency payments to restore the data to the estimated tune of $1 billion. This may seem to suggest that large corporations and companies are the primary targets of these cyber criminals--and for some, they are.

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What Happens to Your Data When You Delete It? The Truth will Surprise You

When you delete a file off your PC, or your hard drive becomes corrupted, you just take for granted that the data is gone in perpetuity. That isn’t the case at all, and it can present problems for businesses and individuals alike. The thing is that it’s deleted, it’s gone, it ceases to exist, because you deleted it with your own hands.

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