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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.

This is What Happens When Your Office 365 Subscription Lapses

Subscription-based solutions are quite popular these days, and Microsoft Office 365 is perhaps one of the most important ones on the market. However, the services provided by Office 365 are contingent upon successfully renewing the subscription, making it critical that the user understands how this process works. Any user that fails to renew the subscription loses access to it, so we want to make sure you understand what happens when your subscription expires so as to avoid software access issues.

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None of VoIP’s Issues Are Enough to Prevent You from Using It

Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) solutions were made to give organizations another means of utilizing a service that they were already paying for - their Internet connection. Of course, like any solution, VoIP can have its disadvantages, it is just that most of these disadvantages hinge only around the lack of a strong and reliable bandwidth connection.

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What Could Replace the Keyboard and Mouse?

We hope we aren’t dating ourselves too much by mentioning computer punch cards, but they were once the means of inputting data into a computing device… at least, until the now-ubiquitous mouse and keyboard came into the scene. This variety of interfacing with our devices now seems to be one of the few ways to practically use them. However, other interfaces have emerged - do any of them stand a chance of unseating the keyboard and mouse?

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It’s Never Too Late for a Business IT Resolution

Now that we’re halfway through the new year, how well have you kept up your New Year’s resolutions? If it isn’t well, don’t worry - you can make or adapt them at any time. This loophole even includes any resolutions you may have set for your business operations this year. So, let’s call this a do-over regarding your IT improvement resolutions.

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What’s New with Blockchain?

Blockchain is one of the most popular emerging technologies, and it’s easy to see why. While the technology behind blockchain was once looked at as having no practical application in the workplace, it is now taking a seat front and center as a security tool for a modern business environment. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world of blockchain.

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What Will We Use When the Computer Mouse Goes Extinct?

Does anyone remember computer punch cards? Does this date us? Either way, since computing punch cards went the way of the dinosaur, there has been some version of the keyboard and mouse as we know them today. These interfacing tools have become so ingrained into our minds that it is frankly difficult to imagine a computer without them... But this begs the question, will there ever be a user interface impressionable enough to replace them?

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Professional Services Depends on This Technology

Consultation is something that can save businesses a considerable amount of time and resources. After all, you can’t expect a business professional to know everything there is to know about everything. Professional services, like those of lawyers, financial consultants, accountants, advisers, and marketing specialists, are required by just about all businesses to at least some extent. Suffice to say that each of these specialists has dedicated software and IT solutions that are needed for success.

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Why We’re Encouraging You to Step Away From Your Screens

From April 29 to May 5, we’re encouraging everyone to minimize their time in front of a screen as much as possible. Why? Simple - that’s when Screen-Free Week takes place this year.

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Big-Business Solutions Also Apply to Oneonta Small Businesses

Enterprise businesses have historically had access to bigger and better technology solutions than their small to medium-sized counterparts, their sheer size allowing them to bulldoze any potential competitors who weren’t of their size or larger. However, with the changes to technology that we have seen, business opportunities for SMBs have become more accessible and affordable. This allows more businesses of all sizes, but particularly SMBs, to embrace solutions that can drive them to success.

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What Innovative Tools Will Businesses Use in 2019?

Technology is taking on a new role for the modern business. With more value placed on data, and new innovations presenting viable options for business use, technology is now front and center for many organizations. We’ll discuss four of the most emerging technologies and how businesses are beginning to use them.

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Conferencing Solutions for the Modern Business

Modern businesses have a lot more room for flexibility than in the past, particularly in regard to meetings. With the inception of conferencing solutions, organizations have access to more dynamic tools to make the most of their meetings. Determining the best one for you, though, is not easy. We’ll help you make that choice in the simplest terms possible.

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3 Transportation Technology Innovations that Will Affect Business

If your business is one that depends on transportation, you know that coordination is extremely important. With consumers’ reliance on a company’s distribution arm, today’s companies are turning old practices on their heads and utilizing a more technology-driven approach to effectively manage their company’s transportation initiatives. This technology is innovating quickly and could mean a major transformation for businesses before too long. Today, we’ll go through three innovations that are working to change how transportation-dependent companies do things.

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Let’s Talk About Wireless Charging

How many times have you sighed about plugging your phone in, reaching behind your desk to get to the outlet? All of this could change with the addition of near-field induction charging, more commonly known as wireless charging. We’ll review what modern wireless charging is capable of, as well as what kind of obstacles could be avoided through its use.

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Internet Providers Have Started the 5G Trend

5G will be here eventually, but it’s just a matter of “when” it will arrive. It feels like we’ve been saying that 5G will arrive soon, but the fact remains that it’s not here… at this moment, anyway. Still, the ambiguity surrounding 5G, or the “Fifth Generation” of wireless networking, can get a bit confusing. We’ll help you clear up any confusion you might have about 5G so you can step into the future knowing what this technology might hold.

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How to Prioritize Your Upcoming Technology Implementations

No matter how hard some organizations may try, the technology solutions that a business leverages simply aren’t meant to last forever. You may have noticed that some of your systems are less effective than they once were, and that your competition seems to be playing with a different set of rules. Sounds like it’s high time you implemented a few upgrades.

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How to Select a Modem for Your Business

Most Internet providers will ask you to rent your modem from them, but what they don’t tell you is that you often have the opportunity to purchase your own. What are the benefits of doing so, and how can you make the best decision possible while modem shopping? We’re here to give you a hand.

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Social Media Users Should Consider Their Personal Information

Social media has completely changed the dynamics of how people communicate with one another. While some users might only keep in touch with friends through it, others--including businesses and brands--use it to promote their products. In an age where a picture can appear on thousands of devices all over the world, privacy has become a major concern for anyone using social media.

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Foldable Smartphones Launching in 2019

Last year saw many rumors regarding foldable screens on mobile devices, but no manufacturer has produced an OLED display flexible enough to fold in half… until now. In fact, there are many manufacturers out there that have committed themselves to producing foldable screens and devices in 2019.

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Microsoft Word, an Odyssey

Microsoft Word has been one of the most utilized software titles in the history of personal computing. Despite heavy competition, millions of people use it every day as their daily word processor. Today, we’ll take a look at the history of Microsoft Word, and how it has come to become such a powerful and popular software title.

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Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Your relationships with your customers and clients are reliant on one thing more than any other: communication. In order to optimize this communication, many businesses are leveraging technology solutions, and are enjoying a variety of operational benefits as a result. Is your business one of them?

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How to Prevent a Virtual Assistant from Compromising Your Security

Virtual assistants have a lot of promise as a productivity tool, so it only makes sense that they would begin to appear in the workplace. Unfortunately, these devices have also gained a reputation as a security risk. Whether or not you’ve considered bringing virtual assistants into your business, you need to prepare for their presence there.

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Checking Up on Medical IT in 2019

The healthcare industry has been trying to make the jump to digital for over a decade. While many practices have been able to successfully implement electronic health record (EHR) technologies, a full digital transformation has eluded many others. Nowadays, providers are actively searching for ways to achieve measurable results with these newer technology implementations. Today, we take a look at the healthcare industry’s IT as it stands in early 2019.

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Windows 7 Support Available, For a Price

Microsoft is coming to the end of its support for the wildly popular Windows 7 operating system, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t make a contingency plan for those organizations that haven’t yet made the jump to new systems. It just won’t be cheap. We’ll break down the upcoming Windows 7 end of life event, and how Microsoft is offering an olive branch of sorts to organizations that simply haven’t upgraded away from this OS.

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The Hybrid Cloud’s Usefulness to the Modern Business

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way business is done, but most businesses don’t always feel comfortable storing data and hosting critical infrastructure in the cloud. Every business has to determine what kind of computing infrastructure is right for them. Many businesses today have decided to spread their technology investments around as they attempt to find solutions for all types of operational needs.

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3 Reasons You Want Experts Handling Your IT

For a moment, I want you to stop and consider something: Who do you turn to when your business’ toilets suddenly stop working? Who do you call for when the lights stop working? Most likely, an expert… so if you turn to the pros for these needs, why would you do anything different for your IT?

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3 VoIP Features That Have Operational Benefit

It isn’t as though we haven't said this before but leveraging a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution over a traditional business telephone system can bring your organization a few very clear benefits. Many of these benefits come from the advanced features that VoIP offers as add-ons. We’ll discuss a few of these features and their advantages.

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Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Approaching End of Life

Microsoft is the world’s most profitable software company, and if your business is like any of the millions of businesses that rely on Microsoft’s servers, you know they are both useful and secure. Occasionally, however, Microsoft will retire older software titles as they need constant care and support. On July 9, 2019, Microsoft will officially retire their SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 operating systems. If your organization still uses this software there is no time like the present to get you systems updated, as losing support will be a major problem.

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How to Set Up a Gmail Auto-Response

These days, our society is infamously connected, especially in the business sense. This can make it jarring to not receive a reply back from an email. While we all need a break every now and then, we also need to get back to our contacts efficiently - this is where the ‘out of office’ message in Gmail comes in.

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What is Encryption, and Why Do We Need It?

When encryption is discussed, one of its high points that business professionals try to hammer home is that it’s more secure. But what does encryption really mean for businesses? Does it adequately protect data and devices? We’ll walk you through a brief rundown of how encryption works and the role it plays in keeping your business secure.

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Here are 5 Solid IoT Trends for 2019

The Internet of Things is simultaneously the most remarkable and the most dangerous current IT trend. This is because it promotes the use of connected devices, while not supplying the integrated security necessary to keep all these new endpoints from stretching an organization’s network security thin. Today, we will look at five trending topics for the IoT, and what they mean for a business like yours.

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Microsoft 365 or Office 365: What Product Is Right for Your Business?

As we’re sure you already know, Microsoft has become a juggernaut in the increasingly competitive business world with its countless solutions for organizations both small and large. With so many options, it can be tricky to figure out the right solution for your business. Thankfully, you don’t have to go about it alone. We’ll help you understand the difference between Microsoft’s Office 365 and Microsoft 365 solution… and yes, they are different.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Signs Your Server is On Its Last Legs

Your servers are some of the most important resources your business has, and they should last for many years. After a few years, however, they may begin to struggle to handle the workloads they once did; and, they often fail leaving a whole business in a lurch. To avoid this scenario, knowing the signs of a failing server can come in extraordinarily handy. Today we will go through three ways to ascertain if your server needs to replaced.

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For Oneonta Businesses, “IT Support” is More Than Computer Repair

Do you know what almost every business in the world has in common, from the likes of Walmart, Amazon, and Samsung, to the many establishments (like yours) that have made Oneonta their home? There are actually two things: one, they all use technology in some way to enable their operations, and second, this technology can sometimes stop working.

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A PSA PSA: Build a More Efficient Business

In order to build a profitable business, productivity has to remain consistent. If your business offers a service, and you are having a hard time managing all its moving parts, professional services automation (PSA) software may be right for you. Today, we will give a quick overview of what exactly a PSA is, and how it can serve as an extremely useful tool for businesses who operate in the professional services space.

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How to Manage Documents in a Paperless Environment

Consider for a moment how many documents are floating around your business at any given point. Memos, notes, invoices, receipts, and whatever else you happen to accumulate in the course of business, all floating around the office. This isn’t a great approach, and unfortunately, the classic solution for this, the filing cabinet, isn’t the most effective solution anymore.

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Tip of the Week: How to Take Better Notes

Are you a person that has traditionally written down things in notebooks? If you are, you probably have dozens of notebooks that are half filled with information, most of which you’ll look at sometime in the future and you’ll be reminded just how helpful that note would have been if you had it when you needed it. Today, digital notebooks offer the same helpfulness, with a few added features that make them (dare we say it) a little better than the traditional notepad.

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See a Major Communications Boost Cloud-Hosted VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as VoIP, has grown more popular with businesses in recent years, and it’s hard not to see why. The sheer amount of benefits that it provides to businesses--small organizations in particular--make your traditional telephone system look outdated and inefficient. We’ll discuss some of the greatest benefits today.

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The Top 5 Smartphones For You Heading Into 2019

With the smartphone market losing ground for the first time in its short history, many of the manufacturers you’ve come to know are either non-factors in the current market, or don’t even produce smartphones anymore. With new demand growing every year, new manufacturers such as OnePlus and Xiaomi are primed to fall in line behind Samsung and Apple.

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How IT Benefits a Small Business’ Growth Potential

When we discuss our service offerings, we understand that it can all seem like a little much, especially to the small business that - up to this point - has never needed all these fancy solutions to operate effectively. However, there are a few considerations that the business this scenario applies to needs to account for. For instance, is it certain that these solutions are unnecessary?

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The 5 Flagships Available Today

Smartphones are amazing and as a result a lot of people have jumped on board. So, when the annual financials came out, it was a minor surprise to see that the smartphone market was in significant decline. There are many reasons for this, but the main one has to be that older devices are holding up great compared to newer devices. This makes consumers less apt to make the substantial investment to get the latest and greatest device.

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Five Gadgets for the Techie in Your Life

With the holiday season in full swing, finding good gifts for the technology lover in your life may actually be more frustrating than you’d think. Since there are so many options, people will often get paralysis from trying to find the right gift and end up going the gift card route. Today we will look at five great gift ideas for the technology fan in your life.

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Tip of the Week: How Small Business Goes About Utilizing Technology

No matter how big a business is, it has to leverage at least some IT in order to be efficient. Unfortunately, some organizations are reluctant to implement new technology if they don’t seem to need it immediately. What these businesses don’t know is that the reason they typically don’t implement new solutions--saving money--is in direct conflict with what the solutions are designed to do in the first place.

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Tech Term: Mobile Device Management

While smartphones and tablets can help businesses quite a bit, they can also be quite detrimental to their success. If you can get past the issues related to employees bringing their own devices to the workplace, then you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of time and resources on device procurement, but you certainly want to make sure you have a mobile device management policy put in place first.

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What You Need to Know About Technology Upgrades

Even if we’d like it to last forever, business technology can’t possibly do so for a number of reasons. Due to the fact that businesses and their technology are constantly upgrading and changing, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll have to upgrade your technology at some point, whether it reaches its end-of-life event or just simply becomes obsolete for your organization. In fact, failing to update your infrastructure from time to time can have serious negative side-effects for your business.

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Developers Are Building Blockchain-Based App for Health Records

Many industries depend on their IT working properly to function as intended, and healthcare is among them. Prior to 2009, information technology had failed to take root, but with the passing of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), the health industry is much more involved and reliant on IT than it has ever been before.

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Tech Term: What are All These “-Wares?”

When you’re talking about something to do with a computer, you’re going to start hearing about some word that ends with “-ware.” You could probably list off a few yourself, but have you ever stopped to think about why they’re all described as “something-ware?” For this week’s Tech Term, we’ll take a peek at why we refer to things that way.

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Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

If you’ve been in business for a while, there are devices on your network that see little to no use. Even for the most frugal business, due to the fact that technology eventually winds up being arbitrary thanks to the continued development (and deployment) of more powerful solutions, there will always be situations where you have devices that do nothing but take up space. You can reduce the chances of this happening by finding the right IT for the job the first time, while sparingly implementing only IT solutions that will provide a return on your investment.

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The Internet Continues to Change Business

With so many people depending on the Internet for a litany of reasons, there might not be the general acknowledgment of just how powerful the ubiquitous use of the Internet really is for businesses. From the storage and redundancy of business’ data to virtualized computing platforms to browser-based interfaces that provide access to productivity and communications software, today’s Internet is filled with solutions for the modern business.

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Automation is Exciting, But your Employees Might Be Worried

It’s no secret that business operations have a lot of moving parts that need to be considered. The thing is, these parts are most likely the simplest elements of any workflow, but take up large portions of time simply due to the number of them that need to be addressed.

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3 Ways Email Encryption Keeps Your Messages Safe

Encryption is a very important tool in today’s business environment, especially if you are trying to protect your email communications. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of using encryption for your business’ communications solutions, but without an understanding of what encryption actually is, the conversation might be a little harder to understand.

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Monitoring is Essential to IT Success

More small businesses today depend on their IT. If that technology isn’t working as intended, it can really stymie an organization’s ability to be effective. Our strategy of managed IT support and services can do quite a bit towards keeping a business running efficiently. Today, we’ll take a look at managed IT to see how proactive monitoring can deliver enhanced efficiency to businesses.

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4 Backup and Recovery Terms You Should Understand

With data looked on as more of an asset than ever organizations are finding that their data backup and recovery system needs to be comprehensive. By knowing more about backup and recovery, you stand to be able to plan the solution to meet your company’s needs. Today, we will look at the different types of data backup and introduce you to four terms you need to understand.

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Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

Server units--you’ll find them in most offices out there, but they are all used for different purposes. Since well-maintained data is so essential to the success of many organizations, it’s important to keep your server units in proper working order. Today we’ll discuss the best ways to make sure your servers are in peak performance.

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The Internet of Things Continues to Expand

The Internet of Things is now made up of over 15 billion devices. 15 billion. This number includes both consumer devices in a home environment as well as business devices that are typically used in an office setting. As such, you cannot risk ignoring this phenomenon, whether it’s from a security standpoint or one of practicality. We’ll discuss the many ways the IoT is shaping business practices in today’s modern office.

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Technology Basics: Accessory

Taking care of your computer is necessary if you want to get the maximum return on investment from such an expensive piece of hardware. Granted, this can be a lot to handle, as it includes cleaning your PC regularly, keeping security at its finest, and organizing all of the information stored on it. When it all works as intended, there is an immense feeling of satisfaction. This is when it’s most effective to look at accessories.

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Google’s Making Changes to Chrome, and Not Everyone’s Happy

Chrome 70 is yet another example of how divisive technology has the potential to be. On the one hand, a few of the changes have people excited about some clear benefits to security, but others worry that Chrome will no longer be as secure or as user-friendly. We’ll review some of the changes coming with Chrome 70, so you can decide for yourself.

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Getting to Know Technology: Link

Navigation is important for any computing system--particularly the Internet, where there are countless destinations. The Internet is comprised of various web pages, images, videos, and many other valuable little bits of content that are all connected by a web of links. These links are the cornerstone of the Internet, and we’ll explain the details of how they work and what they are.

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3 Ways VoIP Can Enhance Your Employees’ Collaboration: Here’s How

It’s not every day that you encounter a business technology solution that’s capable of connecting all of your employees together in a quick and easy way. Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a great way for your business’ employees to collaborate, both in and out of the office. We’ll go into three reasons why your business should invest in VoIP now to further improve operations and efficiency regarding employee collaboration.

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OLED Is Changing the Way We Look at Things

Displays are cropping up everywhere these days, from electronic billboards to office televisions to just about any consumer electronic device. Due to the high demand for these displays, many manufacturers have turned to OLED technology to make high definition capabilities more accessible. We’ll focus on the differences between OLED displays and how they are fundamentally superior options compared to the traditional LED displays.

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Windows 10 Itself Helps Keep You Secure

Windows 10 is the most utilized operating system on PCs today. As a result, Microsoft has made it a priority to take on some of today’s most prevalent threats. We’ll go through these security features based on the state of the computer’s usage to get a better idea of how much is done to improve your security.

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Can You Use Help with Your Customer Relationships?

Understanding what your customers need is a crucial first step toward improving the way your organization communicates with them. They expect a certain level of service, so how can you make sure to maintain it while still leveling with them on what they require of your business? A customer relationship management software, or CRM, is invaluable toward this end.

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If You Haven’t, Upgrading from Windows 7 Should Be a Priority

If your computer is running Windows 7 as its operating system, it’s time to start thinking about the future. Microsoft has officially unveiled the End-of-Life date for Windows 7, meaning that they will eventually stop supporting computers running the much-loved operating system. What does this mean for your business? Let’s find out.

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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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Is It Possible For Machine Learning to Help Treat Patients?

There is no denying there is a standing partnership between IT and Healthcare. With costs inflating at a nearly-uncontrollable rate the healthcare industry has started to lean on IT to try and make the delivery of care more efficient. Today, we’ll take a look at healthcare IT, and how the industry is working to use innovative new technologies such as machine learning to provide operational efficiency resulting in better care.

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Tech Term: Read Only

You open a lot of files and folders during your duties around the office, but some of them might seem a little different from others. These files are marked as “read-only.” What is the significance behind these files, and what does this marking mean? Find out in this week’s tech term.

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Is a Better Camera a Good Reason to Buy a Smartphone?

Today the smartphone camera has become one of the biggest selling points when consumers look to purchase a new phone. This is largely because it is crucial to the use of many of the applications that your average user uses the smartphone for. It just goes to show that in less than two decades how much utility the phone has than it did when the Samsung SCH-V200 first offered users the option of taking pictures with their phone.

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Getting to Know Technology: A/B Testing

The best way to attract your audience is by understanding what they want from your business. Even something as simple as changing up the color of your branding to be more inviting can be extremely helpful. This kind of process is called A/B testing, and it can help you make improvements to the way your business operates.

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Do You Know How to Determine Your Computing Needs?

In most businesses today, the computer is an essential tool. Taking this into consideration, you need to make sure that your staff is equipped with the right tools for their given job… but which tool is the right tool? Here, we’ll review the determinations that will help you make the best choice of workstation for your employees’ needs.

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Why Smart Cities May Not Be a Smart Idea Just Yet

As of this point, the vast majority of our experience with the Internet of Things has been on a small scale - accessories and appliances that connect to the Internet to gain some added functionality. This technology can also be applied to a larger, more civic purpose - the development of something called a “smart city.” Unfortunately, this application could prove to be as problematic as the IoT we are more accustomed to.

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Smaller Practices are Choosing Cloud-Based EHR

The medical field has spawned all kinds of new technology that takes patient care to the next level. Regulations demand that even smaller practices need to make the jump to electronic medical record systems (also known as electronic health records). These EMR/EHR solutions provide an interface that give providers and patients a way to keep themselves connected to each other--a tool to promote a more efficient delivery method for these services. We’ll take a look at these EMR and EHR solutions that are hosted in the cloud, giving your organization more information to make an educated choice on implementing this software.

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Does Your Business Have a Social Media Policy in Place?

Recently we’ve seen figures, public and private, lose their jobs and sometimes even their careers over things they’ve posted not only in the present but the past on social media. While public figures may have the resources to put up a fight, those in the private arena often don’t, and so the double-edged sword of attention can be particularly sharp. Once average people attract the all-seeing eye, never forgetting and unforgiving memory of the Internet, they find the weight of public opinion brought down upon them; with all the consequences - positive and negative - such attention may bring.

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Here Are Some VoIP Features That May Surprise You

The business community has embraced Voice over Internet Protocol as the accepted standard for exceptional communications. While there are countless benefits to using VoIP as your chosen communications tool, you might be surprised at how much can be done with them. In fact, you might even overlook some of the best features about VoIP!

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How to Use Your Smartphone as a Productivity Enhancer

There is no shortage of useful devices that a business could benefit from, but the most popular is undoubtedly the smartphone. As a communication tool, it is effectively unparalleled - you can use your device to conduct business and communicate from anywhere. However, this is neglecting many of the other abilities that make the smartphone a smart choice for your business productivity, especially when you’re mobile.

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Which is Best for Your Server Needs, In-House or Hosted?

A server is a necessary component of any business’ IT infrastructure, as its job is to make sure that information and policies are distributed the way they need to be across a network. Once, servers had to be on-site in order to work, there is now the option to have a cloud-hosted virtualized server. Which of these is right for your needs? Let’s do a quick comparison to find out.

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How is Blockchain Going to Work with the GDPR?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has gone into effect, and with this new law comes a lot of information your organization needs to consider regarding individual data protection. In particular, the technology of blockchain is difficult to talk about in regard to GDPR, as it’s basically an encrypted and distributed digital ledger. How can blockchain work properly in tandem with the new GDPR regulations?

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Google’s Inflated Plan to Get the Internet to Billions of People Who Don’t Have It

It’s hard to believe that half of the world still doesn’t have access to the Internet. When so many people in the west take their near-ubiquitous Internet accessibility for granted, over three and half billion people don’t have access at all. Years ago, Google created what came to be known as X (or Google X) which was basically a research-and-development facility.

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Augmented Reality Growth Presents Interesting Applications

You may have heard the term augmented reality, but you may be surprised to learn just how much A.R. you already use in your life. For the majority of people who use a smartphone, A.R. applications (like a camera app) are already used en masse. Today, we’ll take a look at augmented reality and how it is going to be used in the future.

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Tip of the Week: Using Microsoft OneNote for Collaboration

Have you tried using Microsoft OneNote recently? It’s a great solution for a business setting, as it can provide your organization with plenty of features and capabilities that keep your staff organized and efficient. Thankfully, these features can allow your business to pass OneNote off as a project management tool. We’ll show you how it’s done.

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Your New Smartphone Probably isn’t Much Smarter Than Your Last One

The difference in today’s mobile devices and those that came years before used to be staggering, but in recent years, the differences in power and functionality have started to wane. Manufacturers have begun to roll out devices with only minor changes in power, but with exorbitant increases in cost. For the first time, in 4Q of 2017, the smartphone saw stagnation, and we’ll try to get to the root of it.

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In Business, What’s the Differences Between Intelligence and Analysis?

There’s a big difference between running a smart business and making smart business decisions, although one could say that one contributes to the other. More businesses than ever before are looking to their data to create better opportunities and make smarter decisions. We’ll take a dive into what the differences are between business intelligence and business analysis, as well as how they can contribute to your organization's success.

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How to Boost Your Business’ Success in 3 Easy Steps

Running a business is never easy. There are so many moving parts to juggle and decisions to prioritize, it can be easy to skip over key steps on the path to success. While good business savvy is obviously a key requirement for this success to happen, there are certain things that can be done to give your business an extra push in the right direction. Today, we’ll go over three such seeds of success.

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Three Reasons VoIP is a Great Choice for Businesses

If you’re trying to run your business without considering communication, you’re crippling your business unnecessarily. One of the ways that you can improve communications is by capitalizing on a modern phone system that uses the cloud. You might be surprised by how great a cloud-hosted VoIP solution works for your business--especially if you haven’t thrown out the traditional telephone handset yet.

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Amazon’s Alexa Is Entering the Workplace

Every business executive wants an office assistant that can help with the everyday “grunt work.” These office assistants handle a lot of work that the busy business owner simply doesn’t have time for. Unfortunately, small businesses are working with a limited budget, making the odds of affording extra help slim to none. Can Amazon’s Alexa offer an alternative to this dilemma?

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Understanding the Importance of .Net Framework

If you’re a habitual user of the Microsoft Windows operating system, there’s a relatively good chance that you’ve been prompted to install something called “.NET framework.” Pronounced “dot-net,” this framework is most commonly used for Windows. In this blog, we’ll go over what a software framework is and is for, as well as examine what makes .NET stand out.

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Tech Term: Protocol

Computers use quite a lot of different types of protocol to function. In particular, the Internet takes advantage of protocol to a great degree. You might recognize terms like Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, File Transfer Protocol, Internet Message Protocol, and Post Office Protocol. But what exactly is protocol, and why is it important?

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Some Providers are Offering Blockchain as a Service

There’s a big risk associated with implementing any new technology solution for your organization. For one, it’s difficult to know how a specific solution will run without first implementing it. This leads many businesses to avoid implementing a new solution for fear that it won’t be worth the investment. On the other hand, if they fail to implement a new solution, they could potentially lose out on valuable new tools they could use to succeed. How can you get around this issue?

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Wireless Charging Just Got an Upgrade… But is That Good?

Wireless charging seems to be a perfect idea - imagine if someday, our devices would never run out of charge? This may be why such aggressive progress has been made toward building a better battery charger. However, not everyone is convinced that wireless charging will have the effects that are desired of it.

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Clearing Up Some Chromebook Confusion

Chromebooks might be simple, but they aren’t as limited as you might think they are. They might have once been limited, but more recent models are much more capable of accomplishing just as much, if not more, than any of their previous iterations. Here are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about Chromebooks.

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Do You Know All the Things an MSP Can Do?

It’s a fact that most businesses today are rolling out technology as a part of their strategic plan to improve productivity and make their business more efficient. The more technology your organization relies on, the more crucial it is to get comprehensive IT support for that IT.

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The G Suite Just Got Smarter

With the recent overhaul of Google’s G Suite productivity software products comes a new way to keep your business’ data secure. We’ll go over some of the major changes introduced in the updates, including the integration of artificial intelligence.

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Don’t Get Your Hopes Up about 5G Yet

There’s no getting around it: technology has spoiled us. We have had access to 4G mobile data speeds since 2009, and we’re already clamoring for the next thing. While 5G has been in development for some time now, it will likely be quite a while before it is available for common use. Here, we examine why 5G is likely going to take at least a few more years to arrive.

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What You Need to Know About the Growing FinTech Market

Money needs to move in order for the economy to work. Traditionally, banks are the major lending institutions, and as a result have to adhere to a myriad of regulations. To provide an equitable system that people aren’t afraid to utilize, there are a lot of checks and balances that have put in place by the bank and regulators, alike. Today, there is growth of what are called marketplace lenders (MPLs) that are changing the way people (and organizations) can access capital and it is fueled by what is referred to as FinTech, or financial technology. Today, we will take a short look at FinTech and how it is changing the way we manage, borrow, pay, see, and use money.

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Your IT is Your Business’ Health... We Can Help Take Care of It

Uh oh - your critical business systems are acting up again, and you aren’t sure what’s causing the problem. Fortunately, you aren’t caught up in this alone. There are those that can help you, just like a doctor would if you were ill. However, instead of calling your healthcare provider, you want to call a managed services provider.

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Tech Term: Content Management System

In some situations, competition is good for a business; and, for others, it can be terrible. As marketing, and specifically online marketing becomes more imperative for the success of every organization, all the content that is created for this purpose has to be managed. For this week’s technology term, we take a look at the different kinds of content management services (CMS) and what they do to make managing your organization’s content simpler.

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Gmail Gets Better with Chrome Extensions

Google has contributed many useful applications and utilities to the average computer user, but one of the biggest standalone contributions that Alphabet, Inc. has made is Gmail, its email program. While this communications tool is comprehensive on its own, it only becomes more useful when paired with the right extensions. Today, we’ll review some of the ones that can best help you boost and sustain high levels of productivity.

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Google Duplex Can Make Calls for You, and More

At Google I/O 2018, the latest occurrence of Google’s convention for developers, a stunning new technology was demonstrated to those in attendance. Called Google Duplex, it adds a new level of utility and capability to the Google Assistant, in that it enables the Google Assistant to make phone calls on the user’s behalf that are almost indistinguishable from human conversation.

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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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Tech Term: Encryption

Your business’ data is often quite sensitive, which is why the professional world employs cryptology to keep it secure while it’s in transit. In terms of computing systems, this is called encryption. It’s the ideal way to secure important assets when you send or store information.

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Getting to Know Technology: RAM

Depending on who you ask, RAM will mean a different thing, but in computing, there is only one true meaning. RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it’s a major component in your computer. But what exactly does it do, and what role does it play in ensuring that your organization stays productive and efficient?

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Tech Term: Bits and Bytes

Running a business sometimes requires attention to very minute details, and some things must be measured in order to achieve optimal efficiency. You’ve likely heard the terms bits and bytes used regarding data storage or transfer, but do you know what the difference is between them? Today’s tech term is dedicated to this explanation.

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