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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.

How to Tell Your IT is Performing as Expected

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

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How to Get Started Prepping for a New VoIP Solution

With communication rising to the top of many businesses’ priorities list, it’s no wonder that Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is one of the most powerful ways to revitalize your company’s communications infrastructure. If you’re still using your old traditional telephony solution, buckle up because you’re about to find out how to ditch it for good.

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Explaining Three Pieces of Basic Networking Equipment

Whether you know how it works or not, your business has an internal network that connects all of its computing infrastructure and resources. Today, we want to take a moment to demystify some of the common networking equipment you might have on-premises and what it all does to contribute to your business’ continued success.

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Why You Need to Use a Surge Protector, Not a Power Strip

It’s easy to look at a power strip and a surge protector and question if there’s anything that actually makes them different. After all, they both give you extra plugs, right?

Yes, but there’s more to it than just that. Let’s review some of the important differences between the two that make one a far better choice for your business’ power delivery needs.

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Your Business Relies on Its Technology, So Make the Most of It

Information technology—IT—is a necessity for the vast majority of modern businesses to function. For the sake of these businesses and their operations, it pays to optimize this IT by any means available.

Let’s go over the benefits that a relationship with a managed service provider gives businesses, particularly regarding the overall efficiency these businesses see as a result.

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Is Foldable Technology Worth the Investment?

Foldable displays are an emerging trend in the technology industry, as they are quite unique in their form factor and capabilities. What is the real value of this tech, though? Who is it actually being marketed to, and what for? Let’s dive in.

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What Types of Data Do You Need to Pay Attention To

Small businesses, like any other organization, need to protect various types of data to ensure the security and privacy of their operations. The specific data that needs protection may vary depending on the nature of the business, industry regulations, and the types of transactions or customer interactions. Today, we thought we would go through some common data types that small businesses typically need to protect.

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What are Digital Twins, and How Can Businesses Use Them?

A digital twin could arguably be seen as a somewhat niche technological innovation. Regardless, they are an invaluable resource to quite a few industries that help the businesses that use them optimize their processes. Let’s go over what a digital twin is, and how it helps a few different business types meet their needs.

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3 Ways Modern Software Can Make Running a Business Easier

The entire point of modern technology is to make things easier. Businesses don’t invest in computers and software simply to throw away money—technology exists to streamline operations and help you get more done in less time.

Let’s look at some of the standard technologies your business should consider to gain more value out of your technology.

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Three Innovative Tools Every Small Business Should Consider

There are rules for doing business that most people understand. That status quo has been around for a long, long time, but as technology advances, it does more than connect parts that weren’t connected before; it can break down some of the old notions about the ways businesses are run and give people who think outside the box a leg up going forward. Let’s look at three ways business leaders are innovating how they do business.

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Smart Chips Make Google Docs and Sheets Smarter

Last week, we shared a blog referencing “smart chips” that could help augment a Google Doc. We wanted to dive a little deeper into the topic of smart chips so you could apply them to your own Google Docs and Sheets.

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How Your Business Can Adapt to Its Evolving Technological Needs

As conditions within your business change, it’s likely that your plans might need to change before their end results come to fruition. The decisions you made last fiscal year, or even last quarter, might no longer be relevant due to the rapid pace of evolution that happens with business technology. Let’s go over how you can get the appropriate technology solutions for your business without falling behind.

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4 Practical Uses for Blockchain Technology

With the blockchain growing more popular as a technology, we thought it would be good to discuss how it works and why you should be aware of it. The zeitgeist often portrays it as a nefarious tool used by cryptocurrency and scams, but at its core, it is far from this; in fact, the applications of such a decentralized and transparent technology make it ideal for certain tasks. Let’s explore them.

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Business Communication’s Innovation is Driving Business Forward

For the small business, mastering advanced communication tools and strategies is not just a luxury—it's a necessity. Today, we’ll take a look at advanced small business communications, discussing the latest technologies, strategies, and best practices that can elevate your business to new heights.

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AI and Work in 2023 and Beyond: A Retrospective

2023 was a banner year for artificial intelligence, with the technology exploding into the mainstream and being more accessible by the public than ever before. Let’s explore how what we’ve seen in the past year in terms of AI has changed things for workers and workplaces everywhere.

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Two Technology Trends that Can Revolutionize Your SMB

Small businesses seemingly always need to take a long look at the way they do things because they need to be as efficient as possible to carve out a market share. This often means using technology to make everything work. There are many different types of technologies that can help any SMB build more efficient operations, but the two we will outline in today’s blog, are two technologies that are probably doing the most to help SMBs improve. 

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4 Steps for Revolutionizing Your Conference Room

We’ve seen the conference rooms of a lot of businesses, from the modified break-room with stale coffee to immaculate lecture rooms with plush, comfy seats, and everything in between.

A good conference room can do a lot to impress potential clients and customers, encourage collaboration within your team, and leave a great impression on potential employees too. While we’re not going to pretend to be interior decorators, there are definitely some important steps that we can assist with to make sure your conference room is up to the task.

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A Look Back at The Technology That Got Us Here

Think about all the things you’ve experienced thanks to the rapid innovation of technology. We can all agree that technology is cool. Today, we have $10 drones, mugs that keep your coffee warm, and LEDs everywhere. 

So what’s next? 

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Artificial Intelligence is Only as Unbiased as Its Data

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence has become a bona fide buzzword amongst businesses of all sizes, with 97% of respondents to a Forbes survey seeing a potential benefit in some way, shape, or form. However, with it being integrated everywhere in our modern lives, it is important that we remember that AI is still a human invention, as as such, it is vulnerable to our own implicit biases.

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Why Does My Laptop Battery Drain So Fast?

Laptops have emerged as the predominant workstations in the business landscape. While laptops offer unparalleled convenience, their batteries seem to be on a perpetual decline in terms of performance. This phenomenon is influenced by various factors, and the extent of battery life problems can differ based on hardware or circumstances. Today, we take a look at some of the reasons why laptop batteries aren’t performing as well as users expect. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft CoPilot for Business

AI has unquestionably emerged as the standout technology of the year, and it was only a matter of time before Microsoft entered the arena with its own enterprise-ready AI platform. The introduction of Microsoft CoPilot has sparked a fair amount of confusion and left many questions unanswered, so today our aim is to shed light on what CoPilot is and explain the value you can expect to get out of the new Microsoft AI.

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Six Reasons Your Laptop’s Battery is Dead

Laptops have become the most utilized workstations in business. Laptops are great, but their batteries are seemingly getting worse all the time. This is influenced by several factors, and it can vary significantly depending on the specific model and usage patterns, but we thought we’d go through some of the reasons why laptops seem to die quickly. 

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Mobile Device Management is Critical for Today’s Business

Mobility has become a major contributor to many businesses’ productivity plans. As a result, Mobile Device Management (MDM) has become an essential tool for organizations to manage and secure mobile devices within their networks. Today, we go through five key benefits of Mobile Device Management.

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Are Your Recovery Expectations Lined Up with Your Capabilities?

Your business’ backup and disaster recovery preparations are a critical part of your continued success as an organization, specifically, how they are measured by two key metrics: your recovery time objective (RTO) and your recovery point objective (RPO).

However, it’s important that you are able to determine what your organization can support in terms of your recovery time and recovery point objectives… but how does one do that?

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Biometric Checkout is Coming (But Don’t Hold Your Breath Just Yet)

Love them or hate them, self-service checkout registers in brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay… especially considering that research has demonstrated that Gen Z has about twice the level of buy-in to the automated point-of-sale terminals as Gen X does, and that self-checkout is the predominant form of payment today. With this success, many have wondered how welcome biometric payment processing might be.

As it turns out, it would seem it isn’t.

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One of Google’s Many Projects Gives Us a Look at Practical AI Usage

While artificial intelligence is frequently hyped up to the point that it seems to be plucked from the realm of science fiction, its true applications are actually much more mundane. That being said, these applications are often the ones that show the most promise in terms of the value they have to offer society.

For instance, let’s consider the work that Google is doing through something called Project Green Light.

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iOS 17 Unveils Some Cool New Features

In mobile operating systems, each fresh iteration tends to bring forth marginal improvements and refinements to enhance the user experience. Apple's newest mobile operating system, iOS 17, follows suit in this tradition. Let's take a brief look at some of its noteworthy additions.

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Don’t Take Any Chances: Get a VPN Today

With data security being a hot commodity with hackers, it’s no surprise that businesses want to do everything they can to protect their assets. One method for doing so is implementing a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, that can effectively obfuscate data while it’s in transit. Let’s go over some of the most valuable reasons why your business should be using a VPN.

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Data Backup Strategies Are Constantly Innovating

The modern business technology market is filled with exciting innovations, but one area that doesn't quite capture the imagination is data backup. Perhaps backup is not the most thrilling topic, but nevertheless, the growing demand for enhanced data security and redundancy in businesses is driving developers to push the boundaries of the technology, creating more advanced features to meet the growing demand for redundancy. Today, we take a look at three intriguing features of these emerging data backup solutions.

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AI is Offering Substantial Improvements to Small Businesses

Artificial Intelligence is beginning to sweep over modern computing and it can present some stark benefits for a business. AI has been deployed in various ways to help streamline your operations. Let’s look at five ways AI is helping businesses be their best.

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Necessary Networking Tools You Need to Know

Every organization, whether it’s a farm with a stable full of horses or an office with a stable filled with people, depends on its access to the Internet. Most people take for granted their ability to connect whether it be with their smartphone via Wi-Fi or their workstation, which is typically hardwired. There is a whole infrastructure behind the near ubiquitous Internet access you enjoy. Today, we will go through some of the essential hardware needed. 

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Benefits of VoIP for Oneonta Businesses

Many businesses in Oneonta and around the surrounding area are still using phone systems that are outdated and therefore hinder their capabilities and growth potential. Cloud-hosted VoIP—Voice over Internet Protocol—is a much better option for businesses to utilize, with many benefits to make the switch a no-brainer for our fellow organizations.

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VoIP is an Extremely Good Option for Business Communication

Effective communication often operates behind the scenes, yet it serves as a vital cog in the smooth operational ability of business, lending support to a multitude of functions. Consequently, making judicious investments in the right tools can markedly elevate your business. In the contemporary landscape, one such indispensable tool is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

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VR is an Interesting Tool That’s Growing in Use

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that often leaves people uncertain. More and more people have experienced it recently and the question keeps popping up whether or not VR is going to be a useful tool for businesses. We take a look at modern VR in today’s blog.

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Microsoft’s Project Silica Aims to Address Long Term Data Storage Issues

Over the past several years, it has come to the attention of people in various industries that there is going to be a time, very soon, where the data that needs to be stored is going to outweigh our ability to store it. Microsoft, in a collaboration with the University of Southampton in England has taken aim at this very problem and has come up with some innovative solutions. 

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Should You Invest In the Creation of an App for Your Business?

It seems that almost everyone owns a smartphone these days, and with smartphones come a multitude of apps. Mobile applications are the driving force behind the world's largest computing ecosystems. Consequently, the question arises, "Is it necessary for my business to have a mobile app?" Whether this is a wise decision depends on your unique business objectives, target audience, and available resources. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of developing a mobile app for your business.

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Microsoft Rolls Out Changes to Teams Collaboration App

Microsoft developed the Teams platform with the aim of enhancing collaboration among individuals. The rise of remote collaboration has been ongoing for several years, and the COVID-19 pandemic solidified its place as a standard feature in business operations. Recently, Microsoft has introduced several enhancements to the platform to further augment its functionality.

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Chromebook Waste is a Serious Problem for Businesses and Education

Laptops are no longer exclusive to the home and work environments; indeed, more and more schools and universities are adopting laptops and other educational technology for the purposes of delivering cutting-edge instruction. Chromebooks are just one option available, if not the most cost-effective one out there. This leads to a unique set of problems, though, particularly when the software powering these devices reaches its end of life.

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Microsoft Continues to Innovate with AI Tools and Services

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a bit controversial at the moment, but there can be no denying that it will play an important part in the business world in the years to come. In fact, many organizations are seeking to expand their AI offerings and capabilities, including notable companies like Microsoft. Here are some of the solutions Microsoft is offering businesses in terms of AI.

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Who Would Use Tape Backup in a Modern Business World?

Tape backup has been used for a long time, and it was once the most prominent solution for data backup out there. Nowadays, it’s not used much at all, mostly in favor of better and more convenient solutions. However, there has been a slight resurgence in tape backup, so we want to look at why some companies might still use it, despite its flaws.

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Microsoft and Google Offer Work Profiles

Both Microsoft and Google offer work profile solutions that are designed to separate personal and professional use on mobile devices. These profiles are commonly used in enterprise settings to enhance security and manageability while allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related tasks. Here's an overview of work profiles from Microsoft and Google.

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Three Innovative New Technologies that Can Bring Your Business Value

Technology can be a huge benefit or an annoying hindrance for a business. It really depends on how it is maintained or used. Just like the PC in the 1980s, Internet access in the 1990s, and the advent of social media over the past decade or so, there are a couple interesting technologies that, if properly used for business, can bring substantial value for workers, customers, and the organization as a whole. Let’s take a look at three of them.

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Breaking Down the Steps to Build a Useful Document Management Platform

Businesses create and need to handle more data than ever before. In the past, this would mean that there would be a lot of wasted data. Today’s document management system can completely revolutionize your business. Let’s take a look at the steps that go into creating a comprehensive digital document management system. 

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Mobile Use is Shifting Business Computing

Smartphones and tablets have opened up a world of opportunities for small business owners, allowing them to streamline operations, enhance customer engagement, and boost productivity. Today, we'll explore how mobile devices are a great tool for small businesses and the myriad ways they contribute to success.

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Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Are Immersive Engagement Powerhouses

Have you considered the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) for your business? If so, you’re not alone—many small businesses are opting to use these technologies in new and exciting ways, particularly as it relates to engaging customers, enhancing products, and creating better training experiences. Let’s look into how your business can utilize AR and VR to its advantage.

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What’s the Deal With the Blockchain?

With things like cryptocurrencies and NFTs flooding the public awareness, the term “blockchain” has been brought up more than a few times. However, this association hardly covers what the blockchain is or what it is capable of.

Let’s briefly review what the blockchain really is, and what the technology can do.

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Sports Franchises All-In on Data Analytics

Sports franchises have changed the way they use data to help them strategize. In the past, businesses used basic scouting to find and develop talent, but with the use of advanced analytics, not only can sports franchises improve their talent bases, they can save money and build a competitive advantage over organizations that aren’t so analytically inclined. 

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Are Managed Services Really That Big a Deal? Yes: Here’s Why

The cloud has enabled managed IT service providers, or MSPs, to fill a uniquely shaped void in many companies’ business models. Working with a managed service provider can make up for all of the traditional challenges of technology maintenance and management while also affording you unique opportunities to reduce costs, minimize waste, and maximize productivity.

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Make the Most of Your Mobile Devices with These 5 Tips

Mobile devices like smartphones have become synonymous with productivity, allowing people to get work done while on-the-move, yet in the same breath, you could say they are synonymous with distraction. With the right practices and the right apps, however, you can mitigate these challenges and be quite productive with a smartphone. Let’s explore how.

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eSignature Tools Provide Value for Small Businesses

When a business strikes a deal, there is usually some sort of paper trail or contract involved to hold both parties involved accountable. However, the traditional method of managing paper documents is both time-consuming and wasteful. With eSignature tools, businesses can change the way they handle signing documents for the better.

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Sports Franchises Rely Heavily on Analytics

Professional sports has witnessed a significant shift in the way teams and organizations approach their strategies. Gone are the days when gut instinct and intuition were the sole driving forces behind decisions. Nowadays, sports are increasingly relying on analytics to gain a competitive edge. In this week’s blog, we explore the growing influence of analytics in sports and the ways in which data-driven insights have revolutionized the game.

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Looking to Make More Sales? Consider Using These Technologies

Today’s technology can be used to help optimize and elevate just about any of your business’ processes, including your sales processes. Let’s run through a few examples of how your sales team could (and really should) be using tech to their advantage.

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Speed up Business with eSignatures

Businesses today deal in contracts. Every agreement has a proverbial paper trail. Traditional paper-based contracts are not only time-consuming, but they also involve manual efforts and can be prone to errors. This is where eSignature tools come into play, offering numerous benefits that revolutionize the way we handle and sign documents. This week, we explore the key advantages of eSignature tools and how they can positively impact businesses of all sizes.

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Expect to See More Folding Phones in the Future

Foldable phones undeniably saw a very slow start when they were introduced a few years ago, high prices and horror stories about their fragility scaring away all but the earliest of early adopters. However, thanks to an enthusiastic fanbase, the concept has persisted and has become a legitimate option amongst flagship devices. 

Let’s consider some of the predictions that have been made surrounding the future of the foldable smartphone market, and why business users might be drawn to the flexible form factor. 

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Technology is the Future of Infrastructure

Technology has touched nearly everyone over the past decade or so. More is done using technology than ever before. In this week’s blog, we go beyond individual uses of technology and discuss how technology is going to be used to improve infrastructure and the delivery of services that we take for granted. 

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There are Some Serious Benefits of Bringing On a New POS System

Having an efficient and reliable point of sale (POS) system is essential for any retail or hospitality establishment. A robust POS system offers numerous benefits that can streamline the operations of the business and enhance customer and worker experiences. This week, we take a look at some of the main benefits of integrating a robust POS system in your business. 

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Exploring Some Ways Windows 11 Boosts Productivity

The Windows operating system has gradually improved since it was first released back in 1985, bringing us to Windows 11 and its productivity-boosting capabilities nearly four decades later. Let’s take a closer look at just a few of these features so you can make the most of your time using the OS.

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What a Microsoft Study Says AI Can Do About Work

With the release of the 2023 edition of their annual Work Trend Index report, dedicated to exploring the topic of Will AI Fix Work?, Microsoft took a deep dive into the impact that artificial intelligence will have on the workplace in the future. This report ultimately resulted in three major conclusions, which we felt we should help amplify and contextualize.

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Just Because You Can Automate Something, Doesn’t Mean You Should

One way businesses attempt to save money is through automating certain processes and tasks that have traditionally been time-consuming or monotonous for their workforce. When implemented appropriately, automation can cut costs, streamline operations, and improve quality of life for workers. However, just because a task can be automated doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be automated. Let’s look at the arguments for and against automation in these contexts.

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How to Implement an Effective BYOD Policy

Let’s face it; running a business can be expensive, and taking any measures possible to mitigate those costs can have huge benefits for your bottom line. One way companies are minimizing costs is by implementing a Bring Your Own Device policy, or BYOD, to allow employees to use their own personal devices for work purposes. We’re here to help you do so without putting security at risk.

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Looking for Your Business to Go Green? The Right Tech Can Help!

It isn’t unusual for modern businesses to turn more and more often to “green” technologies, partially due to the reduced environmental impacts that come with their use, and partially due to the operational advantages that many of these technologies also bring. Let’s discuss some of the options that even smaller businesses can embrace that bring these kinds of mutual benefits.

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Implementing Bring Your Own Device, Without Bringing Your Own Risks

There’s no denying that running a successful business comes with its fair share of costs, and many would argue that some of these costs are anything but fair. As such, it makes sense to try and minimize your operating expenses by any sustainable means. Let’s go over one such cost-saving measure you can implement—Bring Your Own Device policies—and address how to do so without shortchanging your business’ security in the process.

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Basic Marketing Technologies to Help You Bring in Business

We tend to focus a lot of our time on this blog talking about the technologies that businesses can (and usually should) use as a part of their operations. However, without clients or customers coming in, there’s only so much good that these technologies can do. That’s why we wanted to briefly touch on a few technologies that can help you attract more people to your business so that all the other IT solutions we recommend can live up to their potential.

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Using Windows PowerToys Might Give You the Edge You Need

Microsoft’s operating systems have been around for a long time, and since Windows 95, Microsoft has published free utilities that can help users make slight adjustments to their operating systems to suit their needs. Microsoft PowerToys are even available now, and we want to explore what they can do for your business, as well as how you can acquire them.

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VoIP Features Your Business Should Know About

Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as VoIP, has revolutionized the way businesses manage their communications through the use of telephony. Employees who were once tethered to their landlines or their physical locations can now break free of these constraints, and it’s all thanks to VoIP and cloud-based communication tools. Here are some of the best features of VoIP solutions for small businesses.

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Don’t Fall for These 3 Browser Myths

There is a lot of misinformation and misperceptions out there related to network security, especially where small businesses are concerned. In particular, browser security is one aspect where many individuals’ knowledge simply falls flat, and they buy into myths that put their data at risk. Let’s clear up some of these misconceptions so you can go about your day in a more secure way.

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Want Additional Windows Functions? Consider Microsoft PowerToys

Since the Windows 95 operating system, Microsoft has been separately publishing 15 free utilities to add significant capabilities intended to help a user make some small tweaks and adjustments in a relatively safe way, as compared to what would otherwise be necessary to make these changes. Microsoft PowerToys are still available today, so let’s discuss what some of them can do…and how you should go about getting these tools, if so you choose.

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Looking at AI’s Runaway Advancement

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is just one way of describing the concept of machine learning technologies. AI has grown considerably over the past couple of years, so much that automation as we know it today wouldn’t exist without it. Throw in some data-driven insights and you have a technology that has cemented itself for use in a business environment, but there are some concerns with how fast it is growing and evolving.

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Ask a Tech: How to Choose the Right Laptop to Buy

We spend a lot of time working with the technology that businesses rely on, including the laptop workstations used by just about everyone in many organizations today. As such, we wanted to share some of our insights so that you know what qualities you should look for when you’re ready to acquire some additional devices for your business.

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System Failure Is a Big Risk that Every Business Takes On

In today’s business, the more robust an IT network is the more risk there is of system failure. This comes down to what is known as Murphy’s Law, which states anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. That’s why when coming up with a defense strategy, you need to mix smart IT management decisions with overwhelming redundancy to have a chance. In this week’s blog, we will outline some of the most common reasons for system failure and why you need a data backup solution.

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Is AI an Existential Threat to Humanity? The Answer: Maybe

Artificial intelligence is a hot-button issue in today’s business technology landscape, and for good reason. It’s being implemented in various software tools and platforms with mixed results. There are some concerns over it, particularly in regard to intellectual property, but there are also major issues with it related to “the profound risks to society and humanity,” according to an open letter.

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It’s Important to Be Selective With Your Business’ VPN…Here’s Why

“I just wanted to take a second to thank the sponsor of this video, [insert VPN provider here], for supporting the channel!”

If you’ve been on YouTube in the past few years, this message likely sounds pretty familiar. Virtual private network providers have been taking advantage of the trend of influencer marketing to spread awareness of their largely obscure product—often, offering an enticing deal. While we have and will continue to promote the use of a VPN for business purposes, we wanted to clarify something here: these are not the VPNs we’re saying you should use.

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Don’t Let Your Old Technology Solutions Hold Your Company Back

Unfortunately, technology is just a tool. It can do so much for your business, but there are times when your technology is getting older and it stymies the amount that you can produce. This degradation can have a stark effect on your organizational productivity from downtime, cost, and more. Let’s look at how you can identify variables that tell when your technology has to be replaced.

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Should AI Development Be Stopped? Experts Say So

It seems that you can’t turn your head nowadays without seeing artificial intelligence being incorporated into some software or platform. However, many leaders in the technology space have expressed their concerns about—as they put it—the “profound risks to society and humanity” that AI poses, outlined in an open letter. 

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Is Antiquated Technology Hurting Your Business?

When your technology gets older it has a tendency to get less effective. This can be a major roadblock to organizational productivity, and have devastating effects on your business. These include major downtime events and overwhelming inefficiency. Let’s take a look at some ways that you know that it’s time to focus on reinvestment. 

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What Software Does Your Business Need?

Every business depends on some type of software, but some businesses seem to have an application for every single thing and it can be too much for employees or administrators to manage. So the question has to be asked: What is the right amount of software for your business? Today, we’ll discuss the types of software every business needs and how to determine what you need. 

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Custom Building Blocks Coming to Google Workspace, but Not for Everyone

Google continues to build its Workspace platform up with new and innovative tools that can help businesses be more successful and efficient. One such tool is a new solution being offered to select businesses using work or school platforms of Google Workspace: custom building blocks.

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Smartphones: What’s New for 2023

Each year, we take some time and take a look at the most interesting new smartphones that are being released. Over the past few years, fewer companies are making smartphones and throughout the whole industry, innovation has seemed to slow. Whether this is a result of rigid market dynamics, supply shortages, or the extraordinary costs it takes to manufacture and source components, it has taken some of the largest technology companies in the world—such as Amazon, LG, and HTC—out of the market and presented limited opportunities for other global technology leaders such as Microsoft, Sony, and Nokia. 

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Is Remote Work Really That Much Greener, In the Long Run?

One of the biggest arguments for remote work is that it poses environmental benefits, but how much truth is there to this statement? Today, we want to dive into the details and see if there is actually a solid benefit to working remotely—for the environment, at least. The answer might surprise you.

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Supply Chain Management and the Growing Need for Logistics

Small manufacturers and distributors operate under a whole separate set of conditions than their larger competitors. This is because they don’t have the available capital to have any noticeable inefficiencies, and if they do have some, they are going to definitely affect their ability to compete. One solution that these organizations can lean on is a logistics platform. 

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Tomorrow is Earth Day, But Here’s What Your Business Can Do Every Day

Sustainability is a hot topic nowadays, from how we conduct ourselves in our personal lives to how businesses go about their respective business. If this is something that you want to promote in your business, we figured that the day before Earth Day was as good a day as any to share some of the ways you can do so.

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Automation is Helping Build More Effective Businesses

It’s no secret that automation is one of the major trends that most businesses have tried to incorporate into their business plans, most with some middling success. The problem becomes that many businesses don’t really have a strategy for building out automated tools for their business, so they may not be able to take advantage of the benefits automation can bring. 

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Does Your Data Backup Comply with the 3-2-1 Rule

We often discuss data backup and disaster recovery on our blog, and you may even be familiar with some of the terms and practices we throw around. Today, we want to take a closer look at the 3-2-1 rule and how it impacts your business’ ability to recover in the face of a disaster. Let’s dive in and see how the 3-2-1 rule can make or break your company’s data infrastructure.

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Why Otsego County Businesses Should Replace their Phone System with VoIP

Considering how essential telephone services are for just about any organization, it’s surprising how limited—and expensive— telephone service providers here in Otsego County are. Between the lack of support and, again, the costs that are involved, they’ve dropped the ball…and yet, they still expect businesses to play.

Not only do businesses here in Otsego County deserve better, better options are available.

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You Need to be Mindful of Wearable Tech

The increase in wearable technology that you see coming into your business has substantially increased over the past couple of years. People are doing a better job of tracking their health and using wearable technology to improve their work lives. This creates a problem for the business because every single device brought onto a network is a potential threat and threats have to be managed. Let’s take a look at how people are using wearable technology and what you can do in response to this trend. 

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There are Immense Benefits Inside the Modern Productivity Suite

Productivity suites are universally one of the best tools for getting work done in the business world, so if you’re not familiar with the term, then take a moment to consider how often you use Microsoft Office products or the Google Workspace apps. These are productivity suites, and they are remarkably important and valuable for your company, whether you realize it or not.

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The IoT Is Helping Business Get Smarter

Business technology has grown so much over time that it’s practically unrecognizable compared to some of the original solutions. The Internet of Things has given businesses more opportunities to automate processes and build efficiency into their IT infrastructure, and in more ways than one. Let’s look at how businesses use the Internet of Things and what you might accomplish with it.

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How Internet Speeds Have Changed

The Internet is used for a great many things in business nowadays, but some may not realize just how much Internet speeds have changed over time. This week, we thought we would take a brief look at the evolution of Internet speeds and what today’s speeds allow businesses to do. 

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4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Antiquated Telephone Service

The landscape of telephony for small businesses has changed dramatically. It’s likely that you don’t rely on your phone nearly as much as you rely on other technologies, like your Internet, communications solutions, and email. Still, an antiquated phone system can hold you back, so let’s explore the other viable option for your business: Voice over IP.

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You’re Not Too Small for Enterprise-Level Software, But You are Too Big for Consumer-Based Software

Software makes business run: that is an undeniable statement. From the operations software that allows your business to manage and pay its people to the CRM that provides a pathway to communicate efficiently with customers, to all of the applications that it takes to conduct business in earnest, software plays a crucial role in your business’ success. 

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Data Backup Truly Protects a Business

Data backup is a must-have for every business, but it isn’t enough to just copy your data. You will need to have a data recovery strategy in place to ensure that your business can effectively respond after a data loss incident. Today, we’ll take a look at why considering your recovery strategy early is important, and how to prioritize it with everything else going on with your business.

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Keyboards Get Pretty Gross, Here’s the Safest Way to Clean It

The keyboard that you may very well have used to access this blog is, in a word, gross. While we aren’t going to go into too much detail about what makes keyboards so grimy, we did want to outline how you can easily clean up your keyboard every so often, just to make sure that it’s A: more hygienic, and B: less likely to malfunction at some point.

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File Digitization Brings a New Element to Your File Management

Most modern organizations will have digitized their businesses to at least some degree without really putting much effort or thought into it. This massive and often unconscious change has created a lot of benefits for businesses with perhaps one of the most overlooked benefits being document digitization. Today, we want to discuss the great benefits that come from this initiative and why you should consider it.

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VoIP Has the Features You Need in a Complete Communications System

Ah, the business telephone solution. You know you need it, but you dislike working with your current telephone provider for a number of reasons. You know you can get a better deal if you look around, but we bet that the best deal around is a hosted Voice over Internet Protocol solution from Directive. How can our VoIP solution save your business time, energy, and resources?

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What Should You Expect out of Artificial Intelligence?

AI has been a hot topic in recent months and years, which only makes sense. Not only has it been used in more public applications, but it has also caused a bit of controversy as it seems to “compete” with people. Back in September, art made by using an artificially intelligent platform caused a stir by winning an art competition, and workplace fears of a computer taking one’s job have seemingly become more well-founded than ever.

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Identifying the Most Valuable Technology for Your Business

We talk a lot about different types of technology, securing your technology and your accounts, and a lot of other technology-related issues on this blog, but because of the generalities of whatever technology (or strategy) we’ve chosen to write about that day, we never confront the thing that is most important to a business: How does any technology fit into what we do here? What value do we get from any type of technology? Today, we thought we’d talk a little bit about what you need to do to find the right technology for your business and how to come up with those decisions. 

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In Battle Employee vs. AI, Everyone Can Be a Winner

For many years now, there’s been a bit of a fear of AI—artificial intelligence—in the workplace, all while it has been put into practical use more and more often in many businesses. This all ties back to the work of Alan Turing, who (amongst his accomplishments in computing) created what we know as the Turing Test as a means of gauging how intelligent a computer is. 

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Migrating Data? Budget in Evaluating End Result

There’s no beating around the bush with this one; moving data from one place to another, also known as data migration, is critical to get right the first time. If you create and follow a migration strategy, evaluating here and there to make sure it’s all going according to plan, you’ll see great success in this effort. Let’s go over how you can make it happen.

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Google Got Rid of Search Results Pages

Countless jokes have been made in the IT world about the perfect place to hide something being page two of Google—just hang out with some IT professionals, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear it. Unfortunately, Google is making a change to its search results that will make this joke completely irrelevant.

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Every Business Now Needs to Be Mindful of IoT

The Internet of Things, or IoT, has grown to over 14 billion connected devices as of this year, and this number is expected to exceed 20 billion devices by the end of 2026. With such a shocking number of devices, you might wonder what types of devices are out there and what they mean for your business. Let’s look at the IoT and what you need to know to keep it at the top of your mind this upcoming year.

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