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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.

Taking a Short Look at Windows 10’s Action Center

Windows 10 has been out for almost five years. Now I ask you, have you ever used the Windows 10 Action Center? If the answer is yes, good for you. If the answer is no, it is time to talk about the almost hidden part of Windows 10, and tell you how you can use it to your advantage.

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3 Reasons Your Business will Benefit from an IT Assessment

Are your security safeguards up to snuff? If a disaster were to happen, would you be able to recover your data and bounce back? Does your team understand and implement best practices when it comes to protecting your customer data? Do you know if any software you are running is about to reach end-of-life? If you’re not sure, then it’s time for an IT Assessment. Don’t think your organization needs it? Here are three benefits an IT Assessment can provide your business.

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Understanding IT Acronyms You Hear in the Office

Technology can be complicated, and it doesn’t help when all you hear is an alphabet soup of acronyms used to describe it. As professionals, this kind of jargon has become a second language to us and it is easy to forget that not everyone will recognize these acronyms. For your reference, we’ve assembled some common ones you’ll probably hear us use.

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What Is a Data Lake?

Big data, or massive data sets that can be used to make inferences and reveal patterns, has become an increasingly important part of modern business and can be leveraged in many different ways. There are a few different options for storing this data available, which the use case for the data will dictate. Here, we’ll evaluate whether a “data lake” or a “data warehouse” would better suit your needs.

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A Brief Introduction to Database Management Systems

Data is one of a business’ most important assets, and as such, it needs to be kept in such a way that it remains organized and utilizable. This has led to widespread use of databases in businesses, which has necessitated the use of database management systems. Let’s take a closer look at these systems, and why they are so crucial.

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How Remote Monitoring and Maintenance Helps Us, Help You

Remote monitoring and management software helps businesses of all sizes avoid issues of equally variable sizes, which is why it is a key facet of the managed IT service model. We wanted to review some of the ways that it benefits the managed service provider, and as a result, benefits our clients.

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Automation Challenging Longstanding HR Norms

Human resources are a part of almost any business. That is because there are a lot of Is to dot and Ts to cross in any business. Some HR departments are better than others, but typically the HR department deals with most of the elements of the business that deal with, you guessed it, the human resources (employees). Today, the HR landscape is changing as businesses are now looking to automation to handle much of the heavy lifting. 

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Google Adding Features to the G Suite

It is apparent that Google is deeply invested in the G Suite, as they recently added an assortment of features to make basic processes much simpler and more convenient for their users. Here, we’ll go over a few of these updates, and how they can positively influence your operations.

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Shutting Down Your PC May Not Put a Stop to Your Processes

You’re probably familiar with a situation where your technology is on the fritz and someone says to you “Why don’t you turn it off and turn it back on?” What you have no way of knowing is that by turning it off and turning it back on, you aren’t getting the same result you would if you simply restarted the machine.

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Benefits of Leaning on a Video Conferencing Solution

It wasn’t too long ago when the idea of video conferencing was a very complicated one. The technology just wasn’t there to make it a major benefit for companies. As conferencing technology has been innovated upon, however, it now presents a laundry list of substantial benefits. Let’s take a look at some benefits you can see by moving to video-driven meetings. 

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Blockchain Is Moving Into New Industries

Blockchain is one of the most dynamic new technologies, but up until recently, there hasn’t been a lot accomplished in the way of creating viable distributed software titles. In fact, the most practical technology created with blockchain is cryptocurrency. This says quite a bit. Today, we’ll take a look at blockchain-enhanced software and how it’s only a matter of time until it is a commonplace addition to most businesses.

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Tech Giants Are in on AR

Augmented reality has been one of the most cited emerging technologies for the past few years. It was the technology that was supposed to fuel Google Glass, the failed attempt at creating a pair of revolutionary smart glasses. Since then, there hasn’t been much press about AR in the mainstream media and not much is known about major tech companies’ attempts to improve AR technology. 

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As IT and OT Merges, You Need to Be Prepared

Businesses have two different types of technology to contend with each day: their information technology, and their operational technology. As these categories have become less distinct with the introduction of the Internet of Things and other similar advancements, a few new challenges to maintaining security have become apparent. Let’s go over these challenges, and what you need to do to overcome them.

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Google is Introducing Verified Business SMS to Android

How often do you find a message in your SMS inbox that has clearly come from a business, but you almost have to wonder, simply because the incoming number seems to be randomized? Google has taken notice of this challenge, and so has rolled out a means for businesses to confirm that they are in fact the ones sending a particular message. 

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How to Tell When Your Technology Needs Upgrading

The curious thing about information technology is that, while it improves as any other technology would, the environment can accelerate the various changes made to it at various rates. As a result, knowing when your business needs to upgrade its technology isn’t always so cut-and-dry. To help, we’re sharing a few clear indicators that hint that the time has come.

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Why Software as a Service is the Future

The cloud has provided businesses with remarkable capabilities and opportunities, but we wanted to take a moment to focus on one in particular: software as a service, or SaaS. Let’s go over what SaaS is, exactly, and how it can assist you in your operations.

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Windows 10 Search Function is Broken

Microsoft is currently working on a bug that is occuring in various builds of Windows 10 that prevents users from using the built in search function on the start bar.

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Any Business Can Benefit from Digital Signage

While there are definitely gimmicks when it comes to technology in the small business (for instance, USB-powered staplers) there are many devices and technologies that have far more utility, although they may not seem to be applicable to all industries. One example would be the digital signage solutions that have grown in popularity. While they may seem to have limited uses outside of retail, there are plenty of ways to use them to your advantage.

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Is HealthCare IT Improving? In a Word: Absolutely

Improvements in technology have allowed us to come a long way since the days of our ancestors, which is made exceptionally clear by our developments in the realm of healthcare. There are so many ways that healthcare providers can use information technology to their advantage, so we’ll cover a select few here.

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Major SMB Tech Trends

All businesses demand a certain amount of technology in order to push their organizational profitability forward. Whether they invest in tried-and-true technologies or they use their capital a little more innovatively, really depends on how decision makers’ forecasts of those investments help the organization become more productive or efficient. Today, we will look at five of the most important technology trends for SMBs in 2020.

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Data Virtualization Makes Managing Data Easier

Businesses are using more data than ever. Unfortunately, the data is usually spread out over different systems. Typically, this would make managing this data extraordinarily difficult, but with virtualization, the modern business that wants to use its data, can, efficiently. 

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Is a Hosted Desktop Right for Your Business?

As important as it is to keep your technology up-to-date, it can sometimes be prohibitively expensive to do so throughout your entire business. If you have found yourself in this position, one option you may consider is to resort to hosted desktop solutions. Here, we’ll go over what a hosted desktop is, and how it can serve companies well.

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A Brief Look at Virtual Assistants

There is no doubt that you have come across the virtual assistant (or voice assistant). Whether you have it on a smartphone or you use it via a digital speaker in your home, you have probably spent some time using some type of virtual assistant. 

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A Brief Review of (Some) VoIP Features

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions famously offer businesses some significant cost savings. While this may be the extent of many people’s understanding of its value, VoIP actually has a lot more to offer. That’s why we wanted to go over just a few of its benefits - to provide a bit of insight into what makes VoIP such a great choice for today’s organizations.

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Potential Issues Your Server Could Experience

Most businesses nowadays require a server in order to operate properly, but these critical pieces of infrastructure aren’t immune to issues. Here, we’ll go over a few common reasons that you may experience a server crash.

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Windows 7 EOL is Not the End of the World

Windows 7 is only days away from being officially retired by Microsoft. The software company has done all it can to try to educate users about the end of the OS, which has its last support update on January 14, 2020, but won’t be getting any more. As of this writing there are still nearly 25 percent of computers running Windows 7. Let’s take a look at why it is imperative that you upgrade or find a solution to get out from under the Windows 7 OS. 

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It’s Time to Take Control Over Your Printers!

It’s pretty easy to ignore the printers around your office - until they run out of toner/ink, or jam, or just disappear from your network for seemingly no reason. Okay, it’s easy to ignore printers most of the time. Unfortunately, business owners do tend to ignore their printers, and this can get really expensive over time.

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Holy Moly It’s 2020: 50 Years of Technology

Today is the first day of the third decade of the 21st century. For some, it’s just another year, but for others it seems almost impossible that we’ve reached this point without floating cars and manned missions to Jupiter. Fifty years ago, some of the technology that is used in the course of doing business was simply fiction or conjecture. We thought it would be neat to take a look at some of the technological changes made since 1970.

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Taking a Short Look at Emerging Technology

New technology can be extremely exciting, but for any business, it can be kind of scary. Implementing technology that isn’t completely established is a major gamble that could have multiple negative impacts. On the other hand, sometimes early adoption of emerging technology will give a business just the boost it needs to blow past projections. Today, we will look at three emerging technologies that the small to medium-sized business will have to consider in the near future.

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What is Windows 10’s Timeline?

Microsoft Windows has been a staple of personal computing for almost 35 years. When Microsoft retires their Windows 7 OS in a couple of weeks, they will be left with only two PC OSs functional: Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Today, we will take a look at the Windows 10 OS and when to expect Microsoft to release a new operating system.

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Could You Be Benefitting from Virtualization?

A big part of running a successful operation is knowing how to make the most of your resources, minimizing your operating costs while still generating optimal sources of revenue and other income. One way to do so is by making the most of the hardware you currently have - such as your servers.

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The Best Smartphones Heading Into 2020

The smartphone has become the most utilized computing device in the world. As a result, consumers are looking for the very best of them to get the functionality they demand. The current set of flagship smartphones that are available provide all types of benefits for business, for commerce, and for networking. Today, we’re going to take a look at the best phones you can buy heading into 2020. 

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Warning Signs That Your Computer Is on Its Last Legs

It is no secret that a computer that doesn’t seem to want to behave (or seems to experience constant issues) is something that most people just want to replace, no questions asked. However, by nature of how computing devices are put together, it is entirely possible that your device could simply be in need of a (much less expensive) repair.

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The Security Risks of Using Workarounds to Get iMessage to Work on a PC

If you use an iPhone, iPad, or any other Apple device, you’ve probably used iMessage. iMessage is the popular built-in messaging app. It’s Apple’s version of the text message, but it’s packed with great features that iPhone users have grown very fond of. We looked around online for ways to access your iMessage in Windows, but only found workarounds that compromise your security.

We’re going to discuss these workarounds, but we highly recommend you do NOT attempt them. These are two of the most common procedures people have come up with to try to get iMessage to work on a Windows 10 PC, but both put you at a security risk.

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Getting to Know Technology: Fiber Optics

As hokey as it sounds, the Internet almost transcends other pieces of technology. While estimating the economic impact of the Internet is a formidable feat, Cisco came up with 19 trillion dollars - 21 percent of all the money in the world. So, with access to a resource this valuable, it’s silly not to make the most of it.

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Tip of the Week: How Bandwidth Works (and Why It Matters)

Businesses require a lot of their Internet connections, especially if they’re using technologies like VoIP, screen-sharing, and/or webinar platforms. If you’re looking to incorporate these features, you need to be sure you have enough bandwidth to support them. We’re looking at a few reasons that your bandwidth matters, and how to tell if you have enough for your needs.

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You Probably Aren’t Getting the Most Out of Office 365

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who works on a computer who hasn’t used at least one of the applications in Microsoft Office. Office has been a staple for professionals, students, and home users for decades. Over the last few years, Microsoft has reinvented how businesses can collaboratively use Office to improve productivity, security, and adhere to compliances.

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Taking a Long Look at Smartphones

Smartphones are a marvel of modern ingenuity. After looking at employee smartphone use as a problem for much of the past few years, today’s businesses have begun to amend that strategy and are now using employee devices to their advantage. With such a large percentage of today’s workers actively using smartphones, it only makes sense for businesses to try and incorporate their employees’ devices into their day-to-day operational strategy. Today, we’ll take a look at smartphones and how they’ve managed to go from nuisance to necessity. 

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How VoIP Can Save Your Business Money

It isn’t exactly a secret that small and medium-sized businesses appreciate any opportunity to reduce the amount of money they have to spend to successfully operate. One means that businesses of all sizes have used to do so has been VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony. Here, we’ll explore just how VoIP solutions are friendlier to a business’ budget.

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Tech Term: Uptime

In managing business technology, we are always talking about downtime--how expensive downtime is, how downtime hurts productivity, how there are a multitude of separate situations that can cause downtime. That kind of doom and gloom may not get you to act, but it may just put you off. Today, instead of downtime, we thought we would talk about uptime. 

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How Much TLC Does Your IT Need?

Technology is a requirement in today’s businesses - but just having technology isn’t nearly enough. You need to make sure that you are performing the proper maintenance activities as well, to prolong the useful life of your solutions. Here, we’ll review a few basics to keeping your technology solutions ready for your use… and how we can help with that.

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What is G Suite, Really?

There is no question that Google is an absolute giant in computing, having moved from web search functionality to a much wider variety of applications. These applications now make up the G Suite, and are used by many, many businesses to accomplish their goals. Here, we’ll go over some of these features and how they can benefit your operations.

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Augmented Reality Advancements

There have been people talking about the oncoming AR trend for almost a decade now. Google Glass was supposed to revolutionize technology as we know it, but due to security and privacy concerns, it has never come to pass. AR is, however, a growth market and applications for the technology are growing rapidly. Today, we’ll take a look at augmented reality, and what to expect from the technology in the coming years. 

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File Sharing Tips from the Pros

The more time that passes the more files your business accumulates. These files need to be stored in a place where your staff has access to them. Since a lot of today’s work is collaborative, finding the right file sharing and collaboration solution is extremely important for the growing SMB. Today, we will tell you some things you need to do to maintain efficient file management systems.

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Why VoIP is a Great Option for Your Business Telephony Needs

With all the communication options available today, it can still be hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of the telephone. However, the phone is far from a perfect solution - it can be expensive, for one. However, what if there was a way for you to get a fully-featured telephone service with a variety of tools, without having to pay an arm and a leg?

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Expansion of Remote Work

Is your business equipped with the necessary tooling to adopt remote working strategies? Remote workers have an incredible amount of benefits to contribute to your business’ operations. Remote work is not possible without a well-thought-out strategy. Today, we’ll review what your business needs in order to capitalize on remote workers. 

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Does Tech in School Fill Up the Honor Roll or Seats in Detention?

We typically use this blog to share information about the technology that a business should be leveraging - but in this blog, we’ve decided to focus on a different group that is increasingly reliant on technology: students. As these pupils will someday make up the workforce and almost certainly utilize technology on a daily basis, it is important that their education reflects this increase in their curriculums. Here, we’ll consider some of the effects (good and bad) that this has had.

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Are You On the Lookout for Payment Card Skimmers?

For many consumers, carrying cash is a rarity. Debit and credit cards have taken over as the most widely used payment method. The convenience of not being given a handful of loose change must come at a price -- so how much will it cost you? 

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Five Biggest Tech Myths BUSTED

Businesses rely on thought out, researched decisions in order to succeed. But what happens when the internet possesses false information, and misleads you from the truth? Today, we decided to bust some common tech myths.

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Is Microsoft 365 an Option for Your Business

Microsoft offers solutions that have a proven history of being assets when businesses adopt them - but like most any solution, what may fit well for one, may not fit well for all. Here, we’ll consider one of Microsoft offerings to help you determine if it is the right solution for your needs and requirements.

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The IoT Continues to Expand

Whether it’s RFID sensors, mobile devices, or commercial goods, the Internet of Things (IOT) is an exponentially expanding industry. Which makes us think, “What can we expect in the near future for IOT?” Today, we will answer this very question.

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Green Technologies for Business

Green technologies just a short time ago had a reputation for being costly, rather than cost-saving. However, business owners are starting to see a multitude of benefits for going green, from cost savings to increased customer appreciation for environmental conservation.

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The Other Features of VoIP Fuel Business Communications

For the small business looking to transform both their communications system and their IT budget, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great solution. VoIP can deliver clear and reliable calling services that some landline services simply don’t offer. We take a look at VoIP’s more interesting features in this week’s blog.

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How to Make Chromecast Your Employee of the Month

The Chromecast, Google’s offer to the growing streaming market, is a pretty handy device - even in the business setting. I know, I know, it is a consumer device, but some of its capabilities directly translate to professional use. Here, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up your Chromecast, four useful-for-business features, and the process of resetting your Chromecast if it ever needs it. 

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RFID Business Implementation

As technology advances, gadgets are invented which can be beneficial to not only our social lives but in our business practices. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a relatively new technology which businesses have been progressively utilizing.

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Recycling Technology: Is It the Best Answer?

Let me ask you a simple question: how many cell phones have you had over the years? For some of us, upgrades are a yearly occurrence. For others possibly bi-yearly. Have you ever wondered where your old cell phone goes after it is out of your hands? 

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part IV

No matter how well your new computer works, you aren’t going to be able to do much with it if you can’t see what you’re doing. You will need a display. Of course, there are a lot of considerations to make when selecting one. Here, we’ve outlined these considerations, with some of the options you’ll encounter.

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Lessons from the Business World for Otsego Schools Dealing with Bullying

When it comes to addressing bullying in our schools, whether it is ‘traditional’ or cyber, communication is critical to not only support victims of bullying, but also to prevent it. We’ve been following debates held by the Cooperstown PTA to discuss how to handle bullying and wanted to share our thoughts. Although bullying and cyberbullying are very tricky subjects, we feel that we can learn a lot about how schools handle these sensitive issues and share these insights with other businesses.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part III

As we continue our computer buying guide with part three, we’re diving into the topic of storage space. As a general rule, modern gadgets have a few available options in terms of storage - not to mention external storage options - but the brand and version of the device can have an impact on the amount of space available. As you select your desktop or laptop, its storage capacity is crucial to consider.

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Tech Terminology: The Dark Web

Deep web and dark web. What’s the difference? Perhaps you’ve been using these words interchangeably. The dark web has a reputation for being the most toxic place on the internet, and for quite a few good reasons. Today we will dive deep into the dark web and why this reputation has been formed.

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Let’s Take a Look at 50 Years of the Internet

Without a doubt, the Internet is one of humanity's most impressive inventions. 50 years ago, the predecessor to the Internet that most of the world depends on, called ARPANET, was launched. Today, we will talk about how that innovation turned into the Internet, and reorganized the way people interacted with computing systems. 

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part I

When you are in the market for some new computers for your business, ensuring that you are targeting the right hardware is important. To educate people on what they should be looking for in a new computer, we have decided to put together a multi-part series detailing the different parts of a computer. In part one, we will take a look at the CPU.

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Blockchain Leads 2019’s Business Technology Trends

We are in a very interesting part of history. Technology is becoming more and more prevalent in and for every part of our lives. For the modern business, emerging technologies can mean big profits if they are implemented and utilized properly. Today, we’re going to take a look at a couple of the emerging technologies that businesses are using to enhance the long-term outlook of their endeavor.

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Four Essential Business Software Types to Consider

While each business today features its own balance of company culture and processes, there are certain varieties of software that all companies in operation today should be leveraging. Here, we’ll go over what these solutions are, and how they can benefit you.

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What’s New in Office 2019

Microsoft Office is the most utilized productivity suite in the world; and, there are several reasons why. One of the most cited is that they routinely update the applications with new and innovative features. Office 2019 has been out for just under a year and today, we’ll talk about the biggest improvements Microsoft has made within their signature productivity suite. 

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Tip of the Week: Using Digital Signs

If you walk into any office out there, chances are you’ll see signs on the wall indicating who is located where, as well as those that identify points of interest that visitors might need. With digital technology taking over many aspects of the office, it was a given that it would eventually impact signage. If it’s used right, digital signage can highlight important parts of your office and encourage employees to give it their all during the workday.

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How To Prepare for Literally Any Change in Your IT

Technology changes rapidly, whether we like it or not. Most of the time, that change is beneficial; you can get more done, gain more visibility, stretch your resources further, and do things you wouldn’t have thought possible (or at least affordable) a few years ago. Other times, technology changes come with the frustration of having to learn something new, develop new processes, and deal with a cavalcade of other annoyances that just make you want to go back to ‘simpler’ times. Today we’re going to talk about how to prepare you and your organization for the inevitable changes that your IT will be facing over the next few years.

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The End of OneNote as You Know It, Part 2

Microsoft is effectively ditching OneNote 2016 in favor of the OneNote application bundled with Windows 10. The note-taking app will still be supported until October 2020, with extended support offered after that, but Microsoft will no longer be adding additional features to it, and is instead putting all of their efforts into making the version bundled with Windows 10 the definitive version. Here are some details to keep in mind when making the switch between these two solutions.

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Too Many Accountants are Fielding Technology Queries

Accountants are asked a lot of questions. You’d expect as much as they manage a lot of organizational money, and can give small business owners and executives straight-forward advice about whether or not investments make sense for a company. With the recent increase in technology use for small businesses, accountants have been fielding more than financial queries, they’ve been directly asked about whether a business should implement technology. Today, we are going to explain why, regardless of the answer, your accountant is the wrong person to ask.

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The End of OneNote as You Know It, Part 1

OneNote, Microsoft’s note-taking application, will soon be reaching its end of life, along with the rest of the Office 2016 suite. Thankfully, most PC users already have the heir to OneNote 2016’s throne installed on their devices, so its end of life this October won’t be such a big deal.

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The True Power of Social Media

While it is common to consider social media just another form of entertainment or worse, an outlet for narcissistic behavior, it is for some one of the few outlets people have for their voices to be heard and listened to. A computer, tablet, smart phone and - as the IoT becomes more prevalent - even your appliances will allow average people to not only communicate with their ‘friends’, but with the world. While good social media practices are essential to many a business, we also need to recognize the power that social media brings to the people and by extension to your business.

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Smartphones Have New Roles in Business

No doubt you’ve noticed the increased use of smartphones. No matter where you go, people are on their phones. Sometimes they are using them in places you wouldn’t even imagine. For the modern business, employee smartphone usage can be a major pain in the side. Today, we’ll go into how smartphone usage helps and hurts a business and how to go about keeping employees from being on their phones for large chunks of the workday.

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Getting to Know Technology: Application Programming Interface

Software runs the world, or so they say, and it’s all thanks to the ability to integrate with one-another through the use of APIs. This tech term, which stands for application programming interface, and it’s crucial to understand what these do in today’s technology environment.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part V: Other Considerations

In parts one through four we talked about choosing the right specifications for your desktop, depending on its role. We talked about selecting the right CPU, RAM, storage, and display options. This final post we hit a few other tips and ideas we came up with that didn’t fit into the other posts.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part IV: Videos, Graphics, and Monitors

Your new desktop isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have a screen to plug into it. Let’s talk about considerations to make when purchasing a new desktop when it comes to your display.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part III: Choosing Storage

We’re on to part three of our Desktop Buyer’s Guide. When comparing all of your options when shopping around for desktops, one of the main features you’ll see is how much storage they have. We’ve seen this with smartphones and tablets as well - you can buy an iPhone with 64 GB (gigabytes) of storage or 128 GB of storage, etc.

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Microsoft Ending Support for Major OS Titles

Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, and as such, developers are always hard at work on the next new version of the OS. However, organizations are often stuck in a tricky situation whenever end of support occurs for any popular operating system. When your reliable technology solutions finally stop receiving updates and patches, what do you do? Well, users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will have to answer this question next January.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part II: How Much RAM Do I Need?

In part two of our desktop buying guide, we talk about one of the most confusing specifications you’ll see whenever you purchase a computer. We’re going to demystify memory, also referred to as RAM.

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Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part I: Choosing the Right CPU

Are you looking to purchase a new desktop for your business (or for home)? We’ve put together this handy guide to help demystify the computer-buying process. This is the first part of five in our series, selecting the right CPU.

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Don’t Fail to Backup Your Data

Often times it’s not the big bad hackers out there that pose the biggest threat to your organization's continued survival. More often than not, it’s simple issues that create a world of problems for your business. One common way that an otherwise sound business plan could be disrupted is through an unexpected disaster derailing operations without having an adequate data backup solution in place.

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European Union’s GDPR: One Year Later

2018 will be remembered as the year where data privacy was altered forever. From Facebook’s many problems to the launch of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, data privacy has never been a bigger issue than it is today. Let’s take a look at how the GDPR has affected the computing world in 2018-19 and how the past year’s events have created new considerations in individual data privacy.

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Google Docs Finally Adding Microsoft Office Support

Businesses generally have to make an important choice about which brand of productivity software they will implement for day-to-day operations. Two of the heavy hitters in today’s business environment are Google and Microsoft utilizing their respective productivity solutions. While the choice of which service to work with seems exclusive, Google is making strides to break down this barrier and allow certain file types to be edited in Google Drive.

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SQL Server 2008 R2 Has Reached the End of the Line

Technology doesn’t last forever, and this is especially true for software solutions. Granted, software is a little easier to upgrade than hardware, as they can be administered patches and updates remotely, but what happens after that support ends? Well, it turns out that the widely used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be reaching their end of support date soon, meaning businesses will need a plan in place to overcome these challenges.

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Tip of the Week: Navigating the Taskbar in Windows 10

Computers are great tools to get work done in the office, but only if they are used effectively. Employees looking to get more out of their Windows workstations can utilize the taskbar to get around faster. We’ll discuss some of the ways your business can take better advantage of the taskbar, as well as what it’s capable of.

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Huawei’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Make no mistake about it, Huawei is one of the largest technology companies in the entire world. It employs over 200,000 people and in 2018 saw revenues of over $100 billion. Over the past few years, their devices have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible in tech all while being relatively unavailable to one of the major technology markets in the world, the United States. The fact is that outside the U.S., Huawei is a major player.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Let a Failing Server Take Down Your Business

If there is anything you should know about business computing it is that server maintenance is extremely important. This isn’t exactly a realization, and if it is, you need to call the number below as soon as possible. You have to know that you are not alone. You would be surprised how many business owners don’t actively have a plan for the maintenance of their business’ servers.

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Is Your Infrastructure Hindering Your Business’ Growth?

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) have historically been restricted in what they can do with their technology infrastructures. However, there are now options that an SMB can leverage that enable it to accomplish more with their infrastructure - but this requires the SMB to have a plan in place.

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Tip of the Week: Five Deliciously Useful Tips for Android Pie

Although Android Q is on its way, Android Pie still has a lot to offer a user - a lot of which many users may not be aware of. For this week’s tip, we’ve compiled a few ways that Android Pie allows you to customize your phone to be the productivity machine you want at your side.

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Taking a Look at Wearable Technology in 2019

Wearables have been on the market for quite some time, though the definition of them has certainly changed over the years. Wearables have become far more capable in the past decade, bringing with them a barrage of other issues that need to be addressed. Chief among them is how these devices should be regulated, and by whom.

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Are Consumers Really Going to Benefit from 5G in 2019?

The fourth generation of wireless technology has lingered for a long time, but with the advent of fifth generation wireless technology, it’s becoming apparent that it will be the next big thing. The issue with this idea, however, is that most device manufacturers are using the term as a marketing ploy--one that’s blown out of context to boot.

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Tip of the Week: Bring Your Own Device Policy Considerations

Bring Your Own Device is a hot trend in today’s business environment, as it creates a ton of opportunities for businesses to cut costs. However, this is only true if you implement a BYOD policy that your organization can take advantage of, as it creates considerable problems for your unprepared businesses.

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Remote Maintenance Can Severely Reduce Downtime

Every time something goes terribly wrong, and you are left assessing the damage of some seemingly unfortunate situation, you typically find that by taking a bit of time preparing for the worst would have kept you from the disaster you are just now dealing with. Those small acts are what we want to talk a little bit about today, because they can save your business.

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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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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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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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