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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.

Human Error is a Major Problem for Businesses

There is always going to be user error in the workplace. Even the best workers make mistakes sometimes. You naturally want to reduce these occurrences as often as possible, but for the purposes of training and whatnot, you want to assume the worst: that any worker, even the most dedicated veteran, could potentially make a business-ending mistake. Thankfully, there are ways you can make sure this doesn’t happen for your business.

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Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

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

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways Technology Can Benefit Businesses

The way that business is conducted today, the right technology is more of a necessity than a privilege. There are plenty of benefits that it can bring that an organization requires in order to stay competitive. For our tip, we’ll walk through a few ways that your business can be improved through the adoption of certain solutions.

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How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

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Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

At every turn, it seems as though there’s another best practice or upcoming trend to learn and implement in the realm of business technology. Are you doing all you can to keep your company up to date, relevant, and competitive? Below, we review some of 2018’s biggest IT revolutions so far.

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

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

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How to Boost Your Business’ Success in 3 Easy Steps

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

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All Work and No Play Makes Fewer Opportunities

The office is a workplace, so it most likely isn’t a place that is often associated with fun and games. However, different aspects of games have been shown to provide significant benefits when introduced into the professional environment. Today, we’ll explore some of the ways that a little frivolity may benefit your office.

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Why Businesses and Government Approach Technology Very Differently

When security and efficiency are some of the biggest benefits to updated information technology, it sounds that IT is something that a governing body should prioritize internally. However, many governments have trouble doing so, oftentimes to their own detriment. Why is that, and what can a business learn from this phenomenon?

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MSPs Face Many of the Same Problems Your Business Faces

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

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How Technology Allows Fake News to Spread

In today’s political, social, and economic environment, information is more valuable than ever. However, this increased importance, paired with the speed that data can be dispersed via the Internet, has enabled many to use false information to manipulate the general public into agreeing with their views and acting upon them.

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Your Business Can Take Advantage of Black Friday Deals, Too

Black Friday: it’s the name given to the unofficial first day of the holiday shopping season, and is associated with the generally unparalleled deals on consumer products. Many consumers use this day’s incredible deals to justify spending their day buying (and often fighting over) a limited amount of goods. However, have you ever considered that Black Friday can also be a good day to both advance your B2B operations and take advantage of some deals yourself?

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Solid Vendor Management Leads To Solid Successes

In order to function properly, any business will need to procure certain pieces of equipment. Some of this equipment will be specialized to the business’ purpose, while some will be the sort that may be more commonly found in offices everywhere. This equipment must be procured from somewhere, and this is where vendors come in--but who in your organization is responsible for your vendor management?

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Study Finds an Organization’s Greatest Security Risk isn’t Who You’d Expect

The more users on your network, the more risk that user error could create a costly mistake for your infrastructure. While untrained employees could certainly ignore security policies, the greatest risk to your organization is an unexpected one. Research has proven that your company’s CEO, as well as other C-suite employees, hold one of the greatest risks for your business’ security.

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Getting to the Root Cause of an IT Issue Means Seeing the Big Picture

When your business experiences an IT outage, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A typical response (after expressing frustration) is, “How long until operations resume?” An answer to this question isn’t always obvious, which leads to another question, “Why did my system go down in the first place?” Being able to quickly and accurately ascertain what’s behind an IT outage is a responsibility that every business should have handled, yet implementing such a procedure is often overlooked until it’s too late.

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The Right Place at the Right Time: the Story of IBM

IBM is perhaps one of the best known technology companies out there, but do you know all of the details about Big Blue’s legacy? IBM has built itself a reputation for pursuing advances in innovation and revolutionizing the way that businesses utilize computing, all the way back to its inception 100 years ago.

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Get Positive Results from Your Internship Program

A business requires talent to be an effective asset to a community, but finding top talent can be difficult and frustrating. It often requires a business to look beyond their local market for talent and it also considers non-traditional avenues of talent such as outsourcing. The one solution to your organization’s talent deficit is often ignored: Internships.

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When Relocating to a New Office, Make Sure Your Technology is Up for the Move

b2ap3_thumbnail_office_relocation_400.jpgMoving your office is a difficult task. Moving furniture, personal objects, and technology can be a hassle that you don’t even want to think about. There’s nothing easy about moving your office’s technology to a new location, and we’re not going to let you do it alone!

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Be Caught Off Guard By What People Online are Saying About Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_manage_your_online_reputation_400.jpgEvery business owner understands that having a good reputation is paramount toward their success. Yet, some business owners may not fully grasp just how much the Internet influences their company’s reputation in today’s business environment. In order to find out what the people of the Internet are saying about your business, you have to manage your company’s online reputation.

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Tip of the Week: No Internet? No Problem! 3 Ways to Be Productive Without the Internet

b2ap3_thumbnail_no_electric_no_internet_400.jpgMost modern businesses need access to crucial parts of their infrastructure in order to keep operations moving forward. For example, your building’s electricity is necessary to power your technology, and without an Internet connection, you could be losing out on hours of potential productivity. What can you do to minimize downtime and make the best out of a bad situation?

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Tip of the Week: 4 Brilliant Ways to Get More Work Done

b2ap3_thumbnail_productivity_tips_400.jpgThere are some workdays where distractions are abound and you can’t even remember what you’re supposed to be doing. In trying times like these, you need all the help you can get, just to stay focused and on task. Here are four simple adjustments to your work routine that have been proven to do wonders to increase productivity.

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Don’t Migrate to the Cloud Without First Understanding What You’re Getting Into

b2ap3_thumbnail_move_to_the_cloud_400.jpgThere was a time when the cloud was considered nothing more than a novelty, but now that most serious businesses are taking full advantage of cloud computing, it’s time that you consider it a viable option for your organization. For those who are unfamiliar with cloud computing, though, you want to make sure that you properly plan out the process of moving to the cloud. When it comes to remodeling your IT infrastructure around the cloud, doing so can save you a lot of pain.

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What We Mean When We Say “Enterprise-Level”

b2ap3_thumbnail_enterprise_business_400.jpgYou’re a small business, and as such, you need technology in order to keep your operations moving forward. Many organizations will refer to their services and products as “enterprise-level,” as if there’s a certain draw to them that wouldn’t ordinarily be there. Here’s what this term means, not just for larger businesses, but for your SMB.

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Your Business Must Think Long-term and Short-term When it Comes to IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_long_term_short_term_it_400.jpgFor your business’s IT, it’s important to consider both the short-term and long-term benefits of new technology solutions. However, which of these offers the greatest return-on-investment in terms of profitability and workplace efficiency? Some might argue that short-term IT (think break-fix IT) is more in line with a business’s immediate needs, while long-term IT (i.e. managed IT) considers longevity and proactive thought.

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How Does the Cloud Affect Your Networking Strategy?

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_is_a_hybrid_cloud_400.jpgTechnology changes constantly, and as such it can be difficult to change and adapt to new trends in the industry. Cloud services are making the implementation of scalable solutions somewhat easier, but often times integrating cloud solutions is forgotten by business owners who don’t really know what the cloud can offer their organization.

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Use This Test to Calculate Your Employees’ Risk Levels

b2ap3_thumbnail_risk_for_employers_400.jpgWhen it comes to your business’s data security, there can be no room for error. October is Cyber Security Month, so there’s no better time to ensure that your business is taking all of the proper precautions to maximize security protocol. However, there’s an often-forgotten aspect of cybersecurity called employee risk management, and it’s more complex than you might think.

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4 Considerations Every Business Should Make Before Moving Operations to the Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_computing_400.jpgCloud computing is already heavily utilized in the business world. Companies that were looking to add mobility, collaborative capacities, and overall flexibility, have rolled out cloud computing platforms for their business and it’s resulted in quite a few benefits. In fact, according to a 2014 survey, about 70 percent of enterprise-level companies have instituted some sort of IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS solution. As more companies implement cloud solutions for critical business functions, owners of smaller businesses are asking us the inevitable question, “Is the cloud right for my business?”

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How Gamers Can Be an Asset to Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_gamification_can_help_your_business_400.jpg“Do you think this is a game?” In the past, a boss may have used this line to criticize an employee for not taking their job seriously. However, in today’s more creative work environments, many companies are using game mechanics to achieve their goals. This business strategy is called gamification, and it’s the most fun way to get work done.

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3 Ways That Your Business Can Improve Innovation

b2ap3_thumbnail_innovation_brings_profits_400.jpgWhen it seems like every idea has already been patented or brought to fruition, that’s a key indicator that innovation in your company is lacking. Traditionally, advancements in business technology have driven innovation for companies. If your company’s innovation well is running dry, then there are measures that your business can take to become more innovative.

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It Takes 10-12 Positive Customer Reviews to Make Up for One Negative Review

b2ap3_thumbnail_unhappy_clientele_400.jpgWe all like to think that our businesses are the most influential in our chosen field. However, the true scope of how true this is, lies not only in your expertise, but also with your clients. If they aren’t satisfied, you can be sure that this fact will reflect itself in your sales figures.

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It Takes 10-12 Positive Customer Reviews to Make Up for One Negative Review

b2ap3_thumbnail_unhappy_clientele_400.jpgWe all like to think that our businesses are the most influential in our chosen field. However, the true scope of how true this is, lies not only in your expertise, but also with your clients. If they aren’t satisfied, you can be sure that this fact will reflect itself in your sales figures.

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4 Ways to Equip Your Business With the Technology it Needs

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_support_plug_400.jpgIn a world where time is a luxury that the average business owner lacks, it can be burdensome to come up with new technology initiatives. The main issue that this presents is that it can be difficult to improve your operations if your technology’s growth is stunted. Stagnate technology deployment can be detrimental to your business’s success.

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Windows 10 Is Just Around the Corner, But What’s the Demand?

b2ap3_thumbnail_window_logo_one_400.jpgJust because something is brand new doesn’t mean that there’s a market for it. Just look at Windows 8 to see what we’re talking about. It might have been a brand new operating system when it first came out, but it didn’t really take to users, who preferred the familiar feel of Windows 7. How do business owners suspect Windows 10 will affect the business world?

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3 Signs Your Business is On Its Last Leg

b2ap3_thumbnail_start_up_problems_400.jpgWhen you first considered starting your own business, you thought nothing could possibly go wrong. You had so much hope for the future. But, things are a lot more complicated than that. You start to think the worst - your business is failing, and you don’t know what to do about it. When times get hard, do you throw in the towel, or persevere?

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The Internet of Things Now Includes the Rainforest

b2ap3_thumbnail_this_is_big_data_400.jpgBig data is changing the way that the world works. Businesses are looking at big data to discover new trends in various industries. Additionally, big data is being applied to maintain the health of both humans and the environment, including the endangered rainforests.

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Business Owners and IT Departments Need to Agree on a Cloud Solution

b2ap3_thumbnail_which_cloud_strategy_400.jpgCloud computing is everywhere, yet there are still plenty of businesses that haven’t migrated to the cloud or adopted cloud services. In many cases, this is due to business owners and IT departments not being on the same page when it comes to cloud computing.

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Fans of Facebook Now Have a Facebook Business App

b2ap3_thumbnail_facebook_at_work_400.jpgFacebook has come a long way. Originally designed as a networking tool to be exclusively used by college students, Facebook now has 1.44 billion active users, making it the world’s largest social network. Today, businesses take Facebook seriously and utilize it for their marketing initiatives. However, it’s still viewed as a time-waster by many office managers who restrict or ban employees from accessing it.

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Here’s to You, Mr. Do-It-Yourself Entrepreneur

b2ap3_thumbnail_we_salute_you_400.jpgDirective presents to you “Real Men of Brilliance.” Today, we salute you, Mr. Do-It-Yourself Entrepreneur.

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Tip of the Week: Improve Productivity By Napping at Work, Seriously

b2ap3_thumbnail_nap_at_work_400.jpgAll business owners understand that in order to stay competitive, their team must work as hard as they possibly can. Unfortunately, however, that’s not how human physiology works. Everyone needs a break now and again, and the office is no different. Remember elementary school, when you would curl up with a blanket and get some sleep during naptime? It turns out this might be a viable option in the office, too.

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Tip of the Week: How to Set Up a Business Succession Plan

b2ap3_thumbnail_death_of_your_business_400.jpgIf something debilitating were to happen to you, could your business carry on? This isn’t a pleasant scenario to think about, but it’s absolutely necessary to have a contingency plan in place for reasons like this. Also known as a business succession plan, if you have a plan in place, then you don’t have to worry about what the future holds, at least, for your business.

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Big Data Trends Can Unlock Your Business’s Potential

b2ap3_thumbnail_big_data_can_work_for_you_400.jpgBig data analytics might be changing the way businesses look at data, but how much can be changed without a deeper understanding of what causes these trends? Your business model has everything to gain from understanding why and how big data trends come to be. In essence, understanding how the trends behind big data work is arguably more important than the statistics of big data itself.

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Does an Unlimited PTO Policy Sound Too Good to Be True?

b2ap3_thumbnail_unlimited_vacation_time_400.jpgPaid time off is somewhat of an anomaly to the business owner. They don’t want to provide too little and destroy morale, yet they don’t want to lose capital by providing too much to their employees. It might seem strange to suggest unlimited paid time off, but according to some business owners, it might be a quality solution to this dilemma, with enough care put into its integration.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Be Better Than Your Competition

b2ap3_thumbnail_win_against_your_competition_400.jpgEvery business has competition at some level. It’s tempting to ignore your competition (it may even be hard to speak their name), but there’s great value that comes with watching them closely; namely, you can learn from what they do in order to improve upon your own product or service.

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Study Shows that an Open Office Can Hinder Productivity

b2ap3_thumbnail_open_office_400.jpgThe open office is convenient for a number of reasons. It is far more space-efficient, and it makes collaboration easier among coworkers. However, did you know that the open office can make people worse at their jobs? In 2002, a study in the journal Environment and Behavior tracked employees as they were moved from a private office to the open office, and the results were less than desirable.

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Cover Your Bases by Archiving Your Company’s Email

b2ap3_thumbnail_archiving_mail_400.jpgWhen you send a subordinate an email, you likely expect that they will read it and comply with the message. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and messages, especially in organizations where email is used as the main form of communication between departments, slip through the cracks. To remedy lost correspondence, consider setting up an email archive.

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4 Scenarios Where Backup and Disaster Recovery is Optimal

b2ap3_thumbnail_save_your_business_with_backup_400.jpgThere are a number of disasters which could hamper your business’s continuity, but the most dangerous ones occur when you least expect it. Despite this, it’s not always clear that your business needs a data backup and disaster recovery solution until it’s too late. You stand to lose everything your business has worked so hard for by ignoring potential threats, many of which can be prevented by simple proactive measures.

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Tip of the Week: Understanding Business Technology Acronyms

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_do_these_acronyms_mean_400.jpgBefore investing in a solution for your business, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Sometimes it can be difficult, especially with all of the jargon floating around. In fact, an excessive amount of this “geekspeak” can intimidate prospective clients, and maybe even frighten away a sale. While it’s avoided as much as possible, it sometimes can’t be helped, and some business owners are still lost on certain sayings or acronyms.

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Don’t Forget to Renew Your Software Licenses

b2ap3_thumbnail_remember_to_renew_400.jpgYou have a system in place to remind yourself of when to pay your bills. Otherwise, bills would go unpaid, essential services would be cut off, and your credit rating would plunge. However, not everyone has a system in place to renew their software licenses, which could lead to consequences that are just as dire.

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Newsflash! Electronic Signatures Deemed Legal ...146 Years Ago!

b2ap3_thumbnail_e_signature_400.jpgWhat’s so special about a physical signature created with pen and paper? If it’s an autograph from your favorite celebrity, then you’ve got something special. Other than that, there’s no reason why an electronic signature can’t get the job done in today’s hi-tech business world.

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An IT Christmas Carol

b2ap3_thumbnail_an_it_christmas_carol_400.jpgA technology-based parody of the classic Christmas story, “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens.

Once upon a time, in a land not much different from this one, there lived a business owner. His name was Scrooge. He wasn’t an unlikable fellow; jolly and cheerful at any glance, his smile could light up the darkness in anyone’s life. Yet, when the winter months arrived, and a chilled wind blew across the land, so too did a fell gust freeze his heart. It was time to figure out why his systems were hacked (again), and he knew it would be an expensive endeavor. How he hated managing his IT.

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3 Businesses That Manage Other Businesses on Your Behalf

b2ap3_thumbnail_business_to_business_management_400.jpgWe offer a handy IT service called vendor management. This is where we resolve technology issues on behalf of your business by coordinating with vendors to provide a fix, even if it lies outside the realms of our expertise. You may not realize it, but you actually use vendor management services for other everyday aspects of your life.

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One Failed Restaurant Shows Us Why it’s Vital to Be Listed Correctly on Google Places

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_places_400.jpgWhen a dining establishment goes out of business, it usually doesn’t make the news. After all, running a restaurant is a risky endeavor. However, for one Washington D.C. eatery, it’s blaming its failure a Google Places mishap, which makes you think twice about how important it is for your business to have its online information properly displayed.

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How Long Until Automation Takes Away Existing Jobs?

b2ap3_thumbnail_will_automation_userp_human_workers_400.jpgAutomation is an increasingly sought-after convenience in the workplace, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks. Some professionals foresee a world which has fully automated assembly lines, but most are only concerned about what this can do for their assets. Instead of freeing up menial positions for others to take on more meaningful existences, could automation destroy these jobs completely?

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The Pitfalls of Letting your Employees Do Their Own Tech Support

Here's a scenario: Tom's computer is acting up and getting a blue screen error a couple times a day. Obviously this is a problem because it drastically cuts into Tom's efficiency. Tom is a smart guy though, so his manager asks him to see if he can fix it before calling support and putting in a ticket. After all, tech support costs money. Tom spends about 4 hours across the next few days researching the issue, attempting a few things, and finally fixes it. Way to go Tom! You just saved the company money... or did you?

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Managed IT Services: How do they Impact Upstate New York Small Businesses?

managed services businessman

One of the questions we get fairly often is what are the benefits for a small business switching to a managed IT service as opposed to a break-fix-style relationship. When a new client calls upon us to resolve an issue or organize an IT project we talk to them about our proactive managed services, and often we get a reply like "Well we love your service, but we'll just call you when something is broke." Managed services offer a lot of stability and benefits for small businesses. What exactly can switching to a proactive managed services agreement with your IT provider do for your business?

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Can Businesses Learn from Netflix

Netflix logo

Netflix unexpectedly announced a split between their two offerings, DVD-by-Mail and their streaming service into two separate services. This is surprising as Netflix has continued to grow in popularity and profits every quarter. Why fix what isn't broke? After all, the streaming portion of Netflix claims about 20% of North America's bandwidth during peak hours, which is certainly saying something. Is there something for small businesses to learn from Netflix?

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