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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 Make Sure Your Messages are Secure

Messaging applications have carved out a foothold in businesses, clearly proving their operational benefits. However, it simply isn’t responsible to leverage a solution without making sure that the solution is secure. There are a few criteria that you should consider to determine how secure your chosen application really is.

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Tip of the Week: Improve Your Business Communications

For many businesses, communication is a major contributing factor to their success. Technology--when it’s properly implemented, anyway--can play a big part in keeping communication productive, but with certain solutions, it can be difficult to determine context. Here are some ways that you can help your employees be as clear and concise as possible with specific communication methods.

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How to Set Up a Gmail Auto-Response

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

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Tip of the Week: How to Improve Your Internal Collaboration

For any business to be successful, its inner workings need to be able to work together seamlessly, each with a defined role and purpose. While we usually stick to talking about how to make your IT more collaborative, we’re devoting this week’s tip to ensuring that your employees are also capable of effective collaboration while using these solutions.

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Your Emails Won’t Be Secure Without these Safeguards

Are your employees putting your organization’s security at risk due to poor email practices? This is a question that all business owners need to consider--especially if you deal in sensitive information. We recommend that all businesses utilize a two-pronged approach to email security, including both technology measures to secure communications on the technical side and training to secure on the human side.

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Why Should Your Vendors Decide What’s Right for Your Business?

You serve as a vendor to your clients, providing them with a necessary good or service. Likewise, you have vendors that provide you with the goods and services that enable you to do so. However, how well are your vendors managed?

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Business Communications Are Changing Rapidly

Communication solutions for business are changing rapidly, and most of the new solutions go a long way toward using existing technologies that allow these organizations to save money and get more for the services they already pay for.

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Three Reasons VoIP is a Great Choice for Businesses

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

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Solid Communications Provide Businesses with Strong Collaboration Options

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

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Tech Term: What Does “Encryption” Mean?

Email is a solution that needs to be protected, lest you expose important information to any onlookers while messages are in transit. Encryption is one of the key ways you can make sure that your messages are safe, but email hasn’t always used this method to secure messages. In fact, it wasn’t until relatively recently that encryption became a staple of the major email providers.

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How to Keep IT and the Rest of Your Staff on the Same Side

There are some facets to IT that are universally accepted as important, such as security. However, there are also others that create some conflicting opinions between management and IT personnel. When surveyed, business leaders and IT management held vastly different opinions as to the importance of various IT tasks. Is there a way to unify these priorities?

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Tip of the Week: How Instant Messaging Can Be Used to Improve Workplace Collaboration

Instant messaging is commonplace in today’s society. It used to be primarily for social interaction, but its success was so overwhelming that business professionals have implemented it into their daily communications. Although, despite the advantages that instant messaging can provide, you still have to jump through some hoops in order to bypass what it’s become; an immense annoyance.

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Tip of the Week: Chrome Extension Educates Users On Why Their Grammar is Bad

b2ap3_thumbnail_grammarly_editor_400.jpgGrammar is quite complex, and it can be a problem for some people who don’t write or compose documents on a daily basis. One way that you can correct your writing, as well as learn why your writing needs correction, is by using a free Google Chrome extension called Grammarly.

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How One Snip From Sebastian the Crab Could Cripple the Global Economy [Video]

b2ap3_thumbnail_connecting_the_world_400.jpgHave you ever wondered how the Internet is capable of connecting countries on the other side of the world? You may already be aware of this, but the Internet’s cables run deep underneath the ocean’s surface, all around the world. In fact, you might wonder how we could even keep these cables safe when they’re submerged underneath such an immense amount of water.

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VoIP is the Ultimate Solution for Your Communication Woes

b2ap3_thumbnail_voip_phone_400.jpgOne major technology pain point businesses have revolves around communication. If your clients and prospects can’t effectively reach your staff, customer support and productivity is weakened. Customers need more out of your phone system, and VoIP solutions offer more features with less expenses.

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Can You Spot an Article Written By a Robot?

b2ap3_thumbnail_blue_robot_400.jpgWhen your website has content or makes changes to its existing content, it can be of great benefit to your business’s marketing endeavors. In fact, it’s so important that innovators and programmers have built software that’s designed to perform the act of content writing. In other words, there are robots that compose web content. How does the writing of a robot hold up to that which is written by a human?

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Email May Be On Its Deathbed

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_not_popular_400.jpgEmail is such a staple of the modern office that it might seem like even the mention of a world without it is ludicrous. Others, however, feel like their inbox is keeping them from pushing toward bigger and better things. Email might hold a special spot in our hearts, but realistically, does it stand a chance in the future?

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The Key Difference Between In-House and Hosted VoIP Solutions

b2ap3_thumbnail_voip_for_business_400.jpgCommunications solutions are vital to the functionality of your business. Amongst several other necessities, your telephony solution stands head and shoulders above the rest as one of the most important. Are you still using a legacy phone system? If so, you should consider switching to a VoIP system.

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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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Should You Cut the Telephone Cord?

b2ap3_thumbnail_get_a_new_phone_system_400.jpgModern businesses prioritize in improving communications because they understand it will lead to more coherent operations and greater profits. Therefore, your business needs a communication solution that’s customizable to meet your unique needs. The one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work for business-to-business telecommunications, and your company should not be subjected to this outdated approach.

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Tip of the Week: How to Avoid 7 Common Communication Blunders

b2ap3_thumbnail_not_like_that_400_20150204-141300_1.jpgAt this point, running your business is easy as pie; however, you might still be having issues dealing with your team. The problem might lie in how you’re communicating with them. Even something as simple as changing the way you make small talk in the office could drastically improve your reputation in the eyes of coworkers, and increase employee morale.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Let Poor Grammar Affect Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_bad_grammar_fail_400.jpgHow bad would it have been if we instead entitled this article, “Don’t Let Poor Grammar Effect Your Business?” Even though it would’ve been a clever way to make a point about the perils of using poor grammar in business, there would still be a lot of folks who would spot the mistake and write off our company as incompetent. Herein lies the power of using proper grammar.

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Even the 911 Address Database Can Get Hacked

b2ap3_thumbnail_911_gets_hacked_400.jpgPeople dial 911 when they’re in some sort of trouble or in the event of an emergency. If not for the hotline, who knows how many lives could be lost daily. Sometimes, however, help doesn’t come, even when dispatchers have received the call and responded. This generally isn’t the fault of the dispatchers, but rather the criminals who have undermined the rescue efforts thanks to some unorthodox hacking.

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Sick of Email? Try These 3 Alternative Communication Apps

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_alternatives_400.jpgSince the dawn of the Internet, email has been that thing you love to hate. Email was meant to be a dynamic tool capable of replacing the odd fax machine and postal mail. Today, some workers dread even opening their inbox due to how much time they have to invest in it. Some might even wonder if there’s a better way to go about their work day.

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IT Notifications Are Important Too!

b2ap3_thumbnail_notifications_delivery_400.jpgIt’s important to keep your communications plans organized, but it’s especially important for your IT department to keep in touch with other parts of your business. If a fatal problem shows its face, you want to make sure that they are there to fix it. In order to prevent these situations, plan out your IT communications strategy in detail, and stick to it.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Ways to Make Sure Your Employees aren’t Wasting Time on the Internet

b2ap3_thumbnail_filter_content_400.jpgBy now, you’re well aware of the Internet’s Catch 22 nature. Your business needs it so that employees can be equipped to do their jobs, but it can also be a major distraction and kill productivity. For this week’s tip, here are three ways that you can cut back on Internet distractions and maximize productivity.

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As Seen in Zoolander, Tech Support Miscommunication Can Be Frustrating

b2ap3_thumbnail_tech_support_miscommunication_400.jpgIT support is heavily reliant upon communication between both parties involved. Without both sides being on the same page, IT support miscommunications are far more likely to happen. Sometimes you just can’t help but laugh at poor communication skills, as seen in the 2001 movie Zoolander. But thankfully, these situations don’t arise too often in the non-fictional universe… right?

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Tip of the Week: How to Make a Good Impression with Your Email

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_tips_for_you_400.jpgEmail is synonymous with doing business in the digital age. Therefore, it's in your best interest to become an expert at crafting dynamic emails. Writing a good email takes common sense and careful editing. You don't have to be an English major to write a professional email--just follow these simple tips.

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Landlines Shouldn’t Make You Call Out For Help - Get VoIP!

b2ap3_thumbnail_this_is_voip_400.jpgAs technology grows more and more complex, the usefulness of your business's landline is declining. There are just plain better ways of communicating - cell phones are much more portable, and the Internet allows people to communicate with others while taking care of other work. One of the best ways to communicate over the Internet is by using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which provides the best of both worlds for those stuck in the landline age.

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Don’t Get Caught Using Poor Telephone Etiquette

b2ap3_thumbnail_talk_into_this_can_400.jpgThanks to the explosion of mobile phones, the world is connected like never before and most people seem to have a good grip on how to talk to each other using proper telephone etiquette. Therefore, when someone breaks socially accepted phone etiquette practices, they make themselves or the business they represent look bad.

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79% of American Businesses Use VoIP Phones at One Location

b2ap3_thumbnail_voip_is_good_for_business_400.jpgThis statistic comes from California-based market research firm In-Stat, and it highlights the growth of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. To give you an idea of how far VoIP has come in recent years, this figure was at 42% just five years ago. Is your business taking advantage of the VoIP revolution?

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The Benefits of a Simplified Communication Solution from VoIP

b2ap3_thumbnail_benefits_of_voip_400.jpgSimplifying a complicated procedure is a sure way to get ahead. An enterprise's communication system can be extremely complicated with everything a business needs out of it. Voice over Internet Protocol, aka VoIP, is a solution that can simplify your entire communications system. Simplifying something major like communication will benefit your business in many ways.

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Old School Methods for New School Business Success

b2ap3_thumbnail_conferencing_for_good_business_400.jpgAs technology keeps leading us into the future, it can be easy to lose sight of traditional leadership methods. Since the newest gadgets are so appealing, it's tempting to have technology automate our decision making as a crutch. Can technology really replace the old school business leadership practices?

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Why More Bars are Not Necessarily Better

b2ap3_thumbnail_phoneservice400.jpgHave you ever had a cell phone call drop or not go through even though you had all five bars? What's up with that? Going against the grain of conventional wisdom and cellphone marketing, it's not always the case that more bars guarantees you better service.

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The Booming Industry of Cellular Radio Telephones

b2ap3_thumbnail_tower400.jpgAs commonplace as cellphones are today, it's hard to imagine that there was a time in the 1980's when this technology was first introduced and the benefits had to be explained. Here's an old cellphone commercial from Motorola about "the booming industry of cellular radio telephones." Times sure have changed!

 

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I Ain’t Afraid of No Lost Cell Phones

b2ap3_thumbnail_drac400.jpgWhat is the scariest situation you can imagine? Being chased by a werewolf? How about being boiled alive in a witches brew? Or what about succumbing to a zombie hoard? For people that are nomophobic, these monster-filled situations would be preferred compared to their greatest fear; being without their cell phone!

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#WhatYouShouldKnowAboutHashtags

b2ap3_thumbnail_hashtag400.jpgYou've seen them around everywhere. Every time you watch TV, look at a poster, listen to the news, or have a conversation with a teenager, you'll be exposed to the term "hashtag". What are hashtags exactly? What do they do? Why should you care about them? How can they help your business? #readmoretofindout

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Social Media as a Business Communications Tool

b2ap3_thumbnail_ftygwg400.jpgIn its infancy, social media was adopted by teenagers and used to share personal opinions. Many businesses took their sweet time adopting social media as part of their marketing strategy, supposing it to be a fad. Now that social media has grown up, almost every business has a social media presence, yet many companies still ban its use in the workplace.

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