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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How to Tell Your IT is Performing as Expected

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

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

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

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

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Two Approaches to Collaboration Your Business Can Benefit From

Collaboration is the key to many businesses' success and through the use of technology, your collaborative success could improve exponentially. The problem becomes how to determine what kind of collaboration tools work right for your situation. Today, we’ll go through two different types of software that can help improve your organizational collaboration.

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Tip of the Week: How to Make Use of Otherwise Wasted Time

As much as we try to structure our productivity throughout the day, there are always those moments that seem to slip by—both at work and in our personal lives. It can be tough to find time to commit to projects whether your goal is personal or professional.

So, let’s go over some tips that help make this time easier to find. 

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Four Ways to Manage the Complexities of Your Business

Running a business may never be totally smooth sailing, but it doesn’t have to be a complete grind all the time either. Managing complexities with your business’ technology is a good way to ensure that things move ahead with some efficiency. Today, we look at four ways to effectively handle complexities in the realm of business technology.

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

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

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

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iOS 17 Unveils Some Cool New Features

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

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Technology Solutions to Help Solve Common Operational Problems

Operational problems can not only stymie growth, they can trigger a lot of other issues that can be detrimental to the long term success and sustainability of a business. Unfortunately, it’s often a little difficult to see while you are in the heat of battle. Let’s take a look at some of the solutions that can solve some of the common operational problems that small businesses run into.

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Tip of the Week: Three Ways to Help You Manage Your Time More Effectively

Effective time management is crucial for productivity and achieving your goals. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to be efficient. In today’s blog, we offer three very useful tips to improve your own professional efficiency.

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How Small Issues Can Snowball Into Major Operational Problems

When it comes to your business’ continuity, you should know that even small issues pose a great threat—especially when they involve your business’ data. Let’s examine two situations where even small mistakes could lead to a cascade of problems that could leave your organization strapped for cash and struggling to stay alive.

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How to Make the Most of What Your Business Has

Your business only has so many resources, from its budget to its time to its employees’ capabilities. This is what makes it so crucial to properly manage all of them.

Let’s run through some basic practices that can help you make the most of what your business has at its disposal.

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How Data Shapes Your Business Priorities

Over the course of a year, a month, or even a single day, your business accumulates and utilizes a lot of data. You need systems in place to make good use of this data, otherwise your business is leaving efficiency on the table. Today we want to go over some proper uses for your data and how to make the most of this golden opportunity.

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Invest in Technology to Avoid These Eight Operational Problems

Businesses need to be cognizant of the role technology plays in today’s operations. Not only do you stand to lose ground on your competition if you fail to properly invest in your technology, it can have other negative effects on your business as well. This week, we outline eight things that can go wrong if you aren’t constantly looking to build a technologically savvy business. 

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Use Strategic Technology Upgrades to Build More Efficiently

Businesses struggle with a lot of different issues, but when a problem hits you hard in the pocketbook, it can be disastrous for the whole organization. Let’s take a look at some technology that can help you make the most out of your time and effort.

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How to Avoid Network Bottlenecks from Impacting Your Business

Your network is a crucial part of your business, insofar as it is quite literally what powers your operations and enables you to work productively… at least, most of the time. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of a network bottleneck, or a limited capacity for data to move due to a lack of available bandwidth. So, how can these bottlenecks be avoided?

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It’s Probably Time to Consider a Change

Ask anyone that runs a business and they’ll tell you that it’s not one thing, it’s dozens of interconnected tasks that make up an efficiently functioning business. The smaller a business is, the more that the people that work in it need to do. This month, we wanted to discuss how even small investments in technology can make a massive difference in the way a business operates. 

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

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

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You Should Make a Strategic Investment in Your Business’ Technology

All small business owners are searching for ways to ensure their organization's long-term success. The truth is that it takes a dedication to building strategies that allows your business to get in the fast lane and stay there; and these strategies aren’t always easy to find. Let’s discuss how leaning into solid technology investment can help bring you closer to your goals. 

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Build Efficiency Through Strategically-Implemented Processes

Every business is trying to do what they do with fewer interruptions and reduced costs. The more you can do with less, the more profitable your business can become. Building efficient processes is essential for the growing business, so this week will explore various strategies and practical tips to help you build more efficient processes.

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

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

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Tip of the Week: Building Better Habits through Habit Stacking

Productivity is always a primary focus for a business today, which makes any effort to improve it a welcome one. We wanted to take a moment and introduce you to a simple concept to make it easier to develop productive habits: something called habit stacking.

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The Pros and Cons of Gamifying Your Productivity

Productivity is the metric every business uses to determine the health of their business, how their employees are working, and how projects are being handled. Some organizations have found it helpful to gamify their productivity to incentivize efficient and thorough individual and team performance. Let’s take a look at gamification, why it is so effective as a strategy, and some of the pitfalls that it can cause. 

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Bureaucracy In Your Business Can Ruin Efficiency

For business managers, it can sometimes be difficult to create policies and procedures that allow for the efficiency that they’d like to see from their business. Business growth leads to more complex situations which in turn demand more complex procedures. This enhanced complexity can not only get constant in that you need to alter the way things are done, you also could fall into the trap of mistakenly putting productivity roadblocks up that can alter the way your business operates.

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3 Ways that Managed Services Can Boost Your Business’ Profitability

In good times and bad, profitability is the priority for most businesses out there. Having said that, this priority is typically a challenging one to achieve, but did you know that there are a few different ways that investing in a relationship with a managed service provider can help increase your productivity—and as a result, your overall profitability?

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

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

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Are You Dealing with Toxic Productivity?

There is one question that workers don’t hear enough, and if they do hear it, it is usually said in passing as a rhetorical question. That question is:

“How are you doing?”

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Perfecting Productivity, Part Four: Promoting Productivity in Your Business

So, at this point, we’ve talked about what productivity is, how it can be measured, and how to protect it from what could potentially impact it negatively. To bring this brief series to a close, let’s talk about the things you can do to maximize it as much as possible for your business’ benefit.

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3 Strategies to Win When You Have Too Much to Do

Have you ever felt like there was simply too much to do and unless you light a fire under your butt, you have no chance to get it all done? What if this state is standard operating procedure? For many small business owners and employees, this is the reality of going to work every day. In this week’s blog we thought we would discuss three strategies that work to lighten the load when it seems like the to-do list is just too big.

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Perfecting Productivity, Part Three: Protecting Productivity

We’ve been spending the past few weeks examining productivity and how to optimize it, and today, we felt it was necessary to address the issues that could throw the proverbial wrench into the works. 

Don’t worry, though, we’re also going to touch on how you can avoid and/or mitigate the issues that might threaten your productivity.

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Automation is Helping Build More Effective Businesses

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

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Perfecting Productivity, Part Two: How to Portion Out Productivity

Recently, we talked about productivity, and how it can be defined. We wanted to continue our deep dive into the concept of productivity with an examination of the different ways that you can measure your own.

So, how can you keep track of your productivity?

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Spring Cleaning Your Business’ Technology

Technology is a big part of doing business for a lot of organizations. One issue that comes into play is that managing that technology can get a little much for a small organization or one that doesn’t actively have some type of plan of how to organize their IT in a way that can keep that technology from being a risk or a problem. This month, we’ll take a look at a couple things that can be done to clean up your IT and make it be more of a benefit to your organization.

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Why Solid Project Management is So Important

When we talk about projects, we typically mean new technology deployment. Our technicians spend a lot of time trying to outfit our clients with the right technologies for their business. What becomes evident pretty quickly is that most businesses don’t just need help with the IT projects, they need to get the tools in place for their own project management needs. In this week’s blog, we will briefly discuss what businesses should be looking for in project management and how today’s tools can help your organization be more productive and get more done. 

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Perfecting Productivity, Part One: Prescribing Productivity

Productivity has been, is now, and likely will forever be heralded as one of the preeminent goals for any business. As such, it makes sense to understand as much as we can about it. To do so, we’ll be examining a different aspect of productivity for the next few weeks.

First up: what is productivity, in the first place?

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Tip of the Week: Creating a Desktop Shortcut to a Webpage

If you’re looking to maximize your productivity, then having the web-based resources you browse to everyday is a must. You can take this idea one step further by assigning a shortcut icon to a specific web page you frequent. Let’s discuss the process for how you can do this.

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How to Figure Out When You Get the Most Done

There’s no denying that productivity is one of the primary goals of any business nowadays, with countless examinations into the concept of productivity, theories on how to maximize it, and methods to promote it in the workplace. Today, we wanted to take one of these theories and explore it so that you can perhaps capitalize on it yourself.

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Tip of the Week: Using a Spreadsheet to Calculate Exact Age

Both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets offer a plethora of features to those who know how to use them, many of them with really niche applications to businesses. For instance, there is one function that allows you to easily calculate the time between the current date and a specified  day that, if applied properly, could easily provide businesses with some serious utility.

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Multi-Layer Security That Works to Keep Your Accounts Secure

Unfortunately, the number of cyberattacks is consistently growing and many of those attacks target business end users. This means that any account that requires a password for access could conceivably be compromised should attackers gain access to its credentials. At Directive, we promote the use of multi-factor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication or 2FA) to mitigate some of the risk inherent with the use of password-based accounts in business. 

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Disney Presents New Tech to Help Re-Age Actors

Have you ever heard of the Uncanny Valley? It’s the theory that explains why the human race tends to prefer humanoid robots, but only up to a point, after which we find them unsettling. It’s one reason why so many people found the 2019 film Cats bothersome to watch. The Uncanny Valley has also been present in film in recent years, especially when actors who have passed are recreated digitally to make an appearance, or when talent needs to look older or younger than they are.

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How a Tomato Can Change Your Life! [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_pomodoro_technique_400.jpgThe key to a productive workday may be the tomato. Not in the sense that eating more tomatoes will make you smarter; instead, we’re talking about the classic tomato-shaped cooking timer that counts down from 25 minutes. It turns out that 25-minute-tomato increments could be the most effective way to accomplish your work.

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Could You Soon Have a Four-Day Workweek?

The idea of a four-day workweek has been popular for some time now, to the point where it is actively being tested in practical settings. Let’s discuss how successful this approach has been (spoiler alert: it’s been quite successful indeed).

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One Hidden Benefit of Managed IT Services

We hate to be the bad guy, but we’re certain that you cannot multitask nearly as well as you think you can. Multitasking is just not how the human brain works, and whether or not you believe in the psychology of it, we think you stand to benefit by outsourcing some of the tasks on your plate to a managed service provider.

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Technology Has Its Own Pain Points

For a business, technology solves a lot of problems. Covering operational pain points is what it does best, after all. Unfortunately, they come with their own pain points that have to be dealt with. In today’s blog, we’ll give you a list of common technology pain points a small business can have and how managed IT services go above and beyond to mitigate those problems. 

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How to Make Your Business’ Cloud Migration More Effective

The cloud is a great business tool and resource, enabling businesses to offset a lot of their IT workload onto these providers. If you haven’t migrated some or all of your business’ technology to take advantage of the cloud, it is certainly something to consider.

If you’re already considering it, we wanted to offer a few tips to help make the process more effective for you.

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Your Business Could Use Managed IT Services

If you suspect that your organization has trouble managing its technology, you are far from the only one. Small businesses tend to have more difficulties with technology management and maintenance compared to their enterprise-level counterparts, mostly due to limitations placed on resources and time. You can make things much easier for your business by working with a managed service provider.

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When is It Time to Automate Some of My Business Processes?

Automation has been a business buzzword for some time now, and was a key facet for many businesses remaining open through the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it seems like there’s no reason for it not to remain in use from this point on. Let’s examine a few ways that automation can and likely will be used moving forward.

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What are My Options for Connecting a Second Monitor?

Laptops are pretty great, I think we can all agree, simply due to their portability. Having said that, the one-screen situation that laptops bring with them can certainly get in the way of productivity—particularly for those who are used to using more than one. Let’s discuss why an additional display is so helpful, and what your options may be for hooking one up to your laptop.

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Change Your Organization’s Strategies and Technology to Improve Employee Productivity

Collaboration is not just nice, it is the only way many businesses can afford to keep the lights on. Understanding that truth makes it important to find the right strategies and technologies to support your staff’s collaborative endeavors. Today, we take a look at a few options to help improve your business’ collaboration. 

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Get More Efficient with Technology and Shifts in Strategy

Collaboration is important for many businesses and it is something that takes some time to master. In fact, a lot of businesses that do pretty well struggle when it comes to getting their project teams and operational staff to work together. Today, we thought we would take a look at technologies and strategies that will not only help collaboration, but can promise rises in productivity as well. 

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How to Get Get More Done and Feel Better About It

Maintaining a standard of consistent productivity can be difficult. This is doubly true if there is constant distraction. For many workers, handling these distractions is work in itself. When trying to maximize productivity it is important to undertake actions that support that goal, and when there are a lot of consistent distractions, it is useful to have a baseline of knowledge on how to do just that. Let’s take a look at five solid tips to help you maintain productivity.

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The Network Bottleneck Can Sap Productivity

Sometimes you might encounter situations where your network is limited in the amount of data it can process at any given time. The unfortunate truth is that it can be difficult to identify exactly what the problem is that is causing the slowdown, but one of the most common issues—the network bottleneck—is a pretty safe bet. But what exactly is a bottleneck, and what can be done to solve it?

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Optimism Generally Produces Better Results

One of the best ways to create positive change in your workplace is the act of projecting positive thoughts into it. In other words, we’re talking about ditching the typical doom-and-gloom that comes from the workplace and picturing the worst-case scenarios. We’re not trying to plan for the worst here; we’re trying to envision the best in an effort to make it a reality for your company. Let’s explore this concept by examining technology management.

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Vendor Management Can Save You A Lot of Time and Money

When was the last time you actually had a decent experience working with a vendor? Depending on who you are trying to contact and work with, it can either be an extraordinarily pleasant or an extraordinarily painful experience. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to work with vendors at all? What if you could just contact a trusted resource who could handle everything for you? Well, you’re in luck; that just so happens to be what vendor management is all about!

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3 Mantras to Live By for Everyday IT Success

With so many technical terms to know and processes to understand, one might think that the only possible way to take care of your IT infrastructure is to hire professionals to monitor and maintain every aspect of it. While there is certainly a lot of truth to this statement, and working with professionals presents a ton of value, it doesn’t take a genius to implement small, common-sense practices that can compound over time.

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3 Ways Your Business Can Avoid or Minimize the Impact of Downtime

The phrase “time is money” is something that you hear a lot, especially in the business environment. While this might be applied in small ways, such as employees taking one or two minutes longer on their breaks or leaving early for the day, the major issue with wasted time manifests itself in much larger and more unpredictable ways. The true silent killer of businesses is downtime, and you need to be aware of its impact on your organization on a holistic level.

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Controlling Distractions Can Improve Productivity

Technology is such a wonderful tool for productivity, but one thing that you need to understand is that it cannot work miracles. At the end of the day, we are all still human; distractions creep in that technology cannot prevent. Some users struggle with staying focused, which in turn leads to unproductive behaviors, all of which compounds to create wasted time and money. Let’s discuss some ways that your employees can overcome distractions in the workplace.

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Lessons Learned from the New Normal

It’s been said that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In business, this is more evident every day as organizations have to deal with all sorts of different problems. How business leaders react to those problems ultimately makes the difference between beleaguered results or success. Let’s take a look at three lessons business leaders should be learning from recent events. 

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Need a Reason to Invest in RMM? Here’s Four

It is undeniable that businesses have increasingly been relying on technology. The past year has been especially digital as millions of people were working remotely. Many of these people required some type of technology support. Today, we are going to discuss how companies like ours were able to provide comprehensive IT support to so many people while they worked from home.

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Are You Having Productivity Problems? Here are Some Possible Solutions

Productivity is the core measurement of your business’ ability to complete the work needed to bring in revenue and to keep that work up consistently. Amazingly enough, most businesses experience similar productivity problems over time. What can a small and medium-sized business do to right the ship when productivity is down? Today we explore some ways to do just that.

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Productivity in a Very Difficult Time

Some people may say that operational efficiency and productivity are only measures of how well managers are able to manage. Make no mistake about it, productivity is important to workers, too. When COVID-19 spurred lawmakers to create stay-at-home orders in March of 2020, the fear was that productivity would decrease so much that it would destroy society. This obviously didn’t happen, but there has been some ebb and flow of the productivity metrics since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s take a look at productivity during COVID-19.

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How to Compose Emails More Quickly with Gmail Templates

With so much time being spent in email, and Gmail holding a 33.7 percent market share, it should come as no surprise that many businesses wouldn’t mind it if a little less time were spent in Gmail if possible. As it happens, one of the most frustrating expenditures of your time—rewriting similar emails repeatedly—can be eliminated by creating Gmail templates.

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How Managed Services Can Benefit the Busiest Place on Earth Right Now

The holiday season is well known as a time off from work to spend with family, but for some, it’s the busiest time of the year. Let’s get to know one such individual for a moment, and what he’s learning can make his job—and his life—much, much easier.

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Downtime Is Costly and Bad for Business

There are a lot of words that a business owner doesn’t like to hear. One of the worst has to be downtime as it signifies waste. This month, we’ll examine the effects of downtime and how to calculate the financial impact of a downtime event.

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Tip of the Week: Linking Text Across Microsoft Word Documents

Microsoft Word has a lot of time-and-effort-saving capabilities baked in. For instance, did you know that you can paste the same text—down to the formatting—across numerous documents? This makes it simple to replicate text without having to fix it each time, and to make changes everywhere the text appears all at once. Let’s go over how to do so.

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Tip of the Week: Making the Most of Google Keep

The Android platform has various tools and applications available to assist users in keeping themselves organized and productive. One of these applications, Google Keep, offers particularly significant benefits. For this week’s tip, we’ll be going over some ways that you can use Google Keep to help “keep” track of the cornucopia of important information you need to process and retain.

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Tip of the Week: Five Ways to Manage Your Email Effectively

Email—it’s a business tool that we all use and rely on, but (if we’re being honest) it can be a pain to manage properly. Unfortunately, this can also depreciate the value of the solution to its users. To help prevent these problems, we wanted to share a few tips to assist you with your email management.

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How to Spend Less Time in Your Email Inbox

While email is an indispensably useful tool in the office, it can quickly become a time-sink if finding the right messages to read and respond to becomes an overbearing responsibility. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to remedy this that, after spending some time learning about the full capabilities of your email platform, can once again make your email the useful tool it is meant to be.

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Business Analytics 101

Business analytics are a growing field, as all businesses can see benefits to their operations through the optimized performance and decision making that these kinds of analytics enable. Let’s go over business analytics, and how they can be used to your advantage when applied to your technology.

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How to Ensure Your IT Resilience

How confident are you that your business could survive a data disaster of any size and scale, from a single misplaced file to a complete loss of your entire onsite infrastructure? Being prepared to recover from any version of events is key to your business’ success. Let’s discuss this concept, which is widely known as IT resilience.

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Collaboration Spans Multiple Apps

The improvement in technology directly contributes to the amount of productivity business sees. One place this is evident is in the way in which businesses use collaboration tools to move business forward. Let’s take a brief look at what exactly we mean by collaboration tools and how they benefit the businesses that use them. 

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Tip of the Week: Time Management at Its Best

You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. Making the most of your time at work isn’t always easy. There are all types of unexpected distractions that take up a lot of time, so you should know what works to help you get the most out of the time you do have. Today, we present three considerations that will help you manage your time better.

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Tip of the Week: How to Effectively Task Out Responsibilities

With so many things that need to be accomplished each day, it always helps to have all the information needed to complete these tasks. If a task has no context assigned to it or no insight into how to approach it, productivity and morale are going to suffer. To prevent this, you need to properly task out your team’s goals. Here, we’ve provided some practices to help.

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Tip of the Week: How to Efficiently Use Chrome in Android

Productivity is a huge priority in any business. This makes it crucial that all tasks can be picked up and put down as efficiently as possible. With mobile browsing now playing a major role in most users’ lives, the version of Chrome for Android devices is a very utilized tool. With these factors in mind, we’re sharing tips to make your use of Android Chrome that much more efficient and productive.

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Tip of the Week: Make Email Simpler

A strong email solution can bring a great deal of continuity to a business. If it is mismanaged, however, it can quickly become a major pain point. Today, we thought we would go over a couple of ways that you can use your email platform to boost productivity, rather than waste time with it.

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Tip of the Week: Four Essential Network Management Practices

Businesses depend on their networks to effectively complete the tasks they need to accomplish, making it critically important that the one you rely on is managed properly. Let’s go over a few tips and best practices that can help you ensure that it is.

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Small Businesses Face Hard Work Getting Back to Normal

It isn’t exactly business as usual, but things are beginning to resemble the reality we all knew before COVID-19, thanks to the use of cloud services as a means to continue processes while social distancing is still in play. However, some businesses may still be reluctant to embrace them.

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Efficient IT Goes a Long Way

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing businesses to rethink their operational strategies, many businesses have had to make a quick digital transformation. Many businesses have accomplished this before the stay-at-home orders, but with employees working from home, we thought this was the perfect time to take a look at four tools businesses can use to improve their work-from-home strategies. 

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How to Reposition Yourself for Remote Productivity (Literally!)

As current events have made congregating in an office irresponsible and hazardous, many companies are sustaining their operations by enabling remote work. While we normally focus on how you should properly take care of your technology, we wanted to shift our focus momentarily to the people using this technology, and how they can do so more safely.

To do so, we have to consider ergonomics.

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Be More Productive by Following a Routine

Business efficiency can be greatly helped by putting a concrete process in place, which is why it feels so natural to develop one in the workplace. Of course, these processes should also come into play when working from home. Let’s review what makes a routine so beneficial, and how you can develop one to optimize your success.

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VoIP is a Great Tool for Remote Work

Social distancing has more or less confined many to their homes, and so many people have begun to adopt remote working to stay busy and to keep their workplaces operational. One way to assist these activities, VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) is a massively helpful tool that many businesses use. Here, we’re going over why this is.

We’ll begin by reviewing the current situation.

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Automation Options Any Business Can Use

If they are doing their job well, a business’ decision makers are always looking for ways to increase efficiency. For years, businesses were looking to their human resources to improve, but today, technology can fill in the gaps more effectively. A culture of automation--the act of having machines do tasks that humans used to do--is proving to be a potent strategy for all types of tasks. 

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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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Work and Fun Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive Concepts

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes, but is this really useful advice if you’re trying to keep Jack, Jill, and the rest of your team engaged in the workplace? As it happens, it is! Let’s explore how you can use gamification to your business’ benefit.

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Your Business Processes Are Everything

The word “procedure” can easily be perceived in a negative light nowadays. It just sounds so… rote… compared to the exciting and dynamic buzzwords that so many “thought-leading, influencing, social media innovators” today toss around. Now, we don’t mean to disparage these personalities - we just want to emphasize that these innovations rely on a foundation to support them, and these foundations are based on business procedures and processes.

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How Our Help Desk Benefits You

You’re likely aware that we have a Help Desk for our clients to leverage, but not all companies handle their support the same way. Here, we wanted to share a few reasons that we are confident that our approach to support is better for our clients.

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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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Diving Into the Differences Between Proactive and Reactive

When it boils down to it, there are really only two ways to operate a business: proactively, or reactively. While many businesses still rely on their reactivity to deal with their technology issues, the opposite approach is demonstrably more effective for the modern business. Let’s explore some of the effects that a proactive and reactive strategy can each have on your operations.

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How Business Communications Make Your Processes Better

Business communications, which is the succinct way to say the sharing of information between people both internal and external to a company, is a key player in that company’s success. Here, we’ll analyze the different types of communication that a business could leverage, and the solutions that best enable them.

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How to Test Your Disaster Recovery Preparedness

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

This quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while it may not have actually been said by the Founding Father, it still teaches a valuable lesson - especially where disaster recovery is concerned. In other words, you need to make sure you have a working disaster recovery strategy - working being the key point.

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You Can Attribute a Lack of Productivity to Downtime

Business owners try to avoid downtime like the plague, but it’s often a challenge to do so. The impact of downtime can be devastating for even the most well-to-do business, and this is even more so the case when you bring profits and bottom lines into view. We’ll take a look at how you can calculate the cost of a downtime event.

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Tip of the Week: Change Your Tools in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a major player in modern word processing programs, and it’s largely due to the many tools and capabilities that are important for users. You can use various techniques to adjust Word so that you can get the most use out of it. This week’s tip is dedicated to these techniques.

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Is Offering Remote Work a Benefit for Your Business?

Technology has become so commonplace in the office environment that work can be done from just about anywhere on any device. This has led to many organizations implementing a remote workforce--at least some of the time. There are actually several benefits to remote work, even for the employer, surprisingly enough.

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IT Consulting Brings Clarity

In today’s competitive business environment, you need all the help you can get. One of the biggest advantages you can achieve for your business is to take advantage of a trusted and reliable managed IT provider that can give your organization advice on how to navigate the murky waters of the technology world.

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Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is not something that you plan for. It just happens. It happens when processes get too big, have too many moving parts, or are bogged down by excessive oversight. It happens when purposes for certain tasks change or are abandoned altogether. Other times efficiency has a different look to it and makes your optimistic projections look foolish. Whatever the reason, inefficiency is more the rule than the exception, and it’s costing your business plenty. This month, we take a look at what efficiency actually looks like and how to do your best to achieve it.

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Monitoring Your Whole Business is Smart

Managing a business requires a lot of monitoring, and with enough of it, you might be able to enhance productivity through proactive maintenance and management. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that organizations commonly deal with in regard to management and monitoring.

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One Call to Handle it All!

b2ap3_thumbnail_our_vendor_management_400.jpgConsolidation makes life easier. Your smartphone is a prime example of this; consolidating dozens of individual gadgets down to one easy-to-use device that can fit inside your pocket. Before smartphones, we had to travel with a carry-on bag full of electronics, but now, thanks to smartphones, traveling is much easier. This principle of consolidation also applies to IT services.

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Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

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

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Is Your Effort Getting Things Done?

You can’t have a successful business without a little bit of productivity. Unfortunately, some office environments can have a negative influence on the way your employees get their work done. Take a moment to ask yourself this question: “Are you simply busy, or are you actually being productive?”

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Tip of the Week: How to Consolidate Your Email Management

Quick question for you: how many email accounts do you have? How many do you have to regularly check? How many different platforms do they utilize? If there’s too many, important communications are easy to miss in the ensuing mess of messages. Fortunately, there are a few ways that this can be avoided, which we’ll review for this week’s tip.

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Automation is Exciting, But your Employees Might Be Worried

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

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