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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.

Here’s How Companies Struggle with IT Security

No business can be successful if it’s constantly suffering from data breaches. Therefore, you should take measures to mitigate the issues caused by these threats before they present themselves. Here are four of the biggest issues your business could face in the field of network security.

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What To Do When You’ve Had Enough of Your Broken Technology

Chances are that you’ve dealt with the following scenario: You are working along fine and you try to open an application only to be rebuked by an error message on the screen that tells you that there is some type of critical error. You close that out hoping that it was a one-time exception, but nope, it pops up again. You think to yourself, “Why does this always happen?”

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Fake Tech Support Knows Way More than It Should

Tech-support scammers traditionally are people who dial random numbers and try to convince the people on the other end of the phone that their computer has problems and they can fix them if the user allows them to remote into the device. They use tactics that are as generic and vague as possible, to avoid having to mention any specifics; and, since some people (especially those who have computers that are a few years old) find that their system’s performance is sluggish, they will give these people access. This typically ends in disaster.

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How Much Time Do You Spend Managing Vendors?

Vendors… how many do you have to deal with? Chances are, quite a few. Now consider how much time is spent managing each of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to reduce this time to effectively nothing? Well, we have some good news for you.

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What Exactly Do We Mean by “Managed” Services?

Managed services - what are they? The short answer, other people managing the IT systems that you rely on every day to be productive and accomplish your tasks. In essence, they are a freedom from dealing with the troublesome and time-consuming parts of leveraging technology. You may have heard this much about managed services before, but have never been given a deeper understanding of what they entail. That is precisely what we aim to accomplish below.

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What Makes Managed Services Worth It?

Most modern businesses depend on technology in at least some capacity, whether it’s for productivity, efficiency, or even security purposes. Without access to important data and applications, your business is a shell of its former glory. This is why it’s so important for businesses like yours to implement managed IT services. It certainly beats having untrained employees maintain your crucial computing systems!

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Value-Driven Managed IT Services Boosts the Bottom Line

Businesses of all sizes use varying degrees of technology to improve organizational productivity, efficiency, and security. The more a business depends on its data, the more crucial it is for them to manage and maintain the systems in which this data is dependent. For organizations that have a lack of financial resources to support these systems, it is often left to unqualified employees, putting your business at risk. What do you do when you need expertise that you lack and can’t afford to hire in-house staff?

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Do You Know All the Things an MSP Can Do?

It’s a fact that most businesses today are rolling out technology as a part of their strategic plan to improve productivity and make their business more efficient. The more technology your organization relies on, the more crucial it is to get comprehensive IT support for that IT.

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Managed IT Services Provide Good Value for SMBs

Every business needs technology support. This statement is more true today than it has ever been before. As your organization adds new technology to its infrastructure, it will naturally grow more complex and difficult to maintain. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to go about this alone. By working with an outsourced third party, your business can take advantage of all kinds of great solutions for a fraction of the cost.

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How Does Your IT Stack Up to These Standards?

Selecting a managed service provider should be like selecting any employee. You need to make sure that your expectations are going to be fulfilled, and that your selection will be there when you need them to be. However, the criteria you examine your potential IT service provider by should be a little different than how you evaluate your other prospective team members.

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The Value of Outsourced IT

IT maintenance is something of a sensitive topic for some organizations. While most understand that it needs to be done, they often don’t have the resources to make it happen, either due to a limited budget or timeframe. How does your business handle IT maintenance? If your organization is having troubles managing its annual technology budget, or if you are consistently experiencing profit-sapping downtime, consider managed IT services the answer to your problems.

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Managed IT is a Great Way to Improve Your Business' Productivity

IT is meant to help your business function more smoothly, not hinder operations. This is the cornerstone of the way that most organizations need to think about technology maintenance. Unfortunately, there are some organizations that either don’t have dedicated IT support, or waste valuable time and resources working with break-fix providers who don’t have their business’s best interests in mind. To keep your organization from falling victim to these practices, you should consider managed IT for your technology maintenance.

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What Makes Managed IT the Best Option?

Who would you rather hire--an employee who comes in late, after your systems have encountered an issue, and takes twice as long to fix them as he said, or an employee who was ahead of the game, and managed to avoid issues before they influenced your business? This scenario is precisely the same one that you encounter when you weigh a break/fix IT provider against a managed service provider.

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Worry Less With Hardware-as-a-Service

Your business relies on mission-critical hardware that keeps its infrastructure running, including servers, workstations, and networking components. However, these pieces of technology require maintenance in order to function properly, and replacement every so often to keep the risk of downtime and hardware failure to a minimum. Thankfully, modern managed IT services have yielded a solution to this issue that can make managing your hardware infrastructure as easy as possible: Hardware as a Service.

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Your Computer's Infected... What Do You Do Next?

It’s one of the most commonly-known computer issues: infection. There are plenty of threats out there that could potentially take hold of your PC. The question is, do you know how to proceed if one does? This blog will go into just that.

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3 Common Reasons Businesses Fail an IT Audit

While many may consider an audit of any kind to be a pain in the neck or worse, they can actually be an effective way to ensure that businesses are following best practices and remaining compliant. After all, nobody wants to be the company that failed an audit. Despite this, many companies aren’t up to standard where their IT is concerned, and it has an impact.

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Would You Rather: Maintain Your Technology, or Accomplish a Business Goal?

How much time does your business waste on managing its own technology services? This includes maintaining your email solution, upgrading and managing your desktop infrastructure, and keeping your network secure from both internal and external threats. We would understand if you said that you don’t have time to both run your business and its technology, but we are of the firm belief that you shouldn’t have to choose one over the other.

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3 Ways Managed IT Keeps Your Business in Business

In the natural course of doing business, an owner/operator will have to face many difficult situations, but none of these situations are as difficult as asking them to determine whether or not to close the doors of the business for good. Many problems could cause a business to fail, but it has to hurt the failing owner a little more when the solution for the problem was not only within his/her reach, it was affordable.

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You Deserve an IT Provider that Cares as Much as You Do

Two major concerns of every business owner are the protection of their company and making sure their technology does what it’s supposed to do. It can be overwhelming to manage these two aspects on your own, which makes outsourcing the security and maintenance of your IT such an attractive option.

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Equipping Employees to Resolve Their PC Issues Has Never Been Easier

It’s a far too common scene in businesses: an employee is working on an important project when their workstation starts acting up. Flustered, they call in the IT department, but they won’t be able to make it up to them for an hour at least. So, what’s a worker to do? Just sit there and wait? With a Help Desk solution, this wouldn't be an issue.

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How to Get "All You Can Eat” IT Support Without Overspending

Let’s say you get a bill in the mail for technology support, but you don’t necessarily know why you got it. Pretty troubling, right? Clearly someone in your organization isn’t privy about the proper method of getting help for their technology, but if you regularly work with a break-fix IT provider, this kind of correspondence (and cost) is unavoidable. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

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3 Ways Outsourced IT Helps Companies Better Manage Their Technology

When was the last time you had to reach out to IT support, only to have to wait for the tech to drive to your office and resolve the problem far too late? This is a common occurrence amongst business owners, and if your technology is mission-critical, you can’t afford to deal with more downtime than necessary. How can your business more effectively take advantage of technology support? A remote monitoring and maintenance solution may be just what you need.

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Having a Network that’s Tested Guarantees You’ll Overcome Any Disaster

Does your SMB have an internal IT department? Chances are that it is a major pain point for your organization, and even if you do have one, it might be bogged down with so much work that mistakes can happen and threats can slip through the cracks. Sometimes the best way to protect your network is to know where and how threats manage to get there in the first place.

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We Debunk 3 Common Myths of Managed IT

Managed IT services are so popular with small businesses that they’re becoming a commodity. If you’re not taking advantage of managed IT, what’s your excuse? Here we address three common excuses put forth by companies that avoid managed IT.

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3 Common IT Shortcomings and How You Can Overcome Them

Business owners expect a lot out of their IT network, and rightfully so. However, technology isn’t perfect and can sometimes get in the way of these expectations. To overcome these technology shortcomings, IT administrators and business owners can benefit by outsourcing these expectations, especially when it comes to these three crucial aspects of IT.

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Let’s All Move on From These 4 IT Frustrations

b2ap3_thumbnail_frustrated_computer_400.jpgTechnology is supposed to make things easier, yet it’s a common source of frustration when it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. As an IT company, we experience technology frustrations all the time, and we wish that many of these frustrations could just be eliminated altogether. In our opinion, here are four technology frustrations that need to go.

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The Best Way to Manage Your Technology is also the Easiest!

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_services_from_msp_400.jpgTechnology’s incredible growth has brought about a need for technicians who are skilled enough to handle everyday maintenance. As time passes, technology grows more complex, and as such it requires more comprehensive maintenance. Eventually, innovators in the IT industry discovered that their services could be improved by preventing technology problems from happening in the first place. Enter: managed IT services.

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Why Managed IT is WAY Better Than Break-Fix IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_is_break_fix_it_holding_you_back_400.jpgEvery organization has mission-critical systems that they rely on in order to function, and the IT technician is responsible for keeping them running. Modern technology and best practices have given rise to a new way of managing business technology, one that knocks the traditional break-fix IT out of the water.

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3 Reasons Why Managed IT is Better IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_manged_it_is_the_way_to_go_400.jpgThe break-fix IT model can be exhausting and unpredictable. When your technology unexpectedly breaks down, you shouldn’t have to grasp at straws just to keep operations running. Thanks to the proactive approach of managed IT services, the break-fix model is on borrowed time. Will your business move on from this antiquated method of managing technology, or will it remain stuck in the past, unable to move forward?

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Outsourcing IT Helps Businesses Maximize Their Return on Investment

b2ap3_thumbnail_msp_handshake_400.jpgYou started your business because you have a particular skill set. This is what allows you to continue doing business as usual. However, this also means that there are some topics that you might not understand completely. This is why you hire employees from diverse backgrounds, and it’s one reason that you should consider outsourcing what you can to professionals in specific fields.

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3 Fundamentals Every IT Strategy Needs

b2ap3_thumbnail_questioning_your_it_400.jpgWhen running a business, you can’t always upgrade your technology to the latest and greatest equipment or software every time something new comes out. Yet, you also don’t want to be left behind, which would be limiting to your growth and mobility. Moving forward can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t revamped your IT strategy in some time. Paying attention to the details is an important part of avoiding potential roadblocks with your future IT strategy.

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This Year, Be Sure to Fix Your Break-Fix IT Policy

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_services_providers_400.jpgIt’s already a couple of months into 2016, are you still relying on a break-fix company to fix your technology problems? Using technology comes with its own set of problems. For example, dealing with an influx of new devices in your office, determining whether or not your technology can take another year of use, and budgeting around new technology expenses, can be suffocating. If you haven’t done so yet, now is a great time to cast aside the break-fix IT policy and take your technology maintenance and management seriously.

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Give Your Business the Advantage of Managed IT Services

b2ap3_thumbnail_managed_services_400.jpgBusinesses thrive on technology, and constantly use it to push their initiatives forward. However, the latest solutions and business technology can often be complex, and it usually requires the attention of skilled professionals in order to guarantee its optimal efficiency. The only problem is that small and medium-sized businesses often don’t have funds to hire in-house IT technicians for their technology maintenance needs. Managed service providers offer a unique benefit for these budget-minded organizations.

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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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Tip of the Week: 3 IT Tips Your Budget Will Thank You For

b2ap3_thumbnail_three_services_400.jpgStaying on top of your company’s budget is a key component to increasing your revenue. By failing to do so, major expenses will blindside you and cancel out any progress that might have otherwise been made from increased sales. For many companies, one of the worst budget busters comes from their IT.

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Virtualizing Your IT Infrastructure Makes Everything Easier

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_computing_growth_400.jpgBy now you’ve heard of managed services: Technology-related services that allow businesses to get the IT support they need without taking on the often large and unexpected expenses that usually accompany them. This allows a business the ability to budget a flat fee for their technology support each month, and address IT support needs that include communication, application deployment, and the proactive support of the business’ IT infrastructure. The overall managed services industry has seen immense growth as businesses look to cut their support costs, while continuing to build onto their IT infrastructure.

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4 Ways to Troubleshoot Network Performance Issues

b2ap3_thumbnail_rmm_it_400.jpgAre you experiencing performance issues with your computer network? Does it seem like it’s not running as effectively as it used to? Given the nature of technology, eventually, you’ll have to replace all of your computer hardware. But before you do, give your network a boost by trying these four IT maintenance best practices.

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3 Benefits That a Managed Help Desk Solution Brings to the SMB

b2ap3_thumbnail_managed_it_services_400.jpgAs a business owner, you know that technology is a necessary, albeit unpredictable, investment. Your organization thrives off of it operating as expected, yet suffers when it doesn’t function properly. This is the primary reason why the idea of help desk support was first introduced. It’s an effective medium through which your employees can receive tech support when it’s needed most.

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Tip of the Week: What to Look For and What to Avoid in a Consultant

b2ap3_thumbnail_consulting_tips_400.jpgSometimes you just don’t know what to do, and you don’t know where to turn for help. You don’t want to ask your competitors for anything, because they don’t need to know your weak points, and you feel crushed under the pressure of day-to-day operation. Maybe a hand once in a while isn’t such a bad thing.

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Tip of the Week: How to Find the Right Outsourced IT Company for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_your_outsourced_it_provider_400.jpgAs your company expands, you’re beginning to realize that one IT person isn’t enough to handle all of your technical needs. You feel like you need more hands on deck, but your budget won’t allow for it. You decide that your best option is to hire slowly and steadily, interviewing externally for the most qualified individuals. But, how can you be sure that they meet the needs of your company?

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The 3 Biggest Ways You Can Help Your IT Department

b2ap3_thumbnail_we_can_help_in_several_ways_400.jpgA reliable and skilled IT department is integral for the success of your business. If your IT team is burnt out, overworked, or dissatisfied, operations will suffer and your network will experience one IT emergency after another. Just as you expect your IT staff to use best practices, as a business owner, you need to manage your IT staff as best as you can in order to ensure that your network will operate at maximum efficiency.

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3 Red Flags to Look Out For with Your IT Staff

b2ap3_thumbnail_red_flag_400.jpgOne of the most important factors that you should consider when looking for IT staff is how much you can trust them. After all, they’re dealing with your technology. You’re trusting them with incredible responsibility. Therefore, you need to be sure they are honest, hard-working individuals. How can you ensure that you aren’t getting blindsided by your IT staff?

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How Managed IT Services Improve Your Company’s Customer Service

b2ap3_thumbnail_msps_help_provide_great_customer_service_400.jpgOne common characteristic about small-to-medium sized businesses is that they're often stretched thin. When your company is pulled every which way, certain aspects of it begin to suffer. One area that should never suffer is customer service. Managed IT service can make things easier on your staff so they can focus on what’s important, like better serving your clients.

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What Backsourcing Your IT Looks Like

b2ap3_thumbnail_backsourcing_it_from_success_400.jpgIf you’re looking to save some money on IT, outsourcing your company’s IT services is a simple and effective method. This concept has grown tremendously over the past several years, and the saved expenses are one of its biggest attractions. However, businesses sometimes decide that it might be time to backsource their IT.

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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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How Much is Your Data Worth?

b2ap3_thumbnail_how_much_for_data_400.jpgIt's been said that a company's data is its most important resource. If this is true, then is it possible to assign a monetary value to your files? If you attempted to do so, you may come to the conclusion that your company's data is more valuable than anything else in your business, maybe even your own job!

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The Database Hack that Brought Down the Galactic Senate

b2ap3_thumbnail_star_wars_logo_400.jpgOn May 4th you may see more Star Wars T-shirts than normal. This is because May 4th is recognized around the galaxy as Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you). Thanks to the abundant use of technology throughout this science fiction franchise, you can bet your podracer that we can find an IT lesson from Star Wars that can help your business!

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Space Technology Repair By Chewbacca

b2ap3_thumbnail_chewy_face_400.jpgAcross the galaxy, Star Wars fans will be celebrating their beloved science fiction franchise on May 4th (May the fourth be with you). One of the most fascinating aspects about Star Wars is its space technology. As cool as lightsabers and blasters are, Star Wars tech can break down just like our modern space technology. Concerning technology repair, we think troubleshooting space tech in our day can be just as exciting as repairing space technology "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."

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Signs Your Technology Might Be Older Than You

b2ap3_thumbnail_old_tech_signs_400.jpgWhen we think of technology in terms of age, we often look at how long the machine has lasted for. Some machines from the mid-90's are still running, which makes them almost twenty years old. In terms of human life, that's not a very long time, but if you look at it in terms of quality working conditions, you'll find that these computers are kind of like dogs and cats. They may only be several years old, but in terms of actual age, their lifespan makes them much older than you realize.

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The Anatomy of an IT Perfect Game

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_perfect_game_400.jpgThe first pitch of another Major League Baseball season is being thrown this afternoon and with 2,427 more games on the docket in the regular season, it won't be the last. One of the greatest feats a player (or a team) can accomplish in baseball is by throwing a perfect game. To do so, a team's pitcher (or pitchers) must complete nine innings without allowing a baserunner.

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Efficiency is Important for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_business_of_efficiency_400.jpgWhen your business runs efficiently, you will see the positive side effects start relatively quickly. While this seems pretty reasonable to most everyone, there are many business owners that don't know how to best produce the kind of efficiency that will take their business to the next level.

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Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late for IT Support

b2ap3_thumbnail_ITknot400.jpgIf you are a business that doesn't have an IT support plan, then you're running on borrowed time. It's the nature of technology to eventually break, and when it does, it can disrupt the entire flow of your business. A reliable IT support plan is crucial to your business continuity plan. Without a plan, you will have a big mess on your hands.

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Managed Services Offers Predictable Results

b2ap3_thumbnail_MSP400.jpgYou decide to take your workstation to a local computer repair shop because its running slower than a turtle at a dead run. Then after you've waited for the Computer Technician to fix your computer you find out it wasn't broken, it just needed a defragmentation and a little bit of malware removal. This is caused from carelessness that tends to happen because of the busy work day.

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Technology as Easy as Turning a Key

b2ap3_thumbnail_LockKey400.jpgIsn't it nice to have everything prepared for you? Of course it is. Whether it's having your dinner made for you when you get home, or having your car turned over to you fueled up and cleaned out, everybody appreciates having everything taken care of. In the world of technology, we take care of everything with our turnkey business management solutions.

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What Can Darth Vader Do For Your Business?

b2ap3_thumbnail_vader400.jpgAs every good Stars Wars fan is well aware, May 4th is Star Wars Day (May the fourth be with you). As an IT company, we love all technology, especially tech from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Therefore, let us take a moment and look at the most famous technology from Star Wars, Darth Vader.

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