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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 Balance Your IT’s Value Against the Cost

No matter how you look at it, technology is expensive. You’ll rarely look at your IT invoices without cringing a little on the inside. However, it’s important that you take a glance at these every once in a while to understand just what you’re getting from your technology budget. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your IT purchases are yielding a positive return on investment, and therefore, providing value for your organization.

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How to Calculate if That Print Job Was Really Worth It

There are a few sounds that are familiar to any office: keys clacking away, coffee being sipped (or slurped), and the rattling, squawking hum of the printer. Yet this image presents a crucial question: do you know how much your printer is costing your business each time it is used? In today’s blog, we’ll review how you can calculate this investment.

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Reduce Your Technology Headaches Go with Managed IT

Does your business have trouble with managing and maintaining your technology? If so, you’re not alone. Many small businesses struggle with even the most basic elements of IT maintenance. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take this responsibility and shift it off of your employees? The best way to approach technology maintenance is to implement managed IT services.

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What Does the Cloud Have to Offer for SMBs?

The cloud has taken the computing world by storm. You’d be hard-pressed to find a technology that didn’t tie back to the cloud in some way. This is especially true when you consider the needs of the SMB, and how the cloud can provide for those needs.

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How the Proactive Approach to IT Management Saves You Time and Money

So, you’ve just finished up a huge, potentially career-altering project. Your finger is poised over the mouse, ready to click ‘save,’ when suddenly your entire project disappears. Turns out, a critical issue just killed your network, your progress, and your mood. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to keep this from happening?

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3 Benefits to Managed IT that Are Too Good to Ignore

You’re in the middle of a project when your computer starts acting up. You smack it around a little bit to see if that has any effect, but it only makes the problem worse. Suddenly, there’s a blue screen and you have no clue what to do. What happened to your data? What will happen to your project? What will you do about the workstation replacement? Read on to find out.

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Pay-as-You-Go Cloud Computing Poised to Shake Up the Industry

b2ap3_thumbnail_billions_in_cloud_computing_400.jpgA short time ago, cloud computing was a resource that was only taken advantage of by organizations that could afford to virtualize and manage their hosted platforms. Nowadays, many businesses, including startups, are using cloud computing for their organization’s primary computing functions. As this enormous shift happened, many of the world’s largest companies have pushed their cloud platforms forward to offer secure storage, software deployment, and even communications for organizations that are either just starting out, or are looking to reduce their capital computing and support costs.

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3 Ways to Skip Out On Printing Altogether

b2ap3_thumbnail_printing_expense_400.jpgBusinesses always try to eliminate unnecessary costs, but printing isn’t necessarily everyone’s first idea of an unnecessary cost. With so much revenue being invested in paper, ink, and toner every year, just think of how many resources this can free up for your business if you could find a way to eliminate them from your budget. With the right technology solutions, you can easily cut costs on printing.

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Why Should You Upgrade Your Old PC When it’s Doing Everything You Need it To?

b2ap3_thumbnail_old_working_tech_400.jpgIt’s a known fact that technology doesn’t last forever. In fact, technology grows at such an astounding rate that some users often feel the need to replace their devices the second a bigger and better tech is launched. What if this unprecedented growth and increase in reliability become a hindrance to the sales of PC manufacturers?

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The Value of Doing IT Right the First Time Around

b2ap3_thumbnail_do_it_right_400.jpgDoing a project right the first time around is the most valuable way to get it done. Businesses that best understand this concept are the ones that have experienced the folly of choosing the cheap route to get something fixed, only to then have it break again--which ends up costing them more in the long run. Nowhere is this more true than with IT support.

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How Cloud Computing Frees Up Funds for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_savings_400.jpgFrom the perspective of a business owner, spending money on technology is an investment that one hopes to see a return on (ROI). After the initial investment is returned, then all funds generated by the technology are sweet profit--which is the driving goal for every business. One technology that’s the most capable of driving profits for business is cloud computing.

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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 Be Taken by the Cloud Computing Trend!

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_mind_400.jpgIt's the nature of trends for people to want to capitalize on them, which means that many sellers of what's trendy may have little experience working with the trends that they're selling. As a business looking to take advantage of the latest technology trends, it's important that you're not bamboozled by a smooth talking technology marketer with no depth.

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Avoid These 3 Bad IT Service Traps

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_traps_400.jpgIt takes a special kind of person to give great customer service. If someone can't pick up on social cues, or if they have a low tolerance for repetitive questions, they will end up offending a lot of customers. To assist our clients with their IT problems, we make sure to hire the most helpful customer service representatives that we can find.

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Mountains of Old Monitors are Creating an Ecological Disaster!

b2ap3_thumbnail_ecological_disaster_400.jpgRemember when you upgraded to a flat screen TV or monitor just a few years ago? You may have marveled at the increased picture quality and celebrated getting rid of your old and bulky equipment, but do you know what happened to the old CRT monitor after you threw it out? Unfortunately, the answer doesn't bode well for the environment.

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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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3 Ways Your Business Leaves Money on the Table

b2ap3_thumbnail_leave_money_on_table_400.jpgFor a business owner, leaving money on the table is the worst feeling because it means passing up on easy money. From forgetting to upsell to a customer to having a delivery route be longer than it needs to be, there are many ways that businesses leave money on the table. Take a look at your company's technology; you may be leaving money on the table by using inefficient technology that's literally sitting on your table.

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Gain the Technological Advantage when Starting a New Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_start_button_400.jpgStarting a new business is a huge undertaking that's highly demanding. Wishy washy people need not apply. An individual starting a new company will need to take into consideration every possible scenario and make plans for it as best they can. Taking advantage of the right technology from the very beginning will make starting a new business much easier.

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4 Important Considerations to Make When Shopping for a Server

b2ap3_thumbnail_choose_the_server_that_works_best_400.jpgDue to the irreplaceable nature of data, server units may be your company's most important assets. Therefore, when it comes time to purchase a new server, you will want to make sure that your new unit will be exactly what your business needs. Getting a model that's too small or too powerful can be costly. Here's what to look for when purchasing a new server.

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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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3 Small Cities that Utilize Cloud Computing in a Big Way

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_400.jpg"The Cloud" may mean very different things to different people, and has certainly been used in a number of ways that obscure its actual definition. The cloud a place to store and access files, run software, automatically back up files, virtualize data, and much more. Globally, smaller cities are becoming cloud cities using all of these capabilities to save money and improve their infrastructure and services.

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6 Ways to Step it Up While Spending Down

b2ap3_thumbnail_save_money_with_technology_400.jpgExpenses from running a business can add up quickly. We want to help by sharing six easy things you can do that will save you money and improve your workplace. Even though these two goals may seem diametrically opposed, we have found that they can work together in a synchronized harmony!

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How IaaS is Shaping Modern IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_iaas_and_your_business_400.jpgThe International Data Corporation (IDC) recently stated that the fastest growing sector of cloud computing is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS allows technology end users to use Internet connections to tap into entirely virtualized computing systems in order to get their work done. This cloud service is changing the way we do IT. Is it time for your business to join in?

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Only 25% of U.S. Homes Will Have Landline Telephones by 2015

b2ap3_thumbnail_tincan400.jpgWired telephone service, also known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), is seemingly nearing their extinction. This is thanks to the more economical and convenient Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone option. Until recently, nearly every American home was connected to the PSTN, but by 2015, this option will see a 75% decrease. What does this mean for your business?

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Go Green with Wake-on-LAN

b2ap3_thumbnail_wake400.jpgDid you know that your computer may have the capability to be turned on and off without ever physically pushing its power button? Besides helping you feel like a wizard, your computer's Wake-on-LAN feature has many convenient applications for your business, including saving time and energy, and aiding your campaign to create a greener workplace.

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By the Numbers: A Look at The Cost of Downtime

b2ap3_thumbnail_bleh400.jpgIf your business has never experienced a major computer problem, then it's easy to underestimate just how damaging downtime can be. This conclusion can be drawn from a recent survey of small business owners, where 65% estimated they would only lose $500 if their company's network went down for a day. In reality, downtime is much more costly than $500.

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Every Move You Make VoIP Presence Will Be Watching You

b2ap3_thumbnail_busyman400.jpgAs a busy person, you're constantly on the move. The downside of being busy is that you sometimes miss important phone calls, even if you there are a dozen different ways to reach you. VoIP provides you with a solution to help you never again miss a call with a feature called Presence.

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3 Ways Green Technology Can Help Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_greengears400.jpgToday's business environment is environmentally conscious. Companies that implement green policies and use energy-saving technologies are making a positive impact on the environment. Going green is the responsible thing to do and will also positively impact your business. Here are three ways using green technology can benefit your business.

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How to Cut 25% Off Your IT Expenses

b2ap3_thumbnail_techy400.jpgWe've all learned in our Business 101 studies that cutting costs is an absolute priority of business operation. While there are plenty of products available that promise to save your business money, perhaps the easiest and most effective way is to downsize. Gartner Inc. reports that you can eliminate a quarter of your IT expenses by simplifying your IT network.

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5 Solid IT Practices You Need to be Doing

b2ap3_thumbnail_itz400.jpgManaged IT services are designed to be an affordable solution to keep an organization's IT infrastructure running smoothly and minimize expensive downtime. To help you better understand how managed IT services can save your business money, let's look at five modern IT methods that our IT services are founded upon.

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Cloud Hosting is More than a Quick-Fix

b2ap3_thumbnail_clizzy400.jpgMany businesses are taking advantage of cloud hosting because it's a convenient way to downsize their IT infrastructure. The cloud also makes installing new software easier, and has several more advantages; although, it's important to not rush to the cloud and go with just any cloud hosting service. Choosing an inferior cloud service with poor support can have disastrous consequences.

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When Outsourcing is a Good Thing

b2ap3_thumbnail_outsource400.jpgOutsourcing jobs is never a safe topic to bring up in a group discussion. If you mention "outsourcing," be prepared to hear nationalistic rhetoric followed by, "They took our jobs!" When outsourcing is done right, it can save your business money, and when you outsource IT services with us, you can rest easy knowing where the work is going.

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How much is Your Printer Costing You?

b2ap3_thumbnail_loot400.jpgAs a business owner, you are always on the lookout for money saving solutions. Technology offers cost-effective options because it can be used to save money by implementing something new, instead of making cuts. A print server solution is one example of how upgrading your technology can save you money.

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Is That Mobile Device Protection Plan Worth It?

b2ap3_thumbnail_shattereddreams400.jpgUpselling and add-ons are the reason why you go to buy a new smartphone, expecting to pay the too-good-to-be-true sale price, and walk out locked into a contract that costs twice as much as you planned on spending. One add-on that's pushed hard is the device protection plan (smartphone insurance). Is a protection plan worth the expense?

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How Managed IT Services Works

b2ap3_thumbnail_weare400.jpgWhen you break down our IT Company, you will discover that we are about more than just computers. In fact, everything we do with technology is basically one big effort to help your business perform better and save you money!

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Don’t Let Technology Sink Your Budget!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Sinking400.jpgThe whole point of making a budget is to control costs. All it takes is one surprise to undo all the careful work of budget planning. No department is immune to unplanned expenses, and while it's impossible to totally prevent budget-busting expenses across the board, you can take action to turn many surprise expenses into controllable costs.

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The Waste of Tape

b2ap3_thumbnail_tape400.jpgEvery business needs to backup their data. If your company is hit with a disaster, and there is no backup in place, then it will be a critical hit to your operation. Backing up data with tape is a widely used solution, and while this is better than nothing, it is very inefficient compared to using BDR.

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Save Hardware Expenses with Desktop Virtualization

b2ap3_thumbnail_Cloud400.jpgWhen shopping for your personal computer, you will gladly pay the extra money to buy the best machine possible. However, when buying piles of workstations for your business, paying extra for the best equipment adds up quickly. Utilizing Desktop Virtualization for your business is a great way to get away with buying inexpensive computer hardware and that allows you to save money.

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5 Ways You Can Save Money with a Fax Server

b2ap3_thumbnail_Fax400.jpgIt's a digital revolution! Everyone is enjoying their new technology...and then there's the sad fax machine, still hanging around, printing off faxes, and reminiscing about the good old days before there was this new fad called the Internet. Fax machines put a damper on the whole digital revolution vibe. It's high time to retire them and start saving money!

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3 Communications Boundaries Destroyed By VoIP

b2ap3_thumbnail_VoIP400.jpgDo you feel tied down by your phone system? Traditional phone plans can be expensive and your phone bill will grow if you try to do more, like add lines and use extra features. One of the ways that the Internet can help your business save money and grow is by replacing expensive phone plans with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

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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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Servers and Energy Costs are Shrinking with Microservers

b2ap3_thumbnail_ShrinkServer400.jpgServers have always been one of the more expensive yet crucial pieces of your IT infrastructure. A new development in servers is the microserver, which is a stripped down version of a server. The appeal is that they can be designed to handle one task efficiently, and therefore, use fewer resources while costing less to purchase and maintain.

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Have a Backup for Your Backup

b2ap3_thumbnail_BackupBackup400.jpgWe often talk about the need to back up your data, but did you know that it is also a best practice to back up your hardware? Backing up your hardware works differently than data backup; whereas data backup involves network devices and a cloud, backing up your hardware is a simple matter of having extra computer components on your premise.

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Make Your IT Costs Predictable and Save Your Budget

b2ap3_thumbnail_ITCost400.jpgThere are many challenging aspects that come with running a business, but which aspect is the most difficult? According to a 2012 survey of small business owners by The National Federation of Independent Businesses, managing costs is the most difficult responsibility. We can help; our managed IT services turn technology into a predictable expense.

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The Advantages of Business Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_Save400.jpgAs a business, you do things differently than the mild-mannered consumer. Like paying bills, it’s not like a business can sit down for half an hour every month, write a few checks, and then be done with it. Businesses have employees whose major duty is paying bills. Technology is the same way, and businesses have different technology needs than consumers.

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Find Valuable Advice with Business Technology Reviews

b2ap3_thumbnail_TimeforReview400.jpgHave you ever felt like your business is missing out on a big opportunity simply because you are unaware of it? In order to see a hidden opportunity, you need a fresh set of eyes. You need the help of an expert who knows what to look for, and you need regular input. This is exactly why we offer business technology reviews.

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Let us Be Your Favorite Point of Contact!

b2ap3_thumbnail_OneStopShop400.jpgAs busy as you are, the last thing that you want is to have one more thing to keep track of. This is why you have us take care of your IT infrastructure; it is worth it compared to learning how to troubleshoot each problem by yourself. Did you know that we can take care of more than just your computer network? With our vendor management service, we can also keep track of all of your technology.

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See Big Energy Savings with Server Virtualization

b2ap3_thumbnail_Server-Virtualization.jpgYour electricity bill is the worst. This is because you know that it could be smaller if you only made a few adjustments to how you run the office. Little tricks like turning your lights off will save you money, but to really make a dramatic cut to your bill, you can virtualize your servers.

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Have VoIP Answer Your Phones

b2ap3_thumbnail_VoIPIVR400.jpgThere are many advantages that come with switching your company's traditional phone system to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP uses the Internet to handle all of your communication needs; this can streamline your communications and save you 50-70% compared to a traditional phone plan. Not only can VoIP save your business operating costs, it can also make your company more efficient.

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Let us Help Your IT Department

b2ap3_thumbnail_LIttleITDude400.jpgIf your business is large enough to have its own IT department, then you know firsthand how valuable it is to have a knowledgeable technology professional on the premise. Being IT technicians ourselves, we experience this appreciation all the time from helping our clients. Sometimes, a technician's popularity can be almost overwhelming, and for times like these, it is nice to have backup.

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Power Outage Protection with UPS

b2ap3_thumbnail_PowerOut400.jpgOne shocking IT scenario that we regularly encounter is expensive computer hardware plugged into inexpensive power strips. Power strips are adequate if you need a few extra outlets for your kitchen appliances, but if you want to protect the computer hardware that is mission critical to your business, like servers and NAS devices, then you will need a solution that is more powerful.

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Collect So You Don’t Pay

b2ap3_thumbnail_Collect400.jpgEvery enterprise, whether it is a successful one or not, has to deal with its fair share of adversity. One of the most rampant difficulties a business is forced to deal with is the necessary ability to secure prompt payment for the goods and services it provides its customers. For small and medium-sized businesses, or even one-man bands, they likely do not have the deep pockets many larger organizations have. Not being able to timely collect income can make sustaining business operations all but impossible. With remote payment applications that are now available for mobile devices, collecting crucial revenue at a mobile point-of-sale is making collecting that is money easier.

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Your Computer Hardware is Built to Last

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hardware400.jpgWe understand your desire to upgrade to a new computer, using the latest technology has its advantages. Although, upgrading because your old PC has "worn out" may be an inaccurate assessment. There are many reasons why a computer's performance slows down, but it is doubtful that hardware deterioration is a cause. This is because PC hardware is built to last.

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Make $ and Save $ with Webinars

b2ap3_thumbnail_DollarSign400.jpgIn business, the more ways that you can find to communicate your message to your customers, the further your reach will be, which will ultimately increase your bottom line. This reach-to-profit formula works even better when your communication tools are affordable and can save you operating expenses. A webinar is a great communications tool that will both save you money and make you money.

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Know-it-All Managed IT Services

b2ap3_thumbnail_ImAnExpert400.jpgRemember being told as a kid that, "Nobody likes a know-it-all?" As an adult, while it is still true that nobody likes a braggart, it turns out that everybody loves an expert! Every professional is an expert within their field; and whenever a problem crops up that you may not be a know-it-all in, then you call in another expert.

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Most for Your Money: Use the 'Teardown' When Buying Hardware

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoftsurfacetablet10.jpgThe majority of today’s more conscientious shoppers will check out the consumer reviews of the device as well as the detail specifications before purchasing a product.  Just because it’s pretty and all their friends at school have one, doesn’t always mean that it is the best value for your money.  Still, we rarely consider: Do review sites and vendor release notes tell the whole story? Is this device really better because of its price tag or big name brand? There is a widely underused but extremely valuable resource online where customers can gain a little more perspective. This is called the product "teardown”.

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Get the Internet Speed that You are Paying For

speedWhich is worst, fingernails scraping down a chalkboard or slow internet? A person who would answer the former has likely never experienced internet speeds in excess of 1 Mbps. It is a proven fact that faster is better. Before you decide to complain to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or even switch providers, make sure that you are informed about what your internet speed is and should be.

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4 Practices to Speed up a Slow Computer

b2ap3_thumbnail_snailslow400.jpgThere are dozens of PC tricks and procedures you can try in order to speed up a slow computer. Before you do something drastic like open your case and tinker around with the hardware, or reinstall your OS, or even call your friendly IT techs for a service call, you may first want to adopt these four PC practices that are guaranteed to boost your computer's performance.

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Calculate Your Downtime

a1sx2_Original1_coinclock.jpgDoes it sometimes feel that business is going well, yet your bottom line is taking a hit? If time is money, then downtime is anti-money, and downtime may be your biggest budget buster. To help you determine exactly how much your IT downtime is costing you, we have two mathematical formulas you can apply to your business.

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Finding Savings in Your Underutilized Servers Part 2

a1sx2_Original1_cloudmoney.jpg

Earlier this week we talked about ways to shave your IT budget by combining your servers with a process called virtualization. This can equal big savings when you are running multiple single-task servers. Another way businesses can save money is by migrating their entire server infrastructure to a managed cloud environment.

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Use GPS to Navigate Your Way to Profits

a1sx2_Original1_gpsprofit.jpgTime is money. Benjamin Franklin offered up that poignant piece of business acumen in his 1748 pamphlet Advice to the Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One. Travel to the present day and it's one of the most frequent sayings used by businesses professionals. Attempting to find the highest degree of productivity is the goal for everyone that believes that the bottom line is, in fact, the bottom line. One expanding technology that is helping businesses increase efficiency is the Global Positioning System (GPS).

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Finding Savings in Your Underutilized Servers, Part 1

a1sx2_Original1_walletethernet.jpgWhen budgeting, most businesses will look at ways to save by spending less on products and services, like downgrading to storebrand cola. These cuts are never popular and have been known to insight office mutinies, "Dr. Thunder, are you kidding me?" Before you deprive employees of premium products, first take a look inside your server, it may be full of savings!

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The Quest for the Paperless Office

a1sx2_Original1_paperlessoffice10.jpgEver since the first microfilm machine was rolled off the line 100 years ago, mankind has been striving to achieve the paperless office. If you are too young to remember using microfilm, think of an arcade cabinet, except, instead of Mortal Kombat, documents battle it out over a projected screen. Thankfully, we have come a long way in 100 years.

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VoIP, More Features and New Possibilities

a1sx2_Original1_voipkey.jpgIf you are reading this, then you obviously have an internet connection. Most internet users browse websites, check emails, and perhaps play a game or two, but if these activities are the extent of your internet usage, then you are missing out on a powerful, cost-effective tool called VoIP that uses the internet to entirely replace your old phone system.

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Is it Plugged In? Avoid Wasting Time with PC Vendors

guy stressed out on phoneWe've all been there; dealing with long, annoying tech support, hoping to make that extended warranty worth while. Should you eventually speak to a human, you run the risk of running smack into a language barrier. Then, there is always the inevitable 'Did you turn off your computer and turn it back on?' Would you really be still on hold if you hadn't tried everything you could think of?

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Go Green: 6 Ways Your Company Can Save Energy (and Money)

hand holding green cityBusinesses are inundated with information, programs and quick solutions on making companies green. Some of these suggestions can be implemented today, others my take more time. However, going green, can save your organization significant amounts of money. Wasted paper, plastic cups and wasted electricity are all money literally thrown away.  Here a few suggestions to get you off on the right foot:

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5 Tips for Saving Money on your IT

piggy bank on calculatorSaving a little on your technology can go a long ways, but cutting too many corners can lead to additional problems and expensive downtime. Here are a few ways you can cut costs without creating long term issues.

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3 Huge Benefits of Voice over IP

business phone

Voice over IP phone systems revolutionize voice communications for small businesses by providing plenty of big benefits. VoIP uses the Internet to send signals as opposed to standard telco phone lines. Let's go over a few major benefits that businesses see when they switch to VoIP.

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4 Spring Cleaning Practices to Improve your IT

lightbulbAs the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it's a good time to step back and look at ways to rejuvenate your day-to-day operations and do some spring cleaning. These practices won't cover dusting up cobwebs but will offer a few practices to improve your overall IT.

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Is Virtualization Right for your Upstate New York Small Business?

server virtualizationServer Virtualization has been around for a while but has quickly become more popular for small businesses due to the long-term costs saved when your servers are virtualized. What exactly is server virtualization and how can it benefit Upstate New York businesses?

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IT Monitoring - Prevent Issues Before they get Expensive

man monitoring screens

One of the benefits of managed IT services is allotting time and having the proper tools to effectively monitor an entire network for issues. This allows technicians at Directive to detect, identify, and resolve issues before they start to affect users.

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Cut Down on Cost of Business Overhead with these 5 Solutions

Business owners, this one is definitely for you. You've probably experienced the fact that shaving expenses here and there can lead to more flexibility and long-term savings, but at what cost? Are you limiting your company by nixing those extra services and costs? Sometimes you can get more and still save money. Let's look at a few ways Upstate New York businesses can do just that.

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How to Monitor your Smartphone Data

number circled on paper

Unfortunately cell phone service providers are discovering that smartphone users love their bandwidth. With the majority of carriers dropping unlimited data plans, when a user goes over their limit massive charges can apply. Let's cover a few tips to limit the amount of bandwidth you use on your smartphone.

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How Network Monitoring Reduces Tech Support Costs

At Directive, we hate seeing our clients suffer from slow computers, bogged down networks, and other computer issues that prevent work from happening seamlessly. That's why we are so passionate about proactively safeguarding your network BEFORE issues happen, in order to prevent expensive downtime.

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Slow Computer? Increase your memory to boost computer Speeds

man sleeping by laptop

Sometimes when your workstation feels bogged down, a relatively cheap and simply hardware update can make a huge difference in performance. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can be a game changer for your bogged down PC.

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5 Ways to Slash IT Costs

bar graph x-ing out extra costs

Nobody wants to spend more than they have to, especially when it comes to those necessary evils like bills, utilities, insurance, and the general costs of keeping things running smoothly. At Directive, our goal is to provide outstanding enterprise-level solutions for small business prices. Let's talk about a few ways to cut long term IT costs.

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Virtualization Simplified

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Controlling and managing a big network with multiple servers is no small endeavor, especially keeping them maintained. On top of that, software licenses, warranties, user permissions, and security all need to be managed and controlled. As your business expands, you may need more servers in order to perform certain tasks ranging from email, file distribution, specialized software, and security management of various levels. Pretty soon your server room is beginning to look like a cramped mini data center and you need to worry about controlling the heat and maintaining multiple high-priority, mission critical machines. There's got to be a better way, right?

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Is it Time to Retire your Old Technology?

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A lot of Upstate New York small businesses are taking advantage of regular proactive maintenance that keeps their servers and workstations in tip-top shape much longer than their typical lifespan. Amazing amounts of money are saved on new hardware and downtime and everything is just peachy! You've been able to run that old server for years and you have workstations that are still chugging away on Windows XP. What you don't know is that your old technology, even if it is in perfect working order, could be drastically slowing things down for your business.

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7 Reasons Upstate New York Businesses Should Switch to VoIP

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Voice Over IP phone systems add a lot of great features that businesses can take advantage of, and are improving the way companies are using their voice communication. Besides the fact that supporting older analogue phone systems is becoming increasingly harder as technology carries us forward, here are 7 reasons why Upstate New York businesses should switch over to voice over IP.

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Simple Math: Less Focus on IT Equals More Focus on Your Business

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You are an expert in your field, right? Whether you sell a product or commit to a batch of service offerings, you know your job and you know it well. We're guessing you have some great employees who know their job well too, right? You hired them because of their drive, interest, and possibly knowledge in the field (or you spend plenty of time teaching and training them). So when someone's computer goes down, why should they waste their time trying to fix it?

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Desktop Virtualization: Does it Work for Upstate New York Businesses?

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Businesses these days depend on having reliable, fast desktop computers. The trouble is, these high-end desktops offer plenty of resources that never get touched, making them underutilized. Huge hard drives and extremely fast CPUs mean each desktop has more capabilities than most users will ever tap into.

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The Pitfalls of Letting your Employees Do Their Own Tech Support

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

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The Sky is Blue, but The Cloud is Green

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Cloud computing is the new way to get things done for small businesses.  It's easy, it's secure, and it is great for the environment.  According to a report put on by the Carbon Disclosure Project, cloud computing can potentially reduce the world's carbon emissions by millions of metric tons.  The differences are wildly significant compared to running your own in-house data centers, even if you just have a server or two.

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Spam: The Art of Deception

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If you use email, you've probably seen spam. If you think we're talking about a canned meat product, and are wondering how it relates to email, then we envy you. For everyone else, saying your inbox probably has a little spam is a dramatic understatement. Spam comes in several different flavors; ranging to inappropriate solicitations to unwanted gibberish to carefully coordinated scams. We're going to go over one of these tricky spoofs that is known to fool users.

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Manage Technology Like you Manage People

For a small or midsize business, technology budgets are naturally fairly slim. It goes without saying that a company needs to get the best bang for their buck with their IT infrastructure, and it's not uncommon to see workstations and other devices still in play years after their prime. This leads to underperforming technology, which in turn, limits what your bottom line can accomplish (remember, your team is only as good as your worst player). Some small businesses are approaching technology in ways that would normally be reserved for HR's interactions with employees, but they are finding that this can improve performance.

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5 Benefits of the Paperless Office

At many businesses, if you look in the waste bin or the recycle bin, you'll probably find a lot of paper. Paper is one of the most common waste products at businesses and as such is also one of the biggest sustainability opportunities for businesses large and small. The environmental benefits are great, but going paperless has some huge benefits for small businesses beyond being green.

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7 Ways to Save Money with your IT Infrastructure

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Who isn't looking to spend a little less or get more out of their current investments? The costs of day to day business for small businesses need to be within budget, but you still need to give your staff the tools they need to get the job done. Here are some tips for cutting costs without making big sacrifices.

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Telecommuting: Good or Bad for Businesses?

Telecommuting (also known as working remotely) is where some or all of your staff have the flexibility to work in the location of their choosing (and in some cases, the hours that they choose). Not to be confused with freelancing, telecommuters are dedicated employees who work under a management style geared towards the final results (as opposed to how the work gets done). While telecommuting isn't for everybody, it is often practiced. Microsoft is well known for having certain positions where the employee spends most of their day in a coffee shop working remotely, and that trend certainly doesn't stop with the big M.

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Going Green for Small Businesses

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Today, small businesses that go green and take action towards reducing energy consumption, waste production, and apply sustainability concepts benefit from a lower cost of day-to-day business. Being green looks great for investors, employees, and consumers alike and can contribute to press and media attention. That sounds great, right? Unfortunately, like most things, going green isn't something you can do over night. It takes time, dedication, and sometimes, a little bit of investment. Hit the jump for some tips to go green with your business.

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Work Smarter, Not Harder

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Want to get more done in a days time? We all do. If you are a business owner, it is likely you'd love to see your employees get more accomplished during the course of the day. There is a lot that can be done to make your time more efficient (that is an industry all on its own!), but one very frustrating cause of lost productivity is faulty technology. The most overlooked culprit? Slow computers!

Hit the jump to see our analysis of what workstation slowness can cost your company.

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How New Businesses Slash Start-up Costs

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Veterans to building and running small and medium-sized businesses probably know about the huge initial start-up costs.  A small business needs to consider investing in all of the necessary infrastructure, from things like desks, chairs, computer equipment, security devices, break room appliances, heat, air conditioning, a website, marketing materials… the list goes on.  Today, small businesses are finding new ways to streamline and reduce the costs of getting started.  Hit the jump to see a few ways small businesses are cutting high start-up costs.

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Save Money by Switching to LCD Monitors

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Computer equipment is expensive, but most people don't even think about the costs it takes to run an entire office worth of tech.  Modern hardware is becoming more and more energy efficient, but older equipment can take a lot of electricity to run (not to mention the maintenance of keeping things running smoothly.  One of the biggest energy hogs in an office these days are old CRT monitors.

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