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What options do I have for using the cloud?

Alyssa Sisco

Deciding on the best cloud solution for your business requires you to really understand all of your options. But there are a lot of different terms that get thrown around when discussing the cloud. In order to be an active participant in the discussion and decision-making process, it’s important to be familiar with your options and understand the costs and benefits of each. Use this guide to get the basics down, and then reach out to us with questions you may have.

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Topics: Cloud, Owners & Managers

A cabling guide for your business (infographic)

Rick Shepherd
The cabling in your business is mainly out of site; hidden in walls, ceilings, and maybe in conduits. So, most people don’t give it much thought. But cabling is a very important piece of running a business. It directly impacts the work that your business is able to do. Additionally, the c abling industry has seen some dramatic changes over time. Check out the infographic to learn what you should take into consideration when making cabling decisions for your business.
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Topics: Equipment Purchases, Owners & Managers

How to keep your business secure while allowing staff to work remotely

Alyssa Sisco

With the right company culture and technology tools, it’s possible to work effectively and efficiently while outside of the office. Given access to email, chat, video conferencing, cloud collaboration tools, and more, there aren’t a lot of office jobs that can’t be done off-site. Studies show that flexible work options reduce turnover, improve morale and to top it all off, over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters.

Taking all this into consideration, it's no wonder why the number of people spending at least some of their hours each week working remotely is continuing to rise. When a business decides that allowing their staff to work remotely could positively impact their business, there are some steps they need to take to ensure that they have the proper security measures in place. Here are a few items your business should implement to thwart a cyber attack:

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Topics: Network Security, Owners & Managers, Trends

What should I look for when buying a new computer?

Ryan Aiken

In this world of ever-changing technology, staying up-to-date and standardizing your computers can be overwhelming. It doesn’t make things easier when it seems like vendors want to sell you the high-end computers, rather than set you up with something more practical (sounds like a car salesman, right?). Looking for a new computer is going to be a lot like looking for a new car.

When you’re shopping for a new car, you tend to know the size, trim, brand, etc.… With computers, it will be the same, except with computer parts instead. Check out this guide to learn the main components that make your computer run. You can use this to make a decision about what to look for in a personal or business computer.

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Topics: Equipment Purchases, Owners & Managers

Tips for managing interruptions in the workplace

Lori Mahoney

How many times are you interrupted during the work day? Are those interruptions impeding you from getting work accomplished? Many workers who feel overloaded by their workloads feel this way because they spend so much time dealing with interruptions, they don't have time to actually focus on their work.

Did you know that it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on point after an interruption? If you consider how many times you’re interrupted every day by coworkers, phone calls, emails, texts and the like, that can certainly add up to a great deal of inefficient work time. We all deal with interruptions every day, and for a lot of us, it’s hard to say “no”.

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Topics: The Workplace, Owners & Managers

The importance of outstanding customer service

Dianne Porr
For many years I thought that customer service was a dying art. However, in the last couple of years I’ve found that has changed. More recently, I've noticed that customer satisfaction has gained a lot of importance. Customers have begun to expect a lot more from companies, knowing that customer loyalty is a hard win. Customer service and customer satisfaction are truly what differentiate you and your company from the competition. Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and understanding their needs is one of the most forgotten secrets to developing excellent customer support service.
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Topics: The Workplace, Owners & Managers

The cost of doing nothing

Chris Vilim

Getting a sleek, shiny, brand-new computer is an exciting experience. You have the opportunity to customize it to fit your needs perfectly. You have so much space for everything you’re going to need and seek to accomplish. Every program and web page works instantly, making each task feel effortless. However, technology doesn’t stand still. Innovation constantly materializes and propels the industry forward. Within just a few years, computers become incapable of keeping up with the latest updates and applications. Users start to find them moving arduously slow. The next time you find yourself or your employees in this situation, don’t just suffer through the frustration. That outdated computer may be costing you more than you think.

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Topics: Equipment Purchases, Owners & Managers

Set some SMART goals for your small business

Alyssa Sisco

2017 was a lot of work. And maybe you thrived; But maybe you're just ready for 2017 to end. Either way, I think we all still want to make 2018 even better. Planning goes a long way toward creating a great year for your business. Let us help you set your goals, so you can start crushing 2018 right out of the gate.

Start by refreshing your knowledge of SMART goals. In order for a goal to be SMART, it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

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Topics: Owners & Managers, The Workplace

Why data backup is essential for your business

Alyssa Sisco

If you were to sell your company tomorrow, what exactly would you pass on to a buyer? More than just a company name on a building; You have records, contracts, contacts, financial data and more that go into making your business unique and valuable. It takes an incredible amount of time to acquire, develop and build that network of information. If disaster struck and your computer crashed, how long would it take you to get all that information back? Your data is one thing you should never gamble with.

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Topics: Network Security, Data Breach, Owners & Managers, The Workplace

Give meaning to meetings

Alyssa Sisco

As you race to meet a deadline, your calendar notification goes off. You have a meeting in five minutes! 

This is the absolute lowest priority on your totem pole, but attendance at all meetings is required. You then spend the next 30 minutes listening to someone ineffectively probe for anything to discuss, to make this meeting seem like it has a purpose. After a vast amount of time wasted in awkward silence, you are dismissed.

Finally free to be constructive, your motivation has been completely diminished. You're left frustrated after spending that half hour contemplating all the things you could have been accomplishing.

As you can imagine, this is not the best environment to inspire productivity. But all too often, this seems to be the outcome of our daily routines.

Our professional lives certainly don't have to follow this pattern. There is such a thing as an effective meeting. We just need to find what we're doing that's not working and transform it into something advantageous. Below, I have listed some essential factors in giving your meetings, meaning.

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Topics: The Workplace, Owners & Managers