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Tips For Integrating In-House IT Staff With Managed IT Service Providers

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Integrating In-House IT Staff With Managed IT Service Providers

Managed service providers (MSPs) are a popular way for SMBs to leverage the professional talent and skill of a larger IT department without having to pay for in-house staff. But most businesses also need to maintain an internal IT staff member or two for their own IT initiatives. Integrating in-house IT staff members and MSPs can create some potential challenges, especially in the areas of redundancy. Here are a few tips. Always Outsource Mundane and Day-to-Day Tasks MSPs are highly skilled professionals, but they truly excel when it comes to automating and scheduling more mundane tasks. MSPs aren’t able to go into your offices or to work on longer term projects; instead, they are designed to make it easier for your business to conduct their operations. By outsourcing your mundane yet critical tasks — such as backups and security monitoring — you’ll free up your IT personnel without stepping on any toes. Set Up a Virtualized System and Remote Controls Virtualized systems are the easiest to monitor and maintain for an MSP. MSPs can create virtualized systems that can be synced, re-deployed, and accessed from anywhere — making it easier for them to remotely configure settings and troubleshoot. This gives the MSP the same information as your in-house staff, smoothing over the process of collaboration. Cloud solutions are another way that you an ensure that the MSP and your in-house staff are on equal footing. Pay Attention to Time Zones MSPs are available anywhere in the globe — but you want an MSP who is available at the same time as your in-house staff. Don’t forget that many IT professionals end up working long hours. Will your IT services be around to support them if they work a few hours late? Will they be available if your IT professional comes in a few hours early? All of these time issues could potentially lead to system disruption if they are not properly synced. MSPs should always be seen as a tool to help your business and your in-house IT professionals — not as something that is designed to entirely replace them. MSPs work best when paired with skilled professionals who know how to utilize them to their fullest extent, and there are some things that it simply is not easy for an MSP to do, such as manage hardware. By involving your IT professional in the process and focusing on what the MSP can do for them, you should be able to undergo a fairly easy...

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Why Are Some Computers Labeled For Different Uses?

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Are Some Computers Labeled For Different Uses?

Survey any electronics or computer store and you may find different labels on desktop computers and laptops/notebooks. Some may be labeled as business computers or entertainment computers, while others hold even deeper niche titles such as gaming or design computers. To understand what each term means and whether the difference truly matters, take a look at a few computer configurations. The Standard Home Computer Home computers are built to handle what most computer users need–even though the term “modern” for computing changes so often. Most users check emails, browse the web on standard web browsers, and use programs with low system requirements, such as document writing software. Current computers are often built with a multicore processor. Unlike the original personal computers with the power of a single processor to calculate, process and manage all of the activities on a computer, multicore processors have the power of multiple processors in a single package. Multicore processing is about load balancing, meaning that no single processor core will perform all of the work. Instead, the multiple cores help each other out to avoid maxing out a single processor and failing. This development is a double-edged sword, as even though multicore processing made computers faster and easier to use, new programs take advantage of the faster speeds to create better programs that eventually demand faster processors, and so development continues. Computers also have hard drives used to store files and memory to access those files faster. Memory is a sort of fast storage located closer to the processor, allowing common files to be delivered faster without slowing down the hard drive. A computer’s motherboard–which connects all computer devices–has a single processor slot, multiple ports for hard drives, slots for a expansion cards such as video cards and sound card and a connection for power supplies. These connection areas are where the specialties stand out. Business Computers A business computer is the least specialized of the specific labels. A business computer is often the same as a home computer, but with a different set of pre-loaded programs. Instead of having to buy a document processing program or a spreadhseet program, office software suites are often already installed to the hard drive. Business computers also tend to be sold in bulk and tailored to a specific business. They often come with a service plan, which makes the difference between a home computer and a business computer an issue of software and policies. If you plan to purchase a secondhand business computer, you may as well have a home computer and search for the programs elsewhere.  Entertainment/Media Computers An entertainment computer is a slight evolution to the home computer system. These media systems often have specialized software for video and music playback, and may have an embedded/onboard video processor.  There is a noticeable playback performance boost due to the onboard video processor, and the sound quality may be better because of an onboard sound system upgrade, but these changes are often less powerful than computers with dedicated cards. Gaming Computers And Other Card Expansions Gaming computers are one of the specific systems made more powerful because of a dedicated card. A video card is used to amplify video and graphics processing power, and there are certain instructions such as shader systems that are only available on...

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It’s A Secret: 3 Strategies For Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s A Secret: 3 Strategies For Protecting Your Intellectual Property

To make the most of your business portfolio, you need to be able to leverage trades of your intellectual property, or IP. Trading your non-essential IP for products that will increase your bottom line is the best way to improve your own portfolio. However, in order to maintain control over your own IP – and prevent sabotage – you have to be able to protect your IP. Here are three ways to protect your company IP, and ensure that it goes public when you want it to – and not before. Identify All Your IP If you own a company, you probably have secrets that you wish to keep from your competitors. Those trade secrets are necessary for the prosperity of your business. Your IP, or intellectual property, is also important. If you don’t know what your IP is – such as you have a separate department that generates IP – you need to familiarize yourself with it. You can’t protect what you don’t know you own. Take the time to identify and label each piece of IP your company owns. This will help you identify any potential theft of your IP. Utilize Confidentiality Agreements with Your Employees If you have employees handling your IP, it’s important that you hold them accountable for the way they handle that information. Confidentiality agreements allow you to hold your employees accountable for any breaches that might occur as a result of their mishandling of privileged information regarding your IP or other trade secrets. Once you have confidentiality agreements in place, you should sit down with your employees once a year and go over the information included in the agreement. This will ensure that your employees remain up-to-date on the agreement they signed. Your confidentiality agreement should include a clause that prohibits employees from divulging information about your IP should they seek employment elsewhere. Limit Disclosure to Third Parties When it comes to your business IP trading, third party disclosures can spell disaster – especially if the information is disclosed to the wrong parties. Before you share your IP or trade secrets with a third party, be sure you have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. The non-disclosure agreement – or NDA is similar to the confidentiality agreement you’ll have your employees sign. This agreement will prevent third parties from discussing any information they learn about your company IP. Intellectual properties are a valuable part of your business assets. The information provided here will help you protect your IP and trade...

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How To Pay Less For Your Internet Service

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Pay Less For Your Internet Service

If you already have an internet provider that you are happy with, but feel like you could be overpaying, then there are some tips and options you will want to take advantage of to minimize your monthly internet bill. There are several ways that you can cut costs, even without having to reduce your internet speed or deal with the hassle of switching providers. So, if you want to maximize your savings, be sure that you do the following:  Rethink The Speeds You Get: When signing up for your internet service, you may have rushed your purchase and bought an internet plan that offers faster upload and download speeds than you actually need. Well, if you are not utilizing the full potential of your internet’s speed, consider contacting your provider and inform them of what you are using your internet for. If you are only checking social media, emails, and doing some light browsing, they will be able to find a great plan for your needs so you can obtain the speeds you need, without having to pay top dollar for a plan that you aren’t benefiting from.  Utilize Your Own Equipment: If you are using the modem or router that came with your service, consider returning these items to your provider and purchasing your own internet equipment. Internet service providers do offer a monthly rental fee, which can add up on a yearly basis. So, instead of constantly paying this monthly fee, buy your own hardware that you can utilize for years to come because this will be far cheaper in the long run.  Bundle All Your Home Services:  A great way to reduce the cost of your internet service is to add other services to your account. Many internet service providers not only offer internet service but other home features as well, like cable and home phone lines. These added features will allow you to obtain discounts as most providers offer multi-service discounts for their customers that have more than just one service from them. So, by taking advantage of this, you could likely save across all of your home services and not just your internet plan.  Applying these tips to your existing internet plan will help you save on your internet service, which can add up on an annual basis. So before you deal with the complications of switching to a new provider just to save on your internet service, be sure to reap the benefits that these tips and options can provide as they will definitely help you maximize your monthly savings.  For an internet service provider, contact a company such...

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3 Technology Needs For A New Business

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Technology Needs For A New Business

Technology plays a big role in how successful a business is. In today’s fast paced world, new businesses especially need to be technologically capable in order to compete in an ever advancing marketplace. A solid technological foundation is necessary in order to be able to provide goods and services to customers across the country and even across the world. A new business should invest in things such as hardware, software, and even IT consulting in order to increase their odds of being successful. Hardware Hardware may seem like a complicated term to those who are not technologically savvy. What hardware refers to is anything that can be touched in a computer system. Examples of this include hard drives, disks, screens, monitors, printers, and much more. There are many important hardware options that a new business should consider. These include network servers, different types of computers that have different uses, network equipment, projectors, mobile hardware, and printer systems. The goal is to have equipment that is up to date, that is able to communicate with different components in the system, and that is tailored to the needs of the business.  Software Software is essentially the programs needed to operate computers. Without software, hardware is useless. Software is also something that can greatly help with the day-to-day inner workings of a business. Software needs vary greatly from business to business. The important thing is to really examine software vendors carefully and to make sure that they offer a product that fits the needs of the business. One type of software that most companies require is accounting software. There are many options available that make keeping up with financial information easier and more efficient. IT Consulting Hiring a consultant may seem like a waste of money. However, for a new business that is unsure of it’s technology needs, an IT consultant can be incredibly helpful. An IT consultant can use their expertise to help a business come up with the best technology to suit their individual needs. These consultants can meet with a business and help them determine what their hardware, software, and network needs are. Then they are able to help the business choose products that work with the business’s budget. An IT consultant can help streamline the technology hiccups that many new businesses encounter in their first few years. Technology and business go hand in hand. A successful business is able to keep up with new technology as well as use it in a way that increases profit and efficiency. In order to achieve these goals, new business should consider investing in hardware, software, and IT...

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Never Too Old To Get Online: Helping Senior Citizens Acclimate To The Internet

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Never Too Old To Get Online: Helping Senior Citizens Acclimate To The Internet

The old cliché states that senior citizens simply don’t understand new technology or the Internet. And in many instances, this is unfortunately true: PewInternet.org found that only 59% of all senior citizens used the Internet. Increasing that number requires focusing on helping seniors better understand how they can utilize it properly. Follow these basic tips to get them started. Set Their Home Page To A Search Engine When the elderly are first getting used to using the Internet on their own, they are going to struggle to understand typing in URLs of specific sites they want to visit. That’s why it’s a good idea to set their home page as a simple search engine. Here, they can type what they are looking for, such as “great walnut and pecan pie recipes,” and click on a site that appeals to them. Later on, they may be able to get into typing in URLs, but search engines can streamline the process. Try to set them up on a site that utilizes a search engine and a news feed. Seniors love being updated on the news, and these feeds can give them access to important stories and updates on issues important to them. Creating Successful Filters The Internet can be a precarious place if you don’t know how to avoid suspicious sites, and unfortunately most seniors are going to have no idea what is safe and what is not. Setting up a series of strong Internet filters is one way that you can help protect them from the seedier sides of the Internet. What kind of sites should you filter? Try to filter: Pornographic sites Sites that automatically download new software Online forums and discussion groups Clickbait sites that use wild claims and weird photos to draw traffic There are multiple types of Internet filters you can utilize to keep your senior safe. Many people utilize software filters, such as anti-virus programs or traffic limiters, to avoid these sites. However, hardware filters that attach directly to your router can automatically block dangerous sites by setting up a firewall. Help Them Find Online Help Once your senior has started using the Internet, they’re probably going to bombard you with questions at an unmanageable level. Avoid this problem by setting them up in an online Internet education course. These sites help teach basic skills to seniors by utilizing daily courses, helpful tips, and guides for proper Internet use. Most senior Internet help sites utilize a “search” feature that lets seniors find specific topics, tips, and classes on Internet topics that may confuse them. Sign them up for one of these classes, show them how to access it, and check up on their progress regularly to ensure they master the Internet. If your senior is still struggling to master the Internet, it might be a good idea to set them up with a tech support agent who can come to their home and give them expert advice. Remember: the Internet is a vast and strange place, and you don’t want your senior getting lost in its endless expanse. Go to site resources that offer tech support for seniors to learn...

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Signs That Your Computer Might Be In Need Of Professional Repair

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs That Your Computer Might Be In Need Of Professional Repair

No one likes dealing with computer problems, especially if their computer is needed for school or work. Therefore, you might want to take a few moments to consider the following signs that your computer is in need of prompt professional repair. It Is Overheating A computer should be kept cool at all times. This is usually accomplished thanks to its own fan system. Therefore, if you notice that your computer is turning itself off and is extra hot when it does so, the fan may not be working properly. You can first check to make sure that there is nothing blocking the fan, such as a piece of furniture or a build up of dust. If everything appears to be fine, but the computer is still overheating, you will need to have a computer repair technician take a look at it. If you allow this to continue to happen, you might find that the computer will fry and you will lose everything that you have stored on it. The USB Cords Are Not Working Right You have a problem where you have to wiggle and jiggle a USB cord in order to get the computer to recognize its existence. If this is what you have found yourself doing, you will want to stop. You might be making the problem a lot worse, especially if the problem is internal and not the cord itself. Try to replace the USB cord with a new one first. If that does not solve the problem, the USB port itself could be damaged or may be starting to become disconnected from the internal parts of the computer. Either way, this is something that a skilled computer repair technician will be able to take care of for you. Some Keys Are Malfunctioning Whether you are using a laptop keyboard or an external keyboard for a desktop computer, there may come a time when some of the keys are not working properly. The first thing you will want to do is to clean out the keyboard by using a can of compressed air, which can usually be found in the electronics section of any major department store. If that does not work, you could try replacing the external keyboard. Should you find that none of that is working and you suspect that the problem is not with the physical keys themselves, it could be a virus that you are dealing with, especially if it seems as though the keys work some of the time but other times seem as though they have a mind of their own. A computer repair technician will be able to detect the virus and get it off of your computer before it is too late. With those three previously mentioned signs in mind, you should have no trouble ensuring that you are getting the prompt help you need before you are no longer able to use the computer at all. Visit a website like http://www.laptoprepairs.com for more...

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4 Places To Install Your Surveillance Cameras

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Places To Install Your Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras not only keep an eye on your business after hours, but they can actually help you identify thieves and other criminals who escaped after stealing merchandise or vandalizing your business property. In order to have the best surveillance, you need to place your security cameras in the right location. Here are some of the best places to have surveillance cameras. Overlooking the Cash Registers If you have a retail store, it is imperative that you have a security camera facing the cash registers, as well as any other customer transaction spots on your property. Some stores not only have cash registers near the front of the store, but also in other areas, such as the customer service or layaway counters, or in the beauty section in some drug stores. It is a good idea to have surveillance at all areas so your security team can keep an eye on the transactions. At the Entrances and Exits Placing cameras near the entrances and exits benefits you in a number of ways. First of all, if thieves know the cameras are there, they are much less likely to attempt robbing your store. It is also helps to reduce the amount of people vandalizing your property, since they know these cameras sometimes see just outside the entrances of the building. It also lets your on-site security team keep an eye on all doors that lead outside of the business or store so they can spot suspicious activity. If someone does get out the door with stolen merchandise, these cameras help you identify the criminal. Near Crime Targets Every retail store has what is called a crime target, which is an area of the store that criminals will target. This might be cabinets with high-end merchandise like designer watches or jewelry, or glass cases on the walls with other high-priced items. The crime targets might also be a safe or filing cabinet in your place of business, as well as the back office where you have money to be deposited or counted after it is removed from cash registers. Have cameras that can view of all these highly targeted areas. Secluded or Dark Areas Outdoor surveillance cameras are also useful. If you have secluded or dark areas of your building, such as a corner of the building hidden behind trees, or a space behind the dumpster area where criminals could hide, those are good places to have cameras. This allows you to see criminals before they enter the building, or to identify them if they escape and hide in these areas until they can get away. For more security ideas, contact a local security company, like Horizon Telcom...

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Troubleshooting Your Intercom System

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Your Intercom System

Intercom systems can save you a lot of hassle and time. They also serve as a great security system. If someone in the house isn’t able to get around like they used to, this system works great. Instead of having to yell across the house, you can simply push the button and let the other person know what you need. In the event something isn’t right with your system, you need to get it taken care of right away. To help you troubleshoot why your system isn’t working, check out the two problems below. The unit isn’t powering on at all. While this might be obvious, many people don’t think to look and see if the unit is actually getting power. Most units get their power from a 12 volt adapter. Check to see if that adapter is plugged in correctly. If it is, you might be dealing with a damaged adapter that needs to be replaced. An electrical surge can cause the piece to malfunction. A voltmeter can test your adapter to determine whether it is working properly or not. The equipment manual should outline the specifications for your adapter. Another thing to consider is whether the electrical outlet has power going to it or not. The easiest way to check this is to plug something else into the same outlet and see whether that item works. Outlets can short out for a number of reasons, such as faulty wiring or shorts caused by water. If you notice that the outlet is still working okay, it might be an issue with loose wiring. Feedback. When using the unit, you shouldn’t hear any feedback. It should deliver a crisp, clear sound. If you find that you are struggling to hear the other party through the intercom, you might want to move the speakers farther away from your microphone. You might want to think about lowering the volume on your amplifier to see if that takes care of the feedback problem. Repositioning the units to another place in your home might solve the problem as well. It might be that you have something else in the area on the same frequency that is causing the feedback on your system. Intercom systems are an amazing invention. However, that won’t do you any good if they aren’t working properly. By taking the time to investigate the problem, you can get your system back working in no time. For more information, contact Alpine Electronics and...

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The Death Of The Personal Computer

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Death Of The Personal Computer

You may be one reason the personal computer is dying. How often do you use your phone or tablet as opposed to firing up the big boy in your office? Chances are you will grab for the tablet that is in your bag or on the table beside you rather than get up and walk to your PC. Even the small laptop models are being usurped by the even smaller tablets.The death of the personal computer has been announced previously for one reason or another, but now experts in the field believe it will be dead in five years. Tablets In 2015, tablets are expected to overtake shipments of PCs worldwide, an occurrence few expected even a few years ago. Tablets are moving from being supplemental devices to being your main computing connection.They do not have the power and memory of the personal computer, but they do have other advantages. Portability – They are light enough to carry in one hand, so they are excellent for students, teachers, real estate agents, and pretty much everyone else. Functional – They have enough juice to take care of most daily computer needs. Users can email, surf the web, use social media, and chat with friends. With word processing apps available, document production is not a problem, either. Affordable – Tablets vary widely in cost, but the average price in 2014 was $294, and it was expected to drop even further in 2015. Manufacturing Tablets are often less expensive than some smartphones, which seems counterintuitive. However, sometimes electronic components distributors price the pieces for smartphones higher because the specifications are greater and harder to achieve than for the smartphone. The display for a four-inch screen requires more advanced technology than one for a seven-inch screen. However, tablet users will tell you that they are more productive with the larger screen. Many electronic component suppliers are located in the United States, despite the perception that these parts are shipped from overseas. As with most industries these days, building these devices is a worldwide effort. No country has a monopoly on tablet production. Steve Jobs said shortly before he died, “PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people.” His prognosis for the PC is more hopeful than that of other experts. They believe the PC is dying, and the tablet is the future for most computer users. For more information, contact electronic components...

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