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April 4th, 2014

Security_March31_AMalicious software (more commonly known as malware) can be found on almost any system, most often being downloaded and installed on computers. It can cause a myriad of annoyances, like unwanted pop-ups and system freezing, and some forms can even gain unauthorized access to your PC, stealing personal information. It's therefore essential that malware is prevented. Malware on work computers can disrupt a company’s operations and may put the security of data in jeopardy.

Signs of a malware infection

Before proceeding with the steps on how to respond to malware infections, we first need to learn about the signs and symptoms of a malware infection. These include:
  • Several pop-ups appear even when not browsing the Web.
  • Unusual slowness of the computer and Internet connection.
  • System hangs or freezes.
  • Corrupted programs.
  • Antivirus is disabled.
  • E-mails sent to or from your account which you did not send.
  • High network activity, even when not using large programs or accessing huge data.
  • Redirected access to some sites.

How to respond to a malware infection

In case you experience any of these symptoms, the first thing to do is to ensure that your antivirus and antispyware program is updated. This is to make sure that they detect the latest known threats on their database. You should then run scans to see if an infection is detected. If it is, the programs usually have a way to remove the infection. You then need to follow the steps the program recommends.

If this doesn't work, disconnect the infected computer from the network to prevent the spread of the malware. Furthermore, avoid accessing the Web and using vital information such as bank account and credit card information. Let the technical department or your IT partner handle the concern since they are trained in determining and eradicating system malware infections.

Once the problem has been pinpointed, a tech specialist will go through the process of eliminating the infection. This includes backing up data on the computer and restoring the system to its original state. Depending on the extent of the infection, the computer may need to be wiped clean, or reformatted before restoring backed-up files.

After the whole process, the computer must be tested to ensure that the infection has been totally removed. Moreover, further investigation and studies must also be done to determine where the problem started, as well as to create a strategy as to how to prevent this from happening in the future.

How to prevent a malware attack

Prevention is better than a cure and this definitely applies to malware infections. It’s best to arm yourself with knowledge on how to avoid malware attacks and prevent your systems from being infected.
  1. Ensure that security protection is always updated and that you run system scans on a regular basis.
  2. Avoid downloading attachments or clicking links from unknown sites or senders.
  3. Enable firewall protection.
Malware can hugely affect business operations and the security of private information. One of the best ways to prevent this is to work with an IT partner, like us, who can help recommend and install protection systems. You might want to think about getting help in managing these solutions too, to ensure that your systems are secure at all times.

If you have questions or concerns with regards to malware prevention and resolution, feel free to call us. Our support team is always ready to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
April 3rd, 2014

VoIP_March31_AVoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, refers to the technology used in communicating calls and videos via an Internet connection. Since its introduction in the market, more and more companies have switched from using regular phone lines to this method of communication. There are several good reasons why many businesses choose to use VoIP, so if your company is still using older methods of communication you might want to learn about VoIP and decide if it’s time to make the switch.

More affordable communication costs

Using VoIP services like users communicate to other users either for free or at drastically lower call rates than regular providers, as long as they are connected to the Internet.

Other VoIP services let you use your existing phones that are connected to the Internet to enjoy unlimited calls for a lower price compared to the per minute charge of telephone companies. These service providers offer different packages to choose from, many of which might suit the size of your company, your business needs, and your budget.

More affordable hardware and software

If you are having second thoughts about using VoIP because you are concerned that the hardware and software used would cost you a fortune, fret not. The vast majority of VoIP systems require little to no installation and many can run using existing equipment.

When it comes to the hardware, companies that choose to use VoIP through a computer need a working sound card, which your computer probably already has, as well as a headset or microphone and speaker, whichever you prefer.

Other service providers may also require the use of VoIP phones. The price of these phones is also not that costly and in some cases these phones might be provided by the VoIP providers for a nominal monthly fee.

VoIP supports multiple calls at the same time

A regular phone line normally only lets you talk to one person at a time. VoIP allows multiple calls, including conference and group calls, which is an important advantage to many businesses. This makes it easier for employees, management, and business associates to collaborate with each other and to communicate with clients.

It’s also faster for clients to connect with customer support. As a result, their concerns can be handled and resolved faster, which in turn improves the customer experience and strengthens your business relationship with them.

VoIP offers more features that traditional systems

Aside from supporting multiple calls simultaneously, there are also several more features that you can enjoy from using VoIP. These features may vary from one particular service to another, but the most common features include:
  • Fax
  • Voicemail
  • Caller ID
  • Call waiting
  • Call forwarding
  • Call blocking
  • 411 directory
  • Last number redial
There are also advanced features that some service providers offer, including call transfer, return call, speed dialing, SMS, and area code selection. Many of these features come included in VoIP subscriptions, which help keep costs of add-ons low.

These are just some of the reasons why you might choose to switch to VoIP for your business communication. If you have further questions about VoIP, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our support team is always ready to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic VoIP General
April 2nd, 2014

Productivity_Mar31_APresentations are an integral part of any business, regardless of size. There is a good chance that you will have to give at least one presentation in your career, with many people giving so many they lose count. Many small businesses are starting to hire remote workers or carry out business over large distances, which forces them to create presentations online. However, with this type of presentation it can be especially hard to attract and keep an audience's attention.

If you are creating an online presentation to a remote audience there are a number of factors you should keep in mind if you want to grab your audience's attention and keep them following and paying attention. Here are five of the most important tips:

1. Make it visual

For the most part, visual presentations have a higher chance of success - that is, the message being grasped by the audience. This is especially true for online and remote presentations, largely because when more people are on a computer, partaking in a presentation, they will often be multi-tasking.

If you have a ton of text there is a good chance you will lose your audience within the first couple of slides. Instead aim for a presentation that is heavy on graphics and visually appealing. Using bright or contrasting colors will draw the eye and will increase the time you have your audience's attention.

If your presentation is about a product create picture slides with a minimal amount of text; let the product speak for itself. For presentations involving graphs and charts, include these graphics and a couple of key points. The rest you can fill in with spoken narrative.

2. Focus on the audience

Online presentations and those using meeting software should be audience-friendly. This means making it easy for them to join and partake in the presentation by sharing slides, and also asking if anyone has any points to add or even expand upon with an interactive presentation element.

While presenting, there will be slides and points that are more important than others. To highlight this you can 'sign-post' the salient points. Make these visually larger if they are text, and pause to point this out with the script by telling your audience: "This is the most important point"; essentially demanding they pay attention.

Finally, try to limit technical glitches. This can be the quickest way to lose engagement if your Internet cuts out or the computer crashes. Try to present at a time when you know connection will be strong and stable and have a backup in place in case something goes wrong.

3. Adapt to different audiences

Every person in the audience will have different expectations of your presentation. Some will want just the facts, while others might be looking to be convinced by an opinion or argument expressed in the presentation. You should take the time to get to know your audience and what they expect and then develop the presentation around this idea.

If you do your homework and know a bit about your audience, you can take steps to connect with them early in the presentation, if not before, and drive engagement.

4. Create, edit, practice, edit, practice, edit, practice, present

It may sound a bit redundant to edit and practice multiple times, but it really will help when leading an online presentation. First you should create your presentation, then edit it. You are looking to keep your slides as short as possible - no more than four points and two minutes spent talking for each slide.

Really the first edit should be about content, grammar and spelling. Once this is done, practice presenting as you would on the actual presentation day. Start with a blank desktop screen, log into the software/site you will be using, load the presentation, share it, and then actually present. Time yourself and note any issues.

Next, go back and edit the presentation some more, making sure you aren't spending too much time on one slide or that each of the slides does not have too many confusing points, etc. Keep practicing and editing until you are not only comfortable, but know the content inside and out.

You could also try recording your voice. This will allow you to hear where you need to work on inflection and overall style. If you find that you are tuning yourself out when you listen to the presentation, you may want to practice some more and try to inject some extra interest, whether through humor or engaging facts and ideas. This is really vital is you won't have that face-to-face contact with a physical presentation where you are present. If you sound engaging, the audience are more likely to connect with you.

5. Develop your own style

No one likes a dull presentation where you just talk about what's on the slides. Try to give your presentation a narrative arc and structure. Where possible include personal experiences or even tell a relevant joke from time to time. If you are passionate and show that you are trying to connect your audience will likely not click away from the presentation or drift off to other work or simply to surf the Internet and Facebook.

If you are looking to learn more about presentations and how to use software for expert presentations, or even how to conduct your next remote presentation, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Productivity
April 2nd, 2014

HealthcareIT_Apr02_AChief Information Officer (CIO) Denis Tanguay’s workload has quadrupled over the past few years, and he has been struggling to stay on top ensuring that systems are secure and available when his employees need it. How did he overcome these struggles? He found a solution in outsourcing.

As the CIO for Central Maine Healthcare explained in a Health Care IT News article, getting ready for Stage 2 meaningful use attestation and transitioning to ICD-10 put tremendous pressure on him and his 70-person IT staff.

A few years ago, Tanguay began working with an IT provider, which took work off his staff’s plate. Central Maine Healthcare uses IT providers in a number of ways, from service requests for new PCs, keyboards, and software installations to help with user calls. They’re essentially an “insurance policy," says Tanguay. "They have already blazed those trails and made sure that whatever we're going to be using has already been tested, what versions of firmware and software work well."

Tanguay says the result of outsourcing some IT functionality has resulted in easier software upgrades, quicker response time, greater system stability, improved data security, and better disaster recovery procedures.

Moreover, outsourcing has allowed Tanguay to focus more on the things that are important. “My CEO has a line,” he says. “’We're not in the IT business; we're in the healthcare business.’”

When it comes to IT outsourcing, health-care providers have the option of doing a little or a lot,” says another recent article. They can turn over an entire IT function, or farm out small portions. If you are struggling with managing IT systems in your practice, or would like a little help ensuring compliance with the always changing regulations, contact us today to see how our managed services can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

April 1st, 2014

GoogleApps_Mar31_AGmail is a free email service from Google, which is supported by advertisements. Its beta version was introduced to selected users in 2004 and was made available for public beta in 2007. In 2009 it finally made its full and stable release. It used to offer 1GB free space for each account. Today, users can enjoy 15GB of free storage for their messages and Google Drive. Gmail has several features to offer, including its search function that lets you conveniently find emails.

Benefits of Gmail’s search feature

If you only have a few Gmail messages, it may not be difficult to keep track of your emails. However, if you receive several emails a day, it may be difficult to find specific messages that you need. With Gmail you don’t have to go through the inconvenience of browsing through all your messages just to find the one that you’re looking for.

The search feature of Gmail lets you find important messages in no time. You can search for messages from a specific sender, emails sent to a certain person, specific keywords, and more. The search field can be found in the upper part of the Gmail window and this is where you enter your search operators or keywords for searching messages - much like you would use Google Search.

Basic search operators

Gmail’s search feature lets you find messages by typing in search operators - words or letters that tell Gmail to search based on what you enter. There are various operators to use. Let’s first go through the basic ones that all users should know about.

Keyword search

The most common way of searching for a specific message is by typing a certain keyword that the email may contain. For instance, typing 'Sam' in the search field will return all messages with the word 'Sam' in them. These messages could be emails from Sam, sent to Sam or emails with the subject or body containing this particular keyword. You may get many results, but this can still be helpful for narrowing down your search and especially useful if you aren't sure of the details of the message you are looking for and only remember a keyword or two.

Search for emails from a specific sender

It’s also possible to find all messages from a particular sender. To do this, type 'From:' in the search field, followed by the name of the sender. For example, type 'From: Sam' if you wish to search for all emails sent by Sam. To make things quicker, simply type the first name of the sender, or the first few letters of the email address. You should see suggestions, including the person/sender, pop up in a drop-down menu below the search bar. If not, keep typing the name and it should come up.

Search for emails sent to an individual

You may also search for all emails sent to a particular person. This time, you will be using the operator 'To:' followed by the recipient’s name. Say you want to search for all the emails you sent to Sam; type 'To: Sam' on the search field.

Search email with a particular subject

If looking for an email containing a specific subject, use the 'Subject:' operator. So, if you wish to find a message containing 'Hello World' as the subject, you may type 'Subject: Hello World' in the search field.

More search operators

Aside from these basic search operators, there are more advanced operators that you can use to make your search more specific. To access more search operators, click the drop down arrow on the right side of the search box and you will see the advanced search options drop down with various fields like 'to, 'subject', 'has the words, 'doesn’t have', etc.

Aside from these fields, other options include 'has attachments', 'don’t include chats', 'size', and 'date'. Customize your search by entering the relevant information in the fields and choosing the appropriate options. Click the search button and the messages that meet the search criteria will be listed. You will also find the search operator for that search in the search field. For instance, if you are looking for an email from Sam with the word 'hello world', which also contains an attachment, you will see the following operator in the search field: 'From:Sam hello world has:attachment'.

With the help of these search operators finding specific Gmail messages is far easier. We can help make your business tech easier too. Don't hesitate to give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

April 1st, 2014

Facebook_March31_AWith Facebook change is the rule not the exception. However, changes can be a challenge for business users to keep track of. One of the most common features that is changed or updated, is the algorithm that determines what content is shown on a user's News Feed. With many of the recent feature changes many business owners are commenting that it feels like they are being shoehorned into buy ads in order to reach their audience. While ads can be beneficial, one way to get your content in front of users is by improving your newsfeed performance.

There are many ways you can improve your News Feed performance and the best is to improve the reach of your content. Before we get into how you can do this, we should first describe what your Facebook reach is. Basically, your reach on Facebook is the number of unique users who see the content you post and your updates. When it comes to reach there are four actions you can take to influence it:

  1. Posting content on your own Page - This is commonly referred to as organic reach by Facebook.
  2. Facebook users interacting with your content - When users interact with the content on your Page e.g., commenting or sharing, this is shown in their News Feed, an act which Facebook calls viral reach.
  3. Sending users to view your content - This could be as simple as putting a link to your content on an email, or even on your website asking people to visit your Page. This is a form of organic reach.
  4. Paying to get content in front of people - This is using Facebook's ad services and paying to target your content to specific audiences, thereby increasing the chance they see and interact with it. This is commonly referred to as paid reach.
By combining these four actions together, you can get a picture of your overall reach. By increasing the reach of each post through the above actions you stand a higher chance of getting your content in front of other people. The more people who see your updates the higher the chance of interaction with your company on Facebook or through other mediums, including avenues of sales.

The question is: How can a company do this? Here are seven of the most effective ways to improve your News Feed and its performance.

1. Develop a strategy

The key to posts being shared is that they need to be useful and interesting to your audience. Take a look at your Page's Insights (Open your Page's Admin panel and click on Insights) to see what content has been popular with your followers. From there develop a content strategy that covers what content to produce, when it should be produced, and when it should be shared.

Take a look at the most popular posts and see when they were interacted with most. This will give you a good idea of when your followers are most active and likely to interact with your content - thus increasing reach and overall effectiveness of your posts.

2. Know your audience

This will take time and research, but you should be able to paint a pretty solid picture as to who your audience is. If you can define a few personalities or even target individuals, you can better come up with content your audience will be more willing to interact with, or be more receptive to should you promote it.

3. Let people interact with your Page

Some companies have allowed users to post content on their News Feed or even tag companies, having the post show up on the company's News Feed, only for the content to be trolling or negative. This can potentially harm your company brand and reputation.

While there is a chance of this happening, the benefits of allowing your fans and followers to mention you in their posts far outweighs the potential negative outcomes of a few. This is because when a user mentions or tags you in a post on their News Feed, their friends are more likely to see it too. In other words, this can be a massive contributor to your overall viral reach.

4. Be active after you post your content

Don't just post content onto your Page and leave it. If people are interacting with it by commenting then you should make an effort to reply to the comments. This shows that you are interested and responsive, and willing to communicate and create a dialogue.

Mentioning the poster using @username when you comment will highlight the name and post your comment on their News Feed, thereby increasing the number of people who view your original content and encouraging the commenter to return to your Page.

5. Don't be afraid to repost

If you have had successful posts in the past, don't be afraid to reintroduce them. You could try updating the content a bit if need be and reposting it. This will increase the chance of other users seeing content they may have missed and interacting with it. Just be sure to comment somewhere that this content is a repost. You could comment that it was popular in the past and you think it is still relevant to today.

Be sure not to recycle too often however, as this can be viewed as lazy and turn users off. Aim for one to two posts every couple of months.

6. Integrate successful posts with other aspects of your online presence

While there is a good chance that your posts will be seen on Facebook, try boosting this by sharing your most popular content on other mediums. For example, paste the link into your email signature asking people to check it out, or add a list of your most popular posts to newsletters. This will encourage more people to visit the content and even interact with it.

In order to tell what is working, use the information on your Page's Insight panel.

7. Don't be afraid to be innovative

If you hit on a strategy that works, that's great! But, you should not be afraid to try new ideas. If, for example, you see that captions on photo posts are becoming popular with your audience give one a try to see how it works. The key here is to be resourceful and always on the lookout for new ideas.

Looking to get more out of Facebook? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 28th, 2014

ERP_March24_AWhen you started your business, everyone was probably working in the same room – or at least the same building. Collaboration was a given, and communication didn’t need much support.  As your business grows, a more dispersed workforce needs help to keep them connected. ERP can provide the foundation to share the information across departments that keeps employees working in synch.

Connect departments for better service

As your company has grown, with separate departments and multiple locations, it’s more challenging to keep information flowing across the silos. A fully integrated ERP solution will connect sales, service, operations and accounting data to:

  • Give salespeople insight into real-time inventory and margin to help customers place orders that meet their needs.
  • Provide service reps access to field personnel schedules to provide real time updates and set customer expectations.
  • Allow production to see the in-stock inventory and items on order to reduce interruptions in manufacturing.
  • Give the shipping department insight into inventory across multiple locations to reduce transportation costs.

Collaboration builds efficiency

In addition to added customer service, connected systems make employees more productive. When workers can access contracts instead of requesting them from the accounting department, everyone saves time. With instant access to information across the organization, employee stay focused and solve problems more quickly. Build efficiency through:

  • Centralized contract management to allow sales, service and accounting to check terms.
  • The ability for service teams to bill for completed work directly from the field.
  • Easy access to parts availability and location, so that production and service teams can get the materials they need quickly.

Employees who are tightly connected to other departments and the information they need are more productive and deliver better customer service. Break down department silos and build collaboration with ERP.

 

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 27th, 2014

AndroidTablet_March24_AOutlook is a Microsoft application that lets you access different email accounts and Microsoft's own email service from one program. Aside from being included in the Microsoft Office Suite, it can also be accessed using your Web browser by going to Outlook.com. For those who would like to access their Outlook.com account on the go an official app is available for download on the Google Play Store.

Add Outlook.com to your tablet

The Outlook.com app was developed through a partnership of Microsoft and SEVEN Networks. If you wish to install it on your Android tablet, you may download the application from the Google Play Store for free. You may also access the Web version of Outlook using your tablet’s browser by going to Outlook.com. However, if you are looking for a better mobile experience, then the app is a good option.

Here’s how you can add an Outlook.com e-mail on your tablet:

  1. Go to Google Play Store and search for Outlook.com.
  2. Tap Install to download and install the application.
  3. Launch the app once installation is complete.
  4. Sign in with your Outlook account. If your company uses Outlook in your office, use your usual email address or login name and password and it should work.
  5. Tap Yes to allow app permissions.
  6. Choose a nickname for the account and choose how much of each email you wish to see on your device, then tap Next.
  7. Select if you wish to sync your device’s contacts and calendar by tapping on the box next to this option. Tap Next. You should now be able to access your Outlook account.
It’s also possible to add more email accounts on Outlook.com. Here’s how: If you’re in your Inbox, swipe to the right to show your list of folders. You may also tap the arrow pointing left to go to the same screen.
  1. Tap the up arrow on the left side of your account name.
  2. Select Add Account.
  3. Enter your new email account and save.

Outlook.com app features

The Outlook.com app had several enhancements added with its updates, improving user experience. Here are some of the more popular features.
  • Server-side search - the original Outlook.com app required that emails were downloaded on your phone first before being able to be found when doing a search. An update has been made allowing you to search for emails. even if they aren't downloaded to your phone.
  • Supports alias - messages can be sent to a different email address and come into the inbox of your primary account. Outlook's alias feature is available with the app.
  • More themes - blue is no longer the only color option for the app’s theme. There are now 11 color themes to choose from, letting you personalize the application to your taste. These colors include pink, dark red, orange, light green, green, teal and light blue.
  • Unlimited mail download - downloading all messages in one tap is also possible so you don’t have to select each message one by one, making it faster and more convenient to access your emails..
  • Vacation reply - managing vacation replies can be done from your app too, which is useful if you are away from the office and offline and need to reassure contacts that you haven't just gone off radar.
If you don’t have Outlook.com app on your tablet yet, why not give it a try and start accessing your account anytime, anywhere.

For inquiries or any concerns that you may have with regards to the Outlook.com app, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our support team is always ready and happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 27th, 2014

BI_March24_ABusiness Intelligence, or BI, refers to the processes and systems involved in the collection of business information for analysis to determine the past and current status of your company. It serves to give a better insight into what is about to transpire. Many companies from different industries use BI tools in their business, but the question is how can different departments use them?

There are various BI tools available nowadays that support small to large companies. You can find Business Intelligence tools that fit your company’s size, needs and budget. These applications can be used in different areas of the business:

Marketing Department

A marketing department is responsible for promoting a company’s products, services and brand to increase public awareness. With successful marketing, a business can attract potential clients that can be possibly turned into creating sales revenue. The company can use BI to determine which campaigns are successful or not, as the case may be. Through this, investments can be focused on those campaigns that work whilst avoiding those that have previously failed.

Sales Department

Sales managers and supervisors can also use BI to analyze successful deals, as well as those that they have lost, to see what strategies have worked. The system can also help determine which sales teams hit or exceed set goals in order to analyze what they are doing right. Moreover, this helps determine which products or services are most saleable so these can be pushed further to attain more goals.

Finance Department

BI software makes analyzing, reporting, and managing financial data more convenient. Those who are involved in the process can easily access the information they need through the system. Analysis is easier as the data is organized and accurate. Money in and money out can also be tracked with greater efficiency.

Moreover, these tools often come with features that allow users to create scenarios and determine the possible results from there. This is extremely helpful in deciding on the best action to take as the tool gives you a view of the probable outcome. The success rate is higher if forecasting using a BI tool.

Inventory

Business Intelligence also plays a vital role in inventory tracking of products, items or supplies. For instance, companies in the retail industry can track the movement of products or items from the suppliers to the warehouse and on to their delivery to clients. Any problems encountered in the process can be quickly identified so they can be fixed in time.

Items in demand can also be pinpointed, as well as low stock and overstocks. Items that are low in stock can be ordered immediately, especially if they are in demand, to ensure that the needs of clients are met. This also lets you avoid overstocking, which can be a waste of money when investment is better used for fast moving items.

These are just some of the ways businesses can use BI in their operations. If you have further questions about the topic, do not hesitate to give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 26th, 2014

Office_Mar24_AMicrosoft Outlook is an application included in the Microsoft Office Suite. While it’s most commonly used to access different email accounts e.g., personal and business, it also has other features, including calendar, contacts, and tasks. It also comes with a search folder that lets you instantly find messages that fall under certain criteria.

Outlook is one of the most popular email platforms allowing you to read emails from almost any account. The inbox is where the majority of your interaction with Outlook is, but the problem is that many users receive so many emails that it can be overwhelmed quickly. This makes it more difficult to find important emails, or separate the spam/less important emails.

One way to deal with this is by creating a customized search folder for important emails. This makes searching for vital messages easier as they are saved in a separate folder.

Default and predefined search folders in Outlook

There are three default search folders in Outlook and you can see them under “search folders” in the mail navigation pane on the left side of the window. These default search folders are categorized mail, large mail and unread mail. Categorized mail contains messages that are categorized by color.

The large mail folder is a search folder that includes messages that are over 100 KB in size. Unread mail, as the term suggests, contains emails that have not yet been read.

Predefined search folders are also available. These are existing search folders that you can add to the search menu, below the other folders. Some of these require that you enter specific criteria, while others do not. For instance, “mail flagged for follow up” does not require any criteria, while “mail with specific words” asks you to enter certain words that the message must contain to be included in the folder.

Adding predefined search folders can be done by following the steps below:

  1. Click File.
  2. Select New and choose Search Folder. The New Search Folder window will appear.
  3. Click on any of the predefined search folders.
  4. Select the option you want if asked for a specific criterion.
  5. Click OK.

Create a new search folder in Outlook

It’s also possible to create your very own search folder. You get to set not only the criteria, but its name as well. This makes it convenient to easily access important messages as you don’t have to browse through the inbox or various folders in your mailbox.

Here’s how to create a new search folder in Outlook:

  1. Right click on Search Folders in the mail navigation pane and click New Search Folder. You may also press ctrl+shift+p on your keyboard to make the window appear.
  2. Click Create a Custom Search Field followed by Choose.
  3. Enter the name of the new folder in the name field.
  4. Click Criteria and set your preferences to further personalize the folder and click OK.
  5. Click Browse and select folders to add in your customized search folder, then click OK.
  6. Select OK on the new search folder window and the new folder you created will be added under your search folders.
Messages in search folders will still remain in the original folders where they are saved. Even if you view the messages and delete the search folder, the messages will still be accessible in their default folder. However, if you select and delete a message in a search folder, it will be completely removed, even from its original folder.

If you have any concerns or feedback with regards Outlook search folders, feel free to get in touch and we’ll help you in every way that we can.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 26th, 2014

Office365_Mar24_AExcel is one of the applications included in Microsoft Office, Microsoft's suite of office productivity software. Microsoft Office applications can run on almost every system businesses use, including Windows and Mac. Excel is specifically used for creating spreadsheets, basic databases, analyzing data, and even simplifying management. Many spreadsheets can be a challenge to navigate. One way to make your spreadsheets easier to get around is to name the cells.

Like other spreadsheet applications, Microsoft Excel documents are based on cells that can be arranged into rows and columns. It is within these cells that data is entered when creating a worksheet for various functions including data management and computations, etc. Each cell in the spreadsheet has a corresponding name, which is identified by its column letter and row number.

For instance, the cell under column A that belongs to row 1 has the default name A1. You will see this in the name box, which is located on the upper left side of the spreadsheet, next to the formula bar. This name can actually be changed however.

Why name cells in Excel

As mentioned, the default name for each cell in an Excel spreadsheet is based on the relevant column and row. One of the reasons why you may want to change this name is to make it easier to find what you are looking for, especially when there’s a lot of information in a particular spreadsheet. For instance, if you name a particular cell 'Total', searching for this word is much faster than scrolling through the spreadsheet to find the correct cell or trying to remember its specific column and row.

This is also the case when creating formulas for computations. Instead of using the cells’ column letter and row number, it’s more convenient to use a name that you can easily understand. For example, naming one cell 'GrossIncome' and the other one 'Deductions' makes it easier for you to compute net income by subtracting Deductions from GrossIncome for the result.

Another benefit of naming cells is that it is easier for other users to understand. If you are sharing the spreadsheet or workbook with other colleagues or business associates, using cell names that are easy for everyone to identify reduces potential confusion.

How to name cells in Excel

Naming cells in Excel can be done in two ways. The first is by changing the name directly on the name box and the other one is by defining names under the Formulas menu. The difference is that when naming a cell through the define name feature of the menu you can select its specific scope.

This determines where the specific name will be recognized as having the same value, such as in the entire workbook or in a specific spreadsheet only. Changing the name in the name box will automatically determine the workbook as its scope rather than the whole spreadsheet.

Changing a cell name in the name box:

  1. Select the cell that you want to name.
  2. Go to the name box and type the name you prefer.
  3. Hit enter on your keyboard.

Defining a cell name:

  1. Select the cell that you wish to name.
  2. Click the Formulas menu.
  3. Choose Define Name.
  4. Type the name of the cell in the new window that pops up.
  5. Select the Scope.
  6. Click OK.
Remember that a cell name should not contain any spaces. The uppercase and lowercase letters R and C are also not available as cell names, since they represent column and row. Furthermore, aside from letters, the first character of a cell name can also be a backslash or an underscore. The rest can be a combination of letters, underscores, periods and numbers, which can be up to 255 characters.

If you have further questions about changing the cell name in Excel, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 25th, 2014

Web_Mar24_AIt's now common that when someone wants to find a business they first search on the Internet, looking for a business in their local area that can meet their needs. Because of this, it's essential that businesses of all sizes have a Web presence. The best way to do this is to create a website. The only problem with this is that many business owners lack the skills or the time to create and manage a website and instead turn to a webmaster for help.

What is a webmaster?

A webmaster is a person or company responsible for maintaining a website. In many small businesses, the webmaster will also be responsible for pretty much everything to do with the Web for that specific company. This might include ensuring content is written and uploaded, that the website is created and maintained properly, and even looking after SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Webmasters for small businesses are usually in charge of a company's entire online brand.

Because many small businesses operate on thin budgets, they often can't afford a full-time webmaster, opting instead to work with a company or consultant who may be looking after other websites as well.

There are a wide variety of companies out there that offer webmaster services specifically aimed at small businesses and if you are looking to pump up, or even establish your Web presence, you will likely turn to these companies for help. The question is, how do you pick the best for your business?

To help answer that question, here are seven questions you should ask any prospective webmaster.

1. Can I see your portfolio?

By asking for a portfolio of the webmaster's previous work you can quickly gain a good grasp of how technically competent that particular person or company is. The best webmasters should be able to readily share an in-depth portfolio that covers all manner of websites and technical skills.

It can also help to ask the webmaster for a list of their previous clients. If the webmaster is good, they will be more than happy to share a list of clients they have worked with in the past. If you contact these clients they can provide some extra feedback on the work they do.

More importantly, they will provide information on how the webmaster works. This is important as many webmasters don't work the usual 9-5 hours and may even be in a different timezone which you should be aware of.

2. What technology and platforms will you use to build and maintain my website?

There are so many different tools that you can use to build websites. From simple drag-and-drop tools to custom-made platforms that require months to code and build. Other platforms are easy to use while some require in-depth knowledge of advanced Web technology. Therefore, it is always a good idea to ask the webmaster what platform they will use to build and maintain your website.

The webmaster should first ask what you want to do with your website, and give you options based off of what you want. They should also be able to explain what the platform is and how it is used, and even give you any available options.

In general, the webmaster should suggest a platform that offers modern tools and can be maintained easily, while still meeting your needs. They should also be able to explain in general terms how it works, and how they will update it.

3. What special features can you build into my website?

Before contacting a webmaster you should first consider what you want on your website. You are going to need to go beyond static pages with information and a few pictures - these simply do not work anymore. Maybe you want integrated videos, a shopping cart where customers can buy products directly from your website, a forum, blog or even rotating banners.

Ask if the webmaster can build and maintain these features. More importantly you should ask whether they have done what you need, have experience with the features, and how long they think it will take to integrate them.

4. Who will create the content?

This is an important aspect to know because some webmasters don't produce written content; leaving it up to the company to develop their own content. Others work with content specialists who create customized content.

You will want a webmaster who can integrate content that you create and possibly someone who offers the services of a content creator.

5. How secure will my site be?

An increasingly important question for many small businesses is about security, largely because small business websites have been increasingly come under attack by hackers. It becomes even more important when you have online stores, forms, or even portals where client information is exchanged.

A webmaster should be able to offer solutions that help keep your site and the information on it secure. Be sure to ask questions like how often they backup your site, where the backups are kept, and how they will keep your site secure from common security threats.

6. Who owns the site?

This is important, especially if you are working with a webmaster who is not an employee of your company. While it may seem like you own the site because you paid for it and are paying someone to run it, you should ensure that you actually do own it. The best thing to do is to ask the webmaster to verify who owns the site and the copyrights related to it.

If they are unsure, ask them to sign a copyright agreement to ensure that you retain ownership over your content and site.

7. How much will it cost and how long will it take?

Finally, this is probably the most important question you should ask. Some webmasters offer their services on an hourly basis, others on a weekly fee, and some on contract, etc. You should have a clear picture of how much you will be charged, and what services are included. This is important because many webmasters actually offer extended services that cost extra.

Beyond that, you should also ask how long the webmaster will take to build the site and how long they need to implement updates, changes, etc. This will help set your expectations so you know roughly how much time to give the webmaster to get their work done.

If you are looking to improve your website, or even establish a strong Web presence, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Web
March 25th, 2014

GoogleApps_Mar24_AFor Google users, Google Drive is quickly becoming one of the most indispensable tools available. Many store important files, information and even do all of their office related document creation on it. Some go even further and link it with their mobile phones, using it to store images and mobile data. All of this requires one thing: Storage space, and Google has recently announced changes to their storage space allotments.

Overview of Google Drive's storage space

There have been a number of changes to the way Google allots space to those with accounts. Many of the apps used to have their own specific storage amount, but last year Google amalgamated all storage so that it is now based on your account.

Individual users get 15GB of storage space that is shared across all Google apps including Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. Business accounts on the other hand get 30GB of storage space per user across the main Google apps.

While this is ample space for the majority of users, those with multiple Android devices or who use Drive for cloud storage (Google Drive files like Docs and Sheets don't count towards your storage amount) could find themselves running out of space fairly quickly. That's why Google allows individual and business users to pay an additional monthly fee for more storage.

Prior to the recent change, both business and individual users could pay USD $9.99 a month for 100 of storage, or USD $49.99 a month for 1TB (terabyte).

The big change

In mid March, Google announced a slight change to the two lower storage expansion tiers (100GB and 1TB). For both business and individual users, they dropped the price. Now, 100GB of storage space costs USD $1.99 a month.

For individuals and business accounts that require more than 1TB of space, you can purchase 10TB or more, starting at USD $99.99 per month for 10TB. For now, the maximum storage amount you can purchase is 30TB which costs USD $299.99 a month.

For users who already pay for storage, your bill should automatically be adjusted as of the launch of the change of prices - March 13, 2014.

How do I upgrade my storage?

If you would like to upgrade the storage for your individual account, you can easily do so by:
  1. Logging into your Google account and going to Drive.
  2. Going to the Storage settings page (https://www.google.com/settings/storage).
  3. Clicking Choose under the storage option you would like to upgrade to.
  4. Click Continue to checkout and follow the prompts to set up your payment.
For those with business accounts, you will need to be an administrator. If you are, you can purchase storage increases on a license basis. This mean that if you have 10 accounts and want to increase the storage on five, you will need to purchase five licenses. Once this is done, you can then assign these to the specific accounts.

If you are looking for help increasing the storage amount for your business accounts, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 21st, 2014

ERP_March17_AThe business of distribution is changing. Barriers between customer and suppliers are being eliminated by the internet and ever-improving logistics management. As a manufacturer, retailer or distributor, these changes offer you the opportunity to expand your distribution channels.

While the opportunities to work directly with your end-user have never been better, consumer expectations have never been higher. Prior to your expansion into new distribution channels make sure that you can deliver the quality service that keeps customers coming back. Fully integrated ERP that connects service support to customer, inventory and supply chain information can ensure that your expansion will be successful.

Which distribution channels should you tap?

Businesses are capitalizing on closer connections with customers to expand channels in multiple ways, including:

  • Adding new geographic markets – Through the internet, you can reach across political boundaries to sell to more companies in your industry.
  • Selling directly to big box stores – For smaller manufacturers, more affordable EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) systems can open opportunities to sell directly to large retailers.
  • Selling directly to end users – Through a well-managed website, you can build your internet presence to sell directly to your retail customers.

Get it right with ERP

As you expand your business through new channels, you need to make sure that you have the systems in place to serve your customers well. Customers expect you to be able to deliver information and products on their terms, so know your market to implement the right systems. ERP will allow you to offer the functionality that supports customer service at multiple levels, including:

  • Supply chain management – If you are going to ship your products to new regions, put the reporting processes in place to track shipments every step of the way.
  • EDI – Receive and transmit order information automatically to meet the commerce requirements of big box outlets.
  • Customer self-service – End users want to place and check orders online without having to talk to a service desk.

As you explore your options to expand distribution channels, consider how the processes and systems that you have in place will serve your new customers. Make the transition with the confidence that you will serve your market well.  Let’s talk about the systems that you need to expand your horizons.

 

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 20th, 2014

Security_Mar17_ASecurity of a business's systems and networks should be important to many business owners and managers. In fact, an increasing number of companies are implementing security strategies. While these strategies do keep businesses secure, there is one critical element that could cause plans to fail, leading to an increased chance of a breach of security: The audit.

Auditing and the security security strategy

Auditing your company's security is important, the only problem business owners run across is where and what they should be auditing. The easiest way to do this is to first look at the common elements of developing security strategies.

These elements are: assess, assign, audit. When you develop a plan, or work with an IT partner to develop one, you follow the three steps above, and it may be obvious at the end. In truth however, you should be auditing at each stage of the plan. That means you first need to know what goes on in each stage.

During the assessment phase you or your IT partner will need to look at the existing security you have in place. This includes on every computer and server and also focuses on who has access to what, and what programs are being used. Doing an assessment should give you an overview of how secure your business currently is, along with any weak points that need to be improved.

The assignment phase looks at actually carrying out the changes you identified in the assessment phase. This could include adding improved security measures, deleting unused programs or even updating systems for improved security. The main goal in this phase is to ensure that your systems and networks are secure.

Auditing happens after the changes have been made and aims to ensure that your systems are actually secure and have been implemented properly. Throughout the process you will actually need to continually audit and adjust your strategy.

What exactly should be audited?

When conducting an audit, there are three factors you should focus on:
  1. The state of your security - Changing or introducing a security plan usually begins with an audit of sorts. In order to do this however, you need to know about how your security has changed in between audits. Tracking this state and how it changed in between audits allows you to more efficiently audit how your system is working now and to also implement changes easier. If you don't know how the state of your security has changed in between audits, you could risk implementing ineffective security measures or leaving older solutions open to risk.
  2. The changes made - Auditing the state of your security is important, but you should also be auditing the changes made to your systems. For example, if a new program is installed, or a new firewall is implemented, you will need to audit how well it is working before you can deem your security plan to be fully implemented. Basically, you are looking for any changes made to your system that could influence security while you are implementing a new system. If by auditing at this point, you find that security has been compromised, you will need to go back to the first step and assess why before moving forward.
  3. Who has access to what - There is a good chance that every system you have will not need to be accessed by every employee. It would be a good idea that once a security solution is in place, that you audit who has access to what systems and how often they use them. This stage of the process needs to be proactive and constantly carried out. if you find that access changes or system access needs change, it would be a good idea to adapt your the security strategy; starting with the first stage.
If you are looking for help developing a security strategy for your business, contact us today to see how our managed solutions can help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
March 20th, 2014

Hardware_Mar17_AIt’s hard to imagine printers completely disappearing in offices. While no one can refute how most documents are now housed in the digital realm, there will always be a need to have these documents printed out for one reason or another. While offices do have printers, it may be confusing to pick a new printer when you need a new one.

These three printers below are the most common printers found in offices these days.

Multi Function Printers (MFP)

Multi Function Printers are also commonly known as all-in-one printers. With this type of device, your printing, scanning, faxing and photocopying needs are covered! These printers usually come in a variety of sizes with many being small enough to fit onto a small desk.

Aside from the multi function features that MFPs have, these are the common benefits that business owners can gain from this type of printer.

  • They take up less room.
  • They are usually lower in cost. Though it may seem expensive compared to the other types of printers, if you consider buying a fax machine, scanner, photocopier and a printer, you’ll find that buying an MFP is actually a lot more affordable.

Inkjet Printers

Inkjets print documents by spraying ink onto paper, and can usually produce prints with a resolution of 300dpi (dots per inch) with some actually able to print documents as high as 600dpi. This makes them ideal for printing saller images and reports.

What most business owners like about inkjet printers is the fact that they are usually affordable, making them an ideal device for businesses that just want printers. Since most offices (if not all) have computers, you’ll most likely see inkjet printers in the majority of offices. Here are some more benefits that people like about inkjet printers.

  • Fast printing speeds.
  • Can produce really high quality print.
  • Easy to use.
  • They can produce vivid colors.

Laser Printers

If there’s one very notable feature that you’ll love about laser printers, it would be the printer's capability of producing very high quality documents. In fact, laser printers can produce copies with a resolution of 600 dpi - 1200 dpi.

One of the main differences that laser printers have is the fact that they use toner (colored or black powder) instead of the inks that are used in most other printers.

Laser printers offer users many enticing benefits including:

  • Very high resolution.
  • Fast results.
  • High volume printing.
  • No smears at all.

What type of printer should my business get?

If you are looking for a new printer, it can be a little confusing as to which you should get. If you don't have a scanner or fax machine, it would be a good idea to look into a Multi Function Printer. Looking to print smaller or shorter documents or only occasionally? An Inkjet would probably be a better choice. If you need to print on a regular basis, or print in mass quantities a laser printer could be the best choice.

With all the types of printers available in the market, choosing a specific printer to use in your office can be quite confusing. If you need help in choosing which printer to go for, then give us a call and we’ll give you our expert advice on the matter.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Hardware
March 19th, 2014

BCP_Marc17_AA business without a DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan) is like a circus acrobat without a safety net. The question is, are you willing to take that kind of a risk with your business? Considering how attacks to your business can come in many forms be it cyber, natural disaster or man made (among many others), it makes perfect sense to have an effective DRP in place.

While there are several facets to a DRP that are going to determine whether it will be effective or not, making sure that you’ve considered these 5 tips is definitely a good start.

1.) Commitment from management

Because the managers are the ones who will coordinate the development of the plan and be the central figures who implement the recovery plan, it’s crucial that they are committed to it and are willing to back it up.

They will also be responsible for setting an allocated budget and manpower to creating the actual plan. That said, it’s very important that they know the concept behind it and how huge of an impact a DRP can have on a business.

2.) A representative on each department should be available when creating a DRP

It’s unthinkable to believe that your DRP is well optimized when you haven’t had a representative from each department coordinate with you while creating the recovery program.

Considering how they themselves are the front line of your organization with the best knowledge about how their department works, it’s a huge plus that you should take advantage of when creating a DRP.

With the representatives on your team, you’ll be able to see things from their perspective and gain first-hand knowledge from those who do the actual work.

3.) Remember to prioritize

In an ideal world, you should be able to restore everything at the same time after a disaster strikes. But since most businesses usually have a limited amount of resources, you will usually have to recover systems one at a time.

Because of this, you need to have a hierarchy or a sense of priority when determining which systems should be recovered first. That way, the most important systems are immediately brought back up while the less important ones are then queued in order of their importance.

4.) Determining your recovery strategies

This is one of the main focal points of a DRP since this phase tackles the actual strategies or steps that you’ll implement to recover your systems.

When determining your actual strategies, it's important that you brainstorm and think about all the options that you have to recovering your systems. Don’t simply stick with the cheapest possible strategy or even the most expensive ones.

You have to remember though that the simplest strategy to implement is probably the best one. That is, as long as the simplest strategy covers the critical aspects of your system recovery.

That said, avoid over complicating your strategies as you might face unnecessary challenges when it comes to the implementation of the recovery strategy.

5.) Do a dry run at least once a year

Your DRP shouldn’t end with the concept alone. No matter how foolproof you think your strategy is, if you haven’t tested it you most likely have missed something important.

It's during the dry run phase that the need for extra steps (or the removal of one) are made even more evident. You can then start polishing your strategies according to how your dry run plays out. It would also be a good year to practice your plan each year and update it accordingly.

These tips will help you ensure that your DRP will remain effective should a disaster occur. If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to go about the process of creating a DRP, then give us a call now and we’ll help you with the process.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 19th, 2014

OSX_Mar17_AIsn’t it annoying when your Mac computer lags while you’re in the middle of a business transaction? Considering how you need to focus on what you’re doing, these lag times can block your thought process which can be very frustrating. If you’ve had enough of your slow Mac, there are some things you can try to speed it up.

Uninstall your old and unused programs

If you’re thinking that those old or unused programs aren’t hurting your computer’s performance since you haven’t been using them, you may be shocked to know that they actually can be one of the leading causes of a slow computer. These old programs despite being inactive, actually take up storage space which can cause your Mac to slow down.

This can really become a big issue if you’re running out of room on your hard drive because the less space you have available on your hard drive, the slower your computer will run. Try opening your Applications folder and looking for apps and programs that you no longer use. Simply drag them to the Trash and then empty it to free up space.

On another note, it would be a good idea to empty your trash on a regular basis, because items in the trash still take up storage space leading to a potentially slower computer.

Clean your desktop

Your Mac should run a bit faster if your desktop is clean. We don't mean go in literally clean the desktop, we mean get rid of the shortcuts, programs and files that you don't use. The more icons and stuff on your desktop there are, the slower your computer will run.

Instead of adding new icons, folders, files, etc. to your desktop try storing documents in the documents folder (Click any blank area on your desktop, press Go at the top of your screen and select Documents). Or, create a folder on your desktop for different images of files. Basically you want to minimize how much is on your desktop.

Use a program like Memory Keeper

What these apps do is help you free up more space on your computer by cleaning your computer’s memory. This is similar to the defrag option in Windows where the OS will essentially put files of a similar nature closer together in the hard drive, making them easier and quicker for the processor to access. To us, this means a faster computer!

You can get Memory Keeper free on the Apple Store, but be sure to contact us before you download it as we may have a solution that comes as part of your IT solutions.

Organize/clean your Finder and the files within

Just as you should minimize the files and clutter on your desktop, you should also minimize the clutter and number of icons in the main folders of the Finder. This includes the folders under each user, Downloads, Documents, etc.

It would not be a good idea to delve into the Utilities and Network folders as they usually contain important files that if deleted could cause your computer to stop working.

Upgrade your hardware

If you've tried the suggested tips above and your computer is still running slow, then your last resort should be to have a hardware upgrade.

We take this as the last resort as this may take more time, let alone cost a lot of money.

Consider upgrading your RAM instead of upgrading your processor since doing so is considerably cheaper.

It’s highly suggested to get a minimum of 2 GB of extra RAM but if you’re using some heavy duty programs like Adobe Photoshop, then a minimum of 4 GB RAM would probably suit you better. Before you do upgrade however, check with either Apple or us to ensure that your computer can be upgraded. By asking an IT partner like us, we will be able to better inform you as to what you can upgrade and how you can go about it safely.

Are you looking for more tips on how to speed up your Mac? Then give us a call now and we’ll have our team talk to you about how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
March 18th, 2014

Web_Mar17_AManaging data and databases can be increasingly expensive and hard to maintain. You have to think about storage space, quality and the accessibility of your data which on all accounts can be a bit tricky, not to mention impossible if you can't connect to it. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Through DaaS (Data-as-a-Service), you’re able to solve the many problems that you’ll have to face when managing data.

So what exactly is DaaS?

DaaS (Data as a Service) is part of the “as a Service” family. It is a type of service that allows data and databases that store data to be provided or accessible on demand regardless of the boundaries (organizational or geographical).

The data (text, video, audio, and images) is usually made available to the customers through networks like the Internet. The vast majority of DaaS solutions are managed by IT solutions providers who host the solution on their own servers. Businesses essentially rent space on these servers and the IT provider will manage the whole solution ensuring that solutions and the company's data and databases are working, secure and available on demand.

The easiest way to think of DaaS is that it provides businesses with cloud based databases and data.

How can your business can benefit from it?

While there are several ways that business owners have benefitted from DaaS, here are four of the most popular.

1. Quality of data

Because everything is stored in one place, duplicate and inconsistent data that’s being stored or trying to be stored in a database or on the service is usually easily caught, thus reducing the chance of duplicate data which could throw off reports, estimates and more.

This ultimately leads to higher quality data since almost everything is validated and you can avoid seeing different versions of the data which can be very misleading.

2. Global access

Instead of being able to only access your data in the office, with DaaS you are able to access it from any place where you have an Internet connection.

In case you can’t quite see how you can benefit from it, think about going on a business trip. Wouldn’t it be amazing if even though you’re on a trip, you can still access all of your data and even modify it or add more? Having global access with DaaS can help you with just that.

3. Increasingly seamless collaboration

Because your data can be accessed easily by your team members, collaboration becomes a lot more painless. Through DaaS, your members can access the data or updates they need regardless of where they are. They can then do their tasks accordingly and even update the data in real-time, ensuring people are all viewing the same data, regardless of whether changes have been made.

Since everyone on your team can access it, you don’t have to tell each team member about changes or updates, allowing you to save more resources.

4. Ease of system updates

If your data is stored in different offices, can you imagine how tedious it would be when it comes to updating your system? It gets even worse when different systems are used, and employees forget to update systems, leading to a potential increase in security breaches and data loss.

With DaaS, all you have to do is contact your DaaS provider, tell them about the updates that you want done and they update your entire system.

If you aren’t in the know, hearing about DaaS (although the service is enticing), can be quite scary. But, there is no need to fear it. We are experts in technology and can take the time to explain the ins and outs of DaaS and any other 'as a Service' as well.

Call us now and we’ll help you with your inquiries.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Web
March 18th, 2014

GoogleApps_Mar17_AGoogle Drive, more specifically the apps attached to it, are some of the best alternatives to Microsoft's popular Office programs. Through apps like Docs and Sheets businesses can carry out almost all of their document production needs. Many users who start with Docs often have more than enough basic functions for day-to-day operations. In an effort to make Docs even better, Google has recently introduced a new feature - Add-ons - that extends the capabilities of Docs and Sheets.

What are add-ons?

Add-ons are extra features that have been developed by Google and developers who have partnered with Google to extend, or add-on to, the capabilities of both Docs and Sheets. They can be accessed on all new Google Docs and new versions of Sheets, and can be enabled by:
  1. Opening a new Google Doc or Sheet.
  2. Clicking on Add-ons from the menu bar below the document's title.
  3. Selecting Get add-ons…
  4. Finding the add-on you would like to use, hovering over it and clicking the plus sign to install it.
The add-on will be installed to Drive and be available for use in either Docs or Sheets. For those who had used the add-ons that were available in the Chrome App store, you will notice that the apps are similar. The only difference is that these apps are strictly for Google Docs and Sheets. Most of them are free, but they will require you to grant them permission before they can be used.

Looking through the add-ons, there are a number of useful ones that small to medium business users can leverage in order to increase the overall functionality of Docs and Sheets. Here are five.

1. Table of Contents

If you are producing longer documents like reports, you will likely need a Table of Contents. This add-on allows you to add a Table of Contents to the side of the document with sections that users can click on in order to be taken to that section.

2. ProWritingAid

Are you in charge of content development for your website, or writing for a picky audience? What ProWritingAid does is it checks your writing for consistency, grammar, plagiarism, cliches and more. There is a free version that you can try, and all of the features can be unlocked with the Premium package which costs USD$35 per year, per user.

3. Template Gallery

If you are looking for templates that can help you make more professional documents and spreadsheets, this add-on could be a great tool. With templates for invoices, reports, financial calculations, letters, timesheets and more, there is a good chance that you can save some time in creating your next professional document.

4. Highlighting tools

Do you have documents or large reports where you would like to group information together or highlight it? This add-on allows you to do exactly that. With different colors available, you can highlight content which is then pulled together based on the color allowing you to view all similarly highlighted content with ease.

The app is free with a 30 day trial, but then you will need to purchase it, which can be done through the add-on. The amount will vary depending on the license you choose along with the number of users.

5. Letter Feed Workflows

This add-on is great for those who collaborate on documents that need to be approved. Once you have finished with a Doc or Sheet you can ask people to approve it. There will be a bar on the right of the document where you can view who has approved your document.

If you are looking for the apps, open the Add-ons window search for them in the box that opens. And, if you are looking to learn more about how Google Apps can be used in your business, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.