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Nick Spicer

Immediate Business Answers with Instant Messenger

You may have hated group projects in school, but collaboration is a lifeblood of business. Yet members of a team may not work in the same workspace. Even those who do, don’t want to spend their day crisscrossing the office to get quick questions answered. While they could send an email or pick up the phone, instant messaging is an even more efficient solution. Don’t confuse this solution with the old AOL or MSN Instant messenger. Instant messaging (IM) for business takes group communication and collaboration up a notch. First, IM is truly instant communication, faster even than email. When you type in your comment and hit Enter, your message

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Nick Spicer

Building a Good Relationship with your Managed Service Provider

Good relationships are essential to your business success. Connections with customers, clients, vendors, suppliers, and service providers impact your bottom line. Here’s how to develop a strong relationship with your Managed Service Provider (MSP). Improve efficiency and flexibility Enhance security and compliance Take a proactive approach to system maintenance Reduce costs and enjoy predictable pricing Gain access to new technologies Along with overseeing smooth IT operations, the MSP’s experts can advise and consult. The following strategies can help you build a good relationship with your MSP. Open the Lines of Communication Transparency in the relationship can make a big difference. With a deeper knowledge of your needs, the MSP can

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Nick Spicer

Stop the Inbox Insanity: Tips for Better Email Management

A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day. Your business is receiving only a small fraction of those emails. Yet your staff likely feel as if at least 269 of those are coming their way daily. In fact, the typical employee in 2018 received 90 emails, and sent out 40. Email is a powerful tool. But its help with doing business ever faster creates added business pressure. Consider these five strategies for better email management. Don’t start your day with email. Many people do. It’s how they set up for the day. However, beginning the day with a cup of coffee and clicking through your inbox, can backfire. Many

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Nick Spicer

MSP Facts: Common Managed Service Myths – Busted

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are not stuff of legend like minotaur’s and unicorns. Yet there are many common myths around managed services. These can cloud understanding of a MSP’s true value. Consider the facts to decide whether partnering with a third-party IT vendor is right for you. Myth #1: MSPs don’t understand our business. Not every MSP will understand your business, that’s correct. But not every MSP is the same. The right MSP examines your existing infrastructure and workflows. They’ll also meet with your people to understand their needs. Hiring a MSP adds IT experts who can make specific technology recommendations. Meanwhile, your in-house IT team can focus on driving

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Nick Spicer

Loving your External Hard Drive

External hard drives free up storage, offer portability, and provide a lifeline in case of computer disaster. It pays to take good care of these compact, convenient devices. Here are some helpful strategies. Don’t knock the drive Depending on the type of drive you have, impact could damage it. The hard drive’s mechanical drives work a little like a record player. Envision a spinning platter and a needle reading it. Note, you don’t have to worry about this with a Solid State Drive (SSD) as there are no moving parts. Don’t pull You can damage the drive port with a hard or sideways yank on its USB plug. Remove the

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Nick Spicer

3 Steps to Securing Cloud Data

Businesses are no longer confusing “the cloud” with those puffy white things in the sky. For many, the cloud is a backbone business tool. Yet, some worry about storing their data on the Internet using cloud technologies. Consider these approaches to boost business confidence in cloud data security. #1 Encrypt Business Data The cloud is a lucrative potential target for cybercriminals. Many enterprises have turned to this technology. In North America nearly 60% of enterprises now rely on public cloud platforms. That’s a fivefold increase over five years, according to Forresters’ Cloud Computing 2019 Predictions. Some cloud service providers will promise to encrypt your data in transmission. Take this precaution

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Nick Spicer

What Happens to Your Data When You Die?

Death is a morbid topic most of us try to avoid. Making a will and saying we prefer cremation is the extent of our advance planning. Yet, you may want to also think about what’s going to happen to your data. Consider your digital footprint. You have photos, files, and emails on your computer and your phone. You’re also documenting your life on social media, and sharing on more than one channel. Your wearable technology (say an Apple Watch or a Fitbit) may be recording information too. If you have a virtual assistant in your home, it’s recording your search history and saving that data on the cloud. Yet many

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Nick Spicer

IT Problems Your Managed Service Provider Can Solve

Unlike quick-fix IT relationships, a managed service provider isn’t there just to solve short-term problems and leave. Your managed service provider is your IT’s mountain Sherpa, there to guide your business through the ever-changing technology landscape. Like a mountain guide, your managed service provider gives you a detailed route that will help your business climb to new heights. The secret to a great business is avoiding the pitfalls, dead-ends, and traps inherent in bad IT. Removing IT Worries Technology in business presents both new solutions and new problems too. We are more efficient and more productive today than we’ve ever been before. On the other hand, we are also more

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Nick Spicer

Cloud Storage or Local Server – The Best of Both

Cloud computing is the biggest buzzword in business today, and for good reason too. The cloud provides many a new-found freedom to do and achieve more than ever before. Greater collaboration, unlocking work possibilities in new locations and often reducing costs provides a healthy boost for many companies. Every business is unique however, and cloud solutions don’t fit for every scenario. Connection issues, internet plans, or technical requirements can rule it out as an option in some instances. In these situations, we might install a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution instead. Which is a very small server with lots of hard drives. A NAS is particularly popular in small, mid-sized

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Nick Spicer

Protecting Your Customers and Your Business Too

Security and privacy are at the very top of our priorities when considering business IT. Major data leaks are in mainstream news on a near-daily basis and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of customers are impacted every time they happen. Our number one goal is to make sure our businesses are kept out of danger. Major institutions, such as multi-national banks and credit card companies, are expected to handle your data well. Unfortunately, less secured businesses require access to our data too. Even just booking into a hotel often requires you to leave your name, address, date of birth, passport number, and credit card details. These few pieces of

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Nick Spicer

Keeping Control of Your Business with Office 365

Office 365 represents a complete shift in the way we interact with modern business computing. If you haven’t been introduced to it yet, now could be the time. Similar to the Microsoft Office desktop package that businesses have relied on for decades; Office 365 does even more to provide the critical tools you need to modernize your business environment and take control of your business. Built with the cloud in mind, Office 365 allows you to access and modify your documents from any computer, tablet, or smartphone worldwide. These same cloud capabilities bring benefits to collaboration too. Groups and teams can work on a single document or group of files

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Nick Spicer

What is the Best Way to Backup?

“That will never happen to me.” We get through our lives telling ourselves the worst won’t happen to us. It’s the same with business: “We won’t need this data backup.” Yet, whatever your industry, secure, reliable backup ensures business as usual. So, what’s the best way to backup? Here’s help. Why You Need to Backup Business disruptions of any kind can be costly. The disaster might take one of several shapes: Natural (e.g. wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes) On-site (e.g. hardware/software failure, power outage, inability to access building) Employee driven (e.g. damaging mistakes or intentional sabotage by a disgruntled employee) Cyber-attack (e.g. data breach, ransomware, or distributed denial of service

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