Blog

February 18th, 2014

Cloud_Feb17_BIn business, the traditional way of managing files has always been costly and complex in many ways. The amount of money and effort invested in hardware and software programs to manage files, can be exhausting and expensive to maintain. But with the cloud, small businesses can now take advantage of a sophisticated remote network service. As a file management system, the cloud is cost-effective and definitely a hassle-free solution.

While there are a large number of cloud services available, not all of them will work well for your business. If you want to acquire the right cloud service for your business, here are four of the essential things you need to consider.

The files you want to store

When looking for a cloud service, you’ll have to consider the types of files you want to store. There are certain criteria for each of type of file, in terms of the space it needs, the amount of security it has to be under, and the way you want these files to be accessed. In business, you need to be aware of these things before you start your search for the right file management system.

When it comes to making changes to documents there are services that support multiple versions of documents, so you don’t need to worry about keeping all copies. Unlike your traditional file storage systems, many services don't completely overwrite your old files, as you make certain changes to them. Instead, they save multiple copies of your files, so you can retrieve the older copies later.

Auto-Sync feature

You may not be aware of this, but an auto-syncing feature is a big must for small businesses who are using cloud services. With this feature, you get to save your files and documents in real-time. Hence, you won’t have to worry about losing the contents of your document with a power failure or when disaster strikes.

But sadly, not all cloud service providers offer an auto-syncing feature. This might be a challenge for business owners who are in the habit of forgetting to save and sync the modifications they make on their documents and other files. For that reason, it is best to know if the cloud service you are looking at has this feature available.

Level of security needed

In business, all of the data stored in cloud storage is likely very important and confidential. Hence, your cloud service must ensure that it offers geo redundancy of your data, in order to protect it from certain catastrophes like power outages. This means that the data is stored in separate locations and copies are stored in yet another location. So should one server go offline, your data is still available.

Furthermore, you must know if the cloud service provider offers genuine data encryption. As a business administrator fully encrypting your data will add an extra level of security so that only those people who have been given access rights can view the data.

Service delivery and business continuity

There is a fine line between the speed of service and the recovery from outages due to certain catastrophes. But these two should be considered as a major factor in choosing your cloud service provider. A higher service delivery, usually listed in a percentage or as uptime, will guarantee that the service will be available even if there is a disaster - something which many businesses should focus on.

Genuine cloud provider

You should know whether the cloud service provider actually has the proprietary rights to use this kind of service. The legitimacy of the service you are subscribing is necessary for the integrity of your business. This can usually be found by looking at the contracts or even the website where many companies will list themselves as partners with the specific vendor.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing which cloud solution to go for considering the complexities of the process. If you find this a bit too overwhelming and you need someone to give you their expert advice about the matter, then call us now and we’ll help you get started.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Web
February 14th, 2014

Security_Feb11_BEven the most reliable business network security and sophisticated user credentials can be vulnerable to cyber attacks to some extent. The concept of a comprehensive layered security, called defense in depth, is based on a strategy which has been around since the time of the Romans. A multiple-layered defense is created to prevent the advancement of attack. This strategy has been proven to be an effective IT security method these days.

Just like the human body, a computer system can also be attacked by many viruses that can infect and disrupt computer operations. And what's worse is it doesn’t just disrupt the operations of your computer, but these viruses and other malware can gather sensitive information or even gain access to other private and secured computer systems on the same network.

Although computer viruses aren't deadly, they can spread at an unimaginable rate across your entire computer system, affecting your database, networks and other IT-related sources. You can get these viruses by opening bogus email messages, downloading unknown file attachments, and accidentally clicking ads that pop up your screen. This is why there is a need for a strong and effective security system to protect your network.

One of the tested and proven security strategies used today is defense in depth. This concept focuses on the coordinated and organized use of multiple security countermeasures to keep your database safe from intrusive attackers. Basically, this concept is based on the military principle that a multi-layered and complex defense is more difficult to defeat than a single-barrier protection system.

The defense in depth strategy assures network administrators by working on the basis of the following guiding principles:

Defenses in multiple places

The fact that many viruses can attack the network system from multiple points means that you need to deploy strong defense mechanisms at multiple locations that can endure all types of attacks.

Defense in depth focuses on areas by deploying firewalls and intrusion detection to endure active network attacks and also by providing access control on servers and host machines, to resist distribution attacks from the insiders. This multi-layered defense also protects local and area-wide communication networks from denial of service attacks.

Multiple layered defense

Defense in depth is an extremely effective countermeasure strategy, because it deploys multiple layered defense mechanisms between the attacker and its target. Each layer of the defense has a unique mechanism to withstand the virus attacks. Furthermore, you need to make sure that each layer has both detective and protective measures to ensure the security of the network.

The reason for wrapping the network with multiple layers of defense is because a single line of defense may be flawed. And the most certain way to protect your system from any attacks is to employ a series of different defenses that can be deployed to cover the gaps in the other defenses. Malware scanners, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, biometric verification and local storage encryption tools can individually serve to protect your IT resources in a way others cannot.

Perhaps the final layer of defense should be educating your employees not to compromise the integrity of the computer systems with potentially unhealthy computer practices. As much as possible, teach them the dos and don’ts of using the computer, as well as how they can prevent viruses and other computer malware coming in and destroying your system.

If you’re looking to give your computer systems better protection against the harmful elements that the internet can bring, then give us a call now and we’ll have one of our associates take care of you and help defend your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
February 13th, 2014

Windows_Feb10_BTechnology has become one of the most necessary components of business infrastructure and the technology that supports almost every business is the server. Servers can host almost every system, with one of the most common being email. When many businesses look at email services, they look at Microsoft's Exchange. If you are looking into Exchange, you will likely come across Hosted Exchange.

What is Hosted Exchange?

Microsoft Exchange is first and foremost a messaging system. It offers businesses a number of services, including email, calendars, task management, address lists, and more. By integrating Exchange into your business, you can also gain the ability to access all of these servers from any location, on almost every device.

Many companies that purchase Exchange will actually install it on servers that are usually in the office. The thing with this is that it can be a bit expensive, especially for smaller businesses, and the server needed to host it can take up space that a business may not have. Other companies simply prefer to operate on cloud-based systems.

In order to meet demands, and offer a reliable product to companies of all sizes, many IT companies, including Microsoft, started to offer Hosted Exchange. How this works is your IT partner, who is your provider, makes space available on one of their servers. They then install Microsoft Exchange in a space which is only accessible to your company, over an Internet connection.

A provider is in charge of ensuring the data stored within is secure and accessible to the client, you, at all times. Many Hosted Exchange providers will also offer extra features like improved security, full-time management, and even data backup.

In other words, Hosted Exchange is the cloud-version of Exchange and is often managed by the host company. You and your employees will still be able to access it as you would if it were hosted in your business, meaning there is no real visible difference.

What benefits can Hosted Exchange offer?

There are a wide variety of benefits that Hosted Exchange can bring to companies looking to integrate it into their business. Here are four of the most common

1. It makes costs more predictable

Like many other hosted services, the majority of Hosted Exchange services are offered on a monthly, per user basis and the host will take care of the maintenance and hosting. This makes your costs predictable as you will only have to pay a fixed fee.

2. It can lower costs

If a business were to tabulate the cost of purchasing a new server, Exchange and the other infrastructure required in order to use it, plus add in any expected maintenance fees, the total and per user cost will likely add up quite quickly.

By going with a Hosted Exchange solution, you will pay a monthly fee only. For many small businesses this will usually be far less expensive than hosting an Exchange solution on premise. Add into this money saved on maintenance overhead and growth, and Hosted Exchange quickly becomes a service that can undoubtedly help reduce IT costs.

3. It's easier to implement and manage

If you were to implement Exchange in your office you would have to find space for the server, install the server and then Exchange, and then ensure that Exchange is installed correctly and working. Once it is, you will likely have to keep managing it and adding new accounts and users while reducing others. And if something happens, say the service goes offline, you will have to fix it.

For many business owners, this is simply beyond the scope of their skills and time. If you go with a Hosted Exchange solution, your IT partner will usually take care of hosting - you won't need to worry about a server - and will also manage and install it. This leaves you to focus on managing the solution, and if you don't have time some providers can even take care of this as well. In other words, a Hosted Exchange solution is far easier for many businesses.

4. It's more flexible

If you are a fast growing company, and need to scale an Exchange solution, one hosted in house is often limited by the capacity of the server. While some businesses won't go beyond this, others will. For those that don't, an on-premise Exchange solution will likely be perfectly useable.

If your company is growing it may be tough to scale an in-house Exchange solution. With Hosted Exchange, you can usually just contact your provider and they can help ensure that the space and resources are available. The same goes for if you move offices and you will likely be up and running again as soon as you have an Internet connection.

Looking to learn more about Hosted Exchange and how your business can benefit from it? Contact us today for a chat, we'd be happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

February 13th, 2014

WindowsPhone_Feb10_BMobile operating systems have evolved into a more useful and versatile technology these past couple of years. With the release of Windows Phone 8 in 2012, the competition became even tighter with other OS providers, as Microsoft aimed to offer users a one-of-a-kind mobile experience. Now, nearly 18 months on, the mobile platform is finding its groove with some great features.

Windows Phone 8 has many worthwhile features and here are a few of the most instrumental new features.

Data Sense

If you haven’t subscribed to an unlimited data plan, perhaps you should be looking for ways to monitor and reduce the mobile data you’re using. Well, in this case, Data Sense can be a really useful Windows Phone 8 app because it helps you monitor your mobile data usage and explore a variety of efficient ways to use the data you have.

Data Sense compresses every single website you are opening, to minimize the data your smartphone is consuming. On top of it all, it provides an alarm feature called Live Tile that gives you a status update of the amount of data you’ve consumed, and alerts you when it's near the preset limit.

Kid’s Corner

The Kid’s Corner is a special feature in Windows Phone 8 that allows parents and guardians to have total control over a phone. This app effectively manages the functionality of the apps that are accessible to children. Parents can configure the applications, music, or movies their child can access through the Windows Phone. Everything else that is not configured is protected by the PIN and Lock screen.

With this feature, parents can minimize accidental misuse and access to restricted content. However, this is not limited to children only, but to other people who want to use your phone as well. This feature app secures your smartphone, bringing you greater peace of mind.

FM Radio

Well, FM radio may not seem like the most innovative and groundbreaking feature in the smartphone era. But unlike its predecessors, FM Radio doesn’t require a data connection, and won’t eat up much of your battery life.

If you want to use this feature you need to have a headset - headphones - plugged into your device. Simply go to Music + Videos, click Collection, select the station number, and start listening to your favorite radio stations. Just make sure to buy a smartphone that has an FM radio on it, because not all WP8-based smartphones offer this feature.

The camera

WP8’s new camera feature has better support for high-resolution displays. Also, the update to WP8 includes several tweaks that will surely please photo enthusiasts, allowing them to take not only better pictures, but also edit and share these more easily.

The Windows Phone 8 is a highly customizable and sophisticated operating system, especially for businesses who use Microsoft's products in the office. If you would like to learn more about Windows Phone 8, Contact us today for more information.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

February 12th, 2014

SocialMedia_Feb10_BModern marketing is made up of a number of increasingly complex functions and systems, with one of the most important elements being social media. There are a number of platforms available to businesses and a popular one is microblog Twitter. While Twitter is fairly easy to use, there is actually a really common mistake that many users make which can harm the reach of their posts.

Social media is an always evolving idea, so what works one day won't necessarily work in the near or foreseeable future. Combine this with the various changes and features of the different social media platforms and it is nearly impossible to master every service.

When it comes to Twitter, one of the most popular features is using @username to bring the tweet to the attention of the user and to tweet about them. When you do this you and the person will be able to see it, along with people who follow that person.

What is the #1 mistake Twitter users make?

The problem is, many people put the @username at the beginning of the tweet. What this does, as we stated above, is only make the tweet visible on your feed, to the user and their followers. Why is this a problem? Well, it comes from how most businesses use Twitter. They use it to share content, e.g., a blog article or a video, etc.; to essentially tweet about the person, not at them. You see this in many tweets, for example, "@microsoft's new blog is great. Read it!"

While you want to share the content with people other than those who created it, putting @user at the front of your tweet actually limits the audience to the person who created the content and their followers - in other words the opposite of what you intend, unless Microsoft is your target audience of course!

How do you avoid mistake tweets?

If you are looking to tweet about someone or the content that user has created, using the @user is still a good idea because it will bring to the content-creator's attention that you are sharing their content. This is a great way to form relationships and even have these individuals and businesses share your content. In turn, this can help increase the potential of your content being seen by a wider audience.

For many tweets it makes sense to put the @username first as it helps make the overall tweet easier to read. The problem is, this will also limit your audience. So, for those who want to have their cake and eat it too, so to speak, add a period before @username e.g.," .@microsoft's new blog post is great. Read it!".

What this does is ensure that the tweet isn't addressed only to the user, but can be seen by everyone.

Looking to learn more about utilizing Twitter or any other social media as a part of your marketing strategy? We have a lot to tweet about and can help you tweet too.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
February 11th, 2014

Security_Feb10_BThe Olympics is one of the most popular and well known sporting events in the world, and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games are well underway. This round, they are in Sochi, Russia and like every other event, there have been various organizational issues to deal with. Unlike the last Olympics however, one of those issues is the risk of hacking of mobile devices and computers.

Hacking at the Winter Olympics 2014

Well before the Olympics even started in Russia, the Russian government said that they will be surveilling phone and computer communications. Many scoffed at this, writing off the government as being overly ambitious and boasting about a nearly impossible task. The thing is, the Internet in Russia may not be as secure as many believe, being full of hackers. At least according to a report aired on NBC shortly before the games started.

In the report, reporter Richard Engel took new, never opened laptops and mobile devices to Russia and used them. He found that within 24 hours all of the devices had been hacked, exposing the data stored within.

In part of the segment, Engel and a security expert go to a local coffee shop in Moscow and search for Sochi on a mobile device. Almost immediately the device is hacked and malicious software downloaded. Engel notes that the hackers have access to data on the phone along with the ability to record phone calls.

In a follow-up segment, Engel explains a bit more about the laptop issues. When he boots one up and connects to the Internet, hackers are almost immediately snooping around the information, transferring from the machine to the networks. Within a couple of hours, he received a personalized email from a hacker welcoming him to Russia and providing him with some links to interesting websites. Clicking on the link allowed the hackers to access his machine.

One issue is that it hasn't been stated in any reports whether the Russian government is behind this, or if it's hackers out to steal information. While you can be sure that the Russians are monitoring communication during the Winter Olympics, it is highly likely that they are not the ones installing malware on phones, rather it's probably organized crime rings or individual hackers.

I'm not at Sochi so why do I care?

As a business owner half the world away you may be wondering why this news is so important to you, or why you should care. Take a look at any tech-oriented blog or news channel and you will quickly see that the number of attacks on devices, including malware, phishing, spam, etc. is on the rise. It's now likely a matter of when you will be hacked, not if.

Combine this with the fact that many businesses are going global, or doing business with other companies at a big distance. This has caused many people to go mobile and the tools that have allowed this are laptops and smart devices. Because so many people are now working on a laptop, phone or tablet, these devices have become big targets. The main reason for this is that many people simply don't take the same safety precautions they take while on the office or even the home computer.

Hackers know this, so logically they have started going after the easier targets. The news reports concerning Russia highlight this issue and is a warning business owners around the world should be aware of, especially if they are going to be traveling with computers or phones that have sensitive information stored within.

That being said, there are a number of tips you can employ to ensure your data is secure when you go mobile. Here are six:

1. Use cloud services wherever possible

Cloud storage services can be incredibly helpful when traveling. They often require a password to access and are usually more secure than most personal and even some business devices. If you are traveling to an area where you are unsure of the security of the Internet or your devices, you could put your most important data in a trusted cloud storage solution.

This is also a good idea because if your device gets stolen, the data is in the cloud and is recoverable. If you have data just stored locally on your hard drive, and your device is stolen, there is a good chance it's gone forever. For enhanced security, be sure to use a different password for every service.

2. Back up your data before leaving

Speaking of losing data, it is advisable to do a full system backup of all the devices you are taking with you before you leave. This will ensure that if something does happen while you are away, you have a backup of recent data that is recoverable.

3. Secure and update all of your devices

One of the best ways to ensure that your data is secure is to update all of your devices. This means ensuring that the operating systems are up-to-date and any security updates are also installed.

Also, ensure that the programs installed on the devices are updated. This includes the apps on your phone, including the ones that you don't use.

You should also secure your devices by not only having an antivirus and malware scanner but also requiring a password to access your device.

4. Watch where you connect

These days Internet connections are almost everywhere. In many public spaces like airports, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. many of the connections are open, or free to connect to, and don't require a password.

While this may seem great, hackers are known to watch these networks and even hack them, gaining access to every bit of information that goes in and out of the network. When you are traveling, try avoiding connecting to these networks if you can. If you really have to, then be sure not to download anything or log into any accounts that hold private data.

5. Know the risks of where you are going

Before you leave, do a quick search for known Internet security issues in the area you will be visiting. If you find any news or posts about threats you can then take the appropriate steps to secure your system ahead of time.

6. If in doubt, leave it at home

In the NBC report, Engle finishes by telling viewers that if they are at all unsure about the security of their devices, or are worried about their data, they should leave the device at home, or delete the data before going. This is a good piece of advice and maybe instead of deleting data completely, you could move it to a storage device like an external hard drive that you leave behind.

If you are looking to learn more about ensuring the security of your devices while you are away from the office contact us today. We have solutions to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Security
February 6th, 2014

VoIP_Feb03_BWhen it comes to business communication, VoIP can bring great benefits to the table. Not only is Voice over Internet Protocol able to remove the geographical boundaries that limit your business, but its cost saving potential (among many others) can help you immensely as far as optimizing your business. Many companies understand this and are looking at the numerous platforms that are available, some of which are free. The question: Does free equal better?

Here are four of the most popular free VoIP apps available and a look at what they can offer businesses.

1. Skype

Skype is one of the pioneering apps that revolutionized VoIP. As a leading VoIP app, It has a large user base, with about 50 million users logged-in at least once during January 2013.

This service lets users make free Skype-to-Skype audio and video calls, group calls, and instant messaging. But, if you want more advanced calling features like call forwarding, SMS messages, caller ID, calling landline or other mobile phones around the globe, video conferencing, and having your own Skype number, you are going to have to subscribe to a business plan.

2. ooVoo

ooVoo, another free app, offers the optimal basics like free audio and video calling services to other users, instant messaging, and even 12-way video conferencing, which can be great for individual users and small businesses.

The biggest downside to this app is that while it does allow calls to landlines and other numbers, you need to purchase credits or a premium account which can prove a bit expensive for many users.

3. Viber

Viber offers users free calling and instant messages to other Viber users and is one of the most popular VoIP services for mobile users.

Although Viber has already released a version for Windows and Mac, this app is definitely made for Smartphones. You need to have a Viber mobile account before you can use its desktop version. This is a good solution for individual users, but may not be the best option for businesses that need to make calls to landlines or non-Viber users.

4. Jitsi

Jitsi is a free open source VoIP program formerly known as SIP Communicator that is primarily written using a popular Java script. Jitsi supports multiple operating systems as well as a variety of internet telephony.

Aside from video calling, Jitsi also offers you the features of instant messaging, desktop streaming, call recording, encryption for calls, and file sharing. Jitsi's broad compatibility and powerful encryption support may make it seem like a great tool for business. However, because it is open source it could pose potential security risks and be a challenge to manage for your business.

Is free really better?

In all honesty, the free aspects of the services above will satisfy many of the communication needs of individual users. The problem is, that many businesses still rely on traditional landline style communication e.g., people calling the business. This means that you need a service that can port - transfer - your number from the old provider to the VoIP one, while also allowing others to call the business. Many of the free services don't allow this. What this means for your business is that you will be able to call people with the program for free, but others who don't use it likely won't be able to call you so easily.

The VoIP systems provided by IT partners like us however are designed for business use and can offer the same benefits as many of the free solutions - video calls, text messaging, etc. - along with the traditional phone requirements, only delivered through a digital connection and at a cost that is usually far below traditional landline subscriptions.

The other main problem with choosing free services is that they may not be able to handle a high volume of communication, largely because many of them are designed for personal or home use, rather than a business environment. Adopting the business features will usually require a paid subscription that could end up costing you more, especially if you subscribe on a per-user basis.

If you are looking to use one of the free apps above or are considering another solution, we strongly recommend you talk to us first. We can talk you through the process, and help ensure that any service is truly right for your business. Beyond that, we can also make recommendations for a system that will truly fit your business.

If you want to know more about VoIP, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic VoIP General
February 6th, 2014

iPhone_Feb03_BThrough iPhone apps, you can dramatically enhance the usage of your mobile device. You’re able to record video clips, share files seamlessly with other devices, and even create to-do lists to help organize your day-to-day priorities. The iPhone is an especially powerful tool when it comes to increasing your productivity, especially when you install apps.

1. Apple Pages

Word processing apps are considered as a necessity nowadays, especially if you are away from the office on a regular basis. For $9.99, Apple Pages is perhaps the least expensive word processing app out there.

Like any other word processing software, this app lets you edit, format, update, and share your word documents easily across a multitude of Apple devices using iCloud. With Apple Pages, you can definitely save time in making and sharing documents.

2. Evernote

Evernote has become a favorite because of its capability to capture and store information in a very efficient manner.

Evernote allows you to take and save videos, images, websites, ideas, and just about anything you want to capture in the Web. Anything you capture is immediately synced to your other devices, so all your data is organized in a single location for easy viewing and retrieval.

What makes Evernote so popular is the fact that it can be downloaded for free from the App Store. You can also sign up for the business version that has extra collaboration features, along with extra features and enhanced functionality.

3. Dropbox

Ever dreamed of an online-storage platform where you can store and retrieve your files wherever and whenever you want? If so, then Dropbox is the perfect solution.

Dropbox lets you access and share files from other devices from your iPhone. This app is a great storage app because it lets you access your files even without an Internet connection. For many business owners, there is no need to carry a bulky external hard-drive because Dropbox gives at least 5GB free space for new users.

4. Wunderlist

Remembering a long list of things to do in a day can be rather annoying and stressful. Fortunately, there is Wunderlist, a project planning app that makes planning and listing more fun. It is actually a free cloud-sync task manager that allows you to organize your ideas and share them easily across different platforms.

You can list all the things you need to do for the next day and for the upcoming days or weeks. This app can definitely help by reminding you of the things you need to accomplish in a specific timeframe.

5. OmniFocus 2

This is a standalone app for your iPhone. OmniFocus 2 includes nifty features like voice notes and picture attachments, diagram making, and task searchability. The ‘forecast’ option lets you take a look at your daily and weekly tasks ahead at a glance. Productivity nerds will definitely like this app for the fact that the beauty of its interface matches its brains.

While it is a tad bit expensive at $19.99, it is probably the only task manager you need. With an easy to use interface and powerful features, it can do almost everything except run your business!

6. Bento

If you are on the lookout for an all-around organizational app for your business, check out Bento. This app offers 25 different database templates designed to fit many subjects, including event planning, project planning, and contact organizing. All the templates can be tweaked to your own liking.

Bento allows you to keep track of all of the things going on with your life. Everything in this app can be synced with other devices so that tracking progress in your daily tasks can be easily accessible.

If you’re looking to increase your productivity, then these iPhone apps will surely be a game changer for you. Not only will you be able to better organize your business and workflow more easily, you can also use these in organizing your personal activities.

Not what you’re looking for?

If you’re looking for more apps to help you with your business needs, then give us a call and we’ll give you a helping hand to find all the help you need.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic iPhone
February 6th, 2014

Healthcare_Feb06_AThe move to digital technology is saving time and reducing errors, but it’s also creating an unprecedented amount of data that must be stored.

According to a BridgeHead Software survey, the health-care industry generates almost a third of the world’s data, which it says “increases day after day.”

While the majority of respondents to the survey reported their data volume increasing over the past year, only a fourth said they have solid, tested disaster-recovery plans.

The problem: Given the vast amount of data that health-care providers must manage, it’s becoming more and more difficult to ensure that timely backups are completed and appropriate copies are made.

And storage isn’t the only issue; optimal use is as well. A study published earlier this year by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that health-care data systems generally aren't sophisticated enough to optimally use the increasing data - and it suggests that the problem will only grow as innovations (such as next-generation genome sequencing) become more common.

Practice managers and IT directors at medical practices both small and large will inevitably have to deal with this issue. We recommend talking to us today to see how our solutions can help you ensure that your practice can not only meet existing data storage and backup needs, but also scale to meet them in the future.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

February 5th, 2014

Productivity_Feb03_BBusiness emails are piling up in your inbox like it will never stop. This is where email handling tips come in handy if you want to get on top of the constant flood of messages. Managing your business email account be challenging, especially when you need to accomplish many tasks such as reading and responding to emails in a limited time. Email management is quite a tough job, but it doesn't have to be impossible, especially if you follow our top five tips.

1. Turn off email notifications

Notification sounds are helpful in letting you know you have received a new email - important or not. However, they can also be distracting if you're trying to concentrate. To avoid this, turn off new message notifications on both your Smartphone and computer, and schedule a convenient time to check and respond to your emails instead. This will not only improve your organizational skills, but will also give you peace of mind that you are focusing on tasks without neglecting your inbox.

2. Schedule when to check your emails

Unless your work demands replying to emails instantly, checking emails can be scheduled to a specific time of the day. You don’t want to live in your inbox the entire day, just checking the emails you receive as this can seriously harm your overall productivity. According to studies, a person takes about 64 seconds to recover from email interruption, a minute you could have spent on a more productive task.

According to research, the best time to check your email is the moment you log in to your computer at work, and before leaving at the end of the day. If you do this, create a to-do list for the rest of the day. Upon going through your messages, delete spam immediately and any emails that aren’t of value, so you’ll have a clear idea of what needs to be prioritized.

3. Organize your inbox

The key to optimizing your email inbox is to choose one main purpose for it, and stick with it. For example, use your inbox only for high-priority messages and filter other emails into another folder. This can be done in the settings of almost every email service.

Another way to organize your inbox is to get rid of unnecessary messages such as newsletters, promo emails, advisories and spam messages - what tech experts like to call Bacn. These kinds of email can mess up your inbox, so clean them up by using the tools in the settings, leaving only emails that are important and relevant to you and your business.

4. Connect with your smartphone

With the advent of smartphones, email handling has become rather convenient. You just need to install the email app on your mobile devices, register, and connect. Many business owners use smartphones to get in touch even when they’re not in the office.

Checking your email on your smartphone can save a lot of time, largely because you can check and respond to emails even when you're out of the office. Furthermore, you can benefit from using your mobile to sort out high-priority emails before getting to work. As a result, you will be able to work more smoothly in the office.

5. Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read

Newsletters and other email marketing messages can be useful. They might notify you of the latest information about your clients, colleagues, shops, etc. and may even provide you with your next sales lead. However, these kinds of emails can pile up so fast in a day or two, and you don’t even have the time anymore to check this info out anyway.

If you have not read several newsletter issues for a while then it might be better to unsubscribe. This will reduce the number of emails in your inbox, giving you a better chance of managing it.

When you know how to manage emails effectively, you will surely be able to increase your productivity. Just take control of your inbox and create a systematic process comfortable to you.

If you want to know more about how to manage emails effectively, call us today and we’ll offer you solutions to add to our tips.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Productivity