Archive for November, 2010

As business owners.  security of your data should always be at the forefront of your technology strategy and overall business continuity plans. There are some industries with compliance regulations (e.g. financial, accounting, legal) that place greater stringency and oversight for all data (electronic and paper). Some businesses have their IT department (internal or external) “lock down” the users so nothing can be downloaded. This is because the most innocent of actions like clicking on a link on a “trusted” website or placing a file on your jump drive with data from an outside computer can wreak utter havoc and security breaches on a company’s ever important data.

Here are the 3 Basics for Safe Downloading:

  1. Get Ready – Strenghten Your Computer’s Defenses. This sure sounds like preparing for war and in a way, it is. You need to take proactive offensive measures to keep you at the “top of the hill.”
    Since I am using war-like terms. here are some of the reinforcements that your business needs to defend itself: anti-virus, firewall, anti-spam for email, software updates, and spyware protection. CMIT Solutions of Denver implements and maintains all of these tactics on a regular basis.

  2. Download with Caution. Think first. Click later. Now that your computers’ defenses are up to snuff thanks to your IT team, there are actions that you, the computer user, can take like saving a file to your computer and then opening it. Since your anti-virus is protecting you, it will detect an “invader” when you decide to open the saved file. If you open it directly (without saving it), this can be your downfall.

  3. Remove Malicious Software. The fact that the term “malicious” is used should set the tone for the severity of what can happen. Remember, that regardless of your best efforts and attempts to protect your computer and network, things happen and unwanted software gets downloaded.

Click here to read the complete article from Microsoft At Work.

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Many of you may have already seen this article from CMIT in a recent QuickTip. It was so well received that I decided to post it here on our CMIT Denver blog. Our book, I JUST Want My Computers To Work: A Business Owner’s Guide to Technology Peace of Mind, is very informative (in a storyline fashion) as to how a business owner comes to the realization whether or not a server is needed for his/her business. So, between the book (contact CMIT Denver if you don’t have it and want it) and the article below, you will be off to a wonderful start.

If you’re not a technologist, or if you just don’t have time to worry about technology, you might want some pointers about how to recognize when you’ve reached this crucial threshold and now need a server.

Have you encountered any of these problems?

1. Employees want to work remotely, and they can’t. All their data is stuck on their hard drive, and you don’t have the technology to connect remotely.

2. People want to share files, and they can’t. There’s no central repository for commonly accessed files, so instead John has to ask Mary to email him the files on Client X. John and Mary end up keeping duplicate files on their hard drive. Or worse, each of them modifies the files differently, so now there’s a versioning problem to deal with.

3. People want to share calendars, and they can’t. As more business comes in, people have to hold more meetings, conference calls, and presentations. But the only way to know when everybody’s available is to poke a head in each party’s door and ask when they’re free. This leads to double bookings, missed meetings, and frequent rescheduling.

4. An employee leaves the company, and takes their institutional memory with them. This person always worked off their personal laptop. And because there was no other place to store files, they all walked off along with the employee. Now the company has incomplete records (or none at all) relating to that person’s accounts.

5. People are responsible for their own backups, which they don’t run. If everybody’s working off their own hard drive, they can either back up to the cloud (not a bad idea regardless) or to media on premises (a hard drive, CD, USB drive, etc.). What they can’t do is automatically back up to an in-house server, because you don’t have one.

You know you need a server when these frustrations are holding you back and materially affecting the way you do business. If you’re a one or two-person shop and you don’t have a data-intensive business, you’re probably fine without a server and might be a candidate for a different solution with server-like functionalities. But once  you start adding employees and feeling the pain associated with not being able to share, collaborate, archive, and back up in a systematic and productive manner, it’s time to start thinking about getting a server.

And one big word of caution: don’t put off purchasing a server because you don’t have the time or the know-how to evaluate or install it! That’s not your job — your job is keeping your business running. A qualified IT advisor like CMIT Solutions can easily walk you through the evaluation and purchasing process, and then perform an installation with minimal disruption for your business.

Are you wondering if your business needs a new server? Give us a call at 303.756.2648 or an email and we’ll give you our expert advice.

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 I used to think that “tiles” referred to flooring or mahjongg. There is a new use for TILE – that has to do with the newly launched Windows 7 Phones. The Tiles on this phone are “live”
 and you can see everything quickly that you care about.

The Windows 7 Phone launched this month. Is this innovation or just making a “go” at the competition (iPhone and Droid)? The Microsoft people tell me it is the former. It will increase the user’s productivity and it supports existing infrastructure (i.e. it is using the same platform and programs including email that your business has). No high maintenance support is needed by your IT staff in supporting your use of the Windows 7 phone. Click here to read business customer reviews.

Windows 7 phone has an enhanced integration and interface with other programs on the phone, most notably Office 2010. And, in case you weren’t aware, Office 2010 (on your computer or this new phone) integrates social networking into Outlook 2010 in that it brings your contacts and Facebook together in one place – the People Hub.  You can even update your profiles in one fell swoop across your social media sites.

Now, for those of you who don’t place a lot of emphasis on the People Hub aspect, ponder this about the new Windows 7 phone: Office Mobile. It includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also includes OneNote Mobile which will synchronize wirelessly to the web. And, lastly, for those of you familiar with SharePoint Workspace, it is now Mobile. Let’s increase your productivity even more while away from the office – ok?! You can view and edit Office documents and save them back to your company’s SharePoint site.

Windows 7 Phone – it’s not just a new phone. It’s a productivity enhancing tool. It’s a “1 stop device.” Really!

Currently, the phones (Samsung, HTC, LG and Dell) are available at AT&T and T-Mobile dealers. Verizon and Sprint will introduce the Windows 7 phone in the first half of 2011. Will I be able to wait until then?

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