Archive for September, 2011

Today, CMIT Solutions of Denver earned the CompTIA MSP Partners Trustmark as related to providing managed services! This is yet another milestone reached for our firm and a testament to following industry standards and best practices.

The CompTIA MSP Partners Trustmark is a vendor neutral, business-level credential, designed to qualify and differentiate organizations providing remote IT services via a managed service business model. This credential identifies the MSPs (Managed Services Providers) that demonstrate a commitment to providing managed services in a competent manner and strive toward industry best practices. It serves as a reference to the quality of the services these companies provide and the commitment they make to their clients. To receive the MSP Partners Trustmark, an IT service organization must agree to a code of conduct, provide customer references, and submit an application covering a detailed list of criteria.

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I recently read an article (forwarded to me by a peer) that provides some startling statistics about productivity at work or the potential lack thereof. An article from Digital Trends indicates that our workforce may be using their computers at work for non-productive uses. Now, I understand that anyone, even management level, will wander over to Facebook, YouTube or Amazon  to check things out. However, to think that people would be watching TV or movies while at work while “on the clock” astounds me.

First of all, these individuals would have decreased productivity if they are strictly working 9 to 5 hours and not making up for their non-productive time after traditional work hours.

Secondly, from an IT service provider’s perspective, this is a potential danger to the security of the data and everything on the business network. Does your firm have an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) for employees surfing the internet? Have you reviewed it lately to determine if you need to update or tweak it? Things change so fast in our world of technology that it would be worth investing an hour of your time to make sure that this is all ship-shape.

Some startling facts:

  • 47% of workers hide their mobile device under the table
  • 42% excuse themselves to go to the restroom
  • 35% hold their mobile device in their folders/notebooks
  • 53% of men admit to watching online videos at work
  • 34% of women admit to watching online videos at work

Click here to read the Digital Trends article in its entirety and be prepared for some eye-popping statistics. Let me know if you have any good/horror stories about this happening where you work.

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I have been saving this for all of you iPhone aficionados who also use Microsoft at work, specifically OneNote. Naturally, OneNote Mobile is already available for Windows 7 Phone users like myself and I can sync it with my OneNote on Windows SkyDrive and my desktops.

The OneNote for iPhones app was released in late July so I am not too behind the 8 ball in sharing this with you. What’s great about OneNote is that you can use the same platform at work, home and on your iPhone and anytime, anywhere and any device. I know that the Evernote app does similar things to OneNote; however, you are missing the cross-platform usability.

Check it out! OneNote is a great tool — it’s that diamond in the rough.

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Many retail establishments have already taken the plunge into using QR (Quick Response) codes. Did you see 1stBank’s advertisement at the main terminal, 6th level, at DIA where you could take a picture of the QR code and download a free book? Amazing!

CMIT Solutions of Denver is just putting a toe into the water to learn how we can leverage Click on this QR codeQR codes for marketing purposes. Has your firm looked into this fairly new method of promotion? Does it even make sense for you to invest someone’s  time (notice that I like to use the word “invest” instead of “spend”) to learn about QR codes and applying it to your business?

I found one of hundreds of short articles on the basics of QR code marketing for small businesses.

Click here to read a bit about it.

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Blocking and Tackling

Are You Ready For Some Football?

It’s simple to see that I have arrived at my theme for this article quite easily – football.  In fact, there will be ongoing messaging (print, video, e-news, blog) using the football analogy through the remainder of 2011.

When I was a kid (yes, that was a long time ago), I loved playing tackle football with the neighbor guys. Maybe a bit of my competitive nature is derived from having an older brother who didn’t want me to participate and begrudgingly let me and enjoying being part of a team activity. I sure wish that there had been youth league football where girls could have played like they do now except my father would have worried more than normal.

I know from running my own business for 7+ years and from observing my sons’ football teams that it’s not just about getting out there and doing the work. It’s about building a cohesive team that knows the processes (game plan) and has the discipline to block and tackle whatever comes our way. Coaches change their roles, team members move on to bigger and better things and the rules of the game get tweaked here and there (I think that is due to the new CBA in effect). Fortunately, I feel that our CMIT Denver team is in a solid place. We even have our individual and team huddles on a weekly basis. If my memory serves me right, the work huddle was discussed in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits book. We talk about our gameplan and figure out how to block and tackle any challenges by working together as a team.

It’s about bringing the vision, mission, values and passion for the work to be accomplished to the forefront to make for a winning season or year and reinforcing them all along the way. Add to this the daily work ethic and dedication to the goals set by the coaches/owners and the team and the positive results will happen.

Recently my 6th grade son played in a pre-season football tournament. The kids had been practicing hard at each practice – 4 times a week – and had made enormous progress. However, at the first game their “heads” just weren’t in the game. As one of the coaches said after the loss, “you just didn’t want to win; you didn’t want to lose, but you didn’t want to win.” He was referring the the mindset of the kids (see Bill Shankly’s quote to the left). Our CMIT Team wants to win because that means doing right by our clients, alliances and ourselves.

By the time you get the October e-newsletter, the 4th quarter of this year and for most businesses for the last fiscal quarter of the business year will have arrived. Has your firm been making progress quarter over quarter? Does it look like end of year goals will be met? It’s building upon the successes and learning from the challenges of each quarter, each month and even each and every day that puts your team in a winning position to reach the playoffs.

What's Your Gameplan?Starting this month Phil and I will be looking back at 2011 and the goals we set almost a year ago. Where did we succeed and where did we fall flat on our faces in the turf (that is painful – turf burn)? It’s exciting to look into the future and plan strategies that will take us to the next level – to have a gameplan. Our CMIT Pacesetters mastermind group is once again assigning homework for which we are held accountable for our growth plan for Q4 2011 and all of 2012. It’s never too early; however, it can always be too late if you don’t pay attention and do the drills day in and day out to keep your business fit and ready for the game.

For the next several months you will read, see and hear a lot about football and how it corresponds to our lives and our businesses. Let me know what you think.

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