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Archive for February, 2013

Doing, Doing, Done!

ThomasJeffersonOur person of the month for February is Thomas Jefferson. One of the numerous things he wrote was “Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.” And, to quote an iconic sports company’s motto—Just Do It!

My quarterly IT marketing conference in Nashville was last week. As always, I was inspired by the content of the sessions and reminded of what I can work on to take my business to the next level. One ongoing struggle of mine is discipline in focusing on the right activities during my billable time. Our marketing leader, Robin Robins, said “There is no money in doing, only money in done.” She referenced a time tracking software tool that she uses daily to keep focused and on track for completing her key activities for the day and week. It’s called Time Doctor (www.TimeDoctor.com) and I am testing it for a 30 day free trial. It can also be used with your staff members and it can even generate reports. I’ll be interested to learn if this tool will help get the job done.

Let’s return to our Person of the Month, Thomas Jefferson, who also penned “He who knows best knows how little he knows.”  People ask me why do I watch webinars, listen to teleseminars, attend Robin’s  quarterly marketing conferences and attend sales training. One good reason is because I appreciate the business talent that exists outside of my CMIT Denver office and recognize my need (and desire) to learn new things and have “old” things be reinforced. There is a
plethora of  wise individuals that are made available to me through the groups to which I belong. I would be foolish not to take advantage of these quality people who have demonstrated success in all areas of business and in motivating people to do their best. These masters, if you will, believe wholeheartedly in what Jefferson wrote that learning is a continual and necessary process and you learn by doing over and over again.

Being part of the CMIT Solutions system and groups within my industry positions me to leverage experience and skill sets from others instead of going it on my own. Phil and I invested in CMIT almost nine years ago to be part of an organization that would provide us the infrastructure and support to launch and grow our business. Our CMIT and non-CMIT peers who have become dear and trusted friends are part of the reason for our enjoyment of this ride that we are on for the long haul. I have always valued relationships and  connecting which makes me a better person in business and in life.

The support and encouragement I receive gives me the extra boost that I need at times to push me to get the job done. As I mentioned in a previous article “Half done is well begun.”

valentines_heart_candy_customIt’s the month of February when people are reminded of the importance of relationships and celebrate them. Wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate those whom you value and treasure on a regular basis, even in some small fashion like  a quick phone call or greeting card?! Make it personal. I challenge you to create, develop and nurture relationships that will enrich your personal life and the life of your business. We are not in this world or alone on an island. With the help of technology we have the luxury of reaching out to loved and dear ones by turning on the computer. I agree that technology can be a frustration (that’s why CMIT is around to help you); however and for the most part, technology should be looked at as a benefit and a tool for connectivity and productivity. Do it and do it now and you’ll be happier for having done so.

As the old AT&T’s advertising said “Reach out, reach out and touch someone!”

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In past CMIT QuickTips, we’ve discussed how the human element is one of the weakest links in IT security. That’s why social engineering is such a well-used tool for hackers. Training and diligence are important safeguards against such external threats, but what about security holes within the walls of your office?

How many times per day do you step away from your computer without logging out or locking the screen? If your answer is more than “zero,” then you may be exposing your network and data to threats. If you leave your computer logged on
and unattended, any person that sits down in front of it has access to all of the things you do such as your email, server permissions, and more.

Furthermore, a breach doesn’t necessarily require ill intent on the part of an employee. Perhaps you’ve left financials or client records open on your computer while you went to refill your coffee. An employing doing something as benign as delivering papers to your desk might see the information on your screen and, if your business is subject to privacy laws like HIPAA or FINRA, that could constitute a breach.

Now, consider the havoc an employee with malicious intent could wreak.

Fortunately, protecting yourself is easy. Simply press the Windows Key Windows Key Buttonand L at the same time to lock your computer. Yes, you’ll have to re-enter your password each time you sit down, but that’s better than the alternative, and it will help keep your login password at the front of your mind (something your IT staff will undoubtedly appreciate).

If you are not yet on our CMIT QuickTips e-mail list, click here to sign up.  Our QuickTips are delivered to your Inbox every Tuesday.

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CLEAR saved this much in minutes of travel time and counting

Back in December 2012 I went to Denver International Airport. When we approached the security line, once again I was presented with the CLEAR option. The CLEAR program allows its members to bypass what can be lengthy, Disneyland-like lines and get to the security screening (take off your shoes, get out your laptops) quicker. I picked up the brochure and spoke with the CLEAR representative as to how this fast-track program works. Fast forward a week and there I was at the CLEAR kiosk in Cherry Creek Shopping Center showing them my driver’s license, passport and doing retina scans and electronic fingerprints. I just had to get this! My husband signed up too and we recently converted our membership to a corporate one.

What’s great for all of us who have originating flights in Denver is that we can use our CLEAR pass whenever we travel and kids who are 18 and under can go through the line with us. The downside is that there are only a few other airports in the U.S. at the present time so you can’t benefit from it all the time and at every airport. If time is valuable to you, you may want to check into CLEAR. This is not, and I repeat is not, a recommendation for those who like to push the limits of when to arrive at the airport and get through security to their respective gates. I still believe in arriving 90 minutes ahead of schedule. Perhaps that’s why I have low blood pressure.

Since we are talking travel, let’s take a glimpse at some of Laptop magazine’s top gadgets for business travelers.

High-tech Jacket: Scottevest Fleece Jacket 7.0: this is kind of a GI Joe-looking piece of clothing. It’s not for everyone, but I can see some geeky guys wearing it.

Camera: Sony NEX-Alpha – we know how smartphones have come to replace many digital cameras. Well, this one is many steps above your smartphone’s camera and if you need a higher quality, professional end product, check this out.

Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Flex – this will be my next fitness gadget purchase. Much easier to have a wristband Fitbit than the clip-on version.

Bag: Powerbag – this includes a battery charger that is built-in for your smartphone or laptop while they’re sitting in the bag.

Projector: Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector – don’t you just dread schlepping around your “portable” projector to an out-of-town business meeting or paying way too much to rent a projector. Maybe this is the solution. It “weighs just 8 ounces, but can beam an image as large as 50 inches for up to 2 hours.”

Power Outlet: Monster Outlets to Go 300 Travel: at least 90% of the time my hotel room is sparse on electrical outlets and the placement of them is far from great and that’s just with me in the room. Add another person with his/her laptop and smartphone and the challenge heightens. This device “provides 3 AC outlets and 2 USB charging ports in one compact wall-wart. Best of all, the “Travel” version of this device includes power adapters to keep you plugged in abroad in over 150 countries.”monster_ss

If you are wondering what to get a colleague or loved one something for Valentine’s Day (today) or for their birthday, check out these gadgets and more by clicking here for the entire article. I am intrigued – how about you?

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There are many entrepreneurs who see it as their duty to give back to their local or global community. There are several entrepreneurs, small and large corporations and organizations across our country who deem it important to give back to their communities with their time, treasure (money) and talent.

Just look at this short list:

  • Bill Gates, the founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation– this foundation has given over $255 million to Rotary International to help finish off the job of eradicating polio worldwide. It’s down to 3 countries now since India’s population is no longer considered endemic.
  • Microsoft Corporation – they will match donations of their employees to charitable causes.
  • Denver Cherry Creek Rotary club foundation – My Rotary club has given away around $400,000 in less than 25 years. Our signature dental mission has been helping 400 people annually, mostly children, for the past 20 years in Central and South America. A current local project that started in our club is the Nook/E-Reader project in needy schools in the Denver metro area. This is helping to increase literacy of elementary school students and their reading levels.
  • CMIT Solutions of Denver – Debi and Phil Bush, family and friends are supporting the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life fundraising event that will take place in Glendale, Colorado in August 2013. We have family members who have had cancer (and died from it) and those who are currently fighting it. So, we want to give of our time and energy by raising monies to fund more research so there can be more cures and not just an extension of life. We want to help in the fight to win the battle, even if the battles are small ones that lead to success in the overall battle against cancer.

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Learn more about our designated cause or designate your own for your company or organization. It’s important to be involved in the local community and to give of your time, treasure and talent and to instill this value with your children. The Relay For Life is a different type of event in that it goes from 6:00pm – 6:00am. Ten years ago I raised $10,000 for the American Diabetes Association as part of my participation in their Team Diabetes marathon. When a chronic illness such as diabetes or a life threatening, out of the blue, disease like cancer affects you, a family member or close friend, it forces you (at least me) to stop and say “How can I help and be of service?”

You’ll be seeing and reading more about our march towards our fundraising goal between now and August. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Debi Bush, co-captain of the Aaron’s High Flying Eagles RFL Glendale team

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Surface_Touch_CoverOn February 9, 2013, the business version of the Surface tablet, the Surface Pro, became available for purchase at our local Microsoft Store! It wasn’t there for long that day because by 11:30am the Surface Pro devices had sold out at the Lone Tree (Colorado) store. In fact, I read that the Pro also sold out at the Microsoft Store in Los Angeles  and that is with a much larger population.

Where the Surface RT tablet is consumer-based and focused with some pre-installed applications, it isn’t a business-class solution that CMIT Solutions of Denver would recommend. The Surface Pro tablet is a business-class solution that works on the Windows 8 Pro operating system (OS) and it has more security and remote connection functionalities. The touch screen can be used in conjunction with a keyboard (comes in several colors) or by itself.

The Windows 8 OS takes getting used to whether using it on a desktop, laptop or tablet. There is a learning curve. However, there are online tutorials as well as free trainings at the Microsoft Stores on using Windows 8. Plus, using it will provide the practice and increased comfort level that you desire so as not to stumble or fumble around.

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Surface Pro with detachable, Click It, keyboard

A couple neat things about the Surface Pro from my perspective:

When you purchase it at the Microsoft Store, in essence you will also get a free Microsoft Windows smartphone ($100 value). My Store loaned me a demo of the HTC 8x (for Verizon) and when I returned to using my older version Windows phone, I felt deprived and limited.

An even more important aspect of the Surface Pro is that it’s not just a tablet like the iPad; it fully and seamlessly integrates with Windows applications which makes you more productive when mobile with your data. It acts more like a full-fledged computer (laptop in a tablet size version) so an apples to apples comparison to the iPad is really apples to oranges (I guess that the Pro needs to be the orange).

If you like using the camera function, it has both front and rear-facing cameras.

The Kickstand. Everyone loves the built-in kickstand!

If you’re curious about which version of the Microsoft Surface tablet is right for you, click here to read more.

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