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Archive for December, 2013

How many times have you heard someone say something like this: “Everyone has the same 24 hours regardless of economic or social stature.” Well, it’s true. You can buy a lot of things but you can’t buy more hours in the day or days in the week.

When you think about the value of  your time and that of your colleagues at your company or organization, what value would you place on the ability to remain productive (i.e. working and being revenue generating or billable)?

A constaProductivityLost_Infographicnt and consistent message from CMIT Solutions is to keep your technology environment running smoothly so you can remain productive and efficient with your “x” number of hours in each workday. This proactive effort of  managing and monitoring the health and wellness of your technology and, therefore your business, is known to many as CMIT Marathon. We keep a close eye on the health of your hardware, network and more on a  regular schedule while you and the greater organization (including your clients, members, patients, vendors…) are not slowed down or precluded from your necessary and time-sensitive work.

So, the next aspect of protecting those precious hours in your workday whether it’s four or twelve hours (and even time at home when you need to work remotely) is this: if you were to lose local access to your network or to your business critical data and emails (can’t forget the emails), what would that cost you (hard dollars)? According to the graphic below, if an 80 person organization were down (no access to data) for a single hour, that’s 80 man hours lost of productivity and for many for-profits, this would represent lost revenue for potential clients and lost opportunities for prospective clients.

So, if you were to invest in a backup and disaster recovery solution to avoid or minimize lost productivity, wouldn’t you do that? As a business owner or lead administrator, it’s your duty to think ahead and long term for the betterment and livelihood of your organization.

We at CMIT Solutions of Denver are not trying to scare you; we are presenting a valid business case for our CMIT Guardian program that will protect the well-being of your business in case of disaster or downtime.  Remember that even if you only experienced two hours of downtime, that could represent a loss of tens of 1000’s of dollars.

Call us to have a frank and honest conversa-tion about the status of your technology; you won’t regret it.

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MaryPoppins

Disney historian/artist drew an animated Mary Poppins for me in 1991

With the highly anticipated (at least by me) debut of the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, coming to Denver on December 20th and my anticipation to be enthralled with the story and the movie, it seemed apropos to write an article. I have been in love with the 1964 Disney film of Mary Poppins since it came out – I was 3 years old. Not sure that I really remember seeing the movie when it first landed in the theaters; however, the memories of sitting alongside my mother on the piano bench singing all the songs as well as the feeling that I still get when hearing the music or watching the movie, that’s priceless. How many movies or concerts have you seen or attended that cause you to swell in warmth decades after the fact?

Lesson 1: One of the many profound lines by Mary Poppins from the 1964 film was “Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple?” How often do you make things more difficult when there’s no call for sophistication let alone perfection? Earlier this year I heard someone say that perfectionism is another form of procrastination. Very interesting. Simpler is better.

Lesson 2: My friend Mary Poppins was very creative in getting the Banks kids to clean up their bedroom. Obviously, this was a task that they had avoided with previous nannies (aka managers). When she demonstrated that this task could be fun, she said, “Well begun is half done.” Getting started on cleaning up your house or executing a project at work is half the battle (i.e. half begun). Be realistic in what you set out to accomplish yet push yourself at the same time. In being realistic, it could be helpful to break up a daunting project into baby bites so you can make progress, feel great about the progress and continue to check off the teeny tiny bites that, in the end, will yield complete execution of the project.

Lesson 3: Keep your optimism and positive perspective on what is possible and be open to trying new things. When Burt the Chimney Sweep (a serial entrepreneur) accompanied Mary Poppins, Jane and Michael on their adventure on the rooftops of London, he proclaimed, ” There’s the whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it? But the birds, the stars and the chimney sweeps.”

I am confident that there are many more lessons to draw on from Mary Poppins (the movie, books, musical and the upcoming Saving Mr. Banks movie). I invite you to send me any lessons that you have learned. Thank you for indulging me in my nostalgia. It’s that time of year.

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EmailArchiveInOutlookThis is Part 1 of 2 articles on email archiving. Part 1 explains about email archiving within your Outlook program.

Ever notice that your Microsoft Outlook account has slowed to a crawl? Basic email functions like Send/Receive acting a little funny? Consider checking the size of your mailbox. You might be shocked to discover just how bloated it is.

For most versions of Outlook, clicking on File > Folder > Properties > Storage — or right-clicking on any folder and selecting Properties — will display the total size not only of a chosen folder but also of any associated subfolders.

Outlook’s Auto Archive function is set to automatically back up Deleted Items, Sent Items, and expired tasks and calendar items. But if you get hundreds of messages per day and don’t delete them or move them from your Inbox, you run the risk of sabotaging your account. Exceed 2GB of storage in an overstuffed Inbox and Outlook really starts to run slow.

Yet solving the problem is doable. CMIT Solutions recommends that you or your IT support team follow the five (5) steps outlined below to change Auto Archive’s settings.

1. Create a new local folder or .pst (Personal Folders) file to hold Archived Mail.  Right click on the On My Computer heading at the bottom of your folder list and choose New Folder.  Name the folder Archived Mail or something else that’s easily recognizable. In older versions of Outlook, you can select File>Archive and change the date under Archive items older than.

2. Create a new Archiving Rule. Click on Tools > Rules, select Exchange from the On My Computer section, and click the + near the bottom of the window. Name the rule something meaningful and recognizable, like “120 Days, Auto Archive.”          

3. Define the time limit and destination for emails eligible for archiving.  Under the When a new message arrives menu, change Date Received (we suggest 120-180 days) and then change Do the Following to a defined action like “Move Message + Archived Mail.” Click the check box for Enabled and click OK. In older versions of Outlook, clicking Tools>Options>Other>Auto Archive brings up a similar set of options.         

4. Run the new rule on existing email folders. If you set a new rule that all emails over six months old will be archived, don’t let aging messages received before that rule was implemented continue to clog up your Inbox. Select the preferred mail folder, click Messages>Rules>180 Day, Auto Archive, and wait patiently while your email account reorganizes itself. Remember, you’ll have to perform this function on each desired folder; also, Outlook uses “Last Modified Date” to archive, not “Received Date.”

5. Want to access your archived emails.  Simple — they’re waiting for you right on the left-hand column of folders — or under the list of .pst files on your computer — with all of your other mail folders. The key? They’re no longer taking up space in your mailbox.

Of course, archiving can’t cure all email diseases. If you access your mail via an Outlook Web App, any emails archived on your local computer won’t show up online — archiving them means they’re no longer hosted on the Exchange server. And a .pst file or archived folder stored on your local hard drive is still susceptible to disastrous data loss if it’s not backed up as part of your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan.

Also, remember that Outlook is not a real email archiving solution — this QuickTip will simply help you free up storage space within the program, NOT keep your email secure via offsite backup or searchable across years of accumulated messages.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on email archiving which will speak to compliance and business needs for implementing a searchable solution for archiving and recovery of (email) data.

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Rocky and Debi before their walk

Debi Bush and Rocky – Guess who’s who!

I want to wish all of our readers a very happy remainder of 2013 and especially wish you a happy, healthy and hearty new year in 2014.

May you be blessed with a lot of family, friends, colleagues, clients, peers and alliances who support you in all that you do as well as supporting you through happy and challenging times.

Surround yourself with those (humans and pets) who are positive and cheerful and make you feel good and with whom you are happy to reciprocate.

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