Archive for March, 2014

JuliusCaesar_redcloak It has been 2,058 years since Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus was assassinated on March 15th in 44 BCE. Even for those who haven’t taken Latin or ancient history, it’s highly likely that you’ve heard of the famous warning “Beware the Ides of March.”  So, how and why should this 2,056 year-old quote and story have significance in our lives today especially when it comes to your business and technology?

The soothsayer warned Emperor Julius Caesar of his death. The Ides of March didn’t signify anything special back then since it was a way of saying “March 15th.” Each month has an Ides (15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months) and this date had no significance until it was associated with Caesar’s untimely, yet foretold, death.

Over the past ten years of writing this Ides article, I have often made the analogy to watching your (technology) systems and taking good care so no attack is made upon your business from within or outside. And, if someone were to initiate an attack, your technology’s health and management would be solid so as to shut down the attacker with minimal casualties to your business.

The business owners and principals need to be aware of what’s going on around them. When it comes to computer networks and how people within the organization are using the technology, it’s even more important. A few years ago there were less things of which you needed to be aware like employees using their smartphones and tablets for work [now known as BYOD or Bring Your Own Device policies]. Now, this is an important aspect of business policy and IT security that has to be determined and enforced.

Julius Caesar had enemies in the Roman Senate that we could analogize to those insufferable computer viruses that are poised to attack at any moment. Is your network prepared for attacks or downtime due to hardware failure, disasters or human error or mischief? Does your business have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place and the tools to minimize such dangers (including financial)?

We  speak with our existing and prospective clients that the best and least stressful way to defend ourselves against costly downtime is to be prepared. This translates into ensuring that your business is managed  and monitored proactively which includes data backup and test restores coupled with solid documentation and contingency strategies.

Ask us about our stress reducing and productivity increasing programs, CMIT Marathon and CMIT Guardian. Don’t forget to inquire about our Disaster Recovery Plan that can be customized for your particular business.

Hail and Farewell Caesar!

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Recently I attended an online live training for Microsoft Outlook through New Horizons Colorado. The course was a 200 (Level 2) course on Outlook. My goal was to learn how to better and more efficiently use the different functionalities of Outlook since I am in and out of it 16 hours a day (give or take). Journal entries were introduced where I learned that you can utilize the timer (almost like a stopwatch) function for tracking how and where you’re investing or spending your time on a task or project. My husband, Phil, took a OneNote course through New Horizons and said it helped a lot. It’s those golden nuggets that make it all worthwhile. These two Microsoft programs can be critical players in helping you to succeed on a daily and regular basis.

In 2013 I wrote about another training source that is all online (i.e. via the web from the comfort of your home or office) – Lynda.com. You can find tutorials and for different stages or levels of proficiency for a wide variety of software applications ranging from Windows 8 to creative suite programs like Photoshop. It also had training that linked time management training with Outlook to help increase productivity.

Knowledge gained from any of these in-person or online courses can benefit you and your business without a doubt. Just like anything else you need to learn how and why and then practice, practice, practice by doing or using the tool. Do you remember those piano lessons? I sure do. One of my teachers made me use a metronome as well as log my practice time. I wish that I had been as diligent with my piano lessons and practicing as I need to be with utilizing Outlook and other programs to make me more productive and efficient.

Also, I recently met someone at a presentation that I gave who does software training for businesses. Some people still like the 1 on 1 or small group in-person training environment.

Lastly, if you want to get a hands on lesson about Windows 8 or some of the Microsoft Office 2013 programs or your new Windows phone, your local Microsoft Store offers  trainings. It helped me with my learning curve for Windows 8.

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PolycomVVX500CMIT Denver introduced our Communications and Voice technology solution earlier this year. Going forward we will provide tidbits of educational information that will enable you to have a better understanding  of the beauty of hosted VoIP for your business.

Here are the three ways your business can benefit:

1. Commitment To Quality
No need to worry about tinny sounds on our hosted VoIP phones and network. Updates to the phone hardware happen automatically. You will have unlimited FREE U.S. technical support.

2. Grows With Your Business
Just like with our Office 365 solution, you can add new VoIP phones for new employees easily or move them around in the office. You as the owner or manager can even monitor telecommuter productivity with the seamless connections for remote office and users.

3. Slashes Your Phone Technology Bills
Unlike some phone solutions, our CMIT Voice (hosted VoIP solution) doesn’t require expensive on-premise equipment. That in and of itself helps slash phone-related expenses.

Call CMIT Denver at 303-756-2648 for a complimentary, no obligation assessment of your network. The reports from our assessment tools and our “on the ground know-how” will allow us to determine if and how our hosted VoIP solution will work for your business.

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OneNote2013-largeA few months back one of my clients started playing with OneNote.  He found a few introductory videos and proceeded to take a deep dive.  He’s an IT guy, so details and organization are a big part of his wiring.  He was incredibly excited with the overall organization, the flexibility, and the sheer breadth of the program.  He immediately put his whole life into OneNote.

So what do I mean by that?  He had his yearly and quarterly goals and plans, business financials and budgets, to-do lists, employee information, KPI’s, and pictures and plans on the car he is rebuilding.  This included Word, Excel, Power Points files, JPEG pictures, links, checklists, audio files…you name it, they are all on OneNote.

The beauty is in the organizational structure.  Picture a set of books of your life.  Now, picture looking at your computer screen.  The left side has all the different ‘books’ of your life: Financials, Marketing, Yearly Goals, Quarterly Goals, Vacations, Golf, Work  To Do’s, Family To-Do’s, etc.

The top of the screen has the different ‘chapters’ of the ‘books’.  Select a ‘book’, then select the ‘chapter’ you want.  The right side of the screen has the ‘pages’ for whichever ‘chapter’ you select. It’s that simple.

For me it means no more excuses, no more lists, no more Post-It notes.  When something pops into my head, I access OneNote on  my PC, iPad or iPhone and do a brain dump.  For the creative sorts, the sky is the limit.  I recommend checking it out…I love my OneNote.

BobLiebhauser Dec2013About the Author: Bob Liebhauser is part of the international organization of ActionCOACH.. He has been a business coach, accountability partner and cheerleader for more than seven years. Bob works 1-on-1 with business owners to increase the profits of their business using the tools, systems, and strategies of ActionCOACH…the World’s #1 business coaching franchise. Go to www.ActionCOACH.com/bobliebhauser.

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