Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2014

Erie_Segway2

CMIT owners at Lake Erie – No Deep Dives Here

Almost a dozen CMIT owners and our CMIT Solutions CEO gathered in Erie, Pennsylvania for our summer onsite meeting. Since June 2009 our Pacesetters mastermind group has conducted limelight reviews of each owner and their operation. Talk about scary!

My office was the first to be limelighted and I volunteered for this “honor.”  In the beginning, it was a full 2 day process.  The owners now get it “easy” in that it’s less than a full day of presenting, questioning and hearing the recommendations for actions to be implemented. Believe me, it’s never easy to open up your business to your peers and bare all. Our process and data points have evolved over the years and we still find new information that we want to mine for the limelights and for accountability during the year.

It is difficult to take a hard look on your own at your business successes and challenges. Just imagine having a dozen of your peers going through your numbers, processes, people and marketing activities with 12 fine tooth combs. The idea for the Pacesetter limelight actually originated with the original mentor for our CMIT Denver business, Sandy Bush (my father-in-law). He had shared how he knew of businesses in other industries sometimes known as the Group of 20 who would gather and compare numbers. Our corporate CEO still refers to a conversation that he had with us about industry accountability groups.

Several owners have come into our Pacesetter group and a few have left. Through our constant interaction and sharing we have become more than just a group of owners; we have become close friends. I believe that you need to have this transformation of closeness in order to feel comfortable in opening up your business and your life. You weather the storms and celebrate the highs together.

Share and you will be all the better for it!

 

 

Read Full Post »

No technology trend has been more ubiquitous lately than online security (or the lack thereof). With major corporations, social media sites, old cell phones, and even Internet browsers getting hacked left and right, Facebook announcing ramped-up plans to sell user information, and the separation between private and public life continuing to erode, can the public be blamed for losing trust in businesses and their ability to properly handle the data we hold sacrosanct?

A Gallup poll conducted in June delivered revealing results that nearly all of us can relate to (particularly the part about how, “In an increasingly insecure world, consumers need all the data security friends they can get”):

• 37% of the public reported that their trust in the companies they regularly do business with had “decreased a little” or “a lot” over the past year. Only 10% said that trust had increased.

• 47% said they had “some trust” in companies’ ability to keep their information secure. 22% said they had “little trust,” 21% said they had “a lot of trust,” and 8% said they had “no trust at all.”

• 39% said they had “a lot of trust” in banks and credit card companies. Second on that list was health insurance companies (26%), followed by cell phone carriers (19%), email providers (16%), state governments (14%), retail stores (14%), and the federal government (12%). Online retailers (6%) and social networking websites (2%) brought up the rear.

• Subjectively, the survey determined that, although levels of trust are low, the opportunity for companies to establish and build trust was great. “As consumer trust as a whole declines and threats to the security of personal information become increasingly common, Gallup’s research on customer engagement underscores the importance of confidence in building an emotional tie with customers.”

• Although Gallup used banks as a prime example, any business owner will confirm their thoughts on client trust: “Gain[ing] that emotional bond with consumers [doesn’t happen] overnight. Developing an emotionally engaged relationship with a customer is no doubt hard work, but it is not without reward. Trust breeds engagement, and [companies] can capitalize on this opportunity by showing that their protection of personal information isn’t just about legal ramifications [but about] customers’ well-being as a whole.”

• Furthermore, Gallup’s research shows that consumers want to feel connected to companies they do business with: “[Businesses] need to assure customers that they are on their side, looking out for the security of [their] sensitive information, and keeping their best interests top of mind. In an increasingly insecure world, consumers need all the data security friends they can get.”

Are you concerned about keeping your personal information and business data safe? Are you looking for the human intelligence behind that data security? Perhaps a business partner with whom you can connect with on a personal level? That’s what CMIT Solutions is all about. Since 1996, we’ve specialized in a combination of personalized local service and proactive IT solutions that secure your data, defend your network, and build the trust required to let you concentrate on growing your business (while we take care of your technology).

Read Full Post »

CMIT Solutions does all that we can to prevent data loss by implementing proactive and preventative business continuity solutions in businesses. However, for a variety of reasons, technology doesn’t always behave and bad things can happen. Here is a short primer or outline of some basics on data recovery.

Types of Recoverable Media:

  • Desktop hard drives (any interface including IDE, SATA, SCSI, SAS and Fibre Channel)
  • Laptop Hard Drives
  • RAID Arrays (RAID Levels 0, 1, 5, 6 and other striping methods)
  • Flash Drives (including USB memory sticks, digital camera memory cards, etc…)
  • Tapes

hard-drives

Our decade long data recovery partner to whom we ship the recoverable media services all brands and are recognized by all major manufacturers, therefore not voiding any warranties.

We can recover from logical damage as well as physical problems on a daily basis. We can recover from:

  • Clicking hard drives
  • Motor bearing failure
  • Electrical damage
  • Lost or deleted files
  • Partition corruption
  • Physically broken flash drives

What causes a hard disk or flash drive to fail?

There are hundreds of reasons a hard drive will fail, and as with any mechanical device, it will eventually fail. Failures can be caused by:

  • Wear and tear – Daily use for years and years can and will eventually cause failures.
  • Impact – As portable electronics get smaller and the need for large amounts of data storage continue to grow, many recovery cases we see are caused by dropping or accidentally kick a flash drive while it’s plugged into the computer.
  • Liquids – coffee spills and other accidental spills seriously harm the electronics of a hard disk or flash drive and in the case of floods the internal components as well.
  • Electrical problems – Power surges and electrical storms can cause damage to external and internal components of storage devices.
  • High Temperatures – Poor ventilation and high operating temperatures can cause premature drive failures.
  • Overwriting – When important system areas of a drive are overwritten, the drive will become unbootable.
  • Logical Failure – Operating system errors, viruses, and accidents can lead to logical file system damage.
  • Manufacturers defect – Some drives are notorious for failures due to firmware bugs or faulty parts. The manufacturer warranties against failure but they will only replace the drive, not the data on it.

What are the signs that point to a drive failure?

  • Repetitive clicking noise coming from your computer is usually a sign of mechanical damage to a hard drive
  • A message stating that the Operating System is not found or Missing Operating System
  • Computer BIOS does not detect a hard drive at startup
  • A completely silent hard drive can mean there is an electrical problem with the drive
  • Very slow file access often indicates data corruption
  • Endless loop when trying to boot the system or reoccurring BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)
  • Computer asks to format the drive when it is mounted
  • USB drive or device is not recognized when inserted

What should I do if my hard drive fails?

  • If you have signs of a physical failure, do not continue to try to boot the computer or power on the drive. You will only cause further physical damage and possibly make the drive unrecoverable.
  • Do not install over-the-counter data recovery software on a drive with deleted or lost files. You could potentially overwrite the data you are trying to recover.
  • If the data is mission critical, do not try to recover the data yourself.

We understand that data loss is a very serious problem and CMIT Solutions of Denver is here to find the best solution to your problem. We will work with you and our data recovery partner about your data loss situation and determine what is the best course of action.

Read Full Post »