Tech Tip from IT Direct: Apple iOS 7 Upgrade

So many of us use an Apple iPhone or iPad everyday. They are vital to our day-to-day workflow. Apple recently released iOS7, the new Apple operating system that will effect your iPhone and iPad. See below for some tips and thoughts on upgrading to this new version.

Before anything else is said – if you are going to upgrade to iOS 7  – make sure that you first back-up everything! (here are instructions on how to do that)

This is a major upgrade for Apple and we found a nice link where you can review some of the Pros and Cons of upgrading to iOS 7: 6 Reasons to Upgrade to iOS 7 Right Away and 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t.

Happy upgrading!

Lastly, in a recent Tech Tip we shared the following with you:

  • Attachment Reminder: There is nothing more annoying than sending a message which is supposed to have an attachment then forgetting to include the attachment. With this feature, Outlook 2013 will notify you if the attachment in an email is omitted.

If you are running an older version of Outlook (anything before Outlook 2013) – here’s a plugin that allows you to do the same thing in your version.

 

September’s Tech Tip – Attachment Reminder

Here’s a quick Tech Tip for the month of September!

  • Attachment Reminder:There is nothing more annoying than sending a message which is supposed to have an attachment then forgetting to include the attachment.With this feature, Outlook 2013 will notify you if the attachment in an email is omitted. If you don’t want the warning, you can disable it by checking the “Do not show” box in the warning.Users can turn it off in Attachment Reminder setting. If you change your mind, you can turn it back on in File> Options> Mail>Send message>Select “Warn me when I send a message that may be missing an attachment.”

 

**If you don’t have Outlook 2013 click here for a FREE Outlook plug-in that will help achieve the same thing!

 

IT Direct Makes Inc. Magazine’s Annual Exclusive List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 500|5000

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Annual Exclusive List of
America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc.500|5000
IT Direct Ranks No. 2628 Nationally and No. 26 in Connecticut
on the 2013 Inc. 500|5000  with Three-Year Sales Growth of 134% 

WEST HARTFORD, CT: August 26, 2013Inc. magazine has ranked IT Direct No. 2628 Nationally and No. 26 in Connecticut on its 32nd annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. IT Direct joins LivingSocial, Edible Arrangements, CDW and Lifelock, among other prominent brands featured on this year’s list.

“We are honored to be among the fastest growing private companies in America. Thank you to our growing list of clients who trust us with their I.T. networks and computer support needs. We look forward to continuing to grow with you and helping you use technology to reach your goals. I am also extremely proud of the talented team here at IT Direct. The lion’s share of this honor goes to them for their dedication to our clients and for their help in making IT Direct a fun and rewarding place to work.” said founder and President of IT Direct, Ari Santiago.

In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2013 Inc. 500|5000 companies is an impressive 142 percent. The companies on this year’s list report having created over 520,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $241 billion.

IT Direct’s profile can be found at www.inc.com/profile/it-direct. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database can be found at www.inc.com/5000.

“Not all the companies in the Inc. 500 | 5000 are in glamorous industries, but in their fields they are as famous as household name companies simply by virtue of being great at what they do. They are the hidden champions of job growth and innovation, the real muscle of the American economy,” says Inc. Editor Eric Schurenberg.

IT Direct Contact:
Monique Taylor, IT Direct, Phone: 860.924.7860, Email: mtaylor@gettingyouconnected.com

About IT Direct:  IT Direct, based in West Hartford, CT, is a premier technology management & IT solutions provider for small to midsize companies & non-profit organizations. For more information, visit: www.gettingyouconnected.com

Methodology

The 2013 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2009 to 2012. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2012. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2009 is $100,000; the minimum for 2012 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000.

About Inc.

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.  Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 6,000,000 today.  For more information, visit www.inc.com.

 

August Tech Tips – Manage Your Desktop & Drag Your Favorite Page Into Your Bookmarks Bar

Here’s some quick Tech Tips for the month of August to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Manage Your Desktop

Your desktop was created to give you quick access to programs and folders. It really should not be used to store your work or downloads. If your hard drive fails, you’ll want to have your files organized by having the photos in the Photos folder, the documents in the Documents folder, etc. This makes it easier for retrieval in case of a catastrophe.

Drag Your Favorite Page Into Your Bookmarks Bar

Drag your favorite page to your Internet browser favorites or bookmarks bar by clicking your mouse button on the icon (for example: if you are in Google, it would be the Google “g” icon at the beginning of the address) in the address bar and dragging it to your favorites or bookmarks bar and letting go. Once complete the page will be bookmarked on the bar. If you wish to move the icon, click-and-drag the icon anywhere on the toolbar.

 

 

Two More Join Our Growing Team!

We are excited to add two more members to our growing team! Ron Isaac, Sr. System Engineer, and Derrick Woolford, Technician Associate. We’re happy to have them join us here at IT Direct and look forward to a bright future with them!

 

   Ron Isaac

   Derrick Woolford

 

 

Exciting Grant Opportunity for our Non-Profit Clients

IT Direct is a proud TANGO Partner.

TANGO (The Alliance for Non-Profit Growth and Opportunity) is a great organization that helps non-profits in a variety of ways. You can learn more about them here. We are proud to be affiliated with them.

Recently they sent us over an outstanding Grant opportunity that we wanted to pass along to our non-profit clients. Please see details below:

2013 Grant Challenge Announced By NBC Connecticut!

The second annual NBC Connecticut 21st Century Solutions Grant Challenge launched Monday June 3rd!

The grant program will award a total of $100,000 to Connecticut non-profit organizations implementing new and innovative programs that are moving Connecticut forward.

The grant challenge is open to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations implementing innovative programs that are addressing challenges in new ways. Applications will be accepted in six categories: Media Arts, Civic Engagement, Jobs and Economic Empowerment, Technology, Education, and Environment.

Last year’s winners include: the University of Connecticut Foundation’s entrepreneurial boot camp program for veterans with disabilities, Charter Oak Cultural Center’s vegetable gardening and newspaper initiative to provide employment and opportunity for the homeless, and the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program’s cyber-gaming math challenge to close the achievement gap among urban students.

We’re excited to continue to work with organizations that are committed to bettering Connecticut. Please share the 21st Century Solutions information with colleagues and community partners.  Applications will be accepted from now through July 31st.

For more information about the grant or to apply, go to

www.NBCConnecticut.com and search “Solutions”.  A direct link to the page can also be found here.

Applications need to be submitted by July 31st, so act quickly if this is something your non-profit might be interested in! 

IT Direct Welcome Two New Solutions Specialists to the Team!

We’re always excited to bring on new team members and these guys are great. They get out there and get the job done. Keep up the good work and we look forward to many years with both of you!

        

Sean Reardon                    Jeremy Palaia

 

Click here to check out the write-up from the Hartford Courant!

Have you heard about the Microsoft Surface?

No doubt you’ve heard about the iPad, but have you heard about the Microsoft Surface?

We are big fans of the device here at IT Direct! We wanted to share with you a great info-graphic that shares some of the features and advantages of the Surface – reach out to us if you have any questions!

More details can be found here.

The Top 5 Benefits of Cloud Computing

If you run a small business, you probably worry about your ability to compete with your larger rivals. You might not think that you have access to the same technological resources as big corporations. However, if you take advantage of cloud computing, you can level the playing field. Cloud computing is a revolutionary new concept that gives you access to cutting-edge technical systems at a fraction of their normal cost.

Cloud computing takes advantage of your high-speed Internet connection to outsource your computing resources, allowing you to use powerful computer services without the expense and hassle of buying and installing the latest workstations and servers. Here are five of the best reasons to use cloud computing.

Data Safety & Security

Cloud computing offers unparalleled backup performance. In addition to archiving your old data, cloud-based backup solutions can provide you with real-time backup. With these systems working for your business, you won’t ever lose a document in the event of a sudden catastrophe, such as a power outage or building fire. Your data will be protected from intruders as well; you won’t have a vulnerable on-site server for intruders to attack.

Remote Accessibility

Cloud-based software tools and data can be accessed from any computer with a reliable Internet connection. If you often send your employees out on assignment, they’ll still be able to access your business’ data and services while out on the road.

You can also take advantage of this feature to set up telecommuting opportunities for interested employees. If you ever have to relocate your office because of a localized disaster, such as a building fire, flood or major storm, you’ll still have access to all of your cloud-enabled services and data at your temporary location.

Lower Costs

Technology is a never-ending investment; the month after you buy a new server, something better and faster will be released. Keeping up to date with the latest software and hardware can quickly drain your company’s resources.

However, cloud computing spreads this cost amongst many businesses; your monthly fee will stay the same, but your provider will continually upgrade its software and hardware for you. Instead of making large capital investments for updated servers and workstations, you can save your hard-earned money for other expenses.

Ease of Deployment

Cloud solutions allow you to open a new location quickly and easily. Because cloud solutions are stored and implemented remotely, all you need to open a fully functional new office is an Internet connection. You won’t have to waste time installing software, transferring data and configuring devices.

Additionally, cloud computing makes upgrading your existing services simple and easy. You won’t have to send your IT department to upgrade each individual workstation; instead, upgrades are applied to the centralized cloud servers, granting every single workstation access to the newly upgraded services.

Flexibility and Scalability

Cloud computing allows you to adapt your computing resources to your business’ needs. Most providers offer a wide variety of plans tailored to fit the needs of almost any business. You won’t have to install hardware and software that you don’t need simply to get access to the services that you do need.

However, if your business needs change suddenly, cloud computing makes it easy to upgrade your services. A simple phone call is enough to increase your service level, granting you access to greater storage space and more powerful services. If your needs change again and you find that you no longer need your more powerful plan, you can drop your excess coverage for a leaner plan.

Cloud computing allows your business to use cutting-edge data tools without expensive overhead. Our cloud computing services give your business flexibility, security and worry-free technological solutions at a fraction of the cost you might expect to pay. Contact us today to find out whether our cloud solutions are right for you.

Do You Need a Network Security Specialist?

When operating a business of any size, utmost care is required to protect not only company data, but sensitive data for the clients of that company as well. Going that extra mile to ensure the safety and well- being of your clients can be a valuable asset to set you apart from your competitors. Now is the time to consider whether your company should invest in the professional knowledge of a network security specialist.

A network security specialist is a computer administrator who protects your company’s data and private information. Duties included with this position vary with the size and needs of your company, but typically, at the very basic level, these specialists will install and maintain anti-virus programs, firewalls, and other data security processes for your servers and computers.

Your company deals with important and irreplaceable information, and it is imperative to keep your network security at maximum functionality. If you are considering employing the services of a network security specialist, here are a few important issues to take into account:

1. Network Security is Imperative – As the economy continues to shift farther and farther toward being completely run and maintained electronically, your customers will expect that their vital information and accessibility will all be digital. This will require a network, and that network will require a professional that knows how to run and protect it effectively. This can be both detailed, and time – consuming. While some businesses are fortunate to employ somewhat knowledgeable employees, the challenge comes in trying to find enough time for these employees to perform their own tasks, while assuming the specialized duty of a network security specialist as well. Ideally, the best option is to hire an outside specialist to maintain it for you, effectively and efficiently.

2. The Hacker is Probably One Step Ahead of You – Computer hackers make their livings by compromising networks to steal vital information from your company. In the same way that you wouldn’t leave the front door to your building open and jeopardize your material assets, the same care must be given to protecting your virtual assets as well. Even if you are diligent with network maintenance, taking care of networks isn’t your specialty. Today’s computer hackers are working just as diligently, if not more, to create new and better ways to break into your system. These hackers have invested time and money dedicated to knowing the ins and outs of networks like yours. It is essential that all companies make sure that their network and sensitive information remains safe and completely untouched.

3. The Software For Your Network is Always Changing – In order to keep up-to-date with your network, you must make sure that it is running as efficiently and securely as possible. This requires a constant monitoring of the market, if you want to be completely caught up with the new advances in the industry, something that you likely don’t have time to pay attention to yourself. A network security specialist will take care of this for you.

4. The Software For Your Computer Needs Maintenance – In addition to the software mentioned above, the portion of your network located on all devices within your network need to be monitored frequently and thoroughly for lapses in protection. A skilled hacker needs just one computer to be faulty before they can infiltrate your network and begin to crack the network from within.

5. You Can’t Let Your Security Lapse Even Once – With the majority of your company’s data stored online, or accessible digitally, there is far too much at stake to trust it to anyone but a network security specialist. One successful breach by a hacker can completely ruin the infrastructure of your network, putting all of your data and files at risk. Just as important as protecting your company from material thieves, utmost care should be exercised to protect your vital, irreplaceable virtual security as well.

Your clients look to you to perform a service, and you perform it well. They trust that you are operating in their best interest 100% of the time. Whether you are a large corporation or a smaller local operation, don’t let an unfortunate slip in your network security undermine your best efforts to operate a successful and profitable business, no matter what your size.