Managed IT Services, are they for you? Well, it depends. If your company stores customers’ data, if you accept credit cards for payment, if you have more than just a couple of employees, we would say yes.
While most computers look pretty much the same as they have for the past 20 years or so, the internals are changing and getting faster. You can thank the competive nature of the two biggest chip manufacturers for that.
AMD and Intel have been in competition for years. While AMD is known for cheap and realtively reliable chips to power laptops and desktops, Intel has always been the industry leader for the more expensive machines with higher processing power.
Digital Trends magazine recently published a post that goes into great technical detail as to why AMD pulled ahead in the race to see who has the fastest, most efficient line of Servers. The bottom line is it looks like AMD is keeping the pressure on Intel, and despite that, it seems to me that Intel still has the advantage in the higher-end products. Take a look for yourself and see what you think. This is a small excerpt from November 27, 2019, Digital Trends Website:
With cost serving as a major factor in building, upgrading, or purchasing a PC, choosing the right CPU often comes down to finding the one that offers the best bang for your buck.
In the past, AMD CPUs offered lower prices paired with lower performance. That’s not the case with its latest generation of CPUs. While AMD still represents great value for money, it does have several costly options which are even more powerful than the Intel alternative in some cases.
At the very low-end of the scale, AMD and Intel chips cost between $40 and $60 for a couple of cores and energy-efficient clock speeds. At the top of the scale, however, both camps have amazingly capable $500 chips.
For the red team, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X is the current king with 16 cores and 32 threads. It pierces that $500 range with a suggested price of $749.
Meanwhile, Intel’s current top gamer chip, the 9900K, comes with eight cores and 16 threads. It’s clocked a little higher with a 5GHz single-core boost versus AMD’s 3950X at 4.7GHz. It is priced at $472. For middle-ground options, our recommended Intel chips include the Core i5-9400F for $145 and the Core i7-9700K for $359.
The laptop market is a different story. Most of what you’ll find are based on Intel processors of various generations and integrated graphics. As a Dell representative pointed out last year, Intel’s portfolio is simply huge compared to AMD: The gap between the two companies is substantial in terms of market share and “use cases.”
AMD is set to have its hardware at the heart of many laptops by the end of 2019, however. It’s already included in a few new offerings, like the new Acer Swift 3 or the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3. Progress on the mobile front will continue into 2020, though there’s a long road ahead.
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
For now, however, the market is mostly dominated by Intel. You can pick from a wide range of configurations, including 8th, 9th, and 10th-gen CPUs. The latest range sports Intel Ice Lake 10th-generation processors with 11th-generation onboard graphics. They represent some of the most capable and efficient laptops available, like the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. As an alternative to Ice Lake, Intel also offers 10th-gen Comet Lake processors, which include a special six-core Core i7.
Typically if you’re looking for good, all-round power in a laptop, Intel Core i5 processors from one of the recent generations are a great bet. Core i7 and Core i9 CPUs offer much more general computing performance, but unless you’re performing some heavy workloads, a Core i5 is going to be more than enough in most cases.”
Overall, both companies produce processors within striking distance of one another on nearly every front — price, power, and performance. Intel chips tend to offer better performance per core, but AMD compensates with more cores at a given price and better onboard graphics. Until Ryzen 4000 mobile chips land in 2020, Intel has a serious lead in this category
Mid-range Ryzen processors are well worth considering too. The Ryzen 3600 and 3600X offer incredible value while being very capable gaming chips. Even at the very low end, AMD’s Ryzen with Vega APUs offer decent gaming performance that’s worth considering. But their weaker processing capabilities mean they aren’t the best value long term unless you plan to upgrade down the line.
Unless you’re trying to play at very high frame rates or are locked to lower resolutions, like 1080p, the CPU is rarely the limiting factor in games. Springing for a more powerful graphics card will usually yield better results than shelling out cash for a more powerful processor.
And don’t forget that syncing technology like FreeSync and G-Sync can also make a big difference in gaming appearance, with or without optimizing your processor.
In some cases, you can opt for the best of both worlds. Intel and AMD recently partnered to create combination chips with Intel CPU cores and AMD GPU cores on the same die with the likes of the Core i7-8809G. In our testing of the 8809G-equipped “Hades Canyon” NUC, we found it to be a solid gaming machine, so it could be that this partnership leads to much greater hardware options in the future.”
What does this mean for business owners? It means that these two chip manufacturers are competing for who can make the fastest, most reliable products and while we as end-users probably don’t give a big whoop about who actually wins, the competition of these two companies and the quality and speed of the processors and servers will ultimately benefit you. The Faster the processing speed, the more data you can move in a shorter period of time. The better access you will have to data which will ultimately improve your business and so on and so forth.
It’s all too easy to fall into a comfortable rut. Repeating a routine that has worked well for us or our company in the past, not wanting to reach too far outside of our comfort zones, and just moving along with the tide. But is that a good way to move your business forward? Some say, “NO”
Forbes magazine published a post on the Five Most Important Skills for managers to develop back in February of this year. Not one of those skills on the list was the ability to stay the same year after year. Instead, what the writer valued as the skills a good manager should have were:
The ability to learn
Value your staff
The Willingness to empower”
You can read the entire piece at this link Forbes . For purposes of this post, however, I would like to talk about the first point in the post, Curiosity.
It seems an odd term to equate with a successful business, but it’s really not. If you aren’t curious about how your competitors and fellow business owners are running their operations, or about new methodologies or technologies which could make your services or products better than they were this year, then you will be falling behind the curve.
Here is what she had to say:” This means becoming more agile and more open to new experiences, as well as being more aware of which technologies could work best for their organizations and more open to implementing those technologies. Being curious allows managers to better listen to their colleagues and workers and to take on board new ideas that could benefit their organization, argues Vanderheyden. It enables managers to consider new solutions to any obstacles that they might encounter, allowing them to react quicker and more effectively.”
At Unified Technology Solutions, we are constantly educating ourselves in order to offer the people we work with the very best solutions for their technology needs. We are curious by nature and we think it’s because of our willingness to look at things and puzzle out how they work that we are so good at what we do.
What are you curious about going into the end of this decade and coming up on a new one? Better yet, what SHOULD you be curious about?
About this time every year, we talk about preparing for the upcoming new year. If your company is growing, if you are considering a move to a new location, if you are adding new data processing tools, then you would be wise to give us a call and let us help you put a plan together.
Time after time we get called in after things have been put in motion, and almost without exception, it would have been less expensive and much more efficient if we had been in on your plans from the beginning.
If we have never worked with your company before, it’s the time for us to come in and study your operation. If you are a current customer, then we have a pretty good idea of how things are currently running, what upgrades would be necessary to add more software and computers.
It’s also a great time to think about ditching your old phone system. At UTS, we can help you pick the best solutions for the phone traffic at your firm.
Some companies may need to use more of the features of their new VoIP system than others will. Still, there are also current customers who have a VoIP system installed and they aren’t taking full advantage of some of the great tools which come along with the newer VoIP Systems.
It’s also important to make sure you have the latest version of Antivirus software running on your system. We can run checks on your computers and clean up any junk, or malware that might be hiding on your system.
We can perform “Housekeeping tasks” to keep your systems uncluttered and running smoothly. In other words, clearing off old documents and moving them to an archival device. Cleaning out old usernames and passwords.
Be prepared for a fast start on the first few business days of 2020. Give us a call.
There are a number of companies that use Microsoft Word to type, format and store documents. They use Microsoft Excel to create financial reports and track inventory. They use Microsoft PowerPoint to share information at Seminars and corporate training.
What is involved in creating and designing a computer network for your business? Well, you would be surprised to know there can be quite a bit of strategy and number crunching which goes into designing then building a strong, robust computer network for your business.
Computers are an important tool when you own a business. With them you can track data, you can run spread sheets, create presentations, and communicate with people all over the world. That’s only scratching the surface.
Companies use computers to create visuals, to render videos, to design products. Soon, more companies will be using AI to help build and design new products. The 3d printers will become less expensive and more common and be used to create things that used to take years to design and build. There is no end to what a computer or a network of computers can do.
A computer network, hardware and software keep your laptops, servers and desktops in communications with each other. It can integrate VoIP systems to answer and direct your calls, check in on your Salespeople’s tablets and track all your sale and inventory. Your system can make a person located in another state sound like they are sitting in your office.
Virtual assistants and receptionists can answer your phones, take orders, and manage your schedule from almost anywhere.
That is when the computers are working properly. When they don’t, not only do none of these things happen, they also cost you time and money. Which is actually redundant because, as we all know, time is money. they can even cost you customers.
That’s is where Unified Technology Solutions comes in. We are here, in Vero Beach keeping your computers running properly, your severs doing their job and your phone system answering calls.
At UTS, we have been in the tech support business for a long time. It is our chosen profession to help those companies in our area who have IT issues. It’s a profession we love. But there is nothing that makes us groan more than when a client calls up and says, “you have got to recover our data, and we haven’t been performing regular backups”. There is nothing more terrifying as a business owner than to lose access your computers and find your most important files are missing. Your data is essential to the smooth operation of any business.
Backing up your data has always been important, and Cloud backup is rapidly becoming the go-to method of backing up data. It is significantly more efficient than other options. Here in Florida especially. When your data could not only be lost, but your entire information systems structure could be damaged.
Why you should backup
The main purpose of backing up your data is, of course, the ability to roll back and access your archives in the event of local hardware failure. To do business today, you need the confidence of knowing that in the case of catastrophe, your data will be protected and available.
By backing up your information in the cloud, you have the perfect destination for your archives, as your files will be at once everywhere; no longer dependent on any single computer or server. Virtual server environments are in reality vast networks of server centers located around the globe, so that even if an entire facility fails, another failsafe is in place.
Data loss is also a significant hit to your bottom line. Without your data, invoices can’t go out to customers, shipments may be delayed, creative projects could miss their deadlines and the ability to serve your customers will be severely impacted.
Advantages of cloud backup
Ask anyone who lives in Florida, Louisiana or the Carolinas. Each year we hope and pray that hurricane season will be mild. Or at least that any big storms will pass us by. But there is no way to be certain of exactly when a hurricane or tropical storm will hit. This is not why we can’t stress enough having methods in place. It’s important to keep a copy of files offsite. Even if business files are backed up on a file server, a hurricane, flood, fire or theft could destroy the computers… and your regular backups. Keeping backed up files in the cloud ensures data is safe no matter what is going on at your office.
Cloud Backup can also be accessed from pretty much anywhere. So, if the power is out and you can’t work in your regular location, it’s possible to take your laptop and set up shop somewhere a few hours away where you have access to power, internet and your data.
So, don’t wait any longer, get yourself set up in the clouds.
With the popularity of texting/Facebook Messaging/Slack…email is no longer regarded as an essential tool for online communication among millennials. Most of us probably use our personal inboxes more as a way to collect Uber receipts and track the status of our Amazon purchases than for keeping in touch with friends and family.
Even though it’s used less in our personal lives, whether we like it or not, emails are a part of business. The issue with email comes as you get more and more inundated with email messages. At some point, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your important emails get read. One method you can use on your own outgoing emails is to adopt some best practices for professional email etiquette. From a professional email greeting to professional email format, it can all make a big difference.I have listed below some best practices for business email etiquette tips that will increase the odds of your emails being read rather than trashed..
1. Use a professional email address Most companies provide a professional email address for their employee’s correspondence. Proper email etiquette calls for sending emails from your business email address rather than from a personal email address. Using a personal email address for business purposes can be seen as unprofessional by some, especially if you’re discussing confidential matters.
2. Use clear and precise subject lines To ensure your email gets opened, read, and thoroughly understood, start with a short and precise subject line addressing the issue at hand. Ex. “Wednesday Meeting Agenda”. You should title your email in such a way that the recipient immediately knows what the message is actually about.
3. Avoid “reply all.” It’s usually a good idea to forego the temptation to hit the “reply all” option when sending professional emails. Proper email etiquette aside, it can be quite annoying for people to be included in a group email if the content of the message has nothing to do with them. So be considerate and hit “reply all” only if the message would be of interest to all of the recipients. Otherwise, your email might be considered spam.
4. Acknowledge emails. With business email, even if you are too busy to reply with a full on answer, it’s always a good idea to at least send an acknowledgment and follow up later. You should not only acknowledge all emails but also do so in a timely fashion. Since this is not always standard practice, you’ll be surprised at how much your professionalism can set you apart.
Remember to keep these tips in mind next time you open up your inbox at work and in no time you’ll be an email expert!