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Call Today: 772.539.7667 – Unified Technology Solutions provides computer IT services for business near Vero Beach, Florida.

To Back Up or Not?

on September 11, 2019 No comments

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.

Your Tech Guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

 

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Your IT GuyTo Back Up or Not?

Keep A Handle On Your Inbox

on August 13, 2019 No comments

We hear a lot of you are complaining about managing your inbox, so we wanted to share some very simple strategies to help you manage the onslaught in your inbox.  Whether you get 5 or 1000 emails a day, they add up and they add up fast. What’s more, is that email management seems to take on a life of its own. We spend hours every day “checking email”.  It’s a huge time sucking hole from which there is no escape at times. What happens with email is that everyone else’s demands, requests and even simple “hello’s” become equally important and take precedence over the things that you really want or need to do.

So how can you manage it? Here are 5 strategies for you to try. By the way, these are the same strategies that I use and that I recommend to my clients.

  1. I realize that I am taking a risk by giving you this strategy because I’d rather you don’t unsubscribe from our emails, however, if you are looking at an inbox full of newsletters and other “self help” information that you have subscribed to over the years but never read, pick your favorite few and unsubscribe from the rest. Keeping hundreds of self help emails in your inbox is not going to make you read them or follow the advice. By keeping them the only thing that you are helping yourself to do is get further overwhelmed.
  2. Unclick the box. Almost all online vendors pre-fill a little checkbox which gives them permission to send you emails and offers. Unclick the box! I realize that this may mean that you won’t get information about the upcoming 10% off sale but let’s face it; if you needed something and went online to find it you’re likely to find the 10% off sale anyway. Oh, if for some reason the box isn’t filled in already…do not click on it!
  3. You might be able to guess this one but just in case…as you get offers from vendors that you’ve done business with already, unsubscribe from their list. You already know that vendor and when you need something from them you will go online to find it.
  4. Keep separate email accounts. One account that you will stay current with for friends, family, work and those topics which are most important to you and another for bulk mail, online shopping needs, and those sign up sheets that you end up filling out.
  5. Use the delete key. You do not need to act on or respond to every single email you receive. Choose to respond to the ones that are most important to you and let go of the rest. You can even delete those “older ones” that you haven’t gotten around to answering yet because the sender probably doesn’t remember they sent it or else they just assume that it’s been lost in your inbox. If it’s that important they will contact you again.
  6. If you want to receive less email, send less email. As ridiculously simple as it sounds for such a pervasive problem, I’ve found this to be the golden rule of email management: Send less of it.  I stopped sending emails and instead use Skype for fast questions.

Email not only clutters up your inbox, depending upon the way your system is set up, but it can also be affecting the performance of the entire company. Or it can be eating up cloud storage unnecessarily. So, just like with your closet, perhaps the Mari method of inbox cleaning will work. Keep only those emails which spark joy, or cover yourself, you choose.

What strategies are you using to improve your productivity?  Let us know in the comments.

Your Tech guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

 

 

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Your IT GuyKeep A Handle On Your Inbox

Productivity Secrets For Business Professionals

on August 7, 2019 No comments

Even though Boston College reports approximately two-thirds of people believe working at home is a positive influence on job success, work/life balance, and job commitment, those of us who use a home office understand the difficulties associated with productivity. A home office means there will be a mingling of personal home responsibilities and those that are demanded by your career. Balancing these two significant parts of your life is a secret sought by stay at home parents and telecommuters. Some have even found the solution.

 

9 To 5 AM

It is illogical to think you will do six hours of parenting, two hours of exercise and eight hours of work all during traditional work hours. One of the reasons you opted for a home office is to be able to do all of your work, personal and professional, throughout the day. Create a schedule that will work for you. Anne Rice, the author of the “Vampire Chronicles,” slept in the daytime and worked at night, theoretically to remove distractions. The schedule you adopt must include those hours when you are the most alert and creative. To stay alert during a long work day, it may be best to schedule a nap to reenergize your body.

 

Have A Cup Of Joe

Caffeine has a long list of positive health benefits, which is why it has become the go-to drink of the work-at-home professional. Caffeine is a stimulant, so a cup of coffee will help keep you awake and alert. If you are working your own schedule and balancing home and career responsibilities, then you may need this little boost throughout the day. Instead of a pot of coffee or a kettle of tea heating all day, a single cup coffee maker may be a good investment. There is even evidence that this caffeine lift can make you smarter. Caffeine blocks neuro-inhibitors, making your brain function faster.

 

Maintain Goals

The to-do list is the tool of choice for the work-at-home pro. Being productive is all about maintaining and hitting your goals. Prioritize your work daily. Create a list of what needs to be accomplished throughout the day. As things come up, use the Two-Minute Rule. Coined by author and business consultant David Allen, the rule says that if you can handle it in two minutes or less, then do it. If not, prioritize it. Using this idea, everything either gets scheduled or is completed immediately.

 

Stay Happy

Juan Casimiro, entrepreneur and founder of the nonprofit business incubator Casimiro Global Foundation, believes people are driven not only by personal success, but by the success of communities. This focus of community success is part of the definition of happiness and is integral to personal productivity. There is a large body of evidence showing happy workers are productive workers. Keeping yourself happy requires you look at the important things in life, assessing your success against them. If you chose to stay home because you wanted to be with the kids, then make this a priority and revel in your time with them. The money may not be there, but the joy will more than make up for it.

 

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Your IT GuyProductivity Secrets For Business Professionals

Supercomputers, Who Uses Them and Why?

on August 6, 2019 No comments

Back in the 1970s and 1980’s, computing was all about big, beefy computers and dumb terminals. Then a new wave hit, and everyone switched to de-centralized processing using networks of PC’s which then uploaded their data to a centralized system for processing.

Today, most small to medium sized companies simply use their own network of desktop computers, laptops, and tablets, and their own servers to run their operations. Most of them also use VoIP systems to handle incoming and outgoing phone calls. But there are large companies who still use large mainframe computers because of the sheer volume of data they need to process.

Then there are the supercomputers. Those are a whole different breed of computers. They actually consist of hundreds, or more probably, thousands of servers in clusters which are used for complex computations and simulations.

Some are put to use trying to forecast storms and other weather conditions. If you aren’t certain why we need a supercomputer to predict weather patterns, I can offer you some examples. Weather conditions will affect crop yields, they will affect the transportation of goods, they will affect whether military operations can be conducted and it can even affect the price of commodities offered on the stock market.

Many of the supercomputers in use today model the effects of nuclear disasters, down to subatomic levels. Though none of us wants to even entertain the threat of a nuclear war, it would be naive not to find ways to understand what would happen and how to prepare.

The big issues for supercomputers in mean time between failure. They run so fast and process such a huge amount of data, that they often fail. The issue now facing the supercomputer industry is the current technology can’t keep up with demands for processing speed. Which means companies are looking for more efficient ways to build servers that use something other than silicone for their memory needs.

What does that mean for the rest of us? Well, I think that in the next decade, much of what we see in the world of computers is going to have to change. That can be exciting for some of us nerds and probably downright mind-blowing for others.

Your Tech Guys

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Your IT GuySupercomputers, Who Uses Them and Why?

Heat and Electronic Devices

on July 27, 2019 No comments

Living in Florida, one of the first lessons anyone learns is that sudden and radical changes in temperature and humidity will totally wreak havoc on your electronic devices. You may not realize this,  but just the simple act of carrying your laptop from your air-conditioned hotel room out to the swimming pool can create real problems.

Condensation can quickly form on the inside of your laptop in situations like this, and when you combine water + electricity + moving parts it is a recipe for disaster. First thing, you must be sure that you power off your machine prior to moving it (good advice regardless of the temperature), and just wait a few minutes for your system to adjust to the new conditions before powering it back on again.

When your laptop or tablet is exposed to excessive heat, especially for extended periods, it causes all sorts of issues for devices. In fact, it’s not unusual for these devices to begin to experience unexplained crashes, random shutdowns, as a result of being left in very hot air. It is likely, in those circumstances that you will most certainly lower the life of your laptop or tablet, so please think about protecting your, or your employer’s investment.

So what should you do first:  Check where the intake and exhaust vents on your laptop are located. Most computer manufacturers place them at the side or rear, while poorly designed ones may put them on the bottom. Regardless, though, it is far too easy to block those vents by using your laptop on a soft surface.

Pillows, beds, even your lap can restrict airflow and cause significant heat build-up. When the surrounding air temperature is already 30+ degrees Celsius, that’s the last thing you need. Always place your laptop on a hard surface such as a table or chair when in use and/or elevate it slightly using a solid object, and it will stay remain much cooler over time.

Please realize that even when turned off your laptop can still be affected by the heat. Leaving your laptop in the car can wreak unspeakable damage.  It’s not unusual for cars parked in direct sunlight to reach temperatures two or three times hotter than the outside air, for example. In that kind of heat, the components in your laptop will start to expand. This can potentially cause both short and long term damage, and as notebooks become ever-smaller and more cramped inside, this problem only gets worse.

Just these simple tips can make such a difference in the longevity of your system.

Your Tech Guys

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Your IT GuyHeat and Electronic Devices

What To Look For In An IT Support Company

on July 12, 2019 No comments

We, at Unified Technology Solutions,  know that most of you, as business owners, dread having to deal with computer issues, but in 2019, computers are an integral part of our lives. Businesses run on them, our data packages run on them. Let’s face it, businesses are tied into their computers and without them, nothing gets accomplished.

Most of us are fairly adept at using our laptops, desktop, tablets, and smartphones as tools to generate information and communicate. When the hard issues come up, it’s not an area you work in every day as we do. You are going to need an IT specialist. If hiring a full time IT Staff to manage your systems is still financially out of reach. So what should you do?

One solution, if your operation can support it, is to have at least one in house person as a go-to for IT issues. A trained analyst who can quickly help in the event of tech issue, and who also acts as the contact point for any further assistance you might need. It’s also important to have the number of a reliable IT Company at your fingertips.

So what should you be looking for when choosing an IT company?

Easy Access

This should be a basic requirement when you are choosing an IT support company. You need to establish and develop a good working relationship and one that builds trust.

If you run your own business it is unlikely that you only work 9-5 Monday – Friday in the office and you need IT support to be available to you when you need it, as an extension of your team.  In fact, it’s a good idea to have your tech team monitoring your system’s performance at all times.

The IT experts at Unified Technology Solutions prefer to take a more active role and be proactive when it comes to finding issues before they are problems. For a flat monthly price, we start by installing network monitoring tools on every PC and Server so we can get a better view of your system’s performance, using these tools Unified Technology Solutions can spot problems and bottlenecks before they affect you and your employees

DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SUPPORT
You need to find an IT support company who can offer you different levels of support depending on the size of your company, your budget, and your requirements. At UTS, we offer services ranging from When you call UTS you don’t get put on the schedule for next week, you will quickly get a technician with the latest remote support tools who are ready to help solve your problem right away.

For example, if you are a charity, you might look to pay for a service when you need it, rather than opt for a monthly contract.

Ultimately you need an IT support company who understands your business needs fully. They will be supporting your business alongside you, understanding your workflow and looking for areas where you can increase your profitability.

When you choose an IT support company make sure that you have evidence in past results from other clients – that the IT support has been reliable, cost-effective and trustworthy.

The right IT support company will understand that whether it is your laptop, network or server that is down – it is costing you time and money with every minute that ticks by.

 

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Your IT GuyWhat To Look For In An IT Support Company

THE END, Windows Server 2008

on July 5, 2019 No comments

You reach the last page of a novel and it’s the end. There is no more. Yet, with Microsoft software, even though the end of new releases of all components of Windows 7 & * happened a few years ago, there are still those of you, you know who you are, who are stubbornly clinging to these outdated versions of Windows. If you got upset with the loss of new versions on Windows 7  & 8, wait until you hear this.

Support for Windows Server 2008 is over for good on January 14, 2020. When we first posted about this subject you were saying to yourself, I have a whole year to migrate over. But guess what? Half of that year is gone. Now you only have 6 short months. Why short months? Well, because we pretty soon we will be entering Holiday Season. There is 4th of July Holiday, summer vacations, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. Oh, and being a Veteran, I can never forget Veterans Day in November.

Here in Florida, we also have the threat of hurricanes heading our way, which will inevitably cause a few days of downtime at some point. The point is, there really aren’t all that many days left. Mike and I are urging all of our business owners in the Indian River County Area and beyond to give us a call. We will come in, look over your operation, and assess your current situation. We will check and see which applications you are currently running and work with you to make certain they will not be disrupted when you upgrade to Windows Server 10.

We will install the latest version of Windows 10 software, and we will work with you to make certain everything is up to date and on the most current level of software. AT UTS we can also work with your other software vendors to install any updates you would need. Please don’t wait until Christmas Eve, 2019 to give us a call.

Your Tech Guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

 

 

 

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Your IT GuyTHE END, Windows Server 2008

Windows 10 Updates!

on July 3, 2019 No comments

Touch keyboard improvements

For many of you, a great physical keyboard is a must. But with dual-display devices making their way through the lab, maybe we’ll all end up typing on glass. In any case, Microsoft made the on-screen keyboard ( the one you’d use with a tablet in tablet mode) more responsive by widening the landing areas of certain keys beyond the drawn boundaries of the key.

Windows 10 April 2019 Update touch keyboard

Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft’s diagram of how its touch keyboard will work. Note that this is the keyboard that appears in tablet mode.

Those wider landing pads trigger only in certain cases, though—when Microsoft’s AI predicts you’re trying to type that word. The touch keyboard also can generate the list of items for the revamped emoji/kaomoji/symbols keyboard.

Unconfirmed sighting: RAW image support

It’s unclear whether RAW image support will make it into the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. RAW, a minimally processed image file format, doesn’t include the compression JPG files do, so photographers typically prefer working with the format to make their own edits.

Within the Insider versions of Windows 10, Microsoft included a special build of a Raw Image Extension (Beta) app that should let Windows treat RAW photos just like JPEGs. In practice, it didn’t quite work out that way: Sony .ARW (RAW) files displayed as random noise or fuzzy, thumbnail-quality images, while Fuji’s .RAF files opened in Windows’ Photos app normally.

 

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Your IT GuyWindows 10 Updates!

Email Etiquette For The Workplace

on June 25, 2019 No comments

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!

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

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Your IT GuyEmail Etiquette For The Workplace

Task Batching For Maximum Focus

on June 18, 2019 No comments

We’ve all heard the phrase, work smarter not harder. We have also heard umpteen experts telling how to schedule our day and get the most work done during our workday but we rarely hear about batch scheduling our tasks for efficiency.

Task-batching is very similar to time blocking but takes the method a giant, more efficient step further.

Batching involves completing similar tasks in a scheduled block, avoiding the need for switching back and forth between skills and concentrations.

Research shows that task switching is hugely detrimental to productivity. When we change our focus, it can take, on average, 15-23 minutes for your brain to “catch up” and re-focus.

Depending on how many different types of tasks you have on your to-do list, that can really add up, leading to a tremendous amount of lost or otherwise wasted time.

For example, every Monday you might plan out your Facebook or Instagram feed for at least a week. So instead of thinking of something to post every morning, you only have to think about it once per week (and then  you don’t have to think about it again until next week!)

It works well because it keeps you focused on the task at hand. This can significantly lessen your struggle to think of things to post and it would take so much more time editing the posts day by day. But because you do them all at once, your attention is completely focused to easily create a week’s worth of content in an hour, for example.

This method is really the best way to make the most of your time.

Think of it like this. Your brain is like a computer with at least 30 tabs open and your brain is just jumping back and forth between ideas. But when you focus primarily on one task instead of 20 minutes on blogging, 30 minutes on Twitter, you get the point. You can focus and keep on task like never before.

Scheduling and batching is the best use of your time and will help you get so much more done! More time = more money.

How does your workweek look? Let me know in the comments if you have a similar structure to me, or if you have any other time-saving, productivity ideas!

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

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Your IT GuyTask Batching For Maximum Focus