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March 29th, 2015

queen-over-driveIn 2003, the recently deceased King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia paid a visit to the UK. During the trip, he met with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral, the royal family’s castle and estate in Scotland. The queen asked then-Crown Prince Abdullah if he would enjoy a tour of the estate. The prince wasn’t initially keen on a tour, but he decided it would be polite to accept as a guest of the queen. He agreed.

When their transportation arrived—two regal Land Rovers—the prince stepped into the front passenger seat. It allowed him an exquisite view of the estate and the surrounding countryside. What happened next, he was not fully prepared for. The queen opened the driver’s-side door and climbed in. She swiftly turned the ignition, threw it into gear and hit the accelerator.

Keep in mind, women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from driving.

Also keep in mind, the queen is a very experienced driver.

While giving the prince the royal tour, she did not hold back. It was pedal to the metal. As she blasted down the narrow country roads, she remained attentive to her guest and kept the conversation lively. It was an attentiveness the prince felt was misdirected. He pled with the queen to focus on the road. She did not.

Following Abdullah’s death in January, Queen Elizabeth takes the throne as the world’s oldest reigning monarch at a spry 88. Abdullah was 90.

Topic Newsletter
March 29th, 2015

text bladeWhen we are surrounded by touchscreen mobile devices, sometimes we can get a little nostalgic for a good, old-fashioned keyboard. Sure, there are a number of apps that make typing on a touchscreen easier, but tactile feedback is nonexistent. Or we want to type something more substantial than a text message or quick e-mail, and we don’t want to go through the chore of typing it all out on a small screen. And then it’s often hard to find a wireless keyboard that is both practical and truly portable.

The WayTools TextBlade aims to solve these problems. The TextBlade offers a fully featured and responsive solution – while maximizing portability. Through a Bluetooth connection, you can sync it up to your favorite smartphone or tablet. The lithium polymer battery lasts upwards of a month with average use, and it’s quickly recharged via USB. Small but powerful magnets keep it held in place when you’re using it and when it’s tucked away in your pocket.

It’s priced at $99 and you can find it online at www.waytools.com.

 

Topic Newsletter
March 28th, 2015

If your organization is currently running either Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Exchange 2003 on any servers in your Bay Area office, you need to know about a dangerous security threat to your organization that must be addressed very soon.

Windows Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 Replacements MUST Be Made By July 14, 2015

Microsoft has officially announced it will retire all support on the Server 2003 operating system on July 14, 2015. That means any business with this operating system still running will be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, stealing data, crashing your system, and inflicting a host of other business-crippling problems you do NOT want to have to deal with.

This is such a serious threat that the US Department Of Homeland Security has issued an official warning to all companies still running this operating system because firewalls and antivirus software will NOT be sufficient to completely protect your business from malicious attacks or data exfiltration. Running Server 2003 will also put many organizations out of compliance.

Unless you don’t care about cybercriminals running rampant in your company’s computer network, you MUST upgrade any equipment running this software.

FREE Windows Server 2003 Migration Plan Shows You The Easiest, Most Budget-Friendly Way To Upgrade Your Server

During the month of April, we are offering a FREE customized Windows Server 2003 migration plan to all businesses still running this operating system on any computers in their office. At no cost, we’ll conduct a full analysis of your network to help you determine what specific servers will be affected by this announcement. Additionally, we will provide a detailed analysis of all upgrade options available to you, along with the pros and cons of each option. While there, we will also assess other security, backup and efficiency factors that could be costing you in productivity and hard dollars. We will then put together a customized Server 2003 Migration Plan specifically for your office.

To schedule your FREE on-site assessment today, visit www.myersnetsol.com/Server2003 to get started.

Topic Newsletter
March 27th, 2015

Allowing employees and others to bring their own devices into your business and have access to your network has both advantages and disadvantages. Certain common sense steps can be taken that are appropriate for your situation.

Some common steps to protect your business data while allowing access are:

  1. Have password protected WiFi access. This one is rather obvious. It allows you to control who gets access to your internet signal.
  2. Password protect access to any data and/or programs on your network. This secures you business data while allowing internet access to selected visitors.
  3. Allow limited data access to certain employees logging in from their own devices at your location. The amount of access allowed would be determined ahead of time according to their need. Those who you provide networked computers to don’t typically need this access, although it is a convenience. Employees who use laptop computers rather than desktops need access.
  4. Allow limited data access from elsewhere to certain employees logging in from their own computer or mobile device. Again, the amount of access allowed would be determined ahead of time according to their need to log in from the field or home. Salespeople, service staff and similar staff would benefit from this access. They would provide better customer service as a result. Your bottom line would benefit.
  5. With login access provided to staff at other locations in your facility or in the field, conferences could be conducted for better coordination. Staff members could be elsewhere in your facility, or in the field, to show, via camera, scenes relevant to the conference or training.
  6. Training videos could be made available to staff – or customers – as appropriate, with access to other data and programs limited as discussed above. Staff could view them as time is available during the day without pulling them away from other work.

Myers Network Solutions is expert at making your business more efficient.

March 27th, 2015

Does your business have a way for you to login to your desktop computer or server from the field? Can you access customer data when needed without having to go back to the office?

There are numerous benefits to having a tightly integrated and accessible computer network at your business. Many businesses take advantage of some of the more basic ones. However, others are often overlooked.

Some of the ways your business can be more efficient, streamlined and effective are as follows. There are listed in order from the more common to ways you can put your business ahead of your competitors:

  • Having all of your business computers networked with data access to those with need and clearance.
  • Setting up the commonly used programs to be accessed from the server so they can be updated easily. There would be no need to update each computer individually when a new version of software is published.
  • Setting up all your data to be stored on the server which makes access control and data security easier.
  • Centralized data also makes sales and other data analysis much more efficient. The data is readily available. There is no need for staff to submit it.
  • Centralized data and programs make backup and data preservation easier. With both on-site and offsite backup, data is never at risk. If there is a natural disaster, the off-site backup has all of your current data, programs, networking setup, etc.
  • Your system can be set up for access by field personnel, or from home, including by mobile device.
  • With access available for certain staff and salespeople, customers can be served better and more quickly served. Current data is available instantly for those authorized to obtain it. The sales and/or service staff is better equipped and your business grows.
  • Field staff can add data and reports from the field, making data acquisition quicker and more convenient.

Myers Network Solutions is expert at making your business more efficient.

March 27th, 2015

Studies show that only about a third of healthcare organizations are taking advantage of the benefits of “The Cloud.” There are fears of costs and access to private data.

Why The Cloud is Better for Data Security

Many healthcare business leaders apparently don’t understand that data security is handled much more effectively – with greater security – by cloud computing professionals than by in-house IT staff. Hacking and other threats to data security are becoming more and more aggressive. Only those who specialize in protecting it while making it accessible to authorized personnel can keep up with the threats and protect against them.

Why The Cloud is Better for Record-Keeping and Reporting

Medical coding has expanded to an enormous number of codes. Along with the greatly expanded list of codes, the format for submission of claims to Medicare and Medicaid has changed. All of this has to be integrated with the records used by medical personnel. It is a complex problem.

Even with an on-site IT staff, all of this additional record-keeping and reporting becomes overwhelming. There is not enough time or staff to keep up with hacking threats while training all the people and updating all the software at both on-site and off-site offices involved.

Updating all the software involved can be daunting. A better way is cloud computing. With cloud computing all data and all programs are hosted at one location. Users login and access both the data and the programs. Keeping the software current become much less of an issue. The data is always current.

Myers Network Systems specializes in setting up and maintaining cloud computing systems. Let them reduce the time your office spends on technical issues. Give yourself more time for patient care.

March 27th, 2015

As most people know, the healthcare industry has enormous amounts of required paperwork and record-keeping. There are many record-keeping requirements:

  • government requirements
  • patient care historical records
  • patient care records for coordination of current care
  • business records for individual medical personnel and offices
  • business records for medical institutions

Healthcare has got to be among the industries with the most records generated.

There are records on the clinical side, the financial side, and the administrative side of the business. For obvious reasons, keeping the records on paper in filing cabinets has largely gone away. It is sometimes used only as an additional backup copy of computerized records.

There are the requirements of patient records privacy and security. There are government statistical reporting requirements (used by the CDC), reimbursement requirements, etc.

Not only is the computerization of records a big help and enhancement to efficiency, but there is the need for extensive networking and sharing of records (within the bounds of patient privacy) so that records don’t have to be re-input at every level of administration and patient care.

The best solution to having efficient, accurate, and up-to-date records is the cloud. The cloud means that all electronic computerized records are accessed from one computer. The doctor’s office staff, hospital staff, etc. logs-in and accesses, enters, or updates the centralized records.

What Are the Advantages of Medical Records Being in One Location (the “Cloud”)?

  • Backups of data are simple and straight-forward. Because all of the data is in one place, backups are current with all data. The backups are automatic and continuous.
  • Backups can be setup to be on-site and off-site. The off-site backup provides additional safety in case there is a major disaster – fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, etc.
  • The system can be setup so, in the case of a disaster, off-site back-up becomes available immediately and automatically. It becomes the data that is accessed. For the damaged facility, the data can be easily accessed once the a new office or location is up and running or the existing office is restored.
  • There is no down-time for those situated elsewhere. They see no indication of a problem.

Myers Network Solutions can help make your organization more efficient and more secure by helping you take advantage of Cloud technology.

March 27th, 2015

LinkedIn is a great social media platform for entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals. Unfortunately, your LinkedIn profile may not be helping you to create those connections.

So let’s tune yours up with six simple steps:

Step 1.  Revisit your goals. At its most basic level, LinkedIn is about marketing: marketing your company or marketing yourself. Think about your goals and convert your goals into keywords, because keywords are how people find you on LinkedIn.

But don’t just whip out a keyword tool to identify popular keywords. Go a step further and think about words that have meaning in your industry. Use a keyword tool to find general terms that could attract a broader audience, and then dig deeper to target your niche by identifying keywords industry insiders might search for.

Step 2.  Layer in your keywords. The headline is a key factor in search results, so pick your most important keyword and make sure it appears in your headline. Then work through the rest of your profile and replace some of the vague descriptions of skills, experience and educational background with keywords.

Step 3.  Strip out the clutter. The average person has changed jobs six to eight times before they reach age 30. Sift through your profile and weed out or streamline anything that doesn’t support your business or professional goals. If you’re currently a web designer but once worked in accounting, a comprehensive listing of your accounting background is distracting.

Step 4.  Add in some personality. Focusing on keywords and eliminating clutter is important, but in the process your individuality probably got lost. Now add enthusiasm and flair. Share why you love what you do in your profile. Describe what you hope to accomplish. Remember, no one connects with keywords. People connect with people.

Step 5.  Take a good look at your profile photo. A photo is a little like a logo. On its own an awesome photo won’t win business, but a bad photo can definitely lose business.

A good photo flatters but doesn’t mislead. The goal is for your photo to reflect how you will look when you meet a customer, not how you looked at some killer party. The best photo strikes a balance between professionalism and approachability, making you look good but also real.

Step 6.  Get recommendations. Most of us can’t resist reading testimonials, even when we know those testimonials were probably solicited. So ask for recommendations, and offer to provide recommendations before you’re asked. The best way to build great connections is to always be the one who gives first.

Topic Newsletter
March 26th, 2015

PaswordYou know the difference between a good password and a bad one. Many of us like the convenience of a simple, easy-to-remember password that requires no effort to recall and type when we connect to our WiFi network, buy from our favorite e-tailer, or use for online bill pay. But many of us also appreciate an added layer of security so we don’t use an effortless password when sensitive data is on the line.

In a recent study conducted by SplashData, they looked at a sampling of over 3 million passwords (all of which were leaked during a data breach last year). They compiled a list of the most common passwords—and the results weren’t all that surprising. 123456 was the No. 1 password used last year, followed by the classic password.

While these passwords may have the IT and security crowds shaking their heads in dismay, it’s not all bad news. These popular passwords may offer next to no practical security, but according to the study, the 25 most common passwords only represent about 2% of the overall total.

This means most people don’t use these passwords—or qwerty, or 111111, or iloveyou. The study found more variation among the most popular passwords versus the 2013 study. Is it a possible trend? Are people turning to more imaginative or secure passwords? Maybe, but only time will tell. Even if the study suggests most of us don’t rely on overly simple passwords, SplashData’s list serves as a reminder to use more secure passwords and to change them regularly.

Topic Newsletter
March 25th, 2015

Cloud Computing – having your programs and data on a centralized server – makes your company more efficient and saves you money. Your team always has current, synchronized, records with immediate communication, even from the field. Online meetings become an easy-to-use process.

Other benefits have already been discussed in other articles here and here:

  • improved collaboration
  • lower costs on server maintenance, power and cooling costs
  • lower software licensing and upgrade expenses
  • the ability to scale up to meet increased demand, or scale down during slower periods
  • simpler data backup
  • secure data backup in multiple locations

Other advantages not discussed there include:

Greater Reliability

Cloud-based services are more reliable than services delivered on-premises. This particularly true if servers or other hardware are aging. Aging hardware can fail. Even near new hardware can sometimes fail. The experts at Myers IT Team set up your systems so you are back up to speed quickly. They restore your system with minimal interruption.

Managing Your Growth

Cloud resources allow your business to take advantage of opportunities without overspending. You react to needs as they arise and use only what is required to manage your growth and efficiency.

For example, if customer and project demands require increased collaboration, you can access collaboration tools quickly and without advanced planning. You can add users and add programs that are accessible to your entire staff, or a limited group as appropriate.

Cloud computing also enhances flexibility providing services and products to your customers and clients. Myers can install cloud services that your company’s customers need on a unique basis for your – and their – special needs and requirements.

Eased resource management

You focus on what you do best – running your business. Rely on us for remote access computing. We can help you save time. We give you convenience and efficiency to run your business and do your job. For your business to stretch your resources and be more competitive, working in the Cloud is becoming a must.

Contact Myers Network Solutions today to protect and streamline your business.