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android keyboard shortcuts
User-created Dictionary Shortcuts on your Mobile Device

How many times a day do you type your email address or physical address with your mobile device keyboard? Too many to recall? Well, here’s a tech tip for you. Save yourself a bit of time by adding frequently used strings (i.e. email addresses, postal codes, URLs etc.) to your personal dictionary and then use auto correct functionality to create shortcuts.

For example, I added [email protected] to the dictionary, and then set the shortcut to ‘js’. If I ever want to type my email address, I just type ‘js’ and it auto corrects.

Populate your own personal dictionary with a few simple steps:

Android

  • Language and input section of settings
  • Locate and tap the personal dictionary entry and select your language option
  • Add words to your dictionary and shortcuts by tapping the plus sign [+]

iPhone

  • Tap settings, general, keyboard, text replacement
  • Add words to your dictionary and shortcuts by tapping the plus sign [+]
  • Tap save!

All set? Give it a try!

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Smart Backup & Disaster Recovery

Weather disasters, fires and power outages can all result in data loss. Data backup is one of the most common examples of risk oversight in businesses today. These days, nearly all organizations have some kind of solution. This gives confidence that  the  organization  is  bulletproof  against  disasters. This  is often  not  the case.

We regularly meet with local executives whose businesses have inadequate backup systems that are unreliable or completely neglected. There  might  be  a  copy of  the  data  some where, but it is often not tested on a regular basis. The only time those systems are tested are when data has been lost and needs to be recovered. At that point, it’s usually too late.

A solid backup should be monitored, tested, reported and reviewed regularly.

When was the last time your organization reviewed its backup?

We discovered this great infographic courtesy of EMC that outlines 10 Things you need to know about Business Data Backup.

Contact us to schedule a FREE back-up analysis.

10 Things You Need To Know About Business Data Backup [Infographic]

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Get Smart with SmartSheets
Get Smart with SmartSheets

 SmartSheetAn alternative to Microsoft Project and the like, SmartSheet is a powerful online project management tool that delivers enhanced collaboration among team members.  The benefits over a simple Excel sheet are immediately obvious.

My favourite feature is the ability to attach files to a row or task. However, it does not stop there, you can also:

  • Set up alerts and reminders for tasks within the sheet;
  • Invite other members to contribute to or review the sheet;
  • Have discussions and request updates right from the sheet;
  • Publish the sheet via an external URL;
  • Set up web forms that will automatically populate user responses into a sheet.

They offer a 30-day trial period and once you sign up, you can browse their vast inventory of templates or customize your own!  Great fun!

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IT Standardization

Standardization is not new in business. From telephones to business processes, standards are key to maintaining productivity. Standards can be developed around many aspects of IT, including: equipment, line of business applications, network security, backup and disaster recovery, IT planning and more. IT Standardization

Key benefits of standardization include:

  • Reduced operational cost;
  • Increased operational stability;
  • Greater reliability;
  • Increased productivity and;
  • Greater scalability.

IT standardization is a big part of centralized services and is critical to any organization’s success.

 Click here to sign-up for a complimentary network audit. We can help your organization explore a standardized IT environment.

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What’s Taking So Long? IT Support Response Time

Have you ever thought that the response times you experienced with your IT personnel or Managed Service Provider (MSP) were slow? Are you tired of getting voicemail every time you experience a problem?

Did you know that there are global standards for IT response times?

Response Time

As a MSP, our response time is a measure of our own success. MSPs are continuously reviewing and improving our response times. Evaluate the following factors when considering response time:

  • Ability to work remotely: 80% of IT support can be handled remotely.
  • Capacity: How large is your IT department or company?  Smaller companies and departments are often impacted by illness or vacation time.
  • Verifiable service levels: Ask your provider about their response time commitment? What processes and tools are in place to ensure their commitment?
  • Proactive IT Service: Proactive IT service focuses on achieving optimal network stability, overtime, decreasing the number of help desk support tickets your organization submits. Just because your computers are currently running doesn’t mean your IT approach is proactive.

If you’re experiencing poor response times or you’re unhappy with you current managed service provider for any reason, please contact us. A smart dolphin will answer the phone and get you the help you need right away.

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Smart Mobile Security

Alongside the explosion of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies comes the rise of mobile malware. Take precaution and install a mobile security app.sophos

Sophos is a FREE lightweight antivirus and security app. It was the winner of the AV-Test Award in 2015 and contains no advertising.

Key features include:

  • Malware protection
  • Loss and theft protection
  • Web filtering
  • App protection
  • Privacy and security advisor
  • Spam protection
  • QR code scanner
  • Authenticator

Available on Android devices. Download from Google Play.

 

 

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IT Contingency Planning

We often hear from prospects that they “love” their IT person and that their IT is “fine.” They’ve been doing business with him or her for over ten years. Often, when we dig a bit deeper, we discover that there is no contingency plan in place for that day that their IT person doesn’t or cannot respond to a big IT problem.

wasted time

Technology is volatile. Software is added, removed and twisted. Operating systems get bogged down. Nothing is in-your-face-broken, but tiny computer problems mount exponentially and become a constant drag on you and your team. And, there is always the risk of that big IT earthquake.

If you’re sure your IT is fine, then you must have an IT contingency plan in place.

Key benefits include:

  • Reduced risk of downtime;
  • Accountability: Clearly defined IT roles and checks and balances to ensure oversight;
  • Leadership: Empowered leadership that understands your business and the current state of your IT infrastructure.

Contact us today to sign up for a free network assessment!

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What are your IT costs?

So many representatives of organizations we meet with have no idea what their IT costs are. Without a clear understanding of annual IT costs, how can a business create a budget for the coming year?

Common IT costs:IT Budget

  • IT support
  • Downtime (lost productivity)
  • Data recovery
  • Hardware and software upgrades

Downtime can be the result of deteriorating computer performance. A five-year-old PC costs twice as much to maintain as a new one.

Overspending on IT is a common problem. Many organizations have more than one backup system because the first one wasn’t right or there was a lack of confidence in the first solution. Or perhaps a server is double the specifications (and triple the cost) of what is really needed to “play it safe”. There are cost savings in spending wisely.

Every budget involves IT. Create an IT budget that strategically aligns with your business goals.

Learn more about the cost of proactive IT here.

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Will you be swayed by Sway?

Have you been using PowerPoint for years? Are you interested in trying an alternative Microsoft presentation app? If so, check out Sway.

Last year Microsoft launched Sway. If you are familiar with Prezi and similar presentation tools you’ll be right at home with Sway.

Sway is Microsoft’s digital storytelling app. It’s best used for presenting ideas onscreen rather than to an audience. Sway presentations are backed up on the cloud and easily shared or embedded in websites. And, it interacts with other Office documents. You can create an outline in Word before importing it. Or, you can upload Powerpoint presentations to ease the transition.

Sway

Sway is available on iOS, Windows 10 and on the web.

Sincerely,
THE POD (written by Ty Hedden)

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Reconsider your firefighting approach to IT

We’ve developed a series of blog posts to help your organization improve your IT. Over the next 8 weeks, you’ll have an opportunity to reflect upon 8 essential aspects of IT. Key components of a Proactive IT Solution include:it planning

IT planning is critical to your organizations’ success.

Too many organizations have a firefighting approach to IT. Fires pop up and they are doused but there is no long-term planning to prevent these fires from coming up in the first place. This is what is known as a reactive  approach to IT.

A well-defined 3 to 4-year IT plan will improve your IT infrastructure and help your business grow. Key areas to include are as follows:

  • IT Solutions & Projects
  • IT Budget
  • Management & Review

Solid IT planning is part of a proactive approach to IT that will save your organization time and money. Create an IT plan and review it annually on all levels.

Need assistance with your IT plan? Make an appointment to sit down with our Technology Ambassador by completing the form below.

 

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