Be One Office – Intermedia’s Office in the Cloud

Running a business is challenging and sometimes chaotic. If part of the problem is that your office technology is preventing you from making it easier, is too cumbersome or time consuming to manage, then take a look at Intermedia’s Office in the Cloud solution. It is easy to setup and low maintenance while providing you with access to your information from anywhere at anytime. With one central control panel, it delivers enterprise grade security, protection,  and improve productivity. Check it out and sign up to unify your office.

HP Laserjet Pro M452dn Color Printer

If you have an HP Laserjet Pro 400 Series Color Printer like most of my customers, then you know that these printers are solid. It’s provided a consistent worry-free printing experience for many years. It’s just been a reliable printer that has excellent quality for the investment and requires little maintenance.

HP Laserjet Pro M452dn Color Printer

HP Laserjet Pro M452nw Wireless Color Printer

Here are the toner cartridges for these printers. It should be noted that these printers do not work well with non-HP genuine toner cartridges. I’ve tried many but with success.

HP-CE411A-LaserJet-Cartridges (Full set of cartridges – Magenta, Cyan, Yellow, and Black)

HP-CE410X-Black-LaserJet-Cartridge (Black Only)

Question: Do you have a printer you absolutely would recommend to others? If so, please share it others in the comments below.


E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1995,2001)

This book is a must read to succeed in business today. While it was written a while ago, the concepts and strategies are still very much relevant today. It outlines the strategies for systematizing everything in your business so your business can grow exponentially while you work less.

The Main points:

  1. Work on your business, instead of in it and the differences between being the Owner, Manager, and the Technician.
  2. Create a prototype of your business (The Turn-key revolution)
  3. The Business Development Process: Create systems and standard operating procedures for everything in your business

The concepts in this book are essential for developing a business that will be efficient and productive, even while you are not there.


Have you read this book? If so, I would enjoy hearing your perspective.

Let me know.


Get better support

7 tips to improve our communcation for getting better service when you need help the most

You rely on outside people and services to run your business so receiving help is inevitable. To avoid miscommunication and the frustration that follows, here are seven tips for improving the communication and getting better results faster.

Photo Credit: IM Web Star via Compfight cc

It takes two to communicate. While we don’t have complete control of the other side of our communication, we can improve how we communicate to improve how we are understood to close the communication gap between us and the person we’re working with.

Here are 7 tips for receiving better support by improving our communication with the people and services you depend on to make your business efficient, productive and secure:

1. Get to the point

Be as succinct as possible. Provide the facts. This will eliminate any confusion.

The best method for getting to the point is pictures. If at all possible, provide images or screenshots.

I encourage clients to take pictures or videos with their phones and email, text, or upload them to their support team. Recently, a client emailed me a video of a flickering monitor. They have reported the issue a couple times, but every time we investigated it, the monitor was working fine. Seeing the problem in action saved both us and them from further frustration and the problem was solved.

Another method for capturing images of error messages or other program anomalies is to take a screenshot. To do so on Windows, press the Windows key and the Print Screen key on your keyboard at the same time. This will copy the image to the “clipboard” where you can then paste the image into an email or a document that you can send to your support team. You can also use the free Windows Snipping Tool to “Copy and Paste” the image.

2. Be Available

Be available to answer any questions. Resolving issues can take time. If you are unable to reach a technician or need to follow up with a technician at a later time, schedule an appointment. Let them know you’re availability

3. Be patient

When you call a support team, they are doing a couple of activities:

  • Documenting the call and his activities for future reference. This is so that if the issue or request isn’t completed during the call, another technician can review the case and pick up where the other left off.
  • Finding a solution to the matter at hand.

There are situations that are challenging to resolve and take time. Here are some additional tips for those situations.

  • Get an ETA for when someone will be getting back to you.
  • Understand who to call, if someone isn’t back to you in the timeframe earlier provided.
  • Document the decisions and/or any action items necessary for follow up (The template will help with that)

4. Use your natural language

It’s the support team’s responsibility to understand your business and how you work, including business terminology. The support team will ask questions if they need clarification.

This is also an opportunity for them to understand what you do and how your company does its work. The more they understand you the better support you will receive and faster issues or projects will be delivered.

5. One issue at a time

Introducing multiple topics will distract both yours and the technician’s attention from the original matter. This may seem to contradict my next point to ask questions. However, asking questions related to the current issue, is different than introducing new, unrelated issues.

I have done this many times and it has always led to a disappointing outcome. Now, whenever is feel myself begin my question with “While I have you on the phone….”, I stop and make a note to ask later, after this task has been completed. It keeps everyone on point and focused.

6. You are an expert

You are the expert for your business (how it works, the objectives, the people, and process flows). You know more about your job, area of focus, or part of the business than any support technician will.

It may be foreign to you, but as an expert, you need to understand as much of what the technology person is doing, so ask questions. Ask a lot of questions. Ask questions like the following:

  • What does [insert tech term here] mean?
  • Will the workflows, people or other programs be adversely affected?
    • How will the issue, fix, or change affect your business?
  • If an issue, what triggered the issue?
  • How could the issue have been avoided in the first place?

I’ve been known to side track a technician or consultant from their original task because I ask a lot of questions. I’ve since learned to be patient and wait until the task is completed before asking. However, the devil is in the details and understanding those details is critical to making your job easier and your business a success.

7. Use a template

Between the questions you’re asked or being overwhelmed by pressure of the situation, having a template will help you keep focused and the technology person on task. The format is simple:

  1. Help desk contact number or email:
  2. Your company account number or id
  3. Describe the problem or situation
  4. Urgency of the matter
  5. Describe what you are trying to accomplish
  6. If appropriate, describe what you were doing just before the issue occurred
  7. Capture the Case/Ticket Number
  8. What is the follow up action, if any

While it can be frustrating to work with technology people, these seven tips will help you consistently provide better communication so you’re able to get the best results from the people and services your business relies on and keep your business operating at its best.

Discussion Question

What additional advice or warnings do you have for working with a technology person desk?

Let me know your thoughts.


Replace your fax machine and eliminate paper and ink too

Here is the option I recommend to replace your fax machine while eliminating paper, ink, and time in your small office. This is particularly satisfying if you receive numerous fax solicitations that cost you paper and expensive printer ink or toner. You’ll avoid unnecessarily printing faxes which saves on paper and ink costs, and also helps the environment.

This solution converts incoming faxes to PDFs and stores them in a location on your network — like a shared folder on a computer, a server, or storage device — that someone monitors. From that location, the files can then be printed, deleted, or uploaded into another system. For example, loaded into a patient’s chart, in the case of a healthcare office.

If you already have an existing fax line, I recommend the printer Solution: HP OfficeJet Pro 8620 e-All-in-One Wireless Color Inkjet Printer

It is one of the only printers on the market that has the ability to save faxes to a file. I’m not sure why this is the case. It seems like this would be a popular feature. In addition to

It is easy to install and configure.

After configuring the fax settings, just plug it into your network configure it to save faxes as a PDF file on a computer or a network location. If saving to a network location, it will look like this, include the back-slashes: \\ComputerOrServerName\SharedFolderName (Be sure to remember to give the proper permissions to the SharedFolderName folder when you set up the shared folder.)

That should do it.

If a simple printer doesn’t meet all your needs, here are some additional options, for managing faxes. These options may increase in cost and/or complexity.

  • Internet Fax solution
    • There are a number of companies offering a service of this type. They can be found by doing an internet search using “Internet Fax”.
    • This service allows you to send and receive faxes via email.
    • I’ve seen the service cost about $10/Month ($120/Year) subscription per fax line
    • If you have an existing fax line, you may want to port your number this service.
    • The one advantage this service provides is that since there isn’t anything installed at your location, it will function in case of a disaster. Meaning it has disaster recovery already built right into it. You don’t have to worry about having access to it. You will have access from anywhere, anytime, on any device that has email installed on it.
    • However, if you’re in a regulated industry, like healthcare, you’ll need to make sure the company and service you choose are compliant with the appropriate regulations. For example, HIPAA.
  • Network Fax Server/Appliance
    • This is the most expensive and complex option, but does offer the most control of the other options.
    • Solutions can run $1500 or more and requires a hardware and software installation.
    • This option will require it to be installed by a computer technician either provided by the company providing the server, or by you.
    • It may offer features not provided by others, so be sure to compare features with the Internet Fax option. Technology is advancing and the feature gaps between the two are closing.

As always, be sure to always understand your reasons — both now and future needs — for using technology to solve the business problem or challenge. Understanding the reasons will quickly identify which features are most relevant and lead you to making the right solution choice.


2014 Rogue Access Study: Ex-employees could be your next big security threat

Let’s take a moment to think about the kind of data and systems your employees can access. Your patient data, your practice information, your financial records, your strategy documents, your website system, your social reputation, and other confidential files of all types.

Now imagine the risk if your ex-employees had access to the exact same systems.

According to a new survey by Osterman Research, an incredible 89% of knowledge workers retained access to Dropbox, Salesforce, email, SharePoint and other sensitive corporate apps from a former employer.

Even worse, 45% can access what they consider “confidential” or “highly confidential” data.

This problem of “Rogue Access” creates countless risks for your practice: stolen secrets, lost data, compliance failures, data breaches, and out-and-out sabotage—to name a few.

Intermedia published The Ex-Employee Menace: 2014 SMB Rogue Access Study. If your IT access management and employee off-boarding policies are anything less than 100% watertight, you need to read it right now.

In addition to outlining the scope of the problem (which is far bigger than any of us imagined), it also provides three very important technical and procedural solutions—including access management best practices and an IT off-boarding checklist.

Read the Rogue Access White Paper now.

Review the access to your systems now/ Look for the gaps in your systems and procedures then update your checklists accordingly.

Let me know your thoughts


Don’t be fooled by phishing: 3 ways to protect yourself

Recently, we received a questionable email from one of our clients. The email was from LogMeIn requesting that the client renew their subscription. Upon initial inspection, it looked legitimate! It even included a disclaimer. However, the office manager who received it, wasn’t so sure. It didn’t seem right, so she forward it to us to investigate. We’re glad she did. The email was in fact a “phishing” email meant to trick her into giving them credit card information.

So what is Phishing?

According to Symantec:

Phishing is essentially an online con game and phishers are nothing more than tech-savvy con artists and identity thieves. They use SPAM, malicious Web sites, email messages and instant messages to trick people into divulging sensitive information, such as bank and credit card accounts.”

The bad guys do it by crafting an email (or website) that seems legitimate and authentic. The whole goal is to get you to submit your personal, sensitive, and/or financial information.

Here are 3 ways to protect yourself, if you receive a suspicious email or visit a suspicious website.

3 ways to protect yourself

  1. Have a good Anti-virus/Anti-malware program installed

    • One that includes the following features:
      • Email Protection: “Email Protection” moves any suspicious email and SPAM to a junk folder for your future review.
      • Safe Surfing: A “Safe Surfing” feature attempts to identify each website you visit and verify if it’s a known suspicious site and scan any downloaded files for viruses.
  2. Trust your instincts

    • While the above mentioned Anti-virus/Anti-malware program will go along way in protecting you, it still requires due diligence on your part to recognize when things just don’t seem right.
    • Go with your gut! If you feel something about it isn’t right, it most likely isn’t. Trust yourself, you know best.
  3. Go to the source

    • If you need to verify the details, go to the source directly by contacting the company using the information you already have on file or find the contact information independent of the email received or website encountered.
    • DO NOT use the phone numbers or links provided within the email or website.
    • If you’re really unsure, contact your trusted IT provider. They can assist you with verifying it’s authenticity.

As for our client’s situation, since we help manage their LogMeIn accounts, we went to LogMeIn‘s website directly and obtained their telephone number from the Contact Us Page. Upon calling, we were quickly informed that they were aware of the “phishing” emails and they have already received numerous calls. We then reviewed the overall  account details. All is well. They are good-to-go. 🙂

While it did take some time to validate the legitimacy of the email, it pales in comparison to the time, money and sense of security lost from handing over one’s personal, sensitive, and/or financial information to a thief. The peace of mind and relief felt from avoiding this situation is well worth the small investment in time and effort.

Lastly, Education is the best prevention. Advise your staff and co-workers of these dangers. Share this article. Every investment in the knowledge you share will continue to keep your business and practice safe, secure and productive.

Additional resources for more information:

Committed to your success


Today is World Backup Day



This is an excellent reminder of the importance of conducting backups. Albeit, more frequently than annually, but nonetheless this serves as a reminder to:

  • Create and implement a backup strategy, if you don’t have one
  • Review your backup strategy for completeness
  • Verify you can restore the backup files to make sure the backups are actually working properly
  • And, if you don’t have any backups, please do it now before it’s too late.


Welcome to our newly redesigned site.

It’s our passion to support businesses by providing quality technology solutions and services.  In order to complement those services, we’re now adding relevant knowledge and know-how to the site to better assist you in making the management of your technology easier, more productive, and give you peace of mind.

Business managing technology

Business managing technology

One of the most satisfying aspects of our work is sharing information, educating, and making a difference with our clients. The fact is, nobody knows your business like you do and keeping up with the demands of ever changing technology can be overwhelming and truly managing your business’ technology takes a team effort.

Why are we doing this?

Well, to help you to avoid 1. using a solution that may under-perform, is not a fit, or worse, puts your company at risk, and 2. ensure you’re maximizing your investments and not overspending on services you don’t need or utilize. The most important part of managing technology is balancing the objectives of your business with the knowledge of the capabilities of the solutions available to you. As a result, the information provided here will primarily focus the integration points between your business and technology.  It will include topics ranging from understanding your staff’s abilities to planning for a disaster, and everything in between.

To ultimately make this information pertinent to your situation, your interaction is requested and you are encouraged to leave comments and feedback. By doing this, you will be directly shaping the topics discussed and helping others who may be in a similar situation.

The content here is free and open to everyone. We hope you will enjoy the content and will share it with your staff and colleagues .

This site is about increasing your knowledge, empowering your staff, and providing you with some tools and techniques that can take your business to the next level. So if you support your company computers and network or you know someone who does, please sign up to receive notifications of future posts.
And remember… Leave a comment  or question, we would like to hear from you.

Question: What 3 computing challenges are you facing in your business? Or what 3 things about your business keep you up at night?