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Placing your company's infrastructure and data into the wrong hands can be crippling and damaging for your business. So it pays to do your due diligence when choosing your new IT Service Company. Within this article we discuss 5 critical components for choosing the right IT Company for your business. 1. Reputation Outsourcing your IT management may have a lot of benefits, but it can also be a significant risk if not put into the right hands. You want an IT company whom you can trust and establish a long term relationship with. After all, your IT company has an important role to play in your business if it is dependent on IT. The types of questions you may want to ask include: How long have they been in business? Do they have any solid client references from other similar sized clients like clients who are a similar size to you? How many staff do they have? What systems and processes do they have to achieve their claim on the service level? 2. Responsiveness Most IT providers will offer a service level agreement (SLA) with a guaranteed response time. It is common for an IT provider to offer 2 hours…
Thursday, 10 December 2015 12:59

My mailbox is full. What should I do?

Email is a great tool. It allows you to communicate very quickly and often effectively with any number of parties anywhere around the world in an instant. However, if you often send and receive emails with file attachments, you may find that you're being presented with warning about your mailbox size. Different email vendors and applications will provide different email limits, or quotas, as they're often referred to. By following these handy tips, you can help to minimize the size of your inbox to make way for new messages (and keep it nice and tidy!)   Ask the sender to upload large documents, or media including videos and photos, to a cloud-based service such as Dropbox or OneDrive. This often provides a muchgreater storage quota (and will be often quicker to send and receive content) Clean up your inbox by sorting your messages by file size (if feature supported by your mail provider/application) and deleting any unnecessary messages with large attachments such as photos or documents Regularly empty your Deleted Items or Trash. When you delete an email, it more often than not gets moved to a special folder in case you wish to retrieve the email downthe track. This…
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 12:38

How should you budget for IT?

How should you budget for IT? The effect of Cloud computing is already reducing the costs of infrastructure and creating new potential for business solutions. Already today there are smarter ways to do things and smarter ways to drive down the risks associated with aging IT systems that are likely to add value to your business. The question is how much should you spend? We have tried to set a guide based on a percentage of revenue but that is too vague for many businesses where maintaining margins is hard work. Often a better answer lies in reducing waste or risk. It is important to first of all understand your risk around IT through loss of systems or loss of competitive edge in the market place. Then look to business processes with high cost and look for technology to reduce that waste and so reduce the cost per product. That cost may be in marketing, sales, inventory, materials or time. The savings will build the business case for spending on IT. Building a business case There are some clear costs to IT that you can work into your business case. If you are using PCs, servers and mobile devices there is a cost…
In this Work like a Pro Series we demonstrate how MS Excel manipulate dates in Excel in many various ways and show you how to best utilise the functions available to make your lists a lot clearer. Here goes, a bit of 'not so common' knowledge: When you enter a date (e.g. 1/12) in Excel, Excel will treat it as a date field and display it in the default date format (i.e. 1-Dec). And if you don't enter the 'year', Excel will assume you are referring to the current year (e.g. 1/12 is treated as 1/12/2015). There are many other ways to display the same date; the following diagram shows the various formats of the same input value (i.e. 1/12):   Pre-defined Date Formats Excel has a number of pre-defined date formats that you can choose from. To choose from the pre-defined list: Select the cell (or cells) to format. Press CTRL-1, a Format Cells windows will come up. Click on the Number tab and then click Date under Category. You can now pick a date format under Type. You can preview the output in the Sample box.   Custom Date Formats You can also customise your date format such…
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