Business Technology

IT Starts with Strategy

Learn how technology can maximize your business with a comprehensive IT strategy and support plan.

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Technology Strategy | Cybersecurity | Threat Prevention | Disaster Recovery

By: Stephanie Hurd
October 23rd, 2020

It seems like some company is always trying to push you toward a new cybersecurity solution that your business just has to have to protect against data breaches and cyberattacks. You’ve already invested in cyber liability insurance, backup and disaster recovery solutions, anti-virus programs, and firewalls. At this point, it feels like new security products serve no other purpose than to profit from your worst fears of a cyberattack or data breach destroying your business. You’re right to avoid the snake oil salesman claiming his latest and greatest cybersecurity solution is everything you’ll ever need to protect your business from [ransomware, virus, or insert cyberthreat flavor of the month here]. That doesn’t change the fact that cyberthreats are very real and can cause severe damage to your business.

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Life at Innovative | Client Spotlight

By: Stephanie Hurd
October 20th, 2020

What do you think of when you think of an HVAC company? Quirky culture, modern technology, and participative leadership may not be the first things that come to mind. But those are the characteristics of McIntire HVAC that stood out after sitting down for coffee with Shelley McIntire, Owner/President/Heart of the Company, and Sarah Elwood, Creative Director. Bill McIntire, Co-Owner/Founder/Estimator, joined us in spirit while he was busy getting his crew up to speed for their morning job assignments (sorry, Bill, we'll make the next one a happy hour when you can join us 🍺).

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Technology Strategy | Microsoft | Purchasing

By: Justin Strahin
September 30th, 2020

As a business leader, you don’t care what Microsoft calls its services as long as your programs work and fees don’t go up. The name change from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 doesn’t create any changes in your services or bill (as of this article’s date). But the name change does signal a great time to really understand what you’re paying Microsoft for and make sure you have the right subscriptions to match your needs. Before we move on, you should know that this article focuses on Microsoft 365 for business licenses and the enterprise license affected by the Microsoft 365 name change. These are some of the most common Microsoft/Office 365 plans for businesses with less than 300 users.

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Business Strategy | Life at Innovative

By: Stephanie Hurd
September 3rd, 2020

Your business isn’t just like anyone else’s. So, why would you work with vendors who claim to help everyone? You’re not everyone. You have specific things you’re trying to accomplish. You might be expanding into a different market, researching new products and services, or preparing to downsize as you approach retirement. Your service providers must align with where you’re trying to go. They must help you get closer to that goal. Otherwise, what are you paying them for? Innovative is a managed service provider. We handle everything in your business that plugs into a network jack (or has a wireless connection) – that’s your servers, computers, phones, printers, and copiers. By that description, it sounds like most any business could be a great Innovative customer. But here’s the not-so-secret secret, anyone with some basic tech skills can install and troubleshoot computers, servers, phones, printers, and copiers (i.e., technology). Innovative’s value comes from helping businesses communicate better and generate more useful information (i.e., money-making information) with their technology. Long story short, it doesn’t make sense for you to hire us if technology can’t make a positive impact on your business and profitability.

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Devices | Purchasing

By: Stephanie Hurd
August 25th, 2020

Shopping for a laptop back in March was the virtual equivalent of battling other shoppers for the last Cabbage Patch Kid doll on Black Friday in the 80s.   Laptop inventory was low to nonexistent, and if you did find one, you couldn’t be too picky about specs. You only had one choice for which you likely paid more than you anticipated. 

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Microsoft

By: Tyler Snyder
August 4th, 2020

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is Microsoft’s suite of cloud services. Depending on the license tier you choose, it can include the Microsoft Office suite of products, hosted email, cloud based active directory, mobile device management, and many other great cloud services to keep your business secure. As a managed service provider and Microsoft Partner, we are huge fans of Microsoft 365 at Innovative, and we love sharing our favorite features with our customers. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how users can recover deleted data from Microsoft 365, or how they can undo changes that another user may have made to their documents. Want Exclusive Content Like This? Sign up for our monthly email. In this video, I answer those questions by showing you how to use the two Recycle Bins in Microsoft 365, and how to access previous versions of your Microsoft Office documents. I also touch on some of the limitations of Microsoft 365 data retention and recovery features, and why we recommend third-party SaaS backup solutions to protect your cloud data from a thing called ransomcloud, or rasomware in the cloud.

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Cybersecurity | Threat Prevention

By: Stephanie Hurd
July 31st, 2020

Cloud applications are not immune to cyberattacks. As companies move away from storing data locally, attackers are shifting focus to cloud solutions right along with them.

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Technology Strategy | Business Strategy | Outsourced IT Support

By: Stephanie Hurd
July 24th, 2020

If your business has more than 20 employees and is in Frederick or Hagerstown, Maryland, Kris Miner has likely knocked on your door (or gave you a call, sent you an email, or all of the above…). Kris leaves no stone unturned in his search for new Innovative customers. You may have brushed him off the last time he asked how you’re handing technology systems or if you’re happy with the support from your current IT company. Because let’s face it, we all think of the Wolf of Wall Street (and not in that Leonardo DiCaprio is dreamy kind of way) when we think about sales guys. 

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Business Strategy | Outsourced IT Support

By: Stephanie Hurd
June 22nd, 2020

The five areas to consider when choosing a managed service provider (MSP) are: Customer service. Product and service offerings. Organization and culture. Security practices. Account management. When your business outgrows the DIY approach to IT, you may consider outsourcing IT functions to a managed service provider (MSP). Or, maybe you've been working with an IT vendor who is no longer meeting your needs and you're ready to make a change. Once you've decided that managed IT services are the right option for managing your IT, how do you choose the best MSP partner? In this article, we'll walk through the five areas to consider when evaluating a potential managed service partner for your business. As a managed service provider, Innovative gets a lot of questions from businesses choosing an MSP. While we certainly follow MSP best practices, we're not the perfect fit for every business. For the remainder of this article, we'll remove ourselves from the equation and present an unbiased outline of how to evaluate a managed service provider.

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Technology Strategy | Business Strategy

By: Justin Strahin
June 4th, 2020

Technology is one of the most vital forces in the business world. From your email and phone system to your payroll processing and invoicing, your business runs on many IT systems. Learning to accept new technology into your business is a must to keep your systems up to date and stay competitive. But just like anything else, we often fear the change of technology or the "unknown."  Just hearing the word "change" is enough to make anyone cringe. Learning new habits can be daunting or exhausting. Why add anything else to our already busy lives? If something is working, why change it?