It feels like the list of potential cyberthreats to your business are never-ending. You put the basic safeguards in place: firewalls, password policies, anti-virus protections, and so on. Beyond that, your cyber risks are in the hands of fate. Sure, anything is possible, but other priorities need your time and attention. We get it. You're inundated with requests for resources. IT requests, specifically cybersecurity requests, always seem to play on your fears and come with a worst-case scenario story of a business just like yours that lost it all in an attack. As a leader, you're focused on growth and moving forward. You can't get hung up in every what-if scenario, or you'd never get anywhere. Making fear-based decisions makes you feel stagnant, like you're investing in maintaining the status quo when you'd prefer to invest in moving forward. You know cybersecurity is important, but so is everything that comes across your desk, and there are only so many resources to go around.
Family, education, and community are the primary themes of the legacy the Mellott family is building through their 100-year-old family business. But what exactly is Mellott Company? Mellott Company crushes it. No, really. That's what they do. Headquartered in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, Mellott builds, sells, and services rock crushing equipment worldwide. So...what does that mean? Look at your concrete sidewalk. That concrete started as giant rocks mined from a quarry and crushed down into gravel. That gravel, when mixed with some other ingredients, turns into your concrete sidewalk. In a nutshell, Mellott Company engineers, builds, repairs, and maintains the equipment that turns rocks into gravel. Cool, right? Even cooler, when you talk to Mellott Company employees, you're likely to hear more about training, education, and personal and professional development than you are about concrete and rocks. That's precisely what happened when I sat down to chat with Mellott's Chief Financial Officer, Mike Sappenfield.
If the last 25 years in the IT industry taught me one thing, it’s that people hate surprises, especially when it comes to ever-increasing technology spending. Yet it seems like your IT team always has their hand out to upgrade this or replace that. You’re left asking the same questions every time they ask to fund a new project: Why does this cost so much? How did we not see this coming? What do I need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again? There isn’t necessarily a one size fits all answer to these questions. The ever-changing nature of technology means there will always be some surprises, especially when it comes to spending. But you can minimize surprises with effective IT planning and budgeting.
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.
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 🍺).
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.
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.
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.
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.