Blog

June 20th, 2012

My heading might appear to be a strange statement to make considering I run an IT company.  But I stand by it.  Let me explain:  Many small businesses I come across are initially hesitant to meet with me or my staff.  “But we already have an IT guy”, they declare.  And indeed they do;  It’s the owner’s son-in-law, or the guy from the computer shop across the road, or an employee’s brother who is studying IT at university, or the guy they called once from the yellow-pages.

In any case, they’re making the assumption that my company wants to become their “IT guy” when in fact that’s not our intention at all.  We aren’t the “IT guy”.  The IT guy is the guy they call when a computer breaks, or when email isn’t working, or when they want to know how to stop those damn pop-ups.   But I’m here to tell you that the IT Guy is a dying breed.

As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous and it penetrates deeper within core and critical systems and processes throughout small businesses, you don’t want to be relying on your IT guy.  He’s usually a whiz on computers, but he’s not necessarily full bottle when it comes to business consulting.

You see, the line between technology consulting and management consulting is becoming increasingly blurred.  Technology underpins and provides the tools for so many critical business functions that companies like mine employ business experts to provide true ongoing business solutions and services that fundamentally improve our customer’s businesses.   And small businesses really must engage in a long term partnership with a technology company that understands their business , first and foremost, if they truly want to maintain a competitive edge and be innovative.

If you don’t have a partnership with a technology company that understands business you’re likely to be left behind in the wake of your competitors.   IT companies are changing their business models to a more consultative partnering approach, and most are dropping the old fashioned adhoc break/fix type support altogether.  So if you rely on your IT guy there will inevitably be one day soon he’s not available to assist you when you need urgent support, and you might just find yourself up a familiar creek with-out a paddle because you don’t have a strong partnership with an IT company.  I believe the number of IT companies willing to answer your call to provide adhoc support will reduce as their business models shift to managed services with long term clients who look to them for business improvement, not just IT support.

So if you only have an IT Guy, do yourself a favour and make a committment to have a meeting with an IT company and be sure to talk to them with an open mind about how they can help you be a better business.

You want your PC fixed ‘cause it’s broken? – call the IT guy.  You want to make an ongoing and long term improvement to the way you do business?  – call your technology partner :)

January 30th, 2012

There are times when you may want to capture what is currently being shown on your iPad's screen. That’s easy to do on an iPad.

Simply press the Home button and then the Sleep/Wake button simultaneously. When you hear a click, the screenshot has been taken. You can then go to the photos gallery to see all of your captured screenshots.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips
January 30th, 2012

The big difference between Android and the iOS is the fact that, on an Android device, you can play Flash videos. There are times however when this seeming advantage can be a disadvantage as Flash (such as Flash ads) can slow down your browsing experience or even crash your browser. There is a solution.

You can turn off Flash if you choose to. Simply go to your Browser's Settings by pressing on the Menu/Options button, then go to Advanced and change 'Enable plug-ins' setting from "Always on" to "On demand." Flash applications will now appear as an arrow that you must touch to start.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips
January 11th, 2012

If you own an Android phone, you can use it as a substitute for an external drive or a USB key. You can load files into your phone simply by plugging it in to a PC with a USB cable, then tapping on “Mount” when you are prompted by the system.

This mounts the internal storage of the device as an external drive relative to the PC, and you can easily drag and drop files or create folders on the device as you see fit. Of course, it is recommended you do this on the SDCard that likely came with the device, or one that you buy for your phone.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

January 2nd, 2012

If you are using Windows Gadgets (or those small mini-applications that are embedded on your desktop that show interesting things like the latest news, weather updates, or sports scores), you may sometimes wish you can just quickly hide them to declutter your workspace.

In Windows 7, you can do just that. Simply right-click on the desktop, go to View, and then clear the check mark on Show desktop gadgets. This will hide the gadgets. If you want to bring them back, just restore the check mark again.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips
December 24th, 2011

Have you ever sent an email and then immediately regretted sending it? If you are using Gmail as your mail client, you can do just that with an interesting but buried option in Gmail settings.

To enable this feature, go to Mail Settings in Gmail (upper right corner, under the gear icon). Navigate to the "Labs" tab. In the labs search box, look for "Undo Send" and choose Enable, then save. Now in Mail Settings you will see an option to "Undo Send: Send cancellation period: __ seconds." Enter the number of seconds that Gmail will allow you to change your mind in the future (try 10 seconds).

With this enabled, the next time you send an email, you’ll be able to “Cancel” it from being sent out, as long as it is within the time frame you specified.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips
December 15th, 2011

Do you prefer Bing over Google but like Google's sparse but fast loading page better? With this tip you can get the best of both worlds.

As users of Bing know, when you visit the home page of Bing, a page with a featured photo as the background is displayed by default, which increases the load time of the page. This can be distracting or annoyingespecially if you have a slow connection. Disable this photo from loading by simply bookmarking this URL (http://www.bing.com/?rb=0). The next time you visit Bing, the photo will not appear.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips
December 5th, 2011

Did you know that on iOS5 on the iPad, you can actually split the keyboard into two? This can be useful for typing with your thumbs if you are holding the iPad with both hands.

To do so, press and hold the keyboard icon on the on-screen keyboard. An option will appear, allowing you to split the keyboard into two. Alternatively you can drag the keyboard icon up across the screen until the keyboard splits up. Still another way is to simply put two fingers around the center of the keyboard and simultaneously drag them apart in a splitting motion.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips
November 25th, 2011

Want to do a quick currency conversion? You can use Google for that. Simply type in the amount in the original currency, then the currency you want to convert it to.

For example, type in: "100 dollars in yen" or "100 dollars in Mexican Pesos" and check out the results. If you have a mobile data plan on your mobile phone with a browser, you can use this tip for quick currency conversions on the go.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips
November 18th, 2011

The Mac introduced the concept of using multiple "Desktops" (previously called "Spaces") using Lion's Mission Control application. Using Mission Control, you can specify which desktop applications will automatically open in which desktops by default.

To set your preferences, select and right-click (or ctrl+click or two-finger click) on an application in the Dock, then select the "Options" menu in the resulting pop-over. Inside that menu, links appear that allow you to remove the app from the Dock, open it at Login, or to have it Show in the Finder app. If you have multiple desktops active, an additional set of options will appear at the bottom. Here you can "assign" the app to "This Desktop" or the current active desktop, or to open in "All Desktops" or "None." Make your selection and your app will now open in the specific Desktop or Desktops you specify on launch.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Tech Tips