Investing in business class PCs and Laptops

About once a quarter or so, one of our clients contacts us about an issue with a low-cost consumer level PC or laptop they acquired. Usually the questions involve connecting the machine to their network, removing some of the junk or demo programs, or why their new machine won't run their company's specialized software.  It will take our engineers and techs an hour or two to get these machines working properly and occassionally, it can't be done.  Here's an article from Hewlett Packard's Technology at work Blog that talks about why it's worth investing in business-class PCs and laptops for your business or organization.

Think back to the last time you bought a new PC or laptop for your business. Did you approach the purchase the same way you would for a personal device? And if you had a problem, were you satisfied with the level of service you received?

Many small and medium-sized businesses purchase consumer-grade PCs and notebooks by default,1 not realizing the amount of difference a business-class model can make.2,3 Consumer-grade devices can work fine for many organizations, but businesses with more stringent performance, reliability, and support needs can save time and frustration by moving up to business-class devices.

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Shakespeare, Ethics & Common Sense

Editor's Note:  Many of us believe that ethics are digital. There's always a right way to do something - a defined path way to take the high road.  Well maybe not always.  This story points out that sometimes it takes common sense and a "bit of the Bard" to see the right path!
 

Expert Author Patricia J Moser

If Shakespeare was alive today, he would already have penned a tragedy reflecting the lack of ethics as continuously reflected in procurement activities world-wide.

"To take or not to take -- that is the question. If I get discovered, I might suffer slings and arrows, however I might have amassed an outrageous fortune. There may be a sea of troubles it may cause, yet I can always (with lawyers) oppose and thereby end them!"

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Secrets to Successful Online Collaboration

We sell and support a number of collaboration tools and systems.  However just because you have the software doesn't mean that your collaborations with co-workers or clients will be successful.  Here's some great ideas regarding what it takes for successful collaborations.

In a world where more than 30 million people work from home at least one day a week, the virtual workforce is rapidly becoming the rule, rather than the exception. And whether you work from your home office, your favorite coffee shop or your kitchen table, chances are good that online collaboration is critical to just about everything you do.

Of course, working with people who may be a city, state, time zone or country away can be tricky, but with a few simple tips, a little patience and a steaming mug of caffeinated goodness, you can probably get more done at home than at the office. In fact, according to a study by the Telework Research Network, more than two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their teleworkers.

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Switching to the New Credit Card Terminals

We've been quite surprised how little press this issue has received.  Even larger businesses that have made the investment in the new POS terminals are still swiping cards rather than using the EMV chips.  This article contains basic information regarding upgrading to the new terminals and the shift in liability from the card issuer to the business. 

On October 1, 2015, businesses of all sizes are required to have updated POS terminals and backend software to begin accepting EMV chip cards. If you haven't made the shift by October 1, your business, instead of the credit card company, becomes liable for incidents of credit card fraud.

The year of EMV migration is upon us and for U.S. SMBs that means significant changes when it comes to processing customer payments.

Have no idea what I mean by EMV? You're not alone. You've likely seen the tiny gold design on the front of many credit cards during transactions in recent months, but thought of it as more decorative than deliberate. Short for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, EMV is a payments standard in which the designs — which are actually computer chips — are embedded into credit cards to create a unique impression.

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Common Technology Issues & Solutions

 5 common tech problems and their DIY solutionsTechnology issues are a thorn in the side of many businesses. Even an action as simple as opening and printing out an email attachment can come with its fair share of bumps in the road. And the whole process of calling for support and waiting for service—that can often be as painful as the issue itself. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just fix these problems yourself? Well, sometimes you can. Our friends at Hewlett Packard discuss "do it yourself" solutions to five all-too-familiar tech problems:

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