Is Your Customer Service Proactive or Reactive?

Posted on 8/5/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center tech trends Call Center customer service

Consumers expect greater control over their customer experience. In fact, according to a Forrester survey, 72% of customers are going online to serve themselves. However, not all companies are meeting their customers’ self-service expectations—as evidenced by the fact that only 52% of customers find the information they need online.

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WebRTC: The Next Big Thing in Business Communication

Posted on 3/28/2014 by Mike Dolloff in tech trends Video conferencing

WebRTC, similar to the Internet of Everything, is one of those transformative technological shifts to pay attention to.

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Sacramento Area Contact Center Hiring May Be On An Upswing

Posted on 3/27/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in Call Center

With a large local Sprint Call Center officially closing its Rancho Cordova site, many call center agents who received the advanced lay-off notice were scrambling to find another position.

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TEAMSOS's CEO Provides Insights in SearchITChannel Feature

Posted on 3/5/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends managed services

TEAMSOS’s CEO, Lawrence McNutt were among the experts interviewed in a featured piece on SearchITChannel’s site.

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Data Security: Are You Utilizing Basic Security Precautions?

Posted on 2/27/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Target Corp. Neiman Marcus Group. Michaels Stores Inc. Lately, it seems like retailer data security breaches are dominating the headlines. But many data security breaches don’t make national headlines.

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TEAMSOS Named in CRN's Managed Service Provider 500 List

Posted on 2/18/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in awards managed services

We’re proud to announce that TEAMSOS has been named in CRN’s Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list as one of the MSP Pioneer 250.

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TEAMSOS Renews its Specialization in Advanced Unified Technology

Posted on 2/17/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in Cisco data center unified computing system

TEAMSOS has renewed its specialization in Cisco’s Advanced Unified Technology.

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3 Steps to Evaluate Your UC Requirements

Posted on 1/30/2014 by michelle pizzo in unified communications

Unified communications (UC) could streamline your business communications and customer service processes. But to implement UC well, you must ask the right questions up front.

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Microsoft is Currently Developing a Server

Posted on 1/29/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft tech trends

Microsoft is developing a server, which is currently unnamed, that will support Open Compute Project and other open source cloud computing movements.

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Is 3-D TV Dead?

Posted on 1/8/2014 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Are 3-D televisions destined to go the way of cassette tapes and VCRs? Recently, at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Vizio announced that they will no longer make any 3-D televisions.

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Ringing in the Holiday Cheer with Our Chief of Technology

Posted on 1/3/2014 by Adam Busch in Community

Here at TEAMSOS, we pride ourselves on the skills and abilities of our employees to insure quality assistance. This is how we operate.

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Giving Back: TEAMSOS's Elves Spread Holiday Cheer

Posted on 12/24/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Community

With the holiday season in full swing, the whole TEAMSOS family is definitely feeling festive. And giving to others in need is a wonderful way to share that festive feeling with our community.

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Why Big Data presents Big Problems for Analyzing

Posted on 11/14/2013 by Adam Busch in tech trends Big Data

Have you heard of the term “Big Data”? It’s been around as far back as 2001, yet how to manage big data still presents many problems for businesses. Here’s why.

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Favorite #ITproblems of the Month

Posted on 11/12/2013 by Adam Busch in tech trends #ITproblems

Here are TEAMSOS’s favorite #ITproblem tweets of the month.

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Slow Mac? System Lens Can Help

Posted on 11/5/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

It seems like so long ago, but there was a time when your Mac ran fast. Today, though, your favorite computer is about as fast as a slug. Your Mac has slowed down with age. Part of the problem might be the apps you’ve downloaded on it.

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Posted on 10/31/2013 by Adam Busch in best practices

We all know giving criticism can be as difficult as receiving it. However, most people like sandwiches, and that applies to criticism as well.

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Business Planning for the Apocalypse 101: Disaster Recovery

Posted on 10/31/2013 by Adam Busch in technical support data center tech trends

It’s that time of the year again where ghouls, ghosts and zombies parade around wreaking havoc with the sole aim of harming your business. Does your business have a disaster recovery plan to protect itself from horrific IT outages that are surely to occur from these data-mashing monsters?

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Looking for the Best Portable Hard Drive? Here's a Suggestion

Posted on 10/30/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

There are lots of portable hard drives available. But which hard drive meets your needs?

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Get Your Head in the Cloud and the Game

Posted on 10/25/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in cloud Cisco

We’ve found a way to combine two of our favorite things, football and access points. That’s right, we’re pairing Monday Night Football with Meraki, Cisco's cloud-based managed networking products. Come hang out with us on November 4th at Dave & Buster’s in Roseville for football, food & drink, and all things Meraki.

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Boosting Enthusiasm within the Workplace

Posted on 10/25/2013 by Adam Busch in contact center best practices Call Center Goals Managing

Employers, how can you motivate your employees to strive for excellence?

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Making the Transition from Windows 8 to 8.1

Posted on 10/22/2013 by Adam Busch in Microsoft Technology Trends Windows 8.1 Skype-Ready

October 18, 2013 marked the day that Windows 8.1 was released as a free update to current Microsoft 8 customers. Does your business need to make the transition? Contact TEAMSOS so that we can help you make this happen.

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Good News for Small Businesses: Options for Improvement are Out There

Posted on 10/18/2013 by Adam Busch in best practices small business Profit Technology Trends

Has your small business taken advantage of the current trends in technology?

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Don't Fall for these Tech Myths

Posted on 10/16/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Think your Mac computer is immune to viruses? How about the recycle bin? Do you believe that once you empty it, you’ve permanently deleted files? What about private browsing? Do you think you can visit any site on your company computer and not find yourself in trouble? If you’ve answered “yes” to these questions, then you’ve fallen for three of the more common technology myths.

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Maybe Those Video Games Won't Rot Your Brain

Posted on 10/11/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Maybe mom was wrong: Those video games may not rot your brain after all.

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Why Napping at Work Makes Sense

Posted on 10/9/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in productivity

Feeling rundown by the end of your workday? A power nap may be the ticket.

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Speed Up Your Old iPhone and iPad

Posted on 10/4/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Does it take your iPad ages to play your favorite videos? Does your iPhone’s Web browser crawl on the web? The chances are that your iPad or iPhone are old. And when these devices get old, they get sluggish.

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The Smartwatch Must Have List

Posted on 10/2/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Are you itching for a smartwatch? If so, you're in luck. The Samsung Galaxy Gear is available and rumors are circulating that Apple is planning its very own iWatch. But what features should a smartwatch boast?

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You Need to Learn About Your Twitter Followers

Posted on 9/27/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in social media tech trends

Amassing a big group of Twitter followers isn’t overly difficult. Inspiring these followers, though, to buy the goods and services that your company offers, though, is a far more challenging task. Even more difficult? Persuading these followers to get the word out about your business among their neighbors and family members.

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Interactive Intelligence Named as Contact Center Infrastructure Leader

Posted on 9/25/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center awards tech trends Interactive Intelligence

Interactive Intelligence was named as a Leader in Gartner’s 2013 Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Infrastructure. Interactive Intelligence’s Customer Interaction Center (CIC) offers an all-in-one suite of contact center applications across a wide range of scalability requirements. Additionally, Interactive Intelligence offers a cloud-based option, Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS).

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The Quality Versus Quantity Debate

Posted on 9/20/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in small business

Your business has two main paths to profit: You can focus on quantity, producing the highest possible number of goods and services. Or you can focus on quality, creating the best products or services in your market.

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TEAMSOS Chief Technology Officer, Rob Thornton rides for Troubled Youth

Posted on 9/20/2013 by Adam Busch in Community

Does your Chief Technology Officer compete in 24-hour bike-a-thons? How about raise funds for an organization that focuses on disciplining and counseling young people that have gone through traumatic experiences?

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How Smart is Your Toaster? With Android it Might be a Genius

Posted on 9/18/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

The rice cooker is a lowly appliance. But what if it was powered by the Android operating system? And how about your refrigerator or dishwasher?

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There's No Reason to Pay for Desktop Wallpaper

Posted on 9/13/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Sick of your desktop wallpaper? Well, we have good news for you.

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Instant Experience

Posted on 9/11/2013 by Adam Busch in Microsoft Lync Instant Messenger Intern Blog

Adam the Intern discovers he has experience in an unlikely place: Instant Messaging.

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What Smartphone to Buy? Does it Even Matter?

Posted on 9/11/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

There certainly are a great number of smartphones on the market today. Head into an electronics store and the choices can be overwhelming. But Jesus Diaz, a writer for the lifehacker website, says don't let the number of phones throw you. The way he sees it, it doesn't matter which smartphone you buy.

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The PC Isn't Dead Yet

Posted on 9/6/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You may think the PC era is just about over if you believe everything you read in the tech media. After all, the sales numbers for tablets are soaring. The numbers for PCs aren't quite as impressive. But ITworld in a recent story made a persuasive case against the naysayers.

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The Duracell Powermat: Taking the Hassle Out of Charging

Posted on 9/4/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Most smart phone owners hate charging their devices. And why is that? You have to manage power cords that unavoidably get lost or wind up snarled in a mess in your desk drawer. Maybe it’s time to cut the cord and go wireless: You can with the Duracell Powermat 24-Hour Power System.

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Taking an Email Break

Posted on 8/28/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Everyone needs a vacation. But coming back isn’t always fun, especially not when you’re welcomed by an e-mail inbox that is so stuffed it will take days to go through it. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure that your e-mail inbox is neat and orderly when you return.

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Don't Buy the Wrong Project Management Tool for Your Business

Posted on 8/16/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends small business

Project-management software could make your business a model of productivity. But shopping for the right software for your business? That’s not fun.

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Digg Reader an Effective Replacement for Google Reader

Posted on 8/14/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Google Reader, the most loved news reader of millions, shut down earlier this summer. But Reader fans should rejoice: There’s a replacement for Google Reader available now.

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Facebook User? Don't Forget the "Other" Folder

Posted on 8/9/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You consider yourself a thoughtful Facebook user, one who invariably replies promptly to messages. But what if you’ve missed hundreds of messages from co-workers, teachers, employers or family and friends over the years?

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Should Your Meetings be Low-Tech?

Posted on 8/7/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Tired of your employees reading email in your meetings? Annoyed that your staff members spend time logging onto twitter while you’re going over company strategies? You’re not alone.

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Infographic: Importance of Disaster Preparedness

Posted on 8/2/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends Disaster recovery data center virtualization

Overlooking the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place for your business can lead to costly IT outages. The term “Disaster Preparedness” may bring to mind the necessity of taking steps to protect your business from the threat of natural disasters, but the majority of onsite disasters are due to human error.

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Google Apps for Business Versus Microsoft Office 365

Posted on 7/31/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in cloud tech trends

Google and Microsoft offer cloud-based solutions that can be utilized by small, medium, and enterprise level businesses. Both solutions provide the essentials we’ve come to expect from a productivity suite: word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, and of course email. When trying to determine which service to use for your business—Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365—it’s tempting to compare the cost of the two solutions as the deciding factor.

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The New Science of Smartphone

Posted on 7/26/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

How much might you pay to protect your smartphone from accidental drops and bumps? How about $35?

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Protect Yourself from Spamming and Spoofing

Posted on 7/24/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You open an e-mail from your co-worker only to find out it’s junk mail: an ad for a new herbal supplement, along with a link to that supplement’s Web site. Believe in instincts if you’re suspicious. The odds are your co-worker’s e-mail account has been hacked or her e-mail address spoofed.

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Infographic: Best Smartphone Apps for Small Businesses

Posted on 7/23/2013 by michelle pizzo in tech trends small business mobility

Increasingly, small business owners are relying on smartphone apps for essential business functions, like tracking finances and sharing documents. But with so many apps out there, how do you know which are best for you?

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You Can Monitor Your Employees. Should You?

Posted on 7/19/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Faculty members at Harvard University were shocked to find out that university administrators monitored their e-mail accounts recently to find the source of a media leak about a school cheating scandal. But should they have been?

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Interactive Intelligence Positioned as Leader in Contact Center Infrastructure

Posted on 7/18/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center

Interactive Intelligence, one of our technology partners, has been positioned by Gartner in the “Leaders” quadrant of its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Infrastructure report. The Gartner report provides an analysis of vendors in the market based on their ability to execute and completeness of vision.

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The Ultimate Site for Gadget Freaks Who Love to Cook

Posted on 7/17/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Do you love to cook? Do you love gadgets, too? Then there's a site specifically created just for you, The Sweethome.

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There are Some Essentials Every Business Website Needs

Posted on 7/12/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends small business

Is your business’ website turning away customers? Are customers logging on to your website just to abandon your online home simply because can’t find what they want? If so, you may need a website upgrade.

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Team SOS and BBBS of Sacramento Host an Exciting Night at the Races

Posted on 7/11/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Community

This summer, we’ve teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sacramento to sponsor a series of “Meet the Riders” Nights at Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway. The “Meet the Riders” events are all about giving Bigs and Littles a fun, action packed night out together. Plus we’re encouraging people attending the event to consider signing up to be a Big Brother/Sister.

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How Vulnerable is Your Email Account?

Posted on 7/10/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Has this ever happened to you? You wake up one morning to find out that, while you were sleeping, you sent out thousands of e-mails to the names in your address book. And the e-mails are all shilling some odd herbal supplement. This is the work of a hacker, one who has broken into your e-mail account. Fortunately, it is easy to take simple measures to keep the hackers out of your e-mail.

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Turning Off the Tech: Good for Your Productivity?

Posted on 7/5/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Can you imagine daily life without your tablet? How about without your laptop computer or smartphone? How about a day without an online game of Words with Friends? Technology has dramatically changed our everyday life. We now get our news online, interact with friends through social media sites, and count on GPS-equipped smart phones to find that new Asian restaurant and get back to our homes. But does there come a time to shut down all of this tech?

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Interactive Intelligence Helps FORUM Credit Union Improve Member Services and Reduce Costs

Posted on 6/28/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center tech trends

Credit union deploys all-in-one IP communications software suite to more effectively manage multichannel customer interactions across its 12 branch offices.

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Want To Be Really Safe? Here's How To Back Up Your Evernote Notebooks

Posted on 6/26/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You may think that you'll never need to back up files, images or videos that you save in an Evernote notebook. Since of course, not only will your files be stored on your own computer or device, they'll also be stored on Evernote's own servers.

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Stay in Power with these External Battery Packs

Posted on 6/21/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Planning a getaway? Planning to bring your laptop, smartphone or tablet with you? Then you will want to have an external battery pack. These portable units allow you to plug nearly any device within them. The battery pack charges them whenever they start running out of juice. But which external battery packs work best?

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Top Call Center Trends for Achieving a Competitive Advantage: Trend 7--Innovations in IVR, Queuing and Routing

Posted on 6/19/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center tech trends

Our call center tech trends blog series concludes with a look at our last trend, innovations in IVR, queuing and routing.

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The Risk of Bitcoin Payments

Posted on 6/19/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Bitcoins are becoming a popular way for individuals to purchase goods and services online. The question, though, is whether your small business should say yes to this virtual currency.

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Upgraded to Word 2013 Yet? Why Not?

Posted on 6/14/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft tech trends

Microsoft has introduced its latest version of its popular word-processing program, Word 2013. Now you ask, is an upgrade to this version of Word necessary? The editors at PC World magazine in a recent feature story answered with a definitive "Yes."

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Top Call Center Trends for Achieving a Competitive Advantage: Trend 6--Leveraging the Communications Systems for Workflow

Posted on 6/13/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center unified communications tech trends

This week’s installment of our call center tech trends blog series focuses on leveraging communications systems to optimize workflow.

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Time to Break These Bad Tech Habits

Posted on 6/12/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You might consider yourself a tech-savvy sort, one that would never fall victim to a few of the bad tech habits that raise your odds of being hacked or getting your smart phone stolen. But you may just be shocked at how many of the worst tech habits that you practice.

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Looking for an Operating System? Windows is Still the Best

Posted on 6/7/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Windows tech trends Microsoft

Microsoft has taken its share of hits lately about Windows 8, the newest version of its long-running Windows operating system. Nevertheless, there's something a lot of critics are leaving out with regards to this much-maligned operating system: Despite its flaws, it actually works pretty well.

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Interactive Intelligence Receives 2013 Contact Center Technology Pioneer Award

Posted on 6/6/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center cloud tech trends

Interactive Intelligence cloud-based CaaS Small Center℠ solution honored for its ease-of-use, sophisticated feature-set, and accessible price point for small contact centers.

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Top Call Center Trends for Achieving a Competitive Advantage: Trend 5--Looking After the Breadcrumbs

Posted on 6/6/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center tech trends

Our call center tech trends blog series continues with our 5th trend, looking after the breadcrumbs. What are the breadcrumbs? It's the data that's lost when customers move across touch points.

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What the Living Social Password Breach Means to You

Posted on 6/5/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Are you guilty of one of the worst bad technology habits possible? Do you use the exact same password and login name for a multitude of online sites? If so, you could be putting yourself at considerable risk. Clever hackers might be able to crack your password. And when they do, what's to stop them from using that password to get into all of your favorite online sites - including, potentially, your online bank - while pretending to be you?

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Sagemcom Delivers its Enterprise Class Faxing Solution to the Cloud

Posted on 5/31/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in cloud tech trends

Sagemcom, a global leader in advanced fax server solutions for IP networks, took their market leading on-premise XMediusFAX server solution and put it into the cloud, without losing any of the enterprise functionality required for secure fax transmissions.

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Top Call Center Trends for Achieving a Competitive Advantage: Trend 4--WFO Gains Relevance and Importance

Posted on 5/30/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center tech trends cloud Video conferencing

For our fourth blog in our call center tech trends series we'll shift our attention to WFO (Work Force Optimization).

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Take the Small Steps to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attack

Posted on 5/29/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends small business

Here's what attracts cyber criminals: easy targets. This means that you can leave your small business exposed to a cyber attack if you don't defend your company's Wi-Fi systems with passwords, or if you trust in passwords which are absurdly easy to guess.

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Sharing Your Screens on iOS Doesn't Have to be a Pain

Posted on 5/24/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Tablets have a lot of advantages: They're extremely portable. Their screens are sharp. And they let us send and receive e-mail messages, scan the Web and watch movies whether we're sitting on a train or huddled in our favorite public library. But they're not perfect. For starters, sharing your screen using tablet is a hassle, right? Maybe not.

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Top Call Center Trends for Achieving a Competitive Advantage: Trend 3--Social Media

Posted on 5/23/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center social media tech trends

For our 3rd installment in our blog series on the top call center tech trends, we’ll focus on the role of social media in the call center.

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Protect Yourself with Two-Factor Authentication

Posted on 5/22/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Think your business's computers are protected with conventional passwords? Guess again. Too many of your staff count on simple passwords that are easy for hackers to figure out. Others use the same password for multiple Web sites, computers and mobile devices. Consequently once cyber criminals hack that password, they are able to easily gain access to numerous other sites and devices.

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Would the AP Phishing Scam Have Tricked You?

Posted on 5/17/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

You would never open a phishing e-mail that asks you to deposit $1,000 to obtain $1 million, would you? And you would never open anything from a Nigerian prince trying to get the cash he needs to flee to the United States, right? But what about the most subtle of today's phishing e-mails? Think you would never be seduced by one of them? Think again.

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Top Call Center Trends for Achieving a Competitive Advantage: Trend 2--Mobile Customer Service

Posted on 5/16/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center tech trends

Our 7 part weekly blog series focusing on the top contact center tech trends continues with our 2nd trend, Mobile Customer Service.

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These Tech Trends Will Change Your Business This Year

Posted on 5/15/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Remember when you sent out faxes to your clients every day? Today, that fax machine, if your office still has one, is more than likely covered with dust. That's because business technology is constantly changing. Businesses must constantly adapt to these changes if they want to thrive.

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Not All Computer Monitors are the Same

Posted on 5/10/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

It's time for you to purchase a new LCD computer monitor. Your first notion is to go right down to the local electronics or department store to get the biggest monitor you can locate at the most affordable price. That seems like a good idea. But there's in fact more to choosing a computer monitor than price and size.

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Is Your Phone's Passcode Really Safe?

Posted on 5/8/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Think your smart phone is protected simply because you make use of a passcode to stop others from logging onto its home screen? You better think again.

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Top Call Center Trends for Achieving a Competitive Advantage: Trend 1-Major Move to the Cloud

Posted on 5/7/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center cloud tech trends

Meeting and exceeding customers’ service expectations can serve as the deciding factor in achieving and maintaining a competitive edge. However, with customer expectations so high, contact centers have to proactively seek out ways to improve the service experience for their customers—often while keeping operating costs in check. Frequently, technology provides a way to take your customer service to the next level. Staying ahead of the curve on the latest contact center tech trends may be just the thing to optimize the efficacy and effectiveness of your center.

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Don't Hurt Your Peepers at the Workplace

Posted on 5/3/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Does your job require you to stare at a computer screen for hours at a stretch? If so, eyestrain may become a serious problem. A newly released story by the everon small-business blog says that workers plugged into their computers can face a host of problems, everything from watery eyes to headaches, increased sensitivity to light and difficulty focusing.

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Is Privacy Dead? It Doesn't have to be

Posted on 5/1/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Do you have nightmares of your tablet falling into the hands of thieves? Maybe you worry that a hacker will break into your online bank account. These fears are warranted. It's increasingly challenging for all of us to guard our privacy in today's Internet age. But, there's good news.

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Featured Event: Making the Business Case for Moving Your Contact Center to the Cloud

Posted on 4/26/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center cloud

Today, many contact centers are opting for cloud-based, rather than premise-based, solutions. In fact, the growth of the cloud contact center is nearly ten times that of the premise-based sector. But just because shifting to the cloud is one of the most talked about tech trends for contact centers, doesn’t automatically mean that a move to the cloud makes sense for your business. Ultimately, you have to consider if the benefits of the cloud justify a shift for your business.

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Morning the Death of Google Reader

Posted on 4/25/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in cloud tech trends

This summer, July 1 to be exact, the Google Reader RSS service will go away. Google is eliminating it, citing a declining user base. This is bad news for fans of the RSS service. But it's also a learning point: Consumers ought to realize that any of their most favorite cloud-based services can cease to exist. Don't expect Google Reader to be the last one to do so.

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How to Erase All Those Saved Passwords

Posted on 4/19/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security

We all save passwords and usernames on our web browsers. It's a way to quickly access the membership-based Web sites that we visit daily. Nevertheless, there's a security risk to this. If someone takes your laptop, this thief will have little trouble accessing your favorite sites. And if you've saved the password and username combination for your online bank account, then you might be in some very serious trouble.

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Why One Tech Writer Switched to Android

Posted on 4/17/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Do you adore your iPhone? Could you ever envision deserting it? Well, maybe here's the better question: Have you ever compared your iPhone to an Android-powered smartphone like the Galaxy S III? Should you choose to, you may be tempted to make the swap from an iPhone to an Android phone, the same as technology writer Andy Ihnatko recently did. Ihnatko outlined his smartphone conversion in a recently available column for the Tech Hive Web site. Perhaps his move will encourage you to reconsider your love affair with the iPhone.

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Your Small Business Can Write Off More Tech Spending in 2013

Posted on 4/12/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends small business

Can your business thrive if you are relying on outdated technology? Probably not. You need current technology these days to communicate with your customers and clients, examine sales trends and more efficiently handle everything from accounting to inventory. Thankfully, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 incorporates a hefty tax break for small businesses that spend money on new technology.

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Is the U.S. Government Making the Web More Dangerous?

Posted on 4/9/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Remember Stuxnet? Back in 2010, a new piece of malware corrupted multiple systems needed to access and control industrial equipment being used in Iran's nuclear program. The details of this malware remain fuzzy, but, as a recent story by the MIT Technology Review reports, Stuxnet is widely thought to be the work of the United States and Israeli governments. This makes Stuxnet particularly important: As the Technology Review story says, Stuxnet is among the most visible signs of a new form of warfare: government-controlled malware developed to attack the computers and security systems of other countries. And, like it or not, it appears that the United States is at the forefront of this phenomenon.

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What Happens to Online Accounts After the One Person with Access Dies?

Posted on 4/5/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Small business owners have got a lot to think about. Should they hire more staff? Should they open a new location? Does their business offer goods and services that aren't generating enough income? But here's something that far too many business owners don't think about: How are you affected if the one individual who has access to all your small business' online accounts—everything from your business' online bank accounts to its social media sites to its cloud-based payroll software—suddenly dies? Will you be able to access these important accounts?

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Want to Grow Your Small Business in 2013? Try these IT Projects

Posted on 4/3/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You want your small business to grow in 2013. You have dreams of reaching new revenue records and increasing your staff. You would perhaps like to add new locations. So how do you achieve this growth? You might consider looking at IT. Taking on the right tech projects can make your small business more efficient and provide your staff with the tools they need to snag more clients and sell more.

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The Cult of Evernote?

Posted on 3/29/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Are you part of the cult of Evernote? Do you use the popular organizing app to schedule meetings, save your favorite Web pages and track of your wedding anniversary date? Do you use the application to store images and videos for work or play? If so, you're far from alone. As a recent story by Bloomberg Businessweek shows, a growing number of tablet and computer users are gravitating to Evernote. And the fans of the software are anything but shy about their love for it.

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Email Etiquette for a Busy World

Posted on 3/27/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

How many e-mail messages do you send each day? If like most of us, dozens. Now, have you been doing something to make your recipients angry? There's actually etiquette involved with sending e-mail messages. And if you don't want to tick off your recipients, you would be wise to master the following tips for exercising good e-mail manners.

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Malware's Going Mobile: Protect Your Smartphone

Posted on 3/22/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Do you think that malware is largely a problem for PCs and laptops, not your smartphone? Because most smartphone users get their apps from a centralized and safe source, such as Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store for Android, smartphone users in the US have, for the most part, been exempt from mobile malware attacks. Until now.

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Don't Be Led Astray When Researching on the Internet

Posted on 3/20/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Internet tech trends

You can learn about anything on the Internet. At least it would appear that way. The fact is, when you're doing research online, you're liable to stumble into information that looks true but in fact isn't. And that can scuttle your research easily. Luckily, Web site Lifehacker recently offered several tips on how to conduct more effective research on the Internet.

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Are You Ready to Buy Google's Goggles?

Posted on 3/15/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Google Glass -- Google's augmented reality glasses -- are getting closer to showing up on the market. These computerized specs will permit wearers to surf the Internet, send and receive e-mail messages, chat with friends and take photos. Pretty nifty for a pair of glasses. But there was a time when glasses were used only for seeing things, which was an important job, too. Is Google's Glass project, then, truly necessary? Or is it a diversion from real life?

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Square for Small Business: A Match Made in Heaven?

Posted on 3/13/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

This remains a tough economy for the owners of small businesses. It's tough to attract customers, to convince them to buy your offerings, in an environment in which unemployment continues to be nearly 8 percent. The good news? Small business entrepreneurs do, thanks to improving technology, have a greater number of tools to help them attract and retain customers. One such tool? Square.

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What's Better: A Desktop E-mail Client or Web-based E-mail

Posted on 3/8/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Internet tech trends

It's an issue all computer users face: Would it be preferable to download a desktop e-mail client like Sparrow or Postbox or is Web-based e-mail like Gmail the best choice?

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Video Conferencing: Standards-Based Video Coding Drives Interoperability

Posted on 3/6/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Video conferencing tech trends

Open-standard coding is not anything new. Many of us are familiar with open-source software to drive customization, advancements, and overall adoption & connectivity. Manufacturers are also offering standards-based video coding, AKA: Scalable Video Coding (SVC), as a royalty-free software technology designed to extend the reach of video conferencing and encourage interoperability across the organization.

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Do You Know What Big Data Is? As a Business Owner, You Should

Posted on 3/1/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Here's a quick quiz for the people who own small companies. Do you know what big data is? You've probably read about big data. You've probably even read that those businesses who study big data can use it to forge a more powerful relationship to customers and gain an edge over their rivals.

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Coming Soon: Microsoft Lync-Skype Connectivity

Posted on 2/28/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft unified communications Video conferencing

Lync-Skype Connectivity for presence, IM and voice will be available to all Lync users by June 2013.

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Cisco, Nimble and VMware Partnership Yield Exciting VDI Solution

Posted on 2/27/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Cisco virtualization tech trends storage

A recent collaboration between Cisco, Nimble, and VMware has produced an exciting VDI solution. VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) has been a growing trend and it seems to be picking up even more steam.

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Extend the Life of Your Smartphone Battery

Posted on 2/22/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Smartphones are wonderful tools. There is however one weakness that virtually every smartphone shares: short battery life. This is a frustrating problem. As you're logging onto the Web, reviewing your e-mail messages, and making phone calls, you're draining your phone's battery. With many of the top smartphones on the market, you're fortunate to make it home after the workday with enough battery life left to squeeze in one quick call for take-out food. While there are several companies working to improve this issue, there are a few things that you can do with your current phone to increase its battery life.

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Looking for "Instant UC in a Box"? Cisco BE 6000 is as Close as it Gets

Posted on 2/20/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Cisco unified communications tech trends

There has been a large shift toward the use of Unified Communication (UC) solutions in the last 10 years. But if you look at market data, there is still a large portion of companies that are not using any type of UC solution. Just to be clear, when we say UC we don’t mean just a phone system with voice mail and a dial tone. UC not only includes a phone system but also other features such as presence, messaging, and video conferencing, which gives you a holistic UC platform. There are a lot of companies missing out on the benefits of a UC platform: improved tools for connecting employees and customers, flexibility for enabling a mobile and disparate workforce, and hard cost savings. Midsize businesses that are ready to tap into the benefits of UC may find their needs met by this simple but powerful all in one solution, the Cisco BE6000.

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The Battle Against Reply-All Spam

Posted on 2/15/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Is your inbox overflowing with unwanted emails? Do you feel like you’re losing the war on spam? When you think of spam, emails from strangers trying to sell you pharmaceuticals probably come to mind. But a major source of spam may come from senders you know.

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Best iPad Apps for Writers

Posted on 2/13/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

If you're a professional writer who also happens to own an iPad, you're fortunate: Software developers have created a number of apps to help you do your work better, whether you cover real estate news for a trade magazine, blog about technology or write romance fiction. Here is a closer look at several of the best iPad apps for really serious writers. For those who earn your living with the written word, these applications are must-haves.

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Think Your Business Doesn't Need a Printer? Think Again

Posted on 2/8/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Don't think you need a printer in your small company? Think again. We'd all prefer to believe we're on the verge of a paperless society. After all, we can easily create our important documents on our smart phones, tablets and Laptops and then store them in the cloud. We can then send these documents to clients. You shouldn't have to ever print them out, right? Not quite.

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Need Files from Your PC? Try the iPad's Remote-Access Apps

Posted on 2/6/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Ever needed to access your hard drive or laptop while you were out of the office? Ever needed that one special file from your PC while you were on the opposite side of the country from it? With your iPad and a remote-access app, you can easily access your desktop or laptop no matter where it is or you are.

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Get the Most Out of Windows 8 Without Buying a New Machine

Posted on 2/1/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft Windows tech trends

Windows 8 represents an impressive change for Microsoft's venerable operating system. It's designed to work not just with keyboard and mouse but also with a touchscreen. However, many users who upgrade to the new operating system will not be running Windows 8 with a touch screen. They'll be dependent upon older computers that operate the old-fashioned way, with keyboard and mouse controls. Also, users that run Windows 8 only on tablets are also not receiving the full Windows 8 experience. There are some functions that just run better with mouse and keyboard control. That does not mean, though, that people who rely either on tablets or traditional computers won't be able to benefit from the many features that are part of the new operating system. They can. They only need to choose the right peripherals.

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Video Conferencing in the Call Center: Boost Customer Satisfaction with Nonverbals

Posted on 1/31/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in contact center tech trends

Video chatting used to be the stuff of science fiction movies. But now communicating through video chat is common place. Whether for work—video conferencing with colleagues or clients in different time zones—or personal reasons—video chatting with family and friends, never has being able to interact face to face with someone in a different physical location been so accessible. Given the availability of video conferencing tech for consumers and businesses alike, it’s no surprise that call centers are contemplating adding this channel to their repertoire of communication tools.

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iPad in the Swimming Pool? There is Still Hope

Posted on 1/30/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

It seemed like a smart idea to bring your iPad to the local pool. Until, of course, you dropped it in the water. Now it looks like a bad idea. But don't panic. You may be able to save that iPad. To be sure, water isn't the friend of electronic devices. Even so it needn't be their end, either. If you act quickly, you may well be able to save your waterlogged tablet, smartphone or iPod.

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Hackers Now Targeting Smart Phones

Posted on 1/25/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

The vast majority of malware attacks still transpire on PCs, but cyber criminals are increasingly turning their attention to smart phones. And no wonder: Smart phones are getting to be miniature computers. Many people use smart phones to surf the net, read e-mail messages and do banking on the go. These devices, then, are ripe for attack. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your smartphone from hackers.

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iPad Mini: The Best Tablet Bargain Today

Posted on 1/23/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

The choices seem almost endless. There is the popular iPad. Amazon gives you the Kindle Fire, while Barnes & Noble has its Nook series of devices. Even though technically e-readers, these units function as lower-cost tablets. Next you have the powerful Galaxy tablets made by Samsung, in addition to countless lower-profile devices from smaller tech companies. One Website recommends for you to skip the many above-mentioned tablets and purchase the iPad Mini.

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New Mailbox App for iPhone Can Solve Your Mobile Email Woes

Posted on 1/18/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Here's a simple truth: Most everyone who has a smartphone uses it to view and send e-mail messages. But no one generally seems to like their mobile e-mail programs. Tech company Orchestra, though, wishes to change this.

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Productivity Tips: OS X Mountain Lion

Posted on 1/16/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

OS X Mountain Lion, an operating system from Macintosh, has received rave reviews. People are saying it's very powerful and easy to use. However, if you are using it, you may not be using it to its full potential.

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Windows 8 Transition Tips

Posted on 1/11/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft Windows

The Windows 8 operating system has had a lot of positive reviews. It has a wide range of features that were not present in previous versions. So if you are ready to upgrade, there are several steps you should take to make sure it goes smoothly.

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Doctors and Hospitals Going Digital

Posted on 1/9/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

When your doctor must access your health records—everything from your allergies to the treatments you were given during past visits—does he or she pull out a manila envelope brimming with scraps of paper? Or does your doctor log onto the computer? The odds are becoming increasingly high that your doctor turns to the computer.

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These Translation Apps Will Help You Communicate Overseas

Posted on 1/4/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You're traveling overseas for the family vacation of a lifetime. Or perhaps you need to travel to a foreign country for business. Dilemma is, you don't speak the language. There's hope, though, and you can get it from your smartphone. Tech companies today offer a wide range of translation apps for tourists and business professionals who are traveling the world.

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The Coming of Holograms

Posted on 1/2/2013 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Technology evolves rapidly and, as it evolves, it changes the way we operate in our day-to-day lives. A lot of technology that we take for granted now was once featured as futuristic tech in science fiction movies. So what is the next giant leap in technology? A writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, Ben Kunz, thinks it's probably going to be holograms.

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Microsoft Word Alternatives

Posted on 12/28/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Using a word processor should be easy, right? All you do is type, right? Microsoft Word is the most commonly used word processor, and it's not very simple. Although some people enjoy the variety of features of Word, others could do without all the extras.

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Apps to Aid You During an Emergency

Posted on 12/26/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

It seems like there are a lot of pointless and frivolous apps around. But there are some helpful apps, and there are a few that could even help you in an emergency situation. Whether you need directions to the nearest hospital or an escape route to avoid a flash flood, these smartphone apps could save your skin.

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How to Remove Email Addresses to Avoid Mishaps Due to Autocomplete

Posted on 12/21/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Some programs that were designed to make your life simpler can actually make it more embarrassing. Autocorrect in text messaging probably pops into your head. But there is also the autocomplete function in Apple's mail app. Once you start typing an address in the "to" line of an email, the app checks your address book and will autocomplete it for you if it begins with the first letters of a name that is already there. This can be good, but it can also create problems.

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Google Better: Find What You Are Looking For

Posted on 12/19/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You have been using Google for years, and you know how to use it, right? You generally find what you are looking for, right? Maybe not, there are a few tricks you can utilize to make your Googling skills more advantageous and efficient.

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The Live Chat Trend

Posted on 12/14/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Live chat is a great way to make it easy for your customers to contact you. If you like the idea of them having the capacity to go to your website and ask a live agent a question, you ought to look into live-chat.

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Cisco Jabber Versus Microsoft Lync: The Inevitable UC Smackdown

Posted on 12/12/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in unified communications Cisco Microsoft

In the battle for Unified Communications (UC) solution supremacy, both Cisco and Microsoft claim their offering is the top contender for your organization. Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Lync both offer all the UC solution essentials including presence, instant messaging, voice and video, desktop sharing, and conferencing. In fact, in a feature by feature comparison, the 2 solutions are pretty similar. Both Jabber and Lync integrate well into Office, SharePoint, and other applications. Also, the two UC solutions work on PC, Mac, tablets, and smartphones. You can transfer calls from desktop to mobile phone seamlessly and transparently with Jabber and Lync. When considering all of these similarities it begs the question, “Which solution is best for my organization?”

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SOS Now Offering Polycom

Posted on 12/7/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in unified communications Video conferencing

We're proud to officially add another valuable brand to our wheelhouse of quality products: Polycom! As experts in Unified Communications and advanced collaboration solutions, it only makes sense that we sell one of the most popular and highest quality products on the market today.

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SOS Celebrates 20th Anniversary with All-Out Bash

Posted on 12/4/2012 by michelle pizzo in Anniversary

This fall marks SOS’s 20th Anniversary! We’ve come so far and we couldn’t be more excited about how much we’re continuing to grow. Reaching this milestone is an opportunity to reflect on SOS’s humble beginnings—a two-person operation run out of a garage. And even more importantly, this occasion gives us pause to celebrate where we are headed—Over 50 employees and growing! We felt the only way to properly commemorate our 20th Anniversary was to throw an all-out bash, so we could applaud the many people who have contributed to our success over the years.

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Tips to Get the Most Out of Windows 7

Posted on 11/29/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft Windows tech trends

Not quite prepared to upgrade your operating system from Windows 7? No problem, Windows 7 is fairly efficient. Here are some tips to take advantage of it before you take the plunge into another OS.

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Windows 8: A Few Neat Features

Posted on 11/29/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends Microsoft Windows

Much of the tech press has reported about Windows 8, even though it has only recently come out. This is great for you, as you can learn a little of the ins and outs before you use it.

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Don't Bust Your Budget While Traveling with a Smartphone

Posted on 11/21/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You wouldn't think of traveling around the globe without your smartphone. After all, that little device can help you quickly change plane reservations, locate the trendiest new restaurants, and figure out just how busy the highway to your hotel is. However, there's one problem: Using your cell phone outside the United States can cost you big bucks.

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Protect Yourself From Hackers: Disable Java

Posted on 11/16/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

You may not know this but one of the simplest ways to safeguard your computers from hackers is to disable Java, software that runs interactive functions on web pages. Java has developed the reputation for being a backdoor for hackers to get into your system, for example Business Insider recently pointed to the 700,000 Apple computers that were infected earlier this year with the Flashback Trojan malware. These computers were all running an out-of-date add on that enabled their browser to run Java.

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Use These Two Tricks to Make Your Computing Life Easier

Posted on 11/14/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Let's face it: Computer users today need all the help they're able to get, anything that makes their lives easier. You must appreciate that. That's why we're happy to give you a pair of helpful hacks that can get rid of at least some stress from your busy days.

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Improve Your Productivity with these Chrome Extensions

Posted on 11/9/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

When you sit in front of a computer all day, it can be appealing to visit sites like The Chive frequently. If you find yourself doing this more than once or twice a day it may be damaging your productivity. Fortunately, if you use Chrome, there are many different extensions you can add that were created to help you stay away from these distractions.

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Choosing Tech that is Right for Your Lifestyle

Posted on 11/2/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

It seems like we hear about a new tablet or smartphone coming onto the market everyday. This may put pressure on people in the business world to buy the latest and greatest tech. But, not everybody needs the latest and greatest. Some individuals may, but others can get by with utilizing the same tech for years.

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A New Frightening Form of Malware: Ransomware

Posted on 10/31/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in security tech trends

Seeing as how it's fall, and today is Halloween, we thought we would look at something a bit scary. Ransomware is a scary, and effective, new form of malware that is on the rise.

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A Rising Business Trend: Bring-Your-Own-Device

Posted on 10/26/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Are you able to access your computer network at work with your personal iPad? What about your personal iPhone or your laptop computer? This trend, known as bring-your-own-device or BYOD, is rising in the workplace.

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Three Must Have Tools for Business Travel

Posted on 10/24/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

It’s hard to be as productive and on top of things when you're traveling for business. Keeping up on emails, answering people as fast as you normally would, and updating your team is tough when hotel Internet is inconsistent.

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How to Use Alternative Browsers on the iPad

Posted on 10/20/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Apple's Safari, the default web browser on all iPads and iPhones, is a powerful piece of software. Users can count on Safari to quickly find and load their favorite web pages. But what if you'd prefer to browse with Opera, Dolphin, or Chrome? The good news is you can download any browser you'd like to your iPad or iPhone. The bad news? Unless you're willing to manually tinker with your Apple gadget – and that's something only experienced techies should try – Safari will forever remain your device's default browser.

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Debunking Myths About Cloud Computing

Posted on 10/10/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in cloud tech trends

Do you think cloud computing is a short-term thing, something that computer users will soon tire of? Perhaps you think storing data in the cloud is a fundamentally risky move. Or perhaps you think cloud computing is too overpriced. If you do, you're guilty of believing some of the most widespread myths about cloud computing.

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Break Those Annoying Smartphone Habits

Posted on 10/5/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Smartphones have made it less complicated to digest the news, discover that new Thai restaurant, and connect with good friends. They've also made it simpler to irritate people, too. That's the downside of smartphones; they're so habit forming that they encourage bad habits that we'd otherwise rarely tolerate in other people.

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Evernote: Designed To Be The Second Brain

Posted on 10/3/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Many of us use Evernote, and for obvious reasons. It’s a good organizational tool that allows you to save notes, videos, web pages, and photos. You can organize them into notebooks and easily search for a particular note to find it quickly. But, because it is so easy to use, many people over look some of the more robust features of Evernote.

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Charging Our Devices With Our Clothes

Posted on 9/28/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Remember when shirts, pants, and vests were just items of clothing? That's changing as society becomes more and more dependent on its smartphones, tablets, and iPods. Nowadays, inventors are developing clothing that won't just keep you fashionable; it'll charge your gadgets.

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Commerical Antivirus Software Is Not Really Protecting Our Computers

Posted on 9/26/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in security

Most of us think it’s vital that you keep your antivirus software up-to-date. This is how we can protect our systems from viruses. Recently MIT's Technology Review published an article that disagrees with this “given” we have all lived by.

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Ereaders Are Growing in Popularity

Posted on 9/21/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins

You're shopping for a new e-book reader. The good thing is that this technology is growing in popularity. Consequently there are many choices for how you can spend your e-reader dollars.

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Immortality May Be Right Around The Corner

Posted on 9/19/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Does the idea of living forever sound good to you? Or do you worry that you'd quickly run out of things to do? After all, how many superhero movies or walks to the park can someone really stand? This may be a moot point. Ray Kurzweil, a famed scientist and author, anticipates that in just 20 years scientists may have discovered a way to let us live forever.

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The Future of Helper Robots

Posted on 9/14/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Here's what we dreamed of as children: jetpacks, entire meals that came in pill form, time travel, and, needless to say, helper robots. That last concept was particularly interesting: What human wouldn't desire a robot to make their bed for them in the morning, go to work for them if they didn't feel like making the commute, or vacuum the living room rug when they'd rather put up their feet and watch television?

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Military Developments That Have Real World Application

Posted on 9/12/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

The military is constantly working to develop new technologies. You might believe these only have military applications but many of these military technologies have real world uses.

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How to Successfully Deploy Windows 7

Posted on 9/7/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft

Windows 8 will almost certainly hit the market later this year, but an amazing number of businesses have not even deployed Windows 7 yet. This may be a vital thing for businesses to do because as of April 2014, Microsoft will no longer support for Windows XP. So companies will need to upgrade to Windows 7, at a minimum, should they still want to receive formal support from Microsoft.

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Protect Yourself Against Hackers: Two-Factor Authentication

Posted on 9/5/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in security

Being hacked is a thing many people are concerned with these days. A recent story ran on about Matt Honan’s, a writer at Wired Magazine, experiences of being hacked. Last month all of the data on his iPhone, iPad, and Macbook was erased, and his Google account and Twitter were hijacked. The hacker then used his Twitter account to publish racist and obscene comments. This makes it blaringly obvious that anyone can get hacked.

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Nimble Storage Webinar Series Focuses on New Scaling Capabilities

Posted on 8/31/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in storage

Nimble Storage’s live webinar series focuses on the new scaling capabilities and latest hardware offerings recently announced as a part of Nimble’s 1.4 release. If you’re interested in learning more about Nimble’s scale to fit storage solution, this webinar event might just be the perfect opportunity to find out more about their latest offerings.

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Here Is How to Fight Screen ADD

Posted on 8/31/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in best practices

Do you suffer from computer-screen attention deficit disorder? Here are some warning signs: You have five Internet Explorer tabs open simultaneously. You're working on three Word documents simultaneously, and you are messing with two open spreadsheets, too. Quite simply, you are juggling so many on-screen tasks simultaneously, you're struggling to finish any one of them.

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3 Powerful Microsoft Word Tips

Posted on 8/24/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in Microsoft

For many of us Microsoft Word is crucial for producing documents for both our professional and personal lives. If you spend a lot of time using Microsoft Word, it may be useful for you to learn how to use some of the most powerful features of this popular word processing program.

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Time Saving Shortcuts in Gmail

Posted on 8/22/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in best practices

A lot of people use Gmail. It’s powerful and easy to use, like the majority of things made by Google. If you use Gmail, you may not realize that there are many shortcuts you may use within to save you tons of time. And these shortcuts are not secret. There is even a single key you can hit to gain access to a list of these shortcuts.

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3 Terrible Tech Ideas That Somehow Made It into the Marketplace

Posted on 8/17/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Think every bad technology idea disappears, that the marketplace kills off the worst social media sites imaginable? Think again.

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File Sharing Made Easy with Bump

Posted on 8/15/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

Thanks to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, sharing pictures and info has become easier than ever. Still, people are trying to find even more simple ways to share stuff. In response to this desire, iTunes now offers the Bump app.

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Four Programs to Make File Sharing Easier

Posted on 8/10/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends cloud

Have you ever had this problem, you need to send a huge file but the file is just too big to attach to an email? Well you're in luck, because there are many programs out there that permit you to share or send large files.

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Small Business Tip: 3 Apps to Manage Employees

Posted on 8/8/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in best practices

Starting a new organization is no easy task. It's why a lot of businesses fail during their start-up years. However, you can give yourself an edge in at least one area - how you manage people. We've outlined a couple of apps for managing employees. By employing these apps, smart business owners can reduce the time they devote to ensuring that their personnel are as productive as possible.

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Browser Choice and Your Personality

Posted on 8/3/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in Internet

We all browse the web today. But we don't all use the same browser. There are plenty of choices in existence - from the traditional Explorer to Firefox, Opera and Chrome. But what does your choice of browser say about you? A good deal, according to a popular online quiz on

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Cutting Edge Technology

Posted on 8/1/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

New technologies come out every year, and you can't predict which ones will likely change our lives. Even so, it's hard not to get excited about some of the new tech scheduled to hit the market later this year.

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Social Network Integration in Upcoming Version of Microsoft Office

Posted on 7/27/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in Windows social media Microsoft

The new version of Microsoft Office will support integration with a popular social networking website. The Microsoft experts here at SOS are excited about all the possibilities this new feature will bring our clients.

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Virtual Machine VPN: Windows XP Mode

Posted on 7/27/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in technical support tech tip of month Windows

The Problem: You’re an engineer and you need to connect to a customer’s network, but maybe they require connectivity over VPN and their firewall restricts access to outside resources. Or, they may use the same IP subnet as your own internal network, restricting you from accessing your own local resources. My friends, there is an easy solution for this.

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Your Phone May Not Need Antivirus Software

Posted on 7/25/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in security

Antivirus software has gotten a great deal of bad press lately. This is mostly due to the fact that antivirus software has recently failed to recognize and contain huge malware attacks. But is antivirus software necessary for smartphones?

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Clear Your Inbox of Spam

Posted on 7/20/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in best practices

Most of us get a lot of spam, but we don't need to waste our time searching through it on a daily basis. By using filters, we can do a lot to control what gets into our inbox.

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Introduction to Lync on Mobile Devices

Posted on 7/17/2012 by michelle pizzo in Microsoft

You've likely heard by now... Microsoft Lync is a powerful unified communications platform for small, medium and large organizations alike. Uniting commonly needed tools like IM, email, collaboration, video conferencing, Office apps, and more, it's become a major player in the UC market. And earlier this year, Microsoft also released Lync 2010 for mobile devices such as iPhone, Android and of course the Windows Phone. But there was little hype or discussion about it from the source... until now.

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Help lower your total cost of ownership with Lync

Posted on 7/17/2012 by michelle pizzo in Microsoft unified communications

Turns out talk isn’t so cheap. Many organizations devote a significant portion of their budgets to deploying and operating communications systems, including email, audio conferencing, video, instant messaging (IM), web conferencing, and telephony. For example, an business with 5,000 employees could pay more than $2.5 million per year for hardware, maintenance and service contracts, devices and handsets, software licenses, network provisioning and monthly fees, administration, and support. And with disparate solutions to manage, the costs can run wild. But Microsoft's Unified Communications solution, Lync, is helping lower the total cost of ownership in many businesses today.

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Avoid These PowerPoint Mistakes

Posted on 7/16/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in best practices

PowerPoint presentations are the vacation slide shows of the business world: we’ve all sat through mundane ones that seemed to last forever. But there are a few tips that you can follow to avoid preparing a PowerPoint presentation that bores your co-workers.

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Losing Your SmartPhone

Posted on 7/13/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech tip of month security

Many, if not most people own smartphones today and these devices can hold a lot of our personal information. Ever thought of what happens if you lose it? The reality is, all personal and sensitive information on your smartphone (including passwords and confidential emails) is at risk of falling into the wrong hands. Do not dispair, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

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Your Small Business Can Benefit From A Tablet Computer

Posted on 7/11/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

You are doing everything you can for your organization. You have a website and a blog. You are getting your name out there via social media sites. Now you hear that you need a tablet to really help your organization succeed. But tablets are expensive and you are not actually sure why you would need one or how it could be beneficial.

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge Final Results!

Posted on 7/11/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in Biggest Loser Challenge

The dieting and starvation… Sweating away on treadmills… Pumping iron… All the hard work brings us to this, the Final Results of the SOS Biggest Loser Challenge!

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We're Growing... Again!

Posted on 7/9/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins

We are so excited to announce that our team here at SOS is growing, once again.

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VoIP: Growing in Popularity

Posted on 7/6/2012 by michelle pizzo in best practices unified communications

Do you know what VoIP is? VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it is a technology that allows people to make calls via the Internet rather then use a traditional landline. VoIP is very cost effective and can save businesses, of any size, between 30 and 50 percent on their phone expenses.

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Technologies That May Be Gone In the Next Ten Years

Posted on 7/2/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in tech trends

We all love our gadgets. So when new ones emerge, we can't imagine how we lived without them. Even so, there's an ugly truth to the world of technology: A great deal of what's hot today becomes outdated down the road.

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Almost There: Week 11 Results!!

Posted on 6/29/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in Biggest Loser Challenge

WEEK 12!!! That means this week’s weigh in was the last before the FINAL next week! It has been a Clash of Titans for the past few months and we have one more week to push!

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Help Your IT Department Help You

Posted on 6/25/2012 by Mikayla Jenkins in technical support best practices

It's reassuring to know that whenever you have computer problems that your IT department is just a phone call or email away. However, communicating with IT personnel can be a bit intimidating. Fortunately, you can take some simple measures to ensure that your IT department clearly understands your issue.

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The Growing Popularity of Music-Streaming Services

Posted on 6/21/2012 by Chris Pizzo in best practices Internet

The Internet has evolved the way we get our news, watch movies, and pay our bills. It's not surprising, then, that it has also changed the way we listen to music. Today, the web is home to several top music-streaming services - online services that allow users to listen to their favorite music on their laptops, desktops, and mobile devices.

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Finally... Subscription-Based, High Resolution Video Conferencing

Posted on 6/15/2012 by michelle pizzo in Cisco Video conferencing

Up until recently, the price tag to obtain a high-quality video conferencing solution, like Cisco TelePresence, was rather astronomical, making it primarily an option for larger enterprise businesses, and leaving small and mid-sized businesses wondering “What about us?”. With the increasing need to reduce costs and limit business travel, many teams see video conferencing as the likely solution. But with the high costs involved to deploy an on-premise video conferencing system, what’s a small or mid-sized business to do?

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 10

Posted on 6/15/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

Wha?! Week 10? Yes Mathmaticians, that puts us at a scant 3 weeks to go! The final weigh in is the 4th of July week, so let’s push this and show off the new bodies on the holiday!

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The Kinect: Changing Our View of Windows

Posted on 6/13/2012 by Chris Pizzo in Windows

Remember when Windows was considered cool? It's been a long time. However, the Kinect - a motion and voice-sensing device initially meant as a clever feature for the Xbox gaming console may help Windows regain its long-lost coolness quotient.

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Google Glasses: Help or Hinderance?

Posted on 6/11/2012 by michelle pizzo

We can already compute on the go, thanks to our tablet computers and smartphones. Nonetheless, Google isn't satisfied. The online search giant is in the midst of testing its Project Glass initiative, what you likely think of as Google glasses. Maybe you've seen coverage of Project Glass in the New York Times. You may even have seen the many photos of smiling folks sporting what looks like futuristic wrap-around Star Trek glasses.

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Google patents: Then and Now

Posted on 6/11/2012 by michelle pizzo

Have you ever been curious, in this country of innovation, what ideas are sprouting? Google has made it possible for you to explore this with Google Patents.

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 8 and 9

Posted on 6/11/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

We are heading into the last few weeks of the challenge and it is still a close race. The $500 CASH PRIZE is anyone’s who wants to work for it! Here are the results for week 8 and 9.

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Linkedin Member Passwords Compromised

Posted on 6/7/2012 by michelle pizzo in security

Yesterday, reports announced that 6+ million Linkedin member passwords had been stolen. Read: "hacking risk"! Here's some more information we found out, as well as steps we recommend you take now, in order to protect yourself.

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Change Your Interview Strategies to Get the Right Employees

Posted on 6/6/2012 by Chris Pizzo in best practices

When you sift through the possible candidates for the job you are hiring for, you want to find the super stars. You would like to find the most imaginative, enthusiastic, and motivated people you can. But you are only able to discover who fits the bill through an interview. And if you don’t ask the correct questions you may misjudge your prospects.

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Nimble Storage: The Other Side of the Story

Posted on 5/25/2012 by michelle pizzo in storage virtualization

Sometimes the Nimble Storage "story" gets stuck on the performance aspect of the system which is very impressive to be sure (12,000 to 16,000 IOPS is a boat load). That, however, is only half the value. The other, perhaps more important half, is the storage size reductions and space efficiency gains. Here's one client's story...

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The Future of Battery

Posted on 5/25/2012 by michelle pizzo

Your smartphone is remarkable. It can guide you to that trendy new fusion restaurant if you are lost. It can play your favorite sitcom as you go to work on the train. It will play your favorite song at the touch of a button. However it can't do any of this if its battery is dead.

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 7

Posted on 5/24/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

Week 7?! We’ve blown right through the ½ way point. Our final weigh in will be the 4th of July week, so push, push, push! (Besides, someone needs to challenge Josh, Jon and Brian!) Here is your Week 7 Update on the SOS Biggest Loser Challenge. Josh and Brian both shattered the 8% wall and jumped straight into the 9% club!

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Videoconferencing vs. Business Travel

Posted on 5/24/2012 by michelle pizzo in Video conferencing

There aren’t many people who look forward to going on business trips. They're an inconvenience and expensive for the company. Business travelers often feel rushed, which results in insufficient sleep and poor dietary habits, which exacerbates stress. Not to mention dealing with Airports and long-term parking. As a result, many businesses decide to use videoconferencing if possible. But do you think that business travel is on its way out? Will Videoconferencing replace it altogether?

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 5 and 6

Posted on 5/22/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

At the half way point in our Challenge, here are the surprising results from Week 5 and Week 6 of our Biggest Loser Challenge!

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Factors that Limit Technology

Posted on 5/14/2012 by Chris Pizzo

Doesn't it feel as if we should already have jetpacks? Teleporters? Or meals in capsule form? We already have some incredible technology, like tablets, which are small computers that we can carry around. We can utilize the GPS in our cars to get around around town. We can post an update to our social media sites and reach thousands of people at once.

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4 Password Tips from Special Order Systems : Picking a Solid

Posted on 5/11/2012 by Chris Pizzo

Protect your personal information by using secure online passwords. Learn 4 common mistakes to avoid and see one example of how to create your own super secure and easy to remember passwords. Brought to you by Special Order Systems .

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 4

Posted on 5/7/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

People!! Here is your Week 4 Update on the SOS Biggest Loser Challenge.

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 3

Posted on 5/2/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

Alright everyone!! Here is your Week 3 Update on the SOS Biggest Loser Challenge. As a company, we have cumulatively lost 124lbs!!

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Adjusting Startup Time for Windows Services

Posted on 4/24/2012 by michelle pizzo in technical support tech tip of month Windows

Hello again! A few of you might have come across a common problem whereby Windows services fail to start, even though they may be set to “Automatic”. After your review of the Windows event logs, you find an error indicating this is a result of the services not starting in a timely fashion. Here are some easy troubleshooting tips that should help you resolve this.

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 2

Posted on 4/24/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

The SOS Biggest Loser Team has collectively lost almost 100 pounds since the first weigh in on April 11th. (and we still have 7 people who are still on the road serving clients and haven't been able to check in yet). That's 100 lbs collectively in less than 2 weeks. WOW! The biggest losers this week are...

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SOS Biggest Loser Challenge - Week 1

Posted on 4/13/2012 by michelle pizzo in Biggest Loser Challenge

SOS has always kept the health of our clients' technology systems in top focus. Now, we're expanding that "healthy" mindset beyond the WAN, in our first ever SOS Biggest Loser Challenge! Here is your first weekly update on the teams progress. Stay tuned for more updates and see who will become the Biggest Loser.

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Cloud-based Contact Center and Unified Communications: Is it Right for Your Business?

Posted on 4/13/2012 by michelle pizzo in contact center unified communications cloud

Moving business communications to the cloud offers some very compelling benefits – increased flexibility, faster deployment times, minimal upfront capital expense, and reduced IT requirements. But does the move to the cloud make sense for your business?

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SOS proudly enters Microsoft's Virtual Technology Specialist Program

Posted on 4/4/2012 by michelle pizzo in Microsoft

SOS is proud to announce our very own Jim Bass has entered into Microsoft's Virtual Technology Specialist Program (VTSP). The Microsoft VTSP is a select group chosen from the elite in Microsoft’s partner community, whose focus is to augment Microsoft’s internal Technology Specialist team. Their primary role is to communicate the value of Microsoft Solutions to customers and to provide architectural guidance for Enterprise Integration solutions.

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Local Cisco Team's take on the UCS platform

Posted on 4/2/2012 by michelle pizzo in Cisco unified computing system virtualization data center

We recently asked our local Cisco territory account team for their take on the UCS platform, and here's what they had to say...

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Cisco UCS - Undisputed Computing Success

Posted on 3/21/2012 by michelle pizzo in Cisco data center unified computing system virtualization

The Cisco experts here at SOS enjoyed this blog so much, we wanted to share it with you all. We especially appreciate Archie Hendryx's appreciation for how Cisco recognized the shift towards server virtualization and consolidation when developing it's UCS platform. The outstanding communications convergence/virtualization features and benefits are just icing on the computing cake.

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SWEL Finalist 2nd year in a row

Posted on 3/12/2012 by michelle pizzo in awards

SOS is proud to be recognized as a 2012 finalist in the Sacramento Workplace Excellence Leader (SWEL) Awards Program, for the 2nd year in a row!

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Troubleshooting Windows Update in Win7

Posted on 3/7/2012 by michelle pizzo in technical support tech tip of month Windows

Often times Windows Update will fail and it can be a pain to troubleshoot. If a simple reboot does not fix the issue you may be able to find a solution online at If you have little success, you can try clearing out your local update repository. Files in your local repository can get corrupted and sometimes it is best to start out fresh. Follow these steps and cross your fingers!

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Top 10 Contact Center Trends in 2012

Posted on 2/8/2012 by michelle pizzo in contact center social media cloud

With 2012 in full swing, contact center leaders have some exciting technology innovations to consider. Here, we summarize the top 10 trends and priorities for contact centers today; Trends that can help them serve customers better, increase competitive advantage, and ultimately remain viable in today's ever-evolving and increasingly cut-throat marketplace, driven more and more by consumer demands.

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Stuck print jobs?

Posted on 1/30/2012 by michelle pizzo in technical support tech tip of month

Stuck print jobs? Often times in the tech field we come across issues with print jobs that will hang while trying to reach the printer. Besides testing connectivity, one of the first troubleshooting steps we take is purging the print queue and deleting jobs. Navigating through this process can be a hassle, so why not use a batch file to take care of this for you?

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