Crazy Winter

Last month my blog included tips on preparation winter weather – we sure haven’t needed those tips here in Kansas City. What amazing weather we’ve had – it’s in the 60’s again today! Of course, you take the good with the bad – I met with a client in pest control services last week, and they are expecting a great year!

Search is King! Today the name of the game is finding useful data in haystacks of information. Here are a couple Google search tips to help you find what you are looking for. I’ll include a few more next month.

  •  Ever visited a website with a poor search function (or none at all!)? Use google instead. Enter your search term and then add site: and the website – for example searching AltiGen will search our website for AltiGen references
  • Operators are huge when searching for words with multiple meanings or uses. For example, adding a plus sign to the front of a term will ensure that term is included in each result, while a minus sign will exclude results with that word (i.e. +outlook –email will help you get results about the Saturn car, not an email client! You can add a tilde (~) to include related terms! Read more about operators in the Google Guide:

I recently read a New York Times article about high-tech unemployment in California. One shocker was that the new technology companies (most are software focused, i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc.) commonly consider a long employment history with 1 company a detriment, the thinking being that sought-after employees change jobs frequently. What a dramatic shift in thinking during the course of 1 generation! The changing dynamics of employment and recruiting are affecting all companies. For more information, read the article referenced:
Microsoft Envisioning Lab update – You might recall my blog from August when I visited the Microsoft Home of the Future, created by the Microsoft Envisioning Lab. They recently released a video updating some of the concepts I discussed, showing them in action. This is a view of life 5-10 years from now, and is absolutely worth a look! Check it out: There is also a great “behind the scenes” companion that goes into more detail about the hows and whys of what you see, and how you can utilize today’s tools to stretch towards that vision:

Merry Christmas

Along with the holidays, winter weather is fast approaching – are you prepared?  I’ve compiled a list of items to consider.  Let me know how we can help!

Phone system – do you have your holiday greetings in place?  Do you know how to activate the inclement weather mode?  Do key employees have the ability (and training) to know how to take an office phone home or access the phone system from a cell phone?

Network – are key employees able to connect to the office and work from home?  Do they know how to access your backup email if your server is down or loses connectivity?  Is your disaster recovery plan up to date, and readily available?

Office & Home – Do you have a good supply of ice melt and a good snow shovel on hand?  Has the furnace been serviced, with air filters recently changed?  Are smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors working properly?

Car – Do you keep a good warm coat, hat, gloves and heavy blanket in the car?  How about a good flashlight, sand and a small shovel?  Also check the tread on your tires to ensure good traction.  Drive safely!

Don’t forget to let us review your phone & data bills.  We work with companies every day to evaluate their current bills for voice and data services (phone lines, Internet connectivity, branch office connections), discover their current needs, and align them with the best solutions.  Just this month I have helped two companies save more than $5,000 per year, and we’ve helped several companies save more than $50,000 per year!  However, we can help even if your telecom expenses are just a few thousand dollars per year. Give me a call – your bottom line will thank you.

Be aware that the hard drive shortage due to severe monsoon flooding in Thailand is ongoing.  Things are not too bad right now, but prices are still volatile and shortages are expected at some point in early 2012. If you have any questions, let me know!