A Message from our President
Anyone with young children, or who has ventured out to ANY shopping establishment recently, knows that Hallowe'en is coming soon. Some stores (and children) would lead us to believe that it will be here any moment and can't come fast enough, but the calendar reminds us that we have a long, full month to get ready. However, once Hallowe'en arrives, candy, costumes, and chaos ensue¡Xthe one time of year that you don't mind whether you receive a "trick" or a "treat".
The weather around here plays along¡Xone day it will be chilly and autumnal, the next balmy and summery, the following rainy and almost-winter. A mixed bag of tricks and treats, teasing us one moment, followed by a taunt. We love this season when it cooperates (and our favorite candy is on sale), and grumble when it turns against us (and there is only licorice left in the bowl).
The same could be said for our relationship with technology¡Xwhen it is working smoothly, we are its biggest fans. When our screens don't light up the way we expect, we feel tricked. This month's article by Melissa Jackson can help you identify key aspects of technology your organization can use to its benefit¡Xa real treat to be presented clear options and information to consider.
And, just like good trick-or-treating neighbors, we are happy to share our best with you and trade some newsworthy items and events!
President, Capability Company
Good business comes from good referrals. If you like the work we do, please remember to pass our name along to those in need of
our services. Thank you.
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Article of the Month
Word count: 832
Approximate Reading Time: 5 Minutes
IT Tips for the Uninitiated
With technology continuously evolving, it can seem nearly impossible
for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to stay abreast of all
that¡¦s changing or to understand what type of infrastructure or IT services
they actually need. When assessing technical infrastructure, it is important to
- What do I need?
- How do I implement it?
- Is it a good product
- Am I paying too much for the service or product?
However, many non-profits and small businesses are too busy trying
to become experts in all areas of business marketing, IT, accounting, etc.,
while being taken advantage of due to a lack of knowledge, staff, or a
combination. It¡¦s time to change the way to think and operate in regards to
information technology, starting with the basic necessities for any
organization starting up or established with little to no regular IT support. A
couple suggestions for all organizations to consider are the following:
Websites are essential for any organization in today¡¦s era.
You must consider the hosting company. Please note, the cheap ones are not
always the best. What type of email service do you want? IMAP, Microsoft
Exchange, or POP? How will your website be maintained? Who will design it? Will
it be based on a template? Now the tough part is making a decision and implementing.
This is where the experts of this space see and know your vulnerabilities. So
what do you do? For your website, read reviews online regarding hosting.
Compare standard packages with upgraded packages to identify which hosting
providers offer certain items as standard, where others consider it an upgrade.
But more importantly, look at their support documentation and methods (chat,
email, phone, etc.). Use YouTube
as resource for how to create a website or maintain one. Also consider content
management systems (CMS) for creating and maintaining your website. CMS allows
the non-techies to manage their own site. One of the more popular CMS platforms
with thousands of layouts and themes is WordPress. Keep in mind there will be a small number of
tasks that will require you to upload to your hosting company. But the
documentation provided is normally very thorough. However, if you are in doubt
or even scared, remember YouTube and your help desk support with your hosting
Website Hosting Recommendations:
Desktop vs Laptop
Regardless if you have an office space with a staff or not, you
need to identify the type of hardware your company will use. There are pros and
cons for both computer options. The main difference is portability. However,
display screen size, RAM, and processors do become factors when considering a
laptop. For computers, think about your budget, what you will be using the
computer for, and if it¡¦s necessary to have it with you all the time. Research
your computer to identify strengths and weaknesses, and utilize PC Magazine, TechRadar, PC World, and YouTube for reviews on electronics.
Desktop (D) & Laptop (L) Recommendations:
- Apple iMac (21.5-inch, 2014) (D)
- Toshiba Satellite E45T-A4300 (L)
- Lenovo IdeaPad U430 Touch (L)
- Acer Aspire U5 (D)
- Apple MacBook Pro 13inch (L)
- Dell XPS 8700 Desktop Computer (D)
Project Management Tools
There are multiple types of project management tools to help
organizations manage their clients, tasks, and resources more efficiently. But
what most non-profits and small businesses don¡¦t know is¡Kthere are free tools
available from reputable companies for smaller groups, including, for example: Redbooth, ASANA,
or Glasscubes. Please note: since
these have free subscription plans, the feature availability or user size may
vary. But overall, they are a good resource for small teams.
Collaboration tools are important regardless if your
organization is big or small. You must be able to communicate and collaborate
with your team, potential clients, current clients, and/or other stakeholders.
The following is a list of programs that will make collaborating or
communicating virtually easier: Join.me
(virtual meetings), Sharetronix,
Freeconferencecall, Wiggio, Anymeeting
(virtual meeting), or Confluence.
Now at the end of the day, I understand you may not have the
time to do the appropriate research and implementation, for what is needed to
get started. Or perhaps, you do not trust your electronic vibes not to destroy
the universe. In those situations, I cannot stress the importance of using your
friends, family, or even kids. You will be amazed and surprised by what they
know or who they know. If you happen to fall into the pool of very few
resources among your family or friends, then you may need to hire someone who
was REFERRED to you to support your
initial setup and training for the tools and hardware you¡¦ve selected. The
referral is important to reduce the risk of getting taken advantage of by a
So remember YouTube is your friend. Reviews are your friend.
Tools with free subscriptions are your friend. Last, but not least, TECHNOLOGY
can be your best-friend.
Follow me on Twitter @MelissaSJ1T
Bottom Line: When it comes to determining what your IT needs may be, simply take a breath, relax, and remember: YouTube is your friend. Reviews are your friend. Tools with free subscriptions are your friend. Last, but not least, TECHNOLOGY can be your best-friend.
Melissa Jackson has ten years of experience providing IT support for federal clients such as the National Aeronautics Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She holds a Bachelor¡¦s degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland as well as a Master¡¦s in General Business.
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In This Issue
Article of the Month
The Bottom Line
A Client's Perspective
"I like your timely [ezine] message! The tips and resources are good, too. Thanks!”
-- A Satisfied Reader
Heard Around Town
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