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Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin A Managed IT Agreement

When you are down in the trenches in the day-to-day of your everyday business operations, it’s so easy to miss the big picture. That’s why so many leaders fall into the trap of setting IT goals that they can never actually achieve, especially when it comes to managed agreements. Pair that with the fact that it’s not always easy to hand over control to an outside IT consultant and you have the two reasons why IT projects often fail. The professional comes in, thinks they understand the client’s goals, and they completely miss the mark. Projects are launched, and over time, fail because the company’s real challenges and goals were never fully communicated. Whatever your kryptonite — communication, unrealistic goal setting, or the inability to relinquish control — the key to completing a successful IT partnership is to first take a step back and evaluate your goals (and limits) so you know what you are even asking for a solution for. Ask yourself these four questions:
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The Biggest Threats to Small Business IT in 2019

A new year means new threats. Small businesses across the country are scrambling to keep up with the new normal that is the Internet of Things (IoT) - the billion or so devices sharing data and information around the globe. As brilliant as it may be to be so connected, security breaches that can compromise personal and company data are closer than ever before. Today, everything is connected to make life easy, more fluid, and self service. Whether it’s a mobile phone, workplace desktop, or even home-based digital assistant, people are increasingly dependent on technology with very little understanding of the risk.
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Presidential Wisdom That Rings True for IT Leaders

They say history repeats itself, so in honor of President’s Day this month, we’ve collected a few tidbits of wit and wisdom from our founding fathers and applied it to navigating the challenging world of small business IT. "It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that [people] are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future." - James Monroe It’s hard to know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been, or even where you are for that matter. That’s why having “A Plan” for IT always starts with a thorough assessment of your company’s network infrastructure.
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Why If Your Stakeholders Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.

Ever heard the saying “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” Well, the same can be said about the stakeholders in your next technology change—if your stakeholders ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. No matter how many hours an organization plans for their next big update, whether it’s new equipment or software, many companies fail to recognize the importance of bringing key stakeholders along for the ride. Stakeholders are those who will be directly impacted by the shiny new solution that you hope is going to solve all of your business challenges. Stakeholders are also the ones who have way more influence than you think because they are the ones most affected by the change. The fact is, no matter how strong the leadership is in your organization, a stakeholder who is forgotten can be influential enough to sabotage everything and everyone around them. Stakeholders can be easy or difficult to work with and can be any or all of the following:
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The Best Copier Dealers in Minneapolis/St. Paul -- Where Should You Buy a Copier?

on Jan 31, 2019 1:10:00 PM By | Kirk Studebaker // VP of Sales | 0 Comments | Optimizing Your Business Printers and Copiers
  Did you know that many copier dealers’ name begin with the letter “A” so they’d be first in the phone book and Yellow Pages? You remember the Yellow Pages, right? That way when someone looking for a new “copy machine” flipped the pages, they’d see names like “Advanced Copiers” or “All-in-One Copy” (I made those names up, FYI). Searching online removes the alphabet from the equation. Instead of guessing and just calling the first company you see listed, you can look in more detail at what a company offers before you make a buying decision. If you’re reading this, you need a new copier and/or printer. You’re also probably thinking “what do I need?” and “who can I trust?” We recommend doing your due diligence.
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The Coordinated Difference -- We Eliminate the Fear and Frustration of Buying Copiers and Managed IT Services

For the previous 18 months, we’ve focused on providing you accurate, actionable information about how to get the most out of your copiers and printers, managed IT (especially focused on security issues), and document management. Why did we devote our time and resources to this? We believe an educated customer will be a happier customer. Over the years, we know that nearly everyone who wants to buy a copier or make an IT purchase experiences some combination of two feelings, frustration and fear: Frustration -- from previous experiences and/or lack of knowledge Fear -- of poor service, of paying too much, and of not getting the right equipment To put it even more bluntly -- you’re afraid of being ripped off and, to use a used car salesmen metaphor, be sold the equivalent of undercoating you don’t need or a lemon. I’ve been in the copier industry for over two decades. I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve seen how businesses are treated by copier salespeople. Sometimes, it’s not pretty. At Coordinated, we look at selling differently. I’m not sure if he coined this, but I’ve heard Mark Cuban say it, “Selling is helping.”
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Who Are the Best Managed IT and Managed Network Services Companies in Minneapolis/St. Paul?

Every business -- including us -- relies on a reliable, stable network to work internally and to communicate with customers (email, online chat, voice over IP, etc.). When your network and IT infrastructure isn’t working at peak efficiency, neither is your office or business. Keeping your network updated and secure, managing data backups, and troubleshooting users’ IT questions are all necessary, albeit time-consuming, tasks that prevent your IT staff from focusing on more strategic goals. Outsourcing your network and other elements of your IT to a managed IT services partner is a way to improve network performance, lower costs, and free up your IT staff’s time to focus on more strategic initiatives with a single decision. But who are the best managed IT companies in Minneapolis/St. Paul area? To help you decide who the best company for you is, we believe in maximum choice. Here are four managed IT providers (besides us) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
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The Top 5 Most Popular Posts of 2018 -- Security, Toner Pirates, and Billing for Color

I hope your 2019 is off to a fantastic start. Before completely diving into the new year, here’s a look back at some essential knowledge from 2018 that’s still relevant. It’s time for you to get up-to-speed on the best tips for buying and securing your copiers, understand 3-tier color billing, out-sailing toner pirates, and understanding document management. Below you’ll find our top 5 as well as two “Hall of Fame” posts that have been at the top of our readers’ attention for the last three years!
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4 Things About Ransomware Every Small Business Should Know

The most important thing to know about ransomware is that it’s not going away. Criminals will continue to use ransomware to extort money from anyone they can -- business or individual. Every article or piece of research about cybersecurity issues in 2019 named ransomware as one of the top threats for next year. This is where I remind you that small and medium businesses are targets too (if you’re thinking this is only a challenge for the Fortune 5000) -- 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses (Small Business Trends). As we begin to look ahead to 2019, here are a few key things you need to know about ransomware.
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