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What Does That “New Car Smell” Have to Do With SMB Data Backup and Network Security?

on Apr 24, 2019 3:17:00 PM By | Kirk Studebaker // VP of Sales | 0 Comments | Security ROI IT Managed Services
How do you prefer to acquire a new vehicle? Your preference could help you understand your choices when it comes to your information technology infrastructure. Are you the traditional type who likes to own your vehicle? You prefer to pay your car off in full and (eventually) enjoy not having a monthly note? Of course, as your vehicle ages, you’ll usually pay more for repair and maintenance. You could also outgrow your purchase. For example, how many of you started with something small and sporty, had kids, and then realized you needed something with a bit more room and cargo capacity? Hello, minivan (or SUV). Or do you prefer to lease and acquire something new every few years? You always have a monthly note to pay, but the vehicle will always be under warranty and repair/maintenance is often included for routine checks. What does this have to do with your IT infrastructure, especially your network infrastructure and backup and recovery?
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4 Tips to Help Your Business Minimize the Cybersecurity Hiring Gap

What’s your plan for cybersecurity planning? There aren’t enough qualified cybersecurity professionals in the world for all of the businesses that need to hire one to hire one (hint: that would be every business). We’ve detailed this cybersecurity hiring gap in a post last year. While efforts are being made to close the gap, the demand for cybersecurity experts continues to exceed supply. As a small to medium business, what does this mean for you? You will have a hard time recruiting and retaining top-notch cybersecurity staff. Since every business is a potential target for cybercriminals and every business has data (customer details, financial information, etc.) of interest to cybercriminals, how do you keep your business’ data secure from cybercriminals without in-house expertise? Here’s a short list of do’s (and one don’t) to minimize the effects of this talent gap.
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Why Comparing Providers Is Like Comparing Apples and Oranges

on Apr 3, 2019 1:25:00 PM By | Kirk Studebaker // VP of Sales | 0 Comments | ROI IT Projects IT Managed Services
We’ve said before that when it comes to choosing which company is best for you, we believe in maximum choice. But the reality is that no two companies (and their proposed solutions) can practically be compared. Just like apples and oranges, managed service providers are radically different. Other than the fact that managed IT providers all typically sell solutions, recommendations can vary greatly. Our approach is always to identify the specific needs of our clients so that they can achieve their goals. Sadly, many providers walk into a sale with their own agenda, force fitting their products as an answer to a customer’s problems. On the customer side, buyers frequently focus on price because it’s so easily measured. We’ve highlighted a few areas that we think are important for customers to remember when comparing providers and seeking their own unique, customized plan:  
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Why Assessing Your Needs Will Give you a Perfect Fit

on Mar 27, 2019 4:15:00 PM By | Kirk Studebaker // VP of Sales | 1 Comment | ROI IT Projects IT Managed Services
Shopping online today is super convenient. Your options are almost limitless. You hardly have to do anything, and a product is delivered to your door. What’s not convenient is when that thing arrives and it doesn’t fit—a rare part for your gadget that needs fixing, a pair of shoes, or a piece of clothing. Your joyful anticipation can be crushed in a heartbeat because it’s not the right size. In business, it can feel the same way when it comes to IT projects. That’s why so many are more likely to fail or even take flight. More often than not, solution providers try to fit a product they are pushing to a company, not the other way around. This usually happens when customers and solutions providers don’t take enough time to do an honest needs assessment, and/or:
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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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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.

on Feb 8, 2019 2:11:56 PM By | Kirk Studebaker // VP of Sales | 0 Comments | Managed Print Services ROI IT Managed Services
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 Coordinated Difference -- We Eliminate the Fear and Frustration of Buying Copiers and Managed IT Services

on Jan 23, 2019 1:00:00 PM By | Kirk Studebaker // VP of Sales | 0 Comments | Office Equipment Copiers IT Managed 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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