September 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to the September issue of the Geeks On The Way Newsletter. We’ve put together five easy changes your business can make to become hyper-efficient and scalable. They are steps we use here at Geeks On The Way to reduce our IT costs and minimize our IT infrastructure. By making the following changes in our own organization we have become leaders in the IT field and we’ve helped many of our clients save money on their monthly IT costs by doing the same.

1. Digitize:

Go paperless. PDF is today’s form of paper. Send a PDF instead of paper and recommend others do the same.
Sign contracts digitally. You can drag and drop your signature as required and email it back.
Convert your fax line to fax-to-email– this will reduce hardware costs and save paper.
Invest in a High speed scanner and convert any paper documents to PDF’s.
Capture and file receipts digitally with your smartphone’s camera.
Use shoeboxed.com. Fill an envelope from your ‘shoebox of receipts’, scan or send digital photos of your receipts and invoices and send them too Shoebox. They take care of the rest. They create and store all your data in a secure online account that is ready to be exported to whichever accounting software or CRM you use.

2. Documentation:

At Geeks on the Way, we use short 3-5 minutes videos on how to do almost every internal process in our company. We share them on a staff Youtube channel and the links can be found in our company’s online wiki. It means management spends less time training employees and employees can find the information they need quickly without wasting time waiting for help.
To create the videos we use a screen capture software that costs $40 per user. When the software is in use, it will capture exactly what is happening on screen and staff can simply talk out loud while doing their tasks and explain the necessary steps. The audio and video is saved in a video format and can be emailed or uploaded to Youtube. It is a great way to get information out of your employee’s heads and document company procedures in a very quick and easy way.

3. Cloud-Based Services

Start migrating your company to cloud-based solutions such as: Google Apps, Office 365, Sales Force, Wave Accounting. You can cut back on your internal IT infrastructure (and in some cases convert yourself to a virtual company) with hosted or custom solutions. It takes planning and organization but the benefit is a less costly IT investment and the flexibility to work from any web enabled device anywhere, anytime.

4. Outsource

Outsource tasks that are not strategic. This gives you the flexibility to scale up or down as demand for your business fluctuates. For example, outsource your bookkeeping but keep your CFO.
It is important that the outsourced staff are integrated into your company’s culture and communication system in order to get the best results.

5. Telecommuting: A Strategic Initiative

Reduce office costs, and expand your reach of where you can recruit staff from.
In order for telecommuting to work for your organization, it is very important that the right communication platform is put in place such as a VOIP system and an internal chat system.
The internal chat system (such as MSN Messenger or Hipchat) will become your “watercooler” as it has for us here at Geeks on the Way. It will allow staff to create relationships, provide a social outlet and, most importantly, gives employees a place where they can seek help in order to complete tasks.

Windows 8 – How to prepare

There’s a few things you can always count on in life… Rain when you want to BBQ, a flat tire at the most inopportune time, and Microsoft releasing an operating system before it’s ready.

Windows 8 is just around the corner, and as a person who’s seen it progress from skeleton modules to finished product, I can say without hesitation, it’s not ready for prime time yet and it won’t be until at least Service Pack 2 which will be at least a year away, maybe longer.

The writing is on the wall with Microsoft for this one. Win 95 bad, Win 98 good, Win Me bad, Win XP good, Vista bad, 7 good, Win 8?

Yes. It’s bad. It seems to be designed as a social networking operating system much more than a usable operating system for today’s corporate user. And if Microsoft remains true to form, at some point in the near future, they will pull Windows 7 from production, and Windows 8 is all you will be able to get. I am urging all my corporate customers, (as well as my residential users that need their computers for more than Facebook) to consult with me to either migrate to new Windows 7 machines or to at the very least, buy some more ram and upgrade their existing XP or Vista machines to Windows 7 before it becomes unavailable.

Mike Wojdak, Senior Technician at Geeks On The Way

Back to School – Help provide kids with shoes and uniforms in Yucatan Mexico

Chelem is a small fishing village in the Yucatan Mexico. Schooling in the town is free but many of the children cannot afford the required shoes and uniforms needed to attend. They are also required to buy books and school supplies which puts a huge strain on the poorest families, many of which live in one room houses with no electricity, water or proper sanitation. It means that many children are forced to drop out of school at a 4th grade level.

For more information on how you can help children in Chelem please check out their website, designed by our Technician, Jeff Procter and generously hosted by Geeks On The Way here.

Free Network Evaluation

Let us show you how we can save you money and provide faster response times in managing your offices IT needs. We offer a wide range of services and pricing options to suit any sized business. For more information on some of the services we provide please see our new corporate website at www.tursagroup.com. Or find us on Facebook and on Twitter.
Or call us to book your FREE NETWORK EVALUATION for your organization! Call us 7 days a week to speak with one of our Customer Service Associates at 1.800.875.5017