Talk is Cheap, Downtime Isn’t

james | March 31st, 2014 - 3:59 pm

This article was recently published on LinkedIn’s new blogging platform where I am a guest writer. However, not all of our regular blog followers are on LinkedIn so I have reposted the article here.  Looking forward to your comments! – JVBe right back - ISP interruption message

Every industry suffers from cost pressures at some point. The natural course of any industry, even somewhat monopolised industries, face competition from low cost alternatives to their hallmark products and services. This happens for numerous reasons and in many ways it’s seen as the natural course of things.

However, when services like your IT, accounting, legal services and other professional endeavours become commoditised, inevitably compromises are made in one area or another.

Recently I met with a group of peers in #MyIndustry with regards to rising competition in the IT space – specifically cloud services and managed IT services. My peers were concerned that a number of competitors have emerged in their particular space and that they’re worried about the implications to their bottom line but also to their clients who may not have the knowledge to determine the difference between a low cost service and an integrated professional service delivered by a trusted advisor or group.

Some examples of the marketing they are seeing from these new challengers include: [...]

Why You Hate Windows 8

james | March 24th, 2014 - 2:59 pm

iStock_000022514294SmallIt’s always the way. Just when we start to get used to the last operating system we hated, Microsoft goes ahead and releases a new one leaving us to paddle around in the proverbial deep end, figuring out what happened to our icons and why our shortcut keys don’t work anymore.

Yes, Windows 8 sucks. Or does it?

I’ll admit it, the first time I saw Windows 8 I was skeptical. In fact, I’m not entirely proud to say that even though a big part of my role is to immerse myself in new technologies, I completely avoided Windows 8 altogether in the hope it would just go away.

Finally when I was handed a Windows 8 tablet recently I took the plunge and tried to convert my life to 8. At first I persevered, trying to use the big clunky tiles and swipe movements to interact with applications that were previously mouse driven but inevitably it didn’t work. I hated it.

But why? [...]

How to Add a Signature File to Mozilla Thunderbird

James Vickery | March 14th, 2014 - 2:53 pm

sig-files-on-thunderbirdAdding your details to every email you send can be very tedious. If you are using Thunderbird as your email provider, there is a way to automatically attach a signature file – saving your time, fingers… and sanity!

Tip: Signature files for Thunderbird should be saved in HTML format so that there won’t be issues viewing your signature on an internet browser.

To add a signature file to Thunderbird, simply follow these steps: [...]

Repost: 10 Things I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago

james | March 10th, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Difficult choices of a businessmanHi folks – LinkedIn invited me to do a special post on their blogging platform.  I realised after posting that our regular readers wouldn’t see it so here it is again.   It’s a stray away from my usual IT related posts but I hope you get some value.

Cheers,

James

Recently I passed the 10 year milestone in business. I remember in my first year the people closest to me were saying “just make it through the first year, James” then when that milestone was completed I was told you just need to make it to five years and you’re safe.

The reality is that you’re never safe. Business is ever-evolving and changing and in the highly competitive and evolving nature of the IT industry I’ve never felt more challenged, yet more excited than I do right now. It’s a twisted reality in that you can’t move forward without going backwards (several times), and I’ve backtracked with the best of them.

So when I saw this opportunity to write an article on LinkedIn and the suggested topics were Entrepreneurship or Technology, I figured I’ll take my propeller-hat off for a moment and share 10 things I know now, but often need to be reminded of as a business person. By the way, I wish there were only 10. These are just the classics: [...]

How to Add a Signature File to an Outlook Email Address

James Vickery | March 6th, 2014 - 6:46 pm

email-signatures-on-outlookWhen it comes to automated emails, it is important to add a personal touch to make your messages less generic and more authentic. One way to achieve this is by adding a signature file.

A signature file is found below your email’s message, right where your name and contact details are supposed to be. A signature file can be text, an image, an electronic business card, a logo or even your own handwritten signature. It can be your company’s logo and slogan, a quote that depicts your company’s values or a short one-liner that will create an impact on your target market.

They say that repetition is the key to better recall. To help your target market remember you, adding a  [...]

Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga Review

James Vickery | March 5th, 2014 - 12:57 pm

Hi guys,

Now for those of you playing along at home you might have noticed that I’ve been paying a lot of attention to tablet computing recently. These devices are the next step towards a truly mobile work environment and I’ve been looking for something that ticks all the boxes when it comes to business level productivity.
Recently I got to try out the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga and I’ve got to say it’s pretty close to being that machine.

Have a look and let me know what you think below.

 

The End of XP – And Why It’s a Threat to Your Business

James Vickery | March 3rd, 2014 - 10:42 am

Hi Folks!

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the end of Microsoft support for XP. With the deadline of April 8, 2014 fast approaching I wanted to talk to you about why the end of support for XP is a threat to your business.

Any questions? Please post your questions or comment below.

 

How to Set Password and PIN for Your Mobile

James Vickery | February 21st, 2014 - 6:59 pm

setting-pin-for-phone-securitySmart phones and tablets today provide improved communication and easier access to internet-based features and programmes. The fact that you can work with just a mobile phone or tablet is amazing. However, the features that make most smart phones “smart” are also the same factors which make your devices susceptible to several security issues.

A very easy way to secure your device from malicious use is through enabling the password and PIN. Most smartphones and tablets come with a password protection feature, although the process of activating and setting it up may vary depending on the operating system. [...]

Phishing Trends Today and How to Avoid It

James Vickery | February 5th, 2014 - 3:04 pm

Email Envelope on White backgroundWhen it comes to the subject of internet security, ‘Phishing’ is one of the major concerns.

According to Microsoft, Phishing are emails, websites or phone calls designed to steal money. In general, Phishing refers to online fraud. You get an email, click on the downloadable link and you end up with malicious software that retains your passwords, credit card details and other relevant information that ‘phishers’ can use to extort money from you. And despite the latest improvements in internet security, phishing remains one of those cases that just won’t go away, no matter how bad you want it to.

Just recently, Websense Security Labs conducted a research study on the latest Phishing trends to help educate people on what is a “phishing line” and what is not. Here are the results for the top 10 phishing hosting countries and the top 5 most dangerous ‘phishing lines’: [...]

How to remove the annoying ‘black bar’ on email forwards IPhone, iPad

james | February 4th, 2014 - 11:07 am

So, youimage need send an email out to a client but you can’t do it alone because you’re on the move and you’re in a hurry.  So you whip out your trusty iPhone or iPad and ask a colleague to  give you a few bulletpoints by email, then you want to forward that on with a few of your own intelligent thoughts.

You finally have the perfect email… only now there is a horrible black bar that iOS sticks in the left hand column of your email for some stupid reason.  It looks unprofessional to you, and you want to get rid of it, but how?

Sure, it’s not the end of the world but this is a big client and you really don’t want to look like you flung something together at the pub, even though you might have.

Here’s what you can do: [...]