The ACCENT Learning Hub
The most educational business technology blog for Southern California executives, featuring insider tips, articles, and videos on how to get the best IT results.
November is my favorite month of the year. And why wouldn’t it be? The craziness of the holiday season hasn’t 100% kicked in, we spend time being very thankful, and football is in full swing! ‘Tis also the season for companies to begin their strategic planning for 2018. For me, I enjoy the activity, excitement, and optimism that comes along with planning for a new year. During this season, I also spend a lot of time with business owners and managers. Our goal is to figure out what they can do to improve the performance of Information Technology (IT) in their business. These conversations almost always stem from three separate situations:
You’ve had an IT manager for the last 15 years, and he’s (or she's) just told you that he’s retiring. He knows your business and your systems intimately – he might have even built them! So, how will you fill his shoes? How will you get what you need once when he’s gone?
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to chat with an amazing manager at a very successful distribution company. The manager called to ask if I would give them some quotes on some very important IT security tasks that she needed done quickly.I listened to the request and let her know that we could take care of the issues. Then, I asked her if it would be okay if I stopped by to discuss the problems in a little more depth. With some reservation, she agreed to a quick in-person meeting. When I arrived at her office, I immediately noticed an immaculate shop with technology being used as a competitive advantage. It was evident by the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) all over the facility that the systems were tightly integrated. Awesome! We sat down, and I asked her to give me a brief overview of the problem she needed handled and how I could help. This was when I began to understand what was going on.
Collaboration and connectivity are increasingly important in today’s world. It seems like every day there is a new tool or system for taking, sharing, and collaborating on notes. Each of these promises to make everything we have documented accessible any time, anywhere – and for the most part, that’s possible.
Emails run our daily lives. By a show of hands, how many of us check our email first thing in the morning? My hand is in the air too, so no judgment. It's just so easy with our pocket-sized computers, also known as smartphones, nearby. Slam the alarm and check your email, it’s a no-brainer. So when it doesn't work, or it keeps giving you problems, it's frustrating. One of the most common problems executives have when they come to us is about the functionality of their email.
Companies have been announcing new products like their hosting an award show for a while now. Usually they’re announcing slight upgrades or changes to their products that we yawn through, knowing that it’s not that big of a deal. But this time around, Google introduced something that could change the world as we know it. Pixel Buds. With the introduction of the Pixel Buds, what can small businesses gain? Let’s explore what Pixel Buds are, and how a real-time voice translator could be BIG news.
Remote employees are only growing in popularity in the business world. Working from home gives companies the opportunity to hire people outside of their immediate area. It’s really a win-win for business and employees alike. Having greater access to talent means better business overall. And working from home is a SUPER perk for employees. Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. is no stranger to remote employees. Most of our employees are Southern California locals, but several are completely remote, spread as far as Louisiana. While others are what we call “flex-remote.” They split their time between working from home and coming into the office. For some, that means being in the office a few times a week; for others, it means coming in weekly or monthly.
Moving to the Cloud isn’t really a trend anymore, it’s basically a part of daily work life. The hybrid method of having local and Cloud-based services has really taken a life of its own. That being said, what do you, as the CEO, need to know about the Cloud? Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. has been working with CEOs since before the Cloud became a buzzword. When we’re talking about the Cloud, a few questions always come up. Questions like “Will the Cloud work for my company” or “does moving to the Cloud mean my IT support costs go down?” These are important questions.
Information technology (IT) exists to help us be more productive and to make life easier. Software tools are critical for businesses to stay ahead – or at least on pace – with their competition. The challenge is that many still see IT as an obstacle; a necessary evil that all-too-often finds itself in the wrong column of the company balance sheet.
I was with a group of business owners a few weeks ago and the topic of company culture came up. As with any discussion of culture, it was an interesting and quite perplexing discussion. Some were curious what culture was all about, and others wanted to understand how to create a good culture at their organizations.