The Verve

Tip of the Week: Creating Canned Responses in Gmail

May 16, 2018 10:43:00 AM / by Chad Sublet posted in Tip of the week, Communication, Email

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If you’re like most business users, you rely on email quite a bit to stay apprised of what is going on, as do most of the people you are likely in communication with. As such, you most likely understand that, while most emails require some kind of response or confirmation of receipt, not all of these messages require a heartfelt message. This is where Gmail’s Canned Responses come in handy.

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Tip of the Week: Working from Google Home

May 2, 2018 7:33:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Tip of the week, Google

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It is no secret that Google can serve a great utility in the office through its many services and applications. However, have you ever considered how the Google Assistant can, well, assist you through devices like your smartphone and the assorted smart speakers that Google has produced? For today’s tip, we’ll review how some of the features of the Google Assistant can lend you a hand in the professional environment.

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Tip of the Week: Keeping Track of Your Inventory

Apr 18, 2018 8:10:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Technology, Tip of the week, Inventory

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Regardless of your organization’s size, there is more than likely a large amount of information technology to keep track of and maintain. As is usually the case when so many moving parts and variables are involved, the task of keeping them organized can quickly become difficult and stressful. This week, we’ll give you a few tips on how a proper inventory can help your business stay apprised of its IT resources.

What Can an Inventory Do?
At its core, an inventory serves the purpose of keeping track of the assets and resources a business has in its possession. This spans from how many cases of burger patties a fast food franchise has to how much water a hydroponic plant has in reserve. Not only does this assist the business with ensuring that it always has the resources necessary to operate, it also assists with insurance claims. By keeping you up-to-date on what you have, an inventory serves as a documented resource that can support your claims if the need arises - such as after a disaster event or theft.

Furthermore, a detailed and up-to-date inventory record can help you to identify how old your resources are, allowing you to prioritize when it needs to be refreshed and/or replaced.

As one would imagine, these are all important factors to consider when technology is involved. In light of this, it becomes especially important to develop and enforce a unified and direct system as a standard during the inventorying process.

What Your Inventory Needs to Account For
As you create this system, you need to make sure it addresses the five key details included in a comprehensive inventory record.

1. What is it that you have?
Of course, the whole point of an inventory is to identify the resources you have on hand. Given the long, detailed names that many technology components have (in addition to the many details a piece of hardware or software will have that need to be addressed), it may make the most sense to develop a shorthand that easily and efficiently communicates what exactly it is that your business has in its possession.

For example, if you utilize differently-sized hard drives for different tasks and purposes, you will likely have a stash of these hard drives squirrelled away for later use. Rather than writing out a comprehensive list, creating an internal shorthand will make the task of inventorying these components much easier.

So, if a company were to have 7 spare hard drives, 1 blue hard disk drive with a 5 terabyte capacity, 3 red solid state drives with 10 terabytes each, 2 black hard disk drives with 10 terabytes each, and one purple hard disk drive with a capacity of 5 terabytes, using shorthand might simplify that list into:

  • 1 HDD - BLUE - 1TB
  • 3 SSD - RED - 10TB
  • 2 HDD - BLACK - 10TB
  • 1 HDD - PURPLE - 10TB

2. Where is it stored?
This consideration is especially important if a company has more than one location or stores their supplies in more than one spot in the building. Your inventory record needs to keep track of where a given component is kept so it may be found quickly if need be. Make sure you mark the building it is in, as well as the room and where specifically in that room it is kept. This adds a little more information to your shorthand list:

  • 1 HDD - BLUE - 1TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF A)
  • 3 SSD - RED - 10TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF E)
  • 2 HDD - BLACK - 10TB (SAT-OFFICE1/ROOM4/SHELF B)
  • 1 HDD - PURPLE - 10TB (SAT-OFFICE2/ROOM2/SHELF D)

3. Additional Details to Include
Finally, there are other pieces of information you should use your inventory process to track. To assist with potential insurance needs and monitoring your solutions for a refresh, it helps to add the date that the technology was acquired, as well as how much it cost to acquire it. As a result, your list becomes:

  • 1 HDD - BLUE - 1TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF A) - $95 (May 9, 2017)
  • 3 SSD - RED - 1TB (MAIN LOCATION/BASEMENT/SHELF E) - $250 (June 30, 2017)
  • 2 HDD - BLACK - 1.5TB (SAT-OFFICE1/ROOM4/SHELF B) - $160 (August 18, 2017)
  • 1 HDD - PURPLE - 10TB (SAT-OFFICE2/ROOM2/SHELF D) - $355 (February 2, 2018)

Other Considerations for Your Inventory 
Maintaining an up-to-date set of totals for your inventory is an essential process. After all, what’s the point of keeping track of your inventory if it isn’t going to be accurate anyway? This means that, in addition to ensuring that you start off with the right numbers, you need some sort of system to help you keep a running total. Whether this system is manually keeping totals on a clipboard, updating a spreadsheet, or leveraging asset management, is up to you.

Reach out to us here at Verve Networks by calling (209) 244-7120 to see how we can help. In the meantime, keep checking back for more helpful tips and tricks.

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Tech Term: Defining Motherboard

Mar 28, 2018 5:40:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Computers, Tip of the week, Tech Term

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Inside its casing, your computer contains many parts. While these parts may not be moving, they are hard at work, enabling you to use your computer to accomplish your goals. For today’s Tech Term, we’ll take a closer look at just one, the motherboard, and examine what it contributes to your device’s operation.

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Tip of the Week: ‘Secure’ Browsing Doesn’t Mean ‘Private’

Mar 14, 2018 1:19:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Privacy, VPN, Tip of the week

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Internet browsers, by in large, provide enough security for the average user to come out unscathed. Nowadays, people deal with many more threats than they once did, but by in large, users stay secure when using today’s most popular browsers. Privacy, however, is a whole different matter.

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Tip of the Week: How to Avoid Spam Emails

Mar 7, 2018 1:07:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Security, Email, Tip of the week

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Would you just give your bank account information to anyone who called you up and asked for it? Probably not. For the same reason, you wouldn’t just download attachments from your email messages without a second thought. This can be a dangerous practice, as some of the most common threats nowadays spread themselves via unwanted email attachments. It’s important that you can identify when it’s the right time to download an attachment, and when it’s best to just leave it be without exposing your business to unnecessary risk.

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Tech Term: Understanding Encryption

Feb 28, 2018 7:51:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Security, Encryption, Tip of the week

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With data security becoming paramount for almost everyone, encryption is one of the more important technology terms you will need to know. Since data security has to be a priority--not just for your business--but for you, understanding what encryption is, and how its used can put you in a better position to understand tomorrow’s security solutions. For this week’s tip, we will take you inside cryptography, and more specifically, data and network encryption.

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Tip of the Week: Browser Security 2018

Feb 21, 2018 7:41:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Browser, Comparison, Tip of the week

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The Internet browser is one of the most utilized applications on most computers. With so many complex and aggressive issues popping up on the Internet it would be useful to know which of today’s most utilized browsers are best at keeping your computing network free from threats. Today we will take a look at each of the five most utilized web browsers to find out which is the most reliable and secure for your business to use.

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Tip of the Week: Do You Know How to Protect Medical Data?

Feb 7, 2018 7:13:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Tip of the week, HIPPA, Electronic Medical Records

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Businesses that work with medical data are in a tricky situation, as the slightest issue with security could place considerable risk on storing this data. If you’re not careful, you could be putting your business at risk. With the compliance issues that have to be regarded, the security of any medical data you store on your infrastructure has to be made a priority. How can you minimize the risk of storing this data without compromising your business’ effectiveness?

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Tip of the Week: Filters and Labels Help Organize Your Gmail Inbox

Jan 24, 2018 8:32:00 PM / by Chad Sublet posted in Google, Gmail, Tip of the week

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Gmail is an excellent tool for business use, even more than many business owners may realize. Did you know that it even has the capability to keep itself organized? For today’s tip, we’ll go over how to use filters and labels to keep your Gmail inbox organized and easy to use.

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