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IT Security Technology or IT Security Training?

IT security in 2022 is a hot topic. Between big-name ransomware attacks, spear phishing, and rampant data breeches, businesses the nation and world over are now taking a critical look at their own IT security infrastructure. Many are finding holes and shortcomings in their security setups that were oftentimes invisible before, and invisible as these issues may be, they may well pose a big threat to businesses and their data.

But what are these invisible threats? And how can businesses overcome them?

We’ll dive into those questions as we explore the facets of one of IT’s biggest debates — do we, as business owners, prioritize IT security technology or IT security training (otherwise known as IT security awareness training)? While the two may sound similar on the surface level, the strategies, use-cases, and applications of each are very distinct. In this article, we’ll walk you through both IT security technology and training, to help you better decide which is the right call for you and your business.

Assessing Your Business

Before we can dive into analyzing the potential holes in your IT security infrastructure, you need to establish some key facets of your business’s digital makeup.

First, think carefully about your digital infrastructure itself. The specifics can vary a lot from business to business, but the most important factors in your digital infrastructure is its age, size, and complexity.

For instance, how big is your network? How many computers are hooked up to it, is your business a tech-heavy one or is it more pen-and-paper and old-fashioned? Or, how complex would you estimate your network infrastructure is, is it more barebones with only computers and printers connected, or do you have on-site data hosting with terabytes upon terabytes of files? Does your business run exclusively up-to-date software and operating systems, or do your servers still run on decades-old Windows XP or Windows 7? Exact specifications aren’t necessary for this step, just keep a general idea in mind.

Next, assess your employee base and their overall tech-savviness. Naturally, a tech-savvy workforce is going to be much more keen on cyber security protocol than those one that isn’t, so take some mental notes on the technical prowess of your team.

For instance, does your team trend older or younger? Older folks often have a harder time with cyber security protocol and technology in general. Additionally, do you have an IT team on-hand or in-house? If so, how many years of experience does each member have? Do you have a unified email system from Google or Microsoft, or does each employee of yours have their own independent email address?

Assessing the Risks

Now, we’ll contrast what you’ve briefly assessed about your business with some of the most common, most high-risk cyber attacks and security risks. Keep in mind what sort of security practices you and your team are already familiar with, and keep track of those which you or your team aren’t yet familiar with.

  • Stolen passwords. Stolen passwords are, in the cyber security world, the oldest trick in the book. A malicious actor obtains one of your employee’s passwords, and uses that authentication to gain access to that individual’s computer, your wider network, a file storage service, or other sensitive resource. Who’s at risk? Stolen passwords area always an immediate threat, but can be mitigated by the use of two-factor authentication, secure and varied passwords, among other methods — business that do not use these are at greater risk of password theft.
  • Phishing attacks. For years now, most run-of-the-mill phishing attacks never leave the attacker’s email hosting, or get caught by garden-variety spam filters. But that doesn’t mean the threat is neutralized. Phishing attacks have evolved in recent years, and now manifest in many more ways than simple emails. Between spear phishing, where bad actors target individuals with hyper-customized emails that are extremely convincing, and the rise of phone- and text message-based phishing attacks, they’re more dangerous than ever. Who’s at risk? Phishing attacks pray primarily on those less tech-savvy and those with poor attention to detail. Phishing attacks are often clunky in their grammar and appearance and demand for sensitive info from their victims — info experienced computer users know to never give away to a strange phone number or email address. But in the age of spear phishing, anyone may be vulnerable.
  • Ransomware. Ransomware appears on your computer unexpectedly, complete with threatening message and frightening, sometimes morbid veneer that’s designed to scare you into compliance. This breed of malware will encrypt your files, rendering them unusable and unreadable, and will only decrypt them after you pay the (often exorbitantly high) ransom price. Who’s at risk? Ransomware can infiltrate a business in a number of ways, often through a malicious link, phishing attack, or social engineering. Additionally, those without constantly-updated offline or cloud-based data backups can find themselves in a dire situation when hit by a ransomware attack.

Making Your Final Decision

With both the state of your business and of the three most dangerous cyber threats in mind, let’s come to a more final decision. To help close this thought exercise, we’ll ask you a few broad questions and provide solutions to them depending on how you answered. Keep a running tally of points in favor of IT security technology, and points in favor of IT security training.

  • Q: How modern and up-to-date is your business’s technological and cyber-infrastructure?
  • A: If your systems are aging and getting slow, it may be time for an upgrade and/or security technology to help bolster your defenses — consider this a point for security technology. If not, and your systems are modern and secure, you’d do well to make sure they stay that way.
  • Q: How tech-savvy is your employee base?
  • A: If yours is a business where many employees are older, have less experience with technology, or that doesn’t demand the use of tech in its day-to-day, take down a point for security training. If it’s mainly staffed by younger and frequent computer users who are comfortable staying secure online, skip this question.
  • Q: How much of your data is kept on-site?
  • A: Any amount of large- or enterprise-scale data storage needs proper protection, take down a point for security technology if you have it. If you don’t have any mass data storage on-site at your office, skip this question.
  • Q: How large is your business’s network? How many employees are hooked up to your network?
  • A: Larger companies of dozens to hundreds of employees need proper data protection at that scale, yet the sheer number of employees present means many potential points of failure. Large companies, we recommend, invest in both IT security technology and training.
  • Q: Do you hear employees chattering about not being able to remember passwords, or getting hacked? Has your business ever been digitally compromised before?
  • A: These are both telltale signs of a need of security training. Those who often forget passwords are more likely to use very weak passwords, or write passwords down on pen and paper or a Word document — all very insecure password practices.
  • Q: Have your or your IT team been approached about a strange Amazon charge? Or maybe a strange transaction from Netflix, Hulu, their bank or even the police?
  • A: These are all names phishers prefer to operate under. If you’ve heard reports of charges or transactions like these that came out of the blue, it’s a sign you may need to incorporate security training to teach them the surefire signs of a phishing or scamming attack.

Complete Business SystemsIf you found yourself answering “yes” to the majority, or perhaps even a couple, of these IT security training or IT security technology questions, it may be time to start looking for one or both of them for your business. Look no further than the experts at CBS if your Colorado business needs any sort of IT training or technology — we’ve been in this business for over 25 years, and we’re certified experts at providing IT security support.

Buying Office Equipment? Get Familiar With Section 179

section 179If you’re a business owner, you’re no doubt familiar with all the ins and outs of the taxes involved with your business’s operation. Between finding the right equipment, the logistics of purchasing it, and doing all the necessary bookkeeping, it can be a real hassle – but if you know your stuff, you may find your business qualifies for some nice benefits, hidden deep in US tax code.

Section 179 is one of those benefits. Its inclusion in the US tax code is purpose-designed to incentivize small business owners to invest in themselves and help their businesses run bigger and better. It can be a powerful tool for optimizing your tax payments that too few people actually know about. But in this article, we’ll let you in on Section 179, explain what it is, what qualifies for Section 179, and how it may benefit your business.

What is Section 179?

To put it in simple terms, Section 179 allows small- to medium-sized businesses to write off the entire amount of a business equipment expense as a tax deduction all at once, as opposed to depreciating the asset over a longer period of time.

For smaller businesses, Section 179 allows you to grant yourself a substantially lighter tax burden in one year, instead of a comparatively larger tax burden over the course of many years. This increased tax relief makes it easier for business owners to purchase greater amounts of equipment in a shorter span of time – perfect for new and rapidly-growing businesses.

What Qualifies for Section 179?

Assets that qualify for Section 179 are slightly limited in scope. As the section was designed to give small businesses a boost to their bottom lines, it’s restricted to machinery and equipment that is typically used in a business’s day-to-day operations.

Cars, trucks and other vehicles are one of the most widely-known ways that businesses capitalize on Section 179. However, computers, computer software, furniture, production equipment or other business-critical equipment, and – most importantly for our purposes – office equipment like printers, copiers and more, all qualify for Section 179. 

The asset(s) must also be tangible, something you can physically hold or point to – not a loan repayment, something abstract or symbolic, and so on. 

Section 179 Applies to Business Expenses Only

Items must be business expenses in order to have Section 179 tax deduction eligibility. To qualify, the item(s) in question must be purchased with the intent of being used at a business, and the item(s) must be used for business-related purposes at least 50% of the time. 

Additionally, your deduction’s value is directly tied to how much business vs. personal use it receives. For example: an eligible car, filed as a Section 179 expense, that’s used by a business half the time, and by the business owner for personal use the other half of the time, will only receive a tax deduction equivalent to half the car’s price.

On the flip side, an office printer that’s used by the business 100% of the time will receive a tax deduction on the entire price of the printer.

What Are the Limits of Section 179?

This incentive, being designed for small or medium-sized businesses, has certain limitations in place so that it doesn’t incentivize businesses that are considered too large.

Assets must be considered depreciable in order to qualify for Section 179’s deduction, for example. For many small businesses, most of what gets your business running will likely qualify as a depreciable asset – think automobiles, electronics, furniture and appliances, and other large items that need routine replacement every once in a while.

Additionally, there is an upper limit to what businesses may ask for a Section 179 deduction on. The maximum deduction you can achieve in the 2022 tax year is $1,080,000, which means the maximum amount of equipment expenses must not exceed $2,700,000. This, as previously mentioned, ensures only smaller businesses can reasonably take advantage of this incentive. 

How Section 179 Can Benefit You & Your Business

Designed to allow greater freedom for small businesses to build up their money-making capabilities, this incentive can be a big weight off of your shoulders as a small business owner. Depending on your circumstances, you may find that Section 179 boosts your ability to grow your business, and shift more resources away from paying taxes.

Among the things this incentive allows you to do is building up the capabilities of a new business, revitalizing old equipment of an existing business, expanding into new areas of your field, expanding your business’s infrastructure, and many more.

If your business is in need of new printers, copiers or other business equipment, Section 179 is your ticket to a much cheaper hardware acquisition experience. Get in touch with us at Complete Business Systems of Colorado today to learn more.

disclaimer: CBS does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice.

What Helps Protect From Spear Phishing Attacks?

The business technology world of today is growing increasingly concerned with the advent of one, particularly devastating type of attack that any business could fall victim to. While many have heard of the traditional “phishing” attack, where an email or direct message poses to be a colleague or legitimate business when it’s in fact a hacker, a similar attack known as “spear phishing” is now responsible for most of the nation’s phishing attacks.

Spear phishing may sound daunting, but it’s by no means an insurmountable problem. As cyber security experts at Complete Business Systems, we’ll run you through what spear phishing is, why it’s so dangerous, and how you can stop them from happening to your business.

What is Spear Phishing?

True to its name, spear phishing is a more innovative, highly-targeted version of traditional phishing. Think of traditional phishing as a sort of “wide net” phishing — the hacker casts a wide net, so to speak, by sending out phishing emails to hundreds, if not thousands of emails at once in the hopes that a few recipients will “bite” and click the malicious link inside.

Traditional phishing is a threat in itself, but it’s grown less insidious over the years. People have grown weary of strange emails sent to their inbox, many such emails even end up in the spam folder or are blocked by 3rd party spam filters. This, however, is exactly why spear phishing is becoming so dangerous.

If traditional phishing uses a metaphorical “wide net” to conduct attacks, spear phishing fittingly uses a spear: one, highly-targeted and highly-effective attack sent to a few people, or even just one person.

Spear phishing emails can appear startlingly realistic and convincing. They may contain the recipient’s first and last name, personal details harvested from their public social media accounts, info relevant to their job or duties, references to their colleagues or friends and family, among other pieces of information.

This is all in addition to a likely hand-made recreation of an email template or style that the recipient is familiar with — it may use one of their co-worker’s or higher-up’s email signatures, or use an email template that painstakingly recreates the look of a Google or Microsoft email.

How Do They Do It?

The main drawback of a traditional phishing attack is its widely-distributed nature. When a hacker sends out thousands of emails at once, they don’t have the time to customize them beyond a few words. Just as long as one employee falls for their hasty, often sloppy email, the hacker considers it a job well done.

This has lulled many in today’s workforce into a false sense of security. They feel that phishing emails will always be easy to spot, and will always have a certain sloppy look or will always have typos.

Spear phishing, by contrast, is much more polished. They capitalize on employees’ false sense of security by sending them a clean, professional-looking email, from a real and authentic email address, that in no way looks like an illegitimate message. A given employee, after glancing at the email and spotting nothing amiss with it, will be likelier to read on without noticing the attack.

Combine that legitimacy with a convincing, highly-customized opener (think, “Hi, [recipient name], I was just talking to [coworker’s name], she and I forgot the password to our new database and she told me you might know it off hand. Could you help us out?”), and that employee is much more likely to click on a link or send over a piece of sensitive information.

Without prior warning and training from a security partner like Complete Business Systems, you may find yourself or someone on your network compromised.

Why is Spear Phishing So Dangerous?

To sum it up, spear phishing preys on our innate desires to be helpful, cooperative and/or productive, right after it disarms us with a nice, convincing coat of paint.

Not all spear phishing attacks come from offshore, either. Right here in the US, business competitors, cyber criminals, and even one’s own personal enemies are all capable of conducting spear phishing attacks. No matter where they come from, however, spear phishing attacks may very well be responsible for your next data breech or digital breaking-and-entering.

How You Can Protect Against Spear Phishing

Beyond the technological solutions, like spam filters and email monitoring programs, the main way to prevent spear phishing attacks to identify the risks within your company, and to go about making sure those risk factors are solved.

These risks most often manifest as individual employees. Those who are less tech-savvy are more likely to fall victim to a well-executed spear phishing attack, as well as those with less experience in online communication.

One of the best ways to go about ensuring all employees are aware of the warning signs of spear phishing, is employee cyber security training. When your business partners up with a firm that conducts this training course, a faux-spear phishing email is sent out to key individuals in your company. The firm will use those individuals’ key information to craft a legitimate-looking email, then will report back which employees, unfortunately, fell for that fake spear phishing email.

This process, also known as a phishing simulation or phishing awareness training, spreads awareness of phishing throughout your company organically. Those who were fooled by the fake spear phishing email will, at the business owner’s discretion, referred to a phishing awareness training session. From there, those employees will be in a much better position to resist and recognize future phishing attacks.

In addition, employees can check the email addresses of emails from outside domains for validity, see if the sender is in their contacts list, and never ignore warnings from their email programs, like Gmail and Outlook, if and when they appear.

Microsoft Basic Auth is Going Away — Are You Prepared?

On October 1st, Microsoft will be retiring a security protocol that, while considered quite old by today’s security standards, is still an integral piece of many businesses’ workflows. This security protocol, known as ‘basic authentication’ or ‘basic auth,’ is a soon-to-be antiquated method of signing into one’s email account. It lacks many of the security features that modern security provides, like two factor authentication and other critical safeguards.

On October 1st 2022, Microsoft basic authentication will be immediately and permanently discontinued, leaving many automated workflows at risk of malfunctioning. The good news, however, is that there’s still time for you to upgrade your security and prevent workflow disruption and/or unavoidable downtime. In this article, we’ll walk you through what Microsoft basic auth is, why it’s going away, and why and how you should migrate away from it.

What is Microsoft Basic Authentication?

Simply put, Microsoft basic authentication is an old protocol for logging into one’s email and other online services. It’s an aging holdout from the early days of email — instead of a full suite of two-factor authentication, modern encryption and the like, Microsoft basic auth hails from the days when all you needed to sign in was a username and a password.

Basic auth was deemed acceptable back during its heyday, but as security needs grew and hackers became more adept at hacking, most moved on to better security protocols. Today, this legacy authentication method is not only soon to be discontinued, but vulnerable to all sorts of potential attacks from hackers and other data thieves.

One such attack is known as “password spraying,” where an attacker ‘sprays’ hundreds or thousands of the nation’s most popular passwords at every email address on your network, in the hopes that just one of those passwords will unlock just one of those email addresses.

In other words, if one of your employees has “Password12345!” as their password, they’re almost guaranteed to be compromised in the event of a password-spraying attack. Once a hacker does compromise an email, they’ve got their foothold inside your network — and there’s no telling what they’ll do next.

You may currently be using basic authentication in Exchange online, Microsoft’s biggest service that uses basic authentication.

How Do I Know if I’m Using Basic Auth?

Fortunately, Microsoft has made it easy to determine whether or not your business is stuck on basic auth or not.

When logging in to Exchange or other online service from the company, you should see a plain white box with the Microsoft logo in the top left. This box should prompt you for an email, phone number, or Skype username. This is a modern authentication-enabled box, and they all look identical — and that’s by design.

Contrast this with a basic authentication box, which does not have a modern Microsoft logo present anywhere in the login box. It may also present you with a username and password box at the same time — modern authentication does not do this. It instead has you enter in your email/phone/username, then plays a transition, then asks you for your password on that same line.

Why Microsoft Basic Auth is Being Discontinued

As mentioned above, business security needs have evolved significantly since the early days of email. Microsoft recognizes that basic authentication will only continue to degrade and deprecate as time goes on, and so, decades after its introduction, they have finally began the process of discontinuing it. Basic auth is simply not cut out for the future — technology and bad actors have simply become too advanced for it to handle.

Microsoft would also prefer that their users enable their more modern authentication and security features, the aforementioned two factor authentication being the biggest example.

Why You Should Migrate Away From Basic Authentication

Simply put, migrating away from and disabling Microsoft basic auth will not only protect your emails and network, but will prevent the sudden malfunctioning of your business’s automated email workflow.

If your business relies on certain applications that make heavy use of emails, like Quickbooks, Salesforce, Mailchimp and others, those applications’ workflow integrations will likely stop working come October 1st if they use basic auth.

This can potentially cause major disruptions in your workflow and thereby majorly disrupt your business. If, for instance, you are sending out engagement or reminder emails to your client base via Mailchimp or Constant Contact, Microsoft basic auth’s discontinuation will stop all of these emails from going out indefinitely, until you upgrade your security.

Additionally, if you have a website that features an interactive form, and your website uses Microsoft basic auth to send out emails, that form may stop notifying you when someone fills it out. In a worst-case scenario, questions, comments, and leads gathered via that form may be lost if the Microsoft email these forms are being sent to still uses basic auth after October 1st.

How to Upgrade to Modern Authentication

The only way to purge Microsoft basic auth from your network is to sign out of any email, website, application, etc. that still uses it, and to swap it out with Microsoft’s modern equivalent.

While this is a relatively simple process for simple or very small firms, you may find it difficult or confusing if yours is a large business. In those cases, we recommend professional migration help. This way, you can rest assured that your business’s security is up-to-date, and that your workflow will not encounter any sort of downtime or unexpected interruptions.

In the greater Denver area, get in touch with us at Complete Business Systems to upgrade your security now. With decades of experience in business technology, there is no one else more prepared to rid your business of basic authentication than CBS.

Are Copper Phone Lines Going Away?

Major phone carriers in the United States will no longer support Plain Old Telephony Service (POTS), the traditional copper wire network that has existed since the 1880s.

Knowing this, you may have several questions. Are copper phone lines going away? Are landlines being phased out? Are analog phone lines going away? Are POTS lines no longer supported?

Most carriers no longer need or want to support aging network infrastructure because they have switched to more modern technologies like fiber optics and mobile/cellular.

How will this affect you and your business? Find out everything you need to know by reading this article!

Are Copper Phone Lines Going Away?

Carriers had long complained about having to maintain more and more expensive copper phone lines (and telephone pole infrastructure) for a decreasing number of customers just to comply with their legal obligations to provide “universal service.”

The dominoes will fall even faster once the requirement to support POTS is dropped, with carriers refocusing their efforts away from conventional phone lines and toward more well-liked (and lucrative) services.

Copper phone lines will eventually be completely decommissioned as a result.

Are Landlines Being Phased Out?

Landlines are still in use today.

In the US, there are more than 100 million landlines. Most likely, if you’re reading this, you have one of them.

The largest providers, however—AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, and Frontier—have made it clear that they are abandoning traditional landlines in favor of fiber optic cables that are based on the internet and replacing their copper wire infrastructure.

Are Analog Phone Lines Going Away?

Long-standing POTS phone line connections must be phased out completely nationwide by August 2, 2022, according to a rule that the FCC published in August 2019.

That deadline has passed and has resulted in monthly expenses of thousands of dollars for any company still using these old phone lines.

Currently, one line can cost between $65 and $100 per month. That could increase to the thousands after August, with some lines possibly reaching $3,000 per month.

The best course of action is to take immediate action to switch existing POTS lines to a replacement option because nobody wants to be saddled with that phone bill.

Are POTS Lines No Longer Supported?

The short answer? Yes. POTS lines are going away.

A POTS line can be found throughout an organization, and they are currently estimated to cost between $65 and $100 per line.

POTS lines are used for fax machines, ATMs, elevator call boxes, fire alarms, gate and door access, and even HVAC systems, in addition to their obvious use for voice phone calls. These expenses can quickly add up and cause unnecessary stress on any budget.

Be Prepared for a Wireless Future

You began reading with some questions: Are copper phone lines going away? Are landlines being phased out? Are analog phone lines going away? Are POTS lines no longer supported?

Now you know!

Major networks will be permitted to deactivate and/or increase the cost of existing POTS lines starting on August 2, 2022. You can anticipate paying thousands of dollars more to use POTS if you decide to stick with them.

It is therefore time to switch to a solution that complies with the FCC mandate and satisfies the requirements of the digital age.

Check out our phone services at the link to make the switch before it’s too late!

Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace – Which Is Better?

Across the business world, there’s an intense debate raging – and an intense battle for your dollar as well. Microsoft and Google, two of the world’s largest tech companies, both would like you to believe their business software suites are the superior one. To any business owner, the choice between using Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace may seem like an unnecessarily tough one to make, as both suites have similar features – office apps, mail, conferencing – yet each have unique ways of implementing them.

In this article, we’ll take a look at both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace and each of their big features. We’ll show you the pros and cons of each, so that you can make a better-informed decision on which suite is best for your business’s needs.

Managed Network Services

Office Apps

Microsoft, with their widely-known and decades old line of office apps, being Word, Excel, Powerpoint and others, definitely have a greater public recognition than Google’s competing Docs, Sheets, and Slides – but does that mean you should count the new guy out?

Both 365 and Workspace are comprehensive in terms of features. From document creation to template implementation to file sharing, both suites will almost never leave you thinking, “I really wish this app could do more.” For the vast majority of business owners, 365 and Workspace alike will provide a complete set of features and functions, so functionality itself isn’t an issue of this debate. So then, when it comes to the core apps of these suites, what all is being debated?

Where & How Do They Run?

There’s a very good chance you’re already familiar with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. With them having been around since the early days of PCs, they’ve built up quite a reputation, and in many ways, they’re still the same apps they were back then – solid, reliable workhorses that stay out of your way and let you get to work. The biggest difference, of course, being their modern code bases and feature sets.

365’s desktop apps, available starting at their Business Standard and Apps for Business packages, will run natively on any Windows or Mac computer, and functions just like any other traditional app. Open them from your taskbar or Dock, get to work, then close them once you’re done – simple.

This is in contrast to Google Workspace. Having been created by Google, the world’s leader in online and cloud-based tech, Workspace is a highly cloud-centric suite. Instead of having apps sitting on your desktop, Google’s apps live in your web browser. This also means that they were designed to be used while you’re connected to the Internet, and originally, Google’s apps could only be accessed online.

Google has since introduced ways to access their Workspace apps offline, but users won’t be getting the full experience. There are certainly benefits to using a cloud-based suite, but often times, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned native desktop app. Said apps, like 365’s, better harness your computers resources for improved performance, as opposed to funneling everything you do through your web browser first.

Compatibility

Picture this – a higher-up or business partner of yours asks you for a copy of some files for a meeting later today. A text document file, a spreadsheet file, and the file for the presentation you’ll be using – what format, or type of file, do you think they’ll ask for?

If you said .doc, .xls, and .ppt, you’ve just made a great case for using Microsoft 365.

Microsoft’s own file formats have been commonplace and the industry standard for decades. .doc has long been the almost-universal standard for any type of traditional text document. Needless to say, 365 will have no issues whatsoever handling these files.

Workspace can handle .doc’s and the like too, however. For simple documents, Workspace can open and edit Microsoft’s formats with few issues.

However, if you’re trying to open a more complex document, like one with templates, watermarking, or a lot of individual assets, Workspace may give you trouble. Misplaced images, strange text wrapping or formatting, missing template elements are just a few compatibility issues that may occur with Workspace and Microsoft formats.

A document’s age may also play a factor. Microsoft has a long history of great compatibility between versions of Word and the like – a Word doc from 1996 will open just as easily in today’s Word as a Word doc from 2021. Workspace, being so new relatively speaking, may run into further issues in cases like these.

Workspace can, however, effortlessly open, edit, and share its own file formats. If compatibility isn’t a top priority, that may well be a point for Google in your book.

Usability

365, for how feature-rich it is, can potentially be a bit overwhelming to some newer or less computer-savvy users. While having these apps live on your hard drive is a plus, the long menus, and complicated toolbars and features of Word and the like can be daunting. In this way, there’s a bit of a learning curve to be had with 365 – it may take some getting used to for the less tech-inclined.

Workspace, however, was designed with simplicity and ease-of-use in mind. With an interface as clean as a whistle, and with many features and menus slimmed down and streamlined, it’s a breeze to use – even for those with little computer experience.

Since both Workspace and Microsoft 365 have cloud-based versions, they can be fired up from any type of device via a web browser – be they a mobile one, or one with a non-Microsoft or Apple operating system. While both Google and Microsoft make mobile versions of their suites’ apps, Microsoft 365 has a more feature-rich set of apps for both Android and iOS.

Experienced computer users will likely find both Workspace and 365 easy to use. Some power users may prefer the customizability (think macros, custom keyboard shortcuts, plugins) of 365, but by and large both Workspace and 365 offer usability fit for any user with decent computer experience.

Email

An absolutely integral part of any business’s operations, a good email service is something you can’t go without as a business. Fortunately, both Microsoft’s Outlook and Google ubiquitous Gmail are solid choices of email client – though like their respective office apps, there are key differences between the two.

Gmail is widely known and liked by its user base. With a clean look, easy-to-grasp feature set, and mass adoption, few people will complain about having to use Gmail as their email client. There’s a good chance most, if not all, of your employee base already has some experience with Gmail, and those who don’t won’t have much issue adjusting.

Microsoft’s client, while not as popular, is similarly easy to grasp and intuitive, and more widely accepted in the business community. While it may take some users a bit of time to adjust, Microsoft customers enjoy better email security and more robust sorting capabilities. Just like Microsoft’s office apps, too, Outlook has an email client that lives on a user’s hard drive. It’s feature-rich, snappy, and power-user friendly, but users can use the web-based version just as easily.

Storage

Offering up to a gigabyte for free – more than enough for most users – Gmail is still considered rather generous. However, even on their priciest plan, Google offers a maximum of 30GB per Gmail user. Especially if your business deals a lot with large files, many users may find this restricting.

Microsoft offers a similar amount of storage for free, but their plans range from 50GB to 100GB per user.

If you value simplicity and a streamlined experience, Google may be your pick. If you value, sorting and storage capacity, consider Microsoft.

Video Conferencing

If you’re sick and tired of Zoom, you’ll be happy to know that neither Google nor Microsoft use it – they’ve got their own set of apps to conference with instead.

With Google Meet, you’ll be conferencing using the same cloud-centric approach that the other Workspace suite apps use. While you obviously need internet to video conference, Meet incorporates the same level of integration and cross-app features that you’d expect from such a cloud-centric suite.

Microsoft Teams, while not as streamlined at a glance, is just as easy to use. Available in both a desktop app and a web app, Teams makes it easy for anyone, regardless of tech skill, to join – just click the link, and it’ll sign you on automatically. Meet provides similar functionality, but Microsoft has gone out of their way to make it extremely easy to join a video call – something many of us struggled with during the age of remote work.

If large-scale conferencing is a priority, Teams will give you more bang (or rather, attendees) per buck. Meet allows for up to 500 attendees in its most expensive plan, where Microsoft grants that same number in its second most expensive. If you’re not holding back, with Teams you can enjoy a full 1000 attendees in a single meeting, though it will unfortunately be expensive.

Cloud Storage

Not to be confused with the aforementioned email storage, cloud storage is like a hard drive in the cloud – a place where you can store and back up all your files.

There’s a surprising amount of variation in how much cloud storage Google and Microsoft provide. At their cheapest price plan, Google offers a (relatively) tiny 30GB of storage per user – an acceptable amount for basic users, but those who deal with large files will find this very insufficient. This figure jumps up to 2TB – almost 67 (!) times more – at their next-highest plan, then to 5TB on their highest.

Microsoft takes an entirely different approach. They offer 1TB per user across the board, for every plan. At their cheapest offering, Microsoft is offering a staggering 34 times more storage than Google per user making Microsoft 365 the easy choice here.

Pricing

Google is very straightforward in their pricing plans. Ranging from 6 to 18 dollars per user per month, Google keeps it simple for easy consideration. More money per month gives your business greater storage space per user, allows for more conference participants, and at the highest echelons, enhanced security and retention.

Microsoft has a more flexible, albeit potentially confusing payment plan. They offer plans ranging from 6 dollars per month per user, to 22.

More expensive plans offer much better security and peace of mind, with threats like phishing and ransomware being blocked before they can hit your business. Alternatively, Microsoft offers packages that laser-target certain features. For instance, Microsoft offers a package that includes the desktop office apps, but leaves off other, less relevant features.

The Verdict

Both Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace have their own strengths and shortcomings, and the fact the debate between them is so heated is a testament to how good they both are.

However, when looking at the big picture – the current state of the business world, the needs of the average user, the trajectory of the tech world – our winner of the Google Workspace vs Microsoft 365 debate, is Microsoft.

Native desktop apps, unbeatable file format compatibility, intuitive large-scale conferencing, and a generous cloud storage scheme make Microsoft the natural choice of business software suite. While Google is the current winner in the field of cloud integration and ease of access, Microsoft is quickly closing the gap and offering cloud solutions on par with that of their competitor.

Microsoft 365 vs Google Workspace

How Can A Managed Service Provider (MSP) Benefit Your Business?

In the world of business, tech is inescapable. Modern businesses rely on tech in some capacity for nearly everything, from client acquisition to payment processing to data storage, and we don’t blame you if it feels overwhelming.

While a blessing in many ways, the continued mass adoption of tech in business can over-complicate the ins and outs of everyday business life. In our tech-reliant world, you need an IT partner who can de-mystify the confusing world of business technology, and that partner may well come in the form of a Managed Service Provider.

We’ll walk you through four ways managed service providers can benefit you and your business, saving time, money, and most importantly, headache.

You Can Fire Your In-House IT Department

If you’ve got one or several people working as computer repairmen, internet-fixers or printer doctors, a managed service provider may be capable of taking over their job(s) entirely. An MSP can offer all the services that an in-house IT department can, like diagnostics, networking, security, computer updates, etc., all remotely while remaining just as quick and efficient.

With a managed service provider or MSP, like Complete Business Solutions, you can get in touch with your provider’s 24/7 helpdesk to get immediate help with any device on your company’s network. Our helpdesk’s tech support specialists are 100% transparent and accept full accountability for their actions on your network, so you can rest easy knowing your network is always safe and covered in the event of tech issues.

Ditch Your Expensive On-Site IT Hardware

Do you have a big, loud tower of servers that sits in your office and shoots your electricity bill through the roof? Tired of dealing with that cluttered, dense mess of wires and cables in that one backroom or closet?

A managed service provider might be just what the doctor ordered. Your provider can transfer all of your large on-site network infrastructure to the cloud, decluttering your office and simplifying how you and your employees manage their files. From one convenient online portal, you can store and manage all of your business’s data with ease and from anywhere in the world. And with Complete Business Systems, you can enjoy Tier 3 enterprise-class security and frequent backups to ensure maximum data security.

Simplify Your Phone & Conferencing Systems

Many businesses have surrendered to the idea that their phone systems are hopelessly complex, confusing or frustrating to manage without the help of their IT people — but it doesn’t have to be this way. A managed service provider can take your phone and video conferencing systems and migrate them to the cloud for greatly enhanced ease of use and simplicity.

From the cloud, your communications solutions can be effortlessly scaled to fit the needs of your business — if your company is growing rapidly, so can your phone systems, all with minimal effort and no downtime. At Complete Business Systems, you can also equip your business with top-of-the-line 4K video conferencing hardware and HD phone call quality, so that you and your employees never miss a detail.

Phone Services

Work With Confidence Knowing You’re Protected

If a flash flood or fire were to sweep through your office, would your business outright lose all of its data for good? If so, it may be time for a managed service provider.

Safely kept away in the cloud, your business’s data will be untouchable by natural disasters. No matter what freak weather events or freak accidents happen at your office, you won’t so much as lose a single file, as your data is constantly stored in a secure server offsite.

Likewise, your data will be kept safe from hackers and data thieves. With enterprise-grade encryption end-to-end, and a nearly impenetrable security layer on the server’s end, a hacker would theoretically need thousands of years to crack the code that keeps your data secure.

In the event your office requires backups of your data, we at Complete Business Systems will personally guide you through the restore process and tie up any and all loose ends, so that you’ll be back to work in no time.

Where You Can Find Printers & Copiers in 2022

If you’re in the market for technology right now, you’re no stranger to the fact that shortages, price hikes, and shipping delays are all the rage. With the number of places with office printers in stock declining, and the number of copiers and the like still in stock seemingly dropping by the hour, you aren’t alone if you’re wondering where you can buy office technology in 2022. Fortunately, you’re in luck if you’re still on the hunt for office printers in stock or any other office appliance. But first, let’s take a closer look at what exactly is going on in the market.

office printers in stock

Why Is Buying Tech Such a Hassle All of a Sudden?

If it feels like buying new equipment for your office is harder, more headache-inducing than ever, it’s not just you — businesses the world over are struggling to supply their offices with printers, copiers, and even basic ink. There are many individual reasons for this new phenomenon, but the single biggest factor probably won’t surprise you – the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world of tech manufacturing has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. From a lack of production specialists to a lack of raw materials, getting products to market has been a challenge for most tech industries as of late. If you’ve heard something about a “supply chain crisis” or “chip shortage” lately, this is just one area of the market that’s been affected by that crisis. And for this industry, among others, these COVID-19-induced crises and shortages aren’t appearing to let up any time soon.

While these tech firms haven’t completely ground their production to a halt, it’s still become quite a bit harder for businesses the world over to get office printers in stock, in addition to copiers, and other office technology they need. In other words, there’s a lot more scarcity than there was previously.

And with scarcity comes a whole host of issues for those looking to obtain new office equipment. From rising prices on new and used equipment, to longer shipping times and more delays, to ever more frequent “out of stock” notices when you’re trying to shop around, buying new tech for your office has truly become a hassle. And we get that, and we’re happy to be able to say that hope is not yet lost for you and your office.

The Best Place to Buy Office Technology in 2022

At Complete Business Systems, we are proud to announce that we have office printers in stock, office copiers in stock, and not to mention VOIP systems, multifunction copiers, every kind of ink and toner you can imagine, all in stock. Where other office technology suppliers are struggling to fill orders and meet their clients’ needs, CBS has been able to keep up with demand ever since these market issues began in 2020. And we’ll be able to keep on keeping our clients happy in both the immediate and more distant futures.

How is CBS Able to Supply Office Equipment When Other Suppliers Can’t?

Going beyond our integrated, close-knit relationships with our suppliers, we at CBS have one key area that sets us apart from your standard big-box office supply store – direct partnerships with all of your favorite, most trusted brands. Our close relationship with these brands — including Microsoft, HP, Kyocera, Ricoh and many more — ensure that we have priority over others when it comes to our order fulfillment and customer satisfaction. Working with these brands directly give us a sort of VIP status, making CBS greater Denver’s premier office technology supplier.

Our expansive stock of used and refurbished office printers in stock and office copiers in stock allows us to supply a greater volume of equipment, at an even wider variety of price points. If you need the top of the line for your office, we can arrange for a brand-new piece of equipment for you. or if you need something more economical, consider a refurbished item. All of these and more are, of course, in stock.

How Organizations Can Start Focusing on Cyber Security

In recent times, cyber security has become a crucial aspect for companies across the globe. However, it is still not given the importance that it deserves. In 2021, there were 5 major cyber-attacks that involved ransomware, and millions of dollars were either stolen or extorted by cybercriminals. 

In April, Colonial Pipeline’s 100 gigabytes worth of data was stolen within two hours, and the company had to pay the hackers $4.4 million in Bitcoin. Later, the same year, Acer fell victim to an attack and had to pay $50 million, which is one of the biggest amounts to ever have been paid to date. 

The list can go on with numerous other companies such as Brenntag, JBS Foods, and more. All these cases have two simple yet significant learnings:

  • People need to start seeing cyber security as a business decision rather than an auxiliary part of a company’s infrastructure. 
  • Cyber security is not a one-time fix. It is an always-on, ever-evolving process that needs constant attention. 

Understanding this has never been more important. Ever since the global pandemic and the resultant lockdown, organizations have started moving towards digital transformation.

Companies are strategizing and devising plans for hybrid work models where people can work both on-premises and remotely. In fact, an Accenture report also stated that 63% of high-revenue growth companies chose to go with the hybrid model. Having a widely dispersed staff can compromise network security and shed light on your organization’s cyber security vulnerabilities. 

Document & Cyber Security

With such insights, it is evident that cyber security will play a key role in organizations and companies. So, what are the best cyber security practices to strengthen security and safeguard the organization? We put together a list below so you will know what to look for when you are looking for a cyber security partner to keep your organization safe.  

Best Practices to Improve Cyber Security

IT Security Audits

This can be a yearly or bi-yearly activity, where a company’s cyber security infrastructure goes through an audit by experienced vendors who specialize in the field. This way, you’ll know the gaps in the system and can fill them accordingly.

Training Workforce

A significant number of cyberattacks happen through spam, phishing emails, or employee systems in the organization. So, you must ensure that you spend time training your workforce, educating them about security, raising awareness, and also teaching the best practices. 

Contingency Plans

In the event of a disaster, there needs to be a well-structured plan that directs the personnel on various steps to take. For this, you must have an incident response team ready. This team can identify, contain, and eliminate cyberattacks, minimizing the impact of any security breach. 

Insurance

Invest in insurance to save the business thousands and millions of dollars. Cyberattacks are inevitable, and with each passing day, their complexity and nature are evolving. Cyber security doesn’t guarantee safety; it merely decreases your chances of getting hacked. So, on a rainy day, when your organization faces an attack and incurs a loss, you should have insurance that cuts losses.

Conclusion

Overall, cyber security is something organizations, businesses, and essentially anyone owning a digital device needs to focus on. After all, the world is moving towards digitalization, and it is imperative that you keep your infrastructure safe. If you think your company could use a cyber security audit reach out to our team at Complete Business Systems today.

 

Business Development Representative

Complete Business Systems is an industry-leading, rapidly growing office technology firm specializing in document management, cloud hosting solutions, and IT support services.

Learn more about us at https://cbsofcolorado.com/about-us/

Our Team:

Our Business Development Representatives (BDR’s) work hand in hand with our Sales Leadership Team in uncovering, developing, and implementing solutions to a new and existing client base. Our company is passionate about transforming sales interactions into something that is personal, value-filled, and relationship-based.

The Opportunity:

You’ll be given the opportunity to learn and develop the fundamental skills necessary for an exciting career in Technology Sales. As a Business Development Representative or BDR, you will have access to the training and resources to be able to navigate the entire sales process. Our training process will be completely hands-on with a combination of classroom and real-life scenarios. This will give you the best opportunity for quick upward growth and maximized earnings. Once in the field, our Business Development Representatives cultivate warm leads into sales opportunities while learning our sales process from the ground up. Great opportunities to get promoted from within, many of our Sales Executives were promoted from the Business Development Representative position.

What You’ll Do:

  • You will be the first line of contact for inbound leads in your territory
  • You will be assisted with prospecting, qualifying, and closing of opportunities
  • You will be able to quickly research a company, identify potential opportunities, and strategize an approach to create interest for all types of companies and businesses.
  • You will work side by side with our sales leadership team to strategize and generate value for existing and potential clients
  • You will earn 100% of the commission from day one

Who You Are & What Makes You Qualified:

  • Quick learner with a positive, coachable attitude
  • Desire to be in “customer-facing” positions with career progression opportunities
  • A verifiable track record of success and goal attainment would be an added benefit
  • Have a passion for how technology is shaping the user experience
  • You have a great attitude, like to collaborate, and work with a growing team
  • You are curious: always looking for an opportunity to learn, grow, and give/receive feedback
  • You are a results-oriented individual who is excited by the prospect of adding to the continued growth and success of Complete Business Systems

Why Join The CBS Team:

  • Company culture that believes in a healthy work/life balance
  • Lucrative opportunity with upward mobility
  • $60,000-$70,000 realistic OTE in First Year
  • $75,000-$100,000 OTE in Second Year
  • $100,000+ OTE in Third Year
  • All-expense paid vacation for you and a significant other for top performers (Presidents Club)
  • Quarterly Bonus and awards dinners for top performers
  • Company sponsored non work-related events
  • PTO
  • 401K with company match
  • Car allowance
  • Health, Dental, & Vision benefits

Help Your Clients & Employees Stay Connected!

These days everyone is growing more and more attached to their phones.  Not merely due to bad habits or addictive tendencies but also because business and daily life is becoming more and more attached to smartphones by the day.

Whether its tickets to a show, sending money, or simply doing business via email, more and more people are using their phone as the primary medium to get these things done.  Consequently, people find themselves using public and shared charging stations more and more.

Unfortunately, many of these stations lack security and can be easily manipulated to expose sensitive information from people who have used the charging station.  As more and more of these stations have gone into use around the country, more and more hackers are using them to steal or manipulate sensitive data.

With this in mind, CBS has recently partnered with the new Supernova product line.

Supernova charge stations offer a fantastic solution for businesses to help keep their employees phones charged!  Even better, the units are checked out and returned on premise so you can offer these chargers to your visitors as well.

The charging devices are small and portable and can be returned at the user’s leisure.  The devices are also attached to your cell phone number so it is very easy to check out and return the chargers to the station without confusion or lost chargers.

To learn more about the Supernova product line get in touch with us ASAP.  We have units on-premise to show you and can get your office set up quickly and easily!

Cyber Attacks Are on The Rise. Here Are Just A Few.

Network security and cyber attacks are typically not at the top of most peoples minds.  This isn’t unique to small business or even business owners.  Every person that uses a smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. has some vulnerability to being attacked or defrauded by malicious actors with well-designed software.

Cyber attacks come in a seemingly infinite number of forms.  From email phishing scams to installing ransomware that shuts people and businesses down if they don’t pay a ransom to an anonymous criminal and everything in between.  You have probably seen a few of them come to your phone as odd text messages with links in them. (Don’t click them. ever.)

A recent report from the Dailywire.com even suggests that cyberattacks have climbed in frequency already in 2021.  These conclusions are substantiated by the following recent incidents:

Colonial Pipeline Attack – May 2021

JBS (Meat Packaging Company) – June 2021

Steamship Authority Martha’s Vineyard – June 2021

None of the leaders in these businesses likely troubled themselves everyday worrying about their network security or back up protocols.  Why would they?  None of them have probably ever experienced something like a major ransomware, so there was no reason to consider the possibility of being attacked.  But that is the fundamental problem.  You never consider yourself a target until you’ve already been targeted and fallen victim.  But by then, it’s too late.

Here is another list of entities that hold vital data but were also victimized by ransomware:

Durham, NC County Clerks Office (2020)

Baltimore, MD City Offices (2019)

Atlanta, GA City Offices (2018)

City and county offices are growing in popularity as targets for phishing scams and ransomware too.  Again, not typically the kinds of offices you would expect criminals to exact ransoms from but that is what makes them vulnerable.

What is even more scary is how quickly we all collectively forgot about the indiscriminate “WannaCry” ransomware attack of May 2017.  That ultimately hurt thousands of businesses and people from over 150 countries.  The World Health Organization (WHO) was attacked during the COVID-19 pandemic.  PlayStation was hit back in 2011.  North Korea attacked Columbia Pictures in 2014 over the release of the film “The Interview”, which made satirical jokes about the North Korean government.  Equifax was breached in 2017 which resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of confidential records about people’s credit.

What we see here is a pattern of indiscriminate but very damaging assaults on a diverse and varied number of networks, verticals, and computing parameters.  The point is that nobody is really safe or an unlikely target.  Anyone can get attacked at anytime.

The other thing that all these incidents have in common is that all of them have occurred in the last ten years, and all but two have happened in the last four.  Furthermore, once the incidents were investigated, it was very common to see that people working within these organizations had bad security practices or none at all.

It would be foolish to claim that all of these attacks could have been avoided with network security and standard backups, but it is fair to say that regular backups and thoughtful security protocols would have greatly minimized the pain, damage, and cost.  It is also fair to say that some of the incidents could have been avoided altogether.

What the takeaway should be is that security matters.  But people don’t have that epiphany until it’s too late.

If you have questions or think your network could benefit from better security protocols do not hesitate to contact us at CBS or your current I.T. service provider and have your network assessed.  This process doesn’t take long and could do a lot to help ensure your business and personal information remains safe.

3 Ways Network Assessments Protect Your Business

Getting a regular network assessment for performance and security is rarely at the top of a business owner’s mind.  With a million other things that are typically more pressing and time-sensitive bombarding company employees from the CEO to the I.T. administrator, it’s not uncommon to see regular network assessments go by the wayside.  As a result, it is quite easy to set aside important network maintenance issues in preference for focusing on more pressing or urgent tasks.

However, as business has evolved and other factors have led to more and more remote-working habits, the relationship with the internet and business networks has rapidly and greatly evolved in a relatively short period of time.  As a result of this evolution, it is more important than ever to audit and regularly assess your network for a myriad of reasons.  Since it would take a great deal of time to discuss each potential error or challenge that can arise from a vulnerable or inefficient network, we will focus on the most important three.

1.  Security

Network security may seem like an obvious talking point but there is more complexity to this issue than people realize.  First of all, security is not just as simple as having firewalls and spam filters.  Proper security measures also include other elements such as login protocols, cloud access, maintaining current and updated hardware and software, remote access, and more.

Since the last year has drastically changed how people access work information and interact with business documents online, it is quite common to see network security that worked great one or two years ago have unpredicted vulnerabilities due to an adjustment in regular working habits.

Performing quarterly or yearly network assessments is a simple and easy way to get a top-down view of your network and how you and your team interact and operate on it.  Despite working habits continuing to change, you can keep your security and network performance in line with this evolution.

2.  Efficiency

Similarly with network security, business and employee efficiency can be directly linked to your network performance.  The most obvious example is when an employee can’t access work documents remotely due to dated or poorly designed network access protocols.  Having your team consistently be able to access work documents quickly and efficiently is more important than ever with a growing remote workforce.

This breaks down into two parts.  Hardware and software.

Having current and reliable technology may be an obvious suggestion, but technology is evolving faster than ever so people need to understand that hardware more than a few years old could present potential challenges with regard to network access and performance.

Software performance and integration is the second part of the equation.  Even if you have the best tech money can buy, it needs to properly integrate and function with your vital business software.  With more employees moving from the office to remote work, it is common to see a loss in average efficiency due to slow performance or regular network access problems.

By doing regular network assessments, you can easily identify what hardware and software is potentially slowing you down and make adjustments accordingly.

3.  Overhead Cost

Last but not least, regular network assessments offer valuable feedback that allow businesses to streamline their internal functionality and minimize fiscal waste.  Knowing what hardware and software is working is only part of the conversation.  The second thing to consider is whether or not there is an opportunity to simplify or remove potential hardware, software, or processes that result in wasted time, resources, or both.

Analyzing network assessment data is very much a process where you get back what you put in.  If your I.T. team or manager is not regularly looking through reports to find areas of loss or inefficiency, then it is very possible and likely that you could be spending extra dollars for literally no reason.

Taking a moment to audit a network is not a terribly time consuming process and if done regularly can really help a business in several manners including employee performance, business expenses, and network security.

Is Your Remote Connection Slowing You Down?

One of the most frustrating challenges facing remote workers today is having inconsistent or slow access to business files and networks.  While there are a multitude of ways to connect to your business network, not all of them are as reliable or fast.  Below is a list of the three most common problems facing users that depend on remote access to do work.

Speed

The first and most common challenge faced by remote workers is inconsistent or regular slow connection speeds.  The main reason is many remote connections have minimal bandwidth so if the user is trying to work inside of a large application like Quickbooks, it is difficult and time consuming for the information to get through to the end user.

The best way to work around this potential hurdle is to use a cloud-based solution like Microsoft Azure.  The single sign-on feature coupled with more dedicated bandwidth offered in the cloud makes it very easy to directly access your network and applications without being bottlenecked through slow network connections.

Reliability

The next issue that users face is more focused on reliability.  Due to the same reasons that speed and performance is slowed, connectivity and reliability are also a challenge.  This can really be a problem for people that need consistent access to their files.  Getting kicked off or dropped from the network could be very frustrating as files and adjustments could be lost without being properly saved and updated.

Cloud based solutions can be set up and formatted to make sure that users have consistent access and reliable security features.  However, the best way to manage these applications and platforms is with a certified and trained partner.  Since all businesses operate in their own unique way, it takes specialized and nuanced expertise to maximize the value and efficiency of these platforms.

Design Limitations

Lastly, it is important to understand and appreciate that not all remote access platforms are designed for large file transfers or simultaneous multiple users.  Since much of the working landscape has changed so rapidly in the last year, it is not unusual to see some businesses struggling to find solutions that allow them to work to their full operational potential.

What is important is identifying what is most important for your business.

Do you work with financial or confidential information?

If so, you may put security as your highest priority.

Do you have a large company and need hundreds of users to have reliable access to your network? 

In that case you may need a solution that is more focused on single sign-on access with a large amount of bandwidth to support your workforce

Are you getting disconnected from the network all the time? 

This could be as simple as bandwidth or dated software.  This could be quickly fixed by moving to a cloud based network.

These are just a few of the potential questions that someone might consider when thinking about ways to improve access and performance for remote users.  However, there are many more variable and details to consider so if you are dealing with problems or headaches accessing your business network, give us a call to set up a network audit!

Maximize Your Technology Investment With Our Tiered Color Program

It is no secret that even in remote working times like these, documents still need to be printed.  Everything from standard black and white documentation to colorful promotional banners advertising the latest meal delivery service promotion.  Furthermore, as we continue to push through these challenging times and restore a sense of normalcy and order to daily business, the demand for printing will likely increase dramatically.

With all the financial strain that has come with the last year of pandemic related social struggles, it is important now more than ever to ensure that you aren’t wasting important dollars on easily overlooked investments.  One of the heaviest costs that companies tend to overlook is the amount of time and money they invest in printing systems and supplies.  This is an easy error to make since waste happens in very small increments.  Perhaps printing a document with color more often than normal or printing different assets that use different amounts of color.  Each print job will only cost a few cents but once you factor in volume, that small amount can turn rather large quite quickly.

With challenges and circumstances like these in mind, CBS has developed a 3-tiered managed printing program to help minimize your overall investment and minimize waste.  The philosophy is quite simple.  Since you know what you print and have an idea of how much, we have put together flat-rates based on your colored ink usage.  The tiered design allows for flexibility and forgiveness with respect to printing practices.  Here is how they break down:

Tier 1 – Business Color/Low Coverage – This is perfect for standard business applications such as letterheads or standard financial statements.

Tier 2 – Creative Color/Medium Coverage – This tier is more for offices that create a lot of printed presentations with visuals like colored graphs or charts.

Tier 3 – Full Color/High Coverage – This is for businesses that design or produce large marketing pieces with high resolution imagery.

These optional printing programs are offered as part of any standard copier agreement.

Ever since rolling out the 3-tiered printing platform, CBS has saved overhead expenses for numerous clients and that list continues to grow.  With more and more clients using creative platforms like this, they can maximize their output without spending extra.

There simply is no good reason to waste dollars on printing anymore.  To learn more about rates or getting the platform started for your business please get in touch with us today!

E-mail Security in a Work From Home World

Moving from the office to working from home has brought with it more than a few changes to how we all do business.  Shifting environments means we have had to shift our practices regarding a multitude of processes, ranging from security protocols, to e-mail to basic network user access.

How can employees access private business information without losing security?

How can we make it easy for employees to access, use, and share vital information easily and efficiently?

How can we make data and vital business applications available anywhere to remote users?

These are just a few of the questions that business owners and I.T. specialists were facing virtually over night.

The good news is that most major service providers have already been developing and considering new ways to support these working environments for some time.  So the questions no longer surrounded if the necessary protocols and security measures could be implemented, but instead:

How many platforms, applications, and protocols were needed?

How/if could they be properly integrated?

What would it look like for each independent business?

How is the remote user affected and what measures need to be put in place to have them work properly?

While these may seem like simpler or easier problems to be faced with, they actually aren’t.  Security solutions and access protocols are very much customized around the unique needs and internal processes of each business.  So there is no simple, or one-size-fits-all solution regarding security.  Technical expertise is essential when developing and implementing a cloud platform like Microsoft Azure.

By using Office 365 or Azure you can allow for simple, single sign-in access to your network that has fully functional data backups and security in place.  Files that are being used and accessed remotely are being done so within the safety and security of a managed cloud service.  Furthermore, by setting up the platforms to integrate properly you allow remote employees easy and quick access to their active directory and files without losing or altering established access parameters.

Having these platforms implemented by experts creates a work from home environment that allows users to enjoy the access, functionality, and security of a fully functional business network.  However, due to the multitude of different functions and applications with platforms like Azure, it is very easy to make a mistake in setup that compromises performance.  So make sure you are working with an expert when you go through the setup process or you could mistakenly allow for potential vulnerability regarding security or performance.

One of the places where businesses are most vulnerable is through e-mail access and bad practices.  Since it is very easy to bounce information in and out of e-mail, many businesses could find themselves exposed to phishing scams, ransomware, and other digital threats that they didn’t face when they were working within their own on-premise networks.

E-mail is being used more and more maliciously now than ever before.  Security breaches can easily happen if employees are not properly trained on how to use e-mail appropriately.  Creating protocols for securely accessing e-mail and data that are simple to use, yet still extremely protective, can help prevent breaches that can cripple a business.

From local government offices to small privately owned business, everyone was targeted and many were victimized by phishing scams, ransomware, and spam attacks in 2020.  Most trends like this tend to get more malicious and brazen over time so it is important now more than ever to ensure that your employees are not making simple mistakes that can compromise vital information.

Here are a few examples of bad e-mail practices that compromised networks, private information, and destroyed businesses:

  • E-mailing company files to personal e-mail for easy access.  This takes private data from a secure environment to a potentially exposed network.
  • Clicking malicious e-mails that could have been filtered with proper security.  These e-mails often look safe an convincing and typically seem like they are from a trusted source.  It only takes one mistaken click to compromise a wealth of information.
  • Working as a remote user outside of the network opens up the potential for gaps to arise within the disaster recovery or backup protocols.  If your business network is regularly backing up your e-mail data, you will lose that the moment someone migrates files off the business network.

These are just a few of a growing list of examples where people and businesses were victimized over mishaps in e-mail.  There are plenty of steps and pre-emptive measures available to help mitigate and avoid these potential security pitfalls.

CBS has an experienced and certified team of I.T. network specialists that are ready to assist you in both setting up and optimizing your cloud network.  Contact us anytime to set up a network audit or simply ask a question.

2020 In Review: New Technology and A New Way of Doing Business

It is no secret that 2020 was one of the most challenging years in the history of the US economy.  Businesses and people from every industry were drastically impacted and almost all of us were asked to alter our way of doing work and conducting business in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  CBS was no different.  But we had the added challenge of serving as a reliable and trustworthy resource for our clients who had to make the same or similar operational adjustments that we were making.

We are proud to say that we rolled out a myriad of solutions to aid in these efforts, ranging from Equipment Dropship Programs to enhanced Remote Working Platforms all the way to a comprehensive suite of “Contact Free” technologies.  Despite the numerous challenges, CBS stayed ahead of the evolving and changing operational demands to keep our clients working efficiently throughout this difficult year.

Below are three of the biggest and most influential products and services that we rolled out in 2020.

Ricoh Dropship and Contact-Free Programs

Back in March, when the initial lockdown took effect, people were asked to work remote in any situation possible.  However, most people lack the advanced printing and copying technology that they make regular use of while working in the office.  In response, Ricoh and CBS rolled out a dropship program to get “plug and play” devices in the hands of people working from home.

Ricoh was not finished though.  As stay-at-home restriction loosened over the summer, more people were making their way back to the office.  But the fear and concerns about COVID were still very much a real problem.  This created a unique challenge.  How could we maximize the value of the technology while minimizing the potential transmission of germs from using a shared device?

The answer was the Ricoh Contact-Free copier functionality.  Ricoh has made it possible to use all the primary features of your device without having to physically interact with the machine.  You can you use your personal wireless device to access your address book to share information.  Copying, scanning, fax, and printing can all now be done with most Ricoh devices without touching the machine.

Phone Services

Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing

Printing functionality wasn’t the only thing that was potentially lost by moving workforces remote.  People also needed to access their company data and interact with their CRM and other databases.  What is more, people still needed to collaborate and interact so the demand for tools like Microsoft Teams skyrocketed.

The CBS I.T. division made a priority of ensuring that people had access to not only major cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, but we also guided and helped our clients in setting up and optimizing performance.

Using a tool like Microsoft Azure allows you to streamline your login and access to your suite of Microsoft tools, including Teams, Outlook, and more!  Azure is extremely complex and has a lot of moving pieces though so having experts like the I.T. team at CBS is essential to ensure not only proper setup and functionality, but also security.

With more and more people working remote and accessing company data from numerous locations and networks, it is also vital that you have proper security and disaster recovery protocols established.  With CBS and Microsoft Azure, our clients were able to remain productive and maintain peace of mind with regard to their vital data and operations.

New Wide Format Technology

With regard to some changes that were not directly in response to COVID-19, CBS now offers technology for Vinyl printing and wraps.  Due to a large and growing demand from businesses in Denver, we decided to expand our wide format catalogue to include technology that uses UV, eco-solvent, and solvent based inks.

  • UV – UV based inks are very strong and durable.  This is the perfect type of ink for something that will be outside and exposed to harsh elements on a regular basis.  While UV based printing technology is a bit more expensive, the investment is well worth it if you plan on exposing your work to harsh elements
  • Eco-Solvent – This is a great ink for something that needs to be durable and long lasting but stays inside.  The eco-solvent ink design is to offer a solvent level of print quality without the harsh fumes.
  • Solvent – Solvent ink is great if you need something to withstand the elements but don’t need it to last as long or be as durable as something printed with UV.  However, the chemicals in the ink can be harsh to breathe so these items should not be displayed indoors without good air ventilation.

While there were quite a few other offers and services we rolled out in 2020, these three ranked towards the top with regards to client interest and deployment.  All of these services and new technologies are here to stay as we will continue to grow and evolve our catalogue of products and services.

We may not yet know what challenges will face us in the coming year, but we can all be certain that the shared difficulties and struggles of 2020 will only strengthen our resolve and prepare us for whatever lies ahead.

From all of us at CBS, have a happy holiday season and New Year!

New Wide Format Technology Available!

We are excited to announce that CBS has recently expanded our product portfolio to include printing technology designed for signage, wraps, and other outdoor applications.

This new printing technology comes with a diverse selection of sizes and specifications to ensure solutions that fit the exact desired need of each client.  These printers are available with UV, Solvent, and Eco-Solvent inks and come in a wide range of sizes ranging from 48 to 104 inches.

This technology has largely been used by print shops because in house solutions were hard to come by.  However, CBS now has solutions for those businesses seeking an alternative to outsourcing.  By bringing these types of printing projects in house, businesses can now reproduce what they need, when they need it, at a much more cost effective price point when compared to expensive print shops.

Since this new technology comes with a variety of options regarding size and ink types, it is vital to understand what the different inks do and how they are best utilized.

Eco-Solvent solutions are fantastic since they have less odor and can be used in any space with good ventilation.  Indoor signage and graphics are common places where this style of printing is used.

Solvent inks are not made from mineral bases and tend to be fade proof, water proof, and resilient to scratches and contact.  These inks are more typical for anything exposed to harsher elements or spending long amounts of time outside.  Eco-Solvent solutions tend to be more ideal for indoor environments where Solvent solutions are more suitable for being outdoors.

UV ink is an extremely resilient solution and can last longer than either solvent ink in sunlight.  The UV ink application process actually uses UV lights inside the printer to dry the ink immediately.  Since this ink is made of different chemical compounds it can last longer outside while still remaining waterproof and resilient.

Each of these solutions is now available from CBS and our Wide Format Specialist can walk you through how to select the perfect solution for you or your business.

For more information or if you have any questions about this exciting new technology, contact us anytime!

How CBS Is Helping Businesses Adapt To A Post-Covid Workplace

It is no secret that the last few months have forever changed the way we approach, and do business.  Fortunately, many of these adjustments are helping reluctant business owners find justification in trying out new technology and solutions.  In an effort to make these adjustments as painless and efficient as possible, CBS has been a leader in the Denver market in offering reliable and innovative solutions to help workers and businesses adapt to a changing workplace.

While we are beginning to return to a more normal sense of life and business, some of the services we have rolled out in response to the Covid pandemic will continue to be available.  Three of our more popular service offerings include our in-house printing services, dropship program for plug-and-play desktop devices, and our scalable MNS Gold program.

In-House Printing:

After Covid struck, we noticed that there was an increased need for quick access to printing devices.  While most work and correspondence can be finished and transferred safely via digital mediums, there is still a prevalent need for getting documents printed.

While we do not have the capacity or desire to offer a full-capability print shop, we do want our clients to have on-site access to the solutions and technology they need in a timely manner.   So for projects of an urgent nature, we are still available and happy to assist our clients with their printing needs.  For more information on pricing or how to set up a project please click HERE.

Ricoh Dropshiping:

Another part of people losing access to printing technology was the need for new devices in home offices and remote work spaces.  In response, we started our Ricoh dropship program for plug-and-play devices to keep printing demands properly met.  With this program, we were able to quickly get new machines to home offices fast and without any physical contact.

Since, like most professional analysts, we expect a shift in business to a more remote daily experience, we are going to continue to make this service available.  It allows for us to provide reliable new technology to our clients quickly and with minimal or no personal contact.

Managed Network Services – Gold:

Last but not least, we rolled out our MNS Gold platform.  This allows for businesses to roll out I.T. solutions that are scaled more closely to resemble their daily operations and needs.  Most importantly, these scaled back solutions allow more remote workers to have responsible I.T. solutions and security in place without making a large investment.

Offering scalable solutions that fit the direct needs of our clients is a goal that we aim for on a daily basis.  However, managed network services is complex and unique to every business so our expectation and goal is to continue to further evolve how we approach and offer managed network services to our clients.  Our I.T. division at CBS truly has a very exciting future as we continue to grow and expand the countless ways we serve our clients.

Adjusting back to normal business will come with its own unique set of unexpected challenges.  However, just as we helped support our clients work from their homes, we will be there to help get them back to the office.

How Can I Improve Network Security (The Basics)

It is no secret that in today’s business marketplace there are malicious and intelligent threats all over the internet.  Some of them are very benign while others have the capacity to completely put someone out of business.

In recent posts, we have explored concepts like disaster recovery and business continuity.  Within that model exists network security practices and protocols.  However, the complexity and detail of network security processes are wholly dependent on the organizations that implement them.

What that basically means is that there is no such thing as a 100% guaranteed one-size-fits-all solution.

The good news is that while such diversity in methodology exists, there are still a handful of best practices that can be applied and implemented across all solutions.  We are going to briefly discuss 5 methods that are easy to implement and can make a big difference in maintaining the integrity of your privacy and professional network.

Keep Software Updated Regularly

This may seem fairly obvious but it is a very easy process to forget about.  Countless businesses and private users fail to update software regularly and do not realize that this enhances their risk for a network attack.  The best way to address this is simply to pay attention to notifications and then set updates to occur automatically.

Many of these software updates include security updates so delaying these regular software enhancements can give a hacker or online threat the opening it needs to access your network or private data.

Use Varied & Complex Passwords With Management Tool

Another one of the more obvious but perpetually ignored facets of good online security is using complex passwords that change often.  Most people, including the author of this blog, get comfortable using the same handful of passwords.  It is easier to manage and you don’t have to worry about forgetting.  It makes sense!

Problem is that the more a password is used, the more likely it is to be compromised.  The dark web offers countless tools to decipher passwords that are used with regularity and then paired to the parent email or account of the host user.  That means if one of your passwords is compromised, you can have security breaches on any entities that use those same login credentials.

So the next question becomes “how can one manage so many different passwords?”

There are numerous different online apps and platforms that are designed to remember passwords and auto enter them for you as needed.  These allow you to use highly complex passwords and change them regularly without ever having to actually learn or memorize them.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is becoming more and more popular with education, finance, and banking services.  This is the process of verifying a login by sending the stored contact information (usually a text or email) a code to verify that the actual account owner is the one accessing the account.

Many personal and business account allows for this level of security as an option but it is not always utilized since people tend to get annoyed with spending another minute or two to safely login.  However, that extra minute could not be better spent if it means maintaining the security and integrity of a network with confidential and private information.

Understand Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the most popular and common threats to security.  While they are the easiest to avoid, they are also among the most successful strategies to breaking into networks.  The success of this strategy relies on the ignorance of the masses at large.  People are still not careful about opening suspicious emails or clicking links that look like they are real.

Phishing scams are usually emails, texts, or instant messages that have links in them.  The emails can look official and legitimate which is why people continue to take the bait.  The best way to avoid falling for these scams is simply to avoid clicking on any link that doesn’t come from a trusted source.  These links usually look like they are coming from a service provider or institution that you have an account with, banks being among the most common.  However, if you look closely, you can usually find something suspicious.  (For example, the return email may be www.bank.co instead of www.bank.com)

No banks will contact you via email only with account sensitive issues so if you receive correspondence that looks like it could be real, the best solution is to contact the institution directly so you control how the information is passed and who receives it.

In conclusion, don’t click on links that look suspicious in the least.  If ever you have a doubt, you should contact the institution in question directly.

Backup Your Data

Last but not least, everyone should have some kind of backup for their important data.  Whether that is using the cloud, physical storage, or hiring an outside service provider, backing up your data is imperative.

We have discussed the concepts surrounding data backup and the strategies that come into play in previous posts so I won’t go into excess detail here but using a data backup or disaster recovery strategy is one of the most reliable methods to securing the information on your network.

Like other strategies, this process is going to be largely dependent on the type of information you are securing, the complexity of your network, and the associated value.  However, there are numerous strategies and services available to allow you to have backup your personal or business data so it is very easy to find a platform or solution that fits your needs without over investing.

These are just a handful of a plethora of different methods someone can use to protect their data and network.  Feel free to add other strategies that we haven’t covered in the comments section below.

Lastly, if you have questions or are interested in learning more about improving or managing your business network security please contact us anytime to set up a meeting or network audit.

 

Why You Should Pay Attention To Disaster Recovery

In our last blog, we briefly introduced disaster recovery solutions as part of the business continuity family.  However, disaster recovery is arguably the most important aspect of your business continuity plan.  Today’s blog will go over some of the basic concepts and strategies that are available with disaster recovery solutions.

Since every business operates differently, disaster recovery solutions offer a diverse selection of strategies to work with any business regardless of size or investment capability.  Since some businesses can operate with minimal data, they do not need to over invest in securing their vital information.

While other methods are available, the primary types of file backup are either file or image based backups.  File based solutions backup each file independently whereas and image based approach allows for a faster more streamlined solution as it backups files through image capturing which is more efficient and best suited for large volumes of documents.

These backups can be stored in numerous places.  Everywhere from a USB device to a protected cloud server can be used to store backed up information.

This is where some of the complications and problems can arise.  Since most people who run a business are experts in their craft instead of in the intricacies of data security, it is extremely important to have a clear and accurate understanding of how you are managing your disaster recovery plan.

Here are just a few of the questions that should be considered:

  1. Are you saving everything on a USB?
  2. Are you backing things up to the cloud?
  3. How often are these backups occurring?
  4. Do you have more than one redundancy to better ensure secured data?
  5. When was the last time your disaster recovery plan was tested?

All of these questions are important.  But most importantly, as businesses grow and change, the answer to these questions may change.  For example, if a business is only a few people and they store sensitive data in a few separate files, it may only make sense to secure those files.  However, if the business grows and starts to migrate that data into different file groupings or create new workflows, the information may not be secured anymore since the workflow and organization has changed.

Another issue that faces people who try to manually secure information on USB devices is if a file is compromised and then unknowingly saved to the USB, then the USB becomes compromised too, along with any other computer that gets connected to this device.  In this scenario, not only has the user had their data compromised on the USB, but they have also compromised other devices as well.  Since many ransomware hacks have delayed enabling, people are unaware that they are putting malicious information on to their storage device.

The most important fact about disaster recovery is that there is no perfect solution.  Hackers and ransomware are evolving as much as the security designed to stop them.  That is why it is vital to keep your disaster recovery plan top of mind as your business grows and evolves.

There are countless examples of people how thought a simple or manual solution would be enough only to learn first hand that they were not properly secured.  Hundreds of businesses get their information held by ransomware every year and for many of them it serves as a death sentence.  However, for businesses that utilize proper disaster recovery practices, these threats are minimal and easily mitigated.

The key takeaways are the following:

  1. Have more than one redundancy.  If you have an on-site solution, consider adding a remote cloud backup to ensure your data is safe.
  2. Check and make sure your disaster plan is current with your business workflow no less than once a year.
  3. USB drives can be compromised.  Unplugging something doesn’t ensure safety.
  4. Your backup process should be tested 1-2 times a year to ensure efficacy and timely access.
  5. Don’t try to figure this out for yourself.  CBS and other companies have specialists that can walk you through this process to ensure you receive proper solution.

Your data matters!  Make sure it is protected.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

With all of the new technology and software available in today’s workplace, it can be overwhelming to get an understanding of what is necessary and what is superfluous.  From CRM’s to managed service providers, owners and administrators have a lot of options and strategies to consider when approaching business technology.

One of the most important strategies to consider is business continuity.

Put simply, business continuity is the strategy for maintaining functionality and performance through potential network threats or problems.  These threats range from benign problems like software mishaps to more serious issues like dealing with ransomware.  Most large organizations have processes in place due to compliance requirements or because they have a wealth of private or sensitive information.  A solid business continuity plan allows these corporations to protect themselves from losing sensitive information or experiencing large amounts of downtime due to an unforeseen event.  Anything from weather disasters or hacker attacks can be mitigated by having redundant backups and geographically diverse server locations.

Business continuity has multiple facets that contribute to the overall outcome.  One of the most important pieces is disaster recovery.

Disaster recovery is the piece of a business continuity plan that directly pertains to dealing with data loss, downtime, and external threats.  Since every business operates differently, no two disaster recovery plans are the same.

This is extremely important to highlight because many companies try to approach disaster recovery with a singular approach.  Unfortunately, one strategy doesn’t often apply to more than one business.

When designing and implementing a disaster recovery plan, multiple variables need to be considered.  Everything from compliance protocol, industry, number of employees, number of offices, network size, workflow, and standard operational procedures are just a few of the variables that need to be considered.

There is a wealth of misconception and misunderstanding about what makes for a good disaster recovery plan.  Many people assume that keeping data on an extra thumb drive is sufficient when in fact, the thumb drive itself could be hacked and compromised and then used as a tool to infiltrate other networks.  Disaster recovery solutions are not simplistic by design since proper network security and business continuity demands much more attention to detail and technical insight in today’s economy.

In conclusion, business continuity and disaster recovery plans are vital to any operating business.  These plans allow for maximum up-time while drastically reducing threats to sensitive information and data.  All of these solutions are customized and scalable to allow for businesses of any size to ensure consistent performance and safe digital operations.

3 Headaches Cured with Optimized Scanning

Most people that work in offices are familiar with the standard functions of a copy machine.  Scan, fax, and print are the primary roles of these devices and most everyone understands what these roles entail.  However, what many people do not realize is how some of those processes can be streamlined in ways that enhance profit and reduce time investment.

Good scanning strategies and practices offer a fantastic example of how optimizing integrated processes can result in a boost in efficiency and reduce overhead costs.

So how exactly can good scanning practices help your manage or optimize your business workflow?

  1. Compression – One of the biggest headaches faced by numerous business verticals is having files that are large and slow to load.  Finance, legal, accounting, and healthcare are just a few of the fields where large documents and files are stored and accessed with great regularity.  By utilizing compression software such as PremierCOMPRESSION, you can automatically compress file sizes as they are scanned into your database.  This greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to load a file while simultaneously reducing the amount of space you use to save vital data.  Using quality compression software offers a night and day experience to business people that need to access large files regularly.  Furthermore, studies have shown in numerous verticals that there is money to be saved by minimizing file sizes since it allows people to invest less in storing data.
  2. Accessibility – The next headache that good scanning practices can help alleviate is user access.  Even if you have compressed files, they can still be long and wordy and time consuming to read through.  By implementing a full-suite scanning solution, you can make your documents searchable in PDF format.  This is another feature that is popular with organizations that work in the legal, medical, or the financial vertical.  Having the freedom and flexibility to search archived documents with specific data saves time and frustration for people that need to regularly find or reference dated information.
  3. Integration – The last headache that a good scanning solution addresses is organization and workflow.  The key component to this strategy is healthy and responsible software integration.  Since there are hundreds of business optimization platforms available and no two are the same, it is vital to employ a scanning solution that can communicate and integrate with your working processes and systems.  Many free or online compression and scanning tools have challenging limitations when it comes to integration.  Solutions like Panasonic’s PremierCOMPRESSION, allow you to quickly and easily integrate with functional software and workflows.  What is more, these processes can be automated on installation to cater to the exact needs of your business.

Overall, there are a multitude of good reasons to investigate how scanning solutions can help your business.  However, the above three features address common daily headaches faced by millions of working people everyday.  The savings in both time and cost more than justify implementing a proper scanning strategy.

To get started or to learn more about what scanning solutions can do to help your business, give us a call to set up a product demonstration.

Q-4 Advice for Buying a Copier

Another year is about to be in the books!  The fourth quarter always sees a big push in copier sales and office technology as businesses look to spend any remaining budgets or look to upgrade technology and performance for the new year.

However, there are a lot of choices and more than a few sales people that would love to saddle you up with a contract on one of their best products.  Unfortunately, the new technical bells and whistles may not translate to improved performance.  In fact, sometimes upgrading to new technology can create headaches for businesses if they aren’t properly informed and educated on what that change will look like.

Here are the 4 things to cover with your copier rep or service provider to ensure that you don’t have any problems as you replace your old technology with the new.

Hard Drive Disposal – This tops our list for a good reason.  With newer and more complex security measures moving into the workplace, data thieves and hackers need a way into your network.  Old hard drives are a master key to your sensitive data.  It is imperative that old hard drives be returned or properly destroyed once  you replace a machine.

Solution – Make sure that your lease or purchase agreement promises that old hard drives are either returned or a certificate of destruction is provided in the event your service provider disposes of your hard drive on your behalf.

Software & Networking – Next up is understanding how any new software or networking integrations impact your workflow.  If you change brands, like going from a Canon to a Ricoh device, there is a good chance that the machines use different software and will integrate into your network differently.  If you aren’t aware of what these adjustments and changes are, they can be very damaging to your business productivity and may take a long time to build the familiarity needed to see the value in your new purchase.

Solution – Make sure to ask questions about the software in the new machines.  Also, take the time to explain the current software features you care about.  The more transparency and understanding you have about your workflow and processes will ensure a simple and easy transition.  Lastly, ask your service provider or vendor for product training for any new features.

Power Compatible – This might seen obvious, and it is.  So obvious that it is often glossed over or completely forgotten during the buying process!  Just because you are replacing a copier with another copier does not mean they have the same power demands!!  Make sure to verify that your power outlets and appropriately run the new machine

Solution – Don’t forget to ask your vendor, sales person, or service provider to verify that your current power source is adequate for your new machine.

Service & Response Time – Another obvious conversation to have is about service and response time.  The fastest way for a business relationship involving copier or office technology to go downhill is to experience a failure or mishap in customer service.

Solution – Ask questions about response time.  The best way to ensure you have a good partner is business is to listen closely to answers about service and support.  The more detailed and transparent they are about processes and accountability measures, the more likely you are to be working with a trustworthy business partner.

These are the top four conversations that you must have when going through the copier purchase process.  While some are more obvious than others, it is very easy to miss one or more of these vital details.

If you have any questions about a purchasing a new copier or would like to learn more about how Complete Business Systems can serve you, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Have a great start to your Q-4 and we wish you continued success as we close out 2019!

Welcome to the brand new Complete Business Systems website!

While our site may be new, we certainly are not. CBS has been proudly serving Denver businesses for the last 30 years. Back in 1989, we were very focused on offering products and services that were specific to office technology such as printers and copiers. However, as the business world evolved to using more advanced technology and automated processes, we were forced to evolve as well.

Today, we offer a wide range of professional business services that range from copiers to managed I.T. services. Some of our other specialties include managed print services, interactive touch displays, wide format printing, production printing, and more. We staff specialists for each of our unique product offerings and offer customized and scalable solutions to work with businesses of any size. Over the years, our service team has consistently set the highest standard for customer accountability and service. Today, our service team leads the market in response time and quality of service.

Our new website is designed to offer our customers and shoppers a simple and direct passageway to our services, products, and our identity. We cordially welcome you to peruse our new site to learn about how we can serve and help your business. We are committed to positioning ourselves as the leading and most credible office technology service provider on the Colorado front range. Check back for updates on events, promotions, and information on new technologies and software.

Thank you for taking a moment to look at our new website. We look forward to doing business with you!