Your 2018 New Year’s TECH Resolutions!

Say goodbye to 2017 and make some changes to protect your Technology

As with all New Year’s Resolutions- my advice is not to make them SO insurmountable that you set yourself up for failure. On the flip side, don’t make them so easy that they do nothing for you, or that you feel no sense of accomplishment.

1. ORGANIZE!

That being said, my number one Resolution is to Organize. Now this is an incredibly broad word and in its entirety, is way easier said than done. My point here is just focus on ONE part of your life. Your desk, your bedroom, your kitchen. Likewise, maybe just your EMAIL, your to-do list, your daily routine, etc.

My focus here is related to a conversation I had with a friend last night. They were searching everywhere for their medical card (NOT a Medical marijuana one). I asked them if they use Dropbox. She said “yes, it’s great for all my pictures!” I used to do that too. It is so one dimensional though that I was missing the point. When I came to LA Creative Technologies I found a big EMPTY file cabinet. I asked Josh where all his important documents were- like the one I had at my last business that overflowed with papers and junk and mismatched files?

He said- “they’re all in the cloud”. Assuming that he didn’t just throw them all in a bonfire I asked questions and found that he kept scanned copies of EVERYTHING- contracts, tax returns, legal documents, leases, warranties, etc. etc. in a cloud application like Drop Box. Anywhere we go in the world we simply sign in to that app, search for the folder (or even the name of the document, like “copy of Driver’s license”) and Viola! there it is!

So, guess what? No more frantic searching for documents or ID cards that you need once a year and can never remember the “clever” spot you put them in! Try this and you will NEVER look back! AND you will never look for those documents either!

2. UPDATE your software!

Some of the most damaging Cyber-attacks in 2017 involved Ransomware.  In May, the ransomware known as WannaCry affected more than 200,000 Windows computers in 150 countries. Security experts believe the malware spread through machines by getting people to download it via email.

This is the incredible part: Microsoft had already released a security update that would have prevented the WannaCry malware from infecting machines. But the hacked computers were behind on downloading the updates. This episode was an important reminder that keeping your software up to date is crucial.

3. Read Privacy Policies

Amid Uber’s laundry list of scandals, which included sexual harassment accusations and an undisclosed security breach, there was an important revelation that everyone can learn from. It involved Unroll.me, a free service that unsubscribes you from junk mail.

To gather intelligence about its competition, Uber bought information about its main rival, Lyft, from Unroll.me. How did Uber do that, exactly? Unroll.me scanned the contents of its users’ inboxes and sold anonymized data, information that did not have individuals’ names attached to it — in this case, emailed Lyft receipts — to Uber.

You may be shocked to learn about Unroll.me’s business model. But the truth was always there in the fine print: the company’s privacy policy clearly stated that “we may collect, use, transfer, sell and disclose non-personal information for any purpose” and that data can be used “to build anonymous market research products and services.” Still, people were understandably outraged by the misleading nature of Unroll.me. A company that promised to rid you of spam mail scanned your inbox and sold information about you to other companies, including marketers.

So, make it a habit to read a company’s privacy policy. As boring as it sounds, a bit of reading will go a long way.

4. Delete Unnecessary Apps

The Unroll.me episode also raised awareness of the sheer number of third-party apps that may be leeching off your personal information. There are probably apps and web services you don’t remember downloading or subscribing to, and they could still have access to your data.

THIS year do an audit on your third-party apps. On your smartphone, delete apps that you have not touched in several months. For a clean break, in some cases you will also have to visit the company’s website and request that your account be deleted entirely.

Also check your primary online accounts, like Facebook, Twitter or Google, to see which apps are hooked into them. Chances are you have used those accounts to quickly sign up for a web tool or app. The ones you never use may still be leeching off your personal data, so you should disable them.

On Facebook, go to the settings page and click on the Apps tab to see which apps are connected to the account. On your Google account page, you can find a similar apps list labeled “Connected apps & sites.” And on Twitter, go to the Apps page under “Settings and privacy.”

5. Use a VPN

In April, Congress voted to overturn privacy rules that would have made it more difficult for broadband providers like Comcast and Charter to track and sell information about your browsing history to advertisers. The stronger privacy rules never went into effect, meaning nothing changed. But the privacy repeal underlined the sheer magnitude of data that internet service providers can collect and share about you. Subscribing to a virtual private network, or VPN, is a meaningful safeguard for your online privacy.

When you browse the web, a broadband provider helps route your device’s internet traffic to each destination website. Every device you use has an identifier consisting of a string of numbers, also known as an IP address. When you are on the internet, a service provider can see which devices you use and which sites you visit. You must realize that this information is used extensively in marketing and advertising to YOU among other things.

VPNs help cloak your browsing information from your internet provider. When you use VPN software, your device connects to a VPN provider’s servers. That way, all your web traffic passes through the VPN provider’s internet connection. So, if your internet provider was trying to listen in on your web traffic, all it would see is the VPN server’s IP address connected to the VPN service.

VPNs have their drawbacks. They often slow down internet speeds significantly, and some apps or services don’t work properly when you are connected to a VPN. I also wasn’t able to buy my 5th Groupon in a row during a sale because they found I was using a VPN from a different state (we’ll leave that story for another time…). But everybody can benefit from using a private network, especially in certain situations, like connecting to an open Wi-Fi network at a cafe or an airport.

BONUS Resolution!

For the love of Pete (Or any other person or Deity you choose), get a case and screen protector for your phone!! Just because you got it FREE or only $199 (with an MSRP of $999) after agreeing to pay $30 extra dollars a month, DOES’NT mean that it will be free again when you drop it.

Newer phones are made more and more out of glass and are even more susceptible to damage. For someone who worked in the cell phone industry over 18 years, this author doesn’t leave the store without a case and screen protector in hand (or at least an order placed on Ebay/Amazon for one)

 

I hope these help you to enter 2018 more aware of Internet Technology and how it can and WILL improve your life. People say technology is doing damage in some ways to society, but I feel it’s all in the hands of the users. Literally. Let it IMPROVE your life, not take it over.  I wish you all a Wonderful, Happy and Healthy New Year!

See you in 2018.

 

Some of this information was quoted from New York Times writer Brian X. Chen’s article “5 New Year’s Resolutions to protect your Technology”

 

The BEST of the BEST- Eight Great gift ideas for everyone on your list

Well well, here we are deep in the midst of another Holiday Season. You know the drill: shopping for trees (or like me- digging them up out of your garage), stocking up on fattening snacks, having a wish list for yourself in your head that you know isn’t happening, wondering what to get your spouse/significant other this year, Holiday parties, dealing with family for waaay too long and of course the dreaded White Elephant gift exchange at the office!

Aside from all this fun, there truly ARE some wonderful aspects about this joyful time of year. As a matter of fact, you can turn every one of those points I just listed into positive ones. I am going to add one more for you as well.

It’s my first annual list of awesome gifts for clients, co-workers, bosses and anyone else you want to get an unforgettable gift for! Now rest assured I did not go out and just copy the first list I found. I initially was searching for unique gifts for our clients. What I found was a plethora of interesting choices! Unfortunately, I also found soooo many lists that were just terrible.  Repetitive, uncreative and just plain stale if you ask me.

My gift to all of you this year (aside from all our wonderful tech tips 😉) is my list of all lists. I literally spent HOURS (much to the chagrin of my boss AND my family) combing through these lists to put this baby together. My intention was to save all of you a ton of time and aggravation and show you some of the coolest things to gift this year. By the way you won’t find any of these priced over $100 or even $50, so it’s not a high roller list either. So now, without further ado- HERE is the list:

1. The WYZE Cam- This thing is absolutely amazing. It’s a Wi-Fi smart home camera with 1080 Full HD, night vision (see up to 30’ in the dark!), live stream to your phone, FREE 14 day rolling cloud storage, Time lapse photography, 2-way audio, and so much more. All for $19.99!! https://www.wyzecam.com/

 

 

2. The Keysmart compact keyholder. When living with the demands and pressures of an executive position, the last thing anyone wants is to worry about misplacing everyday items. This pocketable contraption keeps it all together, housing keys and all other popular accessories (USB drive, bottle opener, etc.) in a compact design that doesn’t weight down your pockets. You know, like most other key chains that make you feel like Schneider from “One Day at a Time”. Okay I’m aging myself…

3.  Speaking of ageing- what could be more timeless than the ugly Christmas sweater??? Unfortunately, this is a tough one to evade- especially when you must wear one to attend that cool Christmas party uptown. I’ve got a solution! How about the Christmas hoodie??? This site is OUT OF SITE with some of the coolest hoodies I have EVER seen!! Check out https://www.gamiss.com/hoodies

You can thank me next year for that one!

4. The MaxGear Business Card Holder will not only impress your clients, your clients’ clients will be likewise be impressed by the thumb-sliding feature. Business cards are dispensed one at a time when the user slides their finger over a button on the front of the cardholder. This thing is really cool looking and practical as well! A must for anyone who carries business cards.

5.  The best thing about it is you can find it on Amazon.Another very cool gift (also found on Amazon) is the Levin Natural Bamboo Charging Station. It’s unique as opposed to so many plastic or composite ones out there. You can also find assorted sizes to meet the needs of your recipient. The cords can be threaded through the bottom, so they can keep their desk free of tangled cords, and keep sticky fingers off their chargers…not that I would know anything about that.

6.  Tools of Titans -The gift of a book has ALWAYS been a classy move. In addition, a hardcover is even more stately. If they don’t read it, at least it looks nice on the shelf. I don’t see them not reading this one though- it is a gem. In it’s over 650 pages are tactics and philosophies of over 200 world-class performers interviewed by Tim Ferriss in his podcasts. There are so many that resonate with me- here are just two:

The first I have always felt strongly about. The second, I inadvertently know all too well, lol. I feel that will change soon though.

“Are you doing what you’re uniquely capable of, what you feel placed on Earth to do? Can you be replaced?”

“There is more freedom to be gained from practicing poverty than chasing wealth”

Find this baby on Amazon too. Didn’t they start off as a bookseller by the way??

7.  I’m going to switch gears here a bit and give you a humorous gift idea. Especially if your boss’ name starts with an “A”! It could be your inside joke- just tell them it’s a monogram. 😉

It’s a paperweight (not my favorite thing), but it’s an opportunity to “gift and jab” as I say…

The super cool part is that the a-hole paperweight is handcrafted from reclaimed steel in the studio of Fred Conlon in Salt Lake City, Utah. At $45 it’s not cheap- but it is unique and certainly fun to give. Find it here:  https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/a-hole-paperweight.

8.  Okay, so we have come to the last of the “great eight” as I call this list. If you know me at all, you know I DON’T have a sweet tooth. They are ALL sweet! I really love my sweets. When it comes to giving chocolate it’s important to be unique and of high caliber. Not to say your every day Hershey bar is chopped liver; it’s just that this list is meant to be of gift ideas that set you apart from the rest.

I am pretty informed when it comes to chocolate but was extremely impressed when I came across this site for the first time. There really IS a Maggie Louise (Callahan). Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Callahan attended Virginia Tech undergraduate and Harvard Law School. She worked for a prestigious law firm in New York City and later as a venture capitalist in San Francisco. You will have to go to the site and read more, but just know that the creative confections company is based in Austin Texas and has absolutely STUNNING collections that will instantly land you on anyone’s list of “memorable” gift givers. The pricing is equally impressive as well, considering the quality.

Take a look at this page and you will have no choice but to concur:

https://www.maggielouiseconfections.com/s/holiday.html 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I hope this list helps you.  I would love to hear your feedback. One more thing to be aware of;  I tried to spare you all the junk that comes with these lists: The advertisements that keep moving so that when you attempt to click your item to view, you accidentally pull up the sponsor’s website. The pop ups of related items, the garbage you must read just to find the item, etc., etc. It’s a nightmare. I took all those bullets for you and present you with my list for 2017 and beyond. Happy Shopping!

 

I did find TWO more bonus pics for you!

 

1.The first is for anyone who has ever been interested in 3D printing but thinks it’s waaaay in the future. Well the future is NOW and XYZ Printing brings it to you, among others. It has starter printers for under $200 and even a 3D PEN for $39!! (as of this update- check Amazon for even LOWER pricing after you read all about it on the XYZ site). This is the COOLEST thing out there for your “techie” person gift!

 

2. The second edition is a fully customizable LEGO figurine. Remember, this list, although mostly practical, was meant to be unique and memorable. This gift is certainly that. Check out Minifigs and create a gift that will leave them speechless! Of course…I’m referring to the figurine.  I don’t recommend the one pictured, but I chose one that would be fairly recognizable…

Oh, one more thing! I have had quite a few people ask me what would be a good gift for the “gamer” in their life. I have a GREAT one! If the gamer is over 18, this even more appropriate- give them this:  A JOB APPLICATION!

 

Okay, by popular request I have a fantastic gift for the wine drinkers on your list!

BONUS PICK

Croma Vera makes handcrafted, small-production wines – unique gifts for the wine lovers in your life.

Their holiday shipping special through the 17th includes:
  • A handwritten gift card.
  • $5 flat shipping in California. Minimum $38 purchase.
  • $25 flat shipping outside of California*. With a minimum $76 purchase, up to 6 bottles.

Check them out here:  Croma Vera Wines

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend, we wish you a Wonderful Holiday and a Fantastic New Year!

 

 

 

Go FCC Yourself!

 

The Net Neutrality argument is heating up once again. There is so much to learn and so much to understand, but I have compiled several articles that should help you gain a better understanding of it. In addition I have a link to the page that will help you find protest locations- either to join or stay away from depending on your point of view.

Here is the latest article about the protests taking place TOMORROW with the link to the locations  HERE

This is the entire article from arstechnica.com written today by Jon Brodkin:

Net neutrality protests start Thursday—how to find one near you

Protesters target “Verizon’s puppet FCC” in demonstrations at Verizon stores.

Net neutrality supporters plan a nationwide series of protests starting Thursday outside Verizon stores, where they will express their opposition to the pending repeal of net neutrality rules.

You can find local protests by going to this webpage and searching by ZIP code.

Verizon stores aren’t the only places where there will be protests. In Washington, DC, for example, there will be a protest at the annual FCC Chairman’s Dinner on Thursday. There will be another protest outside the FCC building on December 13, one day before the vote to repeal net neutrality rules. Many protests will be happening on Saturday as well.

“Verizon’s puppet FCC”

Protesters chose Verizon stores because Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was associate general counsel at the company between 2001 and 2003. Verizon has been a longtime opponent of net neutrality rules, having filed the lawsuit that led to a previous version of the rules being thrown out by a judge.

The protest organizers are advocacy groups Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Action Fund.

“The new chairman of the FCC was a top lawyer at Verizon. Now he’s calling for a vote to kill net neutrality,” the groups say. “We’re protesting at retail stores across the US to demand that Congress stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from destroying the Internet as we know it.”

There could be some protests at the FCC meeting as well. Net neutrality supporters disrupted an FCC meeting in April this year with a “Rickroll”; they sang Rick Astley’s famous song but with modified lyrics proclaiming their love of common carriers.

There were also protests at a May 2014 meeting when the FCC was considering rules that would have allowed ISPs to charge websites for prioritization. The FCC eventually prohibited paid prioritization along with blocking and throttling in February 2015, but those rules are now being repealed by Pai’s Republican majority.

Here is another linked article from last month explaining a bit more:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/net-neutrality-supporters-plan-nationwide-protests-on-december-7/

If you want a reaaalllly looong but good explanation here is THIS one from  ZDNet.com.

AND if you want to watch a funny video of John Oliver on the topic instead (Like this writer did…) then go here, it’s hilarious and educational:

 

 

Apple Mistake! You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with NO password

 

A simple-to-exploit flaw in macOS High Sierra, aka macOS 10.13, allows users to gain admin rights, or log in as root, without a password.

The security bug is triggered via the authentication dialog box in Apple’s operating system, which prompts you for an administrator’s username and password when you need to do stuff like configure privacy and network settings.

If you type in “root” as the username, leave the password box blank, hit “enter” and then click on unlock a few times, the prompt disappears and, congrats, you now have admin rights. You can do this from the user login screen.

The vulnerability effectively allows someone with physical access to the machine to log in, cause extra mischief, install malware, and so on. You should not leave your vulnerable Mac unattended until you can fix the problem. And while obviously this situation is not the end of the world – it’s certainly far from a remote hole or a disk decryption technique – it’s just really, really sad to see megabucks Apple drop the ball like this.

Developer Lemi Orhan Ergan alerted the world to the flaw via Twitter in the past hour or so:

Dear @AppleSupport, we noticed a *HUGE* security issue at MacOS High Sierra. Anyone can login as “root” with empty password after clicking on login button several times. Are you aware of it @Apple?

You can access it via System Preferences>Users & Groups>Click the lock to make changes. Then use “root” with no password. And try it for several times. Result is unbelievable! pic.twitter.com/m11qrEvECs

View image on Twitter

It gets worse. You can use this programming blunder to disable FileVault…

But there is a workaround for now. If you have a root account enabled and a password for it set, the above blank password trick will not work. So, keep the account enabled and set a root password right now…

Everyone with a Mac needs to set a root password NOW.
As a user with admin access, type the following command from the Terminal.

sudo passwd -u root

Enter your password then a new password for the root user.
Anyone got a better fix?@SwiftOnSecurity @rotophonic@pwnallthethings

How to Take More Time Off

Why are we all so busy anyways???

I don’t know about you, but as a business owner I find it really hard to take time off. The whole “making my own schedule” thing doesn’t mean I don’t prioritize our clients’ businesses over my own freedom. The trick to solving this, of course, is to have the right systems and team in place keep things running when I’m gone.

The funny thing is, even though I’ve got systems and teams now, I still noticed how anxious I get at the thought of going away.

So the last few months, I’ve been considering what it is that I ACTUALLY think will go wrong if I disconnect for a couple days or (gasp!) more. And I used what I learned to create a new checklist to thoroughly cover all the bases before I go.

Here’s an example:

You can see what I came up with below. Yours will vary depending on what you do and how you work, but anyone can use the same concept to create a little more space in their lives. And the anxious ones among us can have a little bit better time on their vacations 🙂

Scheduling & Logistics

  1. Follow the company’s time-off policies to request time off.
  2. Once approved, add to the staff time-off schedule wherever your company stores this info.

Communication and Auto-Responders

  1. Mark your entire days off as a “busy” calendar entry in Calendar.
    – This will mark you as busy for Calendar appointments, CRM scheduling, etc.
  2. Set your office phone number up to forward to whoever is covering for you (if people will actually get to your voicemail, rather than the cover persons’, change our greeting to a vacation message.
    1. Clear your voicemail so it doesn’t fill up!
  3. Change the greeting on your personal cell phone so people know you are gone.
    1. Clear your voicemail so it doesn’t fill up!
  4. Consider setting up an SMS auto-responder if you’re worried about texts lingering without reply.
  5. Setup an auto-responder in E-mail (see below for a sample you can use)

Ensure the Work gets done

  1. Is there someone your employees might need to get help for complex problems that you usually solve? Certain job functions no one else in your company can do? If so, let your potential replacement for that task know when you’ll be gone, so they’re prepared to hear from you team.
  2. Before you go, sit with your team and talk through each client, active project and open sales opportunity so staff have context on decision-making. Discuss things like who to get support from, how things are configured, next steps for pending or active items, and pricing details for anything that needs to be quoted or sold.
  3. Advise bookkeeping & accounting staff of travel to deal with issues of payroll, invoicing, A/R, A/P

 

Extra: Sample Out-of-Office Auto Responder

Hi!

I’ll be out of the office, actually disconnecting, with limited or no access to E-Mail and Phone from [start date to end date].

If you have a pressing issue, please contact our xyzabc at 123.345.7890

or

If you are a client and need to get ahold of xyz to assist with abc, please use the following contact info to get help:

Thanks!!

add current signature block!!

Netflix and Chill?

New Netflix branded scam to be aware of:

You got to be careful!

 

Heads-up! Bad guys are emailing you that your Netflix account has been suspended, and it looks just like the real thing. As usual, they are trying to get your login information and your credit card data.

Don’t fall for this scam! If you want to change the settings of any subscription services like this, never click on links in any email and just type the name of the site in your browser or use a bookmark that you set.

Whatever email about Netflix you see in the coming weeks… Think before you Click!

To learn even more about how to keep your office safe- Download our latest E-Book titled Cybersecurity Tips for Employees here:

Click E-book Below

Employee Engagement

It’s not unreasonable to think that a happy employee will be a more productive employee.  That’s kind of human nature, isn’t it?  If you’re recognized for your hard work and you’re praised for something that you’ve done well, that typically makes you feel good.  If you’re completely ignored, no matter how hard you work, or if you feel like your ideas aren’t heard- then you probably won’t experience a sense of self-worth in your position.  This is relevant in all aspects of our lives, not just when it comes to employment.  It’s easy to forget these simple truths of life when we’re caught up in the daily chaos and hubbub of work, so we’ve compiled a list of things that you should keep in the back of your mind to promote the type of engagement and productivity that you’d like to see from your employees and coworkers.

  • Share the wealth. First and foremost, we all go to work every day to make money to provide for our families and ourselves.  Do not lose sight of the fact that each and every person in every organization is primarily there to earn a living.  Don’t be too stingy.  Evaluate your employees regularly and understand if they’re underpaid or are lacking in benefits.  One of the quickest ways to alienate employees, lose their respect, and eventually have them leave you is by neglecting raises and promotions, especially if it’s obvious that business is on the incline.
  • Listen. When it comes to implementing new processes or considering going after new markets, get the ideas from your employees.  The people that actually do the processes every day are the ones that really want to be heard.  They want their ideas to be put in motion and they don’t want to be completely ignored.  Likely the easiest way to earn respect and increase employee pride and production is simply by hearing them!
  • Keep it fun. Even though we’re at work, we don’t want it to feel like work.  While that might be a wish and a pipe-dream in some situations, it shouldn’t be hard to offer some sort of fun incentive to promote internal competition.  Simply putting a gift card or convenient, dedicated parking spot on the line each week or month is an effective method of increasing production and employee participation.
  • Comfortable climate and atmosphere. Where possible, keeping working conditions comfortable in temperature and humidity can go a long way in promoting employee happiness.  If you’re in a 90 degree, 70% humidity environment for any length of time, you will likely feel hot, drained, and annoyed.

These are in no way the only ways to promote employee buy-in or engagement within an organization.  They’re just some of the easiest and most effective ways to build a good working relationship with your employees.  This guide is an excellent document to better understand the science behind employee happiness and the reflection that moral has on engagement and production. Happy employees are more productive employees – so put it at the top of your priority list.

Business Cloud Solutions

With technology evolving at an alarming rate, businesses of all sizes are being forced to morph their technical infrastructure to meet expectations of their customers, clients, and employees.  In order to beat out the competition, it is clear that the most successful organizations across all industries are moving toward cloud solutions to enhance their business practices and provide the best services and products for their client base.  If you haven’t considered migrating some of your infrastructure to the cloud, there is a really good chance that you’re already falling behind your competition because you’re missing out on some of the most available lowest hanging fruit to improve your business.  Consider these three easy-to-implement cloud solutions to make your company more mobile and the most efficient that it can be:

  1. Data storage in the cloud is more reliable than those network attached storage systems that you’re utilizing today.  Should your internet network fail, a hard drive on the NAS die, or too many people are tapping in to the NAS at one time, you’re going to be dead in the water and the productivity loss is exponentially greater with each passing minute.  Cloud-based storage options are often cheaper than purchasing expensive network attached storage units and far more reliable since data centers are almost always replicated in the event of hardware failure, power outages, or bandwidth increases.
  2. Server administration. If your critical servers are being supported in an external environment, out in the cloud, you’re going to have that amazing replication power at an affordable rate.  Live replication will guarantee that your organization will continue to plus along in the event of some sort of failure that you don’t even know about because the 3rd party data center will handle the situation.  This will take a lot of stress off of your internal IT group.
  3. Disaster recovery systems. In the event of a serious natural disaster, wouldn’t it be nice to have all of the critical data and servers off-site?  You can be back up and running in the matter of minutes or hours instead of days or weeks.  In the event that you get slammed by some form of ransomware and you’re locked out of your own files, wouldn’t it be sweet if you could just live-restore from backups in seconds or minutes instead of having to take down some piece of the infrastructure to recover the data?  In some cases, using a cloud software for backups and utilizing the recovery attribute a single time will save enough downtime to pay for the service for 6 months in contrast to relying on in-house IT efforts.

Simply utilizing these three solutions will make your business the best it can be.  The benefits of the cloud don’t stop with those listed above.  We can help you take advantage of the new-age technology that is available to you and leverage it to make your business the best it can be.  After all… It’s a guarantee that your competition is.

Learn more about our cloud services, or give us a call at (323) 454-1312.

Office Moves and Relocations

Expanding to new branch offices or relocating your existing office technology to a new location is overwhelming. There is so much to think about from your network to your phone systems.  We’ve helped a number of our clients successfully relocate or open a new office, some with extremely tight deadlines.

Watch video

This company had a two week deadline to move their existing office to a new location. LA Creative Technologies was up for the challenge!

Another example of successful office openings is the work we’ve done and continue to do with The Agency, a real estate company. We helped them open their first seven US offices, including the new Pacific Palisades location, and are currently working on three additional office locations for them as we speak.

If you’re opening a branch office… need to relocate your existing office… or are simply starting a new business, give us a call. We will be happy to help you through the technology planning to get set up and running as quick and efficiently as possible. We will be happy to help you through the technology planning to get set up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Cloud Communications for the Way Modern Business Communicates

The days of going to work, sitting behind a desk, and talking on your corded office phone are long gone. Thanks to the cloud, work is now something we “do”, not so much a place where we “go”. As files, data, and systems are now commonly stored in the “cloud” rather than on a physical device in your office, the ability to work and communicate from outside of the office feeling as if you are sitting next to your co-workers is possible. When you combine the possibilities of cloud communications with the increased use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices – the result is improved communications and new mobile workstyles.

Employees of today’s businesses are working and communicating with one another from home, from the coffee shop, or from a client’s location. To remain productive in and out of the office, they need the ability to communicate and collaborate in real time with co-workers and managers with clear voice, chat, messaging, and video. Also, if you plan to keep your customers happy, you need to provide customer service via the communication methods your customers are already using – from social media to online chat, email, and phone calls.

Cloud-Based Phone Systems

One of the biggest innovations that have impacted the way businesses communicate has come through the introduction of VoIP and Unified Communications systems. These cloud-based communications systems use the internet connection to access company communications, which eliminates the need for the in-office phone system maintenance, management, expensive equipment, and costly bills associated with traditional office phone lines. When an organization switches to cloud-based phone and communications systems, they can take their calls with them even when they leave the office – and the door is opened to new features and capabilities that help employees do their job more efficiently. Unified Communications integrates a variety of messaging services including online chat, phone, audio, web, and video conference into a single user interface across multiple devices and media types.

Cloud-based communications systems give many advantages but they are not without challenges. Many companies experience choppy calls, garbled voice, or dropped calls – none of which are going to help you communicate! The right network and network management can resolve these challenges.

Can You Make Calls from Anywhere?

For businesses that have not yet moved to a Unified Communications system, you may be relying on your personal or business-issued cell phones to make and receive calls when you’re not in the office. Sure, this lets you make and receive calls from anywhere, but it’s not the same as having access to the company phone and online communications systems. Having multiple phone numbers is not ideal, and without the integration of communication methods, your productivity is not reaching full potential. The cloud makes it possible to connect a variety of communications methods and run your business from anywhere with the same level of communication as though you were sitting in the office with your team.

We Could Help You Communicate Better

At LA Creative, we help our customers communicate more efficiently with the cloud. We can manage cloud collaboration tools for you, so you can simply pick up the device of your choice and chat, call, or video conference with ease.  We’ll show you how to transform your business and make your cloud communication tools work for you to increase efficiency, reduce costs, provide recovery services, and scalability to meet the changing needs of your business. We can even combine these services with email monitoring and protection and backup and disaster recovery for complete peace of mind. Want to learn more? Give us a call – (323) 454-1312 – we’d love to find out what challenges you have and show you how to overcome them.