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Ferrum Technology Services blog

Ferrum Technology Services has been serving the Elgin area since 2007, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Outsourced Vendor Management Improves Your Business

Outsourced Vendor Management Improves Your Business

The small business owner has to do a lot. In fact, the smaller the business, the more he/she has to do. One thing that many small business owners do is make technology decisions. By acting like the organization's CIO or CTO (short for Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer, respectively), the small business owner needs to understand what his/her organization’s technology needs are. Or, he/she needs to outsource that role. 

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VoIP Solutions Can Have a Ton of Features

VoIP Solutions Can Have a Ton of Features

A great many businesses nowadays have discovered the benefits of using the solutions available through improvements to the technology that has been around for decades - just not in its current form. One prime example is the use of Voice over Internet Protocol to fulfill a business’ telephony needs. By its nature, VoIP offers a variety of useful features - which we’ll review in part here.

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Looking at Half a Century of Technology

Looking at Half a Century of Technology

2020 is just a week old, and as a technology company, we are proud to promote the use of technology. To celebrate 2020, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at just how far technology has come in the past 50 years. 

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Monitoring Your Staff Has Benefits

Monitoring Your Staff Has Benefits

You always read about the multitude of ways you can improve your business, but next to zero of them talk about what amounts to the elephant in the room: your staff. The workforce is a massive expense for most businesses; and, if it isn’t, it’s likely because you do a lot of things yourself. So, knowing that it becomes important to understand the financials around the people you have working for you. Basically, each worker has a number, and if you are getting that number out of their efforts, interfering with their work dynamic (to try to get more out of them) may actually have the opposite effect. 

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Boost Your Organization’s Productivity

Boost Your Organization’s Productivity

Productivity is a hot-button issue in the workplace. On one hand, you want to make sure that your employees have all the tools they need to succeed. On the other, you need to be sure that they are using the tools to get their work done and remain as productive as possible. How can you be sure that your employees are staying on-task and focused? It starts by understanding their motivations and their long-term goals.

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Any Business Should Leverage Certain Software Solutions - Does Yours?

Any Business Should Leverage Certain Software Solutions - Does Yours?

Businesses rely on a lot of different software solutions to complete their processes. Many are based on a given business’ industry, but there are a few types that every business should involve in their operations. Let’s review what they are, and how they can be beneficial to you.

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Is It Fair to Be Fired for Falling for a Phishing… Test?

Is It Fair to Be Fired for Falling for a Phishing… Test?

Let’s run through a quick scenario: your company’s computing infrastructure is infected with ransomware. Fortunately, you have an offsite backup, so you are able to restore your systems without too much trouble, other than the time you’ve lost. As you investigate the root cause, you discover that one of your employees allowed the ransomware in by falling for a phishing email. So, do you fire them?

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How to Prioritize Tasks to Boost Productivity

How to Prioritize Tasks to Boost Productivity

Productivity is something that either happens or it doesn’t, but it’s important to keep in mind that nobody can work at optimal efficiency at all times. This doesn’t mean you can’t leverage some best practices to make better use of your time, though. Today we’ll examine three general ways to improve your productivity, including examples of how to make them happen.

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Get the Technology Your Company Requires

Get the Technology Your Company Requires

The hardware that makes up your business’ IT infrastructure can be difficult to manage--particularly if that’s not where your specialty lies. While the first step to having a successful IT strategy is to have the proper hardware, acquiring it can be rather challenging at times, especially if your business doesn’t have an in-house IT department. Sometimes an outsourced approach is the best way to gain the best tech for your goals.

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Don’t Let Bias Influence Your Business

Don’t Let Bias Influence Your Business

Have you ever heard of the term “bias?” It has a negative connotation to it, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. A bias can predispose you to a skewed consideration or thought when met with what is known to be a seemingly neutral stimuli. In some cases, they can cause more harm than good, which is why it’s a good thing to take another look at how you approach certain situations. Researchers have discovered several trends about why we hold certain biases, as well as how we can overcome them.

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Digital Signatures are More Efficient and Secure

Digital Signatures are More Efficient and Secure

Your signature has a lot of power, particularly in the business world. Because of this, it’s curious to see how so many companies are moving over to the more digital alternative. In order to fully take advantage of digital signatures for your organization, you need comprehensive security measures that can reinforce the authenticity of your signatures.

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Net Neutrality: Everything Business Owners Need to Know [VIDEO]

Net Neutrality: Everything Business Owners Need to Know [VIDEO]

There has been a lot of buzz about the term net neutrality in the news, on social media, and around the water cooler lately. The FCC is preparing to end net neutrality on December 14th, 2017, and it’s causing a major stir. From activist groups encouraging people to call congress with their concerns, to headlines exclaiming that the Internet as we know it is dying, there is a lot to sift through to really understand what the stakes are. Our goal is to make sense of net neutrality without the sensationalism, and explain how it can affect small business owners.

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How Much of 2016’s $825 Billion in Unpaid Invoices Were Owed to You?

How Much of 2016’s $825 Billion in Unpaid Invoices Were Owed to You?

The primary reason that businesses are opened is to make money. Whether it’s to sustain a lifestyle, provide funds for a cause, or some other goal, a business needs an incoming cash flow in order to stay open. However, this is a fairly large problem for many small businesses, as their invoices often don’t return in a timely manner.

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Take Advantage of Big Data to One-Up the Competition

Take Advantage of Big Data to One-Up the Competition

Your business’s IT strategy is of incredible importance, especially when you consider how much your operations stand to benefit from a functional infrastructure. More than anything, though, IT can ensure that your business remains competitive in a world where the slightest advantage can mean all the difference.

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Cross-Train Your Staff to Keep Workers Engaged and Improve Collaboration

Cross-Train Your Staff to Keep Workers Engaged and Improve Collaboration

As a business owner, how do you handle employee complacency? A feeling of complacency among your employees can come from many sources, including an apparent inability of advancement. People want to develop professionally, so they’ll look elsewhere if they feel like their current job doesn’t allow for growth. How can you eliminate employee turnover due to a complacent and unchallenged workforce?

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Tip of the Week: 3 Tips to Keep Your Email Inbox Under Control

Tip of the Week: 3 Tips to Keep Your Email Inbox Under Control

Email may be crucial to the functionality of your business, but at times it can seem like your inbox is far beyond your control. You might find yourself throwing away hours on end just to clean up the pile of unread messages in your inbox. Thankfully, with a bit of effort, you too can free yourself from an overburdened inbox.

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Big Data is Only Beneficial if You Know What to Do With It

Big Data is Only Beneficial if You Know What to Do With It

Big data continues to be a big topic for businesses, as organizations stand to gain much from analyzing data and identifying trends. This can help you understand how your business will function in the future, but there are two topics of concern that you need to consider before using the data: how exactly do you want to use the data, and will the data that you’ve collected help you in achieving that goal?

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The Surprising Benefits of Having a Well-Read Workforce

The Surprising Benefits of Having a Well-Read Workforce

As a business owner, we understand that you’re an exceptionally busy individual. Even when you’re not keeping operations moving forward, you have other important matters to attend to, like your real life. However, science has (almost) proven that there’s one activity that you may (or may not) do that can inadvertently improve the way you do business: read literary fiction.

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Research Shows Why it May Be Time to Rethink the 8-Hour Workday

Research Shows Why it May Be Time to Rethink the 8-Hour Workday

If we asked you to tell us how many hours a day you actually work, what would the figure look like? Chances are that you as a business owner put in a little more than the average worker, but would it total over the requisite eight hours? A recent study shows that while eight hours of work 200 years ago was considered revolutionary, it might be a bit on the long side to expect good work from good employees.

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Tip of the Week: Grow Your Business 4x Faster By Giving Employees Choices

Tip of the Week: Grow Your Business 4x Faster By Giving Employees Choices

Tracking metrics is a major part of today’s business world. Many organizations use time-tracking software and other KPIs to ensure that their team is working at maximum efficiency, all day every day. Yet, some organizations are so bent on doing so that they’ve forgotten to ask the question of whether they should be doing all of this.

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