Tip of the Week: Google Drive Is Even Handier With These 3 Tips

Google Drive is certainly a worthy cloud solution, and if you have the good fortune of using it for your organization, you know that it can offer everything from word processing to file storage options. However, there are always hidden features that can help you improve the way you use Google Drive. We’ll walk about three of the lesser known ways to use Drive that can help you better use it for your organization’s benefit.

1. Use Quick Access

Quick Access is a feature that lets you open your recent files without sifting through your Drive needlessly. You’ll have thumbnails of your most recently opened files on the top of your Drive’s home screen. If you want to turn on Quick Access, check Google Drive’s settings. Click the Gear Icon and select Settings. You need to select Make relevant files handy when you need them. Then all it takes is a page refresh and voila, Quick Access is turned on.

2. Take Advantage of the Search Function

There is a down-arrow at the top of your Drive’s screen which you can use to search for specific files. You can even filter the search results according to various fields, which include the type of field, the owner, where it’s located, and the date it was last modified, among many others. Proper use of the search function will help you find files more efficiently so that you can stay as productive as possible.

3. Remove Your Photos for Recent View

Many users take advantage of Google Photos to backup the photos on their mobile devices, but this can make it a little tricky to navigate your Google Drive. When you use Photos in this fashion, your Recent view will be so cluttered that it seems to become impossible to find what you are looking for. To remove your photos from Recent view, just use the Search function to filter out all .jpg or .png files in your Drive. This can work for both your web browser and your Google Drive app.

These tips can help you accomplish more in your workday and better use Google Drive to its full potential. For more great tips and tricks, subscribe to our blog and reach out to us at 410-356-3113.

 

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Is VoIP A Part Of Your Business Yet? It Should Be

What is your business’s preferred method of communication? It’s usually email or some type of telephone solution. Especially for a telephony solution, you need to make sure that your communication infrastructure is designed specifically for your organization. To this end, a traditional telephone system could be holding your business back from achieving its most lofty goals.

Take a moment to think back to when you first implemented your in-house telephone system. You undoubtedly had to run a ton of wires to every single desk in your office just to have a phone at every workstation. There is also the contract that you had to sign with your local telephone company. Perhaps you signed up for a plan that included services you didn’t want or need, which is causing strain on your budget and prevents you from pursuing greater opportunities. And you can forget about adding new users to your phone system, as it would likely be a bigger pain than it’s worth. How can you take full advantage of a telephone solution, when the telephone companies that provide such a solution are so out of touch with the needs of a modern business?

The ideal approach to telecommunication in the business world is one that doesn’t place so many restrictions on its users and promotes flexibility. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, can use your business’s Internet connection to send and receive voices. Due to this, you stand to benefit considerably from the implementation of a hosted or in-house VoIP solution.

VoIP Cuts Costs

There are so many costs associated with implementing a traditional telephone system in your office. Considering how VoIP uses your Internet connection–something that you already pay for–you can save a bit on operational costs and eliminate waste. Your only concern is that your network’s bandwidth isn’t substantial enough to handle this extra burden, so you’ll want to work with an IT provider to ensure that this new benefit doesn’t become a liability.

VoIP Simplifies Your Infrastructure

Running cables and wires all around your office takes a huge amount of time, especially if it’s to be done right. This time eventually transforms into labor hours and costs. Since VoIP doesn’t require any additional wires installed in your office, and all you need is an Internet connection, adding new users is simple as can be. All you need to use a VoIP solution is the device itself, like a desktop or a smartphone, the VoIP application, and an Internet connection.

VoIP Offers Extra Features

VoIP allows your organization to take advantage of much more than just telecommunication. Depending on your business’s needs, VoIP also offers services such as video chat, instant messaging, and more. Adding these solutions to your VoIP client is possible, but if you would prefer separate applications, we also offer a Unified Communications and Collaboration system.

Regardless of your business’s needs, VoIP can offer your organization something that can benefit its operations. To learn more about VoIP, reach out to us at 410-356-3113.

 

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Does Your Network Management Seem Unmanageable?

There’s no denying that there is a lot to do in a business environment, and some things take longer than others…or at least they should. Is your business investing enough time into its network management, and all the tasks, processes, and responsibilities that it involves?

Your network is key to your success, as it directly influences the capabilities of your end users. After all, if there is a network issue, some or all of your employees will have a reduced capacity to perform their duties–if they are able to at all. This is only exacerbated by the amount of applications that are migrated to the cloud; applications that are critical to the business’ function. If the network fails, these cloud-based applications can’t be utilized, and productivity grinds to a halt.

Fortunately, this can all be mitigated through proper network management and maintenance. Proper network management can assist a business by helping to improve its internal performance and reliability, as well as helping to keep external threats to the network’s security at bay.

As a few examples of the management and maintenance your network is going to need, please refer to the following list.

  • Updates, including those to your operating system, drivers, and your software.
  • Patches to your cybersecurity systems to ensure that they are updated and resilient.
  • Managing and maintaining antivirus across the whole network.
  • Predicting and avoiding hard drive failures.
  • Maintaining and testing backup solutions to ensure that data will be preserved.

However, there are still other things to be done as well–after all, your business still needs to be run, and those concerns cover far more than just how well your network is managed. Yet at the same time, with an improperly managed network, there could soon be no business for the network to support.

For instance, if your network fails for an extended period, you will find yourself dealing with downtime. This can be due to an improperly maintained piece of network equipment failing, or from someone in your organization improperly utilizing or configuring a part of the network. Either way, without the network being managed and documented, issues like these are likely to be a common occurrence for your business.

If you find that taking care of business has kept you from properly taking care of the business, there’s a solution for you: entrust the management of your network to the pros at Kite Technology Group. We can monitor your network remotely and keep an eye on it to make sure there aren’t any internal threats to your business, and that you aren’t unknowingly sacrificing productivity due to an unknown network issue.

We help ensure that a business’ network is in tip-top shape so that business has the ability to thrive. We could do the same for your business as well. Just give us a call at 410-356-3113 to get started.

 

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Your Vendors Are A Huge Asset, Unless They’re Mismanaged

Procuring equipment is a necessary part of managing any business, but this is often easier said than done. Your organization works with multiple vendors, which could be both confusing and time-consuming. How does your business manage its vendors, and is there a way to make this easier and more efficient?

Vendor Management Goes Both Ways

You might consider your vendors as assets, but the fact remains that they are also businesses just like yours. This means that, while you are trying to profit from your relationship with them, they are also trying to profit from their relationship with you. This doesn’t mean that this has to be the extent of your relationship with your vendors, but be sure to keep in mind that, ultimately, you are both for-profit institutions.


Vendor management isn’t about trying to earn discounts, cut costs, and outsmart the vendors into giving you a deal that’s heavy-handed in your favor. Rather, you want to form a trusting relationship with them so that both of your needs are served adequately. Approaching vendor management in this way can help you better understand the role that vendors play in the success of your organization. Forming this kind of relationship might seem challenging, but you’ll notice that you will receive higher quality of service, friendlier negotiations, and a closer working relationship.


How to Find the Right Vendor

Just like any relationship in the business world, there will be good fits that help your business flourish, while there will be bad fits that will cause more friction than progress. We’ll help you choose the right vendors for your business’s needs.


Know what you want from your vendor. Once you’ve decided what role the vendor fulfills for your organization, you can then rank potential vendors in regard to how well they suit your needs.


Create some documents that you can use to inform vendors of what your business requires:

  • Request for Quote: This is helpful when pricing is the biggest pain point.
  • Request for Information: Put together this document to see, at a glance, information regarding the market. If what you see is ideal, move on to the next document.
  • Request for Proposals: This document allows the vendor to show how they can be beneficial to your organization. You present them with a problem that they then proceed to solve for you. If the document is too detailed or not detailed enough, you might get prospects that provide inaccurate quotes.

Negotiating with Vendors
Ultimately, you want a vendor who is willing to work with your organization to achieve mutual goals. Compromise is an important part of this process, as well as clear communications. After all, nobody wants to work with a vendor who is difficult to work with.


Ensure Ongoing Support As Needed

It’s usually the case that your relationship with a vendor won’t end after the purchase and implementation of a solution. You’ll generally form a service level agreement with your vendor of choice, which will determine how you receive service, how much is covered under your current contract, as well as what’s not covered. Unfortunately, in most cases, this means putting in a support ticket or holding for minutes on end while you’re waiting to get an issue resolved. You don’t have time to waste, so the ideal way to approach this dilemma is to have someone dedicated to dealing with vendors on your side. This way, you’ll always have access to someone who knows and understands your business’s SLAs and warranties, as well as someone who will make endless phone calls so that you don’t have to.


Kite Tech can be your go-to technology vendor management resource. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at 410-356-3113.

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Keep Your Best Employee From Becoming Your Worst Problem With Data Management

Chances are that you, like most business owners, have assembled your staff very carefully, looking for people who are the best-in-class, willing to work their hardest for the good of the company. However, this staff will be made up of humans, and will therefore make mistakes. As such, you need to make sure that your data is managed in a way that keeps it safe.

Are you confident that you know where your company’s data is currently stored?


Unfortunately, if you are relying on your eager, diligent staff to allow you to answer “yes” to that question, then you may be answering incorrectly for the right reasons.


The thing about diligent employees is that, well, they’re diligent. They want to get the task at hand done to the best of their ability and as quickly as possible–and if that means they have to work from home, then that’s what they’re going to want to do. Which wouldn’t be a problem, if their home networks were nearly as secure as the ones you have in place at your business.


What’s to be done? You don’t want to discourage your more diligent employees, but you also want to make sure your data is safe.


The easy answer is to meet employees like these halfway. Give them access to a Virtual Private Network to help maximize their security as they access your data remotely. Ask them to have their personal devices checked by IT before they use them to access the network. Ask them if they’re willing to allow IT to remotely wipe their personal device if it should be lost or compromised as a precaution, if they were to be able to use it for work. An established Bring Your Own Device policy will make enforcing this requirement a little easier.


Of course, this does not mean that you should give all employees carte blanche access to all of your data. Network access control solutions are an effective way to restrict your employees from accessing data that is above their pay grade, either intentionally or by accident. Requiring authentication has become the norm in most of society, and so your loyal employees are unlikely to have a problem with it in the workplace. Passwords, PIN access, and other identification factors will prove useful in keeping employees where they are supposed to be, and able to access what they need for their job requirements.


The reason that it is so important to allow your employees to work as they wish is because it will allow them to be productive, without resorting to their own methods outside of company control, which are far less secure than what you have implemented.


For help implementing these features into your IT infrastructure, make sure you give Kite Technology Group a call. We have the solutions you need to safely allow your enthusiastic employees to work the way they work best. Give us a call at 410-356-3113 today.

 

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