January 2015

January 2015

Trivia Contest
Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?

The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is Angela Knowles from Stonebriar Foot & Ankle! She was the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: In Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Which financial institution does Mr. Potter take advantage of? The correct answer was c) Bailey Bros. Building & Loan

Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 Gift Card.

The introduction of New York’s New Year’s Eve Ball in 1907 was a result of:

A) an abundance of light bulbs
B) an ironworker’s art piece on display
C) a ban on fireworks

Call us right now with your answer!


*Trivia winners are eligible to win again after 90 days of previous win.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Set to Expire in 2015

Microsoft has announced that as of July 14, 2015, it will discontinue support for its 11-year-old server operation system, Server 2003. This follows in the wake of its recent discontinuation of support for Windows XP this past spring. Failure to upgrade your server off of this operating system dramatically increases any company’s cyber-security risks.

With server migrations taking on average 200 days from planning to completion (industry average), if you still have a server running this software active on your network, now is the time to start planning.

End of support for Windows Server 2003 means:

  • No further updates or security patches released. 37 critical updates were released for Server 2003 in 2013 alone. No updates will be released after 7/14/15.
  • Loss of compliance. Various industry regulations and industry standards will no longer be able to be achieved if you are using Server 2003 actively on your network.
  • Increased security risks. Any server running this operating system will be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, stealing your data or crashing your systems.

Free Server 2003 Migration Plan Gets You Started

As your preferred Microsoft Certified Partner, we are committed to helping your company
by offering a Windows Server 2003 Migration Plan for FREE.

To secure your FREE Server 2003 Migration Plan,
call us today at 214-329-1349 or go online to:

Social Media Marketing Tools: 8 Picks

New social media marketing tools seem to pop up every day, so here’s some help sorting the best from the rest:

  1. Mention: Google Alerts for the social web. Mention helps you monitor your brand’s presence on social networks, forums, blogs and more. It also includes social features that allow you to respond to mentions of your brand and to share industry news that you find.
  2. Buffer: Social media publishing plus powerful analytics. Buffer is a powerful social media tool that lets you schedule your updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.net.
  3. Feedly: Content discovery. Finding great content to share with your audience is easy with Feedly. Not only can you subscribe to RSS feeds to keep on top of industry blogs and news sites, you can also use Feedly to discover new content related to your topics of interest.
  4. Twitter Counter: Track Twitter progress. It can be easy to lose track of how your Twitter account is growing; that’s where Twitter Counter comes in. It’s a free service that tracks changes in your follower count and predicts future growth over time.
  5. Zapier: Link favorite social services. Zapier connects the services you use independently. For example, if your team uses HipChat to keep in touch, you can use Zapier to set up automatic notifications inside HipChat rooms for Tweets, MailChimp campaigns or new RSS items.
  6. Bottlenose: Intelligence for social networks. Bottlenose features a real-time search engine that queries all public information from social networks and groups and displays it in algorithmic order of importance. The result is a stream of content ranked by most to least important.
  7. Followerwonk: Follower analysis for Twitter. Although you can use a tool like Twitter Counter to watch the growth of the number of your Twitter followers, you may need to analyze your followers more carefully. Followerwonk breaks down your followers into demographics so you can understand them better.
  8. Quintly: Social analytics for brands. Quintly is a powerful tool for in-depth social media analytics, helping you track your business’s social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Quintly also has benchmarking features that help you understand how your performance compares to that of competitors and to industry averages.


“…programs that pretend to be legitimate software, but actually carry out hidden, harmful functions.”

Trojan is an umbrella term covering many types of malware: bots, backdoor Trojans and downloader Trojans. A large percentage of today’s malware is Trojans.

A Trojan program pretends to do one thing, but actually does something different, usually without your knowledge. Popular examples are video codecs that some sites require to view online videos. When a Trojan

codec is installed, it may also install spyware or other malicious software.

Another example is a malicious link that says “Cool Game.” When you download and install the game program, it turns out not to be a game at all, but a harmful Trojan that compromises your computer or erases the data on your hard drive.

Trojans are often distributed with pirated software applications and keygens that create illegal license codes for downloadable software

7 Ways To Add Value To Your Job

Adding value to your job–making your contribution unique–is key to survival and success in a competitive job market. What could you do within your existing (or future) company to increase your value and influence? The seven job skills that follow won’t mean you necessarily work harder, but that you work differently and more creatively. You can add value if you choose to be:

Experience Manager. Every interaction with another person creates an experience that leaves a memory of you and your work. How are you consciously designing these experiences to be positive? Enriching? Rewarding? Lasting? Since most people don’t tell you about their experience unless it is awful, you have to work intentionally to design experiences that draw people back for more and that gets them to tell others about you, your products, and your services.

Value Creator. All great employees (including CEOs, owners, board members, etc.) add value to the organization’s offerings. Being a value creator is a form of job security. Value neutral employees are inter-changeable or worse, replaceable (More on this in Chapter 6).

Talent scout. Identify people within and outside your organization who would be a valuable addition to your team. Talents scouts have the ability to understand the talents and abilities individuals possess and match them with organizational needs. This makes your team stronger, but it also makes you a go-to person for resources and talent advice. Others will want to know who you know who can help.

Ambassador. A person is known by the company he or she keeps, and an organization is known by the people it keeps. You represent your organization, as well as yourself, to customers and vendors. Learn the history of your organization well enough that you can share it frankly and passionately with outsiders.

Amplifier. Increase the good that happens around you by noticing and noting it to others. Most people can spot what’s wrong and complain about it. An amplifier knows the work around him well enough to spot what’s right, praise the work, and praise the person or people responsible for it. Good news often is so subtle that it needs amplification to be heard. Noticing good work and telling others is a positive influence on any organizational culture.

Router. Internet data is broken into chunks called “packets,” and routers make sure those packets go where they are supposed to go. Similarly, a good communicator makes sure information gets to the right people in a timely manner. Peter Drucker famously said that good communication is about who needs what information and when. Developing the judgment and discernment for routing information correctly and efficiently is a valuable skill set.

Interpreter. As Erwin Raphael McManus put it, “People don’t need more information. They need more insights.” Understand information and how it applies to the people and circumstances around you. Offer context. Offer insights. Provide the links that turn chaos and confusion into order.

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international best-selling author and noted authority on leadership, team-building, customer service and change. Mark is the author of 8 books, including the best seller The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, which has sold more than 1.6 million copies internationally. Learn more about Mark at www.marksanborn.com

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: iPhone Binoculars

If you’ve ever wanted to add more utility to your Apple iPhone, SkyMall’s iPhone Binoculars might be what you’re looking for. These binoculars, featuring 36mm lenses, attach
onto the back of your phone via a sturdy and specially designed case. The case lines up the iPhone’s camera with one of the binocular’s lenses, giving your camera 8x magnification.

While it’s not going to blow any optic aficionados away, it increases the usefulness of your iPhone’s camera. Just open up the camera app to see the magnified image. Turn your phone into a viewfinder to take pictures or record video. Or just watch what your binoculars capture. You can even use the binoculars separately from the iPhone for doubled utility!

The binoculars also come with a travel case and cleaning cloth, and are currently compatible with the iPhone 5/5s and iPhone 4/4s. Pick one up at www.SkyMall.com!

Internet Vigilance

Despite constant development in security and stability, the Internet still remains very much a Wild West landscape. You can navigate through it, but you never know when you might encounter a hidden danger. Threats exist on a global scale.

Cybercriminals want information. They don’t care whose information they access and steal, or what damage they do. They want to take what they can get and they want to sell it. There are people who do this for a living. This morning, in the period of one minute, there were hundreds of cyber-attacks originating in China, targeting the United States.

What can you do? Stay vigilant.

Visit web sites you know and trust: This is the simplest and most effective way to keep safe.

Keep your web browser and computers up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates: While your office computers are kept up-to-date automatically as long as you’re covered by any of our maintenance plans, you still need to keep an eye on updates for your home computer(s). Don’t ignore these updates!

Know web sites you input personal information or credit card information into are secure: Look at the address bar. If you see “https” you are on a secure web page. If you see “http” you are not< on a secure web page.

Make web sites you visit more secure: Browser extensions, such as HTTPS Everywhere, help make web browsing more secure. HTTPS Everywhere takes standard “http” web pages and secures them with “https” by automatically directing you to the secure version of the site. It’s not compatible with every web page, but it goes a long way in protecting you.

The Lighter Side: Cake, Presents & Embezzlement

There’s nothing like a birthday party complete with an overthe-top cake, mounds of balloons and presents stacked to the ceiling. No, we’re not talking about Miley Cyrus’ 23rd birthday extravaganza, we’re talking about the surprise birthday bash Ruth C. Amen threw for her boss, without approval. The lavish party raised eyebrows and led to a review of the office manager’s accounting practices. Turns out Amen had been embezzling money from the business to pay her personal credit card debt. She also cut extra paychecks for herself, “forgetting” to deduct insurance costs from them. Maybe Amen felt bad about stealing and wanted to make up for it somehow, but all of the birthday cakes in the world wouldn’t quite cover the $181,674 she stole. When the last candle was blown out, Amen was found guilty of Grand Theft and Scheme to Defraud, both felonies. Next time, buy a card; it’s much less suspicious.