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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Managed IT Services for Your Remote Workforce

Managed IT Services for Your Remote Workforce

Whether your business is just starting to open up, or your staff is diligently working remotely, the effects of COVID-19 are going to be long lasting for most businesses. For those of us who were lucky enough to get our employees situated and productive without putting them at risk, we’ve started to see the value in having the infrastructure to allow for remote access.

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Working at the Office Has Its Benefits, Too

Working at the Office Has Its Benefits, Too

It’s incredible how working from home has become the new normal. Employees in several industries have been working from home ever since the pandemic. Now that most places have begun to re-open, we thought we would remind you that there are actually some benefits to coming to the office. 

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Avoid Burning Out While Working From Home

Avoid Burning Out While Working From Home

A lot has been made about the newly-remote workforce that has been doing their best during the COVID-19 pandemic. One issue that many ignore is burnout. Sure, it happens in the office too, but there is something unsettling about getting up and going to work walking distance from your bed. Today, we will take a look at at-home worker burnout and give you a few tips to help you keep from suffering the same fate. 

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Vendor Management Saves You Time and Money

Vendor Management Saves You Time and Money

The small businesses that rely on technology typically logs a lot of phone time with technology vendors. Decision makers, who may not know more than the average person about IT, can be left making important technology decisions when they think they are just making financial decisions. Today, we’re going to explain how they are different and what your next step is. 

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Google is Introducing Verified Business SMS to Android

Google is Introducing Verified Business SMS to Android

How often do you find a message in your SMS inbox that has clearly come from a business, but you almost have to wonder, simply because the incoming number seems to be randomized? Google has taken notice of this challenge, and so has rolled out a means for businesses to confirm that they are in fact the ones sending a particular message. 

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Holy Moly It’s 2020: 50 Years of Technology

Holy Moly It’s 2020: 50 Years of Technology

Today is the first day of the third decade of the 21st century. For some, it’s just another year, but for others it seems almost impossible that we’ve reached this point without floating cars and manned missions to Jupiter. Fifty years ago, some of the technology that is used in the course of doing business was simply fiction or conjecture. We thought it would be neat to take a look at some of the technological changes made since 1970.

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Conferencing Solutions for the Modern Business

Conferencing Solutions for the Modern Business

With the inception of conferencing solutions, organizations have access to more dynamic tools to make the most of their meetings. Determining the best one for you, though, is not easy. We’ll help you make that choice in the simplest terms possible.

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Human Error is a Major Problem for Businesses

Human Error is a Major Problem for Businesses

There is always going to be user error in the workplace. Even the best workers make mistakes sometimes. You naturally want to reduce these occurrences as often as possible, so assume the worst: that any worker, even the most dedicated veteran, could potentially make a business-ending mistake. Thankfully, there are ways you can make sure this doesn’t happen for your business.

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Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

Server units--you’ll find them in most offices out there, but they are all used for different purposes. Since well-maintained data is so essential to the success of many organizations, it’s important to keep your server units in proper working order. Today we’ll discuss the best ways to make sure your servers are in peak performance.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways Technology Can Benefit Businesses

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways Technology Can Benefit Businesses

The way that business is conducted today, the right technology is more of a necessity than a privilege. There are plenty of benefits that it can bring that an organization requires in order to stay competitive. For our tip, we’ll walk through a few ways that your business can be improved through the adoption of certain solutions.

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How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

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Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

At every turn, it seems as though there’s another best practice or upcoming trend to learn and implement in the realm of business technology. Are you doing all you can to keep your company up to date, relevant, and competitive? Below, we review some of 2018’s biggest IT revolutions so far.

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How Technology Allows Fake News to Spread

How Technology Allows Fake News to Spread

In today’s political, social, and economic environment, information is more valuable than ever. However, this increased importance, paired with the speed that data can be dispersed via the Internet, has enabled many to use false information to manipulate the general public into agreeing with their views and acting upon them.


Fake News and You
Many researchers believe that cyber propaganda campaigns rely on three factors in order to succeed in their mission: the tools and services used, social networking, and the motivation behind the campaign in question. Without any of these elements, spreading fake news becomes almost impossible.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of resources out there that can be used to spread a fake news campaign.

For instance, the Dark Web can provide tools to those attempting to spread their propaganda, behind a safe veil of anonymity. Social media offers platforms that encourage sharing, allowing what could be an exponential spread of a story, with little hands-on effort from those responsible. Finally, while the majority of fake news, as of late, has been politically motivated, it can just as easily be used to manipulate businesses. In addition to its use as a political tool, fake news and information warfare can be used to promote a company and increase or decrease its stock--both financially and where public opinion is concerned.

China’s Fake News Marketplace
One example of the effects that fake news can have on businesses is demonstrated in the Chinese marketplace. One content distribution service, Xiezuobang, charges a user based on where the article is to be published. Services like this are easy to abuse for one’s own gain.

Furthermore, aided by systems that enable public opinions to be measured and modified, information can be automatically posted to 3000 websites at a rate of 100 posts per minute.

In addition to these tactics, many Chinese social networks are filled with posts shared by influential users who have been paid to promote that particular content. Based on that user’s popularity, the price increases for their content sharing services.

A Global Problem
Of course, these practices are present in more areas than just China. Researchers have been able to collect and compare disinformation campaigns from the US, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries, and have resultantly been able to identify trends in what tools are used and how these campaigns are shaped to each region.

No matter where you are located, you need to keep an eye out for misinformation and cyber propaganda online. Whether it's politically motivated, or intended to manipulate business and the market, fake news is divisive and only benefits those that spread it.

What’s your opinion of fake news? Do you feel that it’s a real problem, or is it being overblown? Sound off in the comments!

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Your Business Can Take Advantage of Black Friday Deals, Too

Your Business Can Take Advantage of Black Friday Deals, Too

Black Friday: it’s the name given to the unofficial first day of the holiday shopping season, and is associated with unparalleled deals on consumer products. Many consumers use this day’s incredible deals to justify buying (and often fighting over) a limited amount of goods. However, have you ever considered that Black Friday can also be a good day to both advance your B2B operations and take advantage of some deals yourself?


Boosting Your Service’s Perceived Value
If there’s a single concept at the heart of Black Friday, it’s maximizing the value that one gets out of a transaction. The less one spends on a product, the better the deal. You can take advantage of a similar concept in your business as well, albeit a slightly modified one.

After all, an unfortunate side effect of discounts and price cuts is that these methods can sometimes make the brand itself seem cheaper and of lower quality. Naturally, this should be avoided.

Instead, Black Friday is a good day for B2B businesses to embrace bundled deals and free add-on services. This way, you’re offering your bargain-hunting prospects increased value without potentially damaging your brand’s reputation, even unconsciously.

Black Friday for Your Business’ Benefit
Of course, why should your clients and prospects have all the fun on Black Friday--or, for that matter, Cyber Monday? Your business can easily also enjoy the benefits of this infamous day of deals.

For example, many suppliers and dealers will offer some invaluable deals on hardware and especially software solutions, as the profit margins on software allow for the deals on them to be much more generous to the purchaser. It may be invaluable to ask your vendors what kind of deals they plan to offer in a public forum, like social media. With a reply, the vendor can see some benefit in piquing the interest of their other followers.

It may also be of benefit to have a ‘wishlist,’ of sorts, for you and your vendors to reference as you seek the best deals on particular items.

However, it is also important to consider that many Black Friday deals have caps, where you can buy x-amount of a particular piece of equipment. This means that bulk purchasing a particular laptop to standardize your office may be out of the question. However, if there’s a big-ticket item that your office only needs one or two of, or you need to restock some of office basics, then Black Friday might be your best bet.

Of course, the term ‘Black Friday’ has grown to cover what is more or less a week-long period of sales and deals. This means that you have an increased opportunity to nurture your audience and send them through their sales process. The urgency that Black Friday lends to it may help encourage their decision-making at a faster-than-normal pace, allowing you to encourage more sales and services in less time.

Whether you’re on the selling or purchasing end of a transaction, CTN Solutions is here to help. For assistance, give us a call at (610) 828-5500.

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3 Trends That Are Changing the Role IT Plays for Your Business

3 Trends That Are Changing the Role IT Plays for Your Business

Your IT is a central part of your organization’s operations, but its role has changed significantly as business processes have grown more streamlined. There are always shifts and changes in the way that businesses function, which must be accounted for in the modern office environment. How have these shifts affected IT management in your company?

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Make Sure Your Business Technology Covers These 2 Areas

Make Sure Your Business Technology Covers These 2 Areas

All businesses need to use some sort of technology to keep their operations moving forward. Yet, it’s often difficult to gauge how new solutions will function with your current systems. You need to take your options into careful consideration before making such an important choice, and only an analysis of your current setup will help you ensure the success of your new technology.


Here are a few concepts that technology-acquiring decision makers should consider: functionality, interoperability, and flexibility.

Interoperability and Functionality
It’s essential that your technology solutions play well with others, but this is something that may be difficult to judge--especially if you’re not in the business of managing technology. Often times, running your business falls second while you’re stuck dealing with technology responsibilities that no one else can handle. If this happens, you probably don’t have the time needed to properly research a solution and may just implement it without a second thought. This is a dangerous practice and it could have unexpected effects on your current infrastructure setup, including access to mission-critical data and downtime.

You can never be too careful, and it always helps if you have professional technicians ready and willing to help you identify a good choice for your IT infrastructure. Only someone with the necessary knowledge of the latest technology should be making the decision to implement new hardware and software solutions. Otherwise, it is possible that your exciting new solution could become a hindrance.

Scalable, Flexible Solutions
Cloud computing and communications solutions are designed to offer organizations the flexibility they need to stay competitive and agile. Businesses using scalable solutions can tailor their services to meet their specific needs. Compared to costly, expensive service bundles, this flexibility is much desired. Think of it like the “cord cutting” phenomenon which cable television is experiencing today. Users don’t want to invest in costly cable bills when they can get all sorts of content to view through online services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Think of it like paying for 100 channels and only watching three of them.

Some of the many IT solutions that are both flexible and scalable to meet your needs include:

  • Cloud services
  • Virtual helpdesk and support
  • VoIP telephony
  • Hosted email
  • Productivity suites and software as a service

This type of flexibility is something that’s built into our brand of managed IT services. We want our clients to feel that our solutions are specific to what they need. This assures business owners that the solutions they implement won’t be outdated in the near future, and can be adjusted to accommodate growth.

Another important topic to touch on is how difficult it can be to implement technology solutions when you’re not entirely sure what you need in the first place. An IT roadmap can help your business get the most out of its technology, taking into account where you want your organization to be over the next few years. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Study Shows How Reading Novels Can Help Your Business Succeed

Study Shows How Reading Novels Can Help Your Business Succeed

The busy business owner rarely has time to indulge in extracurricular activities, but there are still ways that you can make progress--even when you’re not actually in the office or working on important plans, there’s still the opportunity for self-improvement. One way that you can do this is by being well-read. In fact, science has practically proven that reading literary fiction is just as beneficial for your professional development as other seemingly more practical works.

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Collecting Data is Easy, Using it to Benefit Your Business is the Challenge

Collecting Data is Easy, Using it to Benefit Your Business is the Challenge

Big data is a trend that’s gaining traction in the business environment. By taking a close look at the data that you collect, and identifying trends, you can potentially predict how your business can perform, and how your clients will respond to your products or services. Yet, there are two major questions that you need to ask: how are you going to use this data, and is the data that you’ve collected specifically to achieve that goal?


Big data, according to Gartner’s IT glossary, is “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.” In other words, businesses collect this data, and then use tools to analyze it to find trends and other useful information that can be used to improve the way that they do business. Yet, there’s one thing that can holds businesses back, and it’s in the actual data that they collect.

The problem here is that, even if you manage to collect all sorts of data and analytics, how much of it is actually useful and relevant to your organization’s operations? For example, as an IT company, we could take a critical analysis of support requests that technology companies receive, and see if there are common themes amongst them. This would help us by allowing us to build out workflows to combat the commonly-occurring issues. However, since we typically target SMBs, any information related to how enterprises handle their technology would be, while somewhat helpful, not nearly as useful as examining the major pain points of small businesses.

For your organization, big data, depending on what your goods and services are, can help you better target your audience and find potential buyers. Therefore, you want big data that accounts for your target audience, and information outside this realm won’t necessarily help you.

Granted, big data doesn’t always seem to make sense; at least, not for Tom Goodwin at Forbes. He explains that the human condition itself is counterproductive to big data, and that we often act in unpredictable ways: “Big Data doesn’t get how weird we are. Big data can’t explain how I can be a Guardian reading, Whole Foods loving, Golf playing guy that owns an old lowered plastidipped BMW with spinning chrome wheels. Well, I know I can’t. People are irrational, they do things for strange reasons that even they don’t understand. They may explain it, but they will post rationalize to seem more logical.”

Basically, what big data comes down to isn’t just about the data that you collect, but what you manage to do with it. While you might be able to predict some things, it’s important to take what you collect with a grain of salt, as when dealing with people, chances are that when you try to predict their actions, you’ll continue to be astounded on a daily basis. That’s just how we are as individuals, and until an algorithm can understand that, big data will be an interesting way to almost guess an outcome.

How will your business take advantage of big data? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more tech news and tricks.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Brilliant Ways to Get More Work Done

b2ap3_thumbnail_productivity_tips_400.jpgThere are some workdays where distractions are abound and you can’t even remember what you’re supposed to be doing. In trying times like these, you need all the help you can get, just to stay focused and on task. Here are four simple adjustments to your work routine that have been proven to do wonders to increase productivity.

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Don’t Migrate to the Cloud Without First Understanding What You’re Getting Into

b2ap3_thumbnail_move_to_the_cloud_400.jpgThere was a time when the cloud was considered nothing more than a novelty.  But now that most businesses are taking full advantage of cloud computing, perhaps it’s time that you consider it a viable option for your organization.

For those who are unfamiliar with cloud computing, though, you want to make sure that you properly plan out the process of moving to the cloud. When it comes to remodeling your IT infrastructure around the cloud, doing so can save you a lot of pain.

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