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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.

4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

Today we will be covering some of the most important parts of your IT’s decision making that will need to be addressed, questions and concerns included, especially in regard to business-critical functions.

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Taking a Look at a Manufacturer’s IT

Taking a Look at a Manufacturer’s IT

Manufacturing products is still a major part of the western economies. Like other businesses, manufacturers are using information technology to fuel and manage their supply chains and business processes. We’ll take a short look at what IT manufacturers use, and how it helps them advance their business.

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Start with These Three Questions to See If You’re in Over Your Head

Start with These Three Questions to See If You’re in Over Your Head

Technology is a complete necessity these days. It’s been proven that, by integrating some technology strategically, businesses can solve major operational problems that many smaller businesses and start-ups can’t. Today, we will ask three questions about business tech that any technology-savvy individual should know, and explain why you should know them.

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Analytics Can Fool You

Analytics Can Fool You

Businesses today are doing more than ever to utilize the data they take in, and it shows. They are operating with more knowledge about their business. A usable knowledge base will allow some leaders to predict positive and negative market dynamics fairly accurately. After seeing how this platform can positively affect individual businesses, many other businesses are taking to the strategies. The problem that many businesses encounter, however, is that they are woefully unprepared to utilize analytics; or, they read too far into them. Today, we’ll take a look at data analytics and confront some of the problems businesses are having.

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When Do You Know When It’s Time For an Upgrade?

When Do You Know When It’s Time For an Upgrade?

Nothing lasts forever; this phrase is true regardless of which industry you’re in or business you run. We all use technology in the office to a certain extent, and the ugly truth is that someday that technology will fail. It’s critical that you monitor technology for warning signs prior to its failure so as to avoid costly repair bills and rushed replacements. You might be surprised by how much you save as a result.

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Unified Software Brings Multiple Benefits

Unified Software Brings Multiple Benefits

People have come a long way in a very short amount of time. The development of tools designed to make tasks easier have pushed people from hunter/gatherers across the known solar system in the matter of only a few thousand years. One way humans are able to do so much with seemingly so little is though ingenuity, but another is through consolidating management.

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Problems Persist in Private Cloud Implementation

Problems Persist in Private Cloud Implementation

Private cloud computing is on the rise, and it’s for a good reason. Data security is a major problem for countless businesses out there. In the wake of growing concerns over privacy and security threats, it has urged organizations to take it more seriously now. Putting together a comprehensive private cloud system has its fair share of challenges, but when done properly, data security problems can be solved as well.

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Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

If you’ve been in business for a while, there are devices on your network that see little to no use. Even for the most frugal business, due to the fact that technology eventually winds up being arbitrary thanks to the continued development (and deployment) of more powerful solutions, there will always be situations where you have devices that do nothing but take up space. You can reduce the chances of this happening by finding the right IT for the job the first time, while sparingly implementing only IT solutions that will provide a return on your investment.

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Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On

Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On

Information technology has always been a hotbed for future predictions. Whether it was Marconi’s grand plans for wireless communications or the bold prediction that every person would be carrying around a computer that fits in the palm of their hand, the future always looks bright when new technologies are considered. But, what does the immediate future of information technology hold?

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Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business these days that doesn’t use the cloud in some way or another. Before investing in the right cloud solutions, it’s important that your organization considers several factors. Here are three of the most common ones that your business should consider before investing in and implementing a new cloud service.

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If Productivity Is a Constant Battle, Consider Using Mercenaries

If Productivity Is a Constant Battle, Consider Using Mercenaries

The business landscape can be unforgiving. It can be filled with landmines that slow progress to a crawl and blitzes that send your head spinning. If you were to compare the business world to history's great battles, technology solutions are a business’s weapons. They are the tools used to make the everyday grind possible. The more advanced an army’s technology, the bigger the edge they have over outfits that don’t have that technology...as long as it works as intended.

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Clearing Up Some Chromebook Confusion

Clearing Up Some Chromebook Confusion

Chromebooks might be simple, but they aren’t as limited as you might think. They might once have had restrictions, but more recent models are much more capable of accomplishing just as much, if not more, than any of their previous iterations. Here are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about Chromebooks.

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Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

Your business relies on technology to ensure operations proceed smoothly, but the way that it’s managed can have a major impact on the way your company functions. Think about it like this: if you have software solutions hosted on different computers, but not in any centralized location, only those computers will be able to use these solutions--potentially hampering your staff’s ability to be productive. How can you make sure that this doesn’t become a major problem?

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FREE Printout: IT Security End-User Checklist

FREE Printout: IT Security End-User Checklist

This guide was created so that business owners, office managers, and IT departments can provide it as an educational resource to showcase some of the most basic IT security practices that can be implemented in your workplace. We recommend printing this out and handing it out to your staff for maximum results.


Your work is important, but so is staying safe and sound. By working together, we can protect this business.

Avoid Sharing Confidential Information

  • Don’t give out company or customer information to unsolicited emails or phone calls.
  • Hackers can be very convincing and have many tricks up their sleeves. Always be wary of suspicious activity, especially in regard to confidential or sensitive information.
  • Never email usernames and passwords to anyone--not even yourself.
  • Be cautious of suspicious messages that come from sources like PayPal, Amazon, or a bank.

Use Strong Passwords

  • Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Use complex passwords that contain both upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Don’t include personally identifiable information in your passwords.

Don’t Access Sensitive Information on Unprotected Devices

  • You shouldn’t expect hotels and cafes to have secure wireless connections. Never access sensitive information from public computers or devices, as others could also access it.
  • Malware could potentially allow onlookers to steal information like usernames, passwords, and credit card information from your unsecured devices.
  • Ask your IT department about installing a VPN on your device for maximum security.

Don’t Leave Sensitive Information Lying Around

  • Avoid recording passwords on sticky notes.
  • Shred or destroy documents that contain sensitive information.
  • Always lock your devices before moving away from them.
  • On a Windows device, use the Windows key + L to quickly lock your computer.
  • Keep small devices like phones, hard drives, and flash drives close at hand, especially while traveling.

Report Suspicious Activity to IT

  • We can fix things quickly if we know about them. This keeps the issue from becoming a bigger problem.
  • If you lose a device, like a smartphone or laptop, report it to us immediately.

Note: If you have a service agreement with CTN that includes end-user support, please reach out to us at the provided phone number and email address to put in support tickets:

Phone: (610) 828-5500
Email:

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A “Disaster” Covers More Than You’d Think

A “Disaster” Covers More Than You’d Think

What one organization considers a disaster might be much different than what another business might see as disastrous. Perhaps one sees the loss of a few hours and a few files as something that can be recovered, while another sees every lost moment and each iota of data as a catastrophe. Whichever camp you find yourself in, you need to be able to do two things: first, gauge how serious a given data loss disaster is, and secondly, establish what must be done to get back in action following said disaster.


Cost of Data Loss
The total cost of your disaster scenario is the only real way to know just how much work needs to be done to get back into a favorable position following a loss. Of course, the type of disaster that you suffer from is going to play a major part in how much it will cost your business. A hardware failure is arguably the least costly data loss scenario, but it can still be a devastating event. You’ll have to replace a workstation or server unit, but the kicker is the data that’s stored on the device, as well as how much time you’re paying your workers for when they can’t do their jobs due to a situation like this.

Other kinds of disasters have much greater impact on the way that your organization recovers from a loss scenario. Imagine how much damage could be caused by a flood or a fire. Not only would your data infrastructure be affected, but so too would your organization’s physical computing infrastructure. It’s hard to work when you don’t have a place to be productive. Would you be able to relocate? How much would it cost to repair your workplace, or rent out a new one? It’s likely that all of these costs could compound and create a major problem for an unprepared budget.

Once data security is involved, you have the potential for a lot more trouble, especially regarding the price tag of resolving these issues. The information stolen could drastically affect how much your business stands to lose from a disaster. Some of the more costly information that could be stolen include credit card numbers, personally identifiable information, and secure personal records like a person’s health information. This data loss could even mean having to deal with regulatory fines related to HIPAA compliance laws or otherwise. Being known as a company that leaks sensitive information can also harm your reputation, which makes working with your business a significant risk for any potential clients.

Downtime can also be a major factor in determining how bad a disaster can be. In essence, downtime is any time that your business isn’t working as you intend it to, and it can have multiple layers of depth. It’s one thing for an employee not being able to access important information, but another entirely if your entire workforce can’t work properly due to the Internet or electricity being down. Basically, anytime when your business isn’t making money or being productive, it’s in a state of downtime. You need to do everything in your power to make sure this doesn’t happen.

One of the best ways to ensure that your business suffers minimal downtime is by implementing an enterprise-level data backup solution. CTN can help you with business continuity to make sure that your organization isn’t derailed by a disaster scenario. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Is Your Business Prepared to Do Away with Paper?

Is Your Business Prepared to Do Away with Paper?

There’s no denying that digital records have quite a few advantages over paper documentation. Benefits of ‘going paperless’ include simplified search capabilities, more efficient storage, heightened security, and automated backup capabilities. There are plenty of sources around the Internet that discuss making the switch to paperless documentation. To keep your business documents safe, start your research here.

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Why Aren’t Users Buying More Tablets?

Why Aren’t Users Buying More Tablets?

When tablets first hit the market, the prediction was that they would eventually replace PCs as the de facto device for computing. However, based on their steadily declining sales, this prediction seems to be a little off base. But, why? A closer examination provides some insight into why tablet sales have dipped.


Ain’t Broke, Don’t Buy a New One
If there’s one thing that goes everywhere in today’s world, it’s one’s cellular device. Many also habitually carry their laptops with them, if not to the same extent as their phones. These devices can be found in the office, the home, the local cafe, at the airport, at the bus station…really, anywhere that people can be found. However, when was the last time you saw someone walking around with a tablet?

For whatever reason, people tend not to bring their tablet along, which leads to less wear and tear on the device. A device that is gently cradled in one’s lap with one’s feet up will sustain much less damage than one that is brought literally everywhere. It is this difference in usage that gives the tablet its relative longevity, and that prevents tablets from being bought and replaced out of necessity.

No Pressure to Upgrade
The free upgrades with a contract renewal and the new plans launched by Samsung and Apple, have cemented in the idea of replacing a phone on a regular basis. This is an idea that is not associated with tablets. In addition to the lack of wear covered above, there just isn’t the motivation to upgrade, largely because there aren’t many groundbreaking changes made to them. Thinking frugally, why spend money to replace something that still serves you perfectly well?

Awkward Dimensions
Comparing the sizes of tablets to those of smartphones and laptops, it becomes clearer why someone would more likely opt for one of the alternatives before selecting a tablet. Smartphone displays have become large enough to effectively take the place of a tablet, and convertible touchscreen laptops are essentially a more powerful tablet with more utility. This leaves the tablet in the middle of the road, falling short of user’s needs either way.

Reasons like these have led to tablets falling in popularity when compared to smartphones and laptops. However, there are still plenty of situations where they can prove their usefulness in a business environment.

To discuss your business’ equipment needs, call CTN Solutions at (610) 828-5500.

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A Good Data Backup Can Save Your Bacon

A Good Data Backup Can Save Your Bacon

Data backup. It is something that all businesses need, but not all businesses know how to approach its implementation. This is largely due to the tendency to underestimate how disastrous data loss scenarios can be for business. You know how it goes; it’s impossible, until it happens. Thankfully, you can significantly reduce the damage done by data loss incidents with a little bit of proactive thought and a comprehensive backup system.


The unfortunate truth is that not accepting that your organization is at risk for a data loss incident could result in colossal trouble. So many problems can come about as a result of data loss, especially in the face of issues that you can’t control, like power surges, fires, floods, and even user error. Here are five indicators that you’ll need to take a second look at your current data backup and disaster recovery system.

You Rely on Contact Information and Other Data
If your operations rely on keeping important contacts and other important data safe, you’ll be sad to encounter a data loss incident. A quality backup and disaster recovery system is imperative in these situations, as without them, nobody can do his or her job. You should do everything in your power to safeguard this data, as the livelihood of your business depends on it.

You Need Access to Historical Files or Records
If your industry has specific regulations that must be met, you need to ensure that you keep historical files and records to achieve compliance. What happens when these files are lost? Well, you lose compliance. Other requirements may also be necessary, including data encryption or off-site storage.

People Make Mistakes
You need data backup and disaster recovery in case one of your employees makes a mistake. What if one of them saves over an important template after making extensive changes to it, resulting in it being changed for good? Being able to simply pull the single file from your backup can save you significant amounts of time. More than anything else, it’s important to remember that a majority of businesses that experience a major data loss incident will go bankrupt within six months, if they fail to recover from a disaster. That’s not to mention that 70 percent of employees experience data loss first-hand; a figure that could add up over time.

Your Technology Breaks Down Too Often
When your technology isn’t as reliable as it needs to be, you should consider a full data backup and disaster recovery solution. Hardware failure is one of the more common causes of data loss, and if you don’t maintain your hardware as well as you should, you might experience it at an inopportune moment. If you look for warning signs, such as strange noises, operational issues, and general slowdowns, then data backup will be a valuable investment.

If You Don’t Have Backup At All
There’s only one word for not using any data backup and disaster recovery solution: risky. Implementing a backup solution is a great way to minimize damage done by unforeseen circumstances. While not the most preferable setup, even an on-site backup solution is better than not having one at all. If you want the best, most reliable solution on the market, CTN Solutions can outfit your organization with a cloud-based Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution.

To learn more about data backup, reach out to us at (610) 828-5100.

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The 6 Most Common Technology Issues Faced By SMBs

The 6 Most Common Technology Issues Faced By SMBs

While news sources might lead the layman to believe that most issues facing the typical SMB come from cyber criminals lurking online, the reality is far less dramatic. However, this misconception makes these issues no less serious, and still things to prepare for. Let’s review some of the most common causes of technological issues in the office environment.

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4 New Technologies that Can Revolutionize Your Business

4 New Technologies that Can Revolutionize Your Business

New technology paves the way for businesses to leverage their resources in exciting ways. Of course, it’s impossible to take advantage of these benefits if you don’t even know these new technologies exist. Therefore, to help you achieve an edge over your competition, consider how these four new technologies can enhance your business model.

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