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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.

Cultivating Good Business Communication is Critical

Cultivating Good Business Communication is Critical

Communication is key to any good relationship, and this is even more true when that relationship is based in a business setting. This is the case whether you’re referring to the correspondence between an organization and its clientele, or the collaboration between employees as they complete their tasks. Let’s consider four things small businesses can and should do to create a communications strategy that encourages their success.

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Tip of the Week: How to Implement Smarter Scheduling

Tip of the Week: How to Implement Smarter Scheduling

If your business is like most, you and your team likely rely on a schedule to keep your processes moving along efficiently. However, this is often easier said than done, which is why there are now cloud-based software options that make your scheduling efforts a little smarter.

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VoIP is a Great Tool for Remote Work

VoIP is a Great Tool for Remote Work

Social distancing has more or less confined many to their homes, and so many people have begun to adopt remote working to stay busy and to keep their workplaces operational. One way to assist these activities, VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) is a massively helpful tool that many businesses use.

We’ll investigate the reasons and, first, review the current situation.

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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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Why VoIP is a Great Option for Your Business Telephony Needs

Why VoIP is a Great Option for Your Business Telephony Needs

With all the communication options available today, it can still be hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of the telephone. However, the phone is far from a perfect solution - it can be expensive, for one. However, what if there was a way for you to get a fully-featured telephone service with a variety of tools, without having to pay an arm and a leg?

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How Business Communications Make Your Processes Better

How Business Communications Make Your Processes Better

Business communications, which is the succinct way to say the sharing of information between people both internal and external to a company, is a key player in that company’s success. Here, we’ll analyze the different types of communication that a business could leverage, and the solutions that best enable them.

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Business Email User Tips

Business Email User Tips

Email is one of modern society’s best ways of staying in contact on both a business and personal level, but only if you’re effectively utilizing it. We’ll help you implement best practices and other methods to get the maximum benefit of your chosen email solution.

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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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Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Your relationships with your customers and clients are reliant on one thing more than any other: communication. In order to optimize this communication, many businesses are leveraging technology solutions, and are enjoying a variety of operational benefits as a result. Is your business one of them?

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Business Communications Are Changing Rapidly

Business Communications Are Changing Rapidly

Communication solutions for business are changing rapidly. Most of the new solutions use existing technologies, allowing organizations to get more for the services they already pay for and save money.

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Tech Term: What Does “Encryption” Mean?

Tech Term: What Does “Encryption” Mean?

Email is a solution that needs to be protected, lest you expose important information to any onlookers while messages are in transit. Encryption is one of the key ways you can make sure that your messages are safe, but email hasn’t always used this method to secure messages. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that encryption became a staple of the major email providers.


Why Encryption Matters
It’s important to keep in mind that email communications are not always private. Depending on whether or not the email provider offers encryption can potentially expose important information found within the message. The reason you need encryption is simply because you never want to expose this information to outside viewers under any circumstances. You would be doing your company a disservice, and potentially even be in violation of data privacy regulations, depending on your industry.

Either way, our point is that encryption is necessary if you want to avoid the ugly side of the Internet. This includes hackers of all kinds, who would stop at nothing to get past your business’s protections and steal information of value. It’s up to you to put measures in place to stop them in their tracks--before it’s too late.

How Email Encryption Works
Imagine for a moment that your emails are locked in a box. This box remains locked the second that it leaves your organization, and it will stay that way until it is received by someone who has the key. In this case, the recipient will have the key, and the box would be unlocked once it is received by them. In the event that the box is intercepted before it reaches its destination, whoever claims it will not be able to view its contents.

The important thing to remember about encryption is that it needs to be an infrastructure-wide implementation. You can’t encrypt only messages that contain sensitive information, as this can potentially make you an even bigger target in the eyes of hackers. Therefore, you need to ensure that your encryption solution is all-encompassing so as to eliminate any risk associated with email security.

Does your business need email encryption? CTN can help by implementing an enterprise-level email encryption solution that takes into account all of your business needs. We can also provide other types of email security tools, including spam protection that limits exposure to dangerous entities. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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How to Keep IT and the Rest of Your Staff on the Same Side

How to Keep IT and the Rest of Your Staff on the Same Side

There are some facets to IT that are universally accepted as important, such as security. However, there are others that create some conflicting opinions between management and IT personnel. When surveyed, business leaders and IT management held vastly different opinions as to the importance of various IT tasks. Is there a way to unify these priorities?


Different Viewpoints and Priorities
According to the 2018 SIM (Society for Information Management) IT Trends Study, management and IT have very different views on how important many tasks are. The 1,200 respondents to the survey indicated that, while owners and management saw alignment between the business and IT as the second-highest priority, IT saw that as the fourth priority. Talent retention was another point where business leadership and IT didn’t quite see eye-to-eye. IT teams ranked that as worry number three, while business leaders ranked it as 17th. Business continuity saw a similar discrepancy, IT leaders ranking it at number eight, while business leaders ranked it 18th.

This isn’t a situation that benefits any business. Instead, the focus should be to align the priorities of IT and the rest of the business in order to achieve a greater, common goal.

Blending Two Priorities into a Common Goal
An effective means of getting the different facets of your team on the same page is to show them that they are all contributing to the success of the same business initiative. For instance, finances are a major concern of any business’s management. An IT team can much more easily communicate with the business side by using their language, so to speak.

Any IT team understands the importance of staying up-to-date with solutions, but being current will incur an expense that may be unwanted by management. However, if the IT team can demonstrate how the investment into upgrades will allow the business to save money down the line, it provides the business half with the motivation to move forward. The same effect can often be accomplished with a frank, honest evaluation of the future, if certain investments aren’t made.

Win-Win or Lose-Lose
It is also important to cultivate the idea amongst your organization that the business half and the IT half should not be considered competitors. The two need to be partners, working together to make the best whole possible.

If there is ever a dispute or disagreement between the two halves of your business, resist the urge to find a compromise. Disagreement can be a good thing, as it provides the opportunity to examine a situation and define the best possible course of action for the business as a whole. This opens the door for more effective collaboration.
Compromise and collaboration are two very different things. While compromise suggests that both sides have to sacrifice something for any agreement to take shape, collaboration implies that both sides are unifying and putting forth their best effort to achieve a common goal--in this case, the betterment of the organization.

How have you found success in encouraging collaboration between your IT teams and the rest of your staff? Tell us in the comments!

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How VoIP Can Enhance Your Company’s Budget and Operations

How VoIP Can Enhance Your Company’s Budget and Operations

Chances are that you’re fed up with your in-house telephone network. It may have once been necessary to communicate with your employees and your clients by using a landline, but the modern office has since moved toward a more digital alternative in the form of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony.

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Tip of the Week: Overwhelmed With Email? Try These 3 Helpful Tips

Tip of the Week: Overwhelmed With Email? Try These 3 Helpful Tips

Email is a central part of any functional modern office, but if you aren’t proactive in keeping your inbox under control, you could be wasting time on unnecessary messages or spam. If you want to get the most out of your workday, it’s imperative that you take back control of your business email inbox. Here are three ways that yourself and your employees can clean up your inboxes and waste less time throughout the work day.

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VoIP is the Ultimate Solution for Your Communication Woes

b2ap3_thumbnail_voip_phone_400.jpgOne major technology pain point businesses have revolves around communication. If your clients and prospects can’t effectively reach your staff, customer support and productivity is weakened. Customers need more out of your phone system, and VoIP solutions offer more features with less expenses.

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Can You Spot an Article Written By a Robot?

b2ap3_thumbnail_blue_robot_400.jpgWhen your website has content or makes changes to its existing content, it can be of great benefit to your business’s marketing endeavors. In fact, it’s so important that innovators and programmers have built software that’s designed to perform the act of content writing. In other words, there are robots that compose web content. How does the writing of a robot hold up to that which is written by a human?

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Cover Your Bases by Archiving Your Company’s Email

b2ap3_thumbnail_archiving_mail_400.jpgWhen you send a subordinate an email, you likely expect that they will read it and comply with the message. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and messages, especially in organizations where email is used as the main form of communication between departments, slip through the cracks. To remedy lost correspondence, consider setting up an email archive.

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Should You Cut the Telephone Cord?

b2ap3_thumbnail_get_a_new_phone_system_400.jpgModern businesses prioritize in improving communications because they understand it will lead to more coherent operations and greater profits. Therefore, your business needs a communication solution that’s customizable to meet your unique needs. The one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work for business-to-business telecommunications, and your company should not be subjected to this outdated approach.

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Tip of the Week: How to Avoid 7 Common Communication Blunders

b2ap3_thumbnail_not_like_that_400.jpgAt this point, running your business is easy as pie; however, you might still be having issues dealing with your team. The problem might lie in how you’re communicating with them. Even something as simple as changing the way you make small talk in the office could drastically improve your reputation in the eyes of coworkers, and increase employee morale.

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Even the 911 Address Database Can Get Hacked

b2ap3_thumbnail_911_gets_hacked_400.jpgPeople dial 911 when they’re in some sort of trouble or in the event of an emergency. If not for the hotline, who knows how many lives could be lost daily. Sometimes, however, help doesn’t come, even when dispatchers have received the call and responded. This generally isn’t the fault of the dispatchers, but rather the criminals who have undermined the rescue efforts thanks to some unorthodox hacking.

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CTN does not use any SolarWinds or FireEye products. As you’ve likely seen reported, SolarWinds discovered a supply chain attack compromising their Orion business software updates that distributed malware known as SUNBURST. The malware perm...

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