In December's Newsletter

 
On The Calendar If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.Fulcrum Group Calendar of Events The DFW Area Business Intelligence Community is for anyone contemplating, designing, administering or using Business Intelligence (BI) or Data Analytics. Monthly lunch meetings are held in Irving and we would like to make you aware of our group on LinkedIn (or join us in person). If you missed it last month, Fulcrum President, Steve Meek, presented Through The Security Looking Glass, a discussion on security basics and risk management. Coming up: TODAY, Wednesday, December 17th, at noon - You may have seen our invite on social media to today's event - a special Desktop And Server Virtualization Webinar for SMB's. Virtual desktops and servers can free up time and money while also keeping your data secure. We understand business owners who are constantly seeking ways to increase productivity in your organizations, which will impact your bottom lines!  Learn how these cloud solutions can benefit your business in this free webinar. RSVP directly from our Events page. Watch for a special save-the-date coming up early in the New Year, in celebration of our new location! We're excited to have the opportunity to share some time with you and show you some of the cool features of our new digs! Subscribing to our blog and following us on social media is a great way to stay aware of events that pop up, best security practices, new alerts and other information for business owners and IT Managers.  
The Fulcrum Group Annual Holiday Tech Wishlist With more growth, comes more Technology Wishlist items this year from the Fulcrum Group crew!  Here's a rundown of the most coveted items on our lists this year and then some links for you to browse at your leisure:
  • "A GoPro camera is at the top of my list. Because I am just not annoying enough, trying to film everything around me with my smart phone."  Steve 
  • "A 3D printer, please." Maurice
  • "I would like a good mobile (for the car) and base (for the home office) 900 MHz radio transceiver and antenna. As an amateur radio operator, I am beginning to explore this particular frequency band and amateur operators have a vast amount of spectrum to use in this band (compared to other frequency bands we use). 900 MHz is quite active here in DFW!" - David H.
  • David J. would be thrilled to find under his Christmas tree any of the following: the Deathstar speaker, doggy flotation device and water jet pack from http://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/ and at http://www.dudeiwantthat.com/, the Inspire 1 Drone, Coolest Cooler and the ever-fashionable Belt Scooter!
If these ideas sparked your imagination, then dream on a little, before you have to go back to the real world... CNet's Holiday Gift Guide ThinkGeek Gadgets For Travelers Feel free to share fav geeky gadgets or the some of the cool tech on your wishlists with us on our Facebook page!  
Our Holiday Gift To You:  How To Manage That Outlook Email Inbox Once And For All If you're a Microsoft Exchange/Outlook user, do any of these scenarios ring true for you...?
  • Do you find you're spending increased time going through a tedious email archiving process so you can stay "under item quota"...?
  • Encountering slowed Outlook mail client performance more and more often...?
  • Do you see the message: “Requesting data from Microsoft Exchange Server” that is slow to clear before you see your mail update...?
If you find this happening, you may be burdening your Exchange single folder item count limit. Outlook provides you a fixed amount of space for your mailbox.  As you may be noticing, a large amount of items in your mailbox can reduce the efficiency of your Outlook-Exchange connection. Individual folders can experience access problems with large amounts of emails stored. Keeping old email messages stored on your local computer can help speed up your Outlook-Exchange connection.  Here's a great article that goes more in-depth on this issue, and suggestions to try. If its time to investigate more cost-effective storage options, built-in high availability, an increased number of items possible per folder, built-in email archiving, and online mailbox moves, make it first on your New Year to-do list and give us a call! Be on the lookout for our white paper later in the month which will share more details on increasing your Outlook efficiency. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ for updates, pictures, and all the usual alerts, tips and hints for small business owners and managers.    
SPOTlight On:  Holiday Fun! An excerpt from The Fulcrum Group blog, November 19th - a comprehensive list of ideas for in and around the DFW metroplex (and beyond) can be found in the article in its entirety, here. Here's a neat place to be sure to visit, especially if you have out-of-towners in for the holidays. Gaylord Texan Lone Star Christmas and ‘Ice (featuring Frosty The Snowman)’ Exhibit Gaylord Texan hotel, Grapevine November 13th – January 3rd 2 million lights, ice carvers, snowmen, even real snow tubing – this is the epitome of Texas holiday celebration. I attended the ICE Exhibit with my son's 2nd grade class just this past week and three little words to heed before you go...IT WAS COOOOLD!  And I've slogged through four Minnesota winters and have been to this exhibit previously, so I know cold.  But I forgot just how cold 7 degrees can feel, even without our ubiquitous Texas wind. Bring a scarf, gloves, and a warm coat if you want to truly enjoy your time - and you will want to squeeze in every bit of fun you'll be getting in exchange for the price of entry (and parking at $19)! However, you can spend a few fun hours here and have a most festive time.  With cocoa and coffee offered elsewhere around the venue, yummy warm roasted nut stands and other snacks (and don't forget the ICE gift shop), you'll wanna bring some extra cash.  Likely, you'll need it for when your kids beg you to shell out more bucks to ice-tube down multiple fun-looking chutes, separate but adjacent from the main ICE attraction (which includes a lovely ice slide for younger kids).  Thankfully, the awesome train display in the Gaylord lobby is free to enjoy.  Some money, but worth it for a special seasonal treat!  
Tech TipTech Tips from The Fulcrum Group, Dallas Fort Worth IT Managed Services Providers: Seasonal Cyber Safety You can find a good overview of always-relevant cyber security tips on our blog. But for further online security savvy, we asked a few of our technology experts what advice they had to help manage the madness and this is what they had to offer:
  • "Make sure your browser address bar shows https rather than http. ESPECIALLY when providing personal info (shipping info, credit card, etc.) AND make sure the https certificate is valid. An easy way to check the https certificate is to click the padlock in the address bar of the browser you’re using. If the certificate is out of date, one could always contact the support number for that particular site to verify.  SSL certs do expire and, while traffic between your computer and the web server is encrypted even when the certificate expires, you can't be 100% certain your data is safe."  - Level II Systems Engineer, David Holliman
  • "Buy a gift card for the exact amount of your purchase, use the gift card instead of your credit card. A little extra work for a lot less stress… also helps alleviate compulsive online shopping." - Help Desk Engineer, Maurice Estrello
  • "Install the Web Of Trust add-on (WOT) on your browser of choice. If WOT sees a site that it’s users rate as unsafe it will flag you with a red indicator and the reason why it has been deemed unsafe. Great for avoiding bad sites. Get it at https://www.mywot.com/." Renewals Specialist, Tyson Rasanan
 
Did You Know...? Top 3 Small Biz Tech Solutions Of The YearThe Fulcrum Group Dallas Fort Worth IT Experts  This year has seen an explosion of Cloud solutions for small-medium businesses (SMBs). Here, you'll find a quick summary of our Top 3. 1.  Office 365 - Cloud version of the Office tools you already know, let Fulcrum Group IT experts manage your migration from start to finish, including training your IT staff or providing ongoing administration for you through our SPOT Managed IT Services. 2. SPOT Cloud Drive - Need to safely share your business resources with contractors or remote workers?  SPOT Cloud Drive is our cloud file sharing solution that allows businesses of any size to share files and network drives with any device, anywhere...with drum-tight security. 3. SPOT Protect Backup & Disaster Recovery - SPOT Protect is a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution for mission-critical Windows 2003, 2008, & 2012 Servers as well as Windows 7/8 desktop and laptop computers.  One of SPOT Protect's key features is unbelievably quick recovery times - don't procrastinate, investigate! Read up on more of our top cloud solutions for small-medium businesses and find out how these great business solutions can impact your bottom line.  Give us a shout if you'd like to discuss best options for your organization.