December News:

On The Calendar We hope December finds you well and ready to enjoy the holidays!  We'll be in Irving on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Las Colinas Country Club.  Steve Meek with The Fulcrum Group will be speaking at December's North Texas MGMA Luncheon on Improving Time Management and Communication in a Busy Hospital or PracticeSee our Events page for more details and to register. Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us. If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.
Backup Solutions Review From The Fulcrum Group The Fulcrum Group offers a multitude of backup & disaster recovery solutions, to fit any need.  We can backup servers, PCs/laptops, and storage arrays, to both local and cloud backup targets.  Below is an overview of our backup solutions. SPOT Offsite Backup – This is our simplest backup solution, a good fit for remote or traveling users, and small servers.  PCs and laptops are only $10 per month each, for 100GB cloud storage (which is pooled across all PCs and laptops for an individual client).  Servers are only $59 per month each, for 250GB cloud storage.  Want to learn more?  Visit SPOT Protect Backup & Disaster Recovery is the ideal solution for clients with 3 to 10 servers.  It combines the rental of storage, compute power, backup software, and cloud storage to provide a complete backup & disaster recovery solution.  Failed servers can be recovered in as little as 30 minutes.  To learn more, visit For larger and more complex virtual server environments, Fulcrum Group can build a custom backup & disaster recovery solution to meet our clients’ requirements.  Using backup software from vendors such as Veeam and Storagecraft, local backup targets such as NAS Storage, and cloud storage for true disaster recovery, we can make sure to meet your Recovery Time Objectives and Recovery Point Objectives for all of your critical systems. Reach out to your Fulcrum Group Account Manager for a free backup audit.
The Annual Fulcrum Group Holiday Wishlist  The holidays are just about here and no better time for sharing great ideas and fun tech stuff with our readers!  Here is what's on some of The Fulcrum Group's holiday wishlists, plus a few extra ideas for further inspiration... David Johnson contributes, "Android Auto – even if you don’t have a car with a technology package (LCD screen and Android Auto connectivity), you can run Android Auto on your phone while using a phone dash mount in your car.  Using the OK Google feature, you can look up directions, integrate with your Outlook calendar, send text messages, and more, all hands-free.  Best of all, Android Auto is FREE.  And quality phone dash mounts can be purchased for less than $20." Jason Kramer chose this cool Anki Cozmo Robot from Toys R Us for his 5 year old daughter (although he suggests this toy might be totally suitable for kids up to age 10). For serious gamers, David Shinkle suggests a Nvidia 1080ti video card ("currently the reigning champion of the fastest video cards"), and a 4k OLED extremely low latency monitor. Robert Curtis has given the following items his thumbsup: Golf range finder Amazon's Echo for the workplace This Dart laptop charger, which is useful as an on-the-go, lightweight additional charger for your arsenal.  Michael Alcazar suggests this storage gadget for 8 TB of storage space at a reasonable price. Chase McCullough adds, "Looking for a raid system for home mass storage?  This one is an easy to use, simple setup raid storage device that you can use for sharing devices throughout your homes - movies, music, photos, important docs, etc. Pretty cheap for the rig, but doesn’t come with drives already in it. Also of note, it comes highly recommended by a few of my IT buddies!" Laura James' pretween (with a big brother into music production and mixing and already familiar with some music mixing basics) is waking up Christmas morning to this cool DJ Mixer Board under the tree. Can also be used as a portable speaker (although it is sizeable and hefty) w/ lightshow to stream music from Apple devices (Android users have reported system conflict issues). Half price at Guitar Center!  Also, The Virtual Reality viewer his brother gave him last Christmas is also still in use - great sibling or family gift exchange idea! Need a couple of tech stocking stuffer ideas?  Here ya go: CNN's 12 Tech Stocking Stuffers Your Friends & Family Will Love Business Insiders Best Tech Stocking Stuffers Under $50 Whichever holiday you celebrate, we hope you enjoy some downtime doing fun stuff with those you love!  
SPOTlight On: LG Stylo 3 Plus by David Johnson I’ve been a long-time smart phone user, starting out with several Blackberry phones, eventually moving to an iPhone for a couple of years in the iPhone 4 days, and have been an Android phone user for about 5 years now. My last 2 Android phones were Samsung Notes (Note 2 and Note 4).  I liked the big screen and the stylus for taking notes, but didn’t like the limited battery life.  When my Note 4 died recently, it made me think about what kind of replacement phone I wanted to get.  Like most IT people, I use my smart phone for things such as email, calendar, GPS, web browsing, Facebook, and many other apps.  I’m often out of the office, so battery life is a big deal to me. I went to the local wireless phone store, and looked at all of the latest iPhone and Samsung flagship phones.  I asked myself – did I really want (or need) to spend $700 to $1000 for a new phone?  The answer came back quick – NO.  I looked at the budget Android phones that were available, and I was surprised at the features and performance available. After looking at several models, I began focusing on the LG Stylo Plus 3.  It’s the latest budget Android phone from LG that includes a stylus.  It has a 5.7” screen, which isn’t the largest screen size out there, but is the largest that will still fit in one hand for me.  It has a relatively long battery life, which I require.  It has a finger print reader, which you can not only use to unlock the phone, but also sign into apps such as your mobile banking app, which I find incredibly useful.  It has 32GB storage and a memory slot for adding more storage.  It runs Android 7, and all of my apps work flawlessly, including Android Auto, which I rely on heavily. The cost of the phone was $225, less than 1/3 the cost of latest Samsung Note, Galaxy S+, and iPhone models.  I figured even if it turned out to not work out for me, it’s always good to have a backup phone. Now that I’ve had the LG Stylo 3 Plus for over a month, I can say that I am very happy with the phone.  Performance is good, camera is decent, all of my apps run without problems, and I love the fingerprint reader.  I won’t be going to back to a $900 smart phone anytime in the near future.
  More Than Tech Tips: Crazy Cubicles & Festive Office Decor Business Tips From The Fulcrum Group Its not always easy to push pause on the daily grind at work for some "holiday fun," but it is a great way to reboot, and we all need that occasionally.  Lots of fun ideas are out there - from an office Elf On The Shelf, to ugly sweater or festive food contests and meaningful acts of kindness that are simple and do-able for your fellow colleagues and community.  Watch our blog and social media for snips of how we celebrate around here at The Fulcrum Group!  If you need some inspiration for stirring up some holiday cheer around your workplace, here are some fun ideas to consider: 25 Cubicles Cooler Than Yours Some cool ways to hang decorations, doing up the front desk and more here. 10 Alternatives to the Office Holiday Party Simple ways to Give around the office during the holiday season We sure hope you find some fun ways to celebrate the season!  Feel free to share your pictures on our Facebook page!
  Did You Know...Free Backup AuditThe Fulcrum Group Dallas Fort Worth IT Outsourcing Managed Services Did you know…that Fulcrum Group offers a free backup Audit?  To find out more, contact your Fulcrum Group Account Manager via email or at 817-337-0300.