In May News:

 
On The Calendar & What's New With Us If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know. May at The Fulcrum Group
  • Coming up this Thursday, 5/14 at the Dallas Convention Center - The Fulcrum Group will be in booth #826 at Small Business Expo, Dallas.The nation's largest small business tradeshow event is a GREAT place to meet new customers for your small-med size business, and exercise those networking skills! Register FREE today and stop by and see us!
  • Check our Events page for more technology-specific events, including the Dallas Fort Worth Business Intelligence Community monthly lunch meeting, in Irving.  Next meeting is Wednesday, May 13th.  Link to RSVP directly from our Events page.
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. Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us!  
Our Best Business Productivity Tips Everybody can stand to punch up their management skills, strategies and business productivity from some angle.We often share a lot of business productivity tips and strategies through our blog and social media, but wanted to offer up this round from our Fulcrum Group owners and managers, engineers and support staff, to you - right here, right now:
  • The "Getting Things Done" Flowchart - Our Director of Consulting Services, Robert Curtis (a US Navyman since 1999) is a structured "flowchart" kind of guy.  You may not be surprised to know he likes a plan with noted actionable items and a goal or destination for each. This one, based on the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen, is in Robert's line of sight and commands his attention daily.
  • Password Manager - Like most small business owners and managers, Fulcrum VP David Johnson is challenged every day to utilize every drop of time between 8 and 5 (and more) as efficiently as possible. Using a password manager like Roboform or LastPass as a bookmark tool and as a way to quickly auto-fill website credentials not only helps boost password security, but saves about 15 valuable minutes each day for him.
  • Triaging Tasks & Activities and Prioritizing - several great tips from Fulcrum Group President, Steve Meek on time/task management and strategizing:
    • Calendar discipline - " I spend 30 minutes at the end/start of a week to make sure I place rocks squarely on my calendar to get to them."
    • GPS tip - "If I am traveling offsite to a meeting, I include its address in the location field of Outlook so my phone alerts me in advance and so I can easily GPS it. I also include the contact’s phone number in the subject field, in case running late.
    • Interruptions - "I try to turn phone to silent for meetings so I don’t get interrupted and am able to focus on conversation in room. Also, I try to close Outlook when I have time-sensitive work to get done."
    • Tagging items for followup - "Use red flags in Outlook to tag items for follow-up later. I have a lot of low priority emails but where maybe I am the only person who can answer."
    • Helping Outlook run more efficiently for you - "I have large amounts of email that slow Outlook down. Where every IT manager will suggest I “reduce my mailbox size” I find it a struggle to do, due to email volume, and I already have various sub-folders assigned for projects. However, I have been able to speed up Outlook by organizing large numbers of email into folders. So, in addition to my main inbox, I created a folder called 2014 Inbox and moved the email from that year (that is not in other sub-folders) into it. I do the same for the SENT folder. It helps Outlook run more efficiently when you don’t have so many items in a single folder - and also when you don’t have too many in your main folders.
    • Rockefeller Habits for great management strategies - We use Rockefeller Habits management strategy including daily huddles, meeting rhythms and quarterly theme to circle the management wagons and maintain focus on a common strategy.
  • The Golden Rule Mindset - a basic but too-often overlooked notion which Fulcrum Group cable infrastructure technician, Greg Spicer aims to keep in the forefront of his mind, daily:  work for others in the same manner that you would prefer others to work for you.  
Feel free to share some of your best productivity tips on our Facebook page - we aim to provide our clients and contact with great business advice, from a technical standpoint, or otherwise.  Let us know if something you try here makes a difference in your workplace!  
 
Cybersecurity for Executives The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports 31 percent of all cyberattacks are directed at businesses with less than 250 employees. Why would small businesses be such targets? Because, typically, they don't have overly-abundant resources and staff to pay for and maintain their IT.  We've put together a more detailed White Paper exploring 3 KEY POINTS EXECUTIVES SHOULD WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR IT PRESENCE And we're hitting the 3 key points here for you again,, because this topic is worthy of your full attention. 1. Inventory your data and assess your risk. Basically, know your data, why someone would want it, where it is and the consequences incurred if it fell into the wrong hands.  Also, having a stellar source for threat intelligence and keeping your finger on the pulse of your network traffic are additional related considerations. 2. A layered approach to security is best. Just like home security and any other task related to keeping something safe, the more obstacles to have to maneuver around, the better. Having a balanced approach to cybersecurity with the help of educating your people, policies and procedures which regulate the actions of the people with access to your assets, and imparting the right technologies are all great layers in a security strategy. 3.  It's important to have a solid cybersecurity response plan. Crucial to this is empowering the right people to address issues.  Identifying who should be contacted and getting the right people involved is key to any successful response. A company must identify a central point of contact or leadership team that not only has the responsibility, but also the authority to act. Check out our white paper which expounds on the topic of Cybersecurity for Executives. Please don't wait to give serious consideration to this subject.  Contact us today if you'd like assistance.  
SPOTlight On: The CompTIA TrustMark Certification The Fulcrum Group - Dallas Fort Worth IT Experts The Fulcrum Group has earned the CompTIA Managed Services Trustmark, an esteemed industry credential that signifies its adherence to best practices for technology service delivery and customer interactionCongrats to The Fulcrum Group for earning CompTIA's esteemed Trustmark certification!Why Contract with a Trustmark Holder?Organizations that carry the CompTIA Managed Services Trustmark have demonstrated their ability to properly support your business needs. To obtain this esteemed credential, our organization committed to an industry “Code of Conduct,” and underwent an assessment provided by a vendor-neutral industry association, which assures that we adhere to the highest business standards in all of our day-to-day activities. The CompTIA Managed Services Trustmark offers our clients peace of mind, knowing that we employ industry best practices and tools to keep your business systems up and running. It also confirms our commitment to quality, assuring our customers that we have what it takes to help them succeed. Another way The Fulcrum Group stands apart and strives to help our customers shine!  
 
Tech TipTech Tips from The Fulcrum Group, Dallas Fort Worth IT Managed Services Providers: Some Good Cybersecurity Resources For You We make it an ongoing practice to gather, refer to and follow a growing pool of high profile cybersecurity resources.  You can find more information on our Security page at fulcrum.pro but here's a quicklist of solid resources for you to note: OnGuardOnline.gov OnGuardOnline for Small Business North Texas Electronic Crimes Task Force (N-TEC) Krebs On Security RSA Speaking Of Security Blog Sophos Naked Security Blog Google Online Security Blog  
 
Did You Know...Veeam now FULLY supports VMWare vSphere 6 The Fulcrum Group Dallas Fort Worth IT Experts Ask your Fulcrum Group Account Manager how you can benefit from ALL that VMware vSphere 6 has to offer! If you’re a client who runs a VMware virtualization environment, you’ll want to contact us today!