May News:

On The CalendarMay News from The Fulcrum Group
  • The Fulcrum Group 2016 Cloud & Business IT Summit is almost here! Join us at our offices on Wednesday afternoon, May 25th from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for an evening of food and drinks, networking opportunities and the chance to learn (and clue in your key employees) about the latest in Cloud and business technologies!  We are looking forward to spending time with new friends and our longtime clients, alike!  And, if you've been to any of our previous events, you know we love giving away cool stuff - this year, our drawing will include a Microsoft Surface Pro.  If you haven't already received your invite, go directly to the special page we created just for the event, where you can RSVP right on the page.

You can help make us a trending topic by using #tfgsummit in your social media postings about this event - find out more about using hashtags below, in this month's "More Than Tech Tips" article!

  • The DFW Business Intelligence Community is a DFW area Business Intelligence resource for anyone contemplating, designing, administering or using Business Intelligence (BI) or Data Analytics. Monthly lunch meetings are typically held at Noah’s Event Center in Irving, TX.  Join the group to be alerted of monthly meetings. May's meeting topic will cover - Qlik will demonstrate the latest features of Qlik Sense Enterprise and how it is used to support business intelligence and data discovery use cases serving both internal and external users. This event will take place Wednesday, May 18th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Register here.
  • Fulcrum Group Fitness Update - We hope you read about our latest focus here at The Fulcrum Group in last month's newsletter.  If you haven't been following our progress so far (we're in Montana right now) on social media, we've captured it all in our blog for you.
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.
Still Holding Out Adopting Office 365? By David Johnson, Fulcrum Group EVP Even if you only use the Hosted Email and Microsoft Office software, making the jump to Office 365 will be well worth the investment for your organization.Office 365 adoption continues to gain steam and Microsoft is adding new features regularly.  But there are still plenty of organizations that haven't made the move to Office 365.  Some organizations may have concerns about cloud security, cloud reliability, on-going cost, privacy, compliance, or may have already invested in Office software.  Even so, there are plenty of reasons to make the move to Office 365, even if you choose not to go "all in" and leverage every available Office 365 feature. The no-brainer feature of Office 365 that every organization large and small should be leveraging is Hosted Exchange email.  Running an Exchange server on-premise just isn’t a smart option for organizations any more.  Concerns about security, reliability, and compliance have all been addressed by Microsoft, and the cost is impossible to beat, especially when you consider the hidden costs of operating an on-premise Exchange email server (down time, lost data, managing and updating, and the lack of true redundancy that the cloud offers).  And if you’re still running POP3 email, you’re missing out on the all of the great features of Exchange email like shared calendars and “anywhere/anytime/any device” access to email. If you’re concerned about the hassle of migrating your email to Office 365, The Fulcrum Group offers turn-key, “hassle-free” email migration to Office 365, providing a seamless experience for your end users.Another feature of Office 365 that is a great value is the actual Office desktop and mobile software that is available for each licensed user.  Microsoft allows each user to install Office desktop software on up to 5 devices (Windows or Mac), plus Office mobile software on up to 5 mobile devices (Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile).  So an individual user could have a single Office 365 account that provides Office software for a work desktop PC, work laptop, personal home Mac computer, an Apple iPhone, and an Apple iPad, all for about $100 per user per year (or $10 per user per month). Additional Office 365 features that provide extra value include the following:
  • One Drive for Business – Prrovides access to files from anywhere and any device
  • Skype for Business – HD video conferencing
  • Compliance, Encryption, and Archiving – Meet compliance regulations and provide e-discovery tools
  • New features being added by Microsoft regularly – Continue to receive additional value!
Contact your Fulcrum Group Account Manager to learn about Microsoft Office 365 plans for businesses, government agencies, and Non-Profits.
Section 179 - What is it and how does it work? What is it? Most people think the IRS Section 179 deduction is some mysterious or complicated tax code. It really isn’t. Essentially,  IRS Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves. Several years ago, IRS Section 179 was often referred to as the “SUV Tax Loophole” or the “Hummer Deduction” because many businesses have used this tax code to write-off the purchase of qualifying vehicles at the time (like SUV’s and Hummers). But, that particular benefit of IRS Section 179 has been severely reduced in recent years, see ‘Vehicles & IRS Section 179’ for current limits on business vehicles. Today, IRS Section 179 is one of the few incentives included in any of the recent Stimulus Bills that actually helps small businesses. Although large businesses also benefit from  IRS Section 179 or Bonus Depreciation, the original target of this legislation was much needed tax relief for small businesses – and millions of small businesses are actually taking action and getting real benefits. How does it work? When your business buys certain items of equipment, it typically gets to write them off a little at a time through depreciation. In other words, if your company spends $50,000 on a machine, it gets to write off (say) $10,000 a year for five years (these numbers are only meant to give you an example). Now, while it’s true that this is better than no write-off at all, most business owners would really prefer to write off the entire equipment purchase price for the year they buy it. In fact, if a business could write off the entire amount, they might wish to add more equipment this year instead of waiting over the next few years. That’s the whole purpose behind IRS Section 179 – to motivate the American economy (and your business) to move in a positive direction. For most small businesses, the entire cost can be written-off on the 2016 tax return (up to $500,000). We'll bring you more info throughout the year on this important topic.  If you have questions, ALWAYS feel free to ask us, we're here for you!
SPOTlight On: How To Avoid Phishing AttacksThe Fulcrum Group - Dallas Fort Worth IT Experts You've probably heard the term "phishing" in the news lately, as it relates to cyber security.  We've seen some unfortunate instances lately so one of our engineers put together a presentation we hope you share with all of your employees. You can access "How To Avoid Phishing Attacks" on our Media page under Security Presentations. Circling the wagons against malicious activity is definitely easier when all of your employees know what - and what not - to do when it comes to email and online security!  Please share this with them.
More Than Tech Tips:  9 Easy Social Media Marketing Tips & Tools Tech Tips from The Fulcrum Group, Dallas Fort Worth IT Managed Services Provider We hope you've noticed we've been encouraging our social media contacts to help generate excitement and conversation around our upcoming Cloud & Business IT Event by encouraging the use of our event hashtag, #tfgsummit . This is to help "boost" the topic to a "trending" status, so that it can be promoted simply by discussing it (using the hashtag).   Do you have an event or special promotion that your company wants to generate discussion around?  Do a general # search by typing in variations of #yourtopic into your browser and opt for one that doesn't appear to have any "conflicts of interest" surrounding it. Here's tips for picking a good hashtag, too. More cool social media marketing tips & tools are found here in this great article. Of course, feel free to sound off on our Facebook page for what works best for you! If you'd like to know more about any online-based marketing tool or technique, just ask us - if we don't use it ourselves, we'd be glad to explore more about it and can feature your question and our answer in an upcoming article!
Did You Know...Office 365 Plans The Fulcrum Group Dallas Fort Worth IT Experts Office 365 has a variety of plans, and Fulcrum Group now offers each plan as either a monthly or annual subscription. If you are a SPOT Managed IT Services client, we can even add your Office 365 subscriptions to your monthly invoice.  Contact your Fulcrum Group Account Manager today!