SMART Blog

Smart Services has been providing independent agents with proactive, fast, and expert technology services since 1991.

Business Technology Continues to Shift to the Web

Business Technology Continues to Shift to the Web

Businesses today rely on so much technology that it’s impossible to think about operations without considering how technology can make them more efficient. In fact, many organizations would completely collapse without the innovations brought about as a result of technology development. One of the hottest trends over the past few years has been the shift from in-house assets to web-based assets, ranging from application access to infrastructure hosting.

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Could Your Business Use a New Telephone System?

Could Your Business Use a New Telephone System?

Telephone solutions have long been a major pain point for businesses. Smaller organizations attempt to get the most bang for their buck, especially for something as important as communications, but it’s not always so simple. How can you get the greatest return on investment from your business’ telephone solution? You can start by implementing Voice over Internet Protocol.

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Looking for New Productivity Software? Try Software as a Service

Looking for New Productivity Software? Try Software as a Service

Most businesses rely on software solutions in order to stay productive throughout the work day. Whether it’s a word processor, a spreadsheet builder, or simple data storage in the cloud, software is deeply ingrained in the modern business world. Shouldn’t your organization be taking advantage of it to its full extent? You can start by implementing Software as a Service.

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Two Issues to Be Mindful of Before Hosting Your Software in the Cloud

Two Issues to Be Mindful of Before Hosting Your Software in the Cloud

Businesses have focused on efficient utility software deployment for the better part of 30 years. Today, developers are increasingly offering software titles “as-a-service”, which gives users access to these powerful tools, via the cloud, for a consistent monthly payment. Distributing solutions through cloud technologies, be they a private cloud server or a reputable public cloud provider’s platform, can give your business considerable benefits.

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Take a Close Look Before Downloading That Free App

Take a Close Look Before Downloading That Free App

So, you came across a free app online that seemed interesting, entertaining, or helpful, and you decided to download it. However, after you clicked the download button you immediately regretted your decision as it began to install browser toolbars, adware, and other annoying (and potentially dangerous) software onto your device. How can you keep this “crapware” from getting out of hand?

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Impatient Pokémon Go Users Take Malware Risk

Impatient Pokémon Go Users Take Malware Risk

Augmented reality is a growing trend in the technology industry. Perhaps one of the best known today can be found in the extremely popular mobile device app, Pokemon Go. However, hackers have seized the opportunity to infect players who want to “catch ‘em all” with a backdoor called DroidJack - something that certainly won’t help gamers “be the very best.”

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Microsoft Enters the Technology as a Service Market

Microsoft Enters the Technology as a Service Market

One of Microsoft’s latest moves to appeal to business owners is its Technology as a Service program, allowing small businesses to purchase Surface products, accessories, and support via a monthly payment plan. The plan allows for upgrades, although some fees may apply as dictated by the lease.

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3 Talk-to-Text Apps that are Well Worth the Money

3 Talk-to-Text Apps that are Well Worth the Money

The development of mobile platforms has led to the development of hundreds of apps that give users the ability to capture websites, take notes, and help with a person’s daily business tasks. Some users of modern smartphones (and other mobile devices) routinely complain about the reliability of the on-screen keyboard interface, as communication is as important to the development and outcome of projects as ever. For this reason, some developers have begun creating applications that allow users to dictate to their devices; turning spoken words into text. Here are three of the most reliable options to turn your voice into text.

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How an Expired Software License Can Spell Trouble for Your Business

How an Expired Software License Can Spell Trouble for Your Business

Your business relies on several software solutions that are designed to help your team be as productive as possible throughout the workday. In order to use these pieces of software, users often need to have a software license or an agreement with the developers. Without these software licenses, the legitimacy of the software is questioned and your team loses valuable time to be productive.

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Tip of the Week: It's Easy to Create an Animated GIF

b2ap3_thumbnail_make_animated_gifs_400.jpgUsing GIFs in your digital communications is a great way to enhance them. A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is an image that loops a few seconds' worth of animation; it’s a great way to grab someone's attention. If you don’t know how to make a GIF, then we’ll show you how in this week’s tip!

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Do You Know What’s Lurking In “the Shadows” of Your IT?

b2ap3_thumbnail_risks_of_shadow_it_400.jpgImplementing proper IT solutions is challenging for the average small business, and difficult without the aid of a proper IT department. Unfortunately, organizations that can’t afford a full-time in-house IT department sometimes resort to methods of managing their technology that can be dangerous for business continuity, data storage, compliance, and security.

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Technology as a Service is Sweeping Through the Business World

b2ap3_thumbnail_money_saved_though_technology_services_400.jpgWhen searching for tech support for your organization, you might often wonder if what you’re paying for your current service provider is really worth the maintenance that you receive. At times, it might feel like you’re being charged an arm and a leg for a simple network audit, and you can forget about purchasing new hardware components in the event of a technology failure or disaster. Rather than pay for services that are extorting money from you, your budget might find that the price of managed IT services is just right.

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Only 55% of Enterprises Can Identify Risky Mobile Applications

b2ap3_thumbnail_application_mobile_computing_400.jpgMore businesses are flocking to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) than ever before, and it’s evident that it can change the way workers access information in both the office and on the go. Yet, how many businesses can accurately estimate the level of security they receive from their BYOD policy?

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Ye Be Warned! Support for Windows Server 2003 Ends this July

b2ap3_thumbnail_no_more_windows_server_2003_support_400.jpgIf you’re the owner of a small or medium-sized business, mark your calendars for July 14th. This is when Microsoft will stop supporting the 12-year-old server operating system, Windows Server 2003. Any business that is still running this ancient OS needs to upgrade to a more recent one before the end-of-support date arrives.

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ITaaS: Transform Your IT Department Into a Service!

b2ap3_thumbnail_managed_services_provider_400.jpgWhat are managed IT services all about? You've heard about how businesses are saving on their IT costs by outsourcing their technology needs, but how does this service work? The money-saving answer comes from this radical new approach to treating IT as a Service!

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5 New Features in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

b2ap3_thumbnail_winserv400.jpgIn October, Microsoft released their Windows Server 2012 R2 offering. To compliment this big release, Microsoft upgraded their Windows Server Essentials software by adding some cool new features and slapping R2 at the end. Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials gives your business the option to deploy Essentials features in a larger domain as a Windows Server role.

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It’s Time to Retire Windows XP

b2ap3_thumbnail_xp400.jpgIf you haven't yet upgraded from Windows XP, then you (and 500 million users) must have strong reasons for hanging on to a twelve year old product. Unfortunately, everybody's strong reasons won't hold water come April 8th, 2014 when Microsoft stops supporting XP with new security patches.

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2 Software as a Service Options for Small Manufacturers

b2ap3_thumbnail_thefloor400.jpgEvery small business owner has to overcome the problems that come with having a lack of capital. Owners and managers of a small or medium-sized manufacturing company are often presented with many other problems as well, such as procurement cost increases, shipping cost increases, and resource management. Whether an enterprise manufactures goods directly to end-users, or to larger manufacturers as components for use in the assembly of other goods, they require the highest degree of efficiency possible. To do this, many small manufacturers are looking for affordable software solutions.

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A Gracious Host: 3 Ways Cloud Computing Can Help Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud400.jpgMuch has been made of the cloud recently and you see more and more that companies of all sizes are beginning to utilize cloud computing services in some fashion. Whether it's simply the incorporation of web-based social networking interfaces as inexpensive (and seemingly valuable) marketing tools, or the complex hosting of your company's entire computing infrastructure, the cloud has several options that can work for your business. Below are three ways in which the cloud can present your organization reasonably valuable solutions.

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Windows is Feeling Blue about the Start Button

b2ap3_thumbnail_W8Blue400.jpgIt takes a big person to admit when they're wrong, and there's nothing bigger than Microsoft. Windows 8 hasn't sold like Microsoft anticipated, and users pin the blame solely on one little button, the Start button, or the lack thereof. With Windows Blue (officially previewing June 26), it's rumored that Microsoft is remorsefully bringing back the button.

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