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U.S. Signal Highlight: Business and Personal Cloud Application and Software Selection

Our fantastic friends at U.S. Signal extended the opportunity to share our technology expertise on their blog this month. Mike Ritsema, one-half of our fearless leaders here at i3 Business Solutions, breaks down which applications function best with your software of choice.

The cloud is ubiquitous, and application productivity options are spawning daily. With a plethora of options available at our technological fingertips, it can become quite tedious to choose which applications and software work best for preferred business and personal platforms. Are you an Apple junkie? Do you swear by Microsoft? Even further, how will your decision-making and preferences influence your ability to utilize cloud technologies to their fullest potential? Let’s break it down. 

Read the rest at U.S. Signal.


Virus Protection 101: Install, Scan, Think

Your computer is home to hundreds — if not thousands — of important files, documents and pictures. Business files, account information, taxes and precious family memories are all stored on your hard drive, but one wrong move and everything could be compromised.  We’re talking about viruses (and not the simple to get rid of, sniffling, sneezing human kind). The kind that sneak up on you and threaten the safety and permanence of your entire hard drive.

What steps can you take to avoid these stubborn annoyances that seem to be getting sneakier and more sophisticated every day?

Install quality antivirus software.

You can try free antivirus software, but it isn’t going to do the job.  If there is one area of your digital life in which you need to invest, it’s here. Think of antivirus software like car insurance: you wouldn’t grab the cheapest policy to protect such an important part of your life, would you? No! So why do the same with your computer?

We recommend installing professional-grade or business-grade antivirus software onto your computer. These types update frequently throughout the day, acting as a proactive shield against any potential threats. They also protect you from a wider range of threats and come with additional protective features that you may not even think about or know you need. Make sure you keep this software current!

Scan daily. 

Not every other day, not weekly and definitely not monthly. When we say scan daily, we really do mean scan daily. On rare occasions, spyware and viruses can sneak past your software. Performing additional scans will catch these before you encounter any problems.  Daily scans can be an invaluable way to protect your computer and all of your files.

Think before you click.

Oh look, an email from an unknown sender with a link to a cool new product!  You should click on that link, right? Wrong! Oh, but what about this email from my best friend with a link to an article I want to read? I can click that, right? Wrong again.

Always, always, always scan emails for viruses before clicking the links or attachments.  We cannot stress how important this truly is. In fact, when at all possible, you should manually navigate to the sites at hand instead of clicking on the links. Even if you scan, it’s hard to be 100 percent certain that the link is completely safe.

GRBJ Highlight: What happens after technology collides?

The staff at i3 Business Solutions contribute regularly to the Grand Rapids Business Journal blog. This month, Andy Kaiser introduces BYOD — bring your own device — and how it relates to technology convergence in our professional and personal lives.

Andy listened to a podcast while driving to work. After he arrived, he checked his work email, edited a few documents and accessed his company’s production software — searching and working with the employee CRM system.

He went to lunch, where he read an ebook, then drove to the office of a new client. He needed to map the location, using turn-by-turn directions to arrive on time.

Read the rest here on the Grand Rapids Business Journal Blog.

Check out our previous blog by Mike on the GRBJ blog.

Now Hiring: IT Consultant

Posted on by 834design

The i3 Business Solutions team is growing and expanding! We are currently seeking potential candidates to fill our IT Consultant – Support Center Technician position. Check out the full description below for further details.

The i3 Service Team is consistent, efficient and smart. This is what we require from you.

Of course an i3 Support Center technician needs to have technical ability, but that’s only one bit in the byte. Other requirements for the job include personality and reliability. Here’s the details.

Technical Ability: Microsoft server environments are big, but also VMware. Be ready to support these, as well as anything else you’d find in a business network. If you’re looking for keywords, please consider: Windows Server, Exchange, Active Directory, GPOs, Office 365, SharePoint, StorageCraft, WatchGuard, Cisco, firewalls, routing and wireless.

Personality: From within i3, you need to get along with the service team (be ready to interview with several of them). The support center consists of technicians who care about the environments they support and the people behind those businesses. This is not a heads-down environment; we select for the skill of human interaction. Any technician at the company must be able to interact positively with all. While the majority of work will be done over the phone, on-site client visits are also part of the job.

Reliability: This last piece is so important that we’ve named one of our service offerings after it. Be dependable. Account for your work. Do an excellent job even though no one has asked you to do so. Be able to operate independently. If you need help the team is there, but on a “regular” day, it’s great to know we have each others’ backs.

i3 Business Solutions is only interested in hiring those who have the above traits. The life of an IT consultant is not easy, and it’s not for everyone. We are very selective in who we add to the team. With that said, working at i3 is rewarding: We give you the tools you need, high variety in the type of work you can do and the opportunity to advance your career based on i3′s needs and your personal preference.

This job is full-time hourly. The pay scale is based on your level of experience. The more of the above abilities you possess, the higher your value to our clients, our team and i3.

Think you fit the bill? Know someone who has all of the assets we’re looking for and then some? Apply or forward this position to someone through our Hireology portal. We look forward to hearing from you!

GRBJ Highlight: Personal and business risk management in a web world

The staff at i3 Business Solutions contribute regularly to the Grand Rapids Business Journal blog. This month, Mike Ritsema featured risk management tips to use in your personal and professional life.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is essentially a pyramid of personal risk management.

I maintain that each of us gets up daily and takes care of our personal- and job-related risk, “I will take care of my personal needs and find a way to keep paying the bills.”

In a web-centric world where we bank, communicate, connect and transact through a universally connected semi-secure system called the World Wide Web, also known as the Internet or cloud, our personal and business risk-security mitigation adds a new tier to the pyramid.

Read the rest here on the Grand Rapids Business Journal Blog.

Check out our previous blog by Andy on the GRBJ blog.

GRBJ Highlight: What will you find in the cloud?

Posted on by 834design
The staff at i3 Business Solutions contribute regularly to the Grand Rapids Business Journal blog. This month, Andy Kaiser featured the advantages of moving your small to mid-sized business’ information technology needs to the cloud.

Many small to medium-size businesses use a traditional local client-server infrastructure, but they could show significant advantages by employing cloud technologies.

Local technology. A local client-server structure can be summarized in the following way.

Centralized services. All servers and critical infrastructure are contained in house. This traditionally means a lot of hardware in the office. There are servers, phone systems, UPSes and the comprehensive infrastructure to support your important business functions.

Read the rest here on the Grand Rapids Business Journal Blog.