About Mary Hester

Ms. Hester is the CEO of LAN Systems, which provides IT solutions in the Greater Metro Atlanta Area. You can contact Mary at mary@lansystems.com">

Microsoft Server 2003 End of Support

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How mixing business and comedy creates a stronger team

Guest Blog by Cindy Bates, Microsoft US SMB Group During a recent offsite meeting, my team had the privilege of seeing improv in action and most importantly, getting in on the fun. I’ve been a longtime fan of improv comedy for its ability to inspire creativity and cause spontaneous eruptions of laughter, but I was amazed to learn how easily it can translate into the business arena. Our session was led by Meagan Flanigan alongside a dynamic cast from Second City Works, the business solutions division of the improvisational comedy theatre, The Second City. After the meeting, I came across a great article Tom Yorto, CEO of Second City Works, wrote for the Harvard Business Review, where he shares tips for your team to cultivate clearer communication and engage more deeply. I’m already implementing some of the principles we learned, including embracing the ensemble mindset, and I hope your … [Read more...]

Copiers Are A Hidden Treasure For Identity Thieves

Guest blog from Cha Holmes, Co-Founder and Managing Partner for EDGE Business Systems. Have you ever thought about whose hands the information you copy and/or scan can land? Think of all the different types of documents that are copied/scanned (tax returns, medical records, financial information, etc.) and the personal information within these documents. The reason is that today’s digital copy machines contain hand drives, similar to computers, which are capable of storing a large volume of digital information. Nearly all commercial copy machines manufactured since 2002 contain a hard drive that can store every copy/scan made, item printed or fax scanned. While the information might be encrypted, it’s not usually a challenge for hackers to access details, including Social Security and telephone numbers, bank accounts and credit-card numbers, according to digital experts. … [Read more...]

Is your website mobile-friendly?

If you own or manage a website, you have probably heard about mobile-friendly options and the risk of mobilegeddon.  On April 21st, Google changed how they will rank mobile websites in search results.  It does not apply to all searches, only those on mobile devices. Especially for those that rely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to rank in Google searches, it can be unsettling to hear that Google is changing the rules.  Depending upon your platform, the addition of mobile-friendly format can be difficult or easy. We use Wordpress for our site and have been using WPtouch for our mobile theme settings.  Here is Google's further explanation from their Webmaster Blog. This update: Affects only search rankings on mobile devices Affects search results in all languages globally Applies to individual pages, not entire websites To find out if your site is mobile-friendly (from … [Read more...]

Creating an Auto Reply in Outlook 2013

If you are going to be away from email, it is good policy to create an auto reply.  This will let your colleagues and clients know what to do while you are away.  It is simple to create and you can customize as needed. We have included a sample out-of-office reply that is short and sweet.  Important tip:  Don't forget to turn off when you return! 1. Open Outlook 2. Click the file tab and then select Automatic Replies   3. Check the send automatic replies box and word your reply in the given space below for contacts inside your organization.   4. Next, click the only send during this time box and input the dates you wish to use. 5. Select the Outside My Organization tab and create your reply to outside contacts. Here is Sample Template for Out of Office Message Thank you for your eMail!  I will be out of the office [Start Date] through [End … [Read more...]