Desktop Publishing With Free Templates

If you struggle with where to start when designing business documents, take a look at the free standard templates offered by Microsoft. You just need Microsoft Office and a good quality color printer to easily publish your own marketing materials for any event. For those on a tight budget, just add your text and ready-made templates will give you a final product. Also, you can test different marketing strategies by changing layout, color, graphics and message. Even if you use a professional printer, you can start with a template to prepare a draft or conceptual piece that can be finished by your graphic designer. Most of the templates have impressive graphics and professional quality photos that give a polished look to your marketing materials.  You can edit or replace graphics to customize and add your logo for branding. Microsoft Office offers bundled tools with its Office 2010 … [Read more...]

The Cloud and Microsoft Office 365

Guest blog by Geoff Rigsby, Microsoft Account Manager at Synnex On a weekly basis I am asked, “What is Office 365 and how can it help me?” For instance, if you’re running a small business with 5-10 employees, setting up your own IT infrastructure can be a monumental task.  First, you have to purchase the hardware and software like an HP Server and Windows Server 2008 software.  Second, if you want to have your own email domain, you’ll need to purchase Exchange Server software.  And if you want to share files between employees, you will need SharePoint Server software and you can’t run that without SQL Server software.  It adds up and before you know it, you’ve just spent $50,000!  In addition, you will need someone to configure and maintain. This is a great deal of expense for just a few employees to communicate, collaborate, and work.  Here is where Office 365 is beneficial.  … [Read more...]

Top IT Trends for 2012

In keeping with our new year’s tradition, we have compiled our list of the top technology trends for 2012. We scanned the available data, reviewed our previous predictions and made some leaps of faith. We are optimistic about the economy and expect many delayed IT expenditures to be completed this year. Advances in business technology continue their steady progression with many smaller businesses adopting leading edge technologies.  This year will be interesting for consumer electronics.  Maybe Steve Jobs left his next great invention in the Apple pensieve. Local Data Centers – As Cloud Computing gains acceptance and market share, more business will move their equipment and applications to their own private cloud.  Companies will look for neighborhood data centers that are accessible and provide boutique services. This provides an opportunity for IT service providers and managed … [Read more...]

Hard Drive Prices Skyrocket

By now you have heard that hard disk drive (HDD) prices are increasing rapidly because of widespread flooding in Thailand. The monsoons of 2011 brought factory production to a standstill. The human toll has been devastating as hundreds have perished and millions have been displaced. The World Bank estimates the financial loss at 45 billion dollars making this the fourth most costly disaster in history. Thailand is the second largest exporter of HDD producing about 40% of the world’s HDD.  It is surpassed only by Singapore. Supply and demand economics govern computer electronics and the inelasticity is apparent in much higher prices at least for the short term.  Not surprisingly, prices have doubled and tripled for HDD in the recent weeks. There are several price watch sites to compare prices online. For now, the estimates of when full production will return in Thailand are … [Read more...]

Requiem for the Blackberry

Last week’s Blackberry outage has caused lots of withdrawal pains.  The blogs and message boards are filled with comments defending and vilifying Research in Motion (RIM) Blackberry’s creator.  Network interruptions are inevitable as we have seen with Sony, Google, Microsoft and Netflix. Someday we may have uninterruptible networks, but the departure or threatened departure from Blackberry seems to be more about the availability of multimedia, cooler mobile devices than a network disruption. For years Blackberry has been the choice in mobile devices for corporations. You can argue that this is because they are more secure because of how RIM handles encryption or the limitation of online features. Certainly iPhone and Android users can be more social online because their devices support many more apps.  They can access Facebook, Tweet, Farmville and Angry Birds from anywhere that they … [Read more...]