Micro Tech Systems September 2018

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September 2018

The Times, They Are a-Changin’ SUCCESS IN THE BREAKNECK TECH INDUSTRY

S ince I took the helm of MicroTech nearly 20 years ago, a lot has changed in not only the business, but the technology industry as a whole. In this field, where massive paradigm shifts happen in the blink of an eye and progress advances at an exponential, breakneck pace, you either adapt or you perish. Before I hit the scene in 1999 and began pushing MicroTech Systems into the modern era, the company was still stuck repairing typewriters. So, it’s safe to say I’ve seen my share of enormous, tectonic changes from years on the IT front lines. By now, it’s cliché to point out how much the world has been reshaped by modern technological advances, but it’s true. And from my position, where you’re forced to stay abreast of every little ripple in the industry, I’ve watched it all happen firsthand. Today, IT is inseparably integrated into the architecture of virtually every successful business to the point that, when the tech breaks down, business grinds to a standstill. When you’re losing money for every second your server is down, you better have an IT service provider that can be on the scene as fast as possible. Clients, too, now expect that instant service. It’s hard to imagine the age when you walked into a car dealership, tried to buy a car, and had to wait days to learn whether or not your loan would be approved. Today, it’s unthinkable that you would have to wait as much as two weeks to buy something.

I remember back when people were skeptical of email’s potential to alter the way we did business. I would point to the shoddy old fax machine a client had lying around and tell them that, within years, this machine, which had previously been absolutely central to daily operations, would be completely obsolete. It took every ounce of persuasion to convince people that email was here to stay. Throughout my career in the IT field, I’ve worn every hat imaginable, from technician to accountant, marketer, salesman, manager, and everything else in between. I’ve watched as trends have come and gone and as tech has evolved and left countless backward-thinking companies in the dust. As we’ve expanded, I’ve been able to remove some of those hats and direct my focus to steering the ship, looking toward the future to determine which technologies and strategies will carry my clients’ businesses and MicroTech Systems into the next age. While I may not have a crystal ball to foresee the next big shakeup, after 20 years of riding the relentless wave of change in the IT industry, I’m confident in our ability to stay at the cutting edge for our clients, guiding them toward success even in the rapid, disorienting world of modern technology.

–Randy Amorebieta

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Delivery Trucks Are Driving Into the Future

Spending Millions to Build Autonomous Vehicles

The trailblazer of futuristic American TV shows, “The Jetsons” first aired in September 1962. Set a whole century in the future in 2062, this show offered viewers a compelling and desirable image of everyday life in the 21st century. The characters interacted with robots that cleaned their house, selected their clothes, and even styled their hair, but the automation that viewers tend to remember most is George Jetson’s flying car. While we may still be another century away from flying to

for 120 miles from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The trip’s success sparked an innovation wildfire, inspiring companies like Starship Technology, Nuro, Robomart, Alibaba, and Boxbot to spend millions and even billions of dollars to build their own autonomous delivery trucks. The Otto technology used within these trucks is unique in that it offers true Level 4 autonomy, meaning that as long as the vehicle stays on well-marked highways with no variables — jaywalking pedestrians, four-way stops, or kids on bikes, for example — it has no trouble navigating. The driver just engages the software and lets the computer do the rest. While these delivery trucks have a lot of benefits, many people are worried that this invention could put a lot of drivers out of work. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. According to the American Trucking Association, the U.S. has a staggering shortage of drivers. In 2015, the deficit reached 48,000 drivers and may grow to 175,000 in the next six years. Should autonomous technology continue to advance, that deficit may exponentially decrease. And as with other AI inventions — such as Pizza Hut’s and Walmart’s replacement of human employees with robots — the utilization of autonomous delivery trucks will not only increase the efficiency of getting customers their products, but will also cut down businesses’ spending costs, which in turn lowers prices for customers. So while we may not be able to ride as stylishly as George Jetson for a few more decades, when it comes to building a flying car, these new trucks are definitely a driving force.

work, companies are making a lot of headway when it comes to automotive automation.

In 2016, Uber partnered with Otto to build the first autonomous delivery truck. The truck, outfitted with $30,000 of additional hardware and software, transported 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer

Our Clients Say It Best

“When we started working with MicroTech we had little IT support — they were a dream come true! Nine years later, we continue to work with them due to their quick response to our service needs, follow-up, great advice, and fantastic team.” –Lonna Bell

“I’ve worked with MicroTech for several years now. They manage the IT infrastructure for my two companies. This includes servers, desktops, laptops, and software, as well as my licenses/accounts for the hosted services I utilize. The entire staff is professional and trustworthy. Pricing is fair and reasonable. I recommend MicroTech regularly.” –Dylan Pedersen

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Stop Putting Up With Mediocre IT Service

YOU DESERVE BETTER

your IT provider may seem like a great thing, but when you’re up to your neck in debilitating tech issues, that lack of communication will come back to bite you. The most baffling part about this, though, is that most business owners realize they’re working with a mediocre IT service provider. Yet, even if they give their current provider a “C” rating, they’re still reluctant to make a change. Whether it’s fear, convenience, or pricing that pushes you to stay with subpar IT, settling for anything less than the best will hold your business back in the long run. There are a few nonnegotiables to consider when it comes to picking a five-star IT service provider. They should have their eyes and ears on your network around the clock, working to detect and troubleshoot even the smallest IT problems to keep everything running at peak efficiency. They should have an active backup strategy in place to ensure nothing is lost. Security must be a priority and must go far beyond a simple antivirus installation. They should constantly maintain open lines of communication and proactively suggest changes that will save you time and money. Trust, integrity, and a proven track record should outweigh the costs. If you’re ready to cut your mediocre IT service provider loose and experience the immense benefits that five-star service can bring, give MicroTech a call at (208) 345-0054 today. We’ll demystify the IT process and bring your company into the future.

For small to mid-size businesses (SMBs), IT can seem like a foreign language. That’s why outsourcing is so valuable for SMB leaders. But not all IT service providers are created equal. All too often, we visit SMBs only to find they’re putting up with mediocre IT. They always exhibit the telltale signs. Bad IT providers wait until the client calls to actually address any problems, instead of proactively suggesting solutions and improvements before an outage occurs. They often don’t have the resources and processes to provide the necessary time and attention to your company, so problems that should take minutes to solve take days. And worst of all, they suffer from poor communication. A “set it and forget it” relationship with

Have a Laugh!

Inside-Out Grilled Ham & Cheese

Ingredients

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine

8 slices of bread (Pullman works best) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)

• •

8 ounces ham, thinly sliced 1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1/4 cup apricot preserves

• •

Directions

1. Butter each slice of bread on the outside and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other 4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side. 5. Cut in half and serve.

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12592 W. Explorer Dr. #100 Boise, ID 83713

Inside

Randy Reflects on the Past and Looks Toward the Future

Autonomous Trucks Help Curb Driver Deficit

Our Clients Say It Best

Why SMBs Accept Mediocre IT Service — And How We Can Help

Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese

A Guide to Workplace ‘Essentialism’

Will Help You Declutter Your Workload Greg McKeown’s ‘Essentialism’

“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will,” writes Greg McKeown in “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” When he set out to write the book, McKeown wanted to know what keeps skilled, driven people from achieving as much as possible. What he found was that many people suffer not from being lazy, but from allocating their time ineffectively. The impulse to “do it all” keeps folks from spending their time on the things that actually matter. The book, then, serves as a guide to cutting out the extraneous and focusing on the essential.

Early in the book, McKeown uses famed Braun designer Dieter Rams as an example of an essentialist. He notes that Rams’ design philosophy can be characterized by three simple words: less but better. This, in essence, is what essentialists believe. Doing your best work where it matters and cutting out the superfluous will allow you to better manage your time and increase your performance. As McKeown puts it, “It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to

operate at your highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” Instead of having their energy spread out in a million different directions, essentialists channel it into what really matters. McKeown also advocates for defining your purpose in order to accurately assess what’s essential and what isn’t. The more a task contributes to your purpose, the more essential it is. Many business owners and leaders struggle to let go of tasks that are best left to other employees. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to manage a massive workload while resenting the fact that much of what you do is needless, then it’s time to pick up a copy of “Essentialism.”

“Life is not an all-you-can-eat buffet,” McKeown says. “It’s amazingly great food. Essentialism is about finding the right food. More and more is valueless. Staying true to my purpose and being selective in what I take on results in a more meaningful, richer, and sweeter quality of life.” This metaphor can be applied to your work life as well. There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish every task. The essentialist works to spend their time diligently by pursuing what actually matters, rather than filling their days with meaningless busy work.

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