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Empowering Small Practices to Deliver the Best Care
With 2019 fast approaching, business owners everywhere will be hashing out their yearly budget. Deciding how and where you’ll spread your resources is tricky, because unless you’re Amazon, you don’t have unlimited funds to spend as you please. For every dollar you spend on X, that’s one dollar you can’t spend on Y. Only you and your leadership team will know how to best allocate your budget, but I want to caution against a cost-cutting measure that too many business owners come to regret: skimping on their computer and network support. Because IT support doesn’t have the direct ROI that, say, your marketing spend does, it’s easy to view it as a luxury. However, if you get hacked or experience a shutdown, you’ll find yourself ruing the decision to go with a bargain-basement support option. The minuscule amount you’ll save up front will be vastly outweighed by the long-term costs that result from lost data, system downtime, and squandered productivity. Even worse, your business may not be able to recover from a breach if you don’t have the right support and recovery systems in place. As you assess your budget for the coming year, ask yourself if you’re making one of the following potentially fatal mistakes when it comes to selecting an IT policy. MISTAKE 1: CHOOSING A BREAK-FIX OPTION In essence, all IT companies offer one of two types of support. The first, managed services, protects and monitors your network 24/7, whether everything is running perfectly or not. The second, break-fix services, only show up when there’s an issue. 3 FATAL ERRORS That Can Result From Bargain- Basement Computer Support
my network when it’s running well?” the thinking goes. The problem is that once you can recognize an issue, it’s probably already a major headache. Furthermore, break-fix companies don’t understand the ins and outs of your system. As a result, it will take them much longer to get your network back to normal, costing you precious time and money. MISTAKE 2: ADOPTING A REACTIVE APPROACH All break-fix companies are inherently reactive. By definition, they only respond when a problem is present, so they react to that problem rather than proactively assessing the health of your network. But cut-rate managed-services providers can also suffer from an approach of this nature. When shopping for a managed-services provider, make sure you choose a company that will keep you abreast of the latest updates, protections, and services. The best providers don’t just monitor your system; they coach you on how to leverage technology to help grow your business. Any company that can’t promise you that probably isn’t worth hiring. MISTAKE 3: PLAIN, OLD UNDERINVESTMENT Odds are your business relies on functioning technology for basic day-to-day operations. So it’s only logical that you’d invest in the health and security of your network. Often, the businesses that most effectively use and invest in their tech are the ones who end up gaining market share over their competitors. So, in closing, I ask you this: Will you be one of those savvy, forward-thinking companies in 2019? Or will you cross your fingers and hope nothing goes wrong? –Byron Adams
Break-fix companies are a cheaper alternative, and it’s easy to think they’re all you need. “Why would I need a company to watch
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ARE YOU UNKNOWINGLY SHARING PRIVATE DATA? If You’re Not Careful, Your Apps Can Share Your Information
personal information, whether fitness, financial, etc., be sure to check the disclosures section for information regarding data encryption. You can find this at the bottom of the page on the marketplace you use to download apps. NO. 3: UPDATE REGULARLY When a company notices a security issue, they patch it out of their app via an update. If you don’t have the latest iteration of an app, you leave yourself at risk to vulnerabilities that should be obsolete. NO. 4: CONSIDER USING APPS THAT MAXIMIZE PRIVACY For nearly every category of app, there is a company that produces a version that doesn’t collect data. DuckDuckGo is a search engine that won’t collect your history and sell it to advertisers. Signal provides end-to-end encryption for texts and phone calls. If you’re particularly touchy about digital privacy, consider using some of those services. We don’t have enough space to cover all the relevant details of apps and data sharing here, but these are some of the essentials to help you get started. MEDISOFT, LYTEC & NEXTGEN OFFICE SUPPORT PLANS FOR HOSTING, BACKUP, AND MORE Need Support? Call (480) 497-7480 if you have a support contract. Don’t Have Support? Plans start at just $99/month. Call us at (855) 455-5035 to get started with support, training, electronic claims, electronic health records (EHR), hosting, backup, and more. We have so many tools and services to help your practice be more efficient, keep your network protected, and remain a thriving independent practice. We want to help your practice perform at the highest possible level by providing services that allow you to get the most out of your software.
Be sure to check our website often at azcomp.com/events to learn about upcoming trainings and other events we host.
Lynda Tarsitano| Office Manager Maian Pediatrics | Cave Creek, Arizona
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THE BEST TECH STOCKING STUFFERS At this point in the holiday season, you’ve probably (read: hopefully) taken care of most of the big-ticket items on the wish lists of your loved ones. However, we’re guessing you may still be on the hunt for stocking stuffers and other small items. To help make that project a little easier, we wanted to share our picks for awesome tech gifts you can find for around $20. SUPER IMPULSE TINY ARCADE CABINETS The perfect gift for both the young and young-at-heart, these cabinets replicate the look and feel of vintage arcade games, only on a much smaller scale. Super Impulse has created portable versions of classics like “Pac-Man,” “Dig Dug,” “Frogger,” and more. JACKERY PORTABLE CHARGER BARS In today’s hyper-connected world, a dead battery can put you out of action in a hurry. With this clever device, you’ll never have to ask for a spare outlet again. It can charge an iPhone from zero to 100 real quick, ensuring you’ll never miss an Instagram-worthy moment. CAILLU CORD ORGANIZERS Tangled cords stink, but you can’t zip-tie your headphones like you do the wires behind your TV or computer. These handy leather-and-button snaps solve that problem and look stylish, to boot. For Last-Minute Shoppers
When you’re a dedicated pet parent, traveling can be stressful. Most vacations are not dog- and cat-friendly, and you want to make sure your pets are cared for while you’re away. Traditional boarding options tend to be anonymous and impersonal, giving you pause about the care your pet will receive. The founders of Rover sensed that there had to be an alternative, so they looked to sharing services like Uber and Airbnb for inspiration. Rover pairs pet owners with a network of individual pet sitters and dog walkers. They use robust data science to pair owners with the best caretakers for their needs. Customizing your search based on any number of criteria ranging from the type and length of service to the size and needs of your critters. All care providers are rated, and the vast majority are pet lovers who view Rover as more of a passion than a profession. “It’s a great side job to make some extra cash pretty easily,” says one caregiver. “And since I love animals, it’s just something fun to do that I get paid for.” Transparency regarding care is just as important to Rover as creating ideal pairings. Clients are constantly in the loop regarding what’s happening with their pet. They can receive updates, photos, and maps of walks featuring GPS data. Rover CEO Aaron Easterly says, “We let you know the quality of care being delivered.” That gives users peace of mind they’d never have from traditional dog-sitting arrangements. The total value of Rover’s services was $225 million in 2017, and that number will be significantly higher this year. The company now operates in over 50 cities, connecting pet owners with people who will care for their fur babies as if they were their own. It was only a matter of time before the sharing economy catered to animals in addition to people, and Rover is leading the way. A 4-LEGGED SPIN ON THE GIG ECONOMY UBER FOR DOGGOS AND KITTIES
ALISON GREEN’S ‘ASK A MANAGER’ Will Help You Communicate More Effectively Good communication skills are essential whether you’re a customer-facing employee or not. In all aspects of our business lives, we need to be
able to speak and listen effectively. Workplace advice columnist Alison Green realized that communication issues are among the most common professional difficulties. Her new book, “Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work,” compiles years of insight into a handy, easy-to-use guide for workplace conversation. “A theme I’ve seen over and over again is that people end up significantly less happy at work because they’re hesitant to speak up about what’s important to them,” Green recently told The New York Times. Giving people the tools and systems to have these conversations is what “Ask a Manager” is all about. Green has organized her book into four main chapters — Conversations With Your Boss; Conversations With Your Coworkers; Conversations When You’re the Boss; and Conversations With Your Job Interviewer — making it very easy to use the book as a reference whenever you need it. Whether you are a confident conversationalist or not, you’ll find a wealth of wisdom within “Ask a Manager.” Given the book’s wide-ranging applicability, it’s the perfect gift for every member of your team.
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Cheap for a Reason: Don’t Skimp on IT Support PAGE 1 A Reason to Check Your App Settings PAGE 2 Spotlight on Maian Pediatrics PAGE 2 How Rover is Revolutionizing Dog Sitting PAGE 3 Last-Minute Gift Ideas PAGE 3 AZCOMP Leadership Library: ‘Ask a Manager’ PAGE 3 Care in the Eye of a Storm PAGE 4
CARING WHEN IT’S MOST NEEDED By Neili
One of the core values that dictates how AZCOMP employees approach their job states, “We care about the one.” We interpret this value to mean that all our efforts and attention should be directed at the customer or team member in front of us. It’s all about being present, empathetic, and a good listener. Sometimes, we come across people who embody this value in their own lives and we share their stories as inspiration. I recently heard about Jaret Hucks, an innkeeper in South Carolina who cared about “the one” hundreds of times over. Hucks owns the Midtown Inn and Cottages in Myrtle Beach, an area which was ravaged by flooding earlier this year. Hucks’ property experienced no significant damage, but many of his neediest neighbors weren’t so lucky. Sensing an opportunity to do good for his community, Hucks opened his doors to everyone who didn’t have a place to stay, and he kept those doors open as long as they were needed. The Midtown Inn and Cottages has given away more than
1,000 nights of free stays in the aftermath of the floods, making it a refuge for dozens of residents with nowhere else to go.
“Love thy neighbor, right? That’s what you’re supposed to do,” Hucks matter-of-factly told CBS news. “My mama taught me that a long time ago.” And in helping others, Jaret has received a hand in turn. Companies and nonprofit organizations have reached out and offered to provide amenities to the guests staying on Hucks’ property. And many of the guests have done their part as well, providing cleaning services and donating their time. When you care about “the one,” people take notice. We may not all be in a position to provide the level of caring and selflessness that Jaret Hucks did, but we all have people in our lives who would appreciate a show of kindness. As you prepare for another holiday season, I hope you’ll take the time to find a few people who could benefit from being “the one,” if only for a moment.
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