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Responding to COVID-19 and Creating Better Processes for Our Clients
As COVID-19 began sweeping its way across the Treasure Valley and the U.S., we had to respond swiftly here at MicroTech. I can remember hearing rumblings on March 12 about work-from-home needs. For the next few days, it was on our radar, but we were still operating like business as usual. We had a few days with a handful of requests from clients before everything erupted just two business days later. Client emails flooded in with the subject line “URGENT, URGENT, URGENT!” Internally, we quickly transferred to nearly all-remote work to protect our staff and their families. That’s the nature of our business — a chunk of it is already done remotely. So, we made adjustments quickly, came up with a contingency and safety plan for our guys in the field, and got to work.
needs, but like many businesses, we were blindsided by the intensity and rate at which changes related to COVID-19 affected us.
This reminds me of when the landscape of backing up files transformed. For years, backups were just considered off-site, and in the event some fire, flood, or natural disaster were to happen, then at least the off-site data would still exist and be protected. But the industry couldn’t have predicted how fast ransomware would grow, and hackers quickly traversed those tunnels. Off-site data backups were no longer enough! It was a big learning curve for us in the industry, and since making those adjustments, we are better for it. We now protect our clients from potentially devastating ransomware attacks, and we’re vigilant in taking action as these continue to change and grow. We regularly warn small- business owners and clients to take cybersecurity very seriously, too. Maybe COVID-19 is the same. Some people were sounding the alarm, but as we all learned, we were not globally prepared for this. However, since it did happen, we can be better prepared for something like it to happen again. (Let’s hope it doesn’t.) The reality is that this experience provided the kick needed for us to develop better business practices and increase our preparedness. Maybe we should have known, but I’m proud of our team and the way we responded. A special thank you to our clients for your patience and trust. I hope this newsletter finds you well, and if it doesn’t, let us know how we can help. We’re in this together.
And by work, I mean our noses were to the grindstone like never before.
We were forced into scramble mode. By Monday, our ticket queue had jumped by 60 tickets, and when the day ended, we had 60 more to get to. The requests were relentless. We would close 50 tickets, and another 30 would come in. We were swamped but grateful for our understanding and patient clients as we combed through the sea of requests. At the time of writing this cover, we are finally coming to the surface and have gotten most of our clients off-site and functioning. We breathed a huge sigh of relief, but we are still cautious.
As a business owner, I sit here and think, “Did we fall short on our responsibilities?” We pride ourselves on predicting our clients’
Do Successful People Enjoy a Digital Detox? 3 Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets
Erich Joiner has a hobby separate from his work. Running a content creation company that caters to big brands means Erich Joiner, founder and director at Tool of North America, is plugged in most of the time. To get away from the demands, he races cars on the weekend. During that time, Joiner puts his phone away in order to focus on the race. “While it takes a lot of focus, which can be strenuous, it also mentally cleanses, or ‘digitally detoxes,’ me during the weekend,” Joiner says. “By Monday, I can go into work with a clear mindset, ready to take on my week.” Celia Francis tracks her online activity. Sometimes technology can help you cut down on technology. Celia Francis, CEO of online marketplace Rated People, downloaded the app Moment to monitor how much time she spends on social media. This data helped her build healthier habits. “It helps you understand how you use your phone, establish usage goals, and disconnect at the right times,” Francis explains. “My phone is always off by 9 p.m. and isn’t switched back on until after the morning routine.” You don’t have to completely abandon technology to enjoy a successful digital detox. Instead, look for times when you can put your devices away and focus on something else. Even if it’s just for an hour before bed, you’ll reap the benefits.
Constant technology use can leave us feeling drained, so it’s good to do a digital detox by unplugging periodically. Digital detoxes have become very popular, but for most managers and business owners, cutting technology out of their lives isn’t just difficult — it can be irresponsible! You can’t throw your smartphone in the sea and expect to have a job next week. While completely quitting tech isn’t realistic, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a digital detox while sticking to your responsibilities. Here’s how a few successful entrepreneurs manage this balancing act. Arianna Huffington puts her phone ‘to bed.’ HuffPost founder and Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington says the first part of her nightly routine is “escorting my phone out of the bedroom.” Huffington doesn’t allow digital devices in her bedroom and relies on an analog alarm clock. “Charging your phone away from your bed makes you more likely to wake up as fully charged as your phone,” she says.
See What Our Customers Are Saying
2020 has been a year of many, many changes, and we want to thank everyone who has trusted us with their IT service during this tumultuous year. We know that we couldn’t have survived without the dedication, commitment, and proficiency of our team. To honor this dedication, we want to recognize the following MicroTech employees.
We have worked with MicroTech Systems out of Boise for a few years now and are very pleased with the services provided. Even though we are about an hour from Boise, the technicians are timely when we are in need, which is very much appreciated. Our organization has utilized other IT companies in the past, and we are so glad we made the switch to MircoTech Boise. I would highly recommend them. Tiffany Cruickshank
Gary Marshall has been with MicroTech for seven years this May, and Jeff Creed will celebrate a birthday! Thank you, Gary and Jeff, for your continued commitment to our team and clients!
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The Power of a vCIO and Getting Strategic About Your Tech
As a small-business owner, you have likely grown accustomed to wearing many different hats. From hiring to sales and more, you have to keep track of many tasks all at once, and you’re often confronted with struggles many large companies don’t even have on their radar. Because of limited resources, time, money, and even talent, you must also be a master at making more out of less. But your technology and IT services shouldn’t be a sacrifice. In this ever-growing digital world, businesses are continually and increasingly reliant on technology. Between storing personal client files and managing your payment and billing system, technology is a vital part of any business’s success. So, while staying on top of all the tasks your business requires of you, how well can you stay on top of your IT needs? What if someone could remove this from your plate and alert you to updates and disasters before they happen, ensuring your tech is there when you need it?
consults with you and your team to understand your goals and create a road map for achieving success through a competent IT structure. Their focus should be on strategically planning for your company’s future by pushing IT and tech growth as your company needs it. They create a plan to best suit your company’s technology needs, so you’re not just reacting after the fact like many overworked in-house IT professionals have to do. Without strategically planning your IT, you could miss vital signs or symptoms of weaknesses in your business. This can affect your day-to-day work and future sales, or it could put your clients’ personal information in danger. Strategic planning for your IT is just as important as the overall plan you create for your company. Technology is the hub of your business, and it needs to grow as you do.
Let our team serve as your vCIO to help you plan for the future. As you navigate through this uncertain time, read our blog at MicroTechBoise.com/MicroTech- Blog for more advice on technology
That’s exactly the kind of support a virtual chief information officer (vCIO) can offer your business.
A vCIO performs the same tasks as a company’s CIO without the expense of a full-time employee. This person or company
and business planning.
Have a Laugh!
Grilled Prime Rib
Who says the cookout has to ruin your diet? Try this paleo-friendly recipe for a main dish that’s worthy of your next barbecue.
1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast 1 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. 2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F.
5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve.
3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side.
Inspired by Primal Palate
4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill.
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Responding to COVID-19 and Creating Better Processes for Our Clients
How Entrepreneurs Digitally Detox
Plan for Your Business’s Future with a vCIO
Grilled Prime Rib
How Crazy Ideas Become Innovations
Achieve Innovational Success With ‘Loonshots’
Many entrepreneurs dream of catching lightning in a bottle — of harnessing new, powerful ideas that will propel their business to the cutting edge. Whether they call it disruption, innovation, or genius, many business books focus on the “lightning” side of the equation. But those flashes of brilliance mean nothing without a bottle to capture them in. According to author and physicist Safi Bahcall, if you want to turn momentary inspiration into tangible success, you need structure. Bahcall explores this idea in his book, “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries.” He examines many successful innovations that were originally deemed “crazy” or “doomed to fail,” including the breakout success of the James Bond movies and how Lipitor became a pharmaceutical blockbuster. What these phenomena have in common is that they were supported and made possible by a positive work environment structured to nurture ideas that were “just crazy enough to work.”
However, success stories aren’t the only focus of “Loonshots.” The book also examines companies that paved the way as innovators, only to stifle change and lose momentum. Bahcall puts Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), Polaroid, and other titans that let the lightning out of the bottle under the microscope to show readers where the companies’ organizational structures went wrong. To Bahcall, the way business owners organize their team is the same as how temperature shapes water. You can be cold toward new ideas, which freezes progress and makes your company too brittle in the face of change, or you can be warm and let your team’s ideas flow in exciting new directions. Drawing on his experience as both a physicist and the co- founder of a biotechnology company, Bahcall is able to make his case in entertaining, down-to-earth prose. Beyond being a good read, “Loonshots” addresses an often overlooked factor in the ways innovative companies succeed at redefining their industry, making it a great addition to any entrepreneur’s library.
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