Leadership

2019 State of the IT Industry Landscape, Part 2: Economic Outlook & SMBs

In this second part of our 2019 review of the IT landscape, we look at the current economic outlook for the U.S. and the IT industry. We also look at how small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) view technology and their IT providers. This provides context for the economic and financial considerations around the future of technology. Do we expect growth or contraction? U.S. Economy Outlook As a Midwest technology provider, OXEN focused our review on the economic outlook for the U.S. and, specifically, our local nine-state area. The overall economy remains promising for 2019. The leading economic indicator for the…
OTWAdmin
July 22, 2019
Leadership

2019 State of the IT Industry Landscape, Part 1: Change & Cybersecurity

The IT industry is very dynamic. Increasing cybersecurity threats and new, emerging technologies demand that we pay attention to what’s on the horizon. In order to be a valuable partner, consultant, and trusted IT leader for our clients, OXEN Technology must know what’s going on in our industry. We are obligated to understand the environment our clients are operating in and the technology needs that are (and will be) affecting them. With this in mind, we take a step back every few years and review the IT landscape. We hear about new cybersecurity threats and emerging technology all the time.…
OTWAdmin
July 15, 2019
LeadershipSecurity

The Shared CIO Role: Evolving IT Leadership to Serve You Better

I hope it’s OK to write about something other than the newest cloud feature or the latest tech gadget, because I’m not going to talk about new technologies in this article. Rather, I would like to talk about the necessary leadership in today’s businesses. Not so long ago, the only IT goal of any business was to find someone who could do the work of implementing, upgrading, and maintaining technology. It was a hard-to-find skill set, and it was even difficult to find someone able to set up a basic network. That is not the case today. There are IT…
Ryan Pieken
July 8, 2019
Tech Tip

Inserting Word Quick Parts into Documents

Microsoft Word Quick Parts are fields or variables that can be referenced and reused to automatically fill out information in your document. They range from complex objects like inserting a table of contents, to simple options that let you insert the current page number into a document footer, or the number of words or characters in the document. Here’s how you add simple Word Quick Parts like document properties, and more options like page number fields. Inserting Quick Document Property Fields Go to Insert on the Ribbon toolbar. In the Text group on the right, click Quick Parts. Choose from…
OTWAdmin
July 1, 2019
Managed Services

Top 5 Benefits of Managed IT Services

There are many benefits to outsourcing your IT with managed services. Here are our picks for the top five – though certainly this isn’t a comprehensive list. #1: Operational Expenses and Controlling IT Costs If your environment is ready for managed services, then outsourcing your IT requires only a small initial investment. Then all your IT needs are rolled into an ongoing predictable monthly payment. This means managed services is primarily an operational expense, and far easier to predict and budget for. Controlled and predictable spending on your IT? Always a good idea. On top of making this switch away…
OTWAdmin
June 17, 2019
Announcements

Are you prepared for the end of Windows 7?

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 are popular and well-loved — and they're completely unsupported after January 2020. Have you prepared to upgrade yet? When Windows 7 reaches end of life and end of support in 6 months, it will no longer be a secure, compliant operating system. Microsoft will no longer releases updates or security patches. If you continue using it, you will be putting your data at risk. Hackers love to target unsupported applications and take advantage of vulnerabilities in legacy software. You don't want to be in the cross-hairs. Consider too that other services and manufacturers will…
OTWAdmin
June 10, 2019
Tech Tip

Transposing Rows and Columns in Excel

What's transposing in Excel? “To transpose” means to make items change places with each other, or to flip a grid or table such that columns become rows and rows become columns. This may be a little hard to grasp, but it’s something that you may frequently want to do in Excel: How do you take values in a row and flip them so that those values are stacked in a column? (Or vice versa.) The answer is transposing them. This is how. Transposing in Excel Say you have data in rows, like this, and you want these names to be moved…
OTWAdmin
June 3, 2019
Security

Spring Cleaning Your Spam Filter Whitelist

It's time to add your spam filter whitelist to your spring cleaning routine. For some of us who have been using the same spam filter for years, we may have a long list of allowed addresses or domains. Because phishing email is involved in 91% of breaches, I can't stress enough how important it is to manage your whitelist. As security has evolved, I continually find things that I did months or years ago that I would do differently today. So, I am learning to go back and review the things that are on autopilot to make sure they meet…
Ryan Pieken
May 20, 2019
Security

Security Awareness Training: Time to Jump on the Bandwagon

Human error. We talk about it all the time, but what exactly do we mean? Human error occurs when an individual does something with an unintended outcome. In cybersecurity, it’s easy to point the finger at employees as being an organization’s weakest link. An IBM study found that human error accounts for 95% of security incidents, yet security awareness training for employees often ends up on the back burner. But without appropriate security awareness training provided by the employer, how can employees truly know what to watch out for? Is security awareness training a priority? In a recent survey by…
OTWAdmin
May 13, 2019
Tech Tip

Organize Using Outlook’s Color Categories

Want to become more organized in Outlook? You can create your own color-coded labels with the Categorize feature to know at a glance what emails and calendar items are. Here’s how! Outlook’s Categorize Feature You can find the Categorize option in Outlook on the Ribbon or toolbar. You can start using the categories as is, or you can customize them with your own labels. Changing the Category Labels You can label the default color categories for your own needs. Go to Home > Categorize (in the Tags group) on the Ribbon From the drop-down list, choose All Categories. Click on…
OTWAdmin
May 6, 2019