Blog

Getting Ready for the New Year - Helpful Reminders to get you Running Smoothly for 2016

Brianna Loftin - Friday, December 18, 2015

New Year's Day is nearly here and offers the promise of great things to come. Make sure your business is ready to receive and get your Act together!

Review your Data and make sure that you aren't holding on to material that serves no purpose aside from clutter.  You will thank yourself when your processes become that much quicker in 2016.

Check out how Act! CRM can help your business and sales teams organize prospects and customer details in one place, send emails, market products and services more effectively, and drive sales results.

Update the Look and productivity of your proposals with the Market Leading quote solution, QuoteWerks

Get QuickBooks up and running so that your tax documents are in shape for the following year.  

Contact us so that we can help you get setup with your Virtual Desktop to gain access to your software from any location on any device!

Email - support@cloudtopoffice.com

Call - 866-710-4228

Need Remote Access to your Software? - Deciding to Buy a Server or Go with a Hosting Provider

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The major variable between purchasing your own server and using a hosting service, is that there are Minimal Startup Costs with hosting, compared to a complex setup and maintenance when trying to self host.

If you buy a server, you are responsible for hardware failures, whereas if you rent, your provider is responsible for the hardware and software loss and updates.

Cloud Hosting has a higher level of security than software uploaded to your computer. Hosting makes setup and maintenance a breeze, with regular automatic back-ups, you are prevented from losing your data. Having your datacenter in a separate location, keeps natural disasters from incapacitating your business.

Our Hosting Service is outstanding and we stand by that statement with our 30 day money back guarantee. Start your service without hesitation, and if you are dissatisfied, you will receive a full refund, with no questions asked.

If you would like to collaborate with colleagues from home or anywhere else in the world concurrently, send an email to support@cloudtopoffice.com or call (866) 710-4228.

Shortfalls of Remote Access Tools - Not a Long Term Solution

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Being able to remotely access your data from any location is becoming a bigger and bigger necessity for companies and individuals in today's work environment. One of the easiest ways to gain remote access, is through remote access tools.

These programs are inexpensive and allow you to access other computers remotely by leaving your office computer running, then logging in to it from another computer on a browser. This appears to be a great solution, but there are drawbacks.    

The remote computer often runs slowly and you are susceptible to serious security risks by leaving your PC unattended. This is really not a dependable solution for regular use or for multiple users. 

The remote computer cannot be shared with anyone else while you are gone. If you need to access your home computer, and your family member wants to log in, someone will not be able to access their information. Remote Access Tools can be unreliable, if your computer has shut down, you will have to travel to the pc's location or have someone else help you log back in.

Contact us for more information about our reliable and secure Virtual Desktop Hosting Solution, at support@cloudtopoffice.com or call 866-710-4228.


Is Your IT Department Run by the Most Tech Savvy Employee? - It May be Time To Outsource

Brianna Loftin - Thursday, November 19, 2015
Many companies use their most technically savvy employees to help run IT tasks when necessary, even though it is not their primary position. This can be a daunting task for these workers to work proficiently enough to cover their regular position, and to stay on top of everything that needs to be done to keep the business running smoothly. 

During crunch times, you wouldn't want your skilled workers putting their energy towards maintenance, when they are a greater benefit to the company in their trained field. These dual employees are often times limited in their IT knowledge, and don't undertake all of the small tasks that are beneficial to maintaining your database. 

This is not a viable option and usually fails because the employee leaves or a problem arises that is too costly to fix. However, it is not cost effective for many small to medium sized companies to keep an in house IT Department.    

Outsourcing your IT department is a great solution, and can be implemented quickly and easily with virtually no startup costs.  An outside agency can worry about the day to day operations while you have the peace of mind knowing that help is just an email or phone call away.  Let a professional service take care of protecting your company and let your employees focus on their field of expertise.  

Email support@cloudtopoffice.com or call 866-710-4228 for more information.

Friday the 13th

Brianna Loftin - Friday, November 13, 2015

I wanted to write about Friday the 13th and how the Knights Templar, who are associate with setting up the Modern Day Banking System, were a part of the origins. 

While doing a little research I found that the true origins are really not documented, only speculated, and there are quite a few.  

This is an interesting article outlining where the superstition came from www.todayifoundout.com.  Hopefully if you have a fear of Friday the 13th, Triskaidekaphobia, this will quell your fears.  


Don't Get Trapped into Long Term Cloud Hosting Contracts - Tandem has Monthly Hosting Services

Brianna Loftin - Friday, November 06, 2015

Here is an interesting blog from blog.softwareinsider.org about cloud vendors starting to lock customers in to yearly and even up to seven year contracts. While its good to plan ahead, you never know what is going to happen seven years down the line.  

If you're on the fence about Virtual Desktop Hosting, why not stick your toes in the water with our month to month hosting plan rather than diving in over your head? There is always a full 30 day money back guarantee for those of you who prefer not to get near the pool at all.

 For more information: Email support@cloudtopoffice.com or give us a call at (866)710-4228.


Should I Purchase a Server? - Maintaining a Server is like Owning a Pool

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Purchasing and maintaining your own sever is akin to owning and cleaning your own pool. Imagine you just bought a new house with a beautiful sparkling pool in the beginning of summer.  The weather is perfect, it’s fun learning about how to maintain the proper chemicals, and it just takes a little time each week.  After a few weeks algae starts to show up, and you look into what is causing the problem and buy some special product to nip it in the bud.  It looks better for a while, but your algae keeps creeping back up.  The weather gets hotter and a little more uncomfortable, and you neglect to do your regular chemical adjustment.  Before you know it, the algae is out of control and you have to bring in a professional to clean everything out. 

You realize that since the newness has worn off, taking care of the pool isn’t really fun, it’s just another chore and you would rather not work on your weekend off, especially after you realize you don't really know what you are doing. When you look at all of the expenses of purchasing cleaning tools, and all of the chemicals, plus emergency service, you aren’t really saving money. Not to mention, you’re not getting paid for this added labor and headache.  There are some people that maintain lovely pools by themselves, but they really know what they are doing, and they truly are engaged and enjoy working on their system.

The same thing goes for maintaining your own server, if you are not already computer savvy and have day dreams about owning your own server, this is not a safe bet for you.  Servers require regular maintenance, updates and backups, that if not done regularly can lead to serious problems, which costs an arm and a leg to get fixed in the long run.  There are also quite a few hidden fees, not just the price of the server.  Small to medium sized companies with their own servers, are the easiest to switch over to hosting, because they understand the hassle of a server, and hosting is actually cheap compared to what they have been paying. 

Make the safe bet with virtually no startup costs and try out hosting today.  You can always cancel you service and get your money back if you are dissatisfied for any reason.  Email support@cloudtopoffice.com or give us a call at (866)710-4228.

Never Outsourcing to Robots

Brianna Loftin - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Here is an interesting article I found about outsourced jobs moving from foreign countries to automated services from Motherboard.vice.com.  

Have you ever really been helped by a robot when you need customer service?  I find them about as frustrating as self check out at the store.  

Never fear, at Tandem CloudTop, you will always receive help from a real person from our company, and not by someone in another country or a robot, no matter how convincing they seem to get.

The Difference between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Cloud Hosting

Brianna Loftin - Friday, September 25, 2015
QuickBooks Online is similar to QuickBooks in a Cloud Hosted Environment because both are accessible anywhere, anytime and on almost any internet connected device. However, beyond these few similarities, they are quite distinct. 

QuickBooks Online is for very basic entry-level businesses and individuals who want access to QuickBooks from their browser. There are limited capabilities within QuickBooks Online and add-ons to the program are not available. You are not currently able to import data from previous versions of QuickBooks, Excel, Quicken or MS Office into QB Online. You can only view a single window at a time and are not able to do side-by-side comparisons of reports as you can with the desktop version. The lack of features for QB Online leads to basic bookkeeping options, but if your company is just starting out and you are very price conscious, then this might be a perfect fit for your company.  One benefit of QB Online is that it is updated automatically, so that you no longer have to purchase a newer version. 

If you are happy with your current version of QuickBooks, but are looking to have remote access, Cloud Hosting is a great option because you don't have to learn new software, and all of your information can be easily transferred to your virtual desktop. Cloud Hosted QuickBooks, through a service provider, allows you to have the full desktop product, and you can utilize Microsoft Office on your virtual desktop, enabling your business to have information flow automatically between employees.  You will have the benefits of added security and remote servers so that none of your information will be lost in case of a disaster. Backups are performed nightly to ensure there is no loss of data. 

For more information email support@cloudtopoffice.com or give us a call at (866)710-4228.

What if your IT Guy Suddenly Quits? - Are You Prepared?

Brianna Loftin - Thursday, September 10, 2015
Most businesses wouldn't want to entertain the idea of their IT guy suddenly quitting. The reality is that you never know when something could happen to leave the owner of the company needing to answer IT questions that only the computer guy could answer.  Ask yourself the following questions to see if you are prepared for the loss of a very important employee. 

Do you have written network documentation about your computer network? - What software licenses do you own? What are the critical administrator passwords to your systems and devices? How is your computer network structured? What hardware do you own and when do your equipment warranties expire? Are there cloud vendors for email, online storage, hosted line of business applications, etc. that you don’t currently have? You should NEVER allow a single IT person or company keep this information under their full control over your network and company. 

Do you know if your backup files are being stored properly, and where? If you are like most business owners, you’re too busy dealing with the “crisis of the day” to think about system backups and probably leave tasks to your internal expert. This detail is easy to overlook, but very important to have written down and easy to access.

Do you have a written plan for restoring your network fast in the case of a disaster? If you don’t have a fully tested disaster recovery plan for your office, you should.

Do you know where all of your software is stored? Bad things can happen to computers and servers, and the situation can be made worse if you are not prepared. Taking a minute to organize and store your software in a secure place can save you a considerable chunk of money in the event that you need to restore a program on your systems. If you don’t have access to the software or don’t know where it is located,you might be forced to buy the software again.

Do you know what routine maintenance is being done on your network? The very idea of learning about and keeping track of all the servers, workstations, and peripherals on your network is quite mundane, but it is important information to maintain. 

Do you know how to protect yourself from a security breach if your in-house computer expert leaves? What happens if your expert splits with no warning AND has access to your company’s network? As soon as humanly possible, you should disable his or her access, including remote access to your network and all cloud based applications.

Make sure that you have all the answers to these important questions to keep your company up and running even without your key expert on hand. Tandem CloudTop can help with many of these safeguards, rather than leaving all of your important information in one person’s hands.  Call for more information 866-710-4228 or email support@cloudtopoffice.com.

CloudTop Office provides Quickbooks Hosting, Act! Hosting, Quotewerks Hosting and more. Check out our cloud hosting solutions for small to medium sized business owners.