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  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 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 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 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  

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 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

Its Hurricane Season - Are Your Electronics Prepared?

Brianna Loftin - Thursday, August 27, 2015
Now that you’ve gotten your non-perishable food, water and first aid kit ready for hurricane season, don’t forget to safeguard your electronics!

Make sure and keep your devices charged and extra batteries handy.  You should also backup any electronic devices.  

Data should be stored at an off-site location so that it can be recovered if it is exposed to physical elements, like high winds, falling debris, or rising water, during a hurricane.

Businesses should also back up their information daily to a remote site, not only for hurricanes, but for everyday mishaps that can happen. If you don't trust yourself in doing these daily tasks, you should definitely look into hiring a service to help you with backups and storing your data safely and securely.

Give Tandem CloudTop a call (866)710-4228 for more information or send an email to

How is ACT different than an industry specific CRM

Jon Klubnik - Friday, August 21, 2015
Nearly every industry has an industry specific application that is developed for that type of business.  Many times that application has a "built in" CRM. While the idea of entering everything in a single application may be appealing, here are some questions to ask before committing. 

Most industries have 2-3 main packages that at first glance, seem to be written with that specific work in mind....  At first glance.

In most scenarios the gaps are consistent and inerrant.  
Portability - can you take the solution with you if you change companies, or change industries?
Customization - how much can you wrap that application around your specific way of doing things? I've gone to work for companies directly across the street from one another and in the same industry, but who did things drastically different from each other.  Most industry specific solutions make assumptions about how you run your business.  The more generic your business is, the more you will be unable to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

We have chosen to work with Act! CRM because it has the flexibility for you to wrap the product around the way YOU work.  Also the option for On Premise, or Hosted or both is "Best of Class" in it's niche.

How to Be More Efficient - Utilizing Your CRM to its Fullest Extent

Brianna Loftin - Thursday, August 20, 2015
People are constantly searching for the perfect CRM for their industry or specific company.  Which one is the best?  I believe Act! gives the best performance for most companies, although some organizations get everything set up, and then neglect to use the new system.  The problem doesn’t necessarily lie within the system, but more so because of the lack of knowledge on how to use the system properly.  

You know what a CRM is, but just to be clear, it stands for Customer Relationship Management.  Some users simply use the system as a Rolodex and don't utilize other tools.  While this is helpful, it doesn't help you run your business to its full potential.  You should expect the following benefits from any good CRM.

You should notice a large chunk of time saved from receiving automatic notifications and being able to automate mundane tasks.  The more time that you keep from wasting on mundane details will help you expand business and generate more profit. Your email marketing should also be a smooth process with the right CRM. You should be able to easily evaluate your company’s growth based on individual employees performance.

Whichever CRM you choose, make sure that your employees are properly trained to use the database correctly and that everyone utilizes it to the fullest extent, efficiently. For more information call (866)710-4228 or email

Moving Your Data to the Cloud - What You Need to Know

Brianna Loftin - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

If you are like many companies out there today, you are looking into the benefits of Cloud Hosting. There are a myriad of choices, between hosting companies, and choosing whether on not to move your whole IT infrastructure, or just your individual applications and databases.  
Here is some helpful information to get you started on the right track, while you work on the details of hosting.

Back Up Your Data - A good hosting company will backup your data, and shouldn’t have any problems in the initial setup. However, it is always a good idea to play it safe and have a recent backup copy of all of your data. Here is a link to get you started on your backup.

Second Internet Connection - A strong internet connection is pertinent when using Cloud Hosting.  Internet failure is the main reason for not being able to access your hosted information.  If your company must have access at all times, then it might be a good idea to have a second internet connection service as a backup. If you currently use Comcast, you might consider a Verizon wireless account for a backup.  Don’t let this deter you from hosting.  If your internet connection is reliable, you shouldn’t experience any major downtime.

Re-Organize - You can easily copy your files as they are, when moving to the cloud, but why not capitalize on this opportunity to remove fluff and organize your data? Look into updating permission levels on files and archive old files and data that are cluttering up your server and costing you extra to store and backup.

Phase Your Move - Don’t migrate everything all at once.  Create a transition plan and implement it, piecemeal. Moving your files one piece at a time makes it easier for your clients, employees, partners and everyone else involved.  Transition should be smooth, but this approach leaves room for errors and won’t leave your whole system down if there happen to be any hiccups in the process.  

Contact us to see if hosting with Tandem CloudTop is right for you!

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Call - 866-710-4228

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