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Tolar Systems Blog

Tolar Systems has been serving the Abilene area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

IT Support Options: Comparing Managed Services to In House IT Staff

Welcome back to our series on IT support options. Last week we compared managed services against the break/fix model of IT consulting services. This time, we’ll compare managed services to hiring your own in-house IT staff.

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IT Support Options: Comparing Break Fix to Managed Services

Welcome to the first installment in our blog series about IT support options for small to medium businesses.

When most business owners think about IT support, they think about calling for help when something breaks. After all, when you’re having problems, you just want to get things working again. You might not be thinking any further ahead than: “I just need my email to work! I have customers waiting!”

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How to Select a Value Added Reseller or VAR to Assist With IT Purchasing

In last week’s blog, we discussed how a good Value Added Reseller or VAR can add value to your business. A VAR can provide services that make the products they resell to you work better. They might also offer technical support, integration of your applications with other solutions and products so that all your technology works together more efficiently. VARS can even simplify the acquisition and billing process around your technology investment.

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Five Advantages of Working with a Value Added Reseller to Purchase Your IT

Welcome to the first installment of our series on Value Added Resellers. You may have heard the term Value Added Reseller, or VAR, used when talking about making a technology purchase. Perhaps you've wondered what the term means. In this blog, we’re going to talk about what a VAR is and how a VAR can help you get more value out of your technology investments.

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Revolutionize Your Inbox with Inbox Zero

For many people, the email inbox sometimes seems to rule our lives both at home and at work. With Inbox Zero, you can end the tyranny of the inbox.

What is Inbox Zero? Inbox Zero is an approach created by productivity writer and “lifehacker” Merlin Mann that aims to keep the inbox empty at all times, or at least as close to empty as possible. This approach has been widely adopted by tech industry insiders and productivity experts like Tim Ferriss.

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Announcing Our Abilene Business Expo Contest Winner!

Last week, Tolar Systems recently exhibited at the Abilene Chamber of CommerceBusiness Expo, the biggest business-to-business networking event in our hometown of Abilene, Texas. Visitors were very excited to participate in our giveaway contest of the most popular new smartwatch currently on the market.

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Five Ways Office 365 Can Improve Any Organization’s Productivity

From law firms and doctor’s offices to school districts and city governments, every organization shares the need to work more efficiently, to increase productivity, and to have the best resources for their employees. If your business is seeking to maximize performance, Office 365 provides the tools to help you do it.

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Do More on the Go: Outlook App for Mobile Devices

Are you an iPhone, iPad or Android user, looking for a way to access your email, calendar, contacts and files without having to toggle between different apps? If you’re in search of an app that gives you the same functionality you have with your desktop Outlook application, then the Outlook app from Microsoft is the app you need.

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How to Solve Scheduling Issues With Automated Tools

Wasting time? Scheduling conflicts? Try automated scheduling tools.

As a technology consulting firm that talks to a lot of small business owners and executives, one common complaint we hear frequently is that meeting scheduling is, quite frankly, a pain. Trying to set meetings and arrange schedules with other people is one of the biggest time wasters in any business. In fact, like most of our readers, we’ve experienced this ourselves.

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When should I upgrade to Windows 10?

We recently blogged about holding off on upgrading to Windows 10, based on the fact that users have up to a year to take advantage of Microsoft’s free upgrade offer and a few other minor concerns that have been identified with the software.

But eventually, you’ll probably want to go forward with that upgrade. How can you know when it’s time to go ahead and upgrade?

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The Threat in Your Pocket: Mobile Security and Encryption

One of the biggest security threats that people may not be aware of is found right in your pocket. You carry it around with you every day. Wondering what it is?

It’s your cell phone.

Mobile devices are becoming more and more ubiquitous for most people in their business and personal lives. In fact, leaving your cell phone behind can cause many people to feel positively untethered, yet cell phones and mobile devices can also create a big security risk for your business if you’re not aware of how to maintain their security.

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Taking A Closer Look at Encryption

Encryption is one of the most controversial topics in the IT industry, and one we've blogged about in the past. It's also one that more and more of our clients and customers are asking us about. In the wake of costly hacks like the one at Target in recent years, businesses want to understand more about how to keep their critical information safe.

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Could LastPass Be the Last Word on Passwords?

Living in the age of cloud-based apps can seem like a double-edged sword sometimes. One one hand, new apps are rolling out nearly continuously that can help to make our workday and personal lives easier and more productive. On the flip side, we need to find a way to manage security on all these apps – and remembering all your online passwords across multiple apps is not always easy.

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Using Virtual Teams to Grow Your Business

Do you have project hanging over your head, but no bandwidth or staff to get it done?

Many solo and small businesses find themselves in the position of needing to do more work than they have the staff or ability to take on. They want to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, but are limited in terms of having the capacity to manage hiring, firing, training and managing new team members. They also may lack the financial resources to hire full or part time employees.

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OneNote or Evernote – Which is Better?

Users of Windows 7 and later versions have probably noticed that they have a tool available within their Office bundle called OneNote. Many users skip over this tool without realizing what it can do. OneNote is a tool for taking notes and organizing information you’re using in your work and finding on the web.

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The Cloud: What is it?

We hear about it every day in the business world. Here at Tolar Systems it is an integral part of what we do. But for many outside the technology industry, the words “The Cloud” may have more to do with where rain comes from, than something that is crucial to the success of your business.

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Advantages of Using Multiple Monitors

Benefits of using dual monitors

At Tolar Systems, we frequently suggest that our clients consider using a multiple monitor setup when they need to use several business applications in the course of their day-to-day work.

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Microsoft Releases Office 365 Updates

On September 22, Microsoft rolled out the latest release of its Office products, Office 2016. The updates contained in the new release were also rolled out to Office 365 users.

According to the company, the new release “marks a new model for delivery, where subscribers can expect to get more frequent updates with new features and improvements.” What this means is that the upgrade cycle for Office 365 will more closely match the monthly cycle that is currently being used for the company’s mobile apps.

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What is a vCIO?

One of the biggest benefits of Tolar Systems’ Complete Care service is access to our vCIO service, but unless you’re involved in the IT industry, you might not know what a vCIO is. In today’s blog, we thought we’d answer some of the common questions we get about vCIOs: what is a vCIO, what do they do, and how does a vCIO benefit small and medium businesses?

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How to Choose an IT Managed Services Provider

IT managed services is one of the fastest growing areas of IT consulting.  Once limited to large companies, small and medium size businesses such as CPA’s, attorneys and medical offices are discovering the benefits of outsourcing their information technology support and maintenance to an IT managed services provider.

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