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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.

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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Eight Great Features of Office 365

There are so many great features with the new Office 365 that it’s hard to know which ones are going to be the most important for your business. The entire suite was built to enable and facilitate streamlined collaboration and communication – and it largely succeeds in this.

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IT Managed Services: Managing Risk, Reaping Rewards

We blogged previously about some of the advantages of outsourcing your information technology services: more manageable and predictable costs, less downtime and greater productivity, more secure systems with fewer distractions from your core business, better physical environment for your IT systems, and more.

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6 Reasons to Outsource Your IT Systems

One of the questions we are often asked is “what are the advantages of IT Outsourcing for small business ? ” There are a number of advantages which are especially crucial for small and medium businesses.

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5 Reasons We Don’t Recommend Upgrading to Windows 10…Yet

With the latest upgrade of the Windows operating system to Windows 10, many people are asking whether Tolar Systems recommends moving to the new version. It’s a great question. Windows 10 offers some advantages over previous operating systems, such as better mouse navigation, an improved browser, facial recognition, and Microsoft’s new digital assistant, Cortana - but there are still some reasons why we are suggesting clients hold off on upgrading, at least for now.

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Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Devices and Ergonomics

Sore neck, achy back, locked shoulders – if you spend a lot of time working on computers or mobile devices, these are just a few of the ways that bad ergonomics could be taking a toll on your health and happiness.

Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. We’ll provide you a few tips and ideas to help make your work and life more comfortable.

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Care and Feeding of Your IT Systems

Today’s small businesses owners rely on their IT systems for nearly every aspect of their business. Even the most technology averse realize that computers help people be more efficient than the old paper processes used before there was a personal computer on every desktop.

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Beginner’s Guide to Data Security and Encryption

Many of our customers in Abilene and beyond are asking us,

"What are data security and encryption, and why are they important to my business?"

After all, much of the business community here in the Texas Big Country and West Texas is comprised of small and medium size businesses. You might assume that because of this, business owners here don’t face many security threats.

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Leveraging the Cloud with Office 365

(This article is part three of a three-part series. Please visit our other articles on this topic.)

One of the big changes to the software industry over the last 10 years has been the transition from on-premise, licensed software installations to cloud-based or Software as a Service (SaaS) deliveries, like Office 365. Large enterprises have been using cloud based services for many years; more recently, small and medium businesses (SMBs) have also begun moving to the cloud for their business software needs.

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Sharing and Collaboration in Office 365

In our last article we talked about how Office 365 helps simplify and streamline multiple streams of communication, and how some of the communication tools also offer ways to improve collaboration.

Today we’ll focus primarily on the collaboration and sharing aspects of Office 365.

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Simplify Your Work and Life With Office 365

One of the big challenges facing each of us in the business world – and even in our personal lives – is that we have so much information coming at us from so many different sources. Whether the message comes from email, instant message, phone message, or social media, trying to stay organized and keep track of which conversations we had on which device is no easy task.

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Tolar on BYOD

One of the newest acronyms circulating in I.T. circles is the term BYOD—Bring Your Own Device. And as much as it might sound like an invitation to a social occasion of some sort, BYOD is really a wakeup call to beware your own downfall, so to speak. Or your firewall's downfall, at least. That's because BYOD—the practice of bringing personal devices into corporate workplaces where they are used to connect with the business's wifi, its networks, and its internal processes—is a practice that is fraught with security risks.

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