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TechnologyUPDATE The End of the Hero

In this issue: The End of the Hero . . . . .1 How to make your Marketing Dollars go farther . . . . . . .2 Giving Connections Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Introducing Collaboration for Small Business . . . . . . . .3 How to Guarantee Your Business Could Be Back Up and Running Fast In The Event Of A Data-Erasing Disaster. . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Coupons . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Altronics Communications, Inc. 13017 Wisteria Dr. Suite 298 Germantown, MD 20874 Phone/Fax 1-888-890-7770

I would like to praise Altronics Computer Support service. They are always available, provide fast response and technically capable. Over the las year I have had many computer problems and everytime they have been able to solve them fast and accurately. I am also a client of ContinuIT Security Services and I feel protected, even when traveling overseas. Leonel Elorga, Owner Reno Unlimited LLC

As of April this year, an everyday hero will retire. We have learned to love Windows XP. He managed to earn our trust and defeated the malign forces of Windows Me, Windows 98 and NT4. After many years of great service he demonstrated he was the best replacement for Windows 2000.

Microsoft has promised that Windows 7 will be faster, more reliable, and will make it easier to do what you want on your computer. They have also said that Windows 7 will support a broader range of hardware than Vista, and will even run appropriately in lower end computers.

Microsoft has announced that after April, it will no longer support XP and will cease deliveringbug patches and only offer critical security updates once a month.

So, should you upgrade to Vista or wait until Windows 7 is released to the market?

So, what do we do now? Should we stick with it regardless of the lack of support or should we seriously consider a move to a newer operating system? This question, at least for us IT people, has only one answer‌ we need to say goodbye to an old reliable friend and move on. But which new Windows operating system should we migrate to? You've probably heard about Windows Vista which with three years on the market it is still vying for popular acceptance. Vista showed a lot of compatibility issues with computer hardware and software. Many of these issues have been solved as of Service Pack 1. Currently, Vista is actually a very stable system. It still presents many problems for the network administrator in terms of manageability but it is usable in most scenarios. Entering the IT scene towards the end of the year is Windows 7.

13017 Wisteria Dr. Suite 298, Germantown, MD 20874 toll free: 888.890.7770 - www.altronicscom.com

I have spoken with a few colleagues about their experiences testing Windows 7 Beta and they seem to agree that not only does the new system work better but it delivers on its promises.

Microsoft is telling customers to upgrade to Vista because it will make it easier to upgrade to Windows 7 later on. In my opinion, if you are an Enterprise customer and you have a Software Assurance package (which gives you the right to upgrade to the next version of your software at any time during the term of the agreement), you could migrate your systems now. If you are a small business, I think you should wait until the new OS is available for purchase. Over the next few months I will be sharing some insights on this new system and how it compares with previous versions. I will also write about new features and how you can take advantage of them. In the mean time, start getting ready because Windows 7 is coming whether you are ready or not. March 2009 Page |1


TechnologyUPDATE How to make your Marketing Dollars go farther Now more than ever, if you want to survive in business you need to continue investing in marketing, so how do you make your money really work for you? Here are a few ideas that won't break your bank account and give you great returns on your investment: 1. Improve the look of your website. It doesn't take a lot of money to make a big difference. A few quick tweaks here and there and voila, you have a brand new website that shows your business in a totally different way. 2. Transform your website into a lead generation machine. Most people don't take advantage of their website visitors and assume that just because they have their information up there people will or should call them. Just including a reason and the means for visitors to leave you their information can make a huge impact on the results you get from your marketing dollars. 3. Track your campaigns. Regardless of where you place your ads, if you don't track their results you are just wasting your money. Tracking is as important as your message or offer. There are many ways to track your marketing efforts and its responses. You can use a different phone number for each of your ads, different "landing" pages for each online ad, and so forth.

4. Start a newsletter. A basic HTML newsletter will do the trick here; just make sure that you can track who opens it and what links they click through. Our email marketing engine can provide you that and much more. The most important thing about a newsletter is that you need to be consistent and deliver it on a monthly basis. By writing an informative newsletter you not only keep the communication with your contacts open but you also increase the

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I signed up for Altronics Computer Checkup Service and was highly pleased with the value I received. This is a unique service, Mr. Posse came with a checklist of tasks to perform on the computer and, in the process, found and fixed problems I had experienced for quite a while. When finished, he gave me a summary of the work done as

5. Make sure all marketing campaigns include a real offer. Offers need to be of tremendous value compared to the price of your product or service. You need to be creative here because there are many things you can do to increase the value, like combining services or adding additional products and even a free gift. You are sending your campaign out anyways; printing the postcards, paying for the postage‌ you better make sure there is a compelling reason for them to respond.

13017 Wisteria Dr. Suite 298, Germantown, MD 20874 toll free: 888.890.7770 - www.altronicscom.com

I suggest, to anyone who hasn't had a professional checkup of his system in more than 3 months, that they call for this service. For me, the benefit definitely exceeded the cost. Ken Weiss Plans and Solutions Inc. Gaithersburg, MD

Giving Connections Update I am very proud of what we have accomplished with Giving Connections and the turns our journey is taking. We started the year on the right foot hosting another great event in Bethesda in January, this time to support A Wider Circle, a group that helps people in poverty with furniture and clothing.

response to your offers because they already trust you.

well as recommendations for improving and protecting my computers.

We are starting the Washington DC Chapter (finally) in April, with the first event to be held on April 2nd (Venue is yet to be determined). This is the result of a lot of work, not only from us but from our partner Roshan Loungani of Arete Wealth Management, who will be leading the efforts downtown (www.aretewealth.com). We are planning to continue our expansion to provide even more excellent networking opportunities for businesses in the area. Our next step (currently in the works) is Frederick County.

will open opportunities for sponsors and memberships. We are working out the benefits for our future members and we want to make sure we are able to continue to add benefits as we grow. We are also defining the sponsorship packages to make sure our supporters get the best exposure and benefits for their participation. If you know of anyone that would like to become a sponsor, please let us know. As the year develops, our mission will continue to drive our efforts as we design and deliver great business networking opportunities while helping those in need. We are open to and appreciate your feedback! Please post comments about the events on the site or e-mail me directly at mposse@altronicscom.com with your suggestions. The main goal of our organization is to provide more opportunities to develop your business connections.

As our organization grows, we March 2009 Page |2


TechnologyUPDATE Introducing Collaboration for Small Business I often see people trying to collaborate on projects using the wrong tools, generating more chaos than productivity. The final result is always frustration, both on the team and the management side. You may recognize this situation. Jane is working on a document that needs to be reviewed by John and Anna. She finishes it and sends an e-mail to both of them with the document attached. John makes changes and sends them back to Jane, but Anna forwards the e-mail to Paul to query him for ideas. Anna works on her copy, while Paul reviews it and sends his notes back to everyone. Soon, Jane has four or five copies of the same document and now she has to make revisions with everyone's changes and send it out again for review. You may be laughing but this is not uncommon in many small businesses. The truth is that they are losing productivity instead of increasing it, just by trying to work together using the wrong tools. Microsoft's Windows SharePoint Services helps teams stay connected and productive by providing easy access to the people, documents, and information they need to make more informed decisions and get the job done. Enhancements in latest version of this tool make it easier than ever to share documents, track tasks, and share ideas and information.

Some of the features of SharePoint that are most valuable are: 1. Provide a single workspace for teams to coordinate schedules, organize documents, and participate in discussions-within the organization and over the extranet.

quickly edited by team members-no special technical knowledge required). 5. And most importantly, simple integration with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 that users can use to manage document libraries, lists, calendars, contacts, tasks, and discussion boards, even offline, and to synchronize changes when reconnected to the network. At the office we use SharePoint to track projects, record tasks, post news, documents, document daily activities and much more.

2. Easily author and manage documents, and help to ensure their integrity with enhanced features including the option to require document checkout before editing, the ability to view past revisions and restore to previous versions, and the ability to set document-specific security.

Each list or calendar can be connected to Outlook, so we can post information to the SharePoint site without even loading it, just from inside the same tool we use to communicate with clients and partners.

3. Help people and teams stay on task with a variety of communication features that let users know when actions are required or important changes are made to existing information or documentation, including announcements, sophisticated alerts, surveys, and discussion boards.

Windows SharePoint Services is a technology that enables people to collaborate in browserbased workspaces while providing a manageable infrastructure. A variety of audiences benefit from the enhanced collaboration and productivity provided by SharePoint Services:

4. Provide creative forums for brainstorming ideas, building knowledge bases, or simply gathering information in an easyto-edit format with new templates for implementing blogs (also known as weblogs) and wikis (Web sites that can be

1. Organizations, business units, and teams seeking increased productivity and access to the people, documents, and information they need.

13017 Wisteria Dr. Suite 298, Germantown, MD 20874 toll free: 888.890.7770 - www.altronicscom.com

Who is SharePoint for?

2. Organizations of any size that want to start tactical implemen-

tation of collaboration tools, standardize existing infrastructure, or invest in strategic use of collaboration systems that integrate well with existing line-ofbusiness applications.

Getting Started with SharePoint. The best part is that many businesses already have the capability of using SharePoint and they simply don't know it. SharePoint Services is FREE and can be installed in any Windows Server. If you have Small Business Server, SharePoint may be already installed and can be accessed through what is called the Company Web (http://companyweb). Not long after releasing SharePoint Services 3.0, the Microsoft SharePoint team released a number of site templates that can be useful as well. This set of templates includes tools like Timecard Management, Employee SelfService Benefits, Job Requisition and Interview Management, Inventory Tracking and more. With a total of 40 templates ready to install and use, some of them can be a real resource for your business and can bring a new level of sophistication to the services you deliver. If you don't have SharePoint Services installed and configured or you would like to know how could it help your organization, please contact us for a no obligation implementation quote or demo at 1 888 890 7770 x101. March 2009 Page |3


TechnologyUPDATE 3 Critical Things You MUST Have In Place Now To Guarantee Your Business Could Be Back Up and Running Fast In The Event Of A Data-Erasing Disaster

Are You Ready to Hit Your Computer With A Hammer?

Can’t afford to be down for days? Then take heed to these 3 easy (but critical!) steps to make sure you never have to experience extended downtime, data loss or corruption:

Call us before March 31st. to troubleshoot any computer problem and get 25% discount.

Keep an on-site AND off-site copy of your data. You never want to rely solely on an on-site backup. If a fire, flood, natural disaster or burglary happens, you’re out of luck. Plus, it’s smart to have a backup of your backup – especially when it comes to your businesses data!

Present this coupon to your technician upon arrival

We will also review your computer for hidden problems and tell you if you are at risk of virus attacks or loosing data.

Call 1-888-890-7770 x 4 Expires: 3/31/2009

Throw your old tape-drive backups out the window! If you’re still using tape drive backups you could be in for a HUGE surprise when you try to pull the data off of them. Tapes are highly volatile and have a failure rate of 100%. ALL tape drives fail at some point, and often without warning. Plus swapping tapes is a major pain! There are far easier and more reliable ways to backup your data. If you want some suggestions, please call our office. Image your server and workstations. Imaging your server and workstations is similar to taking a “snapshot” or “picture” of your hard drive. Not only does it make a copy of the information (data) that is stored on them, but it also makes a copy of all the software programs, personal settings, favorites, desktop icons, network settings, printer configurations and EVERYTHING exactly as it is in your current computer. This will enable you to be back up and running in 90 minutes versus days because rebuilding a server that has crashed, burned or been otherwise incapacitated takes time.

Don’t Let Your Luck Run Out! To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, We’re Giving Away Free Disaster-Recovery Checkups! Call us during the month of March and we’ll do a complete Disaster Recovery Checkup to see if you could be back up and running FAST in the event of a major network disaster. You are under no obligation to buy anything so call today! If nothing else, you’ll know just how reliable your backup is; and if we find a problem, you’ll have the chance to make it right before a problem happens.

HURRY! Offer Ends March 31, 2009! 13017 Wisteria Dr. Suite 298, Germantown, MD 20874 toll free: 888.890.7770 - www.altronicscom.com

Cannot be combined with any other offer No cash value.

Move Your Website to our Servers And Save $91

Altronics provides Managed Hosting for many small business around the world. Upgrade your hosting service to us and we will reduce your first year rate to just $4.90 a month; that is a total of $91 savings!

Expires: 3/31/2009 Cannot be combined with any other offer. No cash value. New customers only.

March 2009 Page |4


Technology Update March 09