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Network Solutions Unlimited Blog

Network Solutions Unlimited has been serving the Decatur area since 2013, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How Businesses Have Responded to the Pandemic with IT

How Businesses Have Responded to the Pandemic with IT

Unfortunately, we are not yet rid of the concern of COVID-19 and the impact that it has had on business survivability. With “business as usual” requiring a few drastic adjustments to continue, it is important that small businesses are able and willing to embrace these changes. Research conducted by Salesforce presented in their fourth Small & Medium Business Trends Report shows that many businesses are seeing the importance of these changes.

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Looking to Improve Your Technology Skills? Look to YouTube

Looking to Improve Your Technology Skills? Look to YouTube

While it’s hard to say anything positive about the COVID-19 pandemic, it has given many business owners the motivation to pick up a few more technical skills. Many have sought to improve their own grasp on the software, marketing, and telecommunications that their business relies on each day. As these business owners have done so, they have often turned to a very popular resource: YouTube.

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Understanding the New Normal for Businesses

Understanding the New Normal for Businesses

The world isn’t the same as it was at this time last year. With months of question marks surrounding business, and with more people than ever searching for their place, companies have had to make some operational concessions that, if we were to assess the situation today, don’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon. 

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When It Comes to Your Technology Policies, Don’t Forget These Three Details

When It Comes to Your Technology Policies, Don’t Forget These Three Details

If you haven’t kept your most up-to-date policies and procedures written down somewhere, you absolutely must correct this as soon as possible. A written guide to your business’ policies and procedures is crucial, as it is intended to give your team a resource to turn to for an answer to any questions concerning their employment. Let’s go over some things you must include in your written employee handbook.

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Tip of the Week: How to Adapt to a Business Disaster

Tip of the Week: How to Adapt to a Business Disaster

“Stuff” happens. While this may not be the kind of thing you want to consider in terms of your business’ operations, it is something that must be done if you want to be prepared for the moment when all of that “stuff” hits the fan (as so many businesses are now learning firsthand). We wanted to share a few best practices and tips to help you stay positive during this, and other, serious crises.

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What are Tech Industry Giants Doing About COVID-19?

What are Tech Industry Giants Doing About COVID-19?

While COVID-19 has largely dominated the public awareness and created huge shifts and interruptions to businesses of all sizes, small businesses have clearly been impacted the most--essential and non-essential businesses alike. Of course, this doesn’t mean that large enterprises and corporations aren’t also affected. The difference is, these enterprises and corporations are sometimes better equipped to do something about it… which many have.

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Understanding How Technology Impacts C-Level Business Roles

Understanding How Technology Impacts C-Level Business Roles

We’ve all heard the title CEO before, business shorthand for Chief Executive Officer. In fact, it may be a title that you hold yourself. While the CEO of a company is undoubtedly important, it is crucial to consider what other c-level roles should also be filled. As a technology-centric company, we often consider roles like the CIO, the CTO, and soon enough, the CDO to be just as important. 

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A Brief Review of (Some) VoIP Features

A Brief Review of (Some) VoIP Features

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions famously offer businesses some significant cost savings. While this may be the extent of many people’s understanding of its value, VoIP actually has a lot more to offer. That’s why we wanted to go over just a few of its benefits - to provide a bit of insight into what makes VoIP such a great choice for today’s organizations.

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Taking a Look at the Future of Cybersecurity

Taking a Look at the Future of Cybersecurity

How concerned are you with your business' cybersecurity? When you envision your business in the future, do you see yourself constantly fighting cyberattacks, or paying ransom? Hopefully not, but what if cybersecurity turns into one of the most difficult parts to maintaining a steady business? Today, we will look into the future and hypothesize what your business may need to do to defend against cybercriminals. 

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The Other Features of VoIP Fuel Business Communications

The Other Features of VoIP Fuel Business Communications

For the small business looking to transform both their communications system and their IT budget, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great solution. VoIP can deliver clear and reliable calling services that some landline services simply don’t offer. We take a look at VoIP’s more interesting features in this week’s blog.

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Tip of the Week: Three Ways the Cloud Boosts Businesses

Tip of the Week: Three Ways the Cloud Boosts Businesses

Thanks to the increasing capabilities of modern computing networks, businesses have been able to experience enhanced productivity. One such capability, cloud computing, has allowed businesses to reach outside of their physical location to conduct their operations. Here, we’ll review some of cloud computing’s other benefits.

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Four Essential Business Software Types to Consider

Four Essential Business Software Types to Consider

While each business today features its own balance of company culture and processes, there are certain varieties of software that all companies in operation today should be leveraging. Here, we’ll go over what these solutions are, and how they can benefit you.

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Your New Smartphone Probably isn’t Much Smarter Than Your Last One

Your New Smartphone Probably isn’t Much Smarter Than Your Last One

The difference in today’s mobile devices and those that came years before used to be staggering, but in recent years, the differences in power and functionality have started to wane. Manufacturers have begun to roll out devices with only minor changes in power, but with exorbitant increases in cost. For the first time, in 4Q of 2017, the smartphone saw stagnation, and we’ll try to get to the root of it.

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All Work and No Play Makes Fewer Opportunities

All Work and No Play Makes Fewer Opportunities

The office is a workplace, so it most likely isn’t a place that is often associated with fun and games. However, different aspects of games have been shown to provide significant benefits when introduced into the professional environment. Today, we’ll explore some of the ways that a little frivolity may benefit your office.

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Getting to the Root Cause of an IT Issue Means Seeing the Big Picture

Getting to the Root Cause of an IT Issue Means Seeing the Big Picture

When your business experiences an IT outage, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A typical response (after expressing frustration) is, “How long until operations resume?” An answer to this question isn’t always obvious, which leads to another question, “Why did my system go down in the first place?” Being able to quickly and accurately ascertain what’s behind an IT outage is a responsibility that every business should have handled, yet implementing such a procedure is often overlooked until it’s too late.

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How Scrapping a Few Workstations is Like Gaining a New Employee

How Scrapping a Few Workstations is Like Gaining a New Employee

Do you still rely on desktops in your office? While many organizations still use workstations almost exclusively, it has become clear that mobile devices present a certain advantage over “landlocked” devices like desktops. A recent study highlights the importance of mobile devices and the increased obsolescence of desktops.


Digital Strategy Consulting found that mobile technology--including mobile devices and applications--are capable of boosting worker productivity by 34 percent. If your organization hopes to expand and grow in the future, you should keep this statistic in mind, as it could make all of the difference.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers behind this 34 percent increase. In terms of the average worker’s productivity, this is a gain of about 240 hours of work per year. Thus, switching only a few employees from their desktops to mobile devices like laptops would be like onboarding a full-time employee. That means more workers, which means more work that’s getting done. Or, you can just keep this extra revenue stashed away in the event of an emergency, like a hardware failure or otherwise. Basically, this gives you a whole new reason to perish the thought that desktops allow for reduced cost savings from not upgrading right away.

In other words: businesses are losing money by not making an immediate switch to mobile devices. Employees who are limited to only doing work on their desktop workstations are essentially performing at less-than-maximum capacity, doing 34 percent less work than they could be. While it might be tempting to buy into the fact that your workstations aren’t costing you any money since they’re already purchased and accounted for, these machines will only serve to be more costly than you’d prefer in the long run.

This presents yet another point--younger workers, many of which are millennials, prefer the use of mobile devices over desktop workstations. Even better, they’re highly skilled at it, as they’ve grown up with the use of these devices. It’s practically second nature for them. It’s estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up about three-quarters of the workforce, which provides an ultimatum for your organization: going mobile now will benefit your organization in the long run.

By now, it should be clear that desktops can be replaced by mobile technologies, but you may not necessarily know how to go about doing it. Since going mobile also presents unique security challenges and other issues, it’s best to rely on Network Solutions Unlimited to handle the details. We’ll help your organization overcome the various challenges of implementing mobile devices in the workplace. To learn more, reach out to us at 217-428-6449.

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Don’t Have an IT Plan for Your Business? Here are Your Options

Don’t Have an IT Plan for Your Business? Here are Your Options

Fact: if the technologies an organization depend on become unreliable, then widespread problems and losses in productivity persist. Therefore, it’s crucial for every modern business to have some kind of IT support plan in place. What’s your IT plan look like?


There are multiple approaches to IT support available for the modern business. While each approach is inherently different, they all achieve the same thing: providing professional IT assistance. Choosing the right IT support plan is dependant upon your company’s IT needs and budget. To help you make the right choice, consider these three options.

Having an In-House IT Department
Having an in-house IT staff is a most-efficient way for businesses to cover their IT needs. However, hiring and retaining IT staff can be a costly endeavor that may be out of reach for smaller companies. Meanwhile, for companies that can afford their own IT department, they can run the risk of overloading the schedules of their IT staff with time-consuming maintenance tasks.

All-too-common situations like this will often force technicians to forgo implementing new, money-saving IT initiatives for the sake of keeping the current systems running. Therefore, IT departments that are feeling this productivity pinch will want to consider supplementing the workload with co-managed IT services. This is a solution Network Solutions Unlimited provides where we come alongside your IT staff and assist them with routine IT maintenance in order to free them up so they can work on bigger IT projects.

Break-Fix IT and Help Desks
Another common approach for SMBs is to rely on an outside IT support system for when something goes wrong with their technology, like a break-fix IT company or a charge-by-the-hour IT Help Desk service. Granted, these are reliable ways to solve IT problems, but they can lead to high IT costs that are impossible to budget around. Plus, the break-fix approach fails to get at the heart of a lot of IT problems, which can often times be easily prevented with a proactive approach to IT maintenance.

Although, when it comes to IT maintenance, it’s inevitable for equipment to break down and for assistance via phone calls to be required. At Network Solutions Unlimited, we provide this kind of hands-on support for your broken technology. However, unlike the typical break-fix company which charges for support by the hour, we provide this service at a flat-rate as part of the managed service agreement, meaning that an employee experiencing a technology issue doesn't have to hesitate to contact Network Solutions Unlimited for a fix due to the fear of breaking the company budget.

Taking the Proactive Approach With Managed IT
For SMBs looking to gain access to professional IT support that won’t break the budget, managed IT service from Network Solutions Unlimited is the way to go. Managed IT is a unique offering that’s designed to minimize IT issues and downtime by taking a proactive approach to IT maintenance. Plus, thanks to managed IT being offered as a service, it’s an expense that you can budget around. This is a great way to make professional IT service affordable, costing you way less than having to onboard new IT staff or pay for a break-fix technician to come and resolve an issue.

When every modern business needs IT support, managed IT puts professional IT support within the reach of every company, no matter the company’s size or budget. Have a conversation with Network Solutions Unlimited today to learn how managed IT can meet and exceed your company’s IT needs!

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Why You Need to Have a Technology Replacement Plan

Why You Need to Have a Technology Replacement Plan

Computer hardware doesn’t last forever. Sooner or later, you’ll need to replace your equipment, or risk operations slowing to a crawl due to outdated equipment still in use. Do you have a timetable for replacing your equipment? Do you have a procedure in place to properly dispose of your old hardware? Every organization needs to think through the end-of-life and the afterlife of their computer hardware.


Plan Ahead to Replace Your Technology
Technology is no different than every other aspect of business in that it pays to have a plan. We call this an IT roadmap, which is a plan detailing what equipment needs to be replaced and at what time. A typical IT roadmap takes into account your company’s technology needs over the next one, five, or even ten years. The advantage to having an IT roadmap is that it’s easy to come up with an IT budget so you can set aside money for the equipment you need, instead of running your equipment into the ground and having to replace it when you least expect to.

Alternatively, you could put off replacing your old technology for as long as possible. Although, doing this won’t save you money like you might think it would. Instead, the cost of having to make constant repairs, losing productivity due to downtime, and missing out on the performance-enhancing solutions of the latest technologies, will all eat into your budget and set your company back.

Be Sure to Wipe Your Old Hard Drives
If you’re completely done with an old hard drive, then you’ll want to be sure to wipe all of the data on the drive before disposing of it. Getting a hard drive wiped by a professional is your safest option, which is something Network Solutions Unlimited can handle for you. Also, it’s important to remember that simply deleting your files won’t cut it, seeing as your old files will still be able to be recovered.

Properly Dispose of Your Devices
A way to properly dispose of your old technology needs to be included in your plan. Electronic equipment is made up of components containing toxic chemicals that can leak into the environment. Therefore, you’ll want to properly handle and recycle your e-waste, a task which Network Solutions Unlimited is specially equipped to do. Additionally, be warned that if you simply throw your e-waste in the trash, you’ll never know what will become of it. For example, your old hard drives could end up in the hands of hackers--which can lead to identity theft if the drive isn’t properly wiped.

When it’s time to think about new technology, you’ll find that having a plan and a schedule to replace and refresh your company’s technology will keep operations running smoothly and make these expenses more predictable. Network Solutions Unlimited can assist you in coming up with an IT roadmap that prepares your business for all of your upcoming technology expenses for years to come, as well as properly disposing of your old equipment. To get your very own IT roadmap customized to meet your company’s needs, call us today at 217-428-6449.

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Taking a Vacation From Your Technology While On Vacation Can Actually Make Things Worse

Taking a Vacation From Your Technology While On Vacation Can Actually Make Things Worse

Everyone loves a good vacation, especially if you have the good fortune of having a reliable staff on-hand that can handle the administration of your office while you’re away. Although, it might be tempting to just cut yourself off from technology and enjoy your time off, doing so might cause problems down the line that could easily be prevented by simply checking your email or calling home-base once in a while.

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Tip of the Week: You Need to Manage Your Company’s Online Reputation--Here’s How to Get Started!

Tip of the Week: You Need to Manage Your Company’s Online Reputation--Here’s How to Get Started!

Two things are true today: 1) having a good reputation is critical to the success of any organization, and 2) the Internet is a vast network where seemingly anything goes. How then can you make sure that what’s said online about your organization isn’t hurting your reputation? By taking some basic online reputation management actions, you can stay one step ahead of the virtual haters and keep your reputation intact.

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