The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Business Analytics 101

Business Analytics 101

Business analytics are a growing field, as all businesses can see benefits to their operations through the optimized performance and decision making that these kinds of analytics enable. Let’s go over business analytics, and how they can be used to your advantage when applied to your technology.

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How to Ensure Your IT Resilience

How to Ensure Your IT Resilience

How confident are you that your business could survive a data disaster of any size and scale, from a single misplaced file to a complete loss of your entire onsite infrastructure? Being prepared to recover from any version of events is key to your business’ success. Let’s discuss this concept, which is widely known as IT resilience.

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Small Businesses Face Hard Work Getting Back to Normal

Small Businesses Face Hard Work Getting Back to Normal

It isn’t exactly business as usual, but things are beginning to resemble the reality we all knew before COVID-19, thanks to the use of cloud services as a means to continue processes while social distancing is still in play. However, some businesses may still be reluctant to embrace them.

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Tip of the Week: How to Efficiently Use Chrome in Android

Tip of the Week: How to Efficiently Use Chrome in Android

Productivity is a huge priority in any business. This makes it crucial that all tasks can be picked up and put down as efficiently as possible. With mobile browsing now playing a major role in most users’ lives, the version of Chrome for Android devices is a very utilized tool. With these factors in mind, we’re sharing tips to make your use of Android Chrome that much more efficient and productive.

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Tip of the Week: Make Email Simpler

Tip of the Week: Make Email Simpler

A strong email solution can bring a great deal of continuity to a business. If it is mismanaged, however, it can quickly become a major pain point. Today, we thought we would go over a couple of ways that you can use your email platform to boost productivity, rather than waste time with it.

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Efficient IT Goes a Long Way

Efficient IT Goes a Long Way

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing businesses to rethink their operational strategies, many businesses have had to make a quick digital transformation. Many businesses have accomplished this before the stay-at-home orders, but with employees working from home, we thought this was the perfect time to take a look at four tools businesses can use to improve their work-from-home strategies. 


Analysis, In Real Time

Making prudent and qualified decisions is more important now that it has ever been before. To be able to make informed decisions, many SMBs are looking to their analytics platforms. By being able to look at how aspects of your businesses are functioning in real time, you can quickly change strategies that need to be changed in order to keep your business running efficiently.

Additionally, many analytic systems can be structured near the edge of an organization’s computing network, giving them more insight into how data is flowing in and out of their network.

Other benefits include:

  • Managing location data - Directs decision makers’ strategies by determining the relevant data for multiple locations.
  • Anomaly detection - Helps decision makers detect outlying data sets to avoid impulsive decision making. 
  • Improved marketing - Assists decision makers to make decisions based on demand when it otherwise wouldn’t be noticed.

Voice Over Internet Protocol

VoIP is one of the most useful tools for teleworkers. It provides strong communication options, highlighted by an enterprise-grade telephone system, for pennies on the proverbial dollar. Additional available options that can help remote workers such as instant messaging, text messaging, and audio and video conferencing make VoIP a powerful tool for businesses looking to sustain levels of productivity with workers out of the office. 

Automation

One of the best tools for cutting costs is process automation. A lot of businesses are trying to effectively identify processes within their workflow where they can automate mundane or repetitive tasks. By having the type of consistency automation brings to these types of tasks, businesses can utilize their human resources on more revenue-building assignments.

Tasks that can be automated include:

  • Tasks that involve moving information around
  • Frequent and mundane, but necessary tasks
  • Tasks that frequently interrupt focus on business-critical tasks

Making the investment to automate parts of your business will assuredly save your organization money. Best yet, by automating these tasks now, once operations return to normal, you will keep seeing the cost savings you do today. 

Online Sales

There are a lot of businesses that have implemented some semblance of ecommerce prior to this event, but if you haven't, or if you have a limited ecommerce platform, you could see a major bump in revenue from investing in your ecommerce platform. In retail, companies are seeing double and even triple times the sales through their ecommerce solution than they did only a few short weeks ago. Prioritizing your online sales will go a long way toward keeping revenues up while your storefront is closed.

For the small business these can be lean times. Knowing what technologies and strategies to implement will go a long way toward getting you through this period. For more information about technology and how it can work for your business during the COVID-19 period, call The Connection, Inc today at (732) 291-5938. 

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VoIP is a Great Tool for Remote Work

VoIP is a Great Tool for Remote Work

Social distancing has more or less confined many to their homes, and so many people have begun to adopt remote working to stay busy and to keep their workplaces operational. One way to assist these activities, VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) is a massively helpful tool that many businesses use. Here, we’re going over why this is.

We’ll begin by reviewing the current situation.


As COVID-19 continues to make the workplace too risky to spend time in unless it is absolutely necessary, many people have committed to isolating themselves in their homes. Fortunately, we have the technology today that allows work to still be done in this situation. Thanks to the capabilities of VoIP technologies that lean on cloud solutions, remote work and collaboration become possible.

Let’s explore how:

Remote Work is Easier with VoIP

If they’re going to work from home effectively, your employees will need the tools for the job, just like they would in the office. This includes a workstation, whether it's a laptop that travels with them or a workstation capable of accessing their resources remotely. It could also include a desk phone, which is something that is much more difficult to transfer from location to location, or at least, it once was.

VoIP now allows for this, as it runs the phone through the Internet instead of a separate dedicated line. Thanks to VoIP, your employees can make business calls with the same number they have in the office, without needing to be in the office itself. Software on their workstations, or an application on their mobile device, gives them access to their calling capabilities--along with many other features--even from home.

VoIP Offers Secure Information

Furthermore, it isn’t as though your employees will no longer need to discuss business operations as they are working from home. Communications will still be critical, but residential services just aren’t secure enough to freely talk about these matters over the phone or even a personal Internet connection. Efficiency just isn’t worth sacrificing your security for.

VoIP can help you to mitigate these challenges. By using a VPN (virtual private network) in tandem with your VoIP solution, your conversation will be shielded by a tunnel of encryption.

VoIP Plays Nicely with Other Collaborative Solutions

Many VoIP platforms will incorporate additional communication tools, such as video conferencing, to increase their functionality. Conferencing allows you to have a face-to-face discussion with the other parties involved. This can help reduce the isolated feelings that many remote workers can develop, on top of improving the quality of your communications.

Find out more about VoIP solutions and how you can adopt them yourself! Give The Connection, Inc a call at (732) 291-5938 today.

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Work and Fun Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive Concepts

Work and Fun Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive Concepts

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes, but is this really useful advice if you’re trying to keep Jack, Jill, and the rest of your team engaged in the workplace? As it happens, it is! Let’s explore how you can use gamification to your business’ benefit.

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Your Business Processes Are Everything

Your Business Processes Are Everything

The word “procedure” can easily be perceived in a negative light nowadays. It just sounds so… rote… compared to the exciting and dynamic buzzwords that so many “thought-leading, influencing, social media innovators” today toss around. Now, we don’t mean to disparage these personalities - we just want to emphasize that these innovations rely on a foundation to support them, and these foundations are based on business procedures and processes.


Let’s look at why even the most innovative businesses depend on their procedures to operate - and how a procedure can be properly created as well.

Why Processes and Procedures Matter to Businesses

If you were to list the most important qualities that a business should have, would your list include consistency? It really should. After all, if Client A, B, and C each paid for the same service, doesn’t it stand to reason that all three of them receive the same quality of service? Consistency can go a long way to support your client retention, your productivity, and any of a variety of other internal and external business considerations. Therefore, it only makes sense that establishing processes will work to your business’ benefit. 

There are a variety of ways that they can do so, for that matter. For instance, they can…

  • Help improve your business’ efficiency
  • Optimize internal and external communications
  • Minimize confusion in your operations
  • Secure accountability in your workflows
  • As mentioned above, better ensure consistency in outcomes

… so it only makes sense to invest the time it will take to standardize how your business completes certain tasks. Consider, for a moment, the modern fast food franchise.

Slight cost and menu changes aside, going to a fast food restaurant on one side of the country should be effectively identical to going to one on the other side. This is largely because there are essential processes that take place in the kitchens.

The moment a server starts to put together an order with a customer at the front counter, a screen in the back shows the order being constructed. This allows the team in the back to start putting it together, keeping the communications between the front and back teams effectively seamless. Each person back there has their own task - whether it is to cook the meat, start building the sandwiches, or finish them and send them to the front.

As a result, it isn’t unheard of for a finished sandwich to reach the customer less than a minute after they have placed their order - in fact, that’s the goal - and that is exactly how they expect it to be.

Now, while your business almost certainly has very different goals and services than a chain burger joint, there is no reason that you can’t experience similar benefits to your operations by implementing standardized procedures as well.

What Makes a Good Process

Now, this may feel like we’re getting a little into the weeds here, but not all processes are necessarily created equally. To make sure that your process is worth the time spent to formalize it, it should feature four qualities:

  • It can be repeated - There isn’t much use in a process that only applies to a specific scenario or can’t hypothetically be repeated indefinitely. A good process can apply to a variety of circumstances, and be used more than once

  • It contributes value - Any process you design should have a purpose to each step… there should never be any “busy work” involved in one of the included tasks.

  • It has a clear beginning and an end - Every process you develop should have a defined starting point, where something signifies that the procedure should commence, as well as a conclusion, where no further action needs to be taken. Each step between these points also needs to be easy to differentiate from the others.

  • The process can evolve - Of course, you aren’t going to (or at least, shouldn’t) continue using the same tools and solutions indefinitely, which will at some point impact these processes. Your processes should be able to accept these impacts without your clients seeing any ill effects.

Use Automation to Power Your Processes

If there is any issue that every business is subject to, it’s human error. Regardless of how perfect and refined your procedures are, there is always the risk that the end user will miss a step - like when the fast food worker forgets to put the pickle on your sandwich.

In your business, however, the consequences are probably a little greater than a missing crunch.

That’s why many businesses have embraced the use of automation to enhance their business processes. Not only does automation bring about the benefits we discussed above - the improved efficiency and accountability - it also helps you avoid human error at key points in your processes. Additionally, it frees up your employees to accomplish other things, perhaps related to that same process.

There are many different solutions designed to help with different tasks, and they can all play a role in your automated processes. The Connection, Inc is here to help you determine what is best for your business’ efficiency.

To learn more about how we can help you automate some of your processes, or about the other benefits that we can provide for your organization, give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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How Our Help Desk Benefits You

How Our Help Desk Benefits You

You’re likely aware that we have a Help Desk for our clients to leverage, but not all companies handle their support the same way. Here, we wanted to share a few reasons that we are confident that our approach to support is better for our clients.


This is, in part, thanks to the tools we use. While they are intended to make our jobs easier, the result is ultimately improved support for you. What follows are a few of the features that help us, help you.

Improved Organization

In most businesses, there is no shortage of requests received from their clientele. Rather than requiring an employee to record and organize all of the information that one of these requests contains, businesses today can leverage an automated process to create their tickets. As a result, these requests can be delivered to an appropriate resource faster, without the risk of being overlooked, lost in email, or incorrectly scheduled by a human being.

Furthermore, with help desk software assigning tickets to a particular resource, you are less likely to encounter instances of multiple resources attending to a given issue, which adds to the confusion and can slow down the process.

With our help desk, a ticket is generated for us once you submit your issue, and it is assigned to one resource for them to take point on it, bringing on other resources for assistance, but generally remaining your sole point of contact. As a result, all communications and updates can be found in one place, keeping us all on the same page.

Flexibility

There are a lot of ways that you can reach out to us - from our website, emailing us directly, or calling us. This not only makes it easier for us, as we can be sure that there is always some way that our clients can reach us, it also assists you.

Consider it - what if your VoIP system was on the fritz? Or your email wasn’t working? By ensuring that, again, our clients always have some way to reach us, we ensure that we can always be made aware of an issue - and that’s assuming that we didn’t spot it through our remote monitoring.

Accuracy

Let’s face it, even the kind of professionals that The Connection, Inc hires can occasionally make mistakes - we’re only human, after all. However, by using the full capabilities of our technology solutions, we can make sure that - through automation and documentation - the possibility of human error is minimized. With fewer mistakes made, and the time-intensive tasks on our end minimized, your issue is resolved faster, allowing you to return to productivity.

Our team hopes that you have acquired some additional insights as to the value that a help desk can bring you. If you are interested in learning more about implementing one, give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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Why VoIP is a Great Option for Your Business Telephony Needs

Why VoIP is a Great Option for Your Business Telephony Needs

With all the communication options available today, it can still be hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of the telephone. However, the phone is far from a perfect solution - it can be expensive, for one. However, what if there was a way for you to get a fully-featured telephone service with a variety of tools, without having to pay an arm and a leg?

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Diving Into the Differences Between Proactive and Reactive

Diving Into the Differences Between Proactive and Reactive

When it boils down to it, there are really only two ways to operate a business: proactively, or reactively. While many businesses still rely on their reactivity to deal with their technology issues, the opposite approach is demonstrably more effective for the modern business. Let’s explore some of the effects that a proactive and reactive strategy can each have on your operations.


To start, it is probably wise to establish how each approach generally works out.

What A Reactive Approach Entails

As you might imagine, a business that doesn’t adapt to the shifting landscape until something is going to directly influence it would be described as reactive. Whether it’s by boosting the company’s efficiency when a new competitor opens up, or scaling back spending after the local economy takes a significant downswing, adopting this method can present you with some significant issues.

For instance, reacting to these kinds of circumstances inherently means that your business is going to be behind the eight ball, susceptible to larger issues and their consequences. Your competition will have the lead on you, and if you’re occupied by playing catch-up, your capability to make the most of your business will be hampered.

What A Proactive Approach Entails

Comparatively, a proactive approach to IT maintenance and management takes the polar opposite approach. Rather than essentially sitting around and waiting for something to interfere with business operations, a business that leverages a proactive approach considers the data they have collected, identifies trends, and uses these insights to prepare themselves for a variety of different scenarios.

For instance, a proactive behavior we frequently recommend is to maintain an offsite data backup that is compliant to best practices. Managed services are inherently proactive, as your technology is monitored for the express purpose of catching issues early.

Turn To The Connection, Inc For Proactive Support

Of course, we don’t expect you to just take what we’re saying at face value - let us show you how beneficial our services can be. The trained team here at The Connection, Inc can keep your technology operational and optimized, ensuring your productivity.

Keep reading our blog for more benefits of working with The Connection, Inc, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance by calling (732) 291-5938. Don’t wait until doing so is a reaction!

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How Business Communications Make Your Processes Better

How Business Communications Make Your Processes Better

Business communications, which is the succinct way to say the sharing of information between people both internal and external to a company, is a key player in that company’s success. Here, we’ll analyze the different types of communication that a business could leverage, and the solutions that best enable them.

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How to Test Your Disaster Recovery Preparedness

How to Test Your Disaster Recovery Preparedness

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

This quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while it may not have actually been said by the Founding Father, it still teaches a valuable lesson - especially where disaster recovery is concerned. In other words, you need to make sure you have a working disaster recovery strategy - working being the key point.


To do that, you need to make sure that your backup and disaster recovery plans are effective, which in turn means you need to test them.

What Kind of Disasters Do You Need to Prepare For?

The first step to an effective disaster recovery strategy is to be prepared for as many scenarios as possible, as there are a wide variety of circumstances that could create a problem for your business.

  • User Errors - While many user errors may be viewed as minor inconveniences, there are plenty of ways that a disaster can result from a simple mistake on the part of one of your users. Accidental deletions, shadow IT, and other common enough scenarios can all put your business in a bad place if you aren’t prepared.
  • Key Staff Unavailability - What would happen if someone with exclusive access to key data was suddenly kept from the office, either due to some accident, a personal emergency, or some other situation? If they had exclusive access to critical business information or documents, you may find yourself stuck.
  • Equipment Failures - Any business today relies on a lot of equipment, from the machines that power their processes to the infrastructure that supports them, the technologies they use to maintain communications to the basic functions of their location like lighting and HVAC. There are also a lot of ways that the equipment you rely upon could fall short, interrupting your processes.
  • Malware - Malware has been a threat to businesses for a long time, evolving from the basic viruses that once plagued systems to the advanced threats that we see today. Adding to the threat is the fact that these attack vectors are constantly updated, meaning you have to stay vigilant against these threats.
  • Natural Disasters - These are likely the first threats that pop into your mind when you think of a disaster that needs to be recovered from. Every place on the planet is susceptible to some kind of natural disaster, whether it's a hurricane, earthquake, flood, high winds… you just need to identify your biggest risk, based on your location, and prioritize your preparations accordingly.
  • The Unexpected - There are plenty of potential situations that don’t really fit into any of the other types we went over but can still cause big problems for your business. While these scenarios are hard to predict by definition, you should do your best to be prepared for any situation.

How to Be Sure You’re Properly Prepared

In a word: testing.

There are a variety of preparations and evaluations you should routinely go through in order to be sure that your disaster recovery strategy is sufficient. Why routinely? Simple - while it may be the one that is updated the quickest, malware isn’t the only threat that develops over time. Take user errors, for example: new employees are likely going to be unaware of many threats at first, and the most accurate way to find out what they know is to evaluate them. There are even different means of evaluating your employees, which should be combined into a comprehensive test and delivered on a periodic basis.

These tests should be designed to evaluate both the technical side of your disaster recovery process and your team’s ability to carry it out. As you collect data from these tests, you should update the plan to resolve any issues that may have become apparent, as well as keep your test airtight and devoid of any weak points.

Tests that You Should Run

Like we said, there are assorted evaluation processes that your employees should all go through on a semi-regular basis. These include the following:

  • Walkthrough Test: This is simply a basic review of the plan, reading it over to ensure that everyone involved remains updated to any possible changes that may have been made.
  • Tabletop Test: Similar to a tabletop game, someone from each department comes in and is given a hypothetical disaster scenario. Each team member should explain what they would do in their given scenario. This is useful in revealing possible shortcomings in a business’ existing strategy.
  • Parallel Test: These tests are meant to evaluate how well the restoration process works, using a virtual machine to “restore” your system, which continues to run in your usual infrastructure
  • Full Interruption Testing: This test is one of the most in-depth, but also the most risk-laden, as it could lead to actual downtime. In fact, some industries have regulations barring this kind of test, so be sure to double-check with your IT resource that this option is available to you.

Disaster recovery is a critically important process for any business to see to. If you want help in ensuring yours is prepared properly, turn to the professionals at The Connection, Inc. Give us a call at (732) 291-5938 today.

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You Can Attribute a Lack of Productivity to Downtime

You Can Attribute a Lack of Productivity to Downtime

Business owners try to avoid downtime like the plague, but it’s often a challenge to do so. The impact of downtime can be devastating for even the most well-to-do business, and this is even more so the case when you bring profits and bottom lines into view. We’ll take a look at how you can calculate the cost of a downtime event.

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Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is not something that you plan for. It just happens. It happens when processes get too big, have too many moving parts, or are bogged down by excessive oversight. It happens when purposes for certain tasks change or are abandoned altogether. Other times efficiency has a different look to it and makes your optimistic projections look foolish. Whatever the reason, inefficiency is more the rule than the exception, and it’s costing your business plenty. This month, we take a look at what efficiency actually looks like and how to do your best to achieve it.

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Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Your relationships with your customers and clients are reliant on one thing more than any other: communication. In order to optimize this communication, many businesses are leveraging technology solutions, and are enjoying a variety of operational benefits as a result. Is your business one of them?


How Powering Communication with Technology Directly Benefits Your Business
Choosing the right communications is one of the most important decisions that any business can make, as the decision you make influences many levels of your operation. On the one hand, there’s the internal side of things, where the different members of your organization can keep each other in the loop. On the other, your business needs to also maintain clear communications with your clients, offering them the value they’re seeking from your services.

The technology you use can offer some assistance in accomplishing as much.

From the solutions that allow you to more effectively communicate with your clients directly, to the potential cost savings that this technology can offer (thereby allowing you to pass these savings along to your increasingly loyal clients), there is plenty of upside to augmenting your communication practices via the right technology solutions. Here, we’ll explore some of the options available for your business to utilize.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
CRM systems are a fundamental solution for any business interested in leveraging their technology as a means of improving their relationships with their clients and customers. These systems enable companies to better keep track of each of their customers and their interactions with them by centralizing all of this data into a single dashboard. This makes tracking this information far easier than if it were to be scattered about inboxes and voicemails.

Furthermore, these solutions offer integration with many other business applications that further simplify many key processes, like billing and acquiring signatures. They can even provide insight into social media behavior, allowing you to optimize your client acquisition strategy. A CRM solution can increase customer and client satisfaction by a reported 35 percent, making it an invaluable tool.

Automation
Managing your relationships with your business contacts and prospects is a formidable task, simply due to the fact that there are so many moving parts and processes when it is done correctly. It also doesn’t help that many of these relatively simple processes could potentially be overlooked, hindering your progress toward your business objective. Automating these processes can help to fix that.

Let’s consider a simple hypothetical example: let’s say that you offer a few industry-related products. Instead of having a sales representative man the phones, you can leverage automated workflows to expedite the process. Once your customer clicks “submit” on the order form, it’s possible for your sales team to be notified of what was sold, accounting to start invoicing the order, and your CRM system updated with the information… all without you needing to lift a finger. This allows you to focus more energy on your new customer, providing the highest quality service you can.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Solutions
This approach to telephony has a few benefits, but today, we wanted to focus specifically on one: its portability.

One of the keys to fostering a positive relationship with your business contacts is to be available to them. How often have you reached out to someone, only to have to wait for a response back? You don’t want to be the cause of this irritation when someone reaches out to you.

One of VoIP’s biggest benefits is the fact that it can be leveraged from anywhere an Internet connection can be made, and many options offer a mobile application. Using a VoIP solution, your calls can be directed to your smartphone, enabling you to answer when your contact calls, proving your business to be reliable.

The Connection, Inc can help you implement these solutions so that you can work on your business relationships. To learn more, call (732) 291-5938 today.

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Is Your Effort Getting Things Done?

Is Your Effort Getting Things Done?

You can’t have a successful business without a little bit of productivity. Unfortunately, some office environments can have a negative influence on the way your employees get their work done. Take a moment to ask yourself this question: “Are you simply busy, or are you actually being productive?”


These Words Are Completely Different
While it might seem like being busy and being productive are the same thing, this is quite far from the truth. For example, take a look at that worker who is constantly running around the office handling this or that. While they might be busy, they might not necessarily be productive or getting anything important done.

In theory, you could be “busy” doing anything. This doesn’t always translate to being productive, though. Think about the word itself; in order to be productive, you have to “produce” something. Whether it’s a complete sales proposal or an email to an important client, nothing that produces something and furthers a business goal can be considered non-productive.

The Issue with Comparing the Two
Unfortunately, the difference between the two is largely subjective. Let’s say you assign a research project to two employees. One of them starts watching YouTube videos while the other is typing up a document. Who is really getting the work done? If the one watching videos has found something relevant to their task and the writer is typing up something unrelated to the task, then it would be the supposed “slacker.”

This showcases how similar pure business and productivity can be. Basically, if you can fool yourself into thinking that being busy is the same as being productive, you won’t be getting anything done. Here are a couple of ways to determine whether you’re simply busy or being productive.

Take another look at how you spend your time, and compare it to how you accomplish your responsibilities. If you spend a lot of time reading about things on the Internet, they should be about something related to your job, not unrelated.

How to Identify When You’re Just “Keeping Busy”
None of these activities absolutely have to be time-wasters, but they are when they are done without a clear goal or product in mind. Many of your job’s responsibilities might not need Internet access to get them done, so staying away from wasting time on the Internet is an easy way to optimize productivity. There is always an exception to this rule, so just try to use your best judgement to determine if what you’re doing is a waste or not.

The Connection, Inc can equip your business with solutions to get the most done in the workday. To learn more, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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Tip of the Week: How to Consolidate Your Email Management

Tip of the Week: How to Consolidate Your Email Management

Quick question for you: how many email accounts do you have? How many do you have to regularly check? How many different platforms do they utilize? If there’s too many, important communications are easy to miss in the ensuing mess of messages. Fortunately, there are a few ways that this can be avoided, which we’ll review for this week’s tip.


How Many Emails Do You Need?
Depending on your office’s organization style, there may be a fair chance that you have to juggle multiple email addresses. You may have one that you use internally, one that’s client-facing, and one to interact with your vendors. However, we do have to address how many messages this could wind up being. You and your team are responsible for more than just checking emails, after all, so you don’t have the time to log into each email account you have in order to do so.

Fortunately, your email platform of choice will have the capability to handle each of these emails from each provider. First, we need to set some terminology straight:

Understanding Email
When we refer to an email account, we’re talking about the individual address used. For instance, if your organization has a branded email address, “” and “” are two different accounts.

An email client, on the other hand, it the program that you choose to use to read your emails, like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail. If these clients are stored on a single server, you can use them more or less interchangeably, as all of your emails will appear in each client.

However, this doesn’t help you if you have too many accounts to keep track of… at least, not without exercising the capabilities of your chosen email client.

Utilizing Multiple Inboxes
Those responsible for developing these email clients understand that there are assorted reasons that a user isn’t going to be tied to a single email account or provider. As a result, email clients are now designed to support multiple inboxes. This means that, if properly configured, a user can access one email client and check multiple email accounts, dividing them into folders (or combined into one large group, if so desired).

Utilizing Multiple Personalities in a Central Inbox
Alternatively, if you don’t mind the idea of using a single inbox to hold all of your correspondence but still want to respond with multiple addresses, you can use a different method. This method will collect all of your messages into a single inbox, while allowing you to select which email address (sometimes known as a personality) your response comes from.

First, you will need to set up an email with an address that you never give out. This mailbox will be the central catch-all. Then, you need to set all of the accounts you have in use to forward to that mailbox (ask your internal IT resource for help). Pretty simple so far, right?

However, you still aren’t quite done. After all, you want to be able to respond to these emails with the address that they were originally sent to, right? This is where the personalities we mentioned above come into play. Basically, your email client allows you to change the address that appears in the From: box to whichever email address is appropriate for that correspondence.

Adding Inboxes and Personalities to Your Email Client
Of course, each email client has a somewhat different approach to adjusting these settings:

Gmail
To set up multiple accounts in Gmail, click on the gear to access your Settings, then select the Accounts and Import tab. To add inboxes to your Gmail, you should see a section labeled Check mail from other accounts. In that section, follow the prompts given after you click Add a mail account.

To add new personalities to your Gmail account, follow the same steps to the Accounts and Import tab. Under the Send Mail As section, follow the instructions provided when you click Add another email address. You can also select this email address as the default selection from here.

Outlook
Unfortunately, we don’t have the information required to provide a walk-through for setting up Microsoft Outlook, as there are too many versions to cover here. Make sure you check the documentation provided online for what Microsoft describes as “connected accounts.” Of course, we are always available to help, so feel free to give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

What other tips would you like to learn for your most-used solutions? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything!

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Tip of the Week: Three Ways to Promote Operational Efficiency

Tip of the Week: Three Ways to Promote Operational Efficiency

Revenue is a key component of any business, crucial to the continued success and efficacy of it. However, in order to sustain an incoming revenue stream, a business needs to be able to operate efficiently enough to support it. In this week’s tip, we’ll review a few ways that you can build this efficiency in your own operations to assist your efforts to build a prosperous business.

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  The Connection, Inc is proud to announce the launch of our new website at http://www.tconnection.com. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our servic...

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The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730