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.

Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

Software runs our lives. It certainly runs your business. What if I told you that this essential cog in your business’ operations can also be the thing that is most susceptible to being exposed by outside attackers? It’s true, software can be the very door that hackers and scammers need to get into your network and run amok. Let’s take a look at the unsung service that is patch management and why it is so important. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

How to Determine Which Productivity Suite Is Right for Your Business

How to Determine Which Productivity Suite Is Right for Your Business

The productivity suite is one of the most utilized software combos going. Usually it comes with a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a note taking program, and a presentation creator. There are other pieces of software included in some of today’s most dynamic options, but for our purposes we are going to limit it to these. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Document Your IT Infrastructure

Document Your IT Infrastructure

Quick, off the top of your head, how many network switches are in use at your office? How many wireless access points? How many routers are past their warranty or no longer getting support?

That’s not a question most business owners are asked on a regular basis, and we don’t really expect you to be able to rattle off the answers. You should have all of that information documented though.

0 Comments
Continue reading

More Than 70 Percent of PCs Run Windows 10

More Than 70 Percent of PCs Run Windows 10

Ever since Windows 10 debuted in July of 2015, it has slowly risen in its market share. This has continued throughout the tumultuous times that 2020 has provided, as the OS has now reached a market share of 72.2 percent as of October. Let’s go over why this matters, and why—if you haven’t done so yet—you need to add your organization’s PCs to that number.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Is Automation Really a Threat for Workers?

Is Automation Really a Threat for Workers?

Automation has helped many businesses improve their output and efficiency, but what is the cost to the people that work for these organizations? Many systems rely on the autonomy of artificial intelligence systems to keep certain tasks and workflows on point. Automation could replace up to a quarter of the current workforce in the next ten years, so people are naturally skeptical and worried about how safe their jobs are going to be with more and more businesses utilizing software automation. 

0 Comments
Continue reading

Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Flash Player—the familiar Adobe web application that first premiered in 1996—is finally going into retirement at the end of the year. This is quite a big deal, as Flash Player was (at least initially) instrumental to many of the platforms that so many rely on these days. However, what will this mean for your business?

0 Comments
Continue reading

Google Adding Features to the G Suite

Google Adding Features to the G Suite

It is apparent that Google is deeply invested in the G Suite, as they recently added an assortment of features to make basic processes much simpler and more convenient for their users. Here, we’ll go over a few of these updates, and how they can positively influence your operations.


Search Chips in Gmail

All G Suite subscribers will soon see improved search capabilities within Gmail, as Google’s developers have added an extra feature to help narrow down search results. Once a search is performed within Gmail, contextual options will appear below the search field.

For instance, let’s say you were looking for a specific email from your colleague Brian. Simply searching for “Brian” would bring up a mess of messages, chats, updates, and invites. Search Chips allows you to narrow your search by various filters without manually typing them. So, if you knew that the message from Brian you were looking for had a PDF attached, you can search for emails from Brian with PDFs attached.

Again, while this feature is currently exclusive to the G Suite, all Gmail accounts will soon have this capability built in.

Expanded Out of Office Notifications

Are you planning on being out of the office for an extended amount of time? Google is adding a feature that allows you to present this information in more context to your contacts who have access to your Google calendar. Suppose you have a vacation scheduled in your Google calendar. If Brian wanted to get in touch with you during that time, he would see that you were gone and when to expect you back.

Google Docs Autocorrect and Smart Compose

Google Docs (at least, the online version) is being augmented with the ability to automatically correct a user’s errors as they type – something many users will likely find to be a welcome addition. This feature is slated to be released to select G Suite subscription types. Likewise, select G Suite subscriptions may have noticed Smart Compose predictions appearing in their Google Docs as of late.

Admin Console Improvements

Administrators should be happy to see the assorted improvements that have been made to their Admin consoles, and we’re talking about more than the aesthetic changes. The entire interface’s integration has been improved, with more context provided in the options.

Context Aware Access in G Suite

There are just some things that different levels in an organization need and don’t need, respectively, which means that certain users shouldn’t be able to access certain things.  While admins were once only able to differentiate access control through organizational units, you can now control access via a user’s identity and the context that is inferred by a request. This means more granular control over your data, and by extension, more secure data. However, to use this feature, you have to be a G Suite user of Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, Cloud Identity Premium, or Drive Enterprise.

Which of these additions do you find the most promising? Do you wish any were more widely available? Let us know in the comments!

0 Comments
Continue reading

Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

IT administrators are pretty particular about what software is used on the networks that they manage. This is not because we have any vested interest in the software itself, it’s because of the inherent reliability of the software they manage. They’ve tested it, they manage it, they know it. When an organization starts dealing with employee-downloaded software--especially if there is no procedure in place to report additions to IT--they can quickly lose control over the network. 


The software that isn’t properly vetted (or even reported most of the time) is called shadow IT. Since it’s the IT administrator’s job to oversee the data security and overall effectiveness of your company’s technology deployments, shadow IT can present them with a bunch of risk.  IT administrators hate risk. Today, we’ll take you through the good and bad of shadow IT.

Shadow IT is Bad

Most of the people that work with a computer have been working with similar technology for a long time. While they aren’t IT experts, they know what software works best for them. That experience will often result in them downloading software that hasn’t been approved by their company’s IT department or outsourced IT service vendor. This software, while useful for the user, may be a major problem for an organization, for several reasons.

The main issue is that any software that is downloaded may come with adware, spyware, malware, vulnerabilities, and other nefarious code that can put a business at risk. Worse yet, that software isn’t known to your IT admin, keeping it from the routine maintenance it needs to keep it from being a vulnerability. If your business carries vulnerable software, it can create a breachable hole in your network. So, while you may not see continuous problems, risk is magnified. 

What are the risks? Here are a few:

  • A lack of security - Without the visibility and control over network-attached resources, IT management becomes much more difficult. If there is a potential that a piece of software can put a hole in your network, you are compromising the network’s security.
  • Problems with performance - If the tool that’s implemented doesn’t mesh with the system it’s installed on, the app’s performance--and thus the user’s--will be compromised.
  • Compliance problems - If your organization needs to meet certain compliance standards, the presence of unmanaged software makes it almost impossible to meet said standards.
  • Data loss - If IT management doesn’t know that a software is on the network, it won’t be covered by organizational backup strategies, meaning work completed using shadow IT apps won’t be backed up.

The minute you understand the risks, it becomes clear why IT admins typically don’t like shadow IT at all.

Can Shadow IT be Good?

Risky behavior can be a major problem for a business. It can also result in significant reward. According to a study conducted in 2019, there is a shift in the way that IT admins are looking at shadow IT. This is mainly the result of organizations looking to improve productivity and to use available capital more effectively. For the detrimental risk that shadow IT can bring a company, there is an opportunity to save time and cut costs.

The study, which included 1,000 IT professionals, showed that a whopping 77 percent believe that embracing shadow IT solutions can help a company innovate quicker than their direct competition. That’s not all.

  • 49 percent said that shadow IT boosts productivity.
  • 45 percent said that shadow IT helps promote employee engagement.
  • 40 percent said that shadow IT helps promote adherence to IT security requirements.
  • 40 percent said that shadow IT would help reduce employee turnover.

Effectively, two-fifths of IT admins said that shadow IT’s detriments could be ignored. That’s not to say that I know any IT administrator that would be totally okay with having unsupported applications on company-owned machines. Not one would deliberately put a gaping hole in their organization’s network to boost productivity. 

What they would promote is the use of shadow IT that is brought onto the network through employee-owned devices. This practice is being shown more leniency now more than ever. After all, IT admins can’t possibly be responsible for every piece of software brought onto the network by employees. They bring laptops, and tablets, and smartphones, and IoT devices, and with all those devices, there are bound to be programs that IT admins typically wouldn’t want on there, but would accept if it kept decision makers happy and productivity high.

If you would like to learn more about shadow IT, what constitutes shadow IT, or have any other software and maintenance questions, call our knowledgeable professionals today at (732) 291-5938.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Why Managed Services: IT Procurement

Why Managed Services: IT Procurement

Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Why Microsoft 365 is a Solid Option for Businesses

Why Microsoft 365 is a Solid Option for Businesses

Microsoft 365 has been on the market for a while now, and we thought it would be a good time to go into the different tiers of the platform to give you an idea of what it is, why it is useful, and how your business fits into the latest cloud platform offered by Microsoft. Let’s start with what it is.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts for Slack

Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts for Slack

Collaboration is crucial in today’s work environment, which is one reason that solutions like Slack are so popular among businesses. Another reason that Slack is a popular option is how user-friendly it is - especially with the many shortcuts that are built in. We’ll go over a few of these shortcuts.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Fuel Productivity with Collaboration Tools

Fuel Productivity with Collaboration Tools

The modern perspective of productivity would not be possible without the use of collaboration tools. Some of them are so game changing that they can completely revolutionize the way you hold meetings, deal with clients, and manage in-house processes. We’ll discuss how you can implement collaboration tools that work for your business, as well as use them to overcome the many challenges you might face in a business environment.

0 Comments
Continue reading

SQL Server 2008 R2 Has Reached the End of the Line

SQL Server 2008 R2 Has Reached the End of the Line

Technology doesn’t last forever, and this is especially true for software solutions. Granted, software is a little easier to upgrade than hardware, as they can be administered patches and updates remotely, but what happens after that support ends? Well, it turns out that the widely used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be reaching their end of support date soon, meaning businesses will need a plan in place to overcome these challenges.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Unified Software Brings Multiple Benefits

Unified Software Brings Multiple Benefits

People have come a long way in a very short amount of time. The development of tools designed to make tasks easier have pushed people from hunter/gatherers across the known solar system in the matter of only a few thousand years. One way humans are able to do so much with seemingly so little is though ingenuity, but another is through consolidating management.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tech Term: What are All These “-Wares?”

Tech Term: What are All These “-Wares?”

When you’re talking about something to do with a computer, you’re going to start hearing about some word that ends with “-ware.” You could probably list off a few yourself, but have you ever stopped to think about why they’re all described as “something-ware?” For this week’s Tech Term, we’ll take a peek at why we refer to things that way.


Why ‘Ware?’
It does seem like a strange part of the word, unless you look back to where we get it. According to Wiktionary, Software was first coined as a term in 1953, and was named based upon the fact that the term for the physical elements of the computer were already known as hardware. A quick peek into the online Merriam-Webster dictionary gives us a few definitions for the root of that word, ware.

The ones we’re concerned with are the first and the last definitions in the first entry: “manufactured articles, products of art or craft,” and “an intangible item (such as a service or ability) that is a marketable commodity.” We can combine these to give us a fair representation of what soft-’ware’ means: “manufactured articles to provide a service that is marketable.” After all, what is a computer program, if not an assortment of code meant to complete a specific task desired by a specific audience?

The word was first coined by Paul Niquette in 1953.

Different Software ‘Wares’
As you may imagine, there are plenty of varieties of ‘wares.’ Wiktionary.org offers a pretty impressive list of software types, with names derived from ‘-ware’, including the ones that you’ve already heard about, and some that are minutely specific. We’ll go over a few of these lesser-known varieties here:

Dreamware - This software type covers those that have not yet begun development and are still in the “what if there was a software that…” phase. Many of these projects never begin development, remaining something that some software developer once dreamt up.

Trialware - This variety of software is that which is only available to the user for a limited period of time, after which it is only available in a restricted form (if at all). This can be considered the free sample of software, offering just enough to make you want more.

Crapware - You know how a new computer often comes pre-installed with programs that you have no interest in, let alone the need for? This is what is known as crapware, as it takes up space without really offering anything to you. Another four-letter synonym for ‘crap’ can also be combined with “-ware” to make another, more forceful term for this variety.

Foistware - Malware can often come bundled with other, more legitimate software titles, to be installed without the user knowing. Of course, other programs can do this as well. Foistware is the term given to these software stowaways.

Fanware - Professionals aren’t the only ones capable of writing code, and even professionals will continue their coding in their off hours. Fanware describes the products that special-interest coders write to promote that interest.

Nagware - Another version of trialware, nagware describes a software title that will interrupt a user with persistent reminders to register it. Nagware will often disable the use of the program for short intervals during use, or display pop-up dialog boxes. In essence, this kind of trialware is designed to coerce a user into purchasing the full version through annoyance.

Garageware - This is a not-so-nice term for software that simply doesn’t perform as it should or has a lot of mistakes. The name is meant to suggest that the creators were total amateurs, developing this program literally in their garage.

Again, this is just a short list of the many different software varieties out there. What other ones have you heard of? Share them in the comments!

0 Comments
Continue reading

Communications Are a Big Part of New Productivity Software

Communications Are a Big Part of New Productivity Software

When people find new reasons to collaborate, it typically results in something positive. There is some new software that is now making collaboration easier, while still providing people the tools they need to stay productive. These collaboration tools are changing the face of business. Today, we take a look at them and how your organization can use these new collaboration tools to move business ahead faster.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Are Higher Gas Prices Costing Your Business?

Are Higher Gas Prices Costing Your Business?

The price of fuel per gallon is one of the many ways individuals are affected by the constantly shifting industry costs, and for those who commute to the office, it can become a considerable expense. For distributors, the changes in gas prices can be the difference between sitting on a gold mine or losing valuable resources. For the small distributor, changes in gas prices can make all the difference in determining how much it costs to truck goods across the area. How can smaller businesses take advantage of IT solutions to keep costs down while gas prices increase?

0 Comments
Continue reading

Understanding the Importance of .Net Framework

Understanding the Importance of .Net Framework

If you’re a habitual user of the Microsoft Windows operating system, there’s a relatively good chance that you’ve been prompted to install something called “.NET framework.” Pronounced “dot-net,” this framework is most commonly used for Windows. In this blog, we’ll go over what a software framework is and is for, as well as examine what makes .NET stand out.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Which Management Software Is Right for Your Business?

Which Management Software Is Right for Your Business?

On the surface, you might think that customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) are the same exact thing. However, they both have very specific niches for a business--particularly when it comes to managing organizational assets and interactions with consumers. Here are some of the specific situations in which you’ll find these solutions helpful.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM solution is specifically designed to provide a service-oriented organization with a way to communicate with clients--both current and prospective. A CRM solution can be used to automate certain functions, which makes for a much easier sales funnel in several ways. The ways a CRM can improve a business:

  • Better customer communications
  • Organization for your sales teams
  • Revenue creation
  • Ability to target potential customers
  • Customer loyalty and satisfaction

All in all, a dedicated CRM can help keep your customers devoted to your brand or product, securing your business' future through repeat sales and building leads that work to build revenue. In short, it’s the ideal way to manage operations, onboard new clients, and guide them through your sales process.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Rather than work on the consumer end of the business model, the enterprise resource planning solution is designed to help a manufacturer manage internal operations, as well as many other functions that contribute to optimizing efficiency. You can think of the Enterprise Resource Planning solution as the central hub for your business’s assets. Some of the ways that a business benefits from an ERP are:

  • Procurement and distribution of assets
  • Seamless data sharing between departments
  • Streamlining communication between departments

In short, an ERP is meant to keep your business’s internal operations as streamlined as possible through constant connectivity to important assets and resources. It allows for seamless data sharing throughout your organization to ensure efficiency between the separate departments at work within every manufacturer. This effectively makes your business' internal processes much more streamlined.

It’s easy to see why the two could be confused, but a ERP and CRM are two fundamentally different solutions as they are for two totally separate types of businesses. The ERP hopes to increase profits by streamlining the way that you approach your internal operations, while a CRM improves profitability by optimizing the revenue creation strategies your business uses.

How would your business benefit from these software solutions? To find out how, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Managing Your Software Requires Three Actions

Managing Your Software Requires Three Actions

It’s imperative that your organization’s software is managed properly. If you can’t do this, then your operations can suffer in the long run. While this might sound like a lot of work, software management isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you break it down into compartmentalized tasks. Ultimately, you can group it into three major steps: leveraging available assets, testing strategies, and understanding the software.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Mobile? Grab this Article

QR Code

Customer Login

News & Updates

  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...

Contact us

Learn more about what The Connection, Inc can do for your business.

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