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So far spire has created 155 blog entries.

Happy 23rd birthday to Spire!

Yes – Spire t3200698568_e113eab2a9_ourns 23 today.  We’ll be celebrating a bit today during the lunch hour!  Thanks for your support all these years!

By |2016-11-11T17:41:40+00:00February 25th, 2016|Newsletter|Comments Off on Happy 23rd birthday to Spire!

Office365 streamlines management of software licenses

office365_400x400Manage People, not software licenses and keys

You’ve probably had one or more of the following things happen in your business:

  • You need to reinstall some software on a new computer, but you can’t find the media or serial numbers.
  • An employee needs some software installed on a home computer, so they can work from home.
  • Someone leaves the company, or you need to make personnel changes.

Office 365 simplifies license management by making it so you are managing people, not keys. When dealing with large numbers of users keeping all of their licensing straight can be challenging, but Office 365’s easy-to-use website has streamlined license management:

  • Software is downloaded. No license keys are needed, instead it’s based on employee logins. Need to reinstall? No problem.
  • Each person can install the office software on up to 5 devices, including tablets and home computers.
  • Staff reductions or changes? No problem, reassign your licenses to new users or reduce your […]
By |2016-11-11T17:41:41+00:00January 7th, 2016|Newsletter|Comments Off on Office365 streamlines management of software licenses

We are (mostly) exiting residential DSL business

Changes in the market and technology

We have decided to (mostly) stop providing residential DSL services in the Centurylink service area.  DSL internet has been a shrinking part of our business for some time, and now represents less than 4% of our services revenue.  Independent ISP’s like SpireTech have faced increasing competitive pressures from larger companies that want to own the connection to your home.  A few key contributing factors to our decision are as follows:

  1. In August 2015, Centurylink stopped allowing third party Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to easily sign up new DSL customers via a website. The new process requires calling in with the customer on hold for 30 minutes or more, which isn’t fun for anyone.
  2. Centurylink and Frontier do not provide 3rd party ISP’s access to their faster fiber network. Our customers are limited to copper circuits, which max out at 7mb/sec. Furthermore, “spectral interference” from the Centurylink fiber network often interferes with copper DSL loops which has forced some affected clients […]
By |2016-11-11T17:41:41+00:00January 7th, 2016|Newsletter|Comments Off on We are (mostly) exiting residential DSL business

How to take notes on your Surface device

used with permission from the Microsoft Devices Blog

250surfaceproWriting a report, research paper or even a novel is easy on your Surface.

The Surface family of devices is known for its versatility, and nowhere is that more evident than in the many ways you can interact with your Surface. Whether it’s through the keyboard, Surface Pen, or by voice, you can always connect with loved ones, friends, and colleagues.

Taking notes on your Surface is a great example. Jotting a quick note or even writing a long-form story can be done by typing, writing by hand, or even by dictation.

And with Windows 10, your Surface continually collects and assesses your handwriting and voice so it can improve character recognition and provide you with a personalized user dictionary and text completion suggestions.

Keyboard

For most people, typing is the easiest way to take notes on a Surface device. On a Surface 3, Surface Pro 3 or Surface Pro 4, […]

By |2016-11-11T17:41:41+00:00January 7th, 2016|Newsletter|Comments Off on How to take notes on your Surface device

10 low-cost ways to market your business

used with permission from Microsoft For Your Business

250marketing_tipsToo many small-business owners think marketing is like a trip to the dentist—something you just have to do every six months or so.

When marketing is continuous and targeted, business gets easier. If prospects have a positive view of your products and reputation, you’re that much closer to getting a sale.

Here are 10 ideas for doing that—on the cheap.

1. Take steps to make customers feel special.

Customers respond to being recognized, especially in these rush-rush, get-the-lowest-price times. “Even with a web-based business, good customer service is possible,” says Denise McMillan, Co-owner of Plush Creations, an online retailer of handcrafted travel bags. McMillan encloses a small, rose-scented sachet in every jewelry and lingerie bag she sells and also sends a handwritten thank-you note. “The sachet and note cost pennies but add something special to the purchase,” she says.

2. Create business cards that prospects keep.

Most business cards are tossed within hours […]

By |2016-11-11T17:41:41+00:00January 7th, 2016|Newsletter|Comments Off on 10 low-cost ways to market your business

Innovations you’ll be using next year

250innovationsused with permission from HP Technology at Work

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look at some of the innovative tech primed to make a splash in the New Year. While some of these tech trends have already begun to garner attention, what will really launch them into the public consciousness is the way each seeks to rewrite the rules for its industry in order to do something new—from improving bad cell phone reception to reinventing 3D printing for a new generation of businesses.

Multi-cell networks

Wireless providers traditionally operate in siloes. They have their own plans, their own defined networks, and sometimes even their own phones. As a result, reception in different locations can be inconsistent from network to network—as is evident in wireless providers’ coverage maps. Multi-cell networks seek to solve that problem by overlapping two or more networks to create a “network of networks”.1

One example is Google’s Project […]

By |2016-11-11T17:41:41+00:00January 7th, 2016|Newsletter|Comments Off on Innovations you’ll be using next year

Business after the EMV liability shift

used with permission from HP Technology at Work

250bizafteremvWhat is EMV chip card technology? Is it really more secure than magnetic stripe technology? Is compliance worth the cost of upgrading? It’s been over a month since the “EMV liability shift” went into effect in the U.S. on October 1, 2015, but many businesses still have unanswered questions.

To help you get the answers you need to minimize your liability, we’ve enlisted expert insight from Lorena Kubera, VP & GM of HP Retail Solutions Global Business Unit, and Cory McElroy, Director of Product Management & Marketing for HP Retail Solutions.

Here’s what you need to know to master the EMV shift.

Q: What is EMV?
A:
 EMV stands for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa,” the three companies that originally developed this chip card technology in the mid-1990s. Simply put, the technology embeds a secure computer chip in the body of a credit card. This chip stores the payment application and […]

By |2016-11-11T17:41:41+00:00December 7th, 2015|Newsletter|Comments Off on Business after the EMV liability shift

A new kind of smart car

used with the permission of http://thenetwork.cisco.com, by Mary Gorges

250smartcarWith things like Bluetooth, sensors, cameras and even satellite radio becoming commonplace in today’s modern car, our vehicles are already ultra connected. But what if cars themselves were connected to each other? That’s the idea behind technology referred to as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication.

The new technologies would enable cars to send drivers alerts for such things as a chain-reaction collision a few cars up the road, someone about to drive through a red light, braking vehicles ahead and vehicles in blind spots—real-time, anonymous, information about other cars and the environment around them.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $42 million in federal money to pilot the next-generation technologies, specifically in three locations:  New York City, Wyoming and Tampa, Fl. Quoting U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox from the DOT press release, “Through these types of smart investments, we are opening the door to a safer […]

By |2016-11-11T17:41:41+00:00December 7th, 2015|Newsletter|Comments Off on A new kind of smart car

Encourage your kids to participate in the Hour of Code™

hour-of-code-logoComputer science is a foundation for every student. Join us in encouraging your kids to try the Hour of Code.  It’s easy, free, and fun.  My 12-yr old daughter tried an hour of Minecraft coding this weekend and enjoyed it.

Sign up at hourofcode.com where students of all ages can choose from a variety of self-guided tutorials, for kindergarten and up. Tutorials work on any modern browser, tablet, or smartphone.
Code.org’s own tutorials feature Disney’s Frozen, Scrat from Ice Age, Angry Birds, and Plants vs. Zombies as well as several new tutorials released just for this year’s hour of code.

With the Hour of Code, computer science has been on homepages of Google, MSN, Yahoo! and Disney. Over 100 partners joined together to support this movement. Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as […]

By |2016-11-11T17:41:42+00:00December 7th, 2015|Newsletter|Comments Off on Encourage your kids to participate in the Hour of Code™

SpireTech achieves Microsoft Cloud Service Provider 1-Tier status

SpireTech is excited to announce that we have been accepted into Microsoft’s CSP (Cloud Service Provider) program at the direct, 1-Tier level.

SpireTech clients can now enjoy unified billing, support, and management services for Office 365 and Azure products. SpireTech President Scott Cook said “Adding Microsoft Cloud services to our portfolio is a natural extension of what we are already doing for our clients, including 100% local IT management services, VIP Support, and hosted private cloud services.”

SpireTech’s pricing for Office365 and available bundles can be viewed at: Office 365.

Office 365 through SpireTech is bundled with SpireTech’s 100% local VIP support services. Existing SpireTech clients that are subscribed to our Proactive support package will receive a discount off of our listed prices for Office 365.

For more information or assistance in selecting your Office365 solution, please contact us today.

 

By |2016-11-11T17:41:42+00:00December 3rd, 2015|Newsletter|Comments Off on SpireTech achieves Microsoft Cloud Service Provider 1-Tier status