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Computerware Blog

Computerware has been serving the Vienna area since 1976, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Are Your Vendor Relationships Actually Helping Your Business?

Are Your Vendor Relationships Actually Helping Your Business?

We’re not overestimating the importance of vendors by stating that they are literally what make your business work. The company that provides your Internet service, or the software you use to track your employees’ workflow, enables you to get work done. Operations would be impeded without the solutions these vendors offer. Of course, not all vendors provide adequate services. We’ll help you weed out the good from the bad.

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A PSA for PSA Solutions

A PSA for PSA Solutions

Productivity is one of the key ingredients for your business’ profitability. However, if a particular service has too many requirements to make it profitable, PSA (or professional services automation) software may be the right fit for your needs. Here, we’ll review what PSA software does, and how it can be a great benefit to a business in the professional services industry.

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There Are Answers In Your Company’s Data

There Are Answers In Your Company’s Data

When you’re making important decisions for your business, you need solid data to back them up. Through the use of business analytics, you can take advantage of your quantifiable data to find the right decisions for your business. We’ll discuss the process of using business analytics and how it can be used to your business’ advantage.

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Three Secrets to a Successful Business

Three Secrets to a Successful Business

It takes a lot of work and determination to make a successful small business. There are countless parts that need to be managed and maintained--so many that it can be difficult to assign a priority at times. There are certain requirements that your organization must achieve in order to remain successful, but it takes a little more than just business savvy to keep your organization ahead of the game. Let’s take a look at some of the ways your business can make itself stand out and achieve success.

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Improving the Workplace Environment Through Games

Improving the Workplace Environment Through Games

A common misconception is that a workplace can’t be fun because it’s… well, work. This isn’t true, however, as there is considerable value that can come from implementing games in the workplace. Here are some of the more likely ways that your organization can benefit from some lighthearted fun in the office.

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Don’t Let Bias Influence Your Business

Don’t Let Bias Influence Your Business

Have you ever heard of the term “bias?” It has a negative connotation to it, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. A bias can predispose you to a skewed consideration or thought when met with what is known to be a seemingly neutral stimuli. In some cases, they can cause more harm than good, which is why it’s a good thing to take another look at how you approach certain situations. Researchers have discovered several trends about why we hold certain biases, as well as how we can overcome them.

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Your Vendors Are A Huge Asset, Unless They’re Mismanaged

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Procuring equipment is a necessary part of managing any business, but this is often easier said than done. Your organization works with multiple vendors, which could be both confusing and time-consuming. How does your business manage its vendors, and is there a way to make this easier and more efficient?

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4 Steps to Getting Started With Digital Transformation

4 Steps to Getting Started With Digital Transformation

Smart business owners always look for ways to improve the way their organization functions. Digital transformation is one of these ways, as it allows for organizations to use technology to minimize waste and enhance workflow. To help you with digital transformation, we’ll walk you through what it is and how it works.

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Why Properly Managing Your Software Licenses Should Be a Priority

Why Properly Managing Your Software Licenses Should Be a Priority

Every software your company uses comes with a license, even freeware like Google Chrome and Firefox. Often times, you’ll see the license during the installation process when you’re asked to opt into the terms and conditions. We know how easy it is to blow through the pages of legal mumbo jumbo, yet, at the very least you should have a grasp of the details pertaining to the license.


By ignoring such important information, you very well could be setting yourself up for trouble down the road.

Understanding Software Licenses
Software developers are the ones that determine the licensing details of their product, which includes terms such as where and how often you can install the software, whether or not you can redistribute it, what modifications are allowed, and more. By going through with the software installation process, you’re agreeing to these terms. This grants you use of the software, as well as holds you and your organization responsible should any of the terms be violated.

Protection from having the software shared and distributed without the developer's consent (aka, theft) is one of the most common clauses found in software licenses. Additionally, if you read the fine print closely, you may spot some rather unusual terms. One of the more famous examples comes from Apple, which forbids iTunes users from creating missiles and nuclear weapons.

How Negligence Can Lead to Big Fines
For many programs, at the time of installation, the software is activated and automatically sends a message to the developer in order to authenticate the license. During this activation process, one thing that the software checks for is whether or not the particular license has been installed before, or if it’s active anywhere else. If this is detected, you won’t be allowed to proceed and use the software. In some scenarios, you may be able to still use the software and you won’t find out you’re doing so illegally until your mailbox is hit with a cease and desist letter from the developer.

Although, this worst-case scenario isn’t something to be too worried about. Typically, developers have protocols in place that allow them to catch this discrepancy and provide users with an offer to purchase additional licenses. In some cases, a business owner may even be offered
a site licensing deal which allows for the purchase of multiple licenses at a discount.

Software Auditors Want to Talk With You
One motivation for making sure your software licenses are all in order is the very real chance of an audit by a group like the Business Software Alliance (BSA). This is an organization tasked with looking into businesses suspected of abusing software licenses, like running multiple copies of Windows and Microsoft Office off a single license. Should you be found guilty of such an infraction, you’ll receive a letter in the mail that will pretty much ruin your day.

Now, you may be wondering how the BSA can even find out if a business is violating software licenses. Well, one tactic employed by the BSA is to offer whistleblowers that report software violations by their current or former employer thousands of dollars in rewards, along with full confidentiality. It’s a method that can really be effective if a particular business has any former employees that may be rather disgruntled.

Failing such an audit can lead to a major fine that ends up being way more than what it would have been to simply pay for the software licenses in the first place; or, worse yet, jail time. If you happen to receive such a letter accusing you of software license violations, then you’ll want to seek the counsel of a lawyer and the assistance of an IT professional.

How to Prevent Software License Mismanagement From Ruining Your Day
As is the case with the majority of technology-related woes, a proactive approach to managing your software licenses is the best way to prevent this problem. This includes documenting your software licenses. When doing so, be sure to keep information up to date like, how many users you have, who is using it, how many devices the software runs on, and where it is deployed. You’ll also want to track the expiration dates of all of your software licenses, along with the terms and conditions. Plus, be mindful that a typical software license will allow for a single user to install the software on perhaps a few different devices, like your workstation and home PC--which is NOT the same as splitting a single license with two different users.

It’s understandable how easy it is to overlook software licenses. However, software licenses are a necessary part of doing business, allowing for developers to protect their product so they can in turn create better versions of the software you use every day.

To understand the status of your company’s various software licenses, a good first step is to have Computerware perform a network audit. We’ll be able to investigate the compliance of your software, and take action to make sure that your business is in good standing. For help managing all of your company's technology needs, call Computerware today at (703) 821-8200.

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The Fallout From Data Loss Isn’t Pretty

The Fallout From Data Loss Isn’t Pretty

Data loss: it’s not a fun term for any business to hear. However, when one considers all of the ramifications that data loss can have upon a business, it swiftly transitions from “not fun” to “alarming.” Have you taken the time to think about what losing your business’ data would really mean for your company?

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Tip of the Week: 4 Fundamentals of Good Customer Service

Tip of the Week: 4 Fundamentals of Good Customer Service

Customer service can be tricky to gauge sometimes, as you don’t often hear about a consumer’s experience unless you provide exceptional service, or if you’re not providing good enough service. The problem here is that, unless you do something to improve the customer service you provide, you could very well lose them to your competition. What are some steps that your business can take to improve customer service?

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Research Shows Why it May Be Time to Rethink the 8-Hour Workday

Research Shows Why it May Be Time to Rethink the 8-Hour Workday

If we asked you to tell us how many hours a day you actually work, what would the figure look like? Chances are that you as a business owner put in a little more than the average worker, but would it total over the requisite eight hours? A recent study shows that while eight hours of work 200 years ago was considered revolutionary, it might be a bit on the long side to expect good work from good employees.

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We Salute You, Mr. Do-It-Yourself Entrepreneur!

b2ap3_thumbnail_real_entrepreneur_400.jpgComputerware presents to you, “Real Men of Brilliance.” Today, we salute you, Mr. Do-It-Yourself Entrepreneur.

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Why Your Business Needs a Technology Replacement Plan

b2ap3_thumbnail_technology_replacement_plan_400.jpgEveryone understands that technology is constantly changing. However, acceptance of this reality doesn’t diminish the fact that change, even if it’s foreseeable, can be difficult to adapt to. It’s for this reason why your business needs to have a long-term technology replacement plan.

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Tip of The Week: 7 Communication Mistakes to Avoid

b2ap3_thumbnail_angry_workplace_400.jpgIf you feel like you’re having trouble communicating with your team, it’s probably because you are. In fact, it may be because you’re communicating with them the wrong way. By overhauling the way you approach small talk and office chit-chat, you can improve office intercommunication and your own public image.

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Backsourcing Your Outsourced IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_backsourcing_it_400.jpgOutsourcing your company’s IT services is an easy way to cut back on IT costs. For years, outsourced IT has been a growing trend with more companies making the switch, but just because your businesses has outsourced its technology services, doesn’t mean that backsourcing isn’t a valid option.

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Tip of the Week: How to Achieve Optimal Working Conditions

b2ap3_thumbnail_workplace_efficiency_400.jpgHumans are self-serving, especially when it comes to the workplace, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In this day and age, people want more out of their workplace than just a decent salary and flexible company policies. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to get everyone to enjoy their workday.

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3 Simply Brilliant IT Tips

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_easier_the_better_400.jpgNobody likes it when something is overly complicated, and IT is no different. Keeping your operations simple can reduce the cost of doing business, minimize the error margin, and bring more people into the loop. Your IT infrastructure is the heart that pumps the life blood of your organization, and if you keep it simple, you'll find that most common business issues can be resolved much more quickly and efficiently.

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Crowdfunding Done Right: Make Money (and Potato Salad) with Crowdfunding

b2ap3_thumbnail_kickstarter_potato_salad_400.jpgWhen trying to raise money for a big startup or product release, it can often be outside of your budget. One solution is crowdfunding, or taking your endeavors public in order to inspire others to donate money to your cause. Unfortunately (or fortunately - take your pick), not many of these campaigns succeed.

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Do Pets at Work Improve Productivity?

b2ap3_thumbnail_kitties_and_puppies_at_work_400.jpgDo you have pets at home? You might find it painful to leave them behind when you head to the office. You might find yourself wishing that you could bring them to your workplace with you. Well, why not? We're hearing about more companies that have implemented a pet policy that lets them bring their furry friends to the office with them.

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