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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 We Giving Virtual Assistants Too Much Leeway?

Are We Giving Virtual Assistants Too Much Leeway?

Virtual assistants have seen an increased usage in the workplace, improving general productivity, but not without placing organizations at considerable risk if left unchecked. Depending on how much you rely on virtual assistants, you might want to take a closer look at what data is being accessed by them, and the role they play in your organization.

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How Service Offerings Can Save Your Precious Capital

How Service Offerings Can Save Your Precious Capital

Managing and maintaining the plethora of solutions your business depends on can be challenging, to say the least. For some businesses, however, the most difficult part of using multiple solutions can often be not just managing them, but paying for them. Thankfully, there is a great service out there that uses the cloud to make all of this easier for small businesses.

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Technology Basics: Understanding Different “____wares”

Technology Basics: Understanding Different “____wares”

Hardware, software, malware, ransomware. These are all terms that share two things in common - you probably have heard them fairly often, and they all end the same way. This is no accident. To better understand what these programs are, let’s dig into the basics of what we mean when we’re talking about “-ware.”

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New Collaboration Apps Building Better Businesses

New Collaboration Apps Building Better Businesses

Collaboration fuels business more than ever before. Now there are software titles dedicated to promote the highest degrees of collaboration possible, while also giving users the access to the tools they need to stay productive. Today, we will look at collaboration apps to give you an idea whether or not they are right for your business.

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Technology Basics: Navigation Bar

Technology Basics: Navigation Bar

Navigating some websites can be a pain, but thankfully, there is a handy-dandy tool that just about all of them utilize to make it easier for users. We’re talking, of course, about the navigation bar. We’ll discuss what the navigation bar is, what it does, and why it’s so helpful for a website or application’s end user.

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These Technologies Are Built to Help Your Business

These Technologies Are Built to Help Your Business

Here’s an interesting fact: any business that makes money can be successful. It doesn’t matter if you catch and sell fish, offer financial advice, or cut people’s grass, if you make more than you spend, your business will likely stay open as long as demand for your product or service continues. For most businesses, investing in technology can bring with it greater profitability.

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New Communications Solutions to Move Your Business Forward

New Communications Solutions to Move Your Business Forward

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep an eye on how your staff communicates. Email and telephone have long been staples in this regard, and these solutions come packed with features like file storage and instant messaging. With more organizations taking their businesses on the go, these businesses are trying to take advantage of applications with the ability to integrate with their real-time messaging apps. Enter: Slack and Microsoft Teams, two solutions that hope to change the way business communications work.

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5 Cloud Apps Small Businesses Should Love

5 Cloud Apps Small Businesses Should Love

Businesses of all types have looked to the cloud as a way to receive the goods and services they could use to improve their ability to create revenue, while not having to lay out huge chunks of capital in which to get the dynamic computing infrastructure. Today, developers are creating useful cloud-based applications that not only provide growing businesses the resources they need, they increasingly give workers flexibility, through their inherent accessibility. Today, we will take a look at five cloud-based applications that can really benefit a small business.

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Technology Basics: Wizard

Technology Basics: Wizard

The word “wizard” may not seem to have much to do with computing, besides calling someone a “computer wiz.” However, there is a particular type of program that serves a very similar purpose, referred to as a wizard as well. We’ll examine it in today’s blog.

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CRM or ERP: Which Is Right for You?

CRM or ERP: Which Is Right for You?

At first glance, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution might seem quite similar. They are both ways to help you get the most out of what you have using technology solutions, but they have specific uses in a business environment.

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Digital Signatures are More Efficient and Secure

Digital Signatures are More Efficient and Secure

Your signature has a lot of power, particularly in the business world. Because of this, it’s curious to see how so many companies are moving over to the more digital alternative. In order to fully take advantage of digital signatures for your organization, you need comprehensive security measures that can reinforce the authenticity of your signatures.

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How the Business Software Alliance Will Come After Your Business

How the Business Software Alliance Will Come After Your Business

As a business owner, you should know that you shouldn’t abuse the software licenses that your business relies on to function, or use pirated software to fulfill that need. While there are many people do such things, the response from software companies in an attempt to stop such activities has created a system that can award those who exploit it.

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Software as a Service Is Helping Small Businesses

Software as a Service Is Helping Small Businesses

What kind of software does your business use to keep operations moving forward? Depending on what industry you are in, you might find it increasingly painstaking to procure and manage the software titles your organization uses, particularly if yours is a small business that has limited capital to invest in its software. Nowadays, however, the acquisition of software doesn’t have to be troublesome, as software as a service (SaaS) is providing organizations with limited resources access to software it normally could not afford.

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Android Starts Zero-Touch With Google Pixel, More To Follow?

Android Starts Zero-Touch With Google Pixel, More To Follow?

Google’s Android line of smart devices have made their presence well-known in the business world. Google now offers a zero-touch enterprise solution for its Pixel-line mobile devices. The primary reason for this is that mobile devices are somewhat time-consuming to set up, especially on the business level. You can save time by pre-configuring these devices for your business to use using Pixel’s zero-touch solution.

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Need A Better Method Of Software Acquisition?

Need A Better Method Of Software Acquisition?

What are some of the critical business applications that your organization depends on in order to function? Perhaps it’s something as simple as an email solution, or your productivity suite. If either of these stopped working properly, would you be able to sustain operations? What if your software licenses ran out and you lost access to them? These are some of the many pains of traditional software acquisition, and a new method of this can help you make significant headway in managing your organization’s technology.

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Google Instant Is Dead… Did You Notice?

Google Instant Is Dead… Did You Notice?

Users can expect a change to how Google delivers results going forward, as the search engine has killed off its ‘Instant’ feature. This feature--introduced in 2010--influenced how results were displayed, and when.

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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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Scareware Isn’t Scary if You Know What to Look For

Scareware Isn’t Scary if You Know What to Look For

The popularity of security software has required malware distributors to be clever with their delivery methods. This is why rogue security software exists, and why you need to be absolutely certain that your network doesn’t have these fraudulent programs installed.

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Finally: Cloud Hosting Companies Find a Better Way to Sell Software

Finally: Cloud Hosting Companies Find a Better Way to Sell Software

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to account for each and every one of your organization’s software solutions, but do you know the exact value that your business is getting from them? This can be challenging when managing software solutions locally on each of your workstations, but the cloud makes this astronomically easier.

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Prioritize on End-Users for a Successful IT Strategy

Prioritize on End-Users for a Successful IT Strategy

Technology grows at an incredible rate, and businesses need to take advantage of new features to get ahead of their competition. But is simply adopting new technology enough to get ahead? After all, new technology solutions mean nothing if your end-users don’t know how to use them.

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