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Melinda Beeler Joins LammTech

MelindaSmallSquareLammTech is happy to announce that Melinda Beeler has joined the information technology firm as a Client Engagement Specialist. In her role, Melinda will work with LammTech clients to ensure they are successfully engaged with their integrated information technology solutions and are realizing the full potential of their partnership with LammTech.

“We are very excited to welcome Melinda to our team at LammTech,” said Robert Lamm, President/CEO of LammTech. “We feel confident that she will provide the company the means to strategically grow our business while providing valuable guidance to our clients.”

Beeler holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Before joining LammTech, Beeler worked for IBM as an Audit/Compliance/Security expert as well as a Service Delivery Manager in their Sarbanes Oxley Program. Her extensive background includes C-level leadership roles involving risk management, budgeting, auditing, information technology management, and policy management.

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Common Denominator of a Data Breach and Car Wreck

What can prevent both a car wreck & data breach? Commitment to security:

Common Denominator of a Data Breach and Car Wreck

A data breach is a lot like a car wreck, within seconds so much can be lost. Brett Kelsey explores other similarities between the two in this blog.

 

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New Year’s Message

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Christmas Card 2014

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A Downside to Great Buys on Tablets

I came across article while catching up on some reading this weekend. Everyone wants aThumbnail ‘deal’. However in this case, the pursuit of an inexpensive tablet might be more harmful than many thought. Take a moment to read this article and educate yourself on the peril of seemingly safe, easy to use, tablets – at bargain basement prices.

This could very well be a bargain you could regret later. Especially if you intend to use these cheap tablets in your workplace. The security threats alone could be devastating.

Check out this article on Gizmodo.

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How to gracefully stop a chatterbox so you can get back to work

by Joe Serio, www.joeserio.com

“I have a coworker who’s always coming in to my office to talk. I have work to do, but it’s NotMyJobso hard for me to tell that person to go away. I don’t want to be mean and come across as rude. What can I do?”

This is a very common situation and a tough one to be in. Dealing with a heavy talker creates a lot of tension, frustration, and even fear. It can feel impossible to tell someone to leave you alone without hurting them, and you may fear the repercussion of a hostile working environment. At the same time, it’s not fair for you to be looked down on by your superiors for wasting time when you don’t want to.

Some talking in the office is good—that’s what break rooms and water coolers are for. But constant interruption and feeling stuck when you know you have other things to do is not OK.

A good place to start is to show all the signs of someone who’s not available.

•When people like this show up at your desk, turn your head to acknowledge them, but don’t swivel your chair around to face them.

•If you’re listening to music on headphones, pull just one earbud out when they start talking, but continue to hold it as though you’re waiting to put it back in.

•Walk with purpose around your office—if people approach you in the hall, tell them you’re headed somewhere and you’ll catch up later.

Next, be honest—gently.

Tell them you’re interested in what they have to say, but you don’t have time to talk right now, and offer to have lunch or meet after work. They don’t feel ignored or blown off, and you get your time back.

 If it continues to happen, have a more direct conversation.

Say that you enjoy talking to this person, but you want to do a better job of staying focused at work, and it would be best for the two of you to schedule time away from work to catch up from here on out. If you go ahead and suggest a time, they’ll know you’re sincere.

Last but not least, ask your manager for help.

Just explain the situation and say that you’re simply looking for guidance on how to handle this without hurting feelings or creating an uncomfortable environment. That’s what managers are for—helping to navigate situations like this.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting boundaries and creating an environment that allows you to get your work done. It is your right—and probably your organization’s expectation—that you do so.

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Removing Email Background Color in Outlook 2013

Here’s a really quick tip on how to deal with replying to emails that have an annoying background color.

Don’t change your font-color to white so it shows up on that black background. Just remove the background color! (This works for Outlook 2013 and 2010.)

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After you’ve hit “Reply” to the offending email, go to Options on the Ribbon.

Under Themes on the left of the Ribbon, click on the down arrow next to Page Color, and select “none” (or “white”).

You’ve just saved yourself and the recipient, and anyone else in a string of future emails, from getting a headache.

emailbgcolor2

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Splitting columns in Excel 2013

Do you have a list in Excel, perhaps of contact data? Do you have multiple pieces of information in a single column, but need it in two or more? This is most common with names: your report lists names in a single column, but you need the first name and last name separate.

There’s an easy feature in Excel to handle this! You start with a column like this:
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Select the column or cells you want to split, then go to Data > Text to Columns on the Ribbon.
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  • Choose Delimited and click Next.
  • Choose the delimiter separating the pieces of content within the single column (e.g. a space or a comma) and click Next.
  • If you need the data output as a special type, select it – otherwise General should work fine.
  • Click Finish.

Your data should be separated into columns now.
splitcol03

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The True Value of the Remote Worker

used with permission from MSFT for Work

recent survey revealed more creative professionals work outside the office today than remoteworkerthree years ago. The demand for mobile work environments is widespread among today’s workforce—not just creatives. Some companies are embracing this trend, as it gives them access to a wider base of professionals without traditional geographical barriers.

As collaborative work tools continue to roll into the market and arrive in our workplaces, these requests and expectations will only continue to grow. Is your business ready to embrace this shift?

The Creative Group, a Silicon Valley–based staffing company, led the study, conducting 400 phone interviews with advertising and marketing executives. Of those surveyed, 33 percent claimed the percentage of their creative staff working remotely has climbed higher than three years ago, 59 percent reported no change, and 4 percent said they had seen a decrease.

The real meat of the survey, though, was in the executives’ responses about why they’re on board with telecommuting. Interestingly enough, the most widely reported reason was the access they now have to professionals without geography posing a barrier. Unsurprisingly, they reported better team morale across the board once workers started experiencing better work/life balance, and higher productivity rates once commuting became a non-issue.

Answer these four key questions to see if your business is ready for remote work policies.

The report highlighted several key questions business owners should ask themselves before offering telecommuting options to employees, including:

  • What does communication look like within your organization currently? Remember, mobile workers require a company that communicates openly and whose leaders are prepared to NOT micromanage.
  • What jobs at your company could be done remotely? Evaluate the roles within your company that require in-person interactions and those that can be completed just as effectively over the phone, email, or IM.
  • What’s the right balance between remote workdays and in-office days? Even mobile workers need to join in the watercooler conversation, so keep in mind that you’ll want them to come in and join the rest of the team at some point. It could be once a year, once a quarter, or once a month—the cadence will depend on each individual company.
  • What kind of collaboration tools do you have in place or need to invest in to make remote work a reality for your staff? Internal social networks (e.g., Yammer), videoconferencing (e.g., Skype), and instant messaging (e.g., Lync) are absolutely crucial to enable employees to communicating remotely.

Preparing for the mobile workplace

With mobile device use increasing four times since 2009, it’s hardly a stretch of the imagination to predict the remote worker population will continue to grow. Employees have long recognized the value in telecommuting. Business owners, however, are also starting to see and appreciate its impact with happier workers, increased productivity, and access to a more varied talent pool than ever before.

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What the technology you’re using says about your business

used with permission from Microsoft
by Cindy Bates

techsaysDid you know the technology you use has an impact on what current and potential customers think of your business? Those are the findings of a survey we recently conducted, in which 90 percent of respondents said they would – or would consider – taking their business elsewhere if a company uses outdated technology.

About 60% of respondents said they consider a 5-10 year old operating system or desktop computer to be “outdated.” That means the estimated 30% of small businesses that are still using the Windows XP operating system (introduced over 12 years ago in 2001), are running their business on technology that definitely falls into the category of “outdated.” Come April 8, 2014, businesses running Windows XP will no longer receive security updates or technical support, leaving them vulnerable to potential security threats.

Businesses that are using outdated technology are not only exposed to reputational and security risks, but are also missing out on some amazing capabilities that have finally become accessible and affordable to SMBs only in the last several years. There is a wide array of versatile, touch-enabled Windows 8 devices, from slates and tablets to All-in-Ones, now available to match every mobility and productivity requirement. And cloud services like Office 365 offer all of the well-known Office apps like Outlook email, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as cloud storage, IM, and voice and video conferencing, for as little as $6 per user per month.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to modernize your technology and why it matters, download this free e-guide.

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