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Telesys Voice and Data has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

3 Types of Software and How Businesses Use Them

3 Types of Software and How Businesses Use Them

For the modern business owner or executive, making smart business decisions has become a necessity. Margins are small, efficiency is key, and if we were to be completely honest, business is a day-in and day-out grind. In the course of doing business much is made of cost reduction and curtailing inefficiencies that lead to wasted capital. Much is made of collaborative systems that allow for remote access. Much is made of protocol, process, and performance. With so many moving parts in every business, there has to be the “glue” that allows for cohesive actions to be taken. That “glue” is software.


IT is a multi-trillion dollar business ($3.5 trillion in 2017 according to Gartner), and enterprise software, that is the software that businesses use to conduct business, makes up for around a tenth of it, at $351 billion. Any way you slice it, software is a significant expense for most businesses. This month, we are going to take a look at the types of software that businesses use most, what they use it for, and how to decide a certain software works for your business.

Business software comes in many types. It includes custom systems, cloud systems, and programs you buy off the shelf anywhere. Businesses have been using software for decades; long before the PC revolution changed the economy forever. Today, there are very few businesses left that don’t rely on any software at all. At first software was extraordinarily pricy, but as demand went up, prices went down and now even the smallest business can utilize much of the same software that their enterprise counterparts use.

For our purposes we will split the software businesses use into three separate categories. They are: security, operations, and relationships.

Security Software
We’ll start with security software, since without it, you may not even need the other two types. Security software is, as the name suggests, the software you use to keep your organization’s computers free from threats. Any computer with an operating system will have some security built in, but for a business, you are likely going to need more, and in some cases, a lot more.

The first thing you’ll need to know about security software is that you are in danger. Your data is being targeted by innumerable entities that are looking to steal it from you for their own gains. In fact, for every threat that is developed to breach network security, there has to be a solution created that mitigates it. This fact has led to a massive security market in which consumers, even the IT-savvy ones, are left overwhelmed and scratching their heads. Some threats include:

  • Ransomware
  • Phishing
  • Viruses
  • Malware
  • Trojan horses
  • Denial of service (DDOS)
  • Hackers
  • Human error
  • Sabotage
  • And more...

Conversely, if you are able to stop these threats before they get in to your business’ computing network (or onto the PC where you do your business computing), you will have a secure computing environment 100 out of 100 times. This is why it is essential for small business owners and technology executives at larger businesses to understand what they need to do to ensure that threats can be intercepted, destroyed, or avoided completely.

Some examples of security software include:

  • Access control - As the name suggests, access control provides a construct in which to manage permissions for the people inside and outside of your organization’s network to access certain parts of your computing infrastructure.
  • Antivirus - For good measure we’ll add anti-spyware, anti-malware, and any other program that is designed to take the teeth away from any unwanted program on your network or PC. An updated and maintained antivirus is your best hope if threats somehow make it onto your network or PC.
  • Backup software - Part of building comprehensive organizational security is having a plan in case a threat gets through. Having a backup system in place is essential; and, today there are enterprise-level software solutions that will help your entire organization protect the data your staff depends on.
  • Firewall - The firewall is a virtual wall that aims to keep any threats out of your network or PC in the first place. As mentioned above, many computers come with firewalls installed, but an enterprise firewall that is constantly updated and maintained is your best chance to avoid trouble all together.
  • Intrusion detection/prevention - Intrusion detection is a system that continuously scans your network or PCs for malicious activity or policy violations. Intrusion prevention actively works to mitigate any malicious activity or policy violation.
  • Security information and event management (SIEM) - A system that provides real-time analysis of any alerts, allowing administrators to automate the process of threat analysis and logging.
  • Spam protection - Generally found in a dedicated email filtering solution, or as a part of a unified threat management system (UTM), spam protection deciphers incoming emails and determines which emails are delivered and which ones aren’t.

Keeping your network free from threats will go a long way towards running an effective business. Speaking of which, in the management and operational side of your business, software has also become extraordinarily important. In fact, without some forms of productivity software, your business may not even exist.

Operations Software
When you talk about operations software, we mainly mean the software that is used to complete the work your organization does. Productivity software is made up of all the applications used to complete the work.

There are millions of different applications that people use to get work done. In fact, there is effectively software created each day to fill in the gaps left by other pieces of software. If security software is the walls around the city, operations software is the city itself, providing the infrastructure for goods and services to be rendered.

Productivity software comes in many forms and has been designed to make human work easier. Whether your staff depends on simpler, less-resource-intensive programs such as word processors or spreadsheets; or, they depend on graphics studios or resource-intensive video-editing or 3D rendering suites, productivity software is where the goods and services your business offers get built in earnest.

In business, some of the most utilized productivity applications come delivered in cloud-hosted suites. This allows the developer to provide businesses and individuals value, while still maximizing their software’s profitability. One example would be that Microsoft Word has more demand than PowerPoint, but by bundling Word, PowerPoint, Excel and the rest of their productivity apps into a cloud-based package: Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft is able to offer all these useful titles as a monthly service, delivering enterprise products to users and, through these apps’ collaborative capabilities, strengthening their value proposition to consumers.

Some types of productivity software for business include:

  • Project management software - Effective management of a project is essential to its success. With project management software you can assign work, manage timelines, deadlines, and collaborate with others.
  • Office suites - Generally it is comprised of a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation app. Most will also offer an integrated email and calendar app, a database manager, note-taking app, website tools, and more.
  • Accounting software - A business needs to manage its money, but today’s accounting software can bring with it a lot of nice additions that are designed to help meet any organization’s needs.
  • Industry-specific software - Advertising-to-zoning, and every industry in between, developers have made a software that will help your organization be more efficient.
  • Custom software - Having a custom piece of software developed that directly meets your needs is a good way to boost your organization’s efficiency.

With the cost of doing business going up, investing in the right operational software will go a long way toward improving productivity and helping you build a better business. If you want the best business you can manifest, however, our last type of software is essential.

Relationship Software
Business is all about creating relationships. Business owners and executives have relationships with their staff, their staff have relationships with their vendors and customer, their vendors and customer have relationships with other businesses, and other businesses are in open competition with you. Without properly managing your relationships, your business will have a hard time being successful.

From a business perspective, if operations software is the city, relationship software is all the people; and, since chances are you are building your product or service for people to use, managing relationships has to be a priority. Typically, the software that allows you to best manage the relationships you have are also the most difficult to master and are expensive.

When people think of relationship management, they typically think of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), but there are more types of relationship management tools that may fit your business better. There is Professional Services Automation (PSA) software that has been developed for professional services like lawyers and IT professionals. There is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software developed for manufacturers and distributors. All this software is developed with one thing in mind: managing the relationships you have to keep business moving efficiently.

No relationship is more important than the one you have with your customers; and today, managing their expectations of you is more difficult than ever. With social media being what it is to our society, managing expectations, demand, and being able to properly support your products and services are essential to maintaining a healthy business. For the smaller business, online marketing, social media, and maintaining an active role in the community in which you work is extremely important. By utilizing software to make your social media and marketing activities a little easier, you can cut down on the time you are focusing on maintaining your relationships and spend more time developing and producing products and services that are valuable to your consumers.

Some additional relationship management software to consider include:

  • Content management system - If you plan on being active on the Internet, finding a content management system that allows you to quickly and affordably manage your website is a good plan.
  • Social media management software - Having a central hub to be able to manage all of your social media initiatives can save your organization plenty of time and money.
  • Human resources software - Not only do all your employees depend on your HR department for the administration of their work experience and their professional development, you typically depend on them for quite a bit (often including payroll). Having a dedicated HR software can streamline what is a time consuming and often frustrating part of doing business.

Software is important to every business. If your organization is looking to put together a software management strategy that will help you get all the software you need to manage, operate, support, and market your products and services, the IT professionals at Telesys Voice and Data are the ones you need to call. Contact us today at (800) 588-4430 and learn how to make your business more effective through software.

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Small Businesses Face Challenges in 2018

Small Businesses Face Challenges in 2018

The modern small business will face several challenges in 2018. The world is changing, and with it, so is business. For many small businesses, this can either be looked on as the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, or, it can be viewed as the beginning of the end. No matter what situations you are faced with this year, understanding what problems your business faces, and how to solve them is imperative to your small business’ success.


In the technology world, 2018 will be more about utilizing innovations to the technologies that are already available rather than deploying newfangled technologies, as many small businesses focus on revenue generation rather than simply cutting their technology costs. Chances are your organization already takes advantage of many of today’s most cost-prohibitive technology trends. Whether or not you are using them properly will ultimately be the difference in meeting your yearly projections. We take a look at some of the most compelling variables a small business owner needs to consider in order to take their business in the right direction.

Running a Smarter Business
While 2017 was a good year for the small business, many smaller organizations fall into the trap of not focusing on revenue generation; setting their sights on sustainability rather than success. If your business has been around the block a bit, you may be comfortable with the “business as usual” approach. You may be surprised to know that by changing the way you approach certain core strategies, you can initiate greater revenue generation and stop focusing so much of your time and effort on practices that aren’t effective and just hold your business back.

Cost cutting initiatives have been all the rage for the past several years. Many businesses utilize outsourced services such as cloud computing, print services, and staffing agencies to reduce their capital expenses. This strategy is sound--it provides an organization with more upfront capital--allowing for more a targeted approach at projects that can spur on revenue generation. The issue is that by not making ANY true capital investments, you are likely paying more.

One way to improve your business’ position is to consider the value you get from recurring services. A service like the one Telesys Voice and Data provides, where you can see an immediate return on your recurring investment, is valuable, and rare. There are some services, however, that don’t provide a rapid or sustainable return, and by paying more up front, you could actually mitigate cost that adds up over time. Paying for software you barely use per month may seem affordable if you look at the operational cost, but in true capital, renewing a yearly license for a single copy of the software may actually save you money.

As far as the revenue generation problem goes, there are two solutions that are available to every business that, once implemented, are likely to provide a solid ROI. The first is analysis. Your company generates a lot of data, and much of that data is relevant in the context of making better business decisions. Business intelligence, that is the structured analysis of warehoused data, can provide some very useful answers. Consider that your operational data, data about staff effectiveness, data about your marketing and advertising initiatives all hold in them a small piece of truth about the way your business operates. By gaining a more comprehensive understanding of how your business functions, you can make better strategic and operational decisions.

At Telesys Voice and Data, we are just starting to understand how to help our clients run smarter businesses. Since profit margins and returns on many goods have shrunk significantly over the years, businesses have looked to services to fill in the gaps when they don’t have the capital to undertake major investments for staff, technology, or otherwise. Today we can set up a data warehouse to store all the relevant data so that you can use automated analytic software to crawl the data to get the truth about how your business functions, and what to do to boost revenue generation.

The second is sometimes looked on as an antiquated strategy; but, in the information age it remains as true today as ever. Invest in your people. It’s simple, the better your people enjoy working for you--the more they see your sacrifice and hard work--the more they have reason to be proud to have their job with your organization--the better your company will function. While we push automation every day to help you get more out of your company, you won’t get anything out of it if you view your employees as a hindrance. Think about it this way, your people are your biggest expense, and as a result, should be your biggest priority.

With the technology that is coming, this tried-and-true method of running a smarter business is going to be tested. Many larger enterprises have begun utilizing automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in an effort to provide higher returns for their investors. It’s only a matter of time before small businesses around the world will be using the same technologies to try to turn a penny into a nickel. While there are some jobs that can be eliminated with these technologies, there will be different jobs created through the use of them. With automation beginning to redefine the job market, independent workers will be in demand to fill in the gaps. So, while these jobs have less definition, the need for hungry, happy workers will be there for as long as goods and services are produced.

To get your staff working the way you need them to work, you have to invest in them. Here are three ways you can run a smarter business by getting more from your staff:

  1. Improve retention - Onboarding new workers is expensive and time-consuming. It puts a strain on almost every part of your business. Small businesses often can’t pay their workers the same rate that a major corporation might, but they can provide them with more value. By investing in training/professional development, benefits, and other courtesies, people will want to work for you and won’t be continuously looking for a way out.
  2. Improve morale - If your workers are stressed out, you can see it immediately. How do your workers interact? Is there a buzz in your place of business, or is it silent? A silent workplace is great if you run a public library, but if you run an office the lack of noise is deafening, and a telling symptom of people just waiting to punch out for the day. Most people may work for the paycheck, but if they are working for the weekend, you need to make an effort to boost morale.
  3. Two-way Loyalty - Many small business owners demand loyalty out of their people, but refuse to reciprocate. There is nothing that will make a worker throw in the towel faster than a lack of loyalty. Very few people prosper in an unsupportive environment. To keep your workers in a productive mindset, make them realize that you are working together for a common goal, not just working for you.

Getting smarter about the way you do business doesn’t start with technology, and doesn’t start with capital, it starts with a dedication to do the right thing for your clients, for your staff, and for the myriad of other people that depend on your business. If you handle your staff in the right way, it will provide you with the largest ROI of any investment you can make this year, and any year.

Learn Where You Can Compete and Where You Can’t
Many of today’s small business owners look at their more-successful competition and try to emulate the practices that have made them a success. The fundamental problem with this strategy would be that you are in competition with these companies for revenue, and by doing things the same way as they do it doesn’t set your business apart from them. That being said, there is are reasons that the company you are setting out to emulate is having success. By copying your competitors’ best features, you could create some space in even the most saturated market. Whether they boast superior brand recognition, have superior customer service, are superior at fulfillment, etc. you have to know your place in your market. In fact, many experts consider the act of finding your niche inside of your target market to be one of the largest differentiators to achieving success for a small business.

Consider your smartphone for a minute. You decide to start a company to make smartphones. Chances are you aren’t going to compete with the Apples, Nokias, and Samsungs of the world. So, while it stands to reason that you may want to abandon your plan altogether, you start looking at the data and there are no phones made specifically for doctors. If you deliver on your promises and create a device that works for the needs of doctors, there is a chance that you can compete within that niche market, while not really competing at all in the larger market at all.

Anything you can do to deliver your goods and services to the most people should be the aim, but be cognizant that by setting your sights too high, you may just be putting your company in a perilous predicament. You need top tier customer service, a trustworthy product that you stand behind, and a plan on how to get your product to your consumers if you are going to compete in any market. Find your differentiator and exploit it.

2018 is another year where technology will be in the mind’s eye of every business owner, but to find success by using technology, you have to apply it in the right way. For more information about business technology, how to stretch your IT budget properly, or any other technology related subject, call the IT professionals at Telesys Voice and Data today at (800) 588-4430.

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One Of Your Biggest Security Risks: Your Employees

One Of Your Biggest Security Risks: Your Employees

If you’ve ever managed a major IT project, you’re probably well acquainted with Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Every project is going to have some rough patches. The key to overcoming these challenges lays not with the execution of the plan, but with the preparation. Here are four things to consider when you’re planning your next long-term IT project.

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Why Artificial Intelligence is Now Key to Network Management

Why Artificial Intelligence is Now Key to Network Management

Every business is searching for ways to improve productivity. There are now quite a few methods being used to boost the amount that each employee can accomplish, many of which revolve around technology. Admittedly, some of these methods may not be attainable for the average SMB… yet. However, as technology advances you may find yourself able to leverage some of these productivity-enhancing tools to improve the look of your bottom line.


Someday, You Could Have Smart Desks
For instance, smart desks. By connecting to the company’s local-area network, these Internet-of-Things workstations can track the behaviors of your employees to help improve their health. We’ve all heard that it is better for the human body to stand up than sit at their desks, but how many people actually do? A smart desk helps to solve this problem by alerting its occupant when to stand. Furthermore, smart desks can serve as a health monitor for an employee, allowing health issues to be caught preventatively, potentially reducing time out of the office and the amount of missed productivity.

On the topic of furniture, offering employees adjustable office furniture to use will reduce the amount of discomfort employees will experience as they attend to their responsibilities.

Yes, Television Can Be More Than a Distraction
If handled correctly, keeping a few televisions in the office can be a benefit to your employee’s productivity. After all, they don't necessarily have to be playing an afternoon soap opera or reality show. Use a television to display important company matters, like upcoming meetings, deadlines, KPIs, sales wins, and other business subjects to keep goals and deadline top-of-mind for employees. In fact, these displays can even help to inspire a little friendly competition in the office, as different departments see each other being more productive and feel the need to measure up.

There’s also a lot to be said about the value of video conferencing. If an employee needs to be two places at once--like in a critical meeting while also across the country attending an important conference--a video conferencing program can allow them to do both.

Work Smarter to Work Harder
Of course, there are plenty of other tools available to make being productive a simpler prospect for your employees. Automation can eliminate manual tasks to free up resources. After all, the more time an employee has to spend initiating a data backup or some other day-to-day. critical, but time-consuming task, the less time they can spend producing some benefit for the company.

It is also crucial that your employees are working with the solutions that will benefit their productivity the most. This means that they aren’t dealing with outdated hardware and software that experiences issues and hang-ups, and are equipped with the means to achieve optimal output. Ensuring that your technology is up-to-date and well-maintained can have a big impact to how well they work, and as a result, how well your workforce can do their jobs.

For help with creating a plan that ensures maximum productivity for your entire office, reach out to Telesys Voice and Data. We can help you implement the necessary components to ensure your office remains productive. Give us a call today at (800) 588-4430.

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Is Your Workforce Engaged?

Is Your Workforce Engaged?

The busy business owner rarely has time to indulge in extracurricular activities, but there are still ways that you can make progress--even when you’re not actually in the office or working on important plans, there’s still the opportunity for self-improvement. One way that you can do this is by being well-read. In fact, science has practically proven that reading literary fiction is just as beneficial for your professional development as other seemingly more practical works.

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Solid Vendor Management Leads To Solid Successes

Solid Vendor Management Leads To Solid Successes

In order to function properly, any business will need to procure certain pieces of equipment. Some of this equipment will be specialized to the business’ purpose, while some will be the sort that may be more commonly found in offices everywhere. This equipment must be procured from somewhere, and this is where vendors come in--but who in your organization is responsible for your vendor management?

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Here’s Our Rundown on Blockchain Technology

Here’s Our Rundown on Blockchain Technology

As we discuss business technology, we occasionally broach topics that not everyone may be familiar with. Despite the recent media coverage that has been afforded to it, Bitcoin and blockchain technology may be a good example of one such topic. To resolve this, we’ve put together the following primer on this technology and how it will impact data security in the future.

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Tip of the Week: Choosing the Right Storage for Your Business

Tip of the Week: Choosing the Right Storage for Your Business

Regardless of where it is kept, your data’s security is of paramount importance. However, this doesn’t mean that the decision between leveraging the cloud or an on-premise server for your data storage needs isn’t an important one. For this week’s tip, we’ll weigh these options against each other to help you establish which is the better option for your business’ needs.

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Tech Term: Opening the Spam Folder

Tech Term: Opening the Spam Folder

Spam is a tricky subject to talk about, as it seems everyone has a different definition for it. Yet, most have come to the conclusion that spam is a bad thing. For today’s Tech Term, we want to delve deep into the different kinds of spam out there, as well as theorize where the term even came from.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Pieces of Screen Reading Software

Tip of the Week: 3 Pieces of Screen Reading Software

Wouldn’t it be convenient if your business could have web pages or applications read out text for you so that you don’t have to? While most would consider this a luxury, these screen reading applications are an everyday occurrence to those who are blind, visually impaired, or have a learning disability. Even if you don’t have anyone in your office who needs screen reading, it can’t hurt to be prepared for a day when you might.

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Why The Cloud Should be Approached Responsibly

Why The Cloud Should be Approached Responsibly

It can be argued that your organization isn’t considered “modern” without taking advantage of truly modern technology solutions. This includes the cloud, which provides anytime-anywhere access to important information or products. This type of access--also known as Product as a Service--can help your budget by eliminating large up-front costs in favor of smaller payments more regularly. This might seem ideal for your organization, but we urge you to take a step back and think about the solution before accepting terms of service without looking for extra hidden costs.

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Some Providers are Offering Blockchain as a Service

Some Providers are Offering Blockchain as a Service

There’s a big risk associated with implementing any new technology solution for your organization. For one, it’s difficult to know how a specific solution will run without first implementing it. This leads many businesses to avoid implementing a new solution for fear that it won’t be worth the investment. On the other hand, if they fail to implement a new solution, they could potentially lose out on valuable new tools they could use to succeed. How can you get around this issue?

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What Makes Managed Services Worth It?

What Makes Managed Services Worth It?

Most modern businesses depend on technology in at least some capacity, whether it’s for productivity, efficiency, or even security purposes. Without access to important data and applications, your business is a shell of its former glory. This is why it’s so important for businesses like yours to implement managed IT services. It certainly beats having untrained employees maintain your crucial computing systems!

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How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

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Slow Computer? Increase your memory to boost computer Speeds

Slow Computer?  Increase your memory to boost computer Speeds

Sometimes when your workstation feels bogged down, a relatively cheap and simply hardware update can make a huge difference in performance. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can be a game changer for your bogged down PC.

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5 Tips for Saving Money on your IT

5 Tips for Saving Money on your IT

Saving a little on your technology can go a long ways, but cutting too many corners can lead to additional problems and expensive downtime. Here are a few ways you can cut costs without creating long term issues.

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Social Engineering and Your Business

Social Engineering and Your Business

As prevalent as cybersecurity threats unfortunately are today, many users tend to overlook major threats that they just aren’t focused on nearly as much: social engineering attacks. Social engineering attacks are just another means for a cybercriminal to reach their desired ends, and therefore needed to be protected against.

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The Technology That Protects Your Payment Cards

The Technology That Protects Your Payment Cards

These days most consumers lean heavily on their payment cards. Whether they use credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards, consumers today are much more apt to use their card then they are to use cash. Why is this? Convenience mostly, but also there is a belief that using a payment card is more secure than walking around with a wad of cash in your pocket. Today, we will get to the bottom of the matter.

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How Our Help Desk Benefits You

How Our Help Desk Benefits You

You’re likely aware that we have a Help Desk for our clients to leverage, but not all companies handle their support the same way. Here, we wanted to share a few reasons that we are confident that our approach to support is better for our clients.

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Learn to Use Email Safely

Learn to Use Email Safely

Email is a core component to many businesses. With 124.5 billion business emails being sent and received each day, that doesn’t seem to be in danger of ending. Are the emails that are coming and going from your business secure? That may be another story, altogether. In order to keep your email security at a premium, we have outlined the following tips:

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