Why Are Virus Protection and Offsite Backups So Vital?

by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

Computer viruses are a real drag.

Seeing as how you’re all reading this on the Internet, I’m going to assume that I don’t need to do the remedial explanation of computer viruses. We learned about them years ago. Anyone who feels they need to understand the concept a bit more, feel free to check out the Wikipedia entry or your favorite search engine to learn more.

In my 19 years as an I.T. professional, and in the dozen years before that as a nerdy (before it was cool) young person, I’ve been lucky to have only been affected once by a computer virus.

(Hang on, I need to knock on wood here.)

Sleeping Children and Smoke Alarms

A while back, I was talking with a friend, and we got on the topic of smoke alarms. She told me about an incident at her home where the smoke alarm was triggered in the night (thankfully, by an accidental cause and not an actual blaze), but her tween daughter did not wake up. The alarms in her home are wired together, so all of them were blaring, but the daughter remained asleep until my friend reached her room, which was two floors away, and physically shook her awake.

The increased use of synthetic materials in furniture, carpets, curtains, and other home fixtures has created a dramatic change in the flammability of these furnishings. The “Today” show recently did a demonstration to show the amount of time it takes for a modern home to become engulfed in flame versus one from 30 years ago.

Training Spotlight – The Power of General Schedules

By Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

Using General Schedules can save time and reduce errors. It’s a powerful tool, and when you understand it, you may end up using it all the time. I’ve been training on its use for years, and most places I train, the operations staff appreciate learning about such a useful tool.

There are five different types of General Schedules. I’ll discuss each here, and give some examples of situations where they might be used. If there is enough feedback, I can go further in-depth and give detailed examples with steps in future blog posts.

Core Values and Your Company

(This is the second of a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

Last month, we kicked off this series by examining the “GTD” method for managing your to-do list. This time, we are examining company “core values,” and how they fit into your corporate health.

What are core values? They differ from a company’s mission statement, which traditionally describes what a company does in a specific declaration. The core values describe a select list of guiding principles or beliefs which shape a company culture. For example, this poster hangs in the employee lounge here at Bold Technologies:

Manitou Cloud Services and the UL Inspection

by Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

I recently had a conversation with one of our customers regarding the UL inspection they underwent as part of their move onto Manitou Cloud Services. I was curious about any challenges or surprises, and how the process went in general. (For confidentiality, I’ll be writing in generalities. So when I mention “he” or “they,” I’m referring to this customer.)

This customer existed as a call center before Manitou Cloud Services, and they are new to Alarm Monitoring. They felt that the capital outlay required to purchase servers may have prevented them from entering the monitoring market previously. But the low up-front cost of Manitou Cloud Services removed those barriers, allowing them to focus on all parts of their business without having to concentrate on the management and upkeep of the servers.

The Value of a Home-Contents Inventory

by guest blogger Security Central / care@securitycentralinc.com

If your home is struck by a burglar or a fire, an up-to-date home inventory will make it easier to deal with police and your insurance company. Without an up-to-date inventory, you’ll have to create a list of all your property from memory.

Creating and updating a home inventory isn’t nearly the time-consuming task it used to be. Creating an inventory and keeping it current prepares you for possible losses – and, it can also help you prevent losses from happening. As you inventory your possessions, you’ll become more aware of their vulnerability. Then you can take steps to make them more secure.

Getting Things Done in the New Year

By guest blogger Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

(This is the first of a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we will examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

I’m a relatively busy person.

On any given day, I may have as many as four separate training calls, a dozen smaller calls, countless emails to answer, conversations to have, and yes, the occasional blog post to write. Not to mention working towards my personal, departmental, and company goals.

A NEO Year for Manitou

The new year brought exciting news from the team here at Bold. As of January 1st, we have officially released the latest version of our flagship alarm automation software, ManitouNEO. This new upgrade has multiple new features developed to improve the user experience for our customers, and we have other upgrades in the works for release later this year.

Changes for ManitouNEO extend beyond the software itself, however. We’ve also made adjustments to the way the product is sold, by organizing our software and module offerings into streamlined packages designed to meet different alarm monitoring needs. Whether the customer is a central station, an educational institution, a retail company, or a business with other requisites for monitoring software, Bold now has a comprehensive package with the components to best suit the requirements.

Training Spotlight – App Server Priorities

By guest blogger Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

Sometimes you need the ability to control which Manitou Application Server an operator connects to, and whether it is because of geographical separation, or because of type of workload, there is a solution.

But first, a bit of information about the Manitou services in general, and specifically, the App Server:

Operators (or Data Entry personnel, or Supervisors, or anyone else using a Manitou Client), begin the process by connecting to the Sentry. The Sentry, of which there is only one on a Manitou system, looks to see which App Server(s) (of which multiple are allowed) are available to accept the client connection. By default, all App Servers allow connections from all types of clients. Operator Workstations, Supervisor Workstations, Web, etc.

3 Ways to Improve Your Monitoring Center’s Performance

by guest blogger Tiffany Coles, Director of Corporate Outreach

2017 is just days away, and for many, a new year means fresh starts, self-evaluation, and of course, resolutions. But along with personal improvement, it’s a good time to look at improving your business practices as well. In fact, it is critical to review policies and procedures within your business annually. Why? Simply stated, things change. Over the past year you may have implemented changes with your staff, advanced how you serve customers, or experienced a leadership transition; all of these impact your monitoring center performance. With that in mind, here are three things you can do for an exceptional start to the new year!