Vista’s Instant Search Uncovers Information Wherever It’s Stored

If you’re on a pre-Vista operating system, you know how restrictive and clunky the old Microsoft search tool can be. Accessed as “Find” under the Start menu, the tool can’t look at the content within files and does not extend to emails.
Microsoft has taken that search tool and vastly improved its capabilities in Vista. Now called Instant Search, it’s accessed right from the Start menu and looks across file types, formats, and content to give you rapid access to the information you need. Now instead of looking separately for all the emails and documents associated with a particular project, you can bring them up in a snap. You don’t have to choose between wading manually through endless file trees or waiting as the search bar churns, finally spitting out “No result” to a file you know is lurking somewhere. Instant Search starts looking as soon as you start typing.

Instant Search is contextual, which means it will look first in the applications and files you access most frequently. And it will group results by the type of asset it finds – whether it’s a program, web site, document, or email. Click here to learn more about Instant Search:
It’s a great little feature so don’t forget about it if you have already upgraded to Vista. If you haven’t, contact us to help create the right strategy for your business. Windows 7 will be released this fall and upgrading will only be possible if you are already running Vista. Contact CMIT Solutions to get started!

SMB managed services account for highest level of spending at $3.5 billion

You don’t want to miss an article we just reviewed about worldwide SMB spend expected to reach 14.3B in 2009.

It is a short article but does link to further studies so don’t miss it.

Managed services isn’t dead so all the hype about moving to the cloud hasn’t hit this particular survey.  Here is some key paragraphs:

“Worldwide SMB spending on remote managed services, in particular, will grow the fastest at 9.2 percent in 2009 to reach $3.6 billion. The trend will continue through 2012 to reach $5.3 billion at a compounded annual growth rate of over 10 percent from 2008.”

“SMB network and server managed services account for highest level of spending at $3.5 billion while PC managed services is expected to reach $2.7 billion in 2009.”


Flag Sensitive, Urgent, and Draft Documents with Watermarks

When you’re circulating a document for group review, you sometimes want to make it absolutely clear what the purpose or the status of the document is. Watermarks such as “CONFIDENTIAL” or “DRAFT’ help get the point across.
Watermarks are easy to insert in Word 2007. Just follow these steps:
  1. Click Page Layout on the Office ribbon.
  2. Go to the Page Background group and click Watermark.
  3. Select the watermark you’d like to use.
  4. To create a custom text watermark, first remove the existing one by going to the Page Background group, clicking Watermark, and clicking Remove Watermark. Click Custom Watermark, then Text Watermark, and type in your custom watermark. Click Apply.
The process is slightly different with Word 2000 and 2003:
  1. Go to the Format menu, then select Background, and click Printed Watermark.
  2. To insert a picture as a watermark, click Picture Watermark. Then click Select Picture. Select the picture you want, and then click Insert.
    To insert text as a watermark, click Text Watermark. Then select an existing watermark or enter your own custom text.
  3. Use the Print Layout view to see how it will appear on the printed page.

If you’ve got a question about using Microsoft Word or other Office products, CMIT Solutions can help. Give us a call at (800) 399-CMIT.

How to Access Files at the Office – Even When You’re Away

Remote office access lets you log on to a computer or server from a separate location and use it as if you were actually on-site. Many businesses now rely on the ability to give employees remote office access, whether it’s for mobile workers, as a response to the increased price of commuting or the need for flexible work schedules.
There are two main categories of remote access: remote desktop connection and virtual private networks (VPN). Each one of these types of remote access has its own merits and even some challenges.
Remote Desktop Connection
In simple terms, “remote desktop” refers to the ability to access your computer from another remote computer. You can either do this using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop (a standard feature of Windows XP Professional that can connect you to another XP Professional machine), or through Web-based services such as GoToMyPC and LogMeIn, or you can use one of the most popular features of Microsoft Small Business Server, Remote Web Workplace, which provides free remote access to all designated employees via a secure web site. 
Remote desktop offers quick, easy and inexpensive access that, if set up correctly, requires nothing more than Internet service no matter where you are. The downside to using remote desktop is that only one person at a time can access the remote machine, and it requires someone who is tech savvy to complete the initial set up.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
A VPN emulates a direct, secure point-to-point connection, allowing data to be securely transmitted across unsecured public or private networks.  Because a VPN is secure, it eliminates the need for pricey point-to-point options such as leased lines and dial-up connections. The remote office or computer naturally becomes part of the network. Additionally, a VPN allows for the sharing of network resources such as printers, servers, files and databases.
On the minus side, a VPN can be difficult to set up and requires a high degree of technical skills in the area of public network security. Additional software for the VPN client must be installed on remote computers. Finally, the performance of some applications, such as QuickBooks, suffers over a VPN connection.
Not sure which remote access solution is right for your business? Give the experts at CMIT Solutions a call: (800) 399-CMIT. We’re here to help! 

It’s Easy to Set Up a Signature File — Here’s How


A signature file appears at the end of an email message and usually contains some or all of the following:
  • A sign-off phrase like “Best regards” or “Thank you”
  • The writer’s name, job title, and contact information
  • The company name and web address
Signature files, also known as “sig files,” can also contain quotes and graphics. A successful sig file is like a little business card – it tells you everything you need to know about a business contact, and nothing you don’t. If you’re not currently using a signature file, you might consider it as an easy, nonaggressive way of promoting your business or web page. It also makes it easy for email recipients to access your contact information directly from their Inbox.
To set up a signature file in Outlook 2003, do the following:
  1. Go to Tools > Options.
  2. Go to the Mail Format tab.
  3. At the bottom, in the “Signatures” section, click the button titled Signatures.
  4. Click New.
  5. Enter a name for your new signature and click Next.
  6. Type in your text and modify as needed.
  7. Click Finish.


To set up a signature file in Outlook 2007, do the following:
  1. In a new message, on the Message tab, in the Include group, click Signature, and then click Signatures.
  2. On the E-mail Signature tab, click New.
  3. Enter a name for your new signature and click OK.
  4. Type in your text and modify as needed.
  5. Click OK.