2nd Quarter 2008
In this issue:

Deadline for XP Sales
Email on the Head of a Pin
Sit Straight and Keep Your
Wrists in Neutral
Make Documents Look Great
in Word 2007
Client Spotlight

 


Client Spotlight


 

We are excited and proud to highlight UCP of Pittsburgh, a client of synergIT�s for over five years. During this time synergIT has assisted UCP of Pittsburgh with a variety of professional services projects ranging from Unified Communications with the Cisco VoIP implementation, Network Support, Customized Application development, Microsoft SharePoint Intranet deployment and terminal server/thin client deployment.

UCP of Pittsburgh services individuals with severe disabilities, a segment of the population that is particularly vulnerable to neglect and community isolation. Through Community Living and Support Services (CLASS), UCP Pittsburgh serves more than 200 individuals daily, with all types of disabilities, including acquired brain injury, mental retardation, spina bifida, spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy. UCP is driven by organizational values that foster inclusion of people with disabilities. UCP of Pittsburgh offers a progression of services from independent skills training in the classroom, to community-based case management for social/recreational and residential supports.

Based upon the growing needs of the organization, synergIT worked closely with UCP of Pittsburgh to design and deploy a unified communications solution that provided the organization with the valuable tools to streamline and enhance their level of care and service. UCP focuses heavily on the use of Microsoft integration tools such as Unified Messaging and directory integration. This implementation has been a tremendous productivity tool and continues to provide UCP Pittsburgh with ease of administration and improved call flow routing while providing a solid foundation for organizational growth, satellite offices and remote users.

"The partnership that we have with synergIT is one of great trust and confidence as we look at future technology for our organization as well as the continued support in our mission of supporting people with disabilities on a day to day basis." said Dan Rossi, Associate Executive Director at UCP of Pittsburgh.

Al Condeluci, CEO of UCP of Pittsburgh stated, "synergIT's ability to provide quality service and support to UCP Pittsburgh is extremely important to our service delivery system."

To learn more about UCP of Pittsburgh, please go to www.ucppittsburgh.org
 

 

 

 

A Bit of Humor

Microsoft sets 6/30/08
deadline for sales of XP Operating System

Microsoft appears to be sticking with its announced deadline of 6/30/08 for sales of their Windows XP O/S. There is a grass-roots effort to convince Microsoft to extend that deadline, and despite Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's comments in Belgium that "If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter, but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments," the company has yet to budge on the June 30th deadline. (see this link for more details.)

What does this mean for you?  synergIT will be able to order PCs for clients with XP Professional for some months to come. If we see any change in that policy, we will send out an alert to our client base immediately.

The deadline does seem to indicate Microsoft's determination to phase XP out in favor of Vista, but with a little planning, businesses can time their equipment refresh schedules to keep XP as their predominant PC O/S for long enough to ensure they won�t need to switch to Vista until it�s a more mature product.


Email on the Head of a Pin
Etiquette for wireless

It's now to the point you are never absolutely certain your important communication will actually get read. While spam and the volume of email are culprits, your missive now has another hurdle to jump - handheld devices. Itty bitty screens and ittty bitty keyboards are not the perfect formula for reading and responding to email.

The rules for sending email to wireless devices are focused on one thing � brevity. Ignore the realties of using one of these wonderful tools and you are increasing the odds that your email will get stuck in a spam filter or tossed into the virtual trash, unread .

How do you know when they are using a wireless device?  When folks send you a very short email with abbreviations, chances are your recipient is picking up their email on the fly. Blackberries offer a nice feature that let you know when you are receiving an email from one of their devices. Most often just knowing the person uses a wireless should be enough to alert you. But relax. There's a way to at least heighten your awareness of the fact that you're dealing with wireless recipients. In Outlook you can create a rule to move messages from a user who you know is on a wireless account, or based on keywords such as "Blackberry," to a designated folder.

Don't over-abbreviate - Abbreviation is a good way to accommodate your wireless user, but only if they can understand it. Be brief, but also be clear. It sure beats having to resend the message in order to clarify.

Use the subject line only - Want to get on the good side of a wireless email recipient? Keep your message so short and to the point that opening the actual message is unnecessary. If your message is longer, be sure to give an appropriate header that's concise and can't be confused for spam.

Ask before you attach or get long winded - Before you send an attachment, find out if the receiver can handle the file. With wireless email, if you're thinking of sending more than a paragraph, check first to make sure the recipient can deal with the information.

Cut the funny stuff - Emails that contain animation, graphics, or anything else.  Many devices immediately truncate the email.

Skip your signature - Just include your name. Signatures tend to get so big and lofty that they clog up the pipeline.

Put yourself in the receiver's shoes - If you violate any of these rules, be prepared to have your message ignored.


Sit Up Straight and Keep Your Wrists in Neutral
By Monte Enbysk
Reprinted with permission from the Microsoft Small Business Center

Ergonomics is not a four-letter word � even though many business owners may think otherwise.

That's because when business people hear the word ergonomics, they immediately think of dollar signs � as in what it will cost to outfit employee workstations with new setups to prevent sometimes crippling injuries.

But the money needed may be minimal, and your employees' health should be the overriding concern, says Dan Eisman, vice president of marketing and product development for HealthyComputing.com, an ergonomics consultant. Painless simple adjustments to a computing environment, such as getting a better chair or raising a monitor, may cost little but makes a huge difference in injuries and employee absences.

Understanding how poor positioning combined with no breaks can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) should be a priority for anyone who works at a PC and/or employs others who do. (No, you don't have a federal law threatening you with liability anymore if you don't.)

"Businesses very often don't have to spend $1,000 or more on equipment � or completely overhaul the workplace," Eisman says. "But if you have the knowledge, you can better know what to do and what to spend." Employers should learn about what triggers wrist pain and other repetitive-stress injuries, and spend time watching and training their employees, he says.

Because people come in different shapes and sizes, solutions to ergonomic problems differ. However, there are some generally accepted guidelines when it comes to sitting at a computer for several hours a day, day after day. Here's a look at some.


Microsoft Demo:
Make Documents Look Great in Word 2007

With Microsoft Office Word 2007, you can quickly and easily turn a plain-looking document into one that looks professionally designed.

Use styles to quickly format major elements in your document, such as titles, subtitles, and headings. Start with predefined, coordinated designs and then customize to suit your needs. As you work, you don't need to apply formatting and then do it again until you have what you want � just point to a style in the dialog box to see a preview in your document. Not quite right? Point to a different style and see what it looks like.

Watch the demo to see how easy it is to give a plain document a professional-looking makeover, and then give it a final polish with headers and footers and a cover page.
 

synergIT Incorporated  |  811 Camp Horne Road  |  Pittsburgh, PA 15237  |  www.synergit.com