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What We’re Reading in March

Rocket IT

Happy National Reading Month! Among other great holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and the first day of spring, we celebrate reading and literacy in March.

We love reading at Rocket IT. In fact, our organization offers a book reimbursement program for our employees who find great books and share them with the rest of the team, adding the book to our Rocket IT library! It’s not unusual for our team to pass books around on a regular basis.

In the spirit of such a great cause (and one that’s so near and dear to us), we’d like to share with you what we’re reading this month.

 

Read by Eric Henderson, Rocket IT’s vCIO

The Four-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferris

A guide on meta-learning and a book for mastering cooking skills, The Four-Hour Chef is two books in one. Eric was drawn to this book by its core claim that you can become an expert in any skill within six months. “The book lays out a full method, with colorful and helpful examples, of how to do this. It’s wonderful.”

 

Read by Abbey Johnson, Rocket IT’s Finance and HR Manager

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Abbey recently finished this after hearing about the controversy behind it, and because she loves Harper Lee. She personally didn’t care for it.

 

Read by Ryan Bonilla, Rocket IT’s Business Development Manager

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

This is a great historical book that sounds more fiction than fact. Ryan was recommended this by a big reader who sold him on just that description! He is really enjoying it so far.

 

Read by Emily Connolly, Rocket IT’s Project Coordinator

Moonglow by Michael Chabon

Emily is a big fan of Michael Chabon. His earlier book Wonder Boys is an all-time favorite. Moonglow was actually a gift from her husband. “I just started reading this one, but I already love how vividly he paints each character and the world in which they exist—as a reader, you’re just happily along for the ride.”

 

Read by Patrick Richardt, Rocket IT’s Implementation Engineer

Dragons Love Tacos

Patrick chose this book for his kids. “It’s a little crazy that dragons don’t like spicy tacos (so no hot salsa on those tacos!), otherwise they get a little cranky and burn down your home.” So far, Patrick has read Dragons Love Tacos at least 25 times and thinks the pictures are really great.

 


 

 

About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. While a large portion of her job focuses on the more traditional side of marketing, she is also responsible for finding great new employees. Jacque is originally from Indiana. 

 

1200x627- vCIOHave you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.

 

 

 

 

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Best Practices, Technology

How to Prepare for Working Outside the Country for the First Time

Rocket IT

Are you getting ready to travel outside the country? You’ve probably run down the typical checklist: give your itinerary to a trusted friend or family member so someone knows where you are, check in with your embassy, get your passport and (if necessary) visas up to date, stay hydrated, etc. But how can you make sure you’re ready to work and collaborate with your team stateside after you get off the plane?

Whether it’s your first time traveling to a foreign country for work or you’re just looking for a few new tips, here are five steps you should take before checking in for your flight.

Check your security

Are you confident in the security of your means of connecting to your home office when using potentially compromised public networks in a foreign country? Before you leave for your trip, set up a virtual private network (VPN) connection and test it from your home to make sure you can safely connect to secure information you may need abroad.

Ensure your phone will work

You don’t want to get to the hotel room and find that your phone doesn’t work at all where you are. Call your phone provider and activate an overseas plan. This is a good rule of thumb for all of the services you typically use locally and will need abroad, so be sure to call your bank to let them know when and where you’ll be traveling, as well.

Choose the devices you need to bring

Do you really need to bring that laptop? Laptops can be heavy, unwieldy, and are a huge target for theft. Can you get away with just a tablet and/or phone?

Make sure you have the right charger adapter for all your devices

As funny as it was when someone tried to plug an American hair dryer into a European plug in the movies, it’s not amusing when it’s you. Pick up a few adapters for your electronics. Depending on where you’re traveling and where you’re recharging, you may need a charger adapter that adjusts voltage. You can tell pretty quickly when a plug isn’t going to work, but it’s not as obvious right away when the voltage is too high. Check the voltage capacity of your devices before plugging them in so you don’t risk overheating them.

Set up contingencies

You’ve already contacted your embassy. Your spouse has your complete itinerary and flight information, and your banks and phone providers have set up your accounts for overseas service. But what about your work contingencies? Does your team have all the appropriate information they need in case you’re delayed or unavailable?

Before leaving for your trip, make sure your peers and reports have everything they need from you to make sure critical work gets done if you are out of pocket while abroad.

Wouldn’t it be easier if more things in business came with an actionable checklist? Your technology strategy should. How’s your IT plan and budget coming along? Do you think there’s room for improvement? We can give your leadership team a clear path forward for wise technology investment that supports your business goals.

Do you have any availability next week to discuss?

 


 

EH 2About the Author-

 Eric Henderson is Rocket IT’s virtual Chief Information Officer. He is also the tallest person at Rocket IT (by a fraction of an inch).

 

 

1200x627- vCIOHave you found that you need the expertise of a Chief Information Officer to help you make strategic decisions on how to leverage technology to meet your unique business goals, but aren’t ready to commit to hiring a full-time executive to fill that need? Learn about our virtual CIO services.

 

 

 

 

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Entrepreneurship, News

Rocket IT Celebrates Expansion

Rocket IT

We recently celebrated the expansion of the Rocket IT headquarters here in Gwinnett County! Thank you to everyone who came out and helped us make our 2017 ribbon cutting such a success. We’ve put together a brief slideshow of the night down below. You might see a few familiar faces!

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Press Releases

Rocket IT Recognized for Excellence in Pioneer 250 List

Rocket IT

DULUTH, GA – CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Rocket IT to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list as a Pioneer 250 company. This annual list recognizes North American technology solution providers with cutting-edge approaches. Their offerings help organizations navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.

“We’re honored to receive this recognition from The Channel Co.,” said Eric Henderson, Rocket IT’s Virtual Chief Information Officer. “At Rocket IT, we’re focused on finding a better way for our clients and for our team. Having this recognition as a best-in-class provider is deeply meaningful to our organization.”

In today’s fast-paced business environments, outsourced IT companies play an important role in helping organizations leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. The Pioneer 250 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations, recognizing companies from across the United States and Canada with business models weighted toward outsourced IT and largely focused on the SMB market.

Rocket IT is the IT partner of choice for Gwinnett County organizations, providing both the strategy and support they need to thrive. Our approach begins with a plan that aligns technology investment with business value. Then, we provide Ideal IT support that focuses on increasing efficiency, decreasing risk, and increasing revenue – which has been recognized with Partnership Gwinnett’s Innovation Award, garnered us a place on the Inc 5000, and resulted in a 22-year track record of helping people thrive.

The Pioneer 250 list will be featured in the February 2017 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/msp500.

 

 

 

 

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Best Practices, Leadership

Creating Quiet Space for Employees in an Open Office

Rocket IT

Like many offices today, Rocket IT’s headquarters has an open floor plan. This is fantastic for collaboration, accessibility to leadership, and anyone who suffers from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), but it can create a deficiency in quiet spaces to work.

We posted previously about ways employees can focus in and block out distractions in an open office setting, but what can you do as an employer to help?

One way we mitigate this issue is by creating dedicated quiet spaces in our office that anyone can use.

While our main floor plan is open, we do have a few individual offices throughout our space. Several of these offices are taken by members of our leadership team who deal with sensitive information and have weekly one-on-ones with their direct reports where they require privacy. But a few of these offices aren’t occupied by anyone. But that doesn’t mean they’re unused.

Instead of doling out all the available offices, we decided to make these available for use to everyone on the team.

These rooms are equipped with monitors, docking stations, phones, and everything else our team needs to pick up their work from where they left off at their own desk. Anyone can book time in one using its resource mailbox, and they can view the office’s availability within the resource calendars in Outlook. This method provides a more streamlined, standardized, and auditable way for these rooms to be utilized.

 

How exactly do these reservable work spaces help Rocket IT employees thrive?

Each office has a melting pot of eclectic personalities. You have your extraverts who think out loud as they work through new solutions, introverts who prefer white noise over small talk, and those of both personality types who sometimes need a break from background noise or who require privacy for a client phone call.

Creating a space for anyone in your office to reserve some time can diffuse some of that workplace tension that occurs from many different personalities in the same open floor plan.

If your team has expressed a need for some quiet time to get work done, this floating office could be your solution. When the open space becomes too distracting (which can happen in an office where projectiles have been known to fly on occasion) or someone needs a quiet place where they know they won’t be interrupted during a webinar or a conference call, they can go into one of these offices and have everything they need to continue working seamlessly right there at their fingertips.

Interested in seeing how these spaces work for yourself? Come join us on February 23rd from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM for our ribbon cutting event! RSVP to jmcfadden@rocketit.com.

 


 

MB About the Author-

 Michael Bearchell lives with his wife and three children in Gwinnett County. He is an Inside Support Technician at Rocket IT and has found out the hard way that it is tough being a New York sports fan in the south.

 

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Press Releases

Rocket IT’s Ryan Bonilla Named Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year

Rocket IT

DULUTH, GA – The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce will recognize Ryan Bonilla as the 2016 Ambassador of the Year at their 69th Annual Dinner on February 3rd, 2017. The distinction is awarded to the Gwinnett Chamber Ambassador who goes above and beyond to mentor new and existing Chamber members, serve at events, and act as liaison to the Gwinnett community.

Gwinnett Chamber Ambassadors are volunteers who act as an extension of Chamber staff by acclimating new members and serving as mentors to fellow members. The Ambassadors make it possible for the Chamber to offer many of its programs and services through the time and work they donate.

“Our Ambassadors play a pivotal role in allowing the Gwinnett Chamber to be able to execute on our programs and events.  Ryan Bonilla has been a champion of the Gwinnett Chamber for several years, and his leadership as an Ambassador and Mentor to our Gwinnett Chamber members is irreplaceable,” said Vince DeSilva, the Gwinnett Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Member Services. “It’s important to note that Ryan’s peer Ambassadors and Members of the Gwinnett Chamber have chosen him for this distinct honor and we collectively at the Chamber celebrate Ryan Bonilla as 2016 Ambassador of the Year.”

Ryan Bonilla serves as Business Development Manager at Rocket IT and has helped Rocket IT experience unprecedented growth, giving the local company national recognition on the Inc 5000 list and CRN Fast Growth 150 list. In addition to serving as a Gwinnett Chamber Ambassador, Ryan is the 2017 Board Chair for the Gwinnett Young Professionals, mentors a STEM class at Central Gwinnett High School, and has supported Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s operations here in Gwinnett for years, starting with their Community Advisory Board and now through the Executives 4 Children’s program, where he has raised over $150,000 for CHOA in Gwinnett.

Photo courtesy of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

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Case Studies

Hewlett Packard Recall (Case Story)

Rocket IT

Your organization focuses on helping adolescents and young adults in need

Your agency has several locations across metro Atlanta dedicated to providing counseling, medication management, and crisis stabilization services to those in need. For many, you have been a true mental health hero and advocate in the region.

But some of your laptops have a dangerous defect…and you don’t know it

Hewlett Packard has issued a recall on the battery of over 100,000 laptops, and your team is at risk. This battery defect can turn your laptop into a potential fire and burn hazard.

Rocket IT notifies you of the recall and handles the replacement for you

We know that it’s mission critical for your equipment to operate safely and efficiently. Before our clients were even aware of the issue, we were reaching out to them and acting as liaison between our clients and Hewlett Packard to identify any affected devices and replace them before an issue could arise.

You can continue your mission critical work uninterrupted

When you partner with Rocket IT, we keep an eye on critical IT news and updates that may affect your team both in the office and at home, so you can stay focused on your mission. Some call it overkill. We call it best practices.

 

 

 

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Best Practices, Technology, Tips & Shortcuts

Sending Emails to Large Groups without Giving Away Your Address Book

Rocket IT

Have you ever received an email and winced when you saw the email addresses of about 25 other executives in the recipient line?

For those of you who have been the ones sending those emails, sending one mass email to everyone instead of many individual ones is certainly the fastest and most efficient way to get your message out, but there is a better way. To send an email to a large group of people without giving away your address book (and giving out the email addresses of people who may not be too keen on having them shared out to people they don’t know), use blind carbon copy for your recipients.

Using blind carbon copy (BCC) allows the people entered in the BCC field to remain concealed from the other recipients. Doing this can also prevent accidental Reply to All emails.

When you enter email addresses into the BCC line of an email, you don’t need to enter any recipients into the standard “To” line. Just enter all your recipients in BCC, include your subject and your message, and you’re good to go.

You can also use the BCC function when sending a meeting request to multiple recipients. Of course, this isn’t meant to trick people so they don’t know who else is attending a meeting. When inviting executives to a large event you’re having, you may have the same message for a large group of people, and many of them may not want their email addresses to be public knowledge.

To use the BCC function in Outlook when sending a meeting request, click on the “To” box next to the text area after creating the request and enter your recipients into the Resources field. This will effectively BCC those guests.

Why are people so reluctant to have their email addresses shared with others?

Well, some people use those emails that go out to a group of people to add to their own mailing lists without getting permission from the sender or from that individual whose email address they’re adding. Many executives prefer to not receive cold emails, and when they see their email address shared with a large group of people, it may negatively impact your relationship with them. Using the BCC function is a quick and painless way to preserve the privacy of your contacts.

Now that you know how to use the BCC function, we encourage you to go forth and use it wisely!

 


 

About the Author – 

Patrick Richardt is an Implementation Engineer at Rocket IT. He was born on Thanksgiving Day, and he currently resides with his wife and two children in Gwinnett County.

 

 

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Press Releases

Matt Hyatt Recognized with Partnership Gwinnett Innovation Award

Rocket IT

DULUTH, GA – On December 16th, 2016, Partnership Gwinnett awarded the Innovation Award to Rocket IT Founder Matt Hyatt at their Annual Summit. This distinction recognizes an individual for their visionary leadership, breaking down of barriers between IT and the community, and use of technology innovation as a major driver of success.

Partnership Gwinnett is a public-private initiative dedicated to bringing new jobs and capital investment to Gwinnett County, Georgia. Since 2006, Partnership Gwinnett has worked with its local partners to attract and retain jobs, cultivate capital investment, support educational institutions, foster workforce development, and contribute to the exceptional quality of life found in Gwinnett.

Each year, Partnership Gwinnett culminates its Annual Summit with an awards ceremony. Awards are presented to one leader and one company in the categories of Imagination, Innovation and Influence to honor local efforts supporting transformative concepts, community leadership, and economic progress in the County.

“Rocket IT has thrived even more than usual over the past three years due to visionary thinking and innovation cultivated through Matt’s leadership,” said Ryan Bonilla, Rocket IT Business Development Manager. “As a result, we are providing Gwinnett organizations strategic foresight that wasn’t previously available to them.”

As the Founder and CEO, Matt Hyatt has built Rocket IT into the IT partner of choice for Gwinnett County organizations. Through Matt’s innovative leadership and encouragement of ingenuity, Rocket IT has earned a place on the Inc. 5000 and GRN Fast Growth 150 lists in addition to being recognized with the US Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Small Business Award, Georgia Trend Magazine’s Best Place to Work Award, and Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Small Business Award.

 

 

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Technology

Ten Gadgets to Keep You Warm This Winter

Rocket IT

It’s been a relatively mild winter so far, but the temperatures are rapidly dropping. To help keep you focused on what’s mission critical instead of shivering in your ergonomic office chair, here are ten gadgets that will keep you nice and cozy both in and out of the office.

A Heated Wrap

Adjustable and warm. A heated shawl will keep you warm when you’re at your desk without hindering your movement or getting caught under the wheels of your chair.

To be safe in an office environment, look for one with an automatic shut-off.

 

USB Handwarmers

A heated wrap may keep most of you warm, but you still need your hands free for typing. USB handwarmers come in many different forms, but these will keep you extra toasty.

 

USB Heated Foot Rest

It’s hard to pull off heated slippers work in a professional setting, but a heated foot rest can reconcile the gap between fashion and freezing.

 

Headphone Earmuffs

Because there’s no reason you can’t keep listening to the Hamilton soundtrack or your audio copy of the Five Voices while your ears stay warm.

 

Bluetooth Beanie

Earmuffs aren’t everyone’s style. For those who prefer a hat, try out one of these beanies instead. They come in a variety of shapes and colors.

 

Heated Mouse

Handwarmers can still be pretty cumbersome, so this little heated mouse has you covered.

 

Heated Keyboard Pad

To match your heated mouse and keep your wrists warm as you type.

 

Heated Mouse Pad

If you prefer to keep your mouse wireless, try a heated mouse pad instead. This is also great year-round for anyone with poor circulation or arthritis.

 

Personal space heater with safety cut-off

Space heaters are really great for a cold office, especially when you and your coworkers have different opinions on what constitutes freezing. Be sure to check your company’s policy on space heaters (many are banned for safety reasons), and select one with a safety cut-off so it’ll automatically turn off if it’s tipped over or covered.

Don’t forget to turn it off before you leave for the day, and be sure to keep it clean from dust!

 

Fireplace Apps for iPhone and Android

If all else fails, here are some fireplace apps to help you think warm thoughts. These apps also provide great ambient noise and create a soothing atmosphere.

 

 


 

 

About the Author-

Jacque McFadden is the marketing specialist at Rocket IT. While a large portion of her job focuses on the more traditional side of marketing, she is also responsible for finding great new employees. Jacque is originally from Indiana. 

 

5-voices-giveaway-thumbnailWould you like the chance to win a copy of Rocket IT’s favorite leadership development book, Five VoicesEnter our giveaway by 12:00 AM EST on January 15th, 2017, for your chance to win!

 

 

 

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