January 2012
In this issue
The Network Top 10: Technology Trends and Must-Haves for 2012
Simple Formulas in Excel:
How Free Antivirus Software Can End Up Costing You
Business Continuity Tip
How Free Antivirus Software Can End Up Costing You
used with permission from Symantec

Free antivirus software may seem like a bargain, but it’s not. Learn what issues you need to consider before you download this particular "freeware."

In this tough economy, getting something for free is always a good thing, right? Short answer: It depends on your tolerance for risk.

Read More

Business Continuity Tip

Be Ready in the New Year

It's a new year. It's a time for new beginnings and new opportunities. Everyone is optimistic and motivated to achieve new goals. But what would happen if a winter storm knocked out power to your building? What would you do if your staff were struck with an illness? How would you react if your office was burglarized and your equipment stolen?

Take some time at the beginning of this new year to answer questions like these. Create a disaster recovery plan so that interruptions and disasters don't slow you down — and so that you always stay safe and prepared.

Quote of the Month

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.

 Dale Carnegie

Just for Laughs

1661 Capitol Way, Suite 102
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: 701-250-9400



Welcome to 2012!
Almost a month has already passed, but 2012 still seems pretty fresh to me.

At NRG, we are seeing trends in Information Technology that started in 2011 continue into 2012. Two of the biggest topics currently are Mobility and the Cloud.

The presence of mobile devices is increasing at an ever faster pace. As Apple continues to dominate the tablet space, more and more applications continue to be written for the iPhone and iPad. It is this cycle of continuous improvement in application development that is fueling the move to mobile devices. When the first smartphones or tablets came out, they were “cool” but did not have a use for everyone. Now we are starting to see changes in tablet applications that make more of a difference. One such application is subscription based manuals. Instead of receiving updates to books or manuals in paper form, options now exist to receive electronic versions that are supported on tablets. This not only eliminates the paper, but saves time on updates. Many people, who have no other use for a tablet, now see a need for one to keep up to date on their manuals. Once they have the device for the primary purpose (in this case updating manuals) it starts to open even more doors to make things more convenient.

The second big technology driver is the Cloud. Cloud computing has been around for a long time with various names. Today’s “Cloud” offerings are much more robust, often with little difference from the on-premise versions of the same application. Many times we are asked “will Cloud offerings eliminate the need for an on-premise server?”. We don’t think so. There are often needs that can only be serviced by an on-premise server. However, there are many excellent Cloud-based solutions that tie in very nicely to create a hybrid solution.

Recently, while developing a proposal for a client, we found that they had a need to have an on-premise server. By utilizing Microsoft’s Office 365, we were able to offer additional solutions to compliment and work with the on-premise server, while harnessing the power of the Cloud to keep costs as low as possible. It was this hybrid approach that made the solution cost effective for the client and will enable their business.

These are just a couple examples of how Mobility and the Cloud are being used. Keep a watch out as discussions continue over the next year about these technologies. As always, if you have any questions about how to harness the power of these new technologies, just give us a call.


Chris Brown, Vice President, NRG Technology Services

The Network Top 10:
Technology Trends and Must-Haves for 2012

used with permission from the Cisco Small Business Resource Center

Anyone who manages a network is embarking on an exciting ride. Maybe you've already strapped on your seat belt and are underway, riding through:

  • A steep climb in Internet traffic and network access from smartphones and tablets

  • Increased traction in cloud services and virtualization

  • The growing popularity of IP voice and video

  • Challenging twists and turns in security, including international hacking

We'll do a flyover tour of the ride at 30,000 feet, then take a ground run for 2012.

The Vision: Five Future Technology Trends
Cisco CEO John Chambers and CTO Padmasree Warrior say the role of the network is transforming from foundation to the center point that enables the connections of people, devices, and information. Some of the top trends that they see in the coming years are:

Read More

Simple formulas in Excel: SUM and AVERAGE

Excel can be a powerful tool for your business, but it can also be daunting with its formulas, charts, and formatting. This month we’ll take a look at two simple but very useful formulas, and how to make them work for you.

You can also view the quick video version of this tip, that demonstrates all the methods of summing and averaging numbers.

Adding Up Numbers
You have multiple columns or rows of numbers. You don’t want to have to add them all up on your calculator, and you don’t want to have to re-add them if the numbers change. The simplest solution? Use AutoSum!

To add up a row or column of numbers, highlight all of the cells you want to add up (either vertically down a column or horizontally in a row), and then click AutoSum on the ribbon in the Editing group.

Read More