LAN Systems 
September/October 2013 eNewsletter
This month's issue includes a guest blog by Eric Holtzclaw on knowing and understanding your customer as the best way to grow your business. Eric has a weekly column on Inc.
It's time to get rid of those XP machines, but should you go to Windows 7 or 8? Learn your Windows personality.
Wishing you the very best for your business,
Women in Technology On Campus at Gwinnett Tech!    
Gwinnett Tech WIT On Campus panel discussed topics for everyone looking at a career in technology.  Careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) pay more than most others jobs and give more security in this tough job market. Read more ...

What's Your Windows Personality?

nullThe time has come to upgrade your Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8, but how do you decide which is better for you and your organization?


With the end-of-support for XP on April 4, 2014, there will be no security updates or hotfixes leaving your XP machine extremely vulnerable to hacking. As with all change, it will mean a temporary reduction in productivity as you become accustomed to the new look and feel.  But you can minimize the stress and inconvenience by choosing the right operating system for your Windows personality.


The Windows 7 Personality:  You are smart and talented.  You use your computer as a productivity tool and like to get things done.  In your computing choices, you minimize risk and become anxious if too many changes happen at the same time.  You like the features in Office 2013 but also like your program icons to be familiar and your keystrokes to be efficient. You prefer to spend minutes rather than hours customizing your computer and you shy away from loading the latest gadgets on your workspace.  You play a game now and then, but you don't have a gadget in your hands during all your waking hours.  Your phone is a mobile device mainly used for talking and texting (but never while driving)!  You keep up with the latest technology developments, but still don't quite get Twitter or Google+.  You compute to live rather than live to compute.


The Windows 8 Personality:  You are a virtual, digital, mobile machine.  You can tackle and solve most any computer problem.  You never shy away from a computing challenge and use your computer in ways that few can even imagine.  You are an early adopter of social websites and you google your name often.  You embrace the computer experience and have a device for every occasion.  You write reviews for computing sites and have an app for organizing your life. The hours you spend on your devices seem like minutes and you are expert at the online experience. Others always come to you for help with their computer issues.


Windows 7 Start MenuFor the Windows 7 personality, upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 will give you the upgraded features and security with the least stress.  You will have the classic look and feel of Windows and this will minimize the learning curve.  If you have a newer computer, you may be able to load Windows 7 without upgrading your hardware.  Microsoft has a Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor tool that will scan your PC for potential issues and make before-you-upgrade recommendations.


For the Windows 8 personality, go for it.  Windows 8This is the most modern computer experience.  You are most likely going to buy a new super-powered PC, but you can always use the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant.  You'll enjoy reading the compatibility report and will get an option to buy.


Whether you choose Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can get to know Windows and explore all the features at Get to know Windows 7 or Meet Windows 8.


Want to further discuss your options, email me at  Happy computing!

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In This Issue
WIT On Campus
Your Windows Personality
Know Your Customer - Guest Author
LAN Systems

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After You Outsource, Do This!

By Guest Author Eric Holtzclaw


Business IdeasWhen I work with a company that isn't reaching it's full potential, I find there are two common threads that are most often holding that company back.


The 1st most common problem is the business owner. They just can't give up control and end up doing things they should hire others to do. That's why I love LAN Systems because the services they offer allow business owners to do what I encourage them to do when I coach them - fire themselves. By letting LAN Systems take over the day to day operations of your technology, you take an important step toward focusing on building your business, not working in it.  


And the 2nd most common problem?


Few companies know who their customer is, and because of that, they aren't doing what they need to support their customer's likelihood to select their business over their competitor or to keep their customer happy over the long term.


This lack of first-hand customer knowledge causes companies to make broad, non-informed guesses about how to service their customers which manifests itself as lackluster, non-directional results for their products, services and marketing campaigns.


Now, more than ever, the customer is in charge of the buying decision. A study published in February of this year by the CEB's Marketing Leadership Council reported that 57% of B2B buyers use what they find out about your company on their own before they pick up the phone or e-mail you for additional sales information. The more they can learn about and from you or your company on their own, the better.


But where do you put this content? And what type of knowledge should you share?


The answer to this question is easy. You just need to talk to your customers to find out. Spend time one on one with your customer in their surroundings - ideally where they are using what your company has to offer. This "in-context" discussion lets you pick-up clues about opportunities you might be missing. Do they use something else in combination with your product or to support your service? These may be clues to product enhancements or improvements you need to make.


Strive to understand what keeps your customer up at night, what problems they are trying solve and how your company fits into the rest of their life. It is rare that you will create something so unique that your customer will change their behavior to include it. Instead, you need to understand how your products or services fit within the rest of your customer's daily life. You must also understand how you can grow your customer's organic awareness of what your company does and why it's important or different.


The work it takes to understand your customers is not as hard as you think. If you have the right conversation, patterns in their decision-making start to appear between 18 and 27 interviews. That means in less than a week you and your company can be much more informed and purposeful about the dollars you are spending on your marketing and in improving your products and services.


So, my advice to you? First, hire LAN Systems to take over your technology. Then use the time they save you to get out of the building and get to know your customers better. The time you spend is crucial to surviving and thriving in the new consumer-driven economy.

About the Author
nullEric V. Holtzclaw, Founder and Chief Strategist of Laddering Works, is an unconventional thinker who has spent 20+ years creating opportunities through the practical application of emerging technologies and trends to business.
His weekly column, Lean Forward, about the future of business and technology appears on Eric's book, Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior, the 1st in a series about how "laddering" can build better teams and create better products and services is available on and in bookstores everywhere.


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