About Edward Aube

Red Level's Vice President, Small Business Consulting

Work From Home Readiness Checklist

Our current reality has created a big push for people to work from home. There are many applications and services that give organizations the ability to have their employees work remotely. The Work From Home Readiness Checklist consists of three main pillars that you want to be sure you cover when implementing a work from environment: hosted items, access tools, and policies. Hosted Items Software-as-a-service (SaaS) SaaS is any software or application that is hosted on the Internet and is accessible by users either from an organizational device (laptop, phone, tablet) or a personal device. Systems like payrolls services, ERPs, Office 365 fall into this category. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) IaaS is a managed computing infrastructure that is offered on-demand, meaning computing [...]


Cloud services have gotten a lot of attention from small to medium-sized businesses in recent years, and for good reason: It’s expensive, risky, and resource-intensive to manage your IT infrastructure. At the same time, a lot of SMBs have held off on migrating to the cloud, for equally good reasons: Most cloud services – and cloud service providers – aren’t prepared to serve their companies optimally. Every company’s IT needs are unique but try telling that to one of the global monoliths dominating the cloud services arena. It’s pretty much a given that signing on for service with most cloud services companies means giving up a good deal of flexibility and control, as well as sacrificing any claim to customization [...]


People don’t usually get too excited about the basics where technology is concerned. It’s not surprising. People are interested in what’s new, and technology is all about what’s new, what’s next, what’s going to change the world – new apps, new phones, and new services are where all the action is. That mindset extends beyond people to companies. When considering what to spend IT resources on, there can be a great temptation to be dazzled by the novelty of that supposedly world-changing new application, that lightning-fast machine or that must-have accessory. And sure – some of them are must-haves or at least extremely-good-to-haves. If they come at the cost of taking care of fundamentals, though, that’s a problem. A lot [...]


Does your business rest on a solid IT foundation? And as a business owner, do you know what you need to know in order to make that determination? It's more than understandable if you don't. Unless your business is focused on information technology and products or services related to it, you've probably got little time or patience for IT issues - after all, they are complex, and you have your core business to attend to. But that doesn't change the fact that today, virtually every business depends on digital systems and services of one sort or another. Even the smallest and most technology-averse companies have been compelled to enter the digital realm on some level, if only for something as [...]

Moving Your Office? Make Your Vendors Your Allies

Moving offices is always a big deal. If I’m ever inclined to forget that, Red Level’s relocation earlier this year will be enough to remind me. For months, our move had been contemplated, planned, and prepared for, and finally in the space of a few days it was completed. Fortunately, it went about as well as an office move ever could, and certainly better than most do, which all of us are grateful for. My colleague Janet Tyler wrote about the importance of planning for our big move on the Automation Alley site, and it made me think: besides knowing what to plan, who is doing the planning makes a big difference – and vendors are often an overlooked but vital [...]

2017 IT Predictions – What Can You Expect?

IT Predictions for 2017 As we wind our way towards the end of 2016, think back for a moment on some of what we’ve seen throughout the past year. There’s been the continuing ascendance of cloud services, particularly in terms of common business and consumer applications (thank you, Microsoft and Adobe). There’s the growing significance of advanced analytics. There have been an abundance of high-profile security breaches, entrapping big-box retailers and political campaigns alike. Mobile has continued to charge ahead, assuming ever-greater significance to companies and consumers alike. What there hasn’t been is any sense that the pace of change, or the degree of challenge, is lessening. Looking ahead to 2017, my first thought is that those of us in [...]

SPRING CLEANING FOR IT – Everyone needs to do it. Might as well get some help.

Ah, spring cleaning: Just about everybody needs to do it, and almost nobody looks forward to it. Whether it’s tackling winter’s ravages in the yard, clearing out the garage, or de-cluttering the closet, it’s one of those tasks that often inspires undue dread beforehand, even when you love the results afterwards. The same holds true for IT pros – perhaps even more so than everyone else. IT “cleanup” can honestly be a daunting task. Mistakes – either of omission or commission – can have far-reaching results, and the changing nature of the technology environment means that “garbage” in the form of gear, applications and data accumulates more quickly than ever before. At the same time, it is critical to get [...]

It Pays to Plan for Disaster – Just Ask Bower Management Services

Think for a second about how much responsibility – and potential liability – is involved for a company that handles payroll for 1500 employees weekly. Then consider that some of these employees serve multiple clients and draw multiple checks. Oh, and they’re home health care workers, providing vital services to highly vulnerable clients. It is also your job to maintain their schedules, ensuring that every client receives necessary services at exactly the right time. Now consider what happens when you lose your power—not just for a few minutes or a few hours, but for days at a time. You can guess the likely result: Every computer, server, network device – even the phone system – stops cold. No computers, no [...]

2020-07-24T17:39:44+00:00By |Uncategorized|

Dell ” Rugged Extreme” Laptop Takes “Work Anywhere” Literally

By now we’re all pretty well acquainted with the idea of “work anywhere.” In practice, though, “anywhere” does have its limits—but with it’s Rugged Extreme laptop series, Dell is looking to push back at them.   Unless you’ve spent some recent time in the military, on a construction site or working as a police officer, you probably haven’t seen laptops like these. The Rugged Extreme boxes are sold as being waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, resistant to extremes of temperature—in short, pretty well impervious to any of the daily hazards that stand to reduce ordinary laptops to expensive paperweights.   These aren’t designed for whipping through spreadsheets down at the neighborhood Starbuck’s. They’re designed to be taken just about anywhere that work [...]

2020-07-24T14:55:49+00:00By |Uncategorized|

IT: What To Know Before You Grow

Your business is growing?  Great.  That's always a good thing, right? It is- until you suddenly find that the work you've got on your plate has gone beyond your capacity to perform it. Even boom periods create challenges for upcoming companies.  You may suddenly find you need more people, more equipment, and more space to handle that welcome upward trend.  But apart from investing in laptops or workstations for new personnel, many companies don't factor in the need for new technology, until the point that they abruptly learn that they need it. The truth is that company can outgrow its tecnology infrastructure in the same way it outgrows its physical premises. What was “just right” for a five-person shop is [...]

2018-09-29T14:59:42+00:00By |Uncategorized|