Newsletter | July 2024
Practical IT

As a Managed IT Services Provider, we understand that not everyone loves technology as much as we do. In this month's newsletter, we're committed to providing you with practical and useful tips to help make your business more efficient and profitable through the 'intelligent' use of 'technical solutions!'

A person working on a laptop by the ocean, with a glass of wine, clock, and cactus on the table, enjoying a relaxed yet productive setting

Improve Communication and Cut Down on Meetings with Loom

Communication can be tricky with staff, and most companies are overburdened with meetings.
Consider using a tool like Loom to improve communication for team members and reduce the number of meetings you have to attend!

Why Loom?

Loom is a powerful communication tool that allows you to record your screen, webcam, or both to share ideas faster, provide clear feedback, and collaborate more efficiently with your team. Here are some reasons why teams connect with Loom:

  • Collaborate: Give contextual, personalized feedback by sending clear video messages.
  • Save time: Fewer meetings, more context. LaunchDarkly cut down 523 meetings in 90 days with Loom.
  • Align your team: Train teams, send updates, and document messages to improve teamwork.

Best Practices for Using Loom

To get the most out of Loom, consider the following best practices:

1. Get the Chrome Extension:
The Loom Chrome extension makes it easy to start recording directly from your browser.
2. Have a Good Camera and Microphone: 
Ensure high-quality video and audio using a good camera and microphone.
3. Plan Your Video: 
Have an idea of what you want to say before you start recording to ensure your message is clear and concise.

Experience the Simplicity of Loom. Loom is incredibly easy to use and download. With the Chrome extension or desktop app, you can start recording with just a few clicks. It's designed to be intuitive, making it accessible for everyone on your team, regardless of their technical proficiency. You don't need to be a tech expert to use Loom!

Pricing Plans

Loom offers plans to suit different needs:
Visit for more details

  • Starter Plan: Free plan with a 5-minute recording limit and 25 video storage limit.
  • Business Plan: Paid plan with unlimited recording time and storage.
  • Enterprise Plan: Paid plan with advanced admin and security features.
  • Education Plan: A free plan for verified education users with unlimited video storage.

Examples of How Loom Can Be Used

  • Close More Deals: Loom's video messaging helps AEs, BDRs, and SDRs connect with key stakeholders, build relationships, and unlock more revenue.
  • Engage Prospects: Highlight features, benefits, and customer testimonials—all with a human touch tailored to your prospects' needs.
  • Personalize Your Pitches: Record once and personalize variations of your videos with variables and features so your pitch stands out in a busy inbox.
  • Inspire Action: Get notified when a prospect views your video so you can immediately follow up—and embed CTA links so they can promptly book a call.

Why Choose Loom?
Why Loom-1

Loom offers a versatile platform for improving communication within your team and with your clients. By adopting Loom, you can reduce the number of unnecessary meetings, provide precise and personalized feedback, and keep your team aligned and informed. Whether training teams, sending updates, or documenting messages, Loom helps you streamline communication and boost productivity.

Ready to transform the way you communicate with your team? Try Loom today!

At ITS, we don't sell Loom. Our goal is to make technology useful and easy for our clients. We believe in providing tools and solutions that enhance business operations and productivity. 

By aligning with ITS, you gain access to our expertise and commitment to bringing you the best technology solutions to meet your needs. 

Let us help you leverage the power of technology to achieve your business goals.
Contact ITS today!

Enhance Your Business with ChatGPT

At ITS, we want to help you harness the power of AI tools to enhance your content, marketing, and systems. ChatGPT, an advanced AI language model, can be a game-changer for your business.
In fact, this newsletter article was created using ChatGPT for about 80% of the content, demonstrating its potential in practical use.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI language model that can generate human-like text based on the prompts given to it. It can assist with a variety of tasks, from drafting content to answering queries. However, it's important to note that while ChatGPT is powerful, it can be prone to "hallucinations" if the prompts are unclear. In AI terms, a hallucination refers to the AI generating incorrect or nonsensical information that wasn't intended by the user.

Considerations and Risks When Using ChatGPT

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it's essential to be aware of the risks involved, especially when handling confidential or sensitive information. Data that is secret or secure should not be loaded into a public cloud model like ChatGPT, Gemini, or Perplexity, as these platforms could potentially expose data that should be kept secret.

For example, Samsung recently experienced this issue. Engineers in the company’s semiconductor division were allowed to use ChatGPT to check source code. However, the company was recently made aware of three cases where employees accidentally entered confidential information into the bot. Two of them entered confidential code into the chatbot—one to check for errors and another for code optimization. The third shared a meeting recording for the bot to convert it into presentation notes.

In response, Samsung has limited ChatGPT access to 1,024 bytes of upload per person and launched investigations into the responsible employees. The company is also considering developing an internal chatbot to avoid such risks in the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Data Security: Do not input sensitive or confidential data into ChatGPT or similar platforms.
  • Human Element: AI tools are not a replacement for human staff. Customers appreciate the personal touch and are more likely to trust and return to businesses where they can interact with real people.

ChatGPT as an AI Personal Assistant

ChatGPT can act as an AI personal assistant, organizing information, creating lists, and planning events. This is particularly useful for SMB owners who manage many tasks without personal assistants. Here are some useful prompts:

  • Organize Information: "Create a list based on the following information: [details]."
  • Meeting Structure: "Structure a meeting based around [topic]."
  • Event Planning: "Organize the following information by time and date: [details]."

While ChatGPT can accelerate these tasks, it's important to proofread and verify the generated content to ensure accuracy.

Best Practices for Using ChatGPT

To get the most out of ChatGPT, consider these best practices:

1. Clear Prompts: Provide clear, specific prompts to reduce the risk of AI hallucinations.
2. Fact-Check: Always fact-check the generated content, as ChatGPT is a language generation tool, not a knowledge engine.
3. Human Oversight: Integrate human oversight to add a personal touch and ensure the content aligns with your business values.

Pricing Plans

ChatGPT offers different pricing plans to suit various needs:

Visit for more details

Practical Applications of ChatGPT

Here are some ways you can utilize ChatGPT in your business:

  • Content Creation: Generate blog posts, newsletters, and social media content.
  • Customer Engagement: Use ChatGPT to draft personalized responses and engage with prospects.
  • Administrative Tasks: Organize meetings, create schedules, and manage information efficiently.

Considerations for Businesses

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it's crucial to remember that AI should complement, rather than replace, the human element in your business. Customers value a personal touch and are more likely to trust businesses where they can engage with real people.

At ITS, we don't sell ChatGPT. Our mission is to make technology useful and easy for our clients. We believe in providing tools and solutions that enhance your business operations and improve your productivity.

By aligning with ITS, you gain access to our expertise and commitment to bringing you the best technology solutions to meet your needs.

Let us help you leverage the power of AI to achieve your business goals.
Contact ITS today!

Streamline Your Email Communication with Templates

At ITS, we aim to help our clients make the most out of their technology investments.
One way to enhance productivity and streamline communication is by using email templates.
Rather than typing response emails from scratch every time, templates within your email client can expedite responses and make client or internal communications easier.

Why Use Email Templates?

Email templates save time and ensure consistency in communication. They are particularly handy for responses to frequently asked questions, onboarding new clients, following up on inquiries, and internal communications. By standardizing these responses, you can maintain a professional tone and ensure all necessary information is included, making you more efficient in your daily tasks.

How to Create and Use Email Templates in Outlook


Step-by-Step Instructions for Outlook:

1. Open Outlook: Start by opening Microsoft Outlook.
2. Compose a New Email: Click "New Email" to compose a message.
3. Create Your Template: Write the email you want to use as a template. Include placeholders for any information that might change.
4. Save as Template:
  • Go to "File" > "Save As."
  • In the "Save as type" dropdown, select "Outlook Template (*.oft)."
  • Choose a name for your template and save it in a convenient location.
5. Using the Template:
  • To use your template, go to "Home" > "New Items" > "More Items" > "Choose Form."
  • In the "Look In" dropdown, select "User Templates in File System."
  • Select your template and click "Open."
6. Customizing and Sending:
  • Customize the template as needed before sending it.
  • Fill in placeholders with relevant information.
  • Click "Send."


How to Share Templates Across a Team in Outlook

To make templates available across a team in Outlook, you can store them in a shared folder or a company intranet site that everyone can access and use. This fosters a sense of connection and collaboration within your team.

1. Store Templates in a Shared Folder:
  • Save the template in a shared network folder.
  • Provide team members with access to this folder.
2. Accessing Shared Templates:
  • Instruct team members to follow the steps under "Using the Template" to access templates from the shared folder.


How to Create and Use Email Templates in Gmail


Step-by-Step Instructions for Gmail:

1. Open Gmail:  Start by opening Gmail in your web browser.
2. Enable Templates:
  • Click on the gear icon (Settings) and select "See all settings."
  • Go to the "Advanced" tab.
  • Find "Templates" and click "Enable."
  • Scroll down and click "Save Changes."
3. Create Your Template:
  • Click on "Compose" to start a new email.
  • Write the email that you want to use as a template.
4. Save as Template:
  • Click on the three dots at the bottom right corner of the compose window.
  • Hover over "Templates," then "Save draft as a template," and then "Save as new template."
  • Please enter a name for your template and save it.
5. Using the Template:
  • Click "Compose" to start a new email.
  • Click on the three dots at the bottom right corner.
  • Hover over "Templates" and select your template from the list.
6. Customizing and Sending:
  • Customize the template as needed before sending it.
  • Fill in placeholders with relevant information.
  • Click "Send."


How to Share Templates Across a Team in Gmail

To share templates across a team in Gmail, you can use Google Workspace features to make templates available to everyone.

1. Use a Shared Google Drive Folder:
  • Save the templates as documents in a shared Google Drive folder.
  • Provide team members with access to this folder.
2. Instruct Team Members:
  • Team members can copy the template content from the Google Drive documents and save them as personal templates in their Gmail accounts by following the steps under "Create Your Template."


Different Templates for Different Situations

Having different templates for various situations can significantly enhance efficiency. Here are some examples:

Client Onboarding → Welcome emails, account setup instructions, and introductory messages
Support Responses → Answering frequently asked questions, troubleshooting steps, and follow-up messages.
Sales Follow-Ups → Thank you messages, meeting confirmations, and proposal follow-ups.
Internal Communications → Meeting agendas, project updates, and policy announcements.


How ITS Can Help

At ITS, we help companies optimize their IT solutions, including email systems. We ensure our customers can use the technology they pay for as effectively as possible. By implementing email templates, you can enhance productivity, improve communication consistency, and free up time for more critical tasks.

We hope this article provides valuable insights on using email templates to streamline communications.
Contact ITS today to learn how we can help you set up and manage email templates for your business.

Happy emailing!


The Best Way to Set Up and Track KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for measuring and managing your business's success.
At ITS, effective KPI management starts with the understanding that each department has unique metrics. Here's a guide to setting up and tracking KPIs effectively.

Step 1: Define Department-Specific KPIs

Different departments have different objectives and, therefore, different KPIs. Here are some best practice KPI examples for various departments:

Sales Marketing Operations
Number of Leads Generated Website Traffic Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Conversion Rate Lead Generation Rate Average Resolution Time
Average Deal Size Cost Per Lead (CPL) Number of Service Tickets Closed
Sales Growth Social Media Engagement Operational Efficiency
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Content Performance (e.g., blog views, downloads) Compliance Rate


Step 2: Decide on Additional KPIs (Leading and Lagging Indicators)

When setting KPIs, consider including both leading and lagging indicators:

  • Leading Indicators: Predict future performance - e.g., the number of new leads for sales (can help predict sales revenue downstream), the number of blogs published for marketing (can help you predict the number of leads you may get).
  • Lagging Indicators: Reflect past performance (e.g., total sales revenue, customer retention rate).

Review your business objectives and decide if there are additional KPIs that can provide insights into future performance or measure past successes.

Step 3: Building the Dashboard

Building a KPI dashboard can be challenging, especially since stakeholders have varying data needs. Here's how to approach it:

  • Identify Stakeholders: Understand who will use the dashboard and what information they need.
    • Senior Leadership: Interested in strategic metrics like leads from specific marketing activities, revenue potential, and overall performance.
    • Marketing Team: This team focuses on metrics such as the number of blogs created, form submissions, and website traffic.
    • Operations Team: Needs data on customer satisfaction, service ticket volume, and resolution times.
  • Customize Views: Create customized views for different stakeholders to ensure they can quickly access the data relevant to them.

Step 4: Visualizing the Data

Visualizing data effectively is crucial for "telling the story" with your KPIs.
Here are some best practices:

  • Clarity: Ensure the data is displayed clearly and understandably.
  • Context: Provide context to the data (e.g., showing trends over time, comparing against targets).
  • Relevance: Highlight the most important data points that need attention.

    For example, if your company needs to see how many complaints occurred per number of service calls to predict client retention rates, decide the best way to display this data:
    Percentage of Complaints vs. Total Service Calls → This gives a quick view of the rate of complaints.
    Total Number of Complaints → Useful for tracking volume.
    Unique Clients Complained→ Helps identify if complaints are widespread or concentrated among a few clients.

Step 5: Displaying the Data

Choose the right tools to display your KPI data. The goal is to ensure the data is easily accessible and reportable using systems you understand and can operate efficiently.
Here are some tools you can use:

  • Excel: Great for detailed analysis and flexibility in data manipulation.
  • Power BI: Excellent for interactive dashboards and real-time data integration.
  • Google Sheets: Good for collaboration and accessibility.
  • Looker Studio: Powerful for data visualization and integration with various data sources.
  • PowerPoint: Useful for presenting KPI data in meetings and reports.

The Most Challenging Parts of Setting Up KPIs

Setting up KPIs can be a complex task fraught with challenges and potential frustrations. Here are some of the most common difficulties teams encounter:

  • Defining Relevant KPIs: Identifying the right KPIs that accurately reflect business goals and departmental objectives can be tricky. Each department needs tailored KPIs, and there can be a struggle to balance between too few and too many metrics.
  • Data Collection: Gathering accurate and timely data for each KPI can be challenging, especially if data sources are dispersed across various systems and platforms.
  • Data Quality: Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of data is crucial. Inconsistent or inaccurate data can result in misleading KPIs, impacting decision-making.
  • Alignment Across Teams: Different departments may have conflicting priorities and definitions for success, making it hard to align on a standard set of KPIs.
  • Dashboard Customization: Creating a dashboard that meets the needs of all stakeholders is complex. Senior leadership may want high-level overviews, while departments need detailed operational metrics.
  • Visualization: Effectively visualizing data to tell a clear and compelling story requires skill and attention to detail. Poor visualization can obscure insights and make the data harder to interpret.
  • Updating and Maintaining KPIs: Keeping the KPIs and dashboards up to date with the latest data and ensuring they evolve with the business can be resource-intensive.

Potential Frustrations and How to Address Them

  • Misalignment of Goals: When departments have different objectives, defining KPIs that satisfy everyone can be challenging. Holding cross-departmental meetings can help align goals and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Overwhelming Data: Too many KPIs can overwhelm teams. Focus on the most critical metrics that drive business outcomes and gradually expand as needed.
  • Resistance to Change: Employees may resist adopting new KPI tracking processes. Provide training and communicate the benefits clearly to encourage buy-in.
  • Technical Challenges: Not all team members use dashboard tools proficiently. Offering training and support can help overcome technical barriers.
  • Interpretation of Data: Different people might interpret the same data differently, leading to confusion. Standardize reporting formats and provide context to help interpret the data correctly.


How ITS Can Help

At ITS, we help companies optimize their IT solutions, including setting up and managing KPI dashboards. We understand the nuances of different departments' data needs and can assist in creating a tailored solution that fits your business.

We hope this article provides valuable insights on setting up and tracking KPIs effectively. Contact ITS today to learn how we can help you set up and manage your business's KPIs.


Beat the Summer Heat!

Aug 1 2024 Beat the Heat Dog Days of Summer-1
Join Intelligent Technical Solutions and
Spud Software on August 1st for a relaxing evening at Garage 158, M1 Concourse.

  • Enjoy cool refreshments
  • Connect with peers and industry leaders
  • Win exciting raffle prizes
  • Enjoy tasty snacks
  • Support Lucky Day Animal Rescue

Don't miss this opportunity to unwind and make meaningful connections! Register today!

Register Now

Date & Time:
August 1, 2024, Thursday
4:30 PM to 7:00 PM Eastern

Garage 158 @ M1 Concourse
1 Concourse Dr, Pontiac, MI 48341
See map location