The TriState IT Experts


We work hard behind the scenes so annoying technology issues don't slow your business down.

Our mission is to help Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia businesses increase productivity and get more out of the technology you invest in.
We specialize in solutions that safeguard and protect your data and keep operations running smoothly.

Managed IT Services

Intelligent remote monitoring, proactive maintenance, and behind-the-scenes remote support.

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Network Security

Protect your business from threats like malware, viruses, phishing attacks, hackers and other threads.

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Backup & Disaster Recovery

Ensure peace-of-mind in any situation with the most complete data backup solution available.

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Spam Protection Solutions

Regain Control over your Inbox with our unique Spam Protection solutions.

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When you just want IT to work!

There are a lot of computer shops out there that you can call up to fix an issue or install a piece of equipment. They might be able to get you out of crisis mode, but they aren’t looking at the full picture.

At Patriot Tech Services Inc., we understand business. We consult. We provide solutions to solve everyday challenges. We just happen to fix computers as well.

We believe (and have proven) that if you proactively manage technology, run maintenance religiously, and monitor a business network, everyday issues and downtime will be greatly reduced.

This is what makes us different than your typical tech support company. Sure, we can fix computer issues when you have them, but our specialty is preventing them in the first place.

Are you looking for a partner you can trust your IT with? Sign up for a FREE IT Assessment to get started today.

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      What Our Clients Say

      • Fantastic Support
        Portsmouth

        As the technology and computerization continued to grow in our practice, so did our I.T. support needs. The response time from the previous company that we were using was getting longer and longer, and this became very frustrating. Unfortunately, when a practice is completely dependent upon technology, a slow response time from an I.T. support company is crippling. After I talked with Chris from...

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      • Patriot-Techs brought us into the 21st century

        We are so thankful for Patriot-Tech, they upgraded our old computers and helped us become more productive. It's great because we can help more people if we can do more. Our old computers were so slow. Thanks guys!

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      • Great techs!
        Conover
        USA
        www.asd-usa.com

        Our large Dollar General project could not have been completed without your technicians. They were great at completing the sites they were responsible for quickly and correctly. Helped us finish up ahead of schedule which we appreciated! You are our go-to company for work in OH, WV & KY. Thank you!   Ashley Hill NDS - Automated Systems Design, Inc. (ASD)

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      • Extremely Professional
        Huntington
        CVS

        Tech was extremely professional and great to work with. Our end user was very happy with his performance and his politeness. Thank you for your hard work! Will definitely use again.  

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      • High Praise
        Ashland
        Rainbow Title Co

        Our 3rd party vendor couldn't say enough good things about Patriot's technicians. Their own IT person who supports their products everyday wasn't able to resolve the issue but your guys did!  Even though the vendor was embarrassed, he had high praise for the knowledge and quick work to resolve the issue and get me up and running.  Thank you!

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      Latest Blogs

      Augmented Reality Growth Presents Interesting Applications

      Today’s A.R.
      As was stated above, most people who use a smartphone today have used some sort of augmented reality technology. In an A.R. application, a virtual (and often controllable) image is layered over real-world objects caught through the camera on the device. The overlay is simulated simultaneously with the input received over the Internet and through the camera. A.R. increases user engagement as they need to interact directly with the superimposed images.

      Developers are trying to harness the potential power of the technology by developing applications that are intuitive and useful. There have already been some pretty successful A.R. rollouts, like the furniture app, Augment, and the ever-popular A.R. game Pokemon Go. Even A.R. browsers have been developed. Argon4 with its Javascript framework makes it easier to add augmented content to web applications.

      Tomorrow's A.R.
      While there haven’t been a lot of applications developed to completion so far, the future of augmented reality looks extremely bright. A.R. technology could be most useful in creating tutorials on how to do certain tasks. Anything that you need a step-by-step guide for could be made simpler through the use of A.R. For example, if you need to troubleshoot relatively simple maintenance to your car, an A.R. app can be developed to map everything under your car’s hood, and give you a tutorial on how to replace spark plugs, fluids, and other simple tasks that often cost car-owners thousands of dollars every year. Similar applications could be rolled out in schools in the near future, providing massive benefits for educators and students, alike.

      Other apps that are currently in development include:

      • eCommerce: Enhance consumer satisfaction with real-time and life-like shopping experiences using digital overlays.
      • Marketing: In-store applications can provide shoppers with all the information that has typically been done through printed literature. The use of A.R can really kick your marketing initiatives up a notch.
      • Gaming: A.R. games are all the rage. By gamifying the world around us, more people are out doing things, improving society.

      Augmented reality hasn’t hit it big just yet, but don’t be surprised if the technology is omnipresent in the very near future. At Patriot Tech Services Inc. we keep up on tomorrow’s top technologies so that we can provide the best technology services for our clients. If you would like more information about augmented reality, or any other new and emerging technology, reach out to us today at 877-874-4629.

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      Save Money, Be Spied On?

      What “Listening to the Frontend” Has to Say
      The patent, US010020004, depicts and describes a new method of data collection that could very well never be implemented. However, Listening to the Frontend, as it is titled, paints a concerning picture of how this technology could easily be abused at the expense of both customer, and Walmart employee. 

      This is effectively a patent that stakes a claim to a particular method of recording the checkout process and the surrounding environment - sensing how many people are in line at a given time, so that another checkout aisle can be opened if needed. The goal is to increase customer satisfaction and cut back on costs, or as the patent puts it, “Tracking performance metrics for employees to ensure that the employees are performing their jobs efficiently and correctly can aid in achieving these cost savings and increases in guest satisfaction.” The system described in the patent would collect the data needed to determine many key metrics, including the efficiency of the bagging process based on audio input of the beep of the scanner and the rustling of the bags, the greetings that employees are using to interact with the guests, and even how long lines are at each checkout by analyzing the distance between the podium and the source of different sounds.

      Did you catch that? Despite a statement that claimed with no uncertainty that this system would not be listening in on conversations between the customer and the employee, the patent itself disagrees somewhat by mentioning the system’s capability to “process the audio of the conversations to determine whether the employee stationed at the terminal is greeting guests.” It continues by clarifying, “If however the performance metric is based on the content of the conversation (e.g., was a specific greeting used or script followed), the system can process the audio detected by the sound sensors 102 (e.g., using speech recognition) to determine the performance metric.”

      Why is Walmart Listening In?
      The same reason most businesses to most anything - there’s money involved.

      The patent makes it clear that the purpose of this system is to gather the performance metrics necessary to properly optimize the efficiency of the point-of-sale, which means that Walmart can get more customers out the door with less of their money left, and by doing so, make greater profits. Of course, this is not unexpected. Walmart is a business, after all, and so they will of course do whatever they have to in order to make as much money as they can. Even if shoppers don’t necessarily like how it is done, the idea of getting home sooner is a powerful motivation to shrug it off and adjust. If it means that less time is spent shopping, how bad could Listening to the Frontend really be?

      Assistant Professor Ifeoma Ajunwa (of Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations School) has a few counterpoints, as she has recognized the amount of damage that this could lead to down the line.

      The issues lie largely in the fact that Walmart’s employees have no union to protect their rights, which means that they pretty much don’t have the right to privacy in the workplace. Therefore, all Walmart has to do is establish that Listening to the Frontend had nothing to do with discrimination, and suddenly, the system can be legally installed without the employees being informed. Now think about anything you may have said about an employer when you thought nobody was listening - but we’re jumping ahead a bit.

      For the moment, let’s play this out under the assumption that yes, these systems are intended to measure efficiency, exclusively, when they are installed. There is another concern that the study that Professor Ajunwa produced with her colleagues, Limitless Worker Surveillance, addresses that becomes extremely relevant: something called “mission creep.”

      What is “Mission Creep?”
      Technically speaking, this patent recognizes Listening to the Frontend as the idea for a productivity tool, a method of collecting the data necessary to adapt to changing circumstances so that the workflow can be optimized. If a line gets to be too long, other aisles will be opened up to account for the overflow - that kind of thing. Unfortunately, mission creep could quickly turn an okay thing into a potentially very bad thing - as it effectively refers to how technology can have its purpose changed, after it has already been implemented.

      So, thanks to mission creep, even though the technology that is featured in Listening to the Frontend is officially meant to evaluate the length of lines and redistribute customers to keep traffic flowing, it could easily turn into a Big Brother-esque means of evaluating an employee’s performance while they work the register. This technology could clearly be used to collect the kind of data that could potentially “warrant” some form of corporate punishment.

      Did you snap back at a crabby customer? Suspended. Are your lines consistently too long because you like to chat with the customers? Well, you’re fired.

      How Else Surveillance can Affect Your Staff
      Professor Ajunwa had more to say about the influence of systems like these. First of all, while these kinds of tactics are meant to increase productivity and efficiency, the opposite effect is just as common. On top of that, it can also make employees feel distrusted and unappreciated, which leaves them less engaged in their work. Guess what that doesn’t help to boost? Efficiency! Do you tend to work faster when you know that someone is watching?

      Of course, Walmart is nothing more than a business, so of course they’re going to try to increase efficiency as much as possible. However, there are much better ways to do it than (potentially) secretly spying and evaluating their employees.

      A Better Way
      Here’s the thing about an employee - they won’t be surprised to learn they’re being watched if you tell them about it up front. So do that - make the announcement a part of a prospective hire’s onboarding process, and let them make the decision over whether or not they are comfortable. Inform them, again from the start, of the consequences of abusing, mishandling, or otherwise misbehaving with company equipment and time. Then, once everyone knows what will happen if they goof off, stay true to your word.

      The problem that Walmart is having isn’t that they have the potential to listen in on their employees and customers, it’s that they aren’t being forthcoming about it, burying it in the legal jargon of a patent. That’s why people are concerned, more than any other reason.

      People aren’t stupid - they get that there are valid and justifiable reasons for an employer to monitor the usage of their business’ computer network. They know that an employer will want to double-check that they aren’t checking their social media when they should be crunching numbers, or shopping when they should be ordering supplies, or watching some silly animal video when they should be watching a new training. There is a time and place for those things, and the office isn’t it

      If you want a fair way to keep your employees honest about their use of work technology, without constantly overseeing them, Patriot Tech Services Inc. can help. We have the solutions to help you limit distractions and ensure efficiency, all while keeping your network secure. To learn more, call us at 877-874-4629.

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      Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Make Using Word Better

       Sick of the ‘clickclickclickclickclick’ of Backspacing?
      Sometimes, it can be hard to find the right word to encapsulate what you really mean to say. As a result, the repetitive, somehow distinctive clacking of backspace can swiftly become a time-sucking annoyance. This is especially true when you factor in the correction of typos, the realization that you’ve gone off topic, and the many other reasons that you may have to un-write what you have written.

      Microsoft has provided a bit of relief from the repetitive clackclackclacking with a keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Backspace. Instead of requiring a user to press Backspace for each and every character, this shortcut lets the user delete word by word. As a result, if you have to delete a word like ‘responsibility,’‘disorganization,’ or ‘misunderstanding,’ instead of tapping backspace fourteen, fifteen, or sixteen times, you can just tap it once. While this may not seem to be a big drain on the time you have each day to be productive, it can add up quickly.

      A Built-In Ideo Locator
      It isn’t uncommon for revisions to be made in the middle of a draft after the writer has continued to work - but what happens if the writer is interrupted in the middle of their edits? Unfortunately, if the program is closed before the writer can return, the cursor will have automatically reset to the beginning of the draft. This makes it difficult to keep track of one’s progress, especially if they were making edits up to that point. However, Microsoft Word has a handy shortcut that eliminates this problem… assuming that you want to return the cursor to where it was during the last file save performed on the document, that is. If you press Shift + F5, your cursor will return to its position from the last save. This will work, even if the program has been closed and reopened in the interim.

      Simplified Hyperlinking
      Hyperlinks can be extremely useful in a business application, which is what makes it so handy that Microsoft included some of the functionality that it did in Word (incidentally, this also will work in Google Docs). This functionality makes it really very simple to add a hyperlink into your text without the roundabout means that many resort to.

      The next time you need to add a hyperlink into a document, simply highlight the text you intend to include in the hyperlink. Then press Ctrl + K. This will present you with a pop-up window. All you have to do at that point is to insert the URL you wish to link to into the address bar that this window provides, and press Enter. You can also use this window to link to other text in the same document (a handy feature if you’re calling back to a previous point made), link to text in other documents, or even start an email by clicking on predetermined text.

      Viewing Documents Side by Side, Synched Up
      Many documents are usually based on the contents of other documents, meaning it helps to have the reference document pulled up and visible as you type up the second. Again, Microsoft has made it easier to do so by enabling a side-by-side view.

      To utilize this view, make sure that both documents are open, and in one, click the View Side by Side button in the View tab. This will automatically fit your documents so that both may be viewed at once. In the same tab, you can also activate Synchronous Scrolling. This will, well, synchronize the scrolling of the two documents; as you progress down in one, the other will follow automatically.

      Spike Text
      Regardless of what program you choose to utilize, there will very likely be two of the most useful options in modern computing present: cut and paste. However, they are limited, in that you can only cut something once to paste it, while the next cut you make will overwrite this data. Once again, Word has included a function that makes it easier to cut and paste text while consolidating it. This function is known as Spike.

      For the sake of example, let’s assume that you were three-quarters through typing up a document, when you realized that some of the information spread throughout the text would actually serve your point better as a compiled section. While using cut and paste to move all this content is an effective means of moving this content to its own area in your Word document, Spike is capable of effectively halving the time it would take to move it all.

      This is because Spike works very similarly to Cut, with one exception - the clipboard isn’t overwritten each time, as it is with Cut. Therefore, by using Spike, you can collect all the information you need to move and add it all at the same time. This is because Spike uses a different clipboard than Cut does, one that adds any text removed from the document. To add copy to the Spike clipboard, highlight it and press Ctrl + F3.

      Once your copy is in the Spike clipboard, it can be mass pasted wherever you want in the document, or even in a brand new one. To empty the Spike clipboard into your desired document, position the cursor where you want it to go and press Ctrl + Shift + F3.

      Even with just a basic understanding of Microsoft Word’s capabilities, it is a useful and reliable solution - but, with an appreciation of its lesser-known features, you can really become a power user. What is your favorite thing that Microsoft Word can do? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and while you’re at it, subscribe to the Patriot Tech Services Inc. blog!

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      Latest Blog Entry

      Microsoft Office is possibly the most well-known suite of software solutions out there, with Microsoft Word probably being the first of the suite’s included programs to come to mind. We’d also wager that most people don’t know all of Word’s capabilities. This week, we’re tak...

      Latest News

      Patriot Tech Services Inc. launches new website!

      Patriot Tech Services Inc. is proud to announce the launch of our new website at www.patriot-techs.com. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our services for prospective clients.

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