'Brewers Are the New Rock Stars'

Miss out on this year’s craft beer session at the Middle Market Forum? Not to worry! Scroll to the bottom of this article to watch a video highlight recap of this session.

These are heady times for Ohio’s craft beer industry. The Ohio Craft Brewers Association reports that Ohio ranks No. 4 in the country in craft beer production. This industry has a $2.67-billion impact and supports more than 15,000 jobs.

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    Leaders of the region’s growing craft brewery industry gathered during this year’s Middle Market Forum to talk about collaboration in the industry, their strategic vision and what’s next for the industry. Taking part in this session were:

    • Bill Boor, CEO of Great Lakes Brewing Co.
    • Tanisha Robinson, CEO of BrewDog
    • Justin Carson, owner of Platform Beer Co.
    • Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Beer Association

    Scroll down to the bottom of this article to view video highlights from this unique session.

    The Middle Market Forum is just one of the many events the Greater Cleveland Partnership hosts each year to help the area’s businesses gain the resources and make the connections they need to succeed. View other upcoming Greater Cleveland Partnership events by clicking here.


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    Next up: Budget-Friendly Digital Marketing
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  • Budget-Friendly Digital Marketing

    Do you have a solid understanding of your digital marketing strategy? This webinar will show you how to create a budget-friendly, trackable, well-defined plan that will generate a return for your business.

    Do you have a solid understanding of your digital marketing strategy? This webinar will show you how to create a budget-friendly, trackable, well-defined plan that will generate a return for your business.


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    Next up: Build Your Brand, Build Your Business
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  • Build Your Brand, Build Your Business

    Office Depot Print & Copy Services™ delivers everything from business cards to banners, presentations to promotional products. Order custom printing online or in-store. The process is simple: Upload your files online, then simply choose delivery or pick up at a store. Same Day printing and pickup options are available on many items.

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    Though great services are often hard to come by, companies of all types can benefit from having the right print and copy provider on their side. From specialty boutiques, to realtors, restaurants and more, each of us needs a reliable partner that we can count on for printing services. Office Depot Print & Copy services produces high-quality custom printing and fast turnaround at a great price. With its network of regional print centers, Office Depot printing services will have you covered whether your job is big or small.

    COSE has negotiated special pricing on print and copy services exclusively for our members. We heard from an attendee at BizConCle that she had recently printed a custom event invitation that would have cost $86.25 for printing, but with her COSE Store Purchasing Card, she paid only $36.25.

    The process of ordering print and copy services is simple. Upload your files online and then choose to have your order delivered or pick it up at a store that is convenient for you. If you need a little more assistance or if you simply prefer not to order online, visit your local store and speak to an associate about your project. Office Depot’s Print & Copy associates are more than happy to help.

    While you are traveling, don't forget Office Depot printing associates are here to help with your presentations and binders. Upload or drop off PowerPoint presentations or PDF documents and let us do the copying, tabs, spiral binding, create ring binders and covers. We can even pack your presentations and ship them to multiple locations to help save you time. Visit the COSE-Office Depot website to easily find local stores offering printing services.

    Companies rely on print and copy services from Office Depot as their main resource for printing and distribution services. Display professionalism with quality business cards, stationery, custom stamps, envelopes, checks, labels, engraved signs and more from COSE’s official partner, Office Depot. To learn more about the benefits of the Office Depot Savings Program, please click here.

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    Next up: Build Your Legal Toolbox
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  • Build Your Legal Toolbox

    Every small business needs to have a strong legal foundation to stand on. What tools do you need to have in your legal toolbox?

    Every small business needs to have a strong legal foundation to stand on. What tools do you need to have in your legal toolbox?

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    Next up: BusinessTech18 Recap: Seasoned CISOs Share Best Practices
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  • BusinessTech18 Recap: Seasoned CISOs Share Best Practices

    During the BizTECH18 conference last fall, a panel of veteran chief information security officers detailed tips companies should keep in mind to keep their business’ technology safe.

    A panel of seasoned chief information security officers took the stage during the BizTECH18 conference held last fall in downtown Cleveland to share what they’ve learned to be best practices around the topic of data protection. Here are the three insights that panelists Tom Siu of Case Western Reserve University; Jerry Justice of Benesch; and Bob Salandre of Timken relayed to the standing-room-only crowd.

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    Insight No. 1: Understand behaviors

    One of the first steps to stopping data thieves is to understand the behaviors of the people who use your network, including both internal and external users. This is an area where artificial intelligence can be particularly helpful. By studying the common behaviors of how internal departments and external visitors use your network, AI can quickly determine when anomalies occur and a visitor is acting out of the norm.

    Salandre said that in the past, it was difficult for human eyes to connect the dots between all the many visits a company’s network sees during a period of time. But thanks to machine learning, AI can now put these red flags together and develop a clear picture of a larger threat.

    Insight No. 2: Implement training

    The CISOs on the panel agreed that there’s a new trend as it relates to training staff to be vigilant against cyber-attacks. The panelists said more companies are doing away with the standard 60- to 90-minute one-time training session and are more frequently implementing a more regular stream of quarterly 10-minute training snippets. The reason for this change is because the shorter training segments are easier for users to consume and also because such microlearning as this comes more naturally to people.

    When installing these training methods, it’s important to back up the lessons that are being taught with real world examples of what has happened to other firms, the CISOs suggested.

    Insight No. 3: Using third parties

    Some organizations have been looking to third parties, such as cloud computing providers, to help keep their documents secure. Before going the third-party route, the CISOs said the same basic principles of analysis used in any business decision should also come into play.

    For instance, businesses should consider what might happen to their documents if the cloud storage firm should happen to go out of business. On the other hand, cloud security is strong and the disaster recovery employed by the cloud firms tends to be better than what most companies can invest in on their own.

    BizTECH18 is just one example of the many different kinds of events that the Greater Cleveland Partnership and COSE are involved in each year. Click here to view upcoming events that can help your business succeed.

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    Next up: Tips for Your Business: BYOD Can be a Boon to Productivity
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  • Tips for Your Business: BYOD Can be a Boon to Productivity

    Employees are increasingly using their own devices to do at least some of their work. BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) examples range from accessing company email and calendar remotely to working from home on a computer connected to the company network. Users often prefer to use their own tablets or laptops to access company systems, especially when working remotely.

    Employees are increasingly using their own devices to do at least some of their work. BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) examples range from accessing company email and calendar remotely to working from home on a computer connected to the company network. Users often prefer to use their own tablets or laptops to access company systems, especially when working remotely.

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    BYOD can be a boon to productivity. It’s convenient and users like the ability to work with the devices with which they are most comfortable. Additionally, there might be cost savings for the company when users provide their own hardware. Large organizations often enforce formal policies to realize advantages while mitigating risks of BYOD. They also invest in technologies that make it easier for IT departments to safeguard corporate data even when it’s accessed from a device the company doesn’t own. Small business owners, however, could wonder whether it is worth the expense to implement.  

    It would be a mistake for any business owner to ignore the BYOD question. “Just Say No” probably won’t work because some users will easily figure out how to connect their smartphones and tablets to the company’s email system and perhaps even to its internal network. “Just Say Yes (And Hope for the Best)” might also be a costly mistake. Is there another choice?

    A thoughtful, practical alternative 

    The alternative is implementation of a BYOD policy that balances user wants with the company’s need to support productivity, protect resources, and manage costs. A qualified IT service vendor can help with this. A budget-conscious business owner might start by doing research and adapting BYOD policy examples from other organizations to fit his or her business. A BYOD policy should complement and extend your information security policy and acceptable use policy. 

    Your security policy should provide reasonable safeguards against unauthorized access. Passwords shouldn’t be “1234.” Those responsible for IT should have procedures for granting access to company resources, including in emergency situations. Rules should clarify what can be shared in public-facing resources such as public or shared Dropbox folders or FTP servers.

    Your acceptable use policy should be designed minimally to prevent abuse of IT resources that affect other users and prohibit users from damaging the company’s reputation or even exposing it to legal risk.  Among other things, this would mean prohibiting the use of company resources to publish spam, hateful or other illegal speech or to adversely affect internal or external systems.

    With your security and acceptable use policies in hand, consider what new implications arise from the use of employee-owned devices. You might need to revise and strengthen some of your existing guidelines. You should identify and answer the unique questions raised by BYOD:

    • Will the company pay or share the cost?  
    • Will IT provide tech support on user-owned devices?  
    • Will there be a list of approved hardware, operating systems and applications?  
    • Will the company have the ability and right to remotely “wipe” a device that has been lost or stolen (or when the employee is terminated or leaves the organization)?

    BYOD is here to stay. The “consumerization of IT” is a cultural phenomenon and business trend. A thoughtfully-developed policy will help manage risks and maximize BYOD benefits.

    Want more expert advice? Check out COSE Expert Network, an online forum connecting business owners with creative solutions to the tough questions they face every day. 

    This article originally appeared in the August 31, 2015, edition of Small Business Matters.


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