Blog

Could You Benefit From Managed Services?

Managed Services provide enterprise-level IT capabilities without a large initial capital investment for a predictable monthly fee—which can be appealing to small and medium-sized businesses such as yours. Are you a candidate for Managed Services? Take our quiz below. Managed Services checklist o   We’re having difficulty staffing qualified IT professionals. o   We’re concerned about the security of our data. o   We’re concerned about the security of our transactions. o   We’re concerned about the security of our communications. o   We aren’t always able to respond quickly to market demands. o   We need to reduce overhead costs o   Staying up to date with evolving technologies is difficult for us. o   Maintaining current hardware and software is time consuming. o   We need to operate in real time to meet 24-hour demand. o   We need to deliver services to remote offices or workers. o   Our growth depends on our implementation of new technology. o   We need to upgrade our infrastructure. o   We need to relocate our infrastructure. o   We’re undergoing a merger or acquisition. o   The scale of our operations is going to change. o   We want to expand into new markets. o   We’d like to focus our efforts on our core competencies. o   We need to focus only on mission-critical activities. o   We need to implement a global IT network, but we lack the resources. o   We’re concerned about our ability to keep up with the latest security threats. o   We’re affected by privacy or security regulations. o   We’re experiencing dynamic business growth but have a hiring freeze. o   We need to maintain our current IT capabilities but are downsizing. If any of the items apply to you, you may want to consider Managed Services. Bring your completed list to us today, and we’ll let you know how can help.

Debunking the “If It Ain’t Broke, Why Fix It?” Myth

Of course we’ve all heard of the saying “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” And really, to some degree, that saying holds true. When it comes to technology, though, reality favors the opposite. You might have hardware right now that’s a bit old by industry standards but is still working, so there seems to be no need to upgrade or replace it. Sooner or later though, it’s going to cause you a lot more trouble than it’s worth. For instance, what if you are in a middle of a major project your hardware breaks down? Hardware manufacturers constantly upgrade their technology, leaving past models behind. This means that the older your hardware is, the harder it will be for you to find support or spare parts when things go wrong. Unless you have a backup plan, this scenario can turn into a big nightmare. And IF (that’s a big “if”) you can find the replacement parts you need, you’ll probably wait for weeks for them to arrive and for the repairs to get done, making you lose precious time and profit. The advantage of upgrading your equipment is that the more advanced it is, the higher the quality of your output. Your workflow can be made much easier and more efficient with better performing hardware specs and added features that come in newer models. And with the right support from manufacturers, any glitch or problem can be fixed within a reasonable period of time since parts and other replacement components are in stock and readily available. Of course, you don’t need to upgrade each time a new model is released. The key is to know when give your hardware a boost. If your upgrades are properly planned, you can change systems and replace equipment without compromising your productivity or output. So if you want to assess your current hardware, we’d be happy to sit down with you to create a roadmap for your future upgrades.

Tips for improving your efficiency with dual monitors

Web-worker Daily shares some useful tips on how to improve your efficiency using dual monitors with your computer. Both Mac OS and Windows support dual monitors, and you can get two 20-inch monitors for less money than what it would take to buy a larger display. Read more http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/06/02/3-efficiency-tips-for-using-dual-monitors/

Business Impact Analysis Made Simple

Business impact analysis is an often misunderstood component of your business continuity plan—but it doesn’t have to be.

First, let’s review business continuity planning, which is simply the creation and validation of a plan for how your business will recover critical activities after an extended disruption, such as a disaster.

Learn more…

Security Expert Warns Users to be Wary of Flash

Online security website OneITSecurity recently interviewed Charlie Miller, second-year Pwn2Own contest champion, and he shared several interesting insights on browser security – especially with the use of Adobe’s Flash plugin. In Pwn2Own, a contest held in CansecWest Conference , participants are offered a reward for finding vulnerabilities in popular software and operating systems. Charlie’s interview is particularly relevant with the recent headline mentions of Adobe Flash with Apple’s refusal to make Flash work with their popular iPod, iPhone, and now iPad products , citing its instability and poor security. Microsoft, in its most recent Security Intelligence Report , pointed to Flash was as the most commonly exploited browser vulnerability in the first half of last year. Charlie seems to share the same view, citing security issues as evidenced by the long list of security patches alone this past few months. His tip? Use Microsoft IE 8 on Windows 7 without Flash to be as secure as possible. If you can’t avoid using Flash, make sure you are using the most up-to-date version with all security fixes and patches applied. Too busy to do it yourself? Get in touch with us and we can do it for you as one of the many tasks we take care of with Managed Services.

Handy Tips for Internet Connection While Travelling

If you travel for business, chances are you need to connect to the Internet while on the road. Here are some tips to help: Set up wireless access. If you travel frequently, sign up for a wireless data plan from your service provider. Depending on the features of your mobile phone, you can use it as a substitute for your laptop for accessing your emails or browsing the web. Some devices support tethering—where you use your device as a wireless modem for network access. Newer generation netbooks and laptops natively support 3G, which allows these devices to browse the Internet in places where WiFi is not available. WiFi is your friend. If you haven’t signed up for a wireless data plan, your mobile phone is limited in its features, or you prefer to use a laptop that only has support for WiFi, do your homework and research whether your destination or nearby areas provide WiFi access.  Websites such as WiFi Hot Spot List , JiWire , and gWiFi.net provide a database of places offering free WiFi. HotelChatter.com provides an annual list of Best WiFi Hotels as well. Dial-up as a last resort. You can always resort to dial-up if your location only provides fixed-line telephone access. Some ISPs still provide dial-up as an option and it’s a good idea to keep their access numbers just in case. Feel secure with VPN. If you are accessing sensitive data while travelling, certain programs will ensure secure access via public Internet connections.  One example is the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) software which can create a private network between two or more computers. If your company provides this service, use it. If not, contact us and we can set one up for you. Note that while you have access to office resources such as company file servers, printers and email as if you were there, you could possibly be restricted to the same security policies as well. Interested in finding out more? Contact us to find out how we can help you stay connected on the road.

Practical Tips for Creating and Managing your Online Passwords

password tipThe average computer and Internet user manages over a dozen passwords for various websites. You probably have passwords for your computer, your company email, your personal online email accounts, your favorite social networking websites, your twitter feed, your online bank account, your favorite online store, and more. Using the same password for everything is not very secure, but keeping track of unique passwords for each can be a pain.


Read more

Evolving With the Times: Keeping Your Software Up to Date

There are few (if any) people who’ll tell you that technology has reached its limit. On the contrary, technology continues to grow every day, leaving information technology companies scrambling to keep up and not get left behind. The demands of your industry can be taxing, but one way to make sure that you’re one of those at the top is to always keep your software up to date. Updating software will allow you to deliver your services in a more efficiently and effectively. Updates give you access to improved features that help you work faster and improve your overall output. Updates also fix bugs that cause problems you might not be affected by it now, but sooner or later will come back to bite you – so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Another important reason to update involves security. New viruses and malware are constantly developed, and criminal identity theft rings are on the rise throughout the world. You need to guard against the damage that can be caused by malicious software. Your company’s continued operation, as well as the privacy of your data (and that of your clients), depends on up to date software – especially anti-virus programs. Updating software is a key part of keeping your business on top of its game. Staying current may sound easy – but it can be difficult to make sure things stay secure and are compatible with your current hardware and applications. Don’t hesitate to give us call and find out how our Managed Services takes the headache out of staying up to date.

Air Travel Tips with Your Mobile Devices

There are plenty of general tips at various websites and blogs for air travelers, but few address travelling with your laptop and gadgets in tow. The following advice will save you time and perhaps even make the trip a more pleasant experience. Keep it light. Bring the absolute minimum you need. Stuff can easily get lost, shuffled around, or become quite heavy in a run from one gate to the next. If you’re a frequent traveler opt for a netbook or an ultralight laptop. And if a PDA or smartphone will serve your needs, use that instead. Carry it on. Don’t put your gear in your check-in luggage – you’d be appalled at how your luggage is handled at some airports. It’s routinely stacked, thrown around, and dropped. Always bring your expensive electronic equipment on board with you. Be prepared to unpack it. In many airports, you’ll be asked to unpack your laptop for x-ray. Normally you’ll be asked to put it in a bin on the conveyor belt for x-ray. Make sure to use a carrying bag that’s easy to open and repack. Be alert. It’s very common for technology items to be stolen in airports and even on the plane. Never let your items out of your sight. Don’t leave them behind where they can get lost, and always be on guard. Keep it accessible. Airport regulations require you to shut off your device during the takeoff and landing. Keep your devices easily accessible, preferably near your body or tucked into the pocket seat in front of you. If you have information stored in your phone or mobile device such as your itinerary, the person who is picking you up at the airport, rental car information, etc., you’ll thank yourself later for keeping it within easy reach. Traveling can be exciting, but without the proper preparation can also be a pain. Hopefully these tips will help make your next air travel adventure more pleasant.

Set up a productive, efficient, and secure remote team that can help you run your business anywhere. Download our free eBook today to learn how!Download here
+