What Does My Business Need from a Managed IT Services Provider?

Posted on May 16, 2017 by | 0 comments

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Determine which solutions are a “must-have” when deciding on a managed IT package.

 

Are you interested in how a comprehensive IT solution could benefit your business? Click here to browse our Managed IT homepage!

Managing IT has become an overwhelming task for many organizations as innovations in technology become more advanced, and the risk of security threat seems more likely every day. If you’re similar to the majority of businesses who are considering hiring a third party to manage their IT, you’re probably feeling in over your head. And you may even be currently living out one of three common (and dangerous!) IT environments at your business:

  1. Your organization is small, or has expanded so rapidly that you have become the resident IT “expert” – simply because there is no one else to do it. You know that you don’t possess the skills or know-how to provide the level of maintenance that is necessary for running your business, and it’s frustrating how much of your valuable time is taken away solving IT issues for your staff. You just want to get back to doing what you do best – running your business.
  2. You have an IT person on premise who has been there for years, but you’re worried that he is not keeping up with the latest technology or trends to provide the level of cybersecurity that your organization crucially needs. He may be complacent with the technology that is in place, and when you inquire about change, he responds “Why fix something that isn’t broken”.
  3. You may have already hired a third party IT service to take the burden off of your plate, but you’re still finding that a lot of problems are cropping up day to day. You always have to call and report an issue, and you have to pay for the IT service to come out and fix it. Their strategy is inefficient and costly to your business.

If one of these frustrating and potentially catastrophic situations applies to you, you’re right in considering a 3rd party to handle your company’s IT. We’ve outlined common benefits and services that are available from the various managed IT packages out there. Choosing the right provider for your business will help you to finally get the IT burden off of your back, and in the hands of someone who can help you to leverage technology in order to grow your business.

What Services Are Available to my Business?

There are many different types of managed IT providers that you could choose to manage your company’s IT. They may specialize in certain verticals, business sizes, or technology types; and will certainly offer a different mix of solutions included with their IT package. It is important that you decide which services are “non-negotiables”, so that you can gain a better image of what type of company you should partner with. And not to worry, if you would prefer to have everything IT-related taken off of your plate, there are comprehensive IT service providers out there than can help you with everything from daily back-ups to strategic IT planning. Below, we have listed out a few of the common benefits and services your company may look for in a managed IT provider:

  • Reduced Downtimeby proactively monitoring your systems around the clock, a successful managed IT services provider should prevent issues before they ever reach your desk.
  • Complete Vendor Management – your IT service could manage your hardware, software, and data back-up relationships for you.
  • Peace of Mind – you should be able to get back to your core mission, and leave the IT to your service provider. Common services include: performing daily back-ups and software updates, and helping you leverage the right technology to achieve your overarching business goals.
  • Support Whenever You Need It – Just because the workday ends at 5, doesn’t mean that your organization stops working. Make sure before purchasing that your managed IT services provider is available should you ever need them.
  • A Team of Experts at Your Disposal – Your Managed IT Services team would ideally consist of engineers that are not only technology experts, but who have the know-how and certifications that your industry requires.
  • Strategic IT Planning – Monitoring your day-to-day is a huge task in itself, but if you’re truly looking for someone to take IT off your hands, you should look for an IT service that provides frequent, consistent strategic IT initiatives to help you to align your technology with your business goals now and in the future.

Do All of these Services Sound Like a Must-Have?

A comprehensive managed IT service provider is not right for every business. If IT is not mission-critical to your business, or you have an internal resource that meets your needs, a 3rd party may not be appropriate.

However, if you rely on your IT infrastructure to successfully perform day-to-day, and you wish to leverage technology to help you better reach your business goals, consider a comprehensive IT services provider. With a fully managed IT services provider, you can rest assured that your systems are taken care of. Your data is more secure from potential loss, breach, or theft. And help is at hand when needed. Anything that is related to IT would be handled by an expert – leaving you 100% free to focus on your core business.

Check out our video below that explains how Advance’s Managed IT Services could benefit your business.

Receive Proactive Maintenance and IT Support for Your Business

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The Wake-up Call No Business Wants

Posted on December 15, 2016 by | 0 comments

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Is your business’ back up and disaster recovery plan up to speed?

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Your systems probably hold a few Terabytes’ worth of CRM and vendor data, billing and payroll history, legal and other documents. You generate vast amounts of new data daily. Yet, if you’re like 40% of small-to-medium sized companies, you don’t back up that gold at various points throughout the day. Or you assume it’s backing up…but you’re not sure.

If you’ve dodged a data disaster so far, consider yourself lucky. Roughly 40% of companies that cannot recover data within 24 hours of an outage shut their doors within 24 months (Gartner). What would happen to your business if essential data were wiped? How long could you continue operating? What would it cost to rebuild your systems and win back clients? How do you prevent a recurrence?

You may think your back up is doing its job, only to learn too late that your data wasn’t fully protected. Unless you can say with absolute certainty that your back up systems are right-sized and reliable, it’s time for a critical update. Here’s what you need to consider.

Download your free copy of our Disaster Recovery Checklist here to assess your company’s ability to recover if disaster strikes!

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Is Cloud Computing Right For Your Business?

Posted on June 16, 2016 by | 0 comments

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Here’s everything you should know before moving your business to the cloud.

Should I move my business to the cloud? Everything you should know before adopting cloud computing for your business.

Ah, the cloud. You’ve heard it touted as the biggest IT innovation since the app, streaming and virtual reality goggles combined. Yes, it’s full of potential. Yes, it has plenty of pitfalls. No, you are not late to the party.

Cloud technology is, in many respects, in its infancy. Small-to-medium-sized businesses like yours are just discovering how the cloud can boost efficiency and security. They’re also learning that local hardware still has value.

Would adopting cloud computing be right for your business? Let’s find out.

The Cloud 101

The cloud is an internet-based way of computing, sharing, storing and protecting data. Everything is done online, so the work hub no longer revolves around hard drives and in-house servers. Even if your IT infrastructure is 99% local, using Microsoft 365, One Drive, Google Docs or Dropbox means you’ve already partially moved your business to the cloud.

Office 365

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4-Steps to Ensuring Proactive Maintenance & IT Support for Your Business

Posted on March 17, 2016 by | 0 comments

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IT Support for Business with Hosted IT

In our digitally dependent world, a blackout of any duration can damage profits and client confidence. Yet 70% of companies, both with internal IT departments and those using hosted IT vendors, take a patchwork approach to managing their infrastructure. These businesses receive lackluster IT support at best, waiting for problems to occur and then scrambling to deal with the fallout.

Without constant monitoring, your servers – and your company – are vulnerable to everything from business interruptions to data breaches. It’s ineffective and costly. Your faulty IT support system distracts you from your goals for growth.

Technology should be used to facilitate business growth and productivity, not inhibit it. Here’s what it takes to safeguard your company’s IT infrastructure in order to maintain your current environment and set you up for future growth.

Click this link to learn about how you can avoid downtime through a proactive approach to IT.

 

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A Fully Managed IT Services Provider Can Revolutionize Your Company’s IT

Posted on February 16, 2016 by | 0 comments

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Managed IT Services from Advance

In our younger days, we loved pretending to be firefighters.

Running a tech-dependent business can feel like the game never ended. We’re always rushing to put out the latest fire, only to see another one spring up somewhere else in the system. It’s exhausting, expensive, and inefficient.

A fully managed IT provider, like Advance, can take you out of firefighting mode so you can focus on growing your business.

Transitioning to our fully Managed IT Services frees you and your team from the time and responsibility required to run your company’s IT. We handle everything – from daily back-ups, to trouble-shooting and repairs, to strategic planning and upgrades. We continually monitor and capture utilization data, so you can make better-informed decisions earlier. We anticipate problems before they arise and address them before they threaten your business. And we can make sure that your infrastructure is right-sized now and poised to grow with you. Read more »

Protecting Yourself, Your Employees, & Your Business on Cyber Monday

Posted on November 25, 2015 by | 0 comments

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Cyber Monday is a wonderful thing – instead of fighting through the masses on Black Friday, those of us who value our sanity choose to purchase our holiday gifts at discounted prices from the privacy (and safety) of the Internet.

So, what is the issue, one may ask, with this apocryphal holiday? If you’re a business leader, the answer is right in the name: Cyber Monday. This is the one day a year that your employees choose to throw caution to the wind and purchase their kid some roller blades at half price- on your time and devices.

You know that this use of your company network is risky. But what exactly is it that you should be looking out for, and how can you protect yourself, your employees, and your business on this dangerous day?

Click this link to learn about how you can avoid downtime through a proactive approach to IT.

 

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Stop the Vicious Email Cycle, Collaborate with Google Docs

Posted on August 27, 2012 by | 0 comments

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As ubiquitous as Google is these days, some of its lesser known features are worth some attention, especially when it comes to file sharing and collaborating on projects. Like many people, I was accidentally introduced to Google Docs when I inadvertently selected the “open as a Google spreadsheet” option on an Excel attachment I had in one of my Gmail emails. My Excel file opened in my Web browser, and unimpressed, I closed it right away reverting to my old method of saving the file to my Desktop. About a month later, I did it again with an updated version of the same Excel file, only this time to realize that the file I had opened a few weeks ago was stored in my account.

Click here to learn about how we can help your office safely manage the lifecycle of its documents – from creation to storage.

Intrigued, I had to know more. I didn’t save that there…did I? Come to find out, I did.

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“Advances” in Remote Support

Posted on November 10, 2011 by | 0 comments

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networked printer copier fax maryland, copier support

Just the other day I overheard a conversation regarding a service provider and their inability to fix a simple network connectivity issue over the phone. I said to myself, “Why aren’t they using remote assistance tools to address these issues?” While Advance does indeed offer phone support, the bulk of service calls within our Network Services department can be handled remotely and with very little input from the customer. The days of painful phone support and having a technician walk you through each and every push of a button should be almost over thanks to the availability of remote support support products, such as Log Me In 1-2-3Read more »

Remote Software

Posted on February 21, 2011 by | 0 comments

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How important is remote software to our industry? In my opinion it is absolutely necessary and should be a staple within any helpdesk environment. Remote support minimizes downtime and allows the service provider to instantly triage most issues without the constraints of time or travel. In the beginning it wasn’t always so easy to remote into a network and help with a simple print driver or network connectivity issue. You would typically find yourself waiting for a scheduled visit from a professional then find that the fix was an easy click of the mouse, strike on the keyboard, or unplugged network cable.  Read more »

Control your data – don’t let it control you

Posted on January 20, 2011 by | 0 comments

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Multifunctional printer/ scanner/ fax devices are being used more and more in the everyday office. With that said, the number of options available on these devices (also known as MFPs or MFDs) also continues to grow thus requiring more detailed MFP configuration. The majority of new multifunctional devices are setup with simple scanning solutions such as scan to email and scan to folder. Configurations of these options can range from one destination to hundreds. Read more »