Determine which solutions are a “must-have” when deciding on a managed IT package.
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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:
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Is your business’ back up and disaster recovery plan up to speed?
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.
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Here’s everything you should know before moving your business to the cloud.
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.
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.
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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.
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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 »
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?
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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.
Intrigued, I had to know more. I didn’t save that there…did I? Come to find out, I did.
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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 1-2-3. Read more »
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 »
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 »