Aspects of Managed Services Support

Aspects of Managed Services Support

Managed services and break-fix services play essential roles in supporting your business in IT-related matters. Small and medium entities face tough choices in deciding between the two aspects and complementing IT resources as well as personnel in place. 

Managed Services vs. The Break-Fix Mentality

Just as the name suggests, the Break-fix mentality interacts with your business only when you experience IT problems. 

The vendors of break-fix services send IT professionals to your location to provide remedies at your business location. 

After finding a solution to your IT problem, you are charged for the services rendered. The break-fix services have no ongoing fees and do not tie you to any contracts.

On the contrary, managed services entails outsourcing service providers that share the responsibility for your IT system. 

It creates an extensive and continuous relationship between your business and your service provider. 

Such services work off your business premise and use their systems to supervise and deal with identified IT problems. Mostly, the problems are identified before you experience any system outages. 

Why Break-fix is No Longer Good Enough for Your Business

Below are the main reasons why the break-fix mentality is not any good for your business. 

Subdues Productivity

When you use this model, you are forced to assign your IT needs to your employees. Since this might be a good idea in the short term, it reduces the level of productivity and leads to wastage of resources. 

Cost

In this IT model, you pay for labor, repairs, and consultation. It is impossible to budget for the issues, and there is no reasonable way of establishing whether you are paying a fair price. 

Besides, there are no preventive measures that you can put in place to avoid any problems in the future. This leaves you susceptible to surprise system breakdowns and costs. 

Extended Downtime

In this model, when you experience an IT problem, every minute costs you money. The sporadic nature of this model leads to extended repair time. The extended downtime and the additional repair time increases the cost making it undesirable.  

Do Managed Services Cost More Than Traditional Break-Fix Services?

Managed services cost more than break-fix services. Managed services involve the provision of a recurrent service, which translates to recurrent expenses. 

The services differ based on your business’s needs though it is vital to be proactive in using IT services to achieve business objectives. 

When you use this IT model, you accrue higher upfront fees, monthly subscription fees, and monitoring fees. 

Engaging a managed service provider increases the level of visibility and your capability to establish robust IT strategies. In as much as it is effective and creates accountability, the services cost more than the services rendered in the break-fix model. 

How Are Managed Services Priced?

All businesses want to minimize costs, but that is just one factor you need to think about. Therefore, you need to understand all the pricing aspects of IT services models before you make a decision. 

Managed IT services pricing is based on the following.

  • The number of users
  • Risks Involved
  • Your needs

The price of managed services depends on the monthly cost per user, the coverage, the number of specialists, and the extent of coverage. 

The level of support included and your levels of business that the support is designed for affects the pricing of managed services provided to you.  

The Real Benefits of Managed Services

The benefits of managed services are clear. The model provides IT services to every aspect of your business. As a result, your entity achieves higher standards of IT services. 

Implementing managed services in your business offers several benefits, including:

Enhanced Productivity

Outsourcing IT functions dedicate in-house IT experts to projects that promote innovation and enhance achievement of set objectives. 

Promotes Scalability

Most entities find it more useful to start small and expand according to the growing needs. Managed services make it easy for you to scale either up or down and increase capacity depending on the scope of changes in your business needs. 

Keeps Pace with Your IT Demands

When you outsource IT services or partner with skilled IT professionals, you alleviate the pressures associated with keeping pace with the dynamism of technology. 

Contact us for professional advice on the best IT model for your business.

Computer Tip: Learn How To Keep Your Outlook Inbox Clean

Computer Tip: Learn How To Keep Your Outlook Inbox Clean

An Outlook inbox that is constantly full is frustrating, and can make it more difficult to notice important emails. How do you maintain your Outlook inbox without spending hours each day? Microsoft Outlook has a couple of built-in features that help you quickly and continually keep your inbox clutter-free.

Outlook inbox

Folders

Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to begin cleaning up your inbox is by using folders. This will help you separate each topic in your inbox and make them easier to access. Right-click on your main email account folder in the sidebar and click “New folder.”

Rules

OK, so now you’ve created all your necessary folders, but you are still required to drag each email into their respective folders; this is not ideal. You need to set up some rules. Perhaps you get plenty of unimportant emails from a specific address every day. You can set up a rule that automatically pushes these new emails into the folder you specify. You can accomplish this by clicking on the “Rules” tab of the Outlook menu, and clicking “New rule” and following the instructions (directions are very similar for most email applications).

Search

Now that you have your folders and rules set up you need a way to access these emails quickly, other than simply clicking on each folder. In your inbox, you can input a search term in the search box and select “Search All Folders,” that way your search will include all of your folders. You can also set Outlook to search all folders by default by going to the Search section of the Option menu, and in the Results tab check “All Folders” under the heading “Include Results Only From.”

Now you are all set! Enjoy your clean and efficient email inbox. Contact us if you have any additional questions about Microsoft Outlook.

Everything You Need To Know About Remote Data Backups

Everything You Need To Know About Remote Data Backups

Remote data backups, also known as ROBO backup, is the practice of securely storing mission-critical data in remote offices. The advantage of this approach is that it allows an organization to keep all of its data in one place. Remote file backup services allow you to log into a remote drive and through an online interface upload a company’s data. The entry point of storage space for most remote data backup services is 5GB. A potential drawback of remote data backup is data transfer speed. The process can take very long if you’re tied to the maximum upstream speed of your network.

Remote Data Backups

Recent research demonstrates that 60% of a company’s data does not lie in databases and servers covered by Data Recovery Programs. These days cloud backup is a popular remote backup and recovery solution. Backups are kept in a remote office and replicated through cloud storage.

ROBO backup services can reduce storage capacity demands, keep productivity high in a company and meet strict service level agreements. They are a guarantee against fire and theft, and they allow remote access to data from any location, and permit selective files restoration. A company can create copies on tape for disaster recovery. They also allow instant recovery anytime to help you save time and money needed post disaster. They eliminate effort involved in recording, maintenance, and rebuilding of files in case of disaster. By freeing people from these obligations, a company can streamline their staff.

If you would like to learn more about remote data backup please contact us.

Business Computer Backup: How To Backup Your Computer To The Cloud

Business Computer Backup: How To Backup Your Computer To The Cloud
Cloud Backup

Cloud backups are the easiest form of backup to set up and maintain, and most services allow access to your files from various platforms.  And learning about business computer backup is very important.

To backup your files, create an account, download software, and input your account information. After this process, every time your computer goes online, the software will automatically back up your files.

Do not confuse online backup services with cloud storage and syncing services like Dropbox and Google Drive. These services save your files in the cloud–mostly for collaboration and editing–but they do not store all system files.

Cloud backups encrypt your files so no one has access to them and copies them to a number of drives on various computers. If one of these computers losses data, your information is available in another server.

After uploading your information, the client does not have to worry about uploading their material again.

A downside of cloud backup is that the initial uploading can take a few weeks or months, but this will depend on the amount of data that a company wishes to upload and the speed of their Internet connection.

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) focus more on download speeds than upload speeds. A good idea is to temporarily update to a plan with more “upload bandwidth” during your initial backup.

Another potential problem with the use of cloud backup services is if you lose your physical backups and need access to all of your files. In that situation you would be limited by the speed with which you could download information from your cloud service.

Resolving these problems depends on working closely with your ISPs. If you would like to learn more about cloud backup contact us.

Don’t Become a Victim: Avoid Phishing Emails With These Tips

Don't Become a Victim: Avoid Phishing Emails With These Tips

Phishing emails remain a popular method cyber criminals use to coerce users out of sensitive account information or to inject malicious code on a user’s machine. Individuals fall for phishing scams each day, leading to identity theft, security breaches, and exposure of confidential business data. According to the Anti-Phishing Work Group, 2016 was a record year for phishing attempts and the trend is expected to continue in 2017. Here are a few tips on how anyone can avoid phishing emails and not become the victim of corruption.

Avoid Phishing Emails

  • Most, if not all institutions, would never ask for your personal information via email. If you receive an email asking for usernames, passwords, or personal/company data (i.e., account numbers), you should immediately question its legitimacy.
  • If you don’t recognize or if you weren’t expecting something from the sender, exercise caution. Often, phishing emails may come from sources you don’t know; however, in many cases, the sender may have masked their email address so that it appears to come from an organization or individual you are familiar with.
  • Pay close attention to the sender’s email address. This is normally a sure-fire way of spotting a phishing attempt. If the contents of the email appear to come from a known source (i.e., PayPal), but the sender address is @gmail.com, it’s undoubtedly a phishing email.
  • Pay close attention to any links in the email. In most cases, the links may appear genuine; however, if you hover your mouse over the link (do not click on it), a tooltip will appear showing you the actual URL. If the URL is different from the link in the email, it’s not an authentic message.

So, what do you do if you’re not sure? Phishing emails can often be very convincing, so if you suspect a message is phishing, but have doubts…

  • Try contacting the alleged sender directly (not using any links or phone numbers provided in the email). They can typically confirm whether the email is legitimate or a scam.
  • Try contacting your organization’s IT department for assistance as they may be able to assist with investigating the email to determine if it is genuine.

Essentially, it is always best to err on the side of caution and be mindful of each email you receive. As a rule of thumb, never respond to or open attachments in an email unless you are certain it is legitimate. By doing so, you can better protect you and your organization’s confidential data. Please contact us with any questions.