Posts Tagged: ‘managed services’

Remote Monitoring and Maintenance Can Help Your Business

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz around RMM meaning Remote Monitoring and Support otherwise called Proactive Monitoring. Let’s  investigate what this term implies and how it can enhance and profit your business.

Remote Monitoring and Maintenance – What is it?

RMM is watching your technology 24/7. It keeps an eye on your network and servers to get a perspective on the overall status of your technology. This technology checking creates alerts on a real time basis with the specific end goal of identifying issues that require remedial attention. This type of corrective action can take place rapidly before the problem can even affect the business.

How Can Your Business Benefit From Remote Monitoring and Maintenance?

Early Identification of Problems: When you have measures set up to proactively identify problems within your technology system, you have the chance to amend the issues before they can negatively impact your business. Additionally, RMM can draw your attention to problems that could negatively impact customer satisfaction, productivity by your employees and ultimately the financial bottom line of your business.

Manage Costs: Being proactive about your business’ technology systems enables you to get a handle on the life expectancy of your equipment. If equipment is reaching the end of its life span, a business owner can start budgeting in advance for the inevitable replacement of aging technology. Planning in advance will pre-empt expensive emergency repair bills from an IT service provider. Furthermore, you can manage your expenses and work flow when you plan for the update of technology and systems.

Manage Productivity of Employees: As a business owner, consider how your employees use their time. Keep your employees’ workflow maximized by handling upgrades to the equipment after work hours. RMM’s proactive alerts will let you on how an employee’s equipment is functioning and will let you know when a problem is brewing. This will help you maintain a strategic distance from technical fiascos.

Start Advancing Your Business and Stop Just Surviving: Does your IT Service professional spend all of their simply putting out fires. This leaves no to execute new innovations and produce real results. Change and innovation are critically important to the success of your business. This is what is going to enable your business to move to the next level. When you stop putting out technology fires every day, you can redirect your efforts to discovering new approaches that will develop and enhance your business.

Enhance Your Business Knowledge:  Enhance your business management skills by understanding how all of the equipment and supplies function within your business. When RMM is implemented into your business, a thorough technology appraisal is activated. The results enable both the business owner and the IT professional to have a comprehensive understanding of how the technology is functioning. This provides a snapshot of how the technology is serving or actually thwarting your business processes and objectives.

Now you are armed with a reasonable understanding of RMM’s capabilities and how it can profit your business. Contact your local Geeks On Call expert and ensure that you are being proactive with your business’ technology.

What Is Business Technology Support

Posting Date: 04/30/2014  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Business technology support is often described as the services that aid in the delivery of technology products, such as computer, software, and mobile devices to the end-user within a business environment.

•Technical Assistance: Many are well acquainted with technical help that is available via email, a help desk, an online support center or a call center.  These sources of technical assistance traditionally assist with equipment and software issues. Fast emerging is also assistance through remote access.  Remote assistance allows a technicians access to the user’s work station via the internet in order to quickly and more cost effectively diagnosis and begin repairing issues. Remote access is ideal for computer optimization and the removal viruses or spyware, among other issues that they can repair remotely.  This is a prefect option for business clients and home office clients that cannot easily bring equipment into a repair shop.

•Managed Services: Managed Service Providers have the ability to handle all of your business technology or specific pieces on an on-going basis that is set up at a fixed monthly fee. These services typically include monitoring and maintenance of servers, network security, back-up solutions, cloud services, and vendor management.  Many Managed Service Providers can also provide solutions for helpdesk, on-site services, and other customized technology solutions for your business and industry.  This model of outsourced IT support has been growing within small businesses, because it is often difficult and very costly to have an in-house IT staff with this level of skill and experience.  It is also an extremely effective way for small business to handle technology cost and gain access to new technology solutions.

•Technology Advisors & Consultants: Business technology support can move to a higher level and provide small business owner’s access to Trusted IT Service Advisors. These Advisors work closely with the client to understand the long-term business goals in order to make strategic recommendations and develop a technology plan. This includes informing the business about new technical solutions that will allow them to grow and be more productive, giving them a leg up on their competition. The advantage of utilizing this type of business technology support is that the business gains access to an IT professional who helps them grow and achieve future goals with the help of new technology solutions.

Yes, business technology support covers a wide variety of services and options.   All you have to do now is decide what level of business technology support you need!

 

 

IT Support Dedicated to Your Small Business

There are over 23 million small and medium sized businesses in the U. S. who are trying to remain competitive against large corporations with more money and resources. One of the main ways a small or medium sized business can continue to compete with these larger businesses is through the strategic planning and use of technology. Small and medium sized business owners see technology only as a device to increase productivity, increase communication with customers, and decrease operational costs. Expending past these obvious uses is sometimes difficult for small business owners to uncover.
As a business owner you should be able to answer the following questions:
o Is your business running an updated operating system?
o Will your business be impacted by the end of the Windows XP life cycle?
o Is your network secure against cyber-attacks?
o Do you have a reliable and tested backup system?

Smart business owners understand that their “job” is to work on the business, not in the business. Owners can stay competitive and focused by utilizing the functions of an outsourced IT service provider to enhance or even be the small business IT support department. We recommend you explore the following services that can be provided by an outsourced IT service provider
•Cloud Services: Currently 61% of small and medium sized businesses are running some type of cloud based programs. Cloud services give you the ability to have access to reliable data storage and back up systems, and a variety of industry and business software. Cloud based programs gives employees the ability to access many programs and files remotely, expanding their productivity and your profit potential.
•Security Services: With a new virus popping up daily, security services are becoming increasingly more important. In 2013, digital assaults on small businesses had increased by 18% over a two year period. Of the businesses that were impacted, over 60% folded within six months. Absence or inadequate security services can compromise critical client and business information. Additionally, with the end of life cycle for Windows XP happening on April 8, 2014, those who have decided to ignore the warnings you will be leaving their business vulnerable to criminals who are waiting in the wings to attack computers that are still running XP.
•Managed Services: When you take advantage of Managed Services you can really give your business an edge. You have a Trusted IT Service Advisor at your disposal to manage all of your technology and the vendor relationships, you will receive predictable and stable billing, and you are able to create customized plans that fit your business needs. Outsourced IT support is able to provide a helpdesk for your employees to utilize, accomplish specific technology upgrades and fixes, or manage your entire IT infrastructure. They are also able to make technology recommendations when equipment is aging or new products are launching that can make your business more profitable and productive.

Business IT Support: Are you prepared for 2014?

Posting Date: 12/27/2013  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up, Internet, Security, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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As 2013 comes to a close, many will spend this time reviewing the what they achieved this past year and begin making plans of the things they hope to achieve in 2014. For the majority of people this will include both personal and professional plans. When developing new business goals, it often includes increased efficiency while saving time and money and learning to work smarter not harder.

As you begin to establish and outline your goals and resolutions for 2014, we would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to consider establishing an IT support plan for your business.

 

How a Business IT support Plan can Benefit your Business

Moving into a Business IT Support Plan (also known as a Managed Service Contract) provides you the opportunity to find someone who can assess your current technology systems and understand the needs of your business.  After the initial assessment and understanding of future needs, a service plan can be developed that will move the IT responsibility into the hands of an expert IT professional, freeing you up to run the business.

Advantages of Establishing a Business IT Support Plan in 2014: 

•You have the ability to control costs, and have less “surprise” technology costs, when you outsource this to a true IT professional.  With this model you are only paying for services that your business needs, you are not responsible for many of the costs associated with a traditional employee, and you have someone monitoring your equipment that will be able to inform you of issues on the horizon that you can proactively address.

•When you move to this model you gain an immediate increased level of efficiency and expertise.  The IT professional that you have chosen to hire should provide an extremely high level of technology knowledge and have the ability to stay ahead of product trends for you and your business.

•New viruses and technology threats are emerging every day.  Are you convinced that your business is properly protected?  Your IT professional should make your business needs regarding security a number one priority, establish a plan if something were to go awry, and maintain updated knowledge on how to protect you against new threats.

•Save time and money by running and managing your business not your technology.  A Business IT Support Plan will allow you to rely on the suggestions and guidance of highly skilled IT professional so you can make informed decision on how to move and maintain your business technology at a managed cost.

Creating a Technology Plan for the New Year

Posting Date: 11/22/2013  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up, Security, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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We all make personal New Year’s resolutions on January 1st. This year, why not commit to a few professional resolutions for your business, too? Geeks On Call strongly encourages you to put a new technology plan at the top of that list for 2014. We are offering some technology planning guidelines that can help you form a strategy as you think about your business resolutions and professional goals for 2014.

Technology Solutions That Can Benefit Your Business in the New Year

Backup Services: Cloud services include data storage and backup systems plus access to software programs. Information stored on the cloud can be shared with other users anywhere and at any time. Data shows that 61% of surveyed small businesses are currently using some form of cloud-based service with another 5% planning to add cloud services by 2014. If your business is not currently using the cloud for backup service, it’s time to make a plan for switching over. The cloud can provide data storage plus a variety of services and benefits. Put the cloud at the top of your list.

Security Measures: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) research shows that over two-thirds of surveyed companies already have employees using their own computers on the job. The advantage is that BYOD makes it easier for employees to stay in constant contact and also work from home more productively. The efficiency of BYOD comes with the responsibility on the part of the business for training employees on security policies and standards. Safeguarding your network and ensuring the confidentiality of your data is critical to the security of your business.

Disaster Recovery: Within the past year unexpected weather-related disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, have raised the business community’s concerns over data recovery solutions. As you consider your disaster recovery plan, try to consider the consequences of losing all of your business’ data. Think of the lost revenue if your business is off-line for several days. This will remind you of how important it is to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place. There are a variety of disaster recovery plans available. After the disaster occurs, it’s too late to wish you had kept that New Year’s resolution for a disaster recovery plan! Commit to a disaster recovery plan now.

Managed Services: Technology is a key component tied to the success of your business. It enables your business to stay efficient, productive and competitive in today’s marketplace. That is as long as your technology systems are up to date and functioning properly. Have you considered a managed service plan? A managed service provider develops a customized IT service plan that will suit the budget and the needs of the client’s business. A service plan can help your business reduce IT operational costs while actually providing a higher level of IT service. The need for a managed service provider has become increasingly important as business owners need to make informed and increasingly complex choices about technology solutions.

Please visit our blog  for additional information about technology planning in the New Year.

Prepare for 2014 – TODAY!

Geeks On Call can work with you to assess your IT needs and develop a customized plan for your business. If your business needs to develop a backup system, move to cloud services or develop a Mobile App – we can help. Geeks On Call is here to help your business stay productive, efficient and competitive in 2014. Give your local Geeks On Call office a call and one of our computer professionals will be happy to help you.

 

Technology Planning for 2014

Posting Date: 11/22/2013  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Planning Your 2014 Technology Strategy

As 2013 is rapidly coming to a close, many of us are making resolutions and plans for 2014. As an business owner, are you making plans concerning the technology that keeps your business running?  Let’s take a moment and think about some questions regarding your technology:

  • If you lost of all your client data, how would that impact your business?
  • If you had several computers not working, how would that impact your business?
  • If you were able to find cost saving and efficiency solutions regard technology, how would that impact your business?

Now if the first two questions struck fear in your heart, as much as telling a child Santa is not coming this year and the last one made your eye glisten and twinkle you should definitely be thinking about your business’ 2014 Technology Plan.

Don’t worry it won’t be hard to plan and assess your options, we have outlined a few areas that may benefit your business and we have several others in our most recent newsletter (and you can always call our experts in when you are ready to get serious).

Technology and Equipment Upgrades: Making sure your technology is up to date is important for on-going productivity and efficiency, but there is an added sense of urgency with the demise of Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system on April 8, 2014.   Provided that you leave any of your computers to run XP after the April 8th deadline, you will be placing your business at risk for cyber security attacks.  Furthermore, choosing not to upgrade from XP will place your business at risk of being non-compliant with security and patch issues and depending on your industry these non-compliance fines could amount to big dollars! Many businesses are taking this forced opportunity to upgrade their operating systems and equipment.

The bottom-line: If you are still running Windows XP, you can no longer postpone your upgrade plans. Make and upgrade plan because April 8, 2014 is coming up quickly.

Mobile Accessibility: Mobile accessibility will mean different things to every business, but one common theme is increased efficiency and productivity!  Mobile accessibility will give your employees the ability to conduct business and be reached anytime and anywhere.  Mobile accessibility has some additional benefits, like being able to utilize apps for accounting, inventory management, and scheduling that will help you keep control of your business. Your clients will see benefits with streamlined communication and speedy turnaround time on requests and orders.  You could even take this one step further and create a Mobile App for your business.  A recent study suggests that 49% of mobile device owners are utilizing Mobile Apps to find business information. This could result in increased brand awareness and social media interaction, while providing useful information such as directions, coupons, events, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg

The bottom-line: If you aren’t fully utilizing mobility, you will be struggling to stay engaged and keep up with the competition in 2014.

Managing Your Technology Budget:  It can be exhausting for any business owner to try and juggle technology costs, additions, and upgrades while striving to stay one step ahead of the competition and run a business.  Staying up to date on the latest technology details and costs for cloud services, backup services, cyber security services is not something many business owners are capable of understand or what to understand!  There is a solution to help your business stay ahead of technology and make sure that you current technology is always working: Managed Services Plans.

Managed Services Plans can help you as a business owner to work with one source (a technology advisor) for all of your technology needs.  This technology advisor will create a customized plan for your business’ technology needs and budget!  Some of the services a traditional Managed Services Plan offers are outsourced network management and monitoring of computer and servers, cyber security services, and back up and disaster recovery services. These services are typically contracted for a fixed monthly amount, so you can avoid costly one-time service bills.

The bottom-line: As a business owner, you want to run your business not manage technology problems. A managed services plan can help you make informed choices about complex technology solutions and deliver a higher quality at a lower cost to your business. This can be a “Win-Win” situation for your business.

 

6 Reasons Outsourced IT Support is a Good Idea!

Posting Date: 07/26/2013  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Outsourced IT support is becoming more and more popular with regard to both small and medium sized businesses and large corporations.  Outsourced IT support usually consists of a combination of the following services: hosting as well as web development and maintenance; data storage and back up via cloud solutions; application and computer software development; database development and management; program support and management; telecommunications; data security; help desk and/or tech support services.

Business owners see the value in outsourcing as a way to remain competitive by access the latest technological know-how and utilizing skilled technology professionals while still keeping the bottom-line in mind.

Here are 6 reasons why Outsourced IT Support may be a good idea for your business:

1: Equipment Cost Control: A new business can really benefit from the cost savings associated with the cost of IT infrastructure. Although, a business at any stage of maturity can use the money saved related to IT infrastructure and re-invested into various revenue making initiatives.

2: Stability: An important factor for any business is stability. Moving to an outsourced IT support model can help your business gain the stability it desires (at least for your IT department). Time wasted on employee hiring and training will be a thing of the past, equipment upgrades will be handled at convenient times that you deem acceptable and technical problems will be monitored proactively so they become almost nonexistent.

3: Efficiency Technical Expertise: This benefit can be felt immediately, true technology experts will be able to seamlessly integrate and easily become familiar and understand your systems.  Those who focus on delivering outsourced IT support have technical expertise and offer efficient strategies to benefit their clients.

4: Operational Cost Control: You are only paying for the IT services that you have outlined as needed with your outsourced IT support provider, therefore keeping costs controlled. You are also able to save in other areas like rent by needing a smaller workplace for fewer workers, less equipment, and other personnel related expenses.

5: Remain Competitive: You don’t need to break the bank on IT expenses to stay competitive. Outsourced IT support providers can use their leverage, having multiple clients, to get you access to “big business” technological know-how and professional expertise for a low budget prices that you need for your business to remain competitive. This competitive edge will make an impression on your clients.

6: Run Your Business: Concentrate on your business and what you do well and stop wasting time and energy on technology issues. When you trust your business to an outsourced IT support service professional they handle technology issues and take a proactive approach to preventing issues.

What Are Managed Services?

Posting Date: 05/29/2013  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up, Internet, Security, Technology  |   No Comments
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The term “managed services” is generally defined as the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities with the strategic goal of reducing costs while improving operational efficiency. A managed services provider typically refers to an outsourced information technology company that assumes responsibility for one or more aspects of a client’s IT functions. These responsibilities can range from a single specific task, such as managing network security or offering help desk support, to the complex management of running a client’s entire IT infrastructure. Most managed service providers bill a flat or nearly-fixed monthly fee benefiting clients with predictable IT support costs.

How Managed Services Can Immediately Benefit Your Business

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Computer systems now form an integral part of most businesses’ ability to function. Can you remember the last time a computer crisis kept you from your “real job” – managing your business? It might be time to consider the immediate benefits of outsourced managed services for your business’ IT needs. Here’s a list of the top five benefits you can take advantage of by working with a managed service provider:

  • Control IT Costs by working with a managed service provider to create a customized IT service plan that suits your budget and the needs of your business. A service plan can help business owners reduce IT operational costs while actually providing a higher level of IT service for their business. Plans can be customized by the number of support hours required or the level of monitoring and maintenance that is needed each month. Capital expenditures for equipment will be reduced in addition to staffing costs.
  • Manage Labor Costs if you do not employ IT professionals in your business, you likely have a designated “go-to” person in the office that handles the technology issues for everyone. You can eliminate the time this person is spending on IT issues so they can get more of their actual work done.
  • Quickly Implement New Technologies with the help of a managed service provider. Skilled IT professionals can save you both time and money with the efficiency of on-demand services. Also, a managed services provider will have a strong understanding of your business and your technology, allowing them to understand your technology needs as well as your budget. This will save you time in trying to understand new technology, and money you may waste on buying products you do not need or that will not work for your specific network.
  • Increase Efficiency and Stay Competitive through economies of scale. Most managed service providers can provide small to medium sized businesses with access to technology and expertise usually only available to large companies. Your managed services professional can assist you with identifying the products and services that would benefit your business and are available in an option that will fit your needs.
  • Security can require constant vigilance. Is your firewall up to date; are you protected against malware; do you audit your servers; are you using the latest customer transaction systems for credit, debit, e-checks and wire transfers? Outsourced security monitoring leads to less down-time, enhanced efficiency and greater profits for your business.

Be Proactive and Consider Managed Services Today

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Are you ready to forget about those IT headaches? Whether you only have a few PCs, a network or more than one server, you are probably ready for a managed service provider. Geeks On Call’s managed service experts can work with you to assess your IT needs and develop a customized plan for your business. As a business owner, don’t you want to stay productive by focusing on the actual management of your business – not spending time fixing problems or worrying about what you will do if your systems stop working? Geeks On Call is here to help. Give your local Geeks On Call office a call and one of our computer professionals will be happy to help you.