SMBs Can Become a Weapon in Cyberwarfare

Headlines today highlight Ukrainian tragedy or North Korea testing missiles. It can seem far away from your business, yet battles are being fought online, too. Your small business's IT systems could be weaponized for cyberwarfare. That statement may surprise you. You've heard of cyber targets such as: critical national infrastructure;election and v...
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What an MSP Can Offer Your Business

The Benefits of having a Managed Service Provider It's not as if the name "managed services provider " (MSP) is that self-explanatory. You might read that business description and have no real idea what it is an MSP can do for you. We're providing managed services … OK, but what does that mean? To make things easier, this article outlines the actua...
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What IT Services Should You Outsource?

 Wondering which IT Services you could Outsource?  Every successful small business owner reaches a point when they need to tap others' talents. When it comes to IT, depending on your skill set, that point could come pretty soon. Yes, there are IT services you can do in-house, but there are others that are beneficial to outsource. When you...
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Aligning Strategy and IT with Your MSP

How to scale your business with the help of an MSP Scaling your business is critical to your success. Business is, after all, dynamic. Ideally, it's growing, but it almost always needs to pivot. When that happens, you need your IT to keep pace. Working with a managed service provider (MSP) to align your strategy and IT can support and even drive ag...
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6 Top Tech Small Business New Year Resolutions

As the new year approaches (already?), it is a good time to take stock and plan some small business resolutions. Join the millions around the world determined to make the best of January's fresh start. Try these suggestions for top IT resolutions to better your business.   #1 Embrace digital transformation The business world is going digi...
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What an MSP Does and Doesn’t Do

Managed service providers (MSPs) pride themselves on high levels of support. Yet, there are some things we can do and others we can't. Laundry and grocery shopping come to mind for the latter. But, more seriously, this article will explain what an MSP does and doesn't do. Your business faces many challenges today. You're managing budget and employe...
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How to Expedite Your IT Support Request

When your technology isn't working, you want a fix right now. Whether it's an inability to connect to your network or to open an important presentation file, you're quickly frustrated by the need to file an IT support request. You can't wait! We get it, so allow us to share some tips to help you get faster IT support.Whether you're working with an ...
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How Managed Services Help Elevate Your Business

Are you underusing your MSP? Many businesses think of managed services for tech support and security. But the partnership doesn't have to stop there. Inviting a more nuanced business relationship with your tech experts can lead to real business improvements. Our latest ebook explores: Understanding managed services Four opportunities for business i...
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How to Free Up IT Resources

Business success comes from capitalizing on opportunities, except it is harder to do so if you are resource-constrained. This article explores ways to free up IT resources to drive productivity and evolution. Your business depends on information technology resources. The right software can help manage expanding workloads and improve collaboration. ...
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Why Law Firms Need Managed Services

The law industry isn’t known for embracing change quickly: tradition can trump a willingness to embrace new technologies. Yet digital technology has become an essential part of many lawyers' working day. Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) provides support and enhanced cybersecurity during this evolution.

Lawyers Rely on Technology Today to:

  • communicate with colleagues and clients;
  • exchange documents;
  • schedule events and share calendars;
  • research precedent and legal issues;
  • streamline file management;
  • automate menial tasks;
  • track billable hours;
  • invoice clients and pay vendors;
  • access information from mobile devices, when and where needed;
  • virtually conference during the pandemic.

Now, imagine the disruption if that tech-savvy firm’s systems went down, even just for a few hours. No, this is not an argument to return to paper-pushing and the old-school methods; it’s a reminder that you need an IT expert at the ready in case something goes wrong. Plus, an MSP can manage and watch systems to help prevent the worst.

The MSP Solution

Legal service provider clients expect digital proficiency. They want to schedule appointments online; they want to upload documents to the cloud instead of coming into the office; they are looking to provide digital signatures and pay securely online. The MSP can set up software to meet customer expectations without risking compliance or cybersecurity.

An MSP with experience in the legal industry can also boost competitive advantage. These IT experts can identify opportunities to improve productivity. It may be a faster network or computer upgrades, or you may benefit from improving software integrations and adopting better collaboration tools. The MSP’s initial tech review may also save you money. They'll identify where you are overpaying or places to streamline software licenses.

Also, on the financial front, the law firm can enjoy a consistent budget line item working with an MSP. Instead of waiting for something to break and then looking for someone to fix it, you’ll have expert ITs on call, which can reduce costly downtime. Better still, the MSP will take preventative action to avoid that downtime in the first place. This includes keeping your antivirus and security updated and checking technological asset health.

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Outsourcing to an MSP: Custom-size Your Partnership

When it comes to business technology, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Managed service providers (MSPs) know this firsthand. That's why you'll find they make it easy to partner with them for different levels of outsourced IT. This article outlines the three tiers of MSP outsourcing typically available. Small and mid-sized businesses share many...
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Weighing Software-as-a-Service and Managed Service Providers

There are many acronyms in the IT world. Two common ones are SaaS and MSP, which stand for software-as-a-service and managed service provider, respectively. The bigger question is what the differences are between these two and why you would need one or the other. Here's help. What's SaaS?  Your business may already be relying on SaaS. Some of ...
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What to Do If You’re a Ransomware Victim

You'll know if you're a victim of ransomware. Often you're met with a red screen telling you your business files are encrypted. You won't be able to do anything on the computer, although the cybercriminals will provide helpful instructions for how to pay up. How nice. Here's what to do instead if you're the victim of a ransomware attack. Cybersecur...
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COVID the Sequel: Revisit Business Continuity Plans

 

 

There’s a sequel no one has any interest in seeing predicted to open this Autumn – COVID: The Second Wave. Despite the lack of audience interest, we could face another coronavirus pandemic. For business, this means revisiting continuity plans.


 

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Outsourced Help Desk for Accountants


Accountants are experts at surviving the “busy season.” Tax accountants, for instance, are slammed as annual deadlines draw near. There are slow times, too, but during crazy times, the last thing an accountant wants is essential tech going down.







A broken computer or server downtime can be devastating. Say it’s a few days before a tax deadline, and the accountant logs into an essential tax preparation application and sees a blank screen: the system is down, and they can’t get in. It’s the kind of crisis that more cups of coffee can’t handle.




In the United States in 2018, the Internal Revenue Service’s website crashed on April 17, Tax Day. Since many people had waited until the last minute to submit their tax returns, this single day of downtime is estimated to have cost millions. It’s a clear example of the damage even a day of server downtime or other type of outage can cost a business and, in this case, one that business accountants can relate to!




If the firm takes a break-fix approach to its technology needs, the answer will be to call in an expert. This could mean hours on the phone with an IT helpline only to find out the problem is with another service provider. Or it could mean trying to reach someone to come out and check the network only to get on their calendar in the next available spot.




Deadlines are looming, and you are spending time on IT woes? It’s a disaster.

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IT Problems Your Managed Service Provider Can Solve


Unlike quick-fix IT relationships, a managed service provider isn't there just to solve short-term problems and leave. Your managed service provider is your IT's mountain Sherpa, there to guide your business through the ever-changing technology landscape.




Like a mountain guide, your managed service provider gives you a detailed route that will help your business climb to new heights. The secret to a great business is avoiding the pitfalls, dead-ends, and traps inherent in bad IT.







Removing IT Worries




Technology
in business presents both new solutions and new problems too. We are more
efficient and more productive today than we've ever been before. On the other
hand, we are also more vulnerable and more exposed to malware and hackers than
in previous years too.




Major
hacks of large firms are in the news almost daily, they affect millions of
customers worldwide, and even large firms seem to struggle with the fallout
incurred after a major breach. Our number one priority is ensuring that the
customers, suppliers, and business partners of our businesses can rest at ease.




We remove
your IT worries, secure your data, and keep your systems safe so you can focus
solely on your business. Our methods let you return to the passion which makes
your business great while sleeping soundly at night knowing your systems are in
good hands.

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Ring in the New Year with New IT


For many of us, 2021 can’t come soon enough, and we're hoping next year will be a better one. One way to get the best start in the new year? Take the time now to review business technology. There are several areas that you might improve to support 2021 success.







First, look at your website. In this digital age, your business website is your calling card to the world. It is where your prospects and customers will go to learn more and buy your product or service. Yet many business websites are at least a few years old. That won’t do these days. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C, your buyers are making a decision about your brand based on your website. If your website looks a decade old, they’re going to doubt you’re on top of your game.




When reviewing your website, priorities should be:




  • ease of site navigation – people have a low tolerance searching for information online;
  • mobile responsiveness – depending on industry, more than 60% of website visits are from mobile devices;
  • call to action – you’re making it clear what you want people to do on your site;
  • visual appeal – if it doesn’t look good, your credibility will be damaged;
  • search engine optimization – are you doing all you can to get people to your site?
  • security – customers care more and more about data security and privacy.



Updates in the Office Environment




Of course, there are still people who will pick up a phone and call a business. Traditional phone systems are the reliable business workhorse. But settling for a plain old phone system could mean you’re missing out on a lot. Modern digital phone systems offer you access to a wide range of useful features. With a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system, businesses of any size can get enterprise-level features. These include:




  • interactive voice response (IVR) systems (e.g. "Press 1 to speak to sales, 2 to speak to tech support … etc.”;
  • call queuing that helps distribute incoming calls to the right party;
  • call recording that helps you track compliance, and provides training and sales script intel;
  • local phone numbers, free in-network calling, and consistent international-rate plans.



Also in the office, there may still be employees signing in to desktop workstations running Windows 7. This operating system reached “end of life” on January 14, 2020. That means Microsoft is no longer updating the software. Hackers know that, too, so sticking with the old system could make you vulnerable to cyberattack.

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Why MSP Support Beats a Break-Fix Approach


Computers break at challenging times. Always. And there’s no worse time than the holiday season. Your employees want to spend time with family and friends, relaxing and reminiscing. They do not want to wait around for a fix or to find a replacement. That’s one reason a managed service provider (MSP) is a good choice year-round.







Many businesses have more work at the end of the year. An employee saddled with a laptop that won’t load necessary business applications is not productive. A wider system problem is even more costly. According to Gartner, “the average cost of network downtime is around £5,600 per minute.” Do you want to lose about £300,000 an hour during your busy season?




Even businesses that close the office for the holiday season have employees trying to get work done before the vacation. A broken computer is not going to help them meet their deadlines.




Relying on the break-fix model of computer care isn’t going to serve you well during the holiday season. Even those companies with a dedicated IT person could struggle when something goes wrong if that individual is already away for the holidays.




At many times of year, you’re patient: you can wait for someone to come in and fix that desktop or deal with the printer that’s acting up. But, if you’re calling a company in sporadically, they have no obligation to be available when you need help. If they’re backed up, you’ll need to try the next option for computer repair that came up in your Google search.

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Why Managed Services Make Your Life Easier


That smile of relief when we fix someone’s technology is a gift of doing IT service. When we get a call out, we’re happy to go out (or log in remotely) to fix what’s broken. We enjoy getting our customers back up and running quickly. Who said saving the day is only for superheroes, right?







Still, as much as we get a boost out of being the hero, we’d rather our clients’ systems didn’t go down in the first place.




How can we make that happen? By adding you to our managed services client roster. So, what does managed services mean?




Fixing things when they break is reactive, whereas managed services are more proactive. It involves:




  • ongoing monitoring;
  • handling system patches;
  • managing software updates, virus scans, and keeping malware current;
  • checking hard drive health to help catch issues in advance;
  • tuning up your technology;
  • setting up new devices, printers, networks, and systems.



As your managed service provider, we get to know not only what’s gone wrong but also find out your goals and objectives. Understanding what your needs are, we can suggest the technology that best serves you. Plus, we might be able to help you find discounts on new software or cut costs for your home office. After all, we can identify where you are duplicating licenses or paying for more than you need.

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Need Home IT Help? Try Residential Managed Services


Maybe you used to be able to troubleshoot your own technology, or had a tech-savvy family member or friend who could help out in a pinch. But now that home computing has become more essential, you may be feeling overwhelmed.







If you’re working from home, and others are doing virtual learning too, you can't wait for your IT geek buddy to visit. You need your desktop to do your job, and you can’t risk missing a deadline or losing hours of work. Your kids might welcome the excuse to miss a few assignments, but you don’t want them falling behind at school.




With all the technology you’re using today in a regular basis, your home is basically a small business. You want to be able to access the internet from any room and print from anywhere in the house, or to have a cloud backup of all your photos and videos.




So, partner with a managed service provider (MSP) for your residential computers. Many businesses use MSPs for IT help, 24/7 monitoring, improved security, and reporting. Home users can benefit, too.




Advantages of Residential Managed Services




A managed service provider helps organize and protect your technology. These IT experts can:

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