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IT outsourcing advantages

Benefits to outsourcing IT support
(make sure to read the last one!!)

07.07.2015

There are plenty of benefits to outsourcing your IT to a Managed Service Provider instead of keeping IT in-house. Take a moment today to think about how having access to a team of IT Consultants could transform your office environment.

Outsourcing IT can:

Improve access to IT knowledge and capabilities - more combined years of experience, industry training, and certifications with a whole team of IT Consultants versus one or two full time resources

Improve company focus - internal resource hours can be dedicated to expanding your business instead of tackling frustrating IT issues

Improve employee morale – in the workplace, functioning computers are a basic need. Having a team proactively protect and update your systems helps fulfill this need so your team can keep working without interruption

Improve profits and predictability – with flat-rate unlimited plans, costs are recurring and only increase when you increase your staff

Reduce backlog – access to a dedicated team means IT Consultants are available when your staff needs them

Reduce cost – compared to the expense of hiring a full-time person, which includes searching for the right match, training, and paying salary, taxes and benefits, outsourcing your IT can be a significant cost savings

Reduce cost – compared to the expense of hiring a full-time person, which includes searching for the right match, training, and paying salary, taxes and benefits, outsourcing your IT can be a significant cost savings

Reduce cultural mismatches – hiring for company culture is challenging; employing a lone IT person in a medical office or law firm can be a challenge for some companies

Reduce frustration – we’ll work with your third-party providers if something goes down to get all systems back up and running again (read: we’ll even sit on the phone with Comcast for you if the Wi-Fi goes down. Yes, you read that right)

backup data

Whoa whoa whoa, backup
05.15.2015

When was the last time you backed up your data? Or tested the restore process?

For your own security, experts (and even regular people) agree you should create and use a routine backup procedure.

Why should your data be backed up?

  • Files and folders can be deleted by accident or due to human error. Plan regular backup of important files.
  • Data can be destroyed by viruses. Having antivirus software is helpful for prevention, but isn’t always 100% protection from loss.
  • Computers can be physically destroyed (heat, water, thunderstorms, etc.) or stolen. Having your data backed up can save you the headache of starting from scratch.
  • Data can be destroyed by a hard disk error. If you have to replace or reformat a hard disk, your data will be lost. Restoration is easy if you’ve been backing up your data regularly.

If you would like help establishing a routine backup procedure or are interested in learning more about how to use cloud technology for backups, please contact ATS today for support at 888-287-5227.

SMBs

Get your own domain SMBs
03.25.2015

Yes, the year is 2015 and some people are still using their @gmail,
@yahoo, @hotmail, and, even, @aol addresses for their small and medium businesses. The time to get your own domain is now.

  • Create a consistent brand across your business and reflected in all your employees’ communications. Seeing customized email addresses such as sarah@greatcupcakescom and steve@greatcupcakescom is much better than sarahgreatcupcakes@yahoocom and stevegreatcupcakes@gmailcom. These email addresses are more professional.
  • Validate your business. A business domain demonstrates you are willing to make investments in your small to medium business and you are savvy enough to create a consistent brand that’s reflected in every part of your enterprise.
  • Help customers find and remember you. Having your own domain will help customers find you. Use your domain to help your search engine optimization (SEO). Also, in the example above, sarah@greatcupcakescom may be more memorable to a prospective customer (and perhaps easier to remember) than sarahgreatcupcakes@yahoocom.
  • Organize your incoming emails. You can use your own domain to allow customers to easily submit queries through your site, self-sorting based on the nature of their questions. Customers and vendors can email sales@greatcupcakescom, catering@greatcupcakescom, etc. directly from your website. Though these departments may all be run by one or two people, using the domain provides the perception of an established organization, even if your small business is only months old.
  • Ensure customers are receiving your e-mails. Emails from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL can appear to be SPAM. In fact, many companies will block incoming emails from these addresses as part of their IT Policies to prevent viruses and reduce spam.

Obtaining a domain for your small or medium business costs less
than you think. If you would like assistance with this process or need an IT Services support, please contact me at Applied Technical Services at 888-287-5227.

annual network infrastructure planning

Annual Infrastructure Planning
01.30.2015

Chances are your Information Technology team is working to handle the
demands of your growing business. While keeping up with day-to-day issues and fixes is mandatory, evaluating and planning are critical steps to staying ahead of future IT issues and improving IT operations as a whole. The ATS IT Services and Technology Solutions team offers an annual review and can provide updated mapping and documentation of current architecture as well as recommendations for the future.

Often times your “IT guy” is bogged down with the daily troubleshooting
and can often overlook opportunities to improve tools, systems, and processes. There are 3 specific areas you should be re-evaluating now:

  • Security – employees are using a wider range of devices from a wider range of locations. Have you updated your internal usage policies? What tools and education are you providing to employees about proper practices with devices and online activity? When was the last time you evaluated the capabilities of your firewall and anti-virus software?
  • Storage – many employees save all their documents to the desktop. While this might be easiest method for them, it is unlikely the best method for the organization or their own productivity. Because employees and the devices they use are more mobile, they should be able to access what they need wherever they are without the extra steps of savings to a USB drive and carrying documents around. Is your company already using Cloud Storage? If so, has it been implemented consistently across the organization?
  • Collaboration – sharing documents for feedback and input across email is a drain on your systems and work efforts. Using a platform like SharePoint or a free online tool can make teamwork simple even across disparate geographies. Project-tracking capabilities can allow your team members to check current status versus sending out an email to update the entire team. Collaboration tools can help generate detailed reports easily. When documents are all stored in a single place, you have better version control and easy access for employees. Although unfortunate, staff turnover equals knowledge loss, and when colleagues aren’t familiar with pre-existing collateral, they are stuck re-inventing the wheel.

Let us take a closer look!