If you are in Los Angeles and considering transferring out of the business model where you hire an IT staff and outsource this work to specialists, you will certainly want to ensure you have the best company for your business.
When looking at IT Services company, it is not realistic to take the perspective that only one company is the right company. Some companies specialize in low cost while others specialize in higher quality or response times.
When you are choosing an IT Services company, you should ask some of these basic questions:
- What is the most critical decision point (price, speed, expertise, other)
- What systems are you currently using
- What training does the IT Services company have on those tools
- How many computers need to be supported?
- Do you need to support 24/7?
- How much does it cost to be down for 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day?
- Is all your data backed up?
- Are you able to access your information anywhere in the world?
We thrive on helping clients, generally with 10+ users take their IT from “it works” to “it is critical and helps us grow.”
We would love to chat if you are looking for IT Services in Los Angeles.
We have heard some crazy stories lately as we have brought some new clients on board. One client said they waited up to a week sometimes to hear back from their IT provider. We were shocked anyone would put up with this, as we think most issues should be addressed and solved in under an hour, and some need to be even faster than that. The idea of waiting a week to even reply is so bad when it comes to IT support.
What could cause their response times to suffer so much? We thought about this and we could only come up with two possible ideas.
- They are way under staffed to try and make a profit (maybe they charge too little, or maybe they are super inefficient)
- They don’t know how to put together systems that don’t break all the time.
We had trouble thinking of other reasons any IT services company would take a week to reply to their customers. It seems so strange. Honestly, even a day is terrible. It should be an hour or less. Your business is way too important to just have problems that are not getting fixed in a timely manner.
If you find your current IT provider is too slow, we would love to show you the difference Proactive could make for your company.
This is one of those posts we wish everyone would read and take to heart. One of the most consistently neglected areas of IT is having data backups done on a regular basis and testing backups to ensure they actually work and getting all the data.
We are not here to lecture our clients, so we try and not take too rigid of a position on most items. This happens to be one area we will fight for because it can mean the very survival of a client.
We see people who call because they thought their data was good and a server crashed or a computer crashed and the IT team tells them all the data is lost. How can this be, they think? We have spent months on these projects, or all our billing is on that server. In a situation like this, sorry isn’t an answer. Sometimes a data restoration specialist can get the data back off the drives, at costs of thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. Why not just set up a proper and well working backup in the first place.
A website is not backed up properly if it takes days to restore it, any of our sites could be down and restored under 5 minutes. A server should have the same kind of reliability, If it goes down, the IT professional should just be like, OK, let me restore the backup. Will take about 10 minutes or 2 hours, or whatever depending on the size of the restore. If they are of the mindset it may be hard to get, that is a huge issue. Most businesses go out of business if they have a catastrophic loss of data. We don’t want your business to be one of these. Your email, accounting, contracts, sales, and web info should always always be protected.
It is good to test backups on a regular basis. Again, if they are set up well, it is a minor amount of work to test the integrity of the backups.
If you are unsure what your data backup situation is, please give us a call!
One of the progressions for most businesses is when they go from remembering all their clients and everyone knowing who they are to realizing they have a dire need for a CRM. This generally happens as the company grows or they have more clients. What is a CRM? CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager or Client Relationship Manager. This software is designed to help you remember everything you do with the client. It could be the last contact, whose territory the client is in, when their birthday is, what opportunities you have with them, when was the last email sent to them, etc.
The idea is we are busy and a CRM is more a less a personal assistant whose job is to make sure we don’t lose track of our most valuable assets, our clients.
There are industry standards like Dynamics and Salesforce, or smaller niche ones like Highrise, Capsule, Nutshell, or Zoho. All in all, most are pretty good. There are also older systems like ACT! or Goldmine some people are used to. We believe the most important decision when it comes to a CRM is the one that makes you use it.
Most can help you put things in a sales order, store documents, and connect to email so you can track all of your emails per client. We would be lost without a CRM, and suggest any business have one, because they are so cheap and so helpful.
We would love to chat with you more about this, or your network support. Give us a call to learn how Proactive can help your business.
Have you ever sent an email from your company, and the recipient says, “I didn’t get that email.” It can be frustrating and when this happens, you may wonder if you are on a black-list of one type or another.
One of the nice tools you can use is called MX Toolbox. With this tool you can see if there is a domain issue or a blacklist issue out there against your domain. We check this regularly for ourselves. It impacts people’s ability to get your emails as well as affects ranking on search engines.
Sometimes the issue isn’t a blacklist on the internet, but a firewall at the customer’s location that blacklists you. With that, it is a simple process of having their IT person whitelist your domain on the firewall so they can get your email.
Having a blacklist issue is frustrating, so we are happy to help you if you are finding this issue is a problem for you. We can look into your issue and see what it takes to get it cleared up.
We are here to help you with all items technology, including your email and your ability to communicate electronically with your client.
One complaint IT professionals get on a regular basis is “my computer is going super slow.” This isn’t an issue with just one possible cause, but could be a myriad of things.
Generally the first step in trouble shooting the issue is determining if the computer is slow, OR if certain applications are running slow. For example, if all the local stuff loads quick and seems to work well, but the web is super slow, that could be more of an ISP issue than a computer issue.
If the computer is running slow, we like to see how many programs are running. Some people have a tendency to run every program on their computer and never shut down anything. If these programs take a lot of memory, then yes, the computer can slow down. The solution is simple, get more RAM or close some programs.
If the computer is slow and there are not a bunch of programs open, it could be the hard drive is having troubles or is almost full. You can check your drive to make sure you have space (we like to see at least 1/3 of the drive being empty. If the drive looks good, maybe it is having issues. There are tests on hard drive testing programs that can be ran.
The other thing that commonly slows a computer is malware. This can cause a lot of processes to run in the background.
Ultimately, an IT professional can almost always help tell you why the computer is running slow in a few minutes. If you have been putting up with it for months, you may want to reach out to them or get a new IT professional.
You have a system that is killing employee productivity, and you want to ensure your IT is supporting your organizational needs. One example we saw was an accountant who was spending time finding their client files and when their clients would request forms they did over the year, the accountant would have to spend 10 to 15 minutes in some cases looking for the backup data. They were using a lot of the paper people were bringing in, but not scanning and saving these documents to a secure server. What this meant was each time the request came in, someone had to go fishing for the files so they could send the information their clients were requesting.
With a simple scanner and OCR software, Proactive was able to help them improve their efficiency. They were not quite ready for document management, but they were ready to have an organized system. The benefit of this happened when one of the partners had surgery and was able to work from home because all of the documents were organized and accessible.
An IT Consultant’s job is to see what the problem your business is facing is and then applying technology to the problem to help ensure the problem is minimized or erased. IT consulting isn’t done to just spend money on technology, but to find ways in which technology can aid a business in their goals and make life easier for them.
Like in farming, the tractor isn’t made to cost farmer’s jobs, it was made to make the job of farming easier and more efficient. If you are not using technology in your business, you are like a farmer with a shovel in a field. We want to help bring the tractor to you.
If you need help with your IT in Los Angeles, please give us a call ASAP!
Yesterday, if you tried to use Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, or other major sites, you may have been unable to access servers. Many people were fearful this was something done by foreign governments. The part that is concerning, is this was a DDoS hack that someone with relatively little hacking expertise can pull off. It was based on some code released to the dark web, showing people how to take down massive players in the market. It was resolved quickly, but that is because these companies hire the world’s best internet security experts.
Now, if we scale down, looking at smaller companies in Los Angeles, how would we fare with such an attack? One of the most important thing for every business is to not be completely reliant on one service, but have what we call backups available to ensure data is protected.
What happened yesterday was similar to what happens in a crisis when everyone calls the people they know in an area and it makes all the phone circuits busy. This code that was launched would “call” the servers from every device it infects, over and over, all at once… making the server clogged and taking it down.
With the best security experts in the country, it still took about 6 hours to be back in the clear. If their systems were not top notch and their people so talented, it could have been days or weeks.
When you look at your business, it is critical to know your data is protected. Their are viruses, malware, ransomeware and other hostile hacking that happens everyday in Los Angeles. We are here to help protect your data and thus protect your company. If you are unsure how you would do if a server crashed, you should give us a call right away!
Some companies try and save money on their IT and ignore security, thinking nothing bad will happen to them. If this is you and you have a business in the Los Angeles area, we would strongly suggest you think about your security on your network. We have some of the best security you can get on your network and we help protect you from things like computer viruses, malware and ransomware. We love some of our technology partners like AppRiver and Webroot which help protect your network.
Some of the benefits our systems offer are the following:
- Off premise technology – meaning you don’t have to buy hardware.
- Group and user level management for your users
- Real time remediation of threats on your computer network
- Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
- Minimal impact
We work with your management to understand what the most critical data you need to protect is and we ensure there are not issues that can take down a network. If you are not sure if you are protected, you will want to give Proactive Networks a call. Some companies are using older computer technology and don’t have the protection they need. If you are not certain, give us a call for a network assessment!
Do you need a new business phone system in Los Angeles? Our group helps businesses in Los Angeles get phone systems that not only save them money, but also have the best uptime and call quality. We work with technology that makes your systems perform perfectly. Our data team looks at your internet, your computer systems, and the rest of your network to ensure you don’t have choppy or dropped calls in your office.
Some of the awesome features our systems include are the following:
VoIP calling for lower cost long distance
Find Me Follow Me
Integration with CRM
We want to help you solve all of your technology needs. We work with you on your phones, your internet, your security, and all of your technology. If you have questions or are concerned you are using old technology, we would love to help you out. Give us a call if you are looking for a new system.