Understanding the latest tech trends can keep your business competitive, but unfortunately, keeping up with the changes in technology is not always easy. It can feel overwhelming. Luckily, Proactive Networks of Los Angeles, a managed IT company, can keep you on top of the latest trends. We have made it our business to stay on top of the newest changes. A security blanket has become one of the top trends of 2016. We are constantly bombarded in the media with attention to hackers, security breaches and other dangers to our businesses. Staying protected and prepared with a comprehensive security plan makes it easier. Companies have used Office 365 for email, Dropbox for file sharing and SalesForce for CRM or customer relationship management.
Vendor sprawl has become the second most common tech trend. Because of the evolution of the cloud, more and more companies have started to use third-party vendors for delivering solutions, services and software. In fact, it is not uncommon for companies to use six different cloud software vendors. Most companies do not want to waste their money on entering data into two separate systems, so they are seeking to integrate the tech solutions as an authoritative resource.
The expectations in the tech world have changed since it first started. Can you imagine someone from the millennial generation waiting for five minutes because for a faulty web page? Today’s technologies have set a certain standard that demands immediate tech support. In other words, immediate support is no longer a luxury, it is a requirement. The modern user doesn’t want to hear about the limitations of technology, they want to hear about solutions.
Before starting an endeavor for a small to medium-sized business, you should take the time to plan it out because this can save you lots of money over the long term. In addition, it can save you a lot in time. You want to cover a few key IT-related areas because this keeps you ahead of the issues concerning IT. First, you should identify an internal point or person for IT. Proactive Networks of Los Angeles could help because we are an outsourced IT company.
The majority of small business owners do not have the right budget for hiring IT people in-house, but a managed IT company becomes an invaluable resource for SMBs. Essentially, it is because they are the best of both worlds. You have the lower cost while still addressing IT problems. It does not matter what industry your company is in, everyone should have IT as a fundamental part of their planning because when business technology fails, it takes down the entire company. That is why you want someone like Proactive Networks of Los Angeles to help.
Involving IT early enough also becomes another method of avoiding the IT tornado that can be very damaging to your company. Key business goals were missed because there was no direct involvement in the IT. Finally, you want to avoid consumer-grade technology because you are a business. Business-grade solutions have better security, and what a lot of companies fail to factor in is the higher cost because of downtime. In addition, the overall lack of support and functionality can hurt your business more over the long term.
Today with more and more business transactions being conducted online it is important that we have a sound backup & recovery plan. Data is the heart of any enterprise. It is therefore essential that data is protected. In the process of work there are many instances of important work getting deleted or files getting corrupted. Hence a backup plan is required to ensure that data is not lost. Backup may also be needed if any file/data is required at a later date.
Backups can be considered a simple form of disaster recovery but it is not a complete disaster recovery plan. There are different kinds of backup plans like Normal, Clone, Differential, Incremental, and daily backup plan. The kind of backup plan depends on the a few factors like the kind of data and their use, when will it be needed (Immediately or later), who will be responsible for the backup, etc.
Since backups contain copy of data the data storage facility and requirements must be clearly understood and properly used. Backup storage can be your hard disk, separate storage devices or organized tapes and disks.
There are three kinds of computer backup systems. They are:
1 Bootable backup or clone. It is a complete copy of your computers primary hard drive. In case the primary drive dies it can be used to reboot the computer and access all the files.
2 External Hard drive. They provide backup for a few things like pictures, folders which are irreplaceable.
3 Cloud backup is also known as online backup. Here a copy of the data is sent to an off-site server. Setting up is very easy and consists of opening an account and downloading software. This will automatically keep your computer backed up whenever it is connected to internet. This is the easiest form of backup.
Data Recovery is the process of restoring data that may have been lost or accidentally deleted. The data may also have been corrupted. Disaster Recovery data helps in protecting organizations from cyber-attacks, equipment failures, and failures due to natural calamities. Disaster Recovery plans help organizations to restore critical functions after such attacks.
Managing a customer’s IT structure and/or user system on-site and remotely is Managed IT Services. A company that provides this is a Managed Service Provider (MSP). IT Service Management plans, designs, delivers, operates, and controls IT operations. They are more focused on customers’ needs and management rather than technological assistance. Typically, the IT operations of a company are offloaded to a managed service provider.
The MSP monitors, manages, and resolves problems faced by the company. Managed Services include Application managed services, data bases, data recovery & backup, network managing, storage, security, and monitoring.
IT services provided vary according to the needs of the company. They might solve problems or issues with websites, internet, etc., and also provide regular IT Consulting and monitoring. The advantage of using Managed IT services is that the company can concentrate on their running, management, and day to day activities. The IT aspects are left to the MSP to handle. Routine IT problems like email problems, slow network, etc. can hamper the progress of the company and affect customer relations. These can be easily solved by IT help and IT Management. IT Support Is available 24/7 and having IT Support saves time and is also cost effective.
Running to a technician after the problem has occurred is always time consuming, but having IT personnel on hand solves everything. It is essential to sit and discuss with the IT services team so that they fully comprehend the needs and inner-workings of the company. Managed IT services can be used by small businesses also. There is a mistaken belief that small businesses cannot afford managed IT services. However, IT services can be adapted to every company depending on their specifications. Day to day running can be monitored more efficiently and it is found to be cost effective.
MSP’s are proactive and study the business so they know where and which services to implement. They use specialized programs to monitor the progress and upgrade systems whenever required. Choosing an MSP is an important decision and affects the running of the company. Before signing a contract some important points are to be considered.
The MSP must be available at all times or at least be easy to contact.
The package offered must be flexible to allow future modifications and also changes in the company.
The MSP must ensure that they use strong encryption methods to ensure security. Since important files and data of the company are available, they must be secure to avoid falling in hands of competitors and hackers. In today’s world, when everything is based on communications and information;
IT support companies are here to stay.
We measure cloud availability in one of the most peculiar ways today, and in some ways, it needs to change. Using a blunt tool to measure the availability of the cloud up to the edge of the provider’s infrastructure is not an adequate measuring tool. Instead, it should start from the perspective of the customer, and the availability will be taken into account from the outlook of the customer.
Real availability is actually a recently coined term, but it is likely that other cloud providers will adopt it in the future. When you look at real availability, it measures the customers’ availability and examines every incident that took place from an outage. You have four different groups of outages. First, you have incidents that were caused by the infrastructure of your cloud provider. Second, you have incidents that were caused because of the software on the service automation platform. The third group involves outages that happened because of a third party. Finally, you have the fourth incident that took place because of the customer.
When we examined the root causes of outages in the last year, 27 percent happened because of the infrastructure. Meanwhile, 28 percent happened because of software issues, four percent took place because of a third-party provider and 42 percent were caused by customers. When it comes to real availability, the folks at Proactive Networks of Los Angeles have placed an emphasis on real availability for changing the customer experience. The transparency has become an invaluable tool for enhancing our services. We will work through incidents and help you to receive the best cloud services possible.
A VoIP phone is a telephone used specifically to convert standard analog audio signals into a digital data and also convert digital data to a standard audio signal. There are three kinds of VoIP services. They are:
1. ATA (Analog Telephone Adaptor)
Here a standard telephone is connected to a computer or internet connector.
2. IP Phones
These look like standard telephones but instead of standard phone connectors they have Ethernet connectors.
3. Computer to Computer
This is the simplest and most economical. Software, microphone, speakers and internet connection are needed. The only cost is the ISP fees. Telephone systems which use VoIP to transmit telephone calls are called IP telephone systems. VoIP services have revolutionized the way offices and businesses perform. It has also greatly reduced telephone bills as international and long distance calls are cheaper. Office and business phone systems can be accessed from anywhere with internet connectivity. Integrated software offers many more features like emails, faxes, etc. They are easy to install and simple to operate.
Various packages are available and can be chosen depending on the requirements. It provides features like voice, video data, call return, call forward, call waiting etc. Conference calls for 3 or more are also provided in some phones.
Scalability is another additional feature of VoIP. New phone numbers or extensions can easily be added at no extra cost. An important feature of VoIP phones is that it is not specific to a particular clientele. Benefits like flexibility, affordability, and scalability are applicable to all. Special packages can be added and packages modified as per requirement. A major feature is that employees and employers can access it anywhere in the world.
Multiple offices can be connected with one phone. Traditional phones required dedicated manpower to maintain them. This is not so in the case of VoIP. Hence VoIP phone services are here to stay and have become an integral part of firms whether they are large scale or small scale ones. Any business which requires manpower and connectivity between customers and agents, staff and owners will definitely stand to gain with the use of VoIP phone services.
We just met up with an accountant today who had 6 computers in their office and a server along with a full time IT person. As we chatted with them, we were shocked to learn they have a lot of downtime, in fact in an average week, they are down more than 1 hour per week. On top of this, they find themselves spending nearly $2000 per month for their IT Support person who comes over once a week to deal with the problems that surface. One week the Email is down, the next week the billing software, then a virus took down the office.
As we went onsite, we were even more shocked they didn’t have a real data backup or disaster recovery system. They had an external hard drive they plugged into the computer via a USB port, but never tested the drive and never took the drive home with them. What would happen if there was a fire in the building? All their data would be gone and if the statistics from Gartner are accurate, there would be a 93% chance they would be out of business by the end of the year.
So what did we do?
- They needed a plan that kept people working and updates to happen on the system during off hours
- We created a reliable data backup and disaster recovery system
- We worked to ensure their people understood how to use the programs the company had invested in
- We created a workflow that allowed the use of The Cloud so people could work from anywhere
- We installed virtual machines so that if a computer went down, they could be up again in minutes
- We put in a better email system so they were not using an @gmail.com address
- We had a helpdesk available that answered questions and took care of issues in under 15 minutes
The great news is all of these changes took less than 1 week to implement and cost less than the company was paying for support. It included hardware as well as the support and made the cost a fixed cost so the owner of the business could accurately predict what IT would cost their company.
Ready for something that works and is simple. Give us a call and we can design a managed IT plan for your business!
If you have been trying to manage your network with your own staff and your own hardware, you are likely tired of the trickle or flood of money that seems to manage to leave the building each month. Of course, IT is a valid investment, and frankly most companies cannot run properly without IT services. So if you have to have IT and the current method is costing too much, or the costs are too unpredictable, what can you do?
With an IT Services Plan from Proactive Networks, you have the comfort of a fixed cost system. Each user has a cost associated and you get all of the support and service you need for that fixed price. It goes up or down depending on how much software and what kind of hardware is needed of course. The benefit with Proactive is you have a partner who is used to running IT departments for companies all over Los Angeles efficiently. We make more profit by keeping things consistent and reliable. Getting you to spend a bunch of money isn’t our model. We charge a fixed price and it is up to us to stay profitable, meaning the more problems you have, the less money we make.
We work extremely hard to have 100% reliability because the better your network runs, the better we do. We believe in setting up systems that reward reliability and consistency. You have a network without issues and we have a client that is profitable and who we use our decade plus of managing IT departments, learning best practices, to ensure your costs stay low.
If you want to work with an IT Services company in Los Angeles who can keep your business running at top speed, please give us a call today!
More and more content management services have been released as a method helping small business owners in the online marketing arena. One of those helpers is known as a service called ImageMagick, and while the service delivers undeniable value to many business owners, from a security standpoint, you have to exercise caution. ImageMagick is not completely safe.
Where does the flaw in security take place? ImageMagick has tools that store, crop and resize the images that third parties have uploaded. With this method, vendors have improved the interface, and they have integrated everything into an all-in-one package. The problem comes in when ImageMagick integrates with countless web services, and in many of the cases, you don’t know that you are using unsafe software.
How does an image poke holes in your site’s security? Developers recently discovered that these images can be uploaded into ImageMagick, and they forced the software into permitting cyber criminals to forcefully insert harmful codes into sites. Each file extension will use differing magic numbers, and these numbers will exploit the flaws of ImageMagick because hackers can manipulate the numbers. To combat the problem, experts recommend that you implement multiple workarounds for saving your site. To learn how to protect your site when using ImageMagick, call Proactive Networks of Los Angeles today!
As a business owner, the more users that retweet what you say on Twitter, the more eyes and potential customers that you will have for your company. You have companies competing with each other to grab the attention of customers, so what can you do to increase the effectiveness of your posts and get retweets? First, schedule your tweets because there is no point in tweeting content when no one will be awake. Posting your content at the right time will give you the most retweets. Normally, people will not retweet things in the morning, but they have a higher likelihood from 2 pm to 6 pm EST. The different time zones can also influence this. Using the Twitter tool Tweriod can help you to track the geographic distribution of your audiences and make strategic posts.
You can also give people incentive to retweet your business material through prizes. It sweetens the deal, and it increases your chances because a lot of business owners ask for retweets. Also, use quotes to express yourself. Depending on the audience, thoughtful quotes can drive the fingers to clicking on that retweet buttons, and if you are running out of ideas for tweeting, you can dig up quotes of famous people. Nevertheless, do not overdo this trick or people start to tune out of your tweets.