Monthly Tech Tips

Every month we post an interesting technology tip. These posting can also be sent directly to your email in-box, just sign up on the left sidebar.

08-14

Could Buying A Computer Actually INCREASE Your Cash Flow?

If you dread writing checks for a network upgrade because it hits your cash flow in a big way, then you’ll want to look into HaaS or “hardware as a service.”

HaaS is becoming a more common option for businesses because it allows you to pay for ALL your IT services – hardware, installation, security, backups, applications, Internet, etc. – as a flat-fee service, thereby eliminating the heavy cash-flow hit of upgrading or expanding a computer network and giving you the ability to write off 100% of your IT expenses without having to depreciate those assets over time. Additionally, your IT provider takes total responsibility for the maintenance of your network.

Like businesses that lease their equipment, HaaS clients pay monthly for their infrastructure. This allows them to keep more cash in their pocket and gives them the tax advantage of converting a typical capital expense into an operational expense. But unlike leasing, HaaS can also do the following:

  1. No More Expensive Surprise Upgrades. With HaaS, your computers are automatically replaced with new ones every 3-4 years, ensuring compatibility with almost any software refresh. No end-of-lease buyouts of outdated equipment or ever having to re- lease equipment again.
  2. Warranties Are A Thing Of The Past. With a HaaS program, you get your equipment AND the service included in the monthly cost. Anything that goes wrong with the computer (like the inevitable computer crash just days after your warranty expires) is our problem to resolve. Plus, since HaaS computers are replaced on a regular schedule, you don’t have to settle for
    refurbished parts or old computers for long.
  3. One Easy Invoice. Purchasing via a HaaS program is like having a condo. You get control of what goes in it, but don’t have to worry about maintenance, building-code issues or updating the facade Everything in one low monthly fee!

07-14

It's Time To Declare Freedom From Online Identity Theft

If you want to prevent your personal or business identity from being stolen by a cybercriminal, this report is a MUST-read!

This informational report outlines in plain, non-technical English common mistakes that many small business owners make with their computer and network security that puts their personal information and identity at risk of being stolen. It also further explains what identity theft is, and how you can prevent it from happening to you and your business.

You’ll Discover:

  • The top 3 ploys used by online identity thieves to easily gain access to your business and personal information, and how to avoid them.
  • 10 sneaky e-mails used to steal your identity that you should IMMEDIATELY delete if they land in your in-box.
  • One easy, surefire way to keep your network and computers safe and secure from online thieves.
  • What you need to know about the NEW scams being used to steal personal information via social media sites like Facebook.
  • Best practices to prevent you or your employees from inadvertently giving away pass words and other “keys to the castle” to Internet criminals.

Download your free copy today!

During the month of July, we are offering a free download of our 15-page informational report, What Every Business Owner MUST Know To Protect Against Online Identity Theft.


06-14

The 3 Biggest Problems Los Angeles CEOs Have With Most IT Firms

If you are a highly successful, results-oriented CEO who wants to focus your time, energy
and money on growing your company, but find yourself constantly distracted and slowed down by chronic computer problems and incompetent IT support, then you probably don’t need us to tell you how frustrating that is.

Our research shows that most successful Los Angeles CEOs have 3 big problems when dealing with most IT support companies. See if you agree...

Problem #1: You Have Constant Technical Problems.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself: you hire a so-called IT expert to support your computer network, but every time they “solve” a problem, two more crop up. Or the problem they were supposed to have solved keeps coming back again and again. Then, to add insult to injury, they don’t check their work, they keep charging you to come back and repair the same issues or they waste your time trying to explain why the problem is happening instead of just taking care of it.

Problem #2: They Don’t Understand How Critically Important Your Time Is.

If you’re like most busy executives we work with, you’re the most important player on the team, with multiple time-sensitive projects and critical deadlines that can NOT be missed, yet most computer guys don’t seem to understand this. When you call their office, you get voice mail. When they finally get around to calling you back, they waste your time with a million dumb questions and walking you through a number of mind-numbing tasks (like rebooting), wasting even MORE of your time while they try to
get a clue. If they can’t fix your computer that way, then you have to wait around for them to show up, take it back to their office, fix it and bring it back – a process that could take days. Meanwhile, your blood pressure is going through the roof because you need to get back to work.

You shouldn’t have to tolerate this type of poor service. Our stance is that you shouldn’t be having those kinds of issues in the first place. Second, when you DO have a problem, it should be addressed IMMEDIATELY – not hours or days later.

Problem #3: Poor Communication And Service.

From arrogant technicians who talk over your head to zero communication on the status of your requests and projects, another BIG problem many business owners have with their IT person is poor communication skills. On top of that, NONE of them seem to understand basic business concepts and want to have a conversation about the technical details rather than just getting it done.

Imagine being able to just tell your consultant what you’re trying to achieve in your business and they make it happen – and provide REAL value by advising you on how to make those outcomes happen faster, cheaper and with less effort.


05-14

STOP. Don't Upgrade Your Server Until You Read THIS

Cloud computing is a concept that could save your business quite a bit of money on software, hardware, upgrades and services.

Instead of purchasing hardware and software for your office, with cloud computing you put your programs on a highly secure “super- server” online. All you need is an Internet connection to your office and you’re in business.

Here are 9 reasons why “cloud computing” has caught on FAST with small to medium businesses, and why you might consider it too:

  1. Create An INSTANT Virtual Office. Access and work from any secure PC, laptop or device. If you have employees who travel, are in remote locations or ever need to work from home, this is an ideal solution.
  2. Save Hard Dollars On Software, Hardware And Support. Never purchase, install or maintain servers or other network equipment again.
  3. Less Downtime And Fewer Problems. Software in the cloud runs on extremely fast and reliable systems that include some form of redundancy. Compare that to your own server going down; until you get it fixed, you’re unable to work.
  4. Automatic Disaster Recovery. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 100 times: make sure you back up your data. But when your data is hosted in the cloud, the backup is done automatically for you and accessible from anywhere you work.
  5. Less Expensive To Scale Up Or Down. With cloud computing, you pay only for what you need and increase or decrease storage or resources when necessary.
  6. Hassle-Free Software. All of your software is loaded on a server in a datacenter and then shared over the Internet. There are no software disks to manage, organize or file.
  7. Environmentally Friendly And Gluten Free. Cloud computing uses significantly less power in your office. You also won’t have to upgrade your hardware as often, which means fewer PCs, laptops and other components piling up in landfills.
  8. No More Expensive Software Upgrades. Networks in the cloud benefit from automatic software upgrades; best of all, they are done FOR you.
  9. Reduced Maintenance. When your software is in the cloud, patches are automatically applied, meaning fewer reboots and downtime for maintenance. It’s all taken care of for you.

04-14

9 Steps To Take Now To Be Certain Your Finances Are Protected Online

Seems like we’ve been inundated over the past 6 months with rampant cybertheft. Target, Nieman Marcus, Yahoo and even mysterious $9.84 credit-card charges. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is most likely the norm going forward and not just a blip on the radar.

So, how can you stay protected online? While there is no way to absolutely, positively, 100% stay safe online, by taking these 9 steps, you will be as safe as possible.

  1. Only Shop On Secure Websites. Before you type your credit card into a website, ensure it is secure. Look for “https://” in the address bar of your web browser when you are checking out.
  2. Avoid Financial Transactions Over Public Wifi. You can’t guarantee that free or shared WiFi access is secure. Ok to connect for browsing the web, but avoid financial transactions on these connections.
  3. Use A Secure Network For Financial Transactions. Protect your computer with a firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware software.
  4. Setup Banking Alerts For Unusual Or Large Transactions. Ask your bank to notify you of any suspicious or large transactions.
  5. Use Credit Cards Instead Of Debit Cards. Most credit cards offer better fraud protection, plus if money is stolen from a debit card, then it has already left your bank account.
  6. Pick Complex Passwords. Use phrase acronyms and keyboard combinations. Never use repeat passwords or words in the dictionary for your financial accounts.
  7. Never Directly Answer Or Respond To An Email From Your Bank. Criminals have become very adept at appearing that they are a financial institution when they are not. Never rely on links in emails to access your financial accounts.
  8. Install Available Security Updates On Your Computer, SmartPhone and Tablets. Many cybercrimes target known security holes on your computing devices. Stay up to date to stay secure.
  9. Check Your Bank Balances And Statements Regularly. Good ol’-fashioned visual checks on your balances and a scan of your transactions are the best practice to be sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks.

03-14

Storm Season Is Upon Us... Are You Protected?

Spring begins on March 20th! It’s not too late to prepare for those pop-up storms that occur randomly at this time of year, often resulting in everything from ice damage to lightning fires. During this time of year the threat of fire, flood, severe storms, water damage from office sprinklers and even theft is very real.

One of the most valuable assets for any company is its data. Hardware and software can easily be replaced, but a company’s data cannot!

As a reminder to all of our clients and friends, here are some simple things you should do to make sure your company is ready for any natural disaster.

  1. Back Up Your Data Remotely! Everyone knows that data should be backed up on a daily basis, but many people still use in-house backup systems that will get damaged in a natural disaster or fire, and can easily be stolen. We recommend backing up all data to an off-site location, and we offer this as a service to our clients.
  2. Use A Quality Surge Protector With Uninterruptible Power Supply Battery. A high-quality surge protector combined with an uninterruptible power supply battery backup will go a long way in protecting sensitive electronic equipment from surges and other electronic irregularities that can destroy your computer’s circuitry.
  3. Make Sure Your Servers Are Off The Floor Or In The Cloud. If your office gets flooded, having your equipment off the floor will prevent it from being completely destroyed. Server racks can be purchased and installed very inexpensively. Or consider moving your critical server equipment to the cloud and be protected no matter the weather!
  4. Have A Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity Plan. Every business should have some type of plan in place for continued operation after a disaster. Would people know where to go? Who to call? How to log in and access data remotely? Hopefully you’ll never need it, but having a simple plan will make you sleep a lot easier at night knowing you have a way to continue to operate when disaster strikes.

02-14

“It’s Time To Break Up With Your Old Tape Drive”

They say breaking up is hard to do; but when it comes to choosing between your old familiar tape drive and risking your company’s data, it should be a no-brainer. Tape drives are notorious for failure — and if you are still swapping out tapes as your only backup source, here are 4 reasons you need to break it off:

  1. Your tape drive is a cheater. Here you are, faithfully swapping tapes and taking them home every day (at least you do most of the time), feeling secure that your data is safe and that you could be back up and running again fast in the event of a disaster, right? Wrong.

    Your tape drive only backs up your data—the information you have physically typed in; but your software programs, network settings, printer and Internet configurations are NOT getting backed up and cannot be recovered from the tape. That means if your server were to go up in flames (or simply fails) you would have to find all your software disks and authentication codes and REBUILD your server. That task could take several days, costing you a lot of money and lost time.

  2. You could lose an entire day’s worth of work. Ever lose an hour’s worth of work or a document because Word crashed? Now imagine losing an ENTIRE DAY’S worth of work. Frustrating, huh? Since tape drives can’t perform open file OR continuous backups, if your system crashes at the end of the day, all the documents, entries and work you (and your entire staff) completed that day are toast. And if Murphy's Law applies, that would be the day you hammered through a grueling 30-page report.

    Newer virtual backup systems will take a snapshot of your server every 30 minutes, saving your work from going into Never-Neverland. Plus, if you leave files open at night when you leave for the day (and we all do that occasionally), it will back up those files too.

  3. Your tape drive will abandon you when you need it most. You can only retrieve the data from your tape with a compatible tape drive. If you have had your tape drive more than 2 years, it may be a phased out model, no longer available to order. This could mean that when you need to recover your data, you are unable to, even if the data is there.
  4. You can’t trust a tape drive. Tapes have an average failure rate of 100%—they all fail, it's just a matter of when, not if. Plus, you have to remember to swap out tapes every day, which leaves room for human error.

The bottom line is this: Tape drives are antiquated, and they’re an incredibly unpredictable way of backing up your company’s data. That’s why we urge all our clients to “break up” with their old tape drives and upgrade to NetBackup from I2X.


01-14

An URGENT Security Warning For Businesses Running Windows XP

If your organization is currently running either Windows XP or Office 2003 on one or
more computers in your office, you need to know about a dangerous security threat to your organization that must be addressed within the next 3 months. Please take a moment to read this important announcement.

As your local Microsoft Partner, we are aggressively reaching out to all businesses within the Los Angeles area that use Windows XP and Office 2003 to alert you of this serious security risk to your organization and inform you about what you need to do now to protect your company.

XP And Office 2003 Changes Must Be Made By April 8, 2014

Microsoft has officially announced that it will retire support on the XP operating system
and Office 2003 software suite on April 8, 2014. That means any computer with these software programs installed will be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, stealing data, crashing your system and inflicting a host of other business- crippling problems you do NOT want to have to deal with.

This is such a serious threat that all companies housing financial and medical information are being required by law to upgrade any and all computer systems running XP or Office 2003 because firewalls and anti-virus software will NOT be sufficient to completely protect them (or you).

Unless you don’t care about cyber criminals running rampant in your company’s server, you
MUST upgrade any equipment running these programs.

Get a FREE Microsoft Risk Assessment And Migration Plan Showing You The Easiest, Most Budget-Friendly Way To Upgrade