TechJournal, September 2018
Can you get rid of the hassle of maintaining your servers?
With proven technology that is available now many small businesses are totally getting rid of their servers and migrating their data to the cloud.
Companies who have done this have not only enjoyed lower costs and hassles that are associated with servers but at the same time have been able to comply with new legal compliance issues and protect data better, especially in industries like healthcare and financial.
This monthly publication provided courtesy of Nadeem Azhar, Owner of PC.Solutions.Net
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3 Questions Your IT Services Company Should Be Able To Say “Yes” To
At a time when businesses are more dependent on information technology than at any point in history, IT services providers need to rise to the occasion. The worst thing for your business to discover down the line is that your IT company isn’t actually as well-equipped to serve your business as they claim to be – or, even worse, that they aren’t actually fully invested in the success of your business.
Every business owner knows that finding a reputable IT services partner to steer the digital architecture of your organization in the right direction is a difficult, laborious process. Not all IT companies are created equal. If you don’t do your research, you could end up paying for more security and service than you’re actually getting.
But it doesn’t have to be so complicated. The best way to
determine whether an IT company is a good fit for your organization is to ask them direct, well-thought-out questions. Here are three queries any IT services company you have in your corner should be able to say “yes” to. If they can’t, you shouldn’t be working with them at all.
1. Will you proactively manage my business’s network?
There are two types of IT companies. The first is the type you call up when there’s an outage in your network, your server finally gives up the ghost or your e-mails aren’t sending for some reason. They show up at your business, charge by the hour, (hopefully) fix the issue and leave. This is, understandably, an attractive option for many small businesses with tight budgets. Why pay to fix something if it doesn’t appear to be broken?
The problem with this line of thinking is the fact that, without a dedicated team of professionals working on your network every day, things get missed. No one’s really taking charge of driving the technology of your company into the future; no one is looking to optimize your processes and give your team the tools they need to do their best work. Security becomes a low priority because it’s assumed that everything is fine – until it suddenly isn’t.
Any managed services provider worth their salt won’t wait for your system to fail before they take action. Instead, they’ll proactively work to keep your network running at its highest level – security, optimization and everything else. When you crunch the numbers and really break down the cost of an outage or digital crisis, it’s easy to see how this approach will help you in the long run.
2. In the event of an issue, can you give me a guaranteed response time?
When you and your team are in the trenches, putting stress on the network while you go about your operations, the last thing you need is a long outage. These blips in service bring productivity to its knees, frustrating your customers and costing thousands of dollars. So you need someone on your side that can give you a definite time frame of when they’ll be on the scene in the event of a crisis. If an IT company dodges the question when you ask them for this, run for the hills – they’re not a company you want on your team.
“Any managed service provider worth their salt won’t wait for your system to fail before they take action.”
3. Do you have extensive knowledge of the best practices for my industry?
Even if an MSP is solid and experienced, that doesn’t mean they’re experienced in your particular line of business. You need someone who’s worked with organizations like yours for years, with tried-and-tested methods for addressing industry-specific concerns and streamlining workflows. If your MSP can’t answer this question with a definitive “yes” and provide examples and insight into how they stay abreast of your field, keep shopping for an organization that can.
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The Business Owner’s Guide To IT Support Services And Fees
- The three most common ways IT companies charge for their services and the pros and cons of each approach.
- A common billing model that puts ALL THE RISK on you, the customer, when buying IT services; you’ll learn what it is and why you need to avoid agreeing to it.
- Exclusions, hidden fees and other “gotcha” clauses IT companies put in their contracts that you DON’T want to agree to.
- How to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting to avoid disappointment, frustration and added costs later on that you didn’t anticipate.
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Many years ago we took over IT support role for a small non-profit known as Urban Harvest.
Urban Harvest has been inspiring and educating people of diverse backgrounds on how to grow and share healthy foods.
Like most small businesses, Urban Harvest had server infrastructure that was rigid and required most users to come into the office to be able to work on documents that were saved to the server.
PCSN recommended and ultimately implemented a server-less environment back when cloud was not cool, or even much heard of.
Urban Harvest has since been enjoying better access to information, better protection of data and more seamless access improving employee productivity using their existing Office365 infrastructure.
Call us to find out how PCSN can help your business reduce cost while exponentially increasing security and resilience of your infrastructure.
6 Ways To Turn Regrets Into Resolve
Regrets. We all have them. Some of us ignore them, while others wallow in them. Fewer learn and benefit from them.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could benefit from your regrets and convert the negative emotions surrounding your missteps into positive emotions that fuel your success?
Here are six things you can do to achieve just that:
1. It happened, so accept it. Don’t play “what if?” At this point it doesn’t matter. The more you rehearse your regrets, the bigger your mistakes become.
2. Deal with the emotional first and, as quickly as possible, let it go. Why? Because if you don’t deal with your emotions, the negative ones will continue to gnaw at you. Spend a few minutes going deep into the pain of the regret, and then loosen your grasp on it. Stop the negative from trickling in.
3. Identify what you’ve learned. No loss or setback should be wasted. If you don’t find a lesson, you’re likely to make the same mistake in the future.
Decide what you won’t do again.
1. Be clear on what to avoid. Pinpoint the biggest cause of your regret and, if you can’t completely avoid it, be wary when you find yourself again in the same territory.
2. Commit to a different and better course of action. What’s better than knowing what not to do? Knowing what to do instead.
3. Let the disappointment feed you. Disappointment is natural, but with the right attitude, it can be converted to resolve. Bring the same energy you formerly had about your regret and convert it into the positive energy of commitment and determination.
Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an “idea studio” that seeks to motivate and develop leaders in and outside of business. He’s the best-selling author of the books Fred Factor and The Potential Principle and a noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and company change. He holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. Check out any of his excellent books; his video series, “Team Building: How to Motivate and Manage People”; or his website, marksanborn.com, to learn more.
What To Do BEFORE You Get To The Airport
It’s another Tuesday in the airport. You clear the TSA line in record time and decide to use those extra few minutes to grab a bite at the pretzel shop before heading to your terminal. You set your laptop down on the table, grab a straw, turn around — and your laptop is gone. Vanished in a puff of smoke, along with the thief who ran off with it.
If you have a strong password on your laptop, that will likely prevent the crook from gaining immediate access to your private documents. But it won’t stop them from removing the hard drive from your laptop and connecting it to another computer. No muss, no fuss — and suddenly the contents of your entire private life are there on the screen, ready to browse and plunder.
So what do you do to prevent this situation? Encrypt your drive! It may sound complicated, but it’s actually a relatively simple first
step toward protecting the hard drive of your laptop and other mobile devices. With the drive encrypted, a thief can’t just pull it out, hook it up and suddenly have access to all your files. And, as a result, your data is exponentially safer.
The Best Ways To Communicate With Your Customers
Just like your marketing needs to zero in on target demographics, your communication strategies should differ from customer to customer. For baby boomers and Generation Xers, talking over the phone is a good bet, especially when an urgent message needs to be delivered. E-mail is excellent for those Generation Xers who consider it the be-all and end-all of business communication. Social media, however, is best for millennials who feel comfortable communicating via such platforms — and, as a bonus, response times are often much faster. Texting is an option with this demographic as well. Chat services on your
website can be effective for a wide variety of post-baby boomers, as many people are more comfortable chatting via text rather than going through the trouble of calling you up. It’s important to master all of these forms of communication to reach as many people as possible. SmallBizTrends.com, 6/21/2018
Crazy Gadgets Your Home Will Have By 2050
1. Mood- and sleep-boosting lighting. By mimicking the natural cycles of the sun and utilizing different types of light, we’ll be able to experience subtle benefits without even noticing.
2. Cook-free kitchen. Many experts predict that the entire process of cooking will be automated much sooner than you might imagine. Some refrigerators can already order your groceries for you!
3. Virtual decor and clothing. By changing textures and style, you will be able to shift your clothing and decorations all around your house with minimal effort. Augmented reality will make this even more interesting.
4. VR vacations. This is already beginning to happen, but as we move forward, VR tech is sure to become even more advanced.
5. No more garages. It’s expected that when self-driving ride-share services become standard, owning your own cars will largely become a thing of the past. No more costly breakdowns or sky-high gas bills! Inc.com, 5/11/2018
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