Monthly Archives: March 2015

Why Our Customers Love Outsourcing Their Help Desk to Us (And Why You Should, Too!)

Outsourcing your help desk frees up existing IT staff and resources, and ensures you're getting the best advice from industry experts.

Outsourcing your help desk frees up existing IT staff and resources, and ensures you’re getting the best advice from industry experts.

Dealing with technology problems can be incredibly frustrating and time-consuming.  Did you know that you can save yourself and your business the hassle by outsourcing your help desk?  We offer Help Desk Support, so you can make your problems our problems and rest assured that you have a tech support partner you can rely on.  Here are a few reasons why our customers love outsourcing their help desk to us (and why we think you should, too!):

Outsourcing frees up existing IT staff and resources – With our help desk handling technical support, existing IT staff are free to concentrate on core competencies and projects that directly benefit the business.  With an outsourced help desk, your staff can focus on more demanding, higher priority work that highlights their skills and creativity.

Outsourcing provides access to the knowledge and efficiency of industry experts – Offering help desk services is one of our specialties, so we have a team of experts who excel in both customer service and IT support. They are perfectly suited to provide help desk services professionally and efficiently.  Additionally, it is our business to keep up with emerging technology and changes in the industry.  We are constantly doing the research and training necessary to provide comprehensive help desk services.

Outsourcing improves response time – Our help desk is equipped to provide both on-site and remote assistance.  Using remote assistance, we can tap into your system and solve problems without being physically present.  This virtual access means we can correct issues rapidly and minimize downtime – no need to wait for an available tech to travel to your workplace!

Outsourcing saves money – Partnering with us for technical support minimizes fixed costs for your business.  Outsourcing your help desk is far less expensive than hiring and retaining full-time support employees and outfitting your own help desk.

Save time, money, resources, and headaches!  Contact us today to learn more about our Help Desk Support.

What Windows 2003 End of Life Means For Your Business

In July, 2015, Windows 2003 will stop providing updates, which means that bugs, and security vulnerabilities will no longer be addressed

In July, 2015, Windows 2003 will stop providing updates, which means that bugs, and security vulnerabilities will no longer be addressed

July 14, 2015 is a very important day for your business.  Why?  On July 14th Windows 2003 End of Life (essentially, “end-of-support”) goes into effect and if your company depends on any version of Windows Server 2003, you could be facing major problems.

What does End of Life actually mean?

It is unlikely that your server will spontaneously stop working, but your system’s stability and security will greatly suffer.  Windows will stop providing updates, so bugs, security vulnerabilities, and performance issues will no longer be addressed.  These security risks may cause your business to fail to meet industry compliance standards and non-compliance could cost you customers and dramatically increase your cost of operations.  Additionally, you will likely experience incompatibility with new apps that are simply not supported by Windows Server 2003.

Unfortunately, your problems may likely extend beyond Windows Server 2003.  Chances are, many of your related software products are also at or beyond their supported life cycles.  If a problem arises, your potential risk is compounded by these outdated products.

What are your options?

You could simply let your old system keep running, but for the reasons we’ve already discussed, this option is obviously risky and is not recommended.

We recommend migrating away from Windows Server 2003 entirely and upgrading to a newer, more secure system such as Windows Server 2012.  This new system is fully supported with active updates, warranties, and parts and also offers significant business perks.  New and updated features include advances in virtualization, storage, and cloud connectivity.  There is also a cost benefit to upgrading, as a newer system means much lower server management and maintenance costs.

Don’t wait until the last minute to review your current office technology and develop a course of action.  We can help your business navigate migration to a new system and can provide crucial data backup for the transition.  Contact us today!

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR): Must have or Nice to have?

For many industries, regulatory mandates make Backup Disaster Recovery a "must-have" rather than a "nice-to-have."

For many industries, regulatory mandates make Backup Disaster Recovery a “must-have” rather than a “nice-to-have.”

In today’s world of natural and manmade disasters and the increased level of cyber-attacks, informed business owners lean toward the “must have” side of the argument for data backup and choose to protect his or her business’s data. For some businesses; however, regulatory mandates make Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) a “must do” as part of its required Business Continuity Planning or Business Resumption Planning (BRP). Regardless of whether or not there is in place a mandate for your business to have – and periodically test – its BRP, the BDR process is a major component of that plan. In many cases, ironically, one of the least expensive components of a BRP is data recovery, yet nearly 30% of businesses surveyed in 2014 by Continuity Central reported they did not use a BDR process. Whether your business is large, medium or small, you have to ask yourself one thing, “Would it be easier and quicker to resume business as usual if I could recover my data or start from scratch?” If you don’t want to find out, perhaps you’re a candidate for implementing a BDR process. BDR processes have existed for decades. Gone – or fading rapidly – are the days when a business would use tapes to back up their data and ship them daily to offsite storage. Today, much of data backup resides on external drives, the Cloud and servers located offsite and easily retrieved without a visit to the offsite storage facility. Should the thought of setting up a BDR process bring images of servers, external drives or tedious tasks to mind, rest assured that data backup and recovery have come a long way in simplicity and convenience. SystemsNet can assist you in meeting your Backup Disaster Recovery needs when you contact us for a free consultation.

How to Choose the Best Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Quality Managed Service Providers will go beyond simple monitoring and management by preventing problems and ensuring continuous improvement.

Quality Managed Service Providers will go beyond simple monitoring and management by preventing problems and ensuring continuous improvement.

IT solutions today have redefined efficiency and effectiveness in any process, specifically in business operations. Yet the rapidly increasing reliance on IT is often not supported by resources needed for the complex IT environment. This is where managed service providers step in to provide professional assistance for businesses to assist in the delivery and management of IT operations. Despite this, the potential benefits of managed services can only be unlocked by selecting the right provider.

First, consider what kinds of services your business needs and which provider can best suit those needs. The provider selected needs an understanding of your unique service needs. This should be a priority, by offering more than just a “cookie cutter” solution. Giving you plenty of choices in your IT management are important so that your business can select the best option, whether it involves network speeds for each user or location, business-class voice services, range of equipment, or fee structures.

Also find out if providers are proactive in IT services management. Providers that take this approach will go beyond simple monitoring and management; preventing problems and ensuring continuous improvement are priorities to these providers. Sophisticated technology should elevate services to not only offer better solutions, but also to reduce human intervention to improve quality and productivity.

Managed service providers should measure up in terms of skills and experience. Providers should offer skills beyond basic maintenance and management to ensure that they are prepared to handle your requirements. Some areas to question your provider on may include: change management, virtualization, availability of staff, databases, security, cloud technologies, etc. It is crucial to ensure providers have the expertise across all delivery models so your business achieves an integrated multi-sourcing strategy.

Ensure that your provider is able to consistently provide services worldwide. Unified communication services globally are vital to supporting current and potential operations in various locations.

The success of business processes migrating to converged communications should depend on your provider using the ITIL standards. By ensuring that your provider is aligned with the best practices defined in ICT processes, customer service is optimized even on a global infrastructure, through quality delivery, SLAs, regular reporting and a control structure.

For more information on how we can help you choose the best managed service provider, contact us.