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Three Signs Your IT Managed Services Provider Could Be Failing You

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it managed services providers

Managed services are quickly becoming one of the most preferable ways for businesses big and small to outsource their IT needs with a cost-effective solution.

Not only are managed services more affordable than staffing a full IT department, managed services providers can also ensure your enterprise’s computer networks follow compliance mandates like HIPAA and PCI that require you to protect sensitive information. They also keep your company’s technology performing at its optimal level, allowing you to focus on bettering your business.

But is your managed services provider doing all it should be doing to ensure your enterprise’s success? Or should you start looking at different IT managed services providers? Find out with this list of the three signs that you should consider hiring different IT managed services providers:

Your managed services provider doesn’t back up your data
Your managed services provider should regularly back up all of your company’s important files, especially if they are stored in the cloud. This includes critical OS files, data and emails. If a server outage occurs and your data isn’t backed up, you could end up losing it all — protect your data by choosing a managed services provider that backs it up regularly.

Your managed services provider doesn’t perform system updates as needed
The best IT managed services providers know that computer system updates are integral to overall system performance. In addition to keeping up with these patches and updates, your managed services provider should consult with you to schedule maintenance periods at an optimal time that will avoid periods of downtime.

Your managed services provider doesn’t prioritize security
At companies and businesses everywhere, network security has become one of the top priorities. In 2012, a shocking 87% of small businesses suffered a data breach in their networks — and even the federal government has seen an obscene 680% increase in the number of cyber attacks it experienced over the last six years. Because of this, you can’t afford to hire IT managed services providers that don’t make your network security one of its biggest focuses. Your managed services provider should offer services like firewalls, content filtering and spam filtering.

Have any other questions about the various types of managed IT support services, such as unified communications and telephony installation? Let us know in the comments below.

Wi-Fi, Mobile Among Biggest Network Security Concerns for Small Business

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

network security management
Many small businesses are aware of the need for network security management to keep their enterprise safe from data breaches, especially when as many as 87% of small businesses dealt with a security breach in 2012 alone.

And while internal data breaches from current and former employees are undoubtedly common — 57% of small business security breaches come from an internal, staff-related source — two new threats are increasingly making themselves apparent to network security specialists. Their names? Wi-Fi and the mobile web.

Wi-Fi
As a growing number of consumers expect the businesses they visit to offer free Wi-Fi, the number of businesses who comply with their customers’ demands has risen astronomically. Yet a shockingly low number of businesses properly encrypt their Wi-Fi networks to protect their data — if they were using encryption at all. Additionally, a stunning number of businesses use default passwords for their Wi-Fi, according to a Naked Security article.

One way to shore up a Wi-Fi network’s defenses? Boost its password’s complexity. Studies have shown that 80% of all data breaches take place due to weak, easy-to-guess passwords! Additionally, hiring IT managed services providers to continuously monitor your business’ Wi-Fi network can take the work of network security management off your hands, allowing you to focus more on your business.

Mobile
According to a March 25 Guardian article, 95% of businesses studied allow their employees to bring their smartphones into the enterprise’s network whether it’s to use the office Wi-Fi or for another use. Yet 41% of these same businesses were affected by a mobile security breach, proving that mobile network security systems are more needed than ever.

To boost mobile security, the Guardian suggests that small businesses take a multi-faceted approach — it’s no longer sufficient to rely on Google and Apple developers to police their apps and protect businesses from mobile data breaches, especially when the number of mobile competitors to these two giants is growing by the day. With a combined system of traditional network security management, device security and application security, businesses can ward off mobile data breaches.

What are your thoughts on this article? Do you agree that small businesses should focus on security vulnerabilities? Let us know in the comments.

Unified Communications: Anything But One-Size-Fits-All

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

unified communicationsMany businesses consider network security to be the most important of all the various IT managed services. And with 57% of small businesses experiencing internal cyber breaches over the last few years, 59% of employees stealing or exposing company data when quitting or being fired, and 75 to 80% of all cyber attacks coming from within a company, it’s no surprise why.

An oft-overlooked managed service from which every company can benefit, no matter how big or small? Unified communications technologies and services. This service fully integrates your business’ communications technologies, from instant messaging to video conferencing to regular phone calls.

So if you’re interested in these services for your company, the most important thing you need to know about unified communications is that these advanced computer services are anything but one-size-fits-all solutions. Each business will require unique things from its communications setup; as a result, it’s essential that you know how to choose the best solution for your enterprise’s needs.

While selecting your business’ unified communications solution, be sure to ask these four questions:

Which types of communication will be used most?
Think of unified communications as a buffet dinner, where you can pick and choose what you want to eat and get more of what you want the most. When creating your company’s communications solution, keep in mind that you might or might not need more video conferencing components; be sure to adjust your budget accordingly.

Do I need cloud or on-site services?
A great deal of IT managed services today are based in the cloud, for a number of reasons. These cloud-based unified-communications-as-a-service take most of the control out of your hands, allowing you to leave most of the work to your IT managed services provider. Having your unified communications on-site allows you a greater degree of control, conversely.

How long will my business be using these services?
Longevity is another important element to consider. While no unified communications service is forever, you will likely want to be using these services for a few years at the least. Make sure you tailor your solution so it will be able to adapt to various changes over the years.

What kinds of support will be offered?
If you encounter a problem that requires tech support, you want to be certain that your IT managed services provider will provide round-the-clock customer support or offer training for your employees.

Do you agree with this list? Have any questions about other services that IT managed services providers offer? Let us know what’s on your mind in the comments below.

Different Types of Marketing Services: Using the Internet to Your Advantage

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

types of marketing services

The types of marketing services for the Internet vary in content and strategy but they all share at least one thing in common: they are using the largest forum in the world. The power and reach of the Internet cannot be overstated. Social media sites alone garner unbelievable amounts of traffic and users. Twenty-three percent of Facebook users check their accounts at least five times a day. About half of American Facebook users claim that Facebook influences their purchasing decisions more than any other kind of social media site.

Even outside of the social network, online marketing pays off. Nearly 70% of content marketers claim that blogging has increased awareness of their brands. Furthermore, about four-fifths of all Internet users use search engine sites such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! It is pretty clear that by targeting Internet users (especially on social media sites and search engines), advertisers can reach an audience never thought possible before the advent of the Internet.

Advanced computer services can help businesses in need of digital marketing. By hiring computer support who can offer help with social media marketing, businesses can dramatically increase the attention they receive. Moreover, they can steer businesses in the right direction by choosing the right kind of Internet marketing. Although it is possible to make money with pay per click advertising, recent figures show that pay per click advertising, a traditional staple of Internet marketing, is not nearly as effective as it once was. About three-quarters of search engine users ignore pay per click advertising. Other types of marketing services such as search engine optimization (SEO) are proving to be more effective in reaching more people and, perhaps more importantly, the right kind of people. That is, consumers who are looking for a specific product or service. Therein lays the ultimate advantage of Internet marketing and project management IT services such as Avaya and unified communications. The Avaya IP office alone can provide services that other IT and marketing companies are hard to beat.

Avaya, in particular, specializes in business communications and networking services. If you would like to set up a telephone service, for example, Avaya can build a telephone system that is just right for your business. It can also handle services such as email, texting, instant messaging, and video conferencing. It can also handle networking systems such as local networks and access control.

What do you think about these types of marketing services? Do you know anything about Avaya or IT support Summerville? Feel free to leave a comment or note at the bottom.