What should I look for in an IT company?

Computing has become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether working from home or at the office, a sudden breakdown of your computer equipment can cause you to significantly fall behind, while adding to your stress levels. This does not even take into account the potential consequences that such a breakdown may entail in terms of customer complaints, potentially even resulting in lost customer accounts or legal action on behalf of your customers.

How to choose an IT provider is a critical decision for your business. First, you need to determine whether you’re a good fit for managed IT services. Do you lack internal staff to manage all your IT devices, including both hardware and software platforms, despite the rapid growth of your professional activities? Do you find yourself spending way too much of your valuable time trying to resolve software, hardware or infrastructure-related issues on a regular basis? Are you handling sensitive information? If so, then this is where IT support comes into play!

Outsourcing the following IT Maintenance services will allow you to focus on what you do best:

  • IT managed services
  • Emergency support
  • IT security
  • Data recovery

This applies to all computer products: desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and professional software.

How is IT support implemented?

A company specializing in IT maintenance and support is usually contacted in the event of an IT incident or following difficulties encountered by a user. Its role? To help you resume your activities as quickly as possible, offering you a proper setup designed to mitigate any potential future inconveniences or interruptions to your operations.

IT support includes:

  • Technical assistance.
  • Infrastructure Diagnostic, either remotely or on site.
  • Implementing solutions.
  • Advising and proposing solutions to ensure corrective, preventive and curative maintenance of IT tools.
  • Training employees in the use of different tools.
  • Helping users master new technologies and equipment.

This rapid, professional and tailor-made intervention is made possible thanks to the mastery of many technical skills by the intervention teams. This includes the ability to adapt to new technologies, to implement corrective (reactive) and preventive (proactive) actions, as well as incident resolution, allowing you to resume your activities in peace, without fear of a security breach or malfunction.

Reasons to use an external company specializing in IT maintenance

Outsourcing IT maintenance consists of many advantages for your company:

1. Benefit from the proven expertise of an IT maintenance company

IT maintenance needs vary from one organization to another. The best way to obtain a service that meets your IT performance needs, is to sign up for a service contract that provides personalized advice and support.

2. An IT maintenance company limits your expenses

Outsourcing your IT maintenance allows you to optimize your budget since the expenditure corresponds with the size of your IT fleet.

3. An IT maintenance company provides a qualitative service

Choosing to work with a professional IT maintenance company allows your organization to benefit from quality service, time-savings, improved morale, years of experience, and technical skills.

How to Choose an IT service provider

The world of computing is constantly changing. You must therefore ensure that the provider you choose is at the forefront of information technology, pertaining to their particular expertise or niche. You can consult the web to find out about a given provider’s credibility. For example, you can visit the website of the service provider, and collect some opinions regarding its interventions. One important consideration is how many users will require software and hardware. There are certain IT companies that serve businesses of a certain size, and some that specialize in particular industries. You can also talk to people who have recently used an IT provider, to get a solid referral. However, it is generally recommended to physically meet the service provider. This exchange will allow you to gauge their responsiveness, listening skills, and professionalism. Finally, you can also request professional references and certifications.

Choose an IT provider in your geographic area

In the event of computer failure, one of your first concerns will be responsiveness. The response time of your IT partner may depend on their availability and geographic location, so you should choose to work with a nearby IT maintenance company. In addition, you should have a specific point of contact responsible for your account, or access to an online ticketing system where your need can be labeled as “urgent” if required, which will be put into the queue and treated accordingly. Some issues can be resolved remotely, but a network fault, for example, requires very quick intervention by a field engineer. If you require 24/7 support and instant reaction time, this is certainly something you should consider discussing with your prospective IT solutions providers.

Consider more than just rates

Although everyone may appreciate a bargain; the old adage that you get what you pay for certainly carries some weight in regards to IT support companies. A small business or home IT help desk may offer you service at lower prices, but what kind of service can you expect?
Choosing the company that advertises the lowest rates, is not necessarily advisable, because pricing can point to the level or quality of service that you may receive. There are very few exceptions to this rule. If you compare the hourly rate charged by a computer company, with the amount you lose on an hourly basis when your computers are down, you can obtain an overview of the consequences that such a choice may potentially entail. Consider the cost of hiring an expert as insurance.

Once you consider the following benefits, it becomes clear that the right IT partner is priceless:

  • Long-term cost savings
  • Protect sensitive client and business information
  • Focus on core business activities
  • Uninterrupted uptime
  • Happy team, better morale

Verify technician qualifications and competencies

Above all, you should check their references in the form of customer testimonials and reviews, both online, and by requesting to speak with a few of their clients. Once you have settled on your provider of choice, it is recommended to build a long-term relationship with them.

Collaborating with the same IT provider over the course of time, has many advantages. For example, a familiar technician knows your network, your overall priorities, desired access privileges, and your software configuration, and can in many cases help you more quickly than a new technician, thus reducing your IT support costs.

It is not, however, always possible for the same technician to help you. He or she may be occupied with another customer when you require assistance. Let’s say you’re using a small IT company with one or two technicians. What will happen if your regular technician is busy? What if he’s all the way across the city, and remote desktop just won’t cut it? Or; what if he is simply unresponsive?

In most cases, you will have to be patient and wait for assistance, perhaps until the next day. But if you call upon a particular IT help desk that includes technicians with specific skills and competencies, and ideally a ticketing system, there is a high probability that you will get the help you require when needed.

In general, it is necessary to be well informed regarding the recruitment of a technician for your business. If the IT company addresses availability, delays or response time on its website, bingo! You may be well on your way to finding the right IT partner for your organization.

8 Cybersecurity Tips to Stay Protected in 2022

The below article has 8 Cybersecurity Tips to Stay Protected in 2022 that can help to improve your safety online!

Cybersecurity is something that should be at the forefront for all considering how much we rely on the online space for so many aspects of our lives. It stems from personal interest to banking to the workplace, and everything in-between. It is extremely important to stay protected in 2022. As technology continues to expand and grow, so does the chance of being in a not-so-safe situation.

https://www.howtogeek.com/778547/cybersecurity-tips-to-stay-protected/

How to Automatically Label and Move Emails in Gmail

You receive so many emails each day, why not optimize Gmail and have them move the emails for you by setting up labels. The article below will share step by step how to add labels to your emails in Gmail and they will automatically move to the corresponding folder. This will allow you to see them at a glance, and also in their proper folder. It will take some time to set up, however, it will prove to be worth it each day.

Click below to read the full article.

https://www.howtogeek.com/786282/how-to-automatically-label-and-move-emails-in-gmail/

Have You Cleaned Out Your iPhone’s Lightning Port Recently?

When was the last time you cleaned out your iPhone’s lightning port?

It is commonly neglected, however it is an important thing to do. This can be used to prevent any issues with your iPhone charging if you periodically do this.

The below article will walk you through how to clean iPhone’s Lightning Port properly to ensure optimized use.

https://www.howtogeek.com/772835/have-you-cleaned-out-your-iphones-lightning-port-recently/

Google Says Chrome 99 Is Faster Than Safari on Mac

Google’s most recent update, Chrome 99 is faster than Safari on Mac. This was not the most significant update by Google, however, it does add speed to Safari and Android.  It is 7% faster than the current Safari, according to Apple’s benchmark test. If you aren’t using Chrome on your Mac, maybe now is the time to start. Read the full article below.

https://www.howtogeek.com/790294/google-says-chrome-99-is-faster-than-safari-on-mac/

5 Tips to Better Organize Your I.T. Department This Summer

Can you feel it in the air? Spring is just around the corner and while we’re hanging on to every last bit of ski season, we’re also looking forward to the fresh start that comes with a new season.

Many folks take the opportunity when the weather turns warmer to do a spring cleaning at home – throw open those windows, dust off the furniture, and declutter the closets. While you’re at it, take that energy and give your business an I.T. spring clean-up, too!

Here are some of our top tips to declutter your tech set-up and systems this spring and set yourself up for a smooth summer (and rest of the year beyond that).

Spring Cleaning Tip 1: Delete Old User Accounts

When employees leave an organization, there’s typically a set off-boarding process they go through with HR: an interview process, hand-over work to a new hire or colleague, and make sure all loose ends are tied up. But what’s often overlooked is their User Account! Their email address, their log-in access via VPN, etc. – not only do these clutter up your server, but they are a security risk as well!

We’ve actually seen accounts from previous employees still active – with admin rights! We never assume the worst when an employee leaves, but forgetting to remove access rights is a major security risk.

Look through your system or better yet ask us to, and ensure the only active user accounts are for current staff, and that every user has the appropriate permissions.

Spring Cleaning Tip 2: Recycle Old Computers

Whether they’re piled in the corner of someone’s office or stacked in the server room, old machines do nothing but collect dust, take up space, and ultimately get in the way if anyone ever needs to access the area.

We have partnered with the Electronic Recycling Association, a nationwide business, to help you offload your old computers. Contact them directly or ask us about our recycling program, and with our IT Management, we can help arrange to have your office space cleared of clutter as soon as possible – you won’t even have to lift a finger.

Spring Cleaning Tip 3: Organize Your Server Room

Once those old computers have been cleared out, give the rest of your server room a glance. Are there tangled wires everywhere? Multiple different colors that seem to have no rhyme or reason? Servers on the floor, shelves, or stacked on top of each other? A thick coat of dust on everything?

We’ve seen it all when it comes to server rooms, but it’s important to keep them as cleaned and organized as possible. This will help make things a lot easier should a technician providing technical support ever need to access the area to make repairs or if they have to guide one of your staff to assist with troubleshooting.

Spring Cleaning Tip 4: Organize Your File System

Going digital can be both a blessing and a course. While it’s great to get all that paperwork off the floor or out of filing cabinets, it’s so much easier to let old documents gather digital dust, file things in the wrong folders, or have duplicates all over the place.

Set aside some time to do a thorough review of your file systems. Delete any duplicates, ensure that the folder structure and file paths make sense, and ensure the right permissions are given to the right people.

It’s also a good idea to implement a naming convention system if you don’t already have one in place.

Spring Cleaning Tip 5: Have Your Staff Clean Up Their Mailboxes

How old is the oldest email you have in your inbox? I bet it’s old! And the same goes for all of your employees, too. The most likely offenders are your Sent and Deleted Items as well as your Inbox!

Delete anything that’s more than 6 months old (trust us, you won’t need it) and set up a filing system to easily store and find emails for current projects that you must keep.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. Organize your business, clear the clutter, and increase your security with our five tips and get yourself ready for summer. Questions? Email us today and let’s chat about how we can help in implementing effective IT Management services in your Business.

How to Stop Google Chrome From Blocking Downloads

Have you noticed that Google Chrome will sometimes block your downloads? They do this to protect you against what they believe are “suspicious”  based on their parameters. This can often cause frustration as you know that it is a trusted site and it is not suspicious.

Have you wondered How to Stop Google Chrome From Blocking Downloads?

The below article is going to walk you through step by step on how you can turn off this safety feature to get your downloads without any additional hassle.  You will learn how to do this on a Chrome browser, as well as Android and Apple products.

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/785997/how-to-stop-google-chrome-from-blocking-downloads/

How to Scan Documents to PDF with Your Android Phone’s Camera

Did you know that you can easily scan documents to PDF with your Android phone?

It has become so simple to do and has eliminated the need of a scanner. This can be done provided you have an android phone with a decent camera and Google Drive set up. With these tools you can easily create pdf documents.

Click the link below to learn the whole process in an easy-to-understand step-by-step process.

https://www.howtogeek.com/166610/who-needs-a-scanner-scan-a-document-to-pdf-with-your-android-phone/

How to Get Your Instagram QR Code

As QR codes become more popular and wide spread, Instagram too has brought in the feature. The article linked below will walk you through how to access and use the QR code feature to easily share your Instagram handle. Instagram has made it easy to access your nametag (QR code) to be able to share with others and simplify the process.

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/780831/how-to-get-your-instagram-qr-code/

Network Assessments: the State of Your Computer Systems

“Technology, right?”

The go-to line when a piece of tech or software we need to use suddenly isn’t working for us. You’ve said it, your colleagues have said it, we’ve all said it. But what if you could prevent those slip-ups? What if there was a way to ensure that your computers and the programs you rely on to run your business just – worked? And even more importantly, that your data was always secure?

(you know what’s coming next)

There is a way, of course!

Let Us Figure Out Your Network Infrastructure

With our IT support at Info-Tech Montreal, we can give you detailed network assessments .Moreover, we can answer any questions you have about the state of your company’s computer operating systems, servers, security, and more. It’s a simple process that can give us valuable insights into your network and help you to improve your network performance!

We’ll be able to see, among other things, if there are any security risks to your business, like expired user accounts from former employees, weak passwords, or passwords without an expiry date. We can set-up deadlines and minimum requirements to ensure all of your employees are working with secure password protection on their devices and software programs.

It’s not just about finding holes in security, or identifying bad practices for online and e-mail usage, though. It’s also about getting away from myths about how some of the technology works, so you can feel confident in what’s happening in the backend of your business and boost your business processes.

After the initial technology assessment is performed, we will always deliver a detailed report and will go through it with you, step by step, so you have a better understanding of the state of your I.T. infrastructure.

Performing assessments like this allow you to work with experts proactively, to catch any potential flare-ups before they erupt and cause immense amounts of stress and productivity loss for you and your team.

In fact, we recommend having a network assessment completed at least once a quarter, to ensure everything is in top shape. We understand that may not be possible for all business owners; we have an entry-level option available too. In this case, instead of running a detailed assessment on all of your computers, we will examine a handful of your top and bottom machines and create a report based on an assumption of averages.

Save yourself the panic of a reactive strategy, and schedule an assessment today using our IT services! For the month of February, these assessments are FREE for new clients! $499 value.

If you’re working on getting your business set-up for success in 2022, be sure to check out last month’s blog and review our I.T. checklist for success!

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