Top Tech Gifts for the Business Owner in Your Life

Singing ‘On the first day of Christmas my favourite friend ever gave to meeee…’ We all know the song, we have all heard different versions over the years and (at times) cringed at the liberties that commercials or retailers have taken to bend this classic to their needs. 

But now it’s our turn! What should you get for the business owner in your life? What will instantly bring you to ‘best friend ever’ in their eyes? We’ve done the hard work for you, and we LOVE these gift options, so we’re sure the business owner in your life will too. 

Gifts for The Office

AirBar – Make any screen come alive!

The airbar is a sleek screen that can turn your regular laptop screen into a touch screen – and it’s compatible with both PCs and Macs. Perfect for the busy business owner on the go. Check out for more information.

Wi-Fi on the go!

Who doesn’t want more mobile access to Wi-Fi? The Skyroam Solis 4G LTE Hotspot is a palm sized, SIM-free Wi-Fi hotspot that is easy to set-up and use. The best part? No contracts! And you can connect up to five devices at once. Visit for further information.

Dual Video Capture for the Content Creator in your life!

J5 Create – Dual HDMI™ Video Capture is perfect for live streaming, broadcasting, and video conferencing. This product lets you capture video from two HDMI™ sources simultaneously and customize the content in real time. Content creators or livestreamers will love this tool. Check it out at for more information.

Lightcycle Task Lamp

Dyson made a lamp, so you know it’s the be-all-and-end-all of desk lamps! By tracking, sensing and personalizing your lighting requirements, the LightCycle Task Lamp gives you the exact lighting you need throughout different times of the day, to reduce eye strain. Visit for more information.

Wellness + Productivity + VR

Take Virtual Reality with you wherever you go with the VIVE Flow – virtual reality glasses. Designed to bring you wellness and mindful productivity, the glasses let you turn any workspace into a distraction-free zone. Learn more about the VIVE Flow here: 

Instant Screen Sharing and Collaboration

The BenQ InstaShow S WDC20 allows employees and visitors to your office to easily present from their device – instant teamwork and immediate results. The Plug ‘n Play set-up means no driver is needed. Visit for more information.


Gifts for Lifestyle

Bluetooth  Wireless Headphone Hat

What could be better than staying warm, and not losing an ear bud? Rechargeable beanies that connect to your smart phone, tablet, or any device that’s bluetooth compatible. Manage calls, music, volume, and more with easy access buttons. Order yours today here.

The Ultimate wall chargers

Cell phones and devices not charging fast enough? RAVPower GaN Wall Chargers are made of Gallium Nitride (GaN) and charge devices at a much faster pace than their silicon counterparts. Not only that, but they’re also smaller and more energy efficient. Visit for more information.

Save Paper, Protect Your Notes

Whether it’s in the office, at home, or on the road – there’s nothing worse than have a great idea and no notebook. Unless maybe it’s having the wrong notebook with you… or maybe it’s losing your notes. ReMarkable 2 is a paper-like writing tablet that converts writing to typed notes, lets you make notes directly on PDFs, and connects to Google Drive and DropBox. Learn more about ReMarkable here: 

Go Back In Time With Polaroid

Reminiscing about the good old days? The Polaroid Now+ takes classic polaroids we all love, while also connecting to your smartphone allowing you to edit and get creative. Explore instant cameras here.

Get a Head Start on Your New Year’s Resolution

Pledging to add a few more steps to your days in the New Year (something all business owners could probably do!)? Then the Garmin Venu 2 is the perfect solution to help you get on your way. Track health stats, get a coach on your wrist, store music, pay on the go, and so much more. Check it out here: 


And last, but definitely not least, the pièce de résistancea complete tech assessment from our team here at Info-Tech Montreal. What could be better than having your IT needs taken care of for the year, with no need to worry about your system’s security, any IT related consumables, work-from-home solutions, and more. Click on the link to schedule a free consultation for your favourite business owner (or for your company!) today:

An important announcement for our customers

Over the past year and a half there has been a significant increase in demand for our services. To keep up with the demand, we’ve had to hire more professionals (internal staff and outside consultants with high levels of expertise) and we’ve invested in hardware and software to better support you and do our jobs more efficiently.  We’re proud that we’ve been able to keep our fees low for so many years, however, it is unfortunately time for us to raise our prices to ensure that we can continue to offer the same level of service to you.

As of July 1st, 2021:

Two important changes that you – our customers – need to be aware of:

  1. We are raising our rates for only the SECOND time in 21 years from $110 to $135/hr. for regular corporate customers and from $75 to $90 for non-profits and residential customers (this is still below the norm, as competitors routinely charge $150/hour and more).
  2. Banks of hours will no longer be renewed for regular ‘non project’ work. They will only be offered for projects going forward.


Is a Managed Service package right for you?

If you choose to transition into a Managed Service package your rates will NOT increase for anything outside of the package. If you sign on for the ‘premium’ Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) service ($49.95/desk per month and $199/server per month) we will reduce the monthly costs to HALF PRICE for the first year so that you can experience firsthand the excellent service provided through the RMM model. At the end of the year, you can decide if you want to stay with the ‘fixed costs’ model of a Managed Service package or move back to an hourly rate model. It’s as easy as that!

Please contact us for more details on our RMM packages to see which one will work best for your company and be the most cost effective. We’re always happy to chat.


And finally, Thank you!

We value our clients, whether small or large. We are making these changes to better serve you and your business and we hope to continue working with you for many years to come.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to James directly at:

Technology to Help (not Hinder) Productivity

In recent years, technology, and mobile applications (or apps) have gotten a bad rap as time sucks. There are dozens of articles about the use of tracking screen time and the need to avoid falling into the trap of scrolling endlessly on our phones looking for entertainment. But those articles are half-right. For every social media or game app built to capture our attention for hours on end, there is an app to help us regain those precious hours with increased productivity

According to Dropbox, “productivity software is a collection of productivity apps, tools, and integrations that lets users easily create content used in the workplace, like documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Productivity apps with project management tools are important in the workplace because they can facilitate easy collaboration, communication, time management and organization of content.”

For those who feel that they have more and more work with less and less hours in the day to get everything done, these apps can feel like a secret weapon or a really great assistant.

Here are some of our favourite productivity apps on the market right now:


 Slack is a channel-based messaging platform. In Slack, team members send messages and share files in channels. Create channels for teams, projects, office locations, or anything else that’s relevant to your organization. You can make channels private for conversations that shouldn’t be open to all members, or you can use shared channels to collaborate with external organizations from your own workspaces.

Choose from the free version or upgrade your plan to a paid version depending on your business needs.


 Trello is the easy, free, flexible, and visual way to manage your projects and organize anything, trusted by millions of people from all over the world.


 Evernote is a fancy note taking app. It helps you to keep organized—great note taking, project planning, and a great search function. You can add voice recordings, images, links and plain old notes to the app and easily organize via notebooks for different subjects. Evernote is well loved from Entrepreneurs to professional students and can be accessed from either Android, iPhone or Windows based devices.

There is a basic free version as well as upgraded pro and business versions that come with premium features. The best part is that notes sync across different devices.


 If you’ve never heard of Dropbox, you may have been living under a rock. It’s the app for your storage solutions; allowing you to easily to store and transfer files – and access those files across teams or devices. Dropbox helps solve the modern-day problem of transferring large files. It also has a feature that allows teams to work on files together, in real time. Dropbox also has a project planning and task management feature that takes transforms app from a simple file sharing app to a true productivity app.

As with the other apps, there are free and pro versions that come with increased storage limits and access to premium features.


 Having solid passwords for all your accounts (no password123 or qwerty allowed) is essential to keeping your information private and access to your accounts in your hands. However, it can start to get tricky when it comes time to remembering the logins for the dozens of sites and applications we use daily. Lastpass is software that can generate and keep track of secure passwords, so you can use your precious brain power for something else. It can also digitally store important records like credit cards, passports and memberships so you can securely keep them in one place and access them from where you are.

Choose from Free, Premium and Family plans – depending on your individual needs.


 Timetree is a smart calendar sharing software. Share your calendars with different groups and connect with family, partner, friends, and colleagues. TimeTree makes it effortless to coordinate and collaborate with others in a single calendar. No more forgetting important appointments or double-bookings. This app is great for personal or professional use and even comes with a shared notes features (think grocery lists or camping supplies). No more trying to sync schedules. Best of all, it’s free and highly rated in the app stores.


 FocusKeeper is a time management app for your mobile devices that uses the Pomodoro technique of time management. It breaks your work down in 25-minute task sessions and rewards you with breaks, The more tasks you complete, the longer your breaks. This app is simple but effective and available for free for Android and iOS.

All-in-one solution

Integrating just one, or all of these productivity software solutions into your personal and professional life is bound to help you regain some our precious time. Finally. if you’re looking for an all-in one solution, we love Zoho. Zoho is a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool that integrates over 40 apps into one, helping you automate all sorts of business processes. It’s especially great for connecting a distributed workforce in this post-COVID world.

Make Sure Your Business Tech is Ready in 2021: A Checklist

New Year, New You! That’s what they always say, right? But in the shuffle of New Year’s Resolutions and fresh Business Strategies, we often forget to double-check the tech-stack that runs those business strategies. If you’re in business and operate off of more than just a laptop, there’s a few things everyone should check off their list to ensure your business back-end is set up for success this year:

Remote Access and Work from Home

Especially with COVID-19 and most staff working from home, it’s extremely important to make sure your employees’ set-ups are secure:

  • Is the connection being done securely through a VPN?
  • Are your company computers (yes, even those off-site laptops) being monitored by a professional IT company?
  • Are staff using personal or business computers? If your teams are working from personal computers at home, your business is exposed to an increased number of risks, including children or other users logging on to the computer, lack of security, potential for out-of-date or no anti-virus, etc. All of this leaves your company files and data at risk.
  • Finally, check the wireless where you or your staff are working from. Is it reliable? Secure? If you need help changing to a new service provider in a specific area, let us know – we can offer some recommendations for you.

Who is Managing Your Computers?

Whether your team is working from home or in the office, it’s important that all of the business’s computers have effective IT management. Having a team monitor your computers means that problems can be solved before they actually cause problems, or shut down the user for anywhere from hours to days. If you do have a team managing your computers, ask them the following:

  • Does each computer system have a monitored antivirus installed?
  • Are alerts being monitored for the:
    • Battery backup?
    • Data backup?
    • Cloud Services?
    • Antivirus?

Backups and Updates

Ensuring your data is backed up and that your systems are being updated regularly are important factors in making sure your business runs smoothly.

  • Is your data being backed up regularly, regardless of whether it’s on the cloud or on the server?
  • Have performance upgrades been done to all of your systems?
  • Have updates been done to all of your software?

Strategic Planning Ahead for 2021

Now is the time to look at those business strategies for the year and determine what kind of technology set-up you need to support the plans you have!

  • Do you need to switch to VoIP?
  • Is your website due for a refresh?
  • Is it time to migrate your emails to Microsoft 365 or G-Suite?
  • Do you require a new server?
  • Are you interested in perhaps moving your data / server to the cloud?

If you’re planning to grow your business in 2021, then you need to make sure your technology is up to par and can support your plans. Book a Free Assessment with us today – a $400 value – to diagnose and determine if you’re ready! You’ll get a detailed report afterwards with all of our recommendations, with absolutely no commitment.

Happy New Year! Here’s to growth in 2021!

What to do if Features you Rely on to do Your Work Suddenly Disappear

Last month, in October 2020, Google decided to shut down its music and podcast hosting site called Google Play Music. Users were sent emails and encouraged to transfer all of their purchased and downloaded files to the YouTube Music platform before Google’s proprietary app was shut down, in order not to lose their data.

Also last month, Samsung announced that as of next year it will no longer be supporting its Sync and Drive storage for My Files, meaning that if users don’t transfer their current Gallery Sync and Drive data to Microsoft OneDrive, everything could be lost.

It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, when services – especially those we pay for as a premium – are eliminated and we have to find workarounds to ensure we don’t lose our important files.

What if we don’t transfer files properly? What if we miss a specific instruction or forget and miss the deadline? Whether it’s family photos or work documents, it’s a risk you don’t want to take.

We’re not here to put down any specific companies or features, but we’re pulling back the curtain and revealing some of the downsides to working with or using these proprietary features.

Of course, the most obvious risk (as we’ve been talking about here) is that when working with tools created by individual organizations there is the possibility they could be discontinued. Major brands or service providers will almost always give users a warning ahead of time with instructions on how to move forward, but their solutions might not always work for everyone.

As mentioned above, Samsung is stopping its proprietary Sync and Storage options and recommending its users to migrate those features to Microsoft OneDrive – however, OneDrive is not available world-wide, and what if we just don’t WANT to use OneDrive and might prefer Google Drive or Dropbox? What if we don’t know what service we’d like to use? All of which leaves some users without an obvious solution.

Our goal here is always to ensure you’re receiving the best technology advice possible, whether you’re an individual with a Smart Home all tied to Google, or a business whose entire office runs on Apple products. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if this is you. We can help you (and your entire office, if necessary) safely migrate your data to a more centralized platform before critical features are eliminated, or we can recommend the best way for you to move forward.

Have you or are you currently in the process of dealing with this? We’d love to hear your experience or, if you’re in a jam and need help, send us a message! Phone calls and e-mails are always free!


Note: If you are a Samsung user affected by the pending end of service here are the steps Samsung recommends you take to migrate your data to OneDrive:

To keep your data in the cloud and continue syncing, please make sure to move your data to Microsoft OneDrive. Please note that this option is only available until 2021-05-31. [How to move to OneDrive]

*This may not be supported in certain countries or device models

*From the moment you start to move your data to OneDrive, existing Samsung Cloud syncing with Gallery, and Samsung Cloud Drive storage for My Files will be terminated, and as soon as the migration is completed, applicable data will be deleted.

[How to download your data]

After 2021-08-31, your data saved in Gallery Sync and Drive will be deleted. Please make sure to download them to your mobile device and/or PC prior to the end of feature date. If you choose this option, you will not be able to migrate your data to OneDrive. [How to download your data]

*Applicable data will be deleted on the earlier of the two dates – 90 days from the moment you request downloading data or the final end of feature date.

Save Money and Prolong the Life of Your Computer With A New SSD

If you’re one of the many organizations whose computers can’t handle – or can just barely handle – the Windows 10 upgrade, don’t go running out to buy a new fleet of PCs just yet!

Often for less than $400, we can help you prolong the life of your existing computers by upgrading to a new SSD (solid state drive) and adding more memory. This gives you added life and puts off the need to purchase new computers for a little bit longer, saving you a lot of money in the immediate future.

What is SSD?

The SSD is all about adding speed to your computer. A Solid State Drive, or SSD, is a type of hard drive, but differs from traditional hard drives that come with your computer because it doesn’t have moving parts. The absence of moving pieces allows it to read and write data faster, meaning a better and faster user experience for you and your staff. Think of them like the memory in your digital camera or cell phone; near instant access.

When SSD’s first entered the market, they were a game changer, cutting Windows start-up time drastically. How drastically? Check out this demo to see for yourself! They were also very expensive, roughly double for half the disk space. The costs have come down substantially now though and bang for the buck, you cannot beat them.

Why more Memory?

When you add the new SSD to your computer and increase memory, you’ll feel like you’re working with a brand new PC! Increased memory allows you to do more things at once – more tabs, more programs, more apps, etc., letting you work faster and get more done.

Whether your computer can’t handle the Windows 10 upgrade, or even if it’s an older model already running Windows 10, upgrading to an SSD and increasing memory can help you get more life out of it and increase productivity today.

No need to spend thousands on new computers when an upgrade will do! Send us a message today and we can help you assess which of your company’s PCs can be saved this way. At Info-Tech, it’s important to us to help you find solutions that put your productivity and budget first.

Can you believe it? 20 Years of Info-Tech Montreal!

From our CEO, James Hutchinson:

Back in 2000, after working at two of Montreal’s premier I.T. consulting firms, I decided to launch Info-Tech Montreal. The goal was always to help small-medium sized companies in and around Montreal and Ottawa with their technology solutions; but to really help them. Info-Tech Montreal has always prioritized our clients’ profitability and efficiency above all else, ensuring the solutions we recommend are exactly what they need – not what industry tells them.

It’s been an exciting 20 years, and I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by! At the end of this month, we’ll be launching our new website and I’m so excited to share it with you all.

Want a sneak peek? Be the first to see our new website by signing up for our newsletter: subscribers will get to see it a week earlier than everyone else!

We had originally planned a champagne celebration for the launch with you all, but that’s going to have to wait given the global circumstances. Hopefully we’ll get to toast together soon!

Thank you all for your support over the last two decades (do I age myself when I say that??). Here’s a look at our journey so far – hope to see you for the next 20!


Why You Need A Virtual I.T. Guy And Remote Monitoring

When it comes to technology, we expect it to do its main job – make our lives easier and make it easier now. So when you’re sitting in the office and something suddenly pops up that puts a wrench in your busiest day of the week (because that’s when it always happens) what do you do? Who do you call? With Info-Tech, one of the most popular services we offer is remote monitoring and management. Our remote monitoring and management services ensure you are never alone. We offer an entire team of I.T. experts for less than the cost of a full time ‘generalist’. Not convinced? Here are a few main benefits to our remote monitoring and management services.

Get More For Less

If your business has grown beyond a handful of employees and you’re considering hiring a full-time tech to keep things running smoothly, you may want to consider our remote monitoring services instead. For less than the cost of a full-time salaried employee, with Info-Tech Montreal you get a full team of experts, including a dedicated support technician, to handle all of your I.T. needs. The best part? Because we work remotely, you never have to see us!

Solutions Without Disrupting Your Day

Not only can we keep your systems running smoothly, we do our work behind the scenes to minimize the disruption on your day-to-day work. When needed, your support-tech simply connects to your server or PC using remote access software. This allows us to trouble-shoot whatever issues your systems may be having, while you continue to go about your day – you and your employees won’t even know we’re there! Of course, we always check beforehand to make sure we can connect and not disturb some work in progress!

We know that time is money when it comes to running a business, so if there is ever any downtime, we understand the negative impact that can have on your company and your bottom line. Our team of I.T. professionals work quickly and efficiently to get you back up to speed as soon as possible, with pro-active monitoring and ease of remote connections; minimizing that downtime is our priority!

Stay Focused On Your Business

Let’s face it – as a business owner, you have a million things on your plate. Worrying about why your computers and servers aren’t working properly shouldn’t be one of them, so let us take that off your hands. We design and set-up remote monitoring to detect and quickly repair problems, so we can be repairing any issues that might arise before you are even aware of them. In the meantime, your day continues without any of the speed bumps traditionally caused by those system failures. Plus, not only are we watching your system’s back-end, but we’re always keeping an eye on changes occurring in the industry, so you don’t have to worry about your environment staying up-to-date. Let us be the experts for your I.T. services, so you can continue being the expert for your clients.

When your staff are able to work without disruption and any issues that do arise are taken care of quickly, quietly, and remotely, you get peace of mind.

Curious about what may be going on with your company’s I.T.? Do not hesitate to contact us today! Let us help you relieve that unnecessary stress with our remote monitoring services.

Update Your Windows Software Before It’s Too Late

In January 2020, the Windows 2008 Server software and the Windows 7 desktop operating system will become end of support – which means that Microsoft will no longer be creating updates for them.

What Does This mean?

When the Windows 2008 server and Windows 7 desktop operating system reach end of support it means that Microsoft will stop producing updates. This means that any patches or fixes for functionality and security will no longer be developed, leaving your system both at risk and running at a lower user-experience quality.

As a business, this leaves your entire company with significant security risks.

What Should You Do?

Prior to January 14, 2020 (ideally, as soon as possible) it’s highly recommended that all businesses upgrade to either Windows 2016 or 2019 Servers, or Windows 10 for desktop.

How Can Info-Tech Help?

It’s crucial that you ask qualified IT specialists for help, as not all computers will be compatible with Windows 10  and not all will be powerful enough to run it. Info-Tech can do a check of your system to first ensure an upgrade to the hard disk or memory is worthwhile.

If the answer is no, it would be better for your business to upgrade your computers to ones that already come with Windows 10 installed. While this might seem like an expensive alternative, upgrading to a new SSD and adding memory, along with the cost of labor can cost you almost as much in the long run and you still have a 4-5 year old machine with no warranty.

If buying new is the better option for you, then upgrading your PCs and operating systems, you can rest assured that all computers we sell at Info-Tech come with a three-year next business day onsite warranty, to help keep your investment protected.

If you’re interested in learning more about the steps you should take to ensure your business stays secure and functioning optimally post-January 2020, contact us today. We’re happy to have one of our experts walk you through the options – no commitment necessary.

The Truth About The Cloud and Cloud Solutions

It seems no matter where you look or who you talk to these days, the ‘cloud’ is being pushed as the next big thing in the I.T. world; you either get in the cloud, or you get left behind. Although the I.T. industry and its experts are pushing cloud solutions, it’s not necessarily the best option for every business. With the Microsoft Windows 2008 server operating system coming to the end of its life, now is a critical time to make the decision to either upgrade or look into a virtual solution.

So how do you decide: to cloud, or not to cloud? We’ll break it all down for you so you can make the best decision for your company.

What is the Cloud and Cloud Solutions, anyway?

Put simply, cloud computing or cloud solutions is when your data is stored in a datacenter on the internet instead of your local computer’s hard-drive, or in the case of most businesses, those servers you have hiding in a back room. The cloud, then, is really just another name for datacenters on the internet.

Services like your Apple iCloud, Gmail or Office 365 accounts, are all examples of data stored in the cloud.

Is There a Benefit to Being in The Cloud?

If you read the latest headlines, the pros of being in the cloud are high in number, but it is important to take these with a grain of salt. Popular arguments for cloud solutions include:

  • Access from anywhere
  • Security
  • 99.99% Up-Time

In reality, the main perk of cloud solutions from this list is the high percentage of up-time. Access from anywhere to onsite, server-based solutions has become much easier to implement, and the reality is your data can get hacked, encrypted, and generally compromised, from anywhere – including Microsoft, Apple, or Google’s servers. When you consider the amount of people using their services and the fact that it has to be easily accessible to the general population, it is easy to argue that, in fact, the cloud may be even less secure than your own servers that are physically stored on your own premises and with your own unique security protocol.

We currently have a Windows 2008 Server. How Do I Know If my Business Should Make the Switch?

The questions you need to ask yourself and what we would ask you is:

  1. What are the reasons you would consider the cloud?
  2. What are your current server pain points?
  3. What does that server currently do? Is there a database on it? Can that software be cloud based?
  4. How much data is on that server? How mission critical is that data to day-to-day operations?
  5. What is your budget? Per month, per year, for the next three years?

Each company will have different answers to these questions, so it is very important to go over each of these points with qualified IT specialists that understand the nuances of each item, pros and cons, and the costs associated to both cloud and on-premises choices.

Every business is unique and there are some situations where a virtual solution may in fact be the best option for your company. Give us a call at 514-634-4636, and we’ll walk you through all of your options (in plain language!) so you can make an educated decision on the right solution for you – whether that’s the cloud, or an on-premises server. Regardless, we’re here to help you better understand your I.T. needs and get the most out of your set-up.

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