Make Sure Your Business Tech is Ready To Go 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number of risks, including children or other users logging on to the computer, lack of security, potential for out-of-date or no anti-virus, etc.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 are being properly managed and monitored by professionals. 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 have a monitored antivirus installed?
  • Are alerts being monitored for the:
    • Battery backup?
    • Data backup?
    • 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?

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.

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!

James

Windows Server 2008 – End of Life

Good Morning,

Please note that Windows Server 2008 is nearing its End Of Service Life! Customers still running Windows Server 2008 after end of support will face a number of challenges: increased threat of cybercrime, loss of support for popular applications, rising costs and limited options for Cloud computing.

What does End of Life mean?

Almost all Microsoft products have a support lifecycle during which Microsoft provides new features, bug fixes, security fixes, and so on. The end of this lifecycle is known as the product’s End of Life. When Windows Server 20018 reaches its End of Life before the end of this year, Microsoft will no longer provide:

1. Technical support for issues
2. Bug fixes for issues that are discovered
3. Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered

Advisory: Windows Server 2008 will reach End of Service Life (EoSL) officially ends on January 14th 2020. However we recommend transition to Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019 to ensure ongoing support and avoid disruption to your business prior to thisdate. 

We strongly encourage that you upgrade as soon as possibleto avoid any down time. Please contact us to assist with your transition.  Our support team will be glad to help out!

Office 2007 is now End Of Life!

Please note that Office 2007 is now End Of Life!

What does End of Life mean?

Almost all Microsoft products have a support lifecycle during which Microsoft provides new features, bug fixes, security fixes, and so on. The end of this lifecycle is known as the product’s End of Life. When Office 2007 reaches its End of Life on October 10, 2017, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support for issues
  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered

In addition, as of October 31, 2017, Outlook 2007 will be unable to connect to Office 365 mailboxes, which means Outlook 2007 clients using Office 365 will not be able to receive and send mail.

We strongly encourage that you upgrade as soon as possible to avoid any down time. Please contact us to assist with upgrading your office environment.  Our support team will be glad to help out!
See link below for more information.

Office 2007 – End Of Life

Adobe Acrobat XI ends!

Support for Acrobat XI ends!
As of October 15, 2017, Adobe will no longer offer technical support, including product and security updates for Acrobat XI. Adobe strongly recommends that you make sure you are current on all security updates. Click here to learn more.

If you need assistance with checking on your security updates or to order the latest version of Acrobat, please don’t hesitate to call us!  514-634-INFO (4636)

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