What Is A Managed IT Services Provider And What Services Do They Offer?

information technology solutionsA managed IT services provider (MSP) is a professional who will manage your business IT on behalf of your company. In fact, it may be easy not to worry about your business IT while it is running smoothly. But when something goes wrong, you may regret the decision of not hiring a professional IT team to manage your business IT.

Managed IT services providers offer numerous other benefits to your business. The professional will manage your It network and take care of all issues even before they come up, which can save your business IT so that you and your employees can continue working on what you do best, leaving the IT management to the professionals.

When it comes to information technology and computer networks for business, prevention is definitely better than cure!

This article offers information on what is a managed IT services provider and what services they can provide your business. Most of them do provide similar services. However, many of them can offer one or two extra services over their competitors. Many IT support companies will offer packages to businesses to provide them with the best possible solutions for your business.

A sign of an excellent IT services provider is if they are willing and able to tailor their packages to meet a businesses unique needs. This goes a long way towards demonstrating the experience, expertise and customer service of the IT support company.

Managed IT Service Providers

information technology for businessManaged IT service providers work proactively to solve whatever IT issues that crop up in your business. Hence, the IT issues you are used to seeing now will not occur in the future. The IT professionals will take proactive steps to prevent these matters rather than react to IT issues once they have already cropped up. But all MSPs do not come equal. This is why you need to do your homework before hiring the right professionals for your business. There are many important things to consider when hiring a professional IT support firm. Here are some of the major factors to consider.

It is best if can hire a local IT team to manage the IT needs on behalf of your company. For the vast majority of the work, the location of the team may not matter as the IT support company will be able to work on your network remotely. However, if you need on-site support and maintenance at any time, you would require an IT team that operates locally. You do not want to be in a position of being in a contract with an IT services provider, who may be good at what they do, but are located at the opposite end of the country to you and needing their on-site assistance. In this case, they may either lumber you with a hefty call-out charge to cover their costs, or you may need to pay a local support company to take care of the present issue you are facing.

Using a local company would mean that they would quickly be able to visit you if it were necessary, the cost of which would most likely be included in your payment plan or contractual agreement with them.

The team should be able to support your employees to solve their IT issues quickly and remotely. When your employees are struggling with IT issues, valuable time of your business is wasted. The IT team should be able to act fast to fix the problems and get the employees back to work. This will help improve the productivity of your business in the long run.

The MSP team should be able to act fast whenever you are faced with an IT issue. Your business may not require staff around the clock, but your IT network may need 24/7 support. The IT team should be prepared to work 24/7 to solve any problems that could occur at any time of the day or night. On the other hand, your data is secure with an MSP. The MSP should back up your data to a remote server on a consistent basis. This is important to safeguard your valuable data in the long run.

Summary

a network cableManaged IT services providers are fast becoming an everyday necessity of most businesses. This is due to the rapid development of technology and the increasing reliance that most businesses place on them. In a competitive market, IT support companies now offer numerous benefits to their customers and tailored packages to suit their needs. Be sure to look into what specifics your business will need and find an IT support firm who can fulfil your requirements.

Furthermore, be sure to choose an MSP who is located near you and will include call-out visits to your business premises as and when necessary.

For businesses located in the South-East who are looking for a good managed IT services provider, look no further than Fluent Group. Known as one of the best Kent IT support companies out there, Fluent provide top quality IT services, for which they have also won awards. Furthermore, they also provide a range of other services including business telephony, broadband and mobile phone offerings for the commercial market.

Computer Maintenance Tips For Longevity And Better Network Speed

caring for your laptopTaking good care of your laptop or desktop is important when you want to prolong its life and ensure network speed is up to par. You might think more about virus and malware protection than anything, but it’s much more than just that. You need to make sure you keep your computer physically clean as well.

In this article, you will discover all the key points that you need to consider when caring for your computer. If you don’t handle these things correctly, you could end up buying a new computer long before it’s time, which is just money down the drain and a lot of hassle.

There are much cheaper machines on the market these days, but that doesn’t mean you want to buy one every six months. Take it from someone who works from home on a laptop. Desktops are easier to maintain and upgrade. You can switch out parts and all that good stuff, but they aren’t portable, which has killed the idea of most people having one these days. Laptops require extra special care.

One thing you need to realise about a laptop is all the good stuff is right under the keys. In other words, you really have to take good care of your keyboard. You can’t just get a new keyboard like you can with a desktop. Certainly, work can be done on a laptop, but it can be costly, to the point that you just need to buy a new computer. That means it’s even more important to take care of your computer to prevent problems from occurring.

With both a laptop and a desktop you need to be careful with fluids around the machines. However, with a laptop, this is even more of a concern as the majority of the workings and delicate mechanisms are under the keyboard. If you get the keyboard wet, then you could cause considerable damage very quickly.

When it comes to physically taking care of a laptop computer, you need one of those air cans. Using one helps eliminate dirt, dust and debris from underneath the keys before it starts settling in. If you don’t do this, you’re going to be sorry.

If electronic damage doesn’t occur, one other thing that can happen is that the keys can start coming off if they are of low quality. If you were to write a paper, an email, a social media post or anything like that, you’re going to have a difficult time not being able to use a particular letter correctly. Speaking from experience, I had this issue, and it was the ‘T’ button on my last laptop that gave me problems.

computer maintenanceYou will also need to pay special attention as well to protecting your computer from online threats. Malware specifically is a big threat these days, and don’t think that you can just download any cool program you run across. That would be naive, as hackers create programs that are supposed to eliminate malware and clean up your computer, yet the programs are malware themselves.

If you want to trust your own fact checking, that’s fine. Maybe you know enough about these programs and are therefore confident to make the correct choices and also to handle any issues that may arise. However, there are experts on just about everything out there, and it’s always good to trust the experts.

What do I mean by that? Check with a computer programmer about the programs you need to keep your computer running optimally and not sluggishly. If you are using your computer for business, then you will need to safeguard against these issues and keep your computer up and running at full efficiency as best you can.

When it comes to network speed, you naturally have to pay attention to more than just the computer. It’s the connection in general, and specifically, your router. Have you ever been told to update the firmware on your router? There are all kinds of tips and tricks, but remember, you have to take care of your computer both physically and virtually.

If in doubt, have a chat with your network provider, the store where you bought your router or your managed IT services provider if you are using one. They will be able to give you all the information you need on updating and maintaining your router.

PC Maintenance

If you are using a PC for your business then here is a useful video with some maintenance tips that you can apply to help keep your computer working at top efficiency.

MAC Maintenance

If your business is set up with Apple MAC computers then you will need to know a few different things that you can do to help keep your MAC computers working more efficiently.

If you are a MAC user then you will already know that there are several differences between how MAC’s are built and set up, and therefore they operate in a different way to a PC.

Hopefully you will these tips and these videos helpful. If you need more information on the best ways to maintain your computers then you may wish to contact a local expert for their advice.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Computer for Your Business

a person working on a business computerDue to the amount of option available on the market, selecting the equipment that will best suit your business can be a daunting task. There are many factors that will play a role in determining the type of computer you should purchase, to begin with. For example, what kind of business you are running, how much time will be spent on the computer and how portable it needs to be.

What Are the Basic Requirements

Regardless of whether the computer you are purchasing will be for your use or that of an employee, it more likely than not will be utilised for at least eight hours a day, this is why it is important that you purchase a strong computer able to handle that kind of workload.

Laptop or Desktop?

If you are considering buying a laptop, investing in a separate monitor and keyboard for office use will not only mean that the laptop is not overworked, it will also help improve the posture.

One of the most important decisions you will have to make on the subject is whether you should purchase a desktop or a laptop. Although a laptop does offer a higher degree of flexibility, a desktop has a higher capacity and is a lot sturdier; this means it will probably last longer than a laptop.

If you or an employee has to work on the move quite often or if there are many client presentations required, a laptop may be a better choice. If however work is office based then the better option will be to go with a desktop that will remain stationary in your office.

Screen Size

When buying computers and another important factor to bear in mind is display size. A screen is measured diagonally; this means from the right-hand side of the top to the bottom left-hand corner.

A larger screen will give you a better all-round experience; you will be able to work more comfortably and efficiently, and it will also be better for your posture and eyesight.

Health is an important consideration in the workplace nowadays. You want to avoid your staff complaining of health issues due to their work environment at all costs.

Memory and Storage

Another important factor would be the memory which is also known as the random access memory (RAM), this affects the speed in which your computer goes from one program to the next. Your computer will be fast if the Ram is high unless you are a big time gamer, 2 GB (gigabytes) should be more than enough.

You want to make sure that your computer is over two GHz (gigahertz) which is the way the speed is measured. This speed is determined by the computer’s processor. If your work is in the film, music, graphics or gaming industry, you may need something more advanced.

MAC or PC

an iMac for business useA debate which has been kept alive for decades now is the Mac vs. PC debate. There are several differences, for example, usability will differ and will take a little time to get used to the different operation system of a MAC if you have not used one before.

Another big difference is the price as MAC are often twice as expensive as the PC alternative. However, this price difference indeed comes with a considerable amount of benefits. For example, the average PC is said to start slowing down after about six months of average use. However, the MAC should not start to slow down for around four or five years. The average life expectancy of a PC can be three to five years, whereas a MAC’s life expectancy is around eight years.

MAC’s are also said to be faster, more secure and therefore safer from various internet vulnerabilities such as viruses.

If you are in the business of manipulating film, images, games or music then a MAC may be the best choice, however, if you require a computer for spreadsheets, word processing, etc. than a PC will work just fine.

For more details on the differences between a MAC and a PC for your business use, please watch the informative video below or pop into your local PC World to discuss options with their in-house experts.

Keep Your Business Emails Safe

business emailEmail Fraud has been rife for many years and is a huge concern for businesses all over the world. The fraudsters behind these attacks are constantly inventing new ways to hack your account, transmit a virus to your network or impersonate your email address.

One of the latest issues to be aware of is that hackers try to gain access to your account and then search your emails for conversations that you may have been having with clients or colleagues that discuss financial details and transactions. They will then plan to contact you impersonating the other person in your email conversation and try to get you to pay funds to a different bank account.

Another tactic is to set up fame email accounts that look very close to a genuine account and then pretend to be someone they are not in order to gain your trust.

It is imperative that you familiarise yourself with the common fraudulent methods of today and update your staff on these tactics so they can also be on the look out for anything that does not seem right.

Beyond this, there are also a few other measures that you can put in place in order to best protect yourself.

Bank Details

If a client or customer asks you to send funds to a different bank account than the one you are use to sending to for them, ask them to confirm the changes with you over the phone before proceeding with any transactions. Once you are satisfied that the change is genuine you can proceed in confidence.

Businesses do not change their bank accounts very often so this one should definitely raise a red flag if ever it comes up.

Passwords

Changing your passwords frequently is always a good idea. Do not leave it too long before thinking up a new one and always make it as complicated as possible. Avoid things that are easy to guess, are associated with you or your business or are common passwords like ‘password’. Instead, use a string of random characters that are a mix of letters of both upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.

Don’t worry about trying to remember all your passwords. Instead keep them in a spreadsheet in a folder on your desktop that is also password encrypted. Then, the only password you will need to remember is the one for this encrypted file.

Free Email Accounts

Free email accounts are often the ones that are hacked the most. This is because they generally have the least security. Instead, for your business use an email service like Microsoft Office 365 as it will have far superior security functionality.

Email Language

You will more than likely notice a similar style and tone of writing form people that you correspond with frequently via email. Watch out for any unusual changed in the language they use. If you are suspicious, give them a call to find out if the email came from them.

Links Emails

Always be very wary of hyperlinks in emails and absolutely do not click them if you do not recognise the sender of the email or if it looks suspicious in any way. One should also be cautious when clicking any hyperlinks in an email that is from someone you know and trust. Before clicking the link, double check the senders email address is correct and you are happy that the email is genuine.

Email Attachements

Similar to hyperlinks in emails, never open attachments, never open attachments that come from suspicious looking email addresses or from people you do not know.

Spam and Malware Filters

Be sure that the email platform that you are using has good spam filters and malware protection. For some systems you may need to configure these to the the most out of them. It is well worth doing!

Anti-Virus Software

antivirus-softwareMake sure that you are using a trusted and reliable anti-virus software and your version is up to date.

If you suspect any fraudulent activity via emails then it is highly recommended that you report it immediately. If you suspect that someone has hacked into your account then change the password right away and check for any unusual changes in your account.

However, if you are using a MAC then your machine may not need anti-virus software in many cases. To be sure it is always best to speak to a MAC expert, such as the ones that are provided at popular retail stores such as PC World or of course, in the Apple store itself.

For more info on the differences between PC and MAC, please see our post, Things to consider when choosing the best computer for your business.

Rhamini’s Tech Will Be Back Up Soon!

Hello my dear readers, we a picture of a business phone systemare currently going through a site over hall, so do please bear with us and we will be back up and running soon. We would like to thank you for your patience and graciously thank you for waiting for our new website to be ready.

In a growing world of technology and advanced gadgetry it is ever more important to be informed on such matters as they are surely at the helm of most modern-day businesses.

One of the most important aspects of any business is communication, whether it be with your customers and clients, your suppliers or the world at large. Modern-day communication comes in many exciting forms nowadays, from the humble telephone to social media, online messaging, Skype and more.

Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have also be responsible for changing the face of communication in the modern era, to name but a few.

However, we would like to draw your attention back to the all important and often primary mode of communication for most businesses, the telephone.

Having a good telephony system in place in your business is often a central piece of communication equipment, which can now also be integrated with other technology, such as the internet where VOIP (Voice Over IP) is concerned.

To this point, understanding your business needs and what equipment and functionality is necessary for you is very important in order to be able to provide your customers with an efficient service.

We leave you now with this interesting video to help you to decide for yourself which business telephone system is right for your company.