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Is Your IT Technician a Partner – Or Just a Computer Mechanic?

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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Eight

Being a computer consultant is about more than just fixing computers. It’s about helping a business run smoothly and efficiently. It’s about improving productivity, boosting profits and elevating your customer service efforts.

How can a consultant do all these things without truly understanding the nature of your business? The answer is simple: they can’t. A person can’t be qualified to recommend solutions without first understanding the problems.

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of this demand. You could have found the most brilliant technician; but if he doesn’t understand the nature of your business or lacks the right business skills, you won’t get the most from your technology investments. That’s why it’s critical to find a technician who either has substantial experience in your industry or is willing to spend the time to learn about the inner workings of your business.

Here are nine questions to ask yourself to determine if your technician is truly a business partner, or just a “computer mechanic”:

• Do they dig to uncover the source of the problem, or do they only look […]

By |March 23rd, 2015|Helpful Advice, Hiring for IT|1 Comment

10 Steps Businesses Must Take Now to Avoid a Data Breach

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In 2014, the media was abuzz with tales of corporations struggling to retain market share and customer loyalty in the aftermath of some serious data leaks, such as the ones at Sony and Home Depot. Although the big data breaches at international corporations are often the ones that make the news, smaller incidents occur much more frequently – even though you might never hear about the breach that occurred at that accounting firm down the street.

While many businesses believe something like this will never happen to them, unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more likely for small and medium-sized businesses.

Smaller businesses tend to have less time, money and staff to address security concerns and keep their security applications up to date. They are seen as ‘low hanging fruit’ for hackers looking for easy prey. Smaller companies that have larger companies as customers can also be an enticing target as an entry point or a stepping stone to more lucrative information. And if you handle payment cards from customers you may be vulnerable to those looking to steal money from individuals. Attacks on smaller businesses are indeed on the rise: […]

By |February 27th, 2015|Helpful Advice|0 Comments

Two Big Reasons Why Your IT Consultant Should Be Insured

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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Seven

Any IT company or technician you consider hiring should be insured. All qualified technicians should have two kinds of insurance. If a firm isn’t insured, you’re taking a major risk by hiring them. Their prices may be cheaper up front, but you could end up paying thousands more in the long run.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance – Without workers’ compensation insurance,
you’re liable in the event that one of their technicians gets hurt at your office. That
technician can, and probably will, sue you.

Errors and Omissions Insurance – What happens if one of their technicians makes
a major mistake that wipes out your company’s crucial files? Well, if they have
errors and omissions insurance, you’ll get money from their insurance company.
If not, they’ll probably file for bankruptcy and you’ll be stuck with the loss.

If you’re lucky, the loss won’t bankrupt you too.

Any legitimate IT services company should be happy to provide you with proof of their insurance.

Note: This content is based on an excerpt of “The Search for Hassle-Free IT” book. Request your FREE copy.

By |February 20th, 2015|Hiring for IT|0 Comments

5 Exclusive Strategies to Help Prevent Blacklisting

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No one ever thinks it will happen to them, until it does. You’re going about your day, emailing your clients, but no one seems to be getting back to you. Did you suddenly become invisible? Did you enter some alternate reality where you’re the only person left in the world? You check in with your colleague next door who acknowledges your existence with a friendly “hello”. He also mentions to you that one of his vendors didn’t seem to get his order this morning. Can you check into it?

If this scenario is familiar than chances are you’ve experienced the pain of blacklisting yourself. A blacklist is a list of IP addresses, domains, or senders known or suspected of sending spam. It is created by an anti-spam organization and blocks the receipt of mail from senders who have been listed. If you end up on a blacklist, your recipients will not get your emails. You may not receive a bounceback, and chances are good that neither you nor your recipients will know about it for at least a few hours.

Nowadays the loss of email is comparable to the loss of telephone services or an […]

By |February 10th, 2015|Helpful Advice, Tips and Tricks|0 Comments

5 Items to Demand in Your IT Services Contract

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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Six

All too often, the details of a project, such as response time to emergencies, project completion timelines and problem resolution methods are agreed upon verbally rather than in writing. Unfortunately, these are the very things that are most likely to come back and bite you later.

There are a few problems with verbal contracts. For one, people forget things. Maybe your technician had every intention of following through on his word, but he just forgot. If it was in a written contract, though, he’d be sure to remember. Also, people often misunderstand one another. You may think the other party is agreeing to one thing and he thinks he’s agreeing to another.

Another problem with these handshake deals is that you’re dealing with an eager salesperson. Before your contract is signed, many salespeople will promise the moon and the stars – whether or not they can deliver is another story.

If these details were outlined in your IT services contract, things would be clear and people would be accountable.

To avoid disappointment and potential disaster, here are 5 things you […]

By |January 23rd, 2015|Helpful Advice, Hiring for IT|0 Comments

How Can You Access the Reliability of Your IT Team Before You Hire?

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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Six

Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait for a technician to show up when you have a problem. Sure, having a team will help, but it doesn’t guarantee around-the-clock service. Before hiring a consultant or firm, ask them the following questions:

1. Do you have a system in place for responding to emergencies? Look for a company that has a better answer than, “Sure – you can always reach me on my cell phone.” Ideally, they should have more than one technician available at all times and a customer service person who “owns” the problem to make sure you get help fast.

2. What is your average response time to an emergency? If it’s much more than one hour by phone and four hours on site, you probably want to keep looking. A company that offers remote management and support will usually have the shortest response time on average because their consultants will be able to access and troubleshoot your network from wherever they are.

3. Do you have a response time guarantee? Most technicians should be able to guarantee a return call […]

By |January 9th, 2015|Hiring for IT|0 Comments

5 Tips to Apply Now to Avoid Downtime Due to Viruses

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For many managers and business owners, avoiding downtime caused by technology issues is of critical importance. Downtime may result in inventory sitting on trucks, invoices not going out or emails that go unanswered, any of which can be disastrous to your reputation or your bottom line. When you consider the potential loss of employee productivity, loss of revenue and loss of good will with your clients, the impact of downtime can be immense.

Most of our clients tell us that for them, downtime is simply not an option.

Over the years we have seen that while downtime can be caused by factors such as hardware failure or outages due to natural disasters, the most common and easily preventable sources of productivity-killing downtime are viruses and malware.

With that in mind, here are our top 5 tips to help reduce the likelihood that your organization will experience major downtime as a result of an infection.

1. Install an Antivirus Program and Use it Consistently. Yes, we know that you know that this is key, but does everyone you work with know this too? We have seen some companies where several machines were using a different antivirus product […]

By |January 6th, 2015|Helpful Advice, Tips and Tricks|0 Comments

An Idealogical Holiday Video



Seasons greetings everyone!

We’ve put together a fun Idealogical holiday video to thank our clients for another great year.

Many of our clients and partners may not have yet had the chance to visit our office. Now you can meet “the faces behind the voices” here at Idealogical – and see us in our holiday finery.

We hope you will have as much fun watching it as we did making it!

By |December 17th, 2014|Fun Videos|2 Comments

Two Big Reasons Your IT Technician Shouldn’t Be Flying Solo

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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Five

In our last article we provided Seven Questions to Ask Your IT Partner’s References, so that you can get a feel for the experiences other clients have had with your potential IT provider. In today’s article we’d like to explain why we recommend that most businesses choose a vendor that employees a team of professionals, rather than choosing to work with just one “IT guy” who is flying solo.

Having a team of technicians is important for two reasons. Yes, it’s only two, but they’re pretty major.

Reason number one: Availability. If they don’t have other technicians to back them up, you could be left hanging in an emergency. While a “one-man band” technician will work cheap, you get what you pay for. In most cases, they are far too busy to do any more than just apply a bandage to the problem, and they may even show up late to do that. If they go on vacation, get sick, or simply get too busy, you could be left hanging when the stakes are high.

Reason […]

By |December 11th, 2014|Helpful Advice, Hiring for IT|0 Comments

Seven Questions to Ask Your IT Partner’s References

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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Four

In our last article we discussed three reasons why you should hire a vendor authorized IT consultant, and we also mentioned that experience trumps vendor certifications. But how do you know for sure if your new IT partner has the experience they should have in order to work on your system? Ask their clients!

It may seem obvious, but a lot of business owners skip over the crucial step of checking their prospective IT partner’s references.

Here are the top seven questions to ask your IT partner’s references:

1. Did they deliver on their promises?

2. Did they stay on schedule and deliver on time or early?

3. Were they responsive and easy to get hold of in times of emergency?

4. Did they bill accurately?

5. Did they nickel and dime you over every little thing?

6. Did they stay within the projected budget?

7. Would you use them again? Why or why not?

You might also ask if there were any problems that arose and how they handled them. Not every project goes as planned, but it’s not the […]

By |November 26th, 2014|Helpful Advice, Hiring for IT|0 Comments