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

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 within two hours or less. If a firm or technician […]

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

5 Tips to Apply Now to Avoid Downtime Due to Viruses

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

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 number two: No one knows everything. No matter how […]

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

Seven Questions to Ask Your IT Partner’s References


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

Three Reasons To Hire a Vendor Authorized IT Consultant

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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Three

In our last article we examined how you can determine if a technician or IT company you are looking to hire is qualified. Part of the process of ensuring that your IT partner does have the qualifications you need includes examining their vendor certifications.
What does it mean to be a vendor authorized IT consultant? Simply that the technician has been trained and tested to meet the vendor’s standards to work with their specific software or hardware. A common example would be a technician’s MCSA or Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certificate for technologies such as Windows Server 2013 or Windows 7.

Hiring a vendor-authorized firm is a good idea for three reasons:

1. Authorized dealers are required to uphold higher standards in service and support than their non-certified counterparts, and they are closely regulated by the vendors. If you have a problem with the technician, you can file a complaint with the vendor that authorized him.

2. Reason number two: Authorized software dealers are tested on their knowledge by the vendors to ensure a level of competence in installing and supporting their […]

By |November 12th, 2014|Helpful Advice, Hiring for IT|3 Comments

Hiring for IT: How Do You Know if Your IT Technician is Qualified?


Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Two

In our last blog entry we reviewed the Top Ten Signs You Hired the Wrong IT Consultant.
Now that you know how to tell if you hired the wrong consultant, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about how you can avoid ‘that guy’ and ensure that you get the best support when hiring an IT company or IT resource.
In the next few posts we’ll discuss certain fundamentals that you should absolutely demand, such as insurance, qualifications, and references. We’ll provide you with the questions you can ask to ensure that they can back up their claims.

Demand Proof of Qualifications and Experience
Too many people who claim to be professional computer consultants really shouldn’t be working on business networks. They simply don’t have the experience, tools or training to get the job done right. So, you must ask to see qualifications and work history.

A junior technician with little to no experience will probably charge half as much as an experienced professional, but he may also take an additional three hours to get the job done. This is what some people would call […]

By |October 30th, 2014|Helpful Advice, Hiring for IT|0 Comments

Top 10 Signs You Hired the Wrong IT Consultant


Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part One

Perhaps you’ve already outsourced your IT to a consultant or IT company but now you’re having doubts as to if they are qualified. The most common problem business owners encounter when searching for competent computer consultants is also part of the reason they need to outsource this work: A lack of in-depth knowledge of the industry. Interviewing someone when you don’t understand the job leaves you vulnerable to dishonest or incompetent technicians. It’s kind of like going to a new auto mechanic when you don’t know the first thing about cars. Does your car really need that expensive repair, or is the mechanic taking advantage of your obvious confusion?

Even if you’re not being blatantly ripped off, how do you know the right part got replaced? What if the mechanic – or computer repair technician in this case – is incompetent? If you don’t know anything about the service, your only recourse is to say thank you for a job “well done” and write a cheque. If there’s a problem, you’re likely to find out about it after the cheque clears.
Fortunately, you don’t have […]

By |October 15th, 2014|Helpful Advice, Logical Talk|0 Comments

Options for Outsourcing IT – What Type of Vendor is Right for You?


Technical Support Options for Small Business – Part Three

Even a small network needs ongoing maintenance from trained technicians to keep pace with rapidly changing technology. If you can’t afford to hire a full-time IT manager, than you are left with three options:

• Do nothing
• Do it Yourself
• Outsource to a technical team

In previous posts we covered the reasons why ignoring your IT maintenance and doing IT yourself with part time or existing staff can be problematic for any business that relies on a sound infrastructure. Today, in the third part of our three part series on IT options, we’d like to describe the different types of computer support vendors and explain the differing levels of support that they can offer.
Obviously, outsourcing your support to a competent technical team is going to be the fastest and surest way to solve your computer problems, but it’s not an easy decision. With new computer repair companies springing up every day, your options for outsourcing seem endless. How do you know how to choose the right technician or technical support company?

As it stands today, there are 5 different types of computer support vendors that you can […]

By |October 2nd, 2014|Helpful Advice, Knowledge Base|0 Comments

Why Not Manage Your IT With Internal Resources?


Technical Support Options for Small Business – Part Two

Even a small network needs ongoing maintenance from a highly-trained technician in order to combat against new threats from viruses, spam, spyware, sluggishness, user errors and data loss. But not every business can afford to hire a full-time IT manager.

If this is the case for your business, you’re left with three options:

• Do nothing
• Do it yourself
• Outsource to a technical team

Today, in the second part of a three part series where we investigate IT options for small to medium-sized companies without full time IT managers, we’d like to talk about the dangers of the “do it yourself” option for IT Management.

Why not manage your IT with your own internal resources?  This option is definitely better than doing nothing, but it still leaves you at risk for network disasters. Here’s how it usually goes: Instead of hiring a qualified technician to support your network, you designate the most technically-savvy person on staff to be your makeshift IT manager. You figure that when things go wrong – and they almost certainly will – you’ll bring in outside help to solve the problem.

The problem is that […]

By |September 24th, 2014|Helpful Advice, Knowledge Base|0 Comments