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The Idealogical Blog

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The True Cost of a Poorly Maintained Network

 

There are some losses that are nearly impossible to calculate. It’s very hard to put a price tag on things like diminished productivity and lost time, but you know they have a major impact on your bottom line. As a direct result of technological failures due to a poorly maintained network, businesses of all sizes encounter these losses every day. No one is exempt from system crashes, network outages and other computer problems.

In an effort to quantify these losses, many businesses turn to industry statistics, but statistics can only give you an average – and no business is average.

Still, no one can deny the fact that such an interruption can cost a considerable amount of money. It doesn’t matter whether the outage is caused by a server crash, hardware failure or some other outside force. If your business has ever come to a screeching halt because of failed technology, you understand this fact all too well.

 Need further convincing? Take a look at these statistics:

  • 93% of companies that lost their data center to a disaster for at least 10 days filed for bankruptcy within one year. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period […]
By |April 27th, 2017|Helpful Advice, Logical Talk|0 Comments

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

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: according to Symantec, 31% of all targeted spear […]

By |February 27th, 2015|Helpful Advice|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

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

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

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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

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?

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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