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Tolar Systems Blog

Tolar Systems has been serving the Abilene area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Decisions, Decisions: Managed Service Provider or Cloud Computing Solutions?

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When it comes to accessing the cloud, businesses have two choices: either a managed service provider or a cloud computing service provider. Which one is right for your organization? Read on to find out more about these two options.

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Ten Reasons We’re Glad Microsoft Teams is Replacing Skype for Business

Here at Tolar Systems, we think Microsoft's recent announcement that they’re integrating Microsoft Teams - the company's chat-based workspace application - with Skype for Business and phasing out Skype for Business by the end of this year is a good change. Why are we excited about Teams? Read on.

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Six Best Cloud Applications for Small Businesses

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Every small business has a few baseline applications that are used to get the work done day in and day out. It used to be that these applications were accessed by downloading onto a desktop, or loading from a disc onto a local server.

No more. Today, for a reasonable fee, you can access your business’s data and applications on the cloud. Cloud based applications deliver anytime, anywhere acces from a desktop or your mobile device. They are a cost effective way for small businesses to access technologies that were previously out of their reach, so they can better compete, both with other small business and larger ones.

Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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Why a Managed IT Services Firm is the Most Cost-Effective Option for IT Support

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Oh no! Your network is down…again. This is the second time this week, and it’s really slowing down your ability to get things done.

This is a common scenario in many small businesses, especially those without an IT team to help maintain and monitor their networks and infrastructure. If this situation sounds familiar, the answer is simple: it’s time to think about managed IT services for your IT support. But what’s the most cost-effective way to find the help you need?

What are my options?

You’ve got a few options for how to handle this predicament:

Hire an IT support person.

Bringing a new person onboard requires time to recruit, review applications, interview and train. Plus, there are additional costs:

  • Your time spent hiring IT personnel that should be spent managing your business;
  • Costs for a recruiter, if you choose to use one;
  • Finding room in your budget for another salary and benefits, etc.

For most small businesses, especially those with fewer than 20 employees, this isn’t the most cost-effective way to manage your IT.

Break/fix technicians

You could hire a break/fix technician - your friendly neighborhood tech support guy - to come in and fix IT issues when something happens. Many small and even medium size businesses that can't afford to hire an IT staff member choose to handle their technology issues this way.

But is it the most cost-effective way for a company to contract for IT support? There are a few challenges with the break/fix approach:

  • Break/fix technicians only fix things after they’re already broken, so you’re losing time and money while waiting for them to come and fix the problem;
  • Break/fix technicians don’t consider ways to implement IT in your business to improve productivity and performance;
  • Preventing tech from breaking in the first place is usually more cost-effective than waiting until they do break;
  • You may still have to pay monthly fees to retain a break/fix technician for your business, even if you don’t use them during that month.

Hiring a break/fix technician is one of those solutions that seem cost-effective, but isn’t really when you consider the cost of downtime and poor system performance.

Outsource to a managed IT services firm

A managed IT services firm, also called a managed service provider or MSP, can provide a variety of cost-effective IT services that can really help your business succeed:

  • Regularly scheduled maintenance of your technology—so it works the first time and doesn’t break down;
  • If a problem does occur, a managed IT services firm can identify the problem and repair it quickly, often without even visiting your office;
  • Keeping your software, networks and data secure and safe from hackers;
  • Maintaining hardware to keep it cool, clean and in tip-top shape;
  • When equipment becomes old and outdated, a managed IT services firm can help you identify solutions that will provide the most value to your business.

Communication Consulting twopeopleofficeOver time, the managed IT services firm is a more cost-effective solution. Your equipment is better maintained so it breaks down less often, and lasts longer. Your organization experiences less downtime, so is more productive. And an IT managed services firm ensures that when new technology does need to be purchased, you get the solution that is most compatible with your existing infrastructure and best fits the needs of your business, at the best price available, 

Which One is Right for Your Business?

If you’re considering a managed IT services firm, you’re in good company. A recent survey of more than 275 U.S.-based IT and business professionals found that 56 percent of respondents said that their organizations are enlisting outside consultants to help with information security strategy.

Outsourcing IT to a managed IT services firm like Tolar Systems can help turn your technology expenses into operating expenses, so you’re spending less on your business’s up-front costs. Instead, you’re investing in a long-term solution that’s more cost-effective because you’re making smaller, more predictable monthly payments. Waiting until a major catastrophe happens can result in bills that break your company’s budget. A recent article in IT News stated that outsourcing could result in 40 percent or more savings with rapid return on investment.

When looking at costs, don’t forget to include the biggest cost of all—your time. Is your time really best spent calling around and trying to find help when you’ve got an IT problem? Or worse, how much time, money and productivity are lost when there’s a network or company-wide problem?

Contact Tolar Systems today to find out more about how a managed IT services firm can help your business stay online without breaking the budget.

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Enterprise Mobility Solutions Offer Flexibility & Security

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In today’s highly mobile world, enterprise mobility solutions are a key success factor for your business. Why? Because of the need to balance security against the ever-higher levels of responsiveness and access to mobile data that you, your customers and your employees demand.

Making mobility work for your business is not simply a matter of picking up the latest mobile device or installing a few apps on your phone. Mobile devices provide the freedom to operate from anywhere, but those devices need to be secured and managed effectively to make sure they don’t accidentally open the door for a security breach of your business network and the data it contains.

That’s what enterprise mobility solutions are all about. Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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Office 365 or Google G Suite? We Compare Options

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If you are like many small business owners, you have questions when it comes to choosing a productivity suite.  There are a handful of productivity suite options available, each with its own idiosyncrasies, features, merits and flaws. 

Microsoft Office 365 and Google's G Suite are two of the top options. In this post, we’ll compare and contrast them to help you pick a winner for your business.

Learn more from Tolar Systems

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What is the Cost of IT Support for Small Business?

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What does it cost for a small business to support their IT equipment and the needs of their users? Which approach is the most cost-effective way to support your business and its IT needs? Should you hire an in-house IT support technician? Should you use a break/fix approach, and only pay for support when your equipment breaks? Or should you hire a firm that supports your IT, lengthens its lifecycle and enhances your productivity – reducing your overall cost?

Here’s what to expect when considering the cost of IT support for a small business.

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What is Remote Monitoring and Management?

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Tolar Systems uses Remote Monitoring and Management tools to manage our clients’ devices and networks, but often clients and people we meet don’t understand what these tools are or why we use them. We thought it would be helpful to give a brief explanation along with some of the benefits of remote monitoring and management tools.

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Blockchain – It’s About Business, Not Just Bitcoin

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Blockchain technology is all over the news lately, but unless you’re an avid techie, you may not know what it is or why you should care. Maybe you associate it with a high-risk investment strategy favored by iPhone wielding Millennials. If you’re like most business owners, you probably don’t think of it as something with the power to affect – or even transform – your business.

But if you think blockchain is only about Bitcoin and other digital currency you’re only seeing part of the picture. Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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How Can Managed Service Providers Deliver Cost-Effective Storage?

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Many small and medium sized businesses have asked how managed service providers can provide cost-effective storage for the data their businesses generate. Whether that data comes in the form of files, documents, folders, customer and employee information, billing and financial information, or other types of data relevant to your business, one thing is clear: small and medium sized businesses are being inundated with data.

Managed IT service providers like Tolar Systems can help your organization manage your most important business data, by delivering access and infrastructure to cost-effective data storage. Here’s how.

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Is Public Wifi Safe? 5 Wifi Facts You Should Know

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One of the questions we are frequently asked by the mobile device users we manage is whether public wifi is safe, and how to use it securely. In fact, one of the biggest challenges facing IT organizations and managed service providers like Tolar is protecting mobile devices that have access to company data. Unfortunately, one common practice that can make this more difficult is when mobile users connect to public wifi without knowing whether their data is secure.

Want to know if the wi-fi networks you're using are secure? Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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Tolar Systems Partners with Intuit as an Authorized Intuit Reseller

Tolar Systems is pleased to announce that we’ve recently partnered with Intuit as an Authorized Intuit Reseller. Joining this program allows us to expand our services to including purchasing and support for the world’s leading accounting applications for small business.

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Managed IT Services Trends to Watch for 2018

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What managed IT services industry trends are we watching for 2018? Read more to find out the top five trends we expect to affect our business and the business of our clients in 2018.

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How to Select New Accounting Software for a Small Business in 6 Steps

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The decision to select new accounting software for a small business is one of the most important technology choices a small business needs to make. Learn more about how to make this important decision from Tolar Systems.

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The Future is Now for Attorneys with Virtual Law Offices

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Traditional professions like the legal industry aren’t immune to the transformative power of technology, which is why virtual law offices are a hot trend for solo lawyers and small firms that want to compete against their larger rivals. In fact, virtual law offices have been identified as one of the top trends reshaping the legal industry.

But exactly what is a virtual law office and how does it work? Learn more about it from Tolar Systems on today's blog.

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Tips to Ensure a Smoother Acquisition or Merger

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The old saying goes that two heads are better than one, and when it comes to company growth, sometimes combining two companies is also better than going it alone. Mergers and acquisitions (or M&A, as these deals are known in the finance and legal worlds) are big business these days, with $4.73 billion in global M&A deals having been recorded between 2011 and 2016. Learn more about mergers and acquisitions and how they impact your company, its culture and your technology on today's Tolar Systems blog.

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Why Tolar Systems Buys Professional-Grade Equipment.

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If you’re in need of a new desktop computer or other technology solution for your business, such as a printer or mobile device, it might be tempting to run down to your nearest consumer electronics store to get the item you need. You might even be thinking about buying from an online store. On today's blog, Tolar Systems shares five reasons why it's a mistake to buy anything other than professional-grade equipment for your business.

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Tips for Setting up a Virtual Office for Accountants

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The virtual office is catching on in many industries, as technology makes it truly possible for busy professionals like CPAs, accountants, bookkeepers and others to work from anywhere. But, to be truly effective, virtual accounting offices must meet a few requirements. Learn more about them on today's blog.

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Voice Over IP or Landline – What’s Best for Your Business?

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Thanks to advances in technology, choosing a phone system for your business is more complicated than it used to be.

Today, businesses need to consider multiple alternatives when deciding what sort of system they want to use: VOIP, “virtual phones,” PBX / landline, or software applications such as Skype or Skype for Business. How can you choose between VoIP or Landline? Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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How to Select the Right Core Software for Your Business

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Whether it’s called digital transformation or software implementation, selecting the right core software for your business is an essential task for businesses that want to grow, compete and become more profitable. But how do you know when your business needs to select new software, and what should you look for? Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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