Are You Having A Technology Emergency?

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.

Seven Technical Support Tips to Get the Best Service From Tolar System’s Help Desk

We recently surveyed our clients and were pleased to find that most Tolar Systems customers are very satisfied with the technical support they receive from us. We also learned that some of our clients have questions about how best to communicate with our help desk to get fast and efficient support.

“How to get support more quickly” is one of the most common questions users have about working with a help desk for technical support – whether that’s in-house or outsourced technical support. That’s why we wanted to offer these tips for getting the best technical support from Tolar Systems’ – or any – help desk department.

  • Use the Ticketing System When you’re faced with a dead computer, it’s tempting to use back channels and workarounds to try to get service more quickly. We get it – it’s frustrating to wait. However, it’s important to understand the purpose of our ticketing system. It’s how we determine which issues require attention, in what order, and by whom. Without a ticket, we cannot guarantee your issue will be handled in a timely manner by the right individual. So please make sure to open a ticket using any of our ticket options.
  • Right System, Right Time – At Tolar Systems, we offer multiple ways to communicate support requests: you can open a ticket by phone, email or our web-based portal system. In our survey, we heard loud and clear that our users want to be able to reach us by phone when they have an emergency. We also believe that email and web-based ticketing is the fastest and easiest way for users to open tickets quickly and get efficient service. By using our email or portal systems for non-emergency situations, you can help to ensure that our staff is available to respond quickly on the phone when the situation is truly urgent.
  • What’s an Emergency? – How do you know if your issue is an emergency? A basic rule of thumb is that if your network is up, everyone’s computer is working and there’s an issue that is only affecting one person, the email and portal-based systems may be the best choice. If the network is down or you are faced with a serious challenge affecting multiple users, the phone is likely to be your best option.  how to get better technical support
  • Provide Details With the 5 W’s – While colorful, using phrases like “dead computer” (as we did above) doesn’t tell our help desk team very much about what specifically is going wrong. So, when opening a ticket, please try to provide as much detail as possible. Let us know: Who is having a problem, What is the problem, Where is the problem happening? Which systems are affected? When did the problem occur? And Why do you think it might be happening? Are you having any other issues that might be related? This gives us enough detail to get started with troubleshooting and can help us provide answers and solutions more quickly.
  • Don’t Pile On – It would be great if we could solve every issue a user has on a single ticket (and we always try to solve as many related issues as we can), but if there are multiple unrelated issues, you’ll get better service by opening a ticket for each one. Remember that the ticketing system exists to help us prioritize getting the right person to work on your issues at the right time. If users open a ticket for each issue, we may be able to get all those problems solved more quickly, by prioritizing them most appropriately.
  • Plan Ahead – It’s hard to plan for unforeseen issues like having your network go down. However, some of the issues our help desk deals with regularly are issues that do allow for advance planning, such as the addition of a new user. Please let us know as soon as possible when these kinds of foreseeable events come up, so that we can have you up and running in plenty of time.
  • Be Responsive – One caveat about our technical support systems is that we will continue to respond as quickly as we can unless a user becomes unresponsive. If we ask a question and don’t receive a response, we may not be able to take further action until we hear from you. So, if you want to get the very fastest service, please try to respond quickly while we’re working on your issue.

At Tolar Systems, one of our core values is that our customers come first. Our help desk team is here to help you resolve your IT issues as quickly and efficiently as possible, while keeping our services affordable. By following these help desk tips, you’ll get the service you deserve at an affordable rate, and keep those pesky technical issues to a minimum.

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How to Leverage Microsoft Teams in Your Business

In today’s fast-moving business world, communication and collaboration within teams of people is the key to your business' success. That's why Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype for Business as the primary communication and collaboration platform for Microsoft. This change will impact impacts how business users manage their work, including messaging, calling, sharing, etc.

So how can you leverage Teams for success in your business? Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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Cloud Disaster Recovery: Ideas to Keep Remote Workers' Data Safe

Working remotely allows businesses to access hard-to-find talent, even if that talent does not live right in their backyard. However, remote work also creates a few pitfalls. One of those potential issues is the challenge of backing up and recovering data on remote machines.

That is where cloud disaster recovery comes in. Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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Tolar Systems Ranked Among Top 501 Global Managed Service Providers By Channel Futures

11th Annual MSP 501 Identifies World’s Most Forward-Thinking MSPs & Leading Trends in Managed Services

ABILENE TX, June 27, 2018 -- / -- Tolar Systems, an IT managed services firm based in Abilene, Texas, has been ranked among the world’s 501 most strategic and innovative managed service providers (MSPs), according to Channel Futures’ 11th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings.

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Is Your Small Business GDPR Ready?

If you've been watching the news over the last month or so, you’ll likely have heard the acronym “GDPR”. What you might not have heard is that if you are a small business owner, GDPR could affect your business.

Learn more about GDPR and it's affect on small businesses on today's blog.

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Cryptoviruses and Ransomware: Defending Against a Hidden Enemy

If you're wondering whether your business is at risk of a cyberattack using cryptoviruses or ransomware, you're not alone and you're right to be concerned. Your company’s data and computer systems are one of your most important assets. What would you do if your company’s IT system was the victim of a cybercrime or cyberattack?

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Tolar Systems Launches Complete Care For Public Sector Cloud-Based IT Services

Managed Services Package Helps Municipal and Regional Governments Manage IT Costs

Tolar Systems, an Abilene-based IT managed services company, announced today that it is launching Complete Care for Public Sector, a technology services package for municipal and regional government entities.

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Five Ways Technology is Changing Health Care

Technology is changing the way we do business: the health care industry is no exception. Over the past several decades, more and more technology has been incorporated into the practice of medicine: everything from robotics and lasers, to telecommunications and much more. In fact, for many health care organizations, it's not a question of whether to incorporate technology, but how to manage it all.

Learn more about how technology is changing healthcare from Tolar Systems.

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Core Values: What We Mean By Customers Come First

Tolar Systems has established six core values that we believe make a difference in our success and that of our clients. Among these is the value of putting customers first. But, what does “putting customers first” really mean? How does it play out in our business? And what advice would we give to other companies hoping to become more customer-centric?

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Assessing IT Staff: How Big Should Your Team Be?

For any business, having the right team makes all the difference—in your company’s success and margins. But how do you know if your staff is the right size, particularly when it comes to IT? 

Learn more from Tolar Systems.

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Technology Strategy: Planning for Small Business Success

Any successful small business involves planning—a business plan, a financial plan, a growth strategy. In our increasingly tech-dependent world, a technology strategy should also be part of that line up.

Many small businesses treat technology as an afterthought. Yet, small businesses depend more on technology and spend a higher percent of their annual revenue on IT than medium or large businesses. This means it’s imperative that every dollar is spent strategically—with thoughtfulness and long-term planning in mind.

Learn more about developing a technology strategy for a small to midsize business from Tolar Systems.

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

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

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

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

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

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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Abilene MSP Tolar Systems Accepted into Intuit Authorized Reseller Program

Company recognized as a leading provider of small business IT expertise

Abilene, Texas: Tolar Systems, a leading IT managed service provider (MSP) to legal and accounting firms in Central Texas, today announced that it has been accepted as an Intuit Authorized Reseller.

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What is the Cost of IT Support for Small Business?

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?

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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