If you’re looking to delegate your IT to a managed services provider or MSP, you'll typically need to sign a managed services agreement to outline the services the company you’ve chosen will provide and to set mutual expectations. For most businesses outsourcing with an MSP for the first time, there can be questions about what’s normally included in one of these agreements and what the components of the agreement mean.
Tolar Systems Blog
If you’re looking to hire an IT managed services provider (MSP), you might be wondering why there are so many different managed service pricing models and what they all mean. Some IT managed services providers use a tiered model of pricing (gold, silver, bronze, etc.). Others might use a per user or per device pricing model. Some have an option where you can get one specific service, others allow you to access all their services for a flat monthly rate. There are also hourly rates and even advance billing options in some cases.
Net Neutrality has long been a topic of heated controversy within the technology industry, but for people outside the industry it’s always been a bit of a question mark. In the world of small business, Net Neutrality is rarely even thought about, let alone understood.
As a Managed Services Provider or MSP, we are frequently asked a lot of questions about managed services. Some of the questions we are most frequently asked include, “what are managed services,” “how does managed services work,” and “what are the benefits of managed services to my business?”
In the previous installment of this series, we discussed some of the challenges multi-site businesses experience when trying to manage people across the miles. Those problems tend to center around issues of culture, communication and collaboration.
In this segment, we’ll talk about the systems and processes that can help to alleviate some of those challenges.
Living in the age of cloud-based apps can seem like a double-edged sword sometimes. One one hand, new apps are rolling out nearly continuously that can help to make our workday and personal lives easier and more productive. On the flip side, we need to find a way to manage security on all these apps – and remembering all your online passwords across multiple apps is not always easy.
Do you have project hanging over your head, but no bandwidth or staff to get it done?
Many solo and small businesses find themselves in the position of needing to do more work than they have the staff or ability to take on. They want to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, but are limited in terms of having the capacity to manage hiring, firing, training and managing new team members. They also may lack the financial resources to hire full or part time employees.
One of the newest acronyms circulating in I.T. circles is the term BYOD—Bring Your Own Device. And as much as it might sound like an invitation to a social occasion of some sort, BYOD is really a wakeup call to beware your own downfall, so to speak. Or your firewall's downfall, at least. That's because BYOD—the practice of bringing personal devices into corporate workplaces where they are used to connect with the business's wifi, its networks, and its internal processes—is a practice that is fraught with security risks.
Ever heard of the break-it-fix-it model? In matters of Information Technology (I.T.), break-it-fix-it refers to the too-common practice of buying a system or device for maintaining one's information systems or internal security or cyber security, then seeing that system “break” or fail, then starting the process all over again with a new purchase or some other form of Band-aid remedy. Life doesn't have to be like that.
A regional oil and gas magazine recently shared this remark from Tolar Systems' founder, Lance Tolar, on the topic of I.T. security: “I think people fail to ask the right questions early. Organizational security, I.T. security, is about establishing and practicing good processes as much as it is about investing in good solutions. If you don't have corporate buy-in and a good culture not only to create good I.T. policies, but also practice them, users are going to find ways to circumvent. That's what you want to avoid.”
“The only thing that is constant is change." --Heraclitus
Having a professional email address is crucial to the branding of your business. Branded email simply indicates the customization of email for a business. Instead of using a free email server like yahoo or gmail, a branded email looks like this: JohnBanks@yourcompanyname.com. Branded email not only simplifies and secures your data management, but it gives you control over brand consistency - an effective, and critical, step in a branding strategy. But most importantly, the negative impact that generic email has on your brand proves that branded email is the only reasonable selection for a business. For that reason alone it is cost-effective! But here are 5 more ways your company benefits from branded email.
BYOD: A Written Policy
On the surface, BYOD (or “Bring Your Own Device”) seems simple: let employees bring their own tablets and smartphones to work. Save a bundle on hardware. Keep your staff happy and more productive at the same time. But while it may have gone on “under the radar” for quite some time, BYOD is a trend in the modern business world that can no longer be ignored.
“The only thing that is constant is change."
The printing press, the steam engine, the light bulb, the personal computer: all of these have revolutionized the world. And each new invention carried with it something all captains of industry learned to crave: opportunity. Opportunity takes a set of circumstances and views them in the light of possibility. But it also requires awareness of potential problems, and the imagination to provide solutions - maybe even before the problems arise.
Problems with Company Document Management and Collaborative File Sharing
Collaborative file sharing is an essential part of team efficiency and productivity, but unfortunately it can be troublesome and messy. In the past, when employees needed to collaborate on a file, they would each save a copy on their local machines and then email it to each other each time changes were made. This system creates several issues. For example, there are now multiple versions of the document. How can you tell which one is the most recent? Also, it may be difficult to track down documents, and waiting on a co-worker to email a document can sometimes create a bottleneck in the work flow.