DATA Computer Services is an IT support company in Edinburgh. This is a user friendly blog designed to help small and medium sized businesses. It explains the different kinds of IT support and IT services that are available, to help them decide which will suit their business needs best.
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If you are a small or medium sized business finding the best deal and the best price is always important. This is particularly true when you are looking for a company to help you with your business IT services. There are lots of different IT companies out there offering different things, some with contracts … Continue reading "Can Managed IT Services Benefit My Business?" The post Can Managed IT Services Benefit My Business? appeared first on IT Support...
If you are a small or medium sized business finding the best deal and the best price is always important. This is particularly true when you are looking for a company to help you with your business IT services. There are lots of different IT companies out there offering different things, some with contracts and some without. It is vitally important that you understand the different types of IT support being offered so that you can choose the right one for your needs. One of the most popular ways of providing support for businesses is through ‘Managed IT Services’.
What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT Services are specific IT services and functions which are outsourced to another company, sometimes called a service provider. They allow you to completely hand over the running of certain IT tasks to experts in that area, giving you the time and freedom to concentrate fully on your core business. A service provider assumes responsibility for monitoring, managing and fixing any problems with these services. Managed IT Services usually involve paying a set price every month, which allows you to set an annual budget for your IT expenditure. The price will usually depend on the number and type of devices to be supported i.e. the number of
- PCs, laptops and workstations
- Tablets and mobile devices
This type of support usually requires a contract and agreed Service Level Agreements (SLAs). SLAs are the contract between you and the IT support company. They identify what services will be provided and the level of response expected of these services. SLAs will differ depending on the contract you sign up to. They can make a huge difference to response times and support that you receive so it is crucial that they are checked carefully before signing up. If there is anything you don’t fully understand, don’t be shy about asking for it to be explained further.
Services covered by SLAs typically include such things as:
- Data backup, recovery and storage
- Network monitoring, security and management
- Anti-virus management
- Software installation and management
- Server availability and monitoring
Always remember that with this type of support it is important that you fully understand the process and time frames you are agreeing to e.g. if a problem is reported via a helpdesk or phone call and can’t be fixed remotely, how long will it take an engineer to visit your premises to fix it. You should also tie down exactly what constitutes a ‘priority’, what the resolution times are for different issues (how long will it take to fix the problem – not just respond to it) and are all types of IT issues included e.g. if you have problems with 3rd party applications will these be covered?
Which businesses benefit most from Managed IT Services?
Although this type of support reacts well to resolving unexpected IT issues its big selling point is that it can also provide PROACTIVE monitoring of your systems. This means that it can find and fix potential issues before they become a problem to your business. This type of support is therefore perfect for businesses which:
- Rely heavily on their IT systems
- Prefer budgeted IT costs
- Need cost effective unlimited support (telephone, remote or on-site)
- Need rapid response and resolution times
So if your business is a start-up, small or doesn’t rely heavily on IT, adhoc support from a good IT company as and when you need it, may be perfectly adequate. However, as your business grows, the number of times you will need help is likely to grow too. This is when adhoc support may not be as cost effective or able to provide the level of support you require. At this stage we would advise moving to Managed IT Services with a good service provider.
DATA Computer Services is an experienced and trusted IT support company in Edinburgh. We provide different types of support for a wide range of businesses throughout Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. Get in touch or call 0131 657 1666 to find out more.
Many small to medium sized businesses will be familiar with the constant challenge of trying to grow a business within the constraints of a very limited budget. Most will also understand the importance of having good, reliable IT systems in place if they want to stay competitive, productive and efficient. Maintaining good IT systems is … Continue reading "How Cost Effective Is Your IT Support?" The post How Cost Effective Is Your IT Support? appeared first on IT Support...
Many small to medium sized businesses will be familiar with the constant challenge of trying to grow a business within the constraints of a very limited budget. Most will also understand the importance of having good, reliable IT systems in place if they want to stay competitive, productive and efficient. Maintaining good IT systems is not always straightforward which
is why having good IT support in place is crucial. This can usually be provided in one of 3 ways
If the owner of a small start up company has some basic IT knowledge they may successfully manage to get the business up and running by maybe setting up a couple of PCs a printer and a wifi connection. However over time and as the business starts to grow, it will become more and more difficult to keep on top of all the essential software updates, important backups, viruses, malware as well as email, pc and printer problems. Over time they may find themselves or a member of their staff devoting more and more time on IT related tasks instead of essential business tasks. Increased periods of downtime due to unresolved IT problems can very quickly escalate and become expensive to fix or recover from. This can become extremely detrimental to the success of a small business.
2. Employ an In-house IT Support Engineer
Employing a member of staff with the skills to take care of all your business IT support is at first glance a very attractive proposition. However when you factor in the cost of providing a salary, pension, bonuses etc this can work out very expensive, particularly for a small business. In addition, any IT problems that occur during holiday periods or absences due to sickness can leave a small business vulnerable. It is also important to remember that IT is a rapidly expanding area and it is unlikely that even the most experienced IT engineer will have expertise in all areas of IT.
3. Outsource to an IT Support Company
This type of support consists of buying the IT expertise that a business needs from another company. The cost of this type of support will depend on the level of support provided.
Ad hoc Support
For very small companies that only require the occasional help with their IT systems, buying support on an ad hoc basis may be ideal. They will only be paying for IT support as and when they need it. This can be a very cost effective way for a small company to receive good quality IT support without committing themselves to a contract.
With this type of IT support a business will
- Only pay for the support it needs
- Get an extremely high level of expertise
For slightly larger businesses with more complex IT systems or businesses which rely on their IT systems being available round the clock, a greater level of support is usually required. In this case an unlimited support contract is usually a better option. This type of contract will usually consist of a fixed monthly fee. The size of this fee will be dependent on the number of PCs, laptops, tablets, mobiles and perhaps company server etc included in the contract. The contract should detail its on-site and off-site support provision as well as its SLAs (service level agreements) detailing the performance standards it is obligated to meet. This type of support can really suit businesses which prefer to set a monthly budget for their IT support and then not worry about large unexpected expenses.
With this type of good quality outsourced IT support, a business will
- Have a fixed monthly support fee
- Have agreed SLAs (service level agreements)
- Get an extremely high level of support across all areas of IT
- Receive good advice on other products/services/technologies
The benefits of outsourcing business IT support does not stop there. Using an IT support company will also provide access to a host of other IT services that can really help a small business such as
- Proactive monitoring and maintenance of servers, desktops and laptops
- Automated backup of data
- Cloud managed services
- Managed telephony
- Microsoft Office 365
- Exchange email
Employing an IT support company to look after IT systems can very often be the most cost effective way for a small company to spend less time worrying about IT problems and more time focusing on their core business. This is because a good IT support company can help eliminate IT emergencies, diminish unplanned downtime, reduce risk and control costs.
In addition, technology is constantly changing and it can be difficult for a small business to keep up. A good IT support company will be keeping an eye on new products coming to market and will be able to offer good advice and personal experience of which ones will be beneficial, cost effective and worth implementing and which should be avoided. Good outsourced IT support brings not only a host of valuable support services; it can also bring a wealth of experience and a high level of expertise to a business.
If you are a small/medium sized company and would like to find out more about outsourced IT support, please get in touch with DATA Computer Services. We are an experienced and trusted business IT support company in Edinburgh.
As an experienced IT Support Company in Edinburgh, DATA Computer Services primary aims are to Ensure our customers’ networks are as secure as they possibly can be in protecting computer systems and vital company data. Help our customers move forward with the many new technologies available, which will also help improve staff productivity and communications … Continue reading "Top IT Support Recommendations for 2018" The post Top IT Support Recommendations for 2018 appeared first on IT...
As an experienced IT Support Company in Edinburgh, DATA Computer Services primary aims are to
- Ensure our customers’ networks are as secure as they possibly can be in protecting computer systems and vital company data.
- Help our customers move forward with the many new technologies available, which will also help improve staff productivity and communications in and out of the office work environment.
To achieve this we have created a list of our top recommendations for improving business IT Services in 2018
- Businesses with Company Email Services: implement a Cloud Based Spam/AV Security product to filter out any emails with viruses/spam before they arrive on your network.
- Businesses with File Servers on Their Network: implement Image Backup & Recovery software to allow your server to be able to recover from any file corruption to its exact working setup within hours, instead of potentially days.
- Businesses Only Using Local Backup Devices or Swapping Tapes/Drives Manually: implement a remote backup service to automatically back up your company data daily, to another site location, without any staff input.
- Businesses Using Antivirus Software: implement the latest program updates to provide access to important new security features and program improvements.
- Businesses with a WordPress Website: check and update WordPress add-ons/plugins on a regular basis to help reduce the risk of hackers getting administrative access to your company website.
- Businesses Not Using Pro Active Monitoring Services: implement a monitoring service on at least your file server to keep your server services running smoothly on your network.
- Businesses Currently Using NAS Drives or Workstation PCs as an Acting File Server: move data and file-sharing services on to Virtual Servers where the benefits of data access and security will be improved with online server storage access.
- Businesses Looking To Drive In More Business: arrange a website audit and get in contact with a recommended SEO partner to help improve rankings and traffic to your company website.
- Businesses Looking to Upgrade Their Phone System: move to a Hosted Mitel Platform which has low setup costs, significant ongoing savings and multitude of phone features including voicemail by email, direct dial numbers and mobile app integration.
If you are a business looking for ways to improve your IT Services and have some questions or would like to discuss any of the above recommendations, please get in touch or call us on 0131 657 1666.
Most businesses know that safeguarding customer details, financial information, sales figures, contracts and other key information is crucial, but knowing the best way to do this often is where the problem lies. Choosing, implementing and maintaining the right information technology strategy to protect your specific data care requirements can be complicated. Unless you have a good working … Continue reading "How to Keep Your Business Data Safe" The post How to Keep Your Business Data...
Most businesses know that safeguarding customer details, financial information, sales figures, contracts and other key information is crucial, but knowing the best way to do this often is where the problem lies. Choosing, implementing and maintaining the right information technology strategy to protect your specific data care requirements can be complicated. Unless you have a good working knowledge of IT, or your own in-house team of experts, it is usually something that you will need outside help with. Employing the services of a business IT Support Specialist is usually the easiest way to put in place the procedures, tasks and resources that are required to ensure your business data is always kept secure.
A business IT Support Specialist will
- Ensure your business data is backed up securely and regularly. It is essential that backups are scheduled to run automatically and not left to someone to remember to do them. A good IT support professional will usually schedule backups to run at a quiet time, usually overnight and will create a series of both on-site backups, as well as off-site, cloud based backups. This will protect your data even in a worst case scenario of your business premises going up in flames.
- Ensure that anti-virus software is installed and kept up to date on all computers, laptops and tablets (including regular scans for malware). They will schedule important software updates e.g. Windows updates, at times which will have the least impact on the business, usually after hours. Many small businesses see software updates as an inconvenience but it is important that they are not ignored as they often contain security fixes as well as program enhancements.
- Control what data your employees have access to. A support specialist will be able to create different levels of access across your network. This will ensure that staff can only access information essential to their particular role. Procedures can also be put in place to deactivate logins and network access when a member of staff leaves your organisation.
- Proactively monitor your network for signs of potential problems. By doing this they will be able to deal with any potential problems, before they have time to reach the stage of creating an issue which may affect the day to day operation of your business.
- Help you put in place a disaster recovery policy. This policy will outline the procedures needed to recover vital business data to get your business up and running, should a disaster happen e.g. fire, flood, cyber attack etc.
However, keeping your business data safe is not only about preventing hardware and software problems. Human error is responsible for a great many incidents involving sensitive or confidential data being lost, viewed or stolen. As an employer it is therefore very important that you educate your employees that they too have a responsibility to keep your business data safe.
It is an employee’s responsibility to
- Create strong passwords, change them regularly and never write them down or share them with anyone
- Spot suspicious looking emails and know what to do if they receive one
- Lock their desktop with a password protected screensaver any time they are away from their desk
- Understand the importance of never storing sensitive data on a USB flash drive or any portable device that has not been encrypted
If you need help with keeping your business data safe, please get in touch with DATA Computer Services. We are specialists in IT support and our range of support packages allow you to choose the right level of support for your business.
Looking for an IT support company for your business can be a challenging task. There are so many companies out there offering a whole host of different packages and services, that it can be difficult and very time consuming trying to differentiate the good from the bad. Even a good IT support company can be … Continue reading "How to Choose the Right IT Support Company for Your Business" The post How to Choose the Right IT Support Company for Your Business appeared first on IT Support...
Looking for an IT support company for your business can be a challenging task. There are so many companies out there offering a whole host of different packages and services, that it can be difficult and very time consuming trying to differentiate the good from the bad. Even a good IT support company can be the wrong one for your business, so how do you decide?
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. The IT support company that you choose really needs to understand your business and what you are trying to achieve. Of course this takes time to do, but if after the first couple of meetings or discussions you sense a lack of real interest, or that they are not really listening to your requirements, alarm bells should be going off. Likewise if you are feeling bamboozled by all the jargon or are feeling talked down to, they may not be the best company to go with. IT is quite a specialised subject and a lot of the terminology and technology is new to many people. A good company should be able to explain IT solutions and how they can help your business, in simple terms to someone with even very limited technical knowledge. A poor attitude at this early stage will not bode well for future communications when working together.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. If your business is very large it is likely that you will need the resources and expertise that only a large IT Support company can offer. However, if you have a smaller business, a smaller IT support company can often offer a much greater level of personal support. They will usually spend more time learning about your company, how it operates and what you hope to achieve. Your company will also be of more value to them and they will have more of a vested interest in keeping you happy so that your business stays on their books. The main thing to be clear about is that they are big enough to have the resources to deal with your particular needs, even if you decide to expand in the future.
On Site Support
A lot of IT support can now be carried out remotely, so the physical distance to your IT support company is not as important as it once was. However many hardware problems still need someone on site to carry out repairs or install replacement pieces of equipment. It is important to establish how long you would have to wait for someone to make a site visit and also if this is included in the price of your contract. Some companies charge a low monthly fee but then charge an additional on site fee. Some even charge for mileage to and from your business. Always make sure that you understand the terms of your support contract.
In the same way that you might read reviews before buying something new, you should always check reviews and testimonials before choosing a new IT Support Company. You can easily determine how satisfied current or previous clients are with the support provided by the company and it also allows you to gauge if the kind of support provided is similar to what you are looking for. If possible focus on testimonials/reviews from businesses that are similar to your own
Types of Support Packages
A good IT support company will offer a choice of support packages to suit different requirements and budgets such as:
- Ad hoc (no contract – hourly rate)
- Pay as you go (contract – hourly rate)
- Unlimited (full support with contract)
If you decide on a support contract, make sure that you read the small print and understand fully what you are signing up for. Don’t ever be shy about asking for more information about something you are unsure of. Also find out what types of things are not covered by the support package. It will be much easier to deal with at this stage than later, if you are faced with a bill that you weren’t expecting.
A good IT support company will respond to important issues quickly. Most will offer a ‘guaranteed response time’ for serious problems with your network or website as well as other service level agreements (SLAs). However it is important to remember that responding to an issue is not the same as resolving an issue. IT can sometimes throw up tricky situations that can take much longer to fix than first expected. When problems are not sorted quickly, it is easy to think that nothing is being done. This is why it is so important that you choose a support company that you trust to work hard for your business, both on site when you can see them and behind the scenes when you can’t.
DATA Computer Services are a company providing IT support for businesses throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. If you would like to find out more about how we can help your business, please get in touch or call us on 0131 657 1666
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