managed services

How Managed Services Can Make Your Life Easier

Managed services were previously only something that large companies could access. Thankfully, businesses of any size can now take advantage of what these providers have to offer. Managed services refers to the outsourcing of business components such as IT management, phone services, cloud computing, or even HR services.


Managed Services Are Affordable for Companies of Any Size

At first glance, company owners may think that they can not afford to use managed services. It’s a common misconception that outsourcing office responsibilities is too costly for smaller businesses. Manages service providers (MSP) have made it easy to accommodate the needs of a business regardless of size without being costly. In fact, most companies experience a cost savings benefit by using managed services.

Most business owners pride themselves at being experts in their profession. You call your plumber because he is great at fixing leaks, but you probably wouldn’t call him to back up your computer or process your payroll. This is an example of how many hats a business owner has to wear. By utilizing managed services, company owners are able to focus their attention on what is most important to them.


Managed Services Are Made To Fit Your Unique Needs

Another added bonus is that managed service providers assume the responsibilities that you hired them for. If you have outsourced your IT management, when something goes wrong it is no longer your problem. Not only that, but you have a highly trained professional taking care of the issues. Your managed service provider also assumes all of the risk. When you hire an MSP to do a job and something doesn’t go right, it’s not on your dime. Therefore, it’s likely that they have worked hard to perfect their process.

As mentioned earlier, companies typically experience a cost savings associated with switching to a managed service provider. One reason for this is because systems that were previously maintained in house are now being purchased, updated and maintained by someone else. Once a company outsources it frees up time for employees to focus on being productive. Company owners are able to be consistent without being sidetracked and derailed.

Your managed service provider will partner with your company and identify your individual and unique needs. As a partner, they will align their services with your goals to help you expand and grow your business. When you hire and MSP you integrate highly trained professionals in to your business, bringing peace of mind and confidence.

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The 7 Best Ways To Protect Your Data At Work

At the heart of every successful organization is a compilation of important documentation, data and records. Finances, personnel files, budgeting data, accounting… it’s a long list. Here are seven top ways that you can protect your data from being lost or destroyed.

1. Know where your data is, so that it can be protected. It is important to keep your information in a central location, ensuring that all of your critical files and information can be easily located.

2. Establish a routine for compiling this data and updating it. Many businesses delegate the maintenance of important data to different departments. It’s crucial that each piece of the puzzle is working together to ensure that your data files are kept up to date.

3. Keeping your data backed up is one of the only ways you will be able to ensure that your files are safeguarded. This can be a complex process. First, make sure that your backups are automated. This creates a routine and eliminates user error as the process is initiated by a computer instead of a person. Once the backup process is established make sure that it is complete. Go back to yesterday’s files and make sure that everything is up to date.

4. Backing up your data is only one step to ensure that data is protected. In addition to backing up your files, you should keep copies of that data in several locations. What good will it do if the system containing your backup files crashes or incurs damage? Create an automated process that duplicates your backup files in a second and third location.

5. One of the worst times to find out that your backup system is flawed, broken or incomplete is during an IT crash or crisis. It can be hard to prioritize IT, but keep in mind how important your data is to the success of your business. Take time out to do a practice run in restoring your data to ensure that you are prepared for untimely disasters.

6. Keeping your IT hardware and software updated also plays an important role, as this will guarantee the integrity of your IT system. Many companies are turning to cloud computing instead of keeping their IT systems in house, which delegates this responsibility elsewhere. In addition to making sure your IT infrastructure is up to date you will also want to make sure you have a firewall in place to place an extra layer of protection between the internet and your data.

7. Review your process and update it regularly.

Losing vital company data can be crippling, so be sure to implement these steps. Ensuring that your data can be easily restored means that should disaster strike you will be on your way to recovery instead of worrying about survival.

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Drastically Improve Your LinkedIn Profile in 4 Easy Steps

LinkedIn is pretty much the Facebook of the professional world and, if you use it effectively, you can secure valuable connections or even an awesome new job!

Check out the following 4 simple ways you can improve your LinkedIn profile.

 

Your Profile Picture

First impressions mean a lot. And guess how someone gathers his or her first impression of you when visiting your LinkedIn Profile?

That’s right: it’s your profile picture.

Since LinkedIn is a professional network, you may not want to use that picture you took last weekend when you were out at the bar. That could work for Facebook, but think – do you really want employers to think of you that way?

I mean, you don’t have to have a super serious picture taken by a professional photographer or anything. You can still smile and let your personality show through. Just keep in mind that potential employers and business connections are going to see you, so you need to make sure that you’re sending out the right message.

 

Update Your Status Regularly

When you go for long periods without updating your status, you seem inactive. By posting a status regularly or sharing interesting content, you’ll appear on the timelines of your connections – it’s like reminding them that you exist!

 

Write a Killer Summary

Your summary can make or break your LinkedIn Profile. Think about it – would YOU want to hire someone who clearly didn’t know how to spell or use proper punctuation? Probably not.

And you don’t have to make your summary boring, either. Tell your readers a little bit about your life, your hobbies, and who you are without being unprofessionally personal.

Not a writer? No worries – you can always hire a copywriter to help you beef up your summary section and entice potential employers.

 

Get Recommendations

What do you look at when you’re trying to decide on an apartment complex to move to, a movie to see, or a hotel to stay at?

The reviews.

LinkedIn recommendations are kind of like reviews – and they’ll get you a lot of positive attention. Especially if you can get a former boss to write you an excellent recommendation.

If that’s not an option, try to get someone you’ve worked with or a college professor whose class you have taken. You can even offer to exchange recommendations.

 

Once you’ve done these four things, you’ll be on your way to a top-notch profile and maybe even a new job. Good luck!

 

 

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3 Easy Ways You Can Use Twitter To Promote Your Business

You might be surprised to learn that Twitter can be used for more than stalking your favorite celebrities, posting pictures of your food, and keeping up with what your friends are doing. It can actually be a useful tool to market your business to the world if you know how to use it right!

Here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your Twitter account:

 

#1) Hashtag it up!

One effective option is creating your own hashtag for branding purposes. You could either use the name of your business, an acronym that represents your business, or a catch phrase that you’d like people to associate with your business.

You can also use hashtags to promote special events or contests being held by your business. That way, more people are likely to participate and follow your company.

When you’re using hashtags, make sure that they are recognizable and not too long.

For example, you probably shouldn’t use a hashtag made up of ten words. Those kinds of hashtags are easily overlooked because they are hard to read, and they’re also hard to share, since not many people want to take the time to type out a hashtag that is that long.

Also, try not to use too many hashtags. #No #one #wants #to #read #something #like #this. Keep it simple, and stick to a few hashtags at the very most.

 

#2) Beef up your profile

You know that short bio that you wrote for your account when you joined Twitter? You need to make sure that it contains keywords that will attract your target audience. For example, if you’re a writer, be sure to put something about it in your biography – this will help when people are using the search feature.

Also, make sure that you have a good profile picture. If you’re promoting your personal account, be sure to use a headshot that clearly shows your face. If you’re promoting your business, you may want this to be the company logo. However, make sure it isn’t too text-heavy – most Twitter users see your profile on their phones, and profile pictures are tiny! You want to make sure that the picture you use is attractive and recognizable.

 

#3) Engage to gain followers

One really easy way to gain followers is by following lots of people. Then, you’ll hope that they follow you back. Some won’t, but some will, and having lots of followers can make you look more credible when people visit your profile.

However, a better way to gain followers is by actively engaging with other Twitter users. You can use the search tool to see what people are talking about topics related to your company, and start a conversation. Or, you can simply “favorite” their tweets, if you see something you like. That way, if those people follow you, you’re gaining quality followers who are likely to show an interest in your business!

 

What are your favorite ways to use Twitter? Tweet us at @NerdsSupport and let us know!

 

 

data recovery miami

A Backup Plan is Not the Same as a Disaster Recovery Plan

Some companies set up an automatic system for backing up their company data and feel like they are covered against disasters. This is a mistake – a backup plan is not the same as a disaster recovery plan, and while you need to backup your data if you hope to overcome data loss, that is only one part of a complete disaster recovery plan. Here is information about data recovery Miami businesses can count on:

Problems with Data Backup Software

If you use a basic data backup software to routinely backup your organization’s information, you might discover the software fails at some point. You could believe your data is being backed up regularly, only to discover after you need to retrieve something that the software was not backing up the data as you thought! For companies relying on their routine data backup as their “disaster recovery plan”, you are going to be in big trouble if your data backup wasn’t working if you experience a disaster that requires reloading all of your backed up data.

Problems Restoring Data From Backup

The purpose of backing up your data is to make sure you can get to it if there is a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or some other disaster that results in the loss of your equipment or data. While there are many third-party programs and companies providing backup services, is the information being backed up in such a way that it can be restored and used?

We have heard of companies using a backup company that uses tapes rather than the cloud-based storage solutions we offer from our Miami data recovery company, Nerds Support. If these companies need to restore their data, they quickly find out that striping their data across tapes for backup creates a puzzle of information that has to be rebuilt before it can be used. If you’re missing even one tape, you probably will be unable to solve the puzzle and therefore unable to restore your data.

You Need Recovery Tools to Restore Your Backed Up Data

A disaster recovery plan will protect your business against data loss, theft, or equipment failures through a comprehensive backup system and a plan to recover your business. Business continuity/recovery plans don’t just save copies of the information your business uses each day, but also creates a plan to access it and restore the data to your network after a situation occurs. Downtime is reduced or eliminated, allowing you to continue operating business-as-usual from your backup copies, and keeping your organization from going out of business after data loss. Virtualization is an important part of Nerds Support data recovery. Miami businesses can trust their business will continue even when faced with data loss.

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Local Disaster Shuts Down More Than 50 Businesses for Over 2 Weeks
See How Nerds Support Kept One Business Open

When we think about disasters today, we think of hurricanes, fires, theft, and sprinkler heads going off and breaking – no one in a million years would think about a disaster recovery plan for a lightning strike or long term power outage. No one really ever thinks about this type of disaster and how it might affect their business – but Nerds Support in Miami helped ensure our client, Klein Mendez & Rothbard LLC, was prepared for it!

 

When KMR met us, they had 2 servers in their office that were about 5 years old. They knew they had to think about replacing them, and they figured with all of the technology out there – there had to be a better way.

 

KMR is a CPA firm with 2 offices. One in Aventura, Florida and one in Cora Gables, Florida.  The Cora Gables office would connect remotely to the terminal server in the Aventura office. Over the last few years, there was several instances where the Cora Gables office couldn’t work because there was an internet issue, a power outage, or something in the remote office that prevented them from connecting. They knew they needed a better solution.

 

Nerds Support went in and evaluated their current situation and came up with a total solution. KMR, being a CPA firm,  understands the value of using an expense versus capital expenditure and depreciation. So, we built them a total solution that would allow them to budget their expenses for their cloud solution.  They like the fact that their fees are based on the number of users – so during tax season they can bring more employees on board and are just charged more during that time period, and when things slow down and they have less employees, they can pay less based on the fewer number of users.

 

After having the cloud solution and disaster recovery plan for about a year, they really saw the value when Marty Rothbarg working in the Aventura KMR office was working late and spilled a glass of wine on his laptop. He thought he was going to have to run out the next morning and get a new laptop for the office – but he remembered there was an older PC in the closet that he could use. He contacted Nerds Support for instructions, plugged in the old PC, set it up using a 10 minute installation, and that’s it! He was up and running.

 

On Monday, July 14th, at around 11:30 in the morning, a lightning strike hit a transformer outside the building and it blew up. The building went completely black. Marty Rothbarg figured he’d step away for lunch and when he got back he’d be able to continue working.  But when he returned, he found out the building was still black, so he informed the employees they could go and work from home. He was thinking about how great it was he didn’t have to lose a half a day’s work with his employees, and figured they’d come in on Tuesday and everyone would be able to work as usual.

 

Around 9:30 at night, the transformer was replaced. But when they went to power back up, they reversed the polarity. When they started it up, it started a small electrical fire in the building!

 

Tuesday morning, everyone comes into the office to discover it is still without power, and the expectation is they will likely be without power for about four days. Marty was thinking about how great it was that they had Nerds Support put a system in place that would allow them to continue working during this time period.

 

A week later, they have a meeting and they learn it’s going to be another 7 days before they can return to work in the office!  July 26th and they still don’t have power in the building and they won’t for another 5 to 7 days! Can you imagine what would have happened if KMR did not have the cloud solution from Nerds Support which allowed them to continue operating business as-usual?

 

Marty met with Scott from Nerds Support  for a quick lunch and to go into the building. Marty said the only reason he needed to go into the building is to pick up the mail. The only inconvenience this whole situation has really caused him is learning how to go digital because they didn’t have their big all-in-one scanner and printer. While KMR doesn’t really print all that much, they scan their mail directly into the cloud to start using right away. Marty has started providing Nerds with a few referrals because he’s so happy with how this all worked out.

 

When stopping into the office building to get mail, Marty told Nerds Support he would see people from other companies in the same building carrying out computers and servers, to set it up somewhere else to work. The KMR team has not had to do any of that since they can work from anywhere and any device.  Nerds Support also provides hardware as a service as part of the cloud solution for KMR – we bring them the computers, monitors, keyboards and mice – so they only thing the client has to provide is battery backups.

Overall, KMR has enjoyed working with Nerds Support and are about to renew their agreement with Nerds Support again for another three years.

 

data backup hurricane season

It’s Hurricane Season: Is Your Data Backed Up?

If a hurricane was to hit your Florida business and wipe out your network and computers tomorrow, would you be prepared? The 2014 hurricane season is in full swing – don’t wait until disaster strikes before you start thinking about your data backup and business continuity plan or you could be among the 80% of businesses that are unable to recover after a disaster.

 

Examples of Data Loss During Hurricane Sandy

 

When Hurricane Sandy took the East Coast by surprise in 2012, many businesses found themselves at the mercy of their business continuity plans – or the lack of one. Companies with cloud-based backups remained fully operational while companies relying on their onsite backup or local data centers ended up closing at least temporarily as they struggled to mitigate data loss and infrastructure damage.

 

A woman working for New York-based cloud solutions company, Nimbo, discussed the importance of solid disaster recovery plans on the company blog before the storm hit. She compared Nimbo’s plan against her roommate’s company, which relied on a local server. Nimbo employees were able to access their email and applications via the cloud, while her roommate’s company had to shut down until the risk of damage and losses had passed with the hurricane.
Your business’s most important asset is your data and intellectual property. Let Nerds Support help you protect your assets with a data backup and business continuity plan that will prevent hurricane related data loss – as well as losses from other issues and events.

 

Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Plans

 

Data backups are an important part of your overall disaster recovery plan. It creates a copy of your files and information and stores it in the cloud, an offsite server, or some combination of both. Redundancy reduces risks to your business if you experience data loss in your office due to a hurricane or other event that affects your physical building and equipment.

 

Backups should be automatic and frequent for the best protection. You can never backup your data too often! We invite you to partner with Miami business continuity providers, Nerds Support, to ensure you have your data properly backed up and ready for access from the cloud if you should need it.

 

Prepare for Hurricane Season

 

For Florida business owners, the best peace of mind you can give yourself is to create a data backup and business continuity plan. Our Miami IT Consultants at Nerds Support will customize a solution for your organization. Give us a call or fill out our form for a free consultation.

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When Using the Cloud Goes (VERY) Wrong

Everyone talks about the “cloud”, but unless you’re an IT consultant or some other technology professional, there’s a good chance you don’t really know what it means or how to use it. An upcoming movie with Cameron Diaz shows you what happens when the cloud goes very, very wrong!

Can you imagine making a private sex tape or taking some photos to spice up your love life with your partner – only to discover the video or photos got synched into the cloud for your family and friends to see? “The Sex Tape Movie” by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows us exactly what happens when a couple makes this devastating mistake:

 (Warning: explicit language in video)

 “It went up, up to the cloud!”

“And you can’t get it down from the cloud?”

“Nobody understands the cloud! It’s a F@%king mystery!”

Use the Cloud the Right Way

Don’t attempt to use the cloud without the help of a professional! Call Miami Cloud provider, Nerds Support, to resolve the mystery surrounding the cloud and for a free consultation about how the cloud can benefit your organization (and how to avoid embarrassing situations like this one!)

 

Miami IT Support

Have an iPhone? Top 6 iPhone Apps

Are you taking advantage of all your iPhone has to offer? Some of the best apps are even free to download and use, while others are reasonably priced for the service they provide. You can do more than make or receive calls and texts and check your Facebook feed on your iphone, you know! Many of our Miami IT support technicians have an iPhone and make use of the various productivity and organizational apps available. Here are 8 awesome iPhone Apps that can save time, help you get organized, or automate things you do all the time:

Google Maps (free) – this used to come preinstalled on all iPhones but if you want Google Maps now, you have to download it. It’s free, so you should grab it. Google Maps is more accurate than the Apple-owned map app for providing turn-by-turn directions.

SignNow (free) – this is an app that lets you sign documents with your phone, which is great for business owners on the run! Open files from your email, a Dropbox folder, a photo, or other sources, place your signature, and send it off.

Any.Do (free) – keep track of lists and tasks for yourself or a team. You can share tasks and assign others. It allows you to sync across all devices, so you can access your tasks from your desktop, phone, or laptop – and even from a Chrome browser with the Chrome plug-in version. It includes audio reminders to make sure you don’t forget anything important.

Dropbox (free) – store all of your documents in Dropbox so you can access them from everywhere – your office, your home, on your laptop, from your phone, etc. You won’t have to worry about emailing yourself documents or remembering to put files on a USB flash drive if you keep them all in Dropbox.

EasilyDo (free) – this app is a lot like a personal assistant, but without the costly salary. You can connect the app with your email, Facebook, calendar, and other online services. The app will keep an “eye” on things it could take care of for you. If a friend has a birthday coming up on Facebook, it will let you create the Happy Birthday post for their Facebook timeline in advance (so you won’t forget when the time comes!) Or, another example of something the app might take care of for you is if someone emailed you and they aren’t in your address book, the app will ask if they should add the contact.

Evernote (requires membership, free to up to $45 annually) – keep track of notes and information with Evernote. It will synchronize your files and save them to a cloud service, so you can make changes or additions from your iPhone and then view them all later when you log into Evernote from your computer.

Miami IT Consultants

Data Backup is the Key to Business Continuity

Have you ever wondered where your data goes once it has been backed up? The use of cloud-based backup data services is providing consumers with a sense of relief that they won’t lose the most important items on their computer, but what about the security of the backed up information? It is important to maintain a backup schedule to ensure that you don’t lose everything if something goes wrong. It would be difficult to operate your Florida business if you were unable to access your business files and software programs.

The data on your business and personal computer is the most important feature and function on the devices. If you were to experience a mechanical or technical failure, your computer’s applications may be restored to the factory settings, but everything else that makes the computer critical for your daily business operations will be lost and it can rarely be recovered if it is not backed up. The majority of businesses (about 80%) experiencing loss of data will go out of business within a year. Our Miami IT Consultants can prevent this from happening to you!

What is a Backup?

You hear about data backup all the time, and read about it on every technical website or blog – but do you really understand what it is? A backup is a critical part of your recovery plan. Backing up, or making a copy of your important files and information, takes just seconds. The backup copy should be stored at an offsite location or in the cloud (or a combination of both) to reduce the risks of both your original data and the backup copy being destroyed in some sort of disaster that physically affects your building.

Frequent backups guarantee that all of the information and data you backup is up to date. A backup will only recover the information that you have copied up to a certain point in time. So, if you only backup your computer every 30 days and you experience a failure at day 25, you’re going to have 25 days’ worth of data that hasn’t been updated to your backup copy. This is better than most businesses, but it can still cause hardships for the business that can be avoided with more frequent and comprehensive data backup plans. The key to a successful and comprehensive recovery of data is redundancy. You can never backup your data too often! Businesses should consider making backups a required step in daily business operations, and partnering with Miami business continuity providers, Nerds Support, to ensure you are doing everything you need to do to operate your business after data loss or disaster.

Common Data Disasters

You are always at risk of losing the data on your work and personal computers. A data disaster isn’t limited to a computer crash; there are many events that can lead to a loss, including:

  • Natural disasters
  • Loss of power
  • Human error
  • IT hardware and software failure
  • Network failure
  • Malicious intent and terrorism

What Should You Backup?

Consider where you are the most vulnerable and determine what files and data you require to operate your business. These are the files and information you need access to immediately after experiencing a failure of some kind. Consider important files, but also media or software that you may have paid for as well. What do you need to resume your business?

  • Email
  • Browsers
  • Drivers
  • Social networking feeds
  • Business records and data

Tips for Choosing a Backup System

There are many options available to consumers who are considering a backup system. When selecting a backup method that meets the needs of the consumer, it is important to review the encryption requirements for each backup service and federal regulations regarding backup security. This is a lot for a business owner to take on, especially if you don’t consider yourself “high tech”. For Florida business owners, working with the Miami IT Consultants from Nerds Support for the creation of a backup system and business continuity plan is the solution. Give us a call or fill out our form for a free consultation to see how we can help you plan for business continuity with data backups.