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Does My Business Really Need Managed IT Services?

  
  
  
  

Managed IT Services frees you to work on your business.

The answer to this question may be to simply repeat the question while looking in a mirror!

Any small or medium business owner/manager has to ask himself/herself what are my priorities in running my business. In in many cases the ultimate success of the business rides on the answer to this question. As an owner/manager one must prioritize what they do every day, week, month and year. The failure to keep the most important issues in front of us can lead to the failure of the business.

Most people can only keep so many balls in the air. The actual number of balls varies depending on the person in question. There is no doubt that running an active business is a question of balance and keeping everything moving forward.

One of these priorities for any small/medium size businesses is maintaining their IT system. Some of the issues you may face are:

• Email that gets lost or hung up in your IT network

• Your network is or has been subject to outside attacks or viruses

• You find yourself constantly in a crisis mode related to your IT system

• Your company’s data back-up system has failed one or more times to provide a copy of files that had been lost

The question is can a business find a way or process that would allow them to outsource their IT services and still maintain control? In the IT service industry there is a service or type of service call managed services that would fit this need. According to Wikipedia, “Managed Services are the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses.”

The definition itself explains that Managed Services is, “a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses.” IT Managed Services by definition would appear to fit the need of a business that needs to or should outsource its IT services. Managed Services properly delivered offer a chance for the customer to improve their operations and cut their expenses and still retain control. Look at your cost vs. benefits of IT Managed Services.

When it comes to outperforming your competition and meeting or exceeding your business goals, having control over your business is crucial to your success. A managed IT service provider will take your IT services ‘ball’ and relieve you of the direct day-to-day responsibility of managing this part of your business. You will have access to the information necessary for you to watch-over and maintain control over your IT system without doing the actual work within the company.

The benefits of outsourcing IT are many but some key ones are:

 • Increased Profitability – Managed Services helps account for where money being spent on IT is going. The uptime approach to your IT system reduces or eliminates system downtime which will increase overall profitability.

• Improved Cash Flow – Your managed services provider will implement a system for tracking of license and asset management throughout your infrastructure’s life cycle. This alone makes cash flow planning much easier and accurate.

• Enhanced Service Levels – Accountability of all services tickets and issues concerning your network will be recorded. This record allows for the systematic evaluation of your system, which provides the information needed to keep the system up.

You are able to retain control of your IT system because of the enhanced reporting offered by a quality IT Managed Service provider. One of the core qualities of most providers is that they measure or account for all the service they provided. It is to their advantage to provide as little actual service time as necessary. Since they are tied to a fixed dollar contract this only makes sense. The more time they spend fixing your system the less they make. Therefore, they account for every second or penny they spend and they should share that accounting with you in the form of reports that tell you how your system is performing.

This last point is very important; the less time the provider spends fixing your system the more money (profit) they make. Therefore, they are ‘incentivized’ to structure and maintain your system in a manner that it breaks down as little as possible. The benefit to you as the owner/manager is immense as you now have put in place a process, even one that is outsourced, that is designed to give you the best service possible. Further, you keep one of the critical processes of any business, the IT network, up and running instead of broke and down. There cannot be any better reasons to change a process than; it will run better; cost less; and allow the business to better compete with its competitors; and provide better service to its employees, vendors and customers!

 

Managed Services IT insurance
 

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

The 3 Essential Elements of Access Control

  
  
  
  

Access Control and CCTV can protect your business

Access control receives a lot of press these regarding securing property and controlling access to that property. The use of access control to protect property and people for that matter is a sound proposition. However, the reality is that the actual “protection” that is promised is not delivered.

How many times have you bought product for home use and it turned out not to be what you thought it would be. I am not talking about what you hoped it would be, but it just did not match up to the ad you read in the paper, online, or on the box. This is what can happen when you purchase an access control system.

Imagine with me for a moment how much more complex buying say an access control system for an office building would be than buying a typical consumer product. You can read all of the literature that is available on the security system and still not really understand what it is you are buying. If that is the case, then your security purchase turns into a waste of money.

As the owner or manger of the building you thought you thought you were getting just what the building required. You think you followed all the steps to making a good decision. However, the system just does not work or meet the requirements, and I don’t necessarily mean mechanically, for your property.

There are three essential elements that need to be followed when making a purchase of a security or control system such as access control:

1. It has to be useful.

Well the fact that it has to be useful is a “duh huh”. However, look a little deeper and you will see what I mean. When you add security or control to a building you need to start by deciding what your goals are for the system. Look at your goals in light of the impact on the people who will have to use and operate the system.

For example, changing employees work habits, especially access, can be challenging. If the system requires badges or codes this will initially create havoc for some. The idea is to make your overall business system stronger not more challenging or confusing for those who work within the system.

Any access control system must be as user friendly as possible to be useful. If people don’t use it or work around it then it has little or no value.

2. It has to work for your needs.

Each access control system must meet the needs of the buyer and users. Every business has its own needs for security. The need for security is dictated by such factors as type of business, location, number of employees, access points, etc. The security system must be custom designed for the business.

There is no such thing as a one size fits all access security system or CCTV system for that matter. You can fool yourself or be fooled by a salesperson into thinking there is, but that just doesn’t make it so! 

Acess control must fit your businessYou may very well be able to determine most if not all of your needs on your own. However, if a professional, experience security expert is sitting across the table from you then your chances of doing so go up exponentially. It is like buying any product or service, if you work with a quality company and a sales ‘professional’ then the chances are you will be much more satisfied with your purchase.

If you’re trying to save money that is ok. If you trying to find the cheapest system then I suggest that you stop now. You’re going in the wrong direction. The importance of an access control system is too critical for any business to look solely for the cheapest price. You will lose the money you save in the purchase in human capital as employees are forced to deal with a system that just does not work for them.

3. It has to have the “Wow factor”

When you take the step to add an access control system to your business it makes a statement about your business. Your employees, customers and vendors all are impacted by the system. It says we really care about our business and we want to protect our employees and visitors.

I suggest that you put yourself in one of these people’s shoes and decide what you think about a business with a quality security system. Try and recall the access control systems that you have encountered at other businesses. What was it about those systems that you remembered. Were there any features that bothered you as a visitor, or perhaps you notices something that impressed you.

Make notes and add these ideas to your list as you develop the goals for your system. User friendly is a great goal, but what does that really mean and how important is it to your business?

The bottom line is that everyone that comes in contact with your access control system should be “Wowed” by it. I am not talking about the bells and whistles, but that the system is easy to use and as a user I get a sense that it really works!

First, by making a commitment to find the right system for your business you start the process in the right direction. Second, by using a security professional to assist you in the purchase you make it possible to find the right system. Third, you differentiate your business and show that you value your employees and visitors as well as the building and its contents.

 

Taking Your BusinessSecurity One Step Further(CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE)

 


 

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

WHEN IS VIDEO SURVEILLANCE RIGHT?

  
  
  
  

Business video surveillance creates a secure workplace

We live in a society that is currently being bombarded by reports of surveillance of our phones,
movements, web activity and many other areas of our personal lives. Each time a new report comes out the question is always asked is this appropriate behavior on the part of the instigator of such surveillance? The debate of what is justified and what behavior is not rages on, with little hope for an easy solution.

This debate and its attendant concerns have even made its way into the business community. Video surveillance has become an important tool utilized by businesses as visual deterrent to
crime, to improve productivity and as a tool for dealing with liability claims. Another factor of using video surveillance in the workplace is employers’ security and the employees’ privacy. All parties and their concerns must be addressed if video surveillance is going to be effective.

Use of Video Surveillance in a Workplace:

The concept of video surveillance in the workplace is typically preferred by employers but not favored by employees. Some people have a doubt if keeping an eye on employees with the aid of video surveillance is effective. Monitoring employees with video surveillance cameras
and CCTVs has its own share of advantages and disadvantages.

Many employers are not aware that before setting up video surveillance in the workplace, the company is required to determine the employee privacy rights and what factors comprise of an invasion of privacy. The workers also should be apprised that video surveillance would
be incorporated and they should sign on a waiver stating that they are aware that they are being monitored.  Watching employees with video surveillance requires a well thought out policy

Management ought to be mindful about the risks which are related with “watching” workers, so that the probabilities of judicial proceedings are decreased. Employers need to create a workplace environment wherein workers can voice their opinions in confidence with the
company management, without feeling that their conversations are being tracked. If the company is implementing video surveillance in the workplace, it should cohere with written privacy policies that would keep workers secure and also respect their privacy.

Advantages of Video Surveillance in the Workplace

Reduce Loss:

  • Capture slips and falls or evaluate environments to prevent them from happening

  • Monitor parking lots for vandalism or loitering

  • Install door sensors/cameras to monitor product loss out back doors

  • Monitor physical property and equipment to prevent theft

Increase Profit:

  • Reduce product shrink

  • Monitor employee productivity, breaks and downtime

  • Verify cash handling procedures through POS video integration

Increase Performance:

  • Identify process improvement opportunities

  • Utilize POS to integrate transactional and video data

  • Monitor dining rooms for long lines, long wait times

Improved Safety:

      •    Identify workers who fail to follow safety procedures

      •   Identify equipment or process that have failed and present a safety hazard

      •    Utilize system to warn workers and management of unsafe situations

Avoid Creating a False Sense of Security:

Management should always ensure that the video systems are working in a proper manner and there is no sense of false security among employees. The concept of video surveillance would only be efficient if it is actively monitored, handled, and maintained in a proper manner. A non-working video surveillance system can create a counterfeit sense of security in the minds of employees, and also will not benefit the employer in precluding crimes and thefts.

In order to determine if Video Surveillance is Right for your company you need to first analysis the advantages and disadvantages of installing such a system. We have examined a number of
advantages that video surveillance systems can offer your business. However, as we discussed the impact of a system on your employees should also be carefully reviewed. At the very least all employees should be informed of the existence of the system and all state laws pertaining to surveillance in the workplace should be followed.   

A properly designed and installed video surveillance system can have a big positive impact on any business if done right! Employees can feel better, safer about their workplace. Customer will also feel safer when on the business’s premises when they know that proper security
is in place. Loss through theft and pilfering can be reduced if not eliminate. All of these benefits will accrue to the business if the follow the correct process and touch all the right bases utilizing a security professional to help them make the right decision.

 

Taking Your BusinessSecurity One Step Further

                                       (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

 

 

 

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

What Ails Your IT Network?

  
  
  
  

                                                                      Computer networks make your business work

Computer Network Installation & Support You Can Rely On

  • Is Your Business Limping Along With a Computer Network That Constantly Give You Problems?
  • Are You Struggling To Access Your Computer Network From Home or When You Are On The Move?
  • Are You Just Sick And Tired of Dealing With Computer Network Installation Problems, Glitches and Breakdowns?
  • Have Your Computer Network Problems Outgrown Your Current IT Support Company?

Your business deserves much, much better support if you are suffering from one or more of the issues listed above. Many companies do in fact have these problems and for one reason or another they allow them to continue. In today’s competitive business world there is no reason any company should endure the pain of a sick IT system.

Unreliable Computer Network Installations Cost Your Business Money

  • Although the cost is truly hard to quantify, we all know there IS a cost to constant computer network glitches and downtime. Depending on your business operations, and how you use the technology in your office, the cost may be significant.
  • Most companies put up with computer network problems and frustrations simply because they don’t know how to fix them, or because they think it will require a huge investment or computer network upgrade. In fact, 97% of the day to day problems that you experience with your computer network can be fixed easily and inexpensively with regular and proactive maintenance from us. Our affordable network support in Houston will seem invaluable.

The use of a Managed Service IT provider can eliminate all of the above issues. One major component of Managed IT Services is pro-active maintenance of your system. Preventative or
pro-active maintenance is used in many industries to reduce maintenance cost and downtime. The complexity of even a simple computer network really requires this approach to maintenance in order for the system to properly perform.

Pro-active maintenance of an IT system is made easier by the use of remote monitoring and remote repair capabilities. Today there are many tools available to the IT industry to perform
both of these tasks. Remote monitoring is a 24/7 service that will alert your IT service provider if a problem has or is about to occur. The remote repair capability then can be used to make the repair more easily and quickly. Remote Managed IT Services The need for actual on-site service is greatly reduced or eliminated; saving the company a great deal of money and downtime.

FREE Network Computer Network Health Check Audit

The question now is where does a company start in correcting the potential or actual problems with their IT system? A great place to start is with a Network System Health Check. A Health Check will give management a chance to see what areas of the system are not performing as they should. Many times these issues or areas are not visible or obvious to the untrained eye. Once you have the list and an understanding of the solutions to fix them then you can
make the decisions necessary to get the network healthy again.

The components of a Health Check should include the following:

  • At no cost or obligation, the IT vendor will
    come on site to perform a complete Health Check Audit (typically worth $295 or more) to see if your computer network is properly maintained for maximum speed, security, and performance. They will look for hidden problems like spyware, failing hard drives, or out-of date security patches, as well as check your computer network’s security, system backups, and other critical maintenance issues that can turn into extended downtime and expensive repair bills.
  • In addition, if your business is growing they can use this time to advise you on upgrading your existing computer network
    installation in Houston with a new server, remote access technology or other computer networking technology.
  • Upon completion, they will give you a detailed report that will show where you are vulnerable to security attacks or other failures, as well as provide recommendations on how to resolve these issues as
    quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Every system, even our cars, needs a check-up from time to time. The IT systems we rely on in our businesses is no different. If you have not had your system checked in the last year then I encourage you to do so now; don’t wait until the system goes down and your business is put on hold until your IT provider is able to get it back up and running.

 

Don\u0026#39\u003Bt Let the Heart of Your Business Slow You Down

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

COMPUTER REPAIR OR COMPUTER CRASH: WHICH HURTS MORE?

  
  
  
  

Gain control of your computer sytem by using Managed Services

When was the last time your business experienced downtime due to a computer system crash? A crash can be one workstation or an entire network. In today’s business world either one can cripple a business. If you are using an outside computer service firm and pay by the hour, then the repair bill may even hurt more than the crash.

Your loss is their gain
Is your business stuck with an outdated way of purchasing its computer services? If you are paying by the job or hour then you are. This approach to computer repairs lends itself to overcharging by the computer service company. The more they do the more you pay. There is little motivation on the part of the service company to perform necessary preventative maintenance. It is not hard to imagine that your computer service firm sits by the phone waiting for your next system failure. Your business is interrupted or down and they are in the money so to speak.

Let’s face the break fix model in general is not a good one for the customer. This model is used in almost every kind of service business in the world. Customers of service companies that use this business model cannot help but be concerned if they are being over charged. Every company in business has overhead and expenses and they all have to sell a certain amount of product or service to stay in business. Even your computer service guy needs to make a living!

How about the business relationship that exist between client and IT service provider under a break-fix model? You call when your system is down and they fix it. I cannot imagine a more negative type of on-going relationship for a business, both client and provider to be in. The client only talks to their vendor when something is wrong and they need service. That very need (for service) typically leads to a charge or bill. Eventually reluctance builds up about doing business with the vendor under such circumstances. At some point many clients begin to wonder about why they are doing business with a vendor based on such a negative basis for the relationship.

managed network services2

A better approach to IT service: Managed IT Services

The Managed IT Service model provides the client with a well-defined level of service for a fixed monthly fee. As a client, you can reduce or eliminate any additional labor charges depending on the actual plan you choose.

A Managed Service provider approaches their work from the opposite direction of a break-fix service provider. The Managed Service IT professional wants to ‘prevent client downtime’ not only because it is better for the client; but it also saves the service provider money. You quickly get the basic sense that this is a win-win situation for both client and vendor, as all such relationships should be.

The business client not only benefits from a fixed cost of IT service, but the model builds in IT technology ‘uptime’ for the business. Uptime is really what important business systems, like IT, should be about. Most businesses in today’s competitive business environment cannot afford for their IT system to be down. Downtime costs money, it is that simple! The business must find an approach to keep their IT system up and running at the highest level of efficiency. The Managed IT service model provides just that kind of solution.

A win-win relationship: Managed IT Services

The best possible relationship for the business and their IT vendor is to have them work for your best interest at all times. The company motivates the vendor to provide the highest level of service by payment of a fixed price for their service. If one assumes the vendor has calculated their costs correctly, then the fixed payment approach meets their need of having to cover their cost and make a profit. A break-fix model provides the IT vendor with a very unpredictable level of income. As previously mentioned, the self-interest of the vendor can easily translate into overcharging of the client.  This in turns destroys any chance the parties have of building the kind of relationship that both client and vendor need to be successful.

The remote monitoring and service component of the Managed Service model goes a long way in insuring that the client’s system stays ‘up’. The monitoring piece is working 24/7, and if the right software is deployed then potential problems with the client’s system can even be predicted before they happen. On the other hand, the remote service capability allows for a much quicker fix when the system does break. In the past, on-site repairs took more time due to travel and scheduling challenges.

Every client-vendor relationship needs both sides working for the success of the other side. The vendor needs to be willing to do what it takes to help the client to be successful. In the specific case of the IT vendor, this means making sure the client’s network and its devices are always working at the highest possible level. The client does their part by making a monthly payment in advance and paying heed to the provider’s recommendations of system changes and upgrades. A relationship built on trust is a must if the relationship is going to succeed.

 

Managed Services – a true partnership

Once the trust is built into the client-vendor relationship then a real partnership between the client and vendor can develop. Each party shares the same basic goals and works for each other to achieve them. The end result is that both parties can maximize their own results and thus be more profitable than under older business models.

I encourage you to learn more about the Managed Service approach to IT service if you don’t already know about it. Even if your company has its own IT department the outsourced managed service model can provide you with some distinct benefits and cut your overall IT operating costs. Remember the key is to find and build business relationships, even with vendors, that are win-win like one provided by a Managed IT Service model.

 

Don\u0026#39\u003Bt Stick Your Head In The Ground
 

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE: WHO IS WATCHING YOUR BUSINESS?

  
  
  
  

Video cameras offer security to your business

 

The National Security Agency has been in the news a lot lately for how it does its job. In case you don’t know the NSA is the main producer and manager of intelligence data and information gathering for the United States government. “The NSA is tasked with the global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, including surveillance of targeted individuals in U.S. territory. The agency is authorized to accomplish its mission through clandestine means among which are bugging electronic system and allegedly engaging in sabotage through subversive intelligence. The NSA is also responsible for the protection of U.S. government communications and information systems. As part of the growing practice of mass surveillance in the United States the NSA collects and stores all phone records of all American citizens.”1  

At this point you may be asking yourself, what does NSA spying have to do with my business? At this point in time, I would have to say that keeping an eye on your business, just as the NSA does on everyone else’s, is one of the key issues that every business person must address. Technology has reached a point where keeping track of your business, even when you are not physically there, has almost become a given in today’s business environment. The NSA story has heightened everyone’s knowledge of how powerful surveillance tools can be and many of those tools, in less sophisticated versions, are available to the public.

The NSA story, if you will, has also heightened everyone’s sense of security. As citizens, consumers, clients or customers our expectations of security has been forever changed. In general, whether we agree or disagree with what the NSA has done, we are all motivated to a new level of feeling secure or insecure; depending on how we look at the issue. I would argue that many customers or clients are looking to do business with businesses whose physical plant or premises are more secure. These people motivated to some extent about all of the conversation about personal spying by the NSA want to feel secure when doing business.

One example is played out unfortunately almost every day on the10 o’clock news. We are all familiar with those grainy video surveillance tapes showing the robbery of a convenience store or gas station. This industry knows that they are losing business due to their inability to reduce or eliminate these situations.

Frankly, that level of security is plainly unacceptable when one realizes that better tools are readily available. In fact better cameras, which could deliver a better, more usable picture, are procurable at a reasonable cost. The expected standard of security is rising and I contend that the convenience store industry better make changes or its business model will become unsustainable.

The availability and use of more sophisticated solutions, such as better video surveillance cameras requires a different kind of sales model. The days of buying a security system a big box store and DIY installation are over except in certain situations such as a residential home. If real protection is sought for a business then a thorough evaluation of the business security needs is required.

A proper evaluation requires a trained sales consultant who is familiar with an array of camera and recording equipment. The sales consultant must be prepared with the right  questions to conduct the property security survey. These questions must relate not only to the physical premises but to the business and the level of protection it is seeking.

An example is the wide range of video surveillance cameras that are available. Today’s cameras can not only see farther but they can collect more detail. The cameras can be activated by movement or detection of heat. Infrared equipped cameras can see at night, though on the lower end of the price list at reduced levels. Only a properly trained and prepared sales consultant can be equipped with that information necessary for a proper security survey.

Typically there are a number of options available, based on budget, to the property owner. Here the decision not unlike the ones made at the NSA is driven by how much information do you want and how much do you want to spend to get it. In reality the question should be is how much information does the business need in order to protect itself and its customers?

1 Wikipedia definition of NSA

 

Taking Your BusinessSecurity One Step Further

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

HOW OFTEN HAS YOUR COMPUTER COMPANY LET YOU DOWN

  
  
  
  

Your IT System should run worry free!

 

We’ve all been there …

You’ve carefully select a computer service company to take care of your company’s IT system. You’ve interview a number of companies. You’ve check out their references, etc. You’ve work the process very diligently and carefully to find the right vendor.

A few months into your new IT vendor relationship you place a call to the company, and they are an hour late and your IT system is down. Nobody calls from the service company to give you an update. All your employees are either sitting around or gathered in small groups drinking coffee talking about the weather, sports or anything but their work.

For all practical purposes your business has been shut down by the failure of your IT system and your IT service provider. Worse yet you think there is nothing you can do about it! How did your company get to this point and what can you do about it? When you hired your IT vendor they looked good on paper.

A qualified IT service provider should not leave you hanging
At first their performance was great, they responded in a timely manner. Your IT system ran like a top, so your employees could concentrate on their work not whether their computer would work or no. Life could not be any better!

Then you started to have problems, they were small at first but then they great larger and your computer system downtime increased. You look at the monthly reports the IT vendor sends and you notice that the number of issues you have is going up each month. This is not what you expected when you signed on for Managed Services. The backbone of Managed Services is monitoring and preventative maintenance. At this point it’s depressing.

What has happened? It appears that your IT service vendor is not doing their job. Today’s shutdown makes it obvious to everyone in the company that your IT system is not being properly maintained, which makes their jobs more difficult. In this case the buck stops at your desk.

Managing your company IT system should not be this hard. One of the keys to maintaining any system is consistency. The managed services offered by IT providers are based on this principle. When you outsource a responsibility such as maintenance of your IT system then your vendor must have a system with process that will give you the consistent IT system uptime your company needs.

The tools and processes available to Managed Service providers makes it practical for them to give you 24/7 uptime. When selecting a vendor you should center your questions or review on how much system downtime are their clients experiencing. One issue you need to be aware
of is the age of the client’s system. The older the system the more downtime that is possible even with consistent monitoring.

Please don’t discount or forget about response time when selecting a vendor. There will always be cases that your system, but more particular individual workstations will need service. A vast majority of IT service is done remotely so the time from when a ticket is entered until this issue is resolved must be measured. On-site calls have been reduced to less than 15% of the service calls for a well-designed and maintained IT system.

It doesn’t really need to be so hard to find an IT system vendor who is qualified to maintain your system. If you combine a qualified vendor with a managed service approach to maintaining your system then you are almost guaranteed of 24/7 uptime.
The right IT vendor makes all the difference                                                            

And isn’t that what it should be about? Making sure that your employees have access to the information they need when they need it. In addition, many businesses today have set up portals for the customers to use and these portals better work 24/7 or you can kiss your customers good bye! All that is needed is the right IT service vendor who puts your business first.

My advice is do not accept poor service. Many companies seem to tolerate bad service from their IT vendor. There is no reason to do this in today’s marketplace. To do so is to invite a
disaster into your company such that occurs when your IT system is shut down.

 

Don\u0026#39\u003Bt Stick Your Head In The Ground

                                         (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)                                     

 

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

The 3 Best Reasons to Listen to Your Business Computer System!

  
  
  
  

Listening to your IT system can make your business more competitive

A company’s computer system is one of the operational cores for most businesses in today’s world. If the company computer system is not running efficiently then it is difficult for the business as a whole to function properly. Yes, the business can limp by on an IT system that is functioning improperly but it cannot thrive and grow.

One of the most important concepts for any business is to discover what is different about your business. Most business people relate this idea strictly to marketing. However, I contend that it applies to all the key pieces of what I call the business puzzle. Since we are talking about IT systems, let’s apply the idea to your computer system. If your IT infrastructure is well-designed and well-built and well-maintained then you are different from many businesses. This difference will always give you an advantage in the marketplace.

If your system is not well-designed and/or well-built and/or well/maintained it will tell you. You just need to listen to what it is saying. Issues like missed deadlines, late deliveries or inaccurate financial reports tell the story. Lost productivity is another way our computer system will tell you it is not working at peak efficiency. All of these and other such issues will have a negative impact on the business. You will lose any advantage which your IT system can give your business.

Secondly, if your computer system fails and you are not prepared for this event, then you have just received a communication from your system that can sink your business. The impact on the business from a system failure can be devastating.

One way to prepare for a system failure communication is to have the correct backup system in place. A critical piece of any IT system is to provide for a backup system that meets the needs of your business. Every IT system needs backup
It has been estimated that unscheduled downtime cost a small business $3,000. /day and a mid-size business $23,000. /day. The cost of a backup system is directly proportional to the value of your data to your daily operations and how quickly you need it restored to stay in business. The good news is that new recovery technologies can reduce downtime as much as 85%.

The third and perhaps the best reason to listen to your computer system is that in many instances it will tell you in advance that it is having issues and a system failure or disruption may occur. This will allow you, if you are qualified, time to react and prevent a failure, perhaps of the magnitude previously discussed.

The key to listening for this third example is to have a system in place that is monitoring and managing the system in real time 24/7. Many companies have changed their IT system maintenance to a Managed Service formula. They have engaged a third party to provide these services around the clock. A Managed IT Service Provider not only monitors and manages the system but can repair it remotely in many cases.

A Managed Service maintenance system raises the competitive bar for all of the company’s competitors. The firm with a quality managed services program in place will rarely if ever experience any of the typical computer downtime causing issues that are common to most businesses. These firms can focus their time selling, producing and delivering their products and services instead of being “shut down” by computer issues.

I would suggest that finding the best system or process for maintaining a company’s IT system is definitely a critical piece of building a consistently successful business. If the company can develop and implement the IT system piece then they increase their chances of winning the competitive business game. Further, I would suggest that they will have a chance to build not only a different business but a remarkable one at the same time.

Don\u0026#39\u003Bt Let Disaster PutYou Out Of Business

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

Why Does Your Company Not Use Managed IT Services?

  
  
  
  

Make sure your IT network always works

I have blogged a number of times about using Managed IT Services in business. Each time I do, I personally as a former serial entrepreneur really wonder why every business, up to say 250 seats in size, does not outsource their primary IT.
In a previous blog I offered the following important benefits of IT Managed Services:
The Benefits Are Obvious:
    • You will eliminate expensive repairs and recovery costs. An IT Managed Services contract provides for 24/7 network monitoring and maintenance. This will save you money by preventing expensive network disasters from ever happening in the first place.
    • You will avoid expensive trip fees while receiving faster support. Today remote monitoring software enable IT service firms to access and repair most network problems right from their offices. No more waiting around for an engineer to show up!
    • How does faster performance, fewer “glitches”, and practically zero downtime sound to you? Under a properly setup Managed Service program, that is exactly what you will get. For example, some parts of your system degrade in performance over time, causing them to slow down, hang up, and crash. Managed Services preventative maintenance and network monitoring will make sure your computers stay in tip-top shape for maximum speed, performance, and reliability.
    • You will get all of the benefits of an in-house IT department without all of the costs. As a Managed Network Service Plan customer, you’ll have access to a knowledgeable support staff that can be reached immediately should you have any kind of problem or question.
    • You will receive substantial discounts on IT services that you are already buying. Most IT firms will nickel and dime you over every little thing they do; under this program, you’ll pay one flat, affordable rate and get all of the technical support you need. No hidden charges, caveats, or disclaimers.
    • You will never have to fear a big, expensive network repair bill. Instead, you can budget for network support just like rent or insurance.
    • You will sleep easier knowing the “gremlins at the gate” are being watched and kept out of your network.
    • You’ll gain incredible peace of mind. As a business owner/manager, you already have enough to worry about. An IT Managed Services provider will make sure everything pertaining to your network security and reliability is handled so you don’t have to worry about it.

If you take a minute and look back through this list again, I think you will discover that any one of these benefits in and of itself would justify your company in outsourcing your IT. The business proposition for Managed IT Services is so strong I find little if no reason not to do it.

I am not Comfortable in Outsourcing.
The reason or excuse I hear most often is that “I am just not comfortable in outsourcing in general or services such as IT that are so critical.” This excuse is really a personal preference one, but it really is not a valid reason not to outsource if outsourcing makes the service better for the company. I suggest that every business owner/manager get comfortable with outsourcing in general.
One of businesses basic propositions is that if someone else can do it better and for less money why not use their service? Arguably there might be certain critical services, such as IT, that the company owner/management just cannot get comfortable in outsourcing. If this means providing less than the best service and or spending more for the service, then management must still weighHow important are IT cost in your business? these costs against the cost savings and loss of productivity of keeping the service in-house.

Can I Protect my Network In-House?
Answer to the question: there is no doubt that under the right circumstances and with the right personnel you can protect your company network. The key here is to do the math. What is the cost of running and protecting your company network?
The cost of running your own IT department in dollars and cents alone may be prohibitive. Add to this cost, the cost of management time and the continuing education that is necessary for this department to function. I encourage you to be honest here when you do the math. My contention is that you really need to analyze the actual costs before you decide not to look at outsourcing.
You can protect the network in-house, but at what cost? Add the answer to this question to the benefits above and 99% of the cases and the answer will be to outsource your IT. Managed Services provided by a quality company typically is one of the easiest business decisions to make once you do a fair evaluation.

 

Don\u0026#39\u003Bt Let the Heart of Your Business Slow You Down

 

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

How Can a CCTV/Video Surveillance Work For Your Business?

  
  
  
  

CCTV or IP video surveillance protects people and property

A properly designed and installed CCTV/Video Surveillance system offers
protection and 24/7 security for your Houston area business.

Five key areas to consider when purchasing your CCTV/Video Surveillance system:

1) What is your Budget?

This is where your decision making process should start. How much do you have to
spend? If for example you are trying to deter or prevent theft your budget must
be balanced against the cost of a potential theft.

2) What is the primary Purpose of your video surveillance
system?

Determining the purpose of your video security system helps narrow down the functions you want and especially the price. From all-weather cameras to being able to record a
years’ worth of video, finding the purpose of your system is most important.
The first part of finding the purpose is to look at your location.

3) What does the Location you are trying to cover look like?

You need to “take” a mental picture of the area you are seeking to cover with your
video surveillance system. Look at what structures are in the way; is the land
flat or hilly, what are the access points. Also there are several practical
considerations that need to be considered such as:

  • Power Source – some cameras need electrical power to operate, where and how to get power to each camera.
  • Mounting – there are numerous types of mounting brackets available; what type of surface are the cameras going to mounting to, such as brick, wood, metal, etc; also do they need to protect it from lightning?
  • Environment – is it hot or cold? Day or night, or both; what kind of environment do the cameras need to operate in?

4) What kind of Camera is required to meet your needs?

The price of an individual camera can range from $50.00 to $50,000.00, depending on
how, when, where and what area you are trying to cover. Some of the issues you
need to consider are:

  • Lighting – what kind of lighting does the area have when you want to cover it? Natural or artificial; daylight or nightlight; surrounding lights
  • Resolution – what kind of picture do you need? The clearer, more precise the view you need the more the camera will cost; the distance and width of the view you need to view also comes into play here

5) How long do you want to Archive the records of your pictures?

  • This is one area that you need to spend some time carefully considering. How long do you need to keep a record of the pictures you take? Also you need to decide if you need to have the system active 24/7 or want it to work only when it is triggered by an event. The longer you keep a record the more storage space you will need and the higher
    the cost of this component.

6) What are my options for a Houston Video Security System?

  • When searching for a Video Security System for your business, it comes down to two basic options: CCTV or IP technologies?

         CCTV stands for Closed-Circuit Television. Its original intent is to send the video
         signal to a specific place, keeping is “closed”. Today, CCTV can point to
         multiple places, and can even be monitored through the web but still uses an
         analog signal.

         IP Camera Systems use a digital signal, which allows it to connect to an existing
         network that sends it data through a computer network or the internet.

         There are only two things that differentiate between the two, they are Price &
         Quality. An IP camera system offers the highest quality and options, but it
         comes with a slightly higher price tag. Here is an example of how IP
         Security Cameras have an advantage over a CCTV Security System.

Take a look at the camera view below. The picture on the left is an example of a CCTV video camera. The one on the right is an example of an IP video camera.

Compare IP to CCTV and see the difference

Bottom Line: IP cameras cost more (10%-15% more) but they give you a better, bigger picture. This can mean fewer cameras thus lower cost. When selecting a system that works for your business situation there is no "one size fits all solution." It takes your time as the buyer and the time of a qualified system provider to make the system work.

A Few Things To Ask Yourself Before BuyingA CCTV System

WesTec Services, Houston IT Support

WesTec Services, A Houston IT provider that offers a wide range of services including: Network Installation/Service, Telephone Systems/Service, Video Surveillance/Access Control and Office Equipment

CALL TODAY at (713) 682-4000

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