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How to Develop a Hardware Refresh Cycle

A hardware refresh cycle is when you upgrade you or your company’s hardware and software as needed. Benefits include saving information, increasing efficiency, and improving safety. Here’s how to develop a hardware refresh cycle:

 

1. Assess Your Hardware Needs 

Any hardware refresh should start with a closer look at your systems. This means knowing what kind of hardware it is, how old it is, and how much storage is used. This will better prepare you for the updates. 

2. Future Needs

After knowing what hardware you have or what it is lacking, you will want to conduct some research and decide what routine updates will be required of your hardware in the future. This is also a good time to locate receipts, and know purchase dates and any warranties you may have. 

3. Disposal of Old Hardware

After assessing your current hardware, you may need to upgrade the system completely. In order to do this, you will want to make sure the hardware company has a warranty program. If they do, you may be able to get it replaced at a lower price. If not, this is when you will want to wipe your system and properly dispose of it. 

4. Different Types of Hardware

You may not know that there are many different types of hardware including, personal computers, central processing units, random access memory, hard disks, internal hard drives, mobile devices, and servers. It is important to choose the right one for you or your business. 

5. Purchase

 

Once you have an idea of what software you want, you can choose to either purchase it or lease it. Both have their pros and cons. For more information on buying vs leasing IT equipment, read here

Keeping your hardware up-to-date will not only increase productivity, but it will also improve your business’ safety. It is important to conduct a hardware refresh cycle regularly. 

Not sure what technology is better for your business? Westec Services can help! Feel free to contact us for more information or questions you may have.

 

The Most Common Causes of Data Loss

Data loss can happen to anyone or any business. It can be frustrating, especially when you aren’t aware of why or how it happened. Most data loss happens when you least expect it. It is important to know when your data is at risk of being lost. Here are the most common causes of data loss:

 

Human Error

We all make mistakes one way or another. When data is lost, most of the time it is due to accidentally deleting information or not backing it up. When this happens, some information can be restored through recycle bins or the internal software file. This is frustrating, but can easily be solved by setting up an automatic backup system. 

Viruses 

Viruses are very common, and are often the culprit of data loss. These pesky viruses can enter your system through unsafe links or downloads. Once they get into your system, they can delete any and all of your information. In order to prevent viruses, there are many guard softwares that will protect your devices. Depending on which guard software you have, it will need to be updated regularly to conduct scans and security checks. Without guard software, you can protect your information by paying close attention to certain emails or downloads that may be sent or presented to you. 

Power Outages 

Power outages can happen anytime, and most outages cause data loss. Similar to human error, it can be prevented by constantly saving your information and backing it up. The trickiest part is that you don’t know when a power outage will happen, so it is important to regularly save your data. However, most of the time when a power outage happens, most systems will automatically save, but you should also take precautions in your own hands. 

Hackers 

Recently, hackers are becoming more common when it comes to data loss. Hackers usually enter your system due to poor quality servers, weak firewalls, or using common passwords. There are many ways to prevent hackers such as strong passwords, safe web searches and guard softwares. Unfortunately, information that is stolen from a hacker cannot be restored, which is why it is important to have effective cybersecurity measures. 

 

Have any questions about the right technology services for you or your business? WesTec services can help. Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

 

Cyber Security for Startups

Are you interested in creating your own startup? Are you afraid of any cyber risks? Any business, especially startups, are at risk for cyber attacks. These attacks can be detrimental to a business or online presence. It is vital to know what these attackers are looking for and how to protect yourself. Here are some tips to secure you and your startup from cyber attacks:

Account Admin 

Depending on how big your startup is and how many accounts will be online, it is a good idea to have one admin account. This means the one admin account will have the authority to grant access to fellow accounts and ability to download data and software. This will cut back on online vulnerability as only one person will have access to important data. Along with an admin account, you can also unlock certain data and access to different accounts within the startup. For example, you can grant access to the financial department of bank account statements and billing information. Not only will this limit the risk of cyber threats, it will also cut back on time that the admin would have to grant access every time. 

Strong Passwords

Having strong passwords isn’t a surprise when it comes to cybersecurity. But, the top way hackers get into systems is going through weak passwords. In order to stop this, it is recommended that every password should have a capital letter, special characters and numbers. It is also important to never share passwords. 

Multi-Factor Authentication

No matter how strong passwords can be, hackers can still find a way in. Thankfully, more systems are requiring a multi-factor authentication process when logging into an account. This means that even if someone has your password, it can require a phone number or email to fully login. Most online softwares offer this level of security, you just have to authorize it. 

Knowing how to protect you and your startup from cyber attacks is crucial. With selecting admin accounts, strong passwords and multi-factor authentication process, hackers will have a harder time logging into your accounts.

 

Cyber threats can be irritating and hard to effectively prevent them. WesTec services can help you in any way. We offer skilled expertise in all technologies and are ready to help. Contact us for any further information on phishing and how to protect yourself. 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Centers: Cloud-Based vs On-Premises

 

Technology is constantly evolving and with that comes the differences between contact centers. More specifically, the difference between cloud based and on-premises contact centers. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is best for your business? Here out the main differences between contact centers: 

 

Cloud Based

Cloud based contact centers are a way for businesses to be in direct contact with customers, anywhere and everywhere. With it being all linked to the cloud, all data and software can be accessed anywhere. This makes communication with clients more effective. More businesses are making the switch to cloud based technology. 

Pros 

The pros of cloud based contact centers include but not limited to:

  • Easier to Scale
  • Speed
  • Better Integration
  • Reliable 
  • Easy Access

On-Premises

More traditionally, on-premises contact centers use hardware-based settings. This means everything including data, software, and infrastructure stays onsite. Although it is more user friendly, this requires lots of maintenance that can become expensive fast. 

Pros 

Even though some might argue that on-site contact centers are outdated or old fashioned, they still have pros that not even cloud based technology can offer. Pros include: 

  • Maximum Control
  • Data is stored Securely 
  • Only Buy Equipment you Need
  • No Monthly Payments 

Differences  

Both options have their advantages, but which one is better for your business? Both cloud based and on-premises contact centers have the potential to grow your business. On-premises centers have the access to create wait music, transfers and call logging. Cloud based can do the same thing, but in a more advanced way such as live call monitoring and click to transfer. 

Setting up the equipment is another main difference between the two. On-premises locations require time to get licensing, wire the hardware and find supporting items to link the equipment to. Cloud based works directly from the data box or even app. 

 

When it comes to cost, on-premises has a one time cost of all equipment needed. This can be expensive, but it is only one payment. It is also important to know that this technology might need more maintenance and upgrades as you go. Cloud based is cheaper at the beginning, but you will need to enroll in a subscription plan. Depending on what company, you could be paying every time a call comes through the line. 



Not sure what technology is better for your business? Westec Services can help! Feel free to contact us for more information or questions you may have.

Virtual Collaboration: How to Improve Remote Work Processes

Due to the recent pandemic, more people are choosing to work remotely. In fact, studies have shown that by the year 2025 more businesses will go fully remote. Although this is good for some businesses, people are voicing their concerns about the decrease of productivity from working from home. Here are some tips to increase productivity by using virtual collaboration when working remotely: 

 

What is Virtual Collaboration?

Virtual collaboration is any effort to collaborate or communicate with others who are not physically present. This includes different applications, instant messaging software, and video calls or conferencing platforms. 

 

Collaboration Software

Collaboration software is one of the most effective tools you can use when working remotely. This allows you to work with one another on different projects in real time. This also helps connect the workplace and builds internal relationships. Popular softwares that help with collaboration are: 

  • Video Chat services such as Zoom or Skype 
  • Instant Messaging
  • Productivity Apps that track tasks or time 

When these softwares are used, workers will have more motivation and remain productive. 

 

Centralize Communication 

Communication is a big part of working remotely, but one issue many people have is finding information for their work or projects. One way to resolve this issue is to invest in a centralized information system that allows for workers to find all the information necessary for their work. Popular systems include Google Drive and RingCentral. This will keep all information secured and accessible for remote workers. 

 

Leadership 

It is no surprise that leaders of businesses or companies are always watched. Workers will usually follow the footsteps of their leaders in many situations, including working remotely. It is a good idea to have leaders also work remotely and do all of their tasks efficiently to motivate employees to do the same. It gives employees the opportunity to work alongside superiors and give them a sense of normalcy. This is also a good time to place employee incentives. By implementing this, employees will have the right motivation to complete their tasks. 

 



Have any questions about the right technology services for you or your business? WesTec services can help. Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

 

The Dangers of Shadow IT Projects

Cloud computing is one the most beneficial ways for businesses to operate, but still creates online threats. Many threats can appear, but Shadow IT can interfere with devices, technology systems, applications and software. Learn about the dangers of Shadow IT and why is it being used: 

 

What is it?

Shadow IT can be described as projects or networks that are managed by outside providers, without prior approval from the IT department. With cloud database popularity, shadow IT is growing and creates vulnerabilities including data leaks and database violations. 

 

Risks

Now that you know what shadow IT is, what are the risks? The main risk is data leaks. Oftentimes when shadow IT is being used, it prevents certain backups from being performed. This means important data could be lost forever. From sending a document to a personal email, to file sharing on the cloud, this makes it possible for shadow IT to intervene and allow the information to be compromised by outside networks that cannot be monitored by the IT department. 

 

These risks can go beyond simply leaking information. Depending on the network, shadow IT can harm financials, internal communications and errors within the system. When systems have access to this vital information, they can duplicate it and cause harm to your business and result in losing money. 

 

Not all networks who use shadow IT are purposely doing it to cause harm, and most of the time big companies use this to increase productivity. Companies who use this include Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft Office. It is important to know that even though shadow IT can be beneficial, it still makes companies vulnerable to internal harm and should be dealt with. 

 

Prevention

It can be determined that shadow IT will not be going away soon, which is why educating employees on this issue will be the best prevention plan. Along with knowing the risks, routinely checking your data will help manage and determine if shadow IT is affecting your business. 

Want to know more about shadow IT? WesTec services can help! Feel free to contact us and check out our services to see how we can assist you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for updates.

Leasing vs. Financing IT Equipment

 

IT equipment is essential for businesses in 2021. The main question is — leasing vs financing IT equipment? There are pros and cons for both options, but it depends on the kind of working environment, efficiency requirements, and budget. 

Leasing 

One of the greatest advantages of leasing is not being financially responsible for the equipment. Rather than having your company held responsible, you would be passing the financials to the leasing company. Instead of paying up front for the equipment needed, leasing allows you to set a monthly payment. A lease is also an option that will guarantee the same equipment with fixed monthly payments. 

Financials aside, leasing provides access to the newest, up-to-date equipment. Once your equipment has run its course, you can easily upgrade. Newer equipment requires less maintenance, which allows for greater productivity. 

However, there are some disadvantages to leasing IT equipment. Depending on your leasing terms and IT needs, leasing can be more expensive than financing — especially if you sign a lease and don’t end up using the equipment, as you are still obligated to pay. 

Financing

If leasing isn’t for you, you also have the option to finance. When financing, there are no contracts involved — you simply buy the equipment directly from the source. If maintenance is required, financing allows you to go about it at your own discretion. You won’t need to make an appointment with the leasing company or be stuck with damaged equipment. When you own the equipment, you can simply take care of everything on your own. 

For businesses on a tight budget, financing is the more cost-effective option. With one simple payment, the equipment is yours! 

However, there are a few downsides when it comes to financing. Depending on the business, making a big investment like this could max out your credit lines. Furthermore, you could be stuck with outdated equipment, whereas in leasing, updated equipment is always available. 

The Final Decision 

Between financing and leasing IT equipment, both have their pros and cons. However, it is up to you to decide which option is most cost-efficient, given your budget and IT needs. For the most advanced models that don’t require one big payment, leasing would be the best option. For a one-time payment and maintenance freedom, the best option would be financing. 

 

  Not sure whether to finance or lease IT equipment? We can help!    Feel free to give us a call or visit our website

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2021! It’s been a whirlwind year thus far, but we have seen many advancements in business technology. As remote work becomes the new normal, businesses everywhere have begun adopting new technology and software to make this transition easier. Here are a few small business tech trends that have proven to be revolutionary this year:

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

AI-Operated CRMs

In 2021, small businesses everywhere are looking to streamline their work with CRM software. AI-operated CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) allow businesses to effectively identify, track, and target leads through automated campaigns. Businesses have found that CRMs are a more effective approach to their sales processes, as this software produces more personalized customer engagement.

 

Remote Onboarding

Since the pandemic, many industries are making the switch to remote work. As smooth and successful as this transition has been for some, remote work may become a more long-term option. Now, businesses are implementing remote onboarding software to simplify and expedite the hiring process. This new software is more convenient and cost-effective than traditional hiring processes.

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

Centralized, Comprehensive HR Software

Remote work provides so much ease and convenience for employees and executives alike. However, with limited human-to-human contact, HR departments have had difficulty keeping up with the needs of their employees. With the introduction of centralized HR software, HR professionals can automate daily processes and store data. This software will also improve performance management and employee communication.

 

At WesTec Services, business technology is our specialty. From Managed Services and Network Installation to IT Consulting and more, we’re your one-stop shop. From computer hardware and software to telephone systems and integrated security, we’ll make it all work seamlessly together. 

Interested in learning more about the services we offer? Visit our website or contact WesTec Services today!

Want to stay up-to-date on emerging business technology trends? Visit our blog.

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How to Improve Your Computer's Speed - WesTec Services

How to Improve Your Computer’s Speed

Doesn’t your computer always seem to lag when you have a rapidly approaching deadline? A slow computer can decrease productivity and increase frustration. To help eliminate frustration, try one of these tips to increase your computer’s speed and performance.

Uninstall Unused Programs

Programs take a lot of space on your computer. Over time, you accumulate programs that might run in the background without your knowledge. Uninstalling the programs you don’t use on a regular basis may increase your computer’s speed and response time.

How to Improve Your Computer's Speed - WesTec ServicesDelete Temporary Files

Every time you download or install a file on your PC, it keeps a temporary file. If your computer is running slow, you can delete these files to free up space. To do this, find the “Temp” folder in your drive. Select older files and press the delete key. Make sure you empty the recycling bin to completely wipe files from the computer.

Invest in Hard Drive Storage

Sometimes you might need to have easy access to many files. However, keeping them all in once place will affect your computer’s speed. To keep your computer tidy, you can purchase an external storage drive to store thousands of files.

Increase RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) acts as your computer’s short-term memory. It quickly loads items it thinks it will need to access soon. But, if your RAM can’t handle several applications at once, your computer will lag. Increasing the RAM can be an easy and cost-effective way to improve your computer’s speed.

Work with Our IT Professionals

Our trusted IT professionals at WesTec Services can help diagnose why your computer is slow and offer solutions to improve its speed through our managed IT and IT consulting services. Contact us for more information.
How to Secure Your Business Mobile Phone - WesTec Services

How to Secure Your Business Mobile Phone

Business mobile phones can be used for a range of commercial operations, including inventory control, customer relations, advertising, marketing, banking and more.

Here are few ways to ensure your mobile phone and its valuable data is protected against hackers and malware:

1. Update your phone.

Most of us are guilty of ignoring operating system updates on our business mobile phones. However, the longer you wait to update your phone, the more out of date your systems are, making you an easier target for hackers who can easily identify and exploit system vulnerabilities.

How to Secure Your Business Mobile Phone - WesTec Service2. Lock your device.

If your business mobile phone contains private information about you or your business, it is important to always engage the four- or six-digit passcode on your device. Don’t use the same password for all your accounts and be sure to change your password occasionally for good measure.

3. Manage app permissions.

On your mobile phone, you can grant apps permissions, like access to the camera, microphone, your contacts, your location, your pictures, and more. Be sure to keep track of which permissions you’ve given to which apps, and revoke permissions that are not completely necessary.

4. Back up your data.

Things happen, but you can always be prepared. When you back up the data on business mobile phones, you are able to protect your important documents and images in case of any loss.

5. Ignore spam and phishing emails.

One of the easiest ways for hackers to access your information is through email. Be sure you don’t click on links in promotional emails, open suspicious attachments or run updates that are promoted through emails. If you need to access sensitive information, report directly to the organization’s website to login.

Connecting the dots with business mobile phones can be confusing, time consuming and costly. For a reliable business mobile phone provider in Houston, contact the experts at WesTec today.

Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.

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