Break-Fix vs. Managed Services: Everything You Need to Know

There are over 1 billion computers in use around the world. Many of them are used by businesses.

If you use computers to manage your business you need to find a way to maintain both the computers and the software that you use. 

There are two main options you should consider when thinking about maintaining your computer system, these are break-fix repair and managed services. If you are on a tight budget it can be very confusing to know what to do.

Here is a comparison so that you can choose the option that is right for you.

1. The Key Differences Between Break-fix and Managed Services

The key differences between a break-fix- service and a managed service is that a break-fix service is used as needed. This means that you only call a break-fix repair company when something is broken.

A managed service is responsible for your IT services around the clock.

2. Speed

A break-fix service will often charge you an hourly rate. How much you will eventually pay is highly dependent on how fast or how slow they work.

With a managed IT support service there are often guarantees made to customers. The faster the managed service provider works to solve your problem the better it is for their reputation and maybe even their pay depending on the guarantee that was made.

A break-fix service will often charge you more than once if they have to deal with the same problem twice. If you have a managed service and this happens there is usually no extra charge.

3. Get Access to the Latest Management Systems

When you use a managed IT service you are likely to have access to the latest in management systems. This is because your service provider has an incentive to keep you up and running.

Using a break-fix service means that you will have to implement the latest systems yourself. If you are to do this, you will see your costs for maintenance rise rapidly.

4. Have Your Own Dedicated IT Team

Having an inhouse IT team can be costly and if you are a small business this will raise your budget. Even when you have an in-house team you may find yourself limited by hours of operations.

When you have an IT team from a managed service you pay a monthly fee for a team that is always on call and dedicated to your cybersecurity

Final Thoughts

You have now seen the major differences between a break-fix service and a managed IT service. If you rarely have IT issues then you can choose a break-fix service. If your budget can manage costly repairs then you can also go with a break-fix service.

However, if you have a limited budget and need regular IT assistance then you should choose a managed service. In the end, you will save more money.

You will also have greater peace of mind when you use a managed service because you can rest assured that someone will always be on call to deal with your IT issues.

If you would like to get managed IT services please contact us.

The Benefits of VoIP Telecommunications for Your Business

Every business needs a way to communicate with employees, vendors, and clients, no matter how big or small it is. But despite technology getting better and better, the majority of companies are stuck with traditional landlines.

An alternative to consider is VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. What is it? The simplest explanation is calls made using broadband internet instead of phone lines.

Below, we’ll explore the benefits of VoIP service for your business.

You’ll Save Money

When you rely on phone lines for communication, you’ll need several lines to handle your calls. But with VoIP service, all you’ll need is broadband internet and payment for the initial setup of the system.

Plus, when you have traditional landlines, you usually have to pay extra for things like voicemail and call forwarding. Pay one flat fee for VoIP service and get those extras included. Plus, there’s no such thing as long-distance fees anymore.

The Call Quality Is Better

It’s true that if you don’t have a good internet connection, the call quality of VoIP can be subpar. But chances are, you’ve invested in good internet service so your business can run smoothly.

The call quality of VoIP is so good that not only does it match traditional landlines in quality, but it also surpasses it quite often.

Calls Are More Secure

If you have to communicate sensitive data, there are extra steps VoIP uses to secure your calls. It uses encryption, which means if anyone intercepts the call, they can’t “unlock” the information inside unless they have the “key.” This key is unique and only you have it.

Enjoy More Than Just Calls

A traditional phone line can only serve a few purposes: calling and faxing. But with VoIP, you can do so much more. Not only can you call and fax, but you can also do video conferencing, instant messaging, and more.

With all these features, VoIP will enable your workforce to become more productive.

Better Accessibility and Flexibility

When your company relies on a landline, your employees can not take it with them when on business trips. Of course, they can use a company cell phone, but with that can come with limitations. All they have to do is bring the portable VoIP adapter with them, and they can use the service so long as they have an internet connection.

You can also assign VoIP line numbers to your remote workers who are halfway across the world. This essentially means you can have a global workforce that’s always easy to reach.

Use VoIP Service for Your Company

As you can see, VoIP service has many advantages when compared to analogue phone lines. These are outdated, so keep up with the ever-evolving technological world; replace your phone system with VoIP service to not only save money, but to also make improvements in various areas of your business.

If you would like to get VoIP service for your business, please get in touch with us to discuss this option.

Is Your Business Ready for Hurricane Season?

Hurricane season is in full swing. Hurricane Florence is barreling towards the Carolinas and there are three other systems being watched. Most coastal residents have some idea as to how to prepare their house and other buildings for hurricanes, but what about your I.T. stuff? Are you storm-ready on the I.T. side?

Back It Up

The most important thing to do is make sure everything is backed up. If you haven’t done a digital backup of all your important files, now is the time to do it. Consider things like Excel spreadsheets, photos, emails, Quickbooks, etc. There are different backups to consider:

Onsite = Onsite backups use devices like USB and removable hard drives. They are easy, fast, and don’t require internet. However, you have to remember to take the backup device with you if you evacuate.

Cloud/Offsite = If you have a lot of data and/or don’t want to risk forgetting your backup devices when you evacuate, you might prefer a cloud-based option. This way, if your office floods and/or electricity goes off, your data is being stored somewhere else and is still accessible via cloud.

Both onsite and offsite options can be set up to backup your information regularly, which is ideally what you should do.

Failover

Depending on your setup, you may also want to consider a failover system. For example, if you have an important server running at your business that you’re worried about losing power to, you can set up a failover system to take over if/when your main system goes offline. Of course, you’ll need to monitor said failover system, just like you need to monitor backups. If you don’t monitor such things, they may not work when you need them.

You’ll likely want to keep tabs on your employees, so find out their hurricane evacuation plans ahead of time. Some may evacuate out of the danger zone and yet remain in an area that loses electricity and/or cell phone service, while other employees may evacuate far enough away that they will retain both and could work remotely if requested.

If you are interested in our data backup services, please contact us, and stay safe this hurricane season.

Business Security and Your Anti-Virus Software

When you’re the owner of a business, one of the most important aspects is making sure that the workplace is secure. Not only is it important that you educate your employees on the dangers of cyberspace, for example, but you need to be sure you’re doing your part as well. Don’t share you password(s) with anyone, and always make sure to keep them updated. With that said, do you have anti-virus software installed as well? It’s one of the most efficient ways to protect a business.  Here are some important tips to consider when using it. Continue reading “Business Security and Your Anti-Virus Software”

Advantages of Working with a Local VoIP Provider

Small businesses and large businesses alike are increasingly acquiring VoIP services, which have not only helped streamlined business services, but also ensured greater client satisfaction as well. There are lots of local VoIP providers nowadays offering businesses with the chance to acquire their services and take advantage of the many benefits it offers. What are the advantages of working with a local VoIP service provider you ask? Continue reading “Advantages of Working with a Local VoIP Provider”

How to Spice up your Company Voicemail Greetings

Your company voicemail greetings are very important, since it says a lot about your business to your clients and customers. Everyone hates generic recorded voicemail greetings, whether they are on your home phone or business phone. This is why it is important that you personalize your company’s voicemail greetings, and most VoIP solutions that let you do that.

If you’re not in your office, you can leave a voicemail greeting, to act as your first line of communication with clients or potential clients. Adding your own personality in the greeting, will ensure that you standout to your client, but make sure that it is still professional. So here is how you can spice up your company’s voicemail greetings: Continue reading “How to Spice up your Company Voicemail Greetings”

Questions to ask when hiring an IT support company

Without a doubt, security should be a major concern for all businesses, no matter the size. Nowadays, cyber criminals are targeting small businesses just as often as they do large businesses. If you’re interested in hiring an IT support company for business security, here are a few questions you should ask during the interview process. Continue reading “Questions to ask when hiring an IT support company”

Protecting Small Business Phone Systems

NY Times article noted, that in 2013 small business lost $5 billion in fraudulent phone charges. That number is up $1 billion from 2011, according to the Communications Fraud Control Association.

Digital phone hacking has been going on for years, and the internet has made it easier for hackers to break into on-premise small business phone systems. In one such scam, hackers leased premium rate 900 numbers, the ones that charge in excess of $1 per minute. High-speed computers, making hundreds of calls every minute, in a matter of a few days, can swindle a couple hundred thousand dollars from any one business. The payout for the lessee can soar as high as 24 cents for every minute spent on the phone. Continue reading “Protecting Small Business Phone Systems”

How a VPN can add to your business security

Being able to work from home is a wonderful benefit for employees and can keep them productive while reducing their stress.  It can also be a data security risk if not handled properly. Fortunately, if you have a local network, it’s not very hard to bring telecommuters into it. A network with this capacity is called a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Continue reading “How a VPN can add to your business security”

Why are software updates important?

When you are working on your business laptop or desktop you will receive prompts to install software updates(also known as a patch.)  These annoying pop-up notifications interrupt work and productivity, so many wish to ignore them. These updates provide fixes, patches and enhancements to make your programs and operating systems run more smoothly. More importantly, they keep your business network more secure. Continue reading “Why are software updates important?”