We have several clients who have stated that they “need to have all employees’ passwords.” They don’t, and furthermore, after a brief explanation, they realize they don’t want them either. Here’s why.
Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
As I write this on Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for family, friends, my health, prosperity, and my redundant Internet connection. (more…)
Today I worked on the system of a client who reported the computer was crashing. After briefly examining the logs, I found that the system had been reporting hard drive failures… for nearly a year. (more…)
Many businesses are moving to cloud-based services, especially for email. Here are some of the mistakes we’ve seen, and how you can avoid them.
1. Hosting Email Yourself (in-house)
Properly maintaining an email server, like maintaining any piece of critical IT infrastructure, is not a simple task. Too many companies choose to run their own internal email server because it’s “cheaper” than outsourcing. Nothing could be further from the truth! There is more to maintaining a mail server than just turning it on and forgetting it. Servers need frequent regular attention, often on a daily, if not more frequent basis. They need to patched, upgraded, backed up, and monitored to make sure they are up, stable, and secure. On several occasions we have come across client systems which have been compromised, in one form or another, for months, and nobody knew! If you choose to host your email in house, be sure that your IT staff (or outsourced providers) are doing regular, frequent maintenance on your mail servers.
2. Using Your ISP for Email
Most ISPs don’t want to host your email. They want to be in the business of providing Internet access. Email came along because users demanded it, and many ISPs added this feature in as an afterthought. Your ISP’s mail server is often overloaded, slow, and will have prohibitively low storage and attachment limits.
In 2008, Charter Communications (accidentally) deleted 14,000 users’ mailboxes with no option to restore any of the deleted mail. Does that sounds like a company that takes email seriously?
Also, many ISPs will not host your domain, example.com, and force you to use their domain name in your email address, so instead of you being able to send email as email@example.com, it has to be something like yourcompany@yourISP.com, which looks very unprofessional and fly-by-night. Nothing screams “unprofessional” like an email address with @aol.com, @gmail.com, or @comcast.net in it for your business.
Finally, if your ISP gets acquired or goes out of business, or you change your ISP, your email address need to change, and you are almost certain to lose emails because people will have an old email address for you in their address book.
3. Falling for the Promise of “24x7x365 Support”
Large email providers love to tell you about their 24x7x365 support. What they don’t tell you is that, while you may actually get to speak to a human to request support, the real engineers and technicians who do the hard work to get problems fixed work a 9-5 schedule, so if you do have a problem after hours, you may end up waiting until the next morning anyway! Having a relationship with a trusted provider is much more valuable than playing the game of 24×7 roulette.
4. Not understanding Your SLA (Service Level Agreement)
Does your email provider offer you a 99.9999% uptime guarantee? What happens when they go down for a few hours? Do they pay you back? No. SLAs vary from vendor to vendor, so be sure to understand what yours promises, what you will get when they go down, and what you won’t. What you will get is a portion of your bill cut, depending on the SLA, but you’ll have to apply to your provider’s billing department and request this credit.
5. Choosing the Bells and Whistles (you’ll never use)
Many hosted email providers will boast features are overkill for small businesses. Most small businesses do not need to be compliant with HIPAA, PCI, and SOX, but many email providers will boast their compliance packages and try to sell you on them. Granted, most organizations we work with could benefit from a lot of additional features that never occurred to them. Just because you don’t have a feature now doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from them, but don’t be sold on the promise of something without making sure it is really a benefit, not just an extra monthly charge on your account.
6. Looking at price first, features and benefits second (or never)
Price matters, but meeting your needs matters more. Yes, you could choose to host your email for free with your ISP, but it’s worth a few dollars per month to have your own domain name, larger message attachment sizes, collaboration and other features that you will actually use. Before making a decision, make sure that you are comparing identical or at least very similar features, and then come down to price, but not before.
Paradigm Consulting Co., a leading provider of information technology services, is seeking a Junior Information Systems Technician. Duties include working as part of a team to provide technical support to a diverse range of clients with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Associate in Info Tech or equivalent experience required. Strong customer service skills and outstanding written and verbal communications skills are a must.
Apply by emailing resumes to jobapps at paradigm CC dot com.
Paradigm Consulting Co., a leading provider of information technology services, is seeking an Office Manager in our Bethel office.
Duties include full charge bookkeeping (AR, AP, payroll), purchasing, collections, customer service, and office administration. Strong customer service skills, a solid grasp of Windows-based office and accounting packages, and outstanding written and verbal communications skills are a must. Apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breaking Grounds, Paradigm Consulting, and the White River Credit Union, in conjunction with the Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce, are hosting a business mixer from 5-7PM on May 25, 2011 at Breaking Grounds. Come and sample fine foods and drinks, register to win door prizes, and meet with other area business people.
In 2008, and again last year around the holiday season, we saw a lot of emails purporting to be from the “United Postal Service” with an attached file claiming to be the tracking or delivery confirmation information for your shipment. They were fake, and they’re back.
Have you ever wondered what a data breach would cost your company? I mean, really sat down and thought “if hackers managed to compromise our system and walk away with all of our data, what would the damages be, what would it cost us, and how would we recover?” Symantec has released a new website to help you determine the cost of a breach for your business. (more…)
Today marks the end of life (all forms of support) for Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 2. This means that, while new threats and bugs will continue to be found in these operating systems for some time, they will receive no further updates from Microsoft.
If you are still running these at your business or at home, an upgrade is called for as soon as possible.