Should I Hire An IT Guy Or An MSP?

Should I Hire An IT Guy Or An MSP?

Businesses rely on technology to keep their operations running smoothly, but who do you turn to when something goes wrong with your computers or phone system?

Keeping your tech operational is key to helping your business stay on track, and it’s likely you’ve considered a traditional IT team to handle your computer problems. However, sometimes a managed service provider (MSP) can have a lot of benefits over traditional IT. Read on to learn more about how an MSP compares to IT, and which may be right for your business. 

MSP And IT: What’s The Difference?

Businesses who use traditional IT rely on a person or department within the business to handle any tech problems. Some of their main functions include installing new hardware or software, configuring networks, troubleshooting problems, solving connectivity issues, making sure computer networks are secure, and many other things that happen behind the scenes of your business. IT people are paid members of the staff. One of the main drawbacks of an IT person or team is that their knowledge and time can be limited. 

On the other hand, an MSP puts an entire team of knowledgeable experts at your fingertips. They are always there, whenever you need their services. Unlike an IT team that works on-site at your business, an MSP works remotely. While many businesses may see this as a drawback, an MSP is usually only a quick phone call away. 

Benefits Of An MSP

There are plenty of benefits of hiring an MSP to handle your information technology systems. For example, they’re always there when you need them. Unlike a traditional IT team, they don’t call out sick or take vacations, which means that no matter when something goes wrong, you’ll be able to get it fixed quickly. And tech problems don’t always happen during normal working hours.  An MSP is often on call 24/7.

One of the biggest benefits of using an MSP, though, is the depth of experience and knowledge they can offer you. An MSP is comprised of professionals who all have different levels of expertise and useful skill sets. They have diverse qualifications and can collaborate whenever it’s required. A traditional IT team just doesn’t have the same level of knowledge that an MSP has. This means they can help you spot problems in your systems before they even arise. They can offer preventative measures, while an IT team may only fix problems after they happen. 

Another great thing about an MSP is that they are an extremely affordable option for many businesses. Hiring IT onto your staff means you have to pay them, even when they have downtime. In the long run, an MSP can save your business money, and they often offer a range of service options, so you can find something that fits into your budget. And as your businesses grow, you can scale up their services to meet your needs. 

MSP – The Right Choice For Your Business?

No matter what size your business is, an MSP is a great choice. They offer a range of options at the right price and the reassurance that you will always have tech support on hand if something goes wrong. An MSP can handle all your tech needs so you can worry about making sure your business keeps running smoothly. Before hiring an MSP, make sure they have the right training and certification for their team members. Read reviews online and talk with their team so that you know they’ll be a good fit.

If you’re looking to hire an MSP with the skills and expertise your business needs to be successful, contact us for more information. 

5 Reasons to Outsource Your IT Support

5 Reasons to Outsource Your IT Support

The decision of whether or not to outsource your IT services can be a weighty one. On the one hand, an in-house IT team allows for close supervision, and often a deeper level of familiarity with internal networks. On the other hand, an outsourced IT provider can offer several advantages that in-house solutions simply can’t touch.

The following information discusses 5 key reasons why outsourced IT support may make a lot of sense for your company.

1. The Right Balance Between Cost and Efficiency

Any IT department worth its salt must quickly respond to and resolve key issues that arise. An in-house IT team that is understaffed and overloaded with incident tickets may struggle to keep up with the constant demands placed upon it. At the other end of the spectrum, an internal IT department may be draining cash flow away from more important assets without truly justifying the expense.

An outsourced solution can help you to find the perfect balance between labor costs and speed of resolution. This is especially true when it comes to small businesses that may not have the resources to maintain a dedicated IT team.

2. Exceptional Scalability

Your business’ IT needs may fluctuate throughout the year. Perhaps you’ll experience rapid growth, which comes with an increased reliance on IT manpower to keep your business operations running smoothly. Then again, at certain times of the year, you may not require a lot of assistance.

In either situation, managed IT services from a 3rd party provider offer a highly scalable solution. Your IT vendor can easily adapt to your current circumstances, and you won’t have to worry about juggling factors like payroll and scheduling for internal employees. Even better, if your company already has a dedicated IT team in-house, you still have the option to supplement your department with some outsourced support for busy times of the year.

3. Maximum Cost-Effectiveness

The ultimate goal for any business is to keep costs low, and profits high. Managed IT services are typically less expensive than retaining dedicated IT staff, but without sacrificing quality.

If your company needs to operate within fairly strict budgetary parameters or doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure in place for an in-house IT department, then outsourcing your IT needs makes a lot of financial sense.

4. Empowerment to Focus on the More Important Things

There are so many critical factors that contribute to running a business: product development, marketing, accounting, etc., etc. There’s no reason why company executives and senior managers should have to spend an inordinate amount of their time clearing up IT issues. Yet, that’s often what happens, especially in small companies.

Outsourced IT support allows you to focus your time and energy on the more important, “big picture” aspects of running a business. Instead of sweating the small stuff, your partnership with a reputable IT service provider will help you to keep the company network up and running without cutting into your precious time.

5. Enhanced Focus on Adaptation

When in-house IT staff members spend the majority of their time putting out fires, there’s not much they can do to help your company adapt to changing times and market-altering technologies. On the other hand, an outsourced IT solution can help you to not only stay in business on a day-to-day basis but stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest innovations in your industry.

Clearly, there are several compelling reasons to outsource your IT needs to a reputable 3rd party provider, such as AE Technology Group. If you’d like to learn more about the managed IT services that we offer, reach out to us today.

Why You Need A Specialized Technical Support: Getting the Most Value from a Managed Help Desk

Why You Need A Specialized Technical Support: Getting the Most Value from a Managed Help Desk
Technical Support

In this digital age, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any business that does not rely heavily or entirely on information technology. Whether for advertising, communication, or their actual core businesses, all business owners make a significant investment in installations and development of appropriate technology for their line of work.

While there are many tech-savvy people in the workforce nowadays, there is still a need for technical support specialists to handle the more specialized aspects of technology management. For instance, not everyone can create a code for a specific program, or troubleshoot certain functional issues within software.

Therefore, you definitely need a trained and experienced individual or team to handle these issues. It is also essential to get the professionals because IT installations can be quite expensive and you wouldn’t want to risk getting them damaged by a well-meaning, albeit unqualified, individual.

Your Options

There are various ways of getting technical support. The more traditional approach has been to hire an individual or team to deal with all things IT; from software to hardware installations and troubleshooting.

However, in recent times, technical support has been outsourced to companies that specifically offer this kind of service. Referred to as Managed IT Services, this has become quite popular both as a business model and as a requested service.

There are various ways to engage with managed IT services:

Tandem

Here, you retain your IT staff while hiring managed IT services. You then divide the labor, as it were, between your two teams. Most businesses prefer to have the in-house IT team focus on the company’s core business while the managed IT services team will handle the recurrent or mundane, yet time-consuming jobs.

Troubleshooting

In this arrangement, the managed IT services team only show up when the in-house team is unable to address a particular problem sufficiently. Think of it like calling the fire department; they only come when they are needed and in emergency situations. 

Total

Within this total engagement, there is no in-house IT team. Everything, large or small, is handled by the outsourced IT team. The rest of the staff simply call a designated number when they come across some tech difficulties, and they will be assisted.

Making the Most of It

As a business owner, most decisions are made with the impact on the bottom line firmly in mind. So, naturally, you want to ensure that this outsourcing of IT services will be worth your while (at the very least) and possibly lead to increased profits (which is the best scenario). So, how do you maximize your partnership with a managed tech help desk?

1. Know what you need

What exactly do you need? There are many services offered by managed tech services, but these can be tailored to the specific needs of your business. For example, you may only need your system continually monitored with alerts being sent to your in-house IT team for management. Alternatively, you may need the outsourced team to do the actual troubleshooting alongside or in the absence of an in-house team. So, first, be clear about what you need.

2. Run the numbers

Once you know what you want, calculate how much it would cost an in house IT department to deliver vis-à-vis an outsourced team. Remember to take into account all the easily overlooked issues such as downtime and the ensuing loss of productivity. You may need a professional to do this for you but make sure you get it done so you can see just how much money you will be saving by outsourcing.

3. Do your due diligence

This kind of partnership is critical, mainly due to the tech-reliant times we are living in. So, you want to do your research on each managed IT service provider that meets your specific needs. Ask around for recommendations, check out their portfolios and recent audit reports, critically examine their strengths with regard to what you specifically need, and then make your decision.

Talk to Us

If you are in Long Island or New York City, and you’re looking to get the best possible managed tech service, you should go ahead and give us a call. You may also contact us and we will answer all your questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Fire Your IT Guy and Not Be Afraid They Will Destroy or Compromise Valuable Data

How to Fire Your IT Guy and Not Be Afraid They Will Destroy or Compromise Valuable Data

A member of your IT team–or, worse, your single IT guy–isn’t performing the way you want them to perform in their daily job duties. Firing that employee, however, is a little frightening. What happens if they destroy valuable data or mess up important systems before they go? Firing your IT guy the right way can help protect your data and help you feel safer. 

Create a Plan

Many small businesses–and even medium-sized businesses–have a single employee to take care of all their IT needs. Unfortunately, that means that a single employee has access to all of that data! Make sure you have a “crap hit the fan” plan in place in case your IT professional suddenly needs to be fired or suddenly leaves the business. Don’t wait until a disaster is brewing to decide how you’re going to handle those issues. 

Ask for the Information You Need

Ideally, in their exit interview, your IT guy will provide you with all the passwords you need to access the system, which you can then immediately change. If it’s an amicable parting, you probably won’t have to worry about any ugliness. On the other hand, if it’s an unexpected firing, your IT guy may refuse to provide you with that information. Don’t worry! This might make your job a little more difficult, but it’s not impossible, either. 

Bring in an Outside Team

If you’ve worked with a single tech in the past, you may not have a backup team on the premises. Bring in someone from the outside! Contract an outsourced tech team to come in, change your passwords, and protect your valuable data, especially if you’re worried that your former tech may have gone off the rails. Encourage them to take steps to protect your vital data, including locking the former tech out of the system. 

Do you need a tech team to offer you help after filing your IT guy? Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help.

Proof That You Need to be Monitoring Your Solutions Seriously

Proof That You Need to be Monitoring Your Solutions Seriously
Microsoft Scam

Many companies tend to put their monitoring solutions on the back burner, at least, that is until a great example comes along that reminds businesses why they should even care about monitoring solutions in the first place. This time, the reminder was 24 spammers who where were scamming off American citizens by posing as Microsoft support staff representatives.

Fortunately, through working with Microsoft’s International digital Crime Unit, a cell of the Delhi police were able to spot the scammers and take down their calls before they scammed any more innocent customers. They alerted the United States who was then able to take action on the case.

How Did That Scam Work?

Typically, the average customer will be required to pay a fee to get support assistance for issues they are having with their computers from representatives at a large company such as Microsoft. These scammers posed as the Microsoft representatives and in order to provide “assistance” to customers they would collect payment information for the typical $100 to $500 fee that is required for their assistance. Once they got the people’s personal financial information they could inflict the damage.

To make matters worse, these specific scammers would gain access to the person’s information and instead of helping, they would download malware into their computers once they were granted access. It was thanks to the watchful eye of Microsoft employee Nripenda Kashyap that she noticed these activities through his monitoring system and sent information to the DCU so they could investigate and stop these criminals.

What Do We Learn From This?

Situations like this one at Microsoft have sadly become all too common in our technologically advanced age. As technology advances, so do the number of ways scammers can take advantage of innocent, unassuming clients. Companies and businesses need to understand that without vital IT Support guys on their side, this could easily be them next time. Their company or businesses could fall victim to these frauds and scammers just like Microsoft customers did.

Along with IT Support from professionals, being sure that they know how to act when a threat emerges (such as a scammer or a hacker) and who to alert to keep the threat from causing actual damage. Claims generally cost 3.3 million users about $1.5 billion annually and that was as of 2014. Numbers have likely increased again since then as more and more hackers are out to take any advantage they can of an opportunity to hack someone and make money while doing it.

Even for those companies who are looking to monitor their own solutions independently, there is some level of knowledge and expertise that is needed to necessary to detect issues that might be arising over time. Many computer programs will return a perfectly normal report but there can be plenty of underlying problems that are there if the trained eye were able to catch it.

Keeping Your Systems Updated

Moreover, keeping your networks and systems fully upgraded are vital to ensuring that your data and company information is as protected as possible. As the market becomes a higher threat environment, being sure that your systems are fully upgraded to protect your information as well as it can be protected is key to not letting hackers in there in the first place. The sooner threats are identified and taken care of the sooner that they can be taken care of and fixed before your information is compromised or other issues arise.

For more information on how to keep your information and data safe and on why you should take your company’s monitoring solutions seriously please feel free to contact us at the AE Technology Group to help keep your information safe as possible.