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What the Best IT Consulting Companies Know About Productivity

Most businesses and their owners would like to become more productive, because increased productivity means generating more product within the same amount of time, and that leads to greater profitability. Some owners have spent considerable effort thinking of ways that could make their business more productive, without really making any substantial gains. That’s why there can be a great deal of value in hiring an outside consultant to come into your company and make recommendations after assessing your processes and work strategies. In this article, we’ll discuss what the best IT consulting companies know about productivity that perhaps a business owner might not be aware of, or simply cannot see.

Different perspectives

There can be tremendous value in having someone from the outside evaluate your business processes with a view toward increasing productivity. It’s similar to the situation we’ve all been in where we talked over a problem with a friend or relative, and they immediately had a clear idea about how to solve the problem. Sometimes what’s really necessary is simply to bring in a different perspective and a new set of eyes, to see and comprehend the issues. In some cases, a business owner is just too close to the situation to see the obvious, and it takes someone who has no involvement to see past the obstacles and find a solution.

Accountability

Another reason why a business owner might fail to install measures that lead to increased productivity is because he/she is too close to employees to hold them accountable for their actions. Whenever someone you trust holds you accountable for your actions, it greatly increases the likelihood that the appropriate measures will be adopted and success will be achieved.

When a consultant comes into your company and makes recommendations for improvement, they will generally hold you accountable for implementing those measures – otherwise, what’s the point of seeking outside help? It’s like when you’re trying to lose weight on your own, versus having a friend accompany you on that same journey. By yourself, you might well be tempted to slip off the bandwagon and start cheating, but your friend being right there with you will discourage that kind of behavior and help keep you on track for accomplishing your weight loss goals.

Technology

IT consultants are very aware of the fact that using the most advanced and modern technology can instantly boost productivity for any kind of business enterprise. Whereas a single business owner might only be aware of what’s happening with their own discreet enterprise, a consultant will have had the chance to work with many different companies, and will have observed the many positive benefits technology can bring. Individual workers will be more efficient when they have the latest technology available to them, because work can be done faster and more efficiently.

When a consultant recognizes a situation that could be improved by making use of better technology, they will point that out and possibly recommend that a business adopt this newer technology. It won’t be a case of just installing advanced hardware or software everywhere because it might bring about good results – it’s much more a case where technology would be recommended when there is clear indication that it will provide a substantial boost to productivity.

The best IT consulting companies can bring it all together

These are three very important aspects that might heavily contribute toward increasing productivity at any company. The best IT consulting companies will be aware of these valuable tools, and will recommend them in the appropriate situation to bring about positive change. Even if you knew about these things already, they might not lead to a more productive work environment at your business, because you might need a fresh perspective, greater accountability, or some solid advice about new technology.

For more information about what Terminal B can do for you, click here.

What You Should Expect From Your IT Helpdesk

There’s no question that an IT Helpdesk team must be ready and willing to provide the assistance necessary to resolve critical problems. Some of these may be serious enough to shut the business down, and downtime is anathema to any business owner. In the article below, we’ll discuss some of the qualities you should expect from an IT Helpdesk team when you’re looking for a provider. Any company that is unable to provide these services may best fit for your company.

Unlimited support

With any normal IT helpdesk, you should be able to get the support your need from your managed IT services provider. If an issue can’t be resolved remotely, and your plan includes it, you can expect that an engineer will be dispatched to the local site, where a more hands-on approach can be administered. Ideally, you want your support to have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude toward problem resolution.

Flexible service level agreements (SLAs)

No business is the same and that holds true for IT helpdesk needs as well. Your IT services provider should offer a number of different service level agreements so that you can find the right level of service for your business’s needs.

Team approach

Having a team approach is probably the best way to handle a helpdesk, because it allows for members of the team to become very familiar with a particular client, so their support can be much more specific. It also allows for frequent interaction between the helpdesk team and your company personnel, so that trust and confidence can build up between them.

Solution for talent retention 

It is the nature of the beast in the IT world, that skilled professionals will move relatively often to find new jobs. You may already have encountered situations where some of your most valuable employees left the company or are at least seriously considering it. A managed IT services provider can be relied on to provide continuity of services in an uncertain economy. In addition, an MSP offers maturity and expertise not available on the ever-changing hamster wheel of staffing.

Experienced engineers

It is worthwhile to find out the level of expertise associated with any helpdesk at a company you are considering for managed IT services. Ideally, a good helpdesk should be comprised of individuals with many different skills, and it should include levels of proficiency that range from relative newcomer to very experienced veteran. This kind of diversity will provide faster resolution for issues, and more high-quality support from your IT helpdesk.

Contact Us

We understand that when you are seeking an IT services provider, it is essential to have a fully functional, smoothly operating IT helpdesk. That is why we have gone out of our way to establish the best functionality in the business, and it’s why we can offer clients the most efficient support possible. Contact us today to find out more about our hosted services, and about how our superior IT helpdesk functions.

It Service Provider

How To Know When You Have The Right IT Service Provider

If you have already begun the vetting process to find an IT service provider for your company, you will already have some experience in matching up your company’s goals, issues, and expectations with the services provided by these candidates. It’s extremely important that you choose the right services provider because it’s not an exaggeration to say that the success or failure of your enterprise may rest on making the right choice. That being the case, here are some considerations you should take into account when narrowing down the field of candidates and choosing the right provider for your company.

Support access

You should have multiple channels available to you for reaching out to your IT services provider. That means you should at least be able to contact them through telephone calls, emails, and even texting as well. There should be some method in place for submitting a help request online, and you should have a good idea when your request will be serviced. The greater access you have to your services provider, the more quickly any technical issues you might have will get resolved, so business can proceed.

Security

Security has become a huge issue in today’s computing environment, given the fact that so many criminal-minded individuals have taken up the practice of hacking to make money quickly without having to do any work. Investigate what kind of strategies your prospective IT managed service providers use daily for their end-to-end security. You’ll need to know that they have everything covered from firewalls to encryption, and even to remote data storage that will protect your company assets. Any provider you choose should have a disaster recovery plan in place, if it becomes necessary to recover damaged, lost, or hijacked data which is critical to your operation.

Understand their offerings

You need to have a good understanding of exactly what services are being offered by your prospective service providers. For instance, can they help you with data backups and migrations? Do they provide repairs to your computer equipment, and if so, what is the process for making that happen? If you’re thinking of migrating to the cloud, can they help you in that area? Ask about the kinds of tools the provider uses to make sure that you have 100% uptime, with virtually no outages.

Service packages

The small businesses of today can become the large corporations of tomorrow, if everything falls right for your company and you experience the kind of growth you envisioned when you first set out. Any Managed IT services provider you choose should be able to scale up right along with your company growth and handle your evolving needs as a growing company. Flexibility and scalability are important considerations if you expect to maintain a continuous relationship with a provider for several years to come.

Experience and reputation

It will be essential to know that any IT managed services provider you choose has a portfolio of satisfied clients, and that they have a track record of technical expertise and excellent customer service. Any provider you choose should be a stalwart in the community and should be well-reviewed by any company which has made use of their services in the past.

Still looking for an IT service provider?

You should take your time in finding just the right managed IT service provider, especially since it can have such a major impact on your operation. Contact us if you’re still looking for that ideal provider, and we can help you find the best match for your company’s goals and objectives.

IT Services Company

9 Questions A Potential Managed IT Provider Should Be Able to Answer

More companies than ever are outsourcing at least part of their I.T. function to a third-party, preferring to focus on their company strengths and core skills. However, the process of choosing the right managed IT provider can be very difficult, partly because there are so many of them, and partly because it’s absolutely critical that you make the right choice. Here are some of the questions you should be asking candidate companies, to determine if they’re the right fit for your enterprise.

  1. Q: What kinds of services does your company provide?

A: You may need to know whether a candidate company can handle the entire I.T. function, or whether you’re only looking for a partial outsourcing, and they can specialize in those areas.

  1. Q: Is your Helpdesk available 24/7?

A: If your business operates on a 24/7 basis, or if you have outlets in other time zones, you’ll need to know what kind of support can be delivered by a candidate provider. If there’s a gap in coverage, you may need a different provider or some other supplemental coverage.

  1. Q: How many employees are in your company?

A: This should tell you how large and how successful a particular candidate is, and whether they have the personnel to handle all your requirements. It should be an indicator of the level of success achieved by any candidate company you’re working with.

  1. Q: How long has your company been in business?

A: This is another strong indication of the level of success achieved by a candidate company. Those which have been in business for a number of years must have proven their ability during that time, and must have a portfolio of satisfied customers, otherwise they wouldn’t still be in business.

  1. Q: What is the typical size of your clients?

A: It’s good to know that a provider can handle a company of your size, and that they’re already doing so. If a provider would be overwhelmed by taking on a customer of your size, you should steer clear of them.

  1. Q: What is involved with your onboarding process?

A: You should have some idea of the process a candidate company would use to bring you into the fold. If you have any issues with their onboarding process, it’s good to know right up front rather than being surprised about it when it actually happens.

  1. Q: Do you support [X] application?

A: If there are any applications you use that are critical to your business success, you should know that a provider company can support this software if necessary.

  1. Q: What makes you stand out from your rivals?

A: If any of your candidate companies have features or services that set them apart from competitors, it would be good to know what those are. It may be something your company can leverage to advantage, and it may even be a reason for choosing one particular candidate.

  1. Q: What are your pricing plans?

A: You don’t want to get sticker shock when you get that first monthly bill, so make sure you know all the fees and charges associated with the outsourcing action. This will help you budget for that cost, and it will tell you whether or not a particular company is in line with your planned expenses for the coming calendar year and beyond.

Contact Terminal B to learn more about what an IT services company can offer

If you’re in the market for a managed I.T. services company that will put your company first, contact us today.

What You Should Expect From An IT Helpdesk in Austin

Some companies have their own internal help desk staffed by their own employees, while other organizations find it financially advantageous to outsource that function to a managed service provider. Either way, an IT Helpdesk in Austin should be ready and able to support the user community to resolve any questions or issues as quickly as possible. Whether this is handled by a ticketing procedure, phone calls, or emails, an IT support team should be prepared to do anything necessary to provide the kind of support needed. Here are some of the qualities and services you should expect from a professional and competent IT Helpdesk.

Unlimited support

It’s reasonable to expect unlimited support from your Helpdesk during normal business hours. If the problem can’t be resolved remotely, it will be necessary to send an engineer on site to address the problem further. Support will run more smoothly if you have some kind of streamlined ticketing service or portal for requesting changes and problem resolution.

Flexible hours

Anytime your employees are at work doing business, it’s reasonable to expect your IT Helpdesk to also be on hand, even if that’s in a remote capacity. When an issue occurs after hours, there just has to be someone at the IT Helpdesk who’s capable of providing support for an issue or a problem. In fact, if your business is working 24/7, your IT Helpdesk should also be working those same hours, to provide round-the-clock support.

Team-based approach

The best approach for an Austin IT Helpdesk is to have it organized into teams. Each team should have a set number of qualified engineers who are assigned to specific accounts. This helps the team become better acquainted with individual clients and their typical needs. It also establishes trust between the IT Helpdesk team and those individuals in the user community who need that support.

Solution for talent retention

If you’ve decided to outsource your IT Helpdesk and avail yourself of professional services, it can be a real bonus in terms of not having to recruit and retain talent for your company. It’s well-known that IT professionals are in high demand, and are constantly getting recruitment contacts and emails from other companies. Any company making a better offer to your staff members then you can manage is likely to be able to whisk away your most talented personnel. Then you’re left with the problem of replacing highly-skilled talent, and having to go through the whole recruitment and acquisition process, which can be fairly time-consuming. You won’t have to worry about any of this, if you outsource to a Managed IT service provider.

Experienced support team

It’s reasonable to expect that each of the individual engineers comprising your IT Helpdesk has certain skillsets and a level of experience that will contribute toward swift problem resolution. In business, time is money, and if you have a problem that is keeping your business offline, you can be losing thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes. It’s not necessary for individuals on your IT Helpdesk team to have expertise across the board, because they really only need to be good at one or two areas in order to provide real value as a support person. Altogether, an IT Helpdesk team should have all the skills necessary to resolve daily business issues, and to overcome any kind of problem facing your employees in their daily tasks.

Getting started with outsourcing your IT Helpdesk in Austin is as simple as a call to Terminal B at 512-381-4800.

FAQs About Cloud Asset Management

Cloud asset management has become the industry standard and for good reason. From protecting your data to providing access, utilizing the cloud to store your company’s data makes sense.

 However, some people still have questions about the safety and security of using the cloud. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What is the cloud?

The cloud is a collection of remote servers that are used to store, manage, and process data. Cloud asset management refers to the process of managing these assets.

How does it work?

Cloud asset management works by storing an organization’s data, applications, and other digital assets in a remote location known as the “cloud.” Storing data this way provides organizations with increased security, scalability, and flexibility.

Why should I use it?

There are many reasons why you should consider using cloud asset management. One of the main benefits is that it can help you save money. It can also help you improve your company’s security and compliance posture.

What are the benefits?

Cloud asset management provides many benefits, including:

  • Cost savings: It can help you save money by reducing the need for on-premises hardware and software.
  • Improved security: It can help improve your company’s security posture by providing control over data access and by encrypting data.
  • Improved compliance: You can help improve your company’s compliance posture by providing a central repository for data and by auditing data access.

Is my data safe in the cloud?

Yes, your data is safe in the cloud. In fact, it’s more secure than keeping it on your premises. Cloud providers have strict security measures in place to protect your data. And, if you choose a reputable provider, they will have a team of security experts constantly monitoring the safety of your data.

What happens if my internet connection goes down?

If your internet connection goes down, your data will still be safe in the cloud. Cloud providers have multiple servers located around the world. So, even if one server is down, your data will still be accessible from another server.

How do I know who has access to my data?

When you store your data in the cloud, you have complete control over who has access to it. You can give different levels of access to different people and you can revoke access at any time.

What if I need to delete my data?

Deleting data from the cloud is just as easy as deleting it from your own computer. You can delete individual files or you can delete your entire account if you no longer need it.

What are the challenges?

Cloud asset management can present some challenges, including:

  • Security: Cloud asset management can provide improved security, but it is important to ensure that data is properly secured and users don’t compromise company security protocols.
  • Compliance: While cloud asset management can help improve compliance, you need to ensure that data is properly audited.
  • Management: It can be complex, and you should have the right tools and processes in place to manage data effectively.

Cloud asset management has become the industry standard for managing data and it is a powerful tool that can help you save money, improve security, and improve compliance. For more information, schedule a consultation with Terminal B.

What The Best IT Consulting Companies Know About Computer Mistakes

It’s probably not a surprise that the best IT consulting companies know all kinds of mistakes that computer users make. Here are 12 of the most common pitfalls in computer use and how you can avoid them.

  1. Not backing up files. This is one of the most common mistakes users make. Best IT consulting companies always ensure that their clients’ data is properly backed up. Backing up files to an external drive or the cloud is important, but it’s not enough. Best IT consulting companies also recommend backing up your email and social media accounts.
  2. Not using a password manager.  IT consulting companies know that using a password manager is one of the best ways to keep your accounts secure. A password manager can help you create strong passwords and store them securely. It also frees you from keeping track of an untold number or passwords — or using the same password everywhere you need to login.
  3. Using the same login. Speaking of which, using the same password everywhere you need to login in is an invitation for a hacking disaster. Best IT consulting companies know that you should never use the same password at work, home and on your personal accounts.
  4. Failing to update software. Software updates usually include security patches that can help protect you from hackers. 
  5. Having too many windows and tabs open at once. Not only can having too many windows and tabs open can lead to a lot of unnecessary distractions and make it difficult to find the information you’re looking for, but it will also slow down your computer’s performance.
  6. Trusting a phone call from Microsoft or Apple. Scammers often pose as representatives from Microsoft or Apple to gain access to your computer or steal your personal information. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from either of these companies, hang up.
  7. Not being suspicious of free software.  While there are many legitimate free programs available, some free software is actually malware in disguise. Be careful when downloading any free software and only download it from trusted sources.
  8. Relying on antivirus software. Antivirus software is important, but it’s not a foolproof way to protect your computer from all threats.  The best IT consulting companies know that you should also practice safe browsing habits and be careful when opening email attachments.
  9. Relying on free Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and can be easy for hackers to access. The best IT consulting companies know that you should never use free Wi-Fi to login to your accounts or enter sensitive information, such as credit card data.
  10. Falling for phishing scams. Phishing scams are emails or messages that appear to be from a trusted source, but are actually from hackers trying to steal your information.
  11. Opening an email attachment without checking the source.  The best IT consulting companies know that you should never open an email attachment without checking the source first. If you’re not expecting an attachment from the sender, it’s best to delete it.
  12. Not doing the first thing IT professionals always do. An array of issues can be resolved simply by turning your computer off and on. Anytime you call tech support, the first thing you will be advised to do is shut off your computer, wait a few minutes and turn it back on.

By following the advice of the best IT consulting companies, you can avoid making common mistakes that can lead to big problems down the road. Do your research and work with a trusted IT consultant to ensure that your computer use is as safe and efficient as possible.

IT Tips & Tricks for Businesses in Austin

Austin, Texas, is a fast-growing city. It’s home to the University of Texas, the Longhorns football team, and a wide variety of vibrant businesses. The city has tons of cultural activities around every corner, with many places to eat and hang out after work.

Already, Austin has recovered 96% of the job losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. A testament to the resiliency of the Austin market, it is also a booming tech hub that some say rivals Silicon Valley. 

With the overt tech presence in Austin, Texas, it’s crucial to engage with managed IT services to increase competition and growth. As industry experts, we’ll give you insight into how you can strategically manage technology for your business’s success.

So, Where Do You Start?

Managed IT services is a broad term used to describe a variety of technology support arrangements that can help improve productivity and lower costs for your company. 

If your Austin business uses managed IT services and you’re not sure if you’re taking full advantage of them, here are some tips and tricks for finding out!

How to Know if You’re Making the Most of Your Managed IT Services

Man and woman business owners reviewing receipts

Find Out Exactly What You’re Paying for

IT providers split managed IT services into different categories and charge according to what you choose. You may not recognize every service included in your managed IT package. Ask your provider for a list of exactly what you’re paying for to figure out which services you need to maximize to challenge local competitors. 

When you know what services you’re receiving, you can better take advantage of them.

Try Additional Managed IT Services

Your managed IT services may include managed backups, cybersecurity, cloud management, and support. If you’re using these tools and it’s not enough, you might need to upgrade your package and add additional managed services. 

Managed IT services are flexible and can scale to your growth. If your business is rapidly growing, but your IT services have stayed the same, it’s time to bring your technology up to speed. It never hurts to ask your managed IT provider for more assistance—you just might need it!

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools & Use Them

Sometimes managed IT services include security tools that you may not know how to use. If your IT provider has given you software tools for detecting viruses, spyware, or malware on your computer, be sure to use them.

It might feel like an inconvenience at first, but it can help protect your identity, data, and business.

Ask About Industry-Specific Services

Some managed IT packages and services are industry-specific, available exclusively for certain types of businesses. For example, medical device companies could benefit from managed service providers with security solutions built specifically for them. If you work in a specialized sector and need specifically tailored solutions, ask your provider how they can best support you. 

If you don’t see the managed services you want in your package, ask your IT provider if they offer it—they might not have it listed but may still be able to help!

Communicate Regularly and Openly

Last but not least, you should feel comfortable communicating with your managed IT provider. IT guys are notorious for tech talk and poor communication, but that’s not the case for MSPs like Terminal B.  

If something is going wrong or you want to ask a question, don’t hesitate to make a phone call or send an email. When you collaborate with your IT provider as a partner rather than a band-aid solution, your business can transform technology from a stumbling block to an invaluable tool that drives growth. 

Make the Most of Your Managed IT Services

If you’re an Austin-based business, making the most of your managed IT services is imperative to success. Don’t wait to reach out! Find managed IT that’s right for you—contact Terminal B today for a consultation!

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