Why You Should Hire an All-In-One Technology Solutions Provider
The trend today tends to lean towards niche businesses, which are businesses that target a specific demographic or specialize in a certain field. Niche businesses are popular because although they narrow down the target demographic, they often see a higher conversion rate. They get more sales for less effort when considering the possibility of marketing to a larger set of customers.
Although the idea of a niche business sounds appealing (and many people find success in niching down), it may not work for every market. Certainly, there are situations where people benefit greatly from a business that covers all their needs: a one-stop shop.
The Benefits of All-in-One Business Solutions
A one-stop shop is a business that handles multiple related needs for customers.
One-stop shops are usually associated with places like convenience stores, sporting goods stores, or department stores — but they can also actually apply to services. Beauty salons and event coordinators (offering rentals, catering, and venue access) are examples of service businesses that work based off of this concept.
Another example of a service business that has great potential for being a one-stop shop is a technology solutions provider.
Advantages of Hiring an All-in-One Technology Solutions Provider
One of the top benefits of a one-stop shop is convenience for the customer.
People are busy and would rather use one business to take care of all related needs, instead of inquiring and shopping around for multiple specialized businesses.
Besides convenience (and not having to rehash similar business details to every supplier or provider), another advantage of hiring an all-in-one solutions provider is cohesiveness. You’ll be dealing with the same people for multiple different projects, which helps save time and limits frustration.
To put this into perspective, imagine having your internet connectivity installed by one provider, then having another provider come in only to realize that the wiring interferes with their products and services. They’d have to redo the wiring, and you end up spending double. Such a hassle!
Another good thing about having only one team working on related business tasks is that they can provide better customer service. They know who handled various projects if they need to follow up for more information regarding another project. Because of this, you should be able to reduce your involvement in getting your outsourced team any necessary information after initial onboarding.
Lastly, you can save money when you hire an all-in-one solutions provider. Many of these businesses have established relationships with accredited partners and vendors. Because of this, they can negotiate with their partners to offer you the best pricing.
Final Thoughts: Why You Should Hire an All-In-One Technology Solutions Provider
A risk that comes with hiring an all-in-one technology solutions provider is investing in the wrong business. This can be tricky because you’ll be letting them handle multiple aspects of your business. Be sure to read reviews or ask for client feedback regarding the provider you’ve got your eye on. Your best bet? Choose a technology solutions provider that prioritizes relationships with both customers and vendors, like Harrington Technologies.
Why It’s Better to Leave Installations to Your Technology Solutions Provider
When people need home or office hardware and systems installed, they do one of two things: They either ask an expert and accredited solutions provider for a quote, or think about doing it themselves—especially when the quote seems too high and the job seems easy enough.
Manufacturers have made technology more accessible and easier to use, so that end users can purchase their items and DIY the installation process. Thanks to websites like Amazon, customers have access to ordered items as soon as the next day. However, many people underestimate the skill necessary to correctly install their home or office systems and still end up calling a technology solutions provider for help.
A Faulty DIY Process
In an ideal world, the customer buys the right product for their needs and the installation goes smoothly. However, more often than not, the customer ends up buying the wrong product, with specifications that are a mismatch for their requirements.
The end result? Instead of saving money and having their system installed in a timely manner as planned, they may have to repurchase needed items, then wait for these new items to arrive before the technology provider can install them. These unnecessary steps can add days or weeks to a project that could already have been completed with a better process.
Calling in the Experts
When it comes to home or office installations that involve both simple or complicated jobs, it may be best to leave the dirty work to the experts—even if you think you can do it yourself. It will save you a lot of time, effort, and headaches!
Although working with an expert may cost more than to do it yourself, the reason why you’re paying more for a “simple installation job” is because you’re also paying for the solution provider’s expertise. With that expertise comes the assurance that the job will be done quickly and correctly the first time.
How to Communicate Your Budget
If cost is a major concern, make sure to be open with your technology solutions provider about your budget. A good solutions provider will take that into consideration, prioritizing the use of relevant products that can give you the best bang for your buck.
It is important to note that when you have a budget to stick to, it is important to be open-minded about the products that you will be using. You can’t have it all!
A good solutions provider will give you options: you may opt to go for a cheaper yet less established brand or refurbished items from more established brands. The ideal solutions provider will have established relationships with accredited vendors, so you can be sure that you are getting items that have been tested for quality control: whether brand new or refurbished.
Accredited vendors will protect your investment with a warranty. In the off-chance something breaks, you won’t have to worry about replacement.
Final Thoughts: Why It’s Better to Leave Installations to Your Technology Solutions Provider
Here’s the bottom line: when you need help with an installation, get in touch with an accredited technology solutions provider like Harrington Technologies. We will help you get the job done right the first time.
Why You Should be Using a VPN
It’s not uncommon in today’s entertainment to come across a scene where one of the characters is able to gain access or retrieve sensitive information by hacking through security systems or computers. As they say, fiction mirrors reality—so what happens on TV is definitely based on what is happening in real life.
Whether people are aware of it or not, there is always someone watching and trying to steal personal information for their own gain.
In this current day and age of the internet, it shouldn’t take a serious data breach (like the much-publicized Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal) for people to take action when it comes to their data privacy, especially when there is an easy way to keep data and internet browsing sessions safe. It’s called a virtual private network (VPN).
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or virtual private network, allows users to access a secure private network and share data remotely, even while they’re connected to a public network. To visualize how a VPN works, imagine a secret tunnel that leads you to an end destination without running into any unwanted hitches. Usually the route takes more time, but it gets you to your destination safely.
A VPN cloaks and encrypts your internet activity so that your data is secure. Instead of accessing the internet directly, it goes through a VPN server, which manipulates your IP address so that it appears as if you’re using a different device or coming from a different location.
The primary reason to use a VPN is for data privacy.
America does not have data privacy laws as stringent as the European Union, which recently enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Sadly, few states recognize an individual’s right to privacy—save for California, which currently has an online privacy law in the works. Although US institutions must abide by certain regulations regarding personal data, they are severely outdated and not comprehensive.
Net Neutrality is a set of rules that required internet service providers to treat all websites equally and prevent them from overcharging for better service or content. The repeal of net neutrality means that internet providers can opt for a pay-to-play strategy, which means that consumers might have to pay more for better service. This provides advantages for people and businesses that can pay while alienating those with less budget.
If you live or visit countries with restrictive internet connections such as China, VPNs allow you to bypass censorship restrictions and access the internet freely, while concealing your activity from the government. In fact, in countries like these, as much as 30% of the population use VPNs.
On a lesser scale, VPNs can also keep your connection safe, especially if you use public WiFi connections in places like coffee shops.
The good news? Americans are aware of how government and corporate entities manipulate how their personal information is collected and used.
According to a 2018 Pew Research study on internet privacy, 64% of Americans believe that the government should do something to address internet safety and privacy, with 61% saying that they would like to do more to protect their privacy. A simple way to do so is through the use of a VPN, but sadly, only 17% of Americans use a VPN, versus 25% of the rest of the world.
Final Thoughts: Why You Should be Using a VPN
With data breaches and the end of net neutrality, a VPN is an affordable way to keep your data and browsing safe. If you’re looking for additional guidance with protecting data privacy in your organization, contact the experts at Harrington Technologies.
What You Need From Your Business Computer Support Services (It Might Surprise You)
When you think of computer support services, you probably envision a geeky looking guy showing up at your business doorstep to fix a problem when you call.
This approach – waiting until a problem arises to reach out for help – might seem like the least expensive option but in the long run, it could cost you thousands of dollars more in money. It could also cost you hours more in downtime. And it might even cost you your business if you’re not careful.
I don’t say this to scare you but rather to shed light on a common misconception. Computer support services don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) something you employ as soon as a problem arises. Here’s what you should look for when finding a company to help you repair any computer issues now and keep them running smoothly in the long run.
On-Site and Off Site Support
On-site computer support is what’s traditionally thought of when business owners think about what this service looks like. Although many problems can be remedied by having someone come out to repair the damage when it happens, especially hardware issues, such as with printers or copiers, on-site support is only one facet of a strong IT plan.
Having trouble with a website? Struggling to get access to your company’s VPN? There are many IT problems that arise throughout the day that do not require an in-person visit. For those, having a trusted computer support service on hand to call for remote support is ideal.
Depending on the circumstance, the company you have on speed dial to help with your IT concerns can login remotely and resolve an issue faster for you than driving to your Tucson office.
Proactive Monitoring and Maintenance
Support for IT concerns as they arise is only one part of the type of IT support your business needs. The goal of employing any IT company is to stop issues before they arise. This requires behind-the-scenes ongoing maintenance of your current systems.
Ongoing maintenance takes shape in a variety of ways. Much of it is done remotely, logging into your current configurations to ensure everything’s running smoothly. This includes:
Making regular updates to the backend of your system;
Monitoring to ensure your computer security software is running and effectively stopping threats;
Ensuring the data backup services your business relies on are working properly;
This proactive stance helps stop serious problems before the arise. If anything happens to your business after hours, such as a ransomware attack or a server shutdown, you’ll be notified and know that someone is working to restore your business as quickly as possible, so you minimize downtime.
This is the gold in computer support services. It’s also the piece that saves you the most amount of money because it stops problems before they arise.
Having proactive monitoring and maintenance also stops you or your employees from trying to repairing a small computer problem with a temporary fix. This approach often causes further damage in the long run, so it is less than ideal.
Ongoing Cost Analysis
In addition to saving you money on larger technology issues, some computer support services also do an ongoing cost analysis. This analysis lets you sleep better at night knowing you’re not overspending on programs or software that are not needed for your business.
Are You Getting Enough Out of Your Business Computer Support Services?
If not, it might be time to make a switch. Without proactive monitoring and maintenance, you’ll continue to pour money toward fixing problems. Stopping issues before they arise is far less expensive in the long run. And with a regular cost analysis performed for your business, you can be sure you’re getting the best protection for the lowest price.
Want to learn more about what this costs and looks like for your business? We’d love to give you a quote. Reach out and we’ll go through all of your business’s unique needs to find the best option to save you money over the long run.
Small Business Tech Support Services Are There for More Than Just Problem Solving
This is a common call we get at Harrington Technologies – “Help! I got into work today and my computers aren’t working. I’ve been limping them along but it looks like they finally bit the dust. When can you come in?”
I’ll be honest. We have a love/hate relationship with these calls. We love them because we’re here to help and these types of calls let us work our magic to get fellow business owners back up and running (read: back to productivity and money-making status). But we hate them because we could’ve helped earlier. And the earlier help typically translates into money saved and fewer hours of downtime.
Yes, small business tech support services are about solving problems, but there’s so much more to them that you need to know about if you want to keep your costs low and keep your business operating at maximum efficiency.
Cyber Security Software Reduces the Risk of Attacks
With the migration of your business from the offline world to the online world, you’ve become more productive. You’ve also become a little more vulnerable in new ways. Instead of worrying about data loss due to fire and burglary, you’re kept awake at night worried about ransomware attacking your business or a virus destroying your computer system.
By utilizing small business tech services before a problem arises, you can minimize your risk of these types of attacks. And as a small business, that’s more important than ever before. Small and medium businesses are the biggest targets because they’re notoriously the ones that have the biggest holes in their security.
We help you become the business hackers and attackers hate.
Behind-The-Scenes Updates to Keep You Running Smoothly
Are you one of the businesses that we talk to regularly that try to put bandages on problems in an effort to limp along a system until it completely crashes? You don’t (and shouldn’t) have to take that risk. Doing so is more expensive for you in the long run – dramatically more expensive, in fact.
Although you might not see us in your storefront on a regular basis, you will feel the effects of having our backend support because we work behind-the-scenes to keep your systems updated and running as efficiently as possible. This, in turn, keeps you and your business running as productively as possible with minimal downtime. Pretty good, right?
Ongoing Cost Saving Analysis
Let’s face it. Technology is a must-have in today’s business environment but that doesn’t mean it comes without a cost. Sometimes these costs are high but most of the time, the expenses your business incurs are competitive. That’s because developers continue to create new solutions that rival old solutions – and the bulk of the time, those new solutions can save you money.
I hear you. You don’t have time to spend researching every new solution that hits the market. That’s where we come in. We perform ongoing cost saving analysis to ensure you’re running as cost efficiently with the best technology as possible.
And Of Course, Tech Support Services
No matter how much prevention you do, problems are bound to arise. When they do, you don’t want to feel like you’re scrambling to find someone you can trust with something as critical as your business intelligence.
By using a tech support service for your small business before a problem arises, you’ll already have someone in your back pocket that you trust and who knows your business. That, in turn, will make it faster for you to call for help and get the help you need.
These services are here to help you run a better business. We want to help but we prefer to help when we can save you the most money and keep you operating productively the longest.
Call us at (520) 398-7935, or contact us anytime to learn more about what that looks like specifically for your business. We’re glad to have a no-pressure chat with you about it all.
How SMBs Benefit From Managed IT Services
Every business utilizes technology in some form or fashion. Whether software or hardware, technology is everywhere and it makes our lives more efficient and effective. But sometimes, small/medium business owners (SMBs) find themselves wearing so many hats just to manage their operations, that their tech needs fall by the wayside.
Experts estimate that there are major technology advances every 28 days. At this speed, only dedicated IT professionals can keep abreast of the changes. But hiring a full-time, in-house IT professional could require a significant (and often times unnecessary) investment.
A wiser, more cost-efficient solution most SMBs pursue is outsourcing their IT needs to companies that specialize in tech. This frees up their budgets to focus on operations and marketing. This is called managed IT services.
Here’s how SMBs benefit from managed IT services.
How Managed IT Services work
According to CompTIA’s 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services report, the global managed services market is expected to grow to up to $193B by 2019.
Managed IT service providers use remote monitoring and management systems to keep track of the systems that power your business. They also provide suggestions on the software and hardware that will most benefit their clients.
Regular maintenance, data backups, and periodic software checks for viruses and malware are also handled by IT service providers. Many provide access to a support desk as needs arise, serving as an extension of your in-house team. Compensation structures vary with many utilizing a fixed fee interval.
Proactive vs. Reactive Approach
The peace of mind that comes from using an IT service provider cannot be quantified. Clients do not have to worry about their day-to-day IT operations. Many potential problems are prevented(a proactive approach), instead of dealt with when they arise unexpectedly (reactive).
Unfortunately many SMB use a reactive approach. This can cause significant downtime in operations, or damage important internal systems and data. Having an IT service provider who is familiar with your business also adds to increased incident resolution time (versus someone coming in who is unfamiliar with the system)
Utilizing a provider specialized in IT increases your team’s productivity. Now your employees can focus on doing what they do best, whether that is finance, marketing, or operations. You risk less downtime and expenditures (that would be used for in-house IT staff) when time can be allocated to other parts of your business to drive revenue.
Quick Response Times
As the old adage says, “time is money.” SMBs benefit from managed IT services because their support team is working remotely, and your customers get support no matter where, when or what time the needs arise. Support services can be reached 24/7, 365 days a year.
Save Money in the Long Run
In the long run, calling in a technician every time your system breaks down could cost your business more over time (not including the loss of operation time).
For budgeting purposes, SMBs benefit from managed IT services, because you will have a handle on what your IT costs will be month to month. Together, you and your managed IT services provider will arrange a flat fee to include coverage during normal business hours, and after hours.
For SMBs, Managed IT services are a cost-effective solution for the long run. By outsourcing your IT needs, your employees can stay focused on doing what your business does best.
Prevent problems before they arise, and start a relationship with a professional who keeps attuned to the latest tech developments to keep your systems running well. Using a Managed IT Services provider who focuses on SMBs, like Harrington Technologies, provides critical day-to-day support and maintenance of your network.