One of the most critical parts of any business is the management of the IT department. From local accounting firms to large conglomerates, managing IT services is essential so a business runs smoothly. Unfortunately, a lot of companies do not have the time, skills or experience to do it, which is why they look for an IT company in Calgary.

However, you shouldn’t just sign up with any IT company for your business. You need to do your research to find the right company for your business. These six tips should help you with your search.

The 6 Tips To Help Find The Right IT Company In Calgary For You


1) Determine if the Service Provider has Relevant Experience in your Industry

Technological systems vary depending on each industry. Transportation companies use a tracking system, while investment firms rely on accounting systems. You need an IT company that understands and has experience in your industry. A company who knows the ins and outs of your industry’s technology is vital. But more significantly, the company needs to understand how your industry operates, so you get the best results possible.

Asking the IT company if they have serviced similar companies in your industry, and if they delivered the expected results will help you decide if they are suited to work for you.

2) Can the IT Company Scale to your Organization’s Growth?

Being in business means some years you are going to be growing, while other years you’re going to be lean. As such, you have to adjust your organization going forward. At the same time, can the IT company do the same? Discuss the possibility of adjusting your IT services as your business adapts. You might be in flux, so the IT company has to follow suit as well.

3) How Fast is the IT Company with Troubleshooting? 

When you need troubleshooting for your IT services, will the company be ready to help you there and then? The last thing you want is for your systems to be down at an important time of year. Reliability is therefore crucial, and a fundamental characteristic of any IT company that offers managed IT services.

Every company has a process in which it responds and helps clients, so, therefore, their response times might vary. It is good to ask the company from the start, how long it will take them to get back to you. While the IT company might say “they’re fast”; proving it to you is how they are going to win you over. Use it to your advantage, and ask for facts to back up their statements and see if they can deliver what is expected.

4) Background Research on the IT Company’s Reputation 

Reputation is everything when it comes to business. The same logic applies to any IT company in Calgary. The more highly touted an IT support company is, the better. But how do you find out if the company can hold up their high standards? There are three ways to go about this:

Ask for them for references, and instead of taking it on face value, actually, call up the references for verification.

Check up reviews that other businesses have written online. Facebook, Google, and Yelp will provide you with that information. When you see a stream of happy customers, great reviews and solid ratings, then you know you’re in good stead.

Finally, look through their portfolio and let the IT company explain their work to you. You want to get an idea on the process behind how they generate success for other clients.

5) Get a Breakdown of the IT Company’s Rates & Workload 

You should have a firm idea on the time and type of work that will be done for you. So it is paramount to ask the company where your money is going for the IT managed services you’re paying for. Getting a breakdown of their rates gives you an insight into the time and work the company are putting into your business.

6) See if the IT Company Handles Any Upgrades

When it comes to staying on top of your systems, upgrading is part of the process. You will always want the newest and best software systems working for you so that you can maintain your business’ operations. It raises the question: will the IT company be on top of any updates and upgrades that need to happen? Is it part of your managed IT services in Calgary? You need to know how the company will help your systems stay relevant, so getting a breakdown of their processes will help you.

As the leading IT company in Calgary, Startech IT Services understands the importance of helping customers and providing them with the valuable support that they need. With our combined knowledge, experience, and approach customer service, we are the number one choice for your business’ IT services. Our StarCare Reachout Program is a fully customizable IT Services program designed for how your company uses IT and how it can improve it. To experience the best IT services in Calgary, call us on (403) 291-5507.

Unfortunately, not a lot of Calgary businesses see the benefits that come with outsourcing their IT department to an IT company. These businesses only notice the money they will be spending on these services. However, if they can look past this argument, they will see plenty of advantages that come with getting managed IT services in Calgary

Five Advantages To Hiring Managed IT Services In Calgary 

The Financial Benefits 

There are two ways in which a Calgary business will be saving money when hiring managed IT services in Calgary

Number one: the business will experience leaner staffing costs associated with hiring, training and paying employees. Outsourcing the IT support to an IT company means they are the ones responsible for their employees, reducing the need to hire and pay someone. 

Number two: the business will have lower overhead costs thanks to a reduction in purchasing hardware and obtaining software licenses. It will be managed by the IT company while business owners can focus on their goals. Any hardware or software update that is required for the support system will be handled by the company, reducing another expense on payroll. 

Despite the argument that businesses will be spending money on IT services, they will be saving money in the long term. 

Trained IT Professionals 

When paying the IT company for their services, the business is not just hiring one person, but a whole team with plenty of experience.

Since it’s their core competency, Calgary IT companies hold the responsibility of hiring staff with specific skills and qualifications. They’ll get the best of the best to deliver their services. 

Which trickles down to business owners. They’ll have specialists managing their IT support, providing on-going support and services. There is also the added benefit that comes with taking advantage of the knowledge available from the company – something businesses might not have with their own IT department. 

managed-IT-services-calgary

The Internal Team can Focus on The Core Business 

The employment of IT services means that internal IT department can refocus their time on delivering the business goals of the company. 

Whether it includes improved customer service, establishing new business processes, or strategizing ways to improve productivity, the internal IT department can now do it themselves.

Businesses will see a massive increase in IT productivity within their internal IT team. They’ll be working on projects to push the business forward, as opposed to them focusing on dealing with problems. 

Staying Ahead With Compliance & Security

The IT department will have to stay on top of any security breaches and compliance, which can be a time-consuming task.

It is something businesses won’t have to worry about if they’ve hired an IT company in Calgary.

The IT company can manage all the security protocols on all IT systems and protect sensitive data from internet threats, such as hacks or other security breaches. 

At the same time, the IT company will be able to monitor any compliance issues so that licenses are up-to-date. The IT company will fully understand understand the timelines and guidelines stipulated in the agreements, leaving businesses to focus on their goals. 

It’s a huge task that will be taken off the internal IT team’s list and left in the hands of professionals. 

Strategic Consulting For Businesses

One added benefit of working with a reliable IT company in Calgary is that they will have a base of strategies that can work for any business. 

Strategic decision-making when it comes to software and hardware should always lay in the hands of qualified and technically-minded teams. The IT company can develop a reliable and long-term strategy that will result in the business going to another level. 

If you want to take your business to the next level, then it is advisable that you look towards getting managed IT services in Calgary. Have experienced professionals work to deliver the high-earning long-term results you want for your business.

As the leading IT company in Calgary, Startech IT Services understands the importance of helping customers and providing them with the valuable support that they need. With our combined knowledge, experience, and approach customer service, we are the number one choice for your business’ IT services. Our StarCare Reachout Program is a fully customizable IT Services program designed for how your company uses IT and how it can improve it. To experience the best IT services in Calgary, call us on (403) 291-5507. 

Microsoft is announcing that support for several of their main stream products will end in 2019/2020. Although these products will still operate, they will no longer receive any feature or security updates. This means that computers running these software versions may become vulnerable to hackers. Microsoft recommends that users of these operating system consider upgrading to new versions. Read on to discover how Startech Business Systems will help you migrate your operating systems.

The following products are reaching their end-of-life:

SoftwareEnd-of-Life Date
Windows 714 January 2020
Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R214 January 2020
SQL Server 200809 July 2019
SharePoint Server 201020 October 2020
Exchange Server 201014 January 2020
Office 201013 October 2020

 

First, we will conduct a site audit to determine the system state or your current computers. We will determine which computer systems are compatible with Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016. We will check the main processor, amount of memory, available hard drive space, and appropriate video card. If you have computer systems that do not meet the minimum hardware requirements, we will develop a replacement plan for you. We can discuss numerous options available for you, including Hardware as a Service options.

Then, we will examine your license requirements and look at optimizing your resources. Optimizing your resources may reduce your overall cost of operating your suite of computers. We will also look at your resource management plan and provide recommendations on how to reduce your risk and improve your security. Startech can then provide a list of pros and cons for each recommendation along with pricing options.

Finally, our StarCare team will help you with the migration of your hardware to new operating and server systems. Our IT experts can complete backups of all of your important data and help migrate users to the new systems. We will work closely with you to ensure we minimize the impact on your business and complete the transition seamlessly. Contact Startech Business Systems today so that we can start your Windows migration plan.

On Wednesday, November 28th, Startech Business Systems Ltd. was joined by several of our valued clients, vendors and friends for our very first Cybersecurity information session.

We were privileged to be joined by Jason Maynard, Senior Consulting System Engineer – Cybersecurity at Cisco, who presented and spoke about various attack types and how you can protect your business.

Our guests enjoyed a variety of appetizers, wine and fantastic conversations with industry experts and great networking opportunities at the Cult Collective in Calgary’s historic Inglewood community.Startech Business Systems Ltd. would like to thank all our guests and Jason of Cisco for joining us this year. It is our hope to organize a security event for years to come.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made the evening a great success!

Social Engineering

Criminals are no longer hacking your firewalls and antivirus, they’re hacking your employees.

Social Engineering is the art of manipulating people to provide confidential information and access that wouldn’t normally be given to a complete stranger.

Often criminals will seek to acquire things like banking info, passwords to ecommerce sites, or access to your computer or server to install malicious software to then hold you or your company ransom.

How is this method so successful?

It has little to do with the security of your network and everything to do with education. Even though you may have the best home defense system with all the most up to date alarm systems, walls to keep out intruders and even a guard dog, you still may let a robber walk right into your house if you think he’s the pizza man or an old friend from high school.

How to prevent becoming a victim;

  • Slow down. Spammers want you to act first and think later. If the message conveys a sense of urgency, or uses high-pressure sales tactics be skeptical; never let their urgency influence your careful review.
  • Delete any request for financial information or passwords. If you get asked to reply to a message with personal information, it’s likely a scam.
  • Always be leery of links and documents. Stay in control by finding the website yourself by looking them up and watch for links with lines like ‘php’ or ‘script’ in them… these are usually bad news. You can study a link by hovering your mouse over them without clicking.
  • Even if the email address is really from someone you know, it could be a threat. Hackers, spammers, and social hackers are taking over control of people’s email accounts (and other communication accounts) frequently. Once they control someone’s email account they prey on the trust of all the person’s contacts.
  • Beware of any download. If you don’t know the sender personally AND expect a file from them, downloading anything is a mistake.

The Bottom Line

Technology is always evolving and criminals are constantly coming out with new smarter ways to exploit their victims. This is why it is so important that your IT company works with your team to ensure they are educated and prepared for their day to day run ins with social engineering.

 

The other reality is that every company may at some point be hacked or taken ransom by ransomware. The best final line of defense is a reliable backup of your company’s information with a fast recovery plan. Contact Startech today for information about our Social Engineering, Penetration tests and other IT assessments and services today!

 

I have had the great life experience and benefit of being part of the greatest growth in the information technology world. I participated and actively took part in the process of computerizing thousands of businesses with solid IT solutions, from Canada to Siberia, from Cyprus to Moscow. Our products and services have reached an vast number of businesses and people. Our first IT solution was moving a small business accounting firm from a written ledger to a computer based IT solution.

Extensive experience

I helped retire dozens of IBM® Selectric typewriters and AES & Wang word processing systems. As our ever changing Information Technology grew and the amounts of Data grew exponentially, managing that data became a challenge.
All these megabytes came from what we learned to be the Server, stand alone or in a group. They are a magic storage cabinet that the user takes for granted. We in the IT Industry initially thought that you needed a Server for each independent application, say for Payroll, Accounting, AutoCAD, Website and so on.

It was very common, years ago to enter a computer room of a small or midsize organization, and see 6 or 7 Servers standing on top of a table or in more sophisticated environments a Server Rack. This was and still is one of the great headaches for owners and managers. How to manage and budget for IT resources.

What is virtualization?

Along came a solution (introduced and made a de facto standard in the business world back in 2001) called VMware®. Businesses and Data Centers today use VMware and other virtualization techniques to make abstraction of the physical hardware, create large aggregated pools of logical resources consisting of CPUs, memory, disks, file storage, applications, networking, and offer those IT resources to users or customers in the form of agile, scalable, consolidated endless amount of storage.

 

In computing, virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource. This includes a Server or storage device network or even an operating system, where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments. Also, something as simple as partitioning a hard drive is virtualization because you take one drive and partition it to create two separate hard drives. Devices, applications and human users interact with the virtual resource as if it were a real single logical resource. As a result, the term virtualization has become somewhat of a buzzword, and as a result, the term is now associated with a number of computing technologies.

You can always call one of our experts to learn more about a virtualization solution for your business.

Frank Faria, is the founder of Startech Business Systems in Calgary. Frank understands business IT problems inside out because he was a business person before he was an IT person. Startech has been delivering Information Technology solutions since 1984, Frank can be reached at frank@www.startech.ca