It All Started With a Tree …
Continuity Centers is the result of a rather unusual genesis: it all happened because of a tree. Way back when, just before the internet existed, two teenage boys – Greg and Henry – became fascinated with some of the first PC-based games. Wanting to be able to play in tandem from their homes – just a few blocks from one another – they set up a 10Mbps laser Ethernet system to beam the IPX packets between their home-based computer networks. However, as spring bloomed on, their signal became strangely intermittent, especially on windy days.
With their experience and knowledge of the 7 layers of the OSI Model, they started troubleshooting at the physical layer, which quickly uncovered the issue: a budding maple tree was interrupting their laser signal with each gust of wind. To resolve these network outages, the pair armed themselves with a bow saw and walkie-talkies and cut a “window” in the tree. They left a perfect wedge-shaped hole to allow the laser beam to pass through without issue.
Their “nothing can stand (or grow) in our way” attitude intensified their devotion to technology and what they could make technology do for them – and in the future, for their clients.
The Nature of Information Technology
You don’t need an eBook to tell you this, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again: running a business is pretty darn hard. You’ve got to deal with a lot of different things every day, and you can’t really afford to slip up. What exactly are these things? Well, for starters, you’ve got the management of your HR department, financial records, physical office space, legal permits and regulations, supply chain, overall production of goods and services… and of course, you’ve got to manage your IT.
Ah, that pesky IT.
“But, inanimate eBook”, you may ask, “What’s the difference between managing my IT and the rest of the other stuff? Why did you split it apart from the rest of the other stuff?”
Well, it’s quite simple, dear reader. Your IT constantly changes and evolves with both time AND as your company grows. And when we say “your”, we really mean “everybody’s”. As a matter of fact, 42% of small businesses plan to increase IT spending in 2017. That’s not because things cost more than they used to (quite the opposite, actually). It’s because there’s a greater need to purchase more advanced technology to keep up with competitors and to do better business as a whole.
While technology is a fantastic way to stay on the leading edge, there’s a pretty glaring flaw with it. Some tech is easily used and understood, like phones and desktops. Some of it can be a little more tough, like multi-function printers and copiers. And some of it… well, some it can drive even the most technologically-gifted person mad. This includes tech such as servers, firewalls, routers, and much more. In truth, even the other things mentioned have advanced configuration settings that require more than cursory IT knowledge to be properly utilized.
And the kicker to it all? You can’t get away with ignoring the technology anymore. For better or worse, you’re going to have to use more tech tools to keep up with others in the marketplace. And that’s where you must make a choice about how to handle it.
Many companies, especially the smaller ones, attempt to handle it all by themselves. It usually turns out okay…until they begin to grow. Managing one desktop PC and a home router is manageable, but when you start to add additional employees, network devices, and specialized software to the scenario, things begin to get dicey.
It won’t take long for you to need to make a choice. Either you continue to handle it on your own (which quickly becomes overwhelming) or you can seek assistance. With the right help, you’ll be able to tackle any IT issues with no problem at all. You’ll be able to grow your business without worrying about your IT holding you back.
“So who exactly do I turn to do handle my IT?”, you ask.
Well, that’s easy. Turn to an experienced MSP.
What Can an MSP Do for You?
When we say MSP, we’re not talking about members of the Scottish parliament (sorry, Scots). We’re talking about managed service providers. These managed service providers do exactly what their name implies: they manage the IT services that they provide for your company. However, not all MSPs are the same. They don’t always offer the same services, nor do they always use the same tools. In other words, you need to choose your partner carefully.
Choosing the perfect MSP to partner with is similar to shopping for a car. Sure, in a technical sense, every car will take you from point A to point B. But some cars offer features that others don’t. Some use higher-quality materials, some have smoother rides, and some are known for their reliability. And shopping for a low-end used car can often backfire, leading to more problems and costs than choosing to spend a little more on a better car.
After all, the point of it all is to reach point B.
To clarify further, that doesn’t mean you need to choose the most expensive MSP. High cost doesn’t always correlate to quality; it correlates to more money drawn from the budget.
So what IS important when choosing an MSP to partner with?
You need to choose one that provides multiple benefits. Forbes highlighted four ways managed services transform small and medium-sized businesses: “improved operational performance, reduced operational risk, cost avoidance and accelerated innovation.” The ideal MSP makes life easier for you and your company, handling your IT with professional care.
Broken down, there are four key things an MSP does for you. Let’s take a look at them now.
They Save You Time
When problems arise in your IT infrastructure, you’ll likely experience downtime. Downtime is the archenemy of productivity. And the longer it happens, the more it hurts your business.
ITIC’s latest survey data finds that 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000; 81% of respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. And a record one-third or 33% of enterprises report that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1 million to over $5 million.
Handling the issues that caused the downtime can be extremely time-consuming. You’re more than likely not equipped to handle these issues, but an MSP can get you back up and running in a relatively short amount of time.
They Optimize Your IT Budget
Managed service providers are fantastic at removing unnecessary expenditures from your budget. Without them, it’s up to you to hire a person (or even multiple people) that can handle your IT for you. That means multiple salaries, benefits, HR headaches, taxes, and all of the additional work that comes with handling additional employees.
On the other hand, MSPs give you IT support without any of the headaches. Apart from the sheer amount of work you’re handing off, you’re also saving a notable amount. With the money you save, you can focus on improving your business and doing what matters most to you.
They Give You Access to Professionals
Working with amateur IT support can wreak more havoc on your infrastructure than it’s worth. After all, IT is just like every other field; pay more money, get more experienced employees. And though it’s largely true, it’s also true that there are ways around that. Namely (you guessed it) an MSP.
Reputable managed service providers go out of their way to hire the best minds in the IT field. Often, they’ll hire technicians and engineers with experience in specific industries that can cater to clients with various different needs.
They Give You Proactive Responses
When technical support began to rise in popularity and necessity, there was a struggle to figure out the best way to administer services. The most prominent method that came from the early eras was known as break/fix IT. As the name implies, this form waited for things to break before IT technicians would be dispatched to fix the problem. And for a while, it worked pretty well.
But as time progressed, more devices were introduced to workspaces. Aside from sheer numbers, these devices also became pivotal for the overall productivity and output of the company. Before anyone knew it, the break/fix service model became unfeasible. Modern managed service companies switched to the managed services model, which meant that offices and workspaces were proactively monitored for possible errors before they happened.
The modern managed services model is the ideal system for businesses today. Proactive support saves you money, reduces downtime, and always gives you faster support than break/fix.
Streamline Your Operations with Wekos
If you find a managed service partner that can do all of those things, your business will notice immediate benefits. Lucky for you, you happen to be reading an eBook of exactly one of those partners.
At Continuity Centers, we’re always ready to partner with businesses that want more than just IT services. We want to work with businesses that have a passion for what they do, and want to keep growing constantly. But for that, they need their IT to be optimized for streamlined operations.
That’s exactly why we offer our clients a managed service solution called “wekos”. With wekos, you gain invaluable peace of mind along with efficient technology that works as an asset for your business. In other words, when you’re coming up with new ideas to take your business to the next level, wekos is perfecting the technology to make it happen.
What we do:
Wekos isn’t just there to fix whatever is broken in your workplace. It does much more than that. One of the many things that we do is improve the overall performance and stability of your network infrastructure. We’ll assess your network and identify where it is most vulnerable, as well as where it is the strongest. Wekos will take that information and act upon it, strengthening weaknesses and balancing your network to be the best that it can be.
What that does for you:
With an optimized network, the sky’s the limit. An optimized network means you’ll have clearer channels for communication, programs, and devices. And with those all segmented properly, you’ll enjoy better communication and faster internet speeds due to the lack of network clutter.
Proactively Tackling Issues
What we do:
Like we discussed in the previous chapter, we follow the managed services model. That means we proactively handle issues that occur within your work environment before they have a chance to become real problems. This can include monitoring for impending hardware failure, resolving software errors and glitches, or even removing viruses before they have a chance to effectively strike.
What that does for you:
When we completely handle your IT issues, you get to enjoy peace of mind. After all, why would you need to worry about it? Using wekos means it’s being handled around-the-clock by talented industry professionals. You can work without worry of ever being slowed down by problematic IT issues.
Software Upgrades, Patching, and Maintenance
What we do:
Without a doubt, software is one of the most high maintenance aspects of IT. We take care to keep your programs and applications fully updated and running smoothly. We also apply the latest patches to your software, in turn keeping your company’s data secure.
What that does for you:
Working with the latest and most secure version of programs gives you access to the most advanced features available on the market. That translates to a competitive advantage over those who don’t keep up with updates and better security over those who don’t follow proper patch policy.
The Scalability of Wekos
What we do:
Wekos is useful to companies of any size and industry. That’s because we can add or shrink resources to meet your needs at any time. With a flat and constant monthly pricing model, you’ll never be surprised by your bill. It also makes it inherently easier to create a comprehensive IT budget that is presentable and easy to follow. With 42% of small businesses planning to increase IT spending in 2017, the ability to predict the budget becomes extremely valuable.
What that does for you:
With our scalability, you can grow as much as you need to without risk of jeopardizing your IT support. You won’t need to change your plan and you won’t lose access to the wealth of knowledge of our technicians and engineers. In other words, your business can change; we’ll be there with you the whole time.
Your IT, Streamlined
With everything combined, you’ll notice a significant reduction of issues and headaches. Each individual aspect of wekos functions to provide you with the most effective and comprehensive managed services.
Your Business on the Go
The work capabilities of the modern-day employee are far greater than those of past decades. Long gone are the days where work started and ended at a stationary office desktop. Nowadays, employees can usually connect to their data using their mobile devices with just as much ease as their work computer.
For us, that translates to providing ample remote support. We also need to provide you with clear pathways to your data that never fail, so you can access your files from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. And, of course, there are security concerns that we need to address to keep your company secure and compliant with certain industry regulations.
All About the Access
Working from anywhere sounds great on paper, but it can be tricky to implement the necessary infrastructure successfully. Remote working requires companies to have accessible data vaults, such as cloud servers, for employee access. These vaults must be secured with stringent password credentials and encrypted data. After all, there’s no telling where the employee will access the files from; they need to be secured so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Wekos facilitates remote working by setting up the necessary policies for both your data and your accessing employee.
Remote IT Support, Anytime
Working remotely keeps productivity at an all-time high. And it shows – 74% of businesses feel like cloud computing has given them a competitive advantage. That’s because employees aren’t limited by their physical office space; instead, they can shoot a quick email here and update an important file there. Unfortunately, things don’t always go perfectly all the time.
When things go wrong, you can always turn to us to fix the issue at any time.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Employees are much happier as a whole when they’re allowed to work remotely. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part-time. Two to three days a week seems to be the sweet spot that allows for a balance of concentrative work (at home) and collaborative work (at the office).
Our remote support allows them to work as much as they want, whenever they want. In these conditions, your employees will produce higher-quality work at a faster rate. And of course, they’ll appreciate their boss that let them work from home.
Around-the-Clock Remote Monitoring
One of the biggest concerns of modern companies is their cybersecurity. Managed service providers give businesses what they need to protect themselves against some of the more prominent threats out on the web, like ransomware, malware, and hackers.
Cybercrime damage costs are projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. And unfortunately, small businesses aren’t spared from these projections. In fact, 43% of cyber attacks specifically target small businesses. Why? Because they often skip out on proper cybersecurity measures, making them easy targets for digital extortion.
But with us as your partner, you’ll be able to defend your business from threats with 3 key features at your side.
1. Antivirus Protection
You encounter multiple viruses on the internet every day, but you may not be aware of it. They can come in the form of downloadable links on a website, attachments from suspicious emails, and even directly into your systems through unpatched software. Without adequate protection, you’re open to viruses to run freely throughout your systems.
But partnering with us means you can stop worrying about intrusive viruses. Wekos brings you advanced antivirus software that works every hour of the day to protect you against these threats. It constantly scans incoming files to ensure they don’t contain encrypted malware. If they detect a virus, they’ll automatically quarantine it and keep it secure from your critical data.
2. Compliance Safeguards
Antivirus protection is very important to protecting critical files within an organization. However, not every threat to your organization can be solved using software. For example, many organizations need to adhere to strict compliance regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI, and more. Keeping policies current with changing regulations is the number-one challenge for 47% of organizations.
And that’s where we come in. Wekos isn’t inflexible; we take your compliance restrictions and apply them to the way we administer support. We provide consistent remote monitoring that informs you if there’s an impending compliance breach. If a breach is about to happen, we’ll help you fix it and get back on track to staying compliant.
3. 24/7 Threat Detection
Our remote monitoring solution does much more than just keep you compliant; it keeps your business safe. Unfortunately, even great antivirus programs can only get you so far in the fight against cybercrime. For absolute protection, you need the 24/7 remote monitoring that wekos provides.
If your company is under direct attack by a hacker, you won’t have much time to act. Thankfully, our remote monitoring will inform us the moment someone tries to access your systems. From there, we’ll be able to dispatch an experienced team of network security specialists to enforce your infrastructure and repel the attacker, all while keeping your data safe. After the immediate threat is over, we’ll run intensive scans on your systems to ensure there are no remnants of malware.
Working with Continuity Centers
Integrating wekos as a part of your business is not only a smart decision; it’s also incredibly easy. We bring a lot to the table in terms of facilitating your productivity, keeping your IT systems running smoothly, and safeguarding your critical data. Putting us to work towards the overall success and growth of your company works effectively, backed by measurable results.
We’re committed to serving people. We’re not satisfied until your IT needs are met flawlessly. To continue the conversation with us about how we can help you and your company, contact us. We’d love to hear from you soon.