“My IT person just quit! What should I do now!?”

If you haven’t said these words yet, just wait – it’s a matter of time.

For small businesses and organizations, finding and retaining IT talent is a huge expense and time commitment. The technology industry is a highly competitive career field and talented IT professionals want to be continually challenged and educated. If your business is relying on one or two IT professionals to keep your tech working, you will encounter the loss of a trusted employee.

What’s most important is that you realize this is really an opportunity for your business, not a loss. Yes, it’s true that you’re being forced to reevaluate your IT department. And, most likely, you didn’t put this into the budget. But, in business, unexpectant things happen. As a business owner, now is your chance to survey your company’s current and future IT environment, align it with your business plan and engage the right people to help you plan, deploy and support it.

3 Critical Services to Look for in a New IT Provider

When your IT person leaves or must be replaced, you lose more than just someone who can fix your workstations. You lose the institutional knowledge that person holds of your network. More important, you lose a trusted resource.

If you are using the loss of your IT member as an opportunity to position yourself for growth, what should you look for in a new IT partnership?

  1. An IT person or provider who will be able to map out your IT infrastructure and report to you what’s being done correctly and what needs improvement. Essentially, your new IT provider needs to be able to quickly understand your current technology and what needs to be done with it to position your company for growth.
  2. Someone who can make the transition smooth. Moving from one provider to another can be bumpy. But the right IT provider will make it simple by collaborating with your departing person or provider to seamlessly transfer control and knowledge of your network.
  3. A provider who will lead you to the right solutions for your company – no more and no less. Rather than going without needed technology or encumbering yourself with technology you don’t need, partnering with a managed service provider with knowledge of your industry will give you the resources you need to get your IT investment just right for your business.

These critical services are crucial to be an effective IT provider and should be expected of any managed service provider (MSP) you engage.

How IT Can Grow Your Business

Businesses of all sizes need well-planned and -maintained technology solutions. That’s what we provide our clients.

Upon engaging with a new client, we immediately assess the business’ current IT, note areas of success and improvement, and present leadership with a report on their IT’s standing. During this process, we work with your current IT person or provider to make the transition simple. We then work with company leadership to align IT with their business strategy. Using our knowledge of industry standards and best practices, we offer technology solutions customized to the business’ needs – no more and no less – that position the business for growth.

Simplifying Your IT with Simpleworks

Our mission is to make business technology simple. We simplify your IT. It’s right there in our name. Your technology simply works when you partner with us. We view partnerships as long-term relationships with our clients. We’re invested in their success because it’s our success.

We aim to serve our clients as a trusted partner and resource for all their information technology needs. If you’d like to learn more about how we can become your trusted IT team, contact us online or by phone at 719-476-0444.

We don’t often think of it this way, but our technology providers are rather intimate with our businesses. Indeed, technology touches almost every area of our businesses – from allowing us to check our work email from our phones to securing our most confidential information. Our IT, and, thus, our IT providers, have access to the most important areas of our businesses. That means you need to be able to trust your IT provider and depend on them to be there for you when you need them most. It’s not altogether different from getting married.

However, like most relationships, it can take a while to find the right one before settling down for a future together.

6 Signs Your IT Provider May Be Wrong for You

Your IT provider will send signals about the value and future they place in your business relationship. Some will be subtle and some not so subtle:

  1. Recurrent downtime
  2. Never seeming to be able to solve the root cause of issues
  3. Leaving you on hold for support
  4. Nickel-and-diming you for every service
  5. Not helping you align your IT with your business goals
  6. Never calling to check on your IT and your needs

Don’t let your feelings get hurt. They probably treat all their clients the same way. It’s not you; it’s them.

At the same time, you don’t want to become complacent. If you’re not getting the service and proactive IT planning that your business needs to grow, it’s time to move on.

Finding the Right IT Provider for Your Business

The first thing to realize when searching for a new IT provider is that you get what you pay for. If you aren’t willing to invest in your technology, you’ll keep falling for poorly performing IT providers. Remember: the time you spend struggling with inadequate IT is time you could be spending improving your business and readying it for growth.

Once you’ve committed to investing in your technology to help your business grow, don’t fall for the first managed service provider (MSP) you meet. Do your due diligence first. Here are a few key things to consider as you search for a long-term IT partnership:

  • Talk to your peers about their experiences with IT providers. Industry peers are often great resources for insight into how an MSP performs on a daily basis. They can also help you identify MSPs you might want to begin talking to. Don’t take their word for it, though. Trust, but verify.
  • Identify your business’ needs and goals. The only way to effectively align your technology with your business plan is to review and plan ahead for the technology you’ll need. For instance, if you’re planning to hire new employees, you’ll need to also plan for more laptops, more storage, more licensesand other technical considerations.
  • Communicate your needs to prospective IT providers. Does the provider clearly understand your business goals and explain how their technology solutions will help you achieve them?
  • Look for industry-experienced MSPs. IT providers with experience in your industry, especially if you’re in a regulated industry, gives you a leg-up as they already know the requirements you must meet to comply with laws and regulations.
  • Can the provider secure your network and most confidential data? Whether it’s intellectual property or personally identifiable information, hackers are interested in the data that companies store. Your potential IT provider should be able to clearly explain how their solutions protect your business from cyberattacks.
  • Reliable, tested disaster response and backups. Any MSP you seriously consider should have experience developing disaster response plans and ensuring your backups are tested on a regular basis and working. Your backups are your last resort in the event of a disaster or cyberattack.
  • Experienced and expert staff. Does the IT provider have a strong, talented technical team with industry experience, certifications and quality toolsets for managing, tweaking, adjusting and proactively monitoring your IT environment? It should.
  • Verify. As we noted above, you should verify the information you gather by contacting the provider’s other clients and references to get a better picture of how they work.
  • Reporting and metrics. Make sure the IT provider can provide you with regular reports on their metrics for success in serving your business. An honest self-appraisal indicates an honest provider.

Comparing IT Providers – It’s Not Always Apples to Apples.

By starting your IT provider search with the questions above, the answers will help you narrow the field to those providers that better match your business. At Simpleworks, we’ve simplified managed IT from start to finish.

Our new Simple Technology Solution takes the mystery out of IT contracts:

– No hidden fees.

– What you see is what you get.

– Your IT investment is predictable.

– Our program automatically scales with your business’ needs.

Ready for a Simple Technology Solution?

When you partner with us, we completely handle the transition and employee training. We also coordinate with your former or current IT provider, so you don’t have to do anything.

If you’d like to learn more about simplifying your IT, contact us here or call us at 719-476-0444.

 

At Simpleworks, fall is a time of new beginnings. We have two major announcements to share with you on our new beginnings:

  1. Our new website is now live, check it out!
  2. Your invited to our Open House!

This relaunching of the Simpleworks brand is focused on conveying our message of “Simplicity” to you – our clients, friends and Colorado Springs neighbors.

Our office, located on Garden of the Gods Road, has been redesigned with a client-first focus.

We are so excited about these new changes that we want to invite you to check them out at our Open House on Friday, September 14.

Open House – 5 Reasons to Attend

  1. Our own Chef Josh will be serving fresh homemade street tacos
  2. Cold beers and refreshments on tap!
  3. Check out our client-focused Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
  4. Discover our secret to providing IT rapid response for our clients
  5. Meet the team that keeps IT simply working for so many Colorado Springs businesses.

Going Local: Simply Colorado Springs

Simpleworks’ mission to support our local businesses is in our DNA. We embrace this philosophy in both work and play – including how we cook. Our own, Chef Josh (aka Joshua Brambila, Simpleworks’ General Manager), is prepping and serving homemade street tacos at our Open House event.

We are excited to host you and show off how we make managing your IT simple for you. Come for the food, stay for the tours and get to know the team.

Client-Focused: Rapid Response

Our remodeling project provided an opportunity for us to reinvent how our team supports our clients. For example, each technician has three monitors on their desks. Two monitors are for daily tasks and monitoring of our clients’ network environments. The third monitor is dedicated to each tech’s open tickets and responses. We strive for a 60-minute meaningful response on support tickets. This third monitor provides our team continuous visibility into our client’s needs and keeps client resolution top of mind.

TAC: Where IT Monitoring Happens

Our Technical Assistance Center (affectionately called the TAC) is the where the team performs our continuous, proactive network monitoring. We probe and discover probable IT events that could develop into issues if not addressed. By staying ahead of problems, we offer our clients strategic IT direction while ensuring reliable network performance.

Tours and Meet the Team

An open house would not be complete without friendly guided tours of our new facility, tour highlights are the TAC, our inventory cage and the break-fix area where we rack, test and stage equipment prior to deployment. You’ll have the chance to meet the monitoring techs behind the scenes that keep your network running smoothly.

Simple Managed IT Services

The relaunching of our website and remodeling of our office space is part of our overall goal of providing our Colorado Springs clients worry-free IT management services. We strive to be easy to work with, easy to connect with, and easy to understand. Our proactive IT monitoring services provide you with technology that simply works – so you don’t have to worry about IT. This allows you to do what you do best: growing a business and living life.

You’re Invited – Please RSVP

Please join us for our Open House on September 14. This is our opportunity to thank you for being our client, friend or neighbor, plus it’s a great excuse to have fun and learn more about each other.

Not every company has an IT infrastructure and budget large enough to justify full managed services of their environment. And some companies are only looking for a little help in supporting their environment. Nevertheless, nearly all companies rely on their IT to keep business operations productive and profitable. Simpleworks understands that small businesses require operational IT, but may not have the budget or need for a dedicated IT support staff. The solution is our hybrid managed service package.

Our Hybrid Managed Service

Our Hybrid Managed Service package gives you many of the benefits of having full-time IT support without the overhead. We will provide the following automated services:

  • Patching
  • Identification of old or problematic patches
  • Antivirus protection
  • Proactive monitoring
  • Automatic remediation and repair of common problems

In addition to these services, hybrid managed service clients will have access to our support ticket service, which operates 24 hours a day. Our support staff can diagnose any IT-related issue and give you an estimate for service.

Why Simpleworks?

Simpleworks is southern Colorado’s leading IT and managed services provider. Our IT professionals regularly work with business owners who need customized services based on their needs and budget. Give us a call or email us today to find out more about our managed service packages and how we can help you to remove the stress of unexpected IT issues.

If your business is like most, you can’t function without your phones. But it’s not just phone service that you need: voicemail, transferring, eFax, hold queues, and other features may be necessary for you to conduct business efficiently and productively. Then there’s the cost of these features to consider. Thanks to advances in digital technology, you have a range of different business communication solutions to fit your needs, your size, and your budget.

Common Business Phone Problems

Phone problems can be debilitating and costly. But it’s not only the loss of service that’s problematic—unreliable voicemail, malfunctioning hold queues, or connectivity issues could all be trying your customers’ patience and reducing your revenue. In addition, your internal communication could be suffering as more and more employees work remotely or travel for business. Plus, the phone service you have now could be costing you more than it needs to. And the actual hardware you’re using may be failing or out-of-date.

Business Communication Solutions

The technology available today has more features and reliability than ever before. Your communication system begins with the hardware: handsets, headsets, conference phones, mobile devices, etc. Then there are a number of different unified communication solutions to fit your needs and budget:

  • Hosted PBX: A simple, cost-efficient solution for small businesses with less than 50 users. We will install the system on a virtual private server (VPS), which can be managed by your internal IT team or Simpleworks.
  • Magnavoip: Our preferred hosted handset solution. Magnavoip is a feature-rich, cost-effective service for up to 500 users.
  • Voice over IP (VoIP) with Cisco Call Manager Express: A great solution for business with 250 users or less. Cisco’s VoIP system is affordable, customizable, scalable, and simple.
  • Microsoft Lync: The most comprehensive unified communication system on the market. Microsoft Lync is VoIP enabled and also provides instant messaging, video calling, screen sharing, and much more. It is cutting edge, versatile, and dependable.

Simpleworks Has You Covered

Simpleworks, a communication solution company, specializes in fixing communication problems so you can focus on your customers, not troubleshooting technical issues. We sell, install, and manage phone systems as well as unified communications services like VoIP, Magnavoip, and Microsoft Link. Give your local Colorado Springs IT and communication support team a call, and we’ll find a solution that fits your needs and your budget.

 

Nearly every business today relies heavily on information technology. Computers, Internet service, servers, phone systems, email, data storage, and calendars are all necessary for most businesses, large or small. We generally don’t realize how much we rely on our IT, in fact, until something goes wrong. But a disruption to any IT system can mean a serious hit to productivity, and even lost profits. Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions are put into place, IT systems will malfunction from time to time. These disruptions strike without warning at any time, day or night.

Simpleworks understands how vital it is that companies stay up and running, which is why we offer a 24/7 IT support service. Whether you have a system-wide crash on a large network or trouble with an individual computer, we have an IT specialist standing by to assist.

Superior 24/7 IT Support

Simpleworks offers a wide range of troubleshooting and repair services 24 hours a day. We have expertise with both Macs and Windows-based PCs, hardware and software issues, as well as connectivity and communications problems.

Beyond their expertise, our Colorado Springs computer support team is efficient, friendly, and professional. We understand how vital it is to keep our clients’ IT systems fully functional, so we tackle every problem as if it was our own—promptly and efficiently. This dedication to the needs of our customers is why we are the most trusted IT support company in Colorado Springs.

How Our 24/7 IT Support Service Works

All you need to do is submit a ticket to our 24/7 computer support team at support@simpleworksit.com or through our automated phone system. You will then receive a response within one hour. Our technician will diagnose the problem and may be able to assist remotely. If not, we will come to you. If you are a larger company, you may want to set up a contract with us that includes 24/7 computer support. If not, we offer an hourly rate to cover your specific emergency.

Don’t Let Your IT Down!

Don’t spin your wheels trying to troubleshoot a problem yourself or let your IT problems lead to a loss of productivity or profits. Give the pros at Simpleworks a call today so we can get your back up and running!

 

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Essentially what it does is convert audio phone signals that are normally broadcast in analog format to digital data, which can then be sent over the Internet. What this means is that businesses can use their Internet connection to make free phone calls. Since long-distance and international calls can be cripplingly expensive with standard phone service, a VoIP and Voice solution can save a business a lot of money and help them reach out to a larger global market without cutting too deeply into their budget.

Some companies may be skeptical about using VoIP, however, afraid that calls may be unclear or frequently dropped. The truth is, though, you are probably already using VoIP whenever you make long distance phone calls; more and more phone companies are using this protocol to reduce bandwidth and streamline their network. In fact, according to a study done by Juniper Research, one billion people will be using VoIP by 2017 and all the leading VoIP carriers are “becoming increasingly sophisticated in their service offerings.”

Here is how the system works. A business phone provider will install an Internet connection via Ethernet cable, which guarantees fast Internet speeds and better performance. This prevents calls from being dropped or losing sound quality. Next, a voice service is enabled by the business phone provider using routing technology so that calls can be placed cheaply (or free, in some cases)—both across the country and around the world. Most providers can actually use a company’s existing phone connection in order to set up the VoIP system. Any headsets and microphones needed are usually included in the provider’s installation services if the company does not already have them or want to purchase them separately.

Once the system is installed, businesses are able to access a wide range of call solutions including:

  • two- and three-way call waiting
  • direct inward dial
  • call transfers
  • hold music
  • attaching messages to emails
  • listening to voicemails over the Internet.

Despite all of these benefits, VoIP services are viable and reasonably priced, making them an asset to any company, large or small.

VoIP and Voice solutions might sound complicated on the surface, but they are actually incredibly user-friendly resources and provide a wide range of useful services. In today’s competitive market, the ability to communicate effectively with clients—without paying a fortune—can give a business the edge it needs to get ahead. Don’t get left behind. Let Simpleworks help you to set up your VoIP system today.

If you are a typical customer, you have no doubt had some less than pleasant experiences with tech support at some point—or at all points. If you can find a number to call, you will probably have to traverse your way through a maze of automated options (none of which ever seem to address the specific problem). If you can find your way to a human being, there are generally five types of techs you will encounter:

1. The Robot: The robot reads to you from a script that may or may not apply to what you’re asking. It will probably make you answer a series of unrelated questions before finding a script that seems appropriate. Whatever you do, don’t ask the robot how its day is going (there isn’t a script for that question, so the robot will become disoriented).

2. The Kindergarten Teacher: The Kindergarten Teacher will talk to you in a soft, slow voice and insist that your modem is not plugged in correctly or needs to be restarted. After assuring the Kindergarten Teacher that you’ve already checked that, he or she will ask you if your monitor is plugged in. This can go on for hours and will leave you feeling like a child, but the problem still won’t be fixed.

3. The Drive-Thru Voice: The Drive-Thru Voice is saying something to you, but you have no idea what it is. Every time you try to clarify, the voice on the other end asks you to repeat it or spell it out, but you can’t be sure. After 10 minutes, you may have finally been able to explain the problem, but right about then you’ll get disconnected.

4. The Slacker: The Slacker will not know how to fix your issue and will seem quite uninterested in finding out. The Slacker will sound irritated that you interrupted his or her game of minesweeper and is perfectly content leaving you with a “You’ll need to bring it in” instead of searching for a solution. One positive, though, is that the Slacker may transfer you to the Wizard.

5. The Wizard: The Wizard gets on the phone and immediately instills confidence. The Wizard knows everything about your computer, how to explain every step, and exactly what the problem is. He is the IT professional you’ve been searching for your whole life. Make sure to keep him or her on the line as long as possible, though, because once you hang up, you may never get the Wizard again.

Now, if you’re just trying to get your tablet to unfreeze, this isn’t much more than a hassle. If you are a business, though, proactive tech support can mean the difference between profits and deficits. Nearly every business serves its customers with some kind of technology, and technical difficulties are guaranteed to arise from time to time. Without proactiveengaged, and skilled IT specialists backing you up, your company will lose money and productivity—even customers.

But you don’t just want to make sure that you get the Wizard every time you call tech support; you want the Wizard to call you before a problem even happens! A proactive IT support company will go beyond troubleshooting by:

  • Performing routine maintenance
  • Looking at statistics and trends to predict and prevent future technical problems
  • Scheduling service outages in advance for times when user requirements will be low instead of inconveniencing customers and employees with lengthy, unscheduled outages that occur due to neglect or lack of foresight.

While many IT support companies may have more wizards than slackers, they often only help their customers once a problem arises. A company like Simpleworks, on the other hand, provides proactive customer service—not just when everyone in the office suddenly can’t get online—but by helping businesses avoid service outages and other inconvenient IT problems in the first place.

When it comes time for your business to select an IT solutions company, choosing a proactive IT support company will help you to conserve precious resources while at the same time providing top-notch customer service. By properly maintaining a company’s infrastructure, proactive support will help your company save money and provide better customer service. After all, happy customers lead to profitable businesses.

So if you’re tired of going through all those other slacking IT companies in town, don’t get frustrated anymore: give the awesome guys at Simpleworks a call today! They are there to help you at any time of day and are on their toes, ready to inform you of an issue before you may even know about it. Contact them now!