27 Feb 2020

Finding the Right Computer Support Service Provider

Many small and medium-sized businesses choose to hire IT management and computer support service providers for their ongoing technology needs. Contracting out your IT and computer needs comes with several benefits, including: 

  • Lowered overall costs for hours spent 
  • More advanced employee training & support
  • Faster service and less down-time for the business
  • Services that are geared less toward “break and fix” and more toward prevention and maintenance 
  • Services that help your business operate more smoothly and efficiently

If you’re considering hiring a managed service provider, choosing the correct provider is essential. You want to make sure that your company’s computer system is in the best possible hands, so you never have to worry about something going wrong. Here are our top tips on selecting the perfect computer support service provider in Edmonton for your business.

 

What Does a Computer Service Provider Do?

Computer service providers are experts at ensuring that your business runs smoothly. They have many roles in the inner workings of your business, from installing and maintaining software to providing support for all of your IT-related issues. 

For a small to medium-sized business, using a managed service provider (MSP) may be more beneficial. An MSP helps you outsource your business’s IT infrastructure, making it far less costly for you. Many SMBs don’t have access to the full scope of IT services when they’re managed internally, so an MSP is often a better choice. MSPs help your business stay on top of things and protect you from threats like ransomware, which can easily cost businesses thousands of dollars. 

 

Our Tips For Finding the Perfect Computer Service Provider

Do They Provide the Services You’re Looking For?

One of the first things to do when researching potential service providers is to check exactly which services they provide. Find out when they’re available to provide support, which programs they work with or specialize in, and if they can help you meet your specific expectations and business goals. It’s good to find a company that delivers a diverse number of services as well, as it’s never a bad thing to have more versatility and options as your business grows.

 

What Does Their History Look Like?

You can see a lot about a company by looking at their background and who they’ve worked with before. Customer testimonials and reviews give you an inside look at the company from people who have worked and dealt with them before. If you feel hesitant or you’ve been burned by other service providers before, don’t be afraid to ask specifically for a business’s qualifications (and the qualifications of employees) to be sure they have the quality training and education you’re looking for. Think of it as if you were hiring an employee and conduct your research and meetings like you would for a job candidate.

 

What Are Their Prices and How Do They Work?

 Being unsure about any aspect of pricing is a surefire way to be disappointed. Be upfront with your potential providers about their pricing and the costs of working with them. Your provider should offer their services for a fixed fee that you can trust. Also peak with the provider about when you’ll be paying for their services, and whether it’s on an ad-hoc or scheduled basis. 

 

What Are Their Response Times Like?

When you have an IT-related issue, you want to get it solved as soon as possible, and you’ll want to know how long it will take to get these problems fixed and get up and running. The amount of time it takes for a response is partially dependent on how much you’re willing to pay, so be sure to talk to your provider about finding the balance between cost and response time.

 

Finding The Perfect Managed Service Provider

Be sure to reach out and ask your potential computer support service providers in Edmonton any questions you have before you begin working with them. You want a service provider that is dedicated to prioritizing your business’s success, and is willing to offer high-quality work to help you get the most out of your technology infrastructure. 

If you’re looking for a well-reviewed managed service provider in Edmonton for your small business, contact Alt-Tech to learn more about how we help our clients strengthen and grow their businesses through computer, cybersecurity, and IT services.

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10 Feb 2020

10 Tech Trends for Businesses to Watch in 2020

Technology is advancing faster than ever before, and there are plenty of new game-changers working their way into the technological trends for 2020 and beyond. Here are the top ten tech trends that will help you optimize your business this year:

 

1. The Release of 5G

The race for 5th-generation mobile networks has already begun. While 5G became available in some areas during 2019, the tech still has a low availability. In 2020, it’s expected to become far more widespread. 5G allows for much faster downloads and uploads plus a more stable connection than its predecessors, as well as an easier way for other trends like autonomous driving to advance and develop. 5G will make your work more time-efficient and productive.

 

2. The Multi-Cloud

Using a multi-cloud strategy involves using multiple different cloud providers to meet separate requirements. Multicloud is becoming more and more commonplace every day thanks to multiple benefits. One reason you may decide to use multi-cloud strategies is if you want to avoid getting ‘locked in’ to the infrastructure of a single cloud provider. Another reason may be the security and recovery – putting all your data into one cloud can hurt if that cloud suffers an outage or something similar. Overall, it can make your work more efficient, and you’ll have fewer problems accessing your information. Keep in mind that it’s important to have a strategy before you migrate your data to the cloud successfully

 

3. AI Security

Cybersecurity is key, especially with new and improved technological developments. Businesses are beginning to discover that using AI can be a fantastic way to combat security issues and keep your servers and data safe. This AI can be used in multiple different ways, from analyzing data to defending against network attackers, protecting your business from harm.

 

4. Digital Twinning

Digital twins are ideal for developing and operating assets and infrastructure. A digital twin is a software model of a physical object, essentially a replica of a real-world object designed to predict accurate outputs for the inputs you provide. This tool can be used for many different issues, with manufacturing being the most common; it even includes the healthcare sector, with accurate replicas of human patients. Being able to understand how a structure will react in different situations allows for a safer and easier work process.

 

5. Autonomous Vehicles

You’ve probably already heard the buzz around autonomous driving. Companies like Tesla are testing the limits around intelligent driving, and the concept is becoming more and more rational. It’s not just driving, either – concepts like drone delivery are finally becoming possibilities instead of fantasies. These autonomous devices can lower the safety risks in your work environment and improve your efficiency.

 

6. The Rise of Blockchain

A blockchain is a form of database used to record transactions in a more encrypted and safe way. A popular form of blockchain you’ve likely heard of is Bitcoin, but other blockchains are likely to rise in 2020. Blockchains use technology, making it impossible to alter or manipulate your transactions, making it an attractive choice as it allows for complete safety in your business’s transactions.

 

7. Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a relatively new concept in the technological world, but the appeal is growing fast. A quantum computer uses aspects of quantum mechanics to work. Quantum computers would be able to store far more information than a classical computer today and would solve problems today’s computers can’t even begin to handle.

 

8. Edge Computing

Edge computing essentially brings the cloud to you. Instead of your data needing to be sent to a data centre, it can be processed much closer to you. This means your data can be prospered even faster; whether it’s going to a website or talking to a voice assistant like Google Home, you’ll get a response faster than the speed of light. Efficiency is incredibly important in a business environment, and this is a great way to take advantage of it.

 

9. Medicine and Health Advancements

Health technology is developing more and more every day. Advancements in tech like AI and double twinning now allow for multiple new possibilities in the world of medicine. We are constantly gaining a better understanding of how our bodies respond to diseases and illnesses as well as medication. This year we will be able to see more personalized healthcare as well as new breakthroughs in medicine.

 

10. Extended Reality

Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term for all kinds of immersive realities, like augmented reality or virtual reality. These technologies have been mostly used for entertainment purposes but are quickly becoming more useful for businesses, particularly in terms of training. Training through simulation allows for a consequence-free learning environment for any new workers.

 

Stay Up to Date on Technology in Your Business

2020 is a year of great opportunities for your business. Staying caught up on new tech trends and implementing them into your business is a fantastic way to stay in the market. The way you use technology has the potential to change the future, so use it to your advantage. 

To learn how to bring new hardware and software solutions into your business, get in touch with Alt-Tech’s experts. There’s nothing we love more than helping a business take their technology capabilities to the next level. 

 

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24 May 2019

How to Prepare Your Business for a Phishing Scam

Working online comes with certain risks. There are computer viruses, malware, spyware, worms, Trojan horses, and ransomware – just to name a few. With all of these potential threats, how can you keep your company safe online?

According to a 2017 study, 90% of online attacks can be traced back to phishing scams. Even though so many attacks are related to phishing, many companies still aren’t sure how to identify and avoid phishing scams. To help, we’ve put together some of the best ways to identify and prepare for a phishing attack.

 

What is a Phishing Scam?

A phishing scam is one of the most common cyber attacks we face. In a phishing scam, the hacker will usually disguise themselves as a reputable company and contact you through email. The phishing message will ask you to click a link or download an attachment, which allows the hacker access to your personal information like credit card numbers, account numbers, login credentials, and other sensitive company information. This also leaves you vulnerable to malware attacks.

While phishing emails are most common, there has been a spike in phishing attacks using text messages and direct phone calls. We’ve also seen an increase in spear phishing, which is a targeted phishing attempt directed at and personalized for a specific individual. These attacks are typically geared toward identity theft, so make sure to pay close attention to suspicious texts and phone calls.

 

How Can You Detect Phishing?

Phishing emails used to be littered with spelling errors and obvious mistakes that made them easy to identify. Scammers have gotten a little smarter over the years. Fortunately, there are still a couple simple ways you can detect a phishing attack before it strikes.

 

Read Closely

While it isn’t common anymore, it’s still best to double check all emails for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, or other red flags. These are all signs of a phishing scam. Remember, if an email seems ‘phishy’, it probably is.

 

Look For Urgency

A phishing scam will usually want you to act now. Maybe it’ll say that your account is about to be closed or that there’s a limited time offer. Either way, their goal is to make you feel as if you need to act quickly. Remember, most companies won’t close your account without ample warning, so don’t panic. This urgency could indicate a phishing scam.

 

Double Check the Information

While it might look like it comes from a legitimate site, a phishing email will be coming from a less than reputable source. You can verify the legitimacy of the email by looking at the sender’s email address, the phone number and contact information, by contacting the legitimate institution to verify, or by typing the alleged web address in a search engine.

 

Protect Your Business

The best way to protect yourself from phishing scams is through preparation!While you can usually identify a phishing scam using the tips above, it’s still best to have a little extra protection in place.

 

Update and Install Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software

You can keep your personal information more secure by keeping your computer’s operating system and anti-virus tools completely up to date. And this helps with more than just phishing attacks. Having anti-virus and anti-malware in place will help protect your business from all kinds of online attacks.

 

Educate, Educate, Educate!

Your employees are your best defense against online attacks. To get them on board, train every employee on what a phishing scam is, how to detect it, and what the proper response is.

 

By following these steps, you can help prevent phishing scams from harming your business. If you want to improve your business’ online security, call Alt-Tech’s security team and learn how we can help protect your business online.

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