Now that the office kitchen is clean, what can you say about the cleanliness of your most critical equipment – the computers? Your computers handle your business’ most important assets: accounting, financial records, communications and client information. You owe it to your business to make computer cleaning and updates a priority.
Keeping the outside of your computer sparkling clean isn’t just for visual appeal. Computers generate static electricity that attracts dust that can eventually clog fans and other components. Routine cleaning is important because it can keep the machine from overheating and destroying the hard drive and other components. Please use the following recommendations for cleaning the external surfaces of your computer.
Step 1: Turn off your computer and completely unplug all power sources. If you have a tower, unplug it. If you have a laptop, remove the battery.
Step 2: Open your computer by removing screws or use the sliding panel. Clean the vent by spraying compressed air to blow dust, crumbs and hair from the vent system. Keep the spray nozzle a few inches away from the components and always spray in short bursts. Don’t shake the computer to dislodge dust, you can loosen delicate parts. Consult the computer manual or check online if you need more specific instructions.
Step 3: Use a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol to carefully clean all seams. Clean the keyboard by using compressed air. Aim nozzle into the cracks to flush out crumbs and debris. Never use a vacuum device – this can create a static charge that can damage your computer. Use distilled water on a microfiber cloth to wipe down the screen. Never spray liquids directly onto the screen. Allow everything to dry before plugging the computer in, and then reattach any peripherals. This external cleaning regimen is recommended every few months unless your environment is more prone to dirt and dust. Businesses such as a salon or a manufacturing company probably require more frequent cleaning.
Your office computers are a critical asset to your business. Regular computer maintenance for both the exterior surfaces and the internal workings will keep your machine working at optimal efficiency. Computer Troubleshooters offers a maintenance program that will ensure these important tasks are done properly and on regular basis. Give your local Computer Troubleshooters office a call and one of their technology professionals will be happy to discuss this service with you.]]>
What is Remote Monitoring and Maintenance?
RMM is the act of monitoring your technology systems including servers, networks, and equipment 24/7 providing a view into the health and status of your IT services. This monitoring should produce real-time alerts and reporting in order to detect critical issues so corrective action can be taken quickly or ideally before they impact the business.
What are the benefits of Remote Monitoring and Maintenance for your technology systems and your business?
1. Early Detection: When you have measures in place to proactively detect technology issues you can have the opportunity to correct them before they have an impact on your business. RMM technology can also alert you to performance errors and equipment failures before they have a catastrophic impact on your bottom line, employee productivity, and client satisfaction.
2. Cost Effective: Being proactive about your technology gives you the ability to understand when equipment may be coming to the end of its life providing you the time to budget for replacement equipment. You are also not hit by costly emergency billing rates from IT Service Providers helping you get business critical equipment back up and running. And, finally since you are able to control when you replace equipment you are able to execute a plan to keep your business running smoothly when upgrade or replacing equipment and systems.
3. Employee Productivity: Maximize employee productivity by keeping equipment operational and having the opportunity to plan equipment upgrades during non-working hours. Proactive alerts and warning on how the equipment and software are running on an employee’s computer will help you avoid disasters.
4. Stop Maintaining and Start Progressing: If your IT Service professional is spending most of their time putting out technology fires, they are unable to implement new technology solutions. These solutions may have the opportunity to take your business to the next level, make your employees more efficient, or just provided upgraded software. When you are proactive about your technology you are able to spend less time putting out fires, and more time finding ways to grow and improve your business.
5. Gain Business Insight: Obtain a wider understand of your business, and how each piece of equipment impacts and works within your business. When RMM is implemented into a business a comprehensive technology assessment is completed, so both the business owner and the IT Service professional have an understanding regarding how all of the technology operates within the business. This also provides insight about how the technology may be helping or hindering the business giving you crucial information on how to move forward in reaching your business goals.
Now that you have a clear understanding of what RMM means and how it can benefit your business call your local Computer Troubleshooters expert to make sure you are being proactive about your business technology!]]>
Computer Troubleshooters Canada Receives Franchisees’ Choice Designation
at CFA National Convention
June 1, 2014. Computer Troubleshooters Canada was honoured as a recipient of the Franchisees’ Choice designation on April 7, 2014 during a Gala Awards Presentation at the 23rd annual Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) National Convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This is the fourth year for the annual Franchisees’ Choice designation program.
The Franchisees’ Choice designees are CFA member franchise systems who voluntarily took part in an independently-administered survey. This year, over 50 CFA member franchise systems participated in the survey and more franchisees completed the survey than ever before. Franchisees were asked to assess their franchisor in key areas of the franchise business model, including the franchisee selection process; franchisee Information package; leadership; business planning and marketing; training and support; ongoing operations; and the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee. In order to qualify for this designation, a minimum of 10% of a brand’s franchisees must participate. In many cases, franchisee responses were significantly higher.
“Our franchisees are the backbone of CT Canada. We value our strong, respectful and open relationship highly. We work together to ensure we are fully meeting the needs of our clients and strive to make Computer Troubleshooters stronger year after year” says Ron Pilkey, National Director, Computer Troubleshooters Canada.
In the due diligence process of investigating a franchise opportunity, speaking with existing franchisees about the opportunity being explored is essential. For prospective franchisees, the Franchisees’ Choice designation identifies that a franchise brand has received solid endorsement and ratings from its franchisees. The 2014 Franchisees’ Choice designees are representative of the spectrum of franchise opportunities and the diversity and excellence of CFA members.
“The true strength of a franchise system lies in the mutually-rewarding relationship between a franchisor and its franchisees,” says Lorraine McLachlan, CFA President and Chief Executive Officer. “Being a Franchisees’ Choice designee is an honour and a vote of confidence because the high rankings in franchisee satisfaction come directly from the franchisees themselves.”
To learn more about Computer Troubleshooters Canada visit www.technologysolved.ca
For more information about Franchisees’ Choice designation and a full list of winners, visit www.awardsprogram.ca
About Computer Troubleshooters Canada
Computer Troubleshooters is an international network of professionals providing onsite computer services to small to medium size businesses. Based on the proven marketing and business strategies that make Computer Troubleshooters successful all over the world. Computer Troubleshooters Canada is continually expanding the network into all parts of the country. Successful low cost advertising techniques have been refined over time, keeping our operations growing and profitable with a minimum of overhead.
About the Canadian Franchise Association
The Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) is the recognized authority on franchising in Canada. With almost 600 corporate members nation-wide, representing many of Canada’s best-known brands, CFA is the indispensable resource for the franchise community and advocates on behalf of franchisors and franchisees in Canada to enhance and protect the franchise business model. CFA promotes excellence in franchising and educates Canadians about franchising, specific franchise opportunities and proper due diligence through its many events, programs, publications, and websites (www.cfa.ca and www.LookforaFranchise.ca).
Computer Troubleshooters Canada
1 877 662 2667
Canadian Franchise Association
Tel: 416-695-2896 ext. 232
An increasing number of businesses have switched to the outsourced IT service model. If you are already working with a contracted IT professional, then you have given your business the advantage of a head-start on the competition. The next big question is whether your business is actually making the best use of your contracted IT professional? It is likely that your IT professional is responsible for repairs, fixes and upgrades for your business’ computers and network problems. Computer repairs might be a key part of the contracted job, but there are probably some value-added IT skills that your business might not be fully
As a business owner, you know that we all need to think “outside the box” more often. Computer Troubleshooters encourages you think outside of the “computer repair” box and see that your IT professional is a valuable asset that you might be able to utilize to even greater advantage. Computer Troubleshooters values your business and we want to be your trusted advisor when it comes to technology solutions! Give your local Computer Troubleshooters office a call today. We are ready to listen.
The Perfect Vacation: Suitcase, Sunscreen and a Computer Backup System
Summer is chill out time for many of us, but it can also be filled with unpredictable weather. In addition to all of that sun and fun, summer can also include nerve wracking concerns over hurricanes, tornadoes, heavy rains, flash floods, heat waves and power failures.
If you don’t have a computer backup system in place, then consider your summer vacation as a cue that it’s time to get organized. If you really want to have a worry-free vacation, then be sure to safeguard your computer before you leave for the airport. You really don’t want to be sitting on the beach in Hawaii when you hear about severe weather warnings back in your hometown. At that point, it’s too late to prepare for a disaster.
Be prepared and take action with these backup tips:
If a backup solution is missing from your business or your home office, use your summer vacation as a deadline to get organized. Contact an IT support specialist who can help you review backup options and make an appropriate selection based on your needs. Once that is set up – relax and enjoy your vacation.
Make sure your devices are backed up BEFORE you hit the beach!]]>
Do you think a data backup solution is simply too expensive for your business?
That viewpoint is similar to thinking that insurance for your home is too expensive. Insurance might have seemed expensive until your home is wiped out in a fire and you have lost everything. After the fire is snuffed out, how do you plan to recover? Some things can probably be replaced, but regardless of the expense, certain things are simply irreplaceable. It’s similar to protecting another key asset – your business data. Even in business, certain data, documents, photographs, accounting files and client information might be nearly impossible to replace. When it comes to business data, are you safeguarding your most important company asset with a reliable backup solution?
What Causes Data Loss?
Any device that stores information is vulnerable to data loss. The causes of data loss are due to a wide range of human errors, technology failures and unpredictable natural disasters. Frequently floods, fires, tornados, earthquakes and lightning strikes destroy both the device and the data. Natural disasters are often followed by power failures that can also wreak havoc on technology.
The theft of equipment and attacks by hackers are widespread problems. Laptop and mobile devices are small, valuable and easily re-sold, making them the target of choice for thieves all over the world. Each year in the United States, over 600,000 laptops are stolen with over 65% never recovered. Hackers, viruses, software bugs and cyber-attacks grab the most media attention, but it’s actually human error and hardware failures that account for nearly 75% of all data loss occurrences.
Data Loss Can Cost Your Business More Than You Ever Imagined
If you don’t have a backup strategy in place because you considered it too expensive, let’s redefine the term “expensive.” As a business owner, try to imagine what it would cost or if your company could even operate without your business data including QuickBooks files, client records and order information. Consider the time and expense of attempting to recreate the lost data and notifying your customers that their personal data has been compromised? If those scenarios sound terrible, then review these truly sobering data loss statistics and consider the impact this could have on your business if you don’t have a tested backup solution:
Be Prepared with a Backup Solution
Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of this mixed bag of data loss disasters. The only plan is be proactive in safeguarding your business’ data with a tested backup solution. To take action with a backup solution, start by analyzing the needs of your business.
For example, do you need to backup your business’ entire operating system or just certain, essential data? Do you want the automatic data backup performed on a daily or weekly basis? Would a desktop backup device be an option for your business or home office? Which cloud storage or online solutions provide a secure remote backup solution that can complement your local backup strategy? Have you considered a personal cloud as a backup solution?
The backup market is huge and is continuing to grow. For business owners, that means there are lots of backup options with many solutions. Plus a reliable backup solution is not really that expensive when you consider the alternatives. We understand that sifting through options and technical details can be a daunting task. You should rely on your local Computer Troubleshooters to develop a customized backup solution or confirm that your current solution is exceeding your needs.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true when it comes to a backup protection plan for your business”.
Yes, business technology support covers a lot of service options. Now you just need to decide what level of technology support your business needs!]]>
If you are contemplating moving in this direction let us help you understand exactly what your IT Service Professional should be doing to support and enhance your business technology.
Trusted Expert Advisor: Your IT Service Provider should be an expert in consulting and providing IT services to the small business, this may also include a skilled staff that would be very costly for you to duplicate on your own. And finally, they should understand your business, and provide technology enhancements that will streamline your productivity, while increasing profit potential.
Proactive Management: Proactive monitoring and management of desktops and servers provides insight into how your infrastructure is running, and allows for planning of replacement equipment in order to minimize workforce disruptions.
Secure & Backed Up Infrastructure: You will be able to rest easy know that you network is secure from outside attacks, and if a disaster or human error occurs erasing some or all of your data your IT service provider should be able to quickly recover any lost data and get you back to work.
Increasing Efficiency & Productivity: Being able to schedule maintenance, and identify slow running desk tops and networks helps increase employee productivity. Streamlining workflows with advanced technology increases your businesses efficiency.
Controlled Costs: When you commit to an outsourced IT service model you are provided all of the technology service for your business for one monthly fee. You will no longer receive inflated bills for technology emergencies.
Allow you to Stay Focused: With someone else managing your technology infrastructure, minimizing employee downtime, and increasing productivity you are able to focus on growing your business not managing technology headaches.
Scalability: Since your IT service provider understand your business goals; they will keep them in mind as they implement new and enhanced technology. As your business continues to grow you will not be shackled by inflexible technology.]]>
The Final Countdown is Now!
After years of these “end of life” warnings, XP and Windows 2003 are now in the final days of the deadline countdown. Surprisingly, one of Microsoft’s latest strategies has been to ask for help. Computer Troubleshooters recently posted a story on our Facebook page about how Microsoft had begun taking a grassroots approach to spreading the word. Microsoft resorted to asking for help by seeking volunteers to remind business owners, friends, family and colleagues about the upcoming XP deadline. Via their blog, Microsoft asked experienced and technically savvy users to help others understand why it is important to make the switch to Windows 8 and to make the upgrade now!
Ignoring this Deadline is Not an Option
Some users claim a variety of reasons for resisting this XP upgrade, but don’t forget that there are a few key reasons you cannot ignore this deadline. The issues for residential users can be serious, but the consequences for businesses hold additional threats and even possible legal ramifications.
Here’s How You and Your Business Can Be Impacted by Not Upgrading
Playing “chicken” with this deadline is tempting fate and there can be serious consequences. You can find yourself in the cross-hairs of cybercriminals on April 8th and potentially face business compliance problems. If you are still using XP, take action today. Call Computer Troubleshooters and one of our experts can help you understand your XP migration options and work with you to develop an upgrade strategy. Call Computer Troubleshooters before it’s too late. The final countdown is now! Are you prepared?
•Cloud Services includes reliable data storage and backup systems plus access to a variety of software programs. Currently, 61% of all small businesses are using some form of Cloud-based services. Information that is stored on the Cloud provides access to users anywhere and anytime. Cloud services can liberate your employees from their desks and this increased mobility can lead to enhanced profitability. Is your business taking advantage of the many services that are available via the Cloud?
•Security is becoming an increasingly important issue for businesses everywhere as fraud, viruses and cyber-crime continues to expand their reach. In 2013, cyber-attacks on small business had increased by 18% over a two year period. Of the businesses that were attacked, over 60% closed their doors within six months. Lack of security can led to hacker theft of critical business data, customer information, credit card numbers, passwords and confidential financial records. Also, we will remind you once again that Windows XP ends its lifecycle on April 8, 2014. If you have not upgraded from XP by “Zero Day”, your business can be at serious risk for the latest wave of cyber-attacks. Is your business safe?
•Managed Services can give your business an IT professional for a fixed monthly fee that creates predictable costs. An outsourced IT professional can be responsible for specifics tasks such as help desk support and network management or can handle the complex management of your business’ entire IT infrastructure. From small IT projects to large responsibilities, contracting with an IT professional makes sense in terms of managing costs while having access to the latest technology and skills. Are you making the most informed decisions about your business’ technology solutions?]]>