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Saving Money With A Managed Services Provider

How Managed IT Service Providers Cut Costs With Advanced Technology

Each day, business is inundated with proposals for new technology. Some are great, and you would welcome those into your IT toolbox or company operations, but, some just don’t work as promised.

Businesses of all sizes face this problem, but small and medium-sized business (SMB) find that keeping up with technology is a time-consuming effort.

The Flood of Advanced Technology

No matter whether your IT is from an internal department or you count on an outside vendor – it is quite difficult to avail yourself of excellent IT staff all the time. However, when you partner with a well-qualified managed services provider (MSP) such as BK Connected Solutions, you gain several top-quality IT personnel, not just one.

This is important as the best MSPs stay current on new and advanced technologies and inform their clients about changes in technology that they might be interested in.

New technology cuts a broad bandwidth encompassing support for companies using technology (ex. Taking credit cards via a smartphone) to computer system protection (using the latest software and hardware to keep data safe).

There are compelling reasons to hire a managed services provider. Nevertheless, it is imperative for a company to perform due diligence before hiring an MSP. During the selection process, ask yourself the following questions to guide your decision making.

Questions to Consider and Ask Before Choosing a Managed Services Provider:

  1. What is the company’s experience in delivering managed services? Ask for, and check references.
  2. Is there a well-developed organizational structure that is capable off mitigating risk and making efficiency optimization a priority?
  3. Do they have experience in your industry? What size business in your industry do they have experience with?
  4. What kind of expertise are you looking for and does a potential MS provider have it?

So, once you have selected an IT MSP how they can bring improved operations to your firm?

Advanced Technology and Managed Services Providers

It seems clear that an experienced MSP can help cut costs for small and medium-sized businesses. Following are some examples of how they do this.

Data

What happens if your computer system fails and shuts down? Could you stay open and operating without access to vendor and client lists? What if you lost your financial data? If your MSP is providing you with Backup and Recovery Services, you don’t need to worry as your system can be restored from the backup data that your MSP can quickly deploy.

Protection

While the payoff for cyber criminals is potentially higher from large entities, criminals know that security is much tighter on their systems than those of an SMB. Because costs of anti-criminal intrusion hardware and software are spread out among subscribers to an MSP, deployment is far less expensive than installing these solutions independently. Also, an MSP is ideally positioned to offer backup and data recovery (BDR) services.

Contact Systems in the Cloud

Customer relationship management systems and contact systems are all about improving revenue. Moving them from an onsite server to the cloud gives your field staff better communications with long-standing customers as well as potential clients. By placing these systems in the cloud, your company has the edge over competitors as your system allows access from anywhere there is an internet connection and allow for multiple office integrations.

To find out more about how an MSP can help your company contact BK Connected Solutions on the web at bkconnectedsolutions.com, via phone at 540.662.0084 or email us at tech@bkcs-inc.com.

 

 

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Allison Dillow No Comments

Spring Has Sprung!

With spring officially upon us, the time has come to get in and wipe out that spring cleaning! Spring cleaning is a traditional event that comes around this time every year. We either love it or we dread it. Whether it stems from religious belief, from being contained in a home or tight environment during a long and harsh winter or just taking the opportunity with the shift in weather and  warmer temperatures to mark off those “to-do’s” from your list, spring cleaning is something many of us will partake in.
Because BK Connected Solutions offers a full range of security & fire services along with various IT Solutions, we wanted to remind you of the importance of the care and maintenance of your surveillance equipment. With your spring cleaning, be sure to include some time and attention to your video cameras. Check out this insightful article from Security InfoWatch on proper maintenance and care.

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BKCS Is Growing! We’re looking for an IT Field Service Technician

BK Connected Solutions is currently seeking an experienced & detail oriented IT Field Service Technician.

Applicant must possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit and be interested in being part of a fast-growing Managed Services Provider located in downtown Winchester, Va.

Do you have experience supporting SMB’s? Do you possess a wide range of IT skills? Are you looking to advance your career to the next level?  If so, then we want to talk with you!

The IT Field Service Technician will be responsible for supporting a wide variety of clients across the northern Shenandoah Valley. Our core business offering includes Managed IT Services, Cloud solutions and services, VoIP service both on premises and cloud based.

Requirements

  • Possess a high level of expertise in PC operating systems, networking software, anti-virus software, and all tier one manufacturer PC and printer products, OEM network devices, and document processing products. This role is also intended as the primary role for personnel providing complex deskside support.
  • Provides call taking and site specific support
  • Provides deskside support including software, hardware and networking support for desktops, laptops and servers.
  • Performs installs, moves, adds and changes as required
  • Provides advanced troubleshooting capabilities on software and hardware problems
  • Takes initiative for follow-up services or problem escalation
  • Maintains a high degree of professionalism in actions, demeanor and dress.
  • Ensures customer satisfaction throughout the service delivery transaction.

Qualifications

VERBAL & WRITTEN COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Investigates and interprets technical and/or complex information, with the ability to deliver professional presentations on all facets of IT field support delivery. Demonstrated ability to work with matrixed resources. Possesses strong organizational, time management and customer engagement skills.

DESIRED SKILLS: Prior experience successfully delivering help desk and field support services. Experience supporting large enterprise IT Projects and Corporate integration activities. This position requires a comprehensive knowledge and mastery in this field and the ability to complete difficult and complex assignments on time within a fast-paced environment.

Desired Certifications:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
  • A+ Certification
  • Network+ Certification
  • Security+ Certification
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

If you feel you meet the qualifications and would be a good fit for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume along with salary requirements and work references to tech@bksecurity.com.

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Why Should You Consider A Managed Services Provider?

How Managed Services Helps Small and Medium-sized Businesses Thrive

Small and medium-sized businesses often don’t have the budget or a justification for a full-time IT department and are turning with ever-increasing regularity to cloud-based computer managed IT services.

It was the mid-twentieth century when computers began finding footholds in business operations. Most often, computers were used for back office operations. Today, computers are ubiquitous in business and even the smallest company depends on their computer system for things that include back-office operations, customer relationship management, online marketing and advertising, robots in the factory and even self-driving cars.

Today, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have many competing priorities and daily demands that include finding and keeping customers or clients, distributing products and services that are differentiated from the competition, complying with government regulations, keeping costs under control and more.

Technology helps SMBs streamline their operations, improve the efficiency of employees, and stay competitive. Yet, small and medium-sized businesses often don’t have the budget or a justification for a full-time IT department and are turning with ever-increasing regularity to cloud-based computer managed IT services. What makes IT managed services so popular?

Why Your Competitors are Flocking to an IT Managed Services Provider

Small and medium-sized businesses have diverse reasons for signing up with an MSP. Following are some of the most oft-cited reasons for an SMB to work with an IT managed service provider.

  1. Better security
  2. More system uptime
  3. Becoming proactive for IT problems
  4. Increase access to new technology
  5. Less cost than in-house IT
  6. Allow internal IT freedom for strategic work
  7. Use the cloud more efficiently
  8. Lack of internal IT capability
  9. Assist with remote office IT
  10. Peace of mind

Better Security

Being compliant with HIPAA and the Federal Trade Commission is a big deal when it comes to computer system security. In fact, some data breaches have been considered egregious by the Office of Civil Rights for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HIPAA enforcement) or, sometimes and, by the FTC and resulted in multimillion dollar fines. Costs rise quickly when data is breached and involves more than fines. In addition to the costs associated with a breach, there is a loss of reputation, loss of customers, and loss of potential customers that are costly and considered as significant other costs of a breach.

More System Uptime

An important feature of MSPs is they are well-prepared for emergencies that include:

  • Power loss
  • Corrupt files
  • Security breaches
  • More

Of particular importance is for an IT MSP to offer backup and data recovery services. When an incident occurs, BK Connected Solutions can get your company running its IT system again, quickly.

Becoming Proactive for IT Problems

When a business engages an IT managed services provider they gain 24/7 coverage. This means that when an IT issue occurs, the MSP is available to resolve it quickly. With fully managed IT support, a business enjoys not worrying about daily IT operations. In addition, when your business wants to install new programs, the IT MSP can make sure it is free of bugs, malware, and will play well with all your other programs.

These three and the other items in the numbered list above are key reasons for engaging the services of an IT managed services provider.

For more information on how a MSP can benefit your company contact BK Connected Solutions at bkconnectedsolutions.com, call us at 540.662.0084 or email us at bkconnectedsolutions@bkcs-inc.com.

 

 

Used with permission

 

 

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Women in Technology – Inventors and Innovators

When the topic of technology leaders and pioneers comes up, the first names that come to mind are likely Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. While their contributions are undeniable, they are far from the only names worthy of being celebrated. In honor of International Women’s Day, here are ten amazing women who have helped to shape technology as we know it:

  • Susan Kare– Kare’s work with user interfaces helped to bring the first Apple computer to life. Her skills in typography and graphic design are responsible for many aspects of the Mac interface still being used today, including the command icon. She was also behind the Happy Mac icon that greeted users during boot up, and the trash can icon. Her work played an important part in Job’s efforts to make the personal computer more personable. After Job’s was forced out of Apple in the mid-1980s, Kare moved on to Microsoft, where she worked on the Windows 3.0 operating system. She has since done work for Facebook, helping to create some of their “digital gifts”, including the rubber ducky, and was the co-founder and executive director of Glam Media. Today, she owns com, a digital design firm in San Francisco, and sells prints of her designs on kareprints.com.
  • Hedy Lamarr– While best known for her work in film in the 1920s, Hedy Lamarr was so much more than just a pretty face. She helped to invent spread-spectrum technology by coming up with the concept of frequency hopping – sending radio signals from different frequency channels. Along with her co-inventor George Antheil, Lamarr originally intended for the Navy to use this technology to control torpedoes. The randomized channel switching would make it difficult for outsiders to understand their communications, essentially making frequency hopping the first encryption technology. The Navy eventually passed on the technology, which was patented on August 11, 1942. The technology was picked up by engineers at Sylvania Electronic Systems Division in the 1950s, leading to the use of Lamarr’s technology in military communications. Her work helped create modern wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Lamarr received long overdue recognition for her work in 1997, when she was honored with the Pioneer Award by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, just a few years before her death in 2000.
  • Grace Hopper– Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is known to many as the Queen of Software, or as Grandma COBOL. Hopper invented some of the earliest English-language programming languages and is most closely associated with Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL), which was based off of the FLOW-MATIC language she invented in 1958. Hopper thought that if programming was created in a language that was easier for people to understand, there would be more computer programmers. Today, COBOL is still widely used to build new business applications.
  • Ada Lovelace– Lovelace is responsible for authoring the world’s first computer algorithm, even though computers didn’t yet exist. In 1843, Lovelace worked with Charles Babbage on the Analytical Engine, a never-to-be-realized computer. Lovelace completed a French-to-English translation of the work of Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea, adding extensive notes of her own, which included her algorithm. Lovelace saw more potential in the Analytical Engine than Babbage did, believing it could be capable of much more complex equations. Lovelace died of uterine cancer in 1852 at the age of 36. Her work went underreported for many years, but today she is celebrated on Ada Lovelace Day each year, and is memorialized by the object-oriented programming language called, of course, Ada.
  • Mary Lou Jepsen– Jepsen co-founded and served as the chief technology officer of MicroDisplay in 1995, working on creating smaller display screens. From there, she went on to run the display division at Intel before leaving to co-found One Laptop Per Child. The goal of this nonprofit organization was to provide children worldwide with affordable, green notebook computers. There, Jepsen produced the XO, one of the lowest-power, lowest-cost notebooks ever made. Jepsen left OLPC in 2008 to start Pixel Qi, leveraging the technological advancements she made with the XO to create more economical end user devices. Current units use 10 times less power consumption for their displays than the XO notebooks, and Jepsen hopes to bring that number down even further. Her end goal is to make use of solar cell technology to eliminate the need for batteries and power adapters in laptops, cell phones, and medical devices.
  • Roberta Williams– Adventure gaming doesn’t enjoy the popularity it once did, but there was a time when PC games like King’s Quest were all any geek could talk about. King’s Quest creator Roberta Williams was a pioneer of the PC gaming industry, founding Sierra On-Line (later to be renamed Sierra Entertainment) with her husband Ken Williams. The pair helped shape the history of video games with their complex puzzles and detailed storylines. Williams retired from game development in 1999, having spent 20 years developing games for the original IBM PCjr, the Tandy 1000, the Amiga, the Apple II and the Sega Master System, to name a few.
  • Radia Pearlman– Pearlman’s work as a network engineer led her to develop the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), which made it possible to build massive networks using Ethernet by creating a mesh network of layer-2 bridges and then disabling the links that aren’t part of the “tree”. This innovation had a massive impact on network switches, earning Pearlman the nickname of Mother of the Internet. Currently working as an Intel fellow, Pearlman is helping the company to improve their network and security technologies. She recently developed the new Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL), which sets a new standard for data center connectivity, and could replace STP.
  • Erna Hoover– We have Hoover to thank for a major reduction in dropped calls and busy signals. Patented in 1971, Hoover developed a telephony switching computer program while working at Bell Laboratories. The program allowed phones to keep functioning under high call volumes, preventing it from hanging up on itself. Now 86 years old, Hoover is retired. She was inducted into the National Inventers Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio in 2008.
  • Marissa Mayer– Having been one of the very first employees to join Google back in 1999 when the search engine giant was still just a startup, Mayer currently serves as VP of location and location services. She leads project management and engineering for a range of search products, including Google Maps, Local Search, Google Earth, Street View, and Latitude. Mayer’s skills in user interface design and product vision have helped to keep Google at the head of the pack. At 36 years old, Mayer is the youngest member of Google’s executive operating committee, and a vocal advocate for women in technology.
  • Barbara Liskov– Liskov was one of the first women to earn a computer science Ph.D, and is the inventor of CLU, a programming language that helped lay the groundwork for object-oriented programming. She is also responsible for Argus, an extension of CLU that supports distributed programs, and Thor, an object-oriented database system. Her work has had a major influence on modern OOP-based languages and operating systems, such as Mac OS X, Objective-C, Visual Basic.NET and Java. Today, the now 72 year old Professor Liskov continues her research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received the A.M. Turing Award, the “Nobel Prize of computing” in 2008 from the Association for Computing Machinery. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her contributions to programming languages and system design in 2012

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