In case you missed our mailing, here is a recap of our suggestions for review in 2016:

Happy New Year!!!  Thank you so much to all of our clients that supported us during 2015.  We hope that 2015 was a busy and prosperous one for you, and we are looking forward to working with you in 2016!

Since January is a time of reorganization and for making both personal and business resolutions, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you to take a look at your technology services and needs, and to catch up with items that might have been overlooked or avoided in the past years.  Some business owners have held off on upgrades or replacements over the past few years.  If you have done this, now might be the time to catch back up on what you have missed and upgrade aging systems.  This list is long, but it is important to reflect on each point and take action where necessary.

Keep in mind, technology is not an expense.  It is a valuable investment that your company makes to keep employees productive, clients happy, and operations running smoothly.  Allow the professionals at ExcalTech to help you with new ideas and improve your business practices.  We can even review your IT budget with you and show you how your IT spending compares to other companies.  Here are a few of our ideas for your review:

 Get flat-rate support

This is the most important item for you to consider.  Our Diamond Total Support Solution includes all of your IT service, projects, updates, upgrades, consulting and so much more.  It takes the cost of support out of the equation and takes labor expenses completely out of our relationship with you.  Need to update an OS?  Done.  Need phone support?  Done.  Need your server replaced?  Done.  Except for hardware costs, this program includes it all.  It also shifts all of the responsibility of your network to us and allows us to spend as much time as needed to keep you safe, productive and ahead of your competition.  New for 2016 – we are providing a virtualCIO to every client on this plan who will review hundreds of items that affect your business, and provide proactive guidance and consulting to your organization.  Even though you may call us out a couple times a month, there is so much you are missing out on by not having a complete IT plan.  When did your network last have a security audit run?  When was your staff educated about social media issues or phishing?  We provide all of this valuable information in our plan and so much more that you’re probably not thinking of if you work with us on a “break / fix” relationship.  Many of our clients have moved to this plan and their feedback has been phenomenal.  Would you like to speak to one of them and get their insight?  Just ask us!  IT support is getting more complex every day.  It is time to get complete and comprehensive IT support.  Call your Technology Consultant today for additional details about our most popular program!

   Replace outdated software

Running old software poses a severe security threat to business organizations.  Old software is no longer secure, updated nor supported by the manufacturer.  It leaves you vulnerable to attacks and data breaches and lack of vendor support in an emergency situation.  If your company is running Windows XP, Office 2003 or 2010, and Exchange 2003 or 2007, MS SQL 2008 or any outdated supporting application, they should be updated as soon as possible.  If you have any of these older systems, you need to take immediate action and upgrade or replace them.  End of life means that there will no longer be security patches, support or updates for these systems. The cost to upgrade these systems is small compared to the cost of the problems that could occur if action is not taken.  Start the upgrade process today.  Careful planning needs to be done and a well thought out migration project setup.  Call your Technology Consultant today to discuss your updates today.

 Windows 10 gets our approval

We always advise holding off installation of new operating systems until they are tested and have the first major update released.  Now that Microsoft has had time to work out the bugs in Windows 10, we give it the ExcalTech stamp of approval.  It is a stable operating system and seamlessly connects across PC’s, tablets and phones.  If you are replacing your PC’s, go ahead and use Windows 10 as long as you confirm that all of your applications are compatible with them.  Do not just click the “Upgrade Now” icon that Microsoft presents in the start menu.  That could cause issues with your applications, anti-virus, backup software and more.  Call us first!

 VOIP

Demand more from your phone!  In fact, setup a unified communications system!  Our VOIP service integrates with your e-mail, mobile phones, smart devices, contact management software and more to give you the ultimate business communications system.  Call us for a demonstration today and see for yourself what this amazing system can do for your business.  Feel like working for home for the day?  Just plug your VOIP phone into your home Internet connection or use your laptop or cell phone as your desk phone.  Nobody will even know you’re out of the office.  Out running errands?  Our VOIP system can be programmed to find you almost anywhere.  Need to always ensure your top customer gets a hold of you?  Setup a rule that always rings your cell phone and home phone when they call.  The possibilities are endless.   Reviewing your Internet connectivity and phone charges can usually be a cost saving measure for your business when moving to VOIP.  Better service for the same price or less!  Call today!

   Start using Microsoft Exchange

If you are still using the same POP e-mail service (or a free gmail or yahoo account intended for home use), you need a more efficient and secure method of communication.  Moving to Microsoft Exchange is perhaps one of the easiest and quickest ways of boosting productivity.  Microsoft Exchange is real e-mail and group collaboration.  It instantly synchronizes your e-mail, contacts, calendars and tasks to your desktop or laptop, your iPhone, iPad, Android, Surface, home computer, webmail and more!  Exchange ensures that your calendar and contacts are always with you, and allows you to share any of your information as desired with the rest of your coworkers.  Our Hosted Exchange service brings this once expensive service to you for only $7.95 per month!  Thinking about Office 365?  Review your options with one of our Technology Consultants first.  We can sell and setup both and there are some very important differences that you need to consider before making your decision.

 Get into the CLOUD

The cloud continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of IT services.  It seems like everyone is talking about cloud computing these days and the benefits that go along with it.  Why wait?  Explore what the cloud can mean for your business.   It could mean never buying a server again, or getting your applications hosted so your staff can access them while on the road or at home.  It could mean giving your customers or sales reps access to your systems from their smart phones.  It could mean replacing desktop PC’s that are susceptible to viruses and spyware with thin client machines that simply “don’t break”.  Whatever your dream of the cloud is – the ExcalTech Data Center is online and ready to serve all of your cloud computing needs!  From hosted applications to entire server infrastructure, our team makes it easy to move your network into the cloud and eliminate the costs of purchasing hardware and supporting it.  We bring you “technology as a service” and simply make everything work for you.  Make the move today and see just how easy it becomes to run your business for virtually any location on any device!

 Setup an on-line backup to the cloud

Data loss is becoming an increasing concern for business owners.  Technology failure is not a question of “if” but “when”.  Hard drives crash, lightning strikes, employees erase files and viruses corrupt machines.  Should any of these things happen, data restoration will be required.  For the greatest chance of data recovery, an offsite backup is your best option.  Our Net-Safe Cloud Internet backup service securely, instantly, and affordably sends all of your critical data to our Data Center should an emergency ever occur.  Starting at $9.95 per month for 8 GB of space, how can you afford NOT to protect your valuable data?  We offer three online backup services, including our newest Veeam Cloud service that allows you to easily backup your entire virtual machine infrastructure to our Data Center.

   Replace slow, outdated and failing servers, workstations, and laptops

Old equipment runs slow, is unreliable, and could crash causing you downtime and data loss.  New equipment is much more efficient and takes advantage of the latest productivity technology to help you run your business more efficiently.  If it has been 3 years or more since your last hardware refresh, review your needs with your Technology Consultant.  Ask about new ultrabooks, convertible laptops, tablets, touch screen PC’s and more that have all been optimized to work with Windows 10 and the new applications.  Be sure to ask about our leasing opportunities that require only a minimal down payment and low monthly payments.  In many cases you can purchase new equipment for what you are paying to maintain your older systems.

   While replacing servers, go virtual with VMware (or Hyper-V)

If the cloud is not for you and you need to keep your servers on-site, make sure you leverage the complete power of your new servers with VMware.  Setting up a virtual environment allows you to use all of your powerful new hardware instead of just a portion of it, increase your server uptime, allow for automatic failover, and make backups easier.  VMware is the single greatest new server technology in the past 12 years.  It allows you to buy a single physical server, yet run numerous installations of Windows Server or other servers on that single box!  If you have not yet considered cutting your operation costs and increasing your uptime with VMware, you need to speak to your Technology Consultant today!  We are certified VMware experts.  If VMware is not for you, we also gladly support the Microsoft Hyper-V platform as well.

   Update your website and go social

Does your website still feature pages that say “Coming Spring of 2013”?  Has anything in your industry or business changed in the past year?  Are you running any special offers that can help your customers succeed?  Make sure that your website tells visitors all of this and more!  Keep content fresh to increase your search engine rankings and visitor’s attention.  Give people a reason to visit your website.  Once your site is freshened, allow us to help you navigate the complex world of social media to engage your audience on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and your blog!  Become a wealth of knowledge for your customers and an expert in your field that is at the top of searches.  Remember, new Internet browsers are out for all devices – make sure your site is optimized for mobile users too!  Want to see how it is done?  Check out our social media links on our website!

So much is changing with technology and you need a team of experts to keep your business running and competitive.  All of us at ExcalTech have made our New Year’s resolution to work even harder for you this year to exceed all of your expectations.  Remember, we don’t just “fix computers” … we are your professional business consultants ready to answer all of your questions, learn your business needs, and thoughtfully design solutions to help your company succeed and grow!

Happy New Year!

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