When should you think about outsourcing your IT support?

You may want to think about outsourcing your IT Service if you are running into one or more of these situations:

  • You currently have an in-house resource.  They are run off their feet (or so they say), but they can’t tell you what they do in a day.
  • You currently have an in-house resource, however due to their limited skill set you are forced to outsource parts of your IT as a result.
  • You currently have an in-house resource, however service has become an issue and users are forced to wait their turn as that resource can only resolve one issue at a time.
  • You currently have an in-house resource, but lack coverage when they are sick or on vacation.
  • You have difficulty retaining a good in-house resource.  It seems that they get bored dealing with the day to day support as well as always being on call and end up getting a job elsewhere.
  • You are experiencing technical or service issues and it seems that all you get are excuses as to why they are occurring.

If you answered yes to one or more if the points above you should think about outsourcing your IT department.  There are several reputable providers out there and most of them will come in and do a network evaluation at no cost to you.  There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an IT service provider:

1.       Ensure the company is a fit for you.  Some large IT companies are not setup to service smaller businesses (0 – 300 Computers) and as a result the business can end up feeling like they are not important.  The other side of the coin is that very small IT companies (1-3 technicians) can provide great service to begin with, but quite often spread themselves too thin and as a result no longer differentiate themselves.

2.       Ensure the company has proper systems and processes in place to provide you with prompt and efficient service to minimize downtown, to provide proper reporting as to what has been done, who it was done for and what is being invoiced, as well as detailed documentation on your network.  The documentation is important as it can be very costly to have another company come in and learn your entire network from scratch.

3.       Ensure the company has references with a proven track record.  It is good to ask for references of businesses of similar size to your business.  That way you can get a good idea of the kind of service you will be provided.

@ Last

The humble asperand or @ sign is now a part of the architecture and design collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art.  The @ sign has many possible origins dating back to the medieval monks to a unit of measure in  16th century.  The Dutch call it the apenstaartje (monkey tail), the Chinese, little mouse.  The Russians, sobaka, (little dog)    Ray Tomlinson, a legend in the internet/computer circles, then used it to send messages between computers by separating the name from the address.

More info – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/@

A Digital Carpenter Needs the Right Tool

This Screen Ruler is a great tool that allows you to accurately measure anything on your screen. This is especially useful when measuring graphics, web page browser sizes or whatever. Screen Ruler can display Pixels, Inches, Picas or Centimeters.


Thanks to Cory for letting us know.

When Computer Hacking is OK

It’s now just part of digital life.  If your company has a network with a connection to the internet you can be hacked.  This happens in different ways and it can happen to you. Just look a few weeks ago in the Calgary Herald March 18th “Computer Virus Spurs Patient Privacy Scare” The Sunridge Medical Clinic staff first noticed performance issues in January.    The results of tests revealed a virus double whammy that resulted in records being accessed.   Introducing the Certified Ethical Hacker (C.E.H.)* or as Andrew Jackson of Next Digital prefers to call it is “Penetration Tester.”  A C.E.H. is a professional certification provided by the international Council of  E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council.)

An ethical hacker is usually employed by an organization who trusts him to attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems, using the same methods as a hacker, for the purpose of finding and fixing computer security vulnerabilities.

  • Have you noticed a sudden decrease in the efficiencies in your computer?
  • Have you noticed a web sites or functions of your computer that aren’t common or can’t be fixed?

To inquire further call Dan -403-686-4357 ext 338  and check out: http://www.eccouncil.org/

Beltline Buffets

When it comes to lunch time where can you go that’s close to the office and good value for your lunch dollar?  The 10th Ave View would like to know your favourite spots.  I’ve checked these out and have come up with a few.  Please feel free to e-mail me with your choices.

1. Ruan Thai Restaurant – 101 – 1324 11th Avenue SW. Fabulous Thai food. Dine in $13.25 Take out $10.24

2. Mother Tuckers – 345 10th Avenue SW.  Now when you’re really hungry check this spot out.  5 entrée’s, a table alone just for deserts.  It’s so large its on two levels…Better be hungry $12.45

3. Community Health – 1304 – 10th Ave SW.  Expansion is planned for this bright and healthy buffet.  All salads and entrees $2.19/100g.

4. Surya Restaurant – 101, 1207 – 11th Ave. SW – Cuisine of India – The wonderful smells of Indian Cooking and a great atmosphere will great you at the door. Lunch Buffet Monday to Friday 11-2pm.  You can also take away a “Lunch Box” – $9.52 + tax.

5. Co-Op Midtown Market – 1130 – 11 Avenue SW – With a self serve salad, lunch & dinner bar at $1.79/100 g this is a great buy.  It gets a little crowded right at lunch so come early.  Enjoy an outside south facing patio for those upcoming sunny days.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Are you up to your ears in how involved you need to get with Social Media? According to the “Social Media Experts” if you are not Tweeting, Digging, Flicking, Noodling, or just general “Inging” using most of the other few hundred “Social Networking Sites”, you are going to lose business.

My experience differs greatly from those “Social Media Experts”. The first thing you have to understand is that these self proclaimed experts have something to sell you. They have books, programs, links, that will help you get your message out to millions of followers. Get your message up, give it to them and they will bombard the Internet for you. Very soon this SPORC as I call it (Senseless Petty Outrageously Repetitive Crap) will be to our Smartphone’s as SPAM is to email.

Don’t despair, there are Social Media Services out there that can and will benefit you as a business person, if you use them properly. One of the best is You Tube. For those of you who don’t know, You Tube is owned by Google and is one of the ways to get your website listed higher in Google searches. There are professional sites like Linked In. If you have something important to say, having your own blog is another great way of communicating to existing and prospective clients. Unless you are a Mass Marketer selling products world wide, leave the Facebook’s and the Twitters for personal use.  If it was to be used as a business tool, it would have been called Business Media, not Social Media.

How do you use these sites? For this article, let’s talk about You-Tube. You will see tons of home made videos from business owners about how great their business is, how they look after customers and have the best service in the world. What’s the point? Well there is no point, because their competition says the same thing. Here is the secret to U-Tube. Get videos of customer testimonials up there. They don’t have to be professionally made, or cost a pile of money. Buy a $200 or $300 flip camera, find some happy customers, offer them an incentive and let them tell your story. Surprisingly, 20 to 40 seconds is all that is needed. You will be amazed how the word gets out. If any of you are interested, I can send you the link of a one hour video that will show you exactly how to do this. And best of all it is free.

Brent Swain

Business Productivity Group



Turner Tip – April

Lost & Found: Get Your Missing Mobile Back

Increase your chances of getting your BlackBerry, iPhone, or cell phone back. Replace your name with a trigger to encourage the finder to return your device.

For BlackBerry:

1. Options (wrench)

2. Owner

3. Input “Reward if Found” and a contact number (not the BB #)

Reset to “Reward If Found”

We’ve all done it; we get distracted and leave behind an important item. Losing your mobile office can be a severe blow. Increase your chances of recovering your lost BB, iPhone or cellular by encouraging the finder to contact you.

Program “Reward If Found” with a contact number. This could prompt someone too busy to be bothered to find you or someone tempted to keep it, to call and return it.

Select a phone number that’s NOT your BB number and one where you’re easily reached.

Have you set the lock? We recommend you do. Your data will be secure if you lose your device. CAUTION! Know your password. After 10 attempts (maximum) the data is automatically wiped.
Save Time – Live Your Passion!

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