|On The Calendar |
- We hope you were able to make our late February webinar, Office 365: More Than Just Hosted Email – a presentation geared to businesses that are considering upgrading to Microsoft’s Office 365. For the link to the recorded presentation, see our Events page.
- While you’re there, we hope you notice the great news from Digium – The Fulcrum Group was recognized this month as a Digium Pinnacle Partner for the fourth year! This is an acknowledgement of partners who excel at providing Digium’s Switchvox unified communication/phone system solution along with outstanding customer service. Be sure to mark on your calendar in April, our upcoming webinar, What’s New in Switchvox 6. Register right from our Events page. Hope to “see” you there!
- Mark your calendars for Sharepoint Techfest on April 6th in Las Colinas at the Irving Convention Center, where this year’s conference will focus on converging Azure, Office 365 and SharePoint Technologies. Register or get more info at the link above – we hope to see you there!
- The Fulcrum Group turned 14 last month! Did you catch our blog which shared a few celebratory moments which happened at our February company meeting?
Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us! If you’re new to our newsletter and you’d like to subscribe, let us know.
|Tis the Season for Tax Scams |
The unscrupulous ways and numerous avenues criminals have at their disposal to get at your personal information is on the rise. We have collected some resources for you that break down these various methods. Please share this article with your colleagues, as preparedness is always the best prevention!
Wombat Security on Avoiding Tax Scams
Details on Phishing And Online Scams
IRS MultiMedia Presentations on Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts
And, as you might have been hearing much lately on local and national news, Intuit/Turbo Tax’s statement on Identity Theft and What To Do If Your Identify (And Refund) Is Stolen
If you’ve come across any helpful articles or have experienced any of these personally, feel free to share your advice on our Facebook page!
|Thinking of Switching IT Providers? |
Are you thinking about changing your IT provider or replacing your internal person? We’ve compiled some quick tips for executives planning to make a change and not sure where to start. Be on the lookout for an expanded version of this list as March’s White Paper, later this month.
When the need for change seems imminent with your technology support, taking no action can be sometimes feel like a safer or cheaper option. Conversely, some of us are inclined to act as soon as our collective gut tells us. But, before making any big moves, you might consider what communication has been like between you and your IT person or service provider. Do you often talk business together, have you clearly expressed areas where your support team need to improve and do you meet regularly to prioritize your needs? If you find you’re receiving sub-par service, it may be worth the time and effort to discuss opportunities to improve.
If you feel a change is warranted, the items listed below can help to have on-hand before you make any moves:
- List of your computer network applications
Knowing what applications are used in your business to accomplish specific tasks and being familiar with (and able to articulate to your technology support) how these applications are used will help clarify your business needs and priorities to your provider.
- List of vendors
You might know offhand who handles your websites, your ISP, phone vendors and copier vendors, but may find it more difficult to identify vendors such as accounting software support, custom developed applications, cloud applications, DNS registrar, DNS hosting and the like. Having a reference with these vendors listed will help avoid a tough support situation, in the case of renewals, an outage or if any changes are made.
- List of license keys
If your IT people have not maintained license keys to off-the-shelf purchased software or licensing agreements, it can be hard to track these down.
A workflow document shows how data gets from various parts of your network and applications to help you accomplish your business goals. You, or another top producer in your organization, can meet with your technology team to map out this data. Also, you can always have this to share with any future support teams. Once documentation exists, adjustments can be made to handle areas where your previous person may have been falling short. A new vendor might also have access to auditing or scanning tools to help gather information and piece together a visual representation of your network, like a logical network map.
- List of passwords
Oftentimes, if things have not been rosy and you ask your IT person or vendor for a list of passwords the first thing on their mind is that you’re making a change. Best to make that kind of transition on your timeline.
- Standardized team lists and Organization charts
More than standard naming or equipment, Standardization is about lumping like work groups together, for more efficient and cost-effective use of your business technology. If your organization has 50 people but those 50 people can be broken up into 5 groups that have very similar work habits, it is easier to use templates, scripts and policies to simplify the user experience. An Organization Chart can be used by most firms to start asking the right questions of your teams to make sure they have the right end-user hardware, right applications installed, correct permissions on file shares, are in the correct email distribution groups and have been provisioned with user accounts for third-party or cloud applications.
You may find you can interact with your current support team and a change may not be needed, but if change is warranted, we hope you can refer to this information to help you make the transition as seamless as possible. If you would like further guidance on making a change to your technology support environment, do not hesitate to reach out to us by email or give us a call at 817.337.0300. Someone’s always here, ready to offer solid advice.
|SPOTlight On: Cisco’s Next Generation Firewall – ASA with FirePOWER |
What’s the best way to respond to the threat of a cyber attack on your small to medium sized business? With the industry’s first threat-focused next generation firewall, Cisco’s ASA with FirePOWER.
Powered by the reliability of Cisco, ASA with FirePOWER Services delivers an integrated threat defense for
protection across the entire attack continuum — before, during, and after an attack – in varying platforms sure to suit your organization’s need.
Learn more about Cisco’s ASA with FirePOWER here and be sure to give your Fulcrum Group Account Manager a shout if you’d like to find out more how you can best protect your business.