Highest Call Volume – Greatest Reviews!

Shout out to our team!

Last week was our highest call volume of 2017 with 522 calls! That’s 29% more than the previous week!

We wanted to take a moment to shout out to our fantastic team, especially the Triage Team, who handled these calls with such patience and kindness. The entire Tech Team pitched in to help out too, answering and resolving calls. Teamwork at its best!

Even with the high pressure of enormous call volume, our team received incredibly positive and happy reviews from our clients. This truly shows the outstanding work our coworkers do each and every day! Here are some of the comments we received last week – it was so hard to pick and choose the best, there were so many to choose from!

  • He was patient, friendly and knowledgeable. A pleasure to work with.
  • It was great that you all were so on top of this problem and took the time to explain it to me. Thank you!
  • She is ALWAYS pleasant and willing to provide the BEST possible service – that’s pretty clear. I couldn’t ask for a better experience.
  • The person I worked with was fantastic, pleasant and got me up and running in no time. Thank you!
  • He solved my problem very quickly and efficiently and was very friendly on the phone. Thank you!
  • My experience was great because he hung in there with me! He understood how urgent it was that the problem be solved and he did not give up. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
  • He was friendly and knowledgeable. He was able to get me set up with remote access very quickly.
  • Excellent response and corrected the problem immediately- Thank you-
  • He was very helpful. He understood the problem and took care of it right away.
  • She was great. She was friendly and she not only set up my remote access, but also took the time to explain everything. It is great to solve a problem so easily. Thanks.
  • All problems were resolved quickly and he stayed on the line until I was completely satisfied. Good work.
  • I was able to talk with someone right away and problem fixed:)
  • The service I received was fast, efficient and friendly. The issue was resolved quickly.

IT Direct Receives Marcum Tech Top 40 Award: 40 Fastest Growing Tech Companies in CT

WEST HARTFORD, CT  September 15, 2017 – IT Direct is proud to announce that the Connecticut Technology Council and Marcum LLP have again named IT Direct to their Marcum Tech Top 40 list of fastest growing technology companies in Connecticut.

The Marcum Tech Top 40 has honored over 360 Connecticut technology companies since 2008. These companies have at least $3 million in annual revenue and a demonstrated record of revenue growth in each of the preceding four years. IT Direct has won this award three times now!

It is thanks to our hard working, focused, and determined team that we continue to have the success and growth that has earned us this award. We recognize their dedication to IT Direct’s values and mission. We’d also like to thank our clients for continuing to put their trust in us and to believe in the value we provide to their organizations. We look forward to continuing the partnerships we have developed over the years and know that new partnerships are right around the bend.

“Marcum is proud to extend enthusiastic congratulations to all of this year’s fastest growing technology companies,” said Michael K. Brooder, CPA, managing partner of Marcum’s Hartford, Connecticut office. “Marcum is proud to help celebrate the tech sector, one of the examples of growth and innovation within Connecticut’s business ecosystem.”

Bruce Carlson, CTC’s President and CEO added, “Connecticut is proud of its unique history of innovation and entrepreneurship. Growth in Connecticut must and does come, at least in part, from the technology sector, and these Marcum Tech Top 40 companies are exemplary of the achievements of the growing tech sector in the state. We look forward to celebrating tech growth achievements for another decade and beyond.”

About the Connecticut Technology Council

The Connecticut Technology Council is a statewide association of technology oriented companies and institutions, providing leadership in areas of policy advocacy, community building and assistance for growing companies. For more information, visit www.ct.org

About Marcum LLP
Marcum LLP is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms in the nation. For more information, visit www.marcumllp.com.

Intellectual Property and Digital Asset Protection Workshop on October 6th

IT Direct President, Ari Santiago will be giving a workshop at the Farmington Marriott on October 6th. It’s titled:

Intellectual Property and Digital Asset Protection Workshop

This interactive seminar aims to provide you an opportunity to learn and to discuss practical and legal strategies for protecting your company’s IP and sensitive data from internal and external cyber threats.

You will also learn how to minimize your exposure under state and federal data privacy laws, as well as how to transfer your risk using insurance.

The seminar will include a “tabletop” exercise involving how to respond to a ransomware attack. You will have an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with other professionals and business leaders in a relaxed, informal environment.

Who Should Attend

The sessions are designed principally for business owners, executives, risk managers, and in-house counsel. Although it is true that IT plays a role in IP and cyber protection and our panel will discuss practical solutions, the seminar is not designed to educate IT professionals or to impart technical knowledge.

  • Ari Santiago, IT Direct
  • Matthew Hunt, Smith Brothers Insurance
  • Sherwin Yoder, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP
Agenda & Location
This seminar will be presented from the Farmington Marriott, 15 Farm Springs Rd, Farmington, CT 06032. We will provide complimentary breakfast snacks and we will offer a buffet lunch to follow the seminar. The tentative schedule is listed below.
  • 8:00AM – Registration/Breakfast
  • 8:30 – 10:00AM – Session Begins
  • 10:00AM – Break
  • 10:15 – 11:30AM – Session Resumes
  • 11:30AM – Buffet Lunch/Networking
Attendees & Cost
This seminar is complimentary to our invitees. Space will be limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to register as soon as possible.

IT Direct: Inc. 5000 Honoree For Fifth Consecutive Year

WEST HARTFORD, CT, August 16, 2017 – IT Direct would like to announce that Inc. magazine has named IT Direct to its exclusive “Honor Roll” of Inc. 5000 companies, in recognition of its designation as one of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for the fifth consecutive year, an exceptional feat.

Fewer than a tenth of all Inc. 5000 honorees – an already select group – ever achieve this milestone through a consistent high-growth trajectory that places them on the elite list for five years or more, putting IT Direct in rarefied company. Inc. magazine just released its 2017 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies.

Inc. magazine ranked IT Direct # 4401 on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and midsized businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.

“Making this list once is a major achievement, but being able to do this 5 years in a row is truly amazing. It is no exaggeration to say that this award and recognition truly belongs to the entire IT Direct team for their combined work and determination to drive value to all our clients. Thank you to our growing list of clients who trust us with their I.T. networks and computer support needs. We look forward to continuing to grow with you and helping you use technology to reach your goals,” said founder, and President of IT Direct, Ari Santiago.

The 2017 Inc. 5000  is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year average growth of 481%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years.

“The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “The founders and CEOs of the Inc. 5000 tell us they think determination, risk taking, and vision were the keys to their success, and I believe them.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held in October at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, CA. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as former Ford president Alan Mullaly, FUBU CEO and founder and “Shark Tank” star Daymond John, Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin, and more.

Important Information About A Serious Security Risk

Over the last week, we have seen an increasing number of email scams. The way these are constructed makes them impossible to fully prevent (even with all of our proactive monitoring and safeguards) and, as a result, it is critical that we all take note of these important reminders:

  1. Don’t respond to emails asking for your information
    • Legitimate sources will not randomly send you an email to confirm your username/password or any personal information.  As a result, never respond to any random emails asking for this information, even if it appears to be from a trusted source such as a bank, the IRS, UPS, Microsoft 365, etc.
  2. Confirm the source
    • Never open any email attachments or click on links that you were not expecting, even if it appears to be coming from someone you know. If you get a random email with a link or an attachment you weren’t expecting, pick up the phone and call the source to confirm.
  3. Trust your gut
    • If something looks suspicious or out of place, verify the source or open a ticket with your IT help desk.  NOTE: Never verify a suspicious email by asking in a direct reply, criminals often monitor the replies and will respond to appear legitimate.
  4. Don’t send money
    • Ignore all emails coming out of nowhere requesting immediate payment, or funds transfers. If you get a request, particularly a random email purporting to come from someone within your company, take the time to contact them via phone to confirm. There is currently an uptick in people using publicly available information to pull off these “phishing” scams
  5. Check The “From” address details
    • Look at the “From” address on all emails. Scammers/malicious actors can use a Gmail, Yahoo or another freely available email service to create an email account and put a trusted name in the display name. This can easily be spotted by looking at the “from” address. For example, the from field could look like “Jane Doe jdoe@companyname.com (jeat8080@gmail.com)” – an attempt to look like it’s coming from Jane, but is really from the randomly named Gmail account in the header.  IGNORE these emails.

In summary – be careful, cautious, and smart to keep you and your computer network safe and secure.

Have a question about cyber security?

Looking for help assessing and improving your current network security? We are happy to help – give us a call (860.656.9110) or send in a request to talk by clicking here.

Will you be left behind?

Kodak. Yahoo. What do these companies have in common and why does it matter to you?

They’re examples of companies who didn’t look at where technology was going and didn’t embrace what people wanted.

Below is a short clip of Ari Santiago, President of IT Direct, at the recent 2017 Marcum Long-Term Care Symposium.

Hear what Ari has to say about ensuring that you use technology to your advantage to move strongly into the future vs. being left behind.

Please contact us or give us a call (860-656-9110) to set-up a 15-minute phone call with Ari.

What is Your Business Continuity Plan?

What is Your Business Continuity Plan?

Every good business follows through on its obligations to its customers, even under extenuating circumstances. Sometimes businesses that are heavily reliant upon technology deal with technical difficulties that can hamstring operations for a day or more. But with proper preparation and a cool head, a smart business team can continue operating even in the face of a major disruption.

Having a business continuity plan ensures you have procedures tailored to dictate how your specific business can remain functional after almost any kind of crippling interference.

So what’s yours?

Preparation is Key

Even if your business is completely up-to-date with all the latest hardware and software and a secure network, there’s a good chance that something will eventually go wrong – even through no fault of your own. In situations like these, where your business is accustomed to running like a well-oiled machine, continuity plans are more important than ever. Having a contingency plan increases your ability to deal with disruptions, even if the plan itself doesn’t survive first contact with the problem. Keeping your business in a position to easily pivot and go about its work –  unconventionally if necessary – is a healthy precaution to maintain productivity and customer confidence.

A good mindset is a great start, but business continuity plans don’t begin and end with your business’s ability to wing it. There are concrete, proven technological approaches guiding a business continuity plan as well. If you aren’t confident in your current data backup systems, you should talk to a professional and refine your practices so that a hardware or software failure doesn’t set you back days or months.

Even if you think you’re protected, it’s a good idea to have a professional do some troubleshooting. Proper backup procedures, vigilance and cloud computing can have your business back on its feet within minutes of a major disruption.

Redundancy Is a Good Thing

In many fields redundancy carries a negative connotation. We’ve all heard that quote about how perfection is achieved not when there is nothing else to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Writers, for example, are often taught to pare down their sentences to the most necessary elements, removing superfluous expressions and unnecessary adverbs. When it comes to network safety and sustainability, however, redundancies are essential.

To minimize risk, your business should take as many precautions as possible to ensure redundancy. Decentralizing your data storage by making use of cloud storage and regular system backups ensures that there will always be a reasonably updated copy of your essential records on hand. Switching from traditional handsets to VoIP-capable phones doesn’t just save money – it reduces your dependence on the telephone company.

At IT Direct we’re committed to building as many levees as necessary to shelter your business from the tides of technological disaster. We believe that real security comes through collaborative IT work and a commitment to preparedness.

If you want to take the next step and make sure your business can weather any storm, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to sit down with you and the other decision-makers at your company and start work on your business continuity plan today.

Quality Changes!

I have some exciting news! Changes are afoot at IT Direct to drive more value to you and it’s all because of your feedback. Although all of our survey scores are well above industry norms, the area we are most asked to improve is in turn back reduction / first time accuracy improvement. To drive consistent and measurable improvement in this area, I am proud to announce a Total Quality Manager (TQM) position at IT Direct, which we have filled!

At IT Direct Sammy will be doing more of the same, including building out and launching our Quality Management System (QMS) based on ISO 9001:2015 standards to ensure continuity of quality throughout IT Direct. Taking quality to the next level will drive myriad benefits for you including:

1. Reduce project planning time
2. Faster and more consistent deployments
3. Improvements in first time accuracy
4. Reduction in re-work
5. More uptime and productivity

We aren’t satisfied with above average.  You deserve best in class and that is where we are heading!

Dedicated to your success,

Ari Santiago
IT Direct

Backup Your Business Needs

Backup Your Business Needs

If you own a small business, it’s more than likely that most of your data is now stored and managed digitally. It’s been years since using technology in the workplace was considered innovative; at this point, using technology in the workplace is less of a luxury and more of an expectation – and in many cases it’s really a necessity.

Of course, storing your data digitally instead of cramming another filing cabinet into the storage room is convenient, but it isn’t necessarily less risky. Technology has its faults and failures, and it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect your business and your customers from the unexpected. One of the most effective solutions is making sure to regularly and thoroughly backup your data.

Data Backup Without the Hassle

You’ve probably gotten that nagging message dozens of times and learned to ignore it.

“This device has gone 23 weeks without a backup.”

Taking the time to backup your devices both at home and at work is incredibly important, but most of the time we find it too inconvenient to take the time to actually do so. Unfortunately this is an unsustainable habit; eventually everyone will deal with some kind of technical difficulty, and our dedication to backing up our devices determines how easy it is to recover from a catastrophic failure. The trick is figuring out how to backup data without the hassle.

Managed service providers like IT Direct have the answers you’ve been looking for. There are several ways to backup data without turning it into a chore. Working from a cloud platform like Google Drive at work, for example, maintains a running, decentralized backup of your work that can be accessed from anywhere. Performing regular, automated system backup of your devices can also protect you in case of a complete system failure.

Avoid the Consequences of Catastrophic Data Loss

Your business’ data is its lifeblood. Without great record-keeping and a steady stream of new data, going about business is like going on a road trip without a map; you may know the general direction you need to go, but wrong turns will be much more frequent and you may find yourself going in circles.

Losing access to your data because of a technological failure can take the wind out of your sails, and in some cases it could do serious damage to the image and legal standing of your business. Medical, educational and financial records are all covered by regulations and must be protected at any cost. Luckily, there are a wide variety of security solutions available to set your mind at ease, including but certainly not limited to professional data backup.

And the right expert can help you get started and map out the best options for you and your team. At IT Direct, we understand the importance of data security and want to do everything in our power to protect Hartford-area businesses from the risk of data loss.

We’d love to sit down with you and discuss data backup and other IT solutions to help protect and advance your business – just drop us a line any time.

Presentation being given to an office by an IT Consultant

Three Things You Should Expect from an IT Consultant

It’s a title tossed around often in corporate America. “Consultant.” There are all kinds of consultants out there, but one that’s continued to consistently grow in popularity over the years with all types of businesses is the IT Consultant. When you choose to take advantage of an IT Consultant, you should have certain expectations for the experience. Here are just a few:

You Should Expect a Strategic Partner

Don’t get us wrong: some “IT Consultants” define their role differently than we do. You may well interview an IT Consultant and learn they intend only to make technical equipment purchase recommendations – nothing more. In that event, you’re receiving an IT consultant who is simply fulfilling the most basic aspect of their position. What you should expect is someone who will get to know you, your people, your company. Someone who develops a vested interest in seeing your company succeed and making it a mutual goal. Someone who will partner with you to ensure you achieve that goal

You Should Expect Your Workflow to Improve

Yes, an IT Consultant is expected to improve your technological equipment, but you should also expect them to help improve your workflow processes. One of an IT Consultant’s many roles should be to make strategic changes to free up time, resources, and people in order to improve workflow and save you money.

You Should Expect an IT Consultant Who Cares

As mentioned before, the last thing you want is an IT Consultant who merely provides you with a monthly service. You need someone who wants a seat at your table – who will work with you through failures and celebrate with the team through successes. When your IT Consultant is part of the team, you have a powerful partner whose only job is to make your company grow.

Find Your IT Consultant at IT Direct

At IT Direct, we’ve offered caring IT consulting for many years, and we would love to partner with you and your organization. Let’s talk.