professional network services

Professional Network Services Save You Time and Money

Everyone has had “that day” at the office when it seems like technology is getting in the way and nothing seems to work. You sit down at your desk with a cup of hot coffee and a bagel, ready to have a productive morning, but the email server is down. The second it’s fixed, the cloud goes offline. Your morning seems like more and more of a waste with each passing second, and the hours you’ll need to put in to make up for lost time are starting to stack up.

All companies, from small local businesses to massive multinational corporations, rely heavily on networking services. Email servers, storage drives, messaging systems, and more are hallmarks of an efficient business. But without masterful maintenance, they can quickly turn into inconveniences that lead to wasted time, wasted money, and disgruntled employees who will have to make up for lost time. Stop falling prey to IT mishaps and learn how professional network services can make workplace technology a useful tool instead of a necessary evil.

Professional Network Services Cut Down on Wasted Time

Common-sense network solutions are one of the best ways to make life easier for employees and cut down on wasted time. Refining existing systems and establishing new ones is a great way to keep employees on task and eliminate the stress that comes with navigating unwieldy technology. In fact, neglecting the need for professional network services is like being confronted with an endless maze and refusing to use the map that’s in your pocket.

Poorly maintained network services can also drive avoidance and procrastination, both of which are cancerous to workplaces that rely on technology. Making use of professional network services will also allow any in-house IT personnel to focus on more immediate technical issues and free them from grappling with network services.

Professional Network Services Are Great for Your Wallet

Time is money, and wasted time can cause your business to hemorrhage money that you never even knew was being wasted. Professional network services go beyond just saving time, however; they can help balance the budget in other ways as well.

Allowing a third-party IT provider like IT Direct to manage your networks is cheaper than relying on in-house IT staff to tackle the same problems. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the cost and inconvenience of bringing on additional staff to manage tasks that can be accomplished easily and expertly by outside professionals.

Network services also include solutions to everyday office inefficiencies like printing. Setting up a centralized printing network can help your business control paper and ink costs while simplifying the process of connecting new devices to printers – seemingly the most failure-prone devices in the modern office.

Professional Network Services Are Innovative and Constantly Improving

Businesses are only just beginning to discover the potential of professional network services. Ten years ago, ideas like cloud computing were barely on the horizon. Today they’re an essential part of internal communication that most businesses rely heavily on. As technology advances, businesses that employ outside companies like IT Direct are at an advantage, since IT specialists are focused on the future and always ready with cutting-edge solutions.

Technology is now advancing exponentially and in-house IT staffs can sometimes struggle to keep up. Outside experts always keep tabs on the latest industry trends so that your networks can work as efficiently as possible and be as insulated as possible from inconsistencies and security threats.

If you’re ready to take your network to the next level, it’s time to talk to a specialist. Not all network architecture is created equal, and we want to build you a cathedral to replace your concrete bunker.

At IT Direct, we make your business’s unique needs our priority, and we understand the power of professional network services. After all, we use them every day. Give us a call so we can figure out what works for you.

December 2015 Tech Tips – Outlook Calendar Tricks

Here are your Tech Tips for the month of December to help you be more productive! As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

Your Microsoft Outlook Calendar; it stresses you out, yet you can’t live without it. Before entering a new year, take a look at these incredibly handy tips and shortcuts for your Outlook Calendar, and take one step closer to making 2016 your most productive year yet!

 

Opening the Calendar in a New Window
    Sometimes bouncing back and forth between the Mail and Calendar tabs can get                   repetitive and frustrating, especially when making an entry on the calendar. To open the     calendar in a separate window, hold down the Shift Key and right-click on the Calendar       tab.
    

     Dragging & Dropping
     You most likely already know that you can rearrange things on your Outlook Calendar          by dragging and dropping. What you may not know, is that while using multiple                    windows (using tip above) you have the ability to drag items from your Inbox to your            Calendar, which will then auto-schedule an appointment using the information in the           subject and body of the email.

Color Categorizing
Adding color categories to calendar appointments allows you to scan, search, and                  visually associate similar items with total ease – AND it makes your calendar easy on the      eyes! Once your categories are set up, simply click on the Categorize button when
     scheduling an appointment, and select which category you would like to use.
     

We hope you’ll welcome the New Year with your most tech-savvy foot forward, and that these tips for using your Outlook Calendar will aid you in making 2016 one of your most efficient years!

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

The Thin Line Between Bringing Your Own Device & Bringing About Your Own Demise

Mobile technology is reshaping how we work. As SMBs embrace the BYOD (Bring-Your-Own Device) movement, more employees are using personal devices for work. Workers are happier, the ability to work from anywhere at anytime has bolstered productivity, and SMBs are cutting costs.

So what’s the problem?

Most SMBs have no formal mobility policy and are unfamiliar with mobile device management (MDM) technology. If acceptable/unacceptable usage isn’t clearly defined, and employee-owned devices aren’t properly deployed, configured, monitored and managed, costly security breaches will happen.

Download our E-Guide, “Embracing the Age of Mobility & the BYOD Workplace and learn why safe BYOD begins with a comprehensive mobile policy and a cloud-based MDM solution.

 

IT Direct Makes The Inc. 5000 for 2015

Inc. magazine today ranked IT Direct No. 2,985 on its 34th annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

“We are honored to be among the fastest growing private companies in America. 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. I am also extremely proud of the talented team here at IT Direct. The lion’s share of this honor goes to them for their dedication to our clients and for their help in making IT Direct a fun and rewarding place to work.” said founder, and President of IT Direct, Ari Santiago.

The 2015 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 18 to September 22) is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 490%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The story of this year’s Inc. 5000 is the story of great leadership. In an incredibly competitive business landscape, it takes something extraordinary to take your company to the top,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “You have to remember that the average company on the Inc. 5000 grew nearly six-fold since 2012. Business owners don’t achieve that kind of success by accident.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 21 through 23, 2015 in Orlando. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as Marcus Lemonis, host of the CNBC show “The Profit,” Robert Herjavec, one of the main “sharks” on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank,” KIND Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky, and Co-Founder of Goodshop.com JJ Ramberg.

 

May 2015 Tech Tips – HTTP Error 400 Codes

Here’s your quick Tech Tip for the month of May to help you be more productive. As always, reach out anytime! We are here to help.

The internet is composed of an infinite amount of webpages – leaving an infinite amount of room for mistakes. We have all either clicked on a link, or typed in a URL address, only to arrive at an “HTTP Error” page instead of our desired destination. But what do those error messages and codes really mean, and what causes them? We have highlighted the most common error codes, and their causes below:

HTTP Error 400 – Bad Request
When a request that is distorted, or incorrect, is sent to a website server, the HTTP Status Code 400 error message will appear. A request can be anything from clicking a page’s “Refresh” button, to clicking a link. The most common cause for one of these errors is an incorrectly typed URL.

HTTP Error 401 – Unauthorized
When credentials are required to view a webpage, which have yet to be entered or issued, the HTTP Status Code 401 error message will appear. If credentials have already been entered, and the error code continues to appear, the login information provided is invalid, or has been granted insufficient permissions.

HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden
When attempting to visit a webpage that has specifically been deemed as “off limits”, the HTTP Status Code 403 error message will appear. The most common occurrence of this error code is after attempting to visit a website that has been blocked by
employer or educational administration.

HTTP Error 404 – Page Not Found
When the website you are trying to visit cannot be found, the HTTP Status Code 404 error message will appear. In most instances, the cause of this error code is because a web address has been modified, moved, or removed. Similar to 400, this error message can also be the result of typing in an incorrect URL.

HTTP Error 408 – Request Timeout
When a request to load a webpage has timed out, the HTTP Status Code 408 error message will appear. This means that the submitted request has exceeded the amount of time that the server was prepared to wait while processing. The most common cause for this error message is a slow internet connection.

Another important fact to keep in mind, is that these error codes can begin with any number from 1-5. The above mentioned, and all other codes beginning with the number 4, are classified as “Client Error” Status Codes – meaning that the web surfer is presumably at fault, opposed to the webpage.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

 

 

More than Just Healthcare; How HIPAA Affects All Industries

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, has been a term of concern for the past few years for every healthcare provider and individual. Congress enacted HIPPA in 1996 to ensure the efficiency and standardization of healthcare as well as to enhance access to healthcare. What most business owners do not know is that HIPAA affects everyone. HIPAA affects those within education, non-profits, private practices, major corporations and even the government.

This is why the HIPAA privacy rule was created. The HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibits the release of any protected medical information to a third party without the consent of the authorized individual’s valid signature. Provisions of healthcare, the payment of the provisions of healthcare and a person’s future, present and past health condition(s) all fall under protected medical information. If a hospital or healthcare provider shares personal medical information an individual can sue due to the risk of healthcare and identity fraud.

If your healthcare provider is hosting data with a HIPAA compliant provider and deals with protected heath information (PHI) it is law, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for them to have specific technical and physical precautions in place. Here is what you need to know about those precautions:

  • The aid in the prevention of security violations and to identify the source, tracking logs or audit reports must be applied.
  • Physical precautions include but are not limited to:
    • Reusing, removing and transferring all data that is electronically protected by PHI
    • Limited facility access with only approved access in place
    • Limited physical access to workstations and electronic data
  • Technical precautions include by are not limited to:
    • Authorized access only to databases with unique user IDs
    • Encryptions and decryptions
    • Automatic log-off
    • Emergency access processes in place
  • Employees should be trained on a regular basis on HIPAA compliance and regulations

When policies and procedures are not properly followed the Office for Civil Rights and/or the Attorney General’s Offices are now levying fines and they are not only going after large corporations. The first settlement concerning HIPAA was at a hospice in Northern Idaho. Fewer than 500 patients’ protected health information was breached resulting in a $50,000 violation.

A small private practice with two locations in New Hampshire and four in Massachusetts faced a HIPAA settlement for not having proper technical procedures and policies in place. There was a breach where nearly 2200 individuals’ PHI was stolen from one of the practice’s employees. The resolution amount totaled $150,000 for the practice.

A dental practice hired a company to securely destroy old paper records of former patients. When the files were discovered in a dumpster behind a church, the practice was hit with a fine of $12,000 for illegally disposing PHI belonging to the patients. The owner of the dental practice believed hiring a third party vendor meant he was following proper procedures.

Do not end up like any of these small businesses and reach out to your local IT provider today. Yes, healthcare is a growing industry but everyone is effected by HIPAA compliance. IT Direct is able to help guard and educate you from such risks and payments.

To find out more about HIPAA please visit HHS.gov.

IT Direct Intro Video

IT Direct is one the nations top IT support companies and is based in Hartford, CT. With unmatched customer service, industry leading values and technical expertise, IT Direct is the easy choice for IT support in Connecticut.

Watch our intro video below:

Computer and Network Support – The IT Direct Way

Imagine the ability to operate your business without ever saying:

“Our network stability and speed isn’t what it should be.”
“We have security and/or compliance concerns.”
“Reliable computer and network support is cost prohibitive.”
“Our current outsourced provider is not meeting our needs.”

Is it possible? You bet. When executed properly, the best computer and network support from IT Direct will dramatically reduce or eliminate IT issues in your business while optimizing your network’s performance – all at a price that fits your company’s budget. It’s a PROACTIVE approach that prevents computer and network problems from escalating into unexpected data loss, downtime, and (worse yet) interruptions that lead to business and financial deficiencies.

More than keeping one’s business afloat, though, is allowing your IT infrastructure to work for you. IT Direct’s quality computer and network support actually delivers ROI and value by intelligently assessing your business’ goals, then following through on the plan that puts the technology and knowhow precisely where you need it. The result? Increased uptime, productivity, and efficiency.

High caliber planning, equipment and knowledge are key to successful computer and network support, but a concentrated attention to our clients’ satisfaction is equally important. It goes without saying that the professionals at IT Direct are available 24/7/365, but what else is important?

  1. A guaranteed one-hour response time to network and computer emergencies. We know that your computer network, e-mail, database, and Internet access are critical to your company’s basic functioning, and with 24-hour remote monitoring, your network and computer problems are identified and addressed immediately with minimal interference to your employees’ work time.
  2. A computer and network support provider that’s big enough to handle any computer job yet small enough to give the individual attention you deserve. Each of IT Direct’s clients has a dedicated senior technician, a team of back-up support technicians, and our owner’s involvement to ensure the highest level of service. Our team of professionals has years of experience in the IT industry, and we require all of our staff to participate in ongoing training in the latest technologies and solutions.
  3. The most cost-effective solution. As your outsourced IT staff, we answer your questions simply and help you understand all of the available options for network and computer support. IT Direct’s team knows to present the least expensive resolution while maintaining quality. Maintaining network security and preventing loss, corruption and theft is critical; but we never charge clients for expensive upgrades, hardware, and solutions that aren’t necessary.

Think all of this is too good to be true? Think again.

IT Direct’s Managed Services plans are designed with your specific situation in mind and include consulting on network design, deployment, hardware and software, and ongoing support. Our detailed recommendations include estimates to help with your prioritizing and budget forecasts, making our programs ideal for businesses who are ready to get back to business rather than spending time and energy on their IT.

Connect with us and let’s get started.

Network Management: The Keys to Business Success

Network Management: The Keys to Business Success

A computer network needs regular maintenance to maintain its speed, efficiency and security: leaving a problem unattended can not only effect performance, but can also lead to extended downtime and data loss that could have been prevented.

Unfortunately, most business owners don’t realize that their network is woefully inefficient or has been compromised until it’s too late. Numerous system checks and updates should be performed regularly to ensure maximum speed, performance, and security. Ignore them and your system will grow progressively slower, unstable, and susceptible to viruses, spyware, and hackers.

Tape backups for your company’s critical data isn’t enough. Unfortunately, the failure rate for tape backup is 100%, meaning that tape drives will fail at some point, without warning. The worst time to discover that your backup is no longer working is the day after your hard drive is erased, hardware fails, or software becomes corrupted.

Managing your business network should encompass:

  • Regular maintenance of your IT infrastructure to ensure speed and efficiency
  • Critical software updates and security patches
  • Fast, remote technical support, and
  • 24-7 watch over your network and data.

Strategic Network Management from IT Direct:

Here’s what we offer new clients through our Problem Prevention Assessment:

  1. Check your network’s current security against hacker attacks, theft, worms, viruses, and even employee sabotage.
  2. Scan and remove hidden spyware that is secretly stealing your company’s bandwidth, jeopardizing the speed of your computer system, and stealing confidential information about you, your employees, and your business.
  3. Check your network back up system to make sure it is working properly and accurately, backing up all of the files and information that are absolutely critical for your business’ operation.
  4. Perform a quick network “tune-up” to make programs and files load faster.
  5. Discuss a project or upgrade you are considering, or give you a second opinion on a quote you received.

Whether building a new network from the ground up or deciphering an error message when you open a document, you can count on IT Direct to help with all aspects of your company’s network management. As a client, you will have a dedicated network engineer and a technician, as well as a team of back-up support to bring you the highest level of support. What’s more, you can also count on our company owner to get involved with your project to make sure you are receiving the best solutions and highest level of service possible. Contact IT Direct to schedule a consultation today at (860) 656-9110.

Computer Consulting in Connecticut: The IT Direct Difference

Computer Consulting in Connecticut: The IT Direct Difference

“IT Direct makes us feel like we are their only client.”
IT Manager Connecticut Science Center

This statement from a valued computer consulting client was part of the valuable feedback that we received recently after hiring an outside firm to conduct extensive surveying on our customer service. Aside from providing some opportunities to pat ourselves on the back, the beneficial results from the survey of our Connecticut clients allowed us to finely tune the profile of computer consulting clients whom we can best serve. We’ve narrowed these attributes to Seven Characteristics of Our Ideal Computer Consulting Client:

  1. Your organization has ten to 300 computers and wants to focus on its core business, leaving IT Direct to successfully apply, integrate and maintain the technologies that support you.
  2. You have realistic expectations about computer consulting and IT support, and agree with our 5-Point Pledge™.
  3. You value an IT partner who takes a business-minded approach.
  4. You operate your business with defined and reliable business processes.
  5. You believe that smooth-running technology systems are an essential advantage to your Connecticut business, and are willing to invest what you need to make your systems work (but not more than absolutely necessary).
  6. You share IT Direct’s belief in mutual respect among our computer consulting clients, employees and vendors.
  7. You believe that doing serious work doesn’t always mean being serious. We love working with people who are as fun we are!

If these Seven Characteristics sound like some of the qualities of your small or medium business in Connecticut, we would love for you to join our family of computer consulting clients. Here is how we meet our customers’ needs, and what you can expect as well:

  • Communication: Keep our clients and our team informed at all times.
  • Under-Promise, Over-Deliver: Clients know what to expect from IT Direct’s computer consulting services and can rely on our word.
  • The 5Ps: We know that Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance, so we equip ourselves thoroughly before every task.
  • Move Quickly, Don’t Rush: While our computer consulting clients receive a fast response times, we’re always careful to deliver the same quality service that defines IT Direct.
  • Value, Value, Value: We deliver this with every client interaction.

Since 2002 IT Direct has served computer consulting clients throughout Connecticut, ensuring smoothly-running systems 24/7, building and maintaining intelligent networks, and implementing necessary updates. We’re also honored to be called upon to design critical data backup plans and perform fast disaster recovery duties to restore our clients’ important business functions as quickly as possible.

That’s The IT Direct Difference, and The way I.T. should be™. We’re ready to help with Connecticut’s best IT and computer consulting services, so let us know how we can start getting you connected.