4 Essentials of an IT Helpdesk

An IT help desk provides a critical service for your organization that helps to insure the smooth operation of the company in total. A well-functioning IT help desk has several common components to them that are needed to operate in a smooth and concise manner. Here are four of the essential things associated with an IT help desk so that it can effectively provide IT helpdesk support services.

1. An Automated Ticket and Tracking System

Individual employees are constantly requesting assistance from an IT department for their computer problems and long-term projects. A ticketing system in which an individual identifies – the issue that they are facing, the immediacy of this request, and who issued the request. For users, a ticket will show the current status of the IT work so that a user can know when their problem will be addressed and to avoid the miscommunication that can result due to interactions. A method for tracking IT requests is best handled through an online ticketing system that details open requests so that the requester and the IT staff can better keep track of the request status.

2. Spare Parts and Components to Avoid Work Delays

The role of an IT department is to keep a company’s employees working without interruption. One way to avoid downtime and delays is to have spare components around the office such as extra keyboards, mouse, usb storage drives, and monitors. By keeping an excess of these cheap parts, as well as some older laptops that have the company’s programs uploaded on them, you can increase the efficiency of your staff and help avoid downtime due to broken computer components.

3. Personnel Trained in Hardware and Software

Organizations will commonly have problems with both hardware and software and being able to quickly diagnose, and address either problem is important. Make sure IT staff operating your helpdesk are familiar with basic computer hardware, as well as the various computer software programs that your business operates in all of its divisions so they can service diverse departments from finance, Human Resource, and software development. For more complex systems consider having contractors online who they can reach out to in order to communicate with, for major problems in the software programs.

4. Method for Upgrading Software Programs for Security Purposes

Security is a key for all IT systems, but particularly for companies that deal with data from customers. Finding ways to help users protect their data and to prevent intrusion by hackers is essential. A good IT helpdesk will design a method for not only protecting user’s machines with a good firewall, but also in providing upgrades to software programs that allow the software to be secured from intrusion.

IT help desk have to face many challenges that are associated with operating a critical business function for the organization. But paying attention to the above mentioned four essential points can help you improve their functioning.

To know more, get in touch with us!

7 Things You Should Consider When Transitioning To Cloud

Transitioning to the cloud is a critical business decision and necessitates a large investment. There are many benefits including automated backups every hour, fully virtualized servers, disaster recovery, and secure hosting. There are seven main considerations before making the switch.

1. The Privacy of Data

There are companies who sell client information to brokers and partners to make money and some companies keep the information confidential. Make certain you know how your data will be handled by your provider and read their privacy policy to protect any sensitive data.

2. The Terms of Service

The terms of service of any vendor must be agreed on before system implementation and this can affect your asset management software. These terms must be read and the parameters understood. An account can be terminated for failure to adhere to the terms. The notification policies and data ownership are the most critical factors. The terms should include an affirmation that the company has their data. Also, it should be clear that you have the right to get back all the data that has been stored on their system. Be careful when a company says they can update any terms without notice.

3. Acceptable Use Policy

This confirms which employees can use the provider’s solution. All behaviors classified as prohibited by the vendor such as spamming and hacking are included. Penalties include termination and fees. This can change without notification so make certain the policy is understood before accepting the vendor.

4. Data Security

Data is stored at an off-site location and another company is responsible for the operations. Research and references are important to establish trust with the vendor. Logical and physical security are critical for data protection and may include armed guards, encryption, and a secure facility for data backup. Make certain the provider has adequate security.

5. Long Term Reliability

An uptime guarantee and an agreement for the service-level should be included in the contract. The golden standard is 99.999 percent regarding uptime or under one minute of unexpected downtime in a month. This standard reflects the commitment of the provider. A protocol with a financial penalty for excess downtime or low standards of performance is ideal. Penalty exclusions may be a negative warning sign.

6. Solutions for Disaster Recovery

Despite cloud services using a data center disaster recovery services, are not standard with all providers and a separate purchase is often required. A written copy of a provider’s recovery process should be attained and read. A clear outline of their time objective for recovery and the amount of data subject to loss should also be included.

7. The Transparency of The Termination Clause

The termination clause must be read thoroughly and carefully. A transparent termination clause protects the business in the event the contract is ended prematurely. Some providers have a buyout clause which makes terminating a contract early very expensive. The most important aspect of any provider is the fine print within the contract. Understanding exactly what is being agreed upon is critical for the IT structure of the business and a successful transition to the cloud.

If you are looking for an expert cloud service provider, get in touch with us today!

Multi-Cloud World – What is it and What does it Mean For IT

The term Multi-Cloud World refers to an environment reliant on multiple clouds including Azure, Microsoft, OpenStack, and AWS. This is effective when you are running workloads that require networking resources and a large pool of storage on a private cloud. When the importance of the Multi-Cloud World increases, you must quickly scale up or down on a public cloud. Although every workload is running on your ideal cloud, you now have the capability to manage multiple clouds.

Benefits Of Multi-Cloud World

Multi-Clouds are significant in the IT world because they provide many benefits. They provide the agility necessary to provide capacity on-demand, shared computer processing, drive new streams of revenue, allow businesses to use real-time to keep pace with the market and their customers, deliver services with efficiency, and provide rapid innovations.

Additionally, Multi-Clouds fuel the growth of multiple cloud platforms using a solution for a single provider, mitigate risks, match the workload with the correct platform, and allow vendors to leverage their pricing to save on costs. This will result in making IT helpdesk support services easier.

The meaning of Multi-Cloud World for IT

First and foremost, IT groups will have to continue delivering core business systems with reliability and stability using the traditional data center environment. Organizations are beginning to use the multi-cloud environments to obtain the benefits but there are still hesitations due to new pressures and realities that are frequently being added.

The world of IT has seen permanent changes in the Cloud world and a response is required to be successful in the future. The multi-cloud environment has added speed to traditional IT. Users expect cloud-based services to provide unlimited scalability and immediate availability. And in today’s technical world, there are numerous choices for service providers. IT must be able to provide digital innovation at a fast-enough rate or the users will go directly to the public clouds for service. This can damage the IT organization due to a lack of governance and visibility.

The new cloud platforms also present new security risks. The protection of company data on multiple public and private clouds has become critical. The average breach of data is $4 million and can devastate the performance of a business. New tools must be used to maintain security. Companies begin using the cloud and expect significant savings but do not consider the differences between service models regarding pricing. Unrestrained service is often more cost effective than paying for just what you use. The cost can spike when services are unused or underutilized. End-to-end visibility of public and on-site cloud infrastructure is required for optimal performance, utilization, and resource availability. This leads to better decisions and controlling costs.

IT is now responsible for combinations of public cloud platforms that are always shifting and have different capabilities. This adds a new level of complexity because instead of dealing with fixed resources in an IT data center, public cloud platforms have been combined and are constantly shifting.

Every platform has different performance levels, processes, costs, and capabilities. Migration to the cloud can easily slow down or increase the exposure risks of a business due to gaps in governance and execution. This can lengthen the ratio between value and time regarding innovation. Contact us to know more about Multi-Cloud world and how it can benefit your business.

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Managing Multiple Projects

Managing multiple projects can be a nightmare, but when you plan ahead, everything will flow more smoothly. You should particularly avoid the following common mistakes most of the managers make when working on multiple software development projects. Although these blunders are not exclusive to people in the IT industry, they can be very damaging to them.

1. Not using asset management software

Many companies stack up information from multiple projects in several databases and spreadsheets, which is both inconveniencing and costly. Using a management software will help your company streamline operations by aggregating all of your records. This will allow you to monitor all assets on a centralized system. Additionally, it will allow you to organize inventory, making it easier to track all projects to make sure you are on pace and to detect any potential issues. Should you a problem arise, using a management software, , you can adjust goals, strategies and resources to achieve your necessary outcome.

Asset management software will also enable you to update project data regularly. If you make important changes in task or project deadline, the software will automatically update it. This will provide all employees working on the project with accurate information on their tasks and progress of the project.

2. Avoiding face-to-face meetings

Many managers do not engage in face to face meetings enough when running multiple projects. While it is acceptable to receive reports on email or phone, it is important to physically meet your team members. A meeting is the perfect forum to interact with team leaders and receive project updates.

At the beginning of every project, it is best to establish a foundation for meetings, including who the expected attendees should be and who will be responsible for ensuring that the meeting actually takes place. However, be mindful that there aren’t too many people in the meeting. Too many attendees can slow things down especially when everyone wants to participate in the discussions or ask questions.

3. Putting important tasks on the back burner

Often times, IT department staff work on lower priority projects while critical assignments are put on the back burner. If you are working on multiple projects, it is critical to prioritize your tasks. While some departments might view their projects as high-priority, the business owner might not because that specific project may l not generate any income. It is important to consider projects that align with the mission of the organization and work on them first. To ensure everyone is on the same page, brief all team members on all the tasks they will be working on and explain which ones are most important. You should also let them know when any changes occur.

It is also important to allow the team members to finish one project before they embark on another.. If you ask them to work on projects concurrently, their output may be worse and the tasks may take longer to complete. This also applies to writing emails or making phone calls while they work. If employees are doing too much outside of the project at hand, none of it will be done effectively and efficiently. . Additionally, working on multiple projects at once could leave employees confused and they could end up mixing projects, which leads to back to less productivity.

Conclusion

Managing multiple projects is challenging, both technically and financially. To manage the projects and your team properly, use tools that make your work easier and facilitate communication between team members. If you need more info, contact us!

Callidus Cloud

CallidusCloud is the global leader in cloud-based sales, marketing and learning solutions. CallidusCloud enables organizations to accelerate and maximize their lead to money process with a complete suite of solutions that identify the right leads, ensure proper territory and quota distribution, enable sales forces, automate configure price quote, and streamline sales compensation — driving bigger deals, faster. Over 4,700 organizations, across all industries, rely on CallidusCloud to optimize the lead to money process to close more deals for more money in record time. Being that CallidusCloud is such a large company, they sought out TBS to install their Web Helpdesk product that they purchased from SolarWinds.

Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive is a leading developer of engaging lifestyle content in the home, food and travel categories for television, digital, mobile and publishing. Scipps distributes seven entertainment brands in 29 languages reaching nearly 165 million households in more than 175 countries and territories. Scripps is headquartered in Tennessee but has many offices on both sides of the US. Internationally, they have offices in London and Singapore. Once again, TBS and SolarWinds connected for this project. TBS installed and managed the rollout of SolarWInds network monitoring software throughout all of Scripps’ footprint worldwide.

Conning

Conning and Company was founded in 1912 and is a leading global investment management firm with a long history of serving the insurance industry. Conning operates worldwide and has offices in CT and NY as well as in Cologne, Hong Kong and London.  To help Conning operate their IT needs more effectively, TBS and SolarWinds partnered up and installed monitoring software across the company’s global network.

South Moon Under

TBS most recently signed contract is with South Moon Under. South Moon Under is a fashion forward company that offers an eclectic mix of men’s and women’s clothing, swimwear, accessories, jewelry, and gifts for the home. They currently have 22 stores located throughout the Northeast in addition to a huge online presence.  With such a growing and multi-faceted company, South Moon Under sought out TBS to have them assist with the company’s managed services as well as their helpdesk issues.

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