5 Reasons Why an RMM Approach Would Work for You

Your business, like all businesses, relies on a lot of moving parts to function. That’s the reality. What isn’t the reality is that you have no control over whether these moving parts will break down, and that you have to just sit and wait for it to happen, reacting when it does.

Waiting to react is basically accepting downtime as a part of doing business. You need to be proactive – not accepting downtime and rejecting it as the waste of time and money that it is. In order to pull this off, it is crucial that you change your perspective. Why wait for something to go wrong when you can prevent a bad outcome by acting now?

However, with all your other responsibilities, you certainly can’t just add this to your itinerary, and hiring some internal staff to cover this probably isn’t considered in your budget. Your best bet is to look outside of your staff, and outsource these responsibilities to a managed IT services provider like Kite Technology. As your IT provider we can leverage a solution commonly known as remote monitoring and management (RMM) which working remotely, enables us to catch issues early and fix them, giving your business a few additional benefits to enjoy.

The Benefits:

  1. You’ll understand your business’ IT needs better. We’ve all had those nagging questions about our IT before. Why is it that our storage always seems to fill up with more than we put in? We just updated this, why is it running so slow? Eventually\ we’ve just accepted things the way they are… until things get worse. RMM turns that into a non-issue. We’ll have a front-row seat, ready to spot anything that needs to be resolved and take care of it. You might never know about even half the threats that are stopped once we step in.
  2. You’ll not only increase your internal productivity, you’ll decrease your downtime. The more prepared your systems are to handle your demands, the better they will be able to do so. It’s as simple as that. So instead of stumbling across repeated problems and known issues over and over, you and your team can get down to business.The same goes for downtime. With KiteTech on your side, causes of downtime can be predicted and planned for, if not mitigated. This allows you to find some way of otherwise being productive, rather than sitting there and staring blankly at a screen.
  3. You’ll know about your maintenance needs. Your internal network is kind of the “engine” of your business, as it helps drive your processes forward. Just like an actual engine, it’s going to need a tune-up every now and then to keep things going. The nice thing about understanding your maintenance needs is that you can see to them, acting before something forces you to act. Our team can even see to it that this kind of maintenance happens after hours, so there will be a minimal disruption (if any) to your daily productivity.
  4. Your efficiency will increase. This is the real problem with downtime – when an employee encounters a problem, it’s going to bring their efficiency to zero. Even if they’ve become accustomed to this problem and have devised a way to work around it, this is still eating into your operational time unnecessarily. Remote monitoring and management can help reduce distractions like these by identifying and resolving the root issue. Instead of wasting the time your employees have to do their work, technical difficulties can be mitigated behind the scenes.
  5. Your security will be improved. NotPetya and WannaCry were both ransomware attacks that demonstrated how under-prepared many companies were, because they hadn’t installed some security updates – even with the time between these two widespread attacks. Many paid dearly for it. Yes, updating systems can be a pain. However, working with us means that you wouldn’t have to run these updates, because we would do it for you, which lets you focus on your operations.

If you’d like to talk to find out more about remote monitoring and management services just give us a call at 855-290-KITE or email us at engage@kitetechgroup.com.

Tech Tips: 5 Useful Browser Tips

The best way to access the Internet is to use a web browser. Today, we’ll discuss five of the most helpful basic tricks we can think of to help you make the most of your web browser.

Close a Tab

Again, keep in mind that when we say “basic,” we mean it. You can close a tab by clicking on the little “x” at the edge of the browser. You can also close a tab by clicking on it with the mouse wheel, a technique known as “middle-clicking.” This might not make much of a difference in the long run, but it’s certainly easier to close multiple tabs this way than by clicking on each individual “x.”

Quick Address Bar

If you ever want to visit a different website or search for something with a search engine, you can just type something in the address bar at the top of your browser window. While you can click in the address bar, you want to keep as many options in mind as possible. You can try pressing F6, Alt+D, or Ctrl+L to all do the same thing. It will bring you to the address bar and highlight its contents, as well as give you a chance to continue typing.

Viewing Slideshows or Multi-Page Articles

You know those annoying articles that look like slideshows? It can be a major pain to view them all one after another. You can turn it into one page so you don’t have to fight the website just for the information you need. To get started, just try to print the page. You can either click Print or use Ctrl+P to start it up. This provides a print preview of the page, but more importantly, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the slideshow.

Highlighting More Accurately

Highlighting text online can be tricky, as it requires that you click and drag from a starting point to an ending point. You might accidentally highlight too much or too little, resulting in your text being an inaccurate representation of what you want. Instead of worrying about whether or not you’ll copy too much of the text, you can click on the starting point of the selection and shift-click the end point of the text. This selects all of the text between two points.

Toggle to Full-Screen Mode

Productivity can be tough when the Internet is filled with so many distractions, and that’s not even mentioning all of the difficulties you might have with other workstation software or tools. You can set your window to full-screen mode to help you focus. To do this, you just have to press F11, and it can be toggled on or off this way.

Collaboration in Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 might look like Microsoft Office, but it has many other features that allow you to make your documents and services more accessible and collaborative than the standard desktop application would. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you get the most out of the features of Office 365–particularly in regard to Microsoft Word.

Anywhere Access

Unlike the traditional way of doing business, today’s workers aren’t going to be chained to their desks in the workplace. They can instead work from multiple locations on myriad devices. OneDrive is perfect for this purpose, as it lets you pull up just about any document in your Drive on another device. Just check your recent history and you should be able to access it on any device.

Putting In Your Two Cents

Collaboration depends on brainstorming and feedback in order for it to be an effective tool to create new ideas and opportunities. Thanks to Office 365, your team can work together on all kinds of documents. You can add comments, share insights, and even annotate sections as needed.

Inviting Collaborators

Word 2016 makes it easy to add collaborators to a document. Through the use of OneDrive, you can share access with anyone who you anticipate accessing the file’s location. This is all done through Microsoft People. You’ll have the option to share a document via email in a variety of ways, as well as share who can edit or access it.

Microsoft Office 365 was created with the intention of working together, so be sure to take advantage of these features!

Enhancements Made to Google Maps

Google Maps is a great service that helps users navigate during their travels and more upgrades are being released all the time to augment their experiences. Some of the most recent updates have provided additional functionality that can provide users with even more ways to use Google Maps–particularly in regard to actually making it to their destination on time and in style.

Arriving On Time

The Commute tab in Google Maps can show the user information about their preferred route, and it can even update itself if any disruptions occur during the travel time. Google Maps can then show other routes free of disruptions that might be helpful for the user. All these features combine to give the user the best experience possible when trying to stay true to a timetable.

Assuming you have two possible routes to your destination–one going through an urban area and another going around the outside–Google Maps could suggest which option is the most efficient based on data collected. If the city traffic is locked up, or if there is an accident, it can indicate which path would be better for your needs.

If public transportation is more your thing, Google has included an occupancy for trains and buses in some regions, including updates for the routes. If you want to grab something quick to eat before getting on the train, Google Maps can tell you if there is enough time to do so.

Music Makes a Commute Better

Google Maps also has built-in support for popular music services like Spotify, Google Play Music, and Apple Music. This lets users improve the quality of their commute without jumping between apps.

Benefits of Managed Services and Remote Monitoring & Maintenance (RMM)

Technology doesn’t last forever; there will come a time when it needs to be serviced in order to keep up with your business’ expectations. You can approach this in two different ways. The first way is the traditional break/fix model, which just asks you to address problems when your device breaks. In this case, you just use it until it doesn’t work the way you want it to. While this approach works at first glance, its high cost compared to the other alternatives due to the immense amount of productivity wasted and maintenance fees associated with fixing broken technology solutions.

The better option is managed IT services utilizing a remote monitoring system. This allows for a preventative system that can address issues with a network before they disrupt your organization’s operations. Since you’re preventing issues from becoming major problems, you’re cutting out unexpected fees in exchange for a much more predictable monthly rate.

How RMM Helps Businesses

Remote monitoring and maintenance is what enables managed IT services to exist in its current form. The premise of managed IT is that the managed service provider is the one responsible for the management and upkeep of your network. RMM allows this to happen without an on-site visit, allowing for less travel time (waiting time in your case) and fewer disruptions in the office. This translates to many benefits for your business, including:

  • Less wasted time: Since you’re not losing productivity due to issues as frequently with RMM, you can keep in-house disruptions–a visit from us included–from creating wasted time for your workers.
  • Faster resolution: If you cut out the costs of travel and the time involved with doing so, you’ll find that issues can be resolved much faster, allowing you and your employees to stay on task.
  • Streamlined maintenance: The best problems to have are the ones that can be resolved without knowing that they’ve even surfaced. This is the main draw of RMM–potential issues can be resolved before they become a problem in the first place, meaning that you’ll experience less downtime overall.

Kite Technology can help your business get started with RMM solutions and MSP services. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.

Better Security in Three Easy Steps

With the holidays just around the corner, most people are turning their attention to turkey, presents, and long drives to visit friends and family.  As a cybersecurity professional, I always see this as the Season of Spoofing, where bad guys send you convincing emails about packages left on your doorstep, and gift card balances you’ve left behind, all with the goal of stealing your credentials, like some overseas Grinch who doesn’t want you to get any presents.

So, in the spirit of giving, I’d like to kick off this holiday season by giving you three easy steps that you can take towards avoiding the Grinch this year.

Step 1:  Better Passwords

I’m sure we’ve all heard the speech:  Password must be 8+ characters in length, contain a letter, number, special character, and must be changed every 90 days.  But did you know that even those are often easily guessed?  And even worse, they’re often used on multiple accounts, creating a domino effect.  If one is compromised, they’re all compromised.

So, consider using a password manager such as LastPass or RoboForm to generate secure passwords, that are unique to every website.  This will make your passwords significantly more secure.

Step 2:  Security Awareness Training

Now that we have better passwords, let’s make sure we keep them to ourselves!  We can do that by training employees how to spot malicious emails, and what to do when they’re found.  And more importantly, put that training to the test!  A system that sends harmless emails to your employees to trick them into clicking a suspicious link will let you know who “gets it”, and who needs a little extra help.

Step 3:  Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

I saved the best for last.  Sometimes referred to as “two factor authentication”, MFA is a fantastic strategy for keeping your data secure.  Every time there’s a login from an unexpected computer or location, you’ll be notified and prompted to either allow or deny the login, from an app on your phone (which is also protected by a passcode, right?).

If you’re using Office 365 for your email, you already have the ability to turn on MFA.  It does take a little work to get up and running, but once configured, we’ve found that folks love the peace of mind that comes with this level of security.

Now, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if I didn’t give you something, right?  So, here’s my gift for you, to help you get started with Step 1.  Complete the contact form on the sidebar during the month of November and we will provide you with a Weak Password Report, for free!  This will show you any weak or non-expiring passwords that are used on your network and start you on the path to better security.