Compudyne Blog

Disaster Recovery Solutions - Your Fears vs. the facts

Protecting your technology investment is one of your top priorities. Many business owners live with the constant, nagging fear that something terrible is going to happen and they’ll wind up with a closet full of fried servers, lost data and lost revenue. It’s a legitimate concern. One concern that can be avoided with a Disaster Recovery plan. However, that is not to say that you need a Disaster Recovery plan just because you’re scared. Fear is a natural motivator; however, it’s an emotional response. Deciding on a Disaster Recovery plan should not be an emotional decision. It’s risk management and mitigation; it needs to be based on facts and the type of plan that is going to work best for your specific needs.

At the core, Disaster Recovery is a duplication of data, servers and infrastructure, either on-site or off-site. It enables businesses to get back and up and running as quickly as possible after natural disasters, physical or cyber attacks, or a mistake like accidentally unplugged servers.

Some believe having an on-site backup solution is enough because natural disasters are unlikely in their location, but what happens if the disaster is something like water damage, electrical failure or human error? Simply having equipment on a different shelf doesn’t make it disaster proof. While on-site mirrored equipment is a form of disaster recovery, you need to set your sights higher for greater protection. Off-site replication is key to a business’ ability to bounce back after a disaster. If something catastrophic happens nearby, however unlikely, having secure backup solutions hundreds of miles away can make or break a business. If a power grid goes out on your block, off-site backup will ensure your business remains up and running.

Why Disaster Recovery?

Let’s say that you have data stored on site. Data that is used every day by your employees or your customers. If that data is unavailable, when will you start losing money? 30 seconds? Five minutes? Nobody wants to pay an employee to sit around and do nothing while they wait for the information they need to become available again. Think of all of the products or services your business isn’t delivering to your customers while you are down and consider the lost revenue. What about the relationship you have with your customers? They trust your business and their data to be available – and today’s consumers have very little patience for downtime. If you can’t deliver, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Depending on the size of your business, downtime can cost you thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars and beyond. How much are you willing to risk?

The Solution – A Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan

A comprehensive plan to restore and recover all aspects of your IT is essential. All variables need to be considered for your internal employees, external employees and customers. Using a company like Compudyne for Disaster Recovery can help determine what you need to maintain your bottom line. Your Disaster Recovery provider should help you find the best solution based on your needs, rather than your fears.

Creating a Disaster Recovery plan makes good business sense. It protects your bottom line and keeps your business agile. Every business is different, so each Disaster Recovery solution should be unique. Trust Compudyne to help you create a plan that works for your business, whether it’s traditional Disaster Recovery, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) or somewhere in-between.

Interested in learning more about Compudyne’s DRaaS solutions? Download the DRaaS Overview.

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Avoid Downtime with Three Simple Strategies

In today’s high-tech business world, downtime is a dirty word. Nobody wants it. Everyone tries their best to avoid it. But still in threatens each and every business without discrimination. If you want to remain competitive, technology must factor into your business plans – but if your systems go down, business comes to a grinding halt. If you and your team can’t access the programs, apps and data you need – whenever you need them – your revenue suffers.

Downtime doesn’t come cheap, either.

We’ve talked about the true cost of downtime before, but it bears repeating. As a business owner, you should have a basic idea how much an outage could cost your business, as well as practical strategies in place to prevent loss of revenue. 

Way back in 2014, Gartner estimated a single minute of downtime to cost, on average, $5,600. For one minute. Four years ago. We can only assume that downtime comes at an even steeper price today. In the inevitable event that your networks or systems experience an outage, how much can your company afford?

We recommend taking a good, hard look at your business to understand the potential impact of an outage. Then we recommend working with your IT solutions partner to develop a strategy that will position your company to avoid downtime at all costs.

These three simple steps are a great starting point:

  1. Establish a Backup Strategy

    We can’t stress strongly enough the importance of your backup strategy. It’s an important component in protecting your critical data in the event of an outage. Think of it as a security net. Backing up your data in a secure data center environment means nothing will fall through the cracks if servers go down, even for a moment.

    Not sure where to start or what your company might need? That’s quite alright. You’re certainly not alone there, and you’ve come to the right place. At Compudyne, we offer a handful of backup options that are suitable for businesses with varying needs. Our Backup Lite service often makes sense for small to medium-sized businesses. It’s a cost-effective solution that is quick and easy to set up. It protects files and folders – as opposed to entire machines and operating systems. Our Backup Pro service, on the other hand, has more robust features for backup and recovery.

  2. Prepare for the worst with Disaster Recovery as a Service

    Backup is often used synonymously with Disaster Recovery, but the two are actually very different. Backup is essentially a copy of your critical data, while Disaster Recovery encompasses a whole lot more. It’s the strategy behind how your company will respond and recover IT environments in the event of a natural or human-caused disaster. Disaster recovery solutions enable your company to bounce back after disaster strikes, with the least possible impact on your operations.

    Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a logical next-step in protecting your business. DRaaS solutions are backed by your IT solutions provider, and often incorporate cloud-based backup and replication services that automatically keep your data and applications accessible and available, no matter what happens. Are you thinking that seamless failback and redundant backup and recovery options sound like a smart choice for your business? We agree.

  3. Work with an IT solutions partner

    There are a lot of options out there that will help protect and secure both your business and your critical data. Avoiding downtime with backup and disaster recovery solutions makes logical and financial sense but deploying a strategy that works for your business and your budget takes a dedicated team of trained IT professionals.

    While your internal IT team is critical to keeping your day-to-day operations running smoothly, developing a custom backup and disaster recovery solution is a significant undertaking. That’s where working with a full-service IT solutions provider you trust is essential.

A Compudyne Success Story: Minimizing Downtime with Disaster Recovery Solutions

In the legal industry, uptime and 24/7 access to applications, programs, file and data can make or break a firm. When a fast-paced, technology-forward legal firm was looking for additional and assurance that their critical data would always be protected, they started a search for an IT solutions provider who could develop a reliable, scalable solution.

After researching many potential partners, they turned to Compudyne for a comprehensive solution that delivered.

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On Premise vs. Cloud Solutions - How do they Compare?

On Premise vs. Cloud Solutions - How do they stack up?

Business owners across many industries find themselves inundated with information about moving to the cloud. Technology service providers waste no time in explaining the benefits of moving your technology to the cloud – it’s expensive to maintain an on premise infrastructure, keeping up with changing technology trends is a full-time job in and of itself, the cloud offers reliability and security, and many more.

Is moving to the cloud right for your business? Should you invest in a cloud solution or keep your IT infrastructure on premise, where it’s always been? This has been an ongoing debate and the answers are different for each business. There are many factors to consider, like the technical and financial resources available and regulatory requirements specific to your industry.

Moving to the cloud is a smart solution for many businesses. Still, we often hear concerns surrounding how a move to the cloud will impact a business. How do on premise vs. cloud solutions really stack up?

Clearing Up Common Concerns: On Premise vs. Cloud Solutions

  1. Protecting Your Investment in Technology
    As your business competes in today’s tech-forward market, you’ve likely already made significant investments in technology. Many business owners are concerned with wasting their investments and losing access to the programs and data they need for daily operations. Rest assured, with the right IT solutions provider, you’ll be able to create a plan to migrate legacy technology to a cloud solution that provides enhanced privacy, security, and availability.

  2. Retaining Your IT Team
    You’re probably also wondering what happens to your IT team if you decide to move away from on premise infrastructure to a cloud-based solution. You’re not interested in laying off great team members – and you shouldn’t have to change your team at all. In fact, moving your infrastructure to the cloud will make your IT team’s job easier. Cloud solutions eliminate the risk of managing physical hardware in a space that isn’t designed specifically for technology infrastructure, giving your team more time and capacity to focus on managing the environment and keeping your business running smoothly.

  3. Ensuring Data Security
    Data is your business' most valuable asset and should be treated that way. Your data needs to remain confidential and highly available while maintaining integrity and ensuring the sustainability of your business. Securing your data in a reliable, redundant and accessible cloud environment is a fundamental step to getting there. Compudyne’s first-rate data centers are fortified with robust, multi-layer security processes and procedures to ensure your data is safe.  

  4. Meeting Industry Compliance Standards
    Industry regulatory forces put pressure on businesses to implement many layers of security. Moving your technology to Compudyne’s data centers promises peace of mind. We’re committed to ensuring Service Organization Controls (SOC) are met with a SOC2 that helps check the boxes for industry audits. These are the reporting controls that are difficult to meet while having your server environment on premises; as they relate to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy to a system. In our data centers, the stresses surrounding these are highly mitigated during our industry audits.

  5. Managing Technology Costs Wisely
    High-end performance is a must in today’s cloud computing environments; moving to the cloud sometimes sounds expensive and complicated. The reality is, a solid cloud solution almost always ends up cutting costs. You’ll decrease capital expenses because you won’t need to purchase, update or maintain equipment. You’ll also eliminate maintenance costs like cooling and power. Additionally, a fixed monthly bill means you won’t be surprised with unexpected expenses.

    Hardware can be expensive to maintain and will need to be replaced frequently. The same applies with server hardware as today’s resource intensive services and business applications require new and high-performing processing and storage. The costs to replace on premise technology can add up fast. At Compudyne, it’s our job to keep up with technology trends. That’s why we’re always provisioning the latest and greatest high-performing technologies to ensure the best and most secure experience for our customers.

Moving to a cloud-based solution can streamline operations, decrease capital costs and help your business access the full potential of today’s technology. For a closer look at the different solutions available to you, download our On Premise vs. Cloud Solutions Comparison.

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Firewalls - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

"I love working on my firewall." 

- No one ever

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Security is essential in today’s business world. There are attacks from the outside via known threats, phishing scams, network hacks, etc. However, your employees are just as big of a risk when they make bad password choices, visit bogus sites or open links they shouldn’t. The security risks can go on and on. The need to protect your business has never been more critical. The best way to be secure is to install and maintain a firewall. It’s a great tool, but it can also be a giant pain in the ass to maintain.

No Pressure…

Ideally, a good firewall will stop the threat before you even know about it. No damage done. When managing IT security, you must keep an eye on everything that is going on. Any change to the firewall can negatively affect the network and the security. Changes to the firewall are frequent, because threats are constantly changing – which is where problems can arise. There are people in their basements who create threats all day long. Some want your money, or confidential information about your clients. Some want to mess with you for fun, just to see if they can. The way threats are created and delivered is constantly changing. So, you can see how a business needs to keep tabs on everything, otherwise network security is at risk. Consistently updating firewall rulesets and keeping up with policies and regulations is a daunting task. If you do something wrong, you risk leaving your business open to an attack. A simple missed rule, an inadvertent back door left open, or not configuring VPNs correctly could cost you serious time and money.  

Fixing the Pain

A firewall constantly needs updates with new information to ensure network security. Luckily, there is a different, and easy, way to do it. At Compudyne, we will install, maintain and monitor your firewall for your business with our Next Generation Firewall Service. You don’t have to touch your firewall, we take care of everything. You can have confidence in your network security at all times. Compudyne provides advanced threat protection, intrusion protection services, application control, data leak scanning, anti-virus, malware, spam-filters and many more services. Next Generation Firewall Service provides a thick layer of defense against a broad array of network-based attacks.  

Prove It

A really fun part of network security is proving that it’s working. In the event of an audit, or a question from management, how easy would it be for you to pull documentation to prove your firewall is working, and your network is safe? Do you, or your team have the documentation immediately available? With Compudyne Next Generation Firewall Service, you receive reports on the activity of your firewall, providing the value of the service. The reporting information is extensive and quickly at your fingertips. You will be amazed at how many threats our service has blocked before you even thought about looking. Auditing is easier, compliance is easier and peace of mind is present.

You simply cannot run a business network without a firewall in place. You may as well open up your bank account, give your clients’ secure information away and put a big bullseye on your office door. If you really like working on your firewall, great, keep up the good work! But chances are, you don’t. It can be intimidating and it’s a lot of pressure that everything will be secure every day. Compudyne provides the expertise to ensure the job is done, and it’s done right – and we back up our promise with documentation and reports. Give us a call, we can remove the uncertainty of network security from your business plan.

Kris Garvey is a Sales Consultant at Compudyne, Inc. in St. Paul, MN.  She can be reached at kgarvey@compudyne.com or 651-203-9300 ext. 645

Proud Partner of the 2018 MSHSL Hockey Tournament

We live for this.

You would not believe the excitement that permeates the Compudyne office during hockey season. Some companies go all out for the football post-season. Others can’t get enough of March Madness. For Compudyne, we live and breathe hockey.

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That’s why we get such a kick out of partnering with Hubbard Broadcasting and supporting the MN State Hockey Tournament every year. We love seeing how hard the student athletes work to achieve their dreams. We love the passion, the sportsmanship, the hair. We love seeing their drive. It makes us excited for the next generation of emerging young leaders. They’re incredible, inspirational and plain old fun.

When you’re watching the tournament this year, be on the lookout for the Compudyne logo around the arena. And don’t miss our commercial spot, either. We had a lot of fun putting it together and we’re excited to share it with all of you. Compudyne is proud to support this tournament, and to share our passions with our customers.

We’re looking forward to the girls’ tournament facing off this week, and the boys’ tournament starting up March 7th. So, in the moments between client meetings and providing secure, reliable and strategic IT solutions for our business partners, we’ll be checking the scores, comparing our predictions and celebrating along with the rest of the state.

Let’s play some hockey!

Managed Services for a Modern Workplace

My How Things Have Changed

You can't expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday's tools and expect to be in business tomorrow. – Unknown

Things have changed. The way we work has changed. The world of IT changed with it. Is this change good?  Short answer…yes. But what are you doing with it?

The Trouble with Wearing So Many Hats

Employees in many small to mid-sized businesses wear many hats. The HR Manager may also set up new employees with their computers and accounts. The owner of the company may know how to tinker with a server, so they also take on that role. Nancy in accounting knows a little bit about PCs and therefore becomes the resident IT person. Nancy doesn’t want to reset your password for the third time this month. Nancy has people to invoice so your business can make money. That’s why Nancy avoids you in the hall.

We’re all for multi-tasking, but what has it done to your bottom line? Saved a little money in the short term? Probably. Made it harder for people do to the jobs they were actually hired to do? Absolutely. Prohibited you from seeking new business opportunities because you are dealing with your IT needs instead? More than likely.

Technology is a necessity, but it shouldn’t take away from your business goals. Instead, it should be a tool that helps you achieve your business goals. Managed Services help you redirect your focus from your IT needs to your business needs. It gives you an opportunity to leverage a team of technology experts, so you and your team can focus on your area of expertise – without having to worry about your IT. When someone else manages your IT, you’re able to use technology as a tool to make your business more efficient. Doesn’t that sound great?

Lightbulb Moment – Someone Else Can Manage Your IT

The whole point of technology is to make it easier for people to connect with each other, to make businesses more efficient, to get things done faster and easier. Somewhere along the way, the base of that was lost in the management of technology. People took it all on themselves because that’s what they thought they had to do.

Today, there is a way to be more focused on your business and less distracted by the technology that is required to make your business run in the modern world. Do you worry about your light bulbs in the office? No. You just want them to work so you can do your job. That is how technology has changed. You shouldn’t have to worry about IT anymore. You just need it to work so you can do your job; so you can run your business, so you can think about things that will make your business more successful, not just functional. That’s the purpose of Managed Services.

When you bring on a Managed Service partner like Compudyne, it becomes our job to make sure your technology is always operating as designed. We make sure it works so you can focus on your business. We make sure that you are using the right technology to achieve your goals, drive growth and make your business more efficient. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine what you could do with that time and energy.

Managed Services as a Commodity? Not Quite.

Managed Services is not new, but has it become a commodity? Not at all. Managed Services has a constantly growing nature, which makes it valuable. This is where choosing a Managed Services provider is essential. The type of provider you choose can add value or play the technology game with a mindset of simple mediocrity. In short, the partner you choose to provide your Managed Services matters.

Look for a team who understands forward movement and takes a proactive approach with both their customers and their own business. Quality matters. Experience matters. When you call, someone should pick up the phone; even better, you shouldn’t have to call in the first place. Being local is important. The level of service that you receive by going with a local partner is more satisfactory. You need someone to stop by the office to do something? Sure. A large tech corporation located thousands of miles away won’t be able to do that for you.

You should choose a partner that specializes in a wide variety of services. Wouldn’t it be great to use a company that knows your business and your goals and can help you with not only Managed Services, but also your Cloud? Your Professional Services needs? Your Network Service needs? You need someone who can be agile and work with you, not make you fit into a box of their own making. Commodity is nonsense.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Changes – It’s Time to Change the Way You Think About IT

The IT world has changed. Dramatically. And this change is a good thing. This change frees up your time so you can get more done. It allows you to do more of what you love - more of what you went into business to do in the first place. It’s time to let someone take the technology burden off of your shoulders. A solid Managed Services provider will help you plan for the future rather than put simply putting out fires as they arise. Wouldn’t that be great? Let’s talk about what you could do if you didn’t have to worry about your IT. If someone had your back so you can focus on what is in front of you.

Kris Garvey is a Sales Consultant at Compudyne, Inc. in St. Paul, MN. She can be reached via email at kgarvey@compudyne.com or by phone at 651-203-9300 ext. 645

IT Buzzwords – 2018 Trends 

Technology Trends to Watch in 2018

If anything is true of the tech industry, it is constantly evolving. Technology is changing and improving at an exponential rate – all in the name of making things easier for consumers while collecting as much data as possible.

According to Forbes, CIOs can expect to be more accountable for revenue generation, value creation, and the development and launch of new business models using proven and emerging technologies.

In 2018, we foresee that these technology trends will continue, and then some.

What can you expect in the coming year? You’ll likely hear more about these IT Buzzwords, and the technology trends you should keep your eye on in 2018.

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Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

If you’re already leveraging a data center solution, you’ve likely at least heard the phrase "hyper-converged infrastructure" (HCI). In the IT world, we started thinking about HCI infrastructure in response to the silos that can become apparent in traditional data center operations – when servers and storage are configured separately.

Hyper-converged solutions increase agility and allow your technology to scale more easily as your business grows. By converging physical storage onto industry-standard x86 servers we can help enable a building block approach with scale-out capabilities. This allows us to run all key data center as software on a hypervisor instead of via hardware.

At Compudyne, it is our goal to simplify your IT solutions with products and services designed to work with your business. Our strategic partner, VMware provides a unique, software-defined approach to HCI, leveraging the hypervisor to deliver compute, storage and management in a tightly integrated software stack.

SD-WAN and Hybrid WAN

As businesses have grown and needed to reach an ever-increasing number of geographical locations, the Wide Area Network (WAN) was born. When it became clear that businesses needed even more agility, latency and reach, Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions were developed. SD-WAN provides Internet failover and connects enterprises to branch offices and data centers with a software approach that leverages the cloud, or a premises-based solution. SD-WAN provides seamless Internet failover for the business environment and provides increased opportunities for connectivity, security and scalability.

But what about Hybrid WAN?

Hybrid WAN solutions fit right in between traditional WAN and SD-WAN. Hybrid WAN offers opportunities for MPLS connections and Internet connections and allows for better real-time monitoring and decision making. Hybrid WAN works great with SD-WAN solutions to deliver fast, low-latency connections.

Disaster Recovery Services

Nobody anticipates a disaster, but the companies who have disaster recovery plans in place decrease downtime and minimize the impact to their business and their customers in the event that a disaster strikes. Is your business prepared to respond?

No matter your industry, data is an important component of your business. Your ability to bounce back in the event of a disaster depends on adequate preparation. The time to flesh out your Disaster Recovery Plan is now, before you lose critical data or experience unexpected downtime.

Don’t know where to start? Compudyne’s got you covered with Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

Our Disaster Recovery service is an extension of VMWare’s vCenter. It protects you and your business by automating failover, failback and the migration of virtual machines to a secure, secondary site. The increased adoption of cloud computing technology makes it possible to provide disaster recovery solutions that are constantly backed up – meaning you’ll always have access to your critical data.

At Compudyne, we leverage VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to provide DRaaS that automates the failover, failback and migration of virtual machines to a secondary site in the event of a local or primary data center disaster. Our DRaaS works in conjunction with various replication solutions, including VMware vSphere, to automate the process of migrating, recovering, testing, re-protecting and failing-back virtual machine workloads.

Digital Transformation

In the past few years, there has been a lot of chatter among IT service providers surrounding the cloud, cloud technology and cloud service offerings. Today, that conversation is beginning to shift toward the digital transformation movement.

To succeed in a cloud-based business environment, business leaders must embrace a digital transformation: new ways of connecting people, data, and processes to create value for customers (source: Microsoft).

Digital technology has already changed the way we do business and will continue to do so at an exponential rate. Microsoft foresees all-encompassing digital transformations as having a hugely positive impact on business, with increased customer engagement, empowered employees, operational optimization and product transformations.

Compudyne works closely with Microsoft to provide products and solutions that help our customers drive more business.

Are You Ready for 2018?

These technology trends are the just the tip of the iceberg. Technology will continue to drive sales, support customers and strengthen your business. Do you have what you need to succeed in 2018 and beyond?

The team at Compudyne is ready to strategically and efficiently manage the IT needs of your business. This allows you to focus on operating your business instead of managing technology. Our solutions are designed to grow alongside your business and drive your success.

Download our full list of technology buzzwords and trends for 2018.

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Product Life Cycle | End of Life (EOL) Overview

Product Life Cycle | End of Life (EOL) Overview

End of Life – We know. It sounds scary. Don’t worry, it’s not! The nature of technology is that it is always changing. The technology product life cycle moves fast. Developers are continuously working to streamline, improve and generally make technology work better. Software updates fix bugs and make programs work more efficiently. Yes, sometimes features or functionality are changed or removed, but when a program is updated, it takes a step forward.

As products mature, market demands shift and innovation drives changes in technology development, older programs are replaced by technology that performs better, faster and more efficiently.

This is a typical part of the overall product life cycle – meaning, it happens to every product, eventually. We know that when programs approach their end of life, it presents an opportunity for business owners to think about how they’re currently leveraging technology. EOL situations are also a great time to evaluate new technology options.

So, What is End of Life, Exactly?

EOL refers to the final stages of a product’s serviceable life. As hardware or software products become obsolete, vendors stop providing standard support services. That means technical support and upgrades will no longer be available to customers using that particular piece of technology.

One of the biggest challenges associated with EOL is disposing of the outdated technology. Techopedia explains that “for hardware devices, this means physically disposing old devices and installing newer versions. For software systems, it means ‘weaning’ legacy systems or migrating applications to newer platforms in order to discard or change old systems.”

What happens when the new features of a product update don’t quite fit what a business needs? Or, if functionality a business uses every day isn’t included in newer versions? Oftentimes, a business will decide to forgo an upgrade and keep using their current program. That’s exactly how EOL situations come to light.

If you decide to keep using outdated technology, you may be putting your data and your business at risk. Without continued support, bug fixes and upgrades, products or operating systems may longer be secure – leaving your business vulnerable to cyber security threats. Certain industries may face legal complications if they continue to use obsolete hardware and/or software. Lastly, using outdated technology is risky to productivity and can end up costing your more to maintain (and fix) than simply upgrading in the first place.

Our End of Life Approach

We don’t want you to put your business at risk. That’s why we keep close tabs on the technology our clients are using and recommend staying current with software updates. The Compudyne team makes every effort to stay up-to-date on the technology we offer – that way we’re always ready to help our clients upgrade to the newest and most appropriate technology solution for their business.

When we become aware of an EOL product, we work with our clients to devise a game plan. Depending on the situation, we may:

  • Conduct a gap analysis
  • Conduct a Cloud Assessment Readiness Evaluation
  • Offer Hardware as a Rental service
  • Weigh the options of migration vs. upgrading

Is Your Business Technology at Risk?

Our core partners, Microsoft, VMware, Cisco and HP, work hard to keep their technology up-to-date. New releases present enhancements and opportunities to leverage technology that makes your business run more smoothly.

But keeping up on all the changes in the product life cycle is a challenge. That’s where Compudyne comes in. But we know our clients and we know you like to keep yourself informed. That’s why we’ve put together a handy list of which of our core partners’ essential programs are approaching EOL in 2018.

Download the 2018 EOL List

If you have questions or concerns about your technology, please feel free to reach out to your Compudyne sales rep at any time.

New Compudyne Client Portal

The field of technology is perpetually changing and keeping your business running smoothly with the most up-to-date technology is essential to your success. That’s why we conduct our client relationships with a focus on great customer service.

Our goal is to strategically and efficiently manage your business’ IT needs, so you can focus on what you need to – operating your business. Our solutions support your evolving IT needs and help drive success.

After months of hard work internally, we are excited to share a sneak peek of our new Client Portal. We designed the Client Portal with our clients in mind. It is our firm belief that great customer service boils down to open, honest communication with our clients. The Client Portal will provide you with an easy, interactive and more efficient client experience.

The Client Portal contains a number of helpful features. Here are a few of the things that we are most excited about – we hope you’ll like them, too:

 

Security Statistics

Your IT security is important to us. We know how essential it is to stop security issues before they start and we wanted to share more detail with you. The Security Statistics feature shows clients the security services they currently have in place and highlights issues that have been prevented by having these services.

Client Portal Security Services Dashboard Client Portal Security Services Dashboard

You can click into each security service listing to view more details on adware, spyware or viruses that have been prevents in the past 90 days. We want you to be aware of activity on your account and to know that with Compudyne’s Security Services, your company and all your digital assets are protected.

Closer view of Endpoint Protection activity

 

Detailed view of recently averted threats Detailed view of recently averted threats

 

Recent Service Work with Details

Our clients are often relieved to remove IT management from their plates when they begin working with Compudyne – but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. We built a Service Ticket Information section into our Client Portal so our clients can dig into the details at their leisure.

Under Recent Service Work, we’ve added a graph that displays the total hours worked and the number of tickets submitted throughout the month. We also included a detailed list of all Service Work and ticket information. And for an extra personal touch, we added pictures of our team so you can put a face to the person working on your tickets.

Recent Service Work graph and detailed notes from the Compudyne team Recent Service Work graph and detailed notes from the Compudyne team

 

Service Tickets

We wanted to provide our clients with an easy way to open service tickets, so we added the Create Service Ticket functionality to the Client Portal dashboard. Click Dashboard and then Services Tickets to open a new ticket.

How to open a Service Ticket How to open a Service Ticket

Once you’ve opened a service ticket and provided us with all the important details, we’ll assign it to an appropriate Compudyne team member for swift resolution.

 

Machine Warranty Information

It’s our job to keep track of your devices, and we don’t want any warranty expirations to take you by surprise. The Machine Warranty Information section of the client portal provides clickable graphs that allow you to dig deeper into your devices.

Interactive graphs provide more detail on the status of your devices Interactive graphs provide more detail on the status of your devices

 

A closer view of device details A closer view of device details

 

Recent Invoices

We don’t want billing or invoicing to be a mystery. In fact, we know an important element of great customer service is openness surrounding billing. In the Recent Invoices section, you’ll find all your recent invoices. You can click into each invoice to view further detail.

Click ‘Actions’ to view more detail on a recent invoice Click ‘Actions’ to view more detail on a recent invoice

 

User and Contacts

Lastly, we wanted to give our clients the ability to manage their active users. If an active user is no longer an employee or should not be included in the agreement, you can adjust their user profile accordingly. From the Dashboard, click Users & Contacts to make any necessary changes.

How to manage Users and Contacts How to manage Users & Contacts

Great Customer Service Begins Here

Creating and launching our Client Portal took a lot of work. We started by talking to our clients about what functionality they need to manage their side of the relationship with Compudyne. We wanted it to be intuitive, easy to use and (most of all) a valuable and useful tool for our clients.

Stay tuned, more information about the Compudyne Client Portal will be coming soon. If you have questions, or would like to learn more, please contact your Compudyne sales representative.

 

Protecting Your Business – Data Security FAQ

As managed IT service providers, we hear a lot of questions and concerns about data security – and rightfully so. Data security is critical to business operations, but many business owners overlook this potentially dangerous facet of their business. What happens if your security is breached? What if disaster strikes and you can’t access important data? How much will it cost your business to be out of service for an hour, half a day, or 24 hours?

If these questions raised red flags, don’t panic. You’re not alone, and Compudyne is here to help. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear regarding business IT security, and some next steps you can take to protect your business.

So, what are we protecting against, exactly? 

Various events can lead to an interruption in your IT environment, from natural disasters to exfiltration of your systems. If your systems are physically damaged and unusable, the offsite backup solution will make you whole again once new hardware is installed. Better yet, use a provider that can spin up your systems offsite, OS and all. Ransomware is perhaps the greatest risk today, even if you have a layered security solution. With this type of threat, it’s generally not IF but WHEN you’re impacted, and one of the best ways to protect against ransomware is by having an offsite backup.

While I’m writing this, we’re seeing another large-scale, global ransomware attack unfold. It cannot be stressed enough that every company should implement and maintain patch management, backups, disaster recovery and incident response procedures to protect from ransomware threats.

When should I test our backup?
Answer: Not when you need it. If you regularly test your backup solution, you’re better than most CIOs that only know there’s a problem when it’s too late. Various solutions can provide soft-testing and reporting on the integrity of your backup, to ensure it will work when you most need it. Better yet, get a monitored solution that kicks off alarms when the job fails. It’s not a set-it and forget-it type of thing.

What does a restore look like?
Depending on the event, a restore can be extremely easy and fast with the right solution. You want to understand what a restore looks like, from file or object restores to bare-metal restores. You want to know that you can restore to multiple and dissimilar hardware. Your solutions provider should be able to walk you through what to expect in a restore and provide assurance that there won’t be surprise costs or unnecessary delays. In fact, that should be written in the agreement, so you know your rights. By the way, a good provider does the restore as a part of the monthly service cost.

What are my next steps?
Businesses should review the Service-Level-Agreement and the provider’s ability to deliver support for the solution. They should request details on monitoring and alerting, recovery methods and timeframes and compliance for regulated industries. They should know where their data backups are physically located and if they’re encrypted/encapsulated, and what happens to their data backups if the service is terminated. They should understand their compliance requirements and be sure the solution meets/exceeds those requirements.

What can I do to protect my systems today?

  1. Ensure your systems are patched, or let us patch them for you, and please don’t use an unsupported version of XP, Windows 8 or Windows Server 2003.
  2. Back up regularly or let us back up your data and keep a recent backup copy off-site. There are dozens of ways other than ransomware that files can suddenly vanish, such as fire, flood, theft, a dropped laptop, or even an accidental delete. Encrypt your backup and you won’t have to worry about the backup device falling into the wrong hands.
  3. Avoid opening attachments in emails from recipients you don’t know, even if you work in HR or the accounting department and you use attachments a lot.
  4. Contact us today to ensure you are properly prepared and have taken the steps necessary to deploy a layered security approach to meet your IT security needs.

Protecting your data is critical to business operations and backup solutions can be tailored to your specific needs – contact Compudyne today to find the right solution for your business.