SpireTech Blog - Category: Business
Articles related to business, management, marketing, employees and so on.
Did you know we offer self-service payment options using our portal? Of course, it is fine to call us if you prefer – but anyone who receives an invoice from us can login to the portal using the link in the email. You can view payment history, invoices, and make payments. If you do not know your password, there is a forgot password function you can use to create a new password using your billing email.
The tax man cometh, and things tend to get busy at SpireTech during November and December. This year-end appears to be no different. Oftentimes, equipment availability and delivery times get extended – so plan ahead! If you are considering some year-end upgrades, please let us know soon so we can get your projects estimated, scheduled, equipment ordered, and installed.
SpireTech recently introduced a way to monitor customer satisfaction by including voting links at the end of a ticket closure email. So far, the feedback has been that we are doing an excellent job, and that customer satisfaction is very high, an average of 9.91 out of 10.
Unfortunately, a very small percentage of you respond – it only takes a few seconds. We would love it if more of you can let us know how we’re doing! At the end of the survey, the tool will offer you a chance to leave a Google review – positive public reviews help our search ranking – it would be greatly appreciated if you can also complete a Google review!
Thanks in advance!
Last month, we wrote that this new service from Microsoft promised to be a disruptive technology. We’ve since learned that discounts will soon be announced on your first year of service. While we aren’t able to disclose those numbers or timing yet, let’s say the traditional telecom and PBX vendors should be quaking in their shoes, because the savings before the discounts are substantial.
The convenience of being able to use your bluetooth headset with your computer, the Teams app on your phone, or a compatible desktop phone to make/receive business calls from anywhere without being tethered to the office promises to be a game-changer and key enabler for WFH moving forward. Since it’s integrated with Microsoft Teams, you don’t need to change your mode of working from one communication device to another.
We’ve already had several clients express interest in moving to Microsoft 365 Business Voice, and projects are starting soon. If you want to learn more or get on the list, get in touch!
We’ve had a few clients ask us about remote worker policies. We view this as an HR issue with possible legal implications, so you’ll want to seek advice appropriate to your firm. We’ve all had to relax the standards around eligibility and physical environment during Covid, but the policies around attendance and security still apply. Here’s some food for thought if you have yet to implement a remote work policy.
Working from home is a privilege and may be allowed in some circumstances subject to the following guidelines. If your supervisor approves your working from home on a particular day instead of being present in the office, you must comply with the following guidelines:
- Eligibility Not all positions are eligible for working remotely. If your position involves frequent or important interaction with other employees or clients, it may not be possible or practical for you to successfully work remotely. If you are unable to work at your normally assigned position and time, working from home must be pre-approved by your direct supervisor.
We are going to remove Windows 7 systems from SpireTech support effective July 1, 2020. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. We have been giving everyone some extra time to get those last stragglers out of their networks, but that time is coming to an end in two months.
Each client primary contact gets a monthly report that includes a system inventory. If you are still seeing Windows 7 systems in your network, please work to remove them. If you are sitting at a computer still running Windows 7, please request a replacement or upgrade.
SpireTech has aggressive discounts available from Dell for new systems, please let us know if you require assistance obtaining new hardware or migrating files from old systems. We are minimizing site calls during the Covid-19 crisis, but we can arrange delivery to your location and perform work remotely. SpireTech has a flat-fee of $300 per system for labor associated with migrating Windows 7 machines and new computer setups.
We do not wish to create additional financial hardship for clients. Read more...
With recent headlines, has your company considered what might happen if your employees needed to work from home suddenly? Does your company have policies and procedures in place for working remotely? SpireTech can help you get ready.
Things to consider might include:
- A revision to your employee manual adding work-from-home policies, including computer security, timekeeping, communication, and home office standards
- Setting up VPN, OneDrive for business, or SharePoint access to company data
- Configuring BYOD (Bring-your-own-device) and MDM (Mobile device management) policies using Microsoft 365 to secure company data
- Technical documentation and instructions for employees to setup work-from-home access
- Installing company software on home computers when appropriately licensed, such as Office 365, which allows up to five devices per user
- Implementing multi-factor authentication and secure password policies
- Setting up office chat using Microsoft Teams or Slack
- How employees will access business phone lines, forward calls, and check voicemail from outside the office
- Determine which software will work from outside the office, and which won’t
If you’d like some help getting your staff ready to work from home, get in touch to start the conversation.
We are starting to hear from clients interested in IT capital expenditures or projects they want to accomplish before the end of the calendar year for both operational and tax deduction purposes – in many instances equipment purchases and IT projects can be strategically structured to make the tax savings substantial. If you are also looking at end of year IT spending, we encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible so that we can help meet your goals and timing.
used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Karen Gilleland
“Gimme the dough—or you’ll never see your files again!” In this scenario, the thug in the mask is ransomware, and it’s only one of the ways cybercriminals attack businesses—which are often left vulnerable due to poor business security or cybersecurity practices. Alongside the devastating effects cyber attacks can have on individuals, cybercriminals are sucking billions of dollars out of the economy, and you do not want your business in that position.
Toward the end of 2017, the US government passed H.R.2105, a law aimed at helping businesses beef up their cybersecurity by providing guidelines about effective tools and strategies to combat the rise of cybercrime. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been charged with developing a comprehensive set of guidelines by October 2018, but what can you do while waiting around for that to happen? Start firming up your IT environment with the following tips, of course. Read more...
used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Karen Gilleland
Unlike fine wine, your cyber assets don’t get better with age. Any PC more than four years old is not only costly to keep, but it’s also hack-friendly tech that could pose serious office security risk. Old PCs lack the built-in security triggers needed to repel the thousands of malware threats discovered each hour. With new technology, you could avoid 70–80 percent of the top malware detected.
Down-level hardware could potentially jeopardize your business—and that risk carries a price tag far exceeding an investment in state-of-the-art technology. As Two River Community Bank put it, “The risk just isn’t worth it.” There’s no reason to stick with outdated hardware, especially when computing power is growing exponentially and faster than ever. Older hardware may be costing you precious time, and the longer you delay updating old equipment, the further behind you’ll fall in the skills, knowledge, and technology needed to compete with companies on top of the curve. Read more...