SpireTech Company News and Tips
When businesses seek help with their technology, many consider simply reaching out to a generic IT company or specialist. But there’s a wide range of available IT services that can provide a more tailored fit for your business, and managed IT services are one of them.
You may or may not have heard of the term “Managed Service Providers” or MSPs, which are professional companies who offer managed IT services. We’ve put together a definitive guide to managed IT services—including what MSPs do, why the managed services model was developed, and what the benefits to using an MSP are—to help you learn more.
History of Managed Service Providers
Prior to outsourced managed IT services, small and medium-sized businesses often faced expensive technology issues because they didn’t have the enterprise-level solutions large businesses had access to. For example, an Internet outage could cause an SMB to lose an entire day’s worth of productivity because they didn’t have a team to quickly restore their network.
Evolved from Emotet and Trickbot malware, Trickboot has the ability to modify your computer’s firmware – basically, the portion of code that lives in chips in your motherboard – to survive even after a complete wipe and reinstall of your hard drive.
The best defense against this malware is user education – typically, a user is tricked into opening a compromised Word document, usually received via an email attachment or link, and accepting macros. This causes the malware to execute and potentially download other harmful malware to your computer. Be sure that any attachments you receive are legitimate – even attachments from “trusted” senders could be compromised. If in doubt, forward to our helpdesk for advice on how to proceed.
We would like to take a moment to wish all our clients a big thank you for your continued support this year. It’s been a challenging time for everyone – Season’s Greetings and we wish you all Happy and prosperous 2021!
Like many of you, we won’t be getting the team together for a nice dinner during the holiday – instead, we’ll be celebrating together virtually, and each employee will be getting an Uber Eats voucher for their food. We will miss the usual adult beverages and side conversations that occur when we meet in person.
Our office will close mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve, and remain closed through Friday December 25th so that our team can enjoy the holiday with their families. We will also be closed on Friday January 1st in observance of the New Year’s holiday.
Microsoft is transitioning Internet Explorer 11 to End-of-life status. Internet Explorer became unsupported by Microsoft Teams on Nov 30th, 2020 and it will cease to be supported by Microsoft completely on August 11, 2021. Microsoft has installed tools to redirect users to the new Edge browser.
The new Microsoft Edge is powered by Chromium, the same browser engine that powers Google Chrome – and has vastly superior compatibility with websites when compared to the previous version of Microsoft Edge or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
We recommend anyone still using Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 stop doing so now, and switch to a supported browser – such as the new Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.
Microsoft Teams continues to get better. Microsoft has introduced several new features:
- Together mode– puts everyone in the meeting in a virtual room together, instead of the usual “box for each person”. You can customize the setting for the room. We thought this was sort of cheesy, but we might try this feature again during our virtual Covid-era Christmas party.
- AI-based noise suppression – reduces unwanted background noise during meetings.
- Polls during meetings – to use this feature, you’ll need to add the Forms app as a Tab to your meeting. Learn how.
- Improved iOS functionality, including the ability to view shared content, speaker view, and Apple CarPlay support.
We have been rolling out Microsoft 365 Business voice to clients that are transitioning to a work-from-home, virtual workplace. It has been a resounding success so far – and clients are loving the flexibility and savings it has offered them.
Let us know if you are interested in transitioning your current phone system solution to M365 business voice!
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!