SpireTech Blog - Tag: Managed Services
Information relating to SpireTech’s Managed Services for business IT support in Portland, OR.
As the summer comes to a close and kids get ready to return to school (virtually), we thought it’d be a good time to reflect on what we’ve all accomplished together over these last several months. We’ve been busy, driving key initiatives, and helping clients transform to the new normal. Here are a few things we’ve accomplished together:
- Shifted almost everyone to multi-factor authentication on email and VPN accounts
- Helped everyone transition to working virtually
- Implemented Teams and Sharepoint/Onedrive at many clients – this work is ongoing
- Mostly eradicated windows 7 from our networks
- Switched everyone to Sophos Anti-virus
- Improved our overall security posture
These efforts all take planning, discussion, and cooperation from our respective teams. We appreciate how everyone has come together during these times to get things done, both internally and externally. Thanks! Read more...
Starting this month, SpireTech VIPsupport Managed Services clients will be receiving improved reports. These reports will go to the main contact(s) in your organization charged with overseeing your SpireTech relationship.
The reports are interactive with drill-down detail for lots of additional information, including:
- Ticket activity for the last 30 days
- Top requestors
- Count of issue types by category
- Patch statuses
- Workstation and server inventory
- Any devices at risk due to operating system age (eg, win 7, Server 2008)
- Office 365 / Microsoft 365 license counts (when purchased from SpireTech)
We hope our Managed IT Support clients enjoy the new reports, please let us know if you have any suggestions on how we can improve them. Read more...
2019 was a year of continued growth at SpireTech. We’d like to thank all our clients for your continued support and your referrals – we don’t advertise much, so we appreciate every referral!
Review of 2019 Business Activity
We spent a lot of the year focused internally on improving our processes and operational maturity. Some of the areas we worked on include:
- A new billing system and customer portal
- Complete redesign of our website
- Re-organized and relaunched our blog
- Implemented brightgauge for customer reporting and performance metrics
- Improved our internal and customer documentation
- Improved our patch management system, for better and more reliable windows patching
- Moved from Slack to Teams
- Moved to Onedrive/Sharepoint for file storage
- Continued focus on improving security
We’ve also been attending conferences and quarterly IT business peer group events to keep up on current trends and best practices. We learn a lot at these events, and it is an excellent investment of our time. Read more...
Did you know your organization could be subject to data breach notification laws and possible fines for data breaches and losing sensitive client data? The exact laws and regulations do vary by state and industry, among other factors. But the fact remains that poor cybersecurity can lead to grave consequences, either financial or for your reputation.
Common sense advice is that any organization should establish and maintain a plan for managing cybersecurity risks. This security plans should be informed by applicable laws and regulations.
Are you concerned about the state of your security and your ability to protect your organization’s sensitive information? Managed IT services can help. Managed IT services are the constant remote monitoring of your IT network and technology services, such as:
- Automatic software updates and security patches for your computers and servers
- Up-to-date anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spam solutions for your devices and email
- Secure, tested offsite backup and storage solutions for your data
- Monitoring of your network to detect security threats in your network traffic and devices
- Next-generation firewall management, updating, and reporting
Data breaches, cyberattacks, and the nasty consequences of these security threats have dominated the news recently. Read more...
Microsoft regularly releases annual updates to their current operating system, this year it is known as the Fall Creators update (Build 1709).
As more machines are being updated with this release SpireTech’s support specialists have noticed a trend in calls reporting Windows 10 system instabilities.
Some of the concerns that SpireTech is aware of include:
- Update causes Remote Desktop (RDP) to stop functioning
- AutoDesk software becoming unstable after the update and frequently crashing
- Various printer vendors are working to update drivers to support Microsoft’s changes
- Microsoft .Net Framework packages have become unstable and seem to be causing software crashes
- Microsoft Office365 Users have reported being unable to install some other software applications if the Office suite software is running at the time
SpireTech’s VIP Managed Service customers, who have their patches managed by Spire, don’t need to be concerned about these issues as this update patch will be deferred until it can appropriately be applied. Read more...
Managed IT services, or outsourced remote network management, can help your business in many ways. It’s a cost effective way of having your IT infrastructure monitored and maintained by experts instead of hiring an IT director. Or, it can free up your IT director and IT staff to work on more important projects than daily maintenance. But other than productivity and peace of mind, what are the security benefits of managed IT services?
Here are three security advantages you get with remote network management.
#1 You Stay Updated
Basic managed IT services include running software updates, patches, and upgrades for your servers and/or desktops. Any machines covered by your contract will automatically have updates run on schedule, so you never have to worry about the time it takes to check your update status and apply patches. Instead, updating happens automatically – heading off any cybersecurity attacks that target vulnerabilities between the times when a patch is released and then actually applied. Read more...
When was the last time you thought about software updates and hardware upgraes? For many, updating software and hardware is not a priority because “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. However, it’s clear that today’s cyber attacks prey on vulnerabilities present in old software and hardware. (This holds especially true for operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.)
It may not be “broke”, but it’s still old. “Working” does not mean “secure”. Old software and hardware simply do not have the latest defenses like security patches and advances in firmware to keep you safe from new and ever-evolving threats.
Update your software
It’s not uncommon to see people working on outdated, unpatched Windows operating systems or other software that is sometimes 6 or more years old. You’ve probably heard this before, but it always bears repeating: Keep your software updated and patched regularly and automatically, and upgrade to newer software versions as frequently as you can. Read more...
10th Annual MSP 501 Ranking and Study Identifies World’s Most Progressive MSPs in Information Technology
SpireTech ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier.
The complete 2017 MSP 501 list is available at MSPmentor.net. In addition to honoring SpireTech, this year’s MSP 501 list and study showcases the top ranked MSPs worldwide.
Scott Cook, SpireTech President said: “Making the MSPMentor 501 list is an achievement similar to a growing small business making the Inc 500 list, except in the Managed IT Services space. We’re proud to have made it, and thankful to our employees and clients for making it happen.” Read more...
Within the last month SpireTech has hit several major milestones in providing superior solutions to our customers. We have earned our Microsoft Silver CSP status, and earned our SMB Cloud Competency. What does this mean for our customers? Read about each of these below:
Microsoft Silver CSP
Microsoft Partner Signature Support provides partners with support to help keep their customers’ services operating smoothly. Signature Support handles technical support scenarios for Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Azure. This means that if you ever need help with your office products, such as a Hybrid Exchange server, or Sharepoint Online site we have Microsoft Partner Signature Support backing us up.
Microsoft SMB Cloud Competency
IDC forecasts that worldwide public IT cloud services revenue (i.e. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) will reach $141.2B USD by 2019, a 19.4% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR): almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth. Read more...
Wrapping up 2016 and our plans moving into 2017
2016 was another year of double-digit growth at SpireTech! I’d like to thank our employees and clients for making it possible.
Here are some highlights of our major accomplishments in 2016:
- Our “VIP support” and Managed services business grew 48% last year, mostly by word of mouth and your referrals! We do very little advertising, so your referrals are much appreciated – thank you!
- We formalized business processes around our vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer) services to manage growth in this area.
- We grew our cloud services, such as CTERA servers and Virtual private server hosting, 50% last year.
- Our Office 365 CSP services grew more than everything else in terms of percentages. (I’m still kicking myself for not buying MSFT stock last year). It’s still a low-margin business though, so we’re offering this in conjunction with other services.
- We added some key staff on the business side, as well as additional skilled technicians.