PC911 The best tech support option in Las Vegas and Henderson

In the Las Vegas Valley, a small business has a wealth of options for their technology and infrastructure tech support. These usually involve calling multiple companies, a wiring company, a hardware company, a software provider and sometimes even a system integrator. PC911, provides all of these services to Las Vegas businesses, and much more all under one roof, locally owned here in Henderson. PC911 provides tech support contracts to businesses of all sizes, whether they are locally owned, or they are a branch of another main office.

With one phone call to PC911’s offices one of our Las Vegas tech support specialists can diagnose your problems and determine whether you can be assisted remotely or if you need a technician dispatched to your business.

What Does Business Tech Support Involve?

Business tech support can cover a broad array of needs, and PC911 has you covered for all of them:

  • Network and infrastructure planning and implementation
  • Voice Network design
  • Windows, Windows Server, Windows Networking
  • Mac problems, interfacing Macs on a PC network
  • Printing or Scanning Issues
  • Anti-virus/Anti-malware and Cyber-security
  • All low voltage wiring issues and problems
  • Office moves and Expansions

How Tech Support Saves Your Bottom Line

The alternative to having PC911 handle all your technology needs is to try and do it yourself.  That means either hiring a full-time technical team – a costly measure! – or asking existing employees to stop what they are doing and instead learn how to do technical support.  The problem is either way you’re losing money and losing time.  For the full-time team you’re paying for all the hours they aren’t working on your technology, and for the existing employees you’re paying for all the extra time they have to spend trying to figure out the problem, follwed by all the time it will take for them to catch up on their jobs.  It just doesn’t make sense.

You don’t want to be running to Fry’s for a new part you aren’t sure will really fix the problem.  You don’t want to be endlessly searching Google for the right solution hidden deep inside some obscure blog post.  You need an experienced Las Vegas tech support specialist who can come in, fix the problem in record time, and save you a bundle of time and money.

If your small business or local corporate branch needs award winning tech support help, with reliable and dependable technician responses, give us a call at our offices (702) 309-1911.

Cyber Liability Insurance

One of the biggest stories of 2017 has been the cyber-attacks that have hit 74 countries bringing business activities to a halt.  Also think back to 2013 when Target was infiltrated and card information for more than 70 million people was at risk.

Luckily, Target had over $100 million of cyber liability insurance because the nightmare could have been worse.

 

Cyber attack liability insurance

 

As technology becomes increasingly important for successful business operations, the value of a strong cyber liability insurance policy will only continue to grow. The continued rise in the amount of information stored and transferred electronically has resulted in a remarkable increase in the potential exposures facing businesses. In an age where a stolen laptop or hacked account can instantly compromise the personal data of thousands of customers, or an ill-advised post on a social media site can be read by hundreds in a matter of minutes, protecting yourself from cyber liability is just as important as some of the more traditional exposures businesses account for in their general commercial liability policies.

Why Cyber Liability Insurance?

Commercial property and commercial theft policies can cover damage to your tangible property, none of these will provide coverage for loss of data, which is considered intangible. Intangible property values often far outweigh tangible property, making cyber liability coverage a no-brainer if you maintain a strong online presence or handle a customer’s private information.

A typical cyber liability policy can help protect you from costs associated with a data breach, copyright or trademark infringement, data loss due to natural disasters or hacking and business interruption.

Cyber liability insurance is specifically designed to address the risks that come with using modern technology; risks that other types of business liability coverage simply won’t. The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure.

Branch Benefits Consultants, Your Coverage Guide

this guest post provided by Branch Benefits Consultants.

As reliance on technology continues to increase, new exposures continue to emerge. As your business grows, make sure your cyber liability coverage grows with it. Branch Benefits Consultants is here to help you analyze your needs and make the right coverage decisions to protect your operations from unnecessary risk. Contact us @ 702.646.2082 or qbranch@bbc-ins.com for a customized consultation.

The Cloud- Hosted, Hybrid, On-Prem, as a Service (aaS), What does it all mean to your business?

Business owners are presented with an increasingly broad set of business solutions, and decision-making, for technology and tech services. Understanding the basics can create clear parameters, even for non-technology decision-makers.

First, the cloud is simply someone else’s computer. If you learn nothing else from this article please understand that when you hear someone talking about the cloud, all they are talking about is renting the use of someone else’s computer on a monthly, per-user, or a resource basis.

What is the cloud?

Secondly, a program that your business may have run entirely from a server or servers sitting in your office (or not run because it is too expensive for you to run yourself), is now running in a data center on someone else’s server. This means, a company who in years past may have been a software provider, is now a cloud application provider. They are responsible for making sure the software runs, and the servers are up and working.

For more than a decade we at PC911 have provided information technology advisory and consulting services to small businesses, and have seen tremendous change during that time. For example, ten years ago, there was no such thing as “the cloud”–and just five years ago Microsoft was offering a license for software called “Small Business Server”. This bundle took some otherwise unaffordable software–including most importantly Microsoft Exchange–and made it very affordable for a small business owner. Microsoft Exchange was, and is, THE STANDARD when it comes to email. In fact, before the world of Gmail, if you were in business, and you had your own domain for email, i.e. Me@mybusiness.com, it was on Microsoft Exchange.

Fast forward to today, and Microsoft has stopped selling Small Business Server–under the theory that small businesses had better things to do than run their own Exchange servers–and, also, Microsoft happens to be really good at running Exchange servers, since it’s their software. This means that now, instead of buying that license, you pay Microsoft to run Exchange on their server every month, per user, paying for only what you use, and they do all the “stuff” to keep it running for you. This service is one piece of a complete business cloud package that Microsoft calls “Office 365”. Properly evaluating your business’s needs, installing, and maintaining a customized suite of products is an important to maximizing the utility of the products and generating the highest return on this important investment. Some businesses will want to find outside support for this, and the best choice is often with a certified third-party provider.

PC911 is a Microsoft certified CSP, or Cloud Solution Provider, this means our team has passed certification and has a sufficient depth of understanding of Microsoft’s Cloud products that they Microsoft feels confident that we can help a small businesses with their Office 365 options.

To help understand the cost and pricing shifts resulting from moving Exchange to the cloud, consider this: Microsoft Exchange online via Office 365 costs $4 per user per month, while back in 2010 you could get a well configured Dell Server with a 3 year warranty running Small Business Server, for 15 users for between $4000-$5000. Running Exchange is not the only thing that would necessarily run on this server, but this gives us a frame of reference.

Microsoft/Office 365 is just one example of thousands of software providers who have moved their businesses to the cloud. In the software/application/cloud business world there are four very common terms that business owners need to understand as they describe some basic functionality of the software or service that are being purchased. They describe where the application is resting, and may also describe the method of billing that will be employed.

 

types of cloud services

Here are the 4 terms and some basic definitions:

On-Prem, or On-Premise:

This is an application or program that runs from a server or computer sitting in your office. Most often it is a case where a program is running on a server and a piece of client software is used to connect and access the data on the server. A great example of this is QuickBooks, most people know QuickBooks as a piece of software that runs from one computer or server in their office, that is then accessed from a desktop using QuickBooks software. This allows multiple users to access and modify the QuickBooks information at the same time. Quickbooks Pro is approximately $199 and that is for one-user using the software. Intuit, the maker of Quickbooks also offers an online version that is comparable, however is lacking some features, that is called Quickbooks Essentials Online that is sold for $40 per month.

Hosted:

A hosted application, program, or service is a true cloud solution and means that all application and data are in the cloud. These services are connected to, and used, either directly through a web browser such as Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer or through an application, or app, designed to give you an interface to the data/program.

One great example of a hosted app for businesses is Docusign. Docusign is a company that provides a service where you as a business upload a document you need a client to sign, the Docusign service sends an email, the signer reviews the document in a browser and signs the document–all on their screen. It has the same legal force as signing a document with pen and paper, and eliminates printing/signing/faxing/scanning/emailing back. All of this is done through a browser window or app, the users never have to set up a server, or manage one. Docusign offers their services for anywhere from $10-$40 per month depending on what type of user you are and what type of business you are in.

Hybrid:

A Hybrid Cloud solution is where an application or data is available both locally on the computer without an internet connection and available online as well. One of the most common hybrid solution providers that people use is Dropbox. Dropbox is amazingly convenient for storing files as well as sharing those files and collaborating with others. As any Dropbox user will tell you, one of the coolest features of Dropbox is that it keeps copies of all your files on all of your devices, and ensures the files have the latest versions. Dropbox for Business runs anywhere from $12.50-$25.00 per user per month depending on the length of service you choose, as well as how much storage you need.

as a Service (aaS):

One of the biggest buzzwords sweeping technology and IT service providers is ITaaS, or Information Technology as a Service. With the advent of cloud services, IT service providers all across the country like PC911 have begun to offer a different business model to their small and medium business clients. ITaaS is a new business model that takes all of your combined IT expenses, including hardware such as computers, printers and monitors as well as all of your expenses for cloud, user support/help desk, and maintenance and roll them into one all-inclusive fixed price. This gives you as a small business all of the IT services you need for every employee at a predictable price every single month. Pricing on a per-user basis makes this model easier for businesses to know what an employee costs them every month, and how much it will cost to add an employee.

The great thing for a small business is that these plans can be customized to include as little or as much of your IT business support needs, as you want. This means that if you want new computers for your employees every three years, with all the software and support you need, and you don’t want to own the computers at the end of three years, you don’t have to. At one fixed monthly per user cost your employees can have brand new desktops or laptops every three years without any up-front capital expenses.

Ultimately, one of the key things that can help a small business owner the most in navigating the cloud, and their own individual IT needs, is having an informed, and well-trained technology advocate in their corner helping them to evolve their business in today’s digital age. In Las Vegas and Henderson, PC911 has trained technicians and business consultants standing by to help you make sound decisions, maximize your business’s potential, and lower your costs, while leveraging the technological advancements like the cloud.

Give us a call today (702) 309-1911 so we can help you navigate the promise, and perils, of technological change and let us be your technology advocates!

Why your Small Business Needs a Technology Advocate

The Las Vegas and Henderson business markets are very tough on small and medium businesses. There are a 1001 pitfalls out there everyday that a business owner or manager can run into that can cause delays or loss in revenue.  From someone up the street crashing into a pole and taking your power and internet with it, to a weekend flood from a toilet that turned into a major disaster because it wasn’t discovered until Monday. You receive emails everyday promising everything from free money, to cheap money, to better service for a cheaper price.

As a system integrator we get calls everyday for an “IT guy in Las Vegas” or “a low voltage wiring person in Henderson”, and people have come to expect just one thing from one company. They expect those things because frankly, that is what every other company has offered them service-wise. When we get those calls, we try and take a different tact; we try to send out a technology advocate.

Technology AdvocateWhat is a Technology Advocate?

What is a technology advocate you might ask?  A technology advocate is someone who understands the entire breadth of a problem. For example when you send a technology advocate out to do a demarc extension, he will investigate all the wiring and the conduit at the location and ensure that a demarc extension needs to actually be run, he will ID the wiring in the closet, to make sure that you don’t already have the cabling in place to hook up your T-1 or router.

Or, for instance what if you are an out of town IT company who needs someone to be hands-on for you because even though you manage 95% remote you need someone to touch and feel. Wouldn’t you want that person to be educated about wiring and routers and switches and how they function and interact?

A technology advocate not only replaces your IT company, they also serve a teaching role. Their job is to make sure your employees and you as the owner are safe and secure with all your technology everywhere you go.

Examples of Technology Training

So, when you hear all the time, “don’t use public wifi,” if there is not an educational component that goes along with it, it is meaningless. This is where a technology advocate can step in and give you the full picture. No you should never use public wifi, it is dangerous. Other people on the wifi, as well as the provider of the wifi can potentially see anything you do on public wifi. However if you use a VPN that is set to go back to your office you can generally ensure that your data is safe and secure. A VPN setup to your office is inexpensive, and a sure way to keep yourself digitally clean when you are on the road.  If you don’t have access to a VPN a better way than using public wifi is to turn your hotspot service on your smartphone on and use the wifi from that to do what you need to do.

A digital advocate is definitely not a break/fix service, or even a common IT company. A digital advocate will learn about your business, and the more they learn the more they can teach you about how technology can safely make your company and employees more efficient. Technology advocates can suggest  helpful ideas from what business router is best, to software shortcuts, or even cloud services that can really impact a small business’ bottom line.

Do you need an “IT guy” or “IT Company” in Las Vegas or Henderson? Maybe you really need a technology advocate give our offices at PC911, a call and at (702) 309-1911 and lets talk about what technology can do for you.

What Can An IT Service Company Really Do For Your Business?

What can a Small IT Service Company like PC911/Las Vegas Low Voltage do for your business?

Be Your Technology guru for both office and home

A small business owner’s home is really just an extension of their offices. Everyday when you go home you bring your work home with you. So, firstly ensuring that you have all the connectivity to your offices that you need is a must. There are many ways to handle that, but a VPN is critical to ensuring that the communications between your home and office are completely private. Now that the essentials are covered, a GREAT IT service company will also handle what others may consider the little things, your home security and surveillance, your home theater and TV systems, making sure you have Wi-Fi available in ALL parts of your house. These are the things that make your life easier when you are trying to relax and enjoy and any good IT service provider will not only cover these things, they will be licensed contractors to make sure they can legally do them for you.

Help educate you and your staff

With the way technology is changing you and your staff need someone who keeps current with everything going on with networking, computers, telephony, and technology over all. Just telling you and your employees not to use public Wi-Fi is not enough, our job is to educate you how to be mobile and secure, to make doing the things you need to do more convenient. Your IT service company should be contributing to the knowledge of all aspects of your small business.

Learn about your business so we can make processes more efficient

Sometimes lost in the shuffle of being an IT company for small businesses is the doing the most basic job you were hired to do, help make the business more efficient.  How does your IT service company make your business more efficient? By first learning about your business, how it functions, the processes that make you work.  We can then suggest software, changes in hardware, or even just tweaks to how you use your existing software. For example, we recently had a new client who had an employee who spent half of their day scanning and emailing documents to the same three people. They were using an older multifunction scanner, scanning the document to a drive, then going to that drive in a computer and sending an email. We helped them get an inexpensive dedicated document scanner, configured it to scan to email and save in the proper folder at the same time, and the employee gained a full hour in their day to work on something else.

Above all else, help make sure your business is running everyday

The more we learn about you and your business, the more we understand what makes your business tick. Understanding pain points in your processes will ensure that we can make sure every critical system is up and available for you 24/7, and making sure that a backup plan is in place so all of your critical IT infrastructure is available when and how you need it.

All of the above is what large businesses EXPECT out of their IT departments, as a small business every dollar you spend is critical so getting all of the IT services you need, whether you have 2 or 20 employees is equally critical. Your location doesn’t matter either, whether you are in Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, or Pahrump, practical, friendly, and reliable IT support service is just a phone call away.

Give PC911 a call today at (702) 309-1911 and let us exceed your expectations for what an IT service company can provide.

What Router Should I Get?

What router should I get?

As more and more people become educated about the basics of networking, the more they understand the role their router has to play in the speeds of not only their internet connection but also their traffic between computers and other devices in their network.

As we add additional devices to our business networks with IOT (Internet of Things) such as thermostats, network security cameras, alarm systems and the like, the workload your router has to do has exponentially increased. Small and medium businesses that used to be able to get away with using residential/consumer grade routers are now finding out that those older routers are just not up to the job.

So how does a small to medium sized business upgrade their router, without downgrading their bank account? Enterprise-grade routers can be costly to purchase, and even costlier to implement. PC911 has found the solution for our Las Vegas customers time and again to be the Fortinet, Fortigate series of routers and firewalls. Fortigate routers receive a Top-rated “Recommended” by NSS Labs, the leading cyber security product research, testing and advisory source.

The Fortigate 30 series starts at well under $500 and offers small and medium businesses services that they just could not afford before, such as:

  • Up To 80 VPN users- Businesses today need to be able to enable their employees to work remotely. The most secure, cost-affordable way to accomplish this is via a VPN or Virtual Private Network. Fortinet provides an easy to use client for every type of device so that you and your employees can easily and securely connect to your offices and do work or securely browse the Internet.
  • Backup Internet Connectivity via USB port- Are you in a location where the Internet provider from your carrier just isn’t the greatest? Using a compatible 4g USB modem from any of the major cellular carriers plugged into the Fortinet and you have a reliable, cost-effective back up for when your Internet goes down.
  • 800 mbps throughput- this means that you can share an Internet connection that is big enough now and in the future without worrying about your router being the speed bottleneck in your Internet connectivity.

So now that you have changed your business from a consumer grade router to a business grade router we have one more problem to tackle, wirelesses Internet. Most commercial/business do not come built-in with the ability to provide a connection wirelessly like the residential grade routers. Businesses overcome this by using what is called a WAP/AP or Wireless Access Point/Access Point.

The WAP serves the sole purpose of providing a secure network connection to devices not connected by wire to your router. Depending on your building size, layout, and wireless usage you may need one or more access points in a building to provide stable and reliable network connectivity.

We have experience with many different brands, and models of WAPs that we have dealt with through the years, and we have found that currently the line by Ubiquiti serves as one of the most reliable and cost-effective solutions for small and medium businesses. Ubiquiti wireless access points use a controller model, which is where the access points talk to each other and function in harmony making hand-offs between WAPs within a building seamless to the user.

There are quite a few more benefits of Ubiquiti and the controller model that will be discussed in a future posting.  Suffice it to say that new wireless technologies enable covering of the old blind spots in buildings, and definitely solve the older problems associated with streaming sensitive latency sensitive material to portable devices.

So how can PC911 help you solve your network issues at your business? It all starts with a phone call or email to our offices. We will dispatch a qualified network technician to take a look at your Las Vegas, Henderson, Green Valley or North Las Vegas businesses network for no charge. We will provide an assessment of your equipment, your network and how it is operating, and suggestions we believe will help improve the efficiency of your computers and networks and therefor provide your employees and customers with a better experience.

 

 

 

Las Vegas IT Support – Tech Support at your Fingertips

Las Vegas, a city that never sleeps. Sometimes, this necessitates that your business operates 24/7 to keep up with the pace. Your business must, therefore, be versatile and dynamic to keep up with the demands of operating in Las Vegas, and so too must your IT equipment to keep up with your demands. Downtime is not good for business – it means lost revenues – and issues have to be rectified as soon as they happen.

Technical Issues that can happen

As a business relying on technology, there is always the possibility of computer issues arising that will negatively affect your business.  This could be software that needs updating for your systems to function efficiently, your network is not functioning optimally, you need to install new hardware or software, installation of virus protection or help for making those tough purchasing decisions.

The problems you are facing may not be easily apparent and this is where a competent IT support team is needed.

it-support-toolboxWhy Accessibility Matters for IT Support

You may not be able to get to an IT support technician or company to get the support you need. This is where being able to access online assistance makes a world of a difference in doing business. One of the highlights of a superior support service is versatile and responsive online support. We do this through applications that are also utilized by the biggest names in the IT world and you can, therefore, know that we are an organization that believes in quality products.

Why PC911 for your IT Support

If you have not yet put in place the ideal team of IT support technicians to ensure that your business operations are never compromised by an IT glitch, then now is the time to start looking for the best in the business for your Las Vegas company. You need someone that will always be on hand to handle your IT problems.

PC911 uses the best software and applications on the market to ensure that you are easily connected to a service representative or technician. As our name implies, we have to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to your business IT problems and our software and applications allow that. A powerful platform to enable online support through the best software in the market means that you will never be stuck not knowing what to do or how to fix things. There is always support at your fingertips.

My favorite Toshiba Phone System Features

Toshiba Phone System Features Part 2- Off System Forwarding

 

The most numerous requests for a feature that I hear are for off-system forwarding. Off system forwarding is quite simply the ability to transfer a phone call off system, for instance to a cell phone.

The Toshiba phone systems that we install provide two very easy ways to do off system forwarding.

  1. One of the programmable buttons on your Toshiba phone can be programmed as a speed dial, so you would just press your transfer button and then the speed dial button.
  2. The other very simple way is to press the transfer button, then press the number assigned to seize an outside line (usually 9) and dial the number you want to transfer to.

Off system forward is a very handy feature for a service-based business. In the day-to-day a receptionist can easily transfer calls to technicians in the field, keeping employee numbers private. For companies with a sales staff, off system forwarding enables you to ensure your customers always dial you for their needs not an ex-employee’s cell phone number.

My favorite Toshiba Phone System Features

Part 1- Cascading Messages

When we became a Toshiba Platinum Certified Dealer, we took our old phone system and tossed it, metaphorically speaking anyways. There were quite a few features it seemed to lack, and the manufacturer was not upgrading the software anymore.

As we have spent more and more time with our Toshiba phone system, we soon learned there were way more features that we didn’t even know we needed. The first one I would like to explain to everyone is cascading messages, and how it has MADE MY LIFE EASIER.

Back in the days before our Toshiba, all voice mails in the company that were not for a specific person in my company, would route to me, the business owner.  I would then listen to them and make sure they got returned.  A lot of those calls were not for me, they really needed to go to a tech, but I wanted to ensure delivery, not have the dreaded red light flashing on their phone.

This is where cascading messages comes in. Now when a customer leaves a voice mail for support, my entire Las Vegas I.T. Support staff gets a red light on their phone. When the first technician checks the message, the light and message disappear from the other boxes.

So what has cascading messages meant for us? For me it means I am not checking every voice mail, for our customers it means prompt replies, and for my technicians it means taking care of calls promptly and only calling the customer once. Cascading messages makes voice mail management for groups EASY.

ADA Tax Credit Up To 5K On Toshiba Phone Systems

ADA Tax Credit

With October already starting, business owners all across the country, and here in Las Vegas, are already starting to get their books in order and seeking out last minute deductions for their 2016 taxes. One surprising tax credit that is available to small business owners is the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) Tax Credit.

 

So what does this mean for you as a business owner looking for a new phone system:

 

  • Buy a Toshiba PBX from PC911/Las Vegas Low Voltage before the end of the year.
  • Get a tax credit of 50% of the purchase price of the system up to $10,000.

This means you could have up to a $5000 tax credit for replacing the broken phone system you know already needs to be replaced!

As Las Vegas’ only Platinum Certified Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division Dealer, PC911/Las Vegas Low Voltage sells and services Toshiba Phone Systems. All Toshiba Phone Systems include all the components necessary to utilize the TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) function thereby making it eligible for the Disabled Access Credit. This assumes last years gross receipts were less than $1 million or you have less than 30 full time employees.

 

 

Want more information on the ADA Tax Credit?

https://www.ada.gov/taxcred.htm