Here are some frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients.

If you have a question you would like us to answer please drop us an email to info@hardsoft.ca

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Question: Your service rates are not the lowest! ( a statement rather than a question……)

 

Answer:

Yes, our service rates are not the lowest in the industry and they are not the highest. Our customers tell us that are rates are very reasonable and we are just fine with that!.

We believe the more important question is “what is the hourly rate of downtime for our customers”?  Our mission is to keep your business systems up and running.

Sometimes we all get caught on the hourly rate as opposed to how fast did it take to solve the problem? If it takes twice as long to fix a problem but “they charge a low hourly rate”,  then the extra downtime for your business can actually result in you losing money.

Our team of people, (yes many low rate suppliers are a team of one and /or have full time jobs and IT support is part-time), constantly go through training to keep up wit industry changes and standards, We believe when it comes to IT support we provide a reasonable hourly rate and provide you with support you can count on to keep your business moving forward..

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Question: Why would I consider a Managed Services Program for my business?

 

Answer:

Concentrate on growing your business

The major benefit of managed services is that you, as a business owner, do not have to worry about your daily IT operations. You have enough on your plate growing your business, talking to prospects, leading your employees; the last thing you want to concern yourself with is the IT systems.  Imagine asking yourself on the commute to work, “did the data back-up happen last night? Is the network running at top speed? Did we get attacked by Ransomware last night? Are all workstations and printers running?” You don’t have time for this.

Business owners choose a managed services plan to delegate the care of their IT systems to the experts who will monitor the business 7×24 to free up their time and resources to concentrate on growing their business.

Cost Savings

One of the biggest business values of managed services is greater cost savings. This will come in a couple of major areas. You free up your staff’s time from trying to sort out IT issues, allowing them to devote more to higher value projects they’re properly equipped to manage while increasing overall productivity. Plus a properly executed managed services program is designed to keep things running. With little or no downtime, staff efficiency increases along with morale. When facing customer deadlines your staff will not have to worry about intermittent printer issues “again”, or an application that will not work properly. Since 23% of businesses say that budget restraints were an major issue in growing their business, doing preventative maintenance under a managed services program will keep the existing technology running efficiently and extend the life of the systems.

Security

According to Microsoft Store’s 2017 Small Business Insights Survey, 43% of cyber attacks will happen to small businesses. Over 50% of small businesses say they are not concerned about a cyber attack. Even more concerning, over 25% of small businesses say they are doing nothing about data security. Small businesses utilize laptops, desktops, smartphones, applications, tablets, servers, operating systems, browsers. All of these store and transmit data and are exposed to the outside world and therefore require the strictest security measures. Remote monitoring of devices, and applying cyber security best practices allows for the detection and prevention of potential vulnerabilities.

Stay atop of changing technology

According to the same Microsoft Store’s 2017 Small Business Insights Survey, nearly half of business owners surveyed identified their top challenge as staying ahead of rapid changes in technology in 2018. Having a team of IT experts at your disposal allows you to keep abreast of the latest technology and how to apply that technology to make your business bigger, faster and stronger.

A managed services program can be customized to meet your business needs. A good managed services program provider has a team of people that will answer the phone when you need help and will respond to keep your business systems running so you can keep focused and move forward.

Contact us today about a managed services program for your business info@hsl.ca or call us at       1 800 263 8433 905 631 3075

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Do you guys plant viruses and ransomware just to keep yourselves in business?

 

Answer:

No. Of course not.

We realize that it is frustrating for users to keep getting Microsoft updates and reading in the news about the constant threat of viruses. One client told us “this is just like the Y2K hype. It is just the computer industry trying to scare people”. We have no desire to be in the business of scaring people (unless it is Halloween perhaps!). The fact is that computer systems have become so commonplace and such an essential tool to do business that we can take it for granted that it will work when we need it to work. So, just like when we turn the light switch on, we expect the power to light the switch to be on, the computer systems should just work. We do not wish to communicate to our clients in terms of F.U.D.(Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) about their exposure to data theft, failure and recovery. However, as IT professionals we must bring to the attention of business owners, areas where their business is exposed to threats. The steps required to protect your business are very low in costs compared to the loss of revenue from business downtime.

Simple steps such as:

  1. multiple days of cloud data backups (system 5+2)
  2. keeping virus and Ransomware protections systems up to date
  3. a written down and tested data recovery plan
  4. UPS power systems on critical workstations
  5. scheduled quarterly maintenance on workstations and servers to update anti-virus and system vulnerabilities

Ransomware and viruses are the new normal with the internet and computer systems. There is a large amount of money that hackers are making and most of their attacks are targeted at small businesses. Yet many business owners still feel that providing security for their data is not much of a concern. ( see this article).

Would you leave the front door of your business wide open 24 hours a day? Of course not. You could have furniture, machinery or computers taken. Not providing data security and backup is similar to leaving the electronic front door open to your business. Your business data and systems is opened to attacks and theft by hackers, current and ex-employees.

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The Microsoft update has been taking a long time, can I just turn off my computer to stop it?

 

Answer:

This is a very common question we get, usually during a moment of frustration.

The short answer is No.

Never, turn off your computer during an update. You can create a serious problem for your computer. Depending on the type of update, you could crash the Operating System. Microsoft has designed some protection mechanisms in Windows 10 to try and minimize the damage that a sudden loss of power during an update can create. Security updates which are more frequent in order to stop cyber attacks due to vulnerabilities in the Operating System, and are more sensitive to a sudden loss of power while running.

We realize it is frustrating waiting for the little circle to stop rotating, or waiting for update 1 of 25….but the truth is it is best to let the update continue.

We should note that in some cases, again depending upon the type of update, that if power is turned off during the update, when power is restored the update will automatically  continue.

We recommend to our clients that automatic updates be scheduled outside normal business hours. If they are a managed services client we do not allow automatic updates and then conduct updates during a quarterly site visit to clean up the computer and resolve updates.

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Question: Why do I lose some programs or my printer/scanner stops working after an update occurs?

 

Answer:

Manufacturers send updates for a number of reasons. Normally, in this age of cyber attacks, security updates are often pushed through to your computer in an effort to protect your data from attack. Not all manufacturers can keep up with Microsoft updates and as a result a driver for a printer or scanner may not be updated at the same time (or it may not be automatically updated). This can result in a technician having to download the latest driver so it will work properly with the OS update. We have seen in a few cases that manufacturers try to push a customer to load a new version of their program and disable the old one. This is very rare as it does not build great customer relationships but it has happened.

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