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How Hassle Free IT Applies to Everyday Scenarios

We think all businesses should know the advantages of having hassle free IT. If you’d like to know how hassle free IT applies to everyday business  operations, then consider the scenarios below:

Scenario 1: Your computers have been acting slow lately but you don’t know why. It’s finally at the point where the slow performance is disrupting employee productivity. 

Scenario 2: You’ve just heard about a huge winter storm approaching your town. You can expect lots of snowfall and maybe a power outage.

Scenario 3: You want to buy a new phone but you’re not sure where to start. There are too many models and plans for you to narrow down the best choice.

Scenario 4: You’re not exactly sure what you did, but you clearly pressed the wrong button on your computer. Now you can’t continue your work until things are back to the way they were. 

There are a couple of things these scenarios have in common. One is that they’re all fairly normal disturbances that can happen to any business. None of these scenarios are unheard of, but they can set a business back a day or two. 

The other thing they have in common is that they all have the same solution, provided that a business has hassle free IT. All you need to do is call your managed IT service provider and tell them what’s wrong. They can walk you through troubleshooting over the phone if it’s a simple problem. If it’s a bit more serious, they’ll send on-site support to fix whatever’s wrong.

The scenarios above each needed a specific solution, such as an anti-virus firewall, disaster recovery planning, IT consulting, and technical support. All of these services are included with managed IT services. As a business owner, all you need to do is get in touch with your service provider and they’ll take care of the rest. 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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Why Risk Takers Hate Complete IT Management

We used to think that complete IT management was for everyone. Under this assumption, we thought that all business owners would want IT management for the security and reliability of their company. 

It turns out we were wrong. When we considered the universality of complete IT management, we left out one substantial group: the risk takers. 

Risk takers aren’t indifferent to complete IT management. They hate its concept but love the opportunity to ignore it and defy the odds once more. 

You see, reliability, security, and cost-savings are at the center of complete IT management. Nothing can disturb a risk taker more to know that their IT system is being protected at all times. If there’s a small problem, it will be solved over the phone with 24/7 support. If there’s a major problem, IT management will send on-site support. The network is protected with multiple layers of security and data is backed up for disaster recovery. There are no “what-if’s” or “maybe’s” and it drives the risk takers crazy. 

So if you live off of adrenaline rushes and want to leave some things at risk, then complete IT management definitely isn’t for you. We can’t guarantee a few things slipping by to cause a small disruptions.

But if you’re like most business owners, you stand on the other side of the fence. We understand the pressure of running a business and that’s why we offer complete IT management services.

As a business owner, you have enough to worry about in terms of products, services, employees, and finances. You don’t want to add IT into the mix. With complete IT management, you have access to IT services without  having to care about maintenance or troubleshooting. The idea is to let you concentrate on your work while we provide reliability, security, and eventually cost-savings. 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks. 

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4 Ways Restaurant Point of Sale Makes Things Easier

Using the right restaurant Point of Sale system can make managing a restaurant a lot easier. The problem is that many restaurants use POS that’s outdated and lacking features. If you think you might be in this category, then check if you have these features: 

Simple layout for easy usage

POS can help organize your restaurant whether it’s a busy Saturday night or you’re stocking up on inventory. Here’s a list of simple tasks you can do with POS:

  • seat management
  • waiting list
  • take-out and delivery modules
  • menu prompts
  • specific deliveries

Customer data and analytics

Apart from taking care of simple tasks, POS can also provide lots of data. You can track repeat customers and see if there are any patterns in their behavior. You can use this information to plan more effectively. For example, by knowing the patterns of customers, you can schedule the right about of employees and order a corresponding amount of inventory for the next week. 

Kitchen printing and video displays

POS isn’t just used by the hostess anymore. It also keeps the kitchen in sync with what’s happening on the other side of the restaurant. It makes communication easier and managers know how the kitchen is keeping up with food orders. 

Support for deliveries

When you’re placing a new order, you can take care of everything with POS. Your inventory is organized so you know how big of an order you have to place. In addition, the order is delivered right to your front door. With POS, you don’t have to take a few hours out of the day to place an order. It just takes a few minutes. 

You may have a POS system that doesn’t have access to all of these features. If that’s the case, then consider updating your POS for easier restaurant management.  

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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The Four Best Things about Voice Over IP

What is the best thing about Voice Over IP? We get this question all the time. It really depends on your company and the situation you’re in, so there’s no way to narrow it down to just one answer. That’s why we’ll give you four of the best things about VoIP.

Cost-savings

For the average small business, the best thing about VoIP is probably the cost-savings. You can’t just do away with an office phone completely, but you still don’t want to pay so much for a landline phone. VoIP makes this decision easier.

With VoIP, you get a very similar service that even comes with additional features. At the same time, it’s a cost-effective alternative that has a predictable price. It’s perfect for businesses that want a reliable way to talk with clients but want to cut down on monthly expenses.  

Wide selection of IP phones 

On the other hand, some companies are more interested in the features of VoIP rather than the cost-savings. If you’re looking for more functionality, then you’ll want to buy the best IP phones.

There’s a huge selection of IP phones out there. You can either stay simple and choose a basic phone or pick one that’s loaded with features. Depending on the phone you select, you’ll have access to some of the following features:

  • Call forwarding to mobile phones
  • Voicemail-to-email 
  • Virtual receptionist

Disaster recovery and business continuity 

In case anything ever happens at your office, you can always take your IP phone with you and use it at another location. All you have to do is plug it in where you have Internet access. That’s it. 

Businesses love this when they’re planning for disaster recovery. It makes business continuity very simple. 

Flexibility 

And finally, one of the reasons to love VoIP is that it’s flexible in many ways. You’re not locked in to a two year contract where costs rise every year. If you don’t like the service, you can end it immediately. 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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6 Tips to Get the Most out of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is ready and waiting for you to take advantage of it; here are six tips to help you do so.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

There are a few crucial differences between SaaS and hosting your own private cloud. The most important of which deals with money. SaaS essentially evens the playing field for small businesses. Most can’t afford to host their own private cloud and with SaaS, they can still have access to the cloud. The only real difference is that they’re paying much less. Plus, with SaaS, you get IT support from the cloud service provider.

Backup data

Data backup is still the main function that cloud computing is associated with. You can schedule daily or weekly backups so that your data is always up-to-date. This is much different than backing up data with tape backup or hardware, which is usually a whole process.

Restore data

In the case of data loss, you can restore data within minutes with cloud computing. It’s easy. All you need is access to the Internet and a device to restore the data. 

Unify the entire company

With cloud computing, it’s easy to share files and documents within the company. Collaboration is improved since employees can work on the same presentations and word documents.

Mobile devices

Another feature of cloud computing is mobility. As long as their device is approved, employees can access their files on their cloud. This is especially useful for sales representatives that are constantly on-the-go.

Scalable plans

You only have to pay for what you need. That’s it. Talk to your cloud computing service provider to either scale your plan up or down based on your needs. During the holiday season, for example, many businesses scale their plan up to incorporate new employees and a spike in activity. 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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Enjoy Managed IT Services Without Contracts: Running Things Optimally without Downtime

If you’re looking for managed IT services in your business, your first concern might be whether you’ll have to be locked into a long-term contract. Anyone who’s had experience with managed IT services in the past knows what contracts are like, and they can be a nightmare if you realise your managed service isn’t what you want.

That’s why it’s so important to know exactly what managed IT services a provider offers you and how they’ll implement what they promise. The most ethical IT companies also shouldn’t be handing out contracts. It’s a sure sign they aren’t going to be all they claim to be if they’re only in it for the money.

Here at Hawk IT Services, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised to see no contracts when you decide to use our managed services. We only charge on a per-month basis so you can see whether the service is exactly what you want before moving on if need be. But we guarantee that you’re going to love our managed services in helping your computer systems run optimally at all times.

If you’ve relied on your own in-house team to manage things, you’ve probably had bad experiences with downtime. With our service, it’s something you won’t have to worry about.

Keeping Things Running with Proper Security

One thing about IT issues: It can frequently lead to a domino effect where one small thing happens to lead to another. The only way to prevent this is to use the process of prevention. When you use our reliable managed IT service, we’re going to take care of things before they happen. This minimises any chances of something major happening that could shut down your business.

Inevitably, though, things are still going to happen from time to time. We’ll be there to fix it immediately with our 24/7 monitoring. It could be something happening in the middle of the night that we can take care of before you even come to work the next morning.

Plus, with our security measures against viruses and other threats, your data is going to stay safe from the worst case scenarios. With phone access to our help line at all times, you’ll never be lacking for getting something fixed fast at a time when you need things to function at top level.

Contact us here at Hawk IT Services to find out more about our managed IT service for your company. With our experience in business structure, you’re going to make a wise choice in letting us help you become more successful as you grow.

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Complete IT Management Nirvana

If you can’t see it, you can’t manage it. Of course we are talking about the type of management that IT is keenly interested in. When we started our business, we were secretly hoping that someday, there would actually be an awesome, single, complete, one GUI, one management screen/system that would surpass all others and become the system for complete IT management that any organization would need to manage anything in the network. Perhaps a little naïve, but who wouldn’t want this. That’s right, the nirvana of networking, the one screen of IT management, the manager of managers – that does everything. We’re still waiting because we think the number of diverse systems is getting more complex and varied. We think the reason we have so many different systems is due to the wide variety of customer requirements.

One of our customers recalled that back in the 1990’s they had a management system, indeed still one of the best in their opinion, and the developer of the system said “why would we want to manage Cisco equipment?”. It was a religious discussion, but he knew the answer and they disagreed. Why wouldn’t you want to? Networks are made up of so many different pieces of equipment, and now you add in virtualization, SDN and NFV – organizations are ever more hungry for management systems that simplify and reduce IT environments. This discussion wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Big Data. Some of the latest end-all, be-all solutions tout their ability to source and parse Big Data.

We could mention a couple of our favorite solutions that fit the bill to be the single one piece of IT management software – the nirvana one screen, but we will let you do the research and hopefully contact us to help. As IT organizations continue down the path of consolidation with virtualization – we will get closer to the one management system to help manage simplicity and where we won’t need a manager of managers to manage complexity by managing other varied management systems.

If you want to know more about our well developed secrets into IT Management, contact us

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Why Voice Over IP is Worth Your Time

As you hear more and more about Voice Over IP (VoIP), you may be wondering if it is worth your time and effort. Rest assured, it is.

VoIP is as important as your business’ communications. Taking a little time to read up on the topic can save businesses a lot of money and provide them with a more reliable phone system.

The first and most important point from many businesses’ perspective is that VoIP is a much more cost-effective alternative to traditional landline phones. The cost-savings that come with VoIP aren’t minor, either. In some cases, businesses can save over half on their phone bill just by switching over to a VoIP system. 

These cost-savings will be there no matter how big your businesses is, which brings us to our next point: scalability. VoIP is a communications solution suitable for both small businesses and large corporations. Even startups will benefit from using a VoIP system. And when that company matures and grows, they’ll be able to keep the exact same system because VoIP is scalable. This means that as their business grows, their VoIP plan can grow with it. All it takes is to speak with the service provider to discuss a new plan and purchase additional IP phones.

This is especially important because there are certain features of VoIP that are enhanced when a company has several employees in different departments. A VoIP system makes it easy for employees to collaborate with each other. They can host conferences and meetings without having to actually see each other in person. In addition, employees can stay connected to their VoIP system when they’re not in the office. They just have to program their phone to direct calls to their cell phone when they’re not around. 

It may just be a different phone system, but VoIP has enough features and benefits that it’s worth the time to consider. At the very least, your company will save money by switching to VoIP.

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.

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Apple Tackles the Phablet Market With New iPhone 6+

On September 9, millions of Apple evangelists throughout the world were breathlessly watching their computers. In an annual tradition, Apple announced its new products in time for the holiday season, and this year promised to be a big one. Additionally to a new iteration of the iPhone, rumors had been circling about a new, larger phone that could stand up against competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Note and the HTC Desire.

Apple’s big presentation came and went, and to the delight of its customers, the larger phone – called iPhone 6 + – was indeed confirmed. As the details have begun to emerge, its features are nothing short of exciting. Here are some highlights of the new phablet:

Larger Display

Undoubtedly the highlight of the iPhone 6+, and the feature that sets it apart from any previous Apple phones, is the larger display. At 5.5 inches, it “feels” like a tablet, while at the same time retaining its phone capabilities. The display is 1.5 inches larger than iPhone 5, which is a significant difference – a recent Adobe report noted that mobile browsing declined significantly on smaller devices. A larger display will make browsing even on websites without responsive design much easier.

New Processor

But there’s more to the iPhone 6+ than simply a larger display. In fact, its inner beauty is just as important. A 64 bit A8 processor ensures a smooth operation and fast loading times; a Cnet report noted 50 percent faster graphics and 25 percent faster CPU. Meanwhile, a new 4G LTE protocol allows for downloads of up to 150 Mbps, the new Wi-Fi 802.11 ac standard translates to a 300% increase in speed compared to the iPhone 5s. Details about the increased battery life have yet to emerge, but Apple has promised an increase there as well. 

High-Def Camera

Apple spent a large part of its 6 minute promotional video talking up the new iPhone’s camera, and rightfully so. While the resolution remains at 8 megapixels compared to previous models, it’s the new features that really stand out. Focus pixels allow a more smooth autofocus, while optical image stabilization brings an end to blurry pictures. The camera can record full-HD video, with features like super slo-mo and time-lapse allowing even amateurs to create movie-like effects.

Fingerprint Sensor

Build into the home button is now a fingerprint sensor, securing your phone and allowing for new features like Apple Pay. Apple Pay allows your phone to function as a payment device – after recognizing your fingerprint, you can pay at brick-and-mortar stores and online with previously saved credit and debit cards. The fingerprint integration makes it a safe, convenient payment method.

Of course, these are just a few of the many new and exciting features of the iPhone 6+. Contact us for all the information you need on this next generation of Apple phones!

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How a Retail Point of Sale System Helps Small Business

If you’re still intent on using a cash register for your small business, perhaps out of concern about the expense of spending money on upgrading to newer technology, there’s some news for you. A retail point of sale system can help you run your business more efficiently and more cost effectively. You should also know that it’s not as expensive as you might think.

POS systems make it easier and faster to process customer transactions. But to get the most out of a POS system, you’ve got to look beyond just processing transactions. POS systems come with different features and capabilities, some of which can be customized to your business. It’s software that offers you capabilities to do work on things you typically manage using spreadsheets on your personal computer. The record keeping and importing of data that used to take a lot of time can now be automated with a POS. With your business records digitized, a POS can produce reports on your business operations. It can alert you to something before it becomes a problem, such as low inventory for a particular item. A POS can also help you schedule employees, which will help your business run more efficiently during busy times.

Your cash register can’t do any of these things. Your personal computer can do some of them, but you’ll need to purchase several software programs. There’s a good chance you already have the technology you need to implement a retail POS system — your  tablet computer. Retail market research firm IHL Group estimates that new mobile POS device shipments will grow more than 95 percent worldwide this year. With POS software accessible via the cloud, accessing the system is as simple as using a tablet computer with a secure Wi-Fi connection. That means you can manage your business from just about anywhere, whether it’s the front counter, the stockroom, or even the site of a customer or a supplier.

Upgrading to a retail POS isn’t just about adding new technology. When you become more responsive to your vendors, your suppliers and your customers, you run a better and a more profitable business. For more information about what a POS system can do for you, contact us.

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