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integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

Tag: msp

We’re ready to take our relationship to the next step

August 2nd, 2016

Choosing a backup and recovery partner is a lot like choosing your partner for life. You’re looking for someone to be by your side in the best and worst of times. Sometimes, it even can feel like a competition to get the best backup provider.

You need a strong partner who can protect you. After all, there’s a world of problems out there and those solutions aren’t in most people’s wheelhouse. Start asking random folks what they know about the cloud and you’ll see what we mean. The data world is complicated and without a caring mate, it’s easy to get in trouble and lose data that makes it critical for your business to operate.

Care is also important. And we don’t stop caring. In fact we care 24 hours a day and seven days a week, which is how often we’re available for technical support or to start recovery in the case of a disaster. To some of those backup bachelors out there, you’ll just be a number, just another notch in the server rack and nothing more. Don’t fall for their sweet talk and limited-time promotions. Choose somebody who really cares about you all the time.

Now, you’ve got to know that we’re in this for the long haul. If we weren’t serious about a relationship with your business, we wouldn’t put all of our qualifications on the table. You can see them here. If you would choose to give your company’s data heart to our Biz-E line of services, you’d feel safe knowing that our mission is to give you peace of mind.

It’s scary out there. There are countless ways to stumble and create a lot of problems. But when you have somebody serious about caring for you by your side, it takes an edge off the worry.

So what do you think? Do you see us together?

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Small businesses need big solutions

February 2nd, 2016

Small businesses big solutionsAs a managed service provider, LSG works with businesses in a variety of industries to creatively solve problems by drawing upon years of technological expertise. Having IT assistance reliably available, especially for a small business, can mean the difference between a productive week and a week of inoperable systems and unhappy customers.

Not everyone is comfortable outsourcing their IT solutions, though. Here are some fears that keep people from partnering with a managed service provider:

  • Will our technician be available when needed?
  • Are service fees and surcharges going to wreck our budget?
  • Will internal employees feel threatened or unappreciated?
  • Do I want to admit that I need help in this area of my business?
  • If the IT people make money when our system is down, do they have our best interests at heart?

While we at LSG can’t speak for every professional services company out there, we know that our job is to keep you going-to make sure that your systems are operational so that you can do the work you need to grow your business. How will you have time to be an innovator if your time is eaten away by keeping up with the constant progression of technology?

We are in the business of enabling companies to achieve and sustain their annual and long-term growth goals, and we do that in a variety of ways. Our flat-rate pricing ensures that our clients can effectively budget for our services.

We can assist with everything from the simple things that create the dreaded backlog (like collecting data or adding fields to existing forms) to large-scale management of servers and networks (including moving databases to new servers or creating an infrastructure for your business’s software needs).

We wrote a blog post last year explaining how DBA services help business owners. By partnering with us to provide IT solutions, business leaders can choose to hire staff that will increase their bottom line and still rest assured that their online programs will run smoothly.

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How Biz-E Changes SMB IT

January 5th, 2016

Small business IT solutionSmall to medium businesses face particular challenges not seen in large business. One of the most notable is managing IT needs. From data inaccessibility to the changing face of mobile systems, IT demands on organizations can be problematic.

For most SMBs, changing technology along with hiring a dedicated IT employee is simply cost prohibitive. LSG understands the challenge and has developed a solution.

What is Biz-E?

As a way to meet the data needs of small business, we developed Biz-E. Biz-E provides managed computer services for small to medium businesses. Imagine being able to concentrate on your business production instead of spending countless hours on IT problems.

Why Biz-E Works

One of the major benefits of Biz-E is the tight control over IT costs that it gives. Businesses can sign up for a plan that fits their needs, enabling them to plan for fixed IT expenses.

Another benefit is accessibility to talented IT professionals. Stop searching for IT professionals. Biz-E service allows organizations constant IT support from professionals who understand small business needs and timelines.

Biz-E also serves to bridge the divide between data stored in the Cloud and a business’s other office systems. We can provide greater accessibility and interface of stored data. This saves business owners times and resources.

Meeting the Challenge

Maybe you don’t think your business is big enough to warrant managed computer services. Maybe your business is experiencing rapid growth, and you’re unsure of what your future IT needs will be. Whatever the case, LSG Solutions can help you craft a plan to meet your specific needs.

Contact us for more information on Biz-E or any of our other IT services. We stand ready to help you move your business forward.

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4 benefits of hybrid cloud backup

April 15th, 2014

2-cloudYou may have heard about the hybrid cloud, but you may not know exactly what it is or how it might be used in your business.

As prices come down and more solutions providers appear in the market, the hybrid cloud is coming into reach for most small-to-midsize businesses. In most cases, the hybrid cloud will actually cost less than traditional solutions.

If you haven't considered a hybrid cloud solution before or want to understand the concept a little better before taking the plunge, here is some info that might help.

What is a hybrid cloud?

Hybrid clouds combine internal infrastructure (the servers and other equipment your business hosts onsite) with third-party servers in an offsite datacenter.

The idea behind this type of solution is to provide a business with the benefits of local storage while also getting the benefits of having their data backed up remotely and available anywhere in the world without having to make costly investments in cloud-specific infrastructure.

One of the use-cases for the hybrid cloud is backup. And there are a few great benefits to going this route.

1. Business Continuity

If your business doesn't currently have the ability to fail-over your IT functions to an offsite data center, the hybrid cloud is a great way to get started without having to make a big investment. Gaining the ability to keep your business running after an outage or natural disaster could make the difference between staying in business or filing for bankruptcy.

And if you've already got offsite datacenters and other elements of IT resiliency in place, migrating to a hybrid cloud may be a way to significantly reduce the cost of implementing and maintaing business continuity.

2. Insurance for your data

Businesses sometimes make the mistake of creating a single onsite backup and stopping there, thinking they are protected against data loss. Unfortunately, a single onsite backup doesn't do much to shore up the risk of data loss.

If a DVD is scratched or a backup tape becomes corrupted, they may be out of luck.

Using a hybrid cloud solution, backups would take place locally and then get replicated to one or multiple datacenters. Having multiple copies stored offsite ensures you'll always be able to restore your critical data.

3. Cost

The cost of buying redundant hardware for a remote datacenter, renting space, and hiring additional staff keeps many businesses away from building fully private clouds.

Leveraging the investments you've already made and using a third-party to address the remote component is one way to lower the cost of cloud hosting.

Using a hybrid cloud also gives the business flexibility to cost-effectively scale up and down without worrying about purchasing hardware that might need to be offloaded later.

4. Compliance

More and more businesses are becoming subject to regulatory and standards compliance. Cloud vendors have been paying attention to this trend and have built their hosting to match the most common standards like HIPAA, SOX, and PCI.

By working with these vendors you can leverage the investments they've already made to achieve compliance instead of having to make your own. You may also be able to leverage built-in processes to meet compliance from that perspective.

Interested in learning more?

If you have questions about the hybrid cloud or would like to speak with us about the specific cloud solutions we offer, give us a call or contact us via email and we'll help you find a hybrid cloud solution that fits your needs and budget.

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How will your company recover after a virus attack?

April 1st, 2014

system fail situation in network server roomEven the best antivirus and security settings will occasionally be overcome by a virus attack. Having these systems in place significantly reduces the risk to your business, but no solution is perfect.

So what do you do when your defenses are overrun and your workstations and business systems are infected?

Manual Removal

Depending on what technology you have in place, you might be stuck with manually removing viruses, which can be time-consuming and as disruptive to the business as the virus itself.

The frustration of having to work through dozens, or even hundreds of computers leaves many business owners and IT managers wishing they could just roll the clock back to before the virus hit.

If you're using a backup and disaster recovery appliance from Continuum, you can do exactly that.

Continuum Vault

Here's an example:

Imagine your business is using a Continuum Vault appliance to backup your data, servers, and workstations.

The Vault takes snapshot backups every few minutes and syncs them to the cloud, so you have multiple point-in-time restore points stored in multiple locations. Your old backup system didn't have that functionality. It's one of the reasons you decided to go with Continuum.

Then the virus hits. It gets past your firewall and all your antivirus software. It's infecting everything. Your IT team sees it spreading through the network and are eventually able to stop new infections, but in the meantime, most of the PCs and servers on your network are infected.

No big deal. You login to the Continuum appliance and restore workstations and servers to a point in time prior to the virus infection. It takes 30 minutes over lunch.

After the restore, a few people are missing new files they were working on. You use the Vault's single file restore functionality to put those files back on their system.

Everyone goes back to work.

You don't have a Vault?

Chances are, if you're reading this, you probably don't already have a Continuum Vault. You may already have a backup and disaster recovery system in place, but maybe you're unhappy with it or need more functionality.

We've worked with a number of clients to install new Vaults and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Business owners love the piece of mind they provide and IT managers love the ease of use and features.

If you're considering replacing an existing backup and disaster recovery solution or are interested in putting something in place for the first time, we'd be happy to talk. Give us a call or e-mail and we'll answer your questions to help you decide if a Continuum Vault is the right option for your business.

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Why you need a REAL backup solution

December 17th, 2013

Services like Dropbox and Google Drive are great for syncing data across all of your devices. Unfortunately, many businesses rely on syncing services for backup and disaster recovery without realizing that the products aren't meant for those tasks.

If you're relying on a Dropbox-like service for backup and disaster recovery you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when a disaster does happen.

Backups include everything

True backup solutions are automatic and all-inclusive. Backup software grabs everything on your system, requiring you to exclude things you don't want backed up, instead of having to include all the data you want backed up in a particular folder,

Backup solutions copy all your data on a set schedule, ensuring you're covered on every front. If you're having to pick and choose which data you want backed up, you're guaranteed to miss something and that will be the data you need when an event occurs that makes you lose data.

Backups are robust

Backups allow you to go back to a specific point in time. This functionality has recently been added to Dropbox, but is not very robust and only works for files.

If your computer or server was running fine yesterday, but is broken today, you could restore it to functioning order with a backup. That's not an option with a syncing service like Dropbox. Similarly, if you have a server that goes down and need to get it back to an exact working configuration, you may be out of luck.

Getting the best of both worlds

Luckily, you can have both the convenience of Dropbox with the functionality of backup and disaster recovery via the hybrid cloud. We offer a storage vault solution that uses a local device to host and sync data to client computers and then syncs to a remote location. Compared to a stand alone traditional backup or syncing solutions you wind up with several benefits:

  • Just like Dropbox, your data is available anywhere you need it to be.
  • If you're onsite, you get faster access to your data than going straight to the cloud.
  • You get point-in-time restores for entire computers and servers, not just data stored in a particular folder.
  • The process is automatic and inclusive. You don't have to worry about employees saving their data in the right place.
  • Smaller offices can use the vault appliance as a small business server for file sharing and other services.

If you'd like to learn more about the hybrid cloud and how it can be used for backup and disaster recovery, give us a call.

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Losing control of mobile devices?

December 3rd, 2013

Managing cell phones and tablets has become a huge issue for small businesses. Mobile devices issued to employees are difficult to keep track of and expose companies to a number of security and HR issues.

Large companies can afford to purchase expensive management software and dedicated staff to handle mobile hardware. Small companies obviously don't have the same resources, which usually means they don't manage the devices at all.

So what can you do?

If you're a small business owner worried about managing all your company cell phones and tablets, Mobile Device Management (MDM) may be the right solution for you. Instead of making expensive investments in software and staff, you can pay a low monthly fee per device and access the same tools used by big corporations.

Security

Mobile devices are subject to all sorts of security issues, from mobile-specific viruses to employee misuse. MDM allows companies to configure security policies to protect devices from external attacks and prevent employees from engaging in activities that threaten corporate security.

MDM can be used to erase mobile devices if they're reported stolen or a terminated employee fails to turn their device in. You can also enforce settings like password complexity and strong encryption. All this ensures that sensitive company information is protected.

Deployment

Preparing phones and tablets for employees can become an all-day task for IT staff when they have to configure each device manually. Using MDM allows each phone or tablet to be configured automatically. Software and settings can be deployed from the management software for both the initial configuration and for future changes.

Deploying a new app or new e-mail settings to all your employees' cell phones can be as simple as a click of a button. Many companies see a complete return on investment just from the time saved by centralized deployment.

Inventory & monitoring

As your company grows, keeping track of devices gets more and more difficult. MDM allows you to track all your mobile devices from a central console so you always have an up-to-date inventory.

You can also use MDM to monitor cell and data usage, giving you a real-time view of your mobile costs. MDM reporting gives you data to compare against your mobile bill and discover areas for potential cost savings. You can even configure alerts to warn employees when they are using too many minutes or too much mobile data.

If you'd like to learn more about MDM and how it might help your business reign in control of mobile devices, give us a call.

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Is malware costing your business money?

March 5th, 2013

If you've used technology in your business for any length of time, you've likely felt the pain of computer viruses and malware. You know that a virus on just one PC in your office can wreak all sorts of havoc. The cost of removal is compounded by a loss of productivity for the worker who uses that PC and there's always potential for a virus to infect other computers on the network.

LSG’s managed services can help.

Most of the time, when we come across infected computers, we find that the antivirus software and operating system are out of date. In many cases, the last updates were months or even years in the past.

Even when a business has a dedicated IT staff, it's hard to keep on top of updates and stay ahead of viruses and malware without spending significant time and money.

This is where managed services can really help a business stay more secure and productive.

Security as a service

As part of LSG Solutions' managed services we install virus and malware protection on each PC you sign up with us. A software agent allows us to remotely manage and monitor your PCs' health to make sure the security software and operating system stay up to date.

If a virus or other malware does get on a PC, our helpdesk team is automatically notified and will begin work on solving the problem. In most cases, we'll know about the problem before the employee using the computer does.

Instead of paying for expensive software licenses and per-incident virus removal, you pay a low monthly rate for each PC. Here's a comparison that shows how managed services can save your business money:

 Traditional ModelManaged Services
Anti-virus software$35 *Included
Anti-malware software$25 *Included
Virus/Malware removal$125 (Average cost)Included
Total Cost per Year$185$108 ($9 per month)

* Pricing for Vipre Antivirus and Malwarebytes (Amazon.com – Feb 2013)

Even without adding in the support cost of someone having to maintain all the security software on a PC under the traditional model, it's easy to see that managed services provides a lot of value at a very reasonable cost.

Managing PC security is just one of many benefits of using managed services. If you'd like to learn more, call our office at 405-285-2500 or send us an e-mail at sales@lsgsolutions.com.

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Oklahoma IT Managed Services

February 11th, 2013

biz-e I.T. servicesWe provide managed IT Services in Oklahoma and surrounding states so you can allow your existing staff to focus on business-building activities instead of time-consuming routine maintenance. Trouble-free technology has yet to be invented, but our maintenance and monitoring services keep little issues from becoming expensive problems. Apart from the expense of new hardware and software, and technicians on golden time, can you afford to have operations grind to a halt for hours … days … weeks? Predictable costs at a reasonable monthly fee makes budgeting easy. And now you can! Experience faster response times, improved systems optimization and “always on” support, ensuring your business runs in peak performance 24×7.

Server Monitoring

Server Agent

Security Patch Management

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Supercharge Your IT Department With LSG Monitoring Your Systems 24 x 7

December 31st, 2012

Alan Sheppard of LSG Solutions has seen it before.

While tracking a company's inventory of PCs, one turns off and sits idle for weeks. It's never turned back on and it doesn't log any activity.

"That usually means it's been moved and replaced, and sure enough, it is," he said. "But no one at the company knows where it went."

Many small to medium-sized businesses rely on their IT employees to be the caretaker of their small office systems, PCs, the network and the services.

From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, the asset management and manager services platforms can be disjointed with no one having a clear idea of inventory or what's being monitored.

Eye in the Sky

This is why LSG Solutions offers a cloud-driven automated managed service that detects issues with your network, servers, and PCs in real time in one place. Thousands of events are monitored across the network in real time.

If a problem occurs within any computer or the network, communication is instantly created in the form of a ticket, phone call and email that alerts key personnel of the problem and prompts action.

"We're enabling their IT to do more and have a broader view into their network of devices. We are just one of many layers of eyes, protecting our clients," said Alan.

Through LSG’s service, a business can be monitored in real time and during off hours. It gives IT the ability to take a vacation and still have all systems cared for and watched over. The program allows employees to avoid mundane tasks involving the system like updating systems, programs and spyware by doing that automatically. It eliminates the annoying manual updates to programs like Acrobat Flash and Java.

You get two times the work out of one person by supercharging the IT department.

Helping Hand

"The LSG staff can do this service for you by collecting all the information about your systems all the time," Alan said. "Our typical customer is an IT shop whose employees were completely overloaded and needed relief and insight into the vast array of networked devices. They may also have systems abused by malware and viruses."

For companies that are small enough to not have an in-house IT department, the service can be invaluable as LSG Solutions can act as the caretaker and the monitoring system for all computer equipment within the company.

"It's a proactive approach to monitoring an entire system to avoid problems before they occur," Alan said. "It's true asset management. It's accounting for and knowing what you have."

If your organization doesn't have a clear idea of what your IT inventory is, or is having issues staying on top of problems, contact us for more information.

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CONTACT

501 E. 15th St., Suite 200B
Edmond, OK 73013
(405)285-2500
info@lsgsolutions.com