Need IT Support

Need IT Support

For many small to medium sized businesses, infact whatever their size, IT can seem like a minefield.
Whether it’s keeping on top of online payments or ensuring data is backed up correctly, there’s a lot to distract you from focussing on growing your business. In an ideal world, all businesses would have their own qualified IT technician, but it is just not practical. So this month we will tell you exactly how businesses such as ourselves can help.

Overheads and cost

When you outsource your IT services it turns fixed IT costs into variable costs, allowing you to budget effectively. You only paying for what you need when you need it as opposed to a constant outgoing for something that you may only use infrequently. Labour costs can also put a huge burden on your business.
Recruiting and training your own IT staff can be a commitment that you simply cannot afford + you cannot guarantee at the end of whether the individual you do take on is capable of doing the job. This applies particularly to temporary staff who have no commitment or investment in your company.
But, if you outsource to a professional IT support company, not only do you not waste HR efforts or take a gamble on skills you are recruiting, but you only pay for the services when you need them. You do not need a financial advisor to tell you that this makes sense…

Stay ahead of the game

Any decent IT service company will have access to the resources that allow them to begin new projects quickly. When these projects are kept in-house it can take months of planning and may also involve recruitment of additional staff, again wasting more of your HR time.
With an outsourced IT company comes experience, which not only gives you assurance that the project will be completed, but you will probably find that their work will be insured if there is ever an issue. Better their cost than yours.
Having the means to scale appropriately means that your business can prepare and plan for effective implementation. When you outsource your IT services, you are able to scale up and down dependent on demand. For example, if you’re a business that experiences rapid periods of growth and custom there will without doubt be IT issues that come with them, so you want be sure they your IT infrastructure is in safe hands when these changes are needed

Peace of mind

Managed IT services mean that you have access to individuals who know what they are doing 24 hours a day. With the majority of businesses saying goodbye to the standard 9-5 work day, it’s important that your IT services mirror and operate the hours you do. When you work around the clock, so does your computer system. If you are a small company this will mean employing not just 1 IT technician but maybe 2+. Managed IT support businesses such as ourselves have the staff to do this for you, they provide the services when you need them i.e. you are our customer and we are here to serve you and provide support when you need it to make sure your business can keep going and meet the demands from your customers.


Systems Integration have many clients and we experience the same types of IT issues on a daily basis. Whereas in-house IT employees are often isolated from any IT issues that fall outside of their day to day activities. Just because somebody is qualified it doesn’t mean that they’re experienced. Imagine if you’re going to a dentist and need a tooth extracted, do you want the student to remove it or do you want the experienced surgeon?

Industry knowledge means all work we perform will be secure and compliant, with the latest legislations, something an in-house operator may not be aware of. Outsourced IT service companies such as ourselves are experts in what they do, making us an ideal candidate for managing and dealing with your IT risks.

Stay up to date

If you’re a smaller business, unlike big companies, chances are you do not have the money to invest in an exclusive IT department. Outsourcing provides you with access to IT experts who are committed to helping you without the financial burden of the salary that they’d need. An independent third-party company such as ourselves, with variable fees which scale to your budgets gives your company an edge against others.
Nationally there is a shortage of IT qualified professionals and even the large organisations that are struggling to fill IT vacancies. Aspects such as cyber-security, app development, disaster recovery and VIOP services require a refined skill-set that not many people possess. By outsourcing to a quality IT partner, you ensure that your business has constant access to the expertise that’s in demand.

Stay Secure and compliant

There are a huge number of things that you need to do to stay a) compliant with legislation and b) secure. Do you know whether your firewall is up to date? What about your DMZ? Is it installed? How regular are you auditing? Do you deal with financial transactions online? Are your storing your and your clients securely? Have you implemented PCI security standards? Taking payments online is a great tool for business growth, however if you’re not compliant and secure it could cost you everything.

When you outsource to a company such as ourselves, with years of experience and relevant qualifications, you ensure that your online activities are safe and secure.

The sheer number of laws you need to abide by is enough to get the better of any in-house team. The training and expense needed to keep up to date can could result in your little in-house IT department becoming the biggest financial strain on your business. Is this something you want?

Systems Integration have been supporting local businesses for over 25 years with their IT issues and services, we continue to keep on top of regulations and know what is going to happen before it does.

If you feel like this is an area we can help your business, get in touch, you may well be surprised how we can not only help your business become more efficient, but save you money at the same time.

Getting a new computer?

Getting a new computer?

Last month we talked about how you get rid of your old laptops and computers, this month we will have a look at the right way to get your new ones.
Obviously there are numerous methods people use when it comes to replacing equipment. You could browse though an online catalogue, pop into your local retail store and really that should be it. But is it?
Will you get what your business requires? The chances are that the answer will be negative and it could end up costing you and your business time and money. Not what you had in mind when you set off to upgrade your equipment.

Your goal vs Salesperson goal

Is a it a case of you simply popping into your local retail outlet and being baffled and amazed by all the jargon you are given by the thrown by the salesman, CPU this RAM that?
Although most sales people that you find in your local Curry’s or PC World, may know the technical in’s and out’s of every PC they have on their display, they will not have the knowledge of what your business needs. You simply saying ‘we need something to have a large memory or have a good display, does not really give a true representation of what the PC will be required to do when it is sat in your office.
When you go into a store to buy a PC, you need to need to know that the salesperson is there with one goal, to sell.
They may have an interest in computers and when asked they will normally simply respond with all the technical data that you yourself can read on the box. Unfortunatly, that is normally not the full information you need.
You will be walking into the store with an aim of finding a computer that fits your business requirements, they are their with the goal of getting you to buy an expensive piece of equipment and all the unnecessary trimmings that they can throw at you. Macfee this, Norton that, an ergonomic friendly mouse etc. Giving you a computer that fits your business needs, although an aim of theirs, will not be their prioity and it could end up costing you more in extras.

Check Compatibility

While you are probably aware that having both Mac and PC on the same infrastructure can lead to compatibility issues, were you aware that even switching brands within your PC network can cause issues?
There are so many moving parts within a business infratstructure, from printers to routers, laptops to mobile payment processors, that anytime you throw a new computer into the mix you could end up with compatibility problems. I bet the salesperson that you speak gto in the shop will not tell you this. Will they also be aware that even the number and types of ports on the standard retail computers can cause you a headache when it comes to configuration and set up.
The last thing you want is to end up with a new PC that is surrounded by dodgy adaptor plugs as you attempt to course-correct and make do until it’s time for the office do over or time for the next PC purchase. It’s best to skip the drama and get the right computer first time around.

Check Support

Can your salesman offer ongoing 24 hour support? Do they offer immeadiate replacements, emergency backup in case you lose data?
This is where the retail store and your salesperson become unstuck. Once you leave the store, their business with you is done, they have achieved their goal.

How we can help

As one of Swindon’s leading IT Support providers we stick to a handful of vendors to ensure all parts are kept uniform. That way we know which parts will work together, and should something fail, we can usually get replacements quickly. We’ll often have special relationships with parts vendors and can get special pricing + extended support and upgrades. Your retail store salesperson will never be able to match that.
Also, by contrast, when you buy computers through an IT support provider such as ourselves you know you’re getting the exact computer your business needs. Even if your business is unknown to us, we have technicians that can ascertain your exact requirements via an IT system audit.
From the first time you work with us, we’ll be sure to do our research before making a recommendation. Remember, you want your computers to last 3-4 years of heavy usage, so it’s also a good idea to buy business-grade computers. While the new computers at the retail store may be lovely and shiney and come in a bright coloured box, they’re often nowhere near as durable as the ones your consultant can supply.

As a provider we will also be able to set the new computers up, ready to go with the exact software you need. We’ll strip out all the bloatware (unnecessary programs and trials that come pre-installed) and configure your new computers to work perfectly from day 1. Your employees will be able to enjoy their new systems, take full advantage of the productivity boosts you paid for. That means internet working, internal network connected, programs playing nice with each other, and yes, even printing without problems!.

It may be the case that you want your business to expand, if that is the case then taking our an IT support contract with ourselves can save you a small fotune. You can lease the equipment knowing that it can be replaced at any point and support, well it is always there whenever you need it. No big bill, no having to listen to sales jargon, just confidence in knowing that your IT infrastructure is in good hands. So if you are thinking of upgrading or getting some new hardware, get in touch with us first, you may be surprised by how mych we can help.

The right way to get rid of an old computer

The right way to get rid of an old computer

If your business is just about to purchase some new hardware i.e. Computers or laptops it is an exciting time. But, have you ever thought about what happens to the old ones?
If your equipment is old, and let’s face it in IT terms 3 years, is old, you may be scrapping them. Simple, you may think, switch them off and put them in the bin. Or maybe you are going to sell them, in that case you may browse through your files and delete the ones that may be sensitive or personnel.
Maybe you could put your laptop on a strong magnet for while and hope it deletes everything..
Unfortunatly though, throwing a old computer in the bin, holding it over a magnet or a pressing the delete button is not the answer.
Unless you correctly clean up and remove your data from your hardware, it is open to cybercriminals. And they have the skills to be able to get hold of any information you leave on there, records of purchases, passwords, even old purchases you have done online will leave a trace, that means card details and logins to tools such as Paypal.

If you are business owner and are in the situation whereby you refurbish or change your hardware on a regular basis, you need to ensure that a specialised dat cleanup is required for any laptops, tablets or PCs that you get rid of.
It has been found that most business are actually unaware of this and believe that it would always be done by the individuals or business that is removing them.
If you think this is the case then you are very wrong.. In 2016 an experiment was performed which consisted of a company buying 200 used hard drives. Of the 200, 134 of them were found to have confidential data on them. A whopping 67%!

If this was a drive form one of your business PCs, what information would cyber criminals be able to get their hands on? Old invoices, CRM records, email address of clients and maybe even their bank account details.

As you could imagine, if this does happen to your business, buying new PCs would be the last thing on your mind, unless you need them to find solicitors on Google Search….

Why you should not rely on the delete button….

  • Every hard drive has an index, similar to ones you see at the front of a book. A drive index has a record of all the files that are needed to run the system and all the files you record on there.
  • Every time you write data onto the drive, the system makes a record of it in the index, this then helps it to find it quickly when you call the file back up in the future.
  • The issue with this very simple and normally very robust process is that, when you delete a file on a drive, the index does not work the same to that you find in a book.
  • Example being, lets delete page 5 from a book. The result would be page 6 becoming page 5. The book index would then require amending to reflect the fact there are now less pages and as it’s visible, you know it’s been removed.

Unfortunately this is not the case on a drive.

Delete a file and the drive index will say there, but this is all that changes. The index. The actual file will stay in it’s location until it has been written over. So if you simply press delete, any hacker can go through your drive and still find all your data…

What you should do?

Well you can buy software and have a go at doing it yourself. But, if this is something your are not experienced at doing, it is still a risky business. If you are business that is updating PCs on a regular basis, you need to be sure that you have IT experts helping you, ensuring that all drives are correctly cleaned.
And you should never look at removal old PCs as a simple task. It is best to have a specific dedicated process for removal of old hardware. Know where your old computers are going, have an inventory and auditing process. This may be slow and delay the rollout of new machines, but it’s always better than having your old, or worse still an ex clients data, come back to haunt you.

At Systems Integration, we don’t just repair PCs, we offer a full range of IT services for Swindon Businesses, including safe disposal of your unwanted computers We can help with migration any needed data, help with backing up the information to your server, then wipe or destroy the hard drives for you.
We assess the age of your old computers and either dispose of them for you or point you in the right direction of computer recyclers.

Make upgrading your PCs a happy office time. Get in touch with us and let us ensure that your data remains safe and it does not come back to haunt you.

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