The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

So, What Can the Cloud Do For Your Business?

So, What Can the Cloud Do For Your Business?

Since it first entered the mainstream in the mid-2000s, cloud computing has become a cornerstone of businesses of every size and shape. The big question that remains, however, is what your business could lean on the cloud to do. Let’s go over the multitude of options that the cloud opens up for a business.

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How do Managed Services Stack Up to Break/Fix Services in Price?

How do Managed Services Stack Up to Break/Fix Services in Price?

Outsourced IT is a great option for the modern small business, and no matter where your shortcomings lie in managing technology, we are confident you can find value in the service. Whether you need a full-fledged IT department or someone to help implement new solutions, we’ve got you covered, and for the right price point, too! Let’s take a look at some of the trends you can expect from managed IT, as well as how they influence the costs compared to those of the traditional break-fix model.

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Burnout is a Bad Thing, Just Ask Your In-House IT Team

Burnout is a Bad Thing, Just Ask Your In-House IT Team

Burnout—a psychological process that can impact an employee and lead to stress, exhaustion, depression, and frustration—is a serious threat to any workplace. However, have you ever considered the potential harm that could be done if your IT-focused staff members succumbed to these feelings? Let’s examine the phenomenon of IT burnout, and how we can help fix it.

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Your Business Could Use Managed IT Services

Your Business Could Use Managed IT Services

If you suspect that your organization has trouble managing its technology, you are far from the only one. Small businesses tend to have more difficulties with technology management and maintenance compared to their enterprise-level counterparts, mostly due to limitations placed on resources and time. You can make things much easier for your business by working with a managed service provider.

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Small Businesses Can Rely On Managed IT Services for Key Improvements

Small Businesses Can Rely On Managed IT Services for Key Improvements

What makes a small to medium-sized business so different from a large, enterprise-sized one? The amount of people and moving parts, of course, but if you really consider it, there isn’t all that much. This is why when looking to control your small business’ IT support costs, choosing managed IT services is a good option. This month, we thought we’d take a look at some of the other benefits managed IT can bring your organization:

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Homeland Security is Warning Businesses to Update Google Chrome

Homeland Security is Warning Businesses to Update Google Chrome

We realize that it’s one thing for us to tell you how important it is to update your software. After all, we’re tech guys, so we worry about that kind of thing all the time. Hopefully, it’s quite another matter when Homeland Security does it, which is why we’re really hoping that you take heed of this warning and update Google Chrome.

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Monitoring Your IT is a Crucial Step to Success

Monitoring Your IT is a Crucial Step to Success

Your business’ technology is extremely important to your business’ success and ensuring that it is functioning as designed has to be an ongoing priority. This can be harder than you may think. Today, we’ll go over how you can actively confront this challenge and keep your IT running as it should. 

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Think Of Managed Services as Healthcare for Your IT

Think Of Managed Services as Healthcare for Your IT

When you feel under the weather you visit the doctor, they examine you and prescribe a remedy. It’s a pretty simple process; and a relationship that is important to maintain your health. A managed service provider functions the same way for a business. Let’s take a look at the similarities.

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Remote Monitoring and Managed IT, and the Impact it Has on Small Business

Remote Monitoring and Managed IT, and the Impact it Has on Small Business

With more people than ever working from home, their ability to receive the support they need to keep their devices in top working order is crucial. As a result, many businesses have turned to managed IT service providers to maintain their employees’ computers. MSPs like us utilize a tool called remote monitoring and management software (RMM). Let’s discuss what it is and why it is so useful for managing your company’s IT. 

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What Your IT Documentation Needs to Include, and Why

What Your IT Documentation Needs to Include, and Why

It is important that you have a handle on the technology that your business utilizes, which will require you to maintain comprehensive documentation regarding it and its support. Here, we’ll go through what a managed service provider includes in this documentation, as well as how it is used.

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Have You Really Considered Your Maintenance Costs?

Have You Really Considered Your Maintenance Costs?

Computers need to be maintained in order to ensure that they are working as optimally as possible. It’s also known that technology solutions are prone to failure, be it from users making mistakes, deliberately ruining something in a fit of rage, or components simply failing. If you’re concerned about the wellbeing of your organization’s IT, then you need to rely on a technology specialist who can manage and maintain it.

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What Makes Managed Services Worth It?

What Makes Managed Services Worth It?

Most modern businesses depend on technology in at least some capacity, whether it’s for productivity, efficiency, or even security purposes. Without access to important data and applications, your business is a shell of its former glory. This is why it’s so important for businesses like yours to implement managed IT services. It certainly beats having untrained employees maintain your crucial computing systems!

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What Exactly Do We Mean by “Managed” Services?

What Exactly Do We Mean by “Managed” Services?

Managed services - what are they? The short answer, other people managing the IT systems that you rely on every day to be productive and accomplish your tasks. In essence, they are a freedom from dealing with the troublesome and time-consuming parts of leveraging technology. You may have heard this much about managed services before, but have never been given a deeper understanding of what they entail. That is precisely what we aim to accomplish below.

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3 Reasons You Want Experts Handling Your IT

3 Reasons You Want Experts Handling Your IT

For a moment, I want you to stop and consider something: Who do you turn to when your business’ toilets suddenly stop working? Who do you call for when the lights stop working? Most likely, an expert… so if you turn to the pros for these needs, why would you do anything different for your IT?

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Is Your Infrastructure Hindering Your Business’ Growth?

Is Your Infrastructure Hindering Your Business’ Growth?

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) have historically been restricted in what they can do with their technology infrastructures. However, there are now options that an SMB can leverage that enable it to accomplish more with their infrastructure - but this requires the SMB to have a plan in place.


What Is Your IT Infrastructure?

In short, your IT infrastructure is everything that contributes to your business’ ability to store and use the data it has collected - including your network, your storage system, and the hardware and software solutions used to access them. In other words, it’s your business’ backbone, supporting your operations and allowing data to be transported where it needs to go.

It should go without saying that your IT infrastructure is a critical consideration for your business’ success. This means that you will need to dedicate the time and energy needed to devise a strategy for your IT infrastructure to follow.

Determining Your IT Infrastructure Strategy

In order to be optimal for your business’ needs, your revised infrastructure strategy should touch on a few best practices.

Simplification

As you’ve needed to improve your infrastructure, it’s likely that it has grown based on the individual needs it had at the time. As a result, there’s a good chance that your IT infrastructure has a mix of technologies in it, which makes it harder to improve and update it later.

When designing your new infrastructure, you should leverage the modern standardization of software and integrations to create a centralized platform that enables data to be utilized across the business. This will help to simplify your IT and improve your workplace experience, often providing more functionality and flexibility for your users.

Flexibility

Speaking of flexibility, information technology is always adapting and changing, which means that your IT infrastructure needs to be able to accommodate these adaptations and changes. Considering your current infrastructure, ask yourself where your biggest speed constraints are, and how they can be rectified. Furthermore, are there any ways that you can consolidate your existing system to further limit your risks while advancing your processes?

Service-Focused

When you really consider it, your IT provides a service to your operations, in that it enables them to happen. While this may be a simplistic view of it, it isn’t any less true. When designing your infrastructure, you need to keep in mind that it will be providing your entire business with the tools that it needs to function. Consider what you need your infrastructure to do, and what you will need it to do in the future, and plan it accordingly.

Why You Should Consider a Managed IT Infrastructure

I want you to think back to the beginning of your business, when it was just you and maybe one or two other people. You may have had a hand in setting up your network back then… so why not do the same again now? Well, there are a few reasons.

First of all, consider your responsibilities. With any luck, your attention is commanded by the duties that your position leaves you responsible for. Can you really say you have the time to properly strategize your infrastructure, let alone maintain it once you’ve done so? Secondly, there is no denying that technology has changed. Would you rather try and tackle it yourself, potentially creating an issue, or would you rather entrust someone with experience to take care of your organization’s infrastructure?

The Connection, Inc can manage your infrastructure on your behalf, ensuring that it is optimized to your business’ particular requirements so that your efficiency can be improved. Reach out to us at (732) 291-5938 to learn more.

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Why Managed Services: Proactive Maintenance and Management

Why Managed Services: Proactive Maintenance and Management

In order for one methodology to replace another, it has to provide more value than the one that came before. In terms of IT support, managed services can deliver far greater value than the familiar break/fix method. In this series, we’ll explore the value that managed services contribute to a business, starting with their proactive nature.


How Do Managed Services Work, Compared to Traditional Support?

In order to fully appreciate how managed services provide a business with value, let’s consider two scenarios, side-by-side.

Jack’s job requires the use of a computer to accomplish his tasks, as does Jill’s. If Jack experiences computer issues, he relies on a break/fix IT arrangement. Jill, on the other hand, leverages managed services.

Comparing the Experience of Break/Fix Against Managed Services

Let’s say that Jack’s computer encounters an issue in the middle of the workday, just as he was making progress on one of his responsibilities. Once Jack realizes what has happened, he calls his computer guy and explains his situation. Now, his computer guy has a few clients with appointments ahead of Jack’s, so Jack will have to wait a few hours before his computer guy will get there. Once he finally arrives, the company is billed for a relatively simple fix.

As it happens, Jill’s workstation also encounters an issue, also while she was being productive. Once Jill realizes this, she reaches out to her company’s managed service provider and explains the situation. The managed service provider then remotely logs in to immediately take control of the workstation and troubleshoot the problem, identifying the problem and allowing Jill to resume her task. As this fix was covered under her company’s agreement with the managed service provider, Jill’s employers won’t have to make any payments beyond the usual monthly subscription fee.

Proactivity is Central to Managed Services

As Jack and Jill each carry on in their work, Jack is much more likely to encounter issues, while Jill rarely notices any problems at all. This is because Jill’s workstation, like all the workstations in her business, is remotely monitored by the managed service provider. The managed service provider uses this monitoring to prevent glitches, malfunctions, and incompatibilities before Jill is even aware that she could have a problem, with no onsite visit needed from the provider.

As Jack’s computer guy is paid each time that Jack or his coworkers call upon them, that computer guy has no motivation to help prevent issues from occurring, or recurring. This means that Jack frequently finds his day interrupted - often by the same issue as before - and needs to call the computer guy back in for another (probably expensive) visit.

Thanks to their respective service agreements, Jack and Jill each have a very different workplace experience. Jill is able to accomplish more than Jack can, simply because she has an expert team looking after her IT from a distance. (We’ll discuss this more in the next part of this series.) 

Applying and Installing Patches and Updates

The same can be said of any updates that either need. Jack will need to rely on the company’s internal IT resource (assuming there is one) to keep track of any patches or pending updates that need to be applied. If this resource is too busy, these updates could slip through the cracks and go undone. If the resource does manage to get around to Jack, Jack will again be unable to work as the solutions install.

Again, on the other side of the coin, Jill’s managed service provider is committed to keeping track of the solutions that Jill and the rest of her company use, and maintaining them as need be. This includes keeping an ear to the ground regarding patches and updates, and putting forth a best effort to avoid interrupting Jill’s productivity. This is often accomplished by the managed service provider remotely accessing and applying needed updates and patches after hours when there is nobody there to interrupt.

Stay Tuned for More Information About the Value of Managed Services!

When it comes to the benefits that leveraging a managed service provider can bring your business, we’re just getting started. We have plenty more to share, so make sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss anything.

Of course, if you want to find out more now, we are available to talk to at (732) 291-5938. Give us a call to discuss managed services with one of our experts and how your business can benefit!

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Why Managed Services: Consulting

Why Managed Services: Consulting

While information technology is an important part of the modern business and its processes, it isn’t always the easiest topic for the average business user to figure out. In this series, we’ve been exploring how a managed service provider can add value to your business and its IT. Here, we’re focusing on how the managed service provider can serve as a knowledgeable consultant.

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Diving Into the Differences Between Proactive and Reactive

Diving Into the Differences Between Proactive and Reactive

When it boils down to it, there are really only two ways to operate a business: proactively, or reactively. While many businesses still rely on their reactivity to deal with their technology issues, the opposite approach is demonstrably more effective for the modern business. Let’s explore some of the effects that a proactive and reactive strategy can each have on your operations.


To start, it is probably wise to establish how each approach generally works out.

What A Reactive Approach Entails

As you might imagine, a business that doesn’t adapt to the shifting landscape until something is going to directly influence it would be described as reactive. Whether it’s by boosting the company’s efficiency when a new competitor opens up, or scaling back spending after the local economy takes a significant downswing, adopting this method can present you with some significant issues.

For instance, reacting to these kinds of circumstances inherently means that your business is going to be behind the eight ball, susceptible to larger issues and their consequences. Your competition will have the lead on you, and if you’re occupied by playing catch-up, your capability to make the most of your business will be hampered.

What A Proactive Approach Entails

Comparatively, a proactive approach to IT maintenance and management takes the polar opposite approach. Rather than essentially sitting around and waiting for something to interfere with business operations, a business that leverages a proactive approach considers the data they have collected, identifies trends, and uses these insights to prepare themselves for a variety of different scenarios.

For instance, a proactive behavior we frequently recommend is to maintain an offsite data backup that is compliant to best practices. Managed services are inherently proactive, as your technology is monitored for the express purpose of catching issues early.

Turn To The Connection, Inc For Proactive Support

Of course, we don’t expect you to just take what we’re saying at face value - let us show you how beneficial our services can be. The trained team here at The Connection, Inc can keep your technology operational and optimized, ensuring your productivity.

Keep reading our blog for more benefits of working with The Connection, Inc, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance by calling (732) 291-5938. Don’t wait until doing so is a reaction!

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How Much TLC Does Your IT Need?

How Much TLC Does Your IT Need?

Technology is a requirement in today’s businesses - but just having technology isn’t nearly enough. You need to make sure that you are performing the proper maintenance activities as well, to prolong the useful life of your solutions. Here, we’ll review a few basics to keeping your technology solutions ready for your use… and how we can help with that.

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Why We’re Just Waiting for Break/Fix IT Services to Go Away

Why We’re Just Waiting for Break/Fix IT Services to Go Away

As much as we hate to admit it, the first thing that many people still think of when they hear the term “tech support” is the experience that comes with an antiquated approach to technology services: the break/fix method. Fortunately for us, we are seeing many businesses make the better decision, and turn to the clearly superior option, managed IT.


Therefore, as a managed service provider, we know that all we have to do is wait.

The Inherent Issues with Break/Fix Services

When business computing really took off in the 1970s, break/fix IT made sense. Businesses were able to deploy standalone microcomputers or distributed mid-range server systems that operated through remote terminals. Then, in the ‘80s, the personal computer combined the benefits of the two, and really highlighted the benefits that computers could offer a business. When Windows 3.1 was introduced to business users in the 1990s, the computer’s place in business was cemented in forever.

For all this time, computers would have their issues… but it just didn’t make sense to call in for repairs or put an internal IT team on it. If it could still operate somewhat, that was good enough. Should the computer break down completely, IT was brought in to fix it.

So, Were Break-Fix Services Once Okay?

Yes and no. Of course, this situation has always presented all the issues that have led many businesses away from the break/fix strategy today. For instance:

  • IT costs could quickly stack up (and up, and up, and up) for a few reasons.
    • Recurring issues mean return visits, which mean additional costs.
    • Recurring issues can occasionally motivate insufficient repairs, to ensure repeat business.
    • Longer visits mean more billable time, and more money spent by companies.
  • Final IT costs are only clear on the final invoice, preventing accurate IT budgeting.
  • It discourages providers from upgrading technology or considering future needs. 

So, break-fix services were unpredictably expensive, and generally prevented any innovation or future planning for the client’s benefit, so issues had the tendency to repeatedly return. However, it wasn’t as though there was another option to compare it to at the time, either.

That option came around in the mid ‘90s, when the amount of technology in the office and its overall complexity increased greatly, with the introduction of fax machines, printers, and other hardware. Computers took much longer to repair when broken. The Internet exploded in popularity, adding an additional element of complexity.

A New Paradigm Emerges: Managed IT

This all meant that break/fix services soon became too inefficient to support businesses properly. Computers were no longer a convenience, but a legitimate necessity in the office, not to mention the other tools and devices that became key components to their processes. Downtime had evolved into something potentially devastating for operations, and expenses ran rampant.

As the new millennium came along, the modern managed service model was brought to the fore. This was thanks to an assortment of developments in information technology, including improved Internet, cloud technology, and automation. Using these tools, some IT providers saw a new opportunity and shifted how their services were delivered.

Gone were the days of waiting for operations to be in jeopardy before doing something about it. 

Now, IT providers have the capability to remotely access and monitor a client’s network from afar, allowing them to more efficiently identify potential issues and mitigate them at effectively all hours—often, before a client ever encounters an issue. The biggest change, however, was how this approach was able to impact the way that managed service providers were able to charge for their services.

Rather than charging at an hourly rate, the nature of the service allowed it to be billed at a very inclusive monthly rate. This simplified matters for the client, as a set-rate service is far easier to budget for. As an added benefit, this also motivated those providers who made the switch from the flawed break/fix approach to deliver a better service to those who signed on to their services.

Service Options Today

With managed services having been around and innovated upon for about two decades, there are even more opportunities for businesses to improve their processes and achieve greater goals. Break/fix is still around, too, but more and more businesses are seeing the comparative benefits of the managed service model and making the decision to switch. Managed services are a source of confidence. You no longer need to be concerned that your technology will bring issues into your business, because someone is there to take care of it for you.

Every so often, a new method is introduced that changes a foundational paradigm. Despite the relatively short time frame that business IT has been around for, managed services did just that… and therefore, break/fix services will eventually be—for all intents and purposes—phased out.

If you want to keep up with all the methods that will improve your business’ operations, reach out to The Connection, Inc at (732) 291-5938 today!

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The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730