January 24, 2013
What are your thoughts on "tech talk?" We try to always make an effort not to use too much technical jargon when communicating with our clients. We understand how overwhelming and intimidating it can be to hear, especially if you don't understand exactly what certain words mean. While there may be some cases when we are required to use specific technical vocabulary, we do take the time to explain what we are referring to and break it down in a simple manner until the client fully understands. Afterall, if you are the one paying for our services don't you want to understand what is taking place?
If you ever have any questions regarding work we are doing or what something means, please don't hesiste to ask. We are here to make IT as simple and painless for you and your staff so you can focus on running you business!
January 17, 2013
Wednesday evening we participated in our annual HIPAA training to keep us informed and compliant with the policies that affect our dental and medical clients. One topic that we discussed at length was mobile device privacy and security. It seems that everyone has some sort of mobile device these days and whether or not it's realized, these devices are held to the same security standards as the equipment located in your office. Please take a moment to read this article on how you can protect health information on mobile devices.
As always, we are here to offer advice and solutions on how to keep you and your office compliant. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions and see how we can help!
February 22, 2012
I spent about four hours today with AT&T working on a phone line for a client. This was a traditional POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) line, which is what most of us had in our house before Vonage or digital phone. This type of phone line is an old, but very dependable, technology... or so I thought. After today I am convinced that anything analog needs to be phased out. We had one line out of four that was down and it took the AT&T tech five hours to get this line back. As it turns out the copper pair shorted out inside of a cable in a corner of the building. He was able to move this to a different pair but not before a lot of work to figure out the problem. There was not any programming involved but simply moving an analog line over to a different wire.
When he was finished I spent some time chatting with him and he mentioned that as a repair tech they spend most of their time on POTS lines. He went on to say that they very rarely have a single problem like this with digital circuits such as T-1, ISDN, or PRI. You could also bundle SIP trunks (Session Initiation Protocol: a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service) into this but AT&T does not typically sell SIP trunks. The repair tech also stated that the new digital technologies are faster and more reliable for the end customer. It would be nice if we could move away from POTS lines and start to move our telephony delivery into the digital age.
We have so many options for phone with VoIP or digital trunks. If you would like to learn more about these we are always available to help you understand anything you may be unsure of.
November 18, 2011
What do you get when you have a room full of computer nerds for a conference? IT Nation.
Last week IRIS Solutions sent two people down to IT Nation (the annual partner summit hosted by our management software company in Florida) to help develop our technical skills. The conference was great for us and we got a good break from the day-to-day grind. While down there we were able to network with other IT shops like ours and talk about best practice.
We met with different vendors such as ConnectWise, SonicWALL, Firebox, Axcient, Kaseya, Symform, and LabTech. These may not sound like the types of companies you are used to hearing about, however they help shops like ours offer great solutions to our customer base. These companies build products that we can offer our clients at a smaller scale since so many of the products offered and built for IT from companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and Cisco are built for large platforms. The smaller channel driven providers like us help our deployment of technologies such as hosted Exchange, online backup, application performance, and other cloud-based services.
Overall we have made some significant improvements to our business. We have developed better policies for ticket flow and problem resolution and are going to start using something called "email connector" to help keep up with support-based emails better. We have also made improvements to our quoting system for faster turnaround on products and replacements.
As we talked to other business partners like us there is one thing for sure; IT businesses like ours have a lot to offer other small to medium sized businesses. The world of IT is changing so rapidly that it is hard to keep up, but in a small company like ours we can see a change coming and make immediate changes to our process and direction to overcome those obstacles. Have you ever seen IBM do anything fast? Think about this: IBM owned the computer market with the IBM XT in the mid to late '80s. Around this time a small startup called Dell came in and took over the delivery of computers to individuals and businesses. IBM could not change quickly enough and then Dell became the number one reseller.
IRIS Solutions is just the right sized company to help facilitate change for our evolving future in IT. We learned a lot during IT Nation and are continuing to make improvements to our company.
August 10, 2011
This has been one of the hottest summers on record. We have had something like 50 straight days of over 90 degree weather. This topic has been in every conversation for weeks now and people are staying inside and doing less outside.
You might ask, "Why in the world is an IT shop posting articles about the heat?" We are not trying to be editorial writers for The Weather Channel, but we are as concerned as you are about heat... in regards to our electronics.
Heat is the number one killer of electronics. Does anyone remember the red rings from the Xbox 360? Do you remember the fix? Put the device in the freezer for a couple of hours and see if they go away. Pretty scientific, right?
Computers are no different than our human bodies, they crave cool air. In addition, they are even more picky about the heat as they do not want the temperature to go over 78 degrees. If you consider all of the electronics in a computer and everything it takes to make a sentence turn into a sentence or an internet browser to show a webpage, there are millions of instructions on millions of chips working in that black box on the floor. These components, just like us, need a cool place to work.
Seagate is a major manufacturer of hard drives for all computers. They have done studies that show the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) on a hard drive spinning all day, every day, is good for 4.5 years. If you take this to the upper temperature spectrum of 78 degrees it drops in half.
In short, heat kills computers and electronics. If you feel like the temperature of your computer or networking equipment is too high, please call us and we can look into this for you. Otherwise stay cool during these dog days of summer.
May 23, 2011
You're planning a cookout at your house: do you visit Dean & Deluca for meat, Earth Fare for produce, and, if you have the energy and time, Harris Teeter for condiments, or do you like to get all items from one reliable source? Not everyone has the time or money to shop around at specialty venues for various items so why should you have to do the same for your IT services?
IRIS Solutions prides itself as being a "one stop shop" for all of your IT needs. Whether you're building a new office from the ground up or simply need assistance in selecting a new telecom provider or practice management software, we have the experience and expertise to guide you through the entire process.
As a managed services provider we do just that; "manage" our clients and their IT infrastructure to take the guesswork out of a sometimes scary and unsure element of your office. We work with countless vendors and local reps to ensure any transition is as seamless as possible. We also act as a liason between you and the third party provider to be sure you are getting the best solution for your environment.
Please contact us to see how we can better manage your IT services and solutions under one umbrella, and if you prefer to get your "meat and veggies" from different sources, we can provide assistance in those areas too.
April 15, 2011
Have you ever been so frustrated with service you've received and felt like you had no place to turn to share your concerns? If you're actually able to voice your frustrations do you have much hope that your comments will be taken seriously and addressed?
At IRIS Solutions we take customer service very seriously. Our ticketing system, ConnectWise, sends automatically generated emails upon closure of tickets to the primary company contact on record. These emails are sent as a follow up on the service work that was performed to give you the opportunity to let us know if the issue still persists and to send any feedback, positive or negative, on the service you received. Also included at the bottom of the email is a link to a service survey to rate our performance. We encourage you to complete this survey, no matter how high or low the score may be, so that we can work to continually improve upon the service we provide to our valued clients.
We enjoy sharing the scores and comments with our staff to offer constructive criticism or praise for a job well done. The next time you receive a ticket closure email please take a moment to let us know how our service was for you. We receive may positive comments but receive our fair share of negative feedback as well, which only helps us to work better for you and your office in the future.
Below are two positive comments received yesterday in regards to recent service work performed for their offices. Keep the feeback coming and we'll continue to offer the best service and support we can!
- "I have always had a great experience with every technician that I have spoken with over the phone and in person. Everyone is knowledgeable and friendly! Thanks for all you do."
- "System is working beautifully! Your entire team is a delight to work with!"