Planning for the future, suggestions for your compute network

Planning for the future is something that every business must do, as it is a great way of budgeting what your proposed spend on I.T. over a set number of years will be. Ideally, this should be done every five years but some businesses might do this every seven years.

When you are doing this, you will be checking what software and hardware that you are using must be replaced. You may decide to retain your current software or to retain your current hardware. If you are only using some of your computers to do basic office work such as writing letters and invoices and send emails, rather than replace your computers you can either upgrade them or convert them into modern dumb terminals.

Dumb Terminals are a monitor and keyboard that rely on a mainframe computer for its processing power, any software that it uses and storage of any files used. Modern Dumb Terminals are computers that don’t have the processing power to do work such as editing audio and visual files, the only software installed on them will be software programs such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader, WinZip and an internet browser.
Sometimes the software that you are using does not need to be replaced or upgraded as newer versions might cost you more money, they might not have some of the features that are in the version that you are using, or they might have new features that you will never use.

When you start planning for the future, you should ask yourself the following questions:

Will the software you are currently using cover all your needs over the next five to seven years?

Will you require any new software over the next five or so years?

Do you need to replace your current Operating System?

Can any of your computers be converted into Modern Dumb Terminals?

What will you be doing over the next five to seven years that your current computers can’t handle?

Can you upgrade any of your computers by adding more memory, new motherboards, or new hard disks?

iPing provides managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your IT setup and tell you if any of your hardware or software needs to be replaced. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Why it’s time to move to Office 365

In 1990 Microsoft launched a product that is now used by over a billion people worldwide, and that product is Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office is used for personal use as well as business use and most documents sent via email are created in it. Microsoft used to release a new edition of Microsoft Office every three years, but with the advent of the cloud and free services such as Google Docs, Microsoft has had to change how Microsoft Office is installed and used.

Buying Microsoft Office in the past could be costly resulting in businesses not upgrading and having software that could be ten years old and more vulnerable to bugs and possibly ransomware as Microsoft no longer issues patches. That’s why Microsoft decided to rename it as Office 365 and to offer various versions including one that is based in the cloud which can be used for free but with limited functionality. You can also buy various other affordable subscription versions that allow you to pay monthly or yearly and give you the options of installing it on more than one computer and your mobile phone and tablet.

If you are still using older versions of Microsoft Office here are some reasons why you should upgrade:

  • Microsoft release patches on a regular basis and the mobile versions are perfect for your sales teams that are out on the road.
  • The mobile versions allow you to edit and read any files that are sent to your mobile devices.
  • One of the reasons why the worldwide ransomware attacks earlier this month were so successful was because a lot of computers attacked were using older versions of Microsoft Office and by having your software updated on a regular basis your devices and your network is more secure.
  • The various subscriptions models that you can avail of means it’s now more affordable than ever to use Office 365.
  • When you get various office documents in the past, the version of Office that you were using might not have allowed you to easily open files from newer versions of Office, but you will never have to worry about that ever again.
  • As most businesses are using Exchange for their email, you can now get it on Office 365 with 50GB of email storage, plus 1TB of OneDrive for Business cloud storage and you will also get HD video conferencing with Skype for Business too.

So isn’t it time you moved to Office 365?

iPing provides managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your Microsoft Office setup and how you can improve it by moving to Office 365.  So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Can a tablet replace a laptop?

Besides a mobile phone, the other major tool of a salesperson is their laptop, which can be used to show off product demo’s as well as being able to access SaaS software such as SAP, Salesforce and Office 365.

Whilst laptops have gotten smaller and lighter unless you are paying over €800 you will be stuck with a laptop which will give you at the most perhaps 8 hour’s battery life before it must be charged again. When you are constantly on the road visiting clients and prospective clients this is an issue you don’t want to be facing daily.

But there is a simple solution that will allow you to go out on the road and use all your favourite SaaS software without having to worry about battery life. All you need is a tablet such as an iPad or numerous Android based tablets and they can also be bought with cellular ability that allows them to use sim cards resulting in you not having to worry about needing a Wi-Fi connection.

You can also buy a cheaper iPad’s and tablets that don’t require a sim card and they can use Wi-Fi or your mobile phone to connect to the internet and the cloud. As tablets are a lot smaller than laptops they are easier to carry around with you and you can easily get between 8-12 hours battery life which will easily last a typical working day.

Before you decide to replace your laptops with tablets you will have to make sure that all the SaaS products that you use on your laptops can also be used on tablets. You must also make sure that anything else you do on your laptop can also be replicated on the tablets that you are looking at using.

As tablets will work with any custom built cloud infrastructure that you are using and are very easy to setup and use, they will save you time, money and heartache especially when it comes to battery usage.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your IT setup for your sales team and what tablet will best fit your needs. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Is it time to upgrade your computer or replace it?

A question that is being asked more and more is, is it time to upgrade my computer or replace it? As your computer is an essential piece of equipment used daily in your office, you will have to make sure that it can run modern browsers, the latest anti-virus software, recent versions of Microsoft Office/Office 365, up to date operating systems and If your computer is becoming a bit sluggish and taking a bit longer to boot up or run certain programmes then you either have to upgrade or replace your computer.

Upgrading your computer can be easily done and it can be done by adding more memory, replacing your hard disk with an SSD (Solid State Disk) drive or replacing your computers OS (operating system), it will run a lot faster. With more memory and or an SSD drive your computer will feel as good as new and it will boot up faster enabling you to do more work seamlessly. By upgrading your OS, you will also be able to run the latest software in a secure environment, as it will receive updates that will patch any security risks and bugs that might cause issues.

The OS that you have on your computer will determine how easy it will be to upgrade it, and in some cases you will have to buy a new computer. If you are running windows Vista on your computer you won’t be able to upgrade your OS and will have to buy a new computer as Microsoft are no longer supporting it. If your computer is still running Windows 7 you will have to upgrade to Windows 10. If your computer is running the latest version of Windows 8 known as  Windows 8.1 Update, it will still have mainstream support until January 2018 so you will soon have to upgrade to Windows 10.

iPing are experts and we spend a lot of time helping our clients decide if upgrading or buying a new computer is the best option for them! If you are thinking of upgrading your computer please get in touch.
iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your IT equipment and tell you if you should upgrade or replace any of your computers. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Inkjet or laser printers which is best for your business?

Posted on April 4, 2017 by in printer

One of the most important pieces of equipment that your business uses will be a printer and with 2 different types of printer available, inkjet and laser which one should you be using?

 

Inkjet printers
Inkjet printers are designed to give you laser quality printing without paying the high price of a laser printer and its print cartridges. Inkjet printers can be cheap to buy and you can get colour or black and white models whilst all in one version’s also have a built-in fax and scanner and can be wireless. If you are printing charts or reports that have some colour pages then a colour printer will suit you but If you are printing off invoices then a black and white model will suit you. The only downside to inkjet printers is how often you will have to replace the cartridges and if you have a colour model you will have to replace 4 cartridges

Laser printers
Laser printers have come down a lot in price making them an affordable option and like inkjet printers, you can get colour or black and white models and all in one version’s also come with built-in faxes and scanners and can also be wireless. Laser printers are also known as work horses as you can print from between 2000 – 20,000 pages on one laser toner cartridge.

If you are printing a lot of pages on a regular basis then the obvious choice would be the laser printer but HP has recently introduced a range of inkjet printers under the HP Wide brand that will print as many pages on one cartridge as an average laser printer. The HP Wide inkjet printers, which can be bought as black and white or colour models, cost a bit more than your average HP inkjet but they will save you money in the long term as their cartridges will last a lot longer.

If you want to discuss what printer is best for you please give us a call!

iPing provide managed print services and IT services and we can help provide you with printer solutions for your business especially the HP Wide range of inkjet printers. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Update From Microsoft

Some information we just got from Microsoft I thought was wort sharing.
Research shows that our customers are actually enabling their cyber attackers: despite all the warnings, a staggering 30% of recipients open phishing messages and 12% open malicious attachments. So it’s no wonder two-thirds of cyber threats can be traced to phishing attacks. “
Please don’t be one of the above statistics and make sure you and your employees exercises caution when opening emails from unknown senders or if you are unsure about an email don’t open it. Then ask you IT Service team about it.
Any questions give us a call here at iPing HQ

How secure is your Wi-Fi?

Until recently what has been the most essential tool in your business has changed every couple of years but over the past five year’s it has been your Wi-Fi. Your Wi-Fi is your gateway to the internet and without it you can’t send or receive emails, update your website, access your SaaS software and any social media accounts that your business might have. So how secure is your Wi-Fi and do you know who is accessing it?

If you have open Wi-Fi access, where any of your staff or your customers don’t need a password to access it what are some of the problems that you could be facing?

Your bandwidth usage can go through the roof and you may end up with your broadband speeds being throttled and you might be facing a huge broadband bill. If someone parks outside your business and uses your Wi-Fi to access their Netflix, Amazon Prime accounts or even YouTube your bandwidth usage will increase.

People using your Wi-Fi could be using it to access and download illegal material such as pirated movies, TV shows and music, and as this is done via your Wi-Fi account you could end up facing heavy fines.

If it’s known that you don’t need a password to access your Wi-F, what’s stopping someone else creating a rogue Wi-Fi access point (also known as an Evil Twin) designed to make it look like users are using your Wi-Fi. By using this rogue Wi-Fi setup, they can then access any data going through it especially passwords and financial details and any computers using it.

Does your Wi-Fi connection appear as the name of your Wi-Fi router or your broadband supplier? If this is the case you are making it so much easier for people to access your Wi-Fi, so make sure to change what it is called.

If your Wi-Fi connection has a password how often is it changed? Changing your Wi-Fi password on a regular basis is very important especially if you own a business such as a coffee shop or a pub where your customers regularly use your Wi-Fi.

At iPing we install robust enterprise level WiFi for SMB’s and if you need a businesses level WiFi give us a shout!

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your Wi-Fi setup and how you can improve it and make it more secure. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Custom Built Computer

Thought I would do a quick post of this beast of a custom built computer that we just put together. This is a state of the art rig and a real beauty!

Some Specks are

CPU = i7 7700K 4.2GHz by default

Graphics card =  Nvidia 1060 TI

Memory = 32 Gig DDR4 3200 MHz

This Computer has a sound insulated case so it is inaudible! Have a look below

20161110_105950

 

Digital Transformation

A big change has been taking place all around us and whether you like it or not, you are already embracing it or you soon will be. The big change is digital transformation, which is where you transform all aspects of your business to take advantage of the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritised way.

By utilising digital technologies, you will also be saving your business money and over a five year period the savings makes digital transformation a no brainer. When you start to plan your digital transformation, your aim is to make things a lot easier for your staff and your customers, and It’s worth noting that what works well for some people might not work best for others.

The following tips will help you prepare for digital transformation:

How much paperwork does your business generate and can you go paperless?
By moving to a paperless environment your files are no longer stored in filing cabinets which frees up space in your office, and you no longer need to worry about a file/files going missing. It also makes it easier to access any data that you or your clients need to use.

How much time is spent each day on the telephone answering customer queries that could be dealt with online?
By using customer messaging apps for sales, marketing, and support, connected on one platform, you can guarantee that any queries are dealt with by the relevant person. You could also have a detailed FAQ section on your website that can answer the most popular questions that your customers ask.

How modern is your office equipment?
By using modern hardware and software you are ensuring that your business can run smoothly and that you can also handle more clients. The last thing you want to deal with is an IT system that break down when you need it most.

Are your staff trained to use the latest hardware and software?
By having your employees trained in using the latest software and hardware they can do their jobs more efficiently. 

How easy is it for your clients to integrate your product into their infrastructure?
By having a plug and play system your clients can seamlessly drop your product into their infrastructure.

How do you receive payments from clients and make payments to your suppliers?
By offering your clients the option of paying you online via PayPal, Stripe and other online payment providers, less time is spent chasing unpaid invoices. By paying your suppliers online, payment can be made instantly and you might even get a discount.

Do you offer an app to your clients?
By offering an app to your clients, their sales team who could be on the road can use your product remotely.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview on digital transformation and what will best suit your business. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Email Going Missing In Outlook 2016


I came across an interesting problem today that had me scratching my head for an hour or so and could not find anything in google to resolve the issue.

I was in the office of one of our clients and he had just setup a rule in Outlook 2016 to move all the email from his lawyer into a folder. This is simple stuff so far.

He then decided to move the folder that he had the rule on to a new location and all of his email just disappeared.

email missing outlook 2016

All the email also disappeared on the IMAP email server and at this stage things were starting to look very bad. There was a lot of important information and advice from the lawyer in the email folder that had built up over the past year.

Once I was able to confirm exactly where the folder had been all we had to do was recreate the folder with the exact same name. Like magic the emails started to appear back into the folder.

The problem seems to be something to do with having an email rule setup to move things to an non existing folder. Outlook seems to put the emails into limbo.

I am going to assume that if the folder was renamed this would cause the same issues.

This issue can also be resolved by going into rule manager in Outlook 2016 and updating the folder selection to where you moved the folder to.

The client was very happy that he had a managed IT contract with iPing and we were able to get him all his important email back!

If you would like iPing to manage your IT please contact us