Top Technology Recommendations for Small Businesses

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May is small business month. In recognition of the companies that make up the backbone of America, VIP has compiled a list of what we consider to be our top recommendations for small businesses.

Offsite Backup and Disaster Recovery

Having both an onsite and offsite backup and recovery solution is critical to protect important data. A 2018 FEMA study found that nearly 60% of businesses closed their doors within 6 months of a critical data loss. Having an onsite data backup plan is better than no backup at all, but an onsite only solution still leaves a business vulnerable to data loss due to any number of calamities such as fire, flood, theft, user errors and ransomware, just to name a few.  VIP offers a complete fully automated and monitored onsite backup and offsite disaster recovery solution to protect a business’ critical data. Backups are performed onsite to either a dedicated backup server or network attached storage device and then synced to our secure, offsite data storage facility. The onsite backup allows for a quicker restore of data when the need arises and the offsite backup is available in case the onsite backup is lost, damaged or otherwise not recoverable. This service can be added to VIP’s monthly Managed Services offerings or purchased as a stand-alone monthly service. 

2018 FEMA Report

The Effects of Cyber Attacks on Businesses 

Microsoft Office 365

VIP is a certified Microsoft Silver Partner, offering you the top of the line in business applications. Microsoft Office 365 is so much more than the classic Office Suite of programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With Microsoft 365, customers get the most robust selection of applications ideal for small businesses using only their Microsoft Login.

Small businesses can leverage programs like Microsoft Teams for remote work, so that workers can still have a face-to-face meeting. Businesses can connect internally and externally with Exchange or Outlook, where they gain access to a more secure emailing platform complete with an editable and shareable calendar with options to set up meetings, schedule automatic replies when you’re unavailable, and more. 

Microsoft 365 gives you the tools to create surveys, automate repetitive tasks, go paperless, and so much more. Check out Microsoft’s website and YouTube channel for more information, or call VIP to get started.

Microsoft 365 for Business

Microsoft on YouTube

Microsoft Office 365 Backup and Archiving

Many Office 365 users believe Microsoft fully backs up their Office 365 data as part of their monthly service. While this belief is quite common, it is incorrect. This misunderstanding could lead to unexpected loss of Office 365 emails and data if this issue is left unaddressed. Microsoft Office 365 is not 100% secure and data loss can and does occur with more frequency than most would like to admit. The user is responsible for their own data, not Microsoft. Even Microsoft, in their Office 365 terms and conditions, recommends a third-party backup of Office 365 data. Office 365 online backup is critically important for businesses who use it, which cannot be overstated. Emails can be intentionally or accidentally deleted, files can become corrupted through errors or from viruses and ransomware which are ever-present threats. Businesses who fail to safely backup their emails risk lost data, wasted time in trying to recover files, extra costs associated with restoring files and lost revenue caused by business interruption.

Office 365 Backup and Archiving offered by VIP is a cloud-based backup solution with military grade encryption designed to safely protect business digital assets. You can feel assured your email is safe and secure from the many risks that threaten businesses every day by using our solution, which includes:

  • Exchange Online and Office 365 backup and archiving
  • Calendars, Tasks, and Attachments backup
  • OneDrive and SharePoint backup
  • Team Sites backup

This protection can be added to Office 365 for as low as $4.00 per month per e-mail address.

SentinelOne Antivirus

Backing up your data is all well and good, but VIP always recommends you have a quality antivirus in place to mitigate threats to your system and your data. 

Many people think that if you’re careful browsing the internet and don’t visit unprotected sites or download anything that could be dangerous, your system will be safe, but that’s actually a very dangerous and incorrect rumor. The truth is, you do need a good antivirus software. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” and that applies to computer viruses as well. If your system is compromised and your data lost or corrupted, how much could that potentially cost your business in time and money?

VIP offers SentinelOne Antivirus, it’s a fully autonomous, industry-backed cybersecurity solution that protects against all threat vectors. And while technology is always changing, making it impossible to guarantee 100% protection from an antivirus alone, VIP offers what we believe to be the best on the market. We recommend pairing SentinelOne with an offsite backup plan so you can rest easy knowing the data your business relies on to operate is as safe as possible.

Learn more about SentinelOne

Internet of Things Monitoring 

The internet of things is defined as the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.

VIP has the ability to proactively monitor network devices such as routers, firewalls, wireless access points, layer 3 network switches, NVRs (IP camera systems and IP cameras) and many other network-enabled devices. This can be included as part of our monthly Managed Services offering or as a stand-alone monthly service. With proactive monitoring, VIP is notified when a device goes offline and can alert the client. The client can then have their in-house support person address the issue or VIP can address the issue if doing so is part of the monthly contract. Proactive monitoring allows VIP to be aware of an issue as soon as it occurs and enables us to correct the problem more efficiently than waiting for someone onsite to notice that a device is no longer functioning.

Managed IT Services 

If your company doesn’t have the budget for an IT division or dedicated IT personnel, VIP can cover that. For one monthly fee, your company will never have to worry about IT again, we take care of support, monitoring and management, and our Managed IT Solutions are customized to what your business needs. The benefits of Managed IT are:

  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Minimized downtime
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Cost effective access to enterprise level support
  • Full management of servers, workstations, network equipment, software, and more
  • Predictable costs: with Managed IT Services you can switch from pay-as-you-go, to a single, affordable, monthly invoice
  • Proactive solution: Managed IT can many times detect minor problems and get them fixed before they become major problems

VIP will work with your business to customize a Managed IT Services plan to meet your needs and your budget.

Conclusion

Whether you just need Microsoft Office 365 for your business or you want a comprehensive technology solution, VIP can cover you. Our customers have access to an entire team of certified experts in IT, and tech support from VIP always means talking to a real person.

MORE TO EXPLORE

HIPAA Compliance with Managed IT Services

Healthcare businesses must comply with HIPAA regulations regarding patient information. This includes putting in place cyber security measures to protect personal health information from online and network threats

Internet Best Practices

One of the quickest and least expensive ways to help protect your business from unwanted viruses, malware, and other cyber threats is to educate your team on safe internet practices.