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We help our clients with 

Managed I.T. Services

We provide both blocktime service and monthly service contracts, so that you pay for what you need, and nothing more.

Computer Repair Service

Computer down? One of our knowledgeable specialists can help you to identify and resolve the problem in a timely fashion.

Network & Email Security

We’ve partnered with the best names in security to ensure that your network, email and business data have the highest level of protection.

Cloud Consulting

Cloud computing offers a lot of benefits for businesses big and small. With Office 365, enhanced security, and the option to work collaboratively from anywhere in the world, the cloud can seriously improve your business’ productivity levels.

Backup & Disaster Recovery

In case of emergency, you want your business to be prepared and secure. Red Five provides multiple disaster recovery and backup services to make sure that your business maintains productivity even in the event of an emergency.

Help Desk Services

As a client of Red Five, you will have access to our help desk support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone, email or our online ticketing system. We provide you with the best help support, for exactly when you need it.

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LATEST RED FIVE I.T. NEWS

Hiring seasonal staff? Here are a few things to consider from the IT

August 13, 2019
Hiring seasonal staff? Here are a few things to consider from the IT perspective In many industries, there are seasonal spikes in business around specific times. For example, CPAs/Accounting firms, though busy all year, generally see a spike in business around the time of tax planning, IRS return filing, etc., the retail industry sees a boom around the Holiday Season, and so on. During such peak times, it is common practice in the industry to employ part-time staff to meet the immediate resource needs. While this works well in terms of costs and for handling additional work/client inflow, this poses a few challenges from the IT perspective. In this blog, we explore those challenges so you know what to watch out for before bringing part-time staff on board. Security When you are hiring someone part-time, security could be a concern. You or your HR person may have done a background check, but their risk score nevertheless remains much higher than permanent employees who are on your payroll. Trusting a temp worker with customer and business data is a risky choice. Infrastructure Having seasonal employees is a good solution to temporary spike in workload. But, there is still a need to provide your temps with the resources they need to perform their tasks efficiently. Computers, server space, internet and phone connectivity, all need to be made available to your temp workforce as well. Lack of training Your permanent employees will most likely have been trained in IT Security best practices, but what about your temps? When hiring short-term staff, SMBs and even bigger organizations rarely invest any time or resources in general training and induction. Usually brought in during the peak seasons, temps are expected to get going at the earliest. Often IT drills and security trainings have no place in such hurried schedules. Collaboration needs Often businesses hire seasonal staff from across the country or even the globe because it may offer cost savings. In such cases when the seasonal staff is working remotely, there is a need to ensure the work environment is seamless. High quality collaboration tools for file sharing and access and communication needs to be in place.Having part-time or seasonal staff is an excellent solution to time-specific resource needs. However, for it to work as intended–smoothly and in-tandem with the work happening at your office, and without any untoward happenings–such as a security breach, businesses need to consider the aspects discussed above. A MSP will be able to help by managing them for you, in which case hiring temps will be all you need to think of.

Windows 7 End of Life: What options do you have

August 10, 2019
Windows 7 End of Life: What options do you have As Microsoft stops supporting Windows 7 from January 2020, what choices do you have as a Windows 7 user? While Windows 7 will work after January 2020– it won’t just “shut down”–as a business, you cannot afford to use the older version because it makes you vulnerable to security threats. That leaves you with only 2 options. Option 1: Purchase extended support Microsoft is offering the option to purchase extended support for Windows 7 until 2023. Though the exact price of the extended support option is not known, it is estimated to be around $350 per device for 3 years. But, one thing for you to think about before investing in extended support for your existing Windows 7 devices is that after 3 years you will have to migrate to a newer OS no matter what. In the meantime, your newer software programs or apps may not be compatible with Windows 7. Option 2: Ring out the old and bring in the new–UPGRADE! If you choose not to opt for Windows 7 extended support, you can upgrade to Windows 8.1 or 10. But, 8.1 was probably the worst-received Windows OS–barring Vista, of course–so tech experts suggest opting for Windows 10 instead. But, you need to be prepared for a few things if opting for the newer Windows version. For one, Windows 10 has a very different look and feel compared to 7. It will take some time to get used to this newer version of Windows. Plus, it may not be compatible with all the software programs that you currently run on, using Windows 7. Though most of the applications, personal PC settings and data from Window 7 OS is expected to be supported by Windows 10, there is a chance that some of these may not work as well. Experts estimate antivirus software is most likely one among them. The migration from Windows 7 to 10 is not really rocket science, but for a business, it can be a headache and a major transition. Consider bringing a Microsoft licensed MSP onboard to help you make this switch.

3 Things to consider before you sign-up with a cloud services provider

August 6, 2019
3 Things to consider before you sign-up with a cloud services provider More and more SMBs are migrating to the cloud and that is not a surprise considering the numerous benefits the cloud can offer them. For a SMB, the cloud is a cost efficient and secure answer to their growing data needs and IT security requirements. The cloud grows with them and lets them scale their business without worrying about a corresponding rise in IT costs. Plus, with the cloud, the important aspects of security and backups are mostly taken care of by the cloud service provider. And then, there’s the convenience of any-time-anywhere data access. With all these benefits that the cloud brings, what’s there to think about before signing up with a cloud service provider? While are a lot of benefits of storing your data on the cloud, but your data is still yours, so there are a few things you need to know and be comfortable with before you jump onto the cloud. Data storage location Ask your cloud services provider where, (as in the location of the data center) your data will be stored. Ask them if they have multiple data centers and if yes, then, will they be backing up your data and storing them at different places. It is great if your cloud services provider does that, since that ensures higher safety of your data. How secure will your data be? Yes. When you hire a cloud services provider, a major chunk of your data’s security responsibility is passed onto them. You don’t have to really worry about your data security, but, you still need to know how they plan to keep your data safe. Ask your cloud services provider for details regarding their data security procedure. Have them share all policies, SOPs and data security frameworks that they claim to have in place. Past performance/data loss history Everyone talks about their best projects in a sales meeting. What you really need to know are the worst ones. Ask your cloud services provider to share with you their data loss/downtime trends for the past one year. Observe the trend. How often does their system give way and how long does it last? This is important for you to understand, because this metric translates into loss of business for you. And finally, don’t forget to ask for a client list. Like we said before, everyone highlights the good things about themselves in a sales meeting. If you really want to know how good your cloud service provider is, ask them for a client list–both current and past. Check how many of them are from your industry vertical. Try reaching out to those who are willing to talk. Find out what they like the most about your cloud service provider and what aspects they find negative. Find out why their former customers left them. Usually customers are pretty good indicators of the quality of service a business provides. Hope these tips help you finding a

Windows 7 End of Life: How does it impact you

July 11, 2019
Windows 7 End of Life: How does it impact you Microsoft has officially announced the “End of Life” date for Windows 7. It will come January 14, 2020. Windows 7 was introduced in 2009 and is one of the most popular versions of Windows. It is estimated that around 40% of Windows OS is 7. So, if you are one of the Windows 7 users, read this blog to understand how this end of life announcement impacts you and what you should be doing. End of life means, beyond January 2020, users of Windows 7 will not get any updates, security patches, or any kind of support from Microsoft. Does this mean you need to scrap all your devices that run on the Windows 7 OS? Technically, the answer is no.You can still continue to use your existing computer with Windows 7 OS, but it won’t get the free security patches and updates. This makes your computer and possibly your whole IT network vulnerable to malware and other IT security threats. Plus, as a business, running Windows 7 OS without the security patches and updates is not really an option as it creates liabilities in the event of data theft. Also, you may be inadvertently violating regulations by using an OS that’s officially declared vulnerable to security threats. In short, running Windows 7 without the support is not really an option for businesses. So, what should you be doing? First off, make sure you download Microsoft’s most recent Windows 7 update, because if you don’t run the most recent update, you will lose Microsoft support 6 months earlier–in July 2019. You can download the update here. Apart from this, you can buy extended support for Windows 7 from Microsoft. The extended support will be available until 2023. An MSP who is an authorized Microsoft reseller or partner will be able to tell you more about this option and the pricing, in particular. In the long run, however, you will have to migrate to a newer, supported version of Windows. Learn more about your options in the face of end of life of Windows 7, in our next blog post.

3 things your Managed Services Provider (MSP) wants you know

May 7, 2019
3 things your Managed Services Provider (MSP) wants you know Are you considering bringing a MSP on board? Or perhaps you already have one. Either way, for you to truly benefit from your relationship with a MSP, you need to build a solid bond with them. As a MSP who has been in this business for long, I can tell you the 3 important steps that will help you get there. Share, share, share Your MSP is your IT doctor. Just as you would share everything about your health with your doctor, you need to share everything related to your business that impacts your IT, with your MSP. Give us an overview of your business and answer questions such as What you do exactly as a business Who are your key clients Which industry verticals do you serve What are your peak and lull seasons, if you have them What are the core regulatory codes that apply to you based on the industries you work for What are your business expansion plans for the near future and in the long run Sometimes clients shy away from discussing all these things because they don’t trust the MSP enough. There is a fear of the MSP sharing business plans and other confidential information with their competitors. As a MSP, I can tell you that we work best with clients who trust us. When you are trusting us with the lifeblood of your business–your IT infrastructure, you should be able to trust us with your plans for your business. Let’s talk often While it’s great that you outsource your IT completely to us, it is still important that we meet and talk. Your business needs may change over time and we don’t want to be caught off-guard. We know you are busy, but set some time aside every month or even every quarter to catch up with us and discuss your IT challenges and needs. Take us seriously Your IT is our business, and we take our business very seriously. So, when we tell you something, such as–to implement strong password policies, limit data access, upgrade antivirus, etc., please take notice! Teamwork forms the core of any successful relationship. Same holds true for your relationship with your MSP. Trust us, pay attention to us and hear us out. We’d love that…and we’d love to work with you!

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