I’ve moved to the Cloud, now what about that useless server room?

Before you turn out the lights and turn off the AC unit, I’ve got a few suggestions for how a room, once critical to your operations, can become even more important to your business.

Wine Bottles

Wine Storage

Think about it, the room is climate controlled, secure and close by. You can store those spendy wines you covet, which just happen to be the same ones your in-laws ask to take home when they visit. Now you can say sorry! All that pesky wine is at work, but I’ve got a great bottle of soda for you. Fresh vintage too!

There is one caveat here, be sure you quickly find out who has a key to the server room. After a little while, the wine value will be greater than any of the technology you had in the room to begin with, so you’ll need to make sure it’s secure or the wine may be disappear like your servers!

Chill Room

Chill Room

Well, it does have a dedicated HVAC system to keep it nice and cool. Setup a couple couches, play trance music and dim the lights. Your staff will soak up the relaxation as well as continue to learn from embedded knowledge. After all, those servers were there for so many years, there must be leftover energy from all the applications that were migrated away. This is the perfect spot for your team to chill and gain knowledge!

Rent Storage Space

There are storage businesses everywhere and now you can actually make money from the space that used to cost you thousands of dollars. Your staff can bring in their stuff, store it and if they don’t pay the fee’s you can auction everything off! Even more revenue!

 

Want a wine storage locker or a chill room? Call KME Systems, we can help you migrate to the cloud and even help renovate the old server room…

When Microsoft needs help, they call KME Systems!

All kidding aside, KME Systems was honored by Microsoft to be the spotlight company for the western regional call for Microsoft partners on May 5, 2017. Every month, Microsoft does a great job of informing their partners so they stay equipped to take care of their clients.

KME is honored to be partner of the month and give back to the partner community with some of our knowledge. You must know your stuff to speak on this call and we are honored to be chosen.

One of the focus points this month is VoIP and Skype for Business has come a long way. You can now make and take calls from Skype, have voicemail, etc. It’s always improving and is becoming a great fit for some of our clients. We’ve been deploying VoIP since 1998, so have a bit of experience…

Truly partnering with Microsoft brings many benefits to KME and our clients. Most MSP’s simply resell Office365 and move on, however KME maintains strong ties to Microsoft so we can make sure our clients take full advantage of the technology they are paying for.

Here’s a real-world example. We started working with a building firm that had Office365. They knew it cold or so they thought! They were using email, Word and Excel all the time and getting great results for over a year. So, I said that’s great!! And followed up with asking how they were using Delve, OneDrive, Sharepoint, Yammer, Skype, OneNote, Project, Planner and PowerBI. I got a blank look from the 4 folks in the room.

“How much extra is all that stuff and what does it do” they almost said in unison. “It’s included in your bill now” was the first answer and then I proceeded to show them how these other applications might help them out. I also discussed a planned, proven process to train all their team members so they got real utilization and actual time savings make everyone less frustrated and more efficient.

It’s a great story for new clients to hear. We genuinely improved a firm’s processes by learning more about them, showed the thought leaders inside the firm what was available, then developed a training plan to make sure they got real usage going. All because we stay engaged with Microsoft and take the time to really learn what they do and how they can help a client

Do you need help from KME like Microsoft? Give us a call, we’re here to help

4 Reasons You Need Better Network Security

As a business person you may not understand all that much about network security. You know it’s important, and you know that a breach can be bad for business, but do you understand why network security should be one of your main priorities? Network security is about more than just safeguarding corporate data, it’s about helping your business to thrive — and you can only do that with the right security in place and the right measures to stay protected.

Your network secures your business

Modern businesses keep and share all of their most important documents, records and data on interconnected workstations and servers both inside and outside your company. If you don’t sufficiently protect your network, it’s as good as sending an invitation to hackers to come and help themselves to that critical information. KME Systems knows how today’s hackers are constantly probing the network security of companies, looking for weaknesses they can exploit to gain access. With our help, you can safeguard confidential data such as customers’ personal details, corporate secrets and more, ensuring that hackers can never compromise it.

Regulatory requirements

Depending on your industry, you may also be subject to regulatory requirements that specify how your network security must be protected and maintained. These policies designed for the safety and security of trusted organizations are compulsory for any company that stores customer data electronically. KME Systems will help ensure to your organization is always one step ahead in meeting these requirements, meaning you avoid any crippling fines that might derail your business progress.

Increased network performance

One symptom of being hacked or otherwise threatened is a slowdown in network traffic that can also hurt your business. With strong network security in place that quickly resolves any disruptions and proactively prevents future intrusions, your network will always be ready to perform. KME Systems can ensure less downtime and reduced lag, leading to better productivity today and bigger profits for you in the long run.

Competitive advantage

AT KME Systems we make a point of helping our customers thrive. By creating an effective network security system, we’re providing you with a competitive edge. Consumers place great importance on how companies treat their data – they want to know it’s safe and secure from hackers and other threats. That’s exactly what we do, because we know that when you ensure your customer’s data is always protected, you’ll quickly build a reputation as a trustworthy brand they can rely on.

 

We didn’t become one of the leading managed services providers of network security by accident. We are leaders because we care about our customers and we know how to protect them. Talk to us today, and we can work together to protect your business and take it to the next level.

How to Avoid Becoming the Next Hacking Victim

Cyber attacks are so common now that hardly a week passes without news of another major network security breach involving a high-profile company. Well-known brands like Target, Sony and Yahoo have all fallen victim to security breaches in the last few years.

But hackers don’t just limit themselves the market’s major players – they will, and do, attack companies of all sizes, exploiting their weak defenses to infiltrate and steal valuable corporate data. In fact, smaller businesses are seen as much easier targets, because they usually lack the robust defenses that large enterprises routinely use.

So why should you worry about being next? The costs of a network security breach can be enormous, sometimes even crippling. One study from the National Cyber Security Alliance reports that around 20 percent of small businesses fall victim to a cyber attack each year, and of these, just 40 percent are still around six months later.

Can your business foot the bill from a major cyber security breach? Not likely.

Keep the bandits out

At KME Systems, our overriding goal is to help your company thrive, but you won’t stand a chance of doing that if your servers are leaking corporate and customer data all over the place. That’s why we make your network security such a big priority. We want to see our customers to succeed — and enjoy longer-lasting relationships with them.

As one of the leading Managed Services Providers in Orange County, we’ll strive to protect your network against everything attackers can throw at it.

Our big secret is that unlike other MSPs, we take time to get to know our clients and help them understand how to take full advantage of their technology.

When we uncover your unique risks and concerns, we prepare a plan to help you defend against the wide variety of cyber threats that could slow down and damage your business — and your reputation — including ransomware, insider attacks and other viruses.

And we go further to proactively avoid these threats by teaching you best practices to minimize the risk of becoming a victim in the first place. We’ll also help get you up and running with the latest antivirus software, firewalls and threat detection software to ensure your network security is as tight as it’s possible to be.

Your depend on your business technology to be successful, that much you know already. But it can also become your Achilles’ heel if your network defenses aren’t up to scratch. Contact KME Systems today and we’ll show you how to avoid becoming headline news for the wrong reasons.

KME Systems Receives 2017 Digium Pinnacle Partner Award

 KME Systems Awarded Digium® Pinnacle Partner Award for Outstanding Sales and Service of Switchvox Business Phone Systems and Asterisk Custom Communications

Annual Awards Recognize Top Digium Partners Worldwide who Deliver Unparalleled VoIP Solutions and Services

March 28, 2017, Lake Forest – KME Systems, a leading provider of VoIP business phone systems and managed IT services, today announced it has been awarded a 2017 Digium Pinnacle Partner award for their performance as an outstanding technology deployment company. This is the third consecutive year KME has earned this award. These Pinnacle Partner awards are presented annually to leading Digium partners who have excelled in developing and growing their partnership with Digium and driving customer success for either Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) or Asterisk Custom Communications solutions. KME Systems is one of the outstanding organizations selected based on 2016 sales and commitment to customer satisfaction.

“Being recognized as one of Digium’s Pinnacle Partner Award is truly rewarding,” said Mark Essayian, President and CEO of KME Systems. “We put a large emphasis on our customer service and doing things right the first time, so it is satisfying to be recognized for the work we do and the great outcomes we achieve.”

The collaboration between KME Systems and Digium Inc. grows the client base of both companies. Cloud-based phone systems and business communication offerings sold through this partnership better accommodate the variable IT needs of the managed IT services provider’s clients.

KME Systems has built their business around four core values – honest, integrity, respect, and ethics – which makes exceptional customer service a natural outcome of their efforts. Members of the KME team hold themselves up to the standard set by their Process for Success, regularly earning them awards like the Digium Pinnacle Partner Award for providing a client experience that is elevated above the rest.

About KME Systems

We started KME Systems in 1993 to help our clients thrive by protecting their reputation and profits.  We constantly work beside your team helping them learn and implement better technology and business processes.  Our goal is to listen to you and develop a constantly improving, joint strategy for success. We call this our Great Outcome and have a passion to deliver the right mix of support, products and genuine care to make you thrive. Simply put, we give a damn the first day we earn your trust and every day thereafter.

For more information on how KME Systems can help your company improve its managed IT services, contact us for a free consultation. Learn more about our capabilities at kmesystems.com or call 949-462-7001.

Make Your Communications Heroic with VoIP

In the comics, superheroes work together to defend the world from evil supervillains. Using the Watchtower, the heroes of the Justice League assemble for global defense. From his Batcave, Batman communicates valuable information to stop villains from carrying out their nefarious plans. However, none of it would be possible without voice over internet protocol (VoIP).

Use VoIP to Direct Your Heroes

VoIP allows you to extend your reach far beyond one fixed location. Need to get in touch with global agents while you’re out in the field? If you opt for a cloud or hybrid system, this is just the beginning of what you can do.

Coffee shops, diners and more can become another secret hideout through the use of mobile applications. You can reach agents on planes and trains, or hold a conference call while on the way to your next mission. VoIP doesn’t tie your business down like traditional PBX systems.

Stay Ahead of the Supervillains

Companies still using traditional PBX systems are spending more while falling behind their competitors that are using cutting-edge technology. Your expenses can dramatically decrease by switching to VoIP, allowing you to stay competitive.

Even the Justice League Needs an MSP

Upgrading your phone system brings a variety of new, easy-to-use features like video calls and screen sharing. But knowing what services will benefit your company’s specific needs can be confusing and time-consuming.

As an experienced managed services provider (MSP), KME Systems will help you learn the ins and outs and find the best system features for your agents to use.

At the end of the day, it’s all about gaining the upper hand and staying on the offense. The best way to do that is through communication. Your business is the Watchtower and your employees, your heroes. Give them the advantage in the field by utilizing a VoIP system.

Contact us, and we’ll get your Watchtower connected with all your agents.

VoIP: A Phone System for the 21st Century

For years, analog telephones and PBX systems have been a staple in the workplace. But it’s the 21st century, and the days of traditional phones are ending. Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is taking over modern business communication.

So, What Is VoIP?

We don’t want to bore you with too much jargon, but put simply, VoIP is a means of talking to each other using digital signals as opposed to traditional analog signals. The technology can work almost anywhere there is an internet connection.

Equipping your office with VoIP technology like the Switchvox can lead to huge cost savings in the long run. Plus, most networks have the spare bandwidth to carry the extra load with minimal complications – even as your system scales to support your growth.

Become Mobile With the Cloud

By implementing a cloud or hybrid system, VoIP can open the door to nearly unlimited worldwide communication through the internet. However, the technology isn’t just for globetrotters; it can also make a standard 9 to 5 workday more convenient and fluid. With the press of a button, your phones can forward calls to your cell. That means you can go home or out to lunch without worrying about missing an important call.

Imagine having the ability to speak to your employees or clients while working from nearly anywhere in the world with perfect clarity. There’s no need to worry about overages or exorbitant international rates either.

The Bigger Picture: Unified Communications

VoIP is a core component of a unified communications solution, as it allows businesses to integrate a wide variety of collaboration applications across multiple platforms. Brands like Skype specialize in VoIP solutions and integrate easily with other Microsoft applications like Office 365.

KME: A Leader in Communications

As a leading voice in business communications, KME Systems can provide best-in-class solutions specific to your needs. Let’s talk.

You’re Wasting Your Time with Office 365!

Before Bill Gates busts down my door, let me explain.

Office 365 is an incredible business tool. However, many users simply do not understand how to properly use it and hence waste a lot of time in their day.

For example, over 90% of people I train on improving their Office 365 proficiency have no idea you can log into Outlook within a browser. I ask them to log in and do a search in Outlook. It’s fast and has the exact same data as your desktop app. The very same function which would lock up your desktop Outlook app for a considerable amount of time may now be performed within a browser, leaving your desktop app fully available for other use. Plus, you can open multiple Web Outlook pages, allowing for many searches at once. Have you ever performed a search, then written an email, and then had to perform the very same search again?  All that frustration is easily swept away.

Other examples are Delve, Calendar, OneDrive, Sharepoint, OneNote, etc. I demonstrate to our clients how to effectively use these applications to save them many minutes a day.  Some folks respond, saying, “It’s only 5 – 10 minutes saved per week, no big deal!”

Well, it is a big deal.or example in a 30 person company, I can give you back 30 hours a week of productivity.   More billable work, more profits, better customer service, etc.  That’s a big deal to me.

Some don’t truly believe we can save them 5 – 10 minutes a week.  That is when I show them that, by using Sharepoint, Delve and Onedrive, they will never need to manually search for a document again.  Delve shows you all the documents on which you’ve worked, no matter if it’s Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. Plus, it also shows you all the documents your team has worked on.  No more wandering your server drives, looking on the “X” or “T” or “S drive”.  It’s all there, locatable in seconds.

So, ask yourself: how much time each day do you waste looking for information?

Step Beyond Office 365

Interested in learning more?  Log in now at portal.office.com and see for yourself what’s available. Then, ask your MSP or IT person to provide a training class on Office 365 utilization. Done right, your team will have less frustration and more productivity – all on a tool you already own, just that you may not know how to fully utilize. Why waste any more of your time?

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know!

An IT Consultant Works Tech Magic Like Your Own Personal Gandalf

One does not simply walk into Mordor. And one does not simply handle their IT strategy by themselves.

The “Fellowship of The Ring” undertook the terrifying task of returning the Ring of Power to Mount Doom in order to destroy it – but they almost certainly could not have done so without assistance from Gandalf the Grey (later “the White”).  

Thankfully, most of us do not have to undertake something as daunting as the Fellowship did. But – lucky for you – you can still have your own, personal Gandalf to help you along your journey. Well, okay – not really Gandalf . . . but an IT consultant is kind of like Gandalf. Here’s how:

They Watch Over You and Your Mission

As the Fellowship formed, Gandalf accompanied them to assist them with their mission in any way he could – offering sage advice and intervening on their behalf when he could.

Similarly, your IT consultant will virtually accompany you and your team through your objectives and assist you with accomplishing your goals. When intervention is necessary, they take action – all in the name of advancing you and your company to where you want to be. They’re absolute tech wizards. (See what we did there?)

They Arrive Precisely When They Mean To

In their darkest hours, the Fellowship was usually saved by Gandalf at the very last minute – riding in on his mystic horse, stopping the goblins, orcs, and Uruk-Hai from overtaking the group and their supporters. His arrivals at the most needed moments were invaluable to their success.

Likewise, you’ll find your IT consultant will be available to you whenever you need them. If anything goes wrong or needs to be fixed – or even adjusted, they’re there. However, you likely shouldn’t expect them to ride in on a majestic steed as Gandalf did. While dramatic, those types of entrances in an office environment can be a bit messy.

They Help Keep the Evil Balrogs Out of Your System

“YOU . . . SHALL NOT . . . PASS!!!”

In one of the most dramatic moments of the saga, Gandalf selflessly sacrifices himself to save the group by placing himself between them and the fiery Balrog. As a result, the Fellowship escapes the mines of Moria and continue their mission.

While making the ultimate sacrifice will most likely not be necessary, your IT consultant can (and will) stand in the way of any cybercriminals trying to thwart your mission of business success. As they approach, your IT consultant will have safeguards set in place to ensure they “shall not pass.” Sure, it’s not quite as exciting, but what you should be excited about is the prospect of how safe you and your company will be!

Select the Best IT Consultant to Be Your Gandalf

Suppose Frodo and Sam had befriended the wrong wizard to help them along the way – ­someone like Radagast or – worse yet – Saruman? It’s a good bet they wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as they did with the assistance of Gandalf. They chose their companion wisely. Ensure you do the same.

Will You DIE Without Data Access to Your Critical Websites?!

No – you won’t die. But many people felt totally lost without Twitter, Netflix, Airbnb, etc. during the recent denial of service attacks.  It’s easy to dismiss these sites as only social media and entertainment – something you can live without for a few hours – but what about sites you really need?  What happens if they fail, or lose all your data?  Are you prepared?

Internet attacks are a fact of life and – make no mistake – thieves want your clients’ data as well as yours.  There are things a business can do to prepare, but don’t stick you head in the sand, or worse – laugh it off as it won’t happen to me.

Protect your Cloud Data

Almost all of our new clients have no protection for their Cloud data.  They incorrectly assume the Cloud vendor takes care of all that.  Have you read your contract?  Is data protection addressed?   What if your vendor gets breached or you cannot get data access for whatever reason?  Are you prepared?  One of the simplest things you can do is copy your data and duplicate critical processes to another Cloud provider for emergencies.  It the same story as needing onsite backup, the need doesn’t magically go away in the cloud.

Protect your Internet Data Access

Do you have at least 2 ISP’s that provide independent connections to the Internet?   What productivity losses would happen if no one could get to the Internet?  Imagine all your employees sitting around doing nothing when a $75 a month backup circuit would get you back online. It might be slow, but something is much better than nothing.  A back circuit is cheap insurance – get it.

Protect your Local Data

Do you have encryption software on all your computers?  You might respond, “I have it on my notebooks and that’s enough,” but if thieves break into your building and your computers are stolen, are you ready to notify all your clients it happened?   Full Disk Encryption/FDE at least makes sure the pain of losing our hardware isn’t multiplied by 100 through breach of your and your client’s data.

Trust me, you don’t want to call your clients and tell them their data has been stolen – oh, and by the way – we have no idea who has it.  How would you feel getting that call from a vendor?

Security is a constant struggle, and it’s my firm’s job to swim upstream against that current at all times.   Our engineers enjoy it and strive to do their best protecting our clients.  Give us a call or email, we’re glad to discuss.