Archive for 2018

  • Pyramid Summer Specials

    Posted on: July 24th, 2018 by Adminstrator

    Pyramid IT

    Featured Summer Service

    According to wikipedia, “Managed services is the practice of outsourcing on a proactive basis management responsibilities and functions and a strategic method intended to improve operations and cut expenses.” A managed service agreement allows the business to focus on what they do best and outsource the IT responsibilities to a third party. Much the way businesses outsource payroll or HR.

    A consulting firm dedicated to improving the effectiveness of nonprofit foundations was dissatisfied with the resources and level of support provided by a part time employee who was only available 2 days a week. Moreover, as the firm grew in complexity and geography, they sought a provider with a unique approach to serving the company’s IT needs.

    The Challenge

    The firm required an IT provider with a proactive approach and a high degree of professionalism. The company has offices located in Boston, San Francisco, and Europe, with its employees needing IT support through heavy travel schedules. They required that the new provider act less like a hired consultant, but rather as an extension of the company’s team—aligning the interests of both parties. With limited financial resources, the firm needed better control of its IT expenses. Enter Pyramid

    The Solution

    With Pyramid, the firm can budget a predictable amount for IT support, and employees are free to call whenever technology problems strike. They also had an IT provider that managed the corporate network, resulting in significant cost savings and a higher, more thorough level of service satisfaction. Using Pyramid’s remote control tools, Pyramid’s provided service to the geographically disperse offices and the on-the-go traveling employees. Pyramid also implemented internet back-up and network monitoring systems to actively manage all of the company’s IT requirements. In addition, Pyramid cut internal research time by advising on IT purchases, software and licenses.

    The Benefit

    The firm decides to go wireless in its headquarters Pyramid evaluates, chooses, and installs a WI-FI access point so that users can connect to the office network securely. An employee is given new laptop without antivirus protection Pyramid tech logs in and installs the necessary software to protect the laptop from attack.

    Contact Pyramid for advise on Miscorsoft, Redhat, VMSware, Veeam VMS, Stromasys software and support.

  • 3 Office 365 Updates that Came Out in May 2018

    Posted on: June 6th, 2018 by Adminstrator

    Office 365 Updates that Came Out in May 2018

    It doubled-down on satisfying iPad and iPhone users, updated the platform’s search capabilities, and reaffirmed its commitment to helping administrators reinforce security measures.

    1. Attack Simulator for Office 365 Threat Intelligence is now generally available

    An announcement from Debraj Ghosh, an employee with the Microsoft Tech Community, confirmed the general availability of Attack Simulator for Office 365 Threat Intelligence. Attack Simulator is an interesting (and, in my humble opinion, pretty cool) tool. Those with Office 365 E5 or Office 365 Threat Intelligence can – you guessed it – launch three types of simulated attacks on end users:

    1. Display Name Spear Phishing: Generate phishing emails for specific individuals, a team, or an entire department. Attack Simulator actually has an HTML editor that allows admins to create realistic looking emails.

    2. Brute Force Password Attack: Simulate brute force password or passphrase attacks on all Office 365 users.

    3. Password Spray Attack: Apply a commonly used password in an attempt to log in to multiple accounts in an organization.

    2. Enhanced co-authoring and organization with Apple technologies

    Microsoft endowed iOS users with real-time co-authoring for its Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications. Whether you’re working on an iPhone or iPad, you can see who else is collaborating with you on a document in real time. It’s not uncommon for organizations to have both OneDrive and SharePoint accounts. Now, you can drag files in between folders in OneDrive, as well as drag files from OneDrive to SharePoint, enabling those with access to the site to view those files immediately.

    3. SharePoint Online and office.com get personalized search

    Google, Bing, and other search engines personalize suggestions based on your previous search history. Now, so do SharePoint and office.com. “Another user will see different results than you, even when you both search for the same words” the Office team announced in May. In addition, your search results will only contain documents you have permission to access. Office 365 is getting better. It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft builds on these capabilities over the next coming months.

  • Do you assume you have good backups?

    Posted on: May 2nd, 2018 by Adminstrator

    I have had 100's of discussions about how customers do backups. History tells us that 6 out of 10 businesses will experience some type of data loss or technology disaster. They are very proud of their strategy and often go into a lot of detail. When I ask how often they do test restores on important files, do they have multiple backup locations and if they backups are encrypted at both ends they often get quiet. Here are some of the most common problems we see and some simple solutions.

    The goal of backing up files is not to do the backup but being able to successfully restore your most important files and applications if a disaster strikes. If you are backing up only your data it will take a long time to build a new server, install the applications and updates and then load the data. You could be down for a week.

    1.Make sure you have a backup of your most recent images This will include the operating system, applications and data and allow you to restore a recent image if the event of a natural disaster or Randsomware virus. Know your restore point objectives (RPO) and restore time objectives (RTO) under your current plan and check with management to make sure they are acceptable.

    2. Plan for data growth and expansion. There is nothing worse than having to go to management because you haven't planned for the growth and having to reduce the you are currently backing up. Or worse you have run out of room to complete the backup

    3. Is your company or industry subject to regulation. Are you limited to where you are allowed to store your data? Common regulations include HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and NASD but each industry has their own requirements. Also does your data need to be encrypted at time of backup? When when being stored or during transmission as well? Should it be stored at multiple geographically redundant locations?

    4. Are your backups automated and do you have tools to make sure the backups are completed properly and restored easily. All too often we see human error is manual backups. Also critical files are moved and the backup Is not updated.

    5. Do you have a current Disaster Recovery plan that is updated annually. Too often customers have a good backup in place but have not planned for the computer being fried in an electrical storm, server room flooded or the building burning to the ground and not being accessible.

    6. Has your current backup vendor reviewed your environment recently to learn about your business, critical infrastructure and growth projections. Do they offer expert engineers to help with the data recovery in the event of an accident or catastrophic event. If not you would be crazy to trust your data to them.

     

    For a free to backup assessment call your Pyramid account manager today

  • IT Hiring and Staffing – What you need to know

    Posted on: February 14th, 2018 by Joel Nimar

    recruiting-imageWe are beginning 2018 and haven’t changed the way we recruit and hire employees. We write a job description, advertise the job. Sift thru a basket of resumes, many not qualified, and then start the interviewing process with mixed results. This is an expensive, time consuming process and usually a distraction from our primary jobs. Many small, medium and large fortune 500 firms have turned to professional staffing agencies to do what is known as Recruitment Process Outsourcing or RPO to handle IT hiring. Whether you are hiring temporary workers to do a rollout of a new technology or bring in a skill set that is not available internally, testing out a new position with a temp to permanent candidate or filling permanent positions. A RPO can be an invaluable asset.

    Expertise

    Professional staffing agencies offer specific industry expertise. They will often have access to more candidates and the recruiters will generally have more specific expertise than a general HR person at a company. They are often aware of great candidates that are not currently looking for a new position. They will help you screen and hire the best candidates and are knowledgeable about employment laws and salaries in the states you are trying to hire.  

    Cost

    As a general rule of thumb is that the cost of recruiting and hiring an employee will run about half the candidates salary. That makes hiring the right person even more critical. When you work with a good RPO they will generally offer a guarantee for a specific time period. If the candidate doesn’t work out the RPO will do the work again generally at no cost. When you consider the cost of advertising, recruiting background and reference checks, working with RPO can save you money and shorten the time needed to hire for that critical position you are filling.

    Flexible Professional Staffing

    RPO provide the flexibility and cost savings of only utilizing professional recruiters when you need them. You may need to hire many employees for a new office or project but won’t require the staffing services after the project is finished. They can also complement existing HR staff. These professionals may also have identified existing candidates based on work done in the past or utilizing proprietary databases not available to the general public.

    Retention

    Employers using RPO for temporary or project work get the opportunity to observer candidates and see how well they interact with existing staff, learn about their expertise and reliability. This gives you the opportunity to hire the best candidates and reduce employee turnover. This is commonly referred to as a temp to permanent hire and reduces the risk of hiring the wrong candidate.

    Why Pyramid?

    Pyramid Technology Services, your trusted hardware provider and service partner has RPO services available to assist you whether you are looking for permanent placement, temp to permanent or help staffing up a project. We can handle 1 full time position or 50 engineers for a long weekend to move a group of data centers. Here are a few reasons to consider us for your next recruitment project:

    1. Multi-Site Project Technicians – L1 up to senior level engineers. We have access to over 15,000 W-2 Technicians in the US and over 12,000 technicians in 196 countries at any given time.
    2. IT Staff Augmentation – Access to a proprietary database of over 550,000 screened, vetted and rated technicians and engineers with a full range of skill sets and certifications for projects, temporary, temp. to perm and permanent positions.
    3. Over 28 years’ of IT experience and access to an in-house project management team of over 60 people.
    4. Lifecycle management with several options for break-Fix, deskside support and other services with tailored SLA’s available for all types of equipment and engagements.
    5. Site surveys including wireless, telecommunications and security.
    6. Bundled solutions available for multi-disciplined projects
       

    Please call us 978-823-0700 or email services@pyramidcomputer.com for a fast turnaround on your next recruitment project

  • Your 2018 Checklist for Hardware Maintenance

    Posted on: January 9th, 2018 by Joel Nimar

    The beginning of the year is always busy as businesses put together new fiscal year plans and budgets. One item to keep in mind as you prepare for your new plans and budgets is hardware maintenance. It's an issue that isn't always top of mind until something goes wrong, but it's better to be prepared than to be caught blindsided when a problem rears its head.

    To make sure you cover all of your bases, consider drawing up a hardware maintenance checklist that details everything you'll need cover the course of 2018. That way, you can be rest assured you have what you need to protect your data center equipment against failure.

    Hardware maintenance should be a priority for your IT plans

    Determining where to allocate your IT funds is often a painstaking process, and inevitably certain items are going to get cut or devalued along the way. This becomes problematic when organizations have to work on tighter IT budgets or – even worse – don't prioritize the right investments. Your new budgets may promise higher IT spending overall, but there remains some doubt whether executives truly appreciate and understand where that money is going.

    "IT stakeholders need to vouch for the importance of hardware maintenance."

    What to include on your hardware maintenance checklist

    When reviewing your options for a hardware maintenance partner in the coming year, there are several key features to consider to ensure you receive the right coverage and services at the right price point:

    Single-vendor contracts

    One of the most common obstacles businesses run into with hardware maintenance is managing the various service contracts in effect for all of their data center and IT equipment. The time and labor required to parse through each one and determine precisely what is covered by different original equipment manufacturers is one of the more costly, unseen expenses related to IT operations. To remove such headaches, work with a hardware maintenance provider that offers single-vendor contracts across a wide range of vendor brands, including IBM, SUN/Oracle and EMC. The right partner will be able to support both legacy hardware and future equipment purchases down the road.

    Flexible SLAs

    No two businesses are the same, so why settle for a rigid, one-size-fits-all, service-level agreement? Hardware maintenance SLAs should spell out specific terms that make sense for each organization, taking into account both variations in price point and uptime guarantees. There's no reason to get locked into SLAs that package in unnecessary, expensive features and ultimately fail to meet your needs. If a hardware maintenance vendor is unwilling to budge on the terms of their pre-built SLA, consider going elsewhere for service.

    Responsive Support System

    In a perfect world, businesses would never need to call upon their hardware maintenance partners in a crisis. But equipment problems will spring up, and when they do, your service provider should be readily available to lend support. A fast and responsive help desk is the hallmark of a truly dependable hardware maintenance vendor, capable of offering expert advice and assistance at a moment's notice.

    Another aspect to consider is where that help desk team is located. Offshore support staff may not be able to meet the level of responsiveness needed to quickly address problems as they arise, especially if on-site assistance is required. Under these circumstances, a U.S.-based support system is ideal.

    Having a comprehensive checklist handy can help your organization ensure it gets everything it needs from a hardware maintenance provider in 2018. For more information on equipment maintenance and what to look for in an ideal maintenance contract, contact Pyramid today.