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To Partner or Not to Partner, That is the Question

When Amazon announced its purchase of Whole Foods Market many people were scratching their heads—how would this seemingly bizarre new partnership affect their grocery budget? Now that the purchase has taken its training wheels off and you can order your organic groceries from your laptop while sitting at home in your PJs, we’re wondering what other surprising partnerships could shake things up and make us wonder how we never thought of it before! Other recent team-ups include Taco Bell and Lyft joining forces to bring you straight to your late-night cravings, as well as the seemingly contradictory recent link up between USPS, UPS, & FedEx.  

You may find yourself wondering how partnerships between competitors work. In the case of the FedEx x USPS x UPS dream team these three competing companies have united to bring service to remote and underserved areas. If you live in an area FedEx or UPS do not service, your ordered items will be delivered first to your local post office, then your regular mail carrier will bring them to your door. It’s this type of teamwork that expands services and builds sales relationships—with new delivery options come increased sales—making the benefit outweigh the risks of working with a direct competitor.

Are there surprising partnerships lurking out there for your company? After seeing the success of these strange bedfellows, it may be time to consider companies that may have flown under your radar before.

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Stranded at Sea!

Of course, we all know that technology always works perfectly and never has any problems! Not! As much as we wish that was true we know it’s not the case, and therefore being able to get help to resolve an issue quickly and efficiently is critical to being successful and keeping downtime to a minimum.  British Airways recently found this out the hard way, discovering that the cost for outsourcing their IT Support was much higher than they expected.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the recent disaster shutdown of B.A. as a result of a systems crash. What kept them down for so long? Inefficient and inaccessible support. They saved money upfront by relocating tech support jobs from the U.K. to India, but it cost them dearly in the end.

When you sign up for IT services and products, always do due diligence to find out where the support is based and if there is a service level agreement regarding response time and resolution.  For another example, take a look at Microsoft Office 365. If you purchase your 365 license direct from Microsoft on their website with your credit card, your support will come from their India based call center. There is, outrageously, no guarantee of response time or resolution. You might wonder what you’re actually paying for! However, if you purchase 365 from a Certified Service Partner (CSP) like Mannassi IT Solutions, you are more likely to get US based support with an SLA.

Ask yourself, is the extra dollar a month worth getting quality support with an SLA? Do you really want to roll the dice, and gamble with your company’s reputation by running the risk of an extended outage? British Airways did just that and ended up cold.

As always, follow us on twitter, @MannassiIT, for daily updates.

 

What's your plan?

Business interruptions can come in many different shapes & sizes! Recently in the news, the tenants of Real Office Space in Santa Monica got a surprise when they came in to find that their wi-fi and janitorial services had been shut down, and they were being asked to vacate the premises ASAP due to a lease dispute between ROC and the property owners that could not be resolved. The net effect for all these organizations is that they’re having to relocate quickly while still trying to do business.  Moving IT systems is a challenge even in the best-case scenario of a planned move, but an unexpected event means that the business impact could be dire. Situations like these are why having a complete and up to date disaster recovery and business continuity plan is essential.  This time the disaster is an eviction, next time it could be a fire, a flood, or an earthquake. 

So, what do you need to consider for your own disaster recovery plan? Here’s our three tips for a top shape disaster plan.

The three essential elements to consider for any disaster recovery plan:

Business Continuity: How will you keep business functioning? Will phone lines still ring, will employees be able to check their business emails? Sounds basic, but these stepping stones can make a huge difference to keeping your business on track.

Backup, backup, backup: You’ll be between a rock & a hard place if you must rebuild all your data from scratch after a disaster. Having an offsite or cloud based backup is vital to keeping recovery times short. Of course, backups only work if they are regularly updated. Make sure your important information is constantly backed up so when disaster strikes you don’t have to start from zero.

What comes next: Benjamin Franklin was right when he said “by failing to plan you are planning to fail”. Lay out steps to follow to get from disaster day one to services recovered. Knowing what you need to do, & letting staff know what they can expect makes everything go more smoothly, getting you back up & running without destroying your years of hard work.

Mannassi IT Solutions can help you get started on an effective DR & CR plan. We can give you the map to a quick recovery!

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