Boost your business this 2019 with cloud services

December 12, 2018
Boost your business this 2019 with cloud services   Now is the time to begin planning and prepping for 2019 to take your business to new heights. Cloud services are an excellent way to boost operations, improving efficiency, productivity, collaboration, scalability, security and disaster recovery. Intelligently investing in your foundations, including the right technology, can help you achieve your vision in the new year. Technology that works for you, not against you With cloud solutions businesses can host data, programs and infrastructure in the cloud. This provides a whole host of benefits, including greater flexibility, collaboration opportunities, ability to scale and security. Flexibility is crucial in providing employees with greater ability to get their job done in the way that works for them. For instance, using cloud services can ensure data is accessible via a mobile device anywhere with an internet connection, enabling employees to access files away from the office and make changes to an urgent project even while in transit, or when meeting with a client. Utilising cloud services also means that employees can work on the same project from different locations and communicate about specific files or data, making collaboration easier and more accessible. When it comes to scalability, many cloud service providers are able to provide access to more storage as needed, meaning a business can scale up far more seamlessly, as opposed to having to buy and install equipment or upgrades. For companies that run on a more seasonal basis, being able to scale storage and services up and down as needed could be the difference between a thriving and struggling business. Security and cost savings for peace of mind Security and disaster recovery are significant for any business, no matter their nature or size. When it comes to cloud services, having data hosted in offsite, secure data centers and workstations ensures robust security and supports a clear disaster recovery plan should there be a natural disaster, power failure or unexpected issue. In addition, many cloud service providers will offer a dedicated IT support team to solve any issues that may arise and give access to data again quickly, ensuring operations can continue to run. Furthermore, many cloud services present businesses with the opportunity to reduce IT costs and ultimately save money, as there are less expenses around system upgrades, new hardware or software, wages for IT service people, energy consumption and disaster recovery. Make it work for you In New Zealand, businesses have an increasing number of options available, while security and usability improve all the time. Today, there are options to have all of your data and applications in the cloud in a hosted model, or retain some of your data in owned technology in servers with a hybrid model, and within this establish exactly how you want your files and data to be stored and accessed. Choosing to implement cloud services in your business could see you with fewer technical concerns or maintenance issues for owned hardware or software, while also offering

Who Are the Best IT Companies in Auckland?

September 19, 2018
Looking for an IT Service Provider in Auckland? Over the years, we’ve found our customers often want to know what IT service providers are available in Auckland, and how to know they’re getting the best deal. Here at Real IT we want our customers to be as informed as possible, so we’ve put together a snapshot list of quality IT providers and an info-graphic with some helpful guidelines you should take into account when deciding on your final IT provider. In no particular order, all of the following companies are, in our opinion, companies worth considering alongside Real IT as an your local IT company & support provider: CodeBlue CodeBlue delivers IT services in Grafton, a suburb of Auckland, and the North Shore, as well as four other locations around New Zealand. Primarily this provider focuses on mid-sized companies and offers IT support services managed by an SLA, including CIO services, backup and data recovery, cloud services, cyber security services and procurement. Gorilla Technology Focusing on managed IT services and IT support, Gorilla Technology offers consulting and services throughout New Zealand, and is headquartered in Central Auckland. Gorilla Technology’s areas of expertise are information technology and telecommunications services and management. Within this the company offers outsourced IT support; business strategy; Mac, Windows and servers support; mobile device management; and solutions and updates services. Tier4 Working out of East Tamaki in Auckland, Tier4 supplies professional IT support for business professionals from small to large organisations. Tier4 works across known apps and computing infrastructure and offers key services including technology supply – both hardware and software, cloud computing services, continuity services to protect business data, and support packages in three tiers. Revolution IT Located in Penrose in Auckland, Revolution IT offers IT support, service and solutions to New Zealand businesses, primarily those in Auckland. Revolution IT has four key areas of focus: IT support, both hands on and remote; cloud computing; cloud backup as a disaster recovery plan; and VoIP phone systems and hardware. In addition, Revolution IT provides support and maintenance, network architecture and design, virtualisation, hosted exchange email filtering, and business grade internet solutions. Think IT Think IT, based in Mount Wellington, Auckland, provides IT support for small and medium businesses in Auckland. The company offers managed services for monitoring, proactive maintenance and reactive support. In addition, it offers IT consulting, including roadmap planning, change consulting, software licensing advice, proposal vetting and network surveys/. IT consulting and systems support includes systems maintenance, sited engineering and remote support. At its crux, Think IT says it designs and provides hardware, networks and systems for customers. Belton Providing a range of IT support, managed IT support, cloud computing services and hardware, Belton is an IT company running out of Penrose in Auckland. When it comes to support, Belton covers onsite support, installation of hardware, remote and phone support, and general maintenance. With the managed service option Belton covers monitoring, maintenance and comprehensive support. Businesses are also able to tap into the company’s cloud

New privacy regulations established in the EU: what it means for New Zealand

June 18, 2018
Changing laws and privacy in the EU  At the end of last month on 25 May, a new digital privacy regulation was introduced across the European Union known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR centralises previously separate privacy legislation across the EU, into one legally binding regulation designed to protect the privacy of EU residents. It regulates how businesses process and handle data, and makes them more accountable for data breaches. Following this new regulation, companies now must show where a customer’s data is going, how it will be protected and what it will be used for. Customer data includes their email and contact details, IP address, social media profiles and interests. The GDPR formalises customer’s rights and ensures they have the right to be informed about their personal data, the right of access to their personal information, the right of rectification to update information, the right of erasure so they can erase personal data, and the right to object or unsubscribe from communications at any time. Why this matters for us in New Zealand  The GDPR has ripple effects beyond Europe, as it is binding on anyone processing EU resident’s personal data. The regulation applies to anyone selling goods or services, including free services such as a website or email newsletter, to EU citizens, or storing data of EU citizens. If a New Zealand website affects EU citizens, they must comply to the regulation, for instance. Failing to comply to GDPR could lead to costly fines and see businesses paying up to 20 million euros or 4% of their global turnover – whichever is higher. This regulation also indicates a shift in mentality around privacy and customer rights. New Zealand privacy laws, which have been found ‘adequate’ by the EU, are currently being reformed to make them more robust and better protect customers. The best thing any business can do in New Zealand is to take practical steps to improve their privacy processes. What you can do today  Under the GDPR businesses can collect personal data if someone consents to it, if it’s necessary for them to fulfill a contract, if the business has a legal obligation to do so, and if the company or organisation has a legitimate interest that doesn’t override the rights or freedoms of the person. Following the establishment of this regulation, the first steps any business should take is to run an audit of data collection and processes. From here, they can run a ‘re-permission’ email campaign for current EU-based email contacts, ensure an ‘opt-in’ button is activated for email newsletters or subscription services, and ensure the cookies are also on opt-in before they’re used for new contacts. More broadly, any business will benefit from doing a rundown of all data they collect and what is done with it, in order to improve data security and lead generation practices. Businesses should be thinking about how they can incorporate privacy into the development of new products or key decisions, and ensure they

10 Ways to Secure your WordPress Site from Hackers

May 8, 2018
Cybercrime is on the rise and over the last 5 years, we have seen an exponential rise in the number of cyberattacks targeting New Zealand. Last year alone we saw Kiwis lose more than $177 million to cybercrime with over 1 million people being directly affected. But what can you do, as a small business owner, your days are hectic, we get it. Its hard to stay on top of security and all your day to day operations. The thing is, if you’re not maintaining your website backups and skipping out on important things like updates, you are chancing fate. It’s just not worth it. That’s why we have created this simple checklist for NZ website owners, designed to keep your data safe and your downtime to a minimum. Update your CMS as soon as the updates available: Many content management system (CMS) are open-source platforms (like WordPress). Open-source means everyone has access to the coding. This means that when WordPress updates their core files, all the exploitable vulnerabilities that were corrected with that update are now known to hackers around the world. Hackers then use SQL & malware injection bots to go forth and infect sites that aren’t being updated on a regular basis. Moral of the story when you see “ An updated version of WordPress is available” Read it as “ You are vulnerable to cybercrime every second you delay this update (Oh, and there are some new features too)” Update and Delete Plugins: For the same reasons outlined above, we recommend that you always update plugins and uninstall plugins you don’t use. Old plugins provide hackers with a backdoor to your site. Also, avoid ever installing plugins that have not recently been updated by the developer. Your IT company should be able to make recommendations in this regard if you are unsure. Install a reliable security plugin: If you use WordPress, ask your host, web developer or IT company to recommend security plugins and software for keeping your site secure. Most of these plugins offer a free version and a paid premium upgrade which has more features. We recommend Wordfence or Sucuri. Backups, Backups, Backups: You cant prevent against every kind of attack but you can prevent losing all of your data by purchasing a backup service, such as BackupBuddy, VaultPress or UpDraftPlus, or hosting your website with a provider that offers daily backups. If your site cannot be restored after a hack, at least you’ll have all of your content and data, which you can move to a new site. This is a massive saving. If you do nothing else on this list ensure you backup your website today. Password Management: Your users are your weakest link. User education will help all members of your team know what not to click and what to look out for. Use simple passwords you won’t forget BUT use them with MULTI-FACTOR authentication. Using the same complex password for every site is a massive mistake we see business owners

How Much Does VoIP Cost?

March 2, 2018
“How much will VoIP cost my business?” This is one of the first questions many prospective clients want to know when they call our company. Although this is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many considerations, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines. The purchase of a VoIP Phone is much like the purchase of a vehicle or other mission-critical equipment. With so many options available, price ranges can vary drastically. Just as a Toyota Hilux can start around 30k with just a basic package, it can quickly cost over 50k once you add your essential items such as 4-wheel drive, 4 doors vs two, and a steel top canopy then jump up to 60k+ when you upgrade to all-leather interior, chrome finishes, alloy wheels, dual exhaust and built-in GPS system etc, etc… These same principles typically apply to the purchase of a VoIP phone system. Understanding that you are going to have to use your VoIP Phone System every day makes picking the right system with the right features critical to ensure maximum performance, minimum maintenance and above all ease of use. For this reason, most of the businesses we deal with elect to get the VoIP Phone system that will offer them the best performance in the long run. Unfortunately, there are some businesses which only focus on the initial costs with the goal of finding the “cheapest” hardware and installation services available. This approach sacrifices performance, reliability, and peace of mind, which inevitably leads to regret and seeking an alternative solution. If you continue to read below, you will begin to understand the wider considerations that need to be made when choosing your VoIP Phone System. Now that you hopefully understand the vehicle analogy, I will list some of the most common “add-ons” that can be found in the purchase of a VoIP Phone System. Note: While it is standard practice to sell VoIP Phone Systems with some of the ‘add-ons’ seen below as package deals it’s important to realize that no company should sell you a package without first evaluating your current infrastructure and goals. ( See 7 Questions to Ask A VoIP Sales Person Before You Buy – for more on this) We do this through a comprehensive free assessment. Common ‘add-ons’: 1. Decision for a Cloud or On-Premise VoIP Phone System 2. Installation / Set-Up Costs 3. Types of Desk Phones 4. Software Phones (Softphones/ Smart Phone Apps) 5. Wireless or Wired Headsets 6. Secure Remote Extensions 7. High-Quality Broadband Connection 8. VoIP Grade Broadband Router 9. VoIP Grade Network Switch 10. VoIP Grade Wireless Access Points 11. Data Cabling 12. Reporting Features 13. Software Integrations As you can see, there are many ‘add-ons’ available, and the extent to which you add them to your VoIP package really depends on your existing infrastructure and what you are looking to achieve with your new VoIP system. Now, all these ‘add-ons’ can roughly be broken