Epilogue:The Road to Hell Really Is Paved With Good Intentions.

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“I Could Have Never Lived With Myself!”

 

While it’s been well over a year, Charley can still vividly remember that sick to his stomach feeling he had on that dreaded day. It was a Thursday at 2:17 PM when he lent his laptop to an old family friend and now summer intern. Charley remembers thinking “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”. The fact that the intern has been a family friend since he was a Little Leaguer on his son’s Little League team did not make any difference on the outcome. 

Charley knows only too well that he put his own business at jeopardy by lending his personal laptop to this trusted intern. Jason, the POP Tech who had been assigned to his account for years, told him time and again not to lend out his computer to anyone given the sensitive data and passwords & credentials. All at once a barage of bad thoughts jumped into his head had the ransomeware attack been successful. What would he have told his associates? His two sons attending college? His wife? That he simply forget about the security advice he consistently got? That it was OK to lend out his personal laptop? Yikes!

Not only was the business at jeopardy but Charley’s dream of expanding his business as well. This expansion had been years in the making as Charley’s firm had been acquiring the subject matter expertise, credentials and staff expertise to get into a new area of law. All hinging on one mouse click. Ugh.

The year had not been uneventful.  The team added 8 new accounts and had completed a series of certifications, licenses and training that would establish a team to practice in this new area.There had been three additional cyber incidents in 12 months which was proactively eliminated through his Managed IT Services Provider and his staff. Charley’s  ransomware near-disaster experience made him focus on cyber security that included every staff member of the team.  He ended every meeting with “Let’s be cyber careful out there”..

The Takeaway: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of prevention.

Charley is now even more aware of all of the cyber threats that face even a small business like his. He now shares the network events and threats reports with every member of his team so that everyone knows that they have to be cyber careful 24x7x365.

UNFAMOUS ENTREPRENEURS EPISODE 4: ROBERT COHEN, FROM INVESTMENT BANKING TO MANAGED IT.

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“It’s time for me to do things the way I want to and the way I envision them.” And with that revelation on a Sunday morning, Robert Cohen left a lucrative investment banking career to start his own tech company. Now, thirty-five years later, and as Robert’s phrases it, “I have seen it all,” Robert’s company, Pop Technologies is a key influencer in New York City’s highly competitive tech sphere. Find out what drove Robert to start his own business and get the behind-the-scene perspective of why treating “IT” as a do-it-yourself business can have devastating consequences for any business.

 

5 Things You Need To Get Right When Moving Your IT To A New Office

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Your new digs are great. Every detail in your new space is perfect. Nothing was overlooked in designing and preparing this new space to be awesome.

 

All of the attention has been paid to the new physical space as an office environment. Not your IT environment. As a Managed IT Services provider, we have seen this scenario play out more often that you may think. This is when real IT problems can sour the new move.

Here are the 5 things you absolutely need to get right:

 

1. Put The Right People In Charge.

Planning and executing a successful IT move requires a lot more than simply moving your IT gear and servers. Moving your IT is a very real physical migration that requires an exact environment to function and operate. If you want your IT to look and act the same way, then this needs to be thought through carefully.

 

2. Design the IT Room or Dedicated Space to Your IT Requirements.

The days of using a small dark storage closet is gone. Today’s sophisticated electronic equipment requires adequate power, cooling, lighting, secure access, cabling, wiring and at least one redundant internet circuit. Simply allocating space will not cut it.

 

3. Choose The Right Voice & Data Provider (s).

You’ll find many choices and options. Be sure to choose the right service (s) that will meet all of your needs while maintaining as much flexibility as possible. This can become an Achilles heel that just won’t go away. One sure way to get it wrong is to wait until the last minute to “decide” which providers to use. All of your decisions should be based around your business requirements and how those requirements integrate with your IT requirements. Some of the most common mistakes include:

  • Contracting for a longer Length than you need to with a service provider- You don’t need to be locked into 3 year contract because the sales rep is taking advantage that your back is against the wall.
  • Internet Service that is not adequate for your business needs.
  • Internet Redundancy

 

4. Coordinate Your Move With Your Construction Crew.

Construction crews are on a tight deadline and small time windows. They have a habit of finishing your project and closing up walls before some of your punch list is completed. Many a move has been delayed for weeks because the new office space just doesn’t work. This could be that the furniture doesn’t align with the cabling or there is nowhere for that user to plug in. Wi-Fi that worked in your old office may need repeaters or other adjustments for everyone to connect to your network.

 

5. Map Your IT To Your Floor And Furniture Plan.

While this sounds basic, delivering cable and connectivity for voice, power and internet is not always as straightforward as one would think. You will need to see how every office, common area and conference room will connect to your new IT network.

POP Technologies Announces The Best Kept Secret for IT Support in New York City.

POP Technologies is promoting a better way for those companies considering outsourcing their IT support by offering prospective customers with a 30 Day IT Support Free Trial.  The 30 Day IT Support Free Trial comes complete with the same unlimited 7×24 Managed Services Suite that POP Technologies customers receive now. This offering is not a light version of the POP Technologies Managed Suite; all 30 Day IT support Free Trials include proactive 7×24 monitoring,  information security and back-up, remote users, business continuity contingencies, servers and devices.  We will deliver unlimited support via internet, telephone or by coming to your office.

 

 

This approach is nothing new to us at POP Technologies , we’ve been offering this approach for years. We believe it is simply the best way for our prospective customers to experience our 7×24 Unlimited  Managed Services.   Over the years, we found that 9 out of 10 prospective customers that choose our 30 Day IT Support Free Trial, select POP Technologies to be their outsourced IT Support trusted advisor.  Some of things that we have helped our prospective customer uncover during their 30 Day IT support Free Trial are large security holes like wide open ports, DDOS, information back-up is not or partially enabled, remote users are causing security issues and ….(fill in)

 

All of our Managed Services customers receive:

 

  • Unlimited Help Desk support and remote problem-solving
  • 24/7 monitoring and management of servers and infrastructure devices
  • Unlimited engineer dispatch services for problems that cannot be resolved remotely
  • A minimum of two on-site maintenance visits per month
  • A minimum of two annual performance, security, and penetration tests

 

Our competitors tells us we’re nuts for offering a 30 Day Free Trial for Managed Services and we’re very proud of this fact. J

Related links: Savings Calculator, 30 Day IT Support Free Trial

 

 

 

5 Signs Your IT Support Sucks.

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  1. You don’t have a trusted IT “partner”.

Your IT Support provider is focused on his bottom line. Not yours.

 

  1. You pay to fix the same problem … again and again.

Wouldn’t it be great to have that problem just go away…..forever?

 

  1. You can’t explain how your IT support is delivered, even to yourself –

let alone explain it to anyone else.

 

  1. Your network seems to be more like a hamster than a thoroughbred.

You and your colleagues often feel like a hamster on a wheel, going nowhere fast.

 

  1. Your IT Support is ALWAYS reactive, never pro-active.

The only time you communicate with IT your Support is when they can’t seem to solve that problem.

5 Superhero Quotes We Really Like.

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“Everyone earned their Kickstart today.” The official soft drink of POP Tech’s everywhere.

 

 

“Life doesn’t give us purpose. We give life purpose.”

The Flash

 

“The strength of this country isn’t in buildings bricks and steel.”

It’s in the hearts of those who have sworn to fight for its freedom.

Captain America

 

“When you decide not be afraid, you can find friends in super unexpected places.”

Ms. Marvel

 

“You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.”

Superman

 

“Everyone earned their Kickstart today.”

POP Tech Man

 

The Choice Is Yours.

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A troubling thought, isn’t it?

You’re spending 60+ hours a week managing every aspect of your business. And yet, you can’t help wondering if something is wrong with your IT and IT support.  Something is just not quite right. You know it. You just can’t put your finger on it.

There always seems to be at least one thing that is driving you crazy:

  • I pay for fixing the same problem over and over again
  • When my systems are down, they are down for too long
  • I am tired of paying an added premium for emergency situations
  • The increasing security demands worry me
  • I don’t get up to date advice
  • My expenses increase from month to month and I am unable to efficiently budget for my IT needs
  • My current approach to problem solving is reactive and not pro-active (I just write checks)
  • I fear my IT resource is doing only what they know and not tailoring their services to fit my needs
  • I feel captive to my current IT resource because they have my passwords
  • My business is dependent on technology and I fear my current IT resource is holding me back
  • I don’t know if my systems are secure and protected against hackers

 

You and your business deserve to see what’s really going on with your IT and IT Support.  24x7x365. Regardless how big or small your business is. Everyone and every major process in your business relies on your business applications and IT infrastructure.

You don’t work this hard only to have your IT and IT Support let you down.

 

The choice is yours.

If you want to continue with business as usual, then simply continue taking the blue pill.

If want real insight and access to your IT Support, then take the Red Pill.

See Your IT As It Really Is.

 

 

 

Can One Good Deed Power Your Business?

PTM Episode 2 _blogIron Man has it. Superman had it once he discovered he could fly. Captain America got it the first time he wielded his shield. They just can’t help themselves. When someone needs emergency help, they offer their services first. Ask questions later.

This same phenomenon happened to Ted, one of our POP Techs. It was just about lunch time and Ted was dreaming about one of his favorite lunches, two Kickstarts and a Gyro. He was just about to take out his iPhone and order when he got a series of texts that just kept coming and coming…
chime after chime. “dude we can’t print that report that took us 24 hours non-stop” ….”the presentation is at 4 TODAY”. …HELP! …we called our IT service provider and they’ve been “working” on this problem for hours. Even though Ted’s friend was not a POP Technologies client, he couldn’t resist the cry for help. Ted put his Gyro on the back burner and called his friend.

Ted’s friend quickly framed the problem; “HELP TED”. Ted got his friend to take a quick breath and asked some questions as to what was exactly happening. All his friends’ answers gave Ted an inclination as to what was happening. It sounded like that damn virus. Yikes!

Fortunately his friend’s office was only 15 minutes way. The road gods were kind and Ted got there quickly. Ted’s suspicions were confirmed shortly after he got his hands on his friends’ office computer. They were able to print in 28 minutes.

Ted helped his friend look sharp and finally got a most delicious Gyro. POP Technologies acquired a new client. The team got to make their presentation.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Can one good deed power your business? It can when it’s part of your business culture.

 

Managed IT Services: How many superheroes are on your team?

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Hopefully, your answer is everyone.

Not so recently POP Technologies had a problem – a big problem. Our Network operations Center (NOC) was under siege. Like never before. This time, the threat was beyond sophisticated. It was maniacal. Deadly. With the brute force to bring down any network on earth.

Our defense for this type of attack had already been formulated into Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. The operative word here is “type”. While this attack was a type of DDOS, none of us had ever seen anything like this. One wrong move in either direction could have been catastrophic.

The way the POP Tech team would respond to this evil event was already being formulated while the entire team conditioned one another for months. “Super Man”. “Underdog”. “Captain America. “ Iron Man.” We heard them all and then some. Everyone on the team was using “superhero” on a regular basis. Every time a POP Tech was thinking and reacting above and beyond that POP Tech was rewarded with a “superhero superlative”.

A perfect storm was created during this epic DDOS attack. While a swarm of digital killer bees was circling Ted’s head, he was so impressed with his teammate’s heroic actions he had to yell out a simple and yet enduring question “Who do you think you are? …POP Tech Man?” And there you have it: The Birth of POP Tech Man!!

Maybe it’s our love of Tony Stark and Marvel Films in general. Everyone at POP Technologies came out of this potentially terrible event with what has become the most powerful phrase in our daily lexicon; POP Tech Man!! This has become the guiding principle for our Managed IT Services delivery team. Everyone is expected to be a superhero. Everyone, working together is expected to generate the superhero powers of POP Tech Man!!

I encouraged my team to formalize the idea of POP Tech Man so that “he” would become part of our daily 24×7 culture. The Managed IT Services business can be a very hostile environment. An environment when even a team wielding a 140 IQ may not always save the day. To this end, I thought, what if everyone on our team wanted to be POP Tech Man!!? 24×7? The decision took milliseconds to make.

If future performance and “heroics” are anything like the heroics since we embraced POP Tech Man!! Then this could easily be one of the best decisions I made in my 25 years in the Managed IT Services business.

The Birth of POP Tech Man!!

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Apparently, necessity is still the mother of invention

A now classic story told by Christian, POP Technologies Managed Services Team

It started out like any other Tuesday morning.  Everything in the Network Operations Center appeared as usual.  Green lights as far as you can see. Our morning java was delicious as usual. We were globally updating a software patch when out of nowhere the alarms started going crazy. All I could think of was, Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson. This was NOT a false positive.

This all seemed to unfold in just seconds….the three of us yelling back and forth as the attack transformed from a two headed hydra in less than 60 seconds into an eight headed hydra moments later. Less than two minutes into it, we all looked up at each other and knew what this was. It was a Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attack. Damn.This was the same kind of multithreaded attack that has brought down large corporations and countries like North Korea to their knees. In minutes.

The good news was that everyone on the Managed Services team collaborated on the counter-attack Plan A, B and C. These were the responses in the event of a severe DDOS attack.  The bad news was that none of us had ever seen a DDOS quite like this. This one was different. Meaner, larger, and faster, it attacked us from virtually everywhere at once.   While we were responding to the attack with Plan A, the simple thought of “no pressure”, “no pressure”, “NO PRESSURE” kept running through my head.  If this attack prevailed, it would bring down our network and our clients networks with it.  Terabytes of client data would be at risk.  Our client’s world would stop. 

Just when the attack started to overwhelm us and looked like the rats would win the rat race, Ted started to scream out his idea; “what if we re-routed all of traffic to our back up pipes and cut the head off this thing”?  I looked over to Christoper. We both winced and shook our heads yes. Ted started the switch over countdown…… 3…..2…..1 …switch…..it took a few seconds for the switch to engage. Seemed like hours. When everything seemed to be normal and the friendly green lights were returning row by row, right after I could stop hearing Mr. Worf say “today is a good day to die”, right after we call all start to breath again, we all looked at one another and started yelling:  @#$%!!!! Hell yeah!!

About 5 seconds later I yelled to Ted; “dude, that was heroic”.  Who do you think you are? POP Tech Man?

After recounting our victorious and yet harrowing story to our colleagues over some Mountain Dew Kick Starts, we all agreed we all need to be like POP Tech Man! Collectively, we ARE POP Tech Man!!

Hence, from that day forward we bestow heroic acts by invoking our new hero’s name: POP Tech Man!!