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IT Companies: Why We Stopped Trying to Be Like Everyone Else

April 19, 2017

Now you might well think that this is going to be one of those come-speak-to-Select-Technology-because-we-are-the-best-in-the-world kind of blogs…

I really want to be open and honest here, and say that there are probably plenty of good IT companies out there. I say “probably” because, in all fairness, we stopped researching the competition.

We stopped trying to be like everyone else.

We no longer look at pricing. We know we’re at the higher end of the IT support market, but that’s a good thing because it gives us the headroom to properly support our customers and provide outstanding customer service.

This definitely bares repeating: We can properly support our customers and provide outstanding customer service.

And, when we stopped worrying about being like every other support company we began to really understand what it takes to be different.

IT companies

There’s no reason to compare our services to any other IT support company out there because the bottom line is that no-one else can be like us, we have a team of people who are dedicated to our core values.

Our services are simply designed with one thing in mind:

Will this solve your problem?

This does often present us with some problems, because when we are up against a so-called competitor in a new business situation our potential new clients get very confused because they are looking for a like-for-like comparison.

But this also plays in our favour time and time again because it allows us to explain, and for you to see how we really do things differently from others.

This is why it really pays for us as an IT support company to be innovative and constantly develop new and better services.

Talk to us today and find out how Select Technology can solve the challenges you face as technology in business evolves.

Take These 5 Steps for Cloud Migration Success

March 8, 2017

With the recent hullabaloo surrounding last week’s AWS S3 outage, some of you may be wondering if cloud migration is an appropriate next step for your business.

man-person-clouds-apple

We are major cloud evangelists at Select Technology, but we absolutely acknowledge that things can go wrong when moving your business to the cloud in the absence of understanding and correct planning.

Despite its perceived imperfections, some level of cloud migration will benefit your business in almost all cases.

We’re going to look at steps you can take to avoid the pitfalls of cloud migration and ensure your business gets the most out of this amazing technology.

1. Know What You Need

Take a moment to think about what kind of demands will be placed on your connection.

Is your business seasonal or marketing-driven, with surges of traffic based on public holidays or marketing campaigns?

One of the amazing features of public cloud services – especially with a platform like Microsoft Azure – is automation or auto-scaling.

If you can anticipate when your periods of highest demand will be, your cloud service will automatically activate appropriate computing resources during those times.

On the other hand, do you need consistently high bandwidth for live streaming video or hosting VoIP calls with clients and partners?

If so, you might be better off using a private cloud setup that requires less automation.

Cloud computing is a very, very general term, covering literally hundreds of different services.

Taking the time to think about exactly what your business needs will help you reap the fullest benefits of cloud migration, while ensuring you’re not paying for anything you don’t need.

2. Test Before Going Live

Test, test, test before deployment!

Storing data and setting up automation in Azure and other cloud services is a relatively simple affair.

One of the biggest pitfalls of cloud migration lies not in moving your data, but in making sure your applications perform as expected once shifted up into the cloud.

The way your apps operate on-site gives little indication as to how they will act off-premise.

This point overlaps with our next one because it is so important to remember that cloud migration for businesses is often a step-by-step process.

Moving your business into the cloud one workload at a time will give you the feedback you need to anticipate all eventualities before they have the chance to affect your business.

cloud migration

Pre-deployment testing of this sort is best performed by someone with the relevant experience and foresight, so we highly recommend seeking advice externally if your business lacks the skillset in-house.

If you have the IT resource onsite for pre-deployment testing then you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft offers online instructions on topics like how to Create an Office 365 Dev/Test Environment in Azure.

3. Take Your Cloud Migration Step by Step

The point about testing is a crucial one that illustrates the importance of taking one step at a time.

Running before you can walk, so to speak, will give you far less agility. If you rush to shift your apps up to the cloud, then you will have no idea how they will operate when push comes to shove.

Cloud services are quickly becoming a business necessity but don’t worry if your competitors beat you there.

Performing your cloud migration in a step-by-step fashion will also provide a betting understanding of which services you require.

You may find that some workloads are better off remaining on-site or even automated to reduce costs.

You won’t know unless you take the time to find out!

4. Pay Attention to Security and Regulation

Every workload you move to the cloud should be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure your business’ security requirements are met.

Are you storing sensitive client data or other confidential information such as health or financial records?

GDPR is changing the way data is handled, so keeping your business compliant should be a vitally important part of your cloud migration strategy.

cloud migration

The security of your data, applications, and identities is well protected with Microsoft Azure Security.

“Security and privacy are built right into the Azure platform, beginning with the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) that addresses security at every development phase from initial planning to launch, and Azure is continually updated to make it even more secure. Operational Security Assurance (OSA) builds on SDL knowledge and processes to provide a framework that helps ensure secure operations throughout the lifecycle of cloud-based services. Azure Security Center makes Azure the only public cloud platform to offer continuous security-health monitoring.”Azure Security

5. Choose the Right Cloud Partner

It is highly recommended that you seek to a managed IT services provider to identify what kind of cloud infrastructure is the best fit for your business.

Those of you who have already figured out what you need will likely also know which environment you want to run; Azure, HPE Helion, AWS, etc.

Be sure to plan ahead with your prospective provider so you can be sure they will be capable of supporting the full functionality your cloud infrastructure as it scales up.

At Select Technology we can look at and simplify your cloud requirements from a business perspective.

Call us today to talk to better understand cloud migration and your place on the modern technological landscape.

The Select IT Projects Team is Growing! Let’s Meet Svet Vidinski

March 2, 2017

I recently interviewed our Sales Manager Guy Webb on the importance of viewing IT as an investment rather than just another expense.

Continuing our series of staff interviews, we’re moving over to the more technical side of things – the Select IT Projects Team.

Svet Vidinski recently joined the dedicated Projects team at Select Technology, so I thought what better way to welcome him into the fray than by subjecting him to a thorough interrogation!

The Projects Team’s Latest Member

Svet previously worked for one of our clients, and was quite familiar with us having already spoken to our Director Nick Potter a number of times.

He was looking to join an IT company when a position opened up on our dedicated IT Projects team.

Mark: So Svet, to start off I wondered if you could tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in the IT industry.

Svet: Okay, sure.

I have been interested in IT for around 25 years now.

It started off as more of a hobby but my first role was a two-month internship at a school that I completed as part of my MCSE training.

<For those uninitiated amongst us, an MCSE is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. The certification involves examination on Windows 2003, BackOffice, and other Microsoft products.>

IT projects

Mark: You mention starting off in IT as a hobby.

IT definitely seems to be a field that you need to be pursuing with a genuine passion.

Would you agree?

Svet: Yes, and that is part of what led me to work with Select.

Mark: I was just about to ask about your role here – could you elaborate?

Svet: Well, working in a company’s IT department means that you often only ever complete large projects once.

Things like server migrations only occur every few years so there isn’t enough repetition to really master what you’re doing.

Mark: So I guess working on our Projects team is exposing you to similar projects on a regular basis?

Svet: In a way, yes.

For example, I recently worked on Office 365 migrations for two clients, and this repetition definitely helps the learning process.

Mark: It sounds like you’re being thrown in at the deep end so far.

Svet: Actually I’m not being given more than I can handle right now but my role will develop as I learn more.

For now, the senior Projects technicians are delegating tasks to me, and I hope to become more client-facing. This will enable me to relay the knowledge I’m gaining in a way that customers can understand.

Mark: That sounds great!

Speaking of knowledge, tell us about your own areas of expertise and what you’re bringing to Select.

Svet: Well I’m not sure how I feel about that question.

Mark: How do you mean?

Svet: I don’t like to use the word ‘expertise’ because you’re never really an expert in IT.

The technology is constantly advancing, making it impossible to know everything and really call yourself an expert.

Mark: That’s a great answer actually. It shows that you’re humble enough to know your own limitations, but confident that you can continually learn and develop to fill the gaps.

Svet: Yes, that’s fair. I see this a lot in the team here.

In this kind of environment, you’re only as good as your team.

The IT Projects Team here gives me access to a lot of talent, so I can keep asking questions and learning along the way.

It’s all about teamwork.

IT projects

Mark: Yes! I’ve experienced this myself as well, so I couldn’t agree more. My team is incredibly patient with all the questions I throw at them!

So what goals have you set yourself so far

Svet: It’s not a very exciting answer, but I’m focused on learning as much as possible at the moment.

Mark: Ditto, it never stops!

Well I really appreciate your time today, I hope we can catch up later in the year for an update on how you’re doing?

Svet: Thanks Mark, I like the sound of that.

Mark: Great, see you there!

Let’s talk about your plans for the year – Call Us Today and find out how the Select IT Projects Team can help you!