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Marissa Explains IT All: What is an MSP?

You hear the acronym all the time, but what actually is an MSP? And what do they do in the business world?

Check out the clip below to hear Marissa explain all that and more in under 60 seconds! You can also follow along with the script down below.

Marissa Explains IT All: Episode 4

“What is an MSP?”

Transcript:

“That’s us! MSP stands for Managed Service Provider.

We can function as an outsourced IT department for your organization, or we can partner with your internal IT team. We’re really just a group of people, experiences, and expertise that help small businesses get smart use out of their technology – simplified and effective.

So that’s a couple of things:

  • Making sure you have reliable and secure technology to help you do your jobs.
  • And then, when those systems aren’t so reliable or secure, you have somebody you can rely on for fast, friendly, and thorough resolution and support.
  • The last thing is having people that care about your business enough to help you drive strategies to improve your tech for the future.

MSP’s are good… like backups.”

“What is an MSP?”

Transcript:

“That’s us! MSP stands for Managed Service Provider.

We can function as an outsourced IT department for your organization, or we can partner with your internal IT team. We’re really just a group of people, experiences, and expertise that help small businesses get smart use out of their technology – simplified and effective.

So that’s a couple of things:

  • Making sure you have reliable and secure technology to help you do your jobs.
  • And then, when those systems aren’t so reliable or secure, you have somebody you can rely on for fast, friendly, and thorough resolution and support.
  • The last thing is having people that care about your business enough to help you drive strategies to improve your tech for the future.

MSP’s are good… like backups.”

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WorkSmart Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

Durham, NC, Release: July 15, 2021 

WorkSmart celebrates its 20th anniversary as a full-service, managed IT services company headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. 

WorkSmart celebrates 20 years in business

WorkSmart was founded in 2001 by Ron Unger and Clay Harris, while they attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Believing that technology should be a strategic tool for small businesses, they worked to help a handful of local businesses to find the right tools and processes to support the people. Continuing with the same purpose and passion today, WorkSmart provides a variety of services and technologies including, managed/co-managed IT services, cybersecurity, data backup & recovery, IT strategy & planning, and cloud services.  

Through organic growth and several business acquisitions, WorkSmart has experienced exceptional growth over the last 20 years. We’ve expanded to four offices in different states along the East Coast, with more than 100 employees overall. 

For the past couple of years, WorkSmart has been honored by the Triangle Business Journal as one of the best places to work in the Triangle area. Check out this TBJ interview with our CEO, Clay, as he reminisces over the past two decades of WorkSmart, and looks toward the future of the company and industry as a whole. The company has also been recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in both the Triangle and across America, including more than 10 years on the Inc 5000.  

We work with small, local businesses to fuel their growth through simplifying the IT process. With a dedicated team of technology consultants and account managers, WorkSmart forges meaningful relationships with clients, to help make recommendations that best suit their own business goals.   

By building a culture that values curiosity, doing the right thing, and connection, we focus on helping clients and team members reach their fullest potential.  

You can click here to get more information on the most valuable resource at WorkSmart: people you’re going to love.

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The Kaseya VSA Ransomware Attack

Unfortunately, ransomware continues to make headlines, with the recent attack on Kaseya VSA products affecting 1500 organizations across the globe. 

Although WorkSmart does not use Kaseya VSA products and has not been impacted by this attack, it’s important to use this as an opportunity to grow our security practices and help you do the same.  

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WorkSmart ranked on Channel Futures MSP 501

We are thrilled to have been named as one of the world’s premier managed service providers in the prestigious 2021 Channel Futures MSP 501 rankings!

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Purchasing Computers for Your Organization

PCs are trending at the moment. Hitting their highest level since 2014, PC sales surged during the pandemic. Worldwide sales increased by 32% over the course of just one year! It’s not surprising as many businesses needed to buy computers that better enabled remote work. And all the households that added computers for remote learning and entertainment.

Building on this success, Microsoft recently introduced Windows 11 (to be released later this year), which has a streamlined design similar to a smartphone. With a cleaner start menu and more ways to interact with windows, they’re making it easier for you to stay in the flow of work.

Why do growing sales and a new operating system matter? Technology is critical to resilience. Your organization needs computers that help your team get their work done efficiently and contribute to their happiness at work. Having a clear purchasing strategy helps make sure your team has the right tools and directly drives results. Here are a few considerations for purchasing computers for your organization:

Create a hardware budget per team member

  • Having a managed budget helps keep costs predictable for the organization. Anticipating the expense per team member helps make sure each employee gets what they need.
  • As we do more with computers and work from anywhere, it’s beneficial to include multiple monitors, docking stations, laptop bags, extra power adapters. Since these accessories are typically a matter of personal preference, you can build flexibility into your budget by giving an allowance to team members so they can choose what works best.
  • Video meetings have become a standard, and we’ve all experienced the good and the bad (audio and video quality). We recommend not skipping on the expense of headphones and external cameras.

Offer a variety of options for what people need and want

  • Computer needs can vary across roles, departments, or personal preferences. Giving your team options allows them to choose what works for them while also controlling costs.
  • The mobility, performance, and design of the computers can impact your employees’ relationship with your organization’s technology. Within your budget, it’s helpful to provide options that are lightweight and can withstand movement (mobility), run fast when working with your applications and start-up quickly (performance), and have a bigger screen for productivity (design).

Invest in the right manufacturer’s warranty

  • The base warranty covers hardware failures. It often excludes accidental damage (electrical surge, a dropped laptop, or liquid spill). Adding protection from incidents like this can save you the expense of repairing machines when things happen.
  • You can also protect your investment by aligning the length of the warranty coverage to the timeframe of technology refreshes.
  • Another important consideration: how warranty support is performed. Some warranties require you to mail the computer to the manufacturer for repair, while others send a technician to your office. Making onsite warranty support a standard can save you big on the cost of lost productivity and frustration.

Consider ‘desk hotelling’ in shared office spaces

  • If your team primarily works from home, this gives people a workspace while in the office and could help reduce your organization’s real estate costs.
  • With flexible workspaces, technology is key. While you may want to set up a computer on some shared desks, your team may be more productive if they can dock their laptop and connect to one or two monitors.

Manage a consistent refresh cycle

  • As computers age, performance worsens, and the cost to maintain increases. Proactively planning for upgrades helps your business operate smoothly. When communicated with your team, it also sets clear expectations and shows your commitment to helping them reach their full potential.
  • Rather than refreshing all computers at once, you can budget to replace 20-30% yearly. If you’re leasing, you can coordinate refreshing the hardware with your terms.
  • Also, needs change and technology evolves. Offering an accessory “refresh” every few years can help your team do their job well and feel supported.

Purchasing Computers for Your Organization

Whether you’re leasing or purchasing outright, having a plan for purchasing the right computers for your team helps reduce your risks, manage and control costs, and foster happy employees.

As an IT partner, we help our small business clients by:

  • tracking computer inventory to help inform their strategy for purchasing computers.
  • recommending and sourcing computers that perform well in their environment

If you have any questions, contact us. We’re here to help you simplify your IT!

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Celebrating our June Employee Anniversaries

As we close out another calendar month, we wanted to take the time to recognize our team members who are celebrating work anniversaries this month.

Our team of hardworking and genuine folks is what keeps us going, and we are thankful for their dedication to WorkSmart.

You can learn more about each of these team members below.


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Marissa Explains IT All: Backup for Microsoft 365

Even if you’re using Microsoft 365, it’s still necessary to have a reliable backup. Check out the quick clip below to hear Marissa explain why in under 60 seconds!

You can also follow along with the script down below.

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What is ransomware?

As you may have seen in the news recently, ransomware can be a very time-consuming and expensive threat. Luckily, there are steps to take that can help prevent these cyberattacks. Here’s everything you need to know about the menacing malware.

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Celebrating Our May Employee Anniversaries

Curiosity, hard work, and loyalty make up some of the best employees. All of the team members highlighted below embody all of these qualities and so much more. We wanted to give them the recognition their work deserves – we appreciate them all!

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Stay Productive in Office Apps with Microsoft Search

We’re back with another quick how-to video! It’s part of our webinar series that is designed to help you ‘level up’ your business game using tools you already use.