What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Account Coordinator(AC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
Professional IT Services that Andromeda Provides for Palatine, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
Andromeda IT Service Offerings
Here is just a quick list demonstrating the breadth of IT services you can expect from Andromeda:
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
5 Critical Components Any Professional Disaster Recovery Plan Must Have May 29, 2020
We hear a whole lot about ransomware and cyber criminals these days. Andromeda helps our clients combat most data breaches with multi-tiered security solutions and employee training. But, every business is still vulnerable to incident. That is why a full proof and dependable Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity plan is an essential. Before you hit the world wide web searching for DR solutions and backup plans, take a look at these 5 critical components any professional disaster recovery plan must have.
Your disaster recovery plan should consider appropriate business continuity variables.
Disasters happen; they come in many shapes and sizes. Server crashes, accidental file deletion, physical disasters such as fire or flood and the increasingly common ransomware or malware infection are all scenarios.
You must ask two important questions yourself in regards to business continuity:
- How much time can pass between recovery points, ie: how much data can you afford to lose; this is commonly known in Business Continuity as RPO – Recovery Point Objective
- How much time can pass between the disaster and recovery, ie: how much time can you afford to lose; this is commonly known in Business Continuity as RTO – Recovery Time Objective
Ideally, your RPO and RTO are as low as possible.
A good Disaster Recovery Plan will consider these factors and have various options for restoring files, folders or even whole servers. On top of that, it is important that these options take into account minimalizing data loss and interruption.
Data should be stored both locally and offsite.
Many people have an easy time seeing the value in the offsite backup. Whether that’s tape drives taken offsite daily, external USB drives treated the same, or data sent to the cloud for storage, it carries with it a feeling of great comfort knowing that “if the building burns down” the data is still safe.
What few realize is what we mean when we speak about downtime, for incidents that are not quite as catastrophic as a burning building. In those cases, it can take an unacceptable amount of time to get your hands on that offsite backup or to download an entire server from the cloud.
With a Disaster Recovery Plan option that offers backups both locally and offsite (cloud based), you are able to restore large quantities of files and entire server images quickly. Your onsite device should also have the capability to virtualize as a temporary server in the event your main server crashes.
Find a disaster recovery plan option that provides multiple restore options
When you think about restoring from a disaster, you may believe that so long as you have a version of your data somewhere, you are secure. In reality though, your recovery time objective can be greatly impacted by the different options available to you after a disaster. A disaster recovery plan with multiple options for virtualization, restoration and data access is an absolute must.
You may have heard the term “virtualization” before. Being able to virtualize your server either on a physical device at your location or in the cloud simply means that you have a temporary solution that will keep your business up and running while you resolve whatever issue corrupted your data, server or situation in the first place.
A catastrophic hardware failure can put your business down for hours, sometimes days. Rushing that process up can incur huge costs as well: rush delivery, emergency dispatch etc. In the event of a hardware failure, a virtual copy of your last backup can be spun up. Once completed, you can resume working swiftly. This quick recovery allows you to deal with hardware replacements, scheduling and budgets in an organized fashion.
A top tier solution will provide you with onsite virtualization and an option to virtualize in the cloud. Cloud virtualization is not as quick and can produce some lag time. Nonetheless, in the event your backups are stolen or disaster strikes your building (fire, flood etc.) – the ability to spin up and virtualize data from the cloud means that your business is not at a standstill.
Find out what type of support a vendor provides for disaster recovery plans.
Your company does not want to struggle to get their files restored. You can’t wait hours and hours to restore a file you accidentally deleted. Don’t wait for hours to hear back on the status of a data restore. Your IT partner should understand the solution they are providing and be able to work with you directly. Cut out the intermediary. Ensure your vendor monitors all the warranties, all the software support calls, and all monitoring; ensuring your backups are humming all day every day – as they should be.
Don’t trust just any business continuity or disaster recovery plan solution.
There are literally hundreds of options out there for Disaster Recovery. A quick Google search will give you pages of results. Comparing them is mind numbing, and if we are being honest . . . who takes the time to do all that? Your first step is to find an IT partner that you trust. Check their references. See if they have case studies to show how a disaster recovery functions with the product. Ask for a demonstration of the product. This is serious stuff and you need to trust the hands maintaining and protecting your data.
The post 5 Critical Components Any Professional Disaster Recovery Plan Must Have appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Our favorite 7 Collaboration Tools to Help Your Remote Team Stay Engaged, Productive and Motivated from Anywhere Mar 30, 2020
For many businesses, the flexibility to work-from-home (WFH) is a great perk for employees. Studies even show that employees that have the option to work remote show higher productivity and job satisfaction.
There are many benefits to remote workforce but there can also be struggles/challenges for leaders and managers trying to maintain culture, productivity and a team environment.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite tools to help us get the job done in house or from home.
Our favorite 7 Collaboration Tools to Help Your Remote Team Stay Engaged, Productive and Motivated from Anywhere
1 Microsoft Office 365 for Business
This stack of Software as a Service (SaaS) products allows your team to utilize classic programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more in new ways.
Office 365 also opens the doors for your team to utilize cloud storage/collab tools like OneDrive and SharePoint. Files saved to this software can be accessed at home, on the go, in the office or anywhere with an internet connection.
2 Microsoft Teams
This product is included with Office 365 but deserves its own section because of all the different things it sets your team up to do including:
- Individual and team-based IMs
- Live collaboration with Microsoft documents inside of the Teams tool
- Audio & Video calls
- Screen share
- Add on apps for even more productivity boosts
3 Zoom Video & Web Conferencing
Zoom is one of the leading web/video conferencing tools on the market. With free and multiple paid options, it is likely you can find a solution to fit the needs of your organization and your business.
Some of our favorite features in Zoom include:
- Personal meeting room to start a meeting any time
- Outlook integrations for easy schedule
- Webinar capabilities with panel, hosts, Q&A, chat etc.
- Video and/or Audio calls
- Mobile App
Slack is one of the leading direct communication tools for business. You can message teammates directly; create group chats and you can also communicate in channels. With seemingly endless add-ons and extensions, Slack is a leader when it comes to connecting teams.
Andromeda Technology Solutions recently transitioned from Slack to Microsoft Teams for our own internal communications but some of the features we loved in Slack include:
- Direct messaging
- Audio/Video calling
- Channels for group needs
- Easy integration of apps
- Custom emojis for fun
Trello is a neat tool that helps with project management and tracking. You can use it for personal projects or teams to manage workflows, status and many things in between. This is also another tool you can use with a free version to test out and see what works for your team.
Our favorite Trello features:
- Easy to user interface with drag & drop ‘cards’
- Easy upload multiple types of media – docs, links, photos etc.
- Individual/Group task assignment
- Mobile application
- Labels and tags for organization
Basecamp is a project and team management tool used by all kinds of organizations and teams globally. This one tool can help you organize, communicate and collaborate on multiple projects while keeping all the info you need in one space. You can even give clients access to Basecamp so that they can communicate and keep up to date on status of your team.
Our Web Design team uses Basecamp daily to move projects along.
Some of their favorite features include:
- To-do Lists
- Message Boards
- Scheduling tool
- Document & File storage
- Group chat
Zapier is one of the industry leaders in connecting web apps for automation. And since you’re team is getting tons done on-the-go, you’ll want to check out all the ways this tool can simplify your workflows and help your team work more efficiently. Zapier connects the apps you use every day and helps cut down busy work.
Additionally, Zapier knows what it means to work remote, they boast a 100% remote workforce with over 200 teammates working all over the globe.
A connection from one software to another via Zapier is called a Zap. You can check out 2000+ zaps and the tool here
Finding the right mix of tools is as individualized as the job. We hope these suggestions help you to create an environment that is productive and satisfying. If you would like to discuss your unique situation, give us a call at (815) 836-0030 or email our team.
The post Our favorite 7 Collaboration Tools to Help Your Remote Team Stay Engaged, Productive and Motivated from Anywhere appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Google Meet Now Available On Gmail Using Mobile Devices Jul 01, 2020
Google recently published a blog post that didn't get much attention, but that outlines a major change to the way the company's video collaboration tool "Meet" works.
The blog post reads in part, as follows:
"In the coming weeks, you'll soon notice a new Meet tab on your phone's Gmail app where you can see upcoming meetings scheduled in Google Calendar, and easily join them with a single tap....If you don't want Meet to appear as a tab in the Gmail app, access the Settings from the hamburger menu in the top left corner of your inbox, tap on your account, scroll down and uncheck Meet."
This is a small change, but it represents a huge improvement in the way Meet works. The change makes it much more streamlined and efficient, which dramatically improves the quality of the user experience.
The change builds on Google's decision earlier this year to make Google Meet free for all users, which arose from the changes the global pandemic wrought in how the world works. Demand is spiking for video conferencing services due to worldwide lockdowns. Popular video conferencing service Zoom is stumbling over security concerns. Google and other tech giants moved quickly to take advantage of the surge in demand. This represents the latest manifestation of those changes.
Google has made a number of tweaks and improvements to Meet since the surge in demand began. Although they're playing it close to the vest in terms of the future changes they have planned, one thing that seems clear is the fact that more changes and improvements are coming.
Kudos to Google for rising to the challenge and making their video conferencing service more accessible and more user friendly. It is rapidly becoming the default choice for a growing number of organizations. If you're not currently using it and you're not 100 percent satisfied with the video conferencing service you are using, it's well worth checking out.