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Outstanding Workplace of the Year Nomination

Outstanding Workplace of the Year Nomination 1

We’re thrilled to announce our selection as the winner of the 2017 Greater Victoria Business Award in the Outstanding Workplace of the Year category!

“Smart Dolphins is a rare place. Everybody here absolutely loves their jobs, the company, and the atmosphere,” says Jesse Smith, Operations Manager of Smart Dolphins.

Jesse Smith

Jesse Smith, Operations Manager

“I have to constantly remind myself not to take it for granted. We’re all invested in building something great and love where the company is going.”

Our workplace culture is outstanding. Here’s a list of some contributing factors:

  • RRSP matching
  • Health trust plan for Dolphins and family
  • Smart Dolphins car share
  • CrewHu (employee recognition) allowance
  • Power nap room, fully equipped kitchen and FreeFlow coffee
  • Laptops and mobiles
  • Kindle library
  • Professional development
  • Co-working space for Westshore Dolphins
  • Stand-up, sit-down desks

But, our workplace culture goes way beyond this list of “job perks.” We truly recognize one another. We share knowledge, participate in quarterly peer reviews, motivate one another to create and meet goals, celebrate our birthdays and anniversaries and more.

More important than anything else is our dedication. Every Dolphin is committed to our five core values.

Embody Extreme Ownership

Always Be Growing

Show Dorsal Pride

Bring Energy and Positivity

Do the Right Thing

We’re really grateful to have had the opportunity to showcase our workplace at the Chamber’s annual business award event. Special thanks to our clients, who have made a huge contribution to both our growth and success.

Did you know that we’re recruiting a network admin? If you think you’d be a good fit for Smart Dolphins, check out our job listing.

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Ransomware Infects smart TVs
Ransomware Infects Smart TVs Too!

With so many devices connecting to the Internet in this day and age, we have to be more vigilant than ever.

For owners of Smart TV’s, be on the lookout for a ransomware known as “FLocker.” FLocker, short for “Frantic Locker,” is a lock-screen ransomware that locks your Smart TV and proceeds to demand payment to the “U.S. Cyber Police.” Initially detected by Trend Micro, back in 2015, this malware continues to spread. It can also lock your Android smartphone and take information from your device, including phone numbers, contacts, location, and other personal information.

Unfortunately, FLocker is difficult to remove. Your best option is to contact the device vendor for assistance, but even then you may not be able to get rid of it. Smart TV’s don’t generally have sophisticated anti-virus like PCs. Be careful when downloading apps from third party sites, don’t click on mysterious links, and always practice safe internet browsing as a means of first defense against malicious attacks on your technology.

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Deleted Emails
Recover a Deleted Email

Oops. You accidentally deleted that email, AND emptied your deleted items! Mistakes happen so don’t worry, it’s not too late. If you’re using Outlook 2013 or 2016 try this:Recover a Deleted Email

  • Select the Deleted Items folder.
  • A new button will appear on the top ribbon that says Recover Deleted Items from Server.
  • A Recover Deleted Items window will open.
  • Highlight the email that you would like to recover.
  • Check Restore Selected Items and select Ok. The email will go back into your Deleted Items folder.

Interested in learning more Outlook tips and tricks lunch and learn, let us know!

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Kelowna meet Danny

Did you know that Smart Dolphins is open for business in Kelowna? When we first saw the Dolphin sculpture, we knew that Kelowna was a Dolphin-friendly town. We can’t wait to move into our new aquatic-themed office on Dolphin Ave.

But, enough about Dolphins! Meet the talent behind our Kelowna team: Danny Tew. Danny has been with Smart Dolphins just shy of a year. He has over a decade of IT experience and a Bachelor of Science from DeVry University with a specialization in network and communications.

Kelowna IT Support

Danny Tew, Kelowna IT Manager

Since Danny manages our Kelowna location and we don’t get to see him at every head office function in Victoria, we decided to save up for a telepresence robot “RoboDanny.” Currently, Danny spends too much time on a large screen. As RoboDanny aka RTewD2, he’ll be able to move around the Victoria office. Robots are not just for big corporations!

Fun fact: Danny is from Florida and has a deep southern accent.

Our Kelowna, BC Managed IT support services include: Backup and disaster recovery, network services, security software, IT consulting and more. Contact us to schedule an assessment today!

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Business Continuity & Risk
We all know that we need to have a good backup system for our data. Sometimes, having a backup of a company’s IT employee is overlooked. A single-person IT department is a big challenge and a risk from a business continuity perspective. Even something as simple as an illness or a vacation can cause a large and costly gap in support.

Business Continuity & Risk

Joe Payne, Solutions Architect

Of course, permanent employee turnover can be an even bigger challenge — even when it is an amicable departure, with plenty of notice. To compound this, it is rare to find long-standing technology employees. The IT industry attracts the type of person who loves to learn and be challenged. In a single-network environment, the best IT people will often be transient. If an IT employee is good, they are more likely to be moving on before you’d like. A mediocre IT employee can be even more challenging to transition away from because of the damage-control required after they depart.

Whether an IT employee is around for a short time or the long term, they often surround themselves with technology and make themselves comfortable by configuring things in non-standard ways. It isn’t necessarily with any intent other than doing the best they know how to do. One person is naturally going to end up with gaps in their knowledge and experience. The challenge is that the remaining infrastructure left by a departed IT employee might be difficult to support without major work to bring it up to industry standards.

Leading and managing IT people has its own unique set of challenges.

When you only have one of a certain “type” of employee, you’re more likely to not give it as much attention as the “types” of employees that make up the bulk of your team. Unless an IT team is part of your core business, those duties might be best left to a company that specializes in attracting and retaining the best IT talent in your marketplace.

  • Smart Dolphins has been recognized through several awards for attracting and retaining the best IT talent in our market. This is a critical part of our core business and it is a core competency we have developed and refined over many years.
  • Our team has the scale to provide continuity to our clients that they couldn’t achieve on their own.
  • Most importantly, we have a very special process of auditing and aligning our clients with world-class standards and best practices.

If you’re concerned about business continuity, please contact us. We offer IT support to organizations on Vancouver Island and in Kelowna.

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Get More Done with Todist
Get More Done with Todoist

There are hundreds of to-do list apps and tools out there, but my favourite is called Todoist.

Get More Done with Todist 1

Todoist is a tool that helps individuals and teams simplify and organize life. It integrates with Outlook and Gmail which makes it easy to create tasks directly from your inbox.  And, with apps and extensions for 10+ platforms, it’s easy to access your tasks on-the-go.  You can also share and collaborate on tasks and projects with other Todoist users.

Todoist has a lot of useful features including recurring tasks, sub task and sub project organization, notifications, real-time data synchronization and priorities.

Choose a plan that meets your needs: basic (free), premium or business.

For more information or to sign up, visit: https://todoist.com/

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From vCIO to Business Technology Navigator
Paul Holmes

Paul Holmes

We’ve been working on re-branding some of our roles at Smart Dolphins and we wanted to share this exciting news with you. Our vCIOs are now Business Technology Navigators.

What’s a Business Technology Navigator?

Smart Dolphins’ Business Technology Navigators translate and con­nect technology with business strategies. They work closely with company leaders, planning, budgeting and developing IT strategy with the overall goal of aligning IT with business goals.

Ty Hedden

Ty Hedden

Here’s a list of  their most important responsibilities:

  • Create a strategic IT plan
  • Hold annual technology reviews
  • Create and present budgets
  • Quote hardware and software
  • Identify and propose projects

Smart Dolphins’ Business Technology Navigator role gives organizations the much needed technology strategy every business needs to compete, grow and succeed.

Think of a Business Technology Navigator not as a technician, but as a trusted business consultant, aligning your business objectives with your IT plan.

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Talk to Website Visitors right in Slack
Talk to your Website Visitors right in Slack

Does your organization use Slack? How about web chat? Interested in learning how you can bring these applications together? And, for free? Try Drift.

Drift is a messaging app for sales and customer service agents. We started using Drift because it integrates with Slack—our preferred collaboration app. With Drift, you can instantly communicate with your online visitors right in Slack.

Drift takes just a few minutes to set-up and there’s no cost to start-up. If you go for the free plan, you’re limited to one chat operator and 100 contacts. But team and enterprise-level packages are available too. Drift is a great tool but what really sets this app apart from others is their superb customer service and always growing marketing knowledge base complete with executable and up-to-date tips.

If you feel like chatting right now, come join me on our website. Let’s talk about your IT needs and how we can help your organization better leverage technology!

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We Made the MSP Pioneer 250 List!

CRN MSP 500 ListYesterday, CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, named Smart Dolphins IT Solutions on its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments. More specifically, the Pioneer category recognizes organizations “whose approach to delivering managed services is one innovative step ahead.”

In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.

“Managed service providers play an increasingly important role in the day-to-day operations of businesses across North America,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “MSPs help organizations streamline their spending, effectively allocate limited resources, and benefit from advanced expertise in the latest technologies. We congratulate the service providers on CRN’s 2017 MSP500 list, who have continually succeeded in meeting their customers’ changing needs and help them get the most out of their IT investments.”

Way to go POD!

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Pwned
Use this Site to Check for Email Breaches

Want to know if your information has been breached? Check out Have I Been Pwned:

https://haveibeenpwned.com

Created by Security Developer, Troy Hunt, this FREE resource allows anyone to see if their information has been put at risk. I had my colleague, Meghan try it out with her personal email and two breaches came up:

1) The May 2016 Linkedin breach which resulted in the leak of 164 million email addressess and passwords
2) The 2013 Tumblr breach with resulted in the exposure if 65 million accounts

Data breaches are rampant so, when it comes to protecting yourself (or your organization) user education is a must. Arrange for some basic security awareness training and implement a safe computing policy.

Not sure where to start? Set-up a network assessment with a Dolphin.

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