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Dolphins cars
Track your Mileage with Taxmileage

Does your organization have company cars?

Or, do your employees use their own cars for business purposes?

With five company cars and more planned in the future, we’re testing out some mileage tracker apps.

We recently discovered Taxmileage. Here’s a short list of the key features:

  • Easy-to-use reimbursement log
  • Practical mileage reimbursement reports
  • Affordable ($29.99 USD / year)

Despite the fact that the organization that developed this app is directing their marketing to American businesses, it works well for Canadian businesses too. Simply create an account, register your vehicles, assign users and you’re all set. To log a trip, a user inputs important details, such as: the date, time, purpose, destination, objective and start and end odometer reading.

Download from iTunes or Google Play. For more information, visit: http://www.taxmileage.com

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Supercharge your IT with Smart Dolphins…

Tune in and learn about Technology with Porpoise. Serving BC organizations for 17 years.

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6 Years of Tech Tips
6 Years of Tech Tips

Credit Guy Davis and Davis Stewart

Happy anniversary Pod Pointers! Six years ago today, our tech tip blog was born. We’ve shared tech tips on everything from network security to business continuity to productivity apps and more. We’ve produced over 150 Pod Pointers.

How do we do it? Every other week, Dolphins produce short tech tip summaries. We review, edit and send them out via email and post it to our blog.

What was our all-time most popular Pod Pointer?

When switching away from an iPhone, don’t forget to unregister. Proudly produced by our Podfather, Dave Monahan on Feb 14 2014.

Thanks to all of our Dolfans for opening up your bi-weekly tech tips email and following our tech tip blog. Cheers to many more years!

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What is WannaCry?

What is WannaCry?WannaCry is a new ransomware that uses links to execute code which infects the local computer.

You’ll receive an email that looks legitimate, but has a link to malware instead. Once this ransomware has infected a computer on the network, it will attempt to spread to other computers.

We would like to remind every computer user to be extra careful with any email that you receive. Always check the from address to ensure that an email is from who it advertises it is from. By far the best way to protect against ransomware like Cryptolocker and ” WannaCry ” is for your users to be hypervigilant when it comes to opening any email attachments.

Please take a few minutes to discuss this virus with your co-workers to ensure that everyone is aware of the risk and ensure extra diligence is practiced.

Read more about ” WannaCry ” online at the Naked Security blog.

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Still Building…

Dave MonahanMay 1st marks 17 years in business for Smart Dolphins. Boom!

17 years ago, I was simply hoping to build a “bona fide business”. Fresh out of school, the challenge ahead was large and exciting. There wasn’t an exact goal defined here, but at some point in the past 17 years, Smart Dolphins indeed became a “real” business to my eye. I feel extremely lucky to have had a childhood dream come true.

It’s interesting to reflect on how our goals and expectations have changed. We are building a company that isn’t just sustainable, but exists to make a very substantial impact on the world. We have a very special opportunity here. The work we do is so critical for our Customers (we call them “Allies”) and their businesses. These organizations do so much for the world and we enable this in so many ways. The future also promises many opportunities to continue to build value and depth into what we deliver that far exceeds the basic firefighting typically expected from our industry.

The heart of this challenge is really building something that is beyond any person or people (not to say people aren’t critical – who else would do the building?). The Pod often talks about how we can take the heroics out of our line of work. It’s a wonderful feeling to be a hero from time to time, but we see the bigger opportunity to build a heroic company. To the end, we’re trying to tame this chaotic beast of an industry (IT Support) through the methodical and consistent building of process, structure, automation, best practices, standards, etc. It is a paradox that all this stuff sounds so incredibly boring, but is also so awesome in its power, at the same time.

So, with 17 years of existence, in some ways, you could say Smart Dolphins has “made it”. In many ways, we’ve only just begun. That is how I view the day ahead when I show up at the office. There is so much more to build. So many more potential-customer-businesses to improve. So many more great Dolphins to find and grow. So many more ways we can deliver value to the business that make our awesome communities function and thrive. I often think I’m one of the luckiest guys around to have this opportunity.

17 years and still building…

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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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