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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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Our Podtionary

PodtionaryYou’ve probably seen our smart cars with fins cruising around Victoria or maybe even met a Dolphin or two over the years. Not surprisingly, our references to one particular aquatic mammal doesn’t stop there. We’ve developed an entire PODTIONARY and we thought we’d share some of it with you…

  • All Fins – A bi-weekly meeting with all Dolphins.
  • Team Aquarific – Our internal team that leads our fun activities.
  • Dolphin Defenders – This is one of our proactive teams. These brave Dolphins have regularly scheduled onsite visits with our clients to bring them into alignment with our standards.
  • The Dolphin Code – Our “Code of Conduct” that guides us to success.
  • The POD – That’s us! We’re the passionate, dedicated group of people all focused on helping local organizations better leverage technology.
  • Dorsal Pride – one of our 5 core values that just too magical to define.
  • Technology with Porpoise – That’s the world class standard that we offer our clients.
  • Breakwater – Our service platform design to improve our customer service experience.
  • Finley – Our mascot. You’ll find him in most of our branding.
  • Pod Pointers – Our tech tip email newsletter created by our own Dolphins since May 25 2011. Subscribe to it here.
  • Core Dolphins Award – A bi-weekly award that goes out to the Dolphin that receives the most praise by fellow Dolphins.

 

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Free up Space on your iPhone!
Free up Space on your iPhone!

If you’re an iPhone user, you may find that over time, even if you do not add more apps or videos, you start to run low on available space. The culprit particularly with social media apps and text message/imessage is something stored called “Documents and Data.”

You can clear your documents and data with this simple trick. I took a look at my colleague’s iphone to demonstrate. She had an older version of Twitter downloaded but that app was using 84.5 MB of space. We simply uninstalled it and re-download it from the App store and freed up some space.

Free up Space on your iPhone! 1

It takes months and months to build up a significant app cache, but once it happens you’ll really notice the pinch on available space on your device. Keep in mind once you re-download an app you will likely have to login again, so be sure you know your login information. Examples of apps prone to this are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more.

Clear “Documents and Data” by following these simple steps:

  • Open the “Settings” app in iOS
  • Go to “General” and then go to “Storage & iCloud Usage”
  • Go to “Manage Storage” under the ‘Storage’ section
  • Find the application(s) that have the ‘Documents & Data’ you want to delete, then tap on that app and choose “Delete App”
  • Now go to the “App Store” and search for and re-download the app you just deleted
  • After the app has finished re-downloading, if you return to the same Storage screen you will find it now consumes less space because the documents and data has been cleared out

 Thanks!

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Why Outsource your IT?
IT. Here’s the top 4 reasons we think you should consider:
Smart Dolphins

Productivity. Productivity. Productivity.

Smart Dolphins help professionals be productive. Whether we’re implementing a new software or upgrading technology, our goal is to help your organization be successful.  With our IT solutions, we can get your employees out of the day-to-day IT management, so that they can focus on what they do best. 

Save Time

You can save time with IT outsourcing. The POD is made up of professionals who know how to do things quickly and efficiently. You won’t be the one responsible for these tasks anymore, so you can focus your time on what matters.

Save Money

Cost is always the biggest issue we hear about when it comes to IT. So many professionals we meet with have no idea what their IT costs are. We’ll sit down with you and help you understand how you can save money by strategically aligning your IT with your business goals.

More Services

When you outsource your IT, you get more services. We become your IT department. One common misunderstanding is that Managed IT Service Providers are simply an IT support desk. But our IT support desk is just one of five areas of service delivery. We lead organizations out of IT mediocrity by delivering a complete range of proactive IT services.

 Want to learn more? Let’s meet for coffee. Contact us today for an assessment.

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