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Up until now your choices were getting service from the developer or a single shingle administrator or techie, that is until now. PICS ITech a 21 year Progress and QAD Partner are expanding their Remote Database Administration and Managed Services for Progress and QAD service by offering new options for both monthly maintenance and remote deployment.

Their offering is a combination of management tools and skilled progress DBAs well versed in OpenEdge databases, app servers and webspeed.  They are also intimately familiar with QAD software and application servers.

Some of the services they offer are:

PICS Remote DBA Service Offerings

24 hour Database Monitoring Yes
Disk,File and DB errors and Disk Space Monitoring Yes
Verify Backup Logs Yes
Database Tuning Yes
Reporting/Resolving critical system errors Yes
Client & Server Script Configuration Yes
Disaster Recovery Planning Yes
User/Printer Configurations Yes
Dashboard Monitoring Yes
User Defined Alerts Yes
Customized Service for your needs Yes

You can find more about their offering at http://www.pics-itech.com

 

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ITech Insights

What’s with that Windows Button? is our latest ITech Insights published to help you make the most of your IT investment. Lets us know your thoughts and ideas for future editions.

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ITech Insights – Excel Tips & Tricks Pt2

Microsoft Excel is one of those applications which gets used for so many various tasks that it’s hard to overstate just how important learning some of it’s little tricks can be for improving your efficiency of this amazing application.  

In this our second part of a 3 part series on Microsoft excel we are sharing a little known secret for dealing with one of the most common frustrations that this application can present.

Check out this episode

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If your like most business users Outlook is one application that you open in the morning and close when you go home at night. Also if your like most business users you aren’t getting the full value from this awesome tool.

Here are a couple of links to help you get more from Outlook 2010
Outlook Tips and Tricks
Turn your Inbox into a Productivity Tool

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Business Continuty vs. Disaster Recovery

In the past few years there have been a large number of natural disasters causing untold amounts of damage, In the US floods, fires and wind damage have caused businesses to rethink their diaster recovery and business continunity procedures. These events are often setting many companies back years if not decades. There isn’t much we can do to avoid these disasters, but we can be prepared for them and take the time to prepare for them. Is your company prepared?

Most companies have at least basic protection from emergencies and disasters in place. The most common forms of protection are insurance, server and computer backup, and basic preparations as required by law. Often times even while these protective measures are considered adequate for most companies, there is still a chance a disaster will strike, and a good chance it will leave your company in the lurch.

In the recent months and years an increasing number of occurrences, such as the earthquake in Japan and flooding in the US and Thailand, have caused widespread disruption to businesses. To counter this, two business initiatives have risen to the forefront: Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP). In fact, these two terms have become common buzzwords, a quick internet search returns over 53 million hits on the “business continuity” term alone. The problem is that many professionals are unclear on what each really means. It’s important to be clear on each topic and the basic steps to take to be prepared for any disaster.

What is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)? BCP, first seen during the Y2K scare of the late 90s, is a plan that covers the way an organization prepares for and maintains ALL critical business functions. Business continuity planning is comprised of activities that ensure maintenance, stability, and recoverability of service before, during, and after a disaster. The plan is typically set up on a day-to-day basis, and covers the whole organization, again concentrating on the critical functions to keep a business running.

It’s important to have a BCP for your organization because if something happens and you can’t deliver to your customers, they will go to another company who can deliver.

What is Disaster Recovery? Disaster Recovery is considered a part of the overall continuity plan that focuses on the technical side of the business, including components such as data backup and recovery. Think of BCP as an umbrella and DR is under the umbrella — if you don’t have a disaster recovery plan, the overall umbrella is more or less useless.

What Should be in Your DR and BCP Plans? These plans both share a number of similarities, generally following the same steps involving the same elements. Both plans should include:
1.An operational plan for a number of disasters that could happen in your geographical area. The plans should cover occurrences as small as computer hardware errors and as large as massive natural disasters.
2.A succession plan for you or your top management.
3.Training for substitute employees on important tasks.
4.Cross training of your employees on the basics of different roles so they will be able to take over if need be.
5.A communication plan focused on different crises, including ways of communicating if networks are down. Contacts etc.
6.Off-site meeting places for staff and managers.
7.A focus on safety. Contacts and communication plans with local and emergency response services: Fire, Police, National Guard, Search and Rescue. Ideally, all employees should at least know basic first aid. If you have employees who are volunteer members of local Emergency Response Services, ask them to be responsible for teams.
8.Daily plans to backup your Enterprise systems, along with training and testing of recovery of systems.
9.Training and testing of all employees to practice recovery activities in situations as realistic as possible.

It’s important that you conduct regular tests of your systems and processes, and make changes as needed. Be aware that your business is always changing and so should your Business Continuity and Disaster Recover Plans. Often times we see plans that are out of date.

With a carefully prepared and practiced plan, your business should be ready to face a variety of disasters with minimal downtime. If you would like to know more about Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery please contact us at PICS ITech

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If your reading this you are like most of us that live and die by our inbox, calendars and address book or in other words what’s stored in our outlook email client. Over time your Microsoft Outlook mailbox grows as items are created in the same way that papers pile up on your desk. Outlook automatically through the process of Auto-Archiving. While most things in office 2010 are easier to use (once you’ve found them) some features can be a little tough to find and may now disabled by default. Auto Archiving is one of them. Check out this ITech Insights for some great tips on auto archiving.

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Picking a secure password

Our IT Service, PICS Itech works with small to medium size business throughout the Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York area. Many of our customers have problems changing their passwords. Often times this is a result of one of PICS ITech’s best practices that enforces password aging, complex passwords and strict security to protect our customers networks.

In an effort to help our users we produced this Video to help them pick better passwords. Let me know what you think or see the full list of videos at www.pics-itech.com/insights

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Terry Rossi – My Search Story

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Sometimes you just need to start fresh

Well this marks the first post on my new WordPress 2.9 blog on a new hosting machine running at PICS’s Web  Host division web-host.com    – I was stuck in the classic compatibility problem  RedHat, MySQL, PHP and WordPress – it was easier to just start a new rather than trying to convert and upgrade the blog. 

Looking back at the old site and the posts over the years it was amazing to see how much territory I covered over the years.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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