Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog

Welcome to our blog, full of IT tips and business technology best practices.

Managed IT Services Present Opportunities

Managed IT Services Present Opportunities

How does your business manage its technology solutions? If you have an in-house IT department, you might think that you have a better shot at keeping your business safe from a hard drive failure, but this is only if your IT department isn’t already overwhelmed with work. You might find that implementing new solutions is tricky, which wastes time and resources on your part. What’s the small business to do?


The choice that gets the most mileage for your business is outsourcing the care of your technology solutions to a managed service provider. Compared to the traditional break-fix IT model that many businesses (unfortunately) rely on, managed IT is more affordable and provides a plethora of benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily get through traditional break-fix maintenance.

The break-fix model of IT management takes a reactive approach to technology maintenance, relying on issues that are already clear and present to indicate when you need your technology taken care of. This can lead to unnecessary downtime, meaning that your employees won’t be able to work while you’re waiting for maintenance. The costs of the break-fix model extend far beyond the costs of the maintenance itself. Not only can include large expenses such as a replacement server, or the cost of all the accumulated downtime during which your employees cannot do their jobs.

Sometimes businesses get around the loophole of hiring an internal IT staff by taking an IT department’s responsibilities and handing them to the other workers--workers whose time is better spent on revenue building endeavors. If nobody within your company is designated as “the IT guy,” you’ll encounter situations where the average employee is asking higher-ups how to resolve issues--a situation that wastes not just your employees’ time, but yours as well. Their time is better spent being productive, but when their technology isn’t working properly, who can they go to for help?

This is the major bonus of working with a managed IT provider. Not only can the managed IT provider act as the de facto help desk for your organization, they can also manage and maintain any hardware or software solutions you implement to keep issues to a minimum, thereby streamlining operations and mitigating downtime. Plus, if you leave the IT maintenance to your employees, who likely won’t know what they’re doing, you’re opening the doors for even more downtime caused by solutions not being implemented properly, introducing more work that needs to be done. When professional technicians do the job, they have a higher chance of doing it right the first time, reducing the risk of projects being repeated (a considerable waste of time and resources).

Managed IT might just be the missing link for your business’s technology needs. To learn more, reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. at (508) 622-5100.

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Managed IT Services Can Help Your Organization Grow

Managed IT Services Can Help Your Organization Grow

For the majority of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), finding the right technology solution is the key to growth. According to a recent study, businesses with 250 employees or less whose primary goal for 2018 is growth cited IT systems and technology applications as their top strategy for facilitating growth. However, in order for technology to provide the most ample amount of growth for your business, they must be the right selection for your individual needs. By working with an MSP, you’ll have a team of business technology solutions experts as your disposal, at a fraction of the cost of hiring an internal IT department to find and implement the IT required to accomplish your desired growth.


As we look toward the new year, here’s a look at how working with a managed IT service provider (MSP) can help your business leverage technology to drive growth and revenue.

Managed IT
The vast majority of SMBs rely on technology for day-to-day operations. From customer contact records to production blueprints, productivity and revenue generation are directly influenced by technology. Downtime and data loss ricochets beyond the affected devices and, ultimately, reduces the overall performance of the entire company. A proactive approach will help your technology maintain maximum productivity and efficiency.

  • Remote Monitoring: Time is money - and downtime or other technology issues cost SMBs thousands of dollars a year. Managed IT takes a proactive approach to technology by constantly monitoring your network, looking for the warning signs of potential technology issues and remedies them before your company experiences loss of time or resources.
  • Proactive Maintenance: If you take a look at data security breaches from the last six months, there is a trend among them. They could have been prevented if the victimized companies would have performed regular maintenance and applied security patches released by the software manufacturers. SMBs that are looking to expand their client base must make every effort possible to avoid the damage that results from a security breach. Think of IT maintenance in the same way that you think about oil changes for your car. It’s not a frivolous expense, it’s an absolute must-do.
  • Help Desk Support: For entrepreneurs and IT decision makers, an SMB is going to be more than a 9-to-5 job. In fact, about ⅓ of US adults work for an hour or more every weekend. If you operate outside of traditional business hours, your IT support should, too! Subscribing to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.’s 24/7 helpdesk support is there whenever you need it.

Cloud Services Continue to Dominate
A survey conducted among SMBs for Q2 of 2017 found that 92% of small businesses currently use one or more cloud-based solutions - and the number is expected increase continuously. One of the biggest advantages of cloud solutions is the flexibility it offers businesses. In general, cloud services are easily scalable and secure. Companies that have mandatory compliance and regulatory standards often find the security of cloud solutions desirable.

Unified Communication and Collaboration
One of the biggest parts of any customer service-centric business model is consistent, transparent communication at all stages of the customer’s life cycle. To facilitate desired growth, it’s equally as important to maintain that type of communication internally, as well as with vendors and other affiliates. Traditional phones are no longer meeting the needs of an increasingly digital market.

For 2018, many small businesses are looking to invest in a more versatile, comprehensive solution for both internal and external communication. Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC) is the key to meeting their communication goals. When virtual meeting room software was first introduced, it was associated with low functionality and a high price tag. Today, there are enough choices available for any business to find cost-friendly, high performance software and applications. UCCs generally feature collaboration on documents and projects, virtual meeting rooms, internal messaging apps, VoIP telephony, and more. Often a UCC will integrate seamlessly with customer management systems and other line of business apps.

With the rate that technology changes, partnering with Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. as technology advisor and IT service provider will allow you to know that your technology is yielding you the highest rates of productivity and efficiency possible. Would you like to learn more about what managed IT can do for you? Reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.

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IT Outsourcing Has a Surprising History

IT Outsourcing Has a Surprising History

You might have only recently heard about outsourced IT services, but you might be surprised to hear that they have been around for far longer than you previously thought. Even before managed IT, however, business owners and individuals alike were using the outsourced services of others to simplify operations and day-to-day tasks related to their technology management.

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Save Time and See Results with Managed IT

Save Time and See Results with Managed IT

Managing a business is a tedious endeavor where time is a precious commodity. Therefore, it’s the goal of every business owner to dedicate as much of their time as possible to leading profit-making initiatives, which, let’s face it, can’t happen if you’re busy troubleshooting computer and network problems.


Enter outsourced IT, the perfect solution to free up time so you can get back to doing what you do best, leading your company to economic security.

How much time exactly will outsourcing your IT save you? That all depends on how involved you currently are with managing your company’s IT. The best way to put a hard number to this is to analyze the individual IT tasks that you’re currently overseeing. Then, once you’ve listed these tasks out, compare the results with the services provided by an outsourced IT company like Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc..

The IT services that you can outsource to us include:

  • Unlimited remote and on-site support
  • Active Directory administration and maintenance
  • File, folder, and share administration
  • Security administration
  • Network policy enforcement and administration
  • Managed anti-virus and spyware monitoring, maintenance, and removal
  • Backing up data as often as every 15 minutes
  • Backing up open documents without interruption
  • Restore deleted or corrupt files quickly
  • Automatically protect your organization from inappropriate workplace content
  • Intrusion prevention to stop hackers before they reach internal servers and desktops
  • Protocol control to reclaim network bandwidth from applications that normally evade firewall rules

If you’ve got a hand in managing even some of these basic IT tasks, then imagine what your schedule would look like if you didn’t have to touch these tasks ever again; or, anything on this list for that matter. By going this route with your IT, the amount of time you will save, even by eliminating only the small maintenance tasks on your day, will add up to a significant portion of time that you can invest in more lucrative endeavors.

At the end of the day, you as a busy business owner must take an honest look at your situation and ask, is IT your responsibility, or are you trying to run a business? Freeing up the time your schedule longs for is as easy as making a phone call to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. at (508) 622-5100. Don’t delay, call us today!

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Two Approaches to IT Support. One Clear Winner

Two Approaches to IT Support. One Clear Winner

As a modern business, your success depends on your technology functioning properly. As many businesses have discovered when their solutions did not function as intended, the effects can have considerable impact to their success rates. To help keep your business running, you need to be sure that your solutions are maintained.

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Budget Feeling Restrictive? Here’s How Managed IT Can Help

Budget Feeling Restrictive? Here’s How Managed IT Can Help

As more and more businesses rely on technology solutions to accomplish their everyday tasks, there is a natural expectation for there to be a bit of a learning curve as these advanced solutions are prioritized and accounted for. However, a few industry research firms have compiled their expectations for how this learning curve tendency will influence the needs and challenges businesses will face during the rest of the year.

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You Deserve an IT Provider that Cares as Much as You Do

You Deserve an IT Provider that Cares as Much as You Do

Two major concerns of every business owner are the protection of their company and making sure their technology does what it’s supposed to do. It can be overwhelming to manage these two aspects on your own, which makes outsourcing the security and maintenance of your IT such an attractive option.

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How to Get "All You Can Eat” IT Support Without Overspending

How to Get "All You Can Eat” IT Support Without Overspending

Let’s say you get a bill in the mail for technology support, but you don’t necessarily know why you got it. Pretty troubling, right? Clearly someone in your organization isn’t privy about the proper method of getting help for their technology, but if you regularly work with a break-fix IT provider, this kind of correspondence (and cost) is unavoidable. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.


The aforementioned scenario is created when you expect your employees to contact tech support when they are experiencing an issue, rather than contacting someone within your organization. If your company doesn’t have someone dedicated to IT support, they might be left with no choice but to reach out to someone who can help them, whether it’s in your budget or not; especially if it means completing a project on time. How can you keep your organization from being surprised by hefty IT support invoices?

It’s clear that working with a managed service provider who offers help desk support is better for your business. Managed IT providers like Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. charge only a flat monthly rate based on your service level agreement, rather than unexpected bills for unexpected support. You don’t have to worry about a stray call from an employee accruing extra charges since, as the call is covered under your service level agreement.

Consider how much can change simply by looking at your help desk solution in a different way. If your organization is billed per call for IT help, your employees might hesitate to reach out when something goes wrong. While these intentions are noble, IT issues that go ignored can escalate into full-fledged problems that can eventually cause downtime. Workers using machines that suffer from performance issues will be less productive, causing long-term problems and creating stress for your workforce.

Give Your Staff “All You Can Eat” IT Support
A good solution to the IT support conundrum is to give your staff access to unlimited IT support so that they can get the most out of their technology and perform their tasks with minimal issue. You want an IT provider that isn’t billed per call, but one that costs a set rate every month. This means that you can effectively get as much support as you want and/or need for no extra cost. This is extraordinarily important if you want a predictable IT budget.

But How Can You Get this Kind of IT Assistance?
We know a reliable way to make sure that your business never has trouble accessing trained IT professionals. Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. wants to help your organization get past the problem of a limited IT budget through affordable monthly payments for all-you-can-eat IT support. With a help desk solution from Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc., you’ll never be left wanting more with your IT support. Gorge yourself on our expertise and use it to further your business’s operations.

To learn more, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.

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How a Haphazard Approach to IT Only Creates More Problems

How a Haphazard Approach to IT Only Creates More Problems

We have been very fortunate to assist many organizations, and this experience has given us a certain perspective of how many businesses approach their technology maintenance. We often work with new businesses to audit the performance of their IT. We’ve found that small businesses tend to have more issues and are susceptible to bigger vulnerabilities. These aren’t networks that go ignored either--many of them currently pay for an “expert” to support them.

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Is Your IT Staff Stressed? Here’s How We Can Help

Is Your IT Staff Stressed? Here’s How We Can Help

The purpose of an internal IT department is, in theory, twofold: first, they are supposed to strategize a future for the company’s information technology, with the secondary responsibility of troubleshooting and tending to the technological issues a business faces. However, the reality is that many IT departments find themselves with no time to innovate, as they are swamped under service requests for technical issues.

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4 Ways Outsourced IT Lets You Do Much More for Much Less

4 Ways Outsourced IT Lets You Do Much More for Much Less

The traditional break-fix IT model has given way to a more comprehensive and hands-off approach called managed IT. Managing technology solutions can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right combination of outsourced IT services, your business can take advantage of enterprise-level solutions without dealing with the expensive costs and extensive resources required to do so. Here are four of the many ideal ways that you can leverage managed IT services for your business.


Cloud Management
The cloud continues to increase in popularity, in part due to the overwhelming convenience that it provides for small businesses. When your workforce needs to be agile, they need access to data and applications on the move. This means that they can be productive anytime, anywhere. However, managing a cloud server can be a daunting task for a business that doesn’t have a full-time internal IT department. Outsourcing this responsibility to a managed service provider lets your business focus on productivity, rather than managing your technology.

Network Security
Network security requires significant knowledge of the latest threats and vulnerabilities, and as such, you don’t want just anyone handling the security of your systems. You need a professional who has a thorough understanding of your business’s endpoints, network connections, and vulnerabilities. This type of work is best handled by a third party that can guarantee your business stays secure, while you focus on keeping your organization running smoothly.

Remote Management and Maintenance
Management and maintenance of technology is a critical pain point for many small businesses, as they often don’t have the internal IT department to handle it. The unfortunate truth of technology is that unless it gets the attention it needs, expensive downtime can result. For example, your servers need to stay up, but they require periodic maintenance to stay functional. Remote monitoring and maintenance solutions allow a managed service provider to administer this type of assistance without costly on-site visits, making it both convenient and affordable.

Help Desk Support
One of the most valuable services provided by any IT company is a help desk, which can offer assistance with technology solutions as per the agreed-upon service level. This helps to ensure that your employees get the help they need when they need it. Plus, if you have an internal IT department, outsourced help desk support can keep the pressure of providing support off of your internal team, so they can focus on more important tasks.

If you haven’t yet chosen to implement managed IT services for your business, why not start with one of the above services? As time goes on, and your investment is rewarded with decreased downtime and improved efficiency, you might see an opportunity for even greater savings down the road. To learn more about our managed IT solutions, reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. at (508) 622-5100.

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Tip of the Week: 6 PC Troubleshooting Guidelines that Every User Should Know

Tip of the Week: 6 PC Troubleshooting Guidelines that Every User Should Know

When was the last time that you ran into a problem that was easily solvable, simply by restarting your computer or unplugging a device from the wall, then plugging it back in? Often times, simple troubleshooting tactics can be enough to resolve a problem, but more often than not, there are issues that can’t be easily resolved. It’s these ones that hold businesses back, and we’re here to help.

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Here's Why Managed IT is Better IT

b2ap3_thumbnail_manged_it_is_the_way_to_go_400.jpgThe break-fix IT model can be exhausting and unpredictable. When your technology unexpectedly breaks down, you shouldn’t have to grasp at straws just to keep operations running. Thanks to the proactive approach of managed IT services, the break-fix model is on borrowed time. Will your business move on from this antiquated method of managing technology, or will it remain stuck in the past, unable to move forward?

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Your IT Department Should Be Your Allies, Not an Afterthought

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_that_works_for_you_400.jpgHow involved in your operations is your IT department? Does your SMB even have an IT department? Many organizations tend to consider IT an afterthought because they don’t believe themselves to be targets for hackers, or don’t anticipate costly technology issues. However, these business owners underestimate the power of complete transparency between an organization and IT.

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4 Reasons Why SMBs Need Remote IT Support

it_support_for_smb_400.jpgTechnology is an imperative part of your business’s operations, but sometimes things don’t go quite as planned. It can fail when you least expect it to, and you’d really hate to pay your IT provider for an on-site visit. What can you do when you’re in a technology bind and need to keep operations moving forward?

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Outsourcing IT Automatically Gives Your Business Access to New Skillsets

b2ap3_thumbnail_outsourced_it_works_for_business_400.jpgIt’s well known in the business world that outsourcing your IT will yield significant savings for your IT budget. However, did you know that the benefits of outsourcing IT go beyond monetary savings? For example, gaining access to a new skillset is just one valuable benefit to outsourced IT that doesn’t have a column in your budget.

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Cat Tech Support: You’ve Gotta Be Kitten Me!

b2ap3_thumbnail_kitty_tech_support_400.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that cat memes infest the Internet to the point where it’s difficult to not see one. But, have you considered that it might not be that people are obsessed with cats, and that maybe the cats are simply overwhelmed by their ego as a superior race? Perhaps cats understand technology far better than even humans do, and they are the masterminds behind why the Internet has gone cat-crazy.

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Can You Tell the Difference Between an IT Issue and an IT Problem?

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_is_the_problem_400.jpgWe often discuss why it’s important that a business takes proactive measures to resolve IT issues before they become problems, but these definitions might be lost on some of our followers. In order to understand the true value of our IT services, it’s imperative that you’re able to distinguish the difference between these two disruptive sources to your technology.

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Windows Server 2003 End of Support Date is Fast Approaching

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_03_end_of_support_400.jpgTechnology has come a long way since 2003. It seems like just yesterday that Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP, and in just a few short months, they’ll be dropping support for Windows Server 2003, as well. If your business is one of the many still utilizing this server operating system, you’ll want to make sure that you upgrade away from it before July 14th, 2015. Otherwise, you’ll be running without security patches or updates.

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As Seen in Zoolander, Tech Support Miscommunication Can Be Frustrating

b2ap3_thumbnail_tech_support_miscommunication_400.jpgIT support is heavily reliant upon communication between both parties involved. Without both sides being on the same page, IT support miscommunications are far more likely to happen. Sometimes you just can’t help but laugh at poor communication skills, as seen in the 2001 movie Zoolander. But thankfully, these situations don’t arise too often in the non-fictional universe… right?

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About Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.

Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. strives to provide the best comprehensive IT, Computer, and Networking services to small businesses. We can handle all of your organization's technology challenges, starting with planning, implementing, and supporting the IT solutions that are critical to your growth and success. Learn More

(508) 285-5080

130 South Washington Street
North Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760