Blog

September 21st, 2012

Gainesville Business of the Year AwardsComputerCare recently received some very exciting news. The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce informed us that we have been nominated as a candidate for Business of the Year 2012 in the Best Business Expansion category! We are thrilled about the nomination, and we know that such an honor could not be possible without our amazing staff, our incredible local business partnerships, and the fantastic clients that we serve everyday.

ComputerCare was founded with humble beginnings and evolved organically, from simple word of mouth referrals. Over time, we have transitioned from a one man show providing computer repair, to a 10 person company providing businesses with comprehensive IT consulting and service. Initially, ComputerCare carved a niche from the ever increasing frustrations associated with reactive computer repairs. However, ComputerCare quickly identified a greater need for guidance with proactive IT support with area businesses. As a result, a far more comprehensive business model was conceived, far greater than simply fixing computers, that would encompass strategic IT consulting, implementation, and continued maintenance and support.

Simply put, ComputerCare evolved along side of current day to day business operations. We recognized more emphasis was needed on proactive strategic consulting and solutions as opposed to reactive service failure issues. Utilizing certified IT professionals and state of the art software, ComputerCare now focuses on preventing network failures and works to mitigate them quickly if in fact they do occur. In all honesty, we had no idea we would need to expand so quickly. Anyone who has visited our offices recently can testify to that! We found ourselves unsure of whether or not our services were going to be valued by businesses in our community. Over time, however, we quickly found out there was a definitive demand for our services!

Since 2009, ComputerCare has grown substantially, and currently employs 10 staff members. Through maintaining solid relationships and continuing to foster solid partnerships with other businesses in the community, we are able to navigate this growth without incurring large amounts of debt. We attribute this smart growth to the same principles that govern our service offerings; solid strategic planning and precise execution of our goals. Although our growth has been challenging, the addition of qualified staff, investment in better service tools, and partnerships with leading resources in the field have put us in a position that allows us to continue to focus on improving our client service by streamlining our processes and systems. New opportunities have come with growth, and providing additional high level training for our staff, including in house and employer subsidized training, is apart of our immediate business plan. Our growth has been challenging because it was unexpected. But as we sit shoulder to shoulder, poised to move into a larger office space in the next few weeks, it only seems that much more appropriate being nominated for the Best Business Expansion category!

ComputerCare takes great pride in our growth, because we know it has an immediate impact on our local business community. Although providing local jobs is a natural byproduct of growth, our service offerings promote increased efficiency of local businesses by keeping companies focused on their primary business functions and providing them sophisticated tools to improve their overall business operations.

We would like to give a special thanks to LibertyAir Air Conditioning and Heating for nominating us. We know that with your continued support, ComputerCare will continue to find success and recognition as a positive representative of the Gainesville business community.

Photo Credit: Gainesville Chamber of Commerce

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August 3rd, 2012

We are excited to announce that we have officially outgrown our current space and will be moving to a new location (yet to be determined) within the next two months. This move will have a definite increase on our efficiency and will allow us to add more staff to our support center, increasing our response and resolution times.

We are very grateful to have reached a point where this is a necessary move and will keep you posted on the where and when.

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November 15th, 2011

We’d like to give a shout out to Sun Country and extend a big congratulations. Their recent Howl-A-Palooza event raised almost $7000 for the March of Dimes. Way to go Jodi, Linda and Sun Country team!

Topic News
August 3rd, 2011

If you use Window XP, it might just be the time for you to upgrade (or at least start planning to upgrade) as Microsoft has announced plans to pull the plug on Windows XP support in 2014. While that may be a couple of years away, it never hurts to start assessing your options so the eventual move to newer Microsoft OS will be as smooth and efficient as possible.

Part of using any sort of software is the inevitable need to upgrade. Most if not all software needs to either be replaced and upgraded as the demands of the market entail more efficient processing of the various data and information a business handles.

Such is the case with Windows XP. While many continue to use this proven straightforward operating system, Microsoft has decided to stop support by the year 2014. Microsoft further recommends upgrading to its latest OS, Windows 7, in order for users to continue to receive OS support.

While there are some lines of business applications that have not been upgraded to work with Windows 7, most have and there are alternative approaches. Also, your business needs the security and protection that only a current, up-to-date operating system can provide.

We understand that changing your OS will entail some expense, including new licenses, hardware, and some training. Fortunately, these things are designed to help you operate more efficiently and increase your productivity in the long run. But such change will take time, and if you are interested in starting to plan for an upgrade now, we’ll be happy to sit down with you and develop an upgrade process that meets your specific needs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
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July 6th, 2011

Heather has been selected for the 38th class of Leadership Gainesville (LG). LG is a year long leadership program that accepts approximately 40 participants each year following completion of a competitive application process. Heather begins the program in August.

Topic News
June 6th, 2011

NOW HIRING FIELD TECHNICIAN/NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR

We are currently seeking a high level technician to handle on-site second and third tier service requests, network administration and some help desk responsibilities on occasion. This is being advertised as a full time position but a part time position will be considered. Occasional overtime and on-call may be required.

If you are (or someone you know is) looking for an opportunity to build a career in I.T. with a growing company that has a solid foundation and presence here in Gainesville, understand the importance of professionalism in dress and attitude, view courteous customer service as the rule, rather than the exception, view teamwork as mandatory, not optional, have a sense of humor, are able and willing to work independently in the field, want to be a part of a company known for it’s uncompromising quality, dependability and professionalism, and emphasize effective and clear communication in your work style, then please contact Heather at hremer@computercarellc.com for more information about the technical and educational requirements for this position.

Topic News
May 24th, 2011

Hackers continue to target online banking transactions as many SMBs do not realize the vulnerabilities in their current arrangements with their bank. Left unaddressed, you run the risk of allowing cyber-criminals to steal tens of thousands of dollars right from under your nose.

In a recent attack, cyber-thieves managed to get away with $63,000 after they exploited vulnerabilities in the online payroll system of a small business with its bank.

First, the crooks managed to infiltrate the company’s system through a piece of malware called the Zeus Trojan. This gave them access to the company’s data, including the password and username used in transacting with the company’s bank. The thieves then created several new ghost employees and created payroll accounts for them, which they sent to the bank and authenticated using the company controller’s username and password. And to cover their tracks, the hackers erased the confirmation emails regarding the transaction.

This incident highlights the need for better security systems in both the business and their bank as security experts cite online banking transactions as one of the favorite targets of cyber-criminals. Cyber-attacks such as this one exploit weaknesses in many existing systems that rely on very simple and automated authentication procedures to confirm transactions.

A direct threat to your business finances is not something to be taken lightly. You not only need to review your current online banking system, but also the current security protocols you have installed, since hackers and cyber-criminals are constantly updating Trojans and other malware to adapt to changing IT protection systems.

We encourage you to have us take a look at the systems you have in place to determine if you are at risk for attacks like these. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to draw up custom security solutions that address your specific needs.

References:
Sold a Lemon in Internet Banking
Cybercrooks Drive Away With $63,000 from Car Dealership

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
April 13th, 2011

clear padlockInitiatives such as WebBlaze and BitBlaze from the mind of IT genius Professor Dawn Song are setting the bar high for security, constantly providing solutions developers can use to create better security for their clients.

If you think hackers are the only ones doing their research to release newer and scarier viruses and malware on the web, think again. It is comforting to know that there are also very capable people doing what they can to make the internet a safer place like Professor Dawn Song, associate professor at the University of California at Berkeley and MacArthur Foundation fellow.

In a nutshell, Professor Song has been looking at different ways to make the internet experience more secure. Her two initiatives WebBlaze and BitBlaze are aimed toward developers who want to create better and much more secure programs and applications.

WebBlaze is a compilation of different strategies from Song and other like minds who tackle different problems and solutions in all sorts of platforms, and BitBlaze is an analysis tool for malicious software. While we won’t go into too much detail (it involves very complicated math), the gist is that Song and her colleagues are drawing up some very solid solutions to constantly evolving security issues on the web.

It’s exciting to see developments like these in the security industry. As threats continue to evolve, so does the means through which they are fought. The more we use the internet and the more the online experience becomes integral to the day-to-day operations of businesses big and small, the more important securing your data and information becomes. And because of efforts such as Professor Song’s, we can expect security programs to be much more effective and efficient as time passes.

Know more about BitBlaze and WebBlaze

Learn more about Dawn Song here

If you are looking to assess and beef up your security systems, we’d be happy to sit down with you and take a look at improvements that can make your business and your data much more secure.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
January 13th, 2011

unfriendThe drive to be more intimate can benefit your business. If you have a tighter circle of customers, you will establish yourself as a channel for consumption. This will make your next sale easier compared to the first.

November 17, 2010 was declared by Jimmy Kimmel during his television show as “National Unfriend Day”, the opportunity for all Facebook users to declutter their Facebook pages by “unfriending” people in their friends’ lists. He claims that Facebook has been “cheapening” the idea of friendship. To many the idea was hilarious, but others are seriously considering the wisdom of unfriending.

Is Kimmel on to something here? Can unfriending benefit your online business?

Research shows that as social media gets bigger, we’re getting smaller. Brian Wong, a network marketer says it simply: “With the growth of social networking, I am finding it increasingly difficult to separate business connections and personal connections.” He says that having almost 1,000 friends on Facebook has made it difficult for him to see the feeds and updates of his “real” friends and important business partners.

Lately there is a growing trend of de-scaling on the internet. People have started “pruning” their social lives online. For example, the popular Farmville app lost 30 million players this year, and people are beginning to realize that conversations and comments are more important than a huge number of blog hits.

So how can de-scaling and unfriending help your business? The drive to be more intimate can benefit your business by allowing you to form a tighter circle of customers, more successfully establishing you as a preferred channel for consumption.

Luckily, there are tools that can help you descale your social networks:

  1. Path Offers small-scale communities where people feel more comfortable sharing personal information. It controls who can view your information and does not include features that make your content viral.
  2. Letter.ly A subscription-based newsletter for bloggers who feel that public posts decrease the quality of conversations. This newsletter opens discussion only to people who pay, or who are privately invited to read a blog post.
  3. GroupMe A texting app which limits your group text participants to only 14, to ensure that meaningful dialogues take place.

What about the flip side of unfriending and descaling? While you’re considering who to eliminate from your social circles, your contacts are likely doing the same. Here are some tips to help you make their cuts:

1.       Be selective in your communications.
Of course, your product is important to you. But not every little detail is as important to your audience. Be sure to focus on key features and benefits from your audience’s perspective.

2.       Stay on topic.
Always give relevant communications to your customers, and never rant or badmouth competitors. This is a sure way to lose customers.

3.       Provide value.
In addition to talking about your product or service, find ways to provide value to your circle of friends. Understand topics and pain points important to them, and provide valuable information and advice to help them succeed. You’ll soon come to be considered as a valuable resource to your contacts one that they want to keep in their online social groups.

One thing is clear: quality is still more important than quantity, especially in the current economic downturn when people are downsizing everything. Start “pruning” your social network and take steps to avoid being pruned and you’ll reap the benefits of having a tight circle of loyal friends and customers.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic News
December 31st, 2010

painted wifi signal on the wallOpen Wi-Fi networks are indispensable, especially for people who need to work on the go. But without the proper security, you may find that they can prove to be troublesome as well.

These days, more and more people are on the go, and many of them bring their work with them. And in this day and age, it’s ideal if you’re working or playing for that matter while connected to the internet, which is often through public Wi-Fi hotspots.

While connecting to public and open-access Wi-Fi hotspots is indeed convenient, using open networks also poses risks that endanger your security. The open nature that allows anyone to use the connection also enables unscrupulous people to gain access to your private information. The whole act of stealing information from people who are using public Wi-Fi networks is called ‘sidejacking’.

There are applications such as Firesheep, for example, that provide an easy-to-use platform that others can exploit to spy and harvest personal, sensitive information from you. And since Firesheep is a Mozilla Firefox plug in, virtually anyone can download and use it to sidejack people on the same network.

You can’t be too cautious with your personal and business data these days, so you always need to have the proper laptop configuration and security infrastructure to protect your system, especially when you frequently avail of open and public networks. To know more about this, please feel free to give us a call and we’ll be happy to draw up some security options that meet your specific needs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
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