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Learning more about Cisco Networking

Written by MailSure IT Services on October 29th, 2012

Cisco networking is becoming more important as more and more companies utilize Cisco systems for their IT infrastructures. By equipping yourself with knowledge regarding the Cisco environment, you can become an invaluable tool for a company who would want to maintain or expand their IT setup.

Here are some ways for you to be able to learn more Cisco networking techniques:

Visit the internet:

The easiest and probably cheapest way would be to visit websites about Cisco networking. These websites would often have some basic learning materials which you could use if you just want to get your feet wet when it comes to Cisco networking technologies.

The Cisco Networking Academy:

One of the better ways for people to learn more about Cisco networking is through the Cisco initiated Cisco networking academy. This is an initiative started by Cisco which aims to provide networking courses to people all over the world.

Basically, Cisco systems partners with various colleges and universities and get learning materials from Cisco about networking and other computer related courses. The courses aim to prepare students for certification exams regarding Cisco technologies.

The Cisco Networking academy offers a variety of courses. This includes classes for CCNA (Cisco Certified Network associate), CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional), Wireless Networking and Network Security, all of which could be applied for a business setting.

The great thing with utilizing a Cisco networking academy for learning more about Cisco technologies is you get the lessons straight from the company itself. This means that you would have a higher chance of getting the proper lessons to use for the Cisco systems.

Trainings offered by Cisco support companies:

If you can’t get into a group that offers courses from the Cisco Networking Academy your next bet would be to find a Cisco Support Company which offers trainings related to Cisco networking.

While they may not be official Cisco training, the people that run these training courses would usually have the proper certifications that are given by Cisco. This means that they would know what they are talking about and would truly be able to help you with whatever Cisco networking things you may want to learn about.

However, you should remember that not all Cisco networking training lessons are equal. As such, you should try to partner with a reputable company to ensure that you would get the best learning experience about the Cisco networking system.


IT support as a career

Written by MailSure IT Services on October 23rd, 2012

A trending line of work nowadays is IT support. More and more people want to become a part of the industry and are wondering as to how they would be able to thrive and excel in such a competitive world.

Here are some tips for those who may want to have a career in IT support:

Get interested in Technology related topics:

You don’t have to be a technology geek to become well versed in IT support; however it would help to have some kind of interest in technology in general. This is because you would be facing various technical systems and computers all day, having very little enjoyment out of them would mean that you would get easily bored with your job.

A person who has an interest in technology related topics, would be able to relate the job more to some of his likes, which with help grow his interest for the work.

Try to gain personal skills:

When you become a part of an IT support team, you would definitely be exposed to clients and partners. Other than the technical skills, it would be important for you to be able to work well with them in order to provide the service that they need. As such, it would be important to have developed people skills.

In an IT support line of work, remember that communication is very important. You should be able to talk well with your clients in order to be able to isolate the issues that they are encountering. Similarly, you should be able to coordinate with IT infrastructure and equipment vendors so that you can get the necessary support for fixing the issues.

Align yourself with a good company:

One of the more important things on jumpstarting your career is to be able to find a company that would be able to make use of your talents. There are plenty of companies who would give you contracts but would assign you to limited IT support work. Try to get a company that would hire you and place you in positions where your IT support skills would be able to shine.

Of course, you should also start factoring salary and other work bonuses as part of your qualifications to check if you are a part of a good IT support company. Aside from the financial gain, a good company may be able to provide you with training that would help develop the skills that you would need for your career in the IT support industry.


What to Look for in Cisco Consultants

Written by MailSure IT Services on October 22nd, 2012

Partnering with various cisco consultants have been one way that companies who may not be knowledgeable about the networking and IT side of things have been able to cope up with the necessity of having to put up a good IT infrastructure for the business.

Here are some good tips that you could utilize to be able to select the best Cisco consultants for your firm.


One of the ways that would help you trim down the list of Cisco consultants to get would be to check which of the have certification for the systems that you are utilizing in your office. Note that the firm Cisco actually offers certification for people who have shown adeptness at certain aspects of their technologies. They do not simply hand this out to everyone and they have a stringent process to be able to properly certify those who really made it.

By checking for Cisco certification from your Cisco consultants, you would be able to easily weed out those who are not fully qualified to do the job. Remember though that Cisco certification should not be the be all and end all option, there may be cases wherein two groups of Cisco consultants are certified but it does not mean that their level of skill in that certain Cisco technology are equal.

However, the certification would definitely be a good start.

Capability to handle upgrades:

When getting Cisco consultants it may not be ideal to simply look at the present need. Too often, companies would base their partnership with their Cisco consultants based on what they need now, this means that they would only get people who are qualified to do a certain system. While this strategy may be great for the present term, it is lacking when the time comes that you would need to replace your systems.

When you are in the process of selecting who your Cisco consultants are you should also ask if they are certified or have qualifications in technologies that you may plan to implement aside from the current need. You may also inquire if they have any plans of training or upgrading their capabilities once newer technologies come out from Cisco.

By doing those, you would be able to future-proof your relationship with your Cisco consultants as they would be able to service your needs once newer technological setups and infrastructure become available for your company,


The risks of outsourcing IT services

Written by MailSure IT Services on October 14th, 2012

IT services is one of the more commonly outsourced jobs by a company. IN theory, this is a great idea as outsourcing IT related tasks would help free up the company resources to focus on things that they are more capable of doing.

However, there are always risks when it comes to outsourcing:

Loss of control:

As the name implies, outsourcing would mean that you would let an “outside” company do the work that your team needs in order to operate. By this, it could mean minor things such as quick fixes to major things such as system overhaul. When this happens, you begin exposing your business to more external factors.

For example, if your IT services outsourcing partner would have some form of labor dispute, then that means your operations would also come to a halt. Similarly, the people that you would allow to work on your systems are not employees of your company, as such, they may not have the same rules and regulations that you want to have in place.

No employee buy-in:

Remember that a company is nothing without its employees. When you outsource your IT services, it means that people who work for your company are not necessarily your employees. This means that they may not work as though they have a stake in the business’s success.

Another buy in problem is the fact that existing employees may feel threatened. They may think that the company does not necessarily care for them as they would rely on outsourced IT services in the blink of an eye. They may even feel that the company is just waiting for a chance to replace them with project staff and outsourced personnel.

So should you avoid outsourcing?

This does not mean that outsourcing IT services is not a good idea. There are actually more situations
wherein outsourcing is a better option than doing everything in house. Remember that despite some
of the risks mentioned, there are more than a thousand ways wherein going the outsource route for IT
services can benefit your company.

All of these kinds of risks that were mentioned above can be easily mitigated if you find a reliable IT
services partner. A company that is already known for top notch services would probably lessen the risks
that were mentioned above. As such, the selection process is quite important. You should be able to
choose a company which has a proven track record of being able to deliver on their promises.


What you get by rooting your Android phone

Written by MailSure IT Services on October 3rd, 2012

Rooting an android device is something that is commonly discussed by people with Android gadgets. However, with the already advanced original firmware as well as the customizations that are already in place, some people are wondering as to what they would actually get from rooting their Android phone.

Here are some of the advantages that you can get from rooting:

More advanced control for your device:

The biggest benefit of rooting would be giving you more control for your device. It would allow you to edit some system rules which have already been pre-loaded or pre-determined by the manufacturer. For example, before Google actually built in the features of Wi-Fi tethering or Apps moving to the SD card, those who had rooted phones were already able to use them via customized features.

Similarly, there are some apps that require additional system access and privileges. Rooting your phone enables you to grant these to the applications which allow you to run them.

Ability to change your system’s ROMs:

One of the biggest advantages for rooting your Android device is so that you would be able to replace the hardware manufacturer’s configuration of your device. Remember that save for the “Nexus” devices, HTC, Samsung, Acer, and all those other manufacturers would have their own customizations on top of the Android operating system. You would also add the fact that carriers would also preload some applications on the devices that you are getting from them.

If you don’t like these customizations and applications, then you can try to root and flash a custom ROM. A custom ROM are modified versions of Android which often have simpler skins, better performance and a smoother user-experience.

You get to experience the updates:

Another thing that you can get via rooted devices is a faster use of the updated software. If you had stuck with the original firmware, then you are at the mercy of the choice of the manufacturer and the carrier if your phone would get an update. This was the case for some people which had phones that where running Froyo (Android 2.2) while the Gingerbread version (2.3) had already been released.

As stated above, there are actually custom ROMS available which would actually allow you to use a higher version of android for your device. For example, the ZTE blade which actually started with Éclair now actually has custom roms for it that utilizes the Gingerbread software.


HTC to release an Nexus device?

Written by MailSure IT Services on October 1st, 2012

There are rumors that the new Nexus device would not be a Samsung tablet, but would actually be made by HTC.

A Phablet in the works?

There are now rumors that the new Nexus device would actually be a “phablet”. A phablet is actually a portmanteau of the words Phone and Tablet. This is because it is too small to be a full tablet but is too large to be a phone. A very notable example would probably be the Samsung Galaxy Note, which was derided for being in between the two sizes by critics but actually made an impact in the market.

Many analysts believe that the new Google Nexus device would have a 5 inch screen and would have phone capabilities (unlike the Nexus 7). This would definitely put it in the category of a phablet.

Rumored capabilities:

As with all rumored launches, there are speculations that are flying around regarding the capabilities of the HTC Nexus device. One of the rumors state that it would be powered by a Snapdragon S4 chipset to improve the performance. It would also have a 12 megapixel back camera and a 2-megapixel front camera for video chatting. What’s more amazing is that the device is supposed to have a 1080p screen for a crystal clear viewing experience.

The rumors also say that to be able to power all these components, the HTC nexus device would have a 2500mAh battery. Given the power of the mechanisms inside, it is quite understandable that it would need a rather large battery source.

Not the only one:

The thing is there are rumors that aside from the HTC device, there would actually be other Nexus devices. They say that there are supposed to be 5 Nexus devices that are coming in the next wave and that those 5 would actually come from different manufacturers.

It would be interesting to see if these devices would actually cannibalize each other and which among these devices would actually be more supported.

When will it be released:

They say that the device may not yet be in the horizon. This is because Nexus devices are usually launched alongside milestone updates of the Android operating system. For example, the Galaxy Nexus S was announced to coincide with the Gingerbread (2.3) launch.

Thus people believe that they would actually release this HTC device on the day that they would announce their newest OS version; Key lime pie.


Is the Newer Ipad in the works?

Written by MailSure IT Services on September 27th, 2012

There are so many rumors stating that Apple would follow up their Iphone 5 and new generation of iPods with a new line of their iPad. The biggest change to this iPad would supposedly come in the way that it would have a new form factor. It would move away from the 10 inch size and going towards a 7.85 inch screen.

Of course, these are all rumors but it has not stopped people from analyzing and assessing what it would mean for the iPad in general and for Apple itself.

The iPad Mini:

Rumors are saying that this 7-8 inch tablet would be called the iPad Mini. Rumors started to swirl when mock ups, email trails and casings were suddenly leaked over the internet at a very fast pace. These pictures included snippets on what the device would actually feature.

One of the more rumored features is that it would actually be cheaper than the current line of iPads that are already in the market. Many believe that this kind of cutting down the price point would be a direct response to the challenge that Google has with its Nexus 7 as well as the other line of cheaper android tablets To cut down the costs, there are speculations which say that the iPad would not feature the crystal clear retina screen that the more recent iDevices had. Many also believe that it would feature the lightning dock, and that it would have a much smaller bezel as compared with its bigger cousins.

Apple’s new outlook?

If these rumors are true, there are people who believe that they signify a rather significant shift when it comes to Apple’s outlook. First off, the iPad devices were more of the trendsetter when it comes to tablet but now they seem to be following the trends of other device makers.

Also, it shows that Apple is actually willing to buck their tradition of standing firm with regard to their products. Remember that Steve Jobs was quite adamant that the 11 inch design of the original iPad was the best configuration that they have for such devices. Now, it seems that they would believe that a smaller form factor can also work.

Similarly, If they would launch the iPad at a not so premium price, then it may show a shift that Apple now cares a bit more about their place in the pricing market and not keep on selling their products at premium costs.


Computer Support for small businesses

Written by MailSure IT Services on September 19th, 2012

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the rise of the digital age is the small businesses. Because of the power of technology, these small to medium sized firms were able to carve a niche against the bigger firms that are already in the market. However, because these small companies now need computers and other forms of technology to be able to operate, it also led to a rise of a need for computer support.

A computer support company helps by providing services for tasks that they have little resources to be able to cover. These services would include computer repair and maintenance, the installation and configuration of various hardware and software, as well as maintaining and improving the interconnectivity of the various networks that the company utilizes to be able to communicate externally and internally.

However, some small businesses are still unaware as to how to select a good computer support partner. Here are some tips that they could follow:

Technical competency:
Remember to always go for a computer support partner which has the technical competency to be able to accomplish the tasks that you want them to do. Try to look at the firm’s qualifications before agreeing to partner with them.

Choose a computer support partner that fits your budget:
Remember that one of the main benefits of outsourcing is that you would not have to spend as much resources to be able to support your firm’s technological needs. That is why you should try to get a company that would offer their services at a lower price than what you would actually spend if you would just hire the people and do the training for them.

Of course, this does not automatically mean that you should go for the cheapest option; you should still ensure that the services that you would get are able to provide the computer support needs of your firm even if you need to pay a little bit more.

Look for scalability:
As a small business; your requirements would initially be smaller. As such, you would need a computer support firm which would offer packages that can scale to what your requirements are. You would start out with a limited need for support but in case of a boom or an expansion, then you should know that your partners would also be able to expand their services along with you.

This would ensure that you would not be lacking when the time comes that your business would need to grow.


Getting an all in one Cisco partner

Written by MailSure IT Services on September 14th, 2012

Cisco equipment is one of the best methods for ensuring that your systems are all interconnected. They are a known brand when it comes to network equipment and infrastructure, and have the track record of being able to deliver and meet the expectations of their clients. As such, they are the number one choice by most companies when it’s time to layout their IT systems.

This has led to a need for Cisco consultancy partners. These partners would help ensure that your company would have all the things they need in order to have a trouble free Cisco powered network.

However, there is now a trend wherein the Cisco consultancy partners would not just be there to advise your company; but would provide you with end to end support so that you can ensure smooth operations. Many firms swear by the advantages of getting an all in one Cisco partner.

Here are some of the supposed advantages that it can give you:

Unified solution:

When you get the same guys for your Cisco consultancy and your actual procurement and implementation needs, then you are certain that you would get a unified solution. You would be able to easily avoid the situation wherein your Cisco consultancy partners would call for the use of specific equipment, while the installation and configuration team would give you advice on a different setup.

This would help lessen the confusion and ensure that the operability of the infrastructure would not be compromised.

Lesser Mismatches in terms of equipment:

Another good thing by getting the same Cisco consultancy partner as you equipment provider is that you would probably encounter lesser mismatches in terms of what the consultants ask you to get and the equipment that is available.

This is because the recommendation of the equipment and the procurement would come from the same team. Your Cisco consultancy partner would probably recommend the equipment that they already have at hand or at least know where you would actually be able to acquire the necessary hardware for you to follow their assessment.


Lastly, you may also be able to get a cheaper rate for getting the assessment and installation/ configuration from a single source. Instead of having to talk to and pay two companies, you would be able to unify and only pay one for both services.

Some Cisco consultancy teams would even offer entire packages that cover all the services that you need.


Is Voicemail still necessary?

Written by MailSure IT Services on September 12th, 2012

Aside from the question of “why didn’t the popular victims use a secure voicemail provider?” one of the questions that people asked when the news of the voicemail hacking scandal raised was: “people actually still use voicemail?”

The truth is that people are wondering whether having secure voicemail is still necessary. In the age of text messages, emails, and instant messaging, people are wondering if it had led voicemail to become obsolete.

Many say that being able to communicate your message is now much easier by using the aforementioned text based messaging channels than actually leaving a message via secure voicemail. People rarely check the voicemail inbox but most would read their SMS and Email inboxes as well as their instant messaging clients.

Secure Voicemail:

Yes, I do believe that a secure voicemail is still necessary. First off, there are some things that are much easier to communicate via voice instead of having to type the message. For example, a joking or even sarcastic tone is easily conveyed over voicemail but over a text message or an email might become construed as something else. That is why people would still want to try and get that vocal aspect when they send their messages.

Another reason for the importance of a secure voicemail is the fact that you cannot control how your partners would actually try to communicate with you. As such, there would still be partners who would want to contact you via voicemail. Having a Secure voicemail would ensure that even if these people would utilize this communication channel to be able to relay their messages to you, the information would still be protected.

In the future:

No one can really plot out the future of secure voicemail. It could actually soon be replaced by other technologies just as how the voicemail was able to eat up the share of the answering machine. In fact, reports today note that the usage of voicemail is actually on the decline.

However, just as long as it is still available, then there really is no harm in getting your own secure voicemail, you would never know when you might actually need it. After all, if you would be able to get a good secure voicemail provider then you are just opening yourself to a more secure communication channel that you and your partners may opt to utilize in case you would have confidential discussions.