Tech Talk

WEBINAR: Managed IT Services: Making the Transition to Simplicity

With Bluetowne’s Managed IT Services you’ll be free from necessary, but time-consuming tasks. Tasks like monitoring and managing your IT infrastructure, performing server maintenance and updates, and remediating end-user issues. You’ll be free to focus the right people and resources on the right things. Your strategic initiatives will fall into place all while increasing efficiency and productivity.

Join us on Wednesday, July 10th at 10:00 AM to learn how Bluetowne’s Managed IT Services can help your company:

  • Operate more efficiently and effectively
  • Enhance End-User productivity and satisfaction
  • Receive immediate, real-time support via the BlueCare Help Desk
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enjoy the peace of mind associated with our ongoing security reviews
  • Refocus on promoting growth and profit
  • Ensure the greatest possible availability and performance
  • Enjoy the peace of mind associated with a reliable and secure platform
  • Avoid the stress and cost associated with an unforseen network outage

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WHY MANAGED IT SUPPORT?

Because life and work move fast, and you have enough on your plate.  Free yourself to focus on more strategic business initiatives, while Bluetowne handles your daily IT operations. 

We know every business’s technology needs are different and that having the right IT support in place is mission-critical. Bluetowne provides customized solutions to fit your business and budget. Your employees will be supported and IT systems monitored, where any potential issues are resolved before they can present a problem. Our Managed IT Support offering eliminates the need to have dedicated resources in-house, and positions your company to benefit from Bluetowne’s wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of your environment.

End-User Support

Make sure your end-users get what they need, when they need it. Providing around-the-clock help desk support for end-users is a potentially unrealistic endeavor, yet keeping employees up and running is absolutely critical to driving your business forward. Bluetowne provides responsive, seamless and high quality support to your end-users so your business can:

  • Operate more efficiently and effectively
  • Enhance End-User productivity and satisfaction
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Refocus on promoting growth and profit
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Hurricane Season Begins June 1: Resolve to be Resilient

With hurricane season starting June 1st, we are officially in the ‘hurricane prep’ season.  Now is the time to take responsibility to enable your business to continue to operate through whatever storm it is forced to weather.  We will work with you to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that your organization can to continue to deliver your products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident, and ensure optimized, speedy recovery and restoration of your data and applications.

To prepare your business for hurricane season, Bluetowne will work with you to:
  • Review and validate your disaster recovery plan
  • Review and validate your business continuity plan
  • Verify backups are running and test restores
  • Verify your team is prepared for work stoppage  and resumption tasks
  • Validate your IT infrastructure is sound, up-to-date and stable

All too often, we find that companies overrate their level of readiness. When an emergency or disruption hits – chaos and confusion ensue, rather than quick response and recovery.  Resolve to be resilient by carving out some time to focus on your preparedness efforts.

Our mission is to support you, so let us know how we can assist by giving us a call at 843.352.0130 or shoot us an e-mail.

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By the Numbers: Microsoft Patch Tuesday

windows8patchtuesdayThe final patch Tuesday of 2016 has arrived. Yesterday, Microsoft released their monthly set of security bulletins designed to address security vulnerabilities within their products. This month’s release contains 12 bulletins addressing 48 vulnerabilities. Six bulletins are rated critical and address vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Edge, Microsoft Graphics Components, Microsoft Uniscribe, and Adobe Flash Player. The remaining seven bulletins are rated important and address vulnerabilities in various Windows components including kernel, crypto driver, and installer.

Not sure if you’re protected? Bluetowne can help! 843.352.0130 or info@bluetowne.com.

Bulletins Rated Critical

Microsoft bulletins MS16-144 through MS16-148 and MS16-154 are rated as critical in this month’s release.

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Phishing Scams: Don’t Take the Bait

aug05-history-phishing-scamsWe have received a couple of forwarded e-mails from clients over the past several days asking if a particular e-mail they received was legitimate and if it was safe to click on the contained links.  The answer in all cases was NO, that these were bogus e-mails with links pointing to malware or spyware.

Phishing attacks are more rampant then ever before, so we wanted to take this opportunity to share a few of our top tips for spotting phishing e-mails:

1) TIP 1: LOOK BUT DON’T CLICK
Hover your mouse over any links embedded in the body of the email. If the link
address displayed is different than the link in the e-mail, don’t click on it.  For example:

2) TIP 2: ANALYZE FORMATTING AND LOOK FOR SPELLING MISTAKES
Phishing e-mails are often overly simple with poor formatting and
spelling errors.  Brands are pretty serious about email, and legitimate
messages usually do not have major spelling mistakes or poor grammar.

3) DON’T TRUST THE DISPLAY NAME
A favorite phishing tactic among cybercriminals is to spoof the display name of an
email, because most user inboxes only present the display name.  Check the
“From” email address in the header – if looks suspicious, don’t open the email.

4) BEWARE OF URGENT OR THREATENING LANGUAGE IN SUBJECT LINE
Invoking a sense of urgency or fear is a common phishing tactic. Beware of subject
lines that claim your “account has been suspended”, “payment has been declined”
or your account had an “unauthorized login attempt.”

Phishers are extremely good at what they do. Just because an email has convincing brand logos, language, and came from a seemingly valid email address, does not mean that it’s legitimate. Be skeptical when it comes to your email messages – if it looks even remotely suspicious, don’t open it. Always trust your gut!

If you’re concerned you’re not fully protected with the proper anti-virus software, Bluetowne can help. 843.352.0130 or info@bluetowne.com

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IDC Reports Nimble Storage Achieving Rapid Success in All Flash Array (AFA) Market

Basic RGBInternational Data Corporation (IDC) recently released a vendor profile on Nimble Storage providing their opinion of Nimble’s flash-optimized all flash arrays and hybrid flash arrays.

As you consider what solutions to enable in the future, this unbiased third party analysis provides a helpful summary of the evolving All Flash Array (AFA) Market as well as Nimble’s technology, business value, customers, and go-to-market strategies.

READ THE REPORT.

Why is Adaptive Flash Better?

Flash-only solutions only address one piece of the data center, which leaves you managing multiple silos of storage infrastructure. With Adaptive Flash, you can satisfy your data center requirements with a single platform.

  • Get all-flash performance AND capacity efficiency
  • Consolidate ‘hybrid’ and flash-only workloads on one platform
  • Use 100% of your flash to accelerate applications
  • Proactively maintain storage health and manage growth with Nimble’s InfoSightTM


Take it for a Spin!

As the only Nimble Storage partner in South Carolina, Bluetowne can help you realize the benefits of this game-changing technology.  We invite you to experience the performance of the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform in your own environment with a FREE side-by-side Proof of Concept.  We will perform the implementation in your existing virtualization environment also at no chargeWe’re confident you’ll discover that Adaptive Flash delivers performance and capacity efficiency that flash-only solutions can’t match.

Contact us to get started!

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Transform your business by turning your daily IT needs over to Bluetowne.

bluecareYou’re buried. You’ve got looming deadlines, projects to manage and new ones to roll out. What you need are some extra hands to make sure your end-users get what they need, when they need it.

Let your internal team focus on more strategic projects by outsourcing your Help Desk needs to Bluetowne, and rest easy knowing you’re covered with our BlueCare managed platform services offering. From the moment your call is answered, you’ll know you’ve got the right person on the line and that you’re our top priority. Our support team is responsive, professional, and superior – and our goal is to keep your users up, running, and satisfied. And, you won’t find more competitive pricing anywhere – which translates to money in the bank. We offer personalized monthly service desk plans, and on-demand optional services are also available including disaster recovery, service and email hosting, and security monitoring and remediation. 

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Bluetowne Achieves VMware Academic Specialization

VMware-Academic-LogoMT. PLEASANT, S.C. – September 1, 2016 – Bluetowne, a leading provider of innovative information technology solutions, today announced it has renewed its VMware Academic Specialization—an acknowledgement given to VMware partners who show exceptional understanding of the academic market and VMware academic programs.  With the VMware Academic Specialization, Bluetowne also has access to unique Academic SKUs, competitive pricing, and market information. VMware’s Academic Specialization further enables Bluetowne to provide increased alignment with the VMware Academic sales teams, and ultimately provide a higher level of satisfaction to Academic customers.

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Bluetowne Attains Microsoft’s Silver Midmarket Solution Provider and Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Competencies

Microsoft_Partner_Network_LogoMT. PLEASANT, S.C. – August 8, 2016 – Bluetowne, a leading provider of innovative information technology solutions, recently achieved the Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solution competency, and renewed its Microsoft Silver Midmarket Solution Provider competency, demonstrating its ability to meet the ever-evolving needs of today’s dynamic business environment and its continued strong commitment to Microsoft products and solutions.

The Silver Midmarket Solution Provider competency differentiates Bluetowne by demonstrating expertise in building critical infrastructure solutions based on Microsoft desktop, business-management, and server technologies that can expand on midmarket customers’ current system foundations. It establishes the company as a leader by offering customers the most current technology and solutions, and by focusing on what midmarket business need most.

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Live Oak Consultants Partners with Bluetowne to Achieve Worry-Free IT That Meets the Mission Critical Demands of Its End-Users

image“Bluetowne is there when we need them, without the overhead associated with having a dedicated IT person on my staff. They are intimately familiar with our environment and resolve any issues that arise quickly. Bluetowne provides a critical support function that enables me to focus on what we do best – provide high-value, quality engineering services.” – Richard L. Owens, PE, Managing Principal, Live Oak Consultants

THE CLIENT

Live Oak Consultants (LOC) is a full service civil, structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering firm providing quality, custom solutions to meet their client’s needs using the latest technologies. LOC is designed to be responsive to projects of all sizes, and boasts an impressive client list that includes names like Boeing, SC Ports Authority, Gulfstream Aerospace, Trident Technical College, MUSC, Robert Bosch, Clemson University, The College of Charleston, BP Cooper River, Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Metanoia, Water Mission, WestRock, Ingevity, Nucor, and Patriots Point Development Authority.

THE CHALLENGE

LOC was growing from a small firm, and reached the point where they could not effectively manage their own IT, and needed outside help and expertise. Due to the nature of LOC’s work, they demand an always available, secure environment with large file storage and high performance computing requirements for massive customer projects. Remote workers must also be able to operate effectively utilizing the firm’s CAD software and large file storage at a high performance level. LOC needed a partner who could not only lead their IT strategy to support the company’s fast growth and technology requirements, but also manage the daily operations and end-user requests so they could focus on providing responsive, high end service to clients.

THE SOLUTION

Bluetowne’s advanced service desk, monitoring and proactive maintenance solution was implemented to create a cohesive and high performance environment to meet the demands of LOC’s mission critical end-user requirements. With an infrastructure powered by Cisco, Meraki and Dell, LOC’s operating platform was tuned and optimized to provide higher throughput network capacity and visibility into network bottlenecks and congestion. Bluetowne implemented an end-user compute standardization and hardware validation based on repeatable custom computer images, providing seamless functionality with LOC’s multi-layer CAD and design applications. Finally, layered security was deployed across the environment to provide central logging of application and hardware activity. Bluetowne’s managed platform services support application was rolled out to provide end-users the ability to live chat with a remote technician, create support tickets efficiently and provide on-the-fly self help by running local system maintenance and tuning commands.

THE RESULT

Bluetowne’s BlueCare managed platform service provided LOC with a hands-off solution that addressed their high performance IT operating requirements and provided standardization in a responsive, repeatable and economical deliverable. End-users now operate at a higher productivity level with greater confidence in system up-time. All infrastructure and end-user computing systems are regularly monitored and tuned in accordance with industry best-practices and Bluetowne field-experienced engineering validation. As a result of Bluetowne’s ongoing service delivery, LOC is able to scale effectively, achieve operational efficiency, and proceed with confidence in achieving success with their demanding daily workload. LOC’s IT infrastructure is stable, effective and provides the firm competitive confidence in their marketplace.

Download PDF version here.

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