Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Budget Savings Cloud disaster planning News

The good thing about technology is that the price of things usually drops over time. With the competition in the cloud space at an all time high our backup provider just dramatically lowered our pricing. So we did what any good IT partner would do and lowered our prices to match.

Lower Pricing and More Services

Not only did prices drop an amazing 60% but we can now offer additional services. All our plans now include at no additional charge the following:

  • Live database backups (Microsoft SQL & Microsoft Exchange)
  • Virtual Machine Backups (VMware & Hyper-V)
  • Option to backup your data locally
  • Self-Managing Portal

New Unlimited Plan

We are very excited that we can now offer an unlimited backup option. For one low rate you can back up as much data as you want. No limits mean no more worries about missing items or overage charges.

[button url=”” size=”Large”]Click Here to View our New Plans & Pricing[/button]

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IT Skill Shortages Hamper Profitability

IT Skill Shortages Hamper Profitability

Budget Savings News

A survey, conducted by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) online between December 15, 2011 and January 23, 2012, asked 502 managers in the U.S. about skills shortages inside their IT departments, the impact of those skills deficiencies on their organizations, and how they attempt to address their IT skills shortages.

Over 90 percent of respondents reported that the level of skills their IT staff had did not meet the company’s need.

  • Over 40% said this skill gap hampers productivity.
  • 30% said it impacted customer service.
  • 39% said it affected their ability to protect themselves from cyber attacks.
Another key figure is that 43% said budgets deficiencies were a cause of this skill gap. If your business is in a similar situation it may be time to talk to Wireguided about employee training, IT Outsourcing, or a departmental analysis to help determine where improvements and cost savings can be made.
For more information please contact us at 781-679-0660.
Budgeting your IT for 2011

Budgeting your IT for 2011

Budget Savings Education

As we close out another year many businesses are in the process of preparing their budgets for 2011. This article  lists a few Information Technology items you may want to  consider including in your budgeting plans for next year.


Did your company grow or shrink last year? How many computers are being used? Do any employees work from a home office? Did your organization stop using a specific product? These are some general questions you should ask to determine the status of your software and support licenses. Make sure you only pay for what you are using (and ensure you’re compliant as well).

Desktops / Laptops

In this economy, many businesses are holding off on computer upgrades (‘if it ain’t broke, don’t replace it’). However, the cost of owning a PC rises dramatically after three years. Look at your inventory and count how many computers you have over four years old. Multiple that by $600 for a ballpark estimate on the  cost to replace them for your budget. Identify your most productive employees and pick them for an upgrade first. Productivity increases (and happy employees) make for a more profitable business.


What is your IT budget? How much of that goes towards payroll? Depending on your situation you may be able to lower your costs for support by up to 40% by outsourcing. Wireguided would be more than happy to provide you with a evaluation of your current situation.


When is the last time you examined the back end of your infrastructure? Your servers keep everything running so it is always good to budget for upgrades (software and/or hardware). Ask your IT staff if there will be a need for more memory or disk space. Are any of your service warranty’s expiring? Are there new versions of software that can make your business run smoother? If your servers are more than five years old, it may also be time to think about upgrading them.


Is accessing your files or the internet slow? Is your wireless network upgraded for the new wireless standard (802.11n)? Speak with your IT department to see what upgrades are needed. Also, review your contracts with your Internet provider to make sure their are not any better deals out there.


Was 2010 full of spam and virus/spyware outbreaks? If so, you may want to budget for some more effective software. When was the last time you had a security audit? Is your business compliant with 201 CMR 17 (MA only)? Budgeting for audits and compliance may save you downtime and legal headaches down the road.

Phone Systems

If your phone system is showing its age a new one might be worth considering. Recent technology will make this cost much less than just a few years ago. Hosted or local VoIP systems are now the preferred way to do this. There are many vendors out there so first evaluate your requirements and your existing IT infrastructure. Then get quotes from multiple sources.

Mobility / Remote Access

Can your employees work from home or receive email on their phone? Mobility can not only improve productivity it can also lower your long terms costs (no need to get more office space if your employees can work remotely). Now is the time to speak with your employees and your management team to see if your current solution (if any) is cutting it and to then budget for what is needed. Do not forget the cost of smart phones and their associated data plans.

Green IT

Save the planet and your bottom line. Green IT can be the answer. By implementing some upgrades in 2011, your 2012 will look much better. Some examples of items to budget for are server virtualization (less physical space needed, less electrical usage), desktop power management software, environmental monitoring, and more efficient designs for data centers.

Some other items to consider for your budget are upgrades to Windows 7, migrating to hosted services (offsite backups, email, etc.), desktop upgrades (memory and software), and an emergency fund for when bad things happen.
Every business is different and the above list is not all encompassing. If your organization needs a little guidance on preparing their IT budgets for next year, please contact Wireguided.


Voice over IP has arrived

Budget Savings Hardware

Voice over IP (VoIP) has been gaining steam for a few years now. With new products from such names as Cisco, small and medium sized companies can now turn their old phone systems into powerful business tools. Switch to a SIP provider and you could also lower your phone bill by 30-40%.

What is VoIP?

Voice over IP is the technology that uses your computer network infrastructure to deliver phone service. No more separate phone cords and network cables. You just plug your VoIP phone into your computer network jack.

Why is it important to my business?

VoIP’s major advantages over the old phone systems (PBXs) are the following:

  • Services – With your phones going over your computer network, you now have the ability to integrate the two. Voicemail sent to email, clicking on numbers in web pages and having your phone ring, seeing if someone is on the phone/out of office via Outlook, using your phone as a time card system, even monitoring security cameras from your phone are all possibilities.
  • Connectivity – With certain VoIP phones, you can bring them home or take them on vacation. They will connect to your business network automatically. When someone dials your business number or extension, your phone will ring. No matter where you are.
  • Manageability – Your IT department can now easily manage your phones. Modern interfaces allow quick adds/changes which can also be performed by remote support staff.
  • Cost – There are many ways  VoIP saves your business money. If you have new construction, there is no need to install a separate phone network. A new VoIP system costs many thousands less than tradition PBX systems, which start in the five figure range. 30-40% lower phone bills are also a great plus when using a SIP provider for phone service (phones service via the Internet).

Why now?

VoiP technology has finally matured. It is now a proven technology which is used in many fortune 500 businesses (side note: If you watch ‘The Office’, those are Cisco VoIP phones). The price has dropped dramatically to make it not only affordable, but the preferred phone solution for businesses of all sizes. If your phone system is starting to show its age or your business is moving, now would be a good time to give VoIP a look.

If you would like more information on VoIP or SIP please contact Wireguided.


Phone: 781-679-0660

Wireguided enters the Cloud!

Wireguided enters the Cloud!

Budget Savings News

Wireguided LLC is proud to announce that we are now offering hosted solutions for Email, Intranet, Sales Management, Business Communication and Disaster Recovery.

Why Cloud Services?

Cloud Services (aka hosted, aka Software as a Service/SaaS) allow an organization to have the services and solutions of large businesses without having to purchase or support  the infrastructure (servers & software).  Also, businesses looking to have secure remote backups or shrink their IT footprint should consider this solution.

How does it work?

Instead of spending thousands on hardware and software licenses, companies pay a small per user fee. In the case of  our remote backup solution, the fee is based on how much data is stored. Wireguided has a 30 day no questions asked refund policy on all our hosted services (except remote backups). We offer a 99.99% up time guarantee on all services.

What is offered?

Wireguided is offering a broad range of IT services that meet the needs of businesses large and small:

  • Microsoft Exchange – Industry leading solution includes Email (built in Spam/Anti-virus), private /shared calendars,  and contact lists. Free Outlook 2007 client with each account. Mailbox sizes start at 5GB. Additional services such as Blackberry /ActiveSync support and compliant archiving are available.
  • Remote Backups – Backup your data, from servers to desktops, in a secure off-site location. All stored data is encrypted and meets all state and federal regulations (SEC, GBL, SOX, HIPPA). A free local backup is included and the process is fully automated. No need to swap tapes anymore.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Improve your sales management. CRM software allows you to manage existing customers, prospects, and support teams. More info HERE.
  • Microsoft Sharepoint–  Sharepoint allows your staff to collaborate via the web in order to share documents, run blogs, intranets, wikis, and more.
  • Microsoft Office Communication Server – OCS provides a secure, private, and legally compliant method for instant messaging and 1-to-1 video. OCS integrates with Outlook and Sharepoint and allows for conversations to be saved and free/busy status to be provided.

To see if a cloud service solution is right for your organization or to get pricing please contact Wireguided.


Phone: 781-679-0660

Creating PDF documents…..for FREE.

Budget Savings

The PDF is one of the most common file formats. It provides a nice clean and standard way to share documents. A common question we get is, how do I create a PDF file? The standard answer is to purchase Adobe Acrobat for around $280. That price is pretty steep for most Small/Medium businesses (depending on how many copies they need) and quickly adds up.

If your business just needs to generate standard PDF documents then there is a great utility which does the job quick and at no cost. The application is called doPDF. The install is fast and the use is very simple. Just ‘print’ to the doPDF ‘printer’ from the normal list of printers in the drop down menu in Word or any other program.

If your organization needs to encrypt, markup, or use any extended PDF feature, then you more than likely will need to stick with Adobe Acrobat. However, for the 70% who just need to create PDF documents, you now have a free option.

If you have any other questions please email Wireguided.


How long will a computer last?

Budget Savings Hardware

If you are responsible for your organization’s IT budget this is a very important question.  Not only does it affect your budget planning, but upgrade schedules and employee productivity as well. There are a LOT of variables but let’s see if we can get a ballpark idea.

Define ‘last’

When asked how long a PC will last it usually means one of three things:

  • How long before the computer breaks from normal use.
  • How long before the computer will need upgrades.
  • How long before the technology inside the computer becomes outdated.

The variables

The two biggest varibles  are the employee who will be using the computer and what the computer will be used for.  For example, if the computer will be used inside a kiosk or as a library terminal then it may last for a very long time (5+ years) as long as preventative maintenance is regularly performed. The reason for this longevity is that the task it is performing does not change and the requirements are very low.

If the person using the computer is performing complex engineering calculations or high end graphic design then you may have to upgrade very often. This could be due to new software requirements or the need to have the task done as quickly as possible with the latest processor (time = money).

I have to also mention that we all have run into the employee with the perfectly good machine that is always complaining that it’s ‘too slow’. This article does not cover human nature. Please consult the HR department for more information.

The math

From my 17 years experience  in the IT field I have come up with the following equation to use as a general guideline for determining when a system will need to be upgraded (either more memory or a new system):


This equation assumes a starting memory of at least 1GB and no Vista (just kidding). It should ONLY be used as a general guideline for budgetary planning. Every business and every employee is unique.

For example, if we use this equation with a starting memory of 2GB then we can budget an upgrade for this computer in 3 years. The upgrade may be additional memory or a new system.


IT budgets are notoriously fluid when real world needs collide with your best plans. Consult with your IT department to find out how many machines are ‘old’ (3+ years). Take a survey of your employees to see what their perception is of your IT infrastructure. Then use the equation to determine how often you want to upgrade vs. how much you want to spend per new PC.

If you have any further questions or would like Wireguided to review your infrastructure please contact us anytime.

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Case Study – Savings via Virtualization

Budget Savings

Virtualization is currently one of the hottest topics in IT. Wireguided just recently completed a virtualization project for one of our clients, the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS). After doing our yearly review of their infrastructure we approached EDS with our plans to eliminate some physical boxes and save them money. Since all project work is included in our flat rate support plan the only extra cost would be a one time expense for the management software and some hardware upgrades.

The reasons to do this project were clear to us from working with EDS over the past few years:

  • Limited space in server room.
  • Overheated server room (had to keep the door open which also was a security risk).
  • Business need to cut costs and find long term savings where available.
  • Server operating system upgrades needed.

The Details

The main part of the project plan included converting two existing servers into the host servers (one active, one as a hot backup). Using Windows 2008 Server (Enterprise) edition we utilized the included Hyper-V virtualization software (FREE) to create a virtual server environment. For their business critical servers we used physical to virtual (P2V) technology to convert their physical systems into identical virtual servers. For other physical servers we created new virtual servers and reinstalled from scratch. This was done to systems we knew needed upgrades or overhauls.

We virtualized their printing, remote access, email, web, databases, infrastructure (DNS, DHCP, etc.) and security servers. At the end of the project 7 physical servers were eliminated. They now have a total of 3 physical servers running everything.

Show me the Money

So how did this save our client money (and how much)? Let’s take a look below:

  • Power – Eliminating 7 servers lowered power consumption by 16,757,880 watts/year.
  • Warranties – Reoccurring expenses for hardware warranties were eliminated.
  • OS Upgrades – 4 server licenses are free with Win2008 Enterprise. Four free upgrades.

Here are the hard numbers (yearly savings):

Energy Savings – $2,681.26  (based on $.16 kWh)

Warranty Savings – $2,728.26


Other savings were realized via the four free Windows 2008 licenses ( ~$2,000) and lower long term hardware upgrade and maintenance costs.

Next Steps

The next step for us will be to implement energy saving on the PC side of things. This might mean forcing machines into sleep mode during the night, eliminating any old CRT monitors still being used, or simply a user education campaign to raise awareness. Each little bit helps and money not wasted is good business.


Virtualization is one of the best technologies from both a business and IT standpoint. It creates a win/win situation for the IT staff (easier management) and business (lower costs). Wireguided provided this service to EDS as part of our normal proactive support. We knew we could save them money and the timing was right.  No extra project or support fees were charged because this is just what IT departments are suppose to do for their business.

If you would like to see how your business may be able to save money with virtualization orneed a review of your systems, please contact us.

Wireguided, how IT was meant to be.

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