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TVG Consulting Team
The team IT technicians and consultants at TVG Consulting creates content designed to help business owners, leadership teams and IT professionals stay ahead of the technology curve as it relates to business.

A Comparison of Google Apps for Business and Microsoft Office 365

It’s time to ditch your bloated old business software solution. Today’s cutting-edge companies know that when it comes to creation, collaboration, storage, and more, nothing beats the cloud. Cloud services, which live online and get delivered on demand to employees’ machines, provide easy, scalable solutions for companies as small as one or as big as one thousand.

When it comes to cloud services, two major providers have cornered the market. There’s the up-and-coming G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Work), which boasts millions of customers. On the other side of the ring, there’s the pedigreed Microsoft Office 365, bringing its time-tested software suite up to the minute with cloud computing.

Which one is best for your business? We’ve provided a feature drill down to help you determine just that. To see which suite most closely matches your needs, read on.

Understanding The Differences Between Virtualization & Cloud Computing

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How you save and share your company’s information is essential. Some businesses create a private server on site to store and share data, accessing their information through private networks. However, maintaining a server is an expensive endeavor, often requiring an IT department. For most businesses, this can be more of a cost than a benefit, so what are your other options?

When it comes to business IT solutions, there are two main competitors: cloud computing and virtualization.

Think Your Cost of IT Services is Too High? Here’s Your Solution

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If you've lain awake nights wondering if you pay too much for your organization's IT support services, we can help put your mind at ease. We suspect that you probably compared the various IT support packages on the market and the various prices they charge for their services. You will give yourself a headache trying to decipher the features of the various IT support packages against the services you need. And don't even get us started on the costs that range are all across the boards. Well, we have a better way to help you dig yourself out of the proverbial hole.

Network Monitoring Services Identify Issues Before You Have A Problem

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There is nothing more frustrating than having to solve network problem after network problem. You may find that you are being more reactive than proactive when it comes to dealing with IT issues. This results in spending more money and losing a significant amount of productivity. Network monitoring services are available to overcome the reactive approach you are currently taking. Additionally, managed IT services will allow you to take advantage of not only network monitoring but also various other services that can help you as well, providing a complete cost-effective solution.

Save Money, Increase Cash Flow With the Managed Services Pricing Model

When you have a business, your goal is to make money. As such, you want to find the most cost-effective way to have reliable and proactive IT management over your business. Through the use of managed services, you have the ability to save money and increase cash flow. You can resolve unnecessary losses and expenditures and not have to incur the expense of hiring full-time employees to deal with the IT aspects of your business.

How to Resolve Accounting System Network Downtime for Good

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Relying on a system network without some guidance is essentially playing a business version of Russian Roulette. You can hope for the best and assume you won't have lags or sudden crashes. Maybe you've had luck with this for a while, but there's a first time for everything.

Project Management and IT Services: How to Finish IT Projects On Time

Trying to get IT projects done on time can become a major burden when you're relying on multiple companies to get things done. As an Opps manager, head of HR, or CFO, you already know the pain of trying to get any IT project done on time or managed consistently.  There is a very easily implemented solution to keep even the simplest IT projects on schedule at all times without it being a constant strain on your time and burdening your company's productivity.

IT Support Services - Which Means Less Network Problems?

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When it comes to IT services, you may not be having your current needs met. In fact, you may be constantly frustrated because of network problems. You don't have the dedicated tech support on premises, and you are getting the least experienced technicians sent out when you call for an issue. Managed IT support services can be the solution to ease your pain.

Cloud Solutions & Services: Why Should Your Company Use Cloud Hosting?

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Finding cloud solutions & services can become an overwhelming process when you start to see how many providers and options are available today. This includes figuring out what type of cloud service is best for you so it keeps your business running optimally.

Why On-Demand IT Support Speeds Up Your Response Times

Running a midsize company here in Los Angeles requires so many components now to stay competitive in the business marketplace. As an HR manager or Operations Manager, there are many responsibilities to juggle--and keeping technology running up to speed is essential to maintain productivity, protect budgets and get ahead of competitors on a local or national level.

The only way to do this is to make sure you have local, LA Based IT support when it's needed rather than worrying about it only when something happens.

How Managed IT Services Can Save Your Company Money & Time

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Things can easily get out of control in a company without proper guidance on managing technology. You likely know this from past experience if a lot of your IT infrastructure either shut down or went awry due to no one being available to keep an eye on potential threats. This likely brought substantial unplanned downtime that crippled your business in the past, if not closing down.

Why You Need Managed IT Services: Less Downtime to More Scalability

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The concepts behind managed IT services have evolved considerably over the last decade, though the true reasons for having it have never been more essential. As the business world continues to become more complex due to increasing customer demands and technology dependence, you can't manage everything on your own. Even if you already have an in-house IT staff, they're perhaps being overworked, or not being used enough.

VoIP & Business Phone Systems: Get Connected on Business Projects

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Acquiring VoIP & business phone systems is a smart investment in a time when business competition requires faster technology. The problem is that you're maybe stuck using landline phones after doing it this way for one, two, or multiple decades. The longer you've been around as a business, it's likely becoming more difficult to change the technology you're used to using.

2 Recent Network Security Threats You Never Thought Would Happen

Recent news of network security threats ranges from the very small to the very big, from local fast food franchises to the halls of Congress.

The Internet of Things: How it Impacts Workplace Network Security

You've likely read plenty about The Internet of Things (IoT) over the last few years and how it's already revolutionizing how we gain information and run technology. As with many new technologies, however, the excitement can frequently tuck away realities about network security. It wasn't until the last year or two when we finally woke up to the realization that a connected world is only going to increase the potential for security threats.

Managed Services: Why You Need a Watchful Eye on Your Technology

Managed Services has long come in many forms, but now it's better defined on what it offers. In the older days of IT technology, IT management usually meant on-site technicians who basically worked on a break-fix system. When something went wrong, it sometimes meant having to take over all the office computers for hours to get the problem resolved.

Using IT Consulting for On-Demand Resources: Expertise During Critical Times

You've no doubt heard many good things about IT consulting, but you haven't taken the time to fully understand what the benefits are for the future.

If you've seen other businesses use consultants to help find immediate solutions to complicated IT problems, did you see the consultant stay, or move on? Most likely, the company retained the consultant to use for on-demand resources when unexpected situations came up.

Cloud Solutions: Why Google Apps for Work is Essential for a Startup

In the world of cloud solutions & services, you'll find myriad tools that can sometimes overwhelm in their variety. However, at the heart of the cloud is security and dependable storage to use during times of disaster. Complementing this are various other platforms that help a business function better.

VoIP Business Phone Systems: Part 2 of 2 - Making the Decision

Completing our two part series on VoIP phone systems for business, this article will outline the key questions you should consider when making a decision on the set up that fits your business.

VoIP Business Phone Systems: Part 1 of 2 - The Basics

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This is part one of VoIP Business Phone Systems, and will be followed by Part 2 of 2 - Making the Decision.

When you work in the tech biz, it's easy to forget that sometimes, people don't understand what you're selling well enough to feel comfortable deciding to buy your product. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems are one of those products.

IT Consulting - Creating and Testing a Disaster Recovery Plan

Because of modern technology and IT consulting, businesses are able to quickly and effectively process information. Desktop computers, laptops and wireless devices are essential components of doing business in the modern age. E-mail and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone systems are employed to communicate. Data of all kinds (including orders and payments) are transmitted from one company to another via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Servers process this vast quantity of information and store large amounts of valuable data. However, what happens when disaster strikes and all this technology stops working?

Network Security Threats: What Should You Look Out For?

Trying to keep up with network security threats is a Herculean task sometimes when it seems new issues pop up every week. Many cyber threats continue to evolve into more malicious viruses and hacking concerns. While you may think some of these problems wouldn't bother a business, it ultimately affects all of us. Some network security threats out there could easily have ripple effects across a broad spectrum.

IT Consulting: Analyzing the Value of Experience in the Field

IT consulting has evolved over the years to becoming a major asset to companies who need to save on IT costs. The only problem is that anyone can use the word "consultant", and it may give assumptions of true expertise. In truth, a business has to evaluate these individuals to make sure the experience is there to take on the biggest IT challenges.

The Top 5 Latest Trends in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has proved itself to be significantly more than a passing trend in IT technology, and while it is being consistently adopted and integrated into computing infrastructures, the technology and approach to cloud computing is constantly evolving to meet the rapidly changing needs of providers and businesses. In the midst of the search by businesses and organizations to identify long-term solutions that will facilitate the integration of cloud computing with conventional computing infrastructures, cloud providers are developing ways to offer increasingly remarkable benefits, such as application services and big data analytics, subsequently leveling the playing field for small businesses.

How to Avoid Getting Nickeled & Dimed by Your Managed Service Provider

Most companies have already discovered that partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) can save them a lot of money, but those savings are not guaranteed. That’s because not all MSPs are the same -- the services they provide and the fees they charge for them can be vastly different.

The managed services methodology has been around for several years now, which has given many IT providers time to develop more sophisticated pricing...but some still abide by the old "nickel-and-dime" rule.

Here's how you can avoid hidden charges when engaging in a managed services agreement.

A Quick Intro to Office 365 for Businesses

Launched in 2011, Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based service available to both home and business users. Bringing together all of the familiar Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and Excel, it presents an important alternative to the normal retail versions of the world's most popular desktop productivity suite. In addition to a range of subscription plans for businesses, the current version, Office 2016, is also available in five traditional additions available as one-time purchases.

How Can Phone Systems Support Businesses?

Communication is one of the most important elements of a business infrastructure. It's important to consider not just how you will communicate with your clients and customers, but also how you will communicate with your employees. It's surprising how many companies are built without considering either one or both of these elements prior to being established. Depending on the type of business you operate, phone systems may play a pivotal role in the daily function of your business. While more and more businesses are being developed with email being the primary method of communication, phones are obviously still very much important to the business environment and they don't appear to be going away anytime soon.

What considerations should you make for your business in regards to phone systems, and how can the right systems in place support a successful business infrastructure?

How Can IT Consulting Help Your Business?

At some point or another, every business has run into a situation where a little bit of consulting, or maybe a lot of consulting, could really help support a successful infrastructure, particularly in areas where the business might be weak or need improvement. IT consulting is definitely an important area to consider in this regard. With growing advancements in technology, more and more businesses are needing to rely on a strong IT infrastructure to keep their company stable and prepared for future advancements so they aren't left behind by not being ready. Having the right IT consulting company by your side for important decisions relating to the development and continuous security of your network can mean the difference between your business being successful or not.

In this article, we will address some of the areas that an IT consulting company can assist you with in regards to building your IT infrastructure and maintaining it correctly.

Top 5 Benefits of Computer Support Services

One of the greatest benefits offered by IT consulting companies today is computer support services. Computer support services are beneficial in allowing individuals managing IT environments to ensure that technical problems are resolved in the quickest way possible ensuring minimal downtime and loss of information. In a world where time is money, having your network up as much as possible and protecting your information is crucial to running a successful business that relies heavily on its IT infrastructure.

Some of the top benefits of computer & tech support services will be discussed in more detail.

How to Avoid IT Problems

Finding new ways to solve IT problems faster and with less loss in productivity is a challenge to many IT companies struggling to get an edge on the competition. Technology is always changing and it’s hard to keep up. However, there are certain basic steps you can take to ensure you are affected the least from IT problems and that your systems maintain functionality with minimal downtime.

5 Reasons to Use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS’s) are used to prevent damage from power loss and common electric occurrences. UPS units are commonly used by companies that need to ensure minimal downtime to their resources as they ensure that during a brief power outage, a network device may continue to run. In short, business continuity tends to be the main focus...and for good reason.

In this article, some of the additional benefits in running your network with uninterruptible power supplies are discussed.

5 Reasons to Backup Your Data

Whether it’s a power failure or a hacker trying to compromise your data, there are situations that may arise that result in your systems going down temporarily. Often times, during the system crash data is lost that if not properly backed up, may be completely unrecoverable. Losing data can be detrimental to a business. There have been cases where so much data has been lost that a company has gone under from something as simple as a power failure.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to ensure that you backup your data to ensure that if such a situation arises, your personal or company information is safe and secure. Some of the most important reasons for backing up your data will be documented further in this article.

What Can Happen if Your Server is Compromised

A server crash can be detrimental on its own for a business. The situation is even worse if the server has been hacked or compromised. This means the server is no longer under the control of its rightful owners and is being exploited by a hacker.

There are several potential nightmares this can cause, but let’s start by discussing how a server compromise happens and which practices allow it to take place.

The Benefits of Fixed Fee IT Management

Navigating the world of technology can be frustrating (as well as expensive) if you do not make the right decision on which company to best manage your IT infrastructure. Of equal importance is the type of management method you adopt.

There are many benefits in choosing a company with a fixed fee price structures, and those reasons will be detailed further here.

[Infographic] IT Security Statistics

How big of an issue is IT and Network Security in today's technological environment?

Take a look at this interesting infographic to discover some interesting statistics!

Top 5 Ways to Secure Your Network

Network security, whether at home or at the office, is of utmost importance. Guaranteeing that your network is safe from unauthorized access is difficult in today’s technologically complicated environment, but it is far from impossible. There are several ways to ensure that your data is safe, secure, and readily available to you whenever you need it.

Let’s talk about some ways that you can improve your network security so that your information, whether related to your business, family, or simply yourself, is protected without you having to spend a ridiculous amount of money or losing easy access to your data.

How to Handle Server Crashes

A server crash at best can be a minor inconvenience, but at its worst, a server crash can be detrimental to a business. A server is a computer or computer program that manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network and can be responsible for anything from managing administrative accounts, to handling privacy settings for individual users. When a server goes down, it takes a lot with it, and the best thing you can do is work your best to handle the situation while your server is offline and work your best to get things back up and running.

How Cloud Services Benefit Businesses of Any Size

Cloud services genuinely change the way that business is ran now a days due to the mere fact of extra mobility for a company’s data and files. Going ‘cloud’ with a business is an extremely important step to consider, since it will open up access to tools and services that you would usually need to have a certain infrastructure in order to use and run. This also cuts down on the workforce needed to properly maintain the infrastructure in working condition. With these things out of the way, there’s more room in the budget to focus on other, more important things and keep money budgeted for more effective business moves.

Top 5 Benefits of Virtualization

The benefits of virtualization for IT departments are many and varied. Not only does virtualization allow for improved control of operations, it also helps to reduce costs and increases the ease of scaling. There are also innumerable benefits to the improvement of infrastructure gained in the areas of networking, platforms and storage. While there many benefits of virtualization, there are five which stand out as the most beneficial for IT departments.

What is VoIP and What Are Its Business Benefits?

The discovery of the internet has revolutionized the way we live. It has offered us countless benefits among which the most important one is that it has brought the people together. By turning the world into a literal global village, the internet has offered us a chance to communicate with our relatives living in different parts of the world with consummate ease. The Internet has offered us this opportunity through business VoIP technology. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a set of technologies which allows you to have voice communications and to send and receive multimedia files over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. The VoIP services are known by many other names which include Internet telephony, broadband phone services, IP telephony and broadband telephony.

The following are some of the benefits that you can gain by making use of VoIP services.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Install a Server

The business environment has been transforming for the past few decades. The advent of computers and the internet has had massive impact on the way we do business. Companies that are not utilizing this new technology to the fullest are lagging behind their rivals and finding it difficult to remain competitive. This is true for companies belonging to all sectors. It is does not matter whether you are a big organization having hundreds of employees or a small firm of only ten; every big and small business has to start considering investing in various IT projects, such as network and server installation, or it will not be able to flourish.

The History of Business & Information Technology

The use of technology in business has become a common phenomenon nowadays, but it wasn’t always the case. In old times, business transactions were not that fast. Since people had to do most of the work with their hands, the pace of the business process was incredibly slow. The absence of faster tools for doing business meant that it was impossible for people to even think about doing business instantly. However, with the passage of time, technological advancements made quicker business transactions possible. This made people realize the importance of technology in business and since then it has become a necessary component (along with IT services) for all types of businesses.

The following is a brief rundown of the history of business technology, which gives you an idea of how much technology has evolved and how it has impacted the way business is done.

Information Technology Trends for the Future

Information technology has had a great impact on all aspects of our lives since its discovery. Throughout the past few decades information technology has revolutionized the way business is done. The age of e-commerce and IT is now driving all business activities. From marketing to sales to consumer support, every aspect of business is now completed digitally or online. The great thing about technology is that it never remains stagnant. It is constantly changing and new innovations and IT services are developed each day. These new advancements or tends are currently shaping the future of business.

The following are some of the information technology services and trends, which are set to reshape the business landscape in the near future.

[Infographic] The Role of IT in Small Businesses

Information technology and IT services play a large role in many small businesses today. If you are wondering how your business fits in with the rapidly changing IT world, check out this infographic we created:

Best Explanation of an Ongoing IT Crisis

Business owners need to recognize that IT departments are now driving the business world, however they may be driving it with an unqualified pilot. There is an ongoing IT crisis that CEOs need to understand; what it is and why it is happening. The business functionality can be affected in negative ways or positive ways by an IT department and its quality or lack of quality.

Common business sense tells you that your IT department must be well trained, knowledgeable, and involved in constant educational workshops. Talent does indeed matter, especially when it comes to IT consulting and strategy. However, this thought process is causing an IT issue that must be addressed due to lack of focus on talent.

How To Know If Your Data Is Actually Safe

Deciding if your business or company data is safe or not safe requires more than just securing your data, it also means knowing which data to secure at what level. Protecting yourself has the potential to be expensive and time consuming, so you want the right network security plan for your company and data.

This article is intended to help you understand the different layers of data, CI terms and concept definitions, where the different data falls in the security scheme, and how to secure all of your data correctly.

How to Use Microsoft Windows in the Office

There are many platforms you can utilize for your office computer system. Microsoft Windows offers a plethora of delivery options and should be considered a viable option for your office, along with Microsoft Office 365.

Why SMBs Need to Focus on Digital Strategies

A digital strategy is the process of a business using technology to further their visions, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits. Digital strategy frequently includes customer intelligence, collaboration, new product/market exploration, sales and service optimization, as well as the technology architecture of a business. It can also include marketing thrusts like websites and mobile platforms.

[Infographic] Cloud Services in Small Business

Cloud computing is here to stay, especially among small to midsize businesses. But why?

Most of us are already familiar with the various solutions and cloud services available, but below are a few facts wrapped up in a simple infographic that will help explain this further.

Ebay is Hacked - What to Do

As of 2 days ago, Ebay was apparently hacked. Their worldwide security databases containing private user data has been compromised and the data could be stolen, however, financial information was not compromised.

10 Huge IT Disasters from Recent History

Whether it is related to technology or human error, defective hardware and software has taken its toll on various organizations, reputation-wise and financially.

Here is a list of what we believe to be 10 absolutely huge IT disasters from recent history!

New IE Security Issue  - What To Do

This last weekend there has been a new security issue with Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and the severity of issues that it can cause.

How to Secure Your Wi-Fi Connection in 5 Steps

Wi-fi and broadband services are the fastest and easiest ways to access the Internet from any location. They are used today around the world in coffee shops like Starbucks, inside the home and in business offices around the world.

When you are using these services from home or your office it is important to have encryption and at least some form of network security in place so that the system is not accessed from outside sources. Here's how you can do that...

The Importance of Cloud Based Services for Small Businesses

As a firm offering computer support in Los Angeles, we can tell you that the development of Cloud technology is a major breakthrough that makes life easier for everyone. This applies to the business environment as well. Today, cloud-based services make life easier for business owners. As more and more small business owners recognize the advantages of using these services, they are becoming increasingly popular in the Small business sector. The reason behind the decision to go cloud is that businesses gain access to a large variety of tools and services without investing in the infrastructure required to run them and without hiring the skilled workforce needed to operate and maintain it. This allows the company to focus its budget on other areas of their activity, which is very important in the current economic conditions. These advantages look even better if we take into account the fact that the price of these services is decreasing dramatically, and the services offered are becoming increasingly reliable.

How to Fix This Security Issue on your iPhone

Apple Inc is one of the best-known companies worldwide. Its diversified line of products and its aggressive marketing strategy has brought the company to the center of everyone’s attention many times. Its best known products are the Mac line of computers, the iPod media player, the iPhone Smartphones and the iPad tablet computers. Apple Inc managed to create a strong brand and gained a very large number of returning customers. Apple enthusiasts are known for camping in front of the company’s stores days before new products are launched in an attempt to be among the first to purchase them. Overall, Apple products are gaining popularity worldwide; in the last quarter of 2013 alone, Apple sold over 50 million iPhones and 26 million iPads worldwide, and registered record revenues and profits.

It came as a shock therefore when, on February 21st, Apple officials announced that they had discovered a problem with Apple Inc software.

A Full Definition of "IT Infrastructure"

Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure is a pretty ambiguous term for most of us, even for some of the people working in the field of IT.

Digital information has become an important resource in today’s business environment, making IT infrastructure, which is used to store and transmit said information, increasingly important. We realized how vital it is for people and businesses to understand what the concept really means and what is the best way in which an IT infrastructure can be managed.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Server?

Here is a short basic article on this common question that comes up with existing clients and new inquiries. We have dealt with this question for clients with a 9 years old server and they say "but it still boots after 4x" to clients who want "the latest version" ever so years. What are the factors in determining if you should upgrade to a new server and operating system? It can be simple...and not so simple. Here's why...

Is Your Firewall Configured Correctly?

Here is a little article about firewalls for your network. Cisco, juniper, Sonicwall, Fortinet, Dlink, Netgear, Linksys- to name a few- are all providers of firewalls for various situations.

For your business you should really review with your IT company, or internal staff, what firewall you are using to protect your assets. Unfortunately a  lot of IT providers will put in a off the shelf consumer (home user) firewall for their business network.

"Yeah but they don't do much on their network other then sometimes surf around".

That is a common excuse IT providers use in explaining to their customers. It's possible they are not versed in network security, prosumer firewall products or the differences.

Should You Buy a Windows 8 PC or Mac?

There's no wrong answer...other than ones better than the other. With today's modern technology advances on chip sets, and video cards - they all do the same thing.

It's just the approach on how you work. Yes, Apple has Final Cut pro but PC has their flavors as well. And Windows Movie Maker is very easy for the common man.

Some of the reasons why IT likes PC's better over MAC is because IT has the ability to dive deeper in the engine/backend when there's an issue, more support for more of the products that business users use, more common fixes, easier to deploy and push configurations company-wide. The flip side is the PC is more vulnerable to virus and hack attacks.

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