Technology Blog

just another tech blog

Office 365 continues to improve…

The cost savings, ease of use, and productivity is really becoming evident as my customers continue to use and move to Office 365.  Of course the biggest benefit is the ability to use 5 devices per user, and have all your office work available for use on all those devices at the same time.  The productivity increases are amazing for workers that are on the go and prefer to not be tied to a desktop or laptop.  If you want more info please let me know, and if you don’t have a partner and set up office 365 yourself, please take the time to add us as partner of record, it costs you nothing, and gives up some kudos from Microsoft.  Just go under subscriptions in admin center and add Onsight Technologies.
Example of how to add us to MS cloud products and Office 365

Windows 10

Windows 10 came out just in time to allow corporate networks to bypass windows 8, and it is a solid performer.  I have upgraded about 20 machines so far and outside of a few driver issues it has been a big performance boost.
Rollback to windows 7 is a great feature and reset is great feature for users that have problems to get back to work.

 

Why you should help us…

I have been servicing the small business and non profit sectors with technology for over 30 years working with local businesses and helping charities at very low cost. Every company needs to buy their software, hardware, cloud services, etc from some reseller that uses that income to support their bottom line, I use that income to support my family and my work helping charities.  Thank you for all those customers that realize this and have supported me through the years, and please pass our website and info along to anyone who handles purchasing for hardware, software, or IT services.

Citrix Marketing

So I get my usual monthly call from a Citrix rep yesterday, along with that i usually get 3 or so emails a week, and I need to share the conversation we had on the phone.  Also why I am taking down the clickable links to their products.

I am out going to get a coffee after working all morning on some customer issues and the phone rings.  Lady says “hi, I am blah blah with Citrix and I looking for Frank… I said there is no Frank here… she says “Is this Onsight?”, I said yes… Well come to find out the Frank she is referring to is one of my customers, and a close friend, and I had passed his info along to them because he would like one of their products.  Let me preface this rant by saying I am a huge fan of Citrix products, particularly their remote support tool.

I proceeded to explain to her that her information was wrong, and it concerns me because after all they are a leader in technology but yet their sales and marketing database is obviously not up to par.  Also I asked her please don’t call me customer because I don’t want to bug him with sales calls, and it was certainly not my intention when giving them his info.

So she says… “Geez you business owners just think you are so great!, you say stuff on the phone that you would never say to someone face!”

of course I am like WTF?… (i didn’t actually say the f word)…:)

I said you know what, if your office was around the corner i would walk in to the CEOs office right now and tell them the same thing I am telling you, that you have exceptional products, but your sales and marketing team is horrendous, they bug me constantly, and if you actually had a great new product or a great deal i would never know it because I can’t possibly read all of the shit you bombard me with…!

 

backup for all your important data

Haven’t posted in a long time, always good to remember, it isnt a matter of when you will lose your data but when, so make sure you have a good cloud backup solution! Call me if you need cost effective backup for all your important data…. it could be your entire business, or your pictures of kids or grand kids, some data is irreplaceable,

GoTo Manage

Remote access tools are amazing, still customers tell me how impressive it is that someone can sit somewhere else and control their entire system remotely.  I have tried many different options over the years providing remote support, but by far GoToManage  from Citrix is one of the best.

Easy to install on remote computers, you just send the customer to a url you provide and they are setup with unattended access.  You can reboot the machine in safe mode, run diagnostics, and connect anytime if the connection drops.

The backend is really what I like though, folders for all machines so they can be grouped by company or category.  You can send out a remote tool that will tell you if the device has no antivirus running.  Also, it handles all devices, tablets, servers, pc’s, interesting and very intuitive.

It’s not free, but it not expensive either, comes in at around $70.00 a month for 100 devices.  Makes it very affordable for small businesses and you can always add more devices.

 

A call to Microsoft about Office 365

After I have spent 2 weeks trying to get a situation with Office 365 straightened out, looks like I finally got that straightened out, and by straightened out I mean they deleted my entire BPOS account and told me all the info stored is gone forever.  Today I needed to call in about another issue.

I thought it might be fun to track how this call goes…

this was on 2/20/2012

1:15 I called the Microsoft online services help desk and selected tech support…

1:30 Have been listening to music for 15 minutes

1:35 No Music, seems I have been disconnected, will call back in

1: 35 called back in, please hold while we connect your call

1:41  Music seems to have gone away again, looks like i was disconnected again, will give it a few more minutes.

1:43 music is back barely, so I guess I am still holding.

1:45 It’s been 30 minutes, still no one has picked up.

1:55 been 40 minutes, still have musac, wondering if anyone of the powers that be as Microsoft ever tries to actually use the systems they put in place

1:58  Someone picked up, great girl, the people up there are always very helpful and nice, obvious they are just stuck in a bad situation, of not really understand how it all works.

2:05 Back on hold, so the problem I having is that my Microsoft Partner account is not tied to my office 365 account for some reason and it says it will expire.

2:21 Technical support couldn’t help me, needed to transfer me to a different department, neither issue is resolved yet, back on hold…more musac.

2:36  I got a nice lady on the phone, she says she can take care of everything, that is what everyone has told me for 2 weeks now…

2:48 Back on hold, they think I may need tech support after all, I am thinking what i need is a straight jacket after the past hour

3:17 Still on hold for techsupport again

3:43  Well it seems I was disconnected, will have to try again tommorow.  That’s 2:30 hours I will never get back.  Ok let me close down these six different sites i needed open for this too.

 2 month later I recieved an email from Microsoft…

here is the exact wording from the email…

“We can create the new revised amendment if we receive the previous information you were requested previously, or if you acquire the new amendment as you have done so before. The reason for this is because we cannot make any changes, or offer a blank MOSA.”

“the previous info you requested previously”…this is why microsoft worries me, I am not sure if they are the leading software company in the world, or a place selling food out of truck…..ya know?

so i replied and attached my email from 2 months ago which contained all the info requested.

“or if you acquire the new amendment as you have done so before. The reason for this is because we cannot make any changes, or offer a blank MOSA.”

so I need a new MOSA (Microsoft Online Services Agreement), but Microsoft can’t provide me a blank one… all i can say is wtf?

4/24/12 update

received an email from Microsoft MPN Solve

“and also to estate that we are not authorized to provide blank MOSA forms.”

so can you tell me where I can get a Microsoft form, perhaps Symantec has them?

“I have reviewed the attachment your provided and forwarded it to them once again. I will await further instructions from them and get back to you. This should not take any longer than 3 business days for them to contact me and for me to follow up with you.”

really 3 business days to answer a simple email?

 4/25 update

“Unfortunately we cannot give out blank MOSA forms to customers or partners”
if you cant give me a blank microsoft form, and you are indeed with microsoft, then where do i get it?
===============
“we require the number of seats that your customer is the Online Service the customer is buying and the number of seats they attained.”
again, if you are microsoft and they purchased this from you, wouldn’t you already know what they have?….not to mention it was on the form i attached earlier, the original MOSA that I sent to you…

 

Paypal

I guess about 20 years ago now I opened my first merchant account through my bank so I could take credit cards.  Over the years dealing with merchant services, online payment gateways, etc. had been a nightmare and PayPal wasn’t an option, to much shenagins’s, yea i used that word.  I am sure most people in the IT business understand, security is always an issue.  I changed yo PayPal a few years ago though, mainly because Ebay, and I have come to really appreciate the simpleness of it as a solution.

Paypal allows me to do my invoicing, buy things easily online without having to use a credit card, create add to cart buttons, and handle many other business transactions.  I would say that that rate is a little higher then it was with a merchant account, but in my opinion, the ease of it far outweighs the extra few tenths of a percent.

I am sure anyone that has or has had a merchant account and tried to use it online can understand my viewpoint.  I remember back when I get my merchant account I had to pay a few grand just to set it up, and then there are fees from the bank, the processor, the online gateway, the shopping cart, and to try to track all of the hands in that pot was a nightmare.

People in the processing business that are friends have tried to argue with me about this, but my best advice is if you are considering or currently using a card processor to take donations, or accept credit cards for other reasons, you should definitely consider Paypal as an option.

I don’t get any money from Paypal for this praise, but if they read it they can feel free to send me a check…

 

Technology is ever changing…

One of the things I have always loved about technology is that it is always changing, and so is life.  I would have never thought back in the day when i was writing peeks and pokes in code that someday the world would be moving away from desktops to tablets.

Life is much the same way, ever changing, luckily the things you have learned help you make it through the changes and make the best of your opportunities.

A great example of this, I have started a post about cloud computing many times but have yet to finish it, mainly because my thoughts on it’s viability change daily.  It seems many of the offerings are things that us in the IT business have been already doing for years, yet others seem to be a great new way to look at technology, hopefully I will be able to get that post done soon!

So, were do I go from here…..stay tuned…