How to Successfully Migrate to Office 365

Making the move to Office 365 has become a bit of a no-brainer for modern businesses in recent years. The advantages of moving operations to the cloud—and the sheer availability of communication and business tools that can evolve as your needs do—are staggering. However, new systems means migration, which is a process that makes many business owners balk.

But migrating to Office 365 for your business in Maryland doesn’t have to be the headache you expect it to be! A prepared and well-equipped business can make the move without so much as missing a step, and today, we’re here to help you accomplish exactly that.

Maryland Computer Service has helped over 30 businesses throughout Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC make the move to Office 365 with no downtime! Our migration service can help you gain all of the advantages of a perfect move, guaranteed. Contact us online to learn more!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Office 365 Migration

Moving to Office 365, or making any migration successfully, is about preparedness, communication, and working with the right team. Take these steps, and you’re sure to be reaping the benefits of greater accessibility and productivity in no time:

  1. Understand what Office 365 can offer you specifically. There are many different plans when it comes to Office 365. Each is going to offer unique advantages and tools, and not all plans match up with everyone’s needs. Be sure that you understand the plans and services available to you, and choose accordingly.
  2. Do some asking around. Office 365 is rapidly becoming the standard in cloud based business operations, so you’ve likely got some business neighbors that have firsthand experience. Maryland Computer Service has helped dozens of businesses migrate to Office 365, and getting the opinions and insights of folks who have been through the migration can provide invaluable in helping you prepare for the coming move.
  3. Decide what to keep local. Microsoft hosted services offered through Office 365 are a massive advantage, but your comfort level is taken into consideration, too. If there are certain aspects of your business you prefer to keep on your side alone, or stored on site (data, networks, etc), you have that right. Though we will say that many businesses consider local security to be a good idea, we can honestly tell you that Microsoft security on the cloud is leagues ahead of most security and encryption systems.
  4. Work with the right migration service team. If you’re following along, you’ve likely already decided that Office 365 is your best bet for improved business function and growth. But no matter what the system and products can do for you, the number one thing you’re going to need during a migration is a team of experienced, certified professionals. Working with pros ensures minimal or zero downtime, and a flawless integration of 365 with your business. It’s your best option for a pain-free, benefits-only experience.

Migrate to Office 365 with a Certified Microsoft Partner

Maryland Computer Service is a Certified Microsoft Partner, as well as a small business specialist. We are uniquely equipped to provide peerless service when it comes to Office 365 migration and more!

If you’re ready to begin the transition to 365, our experts are ready to assist. Contact us today to learn more about our migration services, or call us (301) 202-6521 at to learn about the Office 365 plans we offer!

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

It’s the age of the Internet, and an increasing number of businesses are relocating critical information to the “cloud.” This move to cloud computing shifts business files, applications, and software from physical hard drives and computers to a virtual space on the Internet.

Most people in the modern world use cloud computing every day without realizing it. Transferring money into your bank account over the Internet? Paying bills online? Updating your social media status? These are all examples of cloud computing.

Reasons to Consider Cloud Computing for Your Business

If your business doesn’t yet utilize the cloud for storage, backup, and data access, consider all the benefits of cloud computing that you’re missing out on.

Flexibility

Fluctuating bandwidth or storage requirements are no problem when you utilize cloud computing. Obtain as little or as much storage space as your business requires, and only pay for what you need. This makes expanding or downsizing your business an easy endeavor and provides built-in future proofing.

Accessibility

Need to access an important work document from across town or while on vacation? It’s easy with cloud computing and an Internet-enabled device. Imagine the ability to work from anywhere and collaborate with telecommuting team members without needing to gather in the same office. The accessibility available with cloud computing is incredibly convenient and a huge time saver.

Security

When you lose your laptop or a hard drive gets stolen from your office, your concerns go well beyond paying to replace the hardware – you must also contend with losing the sensitive data stored on that device. Cloud computing ensures the survival of your data, no matter what happens to your computer. And if hardware gets into the wrong hands, you can remotely wipe data to prevent a security breach. Of course, cyber attacks pose a threat to data stored in the cloud, but with the right cyber security solutions in place, you have little to fear.

Disaster Recovery Options

Along with the importance of data security, you must also have a plan for data recovery following a disaster. From floods and fires that physically damage your office to viruses that corrupt your hard drive, you need a way to get your business back on its feet. With cloud computing, disaster recovery is built right in. This saves you time and money by speeding up the return to business as usual.
Cost Effectiveness

You can shape everything about cloud computing to meet your budgetary needs. First, only pay for the storage you require. Then, sign up for a low monthly subscription to gain access to an outsourced IT department. This prevents you from spending thousands of dollars a year on an in-house tech crew and new equipment. Software updates are even included with your subscription, so you’re not left to pay for these separately.

Eco-Friendliness

While cloud computing is primarily to help your business, it’s not an entirely selfish move. By keeping collaborative documents in a digital format, you cut back on in-office paper use. You can also scale down your server capacity, which cuts back on energy use and lowers your carbon footprint. You can even include your cloud computing venture on your list of “green” credentials for marketing and PR purposes.

Move Your MD, VA, or DC Business to the Cloud

Ready to take advantage of these benefits of cloud computing? The IT experts at Maryland Computer Service are here to set you up with the best cloud computing service for your business. Call us at (301) 202-6521 or contact us online to learn more about moving your network servers online with our cloud computing services!

Cyber Attacks, Hackers & More: How to Protect Your Business

Nothing is more important than protecting your business’s confidential data and information. As the world of technology has expanded, information security has become more vital than ever. Cyber attackers and hackers can exploit holes in your security unless they are immediately taken care of, and data loss becomes a real concern in the event of natural disaster or system failures.

Read on and find out how to protect your business and prevent important data loss!

Cyber Security Services

If you are a computer user, odds are high that you’ve encountered some sort of minor virus or malware in the past. However, while the consequences of malware on your personal computer are typically minor, such as unwanted toolbars or annoying pop-ups, security breaches on a business network can be far more detrimental.

Cyber security services can protect your business network from dangerous viruses, spyware, and malware that would otherwise compromise your network’s integrity and confidentiality. Depending on your business and its needs, this might mean network security solutions, implementation of firewalls, or both.

Examples of network security services:

  • Network Security Analysis
  • Network design and configuration
  • Monthly network security maintenance
  • Network monitoring
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Examples of firewall programs:

  • Network-level firewalls – Use network traffic sources and requested destinations to filter traffic and inspect packet headers.
  • Circuit-level gateways – Eliminate unauthorized information delivery to outside traffic sources.
  • Application-level gateway – Similar to circuit-level gateways, but are built around specific, designated applications. They can also block access to websites based on content.
  • Stateful multiplayer – The most advanced kind of firewall, offering the most information protection.

Data Protection & Recovery Services

While network security and firewalls are the first lines of defense against security breaches, it’s just as important to know what to do in the event that you lose some – or all – of your important company data.

Data protection and recovery services are absolutely integral to any information security plan. Do you have a data protection plan? Are you certain that your backup process will recover all of your data? Do you schedule regular backups to ensure your they contain all the most recent versions of your business’s important data and information?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then you may want to invest in some system recovery services and backup plans.

Full System Recovery

Full system recoveries are big – and they cover everything: data, applications, drivers, settings, operating systems, and more. In the event of a system failure, a full system backup should be able to return your business computers and IT system to their pre-failure appearances and performance.

Differential Backups

These backups reference the last full system backup, and copy all changes that have been made since. Every differential backup will be a bit bigger than the last.

Incremental Backups

These data backups don’t copy every file from one backup to the next, but, instead, only reference the last backup of any kind. They only copy and save files that have been changed since that backup, minimizing the size of the backup.

Protect Your MD, VA, or DC Business Today!

Don’t leave your business unguarded! Protect your business against cyber-attacks and hackers in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC areas.

Our specialists at Maryland Computer Service are experts in the field of information and cyber security. From installing a firewall to monitoring network access, from protecting your confidential information to ensuring its recovery when something goes wrong: our IT team can handle the task. Contact us for a consultation, and let us design a customized data protection and recovery plan for you!

Why Your Business Needs to Have a Proper Data Backup System in Place

There is nothing more critical than protecting your company’s data and information. What if you arrived at your office this morning to find all your computers and information technology were gone? Do you have a data protection plan in place to prevent the unwanted distribution of critical company and client information? When was the last time you tested your backup process to ensure flawless data recovery? Do you run regularly scheduled backups so you can recover in the event of an IT failure?

It’s an unfortunate truth: emergencies happen. Whether the issue is an IT failure, a fire or flood, or hackers, if your business doesn’t have a data protection system in place and you aren’t prepared with a data recovery plan, your company is vulnerable

Benefits of Having a Data Backup Plan for Your Business

Don’t let hackers, unexpected disasters (like fires or floods), or IT system failures prevent you from completing your work as scheduled. In an emergency, it’s important to know that your data is protected in the sense that it has been backed up and will be able to be recovered after the emergency, so your company will continue to be able to run smoothly as usual.

Securing your company’s data requires quite a bit more than a secure password! If you hope to be protected against the unwanted distribution of critical company and client information, then having a data protection plan you can depend on is crucial for your business.

Protecting your data is the first crucial step in making sure your company’s files stay safe if your computers are hacked, your system fails, or your office experiences a fire or flood. The second step is making sure you’re able to recover and restore your data so your business doesn’t come to a screeching halt without any of its necessary files or information.

Types of Data Backup Plans for Your Business

There are two main types of data backup plans you could look at for your Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC area business: differential and incremental backups. Differential and incremental backups allow you to safely back up and store sensitive business information to prevent data loss. Both differential and incremental backups reduce backup time, which is crucial in an emergency!

Incremental Backups

This is a type of data backup that doesn’t copy every single file from one backup to the next. These backups are not based on the last full backup, but on the last backup of any kind. Incremental backups only copy files that have been altered or changed since that last backup, which minimizes backup size.

Differential Backups

These backups are based on the last full backup that was performed and will copy all changes since the last full backup was performed. This means that each differential backup will be larger than the last.

Depend on Maryland Computer Service for Data Backup & Recovery in MD, VA & DC

Maryland Computer Service is one of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC’s most trusted managed service providers. With over 20 years of combined industry experience, our IT specialists can design and implement custom data protection solutions your company can depend on. We’ll work in conjunction with your company to determine your exact business needs—safely protecting against data loss. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Maryland Computer Service is 100 percent HIPAA compliant and adheres to all HIPAA guidelines. To learn more about HIPAA compliancy or our data protection services, contact us today!

Why It Makes More Sense to Outsource IT Services

When you’re responsible for running a small or medium-sized business, we understand that resources can be limited, both in terms of time and money.  Even so, if your business fails to maintain regular system backups, patches, or security, your business network could be at risk of significant downtime and productivity loss—something no company wants to experience!

Small businesses need technology to operate efficiently and to compete effectively in their industry and service area. The last thing any business wants is for its computer network and workstations to break down! One way to protect your business from experiencing any of the above is with managed IT services from Maryland Computer Service.

Outsourcing your company’s IT services is the ideal option for SMBs in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC area. This option is less expensive and time-consuming, and allows you to focus on running your business while we handle your IT needs.

Learn more about what’s included in our managed IT services at Maryland Computer Service below, or contact us now to schedule a free consultation!

What’s Included When You Outsource Your IT Services to MCS?

When you outsource your IT management to Maryland Computer Service, we can design and implement a custom-built maintenance plan that fits your business needs and budget requirements. These customized IT support plans take preventative steps to catch any system errors before they turn into larger problems, protecting your entire information technology system and daily business operations.

When providing IT services for your small or medium-sized business, we monitor and manage key features of your entire IT network and deliver:

  • 24/7 monitoring and management of all vital IT systems
  • Hardware and software support
  • Preventative maintenance of critical servers and business networks
  • Improved technology performance and productivity
  • Preset monthly pricing
  • And more!

No matter what your industry, we can design and configure a network that works for you—from businesses with just five computers to more than 100, we can help!

What Other IT Services Does MCS Offer Small Businesses in the DC Area?

Beyond our general managed IT support services, we offer a variety of other technology-based services to businesses in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Let us help your business improve and grow by providing you with:

  • Business network and server setup– Business networks maximize employee performance when running multiple desktop applications requiring reliable connectivity and 24/7/365 access to your organization’s data.
  • Business network design– We’ll design a network to meet your specific needs, including HIPAA compliance.
  • Cloud computing and storage– Don’t worry about being hardwired into your network. With cloud computing services from Maryland Computer Service, you and your employees can access network servers and critical data on-the-go or from home!
  • Email design and database development– Your business may require a custom CRM.
  • Remote tech support– In most instances your IT equipment operates without any hiccups. However, if you experience an emergency or need immediate IT support, we’re here to help! We offer remote technical support for all of our small business clients, including 24/7/365 monitoring.
  • And more

Start Outsourcing Your Company’s IT Services Today!

As a business owner, you’ve got enough to worry about without adding your company’s IT security and management to the list. So, make the less expensive, less time-consuming choice: outsource your IT services to Maryland Computer Service.

To set up a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call at (301) 202-6521 now!

Benefits of Using Remote IT Support for Your Business

In today’s fast-paced world, experiencing downtime from your computer or IT network can lead to loss of work, productivity, and revenue—something no company wants or can afford to experience. In a world where almost all business relies on properly functioning computers, networks, servers, and other IT equipment, receiving reliable, efficient, and cost effective technical support is vital.

If your company is paying for onsite technical support, you are missing out on a variety benefits that come with remote IT support!

Advantages of Remote Technical Support in MD, VA & DC

It’s Faster

A remote IT technician will be able to address your needs immediately when an issue arises, unlike an onsite technician, who will have to factor in the time it will take to travel to your business.

Instead of calling an IT company to come inspect your computer or traveling to a tech support specialist, remote technical support eliminates the need for travel. We can connect to your computer from anywhere at any time! You’ll receive technical support from an industry expert almost instantly.

It’s More Cost Effective

Remote technicians are able to resolve issues faster and don’t need to pay for travel, which helps decrease costs of their IT services. Eliminate travel expenditures (such as gas) and don’t waste company money on bringing an IT professional into your place of business, which could result in expensive fees from hourly wages, depending on the severity of your issue.

It’s More Efficient

Since remote technicians are able to handle your needs using remote access to your devices, phone and chat sessions, and remote monitoring and management solutions, they can resolve issues quickly, efficiently, and effectively. When you receive remote assistance from a certified IT professional, like Maryland Computer Service, you can rest assured your issue will be resolved in a timely manner.

We are a Microsoft Certified Partner and Microsoft Small Business Specialist, so we know just what it takes to resolve your problems and get your business back online as quickly as possible.

Start Using IT Support for Your Business in MD, VA or DC

Our remote support is performed over a secure connection, and we always ask for permission to see and access your computer during each support session. This allows us to quickly see and resolve the problem without wasting any time.

We offer our remote technical support service as part of our monthly service contract, or it can be used as needed. If seeking remote technical support on an as-needed basis, our assistance is available at $45 per hour (one hour minimum charge required).

At Maryland Computer Service, we work with small businesses throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC to overcome the budget and time constraints limiting your business operations. Whether you simply don’t have the revenue to hire a full-time IT employee or just want an IT service provider to securely monitor your networks 24/7/365, we can help!

Need remote technical support for your business? Contact the experts at Maryland Computer Service to schedule a consultation now!