cost reduction

Interested In IT Cost Reduction? Get Flat Rate Services from Teknique IT

Don’t Let IT Costs Takeover Your Business

Too often, we hear companies say that they can’t get a handle on their IT costs. It is true that IT infrastructure can get expensive, especially when you are trying to manage your IT and complete repairs and maintenance on your own. But what if you had a partner that specialized in IT? One that could offer you managed services that could significantly reduce downtime, 24/7 network monitoring, a dedicated IT staff proactively solving problems, and more, all for a fixed flat fee each month? Teknique IT does just that, by helping companies get the IT cost reductions they need. Our goal is to help you maximize your business by reducing IT costs so that you can dedicate resources towards creating more value for your clients. You can count on us to find and solve IT problems, before they become problems.


Benefits of Flat Rate IT Solutions

When you are paying a technician to come in and repair your IT infrastructure, you’ll quickly find that paying by the hour gets very expensive. An even bigger issue is that the technician is performing a one-off job, and will likely not be there for support in the future. With a flat rate IT solution, you are paying for 24/7 support that you can count on. For a fixed, flat monthly fee, you get a team of IT support staff who will be there for any of your IT issues. Not only will your support team fix the problem, but they will provide future support and maintenance so that you can feel comfortable that your systems will continue running smoothly. You can increase your productivity by knowing that all of your IT needs are covered.


Maximize Your Company’s Potential

Teknique IT’s goal is to help your business maximize its potential. You can’t do that if you are inefficiently managing your IT infrastructure. We’ll help with cost reduction, so that you can get the most out of your IT infrastructure without paying heavy fees each time you need a repair or maintenance. We’ll provide you with IT consulting and the support you need to tackle any IT infrastructure problem or project. If you want proactive support that will cover your software, hardware, servers, and networks, then you’ve found a long term partner in Teknique IT. Our team is ready to get to work helping your business become more efficient.

Cost Reduction

Effective Cost Reduction for Your IT Budget

IT Infrastructure Can Get Expensive

When it comes to IT infrastructure, you already know how expensive your hardware can get. Servers, hard drives, and other IT infrastructure can get very costly, especially when it comes to installation, maintenance, and support. These costs can weigh down your IT budget and make it difficult for you to dedicate IT resources elsewhere. You may want your IT department to be able to work on a new project, but while they are bogged down with costly repairs, they simply might not have the time or resources available. That’s why Teknique IT is dedicated to helping your company towards effective cost reduction for your IT budget. We offer several services that help keep your costs low and predictable, and reduce the need for reactive maintenance to your hardware.

 How Teknique IT Can Help With Cost Reduction

Without the right support, it can seem almost impossible to save money on IT infrastructure costs. After all, you need these operations to keep your business running smoothly. Without them, you can lose productivity and ultimately become less competitive. Teknique IT offers several services that help with cost reduction for your IT budget. The most prominent is the proactive maintenance service, also known as flat rate IT. With flat rate IT, you pay an affordable flat rate each month, and get proactive IT support to keep your IT infrastructure running smoothly. This allows you to focus on your business without worrying about having to handle potentially costly maintenance or repairs. Teknique IT also offers several solutions that directly impact productivity, such as VoIP services, Mobility services, Office 365, and Virtualization. Teknique IT can even build your company a custom network that meets your business’s long term goals. A more productive company is a more cost-efficient one.

Choosing the Right Services For Your Business

If you want to reduce your IT costs, you need a team of IT professionals that are invested in your success. Teknique IT is dedicated to working directly with our clients as a long term partner. We’ll consult with you to determine your long term needs and goals, as well as evaluate your current IT infrastructure. From there, we can provide you with services that will result in effective cost reduction as well as improve your company’s bottom line. We want all of the companies that we work with to succeed, and that’s we strive to offer IT solutions that are second to none. Give us a call to learn more.


Teknique IT Has a CMAS to Become Your eRate Specialists

The California eRate program provides discounts on the costs of necessary telecommunications to eligible schools and libraries. eRate is a federal program of the FCC, which is administered by the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This company provides 20 to 90 percent discounts to eligible Kindergarten through 12th grade public schools and libraries on Internet access, approved telecommunications and the costs of internal communications. In order to make eligible purchases to schools, you must also hold a California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) contract. Teknique IT holds a valid CMAS Contract in the state of California and is registered with the USAC. Keep reading to see how Teknique IT can be your eRate specialists.

About the CMAS Contract in California

When a company holds a CMAS contract, they are authorized to sell specific products and provide specific technical services. Companies with a CMAS contract are able to legally demonstrate their qualification to provide personal, consulting or technical services being offered. State and local government agencies can use CMAS contracts, including the K-12 public schools and community colleges chosen to spend public funds. CMAS contracts are set up for both IT and non-IT products and services at fair, reasonable and competitive prices.

Companies that are registered in California are offered a CMAS that is not established via a competitive bid process run by the state. Instead, they are based on pre-approved federal contracts. A company can hold up to 15 CMAS contracts.

Make Teknique IT Your eRate Technology Provider

Teknique IT holds a valid California CMAS Contract and is also registered with USAC. These qualifications make us eligible to make eRate purchases for eligible libraries and schools. It can be overwhelming when it comes to sorting out just what technologies your schools can obtain and how much. This is where Teknique IT can help. Our CMAS Contract allows us to consult and guide you through the process. We have eRate specialists on our team who can answer any and all questions you have about eRate technology for your schools.

Let Teknique IT Help With eRate Technology Planning

Although technology plans are not a requirement for eRate funds, there is a strong recommendation from the California Department of Technology that local educational agencies create and use a technology plan that has been locally approved. This will be a guide for the use of technology to improve the education of all students. Teknique IT’s CMAS allows our specialists to help you with any questions about eRate technology planning.

Contact Teknique IT to handle all of your eRate needs. Not only can we help those who are in need of a company who holds a CMAS, we can be there for all of your IT needs. Our business solutions include: VoIP, Mobility. Office 365, Custom Network Design and Cabling, Network Security, Virtualization, Business Continuity and more!


Benefits of E-Rate

In 2014, the federal government approved a $1.5-billion-dollar E-Rate funding program after years of stale funding. The E-Rate program provides schools in underfunded and disadvantaged communities with improved technology, access to systems and internet. The new funding measure raised the funding cap to $3.9 billion per year, which had previously remained the same for nearly 20 years.


What is E-Rate?

E-Rate refers to The Schools and Libraries program in the U.S. The program provided schools and libraries with the opportunity to access more affordable telecommunications and information services when it was first implemented in the mid-90s. The program is funded by the Universal Service Fund to provided reduced rates on internet access and telecommunications to establish innovative learning strategies and digital technologies in schools and libraries.


Which Schools Are Eligible?

Schools are required to meet certain eligibility standards. Schools must be an elementary or secondary school that meets the definition outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. If a library applies for funding, the library must be defined in accordance with definition in the 1996 Library Services and Technology Act. The library must be eligible to receive assistance from its state library administrative agency.


Benefits of E-Rate

Schools and libraries in underserved areas will benefit from the program if they qualify. Benefits of the E-Rate funding boost include:

  • Schools and libraries can sign up for funding online, which makes the process easier and spells out the needs and requirements of the funding.
  • Allows schools and libraries to find vendors who provide them with the best discounts and services.
  • Allows schools and libraries to modernize their technology and internet connections, or establish internet in a school or library altogether. Schools and libraries can shift from legacy services and unreliable connections to broadband and WiFi services. WiFi expands reliable internet access to millions of school children nationwide.
  • Funding for the E-Rate program comes from telecommunications service and internet providers. Consumers will notice the charge on their bills, listed as “Universal Service.” Telecommunication service providers include telephone companies, VoIP providers, fiber-optic phone service provers, and wireless phone providers.
  • Schools and libraries receive discounts on either telecommunications, telecommunications services or internet, which are considered category services, and either internal connections, broadband services and maintenance services, which are considered category two services.
  • Schools and libraries in impoverished areas and rural areas can receive up to 20% to 90% to access services and technologies. Discounts can be higher in some areas.


Tips for Applying for E-Rate

If you are a school or library administrator who wishes to apply for E-Rate funding, consider the following tips to make the process easier.

  • Apply online, but understand the parameters and eligibility requirements before you start the application.
  • Utilize resources and contacts to help you apply and to move through the process.
  • Know all the expectations and the deadlines.
  • Use the most current versions of each form and read all of the for certifications.
  • After you submit, be diligent and check the progress often.


If you are a school or library interested in E-Rate funding, contact Teknique. Teknique is an approved provider that will help your school or library save up to 90% on internet and technology services.

office 365

Put Your Office in the Cloud With Microsoft Office 365

It is hard to argue that the most recognized software productivity suite on the market is Microsoft Office. If your business uses Microsoft products and has not yet moved to Office 365, now is the time to consider it. This cloud based software program provides a one-stop shop for all your business needs including email, Microsoft Office applications and programs like Lync Online and SharePoint. Moving to Office 365 allows your business to remain competitive by increasing productivity all while reducing your overhead costs.

Understanding Cloud Computing

Cloud computing, also known as a hard drive in the sky, is a revolutionary way for businesses to communicate to employees and customers, while offering a reduction to technology expenses. Not long ago, portions of budgets required expensive hardware to be purchased and software licenses to be installed to utilize Microsoft Office. Today, the Internet offers enhanced flexibility to run the most familiar products that many companies use. Whether you are in the office or elsewhere, with just an Internet connection you can run the latest version of Microsoft Office 365.

The Components of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 allows access to all the applications you are familiar with like Word, Power Point and Excel. The difference is you now have access to these programs from anywhere. Connect to the internet and gain instant access on all your devices including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones. Additionally, with Office 365 you can now share in real time, making it easier than ever to collaborate with team members.

Depending on the subscription you purchase, Microsoft Office 365 provides a variety of tools to help your business run efficiently. SharePoint is an application that allows businesses to share documents and other essential information between team members. Settings allow for different user levels, making it easy to ensure each employee receives access to only the documents they are entitled to. Microsoft Lync Online is another great tool that allows for instant messaging as well as video and voice conferencing.

Microsoft Office 365 is Maintenance Free

A huge benefit to Microsoft Office 365 is how easy it is for businesses to maintain. Gone are the days of having to constantly update software, download patches and the headaches that came with it. Office 365 is updated and maintained by Microsoft. When you log on, you automatically are privileged to the latest upgrades and security updates.

Cost for Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 is available through a monthly subscription, starting at $5.00 per user. Office 365 Business Essentials includes online versions of Office with email and video conferencing and one Terra-byte for file storage. If you need more flexibility, Office 365 Business and Premium levels offer additional services including tablet compatibility and full Microsoft Office 365 software to run both on a PC or a Mac. All levels offer piece of mind with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime and IT support with 24/7 phone access for emergencies.



Stability Offered by Managed IT Solutions Providers

When you’re running a business, you don’t have time to deal with the day-to-day upkeep of your company’s computer system. Making sure your network is getting all the necessary updates and keeping it safe from viruses is quite time consuming. In business, time equals money. You can’t afford to waste any time staying on top of your computer network yourself. If you become too busy and forget a necessary security update, your system can become corrupted and set you back days, costing lots of money to get it repaired. More and more companies are outsourcing their computer needs in order to save them time, money, and increase security. Below we discuss in more detail the stability offered by hiring managed IT solutions providers.


Save Money with Managed IT Solutions Providers

When you outsource your company’s IT needs to a managed IT solutions provider, you will save money. One way is by controlling IT costs. Instead of fixed IT costs for an in-house specialist, your costs become variable and let you budget more effectively. With an IT solutions provider you only pay for what you use and when you need it.

Reducing labor costs will also save your business money. Hiring and training an in-house IT staff tends to be expensive. Plus, these temporary employees are not always well trained in all areas of IT, forcing you to look for a specialist when a crisis occurs. When you outsource to an IT solutions provider, you will be able to focus your human resources where they can best help your company to grow as well as receive services from professionals in all areas of IT.


Managed IT Solutions Providers Supply Better Security

Even the companies and industries you think would be the safest – Hollywood, insurance companies, big box stores – are seeing hackers break into their systems. It’s important to always keep up-to-date with the latest in network security. With a managed IT solutions provider, they will handle that for you and make constant updates and system monitoring part of your contract. You don’t have to worry about your networks security and spend time focusing on business.


Maintain Compliance with Managed IT Solutions Providers

Businesses have more ways than ever of taking payment for products or services, including debit and credit cards, e-checks, gift cards and certificates, PayPal, and wire transfers. In order to continue to accept these forms of payment, your company must implement and maintain PCI Compliance standards. If you don’t, your customers’ data, card numbers, and other sensitive information can be compromised. Your managed IT solutions provider will be familiar with current standards and remove the burden by maintaining them for you.


These are only a few of the ways a managed IT solutions provider can offer more security for your business. If you are interested in outsourcing your IT needs, contact us today!

3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Disaster Recovery Planning

While death and taxes may seem like the only true sure things in life, don’t underestimate the near certainty of business data loss. According to CloudBackup’s ‘Facts about Data Loss’ study, nearly 70% of businesses and business professionals have experienced, or will experience, data loss as a result of accidental deletion or other human error, hardware or software failure, viruses, or even natural disasters.

When it comes to being capable of handling such problems, your business must have a backup plan in place as well as a disaster recovery plan. They may seem similar to you, but the difference is simple. A backup plan is the process and systems a business uses to backup critical data and systems. A disaster recovery plan is the process, policy, and procedure used to ensure your business can continue operating normally after data has been lost.

With that said, here are three questions you must ask yourself when creating your disaster recovery plan.


How much of your business critical data will be backed up?

Data backups are great and all, but they are only as useful as the type of data being backed up. If all you are backing up is HR records with employee data and you’re ignoring backing up customer information and business financial records, then you’re really missing the point.

You must backup all of your data. If that’s not possible (for whatever reason) then at least backup the critical information such as customer records, financial records, vendor information, employee information and records, as well as any and all licenses or permits required by regulatory and government agencies.


Will your data be stored offsite?


Offsite backup options have become popular and widely accepted recently due to the low cost associated with offsite backup services and ease with which data can be backed up, often times automatically or on a specific schedule. While offsite data backup solutions are more reliable than many onsite data backup systems, you’ll still want to make sure that whoever your provider is also offers redundancy options in case one system fails and guarantees the highest levels of security and encryption.


How will you communicate with employees and customers during recovery?


Many recovery options from reputable service providers are able to get your core systems and data up and running again within the hour. However, it could take several hours after that to fully recover all data that was lost during whatever incident occurred. There must be a plan or process in place that allows employees to know exactly what they need to do during such an event and how customers will be notified, if at all, while you are waiting for all systems to be fully operational again.

Everything You Need to Know About VoIP

VoIP (short for Voice over Internet Protocol) technology uses a digital network to transmit your voice. It uses the Internet to connect your private telephone line(s) to the traditional public telephone network. This technology works over a variety of different IP devices, including computers, IP-enabled phones, and tablets. There are many benefits to using VoIP.


Reduction in Cost

One of the most attractive things about VoIP is its low cost compared to conventional switched telephone networks. For a business, the startup cost can be significant. Once the system is up and running, it will be less costly to maintain than a traditional phone network. All telephone and data usage are combined into one network, decreasing the costs of maintenance and equipment. Internal calls are free and long distance charges are majorly reduced.



In the VoIP system, a phone number is not tied to a dedicated line. This means that traveling with an IP phone or other VoIP device will allow you to make and receive calls using the same phone number. All of your phone services also travel with you, including call waiting, voice mail and call logs. Businesses with international offices can subscribe to a VoIP service in their home country, drastically reducing the costs of frequent international calls.



Adding additional users to your company’s VoIP system is much easier than adding extra physical phone lines. Simply call your provider and they will assist you in setting up another handset. You can also purchase VoIP telephone adaptors which allow you to use the same technology with only a conventional phone and a computer.


Should You Make the Switch?

Before switching to VoIP, take the time to evaluate the needs of your business and the capability of your current technology. If your network can easily handle an increase in data and has plenty of available bandwidth, you can easily switch to VoIP calling. Upgrading your network is always a possibility, but will increase the cost of the change. Companies whose phone traffic consists exclusively of local calls, or who are only paying for a few dedicated phone lines may not benefit as much from VoIP technology. However, if your employees frequently make long distance or international calls, work from home, or travel for work, your business costs could be substantially reduced by switching to VoIP. Be aware that in-house tools that depend on landlines, like some alarm systems and credit card terminals, can’t be converted to VoIP.


The smartest thing to do when considering a switch to VoIP is to look into several providers and make sure you understand all the costs involved in making the change. Then weigh the benefits of making the switch against the actual cost to your company.

Man Regains Sight Through Advances in Medical Technology

Something amazing happened while you weren’t looking, however there is a man in Minnesota, Allen Zderad, who saw it all perfectly for the first time in 45 years. Thanks to the bionic eye, a handful of people across the globe are seeing loved ones for the first time.

Zderad received the transplant after 20 years of suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, which caused him to lose his sight for two decades and can eventually lead to complete blindness.

The very first bionic eye transplant for macular degeneration occurred in Ray Flynn, an 80-year-old man from Audenshaw, early this year. Flynn had lost his central vision because of Macular Degeneration, and after years of blindness, a four-hour procedure at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital restored his sight with the bionic eye—the Argus II. Most transplants are performed on patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Flynn was the very first patient to receive the transplant for Macular Degeneration.


Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects more than 20 million people worldwide. In the US alone, more than 3 million Americans over the age of 40 are either legally blind or have low vision. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports the most common age-related eye diseases in the US include macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetes complications. AMD alone affects nearly 2 million Americans, and the number is expected to reach almost 3 million by the year 2020. The CDC reports over 7 million people with large drusen – yellow or white deposits under the retina – are at a higher risk for AMD.

In 2013, the FDA approved the Second Sight Argus device for people with such devastating degenerative eye diseases. The Second Sight Argus II, or bionic eye, is a device that looks similar to a pair of safety glasses. On the front of the glasses is a camera. When the camera captures an image, the device converts the image(s) into electrical pulses. The pulses are sent wirelessly to electrodes that are attached to the retina. The information is sent to the brain via the remaining electrodes that have been stimulated by the electrodes.

After about two weeks, patients can detect patterns on a computer screen with help from the transplant. The device does not restore sight completely, but it can allow the wearer to see light, helping the patient identify contours and outlines of people and things. Zderad, the Minnesota patient, reports a flash, not a constant vision of sight. The pixelated view allows patients to interpret what they are seeing, which helps them get around better and see the world around them again.

Only about 100 patients in the world have received the transplant. It comes with a hefty price tag of more than $150,000. However, as more institutions receive the okay to perform trial implants, participants may receive the device for free.

disaster recovery plan

7 Tips for a Successful Disaster Recovery Plan

Every business needs a plan of attack if disaster strikes. Whether the businesses is targeted by fire, theft, vandalism, weather events, human error, or security intrusions, a disaster recovery plan must be established to protect the integrity of the system, the data, and the business. Businesses large and small collect a wealth of data, and the loss of the data can cripple operations. A disaster recovery plan ensures a system is in place to recover the data, resume operations, and minimize the amount of downtime. When you are devising your company’s disaster recovery plan, consider seven important steps.

1.   Plan to Lose One or All

Businesses should take inventory of the company’s hardware–such as laptops, desktops, devices, the server—and the software. A disaster recovery plan must consider the loss of a single component or all, the computer room and infrastructure, hardware, internet connection, software systems, and data recovery and restoration. Answer the following: how do we get each up and running again.

2.  Conduct a Risk Assessment

A company cannot know its risk and the best ways to recover without conducting a comprehensive risk assessment. A risk assessment identifies vulnerabilities, software, emergency practices, and anything else that impacts the daily workings of a business.

3.  Identify Essential Personnel

A plan must identify essential personnel and a chain of command when disaster strikes. Where can essential personnel be reached, and who has access to recovery strategies?

4.  Designate a Meeting Area

If operations cannot resume where the office is located, the disaster recovery plan must establish an off-site meeting area and procedures for remote access to the company’s system.

5.  Assign Responsibilities and Tasks Required for Successful Recovery

To avoid chaos, everyone needs to know what is expected of him/herself before and after a disaster. This can be as minor as collecting data and the steps to take if a device is lost or stolen, or as complex as recovering data.

6.  Review Data Recovery Procedures

Data recovery and restoration is the number one goal of the disaster recovery plan. Without company data, the company does not have a foundation for operations. The company’s plan must address preventative security and data measures, detecting threats, and resolutions for recovery. For effective collection and restoration of data, companies must know who has the data, how it is collected and secured, where the data is stored, how it can be recovered, what happens if the data is lost, and the process of retrieving data if the company decides to switch users.

7.  Put the Plan into Action

When you establish the disaster recovery plan, test it out. Work out the kinks and get to know the processes before disaster strikes. Your company does not want to undergo a trial by fire. There is too much at stake, and you don’t want it to be your company’s reputation hanging from the stake. Consider revisiting and testing the plan on an annual basis.