Bryley Systems Recognized for Excellence in Managed IT Services

Hudson, MA, February 29, 2016 – Bryley Systems Inc., a full-service, managed IT services company, announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Bryley Systems to its 2016 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the MSP Pioneer 250 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed IT services. Their top-notch offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.

In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.

The list is divided into three categories: the MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market; the MSP Elite 150, recognizing large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premise and off-premise services; and the MSP Hosting Service Provider 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premise, cloud-based services.

Bryley Systems is being recognized for their excellence in managed IT services and for their proactive approach to managing, optimizing and securing their client’s IT infrastructure.

Bryley started as a more traditional VAR in 1985 before taking on the task of remotely managing its clients’ IT systems in 1997. The company’s broad range of services (managing networks, security, email, and desktop and mobile devices) and solutions (cloud, virtualization, network security, data back-up, virtual CTO and more) are in high demand.

“MSPs meet a critical need in the IT market, providing customized, turnkey services that allow for predictable operational expenses, effective control of expenditures, precise allocation of limited resources and convenient access to on-demand and pay-as-you-go technology,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “We congratulate the service providers of the MSP 500, who continually reinvent themselves to successfully meet their customers’ changing needs, helping businesses get the most out of their IT investments and sharpen their competitive edge.”

“We’re doing really well,” said President Gavin Livingstone, noting that 2015 was the second-best year in the company’s history (2000, in the midst of the dot-com boom, is hard to beat). Today about 70 percent of the company’s revenue is services (and just more than half is recurring revenue) while 30 percent is hardware and software.

“Demand for Bryley’s services is being driven by IT complexity, the need for end-user support, security needs and compliance requirements,” Livingstone said. “We provide dependable IT at a predictable cost while building long-term relationships with our clients.”

The MSP 500 list is featured online at www.CRN.com/msp500.

 

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About Bryley Systems Inc.

Bryley Systems Inc. – a Top 501 Managed IT Services Provider worldwide – proactively manages, optimizes, and secures the IT infrastructure of organizations in manufacturing, services, passenger transit, and local government. From Cloud-based to on-premise solutions, they approach each client’s needs individually, with flexible service options and custom-fit agreements. Since 1987, Bryley Systems has been providing Dependable IT at a Predictable Cost to clients throughout the continental United States. www.Bryley.com

About the Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

Corridor-9 Data Room Cleanup – Before and After

We recently teamed up with our long-term business partner, Communication Link Services Corporation of Natick, to update the data room at the Corridor-9 Chamber of Commerce.

The Corridor-9 Chamber of Commerce is a business-oriented, non-profit organization servicing Westborough and local communities. Bryley Systems is a long-term member who recently began supporting their IT infrastructure.

Their data room used to look like this:

before-small

Volunteer efforts to improve it over the years did not make much of a difference; cables were disarrayed, old equipment lingered, and the visual effect was negative.

We suggested a cleanup and offered to do it without charge. It did not take much urging, and the “after” picture shows the result:

after-small

Karen Chapman, President at the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce, recently emailed: “Hi Gavin, Thank you so much to your team and Comlink for the outstanding job done.  It brings me great joy to walk into that room now!  Karen”.

Beauty, as always, is in the eyes of the beholder…

 

 

OneNote: A hidden gem in Microsoft Office

Gavin Livingstone, Bryley Systems Inc., January 2016

Microsoft first introduced OneNote with Microsoft Office 2003; since then, it has gone through five iterations and has become a useful utility to record free-form ideas and collaborate with others on any device, from Windows to iOS to Android. (See Wikipedia’s write-up on OneNote.)

Microsoft says that OneNote is “…a digital notebook for your to-do lists, lecture and meeting notes, vacation plans, or anything you want to organize.”

Key benefits:

  • Use anywhere, on any device
  • Work collaboratively with others
  • Keep all your ideas, notes, images, everything together in one place

I have been using OneNote for the past two months to replace my old, spiral-bound notebook. I setup my major groupings by Tabs (Executive, Meetings, Archive, etc.) and I then setup Pages within each Tab for my major task-groupings (Planning, Setup KPIs, ToDo, etc.). Within each Page, I setup a task list with task items.

For example, within my Executive Tab in the Page named “Planning –2016” I have:

  • Five-year plan:
    • 2016
    • 2017
    • 2018
    • 2019
    • 2020
  • Quarterly-plan
    • Q1
    • Q2
    • Q3
    • Q4

Each item within a task-list has a checkbox (called a To Do Tag), so that I can check it off when completed. When all items within all task-lists are completed, I move the Page to my Tab that I named Archive.

Within OneNote, I move Tabs left-to-right to arrange by priority. Likewise, within a Tab, I constantly shift higher-priority task-groupings (Pages) upward as their urgency increases.

I can include emails, documents, handwritten notes, and graphics within each Page.

Because it syncs securely and works with different devices, I have OneNote on my Ultrabook and on my Android tablet to allow use anywhere, anytime.

Bryley Basics: Apps that send an “I’m busy” text from an Android phone

You can’t always be there to respond when you receive a text, but you might want to send an automated “I have received your text” message; much like an “out of office” email response. You can even setup a schedule that provides a response that switches on when your calendar shows a current meeting and switches off after the meeting ends.

Two Android applications, each of them $2.99, accomplish this task:

Both apps are available at GooglePlay.

Please see Sharon Machlis’ How to automatically send an ‘I’m busy!’ text from your Android phone from the 1/6/2016 edition of ComputerWorld.

Communicating with your IT Team – A Glossary of IT Terminology

Lawrence Strauss, Strauss and Strauss, January 2016

This list of computer terms provides a brief and simple definition of the key computer terminology and technical words that are most often used.

Backup/Data Recovery(BU/DR) – Backup and recovery refer to the process of making data redundant and secure in case of a loss and setting up systems that allow that data to be restored. Backing up data requires copying and archiving computer data, so that it is accessible in case of data deletion or corruption. Data from an earlier time may only be recovered if it has been backed up. Data backup is a form of disaster recovery and should be part of any disaster recovery plan. Bryley BU/DR provides secure, remote, disk imaging with bare-metal or Cloud-based data restoration capability for Windows servers and workstations. (See Bryley’s Backup/Data Recovery.)

Bare-Metal Restore (or Tier 1) is a computer restoration process in which a data image has been created so that the computer can be restored to a new computer (without operating system or software), providing identical software, preferences and data to the new computer.

Big Data refers to the volume, velocity and variety of data that presents ever-increasing challenges and opportunities to organizations. With big data techniques organizations can aggregate, normalize and analyze a wide variety of data across many settings.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets organizations have adopted policies that allow employees to use their mobile devices to access company data, email, etc.

Comprehensive Support ProgramCSP is a Managed IT Services option that provides ongoing, proactive maintenance, support, administration and remediation to ensure a stable, highly available, robust IT network. CSP consolidates most IT concerns into one, easily managed program. (See Bryley’s Comprehensive Support Program.)

Continuity – A Continuity plan is the guide for how an organization will survive everything from local equipment failure to global disaster. Small- to medium-sized organizations in particular, often lack the in-house IT resources to achieve the demanding planning, technical and process requirements for data continuity. Therefore, these organizations either neglect to implement any data-oriented Continuity plan or else approach data backup and recovery in a sporadic way that does not conform to best practices. (See Bryley’s BITs, December 2013 issue.)

Disaster Recovery – Related to BU/DR and data Continuity, Disaster Recovery is the process and policies for preparing for recovery of technology infrastructure critical to an organization after a natural or human-created disaster.

Email Archiving – A system of cataloguing email correspondence. (See Bryley’s BITs, November 2014 issue.)

Encryption – The manipulation of data to prevent accurate understanding by all but those for whom the data is intended.

Firewall – Hardware and/or software implementations to prevent unauthorized access to or from a network. (See Bryley’s Secure Network.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) was enacted to help people keep health insurance when they changed or lost jobs, but also requires providers to protect the privacy and security of health information. Penalties for violations of the Act’s provisions were increased to up to $1.5 million per violation, depending on the circumstances. So healthcare providers, already wary about violations of patient confidentiality, have stepped up their efforts to prevent data security breaches.

Hosted Cloud Server(HCS) is a Bryley Systems full-service hosting solution for Windows Servers in which Bryley Systems hosts an organization’s Windows Server(s) within a private cloud at a modern, Level-3 data center with significant redundancy at all levels to ensure high availability. The organization’s servers are available exclusively to the organization twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. (See Bryley’s Hosted Cloud Server.)

Hosted Exchange, Lync®, SharePoint® – Hosted Microsoft® services. (See Bryley’s Hosted Exchange.)

IoT (Internet of Things) describes a time when everyday objects will be connected to the Internet and be able to interact not just with the user, but with other objects, too. When many objects act in concert it’s referred to as “ambient intelligence.” (See Bryley’s BITs, October 2015 issue.)

Managed Anti-Malware(MAM) is a Bryley Systems process that secures an organization’s Windows-based servers and workstations from viruses and spyware; Bryley Systems provides licensing, enforces updates, schedules ongoing, automated scans, and alerts when malware is detected.

Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) – A service that provides users with information technology functions. MSPs allow organizations to outsource their network and information resource procedures. Typically MSPs own the physical infrastructure and provide resources to users over the Internet on-demand. MSPmentor 501 has twice named Bryley Systems among the world’s 501 top IT Service Providers. (See Bryley’s recognition as a top-501 MSP by MSPMentor.)

Managed Workstations and Servers provides Help Desk, on-site support and deployment of software patches and virus protection updates. Implementing Managed Workstations and Servers reduces an organization’s downtime, improves maintenance, increases productivity and data security. (See Bryley’s Comprehensive Support Program.)

Microsoft Office 365 with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business (Lync), OneDrive, etc. – Office 365 is a productivity suite available by subscription. Its components include Exchange Online, an email application, SharePoint, generally used to store, track, and manage electronic documents and assets, Skype for Business, for instant messaging, and OneDrive, for cloud data storage. See Bryley BITs, May 2013 issue.)

Multi-Point Security Hardening Service™ – Bryley Systems’ process of scheduled security reviews. (See Bryley’s Multi-Point Security Hardening Service.)

Network Security is the policies and provisions adopted by a network administrator to monitor and block unauthorized access, misuse, modification or denial of the network. Network Security is the authorization of access to a network’s data and is controlled by a network administrator. (See Bryley’s Multi-Point Security Hardening Service and Bryley’s Secure Network.)

On-Premise is a type of software delivery model that is installed and operated from an organization’s in-house servers to house multiple platforms, both for server-based applications and for end-user access. It can also refer to computer equipment (servers, firewalls, routers, etc.) installed within an organization’s physical location rather than in the Cloud.

Patching is software updating via code inserted into the code of an existing software program. Patches are often temporary fixes between full releases of a software package. Patches may fix a software bug, install drivers, address security issues, address stability issues, and improve performance. (See Bryley’s Comprehensive Support Program.)

Phishing – A scam to collect personal information via e-mails that appear to come from legitimate Web sites to update or confirm the recipient’s information, asking the recipient to click a link, enter a username, password, and/or often more information, such as full name, address, phone, social security number, credit card number. (See Bryley’s Secure Network.)

Private Cloud provides hosted services to a limited number of users behind a secure infrastructure to give those users robust control over enterprise and organization data. (See Bryley BITs, February 2015 issue and Bryley BITs, September 2013 issue.)

QoS (Quality of Service) is the ability to provide different priority to different applications, users or data flows to provide a consistent network experience to the users and/or to guarantee a certain level of performance to a data flow.

Remote Backup is an offsite backup process or facility that stores data or software applications physically apart from the organization’s facility. (See Bryley’s Backup/Data Recovery.)

Remote Support or Help Desk is an information and assistance resource typically carried out off-site that troubleshoots problems with workstations, networks or components. (See Bryley’s Comprehensive Support Program.)

RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) is information technology tools installed on an organization’s workstations and servers. These tools gather status information about the applications and hardware, as well as provide activity reports to the IT service provider, allowing any issues to be addressed proactively and efficiently. RMM helps improve the performance of technical support staff at the organization’s site. (See Bryley’s Kaseya VSA, a RMM tool.)

Scheduled Visits™ – Bryley Systems’ ongoing, periodic, half-day or day service/maintenance visits provided at a reduced rate.

Secure Messaging – Portals can be established on a network and used for secure messaging between users. This usually requires users to visit the portal to view their messages; but users may receive emails saying that a message from another user is waiting for them.

Secure Network(SN) – Bryley Systems’ service to protect an organization’s IT network from common internal and external threats through a rack mountable network appliance and periodic monitoring and reporting. (See Bryley’s Secure Network.)

Server – A computer that is responsible for responding to requests made by software (e.g., Web browser, e-mail application) or computer. It is built for reliability by incorporating significant redundancy in its most-critical components (disk structure, power supplies, cooling, etc.) and is also optimized for the distribution (rather than consumption) of information. Also referred to as a “file server”. (See Bryley’s Deployment Services.)

Single sign-on – There is a basic tension between IT security and the ability of users to do their jobs. Single sign-on speeds up access to systems, but it also creates some security vulnerabilities, weakening credentials and leaving data more apt to being stolen.

Sophos Reflexion – Email spam filtering with continuity, archiving and encryption.

SSD (Solid State Disk) is an electronic storage drive built on solid state, microchip-based flash memory. An SSD and magnetic hard drive perform the same functions. Unlike a hard drive an SSD is an entirely electronic storage device and it contains no mechanical objects.

Technology As-Is Assessment™ – Bryley Systems’ service to inspect and assess an organization’s current technology infrastructure.

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is a desktop-centric service that hosts users’ desktop environments on remote servers and/or blade PCs, which are accessed over a network using a remote display protocol. (See Bryley’s Hosted Cloud Server.)

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a means of using the Internet as the transmission medium for phone calls. An advantage is an organization does not incur any additional charges beyond the cost of Internet access.

VPN (Virtual Private Networking) is a means of securely accessing resources on a network by connecting to a remote access server through the Internet or other network.

Virtual CTO™ – Proactive, ongoing, Chief Technology Officer expertise provided by Bryley Systems. (See Bryley’s Virtual CTO.)

Virtualization refers to the creation of a not actual, but simulated version of a hardware platform, operating system, storage device or network resource. Host and guest are used to distinguish between the software that runs, respectively, on the actual machine and the software that runs on the virtual machine. (See Bryley’s What is the business case for Windows Server virtualization?).

Data-Backup Guidelines for 2016

Our Data-Backup Guidelines for 2016 discusses backup technologies (like our Cloud-based Backup/Data Recovery service) and includes a helpful Backup-Rotation Calendar and a Backup-Event Log for those with on-premise backup systems.