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Press Start Ltd has been serving the East Anglia area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Shrug Off Downtime with Managed IT Services

Shrug Off Downtime with Managed IT Services

Do you know what can completely kill a business’ momentum? Downtime. Businesses of all types look for a myriad of ways to save themselves the headaches that come from significant downtime. One way that is sure to reduce an organisation’s downtime is by having conscientious IT management and support at the ready. One problem with this is that it's typically costly to hire a team of IT professionals with the experience and knowledge to keep your technology up and running.

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There’s Value in Outsourcing Your IT, Part IV

There’s Value in Outsourcing Your IT, Part IV

Many businesses are capitalising on the vast amount of benefits Managed IT services can bring to the table. These service providers are able to assist your business in obtaining, and managing the technology that you rely on. Working with one of these providers can help your business simplify data management practices, as well as make them much more secure. Today we will go over how they are able to do so.

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There’s Value in Outsourcing Your IT, Part V

There’s Value in Outsourcing Your IT, Part V

Information technology continues to play a more significant role in businesses, and as technology changes, so should yours. IT procurement is a critical part of any business’ success, which means that your business can greatly benefit from a managed service provider. They have the know-how to procure all of the best technology. Today, we will discuss how your business can acquire the IT it deserves. 

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Help Desk Makes IT Support Easier

Help Desk Makes IT Support Easier

Downtime is a killer for any business. When a business is forced into confronting its technology support deficits, it usually means that they’ve been dealing with too much broken technology and downtime, and the costs associated with it. One way your business can avoid losing huge chunks of time to broken technology is to add a professional help desk to support your IT administrator. 

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Which Approach Puts Your IT in a Better Position?

Which Approach Puts Your IT in a Better Position?

Technology management is one of the major issues that challenge small businesses. Do you know the various strengths and weaknesses of having an in-house IT department versus an outsourced IT provider? As a managed service provider ourselves, we’re in a unique position to help your business make an educated decision about the future of its IT management.

In-House IT Management

If your business is fortunate enough to have its own in-house IT department, you know what it to get the right people for the job you need to painstakingly assess all applicants. Since, your business’s in-house team will always be at your disposal, your technicians have to be chosen with the applicable know-how to mitigate the technology troubles your organisation will most frequently come across.

On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses are known to have some troubles, even when working with an in-house IT department. Training new team members can be tricky, time consuming, and expensive, especially if your business has complex technologies that need to have dedicated management. Once these technicians are trained to cover the bases your business technology demands, they will only get more expensive; so seeing a substantial return your investment may not be possible.

Managed/Outsourced IT

Outsourced IT provides one of the most sought after assets for a business: predictable technology costs. When you hire a managed service provider, your business will always be using maintained and monitored technology, where issues are solved remotely for a flat monthly fee. An MSP generally stays updated on the latest findings and technologies in the industry, making them more well-rounded technicians than those that are simply concerned with the workings of your business’ current technology. It’s actually much more affordable as well, as you’re only adding one payment to your budget compared to the multiple salaries that would be assaulting payroll for an internal IT department.

The only issue that you’ll encounter with a managed service provider is letting go of the reigns a bit and trusting someone else with control over your business’s IT. Therefore, trust is something that is absolutely crucial if you choose to outsource your IT management.

Press Start Ltd wants your business to benefit from outsourced IT solutions. To find out what we can do for you, reach out to us on 01638 603204.

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Reduce Your Costs By Outsourcing Your IT Management

Reduce Your Costs By Outsourcing Your IT Management

Your business deals with all types of troubles, but one trouble that can be extraordinarily costly is when your organisation's technology doesn’t work properly. That’s why many businesses hire an IT staff who work to mitigate technology-related problems. One issue you should be cognisant of is cost. Typically, IT professionals have training, certifications, and experience and demand an above average salary. If you have a small or medium-sized business that is working with tight margins as it is, it can be extremely difficult to take on new personnel costs; especially ones that don’t directly result in bringing revenue through the door.

A popular solution to this quandary is to outsource your organisation's IT management to a managed IT services provider (MSP), like Press Start Ltd. Our certified technicians will first assess your business’ information systems to get a good idea where your inefficiencies lie, then they’ll go to work devising a customised technology and management plan to fit your business’ needs. Starting a relationship with a baseline of knowledge we can deliver value through our cost-saving managed services that include:

  • Hardware & software support: We are the IT guys after all. We have relationships with some of the most notable vendors in the industry so our clients can get the hardware and software solutions they need to be the best version of their business. We’ll also ensure that any software you use will be up to date with the latest threat definitions.
  • Around the clock monitoring: In order to provide the ROI we intend to, our services have to reduce or eliminate your organisation’s downtime. That’s why we monitor and proactively maintain your network and infrastructure with our state-of-the-art monitoring software. In doing so, if there is a threat to your network, or your hardware, we’ll know about it immediately, and we can take steps to remediate the issue. This allows you to get more from your hardware and avoid the operational problems that comes when you have to stop to deal with network and infrastructure issues. 
  • Backup and disaster recovery: Your business’ data is an extremely valuable asset, and as such, it has to be protected against situations that arise where you may lose it. Anything as benign as a storm could wipe out a lot of hard work. Our backup and disaster recovery platform not only backs up your data periodically, it creates copies that are sent off-site into the cloud, so that no matter what is thrown at your business, your data will be safe. 
  • Network security: Along with our monitoring and management program, we also ensure that your network is secured from the literally thousands of threats that face it every day. From malware to corruption to infiltration, our network security platform keeps your data available and your network working properly.
  • Vendor management: Along with having access to a myriad of top industry vendors, we also can help you manage your vendors, whether we use them or not.
  • Around the clock IT support: We offer a comprehensive help desk where technicians who have remote access to your end-points can solve situational computing problems for your staff 24/7.
  • Options: We also offer a whole cache of powerful IT solutions including cloud computing, communications, printing, conferencing, and physical security solutions that work for any-sized business.

If you are looking for a way to get the technology that can help you grow your business, you are just looking to reduce your IT management costs, or you are thinking of attempting to get your footing on a new IT initiative, call the IT professionals at Press Start Ltd today on 01638 603204.

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Does Outsourcing Your Business’ Network Security Make Sense?

Does Outsourcing Your Business’ Network Security Make Sense?

Managed service is a relatively new concept, but that doesn’t mean that the industry hasn’t grown rapidly. You can now get a managed service contract for your household appliances and one for your car. The truth is that not having access to a large cache of capital needed to make proactive investment used to be the bane of the small business. The service model has changed that completely. It has certainly revolutionised the IT deployment and support models. In fact, from hardware support to cloud computing, there are service options for most IT products. This month, we will take a long look at the Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), and the circumstances that need to happen to gain value from one.

What is a Managed Security Service Provider?
You know how it seems like every other day there is a major data breach, network takedown, or infiltration broadcast on the evening news? Companies of high repute, including Disney, Yahoo, Sony, Anthem, Target, Equifax, and a laundry list of others have had major data breaches that have exposed hundreds-of-thousands-to-billions of users’ information. As a result, you’ve seen companies start up with one goal in mind: to mitigate detrimental circumstances that surround the growing use of IT.

Like many of other IT service providers, the first companies to utilise these services were larger enterprises with tens of thousands of employees. Given that they tend to have the most complex environments and the financial resources to afford the often-pricey services MSSPs provide, it isn’t a big surprise that a lot of the best practices used in network security were developed by IT technicians solving enterprise-level problems for enterprise-level businesses. After strategically moving into the mid-market over the past few years, MSSPs have increased enough in number to start selling their brand of managed security to small and medium-sized businesses.

It’s not really news that SMBs have suffered a disproportionate percentage of hackers’ ire recently. The Verizon Data Breach Investigation report in 2016 found that two-out-of-every-three of the 855 reported data breach incidents happened to businesses that employed between 11-and-100 employees. Demand, it seems, has allowed SMBs access to better outsourced security services.

What Does an MSSP Do?
The MSSP, especially ones that conduct business in the SMB market, traditionally are just managed service providers that extend a routine agreement to one that is a little more device-sensitive. Typically MSSPs are tasked with two basic things. First, they are responsible for the monitoring and management of an organisation’s network to ensure that security threats are mitigated. Secondly, they manage device deployment. Users are less apt to be on point about security initiatives so by having people there managing the devices that connect to your organisation’s network, you position someone between endpoints and hacker paydirt: the data on your central servers.

Of course, for businesses that function inside the various industries that require very specific security practices, such as healthcare, retail, and professional services, the benefits an MSSP provide is that they have a lot of experience dealing with data, infrastructure, and regulations in those specific industries. For those companies that are under strict compliance regulations, or those that work with them, having a service in place that allows for comprehensive security service and thorough reporting is ideal. Specifically, some services an MSSP would offer include:

  • Compliance assurance
  • Intrusion detection
  • Managed firewall
  • Malware elimination
  • Pen testing
  • Virtual private networks
  • Vulnerability scanning

Are the Costs Worth It?
There are two schools of thought to this. The first is that if your business is inundated with security problems, there is a good chance that you will deal with data loss, downtime, and other situations that could make it increasingly difficult to create positive revenue positions. If that is your current position, paying the extra money for an outsourced security provider will pay for itself. After all, with the myriad of entities out there actively looking to get into your network; or, more specifically looking to get ahold of the personally identifiable, financial, or medical information that you depend on, maintaining a high level of network security is paramount to any success your organisation is going to have.

The second position is that the average coverage of a small business will cost a few thousand dollars per month, and if you already have IT personnel on staff, or you pay a managed service provider like Press Start Ltd for network monitoring and patch management, it could put your organisation behind before it even has a chance to create any revenue. If you have sustained a secure network and infrastructure with the security resources you have in place, adding the extra layer of security monitoring, while it couldn’t hurt your security position, may hurt your financial position.

Really, it comes down to your needs. For the organisation that deals in information that hackers would target, an outsourced MSSP contract may be just the thing you need to ensure airtight security. However, if your company functions fine without the extra security, whether it’s because the information you have is safe enough, or because the data you possess isn’t necessarily what hackers are looking for, you can probably forgo the expense as long as you are diligent about how you manage, share, and store data.

At Press Start Ltd, we have found success creating and managing storage and computing infrastructures that are reliable and keep data secure. If you would like more information about managed security services, or if you just want to talk to us about the state of your network and endpoint security, call us today on 01638 603204.

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We Bring Value with Our Managed IT Services

We Bring Value with Our Managed IT Services

Technology is great for improving certain parts of your business, but only if it is implemented correctly. The way you manage your technology will determine whether you are investing wisely or just throwing away money on solutions that simply don’t work. How can you make sure that your business isn’t held back by the way it manages its technology? It all starts by taking a look at what you currently do versus what successful companies are doing.

Almost all small businesses use technology, but they don’t necessarily have an in-house department dedicated to overseeing how it is used or maintained. If you don’t have enough operational capital to employ dedicated staff whose job is to effectively manage your business’ IT solutions, chances are that this responsibility falls to your other employees. Even if they are the ones doing the maintenance, it’s likely that they can’t provide the specialised services required for each and every piece of hardware and software that your organisation uses on a daily basis; not to mention the background in the organisation and management of business technology. In any case, you’re risking your organisation’s future with every software patch not being implemented on time, or security update not being applied as needed.

What about in a worst-case scenario? In a situation like this, where your business’s data could be compromised by external factors, would you have an answer for the inevitable tough questions? Natural disasters and hacking attacks are two cases where you could experience crippling data loss or corruption. If a scenario like this were to play out, you want to make sure that your organisation has a way to back up and restore data. This way, you can maintain a reliable and recoverable copy of your organisation’s data off-site just in case. After all, future events like this are, quite frankly, impossible to predict. If you’re not using an automatic system, you never know how much data you could lose in the event of such an attack.

Ultimately, the most important part of preventive IT maintenance and management is that it saves your business a considerable amount of capital. By making sure that all of your services are operating at full capacity, you create more opportunities for your employees to be productive. Furthermore, by making sure that all of your patches and updates are applied properly, you gain the peace of mind that entities that threaten your organisation’s profitability are being repelled. Outsourcing all of these responsibilities to a managed service provider like Press Start Ltd lifts the weight of these important responsibilities from your organisation’s shoulders, and it keeps you from expense associate with maintenance and repair of critical IT components.

To get started with managed services from Press Start Ltd, call us on 01638 603204.

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Can Your Organisation Take Advantage of a Private Cloud?

Can Your Organisation Take Advantage of a Private Cloud?

If your business isn’t already taking advantage of the cloud in some way, you’re in the minority. Most businesses use it for something or another, depending on the industry and service rendered. Yet, there are all kinds of different cloud-based infrastructures that your organisation can take advantage of, which might make the decision somewhat challenging to make. What’s the best type of cloud solution for your business?

You’ll generally be choosing between the public cloud, the private cloud, or some combination of the two. Depending on which you choose, you can expect to reap considerable benefits. Here are some of the details regarding your choices.

Public Cloud
There are certain reasons why a small business might find the public cloud ideal. Most organisations that don’t have a dedicated IT department will see a cloud solution as more additional management and maintenance that they don’t have time for. This is one of the aspects that makes the public cloud so appealing to small businesses with limited time, budgets and workforces. The public cloud removes the responsibility of managing a cloud from your business’ shoulders while maintaining an acceptable level of security.

Businesses that take advantage of the public cloud, however, do have some reservations about the control of their data, primarily because the public cloud is generally hosted and maintained by the service provider. While this is great from an operational standpoint, it limits your ability to respond to security threats. Therefore, you must be aware of what customisation options are available before making a decision regarding the public cloud.

Private Cloud
In direct contrast to the public cloud, a private cloud is hosted on your company’s in-house infrastructure, which allows for more flexibility and customisation on your company’s part. You can essentially customise your cloud solution as per your requirements. Companies that have their technology maintained by an in-house team generally prefer a private cloud solution, but sometimes it’s not necessarily an option.

Companies that don’t have an internal IT department and still take advantage of a private cloud solution might wind up stretching their own resources too far. If you can’t properly take care of your technology, then perhaps a managed cloud is a better approach for your particular business. For those who want the best of both the public and private clouds, a managed private cloud is the ideal solution.

Managed Private Cloud
Small businesses that want the benefits of a private cloud solution while avoiding the heavy lifting of maintaining the server hardware should look into a managed private cloud. Press Start Ltd can use our comprehensive knowledge of managed IT solutions and cloud infrastructures to build you an on-premise cloud solution that we can remotely monitor and maintain. If you want even less to worry about, we can host your server on our own network so that it’s as hands-off as you can get. To learn more about managed private servers, call us on 01638 603204.

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A Managed Service Provider Makes Sense for IT Support

A Managed Service Provider Makes Sense for IT Support

It’s not uncommon to hear about small businesses having difficulty with managing and maintaining IT solutions. Even the most basic topics regarding business technology can be troublesome for businesses with limited budgets and resources. It makes sense that you would want to remove this responsibility from whoever is doing it, but how can you do so without destroying your bottom line?

The best answer to this dilemma is to implement managed IT services. Since small businesses just don’t have the assets to hire an in-house IT staff, outsourcing is the best option. These skills are often in high demand due to how technically complex they are and physical barriers can also contribute to this dry spell in IT talent in your area.

Instead of going the extra mile for IT service that they either can’t find or can’t afford, businesses will generally do one of two things; have their current employees shoulder the burden, or not getting the work done at all. It’s safe to say that your business’ employees are probably not trained IT technicians, so they might wind up doing the same work over again in the event that it’s not up to scratch. This further increases costs and puts more pressure on your organisation in the long run.

It’s crucial that your business has someone to rely on exclusively for IT management and maintenance. While managed IT might seem like a privilege reserved only for the most lucrative companies, it can be taken advantage of by pretty much any organisation, as services are scaled and flexible enough to suit the needs of any company. Press Start Ltd can help your business take full advantage of managed IT, including either partial or full-on management of your in-house infrastructure. Here are some of the services that we can offer for your organisation:

  • Security solutions: Spam protection, content filtering, antivirus and firewalls
  • Business continuity: Data backup, disaster recovery
  • Communications: Voice over Internet Protocol, email hosting
  • Network management: Remote monitoring and management
  • Software and hardware procurement
  • And more!

If your company has trouble managing technology, we want you to contact us at Press Start Ltd. Our trained and trusted IT professionals want to help you get the most out of your technology. To learn more, call us on 01638 603204.

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Are You Prepared for Employees to Bring Their Own Devices?

Are You Prepared for Employees to Bring Their Own Devices?

Bring Your Own Device policies have helped many companies save money on technology by allowing employees to use their own devices, rather than taking on the cost of providing devices. However, as much as a BYOD approach can help a business financially, there are some potential drawbacks to adopting one that you should be prepared to deal with.

Managing These Mobile Devices
Whenever there is a Bring Your Own Device strategy enacted, there needs to be Mobile Device Management in action as well. Your MDM software also needs to be monitored, as this will inform you if someone without the proper authorisation is accessing data that they shouldn’t be.

However, sufficient monitoring is a time-intensive task. It is even possible that it would require you to add an additional employee to properly make use of your MDM software. Before you commit to these measures, which are a must for successfully implementing BYOD, make sure you have (or can obtain) the resources to run them.

One great solution to mitigate your organisation’s overall BYOD costs is the built-in automation that many of today’s Mobile Device Management platforms offer. This automation can be customised and run to allow your technicians to focus on the core aspects of your business’ technology rather than spend all of their time and your money, monitoring employee smartphones.

Streamlining For Support
A major advantage to providing employees with work devices is the control you have over the devices you provide. By selecting a specific model for your employees to use, you can standardise your systems that much more and make your IT administrator’s job that much easier. By reducing the variety of devices they need to be familiar with, IT can service them more quickly and effectively.

This can be a drawback to BYOD, as it makes support a more arduous task and as a result more costly. With a variety of devices and their specific issues, it becomes a more time-intensive task to identify and resolve any problems. Taking this into account, it may be a more cost-effective option to invest in standardised mobile devices for your company to use, rather than try to manage the variety of devices your workforce likely uses based on personal preference. This is a variable that you will need to consider based on your specific circumstances and abilities. Do you finance devices for your staff? Or, manage the varying devices your staff will bring?

Leaving Yourself Vulnerable
Not all devices are equally suited for use in a BYOD strategy, sometimes, a new feature can lead to a pretty severe vulnerability. Take, for example, any device with iOS 11 installed. Despite having switches in its control centre to activate and deactivate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, these switches don’t actually deactivate their connection. This leaves these devices vulnerable and if they were a part of a BYOD implementation, your business becomes vulnerable, as well.

Wasted Resources
Often, the question isn’t if BYOD makes sense, it’s if BYOD makes sense for a particular employee to have access to. Some companies will reimburse their staff for the personal data that they use. However, if an employee’s responsibilities don’t really require the use of a mobile device, having them involved in a BYOD strategy is akin to paying for their personal use of the device and can hinder their overall productivity.

Don’t get us wrong BYOD can be a great benefit to your business and its bottom line. You just shouldn’t dive in without considering the potential downsides and planning how you will go about solving these problems. The IT professionals at Press Start Ltd can help. To learn more, call us today at 01638 603204.

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Professional Services Benefit Significantly from Managed IT Solutions

Professional Services Benefit Significantly from Managed IT Solutions

 Do you fall into the broad term of “professional services?” If so, you might be interested in hearing how managed IT can help you improve operations and take advantage of other various benefits that they provide for organizations like yours. Let’s take a look at some of the many solutions that MSPs can offer for your business. You’ll be surprised by how much more work you can get done during the workday!

 Security Must Be a Priority

Data security is absolutely critical for your business, whether it’s a small business or a large enterprise. Financial information, personally identifiable information and other credentials could be stolen by hackers at any moment. Sensitive information fetches a great price on the black market, which means that it’s priority number one for your organization. The more valuable information is to a hacker, the more danger it’s in.

Managed service providers can help your business protect itself from cyber threats to your business, be it a firewall to keep threats out, or a monitoring solution that helps you keep security in check in real time. Managed service providers take preventative measures to keep threats from evolving into a major problem. Any threats found can be resolved before a major data breach becomes a reality.

Basically, it comes down to running your business instead of worrying about security. After all, that’s why you’re in business in the first place, right?

Ensuring the Continuity of Your Business

While you can protect your business from deliberate attempts on its continued existence, what can you do about accidents and disasters that happen seemingly out of nowhere? Floods, fires and storms are undiscriminating and will take down your business whether you want them to or not. In the wake of such a destructive event, will your data be able to survive so that your business can continue operations as intended?

Press Start can help your business ensure that this doesn’t happen by equipping your organization with quality data backup and disaster recovery solutions. This helps to ensure that your organization can survive dangerous events such as hardware failures, natural disasters and even user error. We can equip your business with the tools necessary to take multiple backups a day, as often as every fifteen minutes. These backups are then stored in a secure off-site location for later restoration, allowing you to stay in the game following a critical failure of your systems and infrastructure.

Reporting Keeps You Updated

Understanding your current business operations is also incredibly important for the continued success of your organization. Press Start can equip your business with reporting tools that can help you capture key metrics and other important details. Our reporting solutions can help you track your business’s progress and keep it moving forward.

Keep Up On Compliance

Your organization might need to adhere to certain regulations and compliances that are implemented to protect the personal information of your employees and clients. The requirements can vary, so it’s best to reach out to a professional IT company like Press Start to ensure that you get compliance right. This means that you can focus on running your business as it was meant to be without worrying about compliance.

To learn more about the various services that a managed service provider can offer for your organization, please contact us on 01638 603204.

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Don’t Underestimate The Value Of Managed IT

Don’t Underestimate The Value Of Managed IT

Have you had to make substantial technology investments in the past year? How much money do you think you will spend this year? If you have a solid technology budget in place, you'll know how much you expect to spend, but what happens if critical systems fail? Are you prepared to cover the cost of new technology, the management of that technology, and the staff that you'll need to do so? If you are even a little unsure about it, managed IT services could have plenty of value for your business.

There are two critical facets to every IT strategy. The first is based in demand. What technology does your business need to be MOST successful? Do you need one server to deploy the software that your company uses? Three? Five? What do you do for communications? What do you do for storage? There are a lot of variables at work when deciding how to deploy technology solutions, and since there is so much cost associated with these systems, many businesses cut corners to provide their organization with technology solutions but end up putting their overall sustainability at risk.

The second facet, and often most costly, is based in supply. Your supply of technology has to be monitored, managed, and maintained to provide you a reasonable ROI on your technology investments. Typically, the cost of onboarding, training, and deploying a proficient technician far outweighs the cost of new technology; and, to make matters worse, the more technology your organization deploys, the more resources you need to have to ensure that all is running efficiently, and as intended. After all, the downtime that comes with fledgling technology, is a major problem for any organization.

Press Start can often provide a substantial cost reduction, better services, better technology, and a better return on your technology and management investments than buying new technology all the time, and hiring people to manage it. We utilize industry-leading remote monitoring and management software, leverage automation, and dispatch certified technicians to help businesses like yours build and maintain robust technology. We also have partnerships with some of the industry's best vendors to ensure that every client has access to the technologies they need to build an efficient and secure IT infrastructure.

By delivering comprehensive IT management, our managed IT services are exceptionally valuable. If you run an East Anglia business that is looking to improve your processes, deploy powerful technologies, and manage the technology you have, call us today at 01638 603204.

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Press Start Ltd launches new website!

Press Start Ltd is proud to announce the launch of our new website at www.pressstart.co.uk. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our services for prospective clients.

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