Closing Dates – December 23 to January 4 (Updated)

We incorrectly published our closing dates for the end of December. Here is an updated list of our closing dates through 1/4/2016.

December 24th – Closed
December 25th – Closed
December 28th -> December 30th – Open, running 4-hour response times for emergencies (same as Training Days)
December 31st – Closed
January 1st – Closed

We will reopen and be back to normal hours on January 4th, 2016.

For closing dates, all tickets received via email, phone, or the Client Access Portal will be answered beginning at 9 AM on the following business day.

Revised Security Procedures

We have revised our security guidelines. These guidelines communicate the proper procedure for confirming the identity and employment status of our technicians when they access your physical premises. We recommend that all clients immediately update their procedures. The staff in your reception areas should be trained on the correct procedure for verifying the identity of a Servcom USA technician.

You can read the updated procedures here.

Pricing Update

Servcom USA will be increasing our hourly prices on October 1st, 2015.

This pricing change is designed to reflect service upgrades instituted over the past several years, including our new 9-5 helpdesk, which is available to all customers.

Hourly price increases will only apply to customers without a recurring monthly support agreement. No existing service agreements will be re-rated as a part of this pricing change.

Please contact your account manager to discuss what this pricing change will mean for your business. Not sure who your account manager is? Call 803-619-1414 and ask!

Measure Results, Not Hours, to Improve Work Efficiency – NYTimes.com

Here’s a great article that summarizes how Servcom USA approaches measuring our own employee’s productivity.

Measure Results, Not Hours, to Improve Work Efficiency – NYTimes.com.

“Firms that bill by the hour are not alone in emphasizing hours over results. For a study published most recently in 2010, three researchers, led by Kimberly D. Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis, interviewed 39 corporate managers about their perceptions of their employees. The managers viewed employees who were seen at the office during business hours as highly “dependable” and “reliable.” Employees who came in over the weekend or stayed late in the evening were seen as “committed” and “dedicated” to their work.

[…]

There is an obvious solution here: Instead of counting the hours you work, judge your success by the results you produce.”

Read the entire article for an interesting perspective on measuring efficiency.

Updates for Hurricane Sandy: Potential Impacts

For our clients who use hosting services through us, here are a list of products and services and the potential impact Sandy might have on your services:
– Office 365 Customers – no major outages or service interruptions expected
– Website Hosting – Delaware data center is ready to stay online during the entire storm, other data centers won’t be affected directly
– Business Umbrella Devices – all Gen1 devices (purchased prior to 1/1/2012) and Gen2 devices (contracts signed on or after 1/1/2012) should operate normally; we expect offsite backups to continue uninterrupted during the storm

LifeSaver 24×7 Network Monitoring services should be unaffected for all clients outside the storm’s path.

If your organization is in the path of the storm, please be aware:

  • If you have an on-premises mail server, inbound mail will bounce if your server is not on to accept it.
  • Other equipment such as modems, routers and switches should be turned off and unplugged if they are not protected by surge protectors.
  • If equipment is in areas that could likely receive water damage, it should be raised off the floor to prevent permanent damage to the hardware.

Please be aware that as outages hit the Northeast, we may experience delays getting systems up and running in other areas. This is not a technical issue, but represents the priority that locations directly hit by Sandy will be receiving in the operations centers over the next 72 hours. Our priority will remain to get data operations up and running as quickly as possible for all our clients.

Please be safe!

{Edit: Added information about LifeSaver and some new information about protecting equipment.}

Web Server Scheduled Maintenance

Date and Time of Maintenance: September 29, 2012 12:00am – 1:30am EDT (4:00am – 5:30am UTC)

Description: We will be replacing one of our two border routers with new hardware.

Locations Affected: Newark, Delaware

Impact: No impact is expected, as we have two border routers. All traffic will be failed over to the redundant router during maintenance. This maintenance was preformed on the other border router on August 11th with no issues.

Contact: If you have any questions please call our office to determine if your website will be affected.

New Critical Updates

Microsoft is releasing three critical updates this month. All of these updates patch vulnerabilities that could allow a malicious attacker to run code on an unpatched computer. These updates affect a broader range of computers than normal, so make sure your Windows Updates are enabled!

Here’s how to turn on your Updates: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306525

If you aren’t sure they are working, call us!