Why should we choose Allixo for our managed IT services?
Choosing Allixo for your managed cloud services means choosing a partner that is deeply connected to your success. As a Seattle-based firm, we’ve worked with customers from all over the country and from various sectors over the years. Their satisfaction has always been our driving force.
We pride ourselves on being a supportive partner who truly understands your needs. Our team is dedicated to not just meeting, but exceeding your expectations. Whether it’s transitioning to the cloud, managing your cloud infrastructure, or optimizing your cloud operations, we are committed to delivering top-notch service every step of the way.
Our track record speaks volumes about our commitment to customer satisfaction. We have successfully helped numerous businesses transition to the cloud, saving them time, money, and resources in the process. Our customers appreciate our proactive approach, clear communication, and prompt problem-solving skills.
Choosing Allixo means choosing a partner who is as invested in your success as you are. We’re not just a service provider – we’re an extension of your team, dedicated to helping you leverage the power of the cloud to drive your business forward.
What sets your company apart from other IT and cybersecurity providers?
We’re a friendly bunch who take pride in rapid response rates and geek-speak-free communication. We’re experts but we’ll never talk down to you, we simply do a good job every time. We’re consistent.
We worked with a Large Credit Union in Washington who really preferred us to their previous IT vendor, saying “We no longer feel like we just have to just accept and live with constant workarounds, it’s great!”.
How do you stay updated with the latest cybersecurity threats and technologies
Staff are incentivised to improve their knowledge through continuous education and to regularly acquire new certifications.
Our engineers meet bi-weekly to review trends and new technologies for increases in service quality and efficiency. This information feeds into our annual service offering audit which looks to ensure that we lead the way in new threat detection strategies, technologies and IT capabilities.
What are the main downsides to remote IT support services?
To be honest, neither us nor our managed services clients have been able to find any. In a small number of cases the up-front cost can be higher than when adopting a new on-premise solution but the long term cost savings make this a non-issue for forward thinking companies.
Although we’re based in Seattle, we work with customers all across the country. When one of customer who are not local to us was asked if not having local IT support impacted them negatively in any way they said:
“No, not at all. We believe being able to communicate primarily via email or phone has worked really well. For example, we have had a number of equipment updates over this past year but we were able to do them all very successfully on our own with Allixo’s top notch support, virtually.”
What are the up-front cost considerations for businesses adopting cloud IT services?
The largest scope of work usually revolves around the initial migration, there’s a lot of work to be done in learning about your current system, how your company interacts with it, planning solutions to age-old problems and replacing old or inefficient systems with new cloud solutions.
Additionally, you’ll have to consider app and system licensing, as well as third party vendor costs. Where possible we always give you a single all-in-one invoice to cover all of your IT needs. Simple.
In the long run how does scalability impact the cost of IT cloud services?
Traditionally in dealing with scalability for on prem solutions you need to consider the application and data that you are currently working with and what that might look like down the road, 3, 5, 7 years and determine the resources you think you will need and buy that hardware upfront to avoid scaling issues.
An example would be an on premise remote desktop server. A smaller company might start with 2-3 users accessing applications and data on the server. As that company grows, soon 10-15 users might be accessing the same services and the server begins to bog down and become a headache for users.
As they continue to grow they now need to go replace that hardware and pay for what they think they will need over the coming few years, if they grow more and 30 users are accessing it the same issue arises. Not including the time lost for users running into performance issues slowing down their work. On the flip side, if the company shrinks, they still have the same expensive hardware and software licensing running for fewer users, losing some of the ROI of the on premise solution.
With a cloud solution the hardware solution for the most part can scale as you grow per user depending on the platform and technology used. In the reverse the cloud solution can scale down as your user base fluctuates, saving you money and increasing your ROI.
What should be considered when exploring new cloud service providers?
Experience and knowledge of the technologies used.
We’ve run into cases where we’ve on-boarded a new client from another MSP who lacked the experience with a platform like MS Office 365. Many MSP’s get the Microsoft tenant setup and working but fail to implement any policies or cybersecurity best practices for their clients, leaving them open to a range of threats.
When it comes to cybersecurity stance and implementation best practices there are some easy ways to tell the good MSP’s from the bad.
You should review their history in the news, have they had any recent breaches?
What certifications and audits do they run on their platform and how often?
Is the vendor or service provider experienced with the services or technologies they are providing and do any of their staff hold certifications on the platform or service?
How many clients do they have using the platform? Are they willing to extend a longer term demo for testing and validation that it will work for your company? Have they themselves undergone any third party audits to verify their claims or their solution?
What’s the impact of cloud service outages and how can the risks be mitigated?
Because of the cloud’s advanced and more modern infrastructure, the risk of service outages is practically non-existent, especially when compared to on-prem solutions, because in order for down-time to occur, multiple arrays of servers have to be taken offline at the same time. This rarely, if ever, happens.
In the off-chance that it does, all of our clients benefit from disaster recovery planning for the event of an extended outage which ensures business continuity no matter what.
We get this question a lot. Most cloud services are more reliable than your internet connection. In the years we’ve been working with cloud services such as Microsoft Azure or Google, we’ve not seen a significant outage. There can be hiccup’s or short outages, but generally these go unnoticed by users. Cloud vendors have worked very hard to provide near instantaneous failover services. This article by MS was written in 2019 Advancing Microsoft Azure reliability | Azure Blog | Microsoft Azure and is an example of the focused resources on reliability of their platform.
When 2020 hit there was a mass migration of services to the cloud and the MS Teams platform experienced explosive growth, growing from 20 million users in 2019 to 75 million by the end of 2020 It grew even more. Microsoft Teams usage jumps 50 percent to 115 million daily active users – The Verge. This growth affected the stability of the Teams application, but mainly the Teams calling function. The calling function got so bad that we stopped recommending it for nearly a year until Microsoft was able to get their infrastructure caught up to the massive demand. Post 2021, we rarely see issues with stability.
What should be considered when choosing new Managed Cloud Services?
Firstly you need to be able to validate that any cloud services proposed will actually work for your business. Some managed cloud service providers love to pitch their solution and tell you it’ll do everything you want, but the reality is often very different. Failing to have the right team and lead can result in a disastrous migration.
One of the biggest red flags is MSP’s not offering new clients the chance to test proposed solutions through a fully functional demo. Without this you can’t test the major and minor features your company relies on to function, meaning you’ll potentially end up with a worse solution that slows your team down and costs you even more money over the long term.
You also want to double check whether or not they will provide support in migrating data from your existing IT system to the newly proposed one. Not all of them do, or they introduce hefty surprise fees for something you thought you were already getting.
Some services like cloud hosted servers or storage can have very complicated pricing and fluctuate based on processing cores, ingress and egress data rates. Not all MSP’s guide you through this properly with foresight, so make sure to check what the exact costs are now and at what point you will face your sharpest price increases.
We’d also definitely recommend asking new IT service providers whether you can talk to existing clients, it’s one of the easiest ways to verify if they’re any good or not.
Can you help with disaster recovery planning and data backup solutions?
Absolutely. This is actually one of the most important aspects of protecting your business against cyber threats and we encourage all of our clients to have a robust and effective plan in place that does more than just simply tick compliance boxes.
Are cloud solutions safer than on-prem solutions?
Yes they are. Especially for smaller, non-enterprise businesses who cannot afford to implement layered physical and cyber security measures to older on-prem solutions.
Are there any other major drawbacks to cloud vs on-prem solutions?
The biggest issues usually revolve around older apps, systems and softwares being built in a way that makes it either difficult or impossible for them to run properly in the cloud. For example large format, rendering or CAD type documents will likely struggle.
For these, and other complex environments, we can give you a hybrid cloud solution so that everything capable of running on the more secure cloud infrastructure can do so without affecting those that can’t.
What are the main benefits of adopting cloud services?
By far one of those most loved features of cloud systems is its ability to deliver frictionless remote access to your network. Staff can truly work from anywhere without suffering frustrating stop-gap solutions like VPN solutions.
Additional benefits include less down-time, long term cost savings, fewer IT issues and generally more flexibility in giving you a system that does what you actually need it to.
What challenges do companies face when trying to migrate to the cloud?
Mainly it’s an issue of not testing proposed solutions enough before initiating the migration to verify whether user expectations will actually be met.
Inexperienced cloud service providers have a habit of botching the migration or taking 2-3 months longer than initially promised, leaving staff within the client’s organization frustrated and unable to do their jobs.
Without the right experience, it’s easy to make the wrong decisions and end up regretting it after wasting substantial time and money by trying to make decisions on your own instead of having an experienced cloud service provider guide you through the process.
Finally, many frustrations arise from poor communication between staff, management and the IT team implementing the new system. Be sure to make sure everyone knows what’s going on, and that everyone has had a chance to understand what the new normal will look like before you get too far into it all.
Do you provide 24/7 monitoring and support for potential security breaches?
Yes, our cyber security services include multiple systems to monitor your cloud infrastructure whilst our Network Operations Centre (NOC) provides rapid 24/7/365 incident responses.
For additional peace of mind, we employ a number of dedicated certified engineers available 24/7/365 to work with your team to manage a breach outside of business hours if needed.
What are the main downsides to remote IT support services?
To be honest, neither us nor our clients have been able to find any. In a small number of cases the up-front cost can be higher than when adopting a new on-prem solution but the long term cost savings make this a non-issue for forward thinking companies.
When our client Alaska Air Group, who are not local to us, was asked if not having local IT support impacted them negatively in any way they said:
“No, not at all. We believe being able to communicate primarily via email or phone has worked really well. For example, we have had a number of equipment updates over this past year but we were able to do them all very successfully on our own with Allixo’s support virtually.”
Will we need more support on an ongoing basis if we migrate to the cloud?
No, our cloud services clients typically experience fewer IT issues than organizations on traditional on-prem solutions, meaning that your team(s) can expect to need less IT assistance overall. This is especially the case for companies fully utilizing our Modern Office managed services.
What happens when the cloud server crashes and everything stops working?
Typically this does not happen, the providers we partner with have multiple data centers across many locations making them very reliable. If there is an issue, you may have a few hiccups, but generally can continue working utilizing cached data until our experts can solve the problem.
When we raise problems, do you give us work-arounds or robust and permanent fixes?
Both. Our first priority is to get your problems fixed and your services back up and running as quickly as possible, then we will work to provide solutions and preventative measures to stop these issues from repeating. As your company evolves so too will your IT and Cybersecurity systems to keep pace and remain efficient now and in the future.
Do you offer different levels of IT support?
We bundle our support services to deliver what we know works for most clients, so that we can achieve a base level of service that allows us to have full confidence that our clients are protected. We can create custom solutions for some services but we won’t sacrifice on security just for the sake of lowering costs, we have to be able to protect our client’s users and information.
What are the most common cybersecurity threats to businesses?
Probably the most common are the ones you’ve likely heard of:
- Phishing attacks
- Data breaches
- Social engineering
- Insider threats
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
There are many more but these are the main ones.
How do cloud IT cybersecurity measures differ from traditional on-premises security approaches?
Firstly, cloud environments prioritize identity-centric security, focusing on user identities and access controls, while traditional on-premises security relies heavily on perimeter-based measures.
Secondly, there is a shared responsibility model in the cloud, where the provider and the customer share security responsibilities, whereas in traditional on-premises environments, the organization is solely responsible for security.
Cloud environments necessitate a shift to software-defined networking and security controls due to their dynamic and virtualized nature. They also offer scalability, elasticity, built-in disaster recovery, and high availability options. As a cloud provider we manage infrastructure and handle patching and updates, while customers are responsible for application updates and configurations.
How do your cloud solutions protect against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks?
We utilize real-time traffic analysis, employing techniques such as rate limiting, traffic shaping, and web application firewalls. We employ anycast networks to distribute traffic across multiple data centers, reducing the risk of overwhelming a single point.
Additionally, our anomaly detection and behavioral analysis techniques, along with traffic redirection and DDoS protection services, help mitigate attacks. Auto-scaling and elasticity ensure resources can handle sudden traffic spikes, while managed security services and application/API gateway protection add an extra layer of protection.
What are the key considerations for businesses when selecting a cloud IT cybersecurity provider?
Consider your potential provider’s expertise and reputation in the industry. They should offer comprehensive security solutions that can be customized and scaled to meet specific needs. The provider should utilize proven technologies and tools, offer managed security services, and have expertise in securing cloud environments.
Response time, support availability, compliance with regulations, threat intelligence, data protection, transparency, and disaster recovery plans are also important factors. Evaluating contractual agreements, references, and considering the overall value provided is crucial.
If they can’t talk confidently about these subjects, and how they all work together, you could be at risk by partnering with them. Bear in mind, the biggest and most common cause of frustration to both us and new clients, is the shoddy work of IT vendors who rely on poorly planned duct-tape solutions to solve every problem.
What are the common misconceptions or myths surrounding cloud IT cybersecurity environments?
It’s often believed that on-prem solutions are actually safer than cloud solutions and environments, and that the IT companies behind cloud solutions can’t offer robust security measures, dedicated security teams or compliance certifications. We can and do offer all of this and more.
Properly configured cloud environments can be just as, if not more secure than on-prem setups, with misconfigurations being a common source of vulnerabilities. Reputable providers prioritize strong encryption, but customers must configure and manage it correctly.
Can you assist with compliance requirements such as GDPR or HIPAA?
Yes, we can provide guidance on compliance requirements such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). However, it’s important to note that compliance is a complex and specific matter that depends on various factors including your industry, location, the nature of your business, and the specific processes you have in place.
When might businesses need a cloud tech consulting firm?
Typically businesses looking to grow and/or scale significantly over the coming years, who know their IT systems need to evolve to keep supporting the company effectively, and who don’t have robust and experienced in-house teams, can benefit a lot by working with technology consultants like us.
We’re able to deliver high impact, specialist projects that would otherwise require you to retain talent you only need for a short period of time. If you’re unsure how to structure complex IT and cybersecurity projects then it’s best to work with a partner like us for best results.
What type of IT projects can you advise on and/or deliver?
We can advice on a great range of IT subjects, including but not limited to:
- Database Management
- Cloud Computing
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- IoT (Internet of Things)
- Project Management
- Data Analysis and Visualization
- IT Infrastructure
What factors should businesses consider when selecting a cloud tech consulting partner?
Think about the company’s expertise and experience in relevant cloud platforms and check that their service offerings are genuinely aligned to your needs. Many IT experts profess to be wonderfully gifted in all manner of technologies but usually the omission of services on their website makes clear what they do and don’t specialize in.
You’ll want to check the credibility of the experts directly. Unless it’s cybersecurity related, companies should have no problem taking you through case studies and explaining how they added value.
It can be difficult to get case studies and testimonials from clients wanting security-relevant implementations, these clients don’t want the whole world to know about their IT infrastructure, it is still possible if you’re experienced enough and have worked with enough clients. Don’t fall for claims that everything has to be kept secret, this is usually the sign of an inexperienced tech consultancy.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and best practices in cloud technologies?
To stay up-to-date with the latest in cloud technologies, we follow reputable websites, blogs, and forums dedicated to the topic. Utilize vendor documentation, training resources, and online courses. Attend tech conferences, webinars, and industry events. Engage with social media communities and listen to podcasts or watch YouTube channels focused on cloud technologies.
Pursue certifications, subscribe to newsletters, read industry reports, and experiment with hands-on practice. Additionally, follow blogs and publications by experts for unique insights.