IT Support Wichita – Watch out for Licensing Issues

For more information about computer maintenance and support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

What’s in a Software License?

Software licensing is a tricky subject.  Most companies want to keep their businesses legal, but sometimes the intricacies of software licensing are just too much to navigate.  If your organization doesn’t have solid Information Technology support, you may be unaware of the state of your network compliance.  Some software licenses have limitations and though it was originally compliant, changes in your network or environment may have put your organization out of compliance.

Recently, we encountered a network that was running a typical Microsoft domain environment.  We were tasked as network consultants to make sure the systems were operating correctly and efficiently.  While the network was running just fine, the customer was running afoul on licensing restrictions on their main server.  The server had been running without fail for years, so technically, life was good.  Unfortunately, the server had been installed when the company was in its growing phase and was licensed only for Windows Server Foundation, which places a cap of 15 on the number of users accessing the server.  While they were inititally compliant, the organization had grown to almost 30 users and was in violation of their licensing agreement. A quick in-place upgrade will be required to get their house in order.

Work vs. Home

Another thing we advise our IT support customers on is the difference between commercial and non-commercial use licenses for software.  Some of the most popular free software packages, such as AVG Antivirus are free for non-commercial use only.  Once it enters the business world, they expect the user to purchase a license.

Keep these things in mind when adding software to your network.  We can help you untangle your licensing issues and make sure your network is compliant.  If you are looking for solid, professional IT support for your business or home, please feel free to call us at (316) 337-5628.  We can setup a free network evaluation with no obligation.  We want to be the premiere Wichita computer service and will strive to meet all your needs.

We appreciate your referrals.  We will do our best to live up to the expectations of those friends and business partners you send our way.



IT Support

Wichita IT Support – Digital Signatures Make Going Paperless Easy

For more information about computer and network support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

A Digital Signature Case Study

Recently, a customer asked us to help them streamline their paperwork flow and get important data where it needed to be quicker an more efficiently.

The Scenario:

Field service techs for the company travel in a multi-state area to service and repair the equipment sold by the company.  After each service call, the tech fills out a service form that is signed by the customer.  When the service tech returns to the office, the forms are delivered and an invoice is generated by the Accounts Receivable department.

The Problem:

Service techs often go from one case to the next, spending a week or more in the field repairing equipment.  Billing of the end-user can’t take place until the service form is received at the main office.

The Solution:

Most field locations have Internet access, so the decision was made to try to make the current process as digital as possible.   The project needed to fill some basic needs:

  1. A digital equivalent of the Service Form that could be filled out and saved in the field.
  2. A signature from the end-user would be required on the form.
  3. Ease of use and portability of equipment by the service techs.

Digital Service Form

In this case, we were able to give the best results by locating the original electronic document used to sent to the printer for the paper three-part form (An Excel spreadsheet).  Though we could have scanned the printed copy with good results, the digital copy provided the cleanest translation.  After the source material was located, we were able to convert the document to a fillable Adobe PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Professional X.

Digital Signature

Adobe Acrobat X provides multiple forms of digital signatures.  The first is a true digital signature, effectively using passwords and encryption without a physical John Hancock.  To more accurately represent the original process of the service techs, we opted for what Adobe calls an Ink Signature, a physical representation of the customer’s signature imprinted directly on the digital copy of the form.  Once the signature is in place, the document is automatically saved and any further editing of the document will effectively invalidate the signature.

Ease of Use and Portability

For the technicians in the field, the most important aspects of this project was how easy it would be to carry and use this new technology.  Fortunately, we were able to keep it simple.  By using Adobe X Pro, we were able to create a PDF that could be signed and saved in the free Acrobat Reader, already installed on their laptops.  From there, we just had to provide a portable and rugged device to add the signature to the document. Enter the Topaz SignatureGem 1×5:


Topaz SignatureGem 1x5

Topaz SignatureGem 1x5

Small and easy to carry, this device offers portability and ruggedness, as it has not screen to scratch and the digital pen stores conveniently in the unit.  A quick install on the tech laptops gives them plug-and-play reliability.  Once they fill in the PDF service form, all they have to do is click on the signature box, bringing up the Topaz interface, letting them view and accept the signature before attaching it to the document.

Currently, the techs are emailing the completed form back to the home office.  We are currently developing a help desk solution for the customer, so the technician can attach the service form to a ticket, allowing them to track previous service orders for the machine.  We’ll be posting another blog entry once that project is complete.

If you’re looking for IT support in the Wichita area, give us a call at (316) 337-5628.  Our certified network consultants can show you ways to make your business more efficient, while keeping your information technology costs under control with service rates starting at $70/hour with no minimum charges.


IT Support

Tip: SEO Gets You Noticed – Wichita Small Business PC Support

For more information about computer and network support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

Search Engine Optimization

If you own your own domain name for your website and you’re the administrative contact, you’ve probably heard the term SEO before.  I receive a lot of emails claiming that the sender can bring my website to the top of the search results quickly, bringing me fame and glory and all the customers I can handle.

I’ve been in the web business long enough to know that unfortunately, there is really no ethical way to bring a website to the top of the heap in short order.  While we are all familiar with the concept of email spam, the search engines receive their own fair share of what they consider spam.  There are indeed ways to bring a site to the top of the search results quickly, but a good SEO consultant knows the dark side of those methods.  In reality, once Google realizes that your site uses those ‘spammy’ techniques, the punishment can be swift and fierce.  While your site was briefly at the top of the list, it may soon be utterly and completely gone from those same results.    The reason is this;  Google wants their search results to be relevant.  If you are searching for IT Service in Wichita, they want you to find an IT Service in Wichita.

This sounds like a simple and noble concept, and in reality, it is just that.  Fortunately, there are ways that a good SEO consultant can provide Google with not just tricks to make the site rank higher, but actually make a relevant site rank higher for a relevant search.  A good example is a site about ‘credit counseling’.  You can have a hundred in-depth articles about raising your credit score, lowering and consolidating debt and living on a budget that are actually relevant and valuable.  Unfortunately, if you never use the term ‘credit counseling’, which users are typing into Google, the search engine may not be able to make the mental leap that tells it that your site is about just that.

We’ve been working on Search Engine Optimization for years and use the techniques we’ve learned on our own website.  The goal is to be on the front page, if not number one for very specific searches.  Let’s take a brief look at our own case study, to give a few solid pointers.

What are my customers searching for? –  We did some informal surveys of our customers, as well as seeing where our competitors ranked for some of the terms we came up with.  We started focusing on ‘Wichita IT Support’, ‘Wichita Computer Support’, ‘Onsite IT Support Wichita’ and ‘IT Support Wichita’.  A good start.

Is our page relevant for these terms? – Through the main page and on this blog, we started writing relevant articles and blog entries, making sure to use the above terms where they fit into the natural flow of the text.

Does anyone care about what we’re saying? – This sounds like a silly question, but it brings up one of the most important tools of SEO.  Links.  If another site that ranks well for ‘IT Support’ puts a link on one of their pages to our article, Google treats it like an endorsement.  If Company A thinks Company B is worth mentioning, that must mean Company B is relevant to these terms.

Some Results:

We launched the properwichita site in February of 2011, just about a year ago.  Currently, here’s how we’re sitting for the terms we chose (results will shift one way or another almost daily, but never more than a few places.)


Wichita IT Support – #2
Wichita Computer Support – #1
Onsite IT Support Wichita – #1
IT Support Wichita – #3

These rankings rank well above some of our competitors who have had their sites in operation for several years.  The question is ‘does this help in acquiring new customers?’  The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

If you’re looking for professional small business IT support in Wichita or surrounding areas, give us a call at (316) 337-5628 to discuss what we can do for you.  Let us help you enhance or stabilize your network or simply help reduce your IT service costs.  If you have a website, think about the one phrase your customers will type into Google to find you.  Type it in.  Where do you rank?  If you’re not on the front page, we can help you to get there the right way, and help



Business, IT Support, Search Engine Optimization, Tips , ,

Wichita IT Support – Apple? We Do That.

For more information about computer and network support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

Apple/Mac IT support in Wichita KS

Recently, a potential customer called and asked if we did support and training on Apple computers.  Absolutely.  Though the majority of our business and consulting work is done on Windows-based systems, we’re more than capable of providing support, training and installation of Apple systems.  As IT consultants, we believe we are here to solve our customers’ issues, regardless of the system they use, so we’re more than happy to share our Mac experience.

With experience supporting large Apple populations like a public school district and an in-depth understanding of network and computer standards, our technicians can help with just about any situation.  The customer I mentioned simply needed some training and support on email and basic applications.  After a few training sessions, she was able to get to the comfort level that she had desired.

There’s more than one Apple support team in town, and we’re happy to help and get the job done, at our office, or in your home.

If you’re looking for IT support in Wichita and surrounding areas, give us a call at (316) 337-5628.  We can discuss how Proper Technology can support your business while respecting your bottom line.  All of our computer techs are college-educated and certified by major industry players, showing that they have the drive and knowledge required to assist you with all of your technology needs.  With low hourly support rates starting at $70/hour and no minimum service charges, we’re sure to be able to tailor an IT support solution for you.


Apple, Business, IT Support, Mac , , , ,

IT Support Wichita – Certified Consultants Make the Difference

For more information about computer and network support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

What’s in an Information Technology Certification?

There are several industries and needs here in Wichita where you might decide to hire outside of your own company, bringing on a consultant to help in a particular area of expertise.  In most cases, small business owners are looking for someone who has some evidence of that expertise, usually coming in the form of a license or acknowledgement of skill from some governing body.

While there is no single governing body for IT consultants and computer maintenance personnel, there are certifying bodies and credentials you can look for, depending on what particular area of technology help you are seeking.

If you’re a typical small business in Wichita, you run your business on computers that run the Microsoft Windows operating system.  There are various flavors, from the new Windows 7 to Vista, XP and even the occasional Windows 2000 and 98 thrown into the mix when the computer systems aren’t critical to the operation of the business.

If you weren’t already aware, vendors such as Microsoft offer certifications for technicians on these products, allowing them to show concrete evidence that they are intimately familiar with the product they are trying to support.  Microsoft offers a host of certification exams covering everything from simple desktop support of the operating systems to in-depth exams covering client-server architecture and design of networks composed of multiple servers and hundreds of desktop computers.

As a Wichita IT consulting firm, we encourage (and require) our technicians to strive for and acheive these certifications and are proud of their accomplishments.  Some have passed multiple exams, earning premier certifications from Microsoft such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator.

The IT world doesn’t stop there, however, and our IT support clients in Wichita often have other needs that are better served by certifications offered by other vendors.

Currently, our staff holds certifications from the following major vendors:

Cisco Systems
CompTIA (manufacturer independent)

Again, we’re proud of our staff and we realize that the dedication they put into these acheivements translates to better, more efficient and more cost-effective solutions for our customers.

Information Technology service in Wichita and surrounding areas is our business.  If you’re looking for network consulting or just desktop support, please give us a call at (316) 337-5628.  We’ll be more than happy to discuss what we can do to help your company or stop by for a free, no hassle evaluation of your systems.  If we can find ways to make your shop more efficient, we’ll le

Business, IT Support , , , , ,

Tip: Getting the Job Done – From Home – Wichita IT Support

For more information about computer and network support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

Wichita IT Support Tip for February 3rd, 2011

Business today is fast-paced and hectic.  We’ve all been there.  Sometimes you just have to knock out that report over an evening spent at the office.  In many cases, these occasions happen just too often, and another solution is required.

If you find yourself spending too much time at the office, or worse yet, find yourself shuffling files back and forth between an office machine via a flash drive or email, let’s talk about getting your business truly setup for telecommuting.

Simplicity is the key.  As an Information Technology consultant, I’ve seen the telecommuting concept grow and simplify over the years.  Let’s get some quick terms out of the way before we continue:

VPN – Virtual Private Network

You may have heard the term VPN before.  The quick and easy explanation of the term is that a VPN creates a secure, private link between two machines over a public network, like the Internet.  In truly layman’s terms, you use a VPN to effectively and securely plug your laptop or home PC into you work network, just like you were at the office.  It’s like running a five mile network cable from the office to your home.

Simplicity Defined

With the right networking equipment, we can make connecting your home machine or laptop to your work network as easy as a few clicks on a website, allowing you to connect from anywhere you can access the Internet.  In fact, you’ll have two different options.

  1. Connect to the Network – Your laptop connects to your work network as though you were present in the office.
  2. Connect to a Machine at the Office – If you have an office desktop computer, you can connect to it directly, just as if you were sitting in front of the monitor.  Access to your files, folders and network resources are the same.


For most small businesses, we recommend the SonicWALL TZ100 router, which provides this functionality, along with a host of other tools and features that are designed to make your office network more secure.  Setup is painless and we can walk you or your employees through what it takes to make the connection from home or anywhere else.

Are you looking to take your business network to the next level?  Call Proper
Technology Solutions at (316) 337-5628 to learn more about setting up a VPN solution for your office.  Our industry certified and college-educated consultants are ready to assist you with networking, virus removal, new hardware and software and support for a wide variety of office applications.  With rates starting at just $70/hour with no minimum service fees, our Wichita IT support specialists provide effective and affordable solutions.

Applications, IT Support, Tips , , , ,

Wichita IT Support – Happy Anniversary!

For more information about computer support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions or call us direct at (316) 337-5628.

Celebrating One Year of IT Support In Wichita

This weekend marked the one year anniversary of the start of Proper Technology Solutions in Wichita.  On behalf of myself and our staff of technicians, we’d like to thank all of the customers who have helped us succeed.  In exchange for them trusting our fledgling IT firm with their network and information technology needs, we’ve done our best to provide expert support, quick response times and effective solutions.

Last year, we felt the need to branch out on our own in order to provide the Wichita small business community with enterprise level IT support at a cost that wouldn’t hinder the growth and development of those businesses in the current state of the economy.   The feedback we have received from our customers has been strong, so we’re continuing with that goal in mind.  By eliminating minimum service charges and keeping costs down, we’ve been able to deliver professional solutions that save our clients money in the long run.

Again, thanks to all of our current customers.  Without you, we wouldn’t have made it through this critical first year.  Thank you for trusting us with your needs.  We will continue to uphold the same sense of urgency, customer service and dedication through this second year and the years to follow.

If you’re looking for affordable business or residential IT support in Wichita and surrounding communities, please give us a call at (316) 337-5628.  From advanced networking and VPN solutions to one-on-one and group training, we have a solid team of college educated and industry certified support technicians available to meet your needs; wherever your information technology needs may take you.


Business, IT Support , ,

Wichita IT Support – Megaupload and the Cloud

For more information about computer support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions or call us direct at (316) 337-5628.

Whether you are a techie-type like myself or not, you’ve probably heard the news story about the prominent file-sharing company Megaupload.  If you haven’t, here’s a quick overview.

Megaupload was effectively an external hard drive for its users.  Users had the capability to transfer large files to the cloud service and then access them from any machine with an Internet connection.  As an IT support professional in Wichita, I use this type of service all the time to allow access to large files that though not often needed, need to be on hand in case of a service emergency.

During the course of investigation, Megaupload has been shut down due to concerns over online piracy of music, applications and movies.  Though I do support the protection and enforcement of copyright and intellectual property laws, the downside of this action is that an unknown number of people who depend on this service for legitimate storage of legal files now have no access to their data and I’m concerned about the ramifications the precedent set will have on the growing concept of the cloud.

The purpose of the cloud is reliability and accessibility of data, so the takedown of Megaupload is sure to have a negative effect on adoption of the technology.  As an IT consultant, it will be hard to tell my customers that their business may eventually be impacted based on the illegal activities of the other users of the services they utilize.

I’m a big advocate of cloud services.  Unfortunately, this development will probably force me to only advocate for the big providers (i.e. Microsoft and Google), stifling competition in the marketplace.  I have a feeling that they would have had a much harder time shutting down one of these big players, even though I’m willing to bet they contain their own share of illegal uploads.

I will definitely be keeping an eye on this case as it progresses.  Though this hasn’t affected any of my Wichita IT support customers, it is still a concern.  Have you had any experience with these cloud providers?  Let us know in the comments.

If you are looking for outstanding IT support in Wichita KS and surrounding communities, please call us at (316) 337-5628.  From individual home support and training to multi-location corporate networks, out college educated and certified technicians have the experience needed to provide the support you need.


Business, Cloud Computing, IT Support , , , ,

Computer Support Wichita – Solid State Experiments

For more information about computer support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

Solid State Drives (SSD) Improving System Performance

As a computer support professional, it’s my job to stay in touch with the latest in gadgets and gizmos.  Something I’m always looking out for is technology that won’t just add a new layer to already overburdened technophiles such as the recent takeover of tablet computers, but will actually improve the technology we’re using already.

It seems like over the years we’ve addressed all the performance bottlenecks in our workstations.  We’ve pushed the limits year after year by increasing RAM and processor performance, eventually even adding large chunks of memory and an additional processor for our video cards.  Everything has been done towards that one goal; making our computers faster.

The next bottleneck to be addressed is hard drive performance.  After all these years, the vast majority of our machines still contain a storage system that relies on a physical mechanism skittering back and forth across a metal platter, reading magnetic information.  The problem is one that we’re all aware of; hard drives fail.  Eventually, the mechanisms wear out, and as a computer support consultant, I see it all the time.  Aside from the reliability issues, other speed-related issues come up as well.  Users have started to understand the concept of fragmentation and the need to keep the drive organized.  Information Technology has improved in that regard, with Windows 7 taking the reins and managing this task automatically.  Let’s talk about the next  step.

Solid State Drives (SSD) are similar to the ubiquitous flash drives that we all seem to be carrying these days, both laymen and computer technicians alike.  Data is stored on these chips without having to rely on moving parts or mechanisms.  Think of an SSD as a giant flash drive.  The cost of these drives per GB compared to standard hard drives is still considerably high.  While a 2TB standard drive may run you around $200, you’ll get a 128GB SSD drive for about the same money.  Why bother?

Performance and reliability.  The read/write speed on SSD drives far exceed those of standard hard drives.  What does this mean for you?  As an experiment, I replaced the drive running my home operating system with a new 128GB SSD drive.  Though small, this drive only has to house Windows 7 and the IT support applications I use on a daily basis (I ended up using less than 30GB).  The system that used to boot in around a minute now boots in about 20 seconds.  While you may think this would only impress a computer consultant like myself, it doesn’t stop there.  Applications open more quickly and fluidly and the system performs better overall.

Look for Solid State Drives to start appearing as the primary drives in desktops and the only drives in laptops soon (You already see it with those tablets already mentioned).  I’ll do another post about SSD drives later with some performance numbers.

If you’re looking for a Wichita computer company that prides itself on quick response times, low hourly rates and no minimum service charges, call us today at (316) 337-5628.  Our goal is to support small businesses in the Wichita area by providing technology solutions that can make them more effective and efficient.  Let us stop by for a free consultation.  We can address any issues on your network and offer you ideas to increase your productivity.


Applications, Business, IT Support

Wichita IT Support – Is Spam Bogging You Down?

For more information about computer and network support in Wichita KS, visit our homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

Honestly,  how much time do you spend wading through the slew of spam in your inbox every morning or throughout the day? As information technology consultants, we see it all the time.  For every valid email, there can be a plethora of ads for enhancement drugs, phishing attacks trying to capture your financial data and just plain garbage.

When our customers are plagued with more spam than they can handle, we usually sign them up for a spam filtering solution.  If your business has your own email address (not a hotmail or gmail-type address), we can setup a filter to become the first step on your email’s journey to your inbox.  The filter will capture so much more than your Outlook junk email box and make your life a little less cluttered.

Here’s some data from one of our customers as sort of a case study for spam filtering.

The company in question, and particularly one user, was receiving so much spam that the task of checking email was becoming a burden.  We put them on a trial of our spam filtering solution and were able to give them some sobering data:

Spam Filter Numbers by the Hour

Spam Filter Numbers by the Hour

The last column shows the total number of emails received each hour.  The red column represents the number of emails strictly blocked by the filter.  Green are the allowed emails, while orange shows the number quarantined for review as possible spam.  At 8:00pm, 1054 emails came through and only two were legitimate.  If these numbers aren’t sobering enough, let’s look at a broader, 30 day period:

30 Day Spam Numbers

30 Day Spam Numbers

The All column shows us that in a 30 day period, 410k emails came to their addresses, while only 7k were allowed through.  The daily chore of checking email has become significantly easier.

If you’re drowning in spam, give us a call at Proper Technology Solutions (316) 337-5628 and we can put a spam filtering solution in place for your business.  The only thing you’ll miss is the junk mail.

Proper Technology Solutions is a Wichita-based information technology company providing IT consulting and support services for small businesses and individuals.  Our college-educated and industry certified technicians can help your business lower your IT costs and avoid downtime by providing excellent needs-based service and preventative maintenance.  Give us a call and we can schedule a time to come out to your business for a free network evaluation.

Applications, Cloud Computing, IT Support, Spam Filtering