WHAT SERVICES DOES SENSEI PROVIDE?
Sensei provides full-service IT support 24×7 to its clients. Sensei also provides supplemental IT support to clients that already have a full IT staff. Other services Sensei provides are:
- Disaster Recovery and Planning
- Email Hosting, Setup & Design
- Cloud e-mail Solutions & Security
- Onsite and Remote Support
- Virtualization, Consolidation and Cloud Computing
- Cloud Hosting
- Cloud Backup
- Datacenter Hosting
- Office Relocation Services
- Hardware & Software Purchasing & Financing
- Power Management
- Server & Software Migrations
- Design & Implementation Solutions
- Asset Tracking
- 24×7 Monitoring
- Helpdesk Support
- Broadband Management & Circuit Acquisition
- Proactive Maintenance
- System Documentation
- VoIP Backbone Design
- Wireless LAN Solutions
- Virtual Private Network Services
- Security Policy & Firewall Management
- Telework Solutions
- Infrastructure Upgrades
WHAT IS THE CLOUD?
In the simplest terms, the cloud means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet (with your data stored in a datacenter) rather than accessing and storing data on your local hard drive or server in your office. With the increased speeds in bandwidth these days, cloud computing has become very popular, especially since it helps with business continuity, offering a guaranteed “six 9s,” 99.9999% uptime for electricity, climate control and Internet access. Sensei offers cloud solutions to its customers and provides this service at competitive rates.
HOW CAN I TAKE MY COMPANY TO THE CLOUD?
Taking your company to the cloud requires a lot of thought. We offer a free one-hour consultation to assist in assessing your readiness to move to the cloud, in whole or in part, depending on your business requirements. Sensei will help you design a plan that works best for your needs.
WHAT IS AN ISP?
An ISP is an Internet Service Provider. Verizon, Comcast, Cox, Megapath, Windstream, etc., are all ISPs.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALWARE AND SPYWARE?
Malware is malicious software that can disrupt normal functioning of a computer while spyware (actually a subset of malware) is a type of malicious software that is installed on a computer to collect data (spy) without consent of the data owner. Sensei can assist in defending against all forms of malware.
CAN I HAVE A MACINTOSH COMPUTER AND STILL BE PRODUCTIVE?
The simple answer is yes – in most cases. The main issue with Macintosh computers vs. a PC computer is applications. Most applications in the productive workplace do not work on Macintosh computers. In most cases, users with Macintosh computers run Windows on top of their Macintosh computer. In other words, users are still using Windows 7 or Windows 8 running on Macintosh in order to utilize those productivity applications. As an example, law firms utilize legal applications and 90% of them do not work with Macintosh computers. The exceptions are applications specifically designed to run on a Mac such as Office for Mac 2011 or those that are web-based.
WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS TO HAVING AN OUTSIDE IT CONSULTANT VS. AN IN-HOUSE CONSULTANT?
At Sensei we get this question all the time. The quick answer is cost. With an IT consultant, you only pay for services when you need them, whereas with a full-time employee you pay for salary, 401(k), sick time, benefits, etc., and even when that individual isn’t doing anything, you are still paying for their time. The other benefit of an IT consultant is experience. Most full-time in-house consultants work mostly on one network or possibly two networks in their lifetime, doing the same things every day. IT consultants have hundreds of networks they support daily and will have more experience with issues that may occur as well as experience choosing the right solutions for many kinds and sizes of businesses.
WHAT IS A SITE SURVEY?
At Sensei, we provide “site-surveys” when we first meet a customer. This entails meeting with the individuals/decision makers of the business, checking the current network, and coming up with a phased approach to provide service to the business. At Sensei, our site surveys are free of charge and once they are completed, we present the business with a proposal, recommendations, timetable and estimated costs.
DO YOU OFFER FREE IT ASSESSMENTS?
Yes, Sensei provides free IT assessments to businesses throughout the DC Metro area. Call IT Director Jeff Fox at 703.359.0700 to arrange one.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU BACK UP YOUR DATA?
Backup is the most important part of a network and should be performed frequently. Sensei offers backup products that will back up the servers and desktops on the network as frequently as every 15 minutes. Why so frequent, you might ask? The more frequent the backups, the less time it takes to back up the computer or server. It also means you lose the least amount of data should a disaster occur. If you only back up your data once per day, it’s possible that you may lose the entire day of work. We also help with and recommend testing backups on a periodic basis to ensure that your backup solution is in working order.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN IT CONSULTANT?
You should look for individuals working at a well-known company with a reputation for being knowledgeable, responsive and professional. Consultants should have IT certifications, experience and be able to talk to your business in a way in which you can understand. At Sensei, our consultants do their best to explain IT matters in terms in which you can understand. Sensei employs highly certified individuals who have multiple years of experience and are extremely talented at providing IT support to businesses.
DOES SENSEI OFFER CABLING SERVICES?
No, we don’t, but we do work with cabling providers that we trust and who offer low rates for cabling. Cabling is very important and while not our bailiwick, we have very good providers we can refer to your business.
DOES SENSEI OFFER PHONE SYSTEM INSTALLATIONS?
Sensei does not perform phone system installations. Typically phone systems are provided and installed by companies that just do phone systems. It’s a world of its own and Sensei has many phone system providers it recommends depending on the type of system needed. Ask us for a referral and we’ll provide you with some that will assess your needs and give you an estimate.
HOW LONG HAS SENSEI BEEN IN BUSINESS?
Sensei, a small woman-owned business, was founded in 1997 and has been providing IT services and related solutions to its customers since inception.
WHAT INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS DO SENSEI CONSULTANTS AND STAFF HOLD?
Sensei has many industry certifications and continues to update these certifications when required. Some of the certifications our consultants hold are:
- MCSE – Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
- MCITP – Microsoft Certified IT Professional
- MCP – Microsoft Certified Professional
- MCSA – Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator
- MCTS – Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
- CCNP – Cisco Certified Network Professional
- CCNA – Cisco Certified Network Associate
- CCA – Citrix Certified Administrator
- VCP – VMware Certified Professional
- CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- NET+ – CompTIA Network+
- A+ – CompTIA A+
CAN SENSEI HELP ME 24X7X365?
Yes, Sensei provides support around the clock. Technology doesn’t stop after business hours – nor do we. Whenever you need us, Sensei is here to help.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CALL AFTER BUSINESS HOURS?
When you call our main line after business hours, you are prompted to leave a message with the after-hours support. Once the message is left, we get the call wherever we are and promptly call you back.
WHAT IS SENSEI’S RESPONSE TIME?
Response time officially is four hours during normal business hours and one hour after hours. We strive to get back to you as soon as we can and usually are able to get back to you very quickly. We strive to do this so that you can go back to being productive as soon as possible.
CAN SENSEI PROVIDE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE AT DISCOUNTED PRICES?
Sensei has established great relationships with our vendors (Dell, Microsoft, Lenovo, etc.,) and therefore can provide substantial savings on hardware and software through those vendors. As an example, when one of our customers quotes a computer from a vendor, we can typically beat that price by a significant margin.
WHAT POLICIES SHOULD I HAVE IN PLACE?
At a minimum, you should have an Internet use policy, electronic communication policy, social media policy, personal device policy, as well as an employee termination/out-processing checklist and procedure.
SHOULD I ALLOW EMPLOYEES TO BRING THEIR OWN DEVICES (BYOD)?
This is a decision each business must make. It is very risky to allow employees to bring their own devices and connect them to the company network. The devices must be secured (e.g. password locks, inactivity timers, encryption, etc.) to minimize potential unauthorized access to the company data or infection via malware. You also have issues with liability of personal information. Sensei can help in the creation of policies and configurations of the technology to support a BYOD environment if needed.
HOW MANY YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE DO SENSEI’S CONSULTANTS HAVE?
Sensei consultants have over 100 years of combined experience.
DOES SENSEI PROVIDE SUPPORT AFTER OUR PROJECT IS COMPLETED?
Yes. Sensei is a full-service IT company and therefore provides not only project work, but follow-up maintenance, and ongoing support (onsite and remote).
DOES SENSEI HAVE REFERENCES THAT I CAN CALL?
Yes, Sensei has many references for our clients to call. We do our best to make sure that each and every customer is happy to serve as a reference.
DOES SENSEI WORK WITH OTHER VENDORS?
Sensei doesn’t offer phone systems, cabling or Internet to its customers. Sensei has multiple vendors for these three services and can gather the quotes needed to make an informed decision. We strive to be a one-stop shop for our customers and are pleased to facilitate relationships with trusted vendors that we’ve already vetted.
WILL SENSEI HELP ME WITH MY OFFICE RELOCATION?
Yes, Sensei will assist with moving your office computers, servers, and networking to a new space. We make sure your new office has cabling, Internet and is ready to go when you are. Office relocations can be a nightmare if you don’t have the right IT Company assisting you. Sensei has performed hundreds of these moves and has experience to avoid the “gotchas” that so often come with relocations.
I’M A START-UP, HOW CAN SENSEI ASSIST ME WITH GETTING MY BUSINESS UP AND RUNNING?
Sensei assists lots of start-ups with selecting the right equipment and services for your business needs. Sensei will meet with you to discuss your business and requirements and then provide a proposal based on those needs as well as recommendations based on our industry experience. We will also provide estimated costs.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SENSEI AND THE OTHER HUNDREDS OF IT PROVIDERS IN THE DC METRO AREA?
The biggest gap we see with other IT providers is experience and certifications. Most companies will employ consultants who have only worked on one network and who are not certified. Sensei employs consultants that have years of experience working on many different computer networks. When you have a question or problem, we have a terrific knowledge bank on which to draw. If you have a terrific IT provider, count your blessings. But if you don’t, you might want to call IT Director Jeff Fox at 703.359.0700 and ask for a complimentary IT assessment.
HOW DOES SENSEI HANDLE SPAM FOR MY ORGANIZATION?
E-mail is the most important forms of communication for businesses. Spam and malware that are sent over e-mail are extremely dangerous for businesses. Sensei has options available to prevent spam and malware from hitting your Inbox. We also provide business continuity practices so that if your e-mail server is down, you can still access your e-mail. This generally provides 100% uptime for your business.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS A POWER FAILURE IN MY OFFICE?
Typically when the power fails, the Internet goes down, and servers and computer shut off. You have to wait for power to come back on in order to continue working. Business that have frequent power failures should look for battery backup systems that can handle the typical power failure and keep business running. Most businesses don’t rely on the power company. They prefer to rely on us to provide cloud hosting that keeps business up and running even if the power fails. Give us a call and ask us about our cloud services and how we can keep you operational 24x7x365.
WHAT IS VIRTUALIZATION AND HOW CAN IT BENEFIT OUR ORGANIZATION?
Virtualization with computing has been around since the 1960’s when mainframes would divide their resources logically for different applications served to their users. Today virtualization is used to reduce power, to cool and to provide methods to reduce costs. In most scenarios where a business requires a database server, e-mail server, file server, and print server, virtualization allows you to have all of these servers sitting on one physical device instead of many physical devices. So now you don’t need to purchase five servers – you can purchase one or two servers and provide the same service as well as provide easier maintenance, on-the-fly upgrades of memory, processor power, and disk space. Sensei consultants have been using virtualization for our customers for a long time and this has allowed us to provide cost effective solutions. VMware, Microsoft and Citrix are the major players in virtualization and Sensei consultants have experience with all three.
WE HAVE A FULL-TIME IT STAFF SO HOW CAN SENSEI CONSULTANTS HELP OUR BUSINESS?
Sensei assists businesses with a full-time IT staff all the time. Typically we assist with major projects but also with the cloud. Some organizations have many offices and their IT staff is located in different states. Sensei can provide support or hands-on work locally for those business to save money on travel. Organizations with a full-time IT staff don’t always have all the answers and look to Sensei for their experience and hands-on knowledge to assist them with running the network more efficiently and securely.
WHAT DOES SENSEI MEAN?
Sensei is a Japanese word that is literally translated as “teacher” or “master”. We get asked this question a lot because so many people think of the word in connection with the martial arts. The name derives from the fact that co-founder John Simek, who is half Japanese, is a “teacher” and “master” of the IT world, presenting seminars around the country, in Canada and in Europe. In tribute to John’s heritage, our offices are also a “Japanese museum.” We welcome visits from clients and potential clients and would be happy to give you a tour of our magnificent collection of woodblocks, porcelain and other Japanese artifacts.