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We are a LEAP Legal Software I.T Partner

Imagine Now I.T. are proud I.T Partners with LEAP Legal Software. This means we are accredited by LEAP Legal Software to provide reliable technical support for users of the software. LEAP Legal Software is the most popular provider in its field for small law firms.

If your law firm uses or is considering using LEAP Legal Software, we would highly recommend this system and guarantee that Imagine Now I.T are committed to our LEAP clientele. We are accredited and that entitles us to additional technical resources as well as direct access to the LEAP Client Space so we can better service our clients. We can access all online materials, information and downloads on your behalf.

So, what exactly is LEAP?

“The LEAP Practice Management Platform is your completely integrated legal practice management software and legal accounting solution in a single application. With exceptional data security, a huge library of guides, precedents and automated documents, take advantage of productivity boosting features included with LEAP.” – LEAP.com.au Home Page

Headquartered in Sydney, LEAP Legal Software is now a global technology company and has been helping small law firms to operate more efficiently since 1992. LEAP is approved by the Law Society of New South Wales and now has more than 5000 law firms in Australia choosing LEAP to help run their businesses. LEAP has expanded in recent years to include offices in the United Kingdom and United States as well as Australia.

LEAP has a commitment to constant innovation and spends more than $10 million per year on research and development in order to deliver a legal practice management software program that is superior and efficient. This allows them to stay in tune with the needs of their clients as well as industry trends.

Designed by those who understand the legal industry, LEAP Legal Software is a “one stop shop” for small law practice management. For more information on LEAP, how it works and how it can help your business, you can visit their website. You can also phone the team at Imagine Now I.T. on 4934 4966, as we are proud I.T partners and would love to help you learn more about this product and why we believe in it.

Can your business survive a system crash?

Between natural disasters like storms and earthquakes, and cyber dangers such as phishing scams and malware, there’s lots of threats out there to business data security and continuity. If a superstorm were to strike again in the Maitland area tomorrow, would your business lose everything? If a computer virus were downloaded by a naïve, though well-intentioned employee this afternoon, could your company come crashing down?

Last month, Imagine Now I.T. hosted a business brunch for local business leaders to help educate them on how to avoid cyber security issues and the importance of backing up data to protect information and intellectual property. Being proactive on data security is the best prevention for both natural disasters and cyber hazards as there’s no fool proof way to guarantee that either won’t affect you or your business.

Keeping with the theme of security and disaster prevention, we wanted to look at some data protection and backup facts which should help you to evaluate how safe your business is at the moment. Regardless of how big or small your business is, your data will be essential in the running of it. Imagine Now I.T strongly recommend having multiple backup options in place, and the use of cloud computing- more on that later.

IBM completed a major study on companies that experienced major data loss and found that 43% are never able to reopen for business, and 51% will close within two years. Disturbingly, only 6% will make a full recovery and survive long term. When you consider the fact that “down-time” can cause wasted salaries, damaged reputation and financial loss from sales and other expenses, it’s no wonder the repercussions of I.T failure can be so serious.

To ensure your business would be in the 6% of survivors come tragedy, backup is essential. It’s the most critical player in business continuity. We recommend having three places, one local (on site) and used daily, a backup on another device (disconnected) in the same locality and one cloud back up. Imagine Now I.T. provide cloud services to our clients. Some of the advantages of this also include:

  • Cloud services such as Office 365 can run entirely independent of the physical location of the business, meaning the information can be accessed from home or while on the road.
  • Extra protection through automated backup and comprehensive file managament. No manual effort required.
  • It is efficient and affordable to accommodate large amounts of data. You don’t need to compromise on quality even if your resources are limited.
  • Customer protection… not only could your business be impacted by system compromise, but your clients could be too if sensitive information stored on your computer is stolen. You can even face legal action in this event.
  • Fast and complete data restoration. With cloud computing, if the worst were to happen, the retrieval process should be relatively easy.
  • Your peace of mind! Effective and efficient data backup systems are an investment in and an insurance policy for your business. The sense of security you feel knowing your data is safe is priceless.

A client testimonial received from Kis Marketing during the superstorm of April 2015 highlights the advantages of cloud computing and back up perfectly:

“During the biggest ‘Storm of the Century’ Imagine Now I.T. was what gave me peace of mind. As I watched footage on Facebook of our businesses street going under water in the 2015 natural disaster, I knew that even if our office was destroyed all of our intellectual property was backed up, safe and secure. We could even work remotely and still access all the information we needed to service our clients, thanks to our cloud server and back up from Imagine Now I.T. As a business owner that peace of mind is golden.”

Cristen Cable – Managing Director -Kis Marketing

If your business isn’t already taking advantage of cloud services and back up, act now BEFORE disaster strikes. Call Imagine Now I.T today on 4934 4966 for more information on how we can help to disaster-proof your business!

10 Things the internet has made obsolete…

The World Wide Web has been part of our everyday lives for more than two decades now, and in that time we have seen innovation after innovation. It’s little wonder that something so universal has had the power to “take over,” so to speak, and there’s a lot of things that those over 30 remember from the good old days that aren’t around anymore, courtesy of the internet.

Here’s 10 things no longer around because the internet replaced them with more efficient digital options:

  1. Diaries and planners
    Who writes out their daily schedules? Thanks to Google and others, you can plan your life, both personal and professional, using online planners or a calendar app on your smartphone. You can even set reminders to sound so nothing is forgotten. Your old Rolodex couldn’t do that!
  2. Maps
    Can you remember the last time you pulled out a paper map and unfolded it carefully to plot your course? Why would you do that nowadays when have Google Maps? You can literally type the address in on your smartphone, press ‘get directions’ and they are voiced to you as needed. No geographical or directional skills required. Don’t know which way is west? Never mind.
  3. Encyclopaedias
    No need to drag out a heavy copy of Encyclopaedia Britannica for each school or university assignment now. Between Google and Wikipedia, you’re pretty much covered for endless sources of scholarly articles and information.
  4. Letters
    While not completely dead, due to Grandmas who still send birthday cards in the mail, the humble letter has been largely replaced by the convenience of email.
  5. Dictionaries
    See above for Encyclopaedias, Old Mr Webster went the way of the dodo as well. You can Google the correct spelling or definition for anything! You’re welcome.
  6. Recipe books
    Some recipe books may still make the collection for sentimental (think Great-Nanna’s time honoured classics) or collector’s item reasons (like Heston’s Fat Duck secrets), but for the most part it’s easier to download the taste.com.au app on your phone. You don’t need a bookshelf to store them, just storage space on your device.
  7. Book stores
    Amazon and eBay among others kind of pushed Borders and Dymocks out of the marketplace. It’s easier to order your next read from the comfort of the couch and then have it arrive to your door within days.
  8. Yellow pages
    We believe they still deliver this each year, but most of us don’t open it. You can Google businesses with ease or even find them on Social Media.
  9. Fax
    Infuriatingly, some people still send faxes, but the majority of the western world has completely shifted to email.
  10. Print Media
    They’re still around, and it’s still exciting to see your face on front page news (depending on why you’re there, of course), however, the internet is increasingly becoming the source for all local, national and international breaking stories. Most print media outlets now publish online to keep up with the times and share their articles on social media.

There’s many other things that have disappeared as the internet has crept its way in to our lives, but this would be our top 10.

For more information on technology uses, or if you’re looking for a reliable NBN internet provider, give Imagine Now I.T. a call today on 4934 4966.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

Have you heard about the Fourth Industrial Revolution? The World Economic Forum coined this term in regards to the “fast approaching era where the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres will be blurred.” This will be an age of robotization. So, how did we get here and what were the first three revolutions?

The First Industrial Revolution resulted in mechanization, where human labour could, for the first time, be substituted by mechanical labour. The use of water and steam power brought about this period of innovation in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The Second Industrial Revolution was an era of mass production. The late 19th and early 20th century saw an increase in coordination between labour and machines, resulting in assembly lines enabling mass manufacturing.

The late 20th century gave birth to the age of automation – the Third Industrial Revolution. Machines capable of repeating a series of tasks under specified parameters with minimal supervision transformed the manufacturing process world once more.

Going back to the present, 2017, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving every day. Basically, this will be an era of robotization, of factories as smart as your smart phone. Machines will be amplified with web connectivity, allowing them to view the entire production chain and make independent decisions.

As you can imagine, the expectation is that this revolution will change most of our jobs in the near future. Professor Klaus Schwab, who is the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum acknowledges this time of robotization as fundamentally different from the previous three developmental periods in his book titled, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Revolution one, two and three were all characterised by advances in technology. This time, we are taking it a few steps further and combining the physical, digital and biological worlds to create a new breed of machine that will challenge our very ideas of what it is to be human. Sounds like every sci-fi movie you ever watched is about to become a little more realistic, right?

While these emerging technologies have powerful potential for good, there are also grave possible risks. The prospect of connecting billions more people to the web, improving efficiency of business, and the potential ability to regenerate our natural environment and undo some of the damage caused by previous industrial revolutions, among other things, is very exciting. However, the failure of governments to properly regulate technologies, unfavourable power shifts, security and inequality concerns are all issues that society will face moving forward, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to roll out.

For example, as robotization occurs, computers and machines will replace traditional human workers in various forms of employment from the factory to the insurance broker and real estate agent. While this is already happening to some degree in certain vocations, it will only continue and become more frequent.

The idea of blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres is challenging and uncomfortable to some, and moral dilemmas abound, however, one thing is for certain, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is here and it’s happening. Only time will tell how our jobs and lives will be impacted and changed.

For more information on modern technology, and the most current I.T. systems, contact Imagine Now I.T today on 4934 4966.

Data Recovery- Lost important files? We can help!

Imagine Now IT are able to help with data recovery. With most of the population using smart phones for everything, from scheduling their lives to taking photos of their adventures, it’s safe to say that smart device data is priceless and the loss of files and data can be devastating. There’s no longer need to panic, however, as Imagine Now IT specialise in recovery from damaged or faulty mobile phones, tablets, hard disk drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays, NAS units, memory cards and USB flash drives of any brand, no matter the problem- we can help!

Mobile Phone and Tablet Data Recovery
If your phone has suffered from water damage, or will not power on for any reason, there’s a good chance the team at Imagine Now IT can help you. We would love to get your photos and personal information back to you, and in fact our services are one of few that are recommended by Apple for iPhone and iPad users.

Hard Disk Drive Data Recovery
When a hard drive stops working, stop using it immediately. Leave the drive in powered off state and get it to us as fast as you can. The best chance you have of recovering your important photos, videos, documents and files is with Imagine Now IT. We have access to the best technology, spare parts and facilities and will ensure your data is retrieved and returned.

SSD Data Recovery
There are a variety of reasons for SSD failure, including firmware corruption, memory chip faults, overheating, water spills, controller failure or electronic/PCB damage. We can help with any of these problems. At Imagine Now IT, it is our goal to recover your priceless photos, documents and files. We use the best technology, equipment and facilities.

RAID and NAS Data Recovery
Imagine Now  IT has a high success rate for data recovery for all types of RAID array failure.  We specialise in recovery from HP, Dell VMware, IBM and other business grade RAID arrays using SATA, SAS, SCSI, FC hard drives, as well as SSD RAID arrays with multiple failed drives.

Memory Card Data Recovery
If your memory card has ceased to be detected or you are left unable to see all your photos and videos, Imagine Now IT can help. Any brand or kind of card is fine, and we can generally fix the problems that others can’t, including chip-off and monolith recovery services.

USB Flash Drive Recovery
If your flash drive has broken or been snapped, don’t despair. Never mind if the computer says it’s undetected, all hope is not lost. We can help to repair, or remove the memory chip to extract the data using highly sophisticated methods.

We know how important the data saved on memory and personal devices can be, and we have a passion for helping people. If you need any kind of recovery services or help, give the experts at Imagine Now IT a call today on 4934 4966 to discuss your options and start the retrieval process.

How to back up your smart phones

In 2017, it is safe to assume that the majority of folks have most of their lives stored on their smart phones. From calendar items and schedules (complete with alarmed reminders), to important text messages, to a bazillion photos of friends and family, the storage on such devices can fill up quite quickly. If the thought of suddenly losing everything that’s saved on your smart phone scares you, then you definitely need a reliable back up strategy. At Imagine Now IT we can now recover the data on your smartphone, if you are on our hosted email platform.

iCloud for iOS devices
Having your email hosted with Imagine Now IT will ensure your data can be retrieved as required. For those not on our services, iCloud reliance is an option. iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads or iPods can all be backed up fairly easily using Apple’s apex of online services- iCloud. This service can be used to access and share photos, documents, music and data between iOS devices, Macs and Windows PCs. There is 5GB of storage available for free on iCloud, so if you have low storage requirements, backing up data comes at no cost to you. However, most of us will have that in photos alone, but don’t despair, upgrades are inexpensive. For $1/month you can have 50GB of storage, for $3/month you get 200GB of storage, and for $10/month you’ll have 1TB of storage.

The extra 50GB of storage at $1 per month is more than sufficient for most users. You can even set your phone to automatically backup your phone to iCloud when your phone is plugged in as long as it is also connected to WiFi. Phones are typically charged once per day at minimum, which means your phone would be backed up daily. That’s $12/year for peace of mind and protection of your digital data.

To enable backup on your iOS device, click on settings iCloud Backup. You will be required to sign in to iCloud, then you can select “Backup Now.”

Android devices backup
Having your email hosted with Imagine Now IT is great protection, however, there are still options for those without hosted email services. Sadly, this process is not as straight forward as that of the iOS device. Android devices can be plugged in to your laptop or PC using a USB cable and files can then be manually dragged and dropped over. This can be time consuming and does require you remembering, and making the time to complete the backup.

Having a Google account on your Android phone can speed this process up by automatically backing up your contacts, calendar, passwords, application data, and most settings. However, some things are not automatically backed up, such as pictures, videos and texts, which are equally (or even more) important. To save images, recordings and text messages, Google Drive can help. Google provides 15GB of free space (slightly more generous than Apple), and if this is insufficient, for $2 per month, you can have 100GB of space, and an extra $10 per month will buy you 1TB.

Manufacturer Apps
Individual phone manufacturers often have their own backup app solutions through their own clouds, such as HTC Backup and Samsung Kies. Such apps are capable of backing up contacts, some settings and some user data, however, it does not include the apps themselves nor any lower level data.

Third Party Apps
Photos, contacts, call histories and certain documents can be backed up using third party apps such as Lookout, ESET Mobile, 360 Security or Titanium Backup, among others. They also provide protection against viruses and malware. Other services such as theft prevention services are available from some of these apps, sometimes at an additional fee.

There are multitudes of storage options available on the market, no matter what device you’re using. Don’t be in a position where the loss or damage of your phone means losing important personal data or precious, irreplaceable memories captured on phone cameras. If you are interested in the security offered by having a hosted email platform, as the easiest way to restore lost data, contact Imagine Now IT today. Also, if you have any questions in regards to storage, using the cloud or you have a business in need of cloud services and intellectual property protection, give us a call at Imagine Now IT today on 49344966.

Upcoming events we are excited about…

We are extremely excited to announce that we are proud supporters of the 2017 Mai-Wel Group Gala Ball.

The annual event will be held at Maitland Town Hall on Saturday 29th April, 2017, with the promise of being bigger and better than ever. Enchantingly themed- “We can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendid,” Maitland’s night of nights is sure to be magical and wondrous.

The night will include a three course meal, drinks, premium auction items, prizes and live entertainment including music from local band Bravo Victor. Expect surprises along the way too.

Tickets are limited, so book your early bird tickets now. Come support a local event for a good cause and have some ‘shining, shimmering, splendid’ fun!

In May, we are also looking forward to hosting our IT Brunch at Woody’s Cafe, Thornton. We invite everyone to join us on May 2nd to learn how you can stay ahead of your competitors! Find out about the future of IT, be informed on the latest scams and how to protect your intellectual property. Also, hear about the latest digital marketing tips from local marketing experts at Kis Marketing. Brunch will be included- click here to book your tickets now!

Top 4 Back to School Gadgets

It’s time to get ready for back to school and in the rhythm of work for 2017. Student or not – here’s 4 gadgets that will help you get organised and motivated for this year!

Kindle
The Kindle is a fantastic, small device that holds battery for lengthy periods of time and can store more books than a backpack! Anyone who passed through school in the day of the textbook can appreciate the ease of this modern, compact device.
When used for education, Kindles make the school, college or university day far more convenient as they are simply carted to classes. They are also useful for quick reading during down time in the doctor’s office or while waiting for public transport.

Tiles
The loss of phone, backpack or even bike can be common occurrence in the busy life of a student. That’s where tiles can come in handy. A Tile is a small Bluetooth tag that can be attached to any item you own. Should you lose a tagged item, simply open the app on your phone and select locate. Provided the item is within Bluetooth range, it will start beeping so you can find it.
The Tile can even be double tapped and will make your phone chime- even when set on vibrate. When a few tiles are employed on all major items (backpack, phone and house keys especially!) you can potentially save many hours of searching!
Another cool feature is that if you have the Tile app, every device with the Tile app running will passively listen for the tiles marked as missing. So, if another person has a tile in range of your phone marked missing, your phone will anonymously report the Tile’s location. This means that if you’re hundreds of miles away from a lost tile, an item you would otherwise never recover, another person’s phone can still locate it for you!

Thumb Drive
Every student needs a reliable, safe thumb drive. While programs such as DropBox and Google Drive are seemingly making them obsolete, there are still plenty of great uses and features of the classic thumb drive. Transferring large files or for use when no internet connection is available are two examples.
When looking for a thumb drive, check out product reviews and consider the speed for file transfer, storage capacity and physical size of the drive- smaller is best for storing and transporting.
Professional Advice- Format your new thumb drive as exFAT. This will allow it to be used on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems.

Back-Up Power
Backup power is pretty much an essential for students spending long days out and about between classes and study time in the library. There are plenty of options on the market for backup power for devices. Ideally, you will want something that is small but holds plenty of power. Imagine being the campus hero next time a friend loses battery on their phone!

For further advice on handy gadgets and I.T. for back to school or work, contact the team at Imagine Now IT today!