Frequently Asked Questions
Connectability provides outsourced IT support and IT consulting services to Toronto area businesses. We’ve been doing it since 1995. We like to call ourselves a “boutique firm” because we customize our services to address the unique needs of many small to medium sized businesses.
We’re your best option if you’re going through any of the following:
- You have IT needs but don’t need a full-time in-house IT person.
- You already have an IT services provider, but they are hard to reach, don’t resolve your problems, or perhaps you find them difficult to work with.
- You have a staff member in charge of IT, but managing that employee is difficult, time consuming, or expensive.
- You want to leverage technology to enhance productivity and reduce operational issues.
- You have very specialized IT needs that require a customized solution.
Connectability’s mission is to deliver responsive, competent, professional and proactive IT services and support to small and medium sized businesses in order to reduce costs, improve productivity and allow you to focus more on YOUR business.
In our experience, a lot of IT firms provide entirely reactive support. This support model makes budgeting impossible, and often results in huge support bills, and downtime for simple issues that could have easily been prevented. With our proactive approach, issues are resolved as they appear, leading to lower costs, fewer distractions, less downtime, and more productivity.
We’ve been in business for over 21 years and we expect to be around for at least another 20. Connectability was founded in 1995 with the goal of providing high-quality, complete, end-to-end IT support services for small and medium sized businesses in the Greater Toronto Area.
Many of our customers have been with us for over a decade, and some have worked with us since we began operations in 1995.
Yes! Connectability works with several large, international distributors, allowing us to price our products competitively with big box stores – and often at even lower prices. Additionally, we have access to a lot of hardware and software that is not available in retail outlets because it is business specific.
We also sell a lot of IT-related accessories at significantly lower prices than the big chains. That’s because these components are typically priced with very high margins because they are small-ticket items. For example, a network cable that costs $24.99 in a big-box store would cost $4.50 if purchased from us.
Since selling hardware is not our core business, we keep our margins low so we can offer our customers quality products at reasonable prices. Think of it as one-stop shopping!
Our customers are under no obligation to buy your hardware from us, but we encourage them to check our pricing before purchasing from another vendor as we can frequently offer lower prices.
We have no issue with customers buying hardware from other sources, but we encourage all our clients to check with us before making a purchase so we can ensure it will work within their specific environment.
We are located close to Highway 401, just west of the intersection of Dufferin and Lawrence at 1020 Lawrence Avenue West, in midtown Toronto, Ontario. This location allows us to respond promptly to customers in Downtown Toronto as easily as Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga, Scarborough and Etobicoke.
Connectability manages all the components of your IT environment including:
- Desktop computers
- Firewalls (or UTMs)
- Phone systems
- VoIP and telephony
- Backup and disaster recovery
- Antivirus management and patching
- Antimalware management and patching
- Cloud Services (Including storage and backup)
- Email and spam protection
- Office 365
- Mobile Device Management
We have extensive experience working in multiplatform environments. We work with Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh, as well as Linux and UNIX platforms and – just as important – we know how to make these different technologies communicate. That’s why we’re called Connectability! We also sell hardware and software at competitive prices.
Our goal is to be your full-time IT department at a part-time price!
Connectability offers three different service plans:
- Break-Fix Support
“Break-Fix Support” is the old-fashioned service model where your computer breaks, you call your IT provider, they come and fix your computer and you get a bill for the time spent. While we continue to offer this option to some of our smaller and more occasional customers, we recommend against it because it’s entirely reactive in nature, and depending on the size of your business and the scope of your issues it can often end up costing more in the long run.
- Business Basics Security Services
The second model is called Business Basics Security. This consists of a package of essential security software that we believe every business should have, at a minimum. It includes:
- Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) Software
- Webroot SecureAnywhere Anti-virus
- Malwarebytes Premium Anti-malware, and
- LogMeIn Central Plus remote access software.
For a very reasonable price you not only get antivirus and anti-malware protection, you also get the peace of mind of knowing that skilled IT professionals are monitoring your network constantly for signs of developing problems so if something on your network fails, or shows any signs of failing, we will know about it before you do, and can resolve it in a timely manner.
- Managed Services (Gold and Silver Plans)
Managed IT Services is a support contract service where you pay a single monthly fee for the management of your entire IT environment. This includes onsite support, remote support, consulting time, virtual CIO services, and project management. Additionally, we include a package of essential software including antivirus, antimalware, remote access, and remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, and depending on the contract, cloud storage and email hosting.
We offer two options that are similar but have a few key differences:
- Gold Package – Fully Managed Services
This is our most popular plan because it includes UNLIMITED hours for:
- Onsite support
- Remote support
- Project Consulting and Management
- Technology Consulting
- And IT Budgeting
- Proactivity: We often resolve issues before you’re aware of them, and before they cause a disaster, downtime, frustration, or all of the above. We put a lot of effort into understanding your business so you end up with systems that can be scaled to future needs, instead of needing to start over from scratch. This is a very “consultative” approach. Every quarter we will meet with you to discuss the past quarter and how to leverage new technologies to make operations cheaper and more efficient.
- Predictable Costs: Because all IT service is included at a fixed price, you always know what your costs are going to be.
- Peace of Mind. Your data is backed up constantly. Since backup is included, we monitor and manage the process to ensure all of your data is backed up and secure. We also run periodic tests to ensure backups are working properly. This guarantees that in the case of a disaster you will be able to recover your data from just a few minutes before the disaster!
- Productivity: We are at your service! If you have ANY IT issues, just give us a call. We make sure someone ALWAYS responds to your issues promptly. No more wasted time trying to solve issues on your own, so you can focus on YOUR business. We have guarantees with teeth, so if we don’t respond to your issue promptly you will get a credit on your bill. That’s how serious we are about responsiveness!
This plan includes all the software mentioned above in the “Business Basics Plan”, PLUS Microsoft Exchange email hosting, unlimited server backup (in the cloud), and cloud storage for all covered computers and servers.
Since we are always working to make technology do more for your business, we will meet with you quarterly to ensure your satisfaction, and discuss any relevant new technology, opportunities for performance improvements, cost savings, and ways to eliminate inefficiencies.
There are FOUR key benefits to this plan:
- Gold Package – Fully Managed Services
- Silver Package – Partial Managed Services
Just like our Gold Managed plan you get all the “Business Basics” security software, plus cloud backup for any servers, but there are a few key differences:
- There are a fixed number of service hours included per month. This is based on the number of devices covered.
- It does not include Microsoft Exchange email hosting, or cloud storage for servers or desktop (although it still includes cloud backup for your servers)
- We do not include technology consulting or budgeting services. These are available, but it would be considered a part of your monthly hours allotment.
The plan is very customizable, so if you believe you will require more service in a given month, you can purchase additional hours in advance at a significantly reduced rate. But don’t worry, if you go over your hours allotment you are still billed at a lower rate than under “Break-Fix”. We will also notify you of how many hours you have used in a month so you can decide what jobs should have the highest priority. Hours are averaged quarterly, so if you go over one month it won’t necessarily increase your bill for the next month. And just because it doesn’t include email hosting or cloud storage doesn’t mean you can’t add those to your plan!
A word of caution. Our Silver Package is generally a better fit for small businesses with less complex networks and networking needs. The reason our Gold Package is our most popular plan is that WE INCLUDE EVERYTHING. No one is happy when they have to pay an additional charge, and because budgeting isn’t always as predictable under our Silver Package that can sometimes be the case. When you have a technology issue you don’t want to have to worry about additional costs, you just want your technology to work. Under a Gold Managed Services plan we take total responsibility for your IT so you can focus more on YOUR business.
We understand that a lot of businesses regard IT as a cost centre rather than a business investment. As a result, many businesses work very hard to push IT costs down as much as possible. We’re a business too, so we understand the need to control costs. But we also believe that having an effective IT infrastructure can give your business a significant advantage over your competitors.
For the majority of our customers, only a Gold Package, Fully Managed IT environment offers the level of service, predictability, responsiveness, and consistency they want and need. In our experience, customers who sign up for less inclusive plans are more likely to be frustrated and disappointed because they’re not getting the level of service they actually need, and since they are more focused on controlling costs than they are on results.
By bundling all the services most businesses need at a fixed price, we find our customers almost always end up paying less under a Gold Managed IT services plan than under the Break/Fix model. And let’s be blunt: the Break/Fix model can benefit your IT provider more than it benefits you. If they only get paid when you have problems what incentive do they have to make sure your environment is completely stable and up to date? Most IT providers are honest, hardworking people, who just want to fix your problems, but this model certainly gives them an incentive to be inefficient. And lack of regulation in our industry makes it very easy for anyone to call themselves an IT expert. So be wary of consultants pushing Break/Fix services.
Consider the following example. A small business is looking to replace their server. Unfortunately, most business networks are not up-to-date and many lack proper patch management. It’s not unusual for them to have viruses and malware that they aren’t aware of, leading to slow, inefficient performance. Before the server can be replaced, the network needs to be scanned, patched, updated and cleaned to ensure it is secure and stable. This “network clean-up” could require considerable effort, and if the business doesn’t have proper antivirus, anti-malware, firewall or network settings, all that work could be undone rapidly.
On a Managed IT services plan all you ever have to worry about is your monthly bill. In the situation described above, you would more than likely be looking at a bill for several thousand dollars on a Break/Fix contract. But under Managed IT Services you would simply pay your regular monthly fee and everything would be included. Just as important, on managed services we’re constantly monitoring, patching and updating your computers so your network will never get to that point of entropy. Finally, managed services includes your cloud backup, storage, email hosting, antivirus, anti-malware, remote access and remote monitoring and management software (RMM), so excluding line of business (LOB) applications you shouldn’t have to worry about managing IT software subscriptions.
That’s why Connectability recommends Managed IT Services for any organization looking to leverage technology as a tool to improve productivity and cost-efficiencies.
We provide both onsite and remote support, but we always endeavour to do as much remote support as possible. We prefer this because we can respond to your problems faster and with less disruption. If we can resolve your issue directly from our office, you don’t need to wait for a technician to arrive and you don’t need to worry about interruptions. It’s a win-win. But if a problem can only be resolved by an onsite visit, or you need to meet with your assigned engineer to discuss a project or issue, we’ll be there whenever you need us.
Absolutely! When you sign up for a Managed Services plan we offer 5 guarantees to demonstrate our commitment to meeting and exceeding your needs. Those guarantees are as follows:
- If you sign up for a long-term Managed Services contract and you’re not happy in the first 60 days you can cancel your contract and we’ll refund 100% of your investment.
- If you sign up for a long-term Managed Services contract, and are unsatisfied within the first 120 days, you can cancel with no penalties whatsoever.
- Over time, our efforts will make your network more and more stable, requiring less day-to-day support, and more strategic consulting time. We are committed to ongoing support and maintenance, even if you’re not experiencing an urgent problem. That’s why we always call our Managed Services clients at least once per week to check in, and we’ll always make a site visit once per month, even if there are no immediate issues.
- If you’re on a Managed IT Services plan we guarantee that if you call our office, or log a support ticket online during normal business hours, we will respond within 30 minutes or less. We answer our phones live so you’ll always speak to a real person. And if we don’t meet that commitment, you’ll receive a $200 credit on your next bill.
- We guarantee that if we make an appointment for onsite services and we don’t arrive within 10 minutes of our appointment time – for any reason at all – assuming we haven’t contacted you at least one hour prior to reschedule, you’ll also receive a $200 credit against future services.
We’re very serious about responsiveness. We know that our clients rely on us to do get the job done right, and on time. And if we don’t respond promptly and effectively, it can seriously impact productivity and your bottom line. We’ve heard too many horror stories about people in our line of work, and as a result we will always respond to your concerns as fast as possible.
Upon being engaged, we provide all our clients with a Non-Disclosure Agreement signed by both a network engineer and the President and Founder of Connectability, Ted Shafran. That NDA outlines our commitment to protecting your data and our promise to look at your information only as required to complete any work. We will never look at your personal files unless it is essential for us to complete a service request.
In addition, we work with a number of leading cloud backup providers with secure data centres in diverse locations. At the beginning of our relationship we will evaluate your data needs and work with company management to choose the best, most secure option. For example, in the Financial Services industry, the OSC recommends that data should be backed up to a Canadian data centre, while in other industries the backup location is unimportant.
We only use backup providers that use AES-256 bit encryption. That’s the same level of encryption used by the US government and major banks. And we make sure that it is encrypted “in-transit” and “at-rest” so you know that your data is ALWAYS properly secured.
Give us a call to find out at 416-966-3306. More often than not we can get someone on site the same day to look into your issues, although it depends on our availability. We’re committed to responding promptly to all our customers’ needs because we understand that if your IT isn’t working properly it directly impacts your bottom line results, and your ability to conduct business.
If you are interested in learning more about Connectability you can call us at (416) 966-3306. If you are a current customer, but need to speak to someone about a sales or administrative matter, you can call the same number.
Alternatively, if you are a current customer and need to create a support ticket, our preferred method of communication is electronic. We prefer this because it allows us to keep a detailed history of your calls, issues, resolutions and response time. If you want to raise a support ticket yourself, you can:
- Call our support number at: (647) 483-4154
- Email [email protected]
- Go to our support portal and log a ticket: https://www.connectability.com/supportportal
- Call your technician directly
You will hear back from someone at our office within 30 minutes or less. All electronic submissions are routed not only to your designated technician, but also to their backup resource and our support administrator.
If you prefer to communicate by phone, you can still call our help desk at (647) 483-4514 and our Office Administrator will take down your information, create a ticket for you, and inform your designated technician. In the very unlikely event that it is not possible to reach us by phone, you can reach your technician directly via cell phone.
When an IT services company is busy, and day-to-day responsibilities become burdensome, it can be difficult to track tasks efficiently, this results in things falling through the cracks. That’s why Connectability keeps track of support tickets using a robust online ticketing system. Every support request generates a “ticket” that’s logged online and is immediately sent to your dedicated technician and their backup. You can also email us at [email protected] and it will automatically generate a ticket. Alternatively, you can call our office and we will create a ticket for you.
Our ticket portal is constantly monitored by our service administrator and service manager and sends reminders to our team as well as our clients so no work ever gets missed.
Connectability’s automated ticketing systems ensures any incoming calls and emails are routed to all relevant staff. If a technician is unable to resolve a problem, he will contact his supervisor. If the supervisor is also unable to resolve the issue it will be escalated to the vendor support group with all activities and communication managed by Connectability.
This is certainly an important question, but consider this:
You wouldn’t choose the cheapest surgeon, the cheapest dentist, or the cheapest lawyer. That’s why it always puzzles us that many people’s first question when choosing an IT provider is “how much is it going to cost.” If cost is your primary concern, you may pay what you WANT, but you may not get the level of service that your business actually NEEDS.
Connectability is certainly not the most expensive option, but we’re also not the cheapest; that’s not our approach and no truly professional company is. Ultimately the only thing that matters is getting the results your business needs. It may sound flippant, but if you spend $50, and your needs aren’t met, is that really “cheaper” than spending $100 to have the job done correctly? To find out more about Connectability’s rates and how we do business, please give us a call at 416-966-3306, or send us an email at [email protected]. We’d be happy to discuss our pricing with you.
When purchasing hardware we ask that payments be made on delivery. This allows us to provide our customers with the lowest possible prices.
Our Managed Services plans are structured just like your rent or gym membership. You pay at the beginning of the month so you are guaranteed the use of a product or service (in this case IT support as well as numerous software subscriptions).
Connectability accepts cash, major credit cards, and cheques. We do ask that new clients make their initial payments by cash or credit card.
We also accept automated payments. If you permit us, we will keep a credit card on file, call you at the beginning of the month to confirm the charge and send you a confirmation once the payment is complete. We will never charge you without confirming the payment with you first.
You should choose Connectability as your next IT provider because:
- We guarantee our services. See www.connectability.com/serviceguarantees
- We are process oriented. Everything we do is planned and repeatable. No process = random actions leading to random results.
- We answer our phones live. Many IT providers have no infrastructure and are impossible to reach. They often call you back when they get around to it. We feel that’s unprofessional and therefore will never do it to our clients.
- Communication is king. In our staff meetings we always say “There’s no such thing as too much client communication.” We are extremely focused on responding promptly to our client’s needs, but responding to issues is nothing without communication.
- We work proactively. In the “Break/Fix” model, small issues will often develop into something more serious because they aren’t dealt with promptly. That’s why with Managed Services we’re always monitoring your network to ensure maximum uptime and minimal disruption to your business.
- Your systems are always backed up. With every Gold Managed Services plan we include cloud storage and backup for computers and servers so your critical business data is always protected against disasters. And on our Silver Managed Services we include cloud backup for your servers.
- We have a long track record. We’ve been in business for over 21 years so we not only know how to fix computers; we also know how to serve our customers. Everyone will tell you they’re the best. That’s why we encourage potential clients to call our references to get the story “right from the horse’s mouth”.
- We only hire pros. A lot of IT companies will hire novices or “level 1 technicians” to support their customers. We don’t. A good technician is constantly learning, but we don’t believe they should be learning basic skills on your dime. That’s why we only hire experienced technicians who have worked in the field for a minimum of 5 years.
There are many more reasons to do business with Connectability. That’s why we’ve created a couple of documents that outline some more reasons why doing business with Connectability is in your best interest. You can find them at: http://www.connectability.com/resources/white-papers/