John Scaramuzzo

About John Scaramuzzo

John is the Senior VP of Beacon’s IT Services Group, a veteran technology strategist, innovative engineer, and creative entrepreneur with nearly three decades of distinguished service and experience in platform and server technologies, e-commerce, business consulting, and customer service management. Before co-founding Beacon, he worked for 12 years at AT&T, where he was instrumental in building the infrastructure to support AT&T’s global corporate intranet in the mid-90’s while also supporting AT&T’s HR HW/SW/NW. John architected Beacon’s data center, serving hundreds of clients worldwide for web hosting and software to support content management, custom applications and high-end e-commerce for Higher Education institutions and businesses. He also created Beacon’s IT Services division (BITS) which provides managed services for desktops, servers and networks across many states. John also served as an IT consultant on government contracts through subcontracts with Accenture and KPMG, and earned his B.S. in computer science/mathematics from the College of Staten Island.

Top Reasons You May Need a Managed Service Partner (MSP)

We understand and know that managing technology and users is an everyday task. However, for many business owners, managing the IT infrastructure that keeps their business running can be a very complex and intimidating undertaking. This is when partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be extremely beneficial as they can focus on managing the daily activities of your IT needs while you focus on your core business.

Here are some signs that you may need an MSP partner:

1. You do not have dedicated IT staff

nuzzo-illustration-thin-300x291Small businesses often rely on a “computer-savvy” staff member to handle their IT support.   These staff members are not IT experts and are resolving issues in a reactive fashion as they occur.   A dedicated IT expert has the time and resources to anticipate hardware and software upgrades, as well as to protect a company from the latest security threats.  Additionally, there is an opportunity cost as you are removing employees from their core business responsibilities that they were hired to perform.  MSPs deal with recurring issues from multiple clients and stay up-to-date on the latest IT developments.

2. Your technology budget is fluctuating and unpredictable

If you find that your IT costs vary widely each month, it may be time to shift to managed services. With an outsourced support model, you’ll pay a fixed fee no matter how much support you utilize. This allows you to create—and stick to—a predictable budget. And when something goes wrong, you won’t be stuck paying sky-high emergency support.

3. You are continuously having technology problems

When you don’t have the proper IT resources available, security and down-time can become serious problems that can dramatically hinder an organization’s ability to grow. Many technicians also solve just the symptoms of a problem without addressing the root causes, which leaves your technology in a break-fix cycle that is never-ending and nightmarish. This is a key indicator that your company could benefit from having additional IT support.  When you turn the hassle of your technology over to managed services providers, you can rest assured that your issues are being remediated the correct way, the first time around. This will result in an increased quality and reliability of computer systems and networks, which will save your company both time and money.

Beacon IT Services (BITS) provides Managed IT and Cloud Computing services to businesses throughout the Triad.  See what other local businesses had to say about BITS here.   Please contact us if you like more information about our services.

By | 2017-05-16T07:30:10+00:00 November 30th, 2016|IT Services|

Top 3 Signs You Need An IT Provider

In today’s growing IT economical tech world what are some considerations that may cause you to entertain the idea of having a dedicated IT provider? Even though there are a myriad of reasons to consider a dedicated IT provider, I am going to address three of the primary reasons we normally hear from clients.

1. Infrastructure Planning – So consider this, you are a young new professional with a business degree and dreams of your business empire. You realize the best way to get there is to look at other successful people and emulate their model, ideals, lifestyle, etc. So you research and plan and now you just need help putting it into practice. How do you realize your plans the best? Utilize those same professionals to assist in the building stages, planning stages, project management, etc. How does infrastructure planning help in regards to IT well for starters you get help building and developing a website, hosting it, maybe a database for user information/transactions, some analytical information on website traffic, SEO, brand awareness, etc. Sure you can research it on your own and spend a few days looking into how to do these things, implement them effectively, and maintain it all yourself or you can use that time to source out  and research a reliable company with talented individuals who can set that up for you in a fraction of the time, such as yours truly Beacon Technologies. The question isn’t CAN you do it, the question is how important is your ROI early in the game of your company? Whether you are a new company or a long term one, you can always benefit from some infrastructure planning and refreshing in this cutting edge and rapidly changing world.

2. Preemptive/Preventative Maintenance – Raise your hand if you’ve had to call a sibling, nephew, niece, son, daughter or family friend to help with some “IT Issues” on your machine. All of us have been in that boat either as the helper, the end user or probably in some respects both. Things break, fall apart, and generally go wrong if they can. You can thank Murphy’s Law(media popularized sentiment by John Paul Stapp in the 50’s during some rocket sled testing, check out the history of Murphy’s Law)  and the Second Law of Thermodynamics/Entropy for that. Computer hard drives die, fail, crash and sometimes inexplicably decide to just stop working. This is even more potent when it happens to servers hosting websites or machines housing gigs or now terabytes of emails from ten years ago when your company first started to present day.  Having a good BDR (Backup Disaster Recovery) plan in place with offsite storage is a must as well as preventative maintenance for those workstations and servers to keep things from going belly up at the worst possible time. Then if Murphy decides to show his ugly face you have a plan and you can always just restore from a recent backup. Any IT provider worth their salt will have flawless BDR plans in place with multiple backups and offsite locations. If you aren’t sure that your current one does, ask them and if they don’t you know where to find us.

3. Money/Time – You’ve heard the old adage that time is money, well that is true and in any business time and money are almost interchangeable. According to an article a little over a year old now from Business Insider Bill Gates makes about $385 dollars a second. So in the time it took you to read this third point, up until right NOW,  Bill Gates made over a thousand dollars using last years numbers on his net worth. Warren Buffett made closer to two thousand. While the shock of that settles in the point is that your time is valuable and when you are a business person examining your ROI and your outflow vs income, revenue stream, etc.  it doesn’t hurt to calculate in how valuable your time is, even if it’s not quite to Bill Gates numbers. I have no doubt even though he could fix his IT issues he has Microsoft IT on a hotline. So it makes sense that as a budding company or even more so as a company that has been well established and is turning over high revenue per hour that you should have a hotline to your own IT group who can resolve your issues quickly, competently and reduce your downtime because time is a valuable ever moving and never ceasing thing.

By | 2017-01-24T11:06:09+00:00 April 7th, 2015|IT Services|

It’s hurricane/tornado/fire/flood/snow/ice/hail season; do you know where your people are?

Ever notice how most disaster recovery/business continuity articles seem to overlook a critical component of the plan – the people.  The best plans, the most technically advanced hot data centers, are of no value if you have no people to run your business.

There is plenty of information available on the internet on how to prepare for a natural or man-made disaster.  I want to share a few thoughts about the human side of a disaster.

Let’s say a hurricane or tornado has struck your region.  Your building survived, your data center is operational and you’re ready to get back to business.   Who is going to show up in the morning?  The victims of this disaster (your employees and co-workers) have just been traumatized by the loss of their home and are more concerned about the welfare of their families and their own survival than they are about their jobs.

Can your key employees travel (even if it’s to work at the same place)?  Are they willing to travel?  Given the choice to stay home, care for their families, and salvage whatever’s left of their house and possessions, how many will rush to their jobs instead?

Even if their families are safe and their homes secure and they are willing to get to work, can you contact them to find out?

Miles of telephone and power lines have been torn down by high wind.  Cell phone towers are out of service or so overloaded that few calls get through.  You need to reach them if only to find out if they’re all right.  What are you going to do?

Even supposing you can contact them and they’re willing to help, how do you get them from where they are to where they need to be?  Count on the roads being littered with trees, power poles, sections of roof, covered in water and generally impassable.  The street signs have all been destroyed.  How do you find your people?

Are you going to invest in redundant hardware, the most sophisticated backup solution, the most detailed disaster recovery plan and forget the people who have to implement that plan?

Think you don’t need to worry about it and that it can’t happen to you or your business?  On September 15, 1995, Hurricane Marilyn tore through St. Thomas and damaged 80 percent of the buildings, left roads closed for days and power disrupted for weeks.  Disaster Recovery teams used runners on foot to get information around the island.

Your may not remember Hurricane Marilyn, but I’ll bet you remember Hurricane Katrina.

Now, I won’t claim to have all the answers to these questions, in fact I don’t have any answers for these questions.  So…

What do you think?  How do you prepare your people and organization for a major disaster that can disrupt your business and your co-workers’ lives?

By | 2017-03-21T13:50:22+00:00 June 21st, 2014|IT Services|

NCTA 21 Awards

Last night a group of us from Beacon attended the 2010 NCTA 21 Awards event in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

The North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) did a fantastic job organizing and planning this event.  They had a record turnout of over 800 attendees!   As a proud sponsor and partner of NCTA, Beacon presented the Life Sciences Company Award, which was one the 21 awards presented last night.   Since my partner was “unfortunately” in Vegas attending Pubcon, I had the “opportunity” to present this award in front of a huge audience.

As you can imagine, it was a little nerve racking – especially because I was not sure of the correct pronunciation of the winning company (TransEnterix – my apologies if I messed it up).  This was a great honor for me as well as for Beacon.  This provided us with another opportunity to get some great visibility in front of the best technology companies in the state.

NCTA is a great organization whose primary mission is Making North Carolina Number One in Technology and Technology Number One in North Carolina.  I highly recommend joining this organization and this link will provide you detailed information about the benefits of joining.   Click here for more information.

By | 2017-03-21T13:50:33+00:00 November 11th, 2010|BITS Team|