Blog

July 25th, 2014

Here at PCM, we take your security seriously. We live in a new age where viruses, while they are still a concern, are not the biggest concern. Threats have shifted to Spy-ware, Scareware and many other types of Malware. Because of the changing times and the changing complexity of Malware, the traditional Antivirus products have become less effective. In addition to the changing complexity of Malware, we’re also seeing Malware being released more rapidly and changing quickly so as to avoid detection.

While it’s a bit more complicated, the basic premise is that traditional antivirus products work on how a file looks. Much like how a human can recognize another known person, antivirus products recognize what a virus looks like. This is done by matching it against a database of virus descriptions. The problem is, when that database is out of date, a virus could get past the antivirus solution. What we’re seeing today is that viruses and malware products are changing their “appearance” so rapidly that they’re getting past traditional virus programs.

In addition to being less effective, Antivirus products have grown in size to the extent that they affect the performance of the computer. There is always overhead to security and unfortunately that takes a toll on the performance of any computer.

All that being said, what if we could have the best of both? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a product that was effective AND fast? What if there was a product that wasn’t bloated and worked silently in the background without affecting the user’s performance while at the same time keeping them more secure? We’ve been watching a product called Webroot for over a year. This product is revolutionary in the way it works. The first major difference is that it does not have a locally installed definitions database. The definitions are in a cloud database. The advantage of that is once a threat is detected and the cloud database is updated, all machines are now updated, there’s no delay for machines to download updates. In addition to the definitions, Webroot checks not only what a process looks like, but also what it’s doing. If it doesn’t recognize the file, but it does recognize the type of activity it’s doing, it will shut it down understanding it’s a threat. This is revolutionary for the security world!

A second major difference is the size. The installer for Webroot is less than 1MB in size. Compare that to the installer for our current solution which is over 400MB. You can see from this alone that it’s significantly smaller. Because of its small size, the product is significantly more agile and does not have a major drain on the local system resources. It works as it should, in the background while not taking away speed from the current user.

Over the next month we plan to deploy Webroot across all systems at all our managed clients. We’re pretty excited about the benefits of this product on your protection and speed. Feel free to contact us for more information about this exciting new security tool!

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March 30th, 2014

This month PCM was recognized in an industry list that annually ranks the top 501 managed service providers (MSPs) across the globe. And for a second time in a row we were further honoured by being ranked within the top 100 in the small business category! We’ve been working hard over the last couple of years refining our service offering and striving to give great support and expertise. Being recognized in a public list among your peers is certainly something we are proud of and a tribute to the dedication and hard work of our team.

2013 was the first year they added a Top 100 Small Business Edition list which is restricted to companies with 10 or fewer employees. This certainly levels the playing field a bit even though the participants are from various countries around the world. This year PCM moved up on that list and was ranked number 55, not bad considering there were only 3 Canadian companies that made the small business list.

To get the ranking, companies are measured against various criteria including revenue, number of devices managed, employee count, growth year over year, among various other related items. By participating in these surveys we also receive detailed information on industry trends that we can use to further refine our services. Now that the bar has been set we are working hard to see if we can climb the list a bit next year. For more details on the survey, see our press release posted here: www.pcm.ca

Of course none of this has any value if it weren’t for the continued trust and patronage of our many clients. While comparisons and industry reflection are great, finding ways to best help our clients get the most out of technology is what we really focus on. Have an idea on how we can improve our service? Feel free to drop by or send us a note with your ideas!

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January 15th, 2014

Recently Robert VanderLaan joined our team and has been busy getting up to speed on our support tools and best practices. Rob joins us on a part-time basis while he attends Mohawk College, completing the Computer Systems Technology – Network Engineering and Security Analyst program. Having completed half of the 3 year program to date, he comes with a good understanding of technology and the latest Microsoft operating systems.

Rob joins PCM as a Junior Technical Consultant and will be focusing primarily on patch management, ensuring computers are kept up to date and running with the latest security patches. As he becomes familiar with the sites we will also have him help out with the help desk and other client support items. We look forward to having him on our team and expect that the extra capacity will help us to be more responsive to our client support needs.

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December 19th, 2013

As we approach the end of another year we wanted to take a moment and send season’s greetings from all of us. Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year.

Ed & Henrietta VanderLaan, Adrian VanderLaan and staff:

Pattie Atherton, Maurice Brink, Mark Kottelenberg, Alvar Vandenbeukel and David VanderMeulen.

In lieu of mailing out cards to clients and friends we have again decided to send donations to local charities this year. Donations will be made to Mission Services of Hamilton and Streetlight Ministries. During this season of joy and giving we encourage everyone to remember those in need.

Please note our holiday office schedule:
We will be closed from December 25 through December 27. We will also be closed on January 1st.

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November 26th, 2013


Maurice Brink joined our team at end of September and has been busy getting up to speed on our support tools and best practices. Maurice came to PCM with 15 years of industry experience and has spent the last 4 years in a similar role supporting small and medium businesses. We look forward to having his expertise on our team and expect that the extra capacity will help us to be more responsive to our client support needs. Maurice joins PCM as a Technical Consultant and has been designated as one of the primary engineers responsible for a selected group of client networks.

Did you know that PCM currently looks after over 830 computers across almost 50 locations? It’s something that we take seriously and by adding experienced resources to our team we hope to maintain the service level that our clients expect.

Topic Articles
July 8th, 2013

Earlier this year PCM was recognized in an industry list that annually ranks the top 501 managed service providers (MSPs) across the globe. As if that wasn’t exciting enough we were further honored by being ranked within the top 100 in the small business category! We’ve been working hard over the last couple of years refining our service offering and striving to give great support and expertise. Being recognized in a public list among your peers is certainly something we are proud of and a tribute to the dedication and hard work of our team.

2013 is the first year there is a Top 100 Small Business Edition list which is restricted to companies with 10 or fewer employees. This certainly levels the playing field a bit even though the participants are from various countries around the world. PCM ranked number 70 in the Top 100 list, not bad considering there were only 10 Canadian companies that made the list. Of the 10 Canadian companies, PCM was one of 4 Ontario firms highlighted even though 1,200 entries were submitted.

To get the ranking, companies are measured against various criteria including revenue, number of devices managed, employee count, growth year over year, among various other related items. By participating in these surveys we also receive detailed information on industry trends that we can use to further refine our services. Now that the bar has been set we are working hard to see if we can climb the list a bit next year. For more details on the survey, see our press release posted here: www.pcm.ca/resources/press-releases/

Of course none of this has any value if it weren’t for the continued trust and patronage of our many clients. While comparisons and industry reflection are great, finding ways to best help our clients get the most out of technology is what we really focus on. Have an idea on how we can improve our service? Feel free to drop by or send us a note with your ideas!

Topic Articles
February 24th, 2013

nullNow that Office 2013 is available for purchase, what if you have recently purchased Office 2010? Does this mean that you missed out and have to purchase the new release if you are looking for the latest features? The good news is that for a limited time Microsoft is allowing people to upgrade their Office software for free. All you have to do is go online and download the new software after validating your recent Office 2010 purchase.

To be eligible for this upgrade offer you need to have purchased your existing Microsoft Office 2010 software after October 19, 2012. For any licenses that were purchased after that date you will need a copy of the software product key which will need to be entered into the website offer page. Once that has been done you will be able to download the new software and install it on your computer. We would also recommend that you save this download file and the new product key in case you ever need to reinstall the software in the future. One thing to note is that this free upgrade must be redeemed no later than May 31, 2013.

For complete details see the following page on the Microsoft site http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/offer/ Feel free to contact us with any questions or assistance with this upgrade.

December 19th, 2012

nullAs we approach the end of another year we wanted to take a moment and send season’s greetings from all of us. Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year.

Ed & Henrietta VanderLaan, Adrian VanderLaan and staff:

Pattie Atherton, Hette Feenstra, Mark Kottelenberg, Alvar Vandenbeukel and David VanderMeulen.

In lieu of mailing out cards to clients and friends we have again decided to send donations to various local charities this year. Donations will be made to Mission Services of Hamilton, Streetlight Ministries and Anchor Association. During this season of joy and giving we encourage everyone to remember those in need.

Topic Articles
December 19th, 2012
nullFor the last number of years residents and businesses in Ontario have been charged an Environmental Handling Fee on electronic purchases. Starting January 1, 2013 we will be adjusting our billing system to reflect the new fee schedule.

What does this mean for our clients? Some of the most common changes are as follows:

  • Computer Monitors < 29” increase from $11.00 to $12.35
  • Desktop Computers decrease from $3.50 to $3.40
  • Portable Computers increase from $0.70 to $2.30
  • Desktop Printers increase from $5.40 to $11.45

For complete details of the new fee schedule, or to learn more about environmental handing fees or “eco fees”, please visit the Ontario Electronic Stewardship website.

Topic Articles
August 16th, 2012

imageLast month we attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto (WPC 2012). At this event we received our annual dose of Microsoft information and were able to get an update on their future plans. One of the key items that received a lot of attention is the upcoming release of the new Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft is making preparations for its biggest ever software launch which is scheduled for October 2012. From what we saw this new operating system will certainly turn heads once it’s released. One of the appealing things with Windows 8 is that it will be released on multiple device platforms, meaning desktop, laptop and tablet devices would all share the same interface. With Windows XP support stopping soon Windows 8 should provide an excellent platform for businesses in the next few years.

Another highlight at the conference was the new Windows Phone 8 device that is also scheduled to be released later this year. It presents a user interface that looks similar to Windows 8 with built-in robust integration with Exchange, Office 365, SkyDrive, Lync, OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and many other business applications. Combine this with some really powerful hardware by companies like Nokia we feel this may very well be the next standard in business ready smartphones.

The conference also showcased the next server operating system called Windows Server 2012, due out this fall. With its enhanced virtualization and storage performance Windows Server is sure to remain as the industry standard choice for most business servers.

Interested in hearing more about the latest Microsoft technologies or how some of these can benefit your company? Give us a call. We would be more than willing to discuss this with you.

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