Author: Joseph Squicciarini

16 Sep 2019

New Software!

As the security needs of our clients have increased, we are investing in more robust management and monitoring tools to protect and proactively care for your workstations, servers and network infrastructure.

Depending on your current policies and standards, you may notice changes in your antivirus from Webroot to BitDefender and Ninja will coexist with ConnectWise Automate for a period of time until all functions have been migrated.

We are excited about the increased stability and reporting we hope to see from these changes. Your security is our highest priority.

If you have questions, please give me a call.

(704) 814-8819

27 Aug 2018

Goodbye, Windows 7

It’s been a good run, but the old dog is now 9 YEARS OLD. Time to retire… out to pasture… in with the new!

Of course I’m not talking about your boss, I’m referring to Windows 7. As of the end of this year, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows 7, nor will Quo Vadis. We’ve been talking about upgrading those older workstations for many years now. So let’s look at the options ahead.

Windows 10 has been out since 2015. In the past three years there have been several major upgrades, and right now I find it quite stable, once the latest major update has been installed. Should you upgrade to Windows 10? Generally, I’d say, “probably not.” There are two reasons for this position. First of all, it’s probable that your Windows 7 computer is older than three years – and you’ve missed out on the free upgrade to Windows 10. So you’ll lose $100 for the software upgrade, not including any helpful labor. Second, there’s a good chance that a new workstation, which comes with Windows 10, will be far superior to your existing hardware.

As you’re shopping for a new computer, please remember that we support small businesses, not homes. Your operating system must be Windows 10 Professional, not Windows 10. If you purchase a home OS, you’ll need to upgrade it to Professional, which is another $99, plus labor. Any maintenance done after the fact on a computer upgraded in this fashion will need to be upgraded all over again. If you haven’t saved the upgrade receipt, you’ll end up paying a second time, too. Ouch.

27 Aug 2018

He Chose Wisely

Our track record for excellent partner selection continues. Many years ago, we partnered with PacketTrap for our remote monitoring and management tool (RMM). Not too long afterward, DELL purchased PacketTrap.

We partnered with SonicWALL and DELL found them worthy of purchase as well.

We partnered with Duo and Cisco has announced their acquisition of Duo.

We partnered with MozyPro many years ago and Carbonite has announced their acquisition of Mozy.

You have partnered with Quo Vadis, and we think this too, is a wise choice. 🙂

05 Jun 2018

Help Desk Upgrade

We recently made an upgrade to our phone system to allow our callers a new feature. Now, if you can’t wait on hold for an Engineer, you will have the option of hanging up while retaining your place in the queue!

When you choose to drop out, the system will keep your place in the queue, and will dial back the number from your Caller ID when an Engineer is given your call.

Note: If you block your Caller ID, you will not be able to use this feature.

If you did not call from a DID (direct inbound dial) number, then you must tell your receptionist that you’re expecting a support call back from Quo Vadis. The Engineer will not know who called in. If your receptionist has not been informed, we will have no choice but to end the call. 🙁

If you have to call support, we hope this will help make it as pleasant as possible. Keep in mind that after our recent hiring, your average wait time for an Engineer is 51 seconds!

05 Jun 2018

Smart, but not human.

Much has been made about these “listening” speakers. Google, Amazon, Apple, Sonos, and the list keeps growing.

Hey Siri, play the soundtrack from Hunt for Red October.

Auto makers are hurriedly working on self-driving cars. My Tesla does some assisted-steering and traffic-aware cruise control. Firearm makers have toyed with smart guns, using fingerprint readers, retina scans, RFID chips, and the like. I can turn on the lights in the home from my iPhone, and I get a text when there’s motion in The Lab when I’m not there.

I have become convinced that self-driving cars cannot possibly work until ALL the cars are self-driving. Humans do unpredictable things – like fall in love, or drive too fast… I’m definitely not a fan, but I will grant it is safer to take a sip of water while driving if the car is steering, instead of using my knees. Computers are great, but not to be trusted with decision-making.

All of this is fun stuff. You would think I would be all into it, but such is not the case.

I actually like using a candle to walk around the house at night… hand-writing thank you notes – with a fountain pen… I like wine that hasn’t been adulterated with sugar and acids, but grown the old fashioned way… I prefer to grow my own vegetables, and fertilize them with the vegetable scraps that have been composted over time… I like to ride my bicycle, even if it does have electric-assist if I get tired. 🙂

Who is logging into my computer? The computer thinks it’s OK, but is it? Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the saving grace for all this nonsense. 2FA forces a human into the authentication process, and I think that’s critical. Don’t underestimate this key to staying in control of your digital assets. It really is important.

If you don’t have 2FA implemented already, call the Help Desk and choose option 2 for Wise Counsel. 

30 Mar 2018

Engineers Wanted

Did you know that almost all our Engineers came to us by way of one of you? Our clients know that we look for integrity, good work ethic and a technology bent. We love to help young men get started in their careers, offering to train them from the ground up. No experience is necessary to work for Quo Vadis.

As we grow, the need is greater for quality candidates. Do you know a young man that would like to work in IT? Have him visit our website and send us his resumé.

30 Mar 2018

So long, Alec!

We are excited to share with you that Alec Mangum, who has been with Quo Vadis for two years, has accepted a position to manage all digital communications for a local startup. Alec was great fun to work with and he will be missed by all of us. We wish him all the best with his new venture.

06 Feb 2018

Email Encryption

In some industries, most users want and many users must send encrypted email. What does this mean?

The message must be delivered securely. This is accomplished if the message itself is encrypted, then sent normally, OR, the connection is encrypted and the email sent without encryption. I have been saying for over a year, “Within a very short time there will no longer be options for sending encrypted email – because all mail will be encrypted by default.”

Did you know that all iMessages sent from an iOS device are encrypted? And it’s no burden at all. (That’s why an SMS message on an iOS device shows up green instead of blue. The green ones are not encrypted.)


The most common option for our clients to send encrypted email is with CipherPost Pro. It provides an add-on to Outlook so you get a Send Secure button next to your Send button. You can also use their website to send/receive secure mail. This is sold on an individual user basis.

An easier albeit more expensive option is Echoworks. All email is sent through their smart host. Their mail server determines if a connection to the recipient’s server can be made securely. If so, the message is sent normally. If not, the recipient receives a link to a secure URL to read the message. Very, very easy. No extra steps. Every email is sent securely unless you put {noencrypt} in the Subject line. This is sold on a domain basis, not by user.

The newest player in this space is Microsoft with their Azure Rights Management offering. It’s inexpensive, works like Echoworx, and is sold on a user basis. Interested? Give us a call to learn about Microsoft Azure Rights Management or just to chat about email encryption.

06 Feb 2018

Outlook Mobile

The Microsoft Outlook app on Android and iOS is awesome. I actually use it on my iPhone and iPad, instead of the built-in Apple mail app. It looks and feels just like Outlook, and puts my calendar into the same app as my email, which is very handy.

If you haven’t tried Outlook Mobile, I highly recommend it, even for just a test day or two. Here’s the latest feature additions.

  • Sync shared calendars
  • Manage delegated calendars
  • Meetup support
  • Event management (see co-workers availability, RSVP and recurrences)
  • Add a message to an invite, set events as private, mark events Busy, Free, etc.

For administrative assistants, these new features make it a breeze to stay informed and maintain the office calendar.

To get the Outlook Mobile app, open the App Store on your iOS device or the Google Play Store on your Android device. Setup is a cinch. Just give it your email address and password after choosing “Exchange” as your mail service type. As always, if you need help, give us a call!

30 Jan 2018

The Demise of the Server

Over the past 20 years, we have seen the server become a normal fixture in the Small Business environment. At times there have been multiple servers handling file storage, email and printer sharing.

In the past decade we have helped migrate the mail to the cloud, as Office 365 has blossomed into one of, if not, the largest online mail service. The subscription service for the Office software was next, eliminating the need for CDs and Product Keys.

The latest is the OneDrive attack against Google Docs and Google Drive. Now Office on the Web is mainstream and sharing a Word doc is a breeze. 1Tb of storage comes with nearly every flavor of 365, and adding a 365 Group yields yet another terabyte. Laptops with limited storage are no longer a pain to use, as everything is available, by connecting to the cloud.

So where does this lead our businesses?

Printers that connect wirelessly or via Ethernet are standard these days, and sharing them from a central server is not as necessary as it was when we used serial cables or USB connections. The mail and the files are “up there,” so what’s left? SECURITY.

Without central management of network security, we return to the dark ages. We were forced to create user accounts on multiple devices to share printers and keep the passwords consistent. If you forgot your password, you had better know the admin password. Security was more of a speed bump we had to deal with, rather than a lifesaver for our business and reputations.

Microsoft is moving businesses to the Azure Active Directory. With your AD in the cloud, the last need for a physical server evaporates. When will this become mainstream for the SMB space? Not today or tomorrow. There are other challenges, such as software that must be shared locally, but keep watching. Your business has evolved in your industry… and it continues to evolve in IT. We’re happy to come along for the ride.