CMIT Solutions of Columbia

We are your local resource for IT Support, IT Solutions, IT Services, Proactive Computer Care, Backup & Business Continuity, and Cloud Computing. Serving Columbia, Elkridge, Ellicott City, Howard County, and the Baltimore Washington metro area.    Our experts can also help you specify, purchase, and install all the hardware that you need.

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Tom Burtzlaff

CMIT Solutions of Columbia provides information technology (IT) services to small business in the Columbia, Maryland, Howard County, and the Baltimore Metro area. Whether you are a 5 person single location office or a 100 person firm with multiple locations, our highly skilled technical team works with you to create a solution that makes good business sense.

Our mission is to worry about IT, so you don’t have to.  Our philosophy is that technology is a necessary and important  tool in running your business, and our job is to ensure that that tool, your technology, performs at peak efficiency every minute of every day. To do that, we provide managed IT services that keep your business running while you run your business.

Our focus at CMIT Solutions of Columbia is on client satisfaction.  We are dedicated to establishing long-term partnerships with a high level of commitment to our clients rather than just performing one-time projects.  Our managed IT services programs provide the framework needed to build lasting relationships.

About the President
Tom Burtzlaff is convinced that there is a better way to serve small businesses and organizations in the Columbia and Howard County area that are becoming increasingly dependent on technology.  A complete understanding of a client’s business and its goals and objectives is necessary to guide them in the most efficient use of the information technology available to them. Tom is committed to being a trusted resource and IT solution provider for local Columbia and Howard County businesses, so they can get the computer and network support they need to help them remain competitive in their fields. The increasing complexity of managing network security, data backup, and data recovery has only added to the reasons for involving a qualified team of IT consulting professionals who understand your business to ensure you are best managing the challenges that technology can bring to your business.
Tom’s multi-faceted career in both large corporate and small company environments has led him to the firm belief in the need for smaller businesses to ensure they are using technology to maximize efficiency, increase productivity, increase revenue and reduce costs. The proper use of outsourced IT services is critical for the success of small  businesses in today's marketplace.  Tom has worked as a senior executive in consumer products and computer components industries and has an excellent record of accomplishment in IT system implementation, sales, marketing, research & development, customer service, plant management, materials management, quality assurance, facility expansion,  production, engineering, environmental, safety, and human resources.  He holds degrees in Engineering and Business (MBA). He has used his experience in corporate America coupled with his experience running smaller businesses and has gathered a team of local  IT professionals dedicated to being “your technology team” so that clients can focus on their business while CMIT Solutions of Columbia focuses on their technology.

About CMIT Solutions, Inc.
CMIT Solutions is a nationwide provider of information technology (IT) services and solutions for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). With more than 800 consultants and technicians, CMIT has expertise in nearly all technologies and industries Founded in 1996 in Austin, TX, CMIT Solutions, Inc. has grown into the leading IT solution provider for SMBs. With over 10 years of experience and strong industry partnerships, CMIT Solutions is capable of providing enterprise-level services and products that were previously unavailable to the SMB market. We are a local company with the support of a national network behind us. We focus on making your business run better by understanding your business and technology needs.

The Five Most Glaring Holes in Small Business IT Security

As an IT service provider to small businesses, we see a few common problems among new customers. Whether it’s because of oversight, ignorance, neglect, or user error, the following five issues at best keep many small businesses from achieving their full potential and, at worst, jeopardize a company’s very existence.

1.       Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) – A company’s electronic data is one of its most valuable—and fragile—assets. A shocking number of small businesses either rely on manual backups or just keep their fingers crossed. For maximum protection, a business needs not only an automated backup system (to minimize human error), but also a thoroughly tested and simple-to-implement disaster recovery plan in order to get the business back up and running.

2.       Adherence to Security Protocols – Your car alarm won’t give you much protection if you leave your keys on the hood. As with many security systems, the human factor is often one of the weakest links. Poor login management, shared passwords, and other shortcuts leave your computers and network open to threats. Educating your staff about the importance of adhering to security measures (and making sure they do) is of utmost importance.

3.       Outdated Equipment – This especially applies to network infrastructure such as routers, bridges, and firewalls. Just because a device still works doesn’t mean it is working securely. As security protocols have progressed, especially in the wireless space, manufacturers have had to increase performance to keep up with increasingly complicated encryption schemes. Running older hardware makes you an easier target (and therefore more attractive) for hackers.

4.       Unsecured Mobile Devices – Yes, employees love the convenience of accessing their email via a smartphone, but smartphones are also easy to lose (as are laptops and USB drives). What if that device held sensitive information? Or provided a direct path into your corporate server? Again, adherence to proper security protocols is paramount. All devices need to be protected with robust, regularly changing passwords, and all employees need to understand and adhere to a written “acceptable use” policy.

5.       Lack of Cohesive IT Strategy – Most companies expand their IT infrastructure as their business grows. As such, they often find themselves with a patchwork system. Smart business owners see IT as a strategic business asset, not just a necessary evil. Investing in a coherent, well-designed IT infrastructure not only provides security and increased performance, but also does good things for your bottom line. 


Break Out of the Box with These PowerPoint Alternatives

Tired of the same old boring PowerPoint templates? Want to create a presentation that will really engage your audience? Take these PowerPoint alternatives for a free test drive.

Google Docs Presentation – This app bears a striking resemblance to PowerPoint, but it’s web-based, which means it’s easily shareable and conducive to collaboration among your team members. Importing your existing PowerPoint slides is a snap, too.  Many users will find embedding web content into a presentation far more intuitive with this app than with PowerPoint. It also appears to be more stable than PowerPoint when handling video content. And it’s completely free-of-charge.

SlideRocket –SlideRocket also incorporates a slide-based approach to organizing presentations, but offers oh-so-much more, including an integrated library of media assets, automated Flickr searches, and the ability to embed real-time information (e.g., a Twitter or RSS feed, which are also searchable). Most intriguingly, SlideRocket offers analytics (unfortunately, only with the paid version) that track how users interact with your presentations, such as how long they spend on each slide and which ones get viewed multiple times. You can also embed forms or polls into the presentation to gather info from your audience. Free for the “Lite” version.

Prezi – Prezi gained almost overnight fame after James Geary used it in his “Mixing Mind and Metaphor” presentation at the 2009 TEDGlobal conference in Oxford. It dispenses with PowerPoint’s slide-based approach, instead utilizing flowing, zooming, spinning, motion-based depictions for a rich, immersive experience. Check out this video for a concrete example. Prezi works great on the iPad too, supporting drag-to-pan and pinch-to-zoom gestures. The basic web-based version is free, and the desktop version comes with a 30-day free trial. 

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"For our [clinical research facility], it was better to have a preventive plan in place so that if something did break, we would be ahead of it, and it wouldn’t break instead of waiting for something to happen and then fix it. So, now CMIT is monitoring everything, and we haven’t had any issues so they can catch the problem before it even happens. "
"CMIT is all about peace of mind, and literally, it doesn't cost you anything because you are saving the money on me working on the computer when I'm losing business. In today's economy, you don't want to be late sending bills out, you've got to be out there because if you start falling behind you're going to see the amount of income drop dramatically. So, Greg and CMIT make us look more...
"Whereas our systems were originally only getting backed up on a monthly basis, CMIT was able to come in and now they are automatically backed up to the server. We had a center in the DFW area that did lose everything. They made a phone call to CMIT, and CMIT was able to restore their data within a couple of hours. We’re monitored on a 24/7 basis, so even if there was something that were to...
"The way CMIT does business is just much more suitable for our type of business environment. We have deadlines and critical schedules to meet, and we need to be moving forward at all times. CMIT provides data on a monthly basis, which allows us to look at trends and be proactive with our decisions and our methods for improving our system. Every time my system improves, that means my efficiency...
"CMIT dealt with my local backup needs so that if I just need to get one specific piece of information, they can actually do it remotely from their office and get my people back and going. If I do have a catastrophic disaster that takes my entire building, I have laptops and everything else that I can have up immediately. I can use my web-based information storage and be back up and running...
"We pride ourselves that we are the company that gives instant customer service. We were getting to a point where it was extremely difficult, and we didn't want to lose our customer base. We wanted to also expand. I said, 'I need somebody to do something to allow us to be the company that we started out to be and to continue and to grow.' CMIT has helped us to do just that.   "
"Since partnering with CMIT, I can now not worry about whether or not my computers are working. I've got backups, monitoring, I can get reports, and I know where I'm having risks and threats. I now can rely on my IT people (CMIT) to take care of my IT problems and to keep that IT system up and running in an appropriate manner. That is something before I couldn't rely on. I now have a system!...
"We didn’t initiate offsite backups in the beginning, but with the start of the hurricane season we said, 'OK guys, we now have this wonderful system, but it's not really complete yet.' We're now able to back up our data, it's safely transported and stored offsite, and it’s all HIPAA compliant. And the NAS device can actually work as our server so we can continue to use our systems and do...
"With other IT service providers, we felt that we only got assistance when we requested it, and we normally came up with any ideas for improvements on our system rather than them. I was not impressed with the service, the communication or the end product at that point. Our experience has really set CMIT and Sue and John who run the show for them here apart from the others. They are more...
"We use large aerial imagery that can sometimes be 30 or 40 GB in size. There would be times that I would wait 30 seconds to a minute and a half for an image to appear. CMIT Solutions helped us rehabilitate the computers on hand, put in a network infrastructure, and put in faster switches. Now, it can be instantaneous to 15 seconds for a map to load. I kind of feel like I'm spoiled!   "

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