PCSOFT Blog

PCSOFT has been serving the Smeaton Grange area since 2005, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Managed Services Significantly Helps Handle Unforeseen Circumstances

Managed Services Significantly Helps Handle Unforeseen Circumstances

While it might be terrifying to imagine a scenario in which your business were to suffer a devastating event that threatened its future, you as a responsible business owner must consider any and all possibilities. If you don’t, all of the hard work and investment you have made in your company could be for naught. Technology is one aspect of your company that must be examined with intense scrutiny and prepared for with preventative measures to keep your future secure.

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A New Ransomware Awareness Tool is Making the Rounds

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Ransomware is such a major problem for computing-dependent organizations that even government agencies are getting involved, equipping businesses and organizations with tools to help themselves identify whether or not they are at risk of these attacks. The most recent addition to this group, the United States’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have made their Ransomware Readiness Assessment, or RRA, available as part of its Cyber Security Awareness Toolset.

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Understanding Managed Services Makes the Benefits Clear

Understanding Managed Services Makes the Benefits Clear

Businesses today understand that competition is fierce, and in order to avoid being the little fish in their respective pond, they need to be capable of more than ever before. Fortunately, there’s the as-a-Service model that enables a small business to leverage services that they simply couldn’t have afforded before. These services, referred to as managed services, can provide a business like yours no small amount of value.

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Managed Services Can Provide a Lot of Value

Managed Services Can Provide a Lot of Value

How does your business manage its technology solutions? If you’re like most small businesses, you likely have limited technology maintenance, and not necessarily due to any fault on your part. Small businesses have limited budgets and resources available to them, making technology maintenance less accessible. Thankfully, managed services are here to make sure that you never settle for less than what your organization needs.


In terms of managed services for technology maintenance and management, you might be surprised by how diverse and wide the breadth of services offered actually is. There are IT services for just about any resource that your business would want to take advantage of. We’ll walk you through some of the best and most valuable that any organization can leverage.

Server Management
Servers require intensive care, as does the rest of your business’ computing infrastructure. If you’re not a trained technology expert, you probably shouldn’t be handling servers, as the slightest issue could set off a chain reaction that leads to unprecedented downtime and data access issues. Unfortunately, hiring individual trained IT professionals can be expensive, and you could be limited by your geographical region as well. Managed server hosting can eliminate the need to host servers on your infrastructure. A managed service provider can host them off-site in a secure location where all of your data can be accessed remotely and maintained by on-site staff.

Security Management
Network security is one of those tricky parts of managing a business that requires a lot of industry-specific knowledge. Because of this, network security is something that a lot of businesses fall short on, as they either don’t have professional staff on-hand who know how to secure specific kinds of data, or they simply don’t perceive themselves as vulnerable. This is very far from the truth. If you don’t take steps toward keeping your business secure now, you could regret it in the future. This is why we urge you to consider implementing security best practices now, while you still can. Outsourcing this responsibility to a managed service provider is an excellent way to make sure that patches and other security augments are managed and maintained properly.

Help Desk Management
Even if you have an in-house team, they likely don’t have time to get to every little bit of technology maintenance and management, let alone help all of your organization’s employees work with their own devices. In cases like this, it’s helpful to have an outsourced organization that you can rely on to pick up the pieces that your in-house team can’t get to. This includes helping others within your business with any issues that they might be having with their devices. Think about how much time your employees could save if they had a single number to call for anything related to their technology troubles.

Overall, the biggest value point that you can get from managed services is the cost vs. value. You actually wind up saving money in the long run by working with a managed service provider, as the value received from working with an outsourced provider ultimately winds up paying for itself compared to investing in adding new salaries to your budget. PCSOFT can help your business with just about any managed services you’ll need. To learn more, reach out to us at 02 98730080.

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What Every SMB Should Know When Selecting an IT Service Provider

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Identifying a qualified managed service provider can be challenging--especially if you don’t know what to look for. You should be able to gauge the worth of an IT provider based on a couple of key qualifications, just like you would if you were selecting an employee. What are some of the primary features that you want to look for in a managed service provider?

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Managed IT Services Bring Substantial Value

Managed IT Services Bring Substantial Value

How does your business handle IT maintenance? Chances are that your small business is in one of two situations: you either have a small internal IT department that can only accomplish a handful of tasks every month, or you have no IT department and rely on your employees to perform any maintenance. No matter how you look at it, this situation is not advantageous.


Thankfully, managed IT is something that can replace the age-old break-fix method to IT maintenance. Break-fix is the traditional model of technology maintenance in which businesses would seek out companies trained in how to resolve IT issues. Examples of such trouble could be a hardware failure, data loss, or even something as simple as an email flow problem.

Unfortunately, by the time the issue is resolved, downtime has cost your organization likely more than it did to fix the problem, hitting your business where it hurts twice. In fact, downtime is one of the major problems associated with any technology maintenance, and it’s a big enough pain point that any way an organization can reduce or eliminate downtime is important to consider. In order to optimize the use of a small business’ capital resources, downtime needs to be thwarted. A managed IT service provider accomplishes this by preventing issues through proactive maintenance.

This is something that, by nature, a break-fix IT company is incapable of fulfilling. After all, a break-fix provider profits from your technology breaking down often. Rather than just slap a temporary fix on your infrastructure, managed IT looks at the core reason why they have happened in the first place. Managed IT aims to understand and prevent issues to reduce downtime, and thus cost. When the business’ technology breaks, an MSP is actually losing money. This method ensures that when you have a managed service provider handling your IT services, it is fully committed to seeing your organization’s technology run effectively.

To this end, managed IT provides technicians who are more than capable of either helping your current IT department, or filling the gap that’s currently being manned by your employees. Doing so can open up a world of possibilities for your on-site technicians. They can finally get around to implementing new solutions designed to help your organization profit, rather than answering endless questions thrown at them on a daily basis. On the other hand, if they would prefer to play the support role, our technicians can help your organization implement new technology solutions to streamline operations.

In other words, managed IT can be whatever you want it to be--whether as a supplement to your in-house team; or as the primary service provider.

One of the main selling points of managed IT is that it’s much more affordable than break-fix IT. As previously stated, you’re not waiting for a big bill in the event of a technology issue. Instead, you’re making smaller, predictable payments once a month to keep issues from surfacing. This keeps these small issues from becoming major problems.

If you’ve had enough irritating technology troubles and want to learn more about how managed IT services can save you money and help your organization be more profitable, call the IT professionals at PCSOFT today at 02 98730080.

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Remote IT Can Dramatically Improve Your Business’s Functionality

Remote IT Can Dramatically Improve Your Business’s Functionality

The same business technology that worked wonders over twenty years ago is much different from the current state of office technology. Businesses could get away without a complex network infrastructure, but that’s sadly no longer the case. With multiple servers and workstations to manage, the typical small business network has more maintenance on its hands than ever before. What’s the best way to approach this maintenance?


If your small business has an in-house IT department, you’re one of the lucky few. Often times, small businesses don’t have the budget or the assets to dedicate toward an IT department. Plus, if they do, it’s likely that they don’t have time to get to every single task that’s asked of them. They probably have their hands full with assisting employees with computer troubles, often forsaking critical maintenance and updates in order to keep operations working in the moment--and you can forget about making improvements to your infrastructure in the near future, as they have more than enough responsibilities as-is.

By working with a managed service provider, you can augment the capabilities of any current in-house IT department you have. Trusted technology professionals like managed service providers can do everything from set up an email server to maintaining your whole IT infrastructure. If you need help with technology, a managed service provider can be a viable alternative to hiring a full in-house IT department.

One of the best ways you can use managed IT is for remote support. Your employees probably have a lot of questions that need to be answered--especially when it comes to how to use their newfangled technology solutions. Having a dedicated help desk that can be reached out to at any moment is a great way to use the help of a remote IT provider.

It’s reasons like this that PCSOFT wants to help small businesses in your area. Our list of managed IT services takes a firm, preventative stance on managed technology maintenance. We can help you keep operations running smoothly through the use of network security, data backup, disaster recovery, email management, and just about any other technology service possible--specifically to help your business focus on what matters most.

After all, you started your business for a reason, and it certainly wasn’t to spend all of your time on keeping your technology solutions working properly. In fact, most IT maintenance can be performed without being on-site at all. This is just one of the ways we can provide value for your organization. PCSOFT can remote into your devices and administer patches and security updates, as well as address any major or minor problems that make themselves felt on your network. We do this so that you can focus on other, more important things within your organization.

How can your business leverage remote IT services? To learn more, reach out to us at 02 98730080.

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Managed IT Protects Your Business And Your Budget

Managed IT Protects Your Business And Your Budget

When it comes to maintaining and managing technology properly, larger businesses traditionally have the advantage over small-and-medium-sized ones, as they have greater financial resources. In fact, many small businesses will postpone these activities to help preserve the flexibility in their budget. What these businesses need is a way to leverage the benefits of proactive IT maintenance without breaking the bank.


Small businesses face considerable difficulties when trying to maintain their IT. First of all, since they generally have fewer employees, the workload is heavier for each resource. This leads to IT management being postponed in favor of other, seemingly more important concerns. However, this strategy accomplishes little more than putting the company in a more precarious position. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that hiring the personnel that could help you better manage your IT is often prohibitively expensive.

If neither option is practical, business in this position should turn to option three: managed IT services.

Managed services are a much different approach than what many would perceive as the typical IT service process, referred to as break/fix. Let’s say one of your pieces of hardware isn’t operating correctly. Once you report the issue to your IT provider, they dispatch someone to your location to resolve the problem, and you’re left on the hook paying a bill for that one specific call. You lose the capital, but also the potential revenue from the downtime you have experienced. This reactive approach therefore is quite a bit costlier than the increasingly more popular managed service model, which takes a proactive stance against technology issues.

At PCSOFT, we follow this proactive approach, monitoring your solutions remotely so that we can prevent issues from influencing your business, especially before they turn into bigger problems. For instance, under our managed service agreement, we will keep an eye on your infrastructure for any warning of hardware failure so you have an opportunity to replace that hardware before it can have a negative impact on your business.

If this option sounds more expensive than the break/fix approach, consider this: if you combine the loss in revenue that downtime from the broken equipment lead to and the cost of replacing or repairing the broken technology, you are out a significant amount of usable capital.

Compare that to managed services where there’s a chance that your problem could be resolved remotely--leading to a smaller service fee when compared to the cost of hardware replacement--it makes a lot of sense to see what kind of value PCSOFT’s certified technicians can bring you.

Depending on what is included in your service level agreement, the expenses associated with managed services will essentially always be less than the costs that of break/fix. PCSOFT can help you to make these changes in your own company, making operations both more reliable and less expensive in the process. To learn more about what managed IT services can do for you, give us a call at 02 98730080.

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Prioritizing Productivity Is Easy With The Right IT

Prioritizing Productivity Is Easy With The Right IT

With productivity being so important in the modern business, it only makes sense that so much of the technology we have now--and will likely have in the future--is devoted to maximizing the amount of work that can be accomplished by one person in a given time. While not everything we will discuss is always relevant for the typical SMB, if your business continues to grow, more technologies will only become accessible over time. Here are a few technology tips to increase your organization’s productivity.

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Remote Management and Monitoring is Ideal for SMBs

Remote Management and Monitoring is Ideal for SMBs

When you experience troubles with your technology, you don’t have time to just sit around and wait for the problem to resolve itself. You need someone by your side to assist with the problem. Yet, many small businesses don’t have the luxury of an in-house IT department that can help its employees resolve problems quickly and efficiently. How can you avoid this common issue and keep downtime to a minimum in the process?

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Because Busy Business Owners Shouldn’t Have to Worry About Technology

Because Busy Business Owners Shouldn’t Have to Worry About Technology

A business without its own IT department will expend vast amounts of time and resources to manage its technology. Tasks like managing your email solution, upgrading or managing your desktop infrastructure, or securing your network from threats, can be draining. If you don’t have time to perform these tasks, then it’s worth it to invest in an outsourced IT provider for your technology needs.


Many organizations are faced with an increasing need for technology maintenance like never before, and they are turning their attention toward third party technology management brought to them by managed service providers. At first, this proposition might sound a bit strange. It’s difficult to justify purchasing services when you can just do them yourself. However, you’ll find that the long-term cost savings will far outweigh any costs associated with managed IT, and you’ll save both time and resources that can instead go to better purposes.

In other words, rather than spend time managing your organization’s technology, you’ll be able to focus more on running your business.

Granted, there is the option of hiring an internal IT department. Although, after looking closely at this expense you may find that this move could eventually become much more of a long-term cost than investing in an outsourced managed service provider. Paying multiple salaries could easily become much more of a problem for your budget than a simple monthly payment to a managed service provider. It’s a simple choice, but you need to consider your business’s unique needs before making it.

Some organizations believe that managed IT means giving up control over your IT infrastructure, but this is simply false. A good managed IT provider like PCSOFT will make every effort to create a transparent, trusting relationship with your organization. We believe that cooperation is the key to unlocking your business’s full potential, and a proper technology strategy is the best place to start. A proactive technology policy will be able to help you keep your operational infrastructure in proper working order.

As a managed service provider, PCSOFT offers the following services for your business:

 

  • Network security management
  • Email management
  • Hardware and software procurement
  • Remote maintenance and management
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Help desk support
  • And more!

Does your business want to leverage technology to the best of its ability? If so, reach out to us at 02 98730080.

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3 Ways Managed IT Safeguards Your Company’s Digital Assets

3 Ways Managed IT Safeguards Your Company’s Digital Assets

It’s inevitable that your organization will face some hard decisions, but no choice is as painful as pulling the plug on the one thing that you’ve dumped your heart and soul into; your business. There is a plethora of problems that could cause a business to consider shutting its doors, but often there is a solution. If technology-related costs and downtime are your main problems, managed IT services can help.

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Because Getting PC Help Should Be Easy and Accessible

Because Getting PC Help Should Be Easy and Accessible

Workstations that don’t work properly can get in the way of even the most diligent of workers. If the IT department is too busy to give them immediate assistance, where can your employees turn to? If your organization has a help desk solution, workers have a great way to get the assistance they need without having to wait.

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Tip of the Week: 8 Questions Every Business Should Ask of Their Potential IT Provider

Tip of the Week: 8 Questions Every Business Should Ask of Their Potential IT Provider

It’s not unheard of for organizations to experience immense technological trouble that brings future potential problems into question. Surprises like these can spell trouble for businesses that are unprepared, especially considering the major damage it could cause to your budget. This forces you to ask yourself if you know what your current plan for IT covers, and what you want your provider to do to eliminate unexpected billing surprises.

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When Your Business' Hardware Fails, You’ve Got Options

When Your Business' Hardware Fails, You’ve Got Options

With computing and networking hardware shown to be unreliable over time, businesses need to have a strategy in place to fix or replace their hardware. This is especially the case when it comes to servers. Replacing a server is expensive, but when it fails, you aren’t left with a lot of choices. What’s your plan for dealing with hardware failure? Here are three options.


The first option is to replace your malfunctioning hardware. This may seem like the most efficient approach, until you realize how much information your organization has. When replacing a server, you have to sort through all of your files to find out which ones are mission-critical and which ones aren’t, and you need to have a data recovery option in place that will migrate the information onto your new device. Not thinking this process through can cost your company a massive amount in new hardware costs, third-party migration and setup costs, and downtime.

The second option is to lease new hardware. If your organization can’t sustain the large capital outlays of purchasing new hardware, many vendors offer a hardware leasing program that allows you to get the technology you need at a price you can afford. Some technology companies offer Hardware as a Service (HaaS), which provides businesses with new hardware and frequent refreshes for a monthly fee. This strategy reduces support costs and often comes with proactive managed services.

The third option is to virtualize your IT infrastructure. In this way you can leverage the cloud to your business’ advantage. You won’t be able to escape the migration costs, but the large upfront costs of replacing your hardware would be eliminated. There are a few different types of cloud computing models that give your organization choices on how your data is monitored and protected. A cloud platform is typically monitored and managed by the hosting provider, eliminating management costs and minimizing support costs.

Whichever option you choose, having IT support is important to keep your organization’s hardware in good working order. Your staff may not be savvy enough with technology to fix issues, and they likely don’t have the time for it. Therefore, having around-the-clock IT support is important for the efficiency of your staff, as well as their own peace of mind if they encounter issues.

At PCSOFT, we provide 24/7 support via our help desk, and we go above and beyond to help organizations mitigate their hardware costs through our proactive monitoring and management service. By leaning on our RMM service, your business will have less network maintenance to deal with, and you will get more out of your hardware investments. By keeping your network running smoothly through our proactive monitoring, we can tell if your hardware is on its way out and we can advise you if it is time for a refresh. We also keep your network free of malware, resulting in less downtime and higher degrees of efficiency.

If your company is continually running into hardware problems, consider contacting one of our certified IT technicians to schedule a network and infrastructure assessment. Call us at 02 98730080 to learn more.

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How to Stop Wasting Time on Troublesome Technology Issues

How to Stop Wasting Time on Troublesome Technology Issues

Does your organization have trouble managing and maintaining its technology? Usually, this responsibility falls to an IT department, but this assumes that you actually have one. Furthermore, it’s easy for an IT department to be so busy with maintaining the state of things that they don’t have time to innovate and improve operations. What’s a business owner to do?


When You’re Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Technology isn’t something that lasts forever. It either has to be replaced periodically, or repaired and upgraded to ensure functionality in the long run. Of course, this becomes borderline impossible if the people in charge of IT maintenance must continuously accept phone calls and support requests and constantly put out fires. Eventually, you’ll start to suffer from systems that are inadequate, which creates even more problems.

In the end, you’ll just wind up working around issues until they become too severe to avoid. You’ll be forced into two possible situations: 1) Upgrade regardless of what situation your IT budget is in, or 2) Limit your organization’s potential by using inefficient equipment. At this point, you can’t ignore it any longer and you’ll be forced to either upgrade your equipment, or sacrifice functionality.

Managed IT to the Rescue!
Thankfully, you can keep your technology from even getting to this point by implementing managed IT services. With a managed service provider (MSP), you can make sure that your IT budget never gets busted again by premature hardware failure or unexpected maintenance. MSPs are capable of either supplementing or acting as a fully functional IT department for your organization.

If you need IT support, look no further. MSPs can act as a help desk solution. Do you need to implement new hardware? MSPs cover that, too. Whether you want to create a roadmap to implement new solutions, or you want to make incremental monthly investments for preventative maintenance, MSPs can help you improve the way your organization handles IT-related troubles.

Furthermore, if you have an IT department that’s overburdened, PCSOFT can assist them with the needful. If it’s handling support requests or implementing new and innovative solutions, we can help. All you have to do is give us a call. We can work out a service level agreement that details exactly what your business needs, and the rest will be history--just like your IT troubles!

To learn more about managed IT services, reach out to us at 02 98730080.

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What it Looks Like When Your Network is Managed Remotely

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Business owners have a lot to worry about. However, keeping workstations, server units, mobile devices, and various software solutions in good working order doesn’t have to be a concern--that is, if you outsource these responsibilities to the right IT professionals.

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Pressed for Time and Money? Managed IT Services are Designed With You in Mind!

Pressed for Time and Money? Managed IT Services are Designed With You in Mind!

Many of those who are responsible for a business could tell you that managing it isn’t an easy task--and when IT is involved, it can very quickly get a lot more complicated. Of course, those that say that are more than likely using an antiquated, break-fix approach. Those who utilize managed IT services, however, will likely have a much different opinion.

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3 Compelling Reasons to Make the Switch to Managed IT

3 Compelling Reasons to Make the Switch to Managed IT

Your organization needs its technology solutions in order to keep up with day-to-day operations, but at the same time, you’ll need to maintain them. Organizations that don’t have an IT department will sometimes turn to their employees to do the required maintenance, but this can put your infrastructure at risk.


To keep your IT out of danger due to inexperience or negligence, we want to share with you a way that you can keep your technology up-to-date and functional, without putting it at risk. It’s called managed IT services, and you’d be surprised what they can do for you. We’ll discuss some of the many benefits that your business can stand to take advantage of by forsaking break-fix IT in favor of managed IT.

Cost Savings
You’ll notice an immediate cost savings when using managed services as your core method of IT maintenance. Right off the bat, you’re saving money. Since you only pay a monthly service fee rather than large up-front costs, you’ll benefit immediately. You receive any sort of maintenance as per your service level agreement from your managed service provider, which is more effective than paying for unexpected maintenance from break-fix IT.

Plus, since you’re taking proactive measures to ensure that your organization’s technology is maintained, you’ll be less likely to experience crippling hardware failure. Break-fix IT providers basically depend on your technology not working properly for them to make money, so they have no real incentive to ensure that your technology is working properly in the long run. Managed IT providers, on the other hand, want to build a relationship with the client and prevent problems from happening in the first place, saving your organization money and boosting rapport in the process.

Less Wasted Time
Small businesses have a tough time acquiring an internal IT department due to budget restraints, but if you do have one, it’s probably swamped with work. This means that the work is either not getting done, or it’s being done poorly due to time constraints. You can’t cut corners in IT, as it could lead to dangerous downtime or missing important updates, putting your data at risk. In fact, one of the most important skipped maintenance procedures is the administration of patches and security updates--something that absolutely shouldn’t be missed.

Managed IT services, regardless of whether or not you have an internal IT department, can provide value in the fact that they provide your organization with more experts for more work. Whether you want to catch up on missed work, implement new solutions, or stay up to date, managed IT providers give your business the flexibility to accomplish your technology-related goals in a time-efficient manner.

Peace of Mind
Untrained employees working with complex machinery must be nerve-wracking--or, at least, it should be. User error is difficult enough to prevent, so it’s reasonable to suggest that only those trained in the proper best practices should be managing technology solutions.

This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of managed IT services; you don’t have to have untrained users maintaining your technology solutions. You can rest easy at night knowing that your hardware and software initiatives are being helmed by Smeaton Grange, Parramatta, and Sydney’s finest experts. We firmly believe that an IT project should only be done once, and that’s because it should be done right the first time.

How does your business manage its technology? We know how it should be managed--with PCSOFT. To get started, give us a call at 02 98730080.

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This Cyber Crime Landed a Former IT Administrator 2 Years in Jail

This Cyber Crime Landed a Former IT Administrator 2 Years in Jail

Managing permissions for their network is something that many organizations may only consider when it’s too late to do anything about it. This can provide outsiders with access to sensitive information that shouldn’t be seen by anyone but your employees. To learn a few lessons about user permissions, let’s look at the misfortune of PA Online, a Pennsylvania-based Internet service provider.

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PCSOFT
Unit 2/8 Gallipoli Street
Smeaton Grange, NSW 2567