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Small Budgets, Big IT Needs

Towards the last few months of the year we hear from many clients who need guidance on how to best use their remaining technology budget. With a limited amount of money and the desire to spend it wisely, we’re often asked our opinion to help them. Most commonly we’re asked, “which item I should buy first?” Closely followed by “how should I prioritize my IT needs in the office?”   As you’re working through your end of year purchasing list, we wanted to offer some guidance.

Start with security.

If you have any computers in your office that are still running Windows 7, the upgrade of these machines should be your priority. You have backburner-ed this, but if your staff is still using outdated windows systems, your office remains vulnerable to an attack.

Next, determine the biggest technology challenges you are facing.  

Do you have enough laptops to allow your essential staff to work from home at a moment’s notice?

    • One thing 2020 has taught us, is that our new normal for work is anything but normal. We have had to learn to adapt, with that, we need to have a way to continue working from any location. BIS always has access to the lowest prices so let us know if we can help you equip your team.

Do you have software that allows your team to work together even when everyone is working from separate locations?

    • At BIS we are not only Office 365 resellers, we are also subscribers. Our team easily collaborates on office documents, and we stay connected via Microsoft Teams. If you are looking for a productivity suite for your entire office, let us know, and we will share more information on Microsoft subscriptions and how they helped transform the way our office works.

Is your phone system reliable?

    • We know how important it is for your taxpayers to be able to reach you and how imperative it is that you have a phone system that is stable.  A modern phone(VOIP) system will allow you to make and take calls through a web browser, an application on your cell phone, and even notify you via email for any voicemails. We use this system at BIS and so do many of our clients. If your phone system leaves a lot to be desired, let us know and we will gladly get you more information.

After helping our clients with hardware and software purchases for over 12 years, we are confident we can guide you with the purchases that will be the best fit.  We pride ourselves on being honest, and we will never just sell something that is not right for you, just to get a sale. We adhere to our mission to:

“Simplify our client’s IT needs, through old school customer service, with the ambition of revolutionizing technology in every area of government.”

We want to help you make the best decision within the boundaries of your budgets. Reach out today, and let us help you equip your office and your team.


Storm Response Ready

BIS may be known as an IT consulting company, but first and foremost we are in the business of caring.

The most important characteristic of our team members is not the skills they provide, it is their heart. One recent example of this is the way our team jumped into action as Hurricane Laura was approaching.

Our GIS department worked to create a map based on the storm’s projected path. Using that information, we were able to easily identify who might be in harm’s way. The customer care department then reached out to those people, whether they are our client or not, to make sure that they were prepared, and they knew the best way to protect their hardware and data in severe weather.

The IT team immediately began verifying that all our backup clients knew that we had their data safe and secure in case there would be a need to have to restore data after the storm came through.

After the storm, our customer care team checked in to make sure our clients are safe and sound. Thankfully, for this storm, we had only one client that needed to close the office for an extended period due to power outages and wind damage.

At the very heart of BIS is a team that cares about our clients and it shows in moments like these.

Transitioning To A Remote Office

How prepared would your office be if you and your team were required to work from home? The 2020 coronavirus pandemic forced many offices to close to the public and state guidelines insisted that even for an essential business, if possible, employees should work from home. Over the last few weeks businesses found themselves needing to split shifts, change office dynamics and even provide working from home solutions for their staff. Our IT team quickly responded and provided safe solutions for our clients.  

We never know when the need to work from home may not only arise because of a global pandemic but for other reasons such as storm damage or flooding. How resilient would your office systems be if some or all your team had to work remotely? 

BIS can provide many tools, services, and systems that can help. We can supply and configure software to help your team stay in touch and be productive, such as Microsoft Teams, part of selected versions of the Microsoft 365 family. Our IT techs can set up SSL VPN remote desktop connections between your core office IT infrastructure and your team. We can supply desktops, laptops, web cameras, docking stations, monitors, network switches and cables to help with a remote office setup.  

If you need IT solutions for working from home, please call our IT team today and get a quote. We understand that having to relocate your team can be expensive, so we work with our vendors to get you the equipment you need at the lowest possible price.  

Call 1-800-247-9045 or email support@bisconsultants.com

Virtual Phones Help You Stay Connected With Your Customers

When social distancing closed the doors for many offices around the state one thing most businesses did not consider beforehand was the ability to answer calls while working remotely. If you had to quickly switch your office to a remote working environment could your team take their desktop phones home and keep in touch? Are you able to install an application onto a computer or smartphone and stay connected this way?  

If you answered no, it might be time to consider upgrading your phone system options. You can either replace your existing phone system or you can use another third-party system to add in one or more services as you need. We can supply and install digital conference phones with their own number for your ARB meetings. Our IT team can also provide your team with a software-based phone system that can be configured to allow incoming calls to ring directly to a cell phone or laptop. The call can then be placed on hold or even transferred to other extensions just like you were working in the office.  

There are so many ways to communicate these days, from messaging services, emails, video conferencing, even social media, but the humble telephone is still an essential part of the modern office. Is it time to upgrade your phone system? Call Britt or Blake for more information. 1-800-247-9045 or email bcallear@bisconsultants.com

IT Support From BIS

Computers save time and allow us to do more with less but can also be one of the most frustrating parts of everyday office life. How many times do we find ourselves impatiently waiting for our computer to do something? Do you dread picking up the phone to call IT support because you don’t want to listen to an automated system tell you how important your call is? 

We understand: you want to get on with your work helped by technology rather than hindered! Our Texas-based IT Techs are friendly, knowledgeable, and responsive. We are the IT support you and your team want to call. BIS IT Maintenance is much more than solving problems when they arise. We work behind the scenes to keep your computers up to date with the latest software and security patches. We make sure your anti-virus is current and monitor your backups.  

Our techs understand that IT issues don’t always start at 8am or stop at 5pm so we have a dedicated-on call after hours serviceWe aim to solve problems before they become problems, so that you and your team can keep working.  

As an IT maintenance client, you can reach out for support by phone, email and now online. We have a brand-new system that lets you easily log an issue for the IT team.  Make sure to register to submit tickets online HERE

Our expertise is not limited to fixing problems with your existing equipment. We can replace computers, servers, printers, scanners, and more. We have software solutions such as hosted email to help you and your team do their job efficiently. Whatever your IT needs are, let us know how we can serve you. 

If you would like more information on our IT maintenance service please email bcallear@bisconsultants.com

BIS Cares: COVID-19 Update

March 2020 saw the start of the most significant social disruption seen in a generation. In a matter of days, many people saw their routine of getting up and heading to their place of work be replaced with getting up and working from home. Many businesses and offices are facing the challenge of changing how they conduct their daily business remotely, rather than face to face. Maybe this hasn’t happened to you, but it could be happening soon. Here are some of the ways BIS Consulting can help.

Soft Phone Service

If your office phone system does not easily allow remote workers access, we can help by setting up a soft phone service to minimize impact for your team if they are unable to work in the office.


Technology making it easier to work from home has steadily improved over the years. We can help you navigate the many conferencing solutions including messaging, phone and video options, allowing you to hold virtual meetings with colleagues, taxpayers, or customers. We use providers including Zoom and Microsoft.

Secure Connections

Your homeworkers need a secure way to connect with your office network and systems, and we can help by setting up a secure SSL VPN (secure sockets layer, virtual private network) connection using your existing network security systems. SSL VPNs are an encrypted exclusive connection between different computer systems, designed to keep your information confidential.

Hardware and Software Sales

Need a cost-effective laptop or five for your team? Need a camera for your conferencing system, or do you need to make sure your team can access their email from their smartphones? Our Sales and IT Departments are working hard to find the right products and solutions at the right price.

Finally, BIS Cares…

The transition from working in an office to working at home can be difficult, and you and your team may face many different challenges. Ask us for help? We are experienced at working from home, and managing home workers. We can help you and your team manage a new routine, keep up with colleagues, as well as use new software and solutions.  We are here for you and we will all get through this together…but separate.

Phone: 1.800.247.9045

Email: support@bisconsultants.com

Live Chat: https://www.bisconsultants.com/


Remote Solutions For Your Office

We wanted to take a moment and let you know that we realize that the way you conduct business has drastically changed over the last week. Our team is here for you and ready to equip you with the
technology solutions you need to help keep your business flowing. Whether you are looking to enable remote employees or needing to stay connected with your taxpayers and board members while keeping your offices closed to the public, we can help.

BIS IT Remote Solutions – Helping your team stay safely connected from anywhere:

Remote desktop access
Virtual phone numbers with cell phone routing that act as a call center and can hide your cell phone number when taking and placing calls
Teleconference software for remote staff, taxpayers, and board members with recording capabilities
Antivirus for home computers when employees are using their own personal machines
Office 365 with Microsoft Teams enables staff to connect with cloud based/remote collaboration tools
Hardware replacement drop shipping

For more information contact support@bisconsultants.com

BIS Online Software – Taxpayer solutions designed to minimize the need for office visits:

Online Forms allows taxpayers to file exemptions online. Your team can approve/deny/request more information through the software alleviating the need for anyone to come into the office.
Online Protests handles the entire protest process within the software online.
Online Tax Payments lets taxpayers quickly, easily and safely make payments online.
Interactive Maps gives your taxpayers access to all of the geographic, appraisal and aerial information at home instead of travelling to your office.
Website Hosting keeps an open stream of communication to your taxpayers. All of your office information can be posted and updated easily from any computer no matter where you are working.

For more information contact webmaster@bisconsultants.com

  • BIS Education Services – Remote training for your team that can be done from any computer:

The following internet courses all earn CE credit with TDLR:
-Truth In Taxation/SB2 Compliancy
-BIS Website Training
-BIS Online Protest Training
-BIS Online Forms Training
-BIS Interactive Map Training

Cybersecurity Training Webinar – HB3834 mandates that every employee that has access to a local government computer must have their training certificate by June 14, 2020. To sign up click HERE.

For more information contact ssteele@bisconsultants.com

Microsoft Windows Critical Security Vulnerability


There were unhappy faces all around on May 14 as Microsoft published a critical security vulnerability article detailing a flaw in the Remote Desktop Services, or RDP, part of older versions of Windows. The vulnerability could potentially allow malicious code to run on a susceptible computer without any involvement from the user. In plain English: an unprotected system is vulnerable to an invisible hacking attack.

The vulnerability exists in Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Server 2008 and older version of the popular Microsoft Windows operating system. The flaw is so severe that Microsoft has taken the unusual step of writing a security patch for Microsoft Windows XP, although users need to manually download the software to their computer. Microsoft Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and later versions of Windows (including Windows 10) are already protected against the vulnerability.

What Should You Do?

BIS Consulting already lock down the RDP connection away from the Internet, which means customers enjoying our IT Maintenance plans will be protected.

If you are not one of our IT Maintenance clients CONTACT US anyway. You have enough on your plate without having to worry about extra IT issues. Let our IT pros give you a no-cost security assessment and determine a plan of action to keep you protected.

If you have someone on staff that handles your IT, we strongly recommend they immediately install the security patch using Microsoft Windows Update. We also recommend they check that your firewall has locked down the RDP connection port.


Still Using Windows XP, Server 2003, Windows 7, or Server 2008?

If you have machines running the older version of Microsoft Windows, we encourage you to retire the obsolete Windows operating system or even the computer. For a free, no obligation estimate of any costs involved, please email or call David Steele.

BIS’s First Deed Training Class in Dallas Receives Recognition!

BIS Consulting successfully held a Deed Training class at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Center on November 9, 2017 with an overwhelming attendance of fifty appraisal and property tax professionals from all across Texas! The event initially was planned to be held at the BIS offices for a smaller crowd but as word spread that BIS was offering a 6 TDLR continuing education unit deed specific course, plans quickly changed and a more extensive off-site event was arranged with sponsorship assistance from Thomas Y. Pickett.

TYP, an industry expert at complex appraisal and trusted partner of BIS, helped to provide transportation and lunch for the attendees. Guests were treated to Saltgrass Steakhouse for a decadent plate of garlic mashed potatoes and their choice of the top sirloin & shrimp, rib-eye, or Laredo chicken. Much thanks and gratitude to Brian Lipka of TYP for the generosity of providing such a great lunch for our attendees.

The Deed Training class was highly reviewed by the post-event survey which reports that 100% of the respondents enjoyed the class and 88% received the deed content they were expecting. In addition to the positive reviews, the City of Brookshire honored BIS with an article in their local newspaper, The Times Tribune. The article details the class’s content and discussion topics. Click the button below to read the full article.

With the success of the event, BIS plans to hold more training classes in the future and welcomes all course suggestions. Our goal is to better serve the appraisal and property tax community whether it be affordable technology or training for all staff levels.

Course suggestions can be emailed to us at nahmed@bisconsultants.com or feel free to call us at (800)247-9045.

BIS Property Search Clients Now HB394 Compliant

All of BIS Consulting Online Property Search clients are now in compliance with House Bill 394. The new law stated that by September 1, 2015 all appraisal districts must remove any information from their website that would indicate a property owner’s age.  All Over 65 exemptions have now  been removed from the Online Property Search. If you would like more information about House Bill 394 please click HERE.

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