While it may sound strange coming from a managed service provider, there is some wisdom to the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We know, we know… it sounds a little hypocritical for us to say something like this, when we spend so much time touting the values of proactive maintenance and similar strategies. However, this now-cliché statement certainly holds water, as exemplified by many modern technologies—including the Boeing 747.
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Clearly demonstrating their prioritization of their G Suite offering, Google continues to innovate the platform’s many solutions to improve the user experience. Most recently, this has included giving Gmail a few extra functionalities to help further integrate a business’ communications. Let’s look at these functionalities together.
What if I were to tell you that, by the time you finished reading this sentence, all personal data in existence was exposed? If every text sent, every Google search executed, every website visited, everything we had ever done online, was made public? Gizmodo recently reached out to an assortment of experts for their insights. Here, we’ve assembled their responses for you to consider.
Telework has become crucial for businesses to sustain themselves right now, as remote work became a hard and fast requirement in the face of the coronavirus. However, if businesses aren’t careful, they could trade one issue for another in exposing themselves to security threats.
As your employees go about their workdays, it is important that they do so with the resources they’ll need to remain optimally productive… and that these resources are in the best condition for them to do so. While this is often an overlooked consideration, this means that their computer needs to be clean and fully functional. Let’s go over a few best practices to follow when it comes to keeping a workstation clean enough to work optimally.
VoIP—Voice over Internet Protocol—is an incredibly useful tool for today’s businesses to make use of, especially in terms of improving productivity. Let’s consider a few capabilities that can give you and your team a leg up.
Professional services include some of the oldest professions in the world, and some of the newest. Regardless of what kind of professional services business you run, it is hard to continue to meet your customer’s needs without incorporating some technological changes. Furthermore, there are new innovations that can help your business thrive. Let’s examine some of this technology to see if it could benefit your business.
Chances are you’re still spending a lot of time at home, and a lot of that time is being spent on the Internet. With so many still working remotely, and many educational institutions continuing remote learning, the strength of a household’s Wi-Fi signal is going to be crucial. We wanted to offer you some tips to help you maximize the signal strength of your router.
Since the onset of the coronavirus, many businesses have managed to sustain themselves through remote work—also commonly known as telework. While this strategy has allowed quite a few businesses to survive, it has also opened them up to security threats. Here, let’s focus on one such threat: vishing, or voice phishing.
If I were to tell you that one variable was responsible for more than 80 percent of cyberattacks, what would you guess that variable was? If you guessed “stolen access credentials,” you’d be correct. The traditional username/password combination may soon be a thing of the past as more tech companies transition to alternative authentication measures.
Modern society is greatly focused on the virtue of hard work, of productivity. This has led to a kind of unspoken prejudice against breaks in the workplace, that any break that is not earned is the sign of an unproductive employee. As it turns out, the opposite is true. This week, we’re going over how you can turn your breaks into a way to accomplish more in the workplace.
We think it’s fair to say that none of us could have seen COVID-19 coming or the impact it would have on our lives, both personally and professionally. If you own a business or are responsible for managing its IT/technology, you’ve no doubt wondered if your current computer support is up to par and pandemic ready. Here are some key areas where you’ll want to make sure you have solid computer support.
Supporting the Work from Home Model
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge for many organizations was and continues to be shifting all or most of their workforce to an at-home model (practically overnight!). This requires new computer support to make sure employees have connectivity, security and technical help to do their jobs effectively. The best way to approach this is to have a standard set-up for every employee, including company-provided laptops pre-setup, and the computer support in terms of IT help on-hand when technical challenges arise. Another critical component is company-wide access to data and information, which we’ll explore shortly.
Computer Support for Organization-Wide Virtual Collaboration
Within a few short weeks, or even days in some cases, entire staff were moved to a work-from-home model, which requires computer support for organization-wide virtual collaboration. Platforms that we’ve written about extensively before like Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, a virtual hub for collaboration are essential computer support tools needed to stay connected, satisfied and productive. Best of all, they are cloud-based, which minimizes costs and the need for physical IT infrastructure. It also makes them more secure in a remote work model.
While these platforms and tool are a “must have,” they also require training for employees so that they can be used correctly and to their fullest advantage to support organization-wide collaboration.
Computer support tools like Teams can also provide a path to keeping up employee morale virtually. The pandemic crisis has taken a toll on everyone, including your employees. The right tools – and training everyone organization-wide on how to use them – can be a great pathway to keeping everyone connected, engaged and spirits up during a challenging time.
IT Security to Protect Your Data in a Remote Work Model
Without a doubt, IT security is at the forefront of leaders’ minds amidst COVID-19. Already a problem and threat to companies, including small and mid-sized businesses, we’ve seen a rise in security hacks since COVID-19.
According to an article in the Business Journal, “cyberattacks are on the rise and new cybersecurity risks are emerging due to the unprecedented changes in the way companies and their employees are currently forced to do business.” The article goes on to note that in the last two months, cyberattacks are specifically exploiting the challenges that businesses face with teleworking, including hacking, video- and teleconference hijacking, data breaches and fraud.
Options like standard technology set-up, as already mentioned, and cloud hosting, can go a long way to make sure you minimize risk with the proper computer support for IT security in a model where employees are all working from different locations. Cloud hosting offered from a reputable and experienced cloud host provider will ensure that your data is safely hosted in the cloud with redundant backups and securities measures in place to protect it. Furthermore, cloud hosting will save you money and make data storage and security across the organization a fixed operating cost, as well as one that you can scale up or down according to business needs.
Cloud computing is now commonplace in companies. It’s a great option to boost productivity, create a mobile-friendly environment, save money and increase accessibility. More than just file storage, the cloud offers many additional benefits, especially for your remote workers – now more and more common as we restructure our businesses in light of COVID-19 to keep employees safe and manage costs.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power. In its simplest form to understand what is cloud hosting, you can envision it as a network of virtual servers (the cloud) that tap into an underlying network of physical servers. The extent to which you tap into this network depends upon the needs of an organization.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Hosting?
Since the cloud is accessed through the Internet, your employees will have access from any location or device with Internet access. For your remote workers, this is essential for their productivity and for staying connected to their on-site colleagues.
Many businesses have moved to remote work models in recent months, resulting in the need for less physical office space. Cloud hosting allows organizations to further reduce their physical footprint by freeing up valuable space devoted to IT infrastructure. The cloud allows for a much smaller IT footprint with wireless devices and limited to no onsite hardware.
Reduce Capital Investment and Save Money
With cloud computing there is no need to purchase physical servers, buy software licenses or install cables. It does not require the large upfront capital investments that onsite hosting requires. With the cloud model, you will pay a monthly fee to your cloud provider. You can rest easy knowing that it’s your cloud hosts job to manage the costs of purchasing, managing and maintaining the IT infrastructure that supports your cloud hosting solution.
With cloud hosting you also eliminate the physical costs of backing up data and the associated hardware and software costs used to do so. Cloud hosting also saves in not requiring in-house staff to manage the IT infrastructure.
Essentially, with cloud hosting, you pay as you need additional resources. Your costs go from expensive up-front capital equipment investment and ongoing maintenance and personnel costs with on-site hosting to a monthly fixed operational expense that you can budget.
One of the main concerns we often hear is the idea that the cloud is not as secure as on-site hosting. With the right IT cloud host partner, your data is actually more secure in the cloud, as you can count on the professionals and IT experts you’ve hired to keep current on the constant changes and threats in the IT landscape. Furthermore, the cloud’s backup system is designed to prevent data lose with multiple redundancies built into it.
The ability to scale economically and as needed is ideal for most business. By understanding what is cloud hosting, you see how it provides a perfect environment for economic scale. As you need more storage, you simply rent more. If you need less, you scale back. Your cloud network can expand or contract as needed.
Supports Collaboration and Productivity
For employees, especially your remote workers, the cloud will help keep them connected, notably like when you layer in additional tools like the Microsoft Office 365 suite of solutions that support collaboration and teamwork. With cloud hosting and the right software solutions, your employees can work anywhere and coordinate with their remote teammates for meetings, file sharing, co-authoring documents and more.
More and more companies are becoming more energy conscious and wish to help reduce the impact of their business on the environment. Cloud hosting can contribute to a reduced carbon footprint. By its nature, cloud hosting is much more efficient than maintaining onsite servers, where you have to keep the room cool, so the servers do not overheat.
We hope this article has helped to demonstrate how cloud hosting is – for most companies – a better hosting option. For a workforce this is entirely remote or even with some workers remote, we think cloud hosting is the only option to keep employees connected, satisfied, collaborative and productive.
To learn more, please visit our cloud hosting options. We’d love to help you discover how cloud hosting can support your business’ goals and growth.
The United States of America is well into its 2020 election season. Social media platforms, and other online services, are taking notice. Given the misuse of social media and other platforms in past contests, there is little wonder that there is some very real pressure on these platforms to establish policy and security measures to prevent these behaviors this time around.
Here, we’ll take a neutral look at the situation, and explain the initiatives that online platforms are now enacting.
When creating an office’s network, wireless functionality has become a necessary element to include. Of course, this is usually easier said than done, as wireless signals can be notoriously persnickety. That’s why we’re offering some tips to help you make the most of your business’ wireless network setup.
When we think of cybercrime, most people’s minds go to one of two places. On the one hand, some think about the annoying, misspelled emails that are so obviously scams, while on the other, we can’t help but think about the hacks that we see in movies, where a criminal manages to overcome the best the government can incorporate into their defenses.
In a rare turn of events, Google and Apple have teamed up with local governments to help slow the ongoing spread of COVID-19. How would you like an app that could notify you if someone you had been in proximity to had tested positive for COVID-19? As useful as this collaboration could be to staunching the pandemic, many people are in uproar about it, and have begun to spread misinformation.
Microsoft 365 Business is a subscription service that allows businesses to run in the cloud. You may recall Office 365, which was renamed Microsoft 365 in April 2020. The rebranded solution offers options for Basic, Standard and Premium. It can be purchased as a monthly subscription, or as an annual one.
Microsoft 365 Business streamlines and simplifies the process of managing devices, protecting against real-world IT security threats and maintaining and updating your organization’s business software. It also offers a powerful suite of services for a successful remote workforce for teamwork and collaboration.
Microsoft 365 Business offers all of the cornerstone Microsoft work and productivity apps as well as additional security features to protect against threats and secure data and devices. It covers all of the bases for creating a secure online remote workforce environment:
- Secure Access
- Secure Devices
- Secure Data
What Does Microsoft 365 Business Include?
Every organization works differently and requires tools that are flexible and easy to scale. Microsoft 365 Business offers a flexible complete toolkit for collaboration that includes:
- Exchange Online for email, calendar, task, journaling and more.
- SharePoint Online for data storage
- Microsoft Teams, a digital collaboration hub
- Office ProPlus that includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and Access
- Additional productivity and security tools that integrate across the entire suite of services.
How Can Microsoft 365 Business Supports Remote Workers?
As more and more worksites move to fully remote or hybrid workplace models – notably in the wake of COVID-19 – never before have technology tools for collaboration and teamwork mattered more. Microsoft 365 Business offers the full suite of productivity tools plus several features that are uniquely positioned to support the remote work model.
With Microsoft 365 Business you get online access to all the normal applications. The online versions of these apps will ensure that anyone can work on and share these documents from anywhere. The mobile apps further support employees on-the-go. Since Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based suite, the apps stay up-to-date, information is secure, and files are automatically synced.
We’ve written before about the value of Microsoft Teams as a platform for remote workers to chat, collaborate, manage projects, video conference and file share and co-author before. It really is a must have remote work tool for staying connected with coworkers and keeping on top of projects. You can create teams by department and then organize information for projects by channels within a team.
Microsoft To Do
For each individual employee, the To-Do app is a great tool to stay on track with your work, from daily task lists to more in-depth project-based lists. It is a cloud-based task management application that allows users to manage their tasks from a smartphone, tablet and computer. With To-Do, you can use it for small tasks or big ones and share your lists with coworkers or the whole team as well.
Microsoft Phone System
Formerly known as Cloud PBX, Microsoft Phone System offers all of the capabilities of a complete business phone system without the high feel and equipment, only requiring Internet connectivity. For companies removing to exclusively remote offices, this option is both cost-effective and robust enough to meet the needs of any business. Depending on the Microsoft 365 Business plan you choose, Microsoft Phone System will be part of the plan. It can also be included as an add-on feature. Best of all, it integrates with Teams, Microsoft 365 Business’ collaboration and communication hub.
A MyTek-Deployed Microsoft 365 Business Solution Increases Security and Productivity
Discover the full potential of a mobile workforce with a Microsoft 365 Business solution from MyTek. We have real-world experience deploying Microsoft 365 for small to mid-sized businesses in Arizona. We’ll work with you to find a solution that fits your business needs and budget. Through our one-of-a-kind MyTek Butler IT program, we offer three tiers of support to meet the needs of any business.