Your Journey to the Cloud Doesn’t Have to be Stormy

Just because your business is small doesn’t mean you’re immune from computer viruses, malware and other cyber-attacks. Although it sounds logical for hackers to target larger businesses because of their larger amounts of data, research shows small and medium businesses are just as likely to be attacked as larger enterprise businesses, according to the 2018 Symantec Internet Security Report. In fact, small and medium businesses may be even more vulnerable than their larger counterparts because of the tendency of smaller companies to spend less on security.

 

Many smaller businesses have not increased their cybersecurity even though they often have poorly secured servers, unprotected endpoint devices and vulnerable storage and back-up processes. With the increased usage of mobile devices to accommodate today’s mobile workforce, the door to your data is opened wide if a laptop or smart phone is lost or stolen.

 

Hackers aren’t about who they attack – they’re happy to steal from any business. They typically take a shotgun approach, aiming at as many businesses possible to make small amounts of money per breach. This spray-and-pray approach increases cyber risks exponentially for smaller businesses.

Hey, You! Get Off of My Cloud

  In conversations about cloud computing, people tend to refer to the tool as “The Cloud” which implies that somewhere out there in the virtual world is a single place where all data and online apps live. Actually, there are many cloud services available. In fact, the virtual world can be downright overcast with the number of cloud choices.

Cloud computing gives businesses access to data, apps, services and files anywhere, anytime. The problem is – what if it also allows access to anyone?

The Cloud especially improves team collaboration when a business has multiple locations or even numerous employees working on the same project in the same location but on individual devices. Teams that use social technologies like cloud collaboration tools have raised their productivity over 20 percent.

4 Ways the Cloud Can Help Budget for Growth

Cloud BudgetToday’s businesses are expected to forecast the future almost regularly. You may have a company that is growing rapidly and need to determine how much infrastructure you should implement today to last the next three years. Conditions can change, you can over buy or under purchase, and budget deadlines are quickly approaching.

Do you have a reliable methodology to determine what your headcount and resource needs will be 3 or 5 years from now? How much downtime do you really have and what is it costing you?

Product lifecycles are changing and organizations are at a crossroads on whether to move to the Cloud. With its inherent scalability, predicting your resource needs adequately is easier and can help you remain competitive in the market. An experienced managed Cloud provider brings a proactive viewpoint that looks at your growth goals and recommends adjustments to scale up or down accordingly.

Below are four ways the Cloud can help you budget for growth:

The 4 Major Misconceptions SoCal Businesses Have About Their Security in the Cloud

Do you worry about data security in the cloud? If so, you’re not alone.

Or maybe you don’t worry enough.

Sometimes, when you don’t have physical control over your data, you start to question exactly how secure it is and whether your privacy is protected. What business owners may not understand, though, is the cloud provides many security benefits.

There’s one serious caveat though: As long as your cloud service partner is best in class, consistent updates and new tools continue to make the cloud one of the safest places to house your data. Otherwise, the cloud can be riddled with risk.

The 2017 Gartner Security Predictions Study states, “the 60% of enterprises that implement appropriate cloud visibility and control tools will experience one-third fewer security failures.” The key word being “appropriate.”

 

5 Cloud Tools Worth Consideration in 2017

CloudsCloud-based technology solutions continue to be a predominant factor in IT growth. From business intelligence to email security to customer relationship management, the steady progress in cloud offerings translates to regular new releases of cloud software. With a wide range of applications and services that have a positive contribution to business productivity, there is no shortage of options to consider.

As your business needs change, your technology needs evolve as well. Always be on the lookout for the best new tools to enhance your existing cloud environment.

Here are 5 new cloud tools you want to consider investing in in 2017:

Secure, Hosted Email Exchange Can Help Small Businesses More Easily Manage Emails – Even Remote Workers

Now that driverless cars are right around the corner, some classic car enthusiasts are getting nervous. Remember the purr of a manual transmission? They don’t make cars like they used to. The strong and seamless metal bumper that can withstand an errant highway pebble has been replaced with plastic crumple zones that dent in a stiff breeze. Most cars are now automatic and some newer models can parallel park themselves.

Progress happens for a reason, as we all know. Small-impact durability has been traded for life-saving features and independence is being traded for integration. Over time, these luxury features become ubiquitous.

A similar evolution has occurred with Microsoft Exchange email servers. On premise technology that was refined by the enterprise is now much more accessible to small business owners. So why does everyone keep saying move to the cloud?

Solutions that “Just Work”: Hosted Exchange for the Agricultural Sector

i-MigrationHundreds of emails a day. Hundreds. Brokering orders, confirming shipments, receiving expense reports and time cards cause one of our agricultural clients’ inboxes to constantly stay in motion. Nevermind the day-to-day correspondence used to market their produce and generate new business. Email is an integral part of their backbone—don’t be fooled by the fact that much of their business happens outside under the sun. This client’s network is every bit as critical to business success as the orchards they own and operate. So when they came to us to help solve an email problem, we quickly understood the importance of getting things running smoothly. Messages weren’t consistently being sent and received all the time, addresses were ending up on blacklists, and the person who was supposed to be fixing their Exchange email server was overwhelmed with other work as well. The CEO finally threw up his hands and declared:

“It just needs to work.”

Creating Custom Solutions: Getting Compulaw and Exchange to Work Together

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When one of our law firm clients began looking for a new email solution, they had a number of unique needs. They were eager to make scheduling and calendars more transparent across their practice. They wanted increased management of who was sending and receiving different types of messages. And they wanted to be able to quickly find old correspondence at a moment’s notice, from the courtroom to their client locations. Once we settled on hosted Exchange handling all of those needs and more, we examined the rest of their email-related workflow and realized there was a significant detail that had yet to be accounted for—Compulaw integration. Like many law practices, they couldn’t move forward with any suggested changes if it meant leaving Compulaw behind.

Exchange Migrations: Three Steps for a Seamless Move

i-MigrationWe’ve discussed at length the virtues of hosted Exchange as an email solution for businesses of all sizes and in a variety of sectors. It’s secure, flexible, and can be configured to serve your specific business needs in a way unavailable with other email options. You can share mailboxes and calendars, automatically archive messages, and manage who is sending and receiving different communications all from a central location. Our experience has been that as more and more businesses come to understand how powerful hosted Exchange is, they can’t wait to make the switch.

Hosted Exchange Masterclass: Getting the Most Out of Microsoft Exchange

i-generalEmail is the backbone of communication for many businesses. In 2014, over 108 billion business-related emails were sent around the worldevery day. By 2018, that number is expected to grow to nearly 140 billion. Which is why I find it interesting that with email playing such a key role in the economic interests of so many businesses and agencies, so many people underutilize their email service.

Underutilize? With over 108 billion emails being sent per day, how is that possible? Because, for too many businesses, email is primarily for sending electronic messages of text, images, or other data. Most email solutions also offer some way to save contacts and their information–like an address book–and have a calendar for keeping track of events and appointments. Those three key components–messages, calendars, and contacts–are the key pieces of an email system. Right?