Introducing Zones CloudDirect for Skype for Business

Hardly a day goes by without us noticing the profound change and impact that the drive to the cloud is having within many technology industries – including the Unified Communications market. One of the key drivers behind this change is Microsoft Office 365 (O365) which is generally agreed to be the most widely used cloud service by user account.

Many folks know that Skype for Business (SfB) is purchased and used with an O365 subscription plan and offers the potential to be a complete collaboration solution for businesses. And a complete collaboration solution is really important to IT departments, since they can consolidate all of their legacy point-UC-related systems such as IM, Voice, Conferencing, and Video onto a single platform – saving them time, money, and resources. Such a complete collaboration solution also enables employees to have a single, common experience to find and connect with co-workers across platforms and devices, anywhere and anytime – making them more productive. Continue reading

When it comes to cybersecurity, the best offense is a good defense.

Every 40 seconds a company is hit with ransomware, and the WannaCry outbreak is a perfect example. WannaCry demonstrates how ransomware attacks can quickly spread across and cripple environments by exploiting critical vulnerabilities in Windows computers – at least in those not updated with the patch Microsoft issued in March of this year (MS17-010) or the emergency update issued for XP on May 13, 2017.

Of course, running out-of-support operating systems such as XP is risky. But, XP by itself is not the biggest problem. The larger issue is complacency around security updates, operating system updates, and OS upgrades across the infrastructure. Continue reading

The engineered system that’s simple, optimized, and affordable

Oracle Database Appliance

Whether you’re running a small-to-medium sized business or operating a remote or branch location, field office, or clinic, Oracle now has a better way to manage your database: Oracle Database Appliance (ODA).

ODA is a highly-configured, easy-to-deploy, all-in-one package of software, servers, storage, and networking in a single box. It’s optimized to help you run your Oracle Database and applications, with all hardware and software components engineered and supported by Oracle. That means maximum reliability, efficiency, and security. Continue reading

The foundation of a successful OS upgrade

Upgrading your organization’s operating system is a big investment in time, money, and resources. But of course, it’s worth all the work.

After all, you’ll be delivering a more secure and responsive infrastructure that will support your business for years to come.

A successful migration starts with a Zones OS Readiness Assessment. This professional service administered by our Advanced Solutions Group will help you verify that your systems have everything necessary to deploy, integrate, and support the new OS. Continue reading

Shaky disaster recovery plan? There’s no excuse anymore.

Everyone knows that a comprehensive disaster recovery plan stands to pay for itself – should you need to use it. But over the years, we’ve seen many businesses fail to make the necessary investments in time and money to create one. Some were lucky. Many were not.

Of course, critical systems for banks, finance, and healthcare had significant redundancies built into their IT architecture. After all, these organizations could afford complex solutions maintained by some of the most talented IT folks in the industry. But many firms simply could not afford or maintain the necessary skills on staff to support a true disaster recovery solution for key applications and IT systems. Continue reading

“I want to get out of the phone business”

Top real-world UC requests we hear from our customers

We’ve made it through the 2017 technology prediction cycle that marks the begining of each year. I’m simplifying… but the general market trends that have been predicted for UC in 2017 have been along the lines of: 1) Continued advance to the cloud (agreed); 2) IM replaces email (it depends – on the company, use cases, and the groups and demographics within that company); 3) UC begins to be integrated into existing business apps to enhance business workflows/processes (not quite yet); 4) Is 2017 finally the year WebRTC delivers on its potential? (nope). Continue reading

The future of print technology is here

HP PageWide is reinventing office printing in more ways than one

It used to be a given in the print industry that if you wanted speed, you sacrificed quality – and vice versa. But HP stepped in and decided to disrupt conventional thinking and implement forward-looking investments in print technology.

It all began with the introduction of HP Scalable Print Technology (SPT), which included research and development in printhead technologies, advanced inks, materials, design rules, and precision production methodology.

And from there, SPT evolved into HP PageWide Technology; the latest HP printing innovation that outpaces the competition in numerous ways, and on practically every level. Continue reading

Cybersecurity trends underway in 2017

The past year has seen seismic changes in the cybersecurity landscape.

They’re forcing IT professionals to rethink and re-strategize their organization’s security. They’re being tasked with ways to better control access to their network, gain a deeper understanding of how vulnerable their network is to threats, and develop a faster, decisive response plan when a threat occurs.

If any of the above resonates with you, you’re not alone. The cybersecurity market is expected to swell to $100 billion dollars by 2019. And now that we’re a quarter of the way through 2017, there’s good reason to be forward-looking and take proactive steps to ensure that security is in your company’s DNA.

Gone are the days when traditional security management approaches of multiple point products, manual change processes, extensive policies and data silos, did the trick. Given the growing complexities of networks and rapid delivery of services and applications, a deep, up-to-date rebooting of how you approach your network security is not only crucial – it’s necessary. Continue reading

The standard in hyper-converged infrastructure

Dell EMC VxRail appliance

VxRail is the only fully integrated, preconfigured, and tested HCI appliance powered by VMware vSAN, and is the easiest and fastest way to extend a VMware environment. VxRail provides a simple, cost effective hyper-converged solution that solves a wide range of your challenges and supports most applications and workloads. Dell EMC VxRail features purpose-built platforms that deliver data services, resiliency, and QoS, enabling faster, better, and simpler delivery of virtual desktops, business-critical applications, and remote office infrastructure, so IT can focus on more important things: Continue reading

Want to simplify the mobile infrastructure fast? Here’s how.

Ever since smartphones displaced the BlackBerry as the device of choice among pretty much everyone outside of government, businesses have been working hard to devise a simple, all-things-to-all-people approach to mobile deployments.

BYOD is cheap, but is by definition a multi-platform solution that presents a number of compatibility, management, and security issues. CYOD strategies restore a good deal of control to the organization, but add to the number of devices an employee will be carrying.

The recent launch of HP’s Elite x3 and VMware’s Workspace ONE could change all that. Continue reading