Meet SQL Server 2017

Today’s businesses have widely available unstructured data, and they want to deliver powerful insights through big data. But they must adapt quickly to change by using new technologies that fuel competitive advantage, or risk getting left behind.

That’s why it’s imperative to make the most of big data, the cloud, and intelligence capabilities, all of which help companies accelerate their speed of business through smarter decision-making and faster execution. And that’s the idea behind Microsoft SQL Server 2017.

The complete modern data estate can utilize both structured data—such as OLTP, mobile, ERP, and LOB data—and unstructured data—like graph data, social media, and IoT data. Continue reading

Oracle Exadata applications can now run on next-gen cloud infrastructure

Recently, Oracle announced that their Exadata system is available on the company’s next-gen cloud infrastructure. This combination of Oracle Exadata with Oracle Cloud’s bare metal compute and storage services enhances all stages of application development and deployment through faster connectivity, provisioning, processing, and database access, allowing customers to move their most demanding applications to the cloud.

Oracle Exadata already supports high-performance database operations. Now, Oracle’s next-gen infrastructure optimizes all the other pieces that support the application, in addition to the database, including servers, storage, and the networking. The result is that applications that do high-demand work, such as real-time targeting, analytics, or personalization can now run in the cloud with extreme performance. Continue reading

Don’t waste another minute securing printer vulnerabilities.

Quick question: What’s a better investment of IT resources – configuring printers or optimizing cloud strategy? No, it’s not a trick question. Printers often fall into a subconscious category of technology we think should “just work.” In a perfect world, you could refocus your IT efforts and better spend your time elsewhere after initial deployment, because printer vulnerabilities wouldn’t threaten your network, and Office Space would have taken a bat to the water cooler instead.

If you’re wondering who in their right mind spends that much time on a piece of hardware as benign as printers, we have some enlightening information for you. Printers – being the connected devices they are today – fall prey to the same malware infecting the computer on your desk, and they can even distribute it. Knowing this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that IT managers find themselves frustrated with the prospect of managing the security of an entire fleet of printers. Watch an entertaining video that shows how if you’re not taking your device security seriously, someone else might be.

How can you spend less time securing printers and more time focusing on the glamorous aspects of IT? We have a few suggestions to get you started. Continue reading

Zones can lead you to “Zero Touch” efficiency as you plan your Windows 10 deployment

Windows 10 is indisputably Microsoft’s best operating system to date. It’s a refreshing mix of the best things from Windows 8 plus returning to the spirit of Windows 7. And, considering the recent wave of cybersecurity threats, you’ll find it comforting to know Microsoft is doubling down on its existing security efforts to use the cloud to analyze security threats and prevent attacks.

So, as you plan for your Windows 10 adoption, trying to figure out the best way to deploy it and making the right choices to meet the needs of your organizations may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be.

We can help.

As an authorized Microsoft Licensing Solutions Partner (LSP) and a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), we combine tools, people, and processes to help you gain deep insight into everything that’s on your corporate network – and what you need to know about it – to plan for upcoming projects, eliminate unnecessary costs, and minimize risk. Continue reading

If you paid for Intel vPro technology, you should be using it.

Get more value from your vPro-enabled devices.

As one of the country’s largest solution providers, Zones deploys thousands of mobile devices and PCs powered by high-performance Intel® Core™ processors with vPro™ technology to businesses around the world.

Intel’s vPro technology describes a range of features that enhance the security, manageability, and performance of computers built around high-end Intel Core processors.

But too often, the hardware-enhanced remote manageability and security capabilities that vPro was designed to deliver don’t get activated by IT, leaving a lot of value on the table.

We can help you identify vPro-equipped machines in your fleet and get all the benefits of the features you’ve already paid for. Continue reading

When “phoning it in” is good for business.

Driving remote worker productivity and engagement.

Remote working. Love it or hate it, working from home (WFH) is here to stay.

Sure, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer brought (almost) everyone back on campus when she took the reins in 2013, but there’s little evidence that the move slowed the company’s decline. And for every Yahoo, there’s a Ctrip, the Chinese travel website that measured a 13.5 percent increase in calls made by its remote workers, versus its on-site office workers. Continue reading

Cloud-Minded. Business Grounded.

The forecast calls for 80 percent of IT to be in the cloud by 2020.

The cloud is going mainstream and delivering on its promises. Companies moving workloads are seeing the cloud as a catalyst for business growth. These companies are innovating freely, reaching out to new markets, and disrupting the status quo.

But with cloud technologies being developed at staggering rates, it’s hard to predict which direction they’re moving. More important for you is planning a cloud strategy that goes along with your business forecast. Continue reading

Data – When Is Enough, Enough?

In his 2005 book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, futurist Ray Kurzweil imagines a time when intelligence becomes nonbiological and far more powerful than ever before. Little more than a decade later, the continuing exponential progress of information technology has brought us to the point where we are indeed beginning to transcend biological limitations, stimulating creativity and enabling new paradigms of work, thought, and even life.

To understand the exponential progress of information technology, think for a moment about the accelerating timeline of technological progress over the past 52 years since Fairchild Semiconductor’s (and later Intel co-founder) Gordon Moore plotted a handful of data points that tracked the increasing number of integrated circuits that could be placed on a single chip. Continue reading

Who’s the New Grandmaster?

Making the right moves to win the security challenge.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the final match game between chess champion Garry Kasparov and the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. The world watched as Kasparov became the first world champion to be defeated in a match by a machine. The loss sparked the debate of “man versus machine” in the digital age.

Fast-forward to the present, and the debate continues. Only now, we’re talking about machine learning too. But this is well-established technology. So, why all the interest? The answer is simple Continue reading

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