VMware Cloud on AWS

logo-vmware-aws-partnership-grey_600x118Radically simplifying hybrid cloud environments

Most enterprises rely on VMware to run applications in their vSphere-based private clouds. Many of these same customers also run applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Increasingly, customers have asked both companies to make it easier to run their existing on-premises environments alongside AWS, using the VMware software and tools they’ve come to rely on.

With the recent announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS, the strategic alliance between VMware and AWS formed in response to this obvious demand is beginning to bear fruit.

Currently in Technology Preview, VMware Cloud on AWS is a vSphere-based cloud service that will bring VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) software to the AWS cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS will give customers the full SDDC experience from the leader in the private cloud, running on the world’s most popular, trusted, and robust public cloud. Zones will begin offering VMware Cloud on AWS in mid-2017, with pricing available closer to the general availability date. Continue reading

Zones acquires nfrastructure

On October 21, we announced our acquisition of nfrastructure Technologies, a provider of core-to-edge technical and managed services.

By acquiring nfrastructure, we’re extending our robust solutions and services capabilities. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zones, nfrastructure will expand globally and nationally, significantly enhancing its product fulfillment and technical capabilities.

“Acquiring nfrastructure accelerates Zones’ evolution as a services-led solutions provider with deep customer relationships and global capabilities,” said Firoz Lalji, chairman, president and CEO of Zones. “We welcome nfrastructure’s talented team to our organization. With similar cultures squarely focused on delivering a positive customer experience, we’re well-aligned to seize growth in the market.”

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Windows Server 2016 brings significant changes to licensing

WinServer 2012 logoIf Software Assurance (SA) hadn’t already brought customers savings as Microsoft software and technology advanced, the implications on licensing costs coming with the release of Windows Server 2016 will save those with SA quite a bit.

Windows Server 2016 “Technical Preview 5” was released at the end of April, with speculation that the latest version of Windows Server will be available to the general population in the third quarter of the year. However, it is important that IT departments begin planning for Windows Server 2016, regardless of whether or not they plan on upgrading this year. IT departments should start planning now, because the way Windows Server 2016 is licensed is becoming more complex and may increase costs for your organization, depending on whether or not you have SA.

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Zones named a 2016 Tech Elite 250 solution provider by CRN

Tech Elite 250 list recognizes IT solution providers for deep technical expertise and premier certifications

data_center_100_awardOn March 29, CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, named Zones to its 2016 Tech Elite 250 list. This annual list honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology vendors.

“We continue to invest in our team’s technical training in all key solution areas to support our customers and the technology partners we represent,” said Asif Hudani, senior vice president of the Advanced Solutions Group at Zones. “Our placement on the Tech Elite 250 list solidifies our commitment to providing the expertise and technical knowledge our customers require.”

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Microsoft Products and Services Agreement

MSFT LogoThe future of licensing

Recently, Microsoft made an announcement that will affect businesses with 250-500 employees that currently purchase Microsoft volume licenses under a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), as well as those planning on entering an EA. This news is significant, and shows that Microsoft is making good on its promise to make licensing Microsoft software and online services simpler, easier to understand, and quicker to provision.

Beginning July 1, 2016, Microsoft is raising the minimum threshold for commercial customers to enter into an Enterprise Agreement from 250 seats to 500 “seats” – which can mean users or devices. Why? Well, it’s all part of Microsoft’s effort to create the single licensing program of the future. In early 2014, Microsoft introduced a new licensing program called the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) to replace the Select and Select Plus programs. Eventually all programs like the EA, Open, and Open Value will roll under the MPSA as well. Continue reading

Zones wins prestigious Supplier of the Year award from National Minority Supplier Development Council

Honored for outstanding performance as a Minority Business Enterprise

NMSDC-2015-award_UpdatedRecently, Zones was honored by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) as Class IV Supplier of the Year. The award was presented to Zones during the 2015 NMSDC Conference in San Diego.

Zones received this award for business acumen, outstanding performance and commitment to minority business development, as well as excellence in community service as a minority business enterprise (MBE). In August, Zones was named 2015 Regional Supplier of the Year by the NMSDC, which drove the company’s eligibility for the national award.

“This award recognizes Zones’ accomplishments as a business. Zones delivers exceptional service to its many customers, is a dedicated participant in community service in and around the Seattle community, and has a demonstrated commitment to minority business development,” said NMSDC President Joset Wright-Lacy. “NMSDC is proud of Zones’ contribution to the NMSDC network.” Continue reading

Zones honored as a winner of Microsoft’s Excellence in Operations Award

We are proud to share the news that Zones won the Excellence in Operations Award for delivering market-leading operational excellence supporting Microsoft technology over the past year.

This marks the ninth time that Zones has been recognized for excellence in operations by Microsoft, and the second award given to Zones by Microsoft in 2015.

“Zones and Microsoft have worked together successfully in key segments around strategic initiatives, including software, hardware and cloud solutions,” said Todd Leeson, vice president of Partner and Product Marketing, Software, at Zones. “Winning the Microsoft Excellence in Operations Award for the ninth time emphasizes our commitment to the Microsoft platform and demonstrates our ability to deliver positive business outcomes for our customers.”

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Zones Named 2015 Regional Supplier of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council

Zones now eligible for National Supplier of the Year honors

On August 25, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) honored Zones with a 2015 Regional Supplier of the Year award. As a Regional Supplier of the Year, we are now eligible for National Supplier of the Year honors, which will be announced at the NMSDC Conference Awards Banquet later this fall.

The Regional Supplier of the Year Awards are given annually to minority suppliers who have distinguished themselves and their businesses by successfully demonstrating growth in sales and employment, consistently providing high-quality products, services and solutions at competitive prices, and significantly contributing to the growth and development of the communities in which they operate.

“There are more than 12,000 NMSDC-certified minority business enterprises (MBE) nationwide who could have received this recognition,” said Murray Wright, president and CEO at Zones. “To be considered for the National Supplier of the Year Award is a testament to our team’s focus on enhancing and differentiating our customers’ experiences with Zones over the past year. We thank the NMSDC for the Regional Supplier of the Year Award and look forward to helping our customers reach even higher levels of success in the future.”

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Zones furthers cloud strategy with introduction of the Zones Cloud Marketplace

Unified solution offers on-demand cloud provisioning and automation

On August 10, at the Zones CustomerConnect business conference, Zones debuted its Cloud Marketplace, an offering that gives organizations the ability to purchase and provision the cloud resources they require quickly and easily, with simplified administration, management and 24×7 post-sales support.

Zones Cloud Marketplace is a cloud-specific portal that extends Zones’ automated procurement site, ZonesConnect. The Cloud Marketplace is unique, in that customers can provision their cloud solutions and workloads in real time, enabling the self-service and self-direction needed to rapidly scale their organizations’ cloud workloads up or down.

“CustomerConnect is the perfect venue to announce the Zones Cloud Marketplace,” said Jon Allen, vice president of Partner and Product Marketing at Zones. “Our customers require the ability to strategically manage their cloud resources with real-time provisioning, while having a single pane of glass to effectively manage their cloud workloads. The Zones Cloud Marketplace is the next step in the evolution of Zones’ expansive cloud offerings.” Continue reading

Meet Windows 10

The Windows operating system that’s mobile, secure, and built to last

wb_T3_EnterpriselBus_hero_desktopWindows 10 is familiar, and better than ever.

With welcome similarities to Windows 7 – including the Start menu – people using Windows 10 will feel like experts right away. New features like Continuum and Microsoft Edge provide innovative productivity experiences only available on Windows 10.

On 2-in-1 devices you can run in desktop or tablet mode, seamlessly switching between type and touch inputs. Continuum for Phone even allows you to use your phone like a desktop.

Windows 10 also delivers entirely new ways to protect your systems and data. With features like Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport, it’s easier to adopt biometrics and multi-factor authentication.

Windows 10 also has built-in defenses to help protect your critical business information from leaks or theft, while separating corporate from personal files. Technologies like Secure Boot and Device Guard ensure you’re protected from power-on to power-off. Continue reading