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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the challenges of digital business

Cisco Digital Network Architecture

Legacy business processes are becoming increasingly digital, requiring fast and flexible network services to facilitate and support them. On top of that, business leaders and the IT professionals who run them are under pressure to accelerate adoption of big data, mobile, cloud, video, and IoT technologies.

Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) gives you a clear and efficient way forward. DNA centers around a network infrastructure that is not only fully programmable and open to third-party innovation, but can also fully and seamlessly integrate the cloud as an infrastructure component. Continue reading

Not all clouds are created equal

Cloud-Storage-Blog-graphic-742x388Why it’s important to optimize yours to stay cloud compliant

It’s a given that many smart companies, big and small, are moving to the cloud at breakneck speed. They’re looking to increase productivity, enhance collaboration, ensure business continuity, and reap the cost benefits. But a move to the cloud also presents potential risks as security and compliance protocols also move from your servers to someone else’s.

Cloud compliance is an issue for anyone using cloud storage or backup services, and the decisions you make regarding where it’s stored, how it’s shared, and who has access to it can greatly impact the operations of your business.

That’s why now – more than ever – it’s important to evaluate and optimize your cloud computing environment.

Continue reading

On-prem vs. hybrid vs. Cloud – Which UC deployment model is best for your business?

8-12-16_UC-Blog-graphic_800pxA recent industry report states that more than 54% of surveyed large enterprises (defined as 5,000+ employees) still operate an outdated TDM PBX voice infrastructure; if not at all locations, at least at some. One might be surprised that that there is a such a relatively high percentage of legacy-based, on-prem voice solutions still in the market, given the success of Microsoft Office 365 and general buzz surrounding hosted UC solutions.

But if you are considering upgrading your existing voice or UC capabilities, should these percentages or trends play a role in your decision making? And is there a single UC deployment model that definitively makes sense for every business?

The short answers are ‘no’ and ‘no’. The best deployment model depends on the unique requirements and circumstances of your business. Continue reading

A better way to secure the cloud

CASB – The smart solution for cloud security

12-5-16_Core-Security_Blog-image_600pxThe most common concern around the cloud is data security. Companies need to be continuously aware of how and where their data is stored in the cloud, all while ensuring they’re compliant with any regulations which apply to them.

Enterprises are struggling to understand the data security and compliance impact of organizational, departmental, and especially rogue or “shadow” adoption of cloud applications. This is where a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) comes into play.

Continue reading