Bridging the gap between resources and expectations

SJ111 advanced-tech-largeA hybrid infrastructure helps IT balance responsiveness with control

In an age when multibillion dollar businesses such as Uber launch, grow, and thrive with a nearly 100 percent cloud-based infrastructure, it should be no surprise that business leaders turn to the cloud to complement their existing IT infrastructure.

Increasingly, workers aren’t even including IT in the conversation. When a need is apparent and a cloud app or service can address it, some business leaders assume they can provide a credit card number and get to work. And it’s easy to see why.

Consider something as straight-forward as a department head’s request for a project management application. Given sufficient time and resources, IT could design, develop code, test, deploy, and maintain an on-premises project management solution that rocks. In most cases, the big stumbling block is going to be time and resources, not interest or capability.

But when IT shares its three-to-six month timeline for completion with that department head, it’s hard to fault that department head for saying, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and seeking out a “shadow” alternative in the cloud.

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A better way to buy, implement, and manage Office 365

Zones Office 365 Complete


Zones Office 365 Complete is a portfolio of services that support your organization – at every level.

Delivered through best-in-class technologies and proven methodologies, Zones Office 365 Complete is an all-inclusive program that goes beyond cloud subscriptions – delivering reliable, ongoing services to your existing Office 365 environment.

Assess. Implement. Manage.

Zones Office 365 Complete includes:

  • Cloud workshop and readiness assessments
  • Software landscape assessment
  • Managed cloud services
  • End-user helpdesk and break/fix support
  • Enterprise mobility management
  • Migration services and user setup

What’s more, you can customize your Zones Office 365 Complete packaged solution for each lifecycle phase: assessment, implementation, and management. Continue reading

Planning a streamlined move to cloud storage

Zones Cloud Solutions and our Advanced Solutions Group make it easy

Cloud-Storage-Blog-graphic-742x388By turning to the cloud for backup and storage, organizations gain rapid and massive scalability at a reduced cost, versus expanding on-premises data center capacity. Cloud storage also offers the advantage of strong protection for data backup, archival and disaster recovery applications.

With your data stored in the cloud, many data center activities are reduced or eliminated. Without the need for manual backups and the associated hardware maintenance and management tasks, your IT staff is free to focus on business-critical tasks, increasing data center efficiency and productivity. And should disaster strike, cloud storage allows IT to restore affected data quickly, enabling your business return to normal operations. Continue reading

Security threats in the cloud

Balancing risk and efficiency

Cloud-Security-Blog-Graphic_648x432Last month the Top Threats Working Group at the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) released “The Treacherous 12: Cloud Computing Top Threats in 2016,” identifying and describing critical security issues facing IT leaders today.

Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the report serves as an up-to-date guide to help cloud users and providers make informed decisions about risk mitigation within a cloud strategy. The report points out that while the cloud service model delivers a wide range of capabilities more efficiently than ever before, there are risks that come along with that efficiency.

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How do you see UC?

Leveraging Unified Communications to streamline collaboration and workflows

Unified Communications & CollaborationWhat is Unified Communications?

When asked that simple question, many people will respond that UC is workplace instant messaging, an IP phone system, or visual voicemail. While these are all common features, they are by no means the whole answer.

Zones defines Unified Communications as a networked communications platform that seamlessly integrates voice, data and applications to enable workers and customers to interact in the most efficient way possible.

Today’s UC systems extend beyond voice, email, web chat and instant messaging to include multimedia collaboration capabilities as well. Using a variety of technologies from top-tier manufacturers such as Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft and Polycom, Zones deploys UC solutions that scale from network-based PBX systems to integrated voice/messaging/video collaboration suites to those including multi-site telepresence systems. Continue reading

Comprehensive workplace mobility solutions empower workers and protect organizations

Mobility-Hero-Master-742x388Keeping people productive – wherever they work – is key to succeeding in today’s business climate.

A decade ago, road warriors were well equipped with a laptop and a BlackBerry. Their counterparts today expect worldwide connectivity to the Internet for their personal inventories of notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. Even at the office, workers expect seamless transitions between wired and wireless networks as they move about the office with their devices.

The good news is that it’s getting easier to meet those expectations. The bad news is that easy solutions are not always the best solutions. Continue reading

Enhancing the efficiency, scalability and mobility of cloud computing

Zones Cloud Solutions

Cloud computing is revolutionizing IT service delivery by enabling a more efficient and more flexible way to meet the technology needs of your organization.

The primary reason our clients choose cloud computing is to reduce the cost and complexity of IT. From a financial standpoint, cloud solutions represent an operational expense (OpEx) rather than a capital expense (CapEx), with little to no upfront investment required. Thereafter, you only pay for what you need and use, much like a utility bill. And it gets better: cloud solutions greatly reduce the need to purchase, maintain and refresh expensive hardware, and eliminate the associated staffing costs. That adds up to significant savings – and frees up your IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.

The cloud also delivers tremendous flexibility and scalability – allowing IT to immediately provision resources to meet increasing demands. That means never losing business while you wait for additional resources. And when demand is reduced, you can turn off those resources, avoiding the cost of maintaining excess capacity. Continue reading

Creating a more advanced and adaptable infrastructure

Data Center VMware HPEIn virtually every industry, IT challenges are becoming increasingly dynamic and complex, with new requirements emerging on a regular basis.

One significant shift in IT is characterized by new applications designed specifically for mobility and cloud service delivery, and for leveraging the power of Big Data and enhanced security capabilities.

Capitalizing on these innovative trends requires an IT architecture that can deliver all-new levels of flexibility, security, scalability, and openness. And to help you protect your investments and control costs, these architectures must also support a hybrid mix of traditional IT, working in concert with private and public clouds.

If your company is making enterprise-level moves into Big Data, cloud or mobility, it’s time to consider an enterprise grade solution like HP ProLiant Gen9 servers with VMware® vSphere 6.0. Continue reading

An easier way to enable mobile collaboration across any organization

Skype for Business & Office 365

Skype for businessSkype for Business brings together the familiar experience of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance and control of Lync.

While the Skype that you use at home is great for smaller businesses of up to 20 employees, Skype for Business lets you add up to 250 people to online meetings, gives you enterprise-grade security, allows you to manage employee accounts, and is integrated into your Office 365 apps.

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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