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

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

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

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

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

The state and future of hyper-converged infrastructure

Data Center BlogHyper-converged appliances simplify the design, deployment and management of complex infrastructures, easing pressure on IT staff and leadership. With components designed and built from the ground up to function as a pre-validated system, hyper-converged appliances eliminate the risk of incompatibility you run when rolling out a converged infrastructure.

Hyper-convergence delivers three key benefits:

Faster Deployment – You’re acquiring a single appliance from a single vendor. That means no finger-pointing among component manufacturers when you need support.

Simplified Management – A hyper-converged system provides true single-pane-of-glass management for the entire system.

Rapid Scalability – When you need to scale, you simply deploy additional building blocks.

An excellent example of state-of-the-art hyper-converged appliances is Cisco’s HyperFlex System. These appliances evolved to bring new levels of efficiency and adaptability to the data center, allowing IT to deploy in less than an hour, create clones in seconds, and save on data storage day after day, year after year.

What’s next?

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Raise your voice and amplify your vision

Unified communications improves connections with your customers, prospects, and workforce

UCA comprehensive UC solution helps you enhance customer experience and team collaboration while reducing travel costs, speeding product development cycles, and simplifying IT administration activities.

For more than a decade, unified communications (UC) and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) have been seen as ways businesses can reduce telecom and infrastructure costs by merging voice and data into a single network.

Today’s on-premises and cloud-based UC platforms take savings and efficiency to a higher level, going beyond voice, email, web chat, and instant messaging to include multimedia collaboration capabilities as well.

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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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Doing mobility right

Planning for an efficient, effective mobile infrastructure

Mobility Blog ArtToday – whether by accident or design – virtually every business relies on mobile technology to get through the workday.

From a small business owner’s smartphone, to a retail associate’s line-busting mobile point-of-sale device, to a web-enabled delivery truck, mobile technology is changing how and where work gets done. But making sure all of those devices deliver the expected return on investment is no accident. It takes sound planning and design, backed by coordinated implementation and management, to do business mobility right.

The Zones mobility practice is committed to helping customers take business mobility from ad hoc to advanced. It begins with solution architects, systems engineers and product specialists assessing an organization’s business needs and existing mobile infrastructure.

Often – and sometimes at surprisingly large organizations – the team will find that the mobile “strategy” in place is a loosely assembled bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenario, with the organization perhaps picking up the carrier bill for employees. While such a system may keep people connected, it’s probably costing more than it should, and it does little to keep their devices – or the organization – protected.

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