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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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

Empower your mobile workforce to do more

6th-generation Intel® Core processors deliver advanced Windows 10 features everywhere you go

Mobility Blog Art 2Windows 10 is the right operating system at the right time. It’s touch enabled, but not touch-dependent; it moves easily from platform to platform for a consistent user experience; the Start menu is back where it belongs; and new features like the Microsoft Edge browser and Continuum, that brings PC-like capability to smartphones, provide innovative productivity experiences only available on Windows 10.

Intel’s 6th Gen Core processors deliver up to two and a half times better performance, triple the battery life, and graphics that are 30 times better for seamless and smooth gaming and video experiences versus the average 5-year-old computer. They can also be half as thin and half the weight, have faster wake up time, and battery life that lasts virtually all day.

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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

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

Rethinking enterprise mobility

A holistic approach improves utility, efficiency, and security

Mobility Wheel SquareIn 2016, a flexible and secure mobile infrastructure is becoming essential to the day-to-day operation of most organizations. But frequently, when you look under the hood of an organization’s mobile infrastructure, you find a collection of disparate mobility initiatives rolled out over the years.

Too often, various business units, offices and divisions – as well as IT departments – have greenlighted waves of ad hoc device roll-outs, Wi-Fi implementations, carrier selections, BYOD initiatives, and band-aid security overlays. The result can be a fragmented mobile infrastructure that lives in silos and creates gaps and redundancies across the enterprise. It’s also an approach that opens the door to security risks, duplication of effort, and unnecessary costs. 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 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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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

Zones announces investments to expand and accelerate customer adoption of the Microsoft platform

Zones details strategic investments in Microsoft cloud, software and services offerings

MSFT_logo_pngZones recently announced details of major investments designed to support the company’s focus on the Microsoft platform. As an authorized Microsoft Licensing Solutions Partner (LSP) and a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), Zones is well-equipped to provide comprehensive solutions that drive customer success through the innovative use of Microsoft technologies.

To continue driving the transformation to cloud-enabled solutions, Zones has made significant investments in dedicated Microsoft selling and services resources. A sales organization devoted to Microsoft solutions leading with Office 365 (O365) and Azure has been formed at Zones, and is supported by technical architects and system engineers providing extended services to enhance Microsoft solution offerings. Together these teams will execute on Zones’ go-to-market strategy for Microsoft solutions, which includes solving its customers’ technology challenges through adoption and implementation of Microsoft technologies. Continue reading