If you paid for Intel vPro technology, you should be using it.

Get more value from your vPro-enabled devices.

As one of the country’s largest solution providers, Zones deploys thousands of mobile devices and PCs powered by high-performance Intel® Core™ processors with vPro™ technology to businesses around the world.

Intel’s vPro technology describes a range of features that enhance the security, manageability, and performance of computers built around high-end Intel Core processors.

But too often, the hardware-enhanced remote manageability and security capabilities that vPro was designed to deliver don’t get activated by IT, leaving a lot of value on the table.

We can help you identify vPro-equipped machines in your fleet and get all the benefits of the features you’ve already paid for. Continue reading

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

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

“I want to get out of the phone business”

Top real-world UC requests we hear from our customers

We’ve made it through the 2017 technology prediction cycle that marks the begining of each year. I’m simplifying… but the general market trends that have been predicted for UC in 2017 have been along the lines of: 1) Continued advance to the cloud (agreed); 2) IM replaces email (it depends – on the company, use cases, and the groups and demographics within that company); 3) UC begins to be integrated into existing business apps to enhance business workflows/processes (not quite yet); 4) Is 2017 finally the year WebRTC delivers on its potential? (nope). 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

Beacons are revolutionizing customer experiences

GettyImages-629507966Picture this: You enter a museum and your eye is drawn to a painting that looks interesting. As you wander closer, your smartphone alerts you with a message that includes the painting’s title, artist’s name, the date of its creation, and a short background history about the piece – and reminds you that a print is available for purchase at the museum’s gift shop.

When you consider all the potential benefits of beacon technology – interacting with visitors, customers, travelers, and employees in spaces like museums, stores, transit hubs, and offices to deliver highly contextual, hyper-local and meaningful messages – it’s time to take a closer look at beacons in your 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

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.

Continue reading