Switching to Cloud for Small Businesses

Cloud has the ability to become the foundation of a business, especially small businesses. In this digital age no matter the size of your business, one just can’t survive without an online presence. Cloud is cost effective for small businesses and requires little to no investment. The entire idea of having an off site infrastructure became a trend in 2008, while nowadays it has become the groundwork of many IT companies.

Read more on Switching to Cloud for Small Businesses on d2business.com

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Posted in Cloud Computing, d2 Business Solutions

5 Myths about Cloud Computing

By now we have all heard of cloud computing, but there are so many half-truths, sales pitches and flat out lies regarding the cloud. With all the misinformation out there, how do we know what to believe? Here are the top 5 myths about cloud computing with honest explanations debunking the claims.

Read More on d2 Business Solutions Blog:  5 Myths about Cloud Computing

 

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Posted in Cloud Computing, d2 Business Solutions

8 Signs Your Organization is Ready for the Cloud

Are you curious if your business is ready for the cloud?  In my latest post, I highlight 8 signs that your company is ready for the cloud.

Check it out on my d2 Business Solutions blog:

Click Here -> 8 Signs Your Organization is Ready for the Cloud

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Posted in Cloud Computing

Google’s New Privacy Policy Claims They Read Your Email

On April 14, Google formally acknowledged via a Terms of Service update that Gmail messages, both incoming and outgoing, are now being automatically scanned for the purpose of creating targeted ads. If that alarms you, keep reading!

Last month, a U.S. judge ruled that the courts would not combine the various lawsuits accusing Google of violating privacy rights into a single class action suit. Why are users suing Google over privacy rights? Because the company now admits that it scans the messages of its 425 million active email users – not just when the messages are in transit, but also when they are stored on Google servers. Google argues that users, who agree to terms of service “implicitly” (if not passively), should recognize this practice as part of the email delivery process.

Gmail’s Terms of Service now state, “Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”

Users have a history of rolling with the changes when it comes to Google’s increasingly looming presence in their private lives – but naturally, some will decide that the company has finally gone one step too far. Those users, specifically business users, will need to find a new email support service –preferably, one that commits to a “zero knowledge” policy. They can find it in outlook2go.

outlook2go is a hosted Microsoft Exchange email service that caters to small and mid-sized businesses. The company offers three service tiers, with plans that start at only $6.95 a month per user. The highest tier includes HIPAA and FINRA compliance and encrypted email delivery – plus, the zero knowledge policy that Gmail refuses to offer.

For businesses that want to leave Gmail behind, outlook2go is offering the opportunity to try its product for free. You can request a 30-day, risk free trial of this hosted Microsoft Exchange email service by signing up at http://outlook2go.com.

Article originally posted on outlook2go blog – Google’s New Privacy Policy, Users Seeking Alternatives for Hosted Email

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Posted in Cloud Computing, d2 Business Solutions, News, outlook2go

Disrupt – It’s more than a word you can teach in a class

disrupt: dis·rupt
verb 
1. interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem.

By definition, disrupting is going to upset some people who are committed to protecting the status quo. It’s one of the reasons it is such a popular term in the start-up culture. Those who don’t understand it or have never done it will never understand that it is more than a word, it’s the lifestyle of a founder / entrepreneur.  The spirit of an entrepreneur can’t be taught in a class and it’s a joke for those people who believe it can.  Ironically those who attempt to teach it, have never done it, only read about others great achievements.  The great thing is, it’s not about how many books you read or how many years experience you have, most of the greatest ideas of our generation came from students with no experience, a great vision and unwavering passion to make a difference.  Go ahead, change the world and upset a few people who are trying to hold you back along the way.  There’s room for everybody who wants to make a positive change.

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 
- Steve Jobs

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Posted in Motivational, Random, Success, Tech

“Cloud Computing Made Simple” Chapter 1 Excerpt

The Blank Stare
When I speak to corporate audiences, I encounter few professionals who understand cloud computing inside and out. They’re called information technology (IT) employees, and at the average company, they only represent a microcosm of the workforce. As for the remaining departments who sit in the meeting, it is fairly typical for me to be met with their blank stares when I delve into topics that address the business they work for shifting its data over to the cloud. Inevitably, someone near the back will timidly raise her hand after a few minutes and ask the question that is on the minds of 80% of the people in the room: “So…what is cloud computing, exactly?”

“I’m glad you asked,” is my standard response before I begin explaining – and, really, I am. For too long, companies have left employees in the dark about where their data goes. That is not helpful to anyone, for a number of reasons. More on those in a moment. For now, let’s just answer the question by addressing what the cloud is.

What is the Cloud?
First, let’s define what it isn’t. For the purposes of computing, the cloud is not a physical place in the sky – nor is cloud computing a singular method or service. Instead, cloud computing is a set of computing concepts, and the cloud is the informal expression we use to describe them. What are those concepts? I call them the “3 I’s of the Cloud.” Every company that is on the cloud receives services based on these three “I” concepts:

Interconnectivity – Many computers (a cloud’s “network”) are connected via the Internet. A cloud host, which is a third party cloud services provider with its own servers, manages the computers belonging to its network members from a remote data center. This data center is what facilitates cloud-based services, such as the offsite backup of data. For companies that use the cloud, backing up data offsite (away from their location) eliminates the worry of losing important company data in the event of a system failure, power outage or weather disaster.

If you have ever heard a television or radio advertisement for a cloud services provider, you know that the #1 selling point these providers emphasize is their ability to offer companies disaster recovery solutions. That isn’t mere hype; disaster recovery is a valuable service that the cloud makes possible.

In any event, the interconnectivity of the network is what keeps cloud services providers on their toes, maintaining the uptime of the network and allowing services like disaster recovery to happen. Because a cloud hosting service provider will work hard to make sure his network doesn’t go down, the interconnectivity of the cloud should be viewed as one of its strongest assets.

Infrastructure – In order to maintain a manageable IT budget, members of the host’s network rely on the cloud to provide the IT infrastructure for their respective companies. Rather than breaking the bank building an onsite data center, those companies can rely on the cloud for the raw computing capacity needed to create, store and share data internally.

On average, the cost of depending on a cloud services provider for infrastructure is 74% less than the cost of developing the infrastructure and operations force in-house.(1) That is one clear cost comparison that makes the cloud worth exploring.

Intangibles – In a word, software. The cloud can be used to deliver one or more software applications for companies to effectively manage their workforces: email, calendars, data and document sharing, spreadsheets, etc. Nearly any IT service a company needs to manage itself can be delivered in the cloud. When a cloud host provides these software-based intangibles, that is defined as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cloud computing is all about delivering business offerings as a service; software is just one of three.

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Posted in Cloud Computing, Motivational, News, Random, Success, Tech

Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy

This is a great article.  I definitely see this all the time and hear it when people come ask me for business related advice.  I say it all the time “your not special” as mean as it sounds, it’s 100% true and all these kids coming out of college thinking that is only destroying their happiness with unrealistic expectations.  By definition, not everybody can be special.

spe-cial | ‘speSHel |
adjective
better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

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Posted in Motivational, Success

Matt Dubois’ QOTD

Action is the foundational key to all success.
Pablo Picasso

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Posted in Lean Startup, Motivational, Small Business, Success

How is Online File Storage Superior to other Options?

You can store your important documents in physical storage hardware or you can opt for online file storage. Online storage is quite popular due to the many benefits it has over other forms of storage. One of the reasons why online file storage is superior to other storage forms is because there is unlimited storage. Unlike other physical storage options which have a limit on the amount of files that can be stored in them, online storage is unlimited. You can store an infinite amount of information without worrying about running out of space after a while.

Another benefit of online file storage is that it is backed up on a remote device. When you store your files in a physical hard drive, if anything happens to it, then you lose all the documents. For example, if it is formatted by mistake or destroyed by fire, water or other physical factors, then you lose everything. However, with online storage, you have your files stored in back up devices. This means there is no risk of losing any of the important information you have stored. This makes online storage an excellent option for storing important files that you cannot afford to lose.

Cloud file service integrates easily with existing systems so that you can easily access your stored files. This means that you can access the files right from your computer whenever you need to use them. They have ease of access as well so you can access them from anywhere. So whether you are on your desktop computer, working on your laptop or on the move with your mobile phone, you can still access your important documents. Cloud file service providers ensure that you get free on boarding and technical support that you have access to for life.

The cloud file service also has an administrative console to ensure that only authorized persons have access to the files. This offers you an unparalleled level of privacy and security. In addition, you can always store your sensitive documents using cloud service since they are encrypted. The encryption used is high level to ensure that no one else can gain access to or read your private documents. Therefore, cloud file sharing is a useful tool for communication with your contacts without worrying about eavesdroppers. There is a clean dashboard interface which makes it easy to use even if you are not a computer expert.

Cloud file sharing is also superior since there is no downtime when you cannot access your files. The unmatched uptime offers you constant access to your important documents whenever you need them. In addition, you do not need any on-site hardware so you save a lot of money that you would have spent procuring this. It is essential that you get cloud file sharing serving from experts who give you value for your money. They should also have all the attractive features that have been mentioned above so that you can benefit from using the cloud system for your operations.

Originally posted on drive2go blog - How is Online File Storage Superior to other Options? 

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Posted in drive2go, Motivational, Random, Small Business, Success, Tech

Procuring Computer Support Services – What to Look for

As you embark on choosing Orange County computer support services, it is advisable to consider different vendors. This will assist you in making the best choice for your business. The most effective way of identifying the most suitable Orange County computer support for your business is by interviewing each provider individually. Note the use of the “most suitable” instead of the “best.” This is because businesses have different needs and what might constitute the best services for one company may not be relevant to another. The following are some things to consider when reviewing IT support companies to help you achieve your business objectives.

First, you need to inquire about the business hours of the IT support services that you are considering. It is imperative that you know what hours the IT support will be available to your business. While majority of computer support companies offer 24-hours a day services, their main offices may keep specific hours. This can be important information because you need to be confident that your business activities will not grind to a halt if a big problem occurs in your network. Some computer network support providers may troubleshoot your problems at any hour, but only provide maintenance and updates during given times. Obtain all this information upfront.

An important question that you should ask the computer technician representing the IT support service is, “How do we get support?” It is wise to ask the computer networking support provider about communication. Ask the computer technician how you will be getting in touch with the Managed Service Provider (MSP) he is representing. Do they have a single point of contact and will you be assigned a case manager? Also, inquire about the means of communication – Skype, email, phone, etc. Find out what hours your contact will be available. Having someone who works for the provider on your side can be a lifeline when things go awry.

Find out from what the Irvine computer support provider gives the highest priority to when hiring staff – customer service or technical knowledge. The response can tell you a lot about the potential vendor. However, you need to decide before hand what the acceptable answer may be i.e. which one of the two options is most important for your business. Note that there is no wrong answer. Excellent computer networking support includes technical support as well as soft skills.

In addition to that, you need to inquire about the process for adding new services. Majority of businesses plan to grow in the subsequent years and they need business IT services to grow with them. Discuss with the prospective providers how they plan on implementing additional IT support products and the parameters they use to warrant expansion of the IT department. Business IT services have become an integral part of modern businesses as IT systems are the platform on which majority of business activities rest. It is, therefore, important to factor them into your business’ short and long term strategies in order to ensure success.

 

Originally posted on d2 Business Solutions Blog - Procuring Computer Support Services

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Posted in desktop2go, News, Random, Small Business, Tech