Cloud Technology: The Future of Business

November 17th, 2014

 

Cloud-Computing

 

Cloud technology has changed the future of business and some believe that it will be the only way businesses will function. It is beneficial for a company of any size and allows flexibility for companies to save money, and free up the necessity to manage complex technologies.

Six opportunities cloud technology can enhance your business:

Data back up

  • Losing data can cost your company money and disrupt the flow of business. Cloud technology is a great solution for backing up data and protecting it from local disruptions. Businesses that utilize cloud technology are able to resolve issues nearly four times faster than those who do not utilize cloud technology. Avoid the need to buy expensive storage devices and instead invest in cloud technology so that your data is available when you need it.

Email

  • With technologies like Microsoft® Exchange, companies can have all the features of email with the ability to work from anywhere, positively affecting workers’ work-life balance and productivity.

Security

  • With the rising concern of how to keep your company protected from spam and viruses, companies give great attention to security. Cloud-based technology includes the benefit of having security experts who are keeping spam filtering up-to-date so you no longer need to worry about your company being at risk.

Collaboration

  • Programs like Microsoft® Lync and SharePoint make communication and collaboration on projects easier than ever. Companies that invest in collaboration technology have a 400 percent return on investment. It allows employees to easily share files and communicate with anyone around the world. Give your company’s employees the tools they need without increasing costs or unnecessary tasks to manage a share drive system. Cloud technology gives companies all the resources, while keeping management simple.

Document Control

  • With all files in a central location, there is no need to work off of multiple versions of a file to complete a project. Employees can work off of one document simultaneously and make changes together, creating increased efficiency and decreasing document clutter.

Environmentally Friendly

  • Sustainability is still a hot topic in today’s business world. Businesses using cloud computing only need to use the server space they need which decreases their company’s carbon footprint. Using cloud technology leads to at least 30 percent less energy consumption and carbon emissions than using on-site servers. Small companies will like see up to a 90 percent cut in energy use and carbon emissions.

Cloud technology truly has helped to level the playing field in the world of technology. In the past, it was nearly impossible for small companies to provide the top technology offerings to their employees. However, today, with the introduction of cloud services and solutions, technology is available for companies in every shape and size to push them to the next level.

Sources:

  • http://www.inc.com/scott-russell/4-things-cloud-services-will-do-for-your-business-starting-today.html
  • http://www.salesforce.com/uk/socialsuccess/cloud-computing/why-move-to-cloud-10-benefits-cloud-computing.jsp

Marketers: Pros of Cloud Technology

October 31st, 2014

When it comes to cloud technology what are the beneficial features that it provides to organizations?

Helps marketers focus on business values than at its data center

Identify data values for business instead of focusing on managing your data center by utilizing the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud storage system with less focus on the IT aspect of data management and storage.

It is cost efficient

Store company data minus the regular IT expenses for machineries and employees.

Need to access data quickly? No problem.

With cloud technology, you can access data anywhere you may be. You can also collaborate easily and efficiently with the management team and other employees no matter what the time zone.

Easier provisioning of applications

With the Platform as a Service (PaaS) feature in most cloud-based data servers, you are able to create new applications to provision the infrastructure of your data apps. Many also have an automatic software integration feature that allows you to easily customize apps according to preferences.

Automate operational tasks

Manipulate the API of your cloud provider in order to monitor and automate the scalable operations of your business. This makes you efficient in using data in real time when needed and to access all the functionalities available on the data console.

Pay as you go system

Have a limited cash flow? Rent and pay only for using a cloud storage data infrastructure to the extent of usage. The cost can be included as operational expenses without the need to allot a budget for upgrading hardware and software license renewal fees.

To read the original article, please click here.

Explore Enterprise Social Scenarios

October 17th, 2014

The scenarios in this poster are examples that represent many types of use cases. These examples can be helpful as you determine how Enterprise Social can contribute in your organization.

They show what’s possible, but may require additional components or solution building to bring to reality. If you want to implement one of these scenarios or one of your own and need help getting started, you can engage with TopLine Strategies to build an overall enterprise social solution. Click here or on the picture below to download the PDF.

yammer

Infographic: Yammer Cheat Sheet

October 3rd, 2014

Yammer-Cheat-Sheet (1)

Mobile-First, Cloud-First Microsoft Product Line

September 26th, 2014

Microsoft has announced that they would be both a mobile-first and cloud-first company from here on out, but what does that mean exactly? There are several announcements among this that can be used to provide clarity.

Hybrid Cloud Initiatives:

  • Extension of the ExpressRoute interconnect program: Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute enables customers to create private connections between Azure and on-premises environments.
  • Simplified cloud storage: Available in preview, Microsoft Azure Files enables a single file share from multiple virtual machines.
  • Compute-intensive virtual machines sizes available: In-region and cross-region virtual networking connections and reserved IP addresses.
  • API management: Available in preview, Azure API Management lets customers expose APIs through the cloud.

Security Initiatives:

  • Enhanced disaster recovery: Available in preview next month, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager, enables enhanced disaster recovery in the cloud. With this new capability, customers can replicate and recover virtual machines and services to Azure in the event of an outage at their primary datacenter.
  • Advancing antimalware: Microsoft Antimalware for Azure, available in preview, offers customers the ability to install an antimalware agent for both cloud services and virtual machines.
  • New encryption technology for Office 365 business customers: Enhanced encryption technologies ensures that every file stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is encrypted with its own key. The encryption technologies also distribute files across multiple Microsoft Azure storage containers, each with separate credentials, to ensure highly secure content storage.
  • Expanding data loss prevention: Existing Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities available in Exchange will now expand to include documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for Office 365 E3 enterprise customers. DLP prevents the sharing of sensitive content inside and outside an organization.

Mobile Initiatives:

  • Office mobile app management with Windows Intune: Intune and Office 365 will deliver protected mobile productivity across Office for iPad, iPhone and Android phones including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook Web App.
  • Microsoft Azure RemoteApp: Available in preview, Azure RemoteApp helps companies give mobile employees access to Windows applications across a range of devices.

Developer-Focused Initiatives:

  • .NET cloud optimized: The next version of ASP.NET vNext, a streamlined framework and runtime that enables developers to optimize cloud and server workloads with maximum agility and performance. ASP.NET will be a new Microsoft contribution to the .NET Foundation as an open source project.
  • Advancing mobile development: Visual Studio tooling for the Apache Cordova platform, allowing developers to build multi-device hybrid applications using their HTML and JavaScript skills. Visual Studio developers can now build Windows, iOS and Android native applications with either .NET and Xamarin or hybrid applications with Apache Cordova. Microsoft also released Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RTM including support for universal Windows apps.
  • Enterprise agility: Microsoft extended Visual Studio Online, the cloud-based application lifecycle management offering, by releasing a set of APIs and service hooks that integrate with third-party services. The new APIs make it easier for organizations to adopt Visual Studio Online without abandoning the tools they’re using today.

To read the original article, please click here.

Microsoft offers free help for new Office 365 rollouts

September 19th, 2014

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New Office 365 customers who buy at least 150 seats of the online apps suite will get deployment help from Microsoft at no additional charge. Microsoft says that they will ensure that the Office 365 service is provisioned and ready for use in your organization. The services will be provided in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish.

For customers that want assistance with additional tasks, such as email and document migration, Microsoft is offering through March 31, 2015 what it calls an “adoption offer” to help with that. New customers who buy at least the 150 seats can then choose between two alternatives. The “adoption activities” option provides an unspecified amount of money to a partner to foster adoption of the suite among employees.

To read more, please click here.

Cloud BI: Going Where the Data Lives

September 12th, 2014

More than ever, cloud adoption has become a recent trend for companies as they are generating and storing more data in the cloud.

Joao Tapadinhas, a Gartner analyst said, “As more data sources move to the cloud, it makes more sense to also adopt cloud BI solutions because that’s where the data is. It’s easier to connect to cloud data using a cloud solution.”

Historically, cloud BI products have been most appealing to smaller businesses, in part because those are less likely to have an IT department that can manage an on-premises product. However, analysts are starting to see larger companies adopting cloud BI, typically starting with individual groups or departments. Of the companies that made the move to cloud BI say that the benefits include fast time to market, no need to maintain on-premises software and simplicity of use, which outweigh any downsides.

Is your company moving to the cloud BI? What benefits have you found by switching over?

To read the original article, please click here.

SharePoint & OneDrive for Business: Protect and Search for Your Sensitive Data

September 5th, 2014

Need to keep your data safe? OneDrive for Business and SharePoint are some of Microsoft’s technologies which enable users to store, share, edit and collaborate with documents in the cloud. One benefit of having documents in the cloud is Data Loss Prevention (DLP). These are policies which backup data to prevent losing work or information due to user error or system error. Another facet of DLP is keeping data safe from people who are not authorized to view or edit the data. Microsoft has a new tool available to help accomplish this. Now users of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business can search for sensitive data across their files in the cloud.

A document containing credit card numbers or social security numbers would be an easy target for thieves or hackers, and once it’s found it be further evaluated. Knowing which documents contain sensitive data is the first step to keeping those documents safe.

How does Microsoft protect these documents? Microsoft uses pattern recognition software to sift through such documents for sensitive information. Currently, they has 51 built-in sensitive information types such as, social security numbers, passport numbers, banking account numbers, etc. Now, the compliance officer at a company can use simple queries to find any documents which may contain sensitive data and deal with them accordingly.

Senstive Info

To view the original article, click here.

Do you think this will reassure concerns about security in the cloud? Let us know in the comments below.

Infographic: Big Data & the Cloud

August 29th, 2014

GoGrid_BigData_revised_300

Gartner names Microsoft a leader in Four Magic Quadrants

August 22nd, 2014

Microsoft is currently positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, x86 Server Virtualization, Enterprise Application Platform as a Service and Public Cloud Storage Services.*

Only Microsoft has achieved recognition as a Leader across all four capability areas. This in turn validates their strategy to enable the power of choice as we deliver industry-leading infrastructure services, platform services and hybrid solutions.

The four areas are as follows:

Cloud Infrastructure as a Service

Microsoft feels the pace of innovation in their cloud solutions led to much greater customer adoption in the past year, contributing to a very strong showing in the Cloud IaaS space.

x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure

Recognized as a leader for the fourth year in a row, Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V continues to deliver an enterprise-class datacenter that customers can depend on.

Enterprise Application Platform as a Service

Azure has added over 200 new services since last year, delivering a more complete portfolio and enabling customers to focus on creating the next generation of amazing apps without having to worry about managing the full stack.

Public Cloud Storage Services

One of two vendors listed as a leader in this area. Microsoft believes the integration of their server, management and cloud offerings was the key to success.

To read the full blog, please click here.

*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Lydia Leong, May 28, 2014; Gartner, Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure, Thomas J. Bittman, July 2, 2014; Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platform as a Service, Yefim V. Natis, January 7, 2014; Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Storage Services, Gene Ruth, July 9, 2014.

**Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.**