Office 365 blog

What? You’re Not Using Office 365? If You’re In The Weeds, We Can Help

Chances are that your competition is already using the Microsoft Office 365 suite of tools to maximize their productivity and grow their business, so why aren’t you? This is a powerhouse of a platform that will change your business culture and deliver immediate results, and now it’s more affordable than ever.

Office 365 is more than just another software product filled with empty promises – it’s an integrated experience of applications and services with a familiar face. Microsoft has been providing solutions for some of the biggest companies in the world for decades. Now, with O365, they’ve raised the standard for business growth. Imagine bringing together all of your people, processes and technology and being able to manage all of that productivity seamlessly, all through cloud computing. Office 365 makes that a reality. And if you’re not onboard with it yet, we can help you get there.

O365 encompasses Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive – available on ALL of your devices, no matter the operating system. That’s right – O365 is OS-agnostic and works on Windows-based PCs, Android devices, Mac OS and iOS. It also offers the options of these services: Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. And, all updates and service packs are included in your monthly subscription. Daunting, isn’t it?

That’s where Zen Techworks comes in. You need a solid managed IT services provider to ease the transition over to O365. We will migrate, integrate and manage your Microsoft Office 365 subscription into your server and network without a hitch. Worried about your data’s safety when it comes to cloud computing? Don’t be. Microsoft Office 365 offers choice like Hybrid Cloud Computing, and incorporates exclusive, proprietary security features to protect your sensitive data. They have also added in a Compliance Manager to help you meet the standards necessary to keep you in business. Plus, we’re watching your data 24/7, and often solve a problem before you even realize you had one.

Benefits of having a Managed IT Services Provider:

  • Take Your Productivity to Heights Unknown

Whether you have a thin IT department – or none at all – with an MSP you’ll be giving your staff the tools to produce their very best work not only raises morale but positively affects your bottom line. The 2018 “Forrester Consulting Report on the ROI of O365” concluded that the group of applications and services that make up O365 cut support time by 50%, saved mobile/field employees at least one hour per day and afforded analysts, managers and sales people the opportunity to make better and faster decisions because they had information in real-time. More productivity means better revenue and happy clients.

  • Worry-free IT Performance

We can integrate O365 seamlessly with your existing system and network. With 24/7 support available, you don’t just add O365 to your productivity tool box, O365 becomes your tool box. To get every last drop out of all the services that make up Microsoft Office 365, you need a great partner to manage it. Bringing in an MSP as your IT partner is the smartest move you can make if you want to use O365 to grow your business.

  • Cost Reduction

Office 365 is more affordable than ever (subscriptions start at $12.50 per user per month) with all monthly updates and service packs included, and also 1 TB of cloud computing storage per user. Small to medium businesses will love the reliability and security, but even the largest of firms will benefit from this powerful suite of tools. Forrester also concluded in their report on O365 that the delivered 3-month ROI was a whopping 378% (source: 2018 Forrester Research “The Economic Impact of Microsoft Office 365”). We at Zen Techworks believe in transparency, so you’ll always know exactly what your cost is, with no surprises.

  • Increased Data Security

Microsoft Office 365 exclusive, proprietary security features to protect your sensitive data, especially in the cloud. They have also added in a Compliance Manager to help you meet the standards necessary to keep you in business. Plus, you have us, the eye in the sky, keeping careful watch over your precious data. No matter your industry, we help you maintain compliance and all those licenses, so you can get back to what you best, and stay worry-free.

  • Real-time Collaboration with Ease

Cloud computing is no longer just a pie-in-the-sky fantasy – it’s here and it has become standard business practice. But choosing which cloud option fits your future goals can be tricky. We can help you sort that out with expert consultation. Dream it, design it, create it – then edit and share it in an instant with anyone on any device to any device in real-time. With features like multi-party HD video conferencing, content sharing, team chat and shared calendars, your people can collaborate with the person in the next room, next regional office or across the world seamlessly. Think of all the time and resources wasted in the past trying to get everyone on the same page for a project, using the same processes and technology. With O365 implemented, those days are long gone.

We mentioned before that all of the tools, processes and services encompassed within Microsoft Office 365 can be overwhelming if you don’t where to start. And if you’re not properly managing it – or it’s beyond the scope of your IT department – you’re not getting the full benefits or tapping its complete potential. It then just becomes a wasted investment. You need a solid managed IT services provider, like us.

We’re here to help. We can offer you seamless integration with your existing servers and network, 24/7/365 assistance, transparent fixed monthly billing and show you and your staff how to get the maximum potential out of O365’s platform. You concentrate on running your business, we’ll handle your Office 365.

What are you waiting for? Give us a call today, and let’s discuss how O365 can grow your business!

five myths about the cloud debunked blog

Five Myths About the Cloud – Debunked!

It’s human nature to be wary of something new, something different – something that seems too good to be true. Especially when it comes to your precious business dollars. After all, that business is your baby and you wouldn’t throw that baby on any old bandwagon.

The cloud is only a fad, right? Not even close. Cloud services are here to stay and are constantly evolving. Cloud computing – in the 10 short years since its inception – has gone from a clever idea and morphed into a business-critical core technology. A Forbes study launched at the end of 2017 projected that cloud computing would be a $162 billion industry by 2020. And at its current compound annual growth rate of 19%, Forbes is right on the money. They also reported that 74% of IT CFOs attribute most of their most measurable growth impact to cloud services.

So what is the cloud exactly? At its intrinsic level, the cloud is a collection of computers, servers, and databases that are connected together in a way that users can lease access to share their combined power. Cloud computing is scalable so that buyers can choose to increase or decrease the amount of computing power they need. It’s a set of very complex infrastructure technologies that keeps your data safe and secure.

Of course, not everyone buys into something just because the rest of the crowd has. The cloud and its services still has some mystery surrounding it. We’re going to put to bed some of those myths and show you how to get the most out of moving to the cloud, angst-free.

Myth #1:  Data isn’t secure in the cloud.

The Truth:  The cloud’s security architecture is multi-layered, and there are multiple safeguards against cyber attacks. Deterrent and preventative controls harden your network against threats and require strong end user authentication. Detective controls ensure that the system is monitored 24/7/365 and respond appropriately if a threat is suspected. Corrective controls manage the damage should a data breach occur. All of these things work in unison to protect your sensitive information and intellectual property, especially where federal compliance regulations are an issue.

Myth #2:  The cloud is just a passing trend.

The Truth:  According to research and analyst juggernaut Forrester, over 50% of enterprises across every industry worldwide will be using a public cloud platform by the end of 2018. Cloud computing’s impact is global, and has permeated companies of all sizes across all industries and geographies.

Myth #3:  Migrating to the cloud is expensive.

The Truth:  Given the breakneck speed of cloud growth and accessibility, it’s become easier, faster and less expensive for software developers to roll out applications in the cloud as compared to traditional onsite platform development. That cost savings gets passed on to users. You don’t have to buy hardware until you need it, and you don’t have to plan for peak usage, since most traditional servers are only used at 15% of their capacity.

Myth #4:  We don’t need the cloud. Our servers and network are just fine.

The Truth:  Until you outgrow them, and then they become legacy hardware. If you want to future-proof your business and ensure any kind of longevity in this economy, then you need to take advantage of cloud computing. The cloud gives you a flexible computing environment that greatly ramps up your productivity, streamlines efficiency and promotes real-time collaboration no matter where your staff is.

Myth #5:  Migration takes too long – we can’t afford the downtime.

The Truth:  To get the most out of your cloud services, you need to partner up with a managed IT services provider (MSP). With an MSP there is very little to no downtime for data migration. Not sure which cloud computing services are right for your company’s needs? An MSP team of experts will evaluate your servers and network and consult with you to come up with the perfect plan for cloud migration minus the worry. Seamless implementation without the hassle.

That’s where we come in. Give us a call and we’ll help you take that leap into the future. Come join us in the cloud – life is better is up here.

5 catastrophes that made IT disaster recovery critical in 2017 blog

5 Catastrophes that Made IT Disaster Recovery Critical in 2017

“Disasters don’t happen here.”

That kind of thinking can be tempting when you’re deciding what IT recovery plan to include in your budget. But the truth is that major disasters can happen anywhere, at any time. In 2017, there were 16 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion each in damages – and that doesn’t account for other crises such as hacks and power outages. To ensure that your business survives the unexpected, learn a lesson from these 2017 disasters:

  1. Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria

Extreme flooding from these wildly powerful storms caused an estimated $265 billion in damages. More than two million businesses were potentially impacted by Irma, while Harvey and Maria hit a respective 565,000 and 18,000 businesses. Many business owners found their computers and servers underwater, along with other equipment and backups stored on-site. Downed power lines and damaged phones made communication difficult, but technology that stayed up – including social media, navigation systems and walkie-talkie apps – played a vital role in helping people survive the storms and recover afterward.

  1. California Wildfires

The Thomas fire in December was the largest wildfire California has ever seen, burning more than 280,000 acres and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate. About 60 percent of retail and food service businesses closed, while dozens of businesses were damaged or destroyed. Even after the fire was contained, smoke prevented many employees from working on-site. All in all, the total cost of damage was estimated at $65 billion.

  1. WannaCry Ransomware Attack

In May, hackers launched a vicious attack that took control of more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, targeting a weakness in outdated software. The thieves demanded a ransom to unlock files for hospitals, airlines, colleges, police departments and more – and many of those who paid still did not receive their data back. But there is good news: 96 percent of companies with a reliable disaster backup plan fully recover from a ransomware attack.

  1. Equifax Breach

One of the three largest credit agencies in the US suffered a massive breach from May to July, affecting more than 145 million consumers whose Social Security, credit card and driver’s license numbers were compromised. The lack of proactive monitoring and prompt reporting – Equifax did not publicly announce the breach until September – left victims vulnerable to identity theft and scrambling to protect themselves too late.

  1. Human Error

Roughly 90 percent of cyber security issues stem from human error or behavior. In 2017, US-based companies reported 1,453 data breaches, many of which resulted from employee negligence or incomplete training. Then there’s the threat of system shutdown, as evidenced in February when hundreds of sites experienced interruptions or went offline after an employee for Amazon Web Services made a mistake while debugging a web hosting server.

Do you know what to do if a disaster affects your business? By the time tragedy strikes, it’s too late – so don’t wait. We will design and implement a customized disaster recovery plan to ensure you don’t miss a beat, regardless of what life throws your way. Contact us today to get started.