office 365

Put Your Office in the Cloud With Microsoft Office 365

It is hard to argue that the most recognized software productivity suite on the market is Microsoft Office. If your business uses Microsoft products and has not yet moved to Office 365, now is the time to consider it. This cloud based software program provides a one-stop shop for all your business needs including email, Microsoft Office applications and programs like Lync Online and SharePoint. Moving to Office 365 allows your business to remain competitive by increasing productivity all while reducing your overhead costs.

Understanding Cloud Computing

Cloud computing, also known as a hard drive in the sky, is a revolutionary way for businesses to communicate to employees and customers, while offering a reduction to technology expenses. Not long ago, portions of budgets required expensive hardware to be purchased and software licenses to be installed to utilize Microsoft Office. Today, the Internet offers enhanced flexibility to run the most familiar products that many companies use. Whether you are in the office or elsewhere, with just an Internet connection you can run the latest version of Microsoft Office 365.

The Components of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 allows access to all the applications you are familiar with like Word, Power Point and Excel. The difference is you now have access to these programs from anywhere. Connect to the internet and gain instant access on all your devices including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones. Additionally, with Office 365 you can now share in real time, making it easier than ever to collaborate with team members.

Depending on the subscription you purchase, Microsoft Office 365 provides a variety of tools to help your business run efficiently. SharePoint is an application that allows businesses to share documents and other essential information between team members. Settings allow for different user levels, making it easy to ensure each employee receives access to only the documents they are entitled to. Microsoft Lync Online is another great tool that allows for instant messaging as well as video and voice conferencing.

Microsoft Office 365 is Maintenance Free

A huge benefit to Microsoft Office 365 is how easy it is for businesses to maintain. Gone are the days of having to constantly update software, download patches and the headaches that came with it. Office 365 is updated and maintained by Microsoft. When you log on, you automatically are privileged to the latest upgrades and security updates.

Cost for Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 is available through a monthly subscription, starting at $5.00 per user. Office 365 Business Essentials includes online versions of Office with email and video conferencing and one Terra-byte for file storage. If you need more flexibility, Office 365 Business and Premium levels offer additional services including tablet compatibility and full Microsoft Office 365 software to run both on a PC or a Mac. All levels offer piece of mind with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime and IT support with 24/7 phone access for emergencies.



disaster recovery plan

7 Tips for a Successful Disaster Recovery Plan

Every business needs a plan of attack if disaster strikes. Whether the businesses is targeted by fire, theft, vandalism, weather events, human error, or security intrusions, a disaster recovery plan must be established to protect the integrity of the system, the data, and the business. Businesses large and small collect a wealth of data, and the loss of the data can cripple operations. A disaster recovery plan ensures a system is in place to recover the data, resume operations, and minimize the amount of downtime. When you are devising your company’s disaster recovery plan, consider seven important steps.

1.   Plan to Lose One or All

Businesses should take inventory of the company’s hardware–such as laptops, desktops, devices, the server—and the software. A disaster recovery plan must consider the loss of a single component or all, the computer room and infrastructure, hardware, internet connection, software systems, and data recovery and restoration. Answer the following: how do we get each up and running again.

2.  Conduct a Risk Assessment

A company cannot know its risk and the best ways to recover without conducting a comprehensive risk assessment. A risk assessment identifies vulnerabilities, software, emergency practices, and anything else that impacts the daily workings of a business.

3.  Identify Essential Personnel

A plan must identify essential personnel and a chain of command when disaster strikes. Where can essential personnel be reached, and who has access to recovery strategies?

4.  Designate a Meeting Area

If operations cannot resume where the office is located, the disaster recovery plan must establish an off-site meeting area and procedures for remote access to the company’s system.

5.  Assign Responsibilities and Tasks Required for Successful Recovery

To avoid chaos, everyone needs to know what is expected of him/herself before and after a disaster. This can be as minor as collecting data and the steps to take if a device is lost or stolen, or as complex as recovering data.

6.  Review Data Recovery Procedures

Data recovery and restoration is the number one goal of the disaster recovery plan. Without company data, the company does not have a foundation for operations. The company’s plan must address preventative security and data measures, detecting threats, and resolutions for recovery. For effective collection and restoration of data, companies must know who has the data, how it is collected and secured, where the data is stored, how it can be recovered, what happens if the data is lost, and the process of retrieving data if the company decides to switch users.

7.  Put the Plan into Action

When you establish the disaster recovery plan, test it out. Work out the kinks and get to know the processes before disaster strikes. Your company does not want to undergo a trial by fire. There is too much at stake, and you don’t want it to be your company’s reputation hanging from the stake. Consider revisiting and testing the plan on an annual basis.


Why You Should Consider the Benefits of Virtualization

Businesses today simply cannot function without the help of the most up-to-date computer technology. Big or small, most businesses require the use of multi-server networks. Having multiple servers usually means spending more money and having less space. Fortunately, that doesn’t always have to be the case thanks to virtualization strategies.

What is Virtualization?

Regardless of the extent of your knowledge of computers and technology the concept of virtualization is fairly simple to understand. In fact, simplicity is kind of the foundation of a virtualization strategy. The concept involves using the already-available resources of your network to create the effect of a multiple-server network without the hassle of adding more physical servers and paying the additional costs.

How Exactly Does Virtualization Work?

Virtualization is created by dividing up the components of a computer so that each of the various components can essentially function as an individual server. This creates the effect of having multiple servers without the need for additional space and cost, which can be very beneficial to businesses that need larger networks to function. Virtualization helps develop a “super computer” of sorts that eliminates the need for actually having the extra servers that are usually required. This dividing process is achieved by the use of a hypervisor, which is the software used for virtualization.

What Are Some of the Major Benefits of Virtualization?

One of the most noteworthy benefits of virtualization is the fact that it is cost-effective. Businesses that require multiple servers are well aware just how costly such an undertaking can become. However, because virtualization makes use of the already-existing components of a computer to create highly-functioning server substitutes, this allows businesses to avoid having to spend the money required for running multiple servers. This also conserves energy, which is something that should always be kept in mind when running a large network.

A great deal of physical space is also saved when you employ a virtualization strategy. With multiple standard servers, you will often end up with a large amount of extra gear for networking that can easily take up a lot of space. This is often a burden, especially for small businesses that don’t have a lot of room to work with in the first place. Fortunately, a virtualization strategy only requires the same amount of space you started out with.

Who Should Implement a Virtualization Strategy?

Though it may be fairly simple to understand benefits of virtualization and how it works, that does not mean it can be implemented by just anyone. Since the process of dividing up computer components efficiently is a complex process when it comes down to the technical aspects, a certified professional should be hired to help create a virtualization strategy.

mobility to increase productivity

How to Use Mobility to Increase Productivity in the Office

Mobile solutions are critical in integrating business and technology. Businesses failing to invest in mobility technology risk being left behind. This means incorporating mobile technology into every aspect of the business, to keep employees as connected as the customers being served.

In our mobile world, employees need access to network resources when they’re away from the office. Remote network access makes it possible to work from anywhere — whether connecting from a hotel room, telecommuting, or uploading data from a customer site.

Mobility in the Workplace

Most businesses already have some form of mobility technology in use. Productivity and efficiency increase when employees can access applications and files remotely, attend meetings virtually, and collaborate with teammates in real time.

Anytime, Anywhere Access. Remote technology applications allow users to stay productive away from the office with anytime, anywhere access to their computers. Mobile technology is all about on-the-go convenience; to be able to transfer files between devices without email or USB drives. Or be able to print documents from a remote computer to a local printer. With services such as these, IT can perform maintenance without interrupting end-users.

Flexible Work Hours. Mobile technology helps with a lot of human resource dilemmas. A team member being on site in Denver, but still be able to attend an important meeting in New York. Or when a key staff member is home with the flu. Inclement weather, remote workers can still get tasks done when the roads are closed, or the office has no power. Remote tech eliminates unnecessary travel and the need for onsite data exchange.

Boosts Collaboration. Cloud computing can also improve productivity. Employees can easily access installed company software while away from the office. This is another way of addressing the needs of remote workers. Employees everywhere can access and work on the same files without emails back and forth with changes. Easier collaboration improves productivity; by making information sharing quicker, projects progress faster.

And it’s only going to get better! Research shows that technology-related productivity in the workplace has increased by 84% since the 1970s. Mobile phones, email, and business software are responsible for the increase, according to a report by O2 Business. 22% of further growth is predicted for 2020 as internet speeds increase and more business choose tablets for the workplace.

Mobility Device Management

The growth of mobile devices in the workplace creates new concerns for secure access to sensitive information. A mobile device management plan will keep all mobile devices accessing your work network secure and even allow for remote deletion of data if an employee loses a device or leaves the organization. Talk to us if you need to manage all of the mobile devices accessing your network and want to ensure you have the right security in place.


reduce business technology expenses

Ways to Reduce Business Technology Expenses

Whether you resolve to trim off a few pounds, budget better, or communicate more with the ones around you, you can use the same goal setting strategies to improve your business. Technology has a place in your business and your budget. In 2015, embrace technology in a way that saves you cash and IT headaches. Consider the following to reduce business technology expenses in 2015:

Trim the fat

Get rid of excess and focus more on effective uses for your company’s technology. Now is the perfect time to do an audit of your business’s equipment. Look for anything in the budget that is repeated, unnecessary, and costing you the most money. If you are unsure of how to evaluate your technology and infrastructure, seek help from a professional team. IT support services from Teknique IT can complete a full system evaluation, including software, security, and operating systems, and tell you what can stay, what needs to go, and what you need to maximize efficiency and productivity.

Go on a budget

Stop delving out money for your IT systems and device overhauls. You do not need the latest and greatest products to maximize your business’s operations. You need a solution that embraces the varying degrees of your company’s existing products and one that is scalable to meet your changing needs over time. Businesses spend the most on IT when something goes wrong, instead of focusing on service and maintenance to prevent IT complications. Many businesses utilize outsourced IT companies that provide 24/7 support and assistance for a flat, monthly rate. Instead of billing for services as a company needs them, flat rate IT support stays on top of the entire system and its updates all the time to monitor and prevent potential complications. It is cheaper for a company to pay a monthly fee instead of having to pay for large overhauls, fixes and updates.

Communicate more

Businesses lose money when employees and managers are unable to work. When a company’s technology goes down, the company suffers a sudden loss, or company employees are out of the office, work does not have to stop. Remote access and cloud services allow all employees to continue to work so that the company’s bottom line is not affected. Cloud services also encourage more collaboration among employees and other business partners. Some businesses save thousands of dollars every month by allowing their employees to work remotely, instead of paying for office space and utilities.

Unified communications are also another approach to improving communication and saving money. Unified communications packages provide business owners with the latest technology, services and features that all play well together for a seamless communications experience.

Plan for the worst

Technology is helping businesses owners prepare for the unknown. Malicious activity, weather disasters, human error, and IT failures can all disrupt business. If a business does not have a continuity plan that includes data recovery, recuperation is painful and expensive. A business needs to ensure its operations can pick up right where they left off, without compromising security, sensitive data, and public perception. Managed services and cloud computing both support businesses in the event of a disaster and ensure that the company’s data is stored safely in an off-site location, not in the computers and filing cabinets that may or may not survive a devastating loss.