Archive for June, 2014

Let’s get out of the hardware business

Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by Jeff Gaura No Comments

Worry.  We don't like to admit it, but it can represent a measurable amount of our brain cycles, with no real positive outcome.

We aren't supposed to do it.  It is Biblically referenced that we are not to worry but to trust Him in all things.

In the IT world, hardware has to be cared for and inspected, for if it fails, then there is a chance that information necessary for our business to operate will be lost.  If enough information is lost, then the business can cease to exist.

Microsoft is pushing its Azure this next year.  For those of you with the courage to ask, "what is Azure?" here is an answer.  Azure is a fancy way of saying, "use our hardware.  We have over a million servers and more people and processes managing these servers than you have in your entire company.  Don't buy hardware, use ours."

At TNT, we use Azure.  We will use more Azure, over time.  Let's us show you how to use it

Don't worry.  Be happy.  Get out of the hardware business.

CLOUDIFICATION – Is it time to build a cloud strategy?

Posted on: June 19th, 2014 by webadmin No Comments

The Cloud - everyone's talking about it, organizations want to understand it and adopt it, but how do you get there? We are on the brink of "cloudification" -- cloud computing for all -- but to get to that state there are many things to consider, such as people, processes and technology, before cloud computing moves to mainstream in your organization.

Moving to the cloud requires a strategy. The first step to ensure successful cloud initiatives is to create a plan. As a Certified Microsoft Cloud Partner, The Network Team is fully prepared to guide you through a successful cloud experience.

Here are a few things to think about as you get started:

  • Cloud options: Private cloud? Public cloud? Hybrid cloud? Where do you begin? The right choice here is crucial so make sure you understand all of the cloud options.
  • Virtualization Maturity: How much of your business is virtualized? Are you still in a data center consolidation phase or trying to get a handle on what you have? Was there an accounting or development project that just became the problem of the IT Department? Knowing the vision, status and plan for your Virtualized Infrastructure is often the difference between success and failure for your IT Department. Have you got a Virtual Disaster Recovery and offsite Backup Plan?
  • Corporate Culture: How receptive is your organization to cloud strategies? What indicators let IT know it's time to start looking? How willing is your organization to help take you from vision to execution? The Network Team has a ton of experience in the politics of IT and helping companies create a culture that embraces change.
  • Changes in People: Once you adopt a cloud strategy, what does that mean for the people in the organization? Do roles change? Do you have all the domain expertise you need? Does the structure of the organization change? These questions are usually answered in the board room and can have a huge impact on everyone.
  • Changes in Process: Have you been able to adapt your current processes to support the dynamic nature of virtualization? Do you need to revisit them? Do you need to re-write them? The Network Team provides the kind of migration support required for handling these daunting tasks from start to finish.
  • Changes in Technology: With new cloud vendors appearing in the market daily, how do you know who the right vendor is? How do you assess the strengths and weaknesses of each? How do they fit in with your current IT investments? What makes a strategic cloud partner that will not only take you to the cloud now, but will continue to change with you as your processes change?

The Network Team knows that you have thousands of choices in the IT vendor market. We want to earn your business and we are willing to help you answer the difficult questions, like those you just read, and clear the cloud confusion. Meet with us and let us discuss the cloud with you. We can cover topics that range from a basic definition of the cloud and cloud concepts, to ensure we are all on the same page, to how to take advantage of this technology in a crawl, walk, then run manner. We can discuss more advanced concepts such as Cloud Service Management/Service Catalog, IT as a Service, Self Service and Delegated Administration.

Cloudification is real and it is redefining the way global business is done in both big and small data organizations. We want to have a chance to talk about your situation and innovate a strategy that ultimately saves you money and increases your customer base.

Give The Network Team a chance to introduce you to the cloud.  Call us at 980-263-2850.

Business Reasons to Move to the Cloud

Posted on: June 12th, 2014 by webadmin No Comments

Should we move to the Cloud?
It’s a question most businesses are asking. Chances are, you've struggled with the question yourself. There’s a lot to consider.

  • What is the true cost of the cloud?
  • How do you know your data really is secure?
  • How accessible is your data?

ITpro.co.uk recently published an insightful article on the Top 10 Business Reasons to Move to the Cloud. Here is a quick summary of the main points:

 

  1. Cost Savings - With the Cloud, you pay for what’s actually used, and don’t pay for unused services.
  2. Integration - There is a common platform for integration, unifying services.
  3. Investment - With Cloud servers, you have a fixed monthly cost, making it easier to plan for the future.
  4. Scalability - With on-premise servers, businesses have to prepare for peak traffic, often by over provisioning most of the time. The Cloud gives you greater flexibility and agility.
  5. User Control - The increase of BYOD means an increase in the number and type of devices IT has to manage. The Cloud provides a single environment to managed user accounts, no matter the device.
  6. Easier Upgrades and Patches - Rolling out security and feature updates is simplified and removes mundane tasks from IT managers.
  7. Speed - The time to commission, implement and configure services goes from weeks to hours, allowing you to react to change quicker.
  8. Flexibility - It environments can be more flexible and dynamic so employees can access company data from a variety of locations and devices
  9. Big Data - The Cloud allows you to pull together different strands of data from a variety of sources and quickly analyze it to provide information about customers.
  10. Security - 35% of companies who use the Cloud report higher levels of security, and spend less money fighting malware.

Here at The Network Team, we understand there can be a lot of ambiguity about moving your data to the Cloud. We want to help answer many of the questions out there by giving you a chance to experience the power of the cloud firsthand.
We are hosting an exclusive, free Microsoft Office 365 Hands On Lab, July 23rd and 24th at the Microsoft Offices in Charlotte, NC. You can learn more about it and register here.

Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business

Posted on: June 2nd, 2014 by webadmin No Comments

With the increase in options for mobile work-styles, your office is changing.  Chances are more of your colleagues, customers and partners work in different states, if not countries.  When I started working at The Network Team, it was several weeks before I met any co-worker face to face, since nearly all of the employees work from home.

The "work from anywhere" world we live in certainly has abundant advantages.  But one disadvantage that honestly took some getting used to for me was the fact that you can't lean over to the next cubicle to ask a coworker a question.

Sure, I could call Sales Manager Dan Whitt to ask him a question, or email him a copy of a marketing document to ask for his input.  But, how could I know if he was at his desk, or away at a meeting and not to be disturbed?

In my opinion, Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business are two of the most powerful tools we utilize at TNT.  With the Presence feature, I am not only able to see my co-workers availability at all times, we can federate with customers and partner organizations with Skype for Business, so I can see theirs as well.  This makes it quicker and easier to get answers to important business questions, which means less time wasted waiting for someone to see and reply to an email.

Here's a great example of how Office 365 and Skype for Business streamline work for me.  A co-worker asked about a marketing flyer just the other day in an email.  I could see from the Presence icon in Outlook that he was available. So, I went to Skype for Business, Instant Messaged him to tell him the flyer was ready for him to see.  Because of the seamless connection between Outlook and Skype for Business, the subject of the email message showed up in the Message window, so he knew exactly what I was referencing.  Then, I instantly shared my desktop with him so he could see it, and approve it.  It took about 3 minutes from the time I received his email to when he approved the flyer, and he was over a hundred miles away.

You can see for yourself how powerful Microsoft Office is, and how it can increase customer satisfaction, and improve productivity which adds up to more profitability.  TNT is hosting an exclusive, free Hands-On Lab July 23rd and 24th, 2014.  You can find all the details and registration link here.