Copeland Data News - July, 2010
Welcome to our July edition of the Copeland Data News.
We bring this information to you in the hopes of bringing new ideas to ponder as well as bringing reminders of what we all need to keep our eye on as we traverse the highway of business.
If there is anything that comes up for you while reviewing this information, please let us know. We can review your situation and discuss the possibilities for the purpose of helping you decide on which fork in the road to take. Technology can be a great partner as we are all march down this road in business. If you have a question or two, please give us a shout .
In this issue of Copeland Data News
- Cloud Computing
- Microsoft Office 2010
- iPad - what is it all about?
- Odds and Ends
- Customer Profile - Great Northern Associates
Cloud computing is the latest buzz in technology.
Cloud computing is Internet-based computing whereby shared resources, software and information, are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like the electricity grid. This strategy is different than traditional methods where you purchase the hardware and operating system needed to accomplish the tasks at hand.
To put it another way, which option is better; a "house" you own or a "house" you rent? You can have someone tell you that the house you own is secure and safe, while somebody else may tell you that you can rent a house and live wherever you like and not dole out too much in capital upfront.
The cloud computing paradigm is a very similar argument. There are those who will tell you that the cloud takes away your data and makes you insecure. Others will say it is great because you do not invest in operating systems or data centers - just "rent" with no special price for upgrades or maintenance.
Some of the pros of cloud computing may be:
- Small investment up front
- Pay as you go
- Flexible - need more resources, simply pay for them as needed
- Application software is often upgraded at no cost
- Great for collaboration between associates in different locals
- Great for applications that are used by the masses: email, contact management, specialized applications in your given industry, etc
Some of the cons of cloud computing may be:
- Concern about security and where is your data
- Integration between systems can be challenging
- Backing up of systems and monitoring of backup still required.
- Internet bandwidth to the provider needs to be solid and speedy, in many cases costing additional dollars
- What if the Internet is not available? You have no connection to your applications!
- Performance concerns - most Internet based applications do not perform as well as their locally "housed" counterparts
- Loss of control
- Not well suited for fully integrated ERP/Business systems
- Cloud computing is not free.
The debate of when or when not to consider cloud computing will continue over time. As technology continues to deliver faster and more stable connections to the Internet at less cost, the question of where the hardware is located that supports your business systems will be of less concern.
In 2010, cloud computing can be used for specific applications for the "masses" as noted above. For most organizations, it is a long way off from committing an entire business to run entirely in a cloud computer architecture. If you want to discuss your situation in more detail, please let us know.
Microsoft Office 2010
Office 2010 is now available to the general public. The new suite of applications comes in three versions: Office Home and Student 2010, Office Home and Business 2010 and Office Professional 2010. A comparison of each suite can be found on Microsoft's website.
All versions of Office 2010 include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. The Home and Business 2010 version retails for $279.99 and includes Outlook. The Office Professional 2010 version retails for $499.99 includes Outlook, Publisher and Access.
The big splash with this latest version revolves around its ability to help in collaboration with others including Online users.
You can find more information on Office 2010 from Microsoft's website.
iPad - What is it all about?
As you may have seen in advertisements or on the street, Apple Computer has unveiled their latest device – the iPad. For those who follow technology, the iPad is a known entity and you may already know everything there is to know about the device. However, for those in business who do not always follow technology around...
What Is It?
Quite simply it works like a hybrid between an iPhone and a full laptop. Using the touch screen, you can browse the internet, use apps, listen to music, watch movies and play games. Even if you have a data plan for the iPad, you cannot make a phone call through the provider’s network like you can an iPhone. There is an application available for the tablet that can use the connection to the Internet (via VOIP) to place a phone call. However, the unit was not inherently designed with phone calls in mind.
Just How Big
Height - 9.56 inches (242.8 mm); Width - 7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
How Long Is The Battery Life?
According to Apple - 10 hours of active use on a single charge; or 30 days in standby mode
How Much Will It Cost?
- 16 GB - $499 (with 3G - $629)
- 32 GB - $599 (with 3G - $729)
- 64 GB - $699 (with 3G - $829)
How Will 3G Connectivity Work?
Certain models of the iPad will have 3G built in, allowing you to access the web without WiFi. To access 3G you will have to pay a monthly service fee of $14.99 for up to 250MB of data or $29.99 for unlimited data.
What Apps Will Run On The iPad?
Every app that is currently on the App Store will work on the iPad. Those apps designed for use on the iPhone will only take up a small portion of the screen, or they can be blown up to full size with some visual degradation. There will also be iPad-exclusive apps which are designed to take advantage of the larger screen and will look just as crisp as they would on a normal computer.
Should I buy one?
Remember, this is not a full-fledged PC or Mac – so you cannot run Windows or Macintosh applications. However, all iPhone applications are available.
The iPad version (without 3G support) includes wireless support. This makes it a great "floating" access device to the Internet around the office or at home. With the iPad version that includes 3G support with the extra costs of the data plan, you could use the device for "floating" access anywhere. Because the iPad is larger than a Smartphone, the screen will be easier on the eyes.
You can find more information at http://www.apple.com/ipad/
Odds and Ends
The new iPhone 4 from Apple was recently released.
The new phone supports video chat.
See more at www.apple.com/iphone.
Microsoft Exchange 2010 is now available and runs in a 64-Bit environment under Windows Server 2008. Many businesses need to start thinking about an upgrade plan from Exchange 2003, which is now a legacy product.
Kaspersky Anti-virus products continue to be a popular product in the enterprise. It is a solid solution for administration and catching viruses, replacing Trend Micro in many environments.
A friendly reminder about backup - make sure they are monitored daily and at any given point of time, you have a backup offsite.
Security in your technical environment is not as simple as a door lock where the door is either locked or unlocked. Rather, security in a technical environment has many different levels. With each level, there is an increasing cost associated with it. With this mind, many business are re-evaluating their security risk and updating their routers and firewalls to manage the latest threats. Let us know if you want to discuss the security issues within your environment.
Company Profile: Great Northern Associates
Floor Covering Installation Accessories Distributor
Tom Idziak met Jack Bottoms and Mike Johnson in 1987 at the Buffalo Computer Show. Jack and Mike knew that if they were to continue to grow, they needed a company that not only knew distribution software but also all the burgeoning technology that they would need.
Copeland Data Systems implemented a Data General mini-computer with our CIS application software to meet the needs. Like so many of our customers, Jack and Mike knew Floor Covering, but they did not know how to implement a business system. The personalized service as well as the knowledge to ask the right questions worked for Great Northern.
Twenty-three years later, Great Northern Associates still counts on Copeland Data Systems for the application software and all the technology needed in today’s business.
"Founded in 1976, Great Northern distributes floor covering installation tools and flooring system solutions to a very diverse customer base. While we don’t sell the finished flooring goods such as carpet, wood or ceramic tile, we do sell everything needed to attach and finish off any flooring product to the raw substrate. We sell the simplest of carpet tools such as razor knives to the most exacting flooring underlayment cement systems for MRI machines requiring exacting flatness and leveling specifications. Our customers include the individual flooring installer to the biggest commercial flooring contractors in Western and Central New York. Early on we knew that to expand our business would require computerization. However we had heard many horror stories from our peers across the country. Most ended in tales of complex and expensive computer systems grinding their owner’s business to a halt and being ripped out and sitting out in warehouses as junk. (Note..in those days data systems were as big as small refrigerators, had half the processing power of an IPhone and cost many tens of thousands of dollars.) Needless to say, we were very very skeptical about the leap into the future.
"Thankfully we signed on with Tom Idziak and the Copeland Data team 23 years ago and have never looked back. We have expanded from a single warehouse location in Buffalo to branch operations in Rochester, Syracuse NY and Boston Mass. Tom and his staff are literally our IT department. Trust and integrity would be the keywords we would use to describe our business relationship with Copeland Data. When it comes to our technology needs they always have our best interests at heart. Their expertise helps manage sales of our flooring installation products into such notable projects as UB, Ralph Wilson Stadium, Seneca Niagara Casino, Syracuse University and many residential developments as well."
-- Jack Bottoms, President & Mike Johnson, VP
Great Northern Associates can be found online at http://www.greatnorthern-inc.com/.
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