Copeland News - July, 2015
Welcome to the July 2015 edition of Copeland News. Summertime has arrived, and there are plenty of business-related technologies that are important to discuss.
Windows 10, an upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8, will be released later this month. From the "reactive" side of things, virus activity still has to be watched and managed. CryptoLocker continues to do damage, so we all need to be on the lookout for suspicious emails.
If you see information here that brings ideas or questions, please let us know. We are here to serve your I.T. needs in the world of business.
In this issue of Copeland News
Windows 10 is due to be released to the public on July 29, 2015. There is no Windows 9, as Microsoft jumped from 8 right to 10 to really make a statement – perhaps thinking they "got it right" with Windows 10.
Microsoft is shooting for one operating system across many devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, phones) and is offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade to any Windows 7 or Windows 8 user for a period of 1 year.
It is not clear how this will be distributed across all customers, as many business customers have "Enterprise" versions that do not fit the "Windows Store" mentality. After 12 months, the upgrade is no longer free.
Business users still have to proceed with caution, as applications they may be running on their desktops may need upgrades to run on Windows 10. While device support should be pretty solid in Windows 10, there will likely be surprises. While we are excited about Windows 10, we still need to proceed with caution. If you have any questions on the compatibility of your applications or devices, please let us know.
You can find out more about Windows 10 at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/features.
Email is essential to business communication today. Ensuring your team can communicate from any device regardless of location without down-time is a high priority.
Exchange Online, a component of Office 365, is where businesses are taking their email needs today. Two trends driving the need for Microsoft Exchange Online are:
An on-premise Exchange Server (on your own servers) is no longer practical or cost-effective. Exchange Server upgrades are costly and the product drains resources from your infrastructure. Furthermore, email communication outages can cripple an organization's ability to work effectively as approximately 85% of communication is done via email. Depending on the severity of the outages, it may be days before you are back online with email.
Smaller companies in the past have utilized POP accounts – low cost email accounts popular 20+ years ago that no longer work for today's email needs. POP accounts have email size limitations and email cannot be synced on a desktop and on a phone at the same time. POP accounts are also plagued with stability issues.
Microsoft Exchange Online manages both of these business challenges. It is part of the Office 365 suite along with many other beneficial applications such as OneDrive, Skype for Business, SharePoint and Yammer.
You can learn more about Exchange Online at office.com.
Let us know if you have additional questions about Office 365, and specifically, Exchange Online. Office 365 is where you want to be to take advantage of the latest technology at the most affordable pricing.
Cabling in your Office
Not much time is spent these days on office cabling, and many offices were cabled up years ago with 10-base-T (twisted-pair) using CAT-5 cable.
The original CAT-5 cabling was designed to run at speeds at 10Mbs (10 Megabits), which was adequate speeds at the time for most systems. Most standard length CAT-5 installations can run up to 100Mbs as well, so there was never too need to replace this cabling.
Now, with increased desktop needs and the trend to use VOIP phone systems, there is a push to run speeds of 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) to the desktop. This is where the original CAT-5 specification falls down. While the latest cabling can run gigabit speeds using CAT-5E or CAT-6, the original CAT-5 specification cannot.
If you have older CAT-5 cabling in place and you have a need for the performance offered by gigabit connectivity, you may need to have new cabling installed.
If you are contemplating installing VoIP phones or adding new applications to your systems, please ensure your cabling meets the requirements of these products.
Did You Know?
CDS offers many ways to request assistance. CDS Online and CDS Desktop remain popular ways to stay updated on job statuses and easily submit new concerns. Our mobile app (CDS Mobile Connect) allows you to snap photos and submit them with new requests for help. Users can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org which automatically alerts many resources in our office. Finally, you can call our office to get assistance. We warn you not to leave "new issues" in someone's voicemail box, as voicemail boxes are not monitored when the recipient is not in the office.
Virus activity continues to be a disturbance. Be sure to educate your employees about imitation emails attempting to get trick users into opening malicious attachments. Always verify suspicious emails by calling or emailing the sender separately to ensure the email was intended. You can never be too careful in this world where the "bad guys" try to trick us into clicking on a link or opening an attachment.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan? If your office become inaccessible for whatever reason (fire, natural disasters, etc.) can your business continue to operate? A continuity plan should be considered to ensure your business remains operational in the event of an unexpected catastrophe. Business continuity involves your business systems, and being able to access information from these systems when required. Let us know if you want to talk more about this important aspect of preparedness.
Proactive monitoring of critical business systems is popular today all for good reason - outages in any system used to facilitate business costs companies dearly. CDS Monitor is a service that monitors servers and your network, reporting issues before they become more of a problem. Consider the cost of a "downed" system to your organization and ask us how CDS Monitor can help.
Backups are critical to your organization. Backup logs need to be monitored daily to ensure your business is protected. Do not let "backup complacency" dismantle your backup strategy.
Providing wireless access in business is very popular these days. However, you may want to consider aligning yourself with proper equipment that provides both internal access to resources as for employees as well as GUEST accounts for your outside visitors. Do not give your wireless password to visitors outside of your organization, as this could become a security breach when the visitor sits in your parking lot outside of business hours with full network access to your systems.
Download and use our app. CDS Mobile Connect is available at Google Play and in Apple's App Store, CDS Mobile Connect can be used as a tool to stay on top of all projects and submit new concerns on-the-go. Our latest version also includes camera integration, which enables you to easily snap a photo with your phone and attach it to your service request. Search for "CDS Mobile Connect" in your device's app store or click the appropriate links to the right. Drop us an email if you would like to be reminded of your username and password for access.
We at CDS are proud to announce a new edition to our staff.
Matt Mueller has joined our networking team here to further our Windows-based support services – servers, workstations, and cloud services. Matt makes his home in Orchard Park and has served our country in the Military. Welcome Matt!!!!