Copeland News - January, 2016
Welcome to the Winter edition of Copeland News.
Windows 10 has been popular in the consumer world, and is now making rounds in the business community.
Security continues to be a concern, as CryptoLocker-style infections have plagued many companies, forcing companies around the globe to better educate their users to the pitfalls of opening attachments and clicking links from untrusted sources.
That being said, if you think of anything today or in the future that you would like to discuss as it applies to your situation, never hesitate to drop us a note. We are here to help and serve you in any way we can.
In this issue of Copeland News
Microsoft's Windows 10 rollout of the latest desktop operating system has, generally speaking, been applauded as a solid offering. While consumers have been implementing Windows 10 in replacement of both Windows 8 as well as Windows 7 desktops, businesses have been predictably slower to respond.
In terms of businesses adoption, please consider the following before moving forward with the upgrade to Windows 10:
- Is your business-critical software compatible with Windows 10? CyberScreen for Windows and newer versions of PowerTerm are compatible with Windows 10. In most cases a quick Google search on the product name and "Windows 10 compatibility" will answer that for you.
- Do you use Internet Explorer for banking and other trusted transactions? Many bank sites are very specific as to which versions of browsers can be used. Windows 10 has replaced Internet Explorer with "Edge." While Edge provides a nice user experience, it is far from perfect and has a few bugs that have yet to be resolved. In many cases, the original Internet Explorer will be retained after the upgrade and you may set it as your default browser.
- Will your current enterprise-based anti-virus products cover Windows 10? The AV companies have been working on this and many of them are ready with versions that cover Windows 10. However, this does not imply you are running that version, and you may require an upgrade to get to an anti-virus version that supports Windows 10.
Cross-checking these items and being diligent in the upgrade process can result in a successful Windows 10 upgrade. If you are a business user, you may want to consider upgrading a single desktop initially before committing to the rest of the "fleet" to ensure your applications run properly with the new operating system.Most Windows 7 and Windows 8 users have a free Windows 10 upgrade available until July, so keep this in mind as you contemplate your strategy.
Social Networking for Business
Times are changing. Many businesses today are looking into better ways to communicate within the company as traditional email is full of pitfalls. With the need to increase collaboration among the workforce, new applications have surfaced which bring social network logistics into the center of business. These platforms allow associates to share ideas as a group in a new paradigm of communication within a company.
- Yammer – Yammer is a communication tool that is private within an organization, but encourages collaboration through a "social network-like" interface. Yammer is owned by Microsoft and is available in the Office 365 arsenal of tools.
- Slack – similar to Yammer, Slack focuses on collaboration in an organization, private from the outside world.
- Facebook at Work – This is a business variation of the popular social networking application. Facebook at Work takes the same look and feel of Facebook and applies it to a business. Like other products, its focus is on collaboration. Facebook at Work is about the sharing of ideas and collaborating within the company rather than social networking with friends while at work.
Each of these tools has its pros and cons. If there is an interest to change the way your company communicates to facilitate better teamwork and collaboration, each of these corporate social platforms need to be evaluated. These types of systems require a significant level of commitment from the top down to make a difference for your team.
Many businesses have traditionally had on-premise servers to provide the infrastructure needed for day-to-day operations. There are plenty of reasons why servers have traditionally been on-site, such as connectivity speed, fault tolerance and security concerns just to name a few.
Today, with connections becoming faster and more affordable, business are reevaluating the need to have their servers on site. Business applications can be colocated onto cloud-based servers where application access works the same as on-premise access.
Moving a company's resources completely to the cloud may not be for everyone, but now that connection speeds and pricing are where they need to be, colocation should considered.
Office 365 and Exchange Online
There are two major changes happening today in the world of email:
- Businesses are working to rid themselves of on-premises email solutions like Exchange Server as soon as possible.
- Smaller organizations that have traditionally used POP-based email servers are realizing its limitations. Message size limitations and the need for delivery to multiple devices have both caused headaches for POP users.
Did You Know?
Office 2016 is now available and Office 2013 is no longer available for purchase. You can find more about Office 2016 HERE.
For users who have been around the Windows environment for some time, this YouTube video may take you back to earlier days.
Wireless Technology continues to evolve in a good way. The latest mainstream specification is 802-11ac. Many of the latest devices handle the "ac" specification, providing your router has an "ac" specification. The initial "ac" spec is called "Wave 1," while a recent enhancement to "ac" is called "Wave 2." For those interested, technical specifications can be found HERE.
Virus activity continues to be flourish with the likes of CryptoLocker and all of its variants. Criminals are trying to entice recipients to "take the bait" by clicking on fake attachments and bad links. EMPLOYEE EDUCATION IS CRITICAL to combat this. All users need to be aware that this is happening, and general attachments or links with names like "Purchase Order", "UPS Tracking #", "Resume" and other common business terms have been successful in attacking companies and rendering some data useless. Some businesses have been down for up to a week because of these types of viruses, so business leaders need to take this threat VERY SERIOUSLY and educate their users. On request, we can help with that education.