Copeland News - April, 2016
Welcome to the Spring edition of Copeland News.
The expiration of a free Windows 10 upgrade is approaching, so companies need to have a plan on where they stand with Windows 10.
Ransomware continues to dominate in virus activity.
Additionally, businesses today need to continue to look outside the box by using technology to compete more effectively in this world economy where so many products and services can be acquired online.
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
Windows 10 has been well-received on the home front. Microsoft's free upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 is very enticing so businesses are looking to this path as well.
Here are some quick facts you need to keep in mind:
- The expiration on free upgrades from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 is July 28, 2016.
- In the business environment, your Anti-Virus solution will likely need to be upgraded to support Windows 10 clients. This AV upgrade really needs to happen first and foremost before desktops are upgraded to Windows 10. If you are interested in Windows 10 upgrades in your business environment, reach out to us to ask for an AV upgrade to support Windows 10 so we can get that in our queue. This typically involves 4-5 hours of T/M resources from our side.
- Many applications like Office 2007 through Office 2016, PowerTerm, and the CQCS client will likely run just fine under Windows 10. However, if your office depends on other software, do some fact finding to ensure that your software solution will indeed work on Windows 10.
- A Windows 10 upgrade will likely take 1-2 hours in total time for each of your users. This means it may be worthwhile to create a good strategy in terms of who is going to be upgraded and when. The Windows 10 upgrade across many desktops can be consuming in terms of time and office resources.
- The upgrade is typically performed by the end user or office manager as it is "user installable." Provided the user has enough disk space on their PC, there is not much that comes up in terms of technical questions during the upgrade. If questions or problems come up for the end user after the upgrade, you could reach out to us via email@example.com.
- Most devices and printers will be supported under Windows 10. We have seen cases where older hardware (especially scanners) are not supported under Windows 10. Keep this in mind as you contemplate your next move.
- Windows 10 on the desktop operates very similar to Windows 7 on a desktop or laptop PC. The Control Panel is slightly different. However, the concepts are all the same.
- Windows 10 users struggle with Edge, which is the replacement for Internet Explorer. Edge has some nice features but it is certainly far from perfection. Internet Explorer can be brought back and used under Windows 10 if required.
- We have seen cases where Windows 10 struggles with older graphic cards, specifically as Windows 10 tries to manage dual monitors. In this case, newer graphic cards may needed.
In summary, if you want to push forward with Windows 10 and you feel it is worthwhile to do so, you need to start by upgrading your Anti-Virus tools. However, many businesses are electing not to upgrade to Windows 10, as Windows 7 is a solid platform and is set to be supported at least through the year 2020. Please take this decision seriously, as you need to consider the time and effort by your office and staff to upgrade to Windows 10. Many businesses are maintaining a mixed environment of Windows 7 on current PCs and Windows 10 on new machines.
Reach out to us if you want us involved with upgrading the Anti-Virus application on the server to be Windows 10 ready. If you have any concerns about any of this, please do not hesitate to drop us a note.
Google Search Requires Mobile Friendly Access
Google's search engine, which is extremely popular for users searching the Internet, will be making a change to their protocol by giving less weight in search results to sites that are not mobile-friendly.
This is a major change for businesses, as it puts the onus in their court to make sure their site is mobile-friendly. This means that the site needs to work well across all device types without "pinching and zooming" on mobile devices.
All new sites we write are designed with this in mind, and several customer have already upgraded their sites with a rework. Responsive Web Design ensures that the site is optimized across all platforms using the same content.
In the past Google did not penalize sites that were not optimized for mobile, but they will now start dropping the rank of sites that are not mobile-friendly.
It may be time to review your website, brush off some of the dust and bring to your customers and prospects a new perception of your organization, keeping mobile presentation in mind. Contact us for information on how best to do this.
Whether it's Apple or Android, smartphone or tablet, we all have a favorite app - one we go to often or simply have fun with. When we asked our staff, here are their favorites:
|Andy||Monument Valley - Game|
|Bob||Bible+ by Olive Tree - Bible Concordance|
|Eric||Drippler - Tips, apps and features for mobile phones|
|Gary||Sudoku - Game|
|Ian||Google Maps/Navigation - Mapping|
|Jamie||Instagram - Social Photos/Videos|
|Keith||Kindle - Reading App|
|Kevin||Unblock Me - Game|
|Lino||Nook - Reading App|
|Matt||TripAdvisor - Mapping|
|Ron||iHeartRadio - Music|
|Tim||BeerSmith - Specialty Brewing App|
|Tom C.||Microsoft Outlook - Office App|
|Tom I.||Google - Search Engine|
Did You Know?
Ransomware continues to flourish. This type of infection is a virus that automatically encrypts files on your local PC as well as any network shared that can be accessed from that infected PC. The files cannot be unencrypted without paying a ransom to the hackers who released the virus. Remind your staff frequently to trust sources before opening up attachments or links, as this is the most common way these viruses are spread. Email is the "Wild Wild West" these days and users need to be careful when interacting with email from suspicious sources.
Co-locating your servers away from your physical building is where things are going in I.T. This is a concept of using servers hosted in a data center as opposed to your own physical office. Some benefits include easily scaling of resources as your business changes, improved uptime and greater security. We recommend the next time your servers need replacing that you consider using colocation as an option.
Disaster Recovery is a hot topic with the amount of unrest we see in our world today. Do you have a plan if your systems were no longer available? Fire, explosion, major virus attacks? How long can you survive without access to your systems? Being prepared is what Disaster Recovery is all about. Today, snapshots of servers are replacing traditional tape or internet backups. This allows you to revert your entire server to a "snapshot" in time. Whether this is 30 minutes ago, 2 days or 2 months, these snapshots improve the recovery time of any disaster tenfold. Drop us a note if you want to talk more details on how you can be prepared should your organization be stricken with such a disaster.
|Dashboards are popular today in organizations, as it is so important to react to changing circumstances. Implementing dashboards into your business software visually shows you important indicators and allows decision makers to take proper action. Dashboards can be represented as charts, reports or a combination of both. They can reside on a desktop or they can be auto-emailed to a set of users based on schedule or event trigger. Better decisions require better representation of the facts in your systems, delivered in a timely fashion. Dashboards are a tool to assist with this challenge.|
Is it time for your business to have a branded mobile app for your customers to use? Businesses are moving toward this model, all to bring better connectivity to their customers and prospects. Consider making your own app available to customers and prospects in Apple's App Store and Google Play. Mobile technology is how users communicate today, so this model is now seen everywhere.
|Managing the mess of unorganized documents becomes worse over time, sometimes looking like a recent Hoarders episode on television. Companies today have been relying on Document Management systems to organize this information. Whether these documents are paper or digital, when improperly organized, a company becomes a victim of its own information. Document Management, in many cases, can be integrated into your business system. Reach out to us to better understand how a document management solution can work for your organization.|