Microsoft developed a cloud platform meant to provide scalable IT infrastructure designed to handle the needs of enterprise business operations. However, the same cloud platform that was designed for enterprise clients is now available for use by businesses of all sizes. The most important services directly affecting small and medium sized businesses are Office 365, Hosted Exchange and Microsoft Azure. Office 365 offers clients the traditional Microsoft Office suite of applications inside a cloud environment which expands the collaboration capability. Office 365 improves collaboration within an organization through SharePoint and OneDrive. These additions to the Office suite make it easy for businesses to develop solutions tailored to their needs outside of any management software they are currently using. SharePoint can help automate business processes while OneDrive provides anytime access to documents and allow users to share documents with people inside and outside their organization. Hosted Exchange offers businesses the opportunity… Read more!
There is a fundamental difference between software that actually works versus software that people find a way to make work. Software people find a way to make work is one of the most frequently occurring themes we see in businesses, and oftentimes one of the most hindering to productivity. Software should improve some aspect of the communication and data organization of a business. When programs are configured correctly, and the proper training is provided, the results can be magical. Unfortunately, for many companies the reality is the configuration was not complete, the training fell short and a new version of the software is necessary to function properly. When employees find a way to make software work it often chokes the growth of a company, and results in confusion that may become catastrophic. The best employees are problem solvers who believe in the company they work for, and want to find… Read more!
It seems that every professional practice is now looking at cloud based solutions for their next IT expenditure, but many practice owners do not know where to begin when researching their choices. Professional practices have more scrutiny than other businesses because third party regulators provide additional oversight of their actions. For instance attorneys are scrutinized by the American Bar Association (ABA), accountants must comply with Sarbanes Oxley security standards, and doctors must remain compliant with HIPAA. The additional regulation provided by these agencies can often carry severe consequences for non-compliance in the form of fines, reprimands, or suspension of licenses to practice. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an IT system that is 100% secure. Clouds will be broken into, computers will be stolen and phones will be lost. However, despite the risks the benefits far outweigh the threats which will cause in-house servers… Read more!