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Understanding virtualization strategies

December 13th, 2017

If the phrase “virtualization technology” either stresses you out or puts you to sleep, this article is for you. We’re going to explain once and for all how this emerging trend works and how small businesses can take advantage of it.

What is the core concept of virtualization?

By virtualizing any of the items below, you can trick software into recognizing hardware when none actually exists. The easiest way to explain this is with examples from the most common type of this technology: hardware virtualization.

  • If you had one high-powered computer processor, virtualization would allow you to split it up and run four separate operating systems (Windows, Apple OS, etc.), each seemingly running on a standalone, low-powered processor.
  • Conversely, virtualization could also be used to connect four high-powered processors to create what your operating system would recognize as one ultra-fast piece of hardware.

This technology can be applied in a number of ways to create opportunities for more efficient resource utilization and cost savings.

Desktop virtualization

Sometimes referred to as cloud desktops, this form of virtualization grants you access to a fully functioning computer that you access via a local network or the internet. Somewhere, a server has allocated a portion of its hardware resources for your virtual desktop. With a keyboard, monitor, mouse, and extremely low-end computer, you can connect to this virtual desktop and utilize all the processing power and storage the server has set aside for it.

Application virtualization

By installing a program on a server hard drive, your employee workstations can use their computing resources to run the program, but restrict data from being stored on their hard drives. The program and the documents it creates will never leave the server hard drive, making it much harder for hackers to compromise them.

With more advanced virtualization solutions, your server can also allocate the computing resources necessary to run the program, meaning your workstations are merely a window to your server.

Storage virtualization

Similar to hardware virtualization, this strategy makes it easy to organize how your data is stored. In addition to combining hard drives across several computers into a massive virtual drive, storage virtualization also stores data based on how important it is. Frequently used documents are saved to your fastest drives and can be automatically backed up to the cloud.

Network virtualization

If your office has more than 10 workstations, it makes sense to consider network virtualization, which allows you to separate vulnerable devices. For example, if you had one server that handles a lot of web traffic and another that stored sensitive documents, you might want to connect them to different networks to avoid a cross contamination. Network virtualization would allow you to do that without buying any new hardware!

Even with our simplified explanations, virtualization is still a complicated subject. Rather than try to figure it out in a few hundred words, give us a call and we’ll show you in person!

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

The many faces of virtualization technology

December 13th, 2017

Not too long ago, the cloud was the money-saving IT trend for consumers and business owners. Now, that title goes to virtualization technology. It’s new, it’s complicated, but it’s not something you can ignore. Here are a few ways you can use virtualization to improve efficiency and productivity in your office.

What is the core concept of virtualization?

By virtualizing any of the items below, you can trick software into recognizing hardware when none actually exists. The easiest way to explain this is with examples from the most common type of this technology: hardware virtualization.

  • If you had one high-powered computer processor, virtualization would allow you to split it up and run four separate operating systems (Windows, Apple OS, etc.), each seemingly running on a standalone, low-powered processor.
  • Conversely, virtualization could also be used to connect four high-powered processors to create what your operating system would recognize as one ultra-fast piece of hardware.

This technology can be applied in a number of ways to create opportunities for more efficient resource utilization and cost savings.

Desktop virtualization

Sometimes referred to as cloud desktops, this form of virtualization grants you access to a fully functioning computer that you access via a local network or the internet. Somewhere, a server has allocated a portion of its hardware resources for your virtual desktop. With a keyboard, monitor, mouse, and extremely low-end computer, you can connect to this virtual desktop and utilize all the processing power and storage the server has set aside for it.

Application virtualization

By installing a program on a server hard drive, your employee workstations can use their computing resources to run the program, but restrict data from being stored on their hard drives. The program and the documents it creates will never leave the server hard drive, making it much harder for hackers to compromise them.

With more advanced virtualization solutions, your server can also allocate the computing resources necessary to run the program, meaning your workstations are merely a window to your server.

Storage virtualization

Similar to hardware virtualization, this strategy makes it easy to organize how your data is stored. In addition to combining hard drives across several computers into a massive virtual drive, storage virtualization also stores data based on how important it is. Frequently used documents are saved to your fastest drives and can be automatically backed up to the cloud.

Network virtualization

If your office has more than 10 workstations, it makes sense to consider network virtualization, which allows you to separate vulnerable devices. For example, if you had one server that handles a lot of web traffic and another that stored sensitive documents, you might want to connect them to different networks to avoid a cross contamination. Network virtualization would allow you to do that without buying any new hardware!

Even with our simplified explanations, virtualization is still a complicated subject. Rather than try to figure it out in a few hundred words, give us a call and we’ll show you in person!

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

5 Types of virtualization

December 13th, 2017

The age-old proverb “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” is especially relevant when budgeting for IT services. With the right technology consulting and support, any business can afford customized solutions that employ creative methods to achieve its end goals. As just one example, let’s review all the ways you can use virtualization technology!

What is the core concept of virtualization?

By virtualizing any of the items below, you can trick software into recognizing hardware when none actually exists. The easiest way to explain this is with examples from the most common type of this technology: hardware virtualization.

  • If you had one high-powered computer processor, virtualization would allow you to split it up and run four separate operating systems (Windows, Apple OS, etc.), each seemingly running on a standalone, low-powered processor.
  • Conversely, virtualization could also be used to connect four high-powered processors to create what your operating system would recognize as one ultra-fast piece of hardware.

This technology can be applied in a number of ways to create opportunities for more efficient resource utilization and cost savings.

Desktop virtualization

Sometimes referred to as cloud desktops, this form of virtualization grants you access to a fully functioning computer that you access via a local network or the internet. Somewhere, a server has allocated a portion of its hardware resources for your virtual desktop. With a keyboard, monitor, mouse, and extremely low-end computer, you can connect to this virtual desktop and utilize all the processing power and storage the server has set aside for it.

Application virtualization

By installing a program on a server hard drive, your employee workstations can use their computing resources to run the program, but restrict data from being stored on their hard drives. The program and the documents it creates will never leave the server hard drive, making it much harder for hackers to compromise them.

With more advanced virtualization solutions, your server can also allocate the computing resources necessary to run the program, meaning your workstations are merely a window to your server.

Storage virtualization

Similar to hardware virtualization, this strategy makes it easy to organize how your data is stored. In addition to combining hard drives across several computers into a massive virtual drive, storage virtualization also stores data based on how important it is. Frequently used documents are saved to your fastest drives and can be automatically backed up to the cloud.

Network virtualization

If your office has more than 10 workstations, it makes sense to consider network virtualization, which allows you to separate vulnerable devices. For example, if you had one server that handles a lot of web traffic and another that stored sensitive documents, you might want to connect them to different networks to avoid a cross contamination. Network virtualization would allow you to do that without buying any new hardware!

Even with our simplified explanations, virtualization is still a complicated subject. Rather than try to figure it out in a few hundred words, give us a call and we’ll show you in person!

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

2018 VoIP developments you need to know

December 12th, 2017

According to several experts, Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems are one of the top investments businesses make, and for good reason. The ability to call anyone from anywhere with an internet connection gives employees lots of flexibility. And with 2018 just around the corner, there will be new VoIP developments to look forward to.

Faster networks will improve call quality
With more 5G mobile networks expected to go online in 2018, the quality of VoIP calls will get even better. 5G offers wireless speeds ten times faster than 4G, significantly reducing common issues like call jitter, echoes, and packet loss. Faster upload and download speeds also allow for stable, high-quality video streaming from anywhere with a strong 5G signal. All in all, this new mobile network will definitely empower more users to work remotely.

Artificial intelligence will enhance telecom systems
AI technology has huge implications for VoIP phone systems.

Before a call, AI could be used to recognize poor call-quality and fix it immediately — like a self-healing network. This means issues like low bandwidth, improper network configuration, and high latency can be resolved in real time, guaranteeing crystal clear calls and minimizing the need for human intervention.

We also anticipate AI-powered unified communications programs that will analyze conversations, email correspondence, and speech patterns also in real time to produce valuable insights into customer behavior and sales performance. With this information, marketing firms will be able to improve their sales tactics and customer service.

So far, major developers and telecom providers are still working on prototypes of this technology, but more AI functionality will likely appear in 2018.

Voice assistants will get smarter
In addition to providing customer-behavior analytics, we predict that AI will also be used to answer calls. Thanks to improvements in language processing, voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are getting better at interpreting simple commands and interacting directly with customers.

For example, voice bots can handle simple queries that would normally be found in FAQs, while customer service agents resolve more complicated issues. If implemented correctly, this has the potential to increase resolution rates and reduce time spent on basic tasks.

Plain old telephone systems will die out
Given the popularity of VoIP phone systems, telecom analysts predict that the demise of traditional landlines is well underway. Of course, support for old-school phone systems will still be available, but the businesses that use them will be a minority.

VoIP offers enterprise-level features, hardware, support, and upgrades for a fixed monthly fee, making it a smarter choice for future-proofing business communications.

This is why you should consider VoIP migration your goal for 2018. As a professional VoIP provider, we can help you with this process. Simply contact us today to learn about all the benefits of a futuristic phone system.

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

VoIP trends that will take over 2018

December 12th, 2017

Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems are over two decades old, and still going strong. That’s because it provides businesses with unparalleled mobility. What’s more, VoIP developers are constantly improving the technology, which means we can expect some exciting new trends for telecommunications in 2018. Here are just a few of them.

Faster networks will improve call quality
With more 5G mobile networks expected to go online in 2018, the quality of VoIP calls will get even better. 5G offers wireless speeds ten times faster than 4G, significantly reducing common issues like call jitter, echoes, and packet loss. Faster upload and download speeds also allow for stable, high-quality video streaming from anywhere with a strong 5G signal. All in all, this new mobile network will definitely empower more users to work remotely.

Artificial intelligence will enhance telecom systems
AI technology has huge implications for VoIP phone systems.

Before a call, AI could be used to recognize poor call-quality and fix it immediately — like a self-healing network. This means issues like low bandwidth, improper network configuration, and high latency can be resolved in real time, guaranteeing crystal clear calls and minimizing the need for human intervention.

We also anticipate AI-powered unified communications programs that will analyze conversations, email correspondence, and speech patterns also in real time to produce valuable insights into customer behavior and sales performance. With this information, marketing firms will be able to improve their sales tactics and customer service.

So far, major developers and telecom providers are still working on prototypes of this technology, but more AI functionality will likely appear in 2018.

Voice assistants will get smarter
In addition to providing customer-behavior analytics, we predict that AI will also be used to answer calls. Thanks to improvements in language processing, voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are getting better at interpreting simple commands and interacting directly with customers.

For example, voice bots can handle simple queries that would normally be found in FAQs, while customer service agents resolve more complicated issues. If implemented correctly, this has the potential to increase resolution rates and reduce time spent on basic tasks.

Plain old telephone systems will die out
Given the popularity of VoIP phone systems, telecom analysts predict that the demise of traditional landlines is well underway. Of course, support for old-school phone systems will still be available, but the businesses that use them will be a minority.

VoIP offers enterprise-level features, hardware, support, and upgrades for a fixed monthly fee, making it a smarter choice for future-proofing business communications.

This is why you should consider VoIP migration your goal for 2018. As a professional VoIP provider, we can help you with this process. Simply contact us today to learn about all the benefits of a futuristic phone system.

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

VoIP’s evolution in 2018

December 12th, 2017

While Voice over IP (VoIP) phone systems may not get as much attention as the cloud or CRM software, you’ll be happy to know there is an evolution in store for 2018. From new features to market trends, here are our predictions for VoIP in the coming year.

Faster networks will improve call quality
With more 5G mobile networks expected to go online in 2018, the quality of VoIP calls will get even better. 5G offers wireless speeds ten times faster than 4G, significantly reducing common issues like call jitter, echoes, and packet loss. Faster upload and download speeds also allow for stable, high-quality video streaming from anywhere with a strong 5G signal. All in all, this new mobile network will definitely empower more users to work remotely.

Artificial intelligence will enhance telecom systems
AI technology has huge implications for VoIP phone systems.

Before a call, AI could be used to recognize poor call-quality and fix it immediately — like a self-healing network. This means issues like low bandwidth, improper network configuration, and high latency can be resolved in real time, guaranteeing crystal clear calls and minimizing the need for human intervention.

We also anticipate AI-powered unified communications programs that will analyze conversations, email correspondence, and speech patterns also in real time to produce valuable insights into customer behavior and sales performance. With this information, marketing firms will be able to improve their sales tactics and customer service.

So far, major developers and telecom providers are still working on prototypes of this technology, but more AI functionality will likely appear in 2018.

Voice assistants will get smarter
In addition to providing customer-behavior analytics, we predict that AI will also be used to answer calls. Thanks to improvements in language processing, voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are getting better at interpreting simple commands and interacting directly with customers.

For example, voice bots can handle simple queries that would normally be found in FAQs, while customer service agents resolve more complicated issues. If implemented correctly, this has the potential to increase resolution rates and reduce time spent on basic tasks.

Plain old telephone systems will die out
Given the popularity of VoIP phone systems, telecom analysts predict that the demise of traditional landlines is well underway. Of course, support for old-school phone systems will still be available, but the businesses that use them will be a minority.

VoIP offers enterprise-level features, hardware, support, and upgrades for a fixed monthly fee, making it a smarter choice for future-proofing business communications.

This is why you should consider VoIP migration your goal for 2018. As a professional VoIP provider, we can help you with this process. Simply contact us today to learn about all the benefits of a futuristic phone system.

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

Facebook Messenger: What’s New?

December 11th, 2017

Over 330 million consumers connected with small businesses via Facebook Messenger in 2017 alone, so it’s evident that the ‘phone call’ era is coming to a close. Since consumers now want constant, immediate online connectivity with their local car dealership, pizza joint, and other local businesses, it is only fitting that Facebook Messenger’s latest feature grants consumers even more flexibility in how they contact their local business.

The How

By installing a plug-in called Customer Chat, retailers can integrate Facebook Messenger with their website, letting their customer support representatives carry on conversations with clients just like they would on Facebook.

Customer Chat also saves conversation histories, meaning a user can be talking to a customer representative on their website and then continue the conversation once they shift to Facebook — without having to start a new conversation. Customer Chat is now open to any business in the form of an ‘expanded public beta.’

Here’s Facebook’s guide detailing how to install Customer Chat.

Facebook’s Grand Plan

Like all new services, the success depends on the users. Customer Chat’s primary user base seems to be those who lack the time or confidence involved in sending a formal e-mail for a casual business inquiry.

Regardless, Facebook has long been developing its platform with an eye on chat’s broader benefits to tighten its grip on businesses. A recent stat indicates Facebook Messenger has surpassed 1.3 billion monthly active users.

So, What Next?

As Facebook seems to be monopolizing and clamping down on the communication realm — both private and business — with Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, the plan is clear: They want to absorb even more of the communications that usually take place over phone calls and e-mail.

It is still an uncertainty if the new Messenger feature will have a large impact on Facebook’s grand plan, but it certainly won’t hurt if it ends up working. Customer Chat opens up new avenues of integration, such as sending money, making video calls or even convincing customer service reps to give you a refund. Thus making Facebook the go-to app for anything and everything.

Got any questions about Facebook? Let us help you understand the technicalities. Call us today!

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

Facebook Messenger’s Best Feature Yet?

December 11th, 2017

In November, 2017, Facebook announced that their extremely popular Facebook Messenger application would allow businesses to speak to customers on both their own websites and from within Facebook Messenger. Read on to discover how your business can benefit from this feature!

The How

By installing a plug-in called Customer Chat, retailers can integrate Facebook Messenger with their website, letting their customer support representatives carry on conversations with clients just like they would on Facebook.

Customer Chat also saves conversation histories, meaning a user can be talking to a customer representative on their website and then continue the conversation once they shift to Facebook — without having to start a new conversation. Customer Chat is now open to any business in the form of an ‘expanded public beta.’

Here’s Facebook’s guide detailing how to install Customer Chat.

Facebook’s Grand Plan

Like all new services, the success depends on the users. Customer Chat’s primary user base seems to be those who lack the time or confidence involved in sending a formal e-mail for a casual business inquiry.

Regardless, Facebook has long been developing its platform with an eye on chat’s broader benefits to tighten its grip on businesses. A recent stat indicates Facebook Messenger has surpassed 1.3 billion monthly active users.

So, What Next?

As Facebook seems to be monopolizing and clamping down on the communication realm — both private and business — with Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, the plan is clear: They want to absorb even more of the communications that usually take place over phone calls and e-mail.

It is still an uncertainty if the new Messenger feature will have a large impact on Facebook’s grand plan, but it certainly won’t hurt if it ends up working. Customer Chat opens up new avenues of integration, such as sending money, making video calls or even convincing customer service reps to give you a refund. Thus making Facebook the go-to app for anything and everything.

Got any questions about Facebook? Let us help you understand the technicalities. Call us today!

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

Facebook Messenger: The Key to Growth

December 11th, 2017

With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, Facebook’s Messenger app is an unprecedented success. Facebook is now looking to fully utilize the potential of this monster user base and has therefore added a feature for improving connectivity between local businesses and consumers. Read on to learn how this feature could benefit you!

The How

By installing a plug-in called Customer Chat, retailers can integrate Facebook Messenger with their website, letting their customer support representatives carry on conversations with clients just like they would on Facebook.

Customer Chat also saves conversation histories, meaning a user can be talking to a customer representative on their website and then continue the conversation once they shift to Facebook — without having to start a new conversation. Customer Chat is now open to any business in the form of an ‘expanded public beta.’

Here’s Facebook’s guide detailing how to install Customer Chat.

Facebook’s Grand Plan

Like all new services, the success depends on the users. Customer Chat’s primary user base seems to be those who lack the time or confidence involved in sending a formal e-mail for a casual business inquiry.

Regardless, Facebook has long been developing its platform with an eye on chat’s broader benefits to tighten its grip on businesses. A recent stat indicates Facebook Messenger has surpassed 1.3 billion monthly active users.

So, What Next?

As Facebook seems to be monopolizing and clamping down on the communication realm — both private and business — with Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, the plan is clear: They want to absorb even more of the communications that usually take place over phone calls and e-mail.

It is still an uncertainty if the new Messenger feature will have a large impact on Facebook’s grand plan, but it certainly won’t hurt if it ends up working. Customer Chat opens up new avenues of integration, such as sending money, making video calls or even convincing customer service reps to give you a refund. Thus making Facebook the go-to app for anything and everything.

Got any questions about Facebook? Let us help you understand the technicalities. Call us today!

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.

How to master Microsoft Office!

December 8th, 2017

Despite Microsoft Office’s easy-to-use interface, mastering all the features in this suite of productivity tools requires time. But fret not, the following training videos will help you become a Microsoft Office expert fast.

Office Basics is a series of free Office training videos from Microsoft which cover different features and functionality.

Intro to Office Basics

This training video will help you use templates to create professional documents, learn the ins and outs of SmartArt and Charts to express complex data and ideas, and collaborate in shared documents whether you’re working online, offline, or simultaneously with others.

What is Office 365?

Discover the features and upgrades within Office 365 that aren’t available anywhere else, and learn how cloud versions of applications like Word, Excel, and Outlook differ from their desktop counterparts.

Word Training

This training video will show you how to create and edit documents as well as create and format tables in just a few clicks. It also covers document makeovers, how to organize documents, creating mailing lists, and how to translate text instantly.

Excel Training

Creating, organizing, and analyzing data from charts and tables can be quite complicated, which is why this training video is perfect for anyone looking to design workbooks, add text and data, format and analyze charts, and create pivot tables and formulas. Other tips include how to slice data and locate them using VLOOKUP.

PowerPoint Training

There’s more to PowerPoint than adding text to slides. This training video will show you how to create presentations, add and format text, design presentations, add audio, video, and animations, and format images. You’ll also learn about nifty features such as how to match slide colors using the Eyedropper and how to export slides to videos.

Outlook Training

Organize your Outlook inbox with ease and learn how to add and format text and images, manage contacts, calendars, meetings, and to-do lists, as well as other tips such as how to spice up your email signature, keep your inbox clean, and hold meetings using Skype and OneNote.

Microsoft’s new training videos might not be jaw-dropping, but they will surely help users do more with Office. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of Microsoft Office for small businesses, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Published with permission from Technology Times. Source.Source.