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MSFT silver cloud logo reversed-300As a Microsoft Silver Midmarket Cloud Partner we have access to the vast marketing, technical and consulting resources that Microsoft has. We also sell and support the Windows PC and Server Platforms, Office 365 suite and Azure Cloud storage and virtual machine services.

Get solutions that help you grow your business with greater efficiency—by reducing costs and getting exactly the technology you need when you need it. And because it’s Microsoft, you can build on familiar tools, so growing your company doesn’t have to mean growing your training and ramp up costs.

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The only constant is change, especially when it comes to the technology we use to help run our businesses. And the pace of that change is constantly accelerating, whether as a result of major innovations like cloud computing or the impact of economic events.

Technology should be an asset—one that helps you to anticipate, manage, and respond quickly to change. Technology should also help your organization reduce costs and get more from the investments you make.

When it comes to growing with greater efficiency, there are some key questions businesses are asking today:

  • How quickly can we get new employees up and running with the tools they need?
  • How do we keep up with the massive growth in data needed to do business today?
  • Are we getting the maximum return on our technology investments?
  • Can we simplify IT, so less time is spent on repetitive tasks and more is focused on addressing strategic business needs?

Get solutions that help you grow your business with greater efficiency—by reducing costs and getting exactly the technology you need when you need it. And because it’s Microsoft, you can build on familiar tools, so growing your company doesn’t have to mean growing your training and ramp up costs.

ModernBiz - Grow Efficiently Pitch Deck

Get modern protection for evolving threats, with solutions that help protect your business data and minimize the disruptions caused by unexpected events. With Microsoft, enterprise-grade protection is built into its technologies. So you don’t have to think about it. From advanced data protection to solutions that help you recover quickly from unexpected events, get technology that is designed to help safeguard your business.

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Businesses today face a constantly evolving set of potential threats, from data security breaches to downtime from unexpected events. Businesses are asking questions like:

  • With growing use of the cloud and mobile devices at work, how can we keep business data protected?
  • As my data grows, how can I make sure it is all backed up without spending a fortune?
  • If an unexpected event occurred, like a fire, break-in, or flood, how long would it take our business to get back online? And what would this downtime cost our business?
  • How do we keep up with a constantly changing compliance landscape?

Get modern protection for evolving threats, with solutions that help protect your business data and minimize the disruptions caused by unexpected events. With Microsoft, enterprise-grade protection is built into its technologies. So you don’t have to think about it. From advanced data protection to solutions that help you recover quickly from unexpected events, get technology that is designed to help safeguard your business.

ModernBiz - Safeguard your business Pitch Deck

ModernBiz - Safeguard your business Pitch Deck 2

Where did February go? Is your year ripping along? I hope you have time to glance at the headings below and if anything is of interest read the whole piece. And we would love your feedback on how to make these newsletters more informative and useful to you.

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

I don’t charge by the phone call – and as I often say “it’s cheaper to ask me then it is for me to fix something after its done wrong”.

Cloud Management Tips – what is the cloud?

We are going to keep writing tips on cloud management as there is just so much misunderstanding out there as to what the cloud is and how to leverage it in your business safely and effectively.

In laymen’s terms “the cloud” is just part of the internet. Specifically its part that provides a service. There are some common acronyms that are used. These are SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service). There’s a bunch more as well but these three are the most common. All they really mean is that you can buy something from an online service provider using their “cloud” technology.

Let’s look at the different types of cloud, and then come back to these acronyms to give you some examples.

There are three types of Cloud – Public, Private and on Premise. These are best explained using a transport analogy.

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Public Cloud is like riding the bus. You have to put up with everyone else on the bus, you can’t choose where it goes or what route it takes to go there, how fast it goes or anything else about it. You pay a small fare to use it but pay nothing else.

Private Cloud is like hiring a car. You pay more to rent it than the bus, but you can drive it where you like when you like and choose who goes in it with you. You are responsible for petrol but not for the insurance, registration, tyres or maintenance on the car. You can do minor customisation – e.g. change the radio channel, the aircon temperature etc. but you can’t put mag wheels on or repaint the car.

On Premise is like owning a car. You buy it outright (or lease it) and then pay for all the running costs, registration and insurance etc. Regardless of whether you use it or not you pay for it. You can do whatever you like to it – respray it, upgrade the engine, or never maintain it and trash it; your call completely.

There is also a hybrid model which can combine elements of each of the others.

See this presentation for a bit more information

So the Cloud Service acronyms can all fall into one of these cloud categories.

SaaS or Software as a Service is simply a licensed software that is delivered over the internet. Common examples will include the Office 365 subscription to install Microsoft Office on your PC or Mac. Many other examples include Photoshop Creative Cloud, gaming software, accounting software and more.

IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service provides virtualised hardware systems – servers, virtualised networks and security systems amongst many other systems. For many businesses virtualising servers reduces the cost of physical hardware purchase and maintenance, reduces power consumption and when they are in the cloud can provide better BC (Business Continuity) and DR (Disaster Recovery) solutions.

PaaS or Platform as a Service is a development platform for software developers and used heavily by mobile application developers.

So how can your business utilise cloud? There are many ways. However the primary drivers for your decision making should be around cost reduction, efficiency and productivity, data security and business continuity.

This presentation has a section about migrating to the cloud cost effectively.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current business technology usage and what cloud services you could be using that could benefit you in one or more of these areas – cost reduction, efficiency, data security and access, and business continuity. Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.

clip_image004Last newsletter we talked about building a plan for disaster recovery. Since then we have had a cyclone and considerable flooding affecting many businesses including a number of our customers. There are not always rainbows after a flood. We have had to assist many of them with temporary solutions to solve internet and phone connectivity issues. The main reason being that in many cases they had never invested in Business Continuity. That is the ability to keep working when services (power, phone, internet) are cut, access to business premises is compromised or equipment is lost or damaged. Don’t wait for the next disaster to strike before ensuring your business is able to cope. It’s too late then. We are able to help you identify your critical failure points, develop a plan, and test it.

This presentation will give you some details about building a digital strategy that can include DR and BCP.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 1 hour DR consultation free. We will help you identify exactly what you need and what it will cost you to do it versus the cost of doing nothing.

Windows Server 2003 is nearing end of Support

clip_image00614 July 2015 is the deadline. What that means is after that date Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Server 2003. If you still have a Server 2003 machine in your business then we can replace that for you – ether by shifting its load and applications into a virtualised server (either in the cloud or on premise) or by replacing it with a new server running Server 2012.

Contact us immediately so we can begin planning this.

Social Media Tip – protecting your name

clip_image008Have you thought about protecting your brand in social media by claiming your business name or brand name? It’s often forgotten. When helping one of our clients setting up a business we always search the domain names and help them secure them. And when we are helping then develop a social presence we also do the same in the social spaces Here is the website we use to identify if your name has been already claimed or not – and we recommend that if you find your name isn’t taken that you grab it now! You don’t have to use it – but by creating an account you can ensure someone else can’t squat there or worse use it for their business. http://knowem.com/

If you need us to manage this for you just give us a call

Web Design and Marketing

Would you trust your web design to a tech who can write code or a marketing expert who can design a site that delivers results? The back end mechanic work can be done by any competent web developer. However the structure and layout of the site, its purpose and its alignment to your company’s sales goals and strategies are completely different. Our expert marketing professionals can guide you in the decision making process around the structure and function of your website. Don’t just make another boring “brochure ware” website, but create a sales and marketing tool that delivers results.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you already have a site or are thinking about a refresh or a new site.

  1. Does my site duplicate me (or my best sales person)?
  2. Does it clearly explain the specific things / products / services my business does or sells?
  3. Does it answer the common objections or sales hurdles I cross when talking face to face to a prospective buyer?
  4. Does my website have a clear sales path, call to action, cross-sell and upsell components?
  5. Does my web server / developer / host provide measurement and analytics showing engagement by customers and incorporating social media connectivity?

Contact us to day to see examples specific to your industry and we will provide a free 1 hr consultation.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

Welcome to February – the year is really kicking along fast.

This newsletter includes these topics – hope they are helpful to you. And if you want something specific answered we might be able to do that in the next newsletter so ask away!

As always I am available to respond to your requests, queries and provide you with information.

I don’t charge by the phone call – and as I often say “it’s cheaper to ask me then it is for me to fix something after its done wrong”.

Cloud Management Tips

As I mentioned in the last newsletter cloud storage is one of the fastest growing technology items for small businesses in Australia with most businesses having some form of cloud storage or app in use either on their PC or smartphone or tablet.

8 Tips to use Dropbox more safely and securely

As far as inexpensive and convenient cloud storage goes, Dropbox is the clear industry leader. With its ease of sharing and its dominance over mobile devices, users flock to this solution for its simplicity and functionality. These 8 tips are what most of them don't know:

http://blog.cloudhq.net/top-10-dropbox-tips-and-tricks/

Save yourself the headache, and ask us today how to get setup with cloud storage backups – back up your Gmail, Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive and more. We hope these tips help you get the most out of your Dropbox service! Call me to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Disaster Recovery.

Have you got a plan? What happens if you have a flood, fire, theft, lightning strike and computer failure, hard drive failure, virus infection, employee data theft etc.? A Disaster Recovery (DR) plan outlines the possible scenarios, grades them according to likelihood and level of catastrophe and then identifies the paths to recovery. Whether that is replacement hardware, data recovery, restore from backup, rekeying data etc., there is always a cost. And the longer a business or employee is not able to operate the more lost sales, unprofitable staff time etc.

TIP: Check your business insurance to see if you have a Data Recovery Clause – it is usually free to add to your premium and will cover the costs associated with recovering data from electronic media. Having dealt with several very expensive server failures in the last 15 months this is a very important clause to be able to claim against.

We are able to help you identify your critical failure points, develop a plan, and test it.

Special Deal – mention this newsletter and get a 1 hour DR consultation free. We will help you identify exactly what you need.

Social Media Tip

A lot of businesses rush into social media because they think they need to be on there. But think about this analogy for a minute.

Think about your existing physical business premises. You have a sign telling people it’s there, a carpark, a door for people to come into and a smiling receptionist ready to greet them. If they ring you answer the phone and your friendly phone manner assists you deal with their question, problem or even complaint.

Now think if your sign was there, the carpark was there and the front door was there, but the office was empty, there was no receptionist, the phone was ringing endlessly with no one answering it and worse some criminal had stolen some of your competitor’s outdoor signage and left it on the floor of your office.

This is what many businesses social media pages look like. Vacant wasteland with a sign, no responses to comments, queries or complaints, and often hijacked by spammers. Is this the perception you want your potential customers to have about you?

Let us help you step into social media for your business with the right understanding of what social media is, how it works, how businesses can leverage the power of relationship marketing to improve close ratios and increase customer satisfaction, gain access to customers they never could have otherwise marketed to and still keep your strong customer focus and brand.

And if you already have a vacant space then we can help you fix it today! Call us now 0414 770 002.

Out of Office Messages in Outlook

Using an out of office message is a valuable tool to let people know you have received their email and will respond, but that it won’t be immediately. This allows you to plan your day to be more productive rather than responding to email as it bounces in, or notify people who email you if you are away, on holiday or out of touch with travel etc.

There are some funny out of office messages out there – see this link for some examples. While I don’t recommend you necessarily make it too funny it is important to follow some tips.

Funny Out of Office Messages

Professional Auto responder Message examples

How to turn on “Automatic Replies (Out of Office)” or the “Out of Office Assistant” For Microsoft Office Outlook 2013 and 2010

1. Click the File tab, and then click the Info tab in the menu.

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2. Click Automatic Replies (Out of Office).

clip_image005

Note If you do not see this option, you are not using an Exchange account. You have some limited options available using rules – but your PC must be on and Outlook running for these to work.

3. In the Automatic Replies dialog box, select the Send Automatic Replies check box.

4. If you want to specify a set time and date range, select the Only send during this time range check box. Then set the Start time, and then set the End time.

5. In the Inside my organization tab, type the message that you want to send within your organization, and in the Outside my organization tab, type the message that you want to send outside your organization.

6. Click OK.

7. If you selected the “Only send during this time range” option in step 4, the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) feature will continue to run until the date and time set for the End Time in step 5 is reached.
Otherwise, the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) will continue to run until you repeat step 1 and select the “Do not send automatic replies” option.

Follow us on Social Media

As always we are your web cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me on these platforms:

Twitter https://twitter.com/spyjournal technology, cycling, social media, management, business, and web

Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/jethromanagement

Delicious https://delicious.com/jethrocon saved links

Blog http://spyjournal.biz/ all sorts of stuff including personal and family updates

Spyjournal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/spyjournal.biz tech, cycling, and other stuff

Jethro Management Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroManagement business, management, web

Jethro Marketing Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JethroMarketing social media, marketing

Dreamcoat Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamcoatPhotography

Dreamsport Photography Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DreamSportPhotography

Red Hot Snapper Facebook https://www.facebook.com/redhotsnapper roller derby

Like us on Facebook

What people say..

Enjoyable and helpful information. Great introduction - made me want more info.

Feedback from Free Business Seminar Jan 2013

— Kathie - Business Owner

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