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Posts Tagged ‘Applications’

2014 – Technology to Embrace or Leave Behind.

2014 embrace or leave behind (5)

The Technology to leave in 2013

  • CD-Roms – Software, music, movies, and more are now being streamed and downloaded. Many laptops today do not include an optical drive.
  • Cloud-Less Network – Whether you have an onsite server or not, some connectivity to the cloud is beneficial. At a minimum you’ll want cloud backup capabilities.
  • Windows XP – Coming April 21st, 2014 Windows XP will reach its ‘end of life’ which means no updates and no security.
  • Complacency – In the fast evolving tech world being complacent can be costly and give your competitors a competition edge.

Technology to Embrace in 2014

  • The cloud – Store and access data from anywhere.
  • Office 365/Google Apps for Business – And other tools to Improve communication, efficiency, and collaboration in the office.
  • Big Data – Will bring businesses of any size insights that they never thought imaginable.
  • Mobility – Completely reliant hardwired connections and desktops are on the decline. Having your work and information accessible on the go is a must. More and more people expect to be able to work from anywhere.
  • Touch interface – Windows 8.1 and the touch interface improve usability while traveling
  • Enterprise Social – The tools for collaboration and communication with in a business. These programs can range from internal social media to instant message services.

This year will should be full of a lot of interesting innovations for business Technology, tell us in our poll below what you are looking forward to he most.

Windows 8.1 is here

The anticipation is over, Windows 8.1 is here. The upgrade is available today for current Windows 8 users, and will be available for retail purchase tomorrow.

The Microsoft team took everyone’s feedback on Windows 8, and improved upon it in 8.1. There are many fixes and exciting new features in the Windows 8.1 Release –

The Start Button is back
 It may not have the start menu or functionality it previously possessed in prior Windows versions, but it helps users navigate between the desktop and the tile interface.

Boot your device straight to the desktop
If you choose, you can now have you device boot straight to the desktop instead of the tile interface.

Windows 8.1 improvements also highlight:

  • More personalization with backgrounds, color schemes, and new tile sizes
  • Additional lock screen options that use photos and other neat alternatives
  • Ability to freely move and resize running applications
  • New apps
    • Alarms
    • Reading list – a book marking feature.
    • Bing Food and Drink - for accessing recipes. It has a nifty feature that allows you to wave your hand across the camera while cooking to navigate the recipe while keeping your device clean and out of harm’s way.
    • Bing Health and Fitness - for helping you to keep track of your daily work outs, food intake, and much more
    • Modifications and improvements to the camera software

To upgrade today: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/home
[poll id="2"]

Who’s Reading Your Texts?

69,635 Text Messages or Short Message Service (SMS) are sent and received every second.1  These messages are used in a variety of ways – for business, private, and social engagement. They are clearly a very popular mode of communication because it’s simple, direct, and immediate.

The popularity of this method of communication method does raise a question… How secure is text messaging? Intercepting text messages from phone to phone may not be as easy as intercepting radio transmissions, but it still is rather simple. A popular approach entails someone using a readily available program or a scanner to track texts that are sent and received.

For an individual who sends the usual social texts of “hey what’s up”, or “how are you”. It’s probably not a cause for much concern, but there are many people sending messages that contain sensitive and private information. Those people may want to consider SMS Encryption services or applications.

What is message encryption?

Message encryption safeguards the privacy of a message by transforming it from a readable message to a cipher which looks like garbled or scrambled text. Only the intended receiver with the decryption key to the cipher, can unscramble and read the message. Considering that wireless circuits are much easier to tap than their hard-wired counterparts, message encryption may be a concern for mobile users.

There are a variety of apps for phones which use different encryption methods and come with an assortment of price points:

In many cases these tools can keep the messages you are sending safe from the public and most threats. Chances are if you are sending confidential information via text messages you are most likely doing the same with email and other modes of communication. If that is the case, you should also look into software and security settings that make your mobile as secure as possible and safeguard it from data theft.

Would you consider text message/SMS encryption? What do you do to protect your mobile device from possible threats?

  1.  CTIA-The Wireless Association, 2012 

Desktop as a Service or Working ‘Computer Free’

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) allows the user to access a complete desktop environment without a physical computer. Not possible? It is when the desktop along with all the applications and files are virtualized, and hosted in the Cloud. In a virtual environment, instead of a full blown computer, all you will need is a device that plugs into a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and an Internet connection.

DaaS is also known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and with this technology, user desktops are hosted on a remote server or in the Cloud. In this environment, centralized control with optimal security is critical to reliable connectivity. One advantage is that you already have a built-in disaster recovery plan because it will be backed up through the redundant maintenance systems that are typical in this environment. Also, if a device is lost or stolen the virtual desktop can be disabled which guards against unauthorized access and prevents breaches that can more easily occur when a tablet, smartphone, or laptop are remotely connected to your network.

Another great perk is that your desktop, apps, and files will be immediately available whenever you login. Gone are the days of not being able to get to a file that was stored locally on a specific device. Here at AtNetPlus, we have our own Cloud service on servers in our onsite data center. These are monitored and maintained 24/7, which means that with us, you will have complete end to end control and we will be responsible for the entire solution.

We have been moving many clients to Desktop as a Service (Daas) because they love the benefits. As the trend grows we expect to see even more companies utilizing DaaS in the future. Sound interesting?  We’d love to chat and answer all of your questions.

Contacts us:
By e-mail: support@atnetplus.com
By phone: 330-945-5685

In Case You Missed this Month’s Talk it over Tuesday…

For those of you that missed Talk it over Tuesday earlier this week we wanted to share some tidbits about industry trends that are of particular value to small businesses.

For example, Microsoft CRM® (Customer Relationship Management) is one tool in the Microsoft® arsenal that could become a productive asset within your business. It increases profitability by helping ensure your customer interactions inform them in ways that are the most useful to the individual client. CRM looks at all aspects of your business and helps you manage everything more easily from the Cloud on any device. CRM 2013 has been updated in every area including:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer Care
  • Social Integration

Phones based on Windows 8® are also impressive for the business user. Recently the Nokia Lumia 1020® was released and brings many cutting edge features to the table. The most notable is the new 41 megapixel camera. This camera takes photos of amazing quality while utilizing depth of field and other professional camera-like features.

Currently use Skype® or Lync®? No problem, Microsoft is integrating these two services to simplify communication inside and outside of the office. Messaging or placing voice calls between the two services will soon be seamless.

There’s too much going on to cover it all here, but if you want to know more about mobility, business intelligence integration with Excel®, or Microsoft’s latest improvements to their Cloud offerings – comment below and we’ll be happy to discuss it further.

You don’t want to miss our next Talk it over Tuesday on September 17th! We are bringing in the experts from Microsoft to give you an exclusive hands-on demo of Windows 8.1. They will have the latest Tablets and devices running Windows 8.1 at the event. It’s a perfect chance to test them for yourself. Seats are limited and they will go fast. Register today and reserve your spot for this special opportunity.

Click here to sign up

Have any questions about anything covered in this month’s or about September’s Talk it over Tuesday events?

Contact us:

By e-mail: support@atnetplus.com
By phone: 330-945-5685

Windows Azure, Surface Pro, and Excel Power BI – Just a Sample of What’s New for Your Business

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud platform. With it your company can

  • Run Windows or Linux virtual machines in Microsoft’s cloud
  • Create, manage, stream, and convert a variety of media
  • Make changes that are visible to everyone in your Cloud.
  • Scale your environment — as your business grows so can your Cloud

The Surface Pro is a ‘Life Style Tablet’ designed to solve the dilemma of choosing between a PC or tablet. Microsoft has created a remarkable piece of technology that is not only durable but it’s a full featured laptop that smoothly runs applications and connects to the Cloud. As an added bonus, it boots really fast.

The Surface Pro perfect for travel. It’s just the right size to easily carry around but it’s still big and powerful enough to let you use the programs you need to get your job done on the go. It is truly an extension of your office.

Excel Power BI is a new plug-in for Office 365 subscribers and users of Microsoft Excel 2013. Power BI helps any sized business take advantage of Big Data to make more informed business decisions. Not only will you be able to create interactive charts to visualize your own data, but you can search the web for pertinent data to incorporate into your reports for even more insights into market trends.

We could share so much more about Windows Azure, the Surface Pro, and Excel Power BI and we will. But, you have to join us at AtNetPlus for Talk it over Tuesday on August 20. The discussion will start promptly at 8:00 AM. Admission is free, but seats are limited. RSVP today.

Office Mobile – It’s for Everyone

When first introduced, Office Mobile was usable only on Windows phones and it came pre-installed on them. Soon after its release, Office Mobile was extended to iPhone users.  

Finally, Android users no longer have to rely on Quick Office or Google Docs to work on the go. Office Mobile is now available to them and can be downloaded from the Google Play store. To utilize it Android users will need an Office 365 subscription. Either Office 365 Home Premium or Pro Plus will work. If you don’t have Office 365, you can get a free 30 day trial from AtNetPlus.

Office Mobile is great for working on the go.  It allows users to easily view items in Word, Excel, and other Microsoft apps on their mobile device. It is optimized to stay in a familiar format and organized so that recent documents are easily accessible. The app also gives users access to their SkyDrive.

Unfortunately, Outlook is not a feature on Office Mobile, but to use Outlook you can install the app or add it to your mobile device.

We want your opinion – vote below

How important is Office Mobile to you? 1 – don’t need it, don’t want it. 10 – can’t live without it

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