The Google Glass Buzz
Go back 25 years from now and think about your daily morning routine back then.
Your enormous, Chronomatic-244 Digital alarm clock woke you up every morning at 6. Your hand fumbled on it in search of the Snooze button (but with its fourteen buttons, it was easy to hit the wrong one!). You got up, had to prepare coffee – if you were a little proactive, you would have prepared everything before going to bed the night before, just saying! –, and then painfully rambled around the cold house to the bathroom for a shower.
You would have read your newspaper while eating breakfast, but not on your tablet! Remember when newspapers were… well, made of paper! There was also a fair chance that breaking news had happened since it had been printed during the night.
Let’s just say things were different.
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Debunking the myths of cloud hosting
Picture this: You got a job as a system administrator in a small business with a promising future. So far so good, right? Not so fast. As the company’s go-to guy for all things IT, you’re faced with the biggest challenge of your career, which is to pick up the pieces of a faltering Exchange email
infrastructure that was obviously thrown together by non-experts.
And here’s the kicker: You possess little to no Exchange experience. With that in mind, you have two options: Rebuild the entire infrastructure and upgrade to a more recent version of Exchange or move your email solution to the dreaded cloud.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? If so, then you have probably weighed the pros and cons of the hosted model. Odds are, after perusing the Web and asking your fellow IT experts on online communities, you found more cons than pros.
However, you should know that most of these so-called downsides are nothing but misconceptions and that teaming up with a cloud hosting provider remains the safest, most cost-effective and time-saving solution for your organization.
Don’t believe us? Here are some facts that will change your mind…
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International Women’s Day at SherWeb
Is IT a man’s world? Better not say that around Tania Gobeil. For the last 15 years, this programmer analyst has been de-programming this gender stereotype.
So with March 8 being International Women’s Day, we thought we’d honor women everywhere who have managed to not only break into—but excel—in a predominantly male field.
We recently sat down with our very own Tania Gobeil, who was recently promoted to the position of Functional and Business Analyst Manager to find out what it’s like being the only female on SherWeb’s development team.
If you’re a female thinking of entering IT, you’ll want to read this. And if you’re a male working with female colleagues in a mostly-male field, you need to read this.
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The No Email Day is Sunday
March 3 is International No Email Day, an initiative started by Paul Lancaster in 2011 so that people could be more productive with their time.
With all due respect to Mr. Lancaster, we think email helps people be much more productive (at least in their professional lives).
In fact, we’d bet that most people who had office jobs back in the 1980s would probably agree (note for young’uns: a recap of the archaic 80s methods of business communications is provided below).
Without basic email, we wouldn’t have Exchange, SharePoint and Lync to help us better manage our daily communications and collaborative efforts. Those who run these solutions would be hard pressed to give them up for even a day.
Sure, we all have cluttered inboxes. But before email, we had crammed filing cabinets, bursting rolodexes and cluttered desks instead.
Now, we’re not saying that email can’t be a time waster. We all receive more than our fair share of spam and annoying chain letters. But would you really want to go back to 1985?
Perhaps March 3 should be more about raising people’s awareness on our global dependency on technology.
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For businesses, Skype or Lync?
In January, Microsoft sent a mass email to its 100 million+ Messenger users, announcing that it would be officially retiring the service on March 15, 2013 and migrating all users to Skype (Microsoft acquired the VOIP service back in May 2011 for a hefty $8.5 billion).
So where does this leave Microsoft Lync users? And should SMBs everywhere rejoice at the cost savings they’ll reap from using Skype?
Not exactly. Only certain Skype features are free, and these tend to be more targeted to consumer use. The paid services are those that are more heavily used by businesses.
So does that mean Skype will be a strong competitor to Microsoft Lync for a business context?
Again, not exactly. Skype’s is designed more for consumer use. It lacks many of the functionalities and support most organizations look for in a unified business-grade communications platform.
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You now have to pay for Google Apps
Google announced last December that its Google Apps would no longer be free
for new businesses. Its explanation was that its free basic service wasn’t really meeting their needs—specifically, the need for larger inboxes and 24/7 customer support. Meanwhile, its consumer clients weren’t happy waiting for features while Google made them business-ready.
Of course, money also played a role in this shift: According to the Wall Street Journal, paid Google Apps generated $1 billion in revenue in 2012. By dropping its Google apps for free for businesses and charging them for its premium service, Google clearly stands to make a sizable chunk of change.
This decision will actually be good for SMBs. Why? Free online services aren’t designed to meet specific business needs. Lured by the promise of reducing costs, struggling organizations have seriously compromised on productivity and support.
Instead of settling for free, SMBs should assess their specific needs and look for a paid email service that can be tailored to their needs—and that comes with top-notch service.
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Are you reselling cloud services?
A growing number of non-tech companies are looking at the current cloud adoption rates and wondering if their organization should consider joining a cloud partner program
in order to resell cloud services. So are a growing number of IT consultants, IT distributors and online businesses.
Does it make sense for your business to tap into this growing market now? And just how big will it become?
Revenue from IT cloud services in the U.S. is expected to grow from $18.5 billion in 2011 to $43.2 billion in 2016, according to a recent report from International Data Corporation, a provider of market intelligence on information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology.
That’s a healthy compound annual growth rate of 18.5%.
And one of the biggest growth segments is the hosted email market. An industry analysis report by Radicati Group forecasts that by the end of 2013, over 2.4 billion mailboxes worldwide will run on a hosted email platform.
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For Valentine's Day, we offer you a SherWeb Love Story
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’d like to share one of our love stories: It’s about a successful developer and consultant looking for a trusted hosting provider for his cloud email. So many Hosted Exchange providers, so many options. How to choose? That’s when he met SherWeb. And it’s been happily ever after ever since.
Fast-forward five years, and our successful developer and consultant is still a satisfied SherWeb customer. We recently asked him why he initially chose us as his Hosted Exchange provider, how his recent cloud migration to Hosted Exchange 2013 went, and what’s kept him with us all these years. Here’s what he had to say:
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Takeaway: When it comes to document management and collaboration, SharePoint can do just about anything you need it to—given the right infrastructure and applications. In this series of 3 articles, we offer SMBs tips for finding the right SharePoint solution for improving productivity and lowering costs.
SharePoint integrates with the Microsoft Office suite
Efficient document and team management can make or break a project. That’s why collaborative software like SharePoint
has become an indispensable tool for so many organizations. SharePoint is a web-based platform that makes it easy for organizations to manage teams and projects, and allow employees to securely share and collaborate on documents, ideas and more
. SharePoint’s popularity is due to the fact that unlike many other solutions, it can be highly customized. It’s also relatively affordable.
In recent articles, we looked at why SharePoint’s flexible platform tends to be a better option for organizations with big needs but limited resources. We also offered 4 tips for choosing the right version so that you can do more with your SharePoint solution.
Once you’ve nailed down those decisions, it’s time to look at whether it makes more sense to keep your SharePoint solution in-house or entrust it to the hosting experts.
Here are 4 deciding factors to consider…
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SherWeb is proud to have a rare in-house Exchange Master
For IT professionals with broad technical expertise, differentiating yourself to potential customers and employers can be tricky. Especially if the person sitting across from you doesn’t have the slightest inkling of what you do.
How do you set yourself apart from the ever-growing pack of “IT professionals”?
For those with extensive knowledge of Microsoft server products, one option is to complete the Microsoft Master Certification program: three weeks of intensive classroom and lab training in Redmond, Washington. Those who successfully pass the final exam get to proudly display the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) logo besides their name.
And more importantly, they get to show that they are among an elite few in the world with such a high level of expertise on a given Microsoft product.
But there’s a catch: Becoming a Microsoft Master is not easy. Or cheap. Read on…
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