Hosted Services – ExchangeDefender Blog

September 4, 2013

The Truth About Cloud Services

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,Hosted Services,How To — vlad @ 6:46 pm

If you attended our last webinar (will be posted for download in our portal next week) you already know what I’m going to say: Winning in the cloud has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with good customer service. The technology of implementation, scalability, redundancy, system capacity and long term legacy use are terms both distant and hard to differentiate for most clients from SMB to enterprise: If you meet their compliance requirements the question of whether you will make money in the cloud or not depends solely on your ability to set the correct expectations and deliver the non-IT part of the service effectively.

Good news is that we are here to help!

But is it smug to believe that you actually need help? When we talked to our partners about cloud adoption the answer surprised even us: not at all and to be honest we’d rather have our weekends back. Truth behind cloud deployments is that the up front investment in time and planning is expensive, messy and clients do not like downtime – forcing IT Solution Providers to execute complex migrations over weekends, holidays and provide ongoing support for unpredictable surprises that always come up.

Truth about the cloud is that the deployment of a cloud solution is 1% technology, 99% proper project management and customer communication. It’s the 99% of the prep work and followup that is keeping most solution providers from seriously taking advantage of the cloud solutions because without help the ability to scale to the cloud is the same as the ability to scale to another inhouse solution.

Over the next two weeks ExchangeDefender is dedicating significant resources to help you navigate what we’re internally calling Napalm Cloud – rapid fire cloud service deployments for Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, ExchangeDefender, LocalCloud, LiveArchive and all the project management, communication and service that goes along with it.

We will be posting several articles, blogs, webinars and guides that we use at ExchangeDefender to deliver our Managed Messaging service in hopes of giving you an idea of how these projects happen consistently, successfully and with a great deal of client satisfaction.

I hope you join us as we discuss these topics because they are of a great importance to your success and profits in the cloud. Money in the cloud will not be made on subscription revenues, the “free” model has effectively assured that, so the greatest opportunity for solution providers is in providing a peace of mind and predictability when it comes to technology – today, tomorrow and years from now.

Can you say that you deliver that? Hopefully over the next two weeks we’ll help you get closer to yes.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek, MCSE
CEO, Own Web Now Corp
(877) 546-0316 x500


August 9, 2013

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Filed under: Consulting,Hosted Services — vlad @ 8:27 am

In today’s traditional small business office, the best managed in-house servers are still a liability. Unmanaged in-house servers are time bombs. Why do I say this? Because the hardware used to manage your business is still onsite. From my experience, most hardware is unfortunately sitting unsecured in a closet that also houses cleaning products and printer toner or somewhere under a desk with a Post-It note on it stating, “Do Not Power Off.” With LOB applications and other SMB services such as hosted email, compliance archiving, and file sharing in the cloud; your business has nothing onsite to own, update, maintain, or repair. This makes your availability and accessibility to data and services accessible from any Internet connected device.

Availability of Data and Services

No matter how redundant you think your onsite technology is, your efforts will pale in comparison to the most basic Tier 1 data center requirements, standards, and uptime. Consider this: There are 525,800 minutes in a year. Tier 1 data center are required to maintain an uptime of 99.671%, or 523,870.78 of those 525,800 minutes. That means that the lowest tier data center (Tier 1) cannot exceed a downtime of 1,729 minutes annually. For those of you converting the number into hours or scared of math, this equates to no more than 28 hours a year of downtime. While you may be thinking a day plus 4 hours is a lot of downtime, the majority of this time is scheduled maintenance that would be needed anyway regardless where your equipment was located. Even with a minimal guaranteed uptime of 99.6%, your company is still minimizing downtime by utilizing cloud services.

What if the onsite equipment started to fail. If you are a company with no one on staff dedicated to technology issues, you now have to add additional hours to your downtime to locate and schedule professionals to diagnosis, repair, and test a fix. This doesn’t include any additional hours for physical equipment that may need to be order to complete the repair. If you’re an I.T. professional, wouldn’t it be great not to have to worry about monitoring, maintaining, updating or repairing in-house servers on a consistent basis? Imagine the time you could then dedicate to working on your business.

Accessibility of Data and Services

I, like many others I know in various industries, work remotely. There are times when I’m summoned to the office for special events, meetings, or conferences; but other than that, I work in the cloud. From my home office and using something as small as my iPhone, I can access tickets in our support portal, make and receive business calls, send and receive company email–and if necessary, even compose a blog post. Although the majority of time is spent performing these activities on my iMac strictly out of comfortability, point being our company can operate anywhere with minimal technology. Traditional desktop and LOB applications are being redesigned to operate in a cloud environment–thus breaking the symbiotic relationship between software and desktops/servers. With cloud computing, gone are the days of blue screens, random restarts, and incompatibilities between OS and applications.

If you are a Trusted Advisor in technology for your clients, you can no longer afford to carry around the liability of maintaining data or services on a retiring platform. The wheel has been created. The cloud is here to stay. You can’t continue ignoring the future and pushing your clients on technology you are only familiar with, i.e. SBSers. You have to relinquish the “Admin” ego and implement the best solution for your clients need. Today, those needs no longer involve bloated expenses for hardware purchases. By offering cloud services, you can offer your clients a worry-free environment where their data is available and easily accessible.


August 7, 2013

Global Businesses are integrating Cross Platform Communications but are they ready?

Filed under: Consulting,Hosted Services — vlad @ 8:25 am

Businesses globally are adopting cloud services and solutions to merge communications across multiple platforms. The days of convoluted practices to remotely access information, documents, and people are long gone and mobile communications with tablets, smartphones, laptops, and even consumer appliances are now accessible from anywhere, at any time.

The biggest problem with this new frontier of technology accessibility is the fact that it is run very much like the “wild wild west.” There are not yet business standards or practices for the solutions, applications, communications platforms, or security, which creates what some might deem as a lawless environment for mid-sized businesses that once held ultimate control over their networks.

Though this description may seem extreme or far-fetched, the reality is that it is not that far off, especially given the state of mobile device adoption in the workplace or what some might call BYOD.

ExchangeDefender is providing ways for VAR’s, MSP’s, Master MSP’s, Solution Providers, Cloud Brokers, and distributors to provide customers with a set of standardized business practices and solutions, that can help clean up the mobile and technology driven wild wild west.

This has been accomplished by identifying key areas in which businesses today require standardization and best practices to control and manage their internal networks, communication, and documents through cloud-based solutions.

These are:

Communications – Email, messaging services, file sharing, collaboration, and content management solutions.

Communication is the lifeblood to any business. By standardizing on a hosted exchange solution, businesses can rest assured that they will have access to their information from anywhere in the world at anytime. This coupled with Sharepoint, Lync, and CloudShare services provides a complete email and messaging solution that can be provided, to give customers business grade messaging across all device platforms.

Security, Business Continuity, and Compliance – Antispam, encryption, compliance, archiving, and backup solutions.

The importance of keeping communications secure, free from outside eyes, constantly backed up, and available when needed is key to any business practice. Some businesses require specific levels of compliance in order to maintain legal requirements. Having this information can significantly increase an IT companies credibility by assuring that their customers meet all of the compliance, archive, and ecryption requirements set forth by their industry.

Infrastructure – Dedicated Servers, Virtual Servers, colocation services, and Web hosting.

Cloud infrastructure solutions provide businesses with cost effective ways of providing global resources without the high costs of hardware and maintenance. Virtual servers significantly decrease energy consumption and overhead costs, while increasing productivity, redundancy, security, and availability for workers across multi office or single location deployments.

As medium sized businesses continue to flourish and remote offices, mobile workers, and interconnected personnel continue to thrive; cloud services will be at the frontline of standardization practices for business.

ExchangeDefender partners will remain ahead of the game and able to provide all of the necessary solutions to take away any concerns customers may have about having a secure global network, whether it is a traditional, mobile, or hybrid network.

Having discussions and marketing about the growing wild wild west of technology and rogue nature of introducing mobile solutions into environments must be done now. Waiting for a breach or security issue to inform customers of readily available solutions may inadvertently cause downtime, high risks, or worse yet cost business revenues.

For this reason it is important to thoroughly study the types of issues that are facing medium sized companies, as well as creating awareness around solutions that can overcome any potential issue today. With tablets, mobile, and alternative devices connecting to networks everyday, the influxes of unknowns are overwhelming to network managers, so education becomes the key. Utilize your ExchangeDefender team to help point you in the right direction and feel free to ask questions if there is something you don’t understand.


July 10, 2013

Exchange 2007 Migrations Underway

Filed under: Hosted Services — Carlos @ 11:24 am

Exchange 2007 is the last of our legacy platforms to get migrated up to 2010 and 2013.

Last week we finalized the last of migrations from Europe (2007) to Della (2010) infrastructure and we kept the support staffing available for our partners and clients in case any issues came up. With thousands of these migrations under our belt the issues are very few and far in between and generally minor but any time maintenance inconveniences the user we want to be available to help.

As far as the end user changes the only desktop changes should be handled via Autodiscover if it is deployed. Aside from the the mailbox “repair”, you will need to update all of their mobile devices to the new server and authentication scheme.

outlookmove

We would still like to work with you on the most convenient time windows for you and your clients, so please by all means reach out to me directly at carlos@ownwebnow.com and I’ll put you in touch with the personnel that will handle the migration on a schedule that is the most convenient for you.

This week we will start reaching out to our clients that have users on Exchange 2007 platform in United States and migrations to 2010. In United States we have planned to keep one legacy cluster as 2007 for legacy purposes for users whose line of business applications may not be compatible with 2010 or 2013 yet. While we do not recommend remaining on 2007 as we can no longer assure the service levels we deem appropriate, we understand that certain users have no choice in the matter so we will be here to help.

Who is going to compensate me for the work I have to do?

I have received this question from a few concerned partners and while the obvious answer is that you might want to bill your users at your discretion, our more successful partners have told us that they have used this as an opportunity to get in front of the decision makers and evaluate the solutions that are currently in place. Sending a message with a subject “We’re upgrading you to the new stuff and it won’t cost you more” is a good way to get in front of clients that may not always be available for a visit to talk about their IT needs. Likewise, some partners have used this opportunity to raise their prices and offer other services like Compliance Archiving and Encryption which are a part of the new ExchangeDefender suite. 

Carlos Lascano
VP Support Services, ExchangeDefender
carlos@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x737


May 30, 2013

Discontinuing Exchange 2007 in UK and EU

Filed under: Hosted Services — vlad @ 9:43 am

As previously mentioned we have been forced to discontinue the Exchange 2007 service worldwide. The last day of Exchange 2007 service on our UK and Euro infrastructure will be July 31 slightly over two months from today. We have been reaching out to our partners to schedule and facilitate the migration to Exchange 2010 (or other arrangements) and I’m thankful that so many of you have been able to make a quick switch and upgrade your clients. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet we will be calling, emailing, texting and opening up support tickets to get this job done in a way that doesn’t interrupt client operations.

How does the migration work

The whole backend process is managed by us and facilitated / supported around the clock. So please work with our team to assure a smooth transition.

As the service provider you need to modify clients Autodiscover record (to point to new servers) and restart clients Outlook. After the restart click on Repair Profile and Outlook will automatically switch itself to the new infrastructure.

Is there any way to stay on Exchange 2007?

Technically, yes, but we do not recommend it.

Exchange 2007 will be discontinued worldwide. Just as with Exchange 2000, Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007 we will still provide the service to the clients on these platforms that require legacy service from our United States legacy platforms. We understand that clients may have line of business applications that require legacy access to Exchange and may not be able to make a quick transition.

Exchange legacy platform is provided on a best-effort basis only, not under our standard SLA. As such the service comes with no uptime guarantee and certain functionality can become restricted without notice if it becomes a security concern (unpatched security issue becomes exploited in the wild). We have made arrangements with our clients in the past for longer term legacy support but please do not consider this as a viable alternative to moving to the new platform.

Will this affect my other services or LiveArchive?

Your ExchangeDefender services will not be affected – LiveArchive, encryption, Compliance Archiving, password policies, two factor password authentication and enterprise services will not be impacted by the infrastructure switch.

Do I have to export all client mail and import it back again?

No, mailbox is migrated on the backend and the only thing you need to do is restart Outlook and repair profile.

We are here for you, please give us a ring and let us help with the move. Call us or open a ticket or email us and let’s go!

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, ExchangeDefender
877-546-0316 x500


September 7, 2012

Hosted Exchange Outbound Thresholds

Filed under: Development,Hosted Services,Support — vlad @ 7:18 am

This blog post is a follow up to Hosted Exchange Outbound Suspensions posted on June 20th, 2012.

Yesterday we began to roll out a custom transport agent on our Hosted Exchange network to perform automated monitoring of sent message counts for each user. The first phase of this roll out is to collect analytics and fine tune our threshold values.

Starting Monday, September 10th 2012 all hosted exchange users will be monitored for threshold breaches of outgoing (external) messages against a “Short time” and a “Daily” threshold value.

Short period
Monitor length: 15 minutes
Value: 100 messages

Long period
Monitor length: 24 hours
Value: 500

Any user who breaches threshold during the analytics period will receive a courtesy email to warn them about their threshold breach against our current threshold values. Once the analytics period ends (Estimated for the end of September 2012) we will send warning messages once the user is near 80% of the threshold and then an automated suspension will be issued once threshold is breached.

Travis Sheldon
VP, Network Operations, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x757
travis@ownwebnow.com


August 27, 2012

Linux Web Hosting Updated to PHP 5.3

Filed under: Hosted Services — vlad @ 12:26 pm

Over the weekend our Linux web hosting infrastructure was upgraded to PHP 5.3. The previous release of PHP 5.1.6 was getting out of date for a lot of social applications that dominate todays deployment base. You will now be able to run the latest WordPress, Joomla and other CMS and shopping cart sites without a problem.

If you have any legacy PHP applications that were written in PHP4 and early PHP5 days, you may notice that some functionality does not work. Consult your software vendor for an update that functions with PHP 5.3 and above. If your application is not supported on the new platform of PHP and you do not have the resources to make an immediate switch to an alternative, we do have a www2legacy web infrastructure in place that will support older applications. We will make the accommodations and the switch to the legacy platform for a small one-time fee but do keep in mind that the legacy platform will be discontinued in March of 2013. We have provided more than a 1 year announcement of our intention to upgrade our network infrastructure to the latest PHP so if this caught you by surprise we will still do what we can to make sure you have a smooth transition.

For a list of features in PHP 5.3.x and old deprecated functions:

http://php.net/manual/en/migration53.deprecated.php

Enjoy the new web apps and upgrade as fast as you can. If we can accommodate your legacy applications just let us know.

Thank you for your business.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, Own Web Now Corp
vlad@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x500


July 19, 2012

Introducing ExchangeDefender CloudShare

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,Hosted Services — vlad @ 7:40 pm

It’s a great pleasure to introduce everyone to CloudShare: ExchangeDefender powered file sharing and syncronization platform. Available today absolutely free of charge (1GB) our platform will allow you to install our CloudShare software on any PC or Server and pick folders to sync between your systems with documents always securely stored in the cloud and available to you whenever you need them, where ever you want them.

The big idea, quite simply, is to move your file server into the cloud where it can be:

– Distributed: copied to multiple servers

– Secure: Encrypted transfer, encrypted storage

– Trusted: Every access is logged and can be tracked

– Redundant: Every file is copied to two geographically redundant servers

The best part? Even though your files are copied to the cloud for easy access, backup and replication they will still be on your hard drive. This means you will interact with those files the same you do now, with the same applications you use now. For example, you could use Microsoft Word to edit a document, save it, and it will automagically be sync’d with your CloudShare and changes applied to the copy that is sitting on your laptop, home PC or anywhere else you have CloudShare saved.

There are many similar solutions out there but CloudShare is simply the one that is actually built for business.

This fall we will be releasing an ExchangeDefender CloudShare appliance which will be an affordable way to bring all your cloud data back to your office at a fraction of the cost of owning a server and without all the expensive management and continuity software.

To hear a more detailed discussion of this solution please download a copy of the webinar we held last week:

ExchangeDefender CloudShare Webinar (30mb)

You might need a GoToWebinar Codec

This is one of the most exciting solutions we have ever launched and probably the most timely one ever as well now that Microsoft has announced the death of Microsoft SBS solution that was beloved and used by so many small businesses. It’s clear that everyone has decided that the cloud and mobility is the future of computing in SMB – and we don’t argue that – but many of our partners and clients feel that they still want to control all of their precious data and we are making that possible. Just because you are going to be mobile and leverage the cloud doesn’t mean  you want to be irresponsible with your data and not have any control over it at all, right?

Besides, it’s free. So contact your ExchangeDefender partner and have them show you the best way to configure this new technology to safeguard your business.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, Own Web Now Corp
vlad@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x500


May 11, 2012

ExchangeDefender Managed Messaging

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,Hosted Services — vlad @ 3:30 pm

The sites are done and marketing campaign starts towards the end of next week. As we’ve told you in the last webinar, we’re going to be extremely aggressive in bringing the most complete messaging solution to market.. and it starts now.

ExchangeDefender Managed Messaging (click here for details) is ready to go.

It’s the the best technology around. Email. Security. Compliance. Instant messaging. Desktop Sharing. Online Conferencing. Encryption. Business Continuity. Exchange. SharePoint. Portals. Web File Sharing. Web Filtering. Geographic Redundancy. File Storage.

It’s so much more than technology. 24/7/365 Phone Support. Billing, service, management and support from the single provider. Unmatched service levels and a diversified service portfolio. Onboarding assistance. Migration assistance. Remote user management. Outlook deployment.

It’s designed for business. No anonymous service. No lack of human contact or support availability. No fingerpointing.

In a nutshell, if your organization needs communication services we can help. It’s just $20 / user / month. That is the total cost of ownership – we handle the Outlook deployment, email migration, SharePoint setup, ExchangeDefender setup and account provisioning, ongoing maintenance and the full suite of Microsoft and ExchangeDefender technologies for security, business continuity, email, chat, online presentations and more.

If you have not spoken to us about the partnership opportunity around this product there is no time like the present. Feel free to reach out to me directly. We are taking it upon ourselves to usher our partners into the cloud business model without risk, without expensive training, without commitment and without losing your client to a third party.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, Own Web Now Corp
vlad@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x500


April 27, 2012

Quarterly Meeting Summary

On Tuesday we held our quarterly meeting and announced our new roadmap for the rest of 2012 season. If you missed it by any chance don’t worry, it was recorded and I encourage you to watch it.

ExchangeDefender & Shockey Monkey Quarterly Meeting

Length: 45 minutes, 1:10 with Q&A

You may need a GoToMeeting codec (download)

This is the most important webinar we’ve ever held. You need to see it.

Everything that was announced will be launching over the next 30 days and just about everything will impact you.

In short, ExchangeDefender Security now includes advanced encryption (lexicon, pattern matching, recipient policies, smart routing and compliance officer support). ExchangeDefender organizationally is launching Managed Messaging, a full 360 online communications product that includes presales, onboarding, email migration, Outlook setup and 24/7 support. We’re also enhancing our security and extending the capabilities of Level 1 support to open tickets and help troubleshoot issues over the phone (previously reserved to higher tiers). We are making our tech savvy partners more equipped to take a larger share of the communications pie while enabling companies that don’t want to run into the cloud a way to have us do it all on their behalf.

We’re effectively doubling our scope of services and our business. All in hope that it makes us your biggest partner.

Over the next two weeks we will be introducing you to the concepts here as well as my take on my personal blog. The feedback on our direction has been amazing so far – and on behalf of the ExchangeDefender teams, I look forward to working hard for you to continue making you successful.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, Own Web Now Corp
vlad@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x500


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