General – ExchangeDefender Blog

August 22, 2014

What I do as the Partner Communications Manager at ExchangeDefender

Filed under: General — Anastasia @ 9:13 am

Day-to-Day

My primary role as the Partner Communication Manager is to work with our partners on a day-to-day basis.  It is my job to ensure that all of our partners are up to date on everything that we do and to be available for any sales or billing related issues. As the Partner Communications Manager I am your number one source on anything not related to support or development. If you need to have a conversation about any of our products, need marketing collateral, have a billing question, or just need general information, I’m the person to contact. You can even talk to me in person at the shows! J

Working with us

If you are in need of marketing collateral, have questions about your account or need to talk about a prospect you can contact me directly at: anastaisa@ownwebnow.com or 877-546-0316 x 739.

Help us help you

When it comes to marketing collateral the typical turnaround time is 48 hours, but can be 72 hours if we are receiving a high volume of requests. Once I receive your request I will email you letting you know I have received it and request any additional information I may need.

Sales Inquiries:

When speaking to our partners I’m often asked to provide a quote for a prospective client. Often times the only bit of information I get is the price quote. This is great and it’s a start but I need more.  Not only does having all the info help me, but it helps you. It allows me to be more effective in giving you a comparable quote. From speaking to our Partners I know the end user is very price conscious, but they typically do not fully understand what they are getting with an uber cheap mailbox. Then when something breaks and your client *thinks* they are paying for a backup you’re the one cleaning up the mess and end up losing money on something you didn’t even sell to them. Point being, details are key!

We are here for you

Here at ExchangeDefender we want to make sure we meet all of your needs. If you’re not utilizing us to the full extent, then you’re overpaying us. I’m here to help with anything business related, including marketing collateral and billing questions, so utilize your resources!


August 19, 2014

What the Chief of Operations does at ExchangeDefender

Filed under: General — Carlos @ 9:12 am

The responsibilities of my position are fluid. They fluctuate between managing the personnel and technology needs of the company. My responsibilities can include at least the following:

  • Feature Request Reviews – Analyzing feasibility and ROI.
  • Staffing Decisions – Anything from time off requests, to hiring, to terminations and everything in between.
  • Disaster Management – When something really bad happens, I get to make the tough decisions.
  • Infrastructure Management
  • Trade Show Roster Management
  • And when my engineers are unable to solve an issue, I become the defacto Linux and network administrator.

If you need to escalate an issue, always reach out to Frankie Guiliano first since hes my support manager. Generally that means he has a faster pulse to current issue and may be able to resolve your issues faster. If you’re unable to reach a resolution you can email me. Now I only make one request, link me to your ticket that includes diagnostic information. This will allow me to trace the issue technically or if it’s a situation involving one of my employees.

Once I get an email, the first thing I do is go through the ticket since it allows me to review the details of the actual problem myself. I think we can all agree that once we’re frustrated with a situation our judgment becomes cloudy and we get short sighted, it’s human. So I like try to gain a non-angry perspective from the facts available, which I like to assume are part of the ticket. From there, I have to decide how to remedy the situation, which may include: making platform changes, employee reprimands, saying something close to “no” in as few situations as possible.

If you’re running into a situation with our platform that you’re finding falling short, please let me know. Some changes take more time than others, but I can assure you that I will look into the changes and if they’re workable, I’m willing to make them. One of the things that I offer as a differentiation point when I speak with folks, we will always to fit what your needs are for your clients.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me at carlos@ownwebnow.com.


August 14, 2014

What the VP of Development does at ExchangeDefender

Here at ExchangeDefender we have a wide range of products and service offerings. With close to seven years with ExchangeDefender, I’ve designed and written a majority of the software that is offered as a part of continuously growing platform. This includes several of our key systems such as: Encryption, Compliance Archive, Web Sharing, LocalCloud and even our service ordering & account provisioning! The only areas that I don’t touch directly are mobile applications, we have additional developers who designs and tackles any issues that may arise on our mobile platforms.

Throughout the course of the day I find myself working on various bugs and communicating with our team to ensure that bugs and new feature requests are considered and placed within our internal development pipeline. Recently I’ve been going through our old documentation and working on updating that with fresh information detailing step, by step how to use our products.

Keep in mind that it takes a while to develop and test fixes to assure they don’t introduce other problems. There are no quick fixes or features, everything we implement needs to work well across web, desktop and mobile devices and our support staff needs to be trained and alerted of these upcoming features.  So if you have a bug or feature request that is absolutely something that we must fix and/or implement, we would love to hear about it! However, due to my schedule and workload I’m typically a very hard person to reach. So first open a ticket in our portal, our highly trained technicians will review your ticket and possibly collect further information. After which, they will then escalate the ticket into a bug or feature request. Once in this section, it will be reviewed every Friday to see just how we can make our services even better!

Here at ExchangeDefender we want to help you fill your services portfolio with everything your client needs to operate their business successfully. We strive every day to be the absolute best for all of your service needs. So please (I cannot stress this enough) if you think we are falling short due to a software glitch or missing feature, let us know!


August 13, 2014

What support does at ExchangeDefender

Filed under: General — vlad @ 8:22 am

Day-to-Day

The primary objective for the support staff at ExchangeDefender is to be cordial to partners while resolving support tickets within our SLA. Other duties include escalating issues to higher tier support members and notifying our engineers of any alerts that may be going off.

Support Issues

We make our support staff available on the phones 24/7. The phone may sometimes be the best way to describe a problem, however, the first step is to open a ticket.  The most efficient way to get your issue resolved is through a ticket in our support portal. The support portal allows you to provide a more detailed description of the problem, including the ability to attach screen shots and provide verbose logging. It is more manageable to review a NDR as an attachment than have someone read you the headers over the phone! The portal also  protects you and your clients from social engineering, as it requires a password to access.

A support ticket sounds great but I have an urgent issue and I need to call someone immediately to get it resolved!

You can skip Tier I support by opening an urgent ticket in our portal. An urgent ticket goes to the top of the support queue and our Tier II/III support staff is directly alerted of the issue. Please keep in mind that because our staff is alerted to be sure the issue warrants the priority as you may incur an hourly fee or opening an urgent ticket for a non-urgent issue.

Help us Help you

The more precise details you can provide us the quicker we’ll be able to resolve  issues. This includes, but not limited to, screen shots, verbose logging, how to replicate the issue you are having, and the troubleshooting steps you have already taking. Once a support request is opened you will be promptly greeted by our friendly support staff.  Based on the material provided we will do our finest to resolve your issue in a timely fashion.

Putting it all together

We are here to help you. Everything our support staff does is to make our partnership with you stronger. We strive to provide outstanding support so you can count on us for all of your email needs. For any feedback or concerns about support please let us know at Support Feedback


August 2, 2014

Why should a business owner use our XD mobile platform.

Filed under: General — Carlos @ 12:28 pm

In today’s business world mobility is dominating every industry vertical.  This boom in market share puts your customer’s ability to contact your company at unprecedented levels. However, if your company is not equipped to meet those demands you’re likely to leave your customer with unmet expectations.

This is where the ExchangeDefender Business Communicator comes into play. On the surface it appears to just allow your team the ability to manage their SPAM quarantine, but once you look beyond the black and white feature set there’s so much more. Now your team has a tool that, alongside with their Hosted Exchange Active Sync, has full access to the all the business tools they would need for conducting business on the go.

One of the major cost saving trends in the SMB community and even to some customer facing enterprises is the home office.  Our mobile platform allows those business tools that generally run on your desktop to now be accessible wherever you need them to be.  Email security software has been in existence for two reasons.  To keep your networks safe and to maximize productivity by avoiding sifting through SPAM all day long. However, no system is 100 percent accurate at flagging SPAM correctly. This is why quarantines exist as every now and then you may need to look for a message or two in your quarantine.  Some methods require you to log on to a portal or review an email report. These methods are not designed for mobility. Their short comings are based on rendering size, requiring credentials, and navigation limitations. When you’re on the move, you need a mobile app that gives you the ability to:

  • Release a message or trust a sender with a single swipe
  • Preview messages within your mobile device before releasing

Beyond the basic operations of SPAM management there are two major components you want available to you employees: data leakage protection and business continuity. If a message contains private information your compliance department will be happy to know that your team doesn’t need to be logged into Outlook on their desktop to encrypt a message. But most importantly you need the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if your mail server (or provider) ever goes offline that your team will have working internet email only one tap away!

Our mobile platforms unrivaled ability to deliver increased productivity, security, data leakage protection, and business continuity is the solution your company can’t be without.


July 28, 2014

They why’s of Installing the ExchangeDefender app

Filed under: General — Anastasia @ 9:58 am

Installing the ExchangeDefender app is easy and free. Our new app combines the features of ExchangeDefender with the convenience of your smart phone. If you haven’t already installed it, do it right away. You’ll want to install the ExchangeDefender app so you have access to all of our key features, making your job easier and employees more efficient.

app screen shot

The new ExchangeDefender app gives you:

Email at the tip of your fingers: First and foremost the ExchangeDefender app is an easy and quick way to check your email. No longer do you have the have to go through the pain of opening the web page and zooming in and out to pull up your email. The ExchangeDefender app scales everything to fit on the page. This allows you to keep your inbox clean and minimal of junk, allowing you to be more productive. Along with checking your email, the ExchangeDefender app also allows you to check your daily SPAM reports. You can trust and release messages just like you would with the Outlook add in.

Continued Workflow: One of the most important features of the ExchangeDefender app is the access to LiveArchive. LiveArchive allows your clients access to their email, even when their Exchange server is down. LiveArchive is also scaled to fit the page, so just like with your email you don’t have to worry about trying to work on a 4 inch screen.

Encryption: Encryption is a top priority in many companies. Within the ExchangeDefender app, the encryption function opens your selected mail application and populates the messages with the encryption tags as well as giving your clients the ability send encrypted emails.

If you haven’t already, go download the app from the app store. For any questions, please feel free to contact me at: Anastasia@ownwebnow.com. 877-546-0316 x 739.


July 25, 2014

ExchangeDefender Mobile Apps… Does it even work?

Filed under: General — vlad @ 6:57 am

We are constantly publishing updates to our mobile applications and with every update there is the possibility for the introduction of new bugs. If you or your client happens to encounter an issue the first thing you should do is make sure they are running the latest version of the app.

This can be achieved one of two ways depending on the mobile platform that is being used.

IOS – Visit the “App Store” and see if there are any updates available.

Android – Visit the “Play Store” and check if any updates are available.

After confirming that you’re running the latest version of the mobile application we can begin to document the issue. The best resource that you can provide is a screenshot of the error or information about the process to recreate the bug.

Taking Screenshots

IOS – Simply press the “Home” and “Sleep” buttons at the same time. If done correctly the screen will flash and you’ll hear a sound as if you were taking a photo with the camera. Your photo will now be located inside of your camera roll.

Android – This can vary from version to version, however if you are running  Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and above this can be achieved by pressing and holding the volume down and power buttons synchronously. After a few seconds your phone will take a screenshot. Your photo will now be located in your gallery or photo directory on your phone.

After you have compiled this information and screenshots head on over to our support portal located at: https://support.ownwebnow.com. Here you can open a ticket with the information collected and attach any screenshots that you have acquired. Please be as descriptive as possible and explain the steps involved to reproduce the glitch. After one of our technicians has reviewed your ticket and confirmed that the issue you are experiencing is actually a bug they will submit a bug report for your case.

You will then be provided with a link to view status updates and track the current progress of your issue via our live bug tracker. Please understand that development issues may take several weeks before they are even examined depending on the issue and current development queue.


March 27, 2014

Compliance Archive – Improved Searching!

Filed under: Compliance Archive,General — Tags: , — vlad @ 2:09 pm

Over the last month we have been in the process of improving the architecture behind Compliance Archive. Your information has already been migrated into this new compliance standard and we were able to do this with very little noticeable downtime. The main reason for this improvement was to help enhance database performance and finally be able to offer advance searching and audit reports.

To give you an idea, on the old architecture an advanced report would take roughly 20-30 minutes and would typically time out due to (multiple refreshes) or a user’s browser becoming unresponsive. So before we built the GUI to allow for these searches, we had to get this under control.

Now with the new system not only do searches come back typically within 3-4 minutes, they are scheduled jobs. So you type in your search, submit your criteria and either wait or check back once they have finished. The best part is, you can REPEAT your searches once they’ve finished! So let’s say you’re required to perform the same mundane search once a month, now you can with only a few clicks!


February 25, 2014

Notes from the World Tour

Filed under: Events and Conferences,General — vlad @ 1:16 pm

aroundtheworld1Over the past month I’ve visited our partners around the world and talked to at least half the countries that we do business in. In case you’re curious, the mood worldwide is the same – from Chicago to Dubai, London to Sydney – business is hard but everyone is optimistic and working hard. We have some of the best IT Solution Providers in the world and I have no fear that everyone will triumph over the regional issues – my primary concern and point of all the trips was to understand what we can do to help our partners move faster.

 

My primary talking point was our new migration service: Why waste time on administrative and detailed work when we will do it under your name, your brand and process? It’s always thrilling to watch the reaction go from “that’s sounds nice but I think we have it under control” to “oh my god, I had no idea how much time we’re wasting” – so it was the profitable trip to say the least.

Here are some notes on my commitment for the rest of the year.

Partner communicationsthings have changed: If I had a penny for every time I heard “I didn’t know you guys did that” I probably would have brought more staff along with me and just left them there. I understand our portfolio is extremely broad but the change we are undertaking – from being a partner focused software company to being a service business – will be involving you a lot more in our process. One part that was particularly disappointing were questions about the issues that have been addressed years ago that still seemed like a problem. We will do our best to help drive partner involvement more in the coming year.

Product marketingsupport goes beyond the product breaking: Last year was the record year for partner training and blog posts focused on business building. Pat on the back for all the praise I got for that. Partner feedback was quite clear that selling and positioning our services was quite easy, marketing and differentiating them requires more collateral. I hear you – while we have some comparative marketing collateral it is neither as organized nor easy to find. Most of it was put together for specific deals our partners worked on with us directly and honestly we can do a lot better. Next quarter you’ll see a major refresh in our marketing collateral as well as our process workflows that we’ve started sharing with our migration partners. Everything we do makes us better – except consolidating that information for mass distribution; we’ll get right on that.

User educationvalue beyond the essentials: The age old problem of users getting the solution and then severely underutilizing it is still there but it’s more prevalent these days because of the economy and general expectation for IT costs to be minimal. Almost everyone I spoke to said their clients have pushed for lower rates and even questioned why they were paying for certain services at all that they seemingly never used. Clients that use more than one feature, or are engaged with the product web services (think more web site visits, less email reports) have 9 times more stickiness to the product! Obviously we all have a vested interest in educating our clients about the solution they are paying for – and as we transition to a more service oriented business I expect we’ll help solve the real problem of why users aren’t relying on more of the solution: Someone has to do the work of rolling this stuff out and training everyone how to do it. We’ve got a plan for this as well and I look forward to sharing it with you.

 

1601530_10151858051975936_1751553214_nIn summary, this was an incredible trip. It was a pleasure and an honor to be invited to so many businesses and spend some fun time with so many of you as well. I got to bring my son along for the trip so he can see what daddy does, and particular shout out to Greg Lipschitz from Summit IT for taking us around to hang out with the local wildlife. Everywhere I go I am always told “things are different here” but in the end there are just nuances in business preferences – we all share the same annoyances, challenges, difficulties and also the same opportunities.

I appreciate the hospitality and look forward to sharing significant progress on the three points above on my next trip around the world. We certainly have our work cut out for us and the major global initiative as well as the service oriented business model will go a long way towards getting that done.


October 15, 2013

Answering With The Cloud

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,General,Hosted Services — vlad @ 9:52 am

oldworlditEvery new wave of technological advancement brings nuances that make it difficult to make the exact comparison to the problems old technology solved. The easiest way to promote the new stuff is to talk about all the new great things it does, but what do you say when you are questioned about things that are no longer a problem in the 21st century?

One of the questions we are usually asked is if a company has enough bandwidth to rely on Hosted Exchange.

Fair question. When the small company first started it’s Exchange deployment in late 90’s early 00’s it had all it’s employees in one site and every desktop was on the LAN. Fast forward to 2013 where most employees have mobile phones that are in constant sync with the Exchange deployment over the WAN. Remote offices, road warriors, executive laptops at home – now each user has several devices connecting to the Exchange server at the office and there would be actual net savings in bandwidth if the Exchange server went to the cloud

To be fair, these “infrastructure concerns” are typically coming from the IT employee who is trying to protect his job with inferior solutions: Your sales process should focus on actual business operations concerns around business continuity, security and compliance. Here are some ways to differentiate the cloud model with the DIY model.

Just how reliable is the cloud version? What happens when it goes down?

Well it uses the same software that you would run in your office so it is comparable to your existing experience. The difference with the cloud is that the systems are much larger and far more redundant so they can conduct more maintenance without affecting operations because it’s not a single server. Maintenance keeps small problems from becoming big problems and when there are issues they are posted here so you know exactly what is going on.

Cloud Exchange is also redundant across two data centers so if there is a networking issue that impacts one you will still be in business.

In the event of a catastrophic outage, where your cloud Exchange is actually down, you can rely on ExchangeDefender LiveArchive which gives you last year worth of email including all your contacts, calendars and appointments with full realtime access to send and receive even over a mobile device.

What about backups? What if they go out of business? How can I be sure I have my data?

You’re protected in several ways, the most immediate one being Outlook 2013 cached mode. Because Outlook 2013 is included for free we will upgrade all your workstations to store all your email locally on your workstations or laptops so it will be protected by the local backups first.

We also provide business level backups of your entire organization and we can do it on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis so you can snapshot your mail and keep it here or off site in a safe deposit box on a portable USB hard drive. We can even automate the process by keeping this information on BDR systems in our data center.

There is also an option for Compliance Archiving – we can store up to 10 years of email and have it available for immediate search without additional devices or appliances. It’s just another service available to protect your data.

To be honest, the concept of backups worked in the old days where organizations had small servers or single instance storage with a single RAID – cloud deployments are scalable, using multiple servers with DAG that keeps copies of the data in multiple locations. Because these systems are built for scale they offer more flexibility and more data copies – but we can certainly help you sleep easier at night by providing these additional services that make sense if you’re not so sure about the cloud.

What about security? I hear the cloud is hacked a lot! I have compliance to worry about as well.

The threat of having your security compromised is real regardless of where your Exchange is. One thing you can be sure of is that providing the level of monitoring and security layers available in the cloud would make an office server solution very expensive. ExchangeDefender provides stated Security Procedures document, Data Destruction Document, is SSAE 16 certified and undergoes multiple security audits every year – how about your IT employee?

We already mentioned Compliance Archiving, the system that gives you realtime access to 10 years of your email, where you can quickly locate any inbound, outbound and even interoffice email that matches search criteria. If you have HIPAA concerns, ExchangeDefender will sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) so you’re covered and have full access to your mail without worrying if it has been tampered with by the IT staff.

Security is really a matter of monitoring, technology and user awareness. ExchangeDefender has a lot more resources and higher end firewalls and DDoS protection service to address security problems when they pop up, patch the systems quickly because it can offline redundant servers, filter suspicious traffic and more that we cannot do affordably for you in the office. But what we can do is implement requirements for password rotation, we can deploy RSA SecurID for one-time passwords, we can monitor usage patterns and more.

Summary

Sometimes it’s hard for people stuck in the old model of IT to quickly accept how change has provided for better solutions to old IT problems. The key to a successful client relationship and a sale is not to argue some preconceived notions about IT but to explain the advances in technology and all the better stuff they will get from the cloud.

While everything about technology can be debated endlessly by the tech world, technical implementation to suit business has been taken out of the clutches of IT departments and placed into control of executives who have a more practical view of technology. Try asking two IT people: “What’s the best way to backup data” and see how many answers you get. Asking an executive will get you a different, more practical answer: We need to be able to continue work as usual within X hours but we need to have access to Y years of data in case of an audit.

ExchangeDefender and our partners are constantly evolving the best technology and the best local people around the world to solve these IT problems. Sometimes starting the conversation and framing it in a way to explain the advancement we’ve had in the past two decades when it comes to email is more difficult than just providing the solution. We hope this helps and if you need more info please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, ExchangeDefender


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