web based applications

VDI vs Web Based Applications

Your company’s competitiveness all comes down to productivity. And one of the latest productivity battles is the choice between virtual desktops and web based applications. Virtual desktops are stored on a remote server, instead of on local hardware. Virtual desktops can use several operating systems, and tools such as Microsoft Virtual PC, Parallels Desktop for Mac, and VMware Workstation. Web based applications are applications that are based on the internet, where the user must download certain parts of the software to run the application. An example of a web based application is a mobile app that is downloaded to a smartphone, that must use the internet to function, such as Twitter or Basecamp.

Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops are highly versatile, and help businesses to reduce costs while increasing the efficiency of their IT infrastructure. Virtual desktops share resources—you can pool resources from several different servers to create virtual environments—so VDIs are more reliable than traditional desktops. There is also significant cost savings, because resources can be shared and allocated more efficiently, and users can access the same desktop, files, and applications from any device that they choose. Users can access the same device from their smartphone that they would on their desktop, making working on the go seamless.

Web Based Applications

Web based applications can be browser based, client based, or mobile based, but in each case, the user needs to download certain information from the web in order for the application to run properly. Web apps include well known social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as most Google services—Google Calendar, Google Maps, and Google Drive. Web apps can be run through virtually any browser, and they have exploded in popularity along with mobile devices.

What’s Better For Your Business?

Virtual desktops and web based applications can both be used successfully by a growing business. It depends on how much control you need. Virtual desktops allow you more ability to control what is going in and out of your systems, as well as the level of security and accessibility. Web based applications can change their rules about critical things such as data sharing without your knowledge or consent. While you can create a virtual desktop using your own servers and control all accessibility, you cannot control whether or not Google Apps will share your data with a third party. Virtual desktops are relatively cheap, but they are still more expensive in terms of money and time to install and maintain than web applications, where a company like Google will handle all technical issues. If you need more security and control, VDIs might be your best option, but if you favor low cost, simplicity, and ease of use over multiple devices, then you might favor web applications.

Man on smart phone - young business man in airport. Casual urban professional businessman using smartphone smiling happy inside office building or airport. Handsome man wearing suit jacket indoors using mobility.

20 Fun Facts About Mobility

With mobility becoming ever more popular in the workforce, it’s no wonder that companies are seriously considering making the switch from desk tops to mobile devices – whether they be laptops, tablets, or cell phones.

If you’re like us, you might have been curious about how introducing a mobility solution into your company would fare. Below are 20 –very- interesting facts about mobility… with a few extras thrown in for fun!

20 Fun Facts About Mobility

 

  1. Out of 6.8 billion people on the planet, 4 billion use a cell phone. Only 3.5 billion use a toothbrush. Yuck! Good thing they’re not talking to us face to face!
  2. 38% of organizations don’t provide mobility devices to their employees.
  3. 25% of Americans access the Internet from their cell phones only.
  4. 66% of companies support mobility, allowing or mandating their employees to bring their own mobile devices to work.
  5. It’s been 40 years since the very first successful call was made on a mobile device.
  6. 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received.
  7. This is because 91% of people have their cell phones within arms reach 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  8. Technology users carry 2.9 devices on them every day. Any guesses as to what they are?
  9. Every year, 240 hours per employee are gained through mobile productivity. That equates to $5,114 in extra work or 6 extra weeks a year.
  10. In 2012, 17 billion devices had the ability to connect to the internet. That number is expanding as the Internet of Things grows.
  11. By 2018, companies will have invested $61 billion in mobility.
  12. There are five times as many cell phones than there are PCs.
  13. The first mobile device, better known as “The Brick” weighed a whopping 2lbs, took 10 hours to charge, and only had 30 minutes of talk time.
  14. Today’s cell phones weigh less than 3 ounces.
  15. The most frequent use of cell phones isn’t making calls, sending texts, or surfing the Internet – It’s checking the time. Bye bye wrist watches!
  16. Voicemail was added to cell phones in 1986.
  17. Internet service was added to cell phones in 1996 – and it was HORRIBLY slow.
  18. In 2015, the number of employees who use mobile devices for work exceeded 1.3 billion users. It’s estimated to be at 6.3 billion users – over 84% of Earth’s population – by 2018.
  19. Over two-thirds of CIOs and IT professionals believe that mobility will be as big as the internet.
  20. Today’s cell phones are more powerful than the NASA computers that sent two men to the moon back in 1969!

Bonus Round!

  1. Email was around before the World Wide Web
  2. 60 million emails are sent every day.
  3. 97% of them are considered spam.
  4. 70% of virus writers work under contract for an organization. That’s right, they get paid to steal your data!

Lastly….

  1. 86% of people try to put their USBs in upside down. (So don’t worry, you aren’t alone!)

Find out things you didn’t know? Nerds Support can help with other questions you have about mobility and technology in general. Give them a call and see what they can do for you!

IT relocation

Top 5 IT Relocation Tips For Your Big Move

Your IT infrastructure–especially your servers–is your organization’s lifeline. Without it, you could lose important enterprise data and your business could suffer. That’s why it’s extremely important to handle your equipment with care as your prepare for an IT relocation. Here are five IT relocation tips that’ll save you serious downtime and get your business back up and running in no time.

Rethink Your Current IT Infrastructure

Moving to a new office space may also indicate the time to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Maybe your computers are crashing at random times, or you’ve outgrown your current data storage capacity? An office move is the perfect time to rethink your current IT infrastructure and consider upgrading your systems and network to accommodate your growing needs. It’s wise to reach out to an experienced IT consultant to determine the best upgrade solutions for your business.

Benefit From a Pre-Move Audit

A pre-move audit is essentially a rundown of the current state of your company’s technology. Are all of your IT assets of value to your business needs and day-to-day operations? A full assessment of your existing hardware and software can help you understand how your IT infrastructure functions. So that when you plan for an IT relocation, you’ll know exactly what needs to be packed, moved, and set up in the proper locations.

Hire Professionals for Your IT Relocation

When moving homes, it’s perfectly normal to hire a team of traditional movers to handle your furniture and other home goods. But servers and IT hardware require a little extra TLC. Technology is fragile, so you should only trust IT relocation specialists to handle your business-critical equipment. That way all the tedious but important relocation tasks–like data cabling and rack management–can be done properly, and your business can minimize on unnecessary downtime.

Make Sure to Back Up Important Data

Backing up your data is one of the most important tips to consider for a successful IT relocation. No matter how carefully you handle your hardware and servers, sometimes the simple act of unplugging it can lead to lost data or machine failure. Doing a complete backup of all your systems and hardware will ensure that you don’t run the risk of losing any piece of important company data.

Reconfigure and Test Your Hardware/Software

Before your IT relocation team heads out the door, make sure they do a proper reinstallation and reconfiguration of your hardware. This is to ensure that your new IT infrastructure allows you to meet your business-specific needs and run your company in the most efficient way possible.

New Technology description with man pointing finger to opaque technology screen

Top 10 Mind-blowing Technologies

In the ever-changing world of technology, consumers are always on the lookout for the newest and coolest gadgets. Inventions like smartphones and tablets are slowly becoming devices we take for granted, and consumers are constantly waiting on what the future will bring. That’s why we decided to compile ten of the latest and upcoming tech gadgets we think will blow your mind.

Top 10 New Technology:

  1. Google Glass

Developed by Google X, a research and development program by Google, the Glass displays information in a hands-free, smartphone-like format. With a head-mounted display, it features a touchpad, a functioning camera, and an illuminated LED display. The Glass is undergoing complete redesign and will not be released until it is entirely ready.

  1. Google Self-driving Cars

Another ingenious product from the tech experts at Google X, Google’s self-driving, robotic cars function using a 64-beam laser. This laser–which allows the car to create a 3D map of its environment–is what’s used for hands-free navigation. Google plans to make fully functioning versions of these cars available to the public in 2020.

  1. 3D Printing

This is a machine that can basically create any object–sounds like something from the future right? Using digital blueprints and layering of materials, 3D printers are quickly catching on as a type of industrial robot. It can be used to make all sorts of things–cars, computers, clothing, art, you name it.

  1. Bionic Limbs

Prosthetic limbs now have the ability to pick up brain signals and move the way the user intends to. This means that quadriplegics or paralysis victims will be able to use these bionic limbs as complete fully functioning surrogate parts.

  1. Hoverboards

The company Hendo invented a real-life hoverboard that floats about an inch or so off the ground. Not too long ago, newest details of the hoverboard were revealed–like a stronger battery life, USB connection, stronger hover engines, and a safety kill switch. The latest design is still in the works.

  1. Wireless Electricity

WiTricity uses technology involving a plug-in coil that creates a magnetic field with the capability to charge objects as far as 8 feet away. Within 10 years, CEO Alex Gruzen says that rooms can be wired so that everyday household appliances can be powered from a central charging base.

  1. Wireless Chargers

No more cords, ports, or tangled messes. Now you can simply place your phone on a pad next to your bed and have it charge while you sleep away. And if that doesn’t sound better, Qi Wireless is finding a way for you to charge your gadgets on more places (like tables or in your car) from a greater distance.

  1. Face Scanners

Developed by FaceFirst, this technology tracks each individual’s face on a camera feed and uses a biometric system to recognize and match that person’s face for identification. It can be highly beneficial for business security, general public safety, and law enforcement.

  1. All-in-one Card

The Coin is a secure device that helps lighten your wallet by combining all of your cards into one. From bus cards and credit cards to membership and loyalty cards, Coin stores multiple accounts and information into one easy device.

  1. Sign-Language Translator

Motion Savvy is creating the UNI–an innovative sign-to-speech and speech-to-text software for smartphones. This two-way communication tool will be completely developed by the summer of 2016.

Congress, Capitol, Holiday, Tax Break

Big Tax Break for Small Businesses

It looks like Santa has come early this year in the form of a tax break legislation that was signed into law by President Obama just last week. As the year 2015 comes to an end, Congress unveiled a new permanent act in Section 179 that contains a plethora of happy surprises. One major component of “The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH) is that it permanently extends a wide range of tax benefits for citizens that have long been temporary provisions. Their decision to expand the expense deduction limit to $500,000 from the previous $25,000 could affect small business owners everywhere.

So what is the Section 179 Tax Break?

The Section 179 tax break allows a small business owner to deduct an equipment’s total depreciation from his or her own income taxes upfront rather than over a number of years. According to the act, once a business’s equipment purchases reach $2 million, then the conceded Section 179 amount will phase-out dollar-for-dollar and be completely eliminated for expenses above $2.5 million. Additionally, the amount will be indexed to inflation in $10,000 increments in the future years. Bonus depreciation, which can be used by business owners who purchase new property placed in service in that tax year, is set at 50% for 2015 through 2017; 40% for 2018; and 30% for 2019.

What items qualify for deduction?

Qualifying property for this year includes computers, software, office furniture, tangible personal property used for business, business vehicles, and machinery that have been put into service by December 31. Please refer to the IRS Section 179 Deduction page for a full list of qualified and disqualified items.

How much can be deducted?

This depends on the amount of qualifying assets that you purchase and put into use. Check out the handy Section 179 Calculator which is fully updated for the PATH Act of 2015 to see how much you can save on taxes this year.

 

IaaS

Cut Costs With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The goal of business is to make a profit. This means that a good business needs to find ways to work efficiently and cut costs without sacrificing quality of products or service. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is increasing in popularity amongst companies because of the amazing benefits it offers, especially how much money it will save your enterprise. If you’re unfamiliar with IaaS, it is a form of cloud computing that provides computer resources, virtualized, over the Internet. Your managed service provider of IaaS handles technical operations remotely, improving operational quality while reducing expenses. Blow we discuss how Infrastructure as a Service can help cut costs for your business.

 

IaaS Cuts Business Infrastructure Costs

A major benefit to employing IaaS is the lower infrastructure costs. Companies no longer have to be responsible for ensuring uptime, maintaining network and hardware equipment and replacing outdated technology. IaaS saves enterprises from having to purchase more capacity to deal with the abrupt spikes in business.

 

Pay-As-You-Go Savings With IaaS

There are significant cost savings to businesses with the pay-as-you-go model of IaaS. Since IaaS is a metered service, companies pay for only the amount needed at any given time. With pay-as-you-go, it allows enterprises to avoid hefty fixed monthly or annual fees for features they may not even use. There are no up front charges demanded with IaaS, minimum term commitments or bandwidth utilization fees.

 

More Time to Focus on Profits With IaaS

The CIO of a company does not want to spend time, energy and money on making technology decisions and hiring staff to handle the technology infrastructure. This is time wasted that can be better spent on making business decisions that grow the company and lead to profits. With an IaaS model, they handle all of the technology tasks so you can focus your time on the business.

 

Save Money With Scalability and Flexibility of IaaS

A great, money-saving benefit of IaaS is its ability to scale up and down quickly in response to the needs of a company. IaaS providers have the latest and most powerful servers, storage and networking technology to handle the needs for their customers. This instant scalability gives the company extra flexibility to respond to changing environments and opportunities without wasting valuable time trying to reconfigure equipment. Since competition is strong in all sectors, faster marketing is one of the best tools to beat the competitors. Because of the scalability provided by IaaS, companies can get the job done and put the product or service out on the market more rapidly than their business rivals.

 

If you are interested in employing IaaS for your company, contact us today. We are experts at managing infrastructures to drastically cut costs for businesses of all sizes.

IaaS

Take Advantage of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Companies love the benefits and flexibility of the cloud, but one of the most overlooked and understood aspects of the cloud is IaaS, also known as Infrastructure as a Service. IaaS allows business owners and CIOs to utilize infrastructure to evolve and to compete in a modern market.

 

What is IaaS?

IaaS is one of three facets of cloud computing. The other two are Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). IaaS provides users with virtual services over the Internet connection. Okay, what does that mean? IaaS services include maintenance, security planning, and backup services, but it does so on a per-use basis.

IaaS is similar to a pay-for-use phone. Companies pay only for what they need at a given time, which can change daily, weekly or monthly. As a result, whatever is used is charged to the company. IaaS puts companies in a unique position to save money on infrastructure costs while deploying the most sophisticated technologies and resources to grow and secure the business.

 

Big Benefits of IaaS

Companies benefit from IaaS during all stages of deployment and utilization. The benefits of IaaS include:

  • Flexibility and scalability- Companies can establish a cloud service and create a system that fits their needs initially, as well as providing company’s with the ability to expand over the course of the business as the business grows, or even if it decides to cut back. The best part is that it can be done right away, instead of forcing companies to spend the cash to overhaul systems, software, and work environments. IaaS allows companies to choose services that support the business and provide the best support for customers and their ever-changing needs.
  • Innovative applications and services- Companies have access to the latest technologies and services without having to deplete technology budgets to market, establish or maintain software and services. Companies work with professionals, such as Nerds Support, which empowers companies with the ability to tailor cloud services and infrastructure to meet their specific needs and industry demands.
  • Companies can grow- Companies that utilize IaaS have the unique capacity to outsource specialized services to experts who can take care of the business’s IT and technology needs. This takes the burden of doing so off of company owners and employees. Companies can focus their time and attention on the business to promote growth instead of spending time on hiring and managing IT teams, devoting money to multiple vendors and services, and managing the infrastructure. Growth occurs when business owners focus on the company and when they have access to tailored resources for maximum growth.
  • Affordability- One of the most attractive features of IaaS is affordability, which allows companies to scale their services to meet their needs on their own terms. Companies that embrace IaaS benefit from lower infrastructure costs and freedom from bloated monthly costs that they may or may not use. The pay-as-you-go model allows businesses to pay for only what they need while having the option to buy more services and capacity when necessary. IaaS also allows companies to employ smaller IT staffs without compromising the success and integrity of the system.
Fun at Work

The Importance of Having Fun at Work

Although you should always maintain a certain level of professionalism at work, it doesn’t mean that you should stop having fun altogether. The truth is that having fun while working is actually healthy and rather important, to say the least. It definitely has many strong points that everyone, no matter what position they are, can really benefit from.

Happy Employees

There is a multitude of reasons why having fun at work is beneficial to the employees. Happy employees will work harder and be more productive. They tend to be more creative, make better decisions and get along better with their co-workers. It should effectively reduce conflict among employees. Aside from behaving better, employees generally are absent less and late less, since they actually look forward to coming to work. This will also lead to fewer people quitting and more people staying loyal to their organization for longer periods of time. You will definitely see the morale of the organization improve as a whole.

Happy Customers

When employees are happy, customers are happy. This is true because the happiness of employees will rub off on to the customers. Employees will more than likely treat customers better overall. You will likely see fewer customer complaints as a result, and even better; this will result in more repeat customers.

Additional Benefits

There is a reason why children have recess at school. It gives them a break from learning for a little while, and a chance to recharge their energy and their happiness. This is kind of like what fun in the workplace does. It breaks up boredom, fatigue, conflict, and tension, and it improves communication among everyone. Laughter is proven to heal and reduce tension and the symptoms of stress.

Company Activities

A good way to boost the energy and the happiness in an organization is to plan some company activities once in a while. This is a good way to teach everyone about the importance of teamwork and working together to achieve goals. This will give managers and supervisors a chance to let loose, relax, and show everyone that they are team players as well. It is an important part of creating a positive corporate environment for everyone involved.

Stay Appropriate

It’s important to not lose sight of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate while adapting to your fun work ethic. Make sure to keep all humor in the workplace fitting and proper at all times. You will need to set boundaries and know which lines not to cross with people. Fun in the workplace is meant to lighten the mood while working, and create a place where not everything has to be so serious all the time. It is not meant to offend anyone or make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Data Backup

Data Backup Strategies for Your Business

As our world becomes more and more data driven, it is important that we protect our sensitive information. If a business does not take the proper steps to backup their data, they could lose everything to a hacker, natural disaster or even employee error. When your company’s precious information is suddenly gone, you will have to spend tons of money on restoration and there are no guarantees that you’ll get it all back. This will cost your company its customers and possibly lead to a shut down. Don’t let your organization’s reputation become tainted because you weren’t prepared. Consider the following data backup strategies for your business.

 

USB Drives for Data Backup

Requiring the use of USB drives for your employees is the simplest form of data backup. USB drives are ideal for data backup of documents, media files, application data and the system as a whole. Choose a drive that works by simply plugging in and starting the backup, without the need to install any software, launch a program or configure backup sets. This will make your life easier and it leaves less room for error.

 

External Hard Drives or Storage Tape

External hard disk drives (HDDs) and storage tape are other ways to backup your data. They are portable and can be easily moved to an off-site location where the information can be hidden from those who want to steal it. When moved off-site they will be safe if your office falls victim to a fire, flood or other catastrophe. The discs can be brought home every night or sent to a safe-deposit box every few days. If your business is small, it is more affordable to use DVDs or Blu-ray discs as opposed to tape drives. Always store the discs in a dark, cool place out of the direct sunlight so that they do not suffer from “bit rot” and they should only be used as short-term backups.

 

Cloud Storage Services

When you use cloud storage, not only is your information stored safely off-site, but it is housed at several storage centers around the world. It is important to choose a cloud service provider that has been doing business for awhile and has a solid reputation for being reliable. Before you entrust your sensitive data to any organization for protective storage, make sure to always scramble the information with robust encryption. The cloud-storage provider should be willing to send your data backups to you via tangible media if it takes too long for a complete download. The cloud is perfect for alleviating significant data loss catastrophes.

 

These are just a few of the ways your organization can protect its sensitive information. Contact us if you have any questions about data backup for your business. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you decide which strategies are the best for your company.

Updated Messenger

LinkedIn’s Updated Messenger Improves Communication

If you’re a professional, the likelihood is that you’re on LinkedIn. With over 100 million users in the U.S. alone, and that number only representing about 30% of the total user pool, it is by far the most popular, some say essential, social media platform for serious workers. Despite its popularity, LinkedIn has suffered some PR issues with its behind-the-times approach to certain functions. Well, that changed a bit this month with the severe (and overdue) renovation of the message service.

 

The Problem

Up until now, LinkedIn’s “messaging” has been no-frills to put it mildly. When it began, it made sense that messages were synonymous with emails. Hence LinkedIn’s layout of a pretty bland, and not especially user-friendly, email add-on. Attachments were impossible, the form was, well, too formal, and it became one more inbox filled with clutter and in need of sorting and organization.

 

The Changes

The real change is that LinkedIn has finally gotten with the times and embraced the message-style layout. More and more people function on a daily basis with messages back and forth. Common sites like Facebook and iPhone messenger are now as natural to younger workers as swimming to a fish.

LinkedIn’s layout is now built around who you’re talking to rather than the message itself, giving you a list of conversations grouped by participants and allowing a bit more control over filters. It also makes communication over different devices easier.

 

Easier Communication

On the note of ease, not enough can be said. The formality of conversation among professionals has been decreasing as we all become more and more used to being constantly connected. The idea is that one person can easily shoot a quick sentence to someone across the country as if they were in the same building. That is, after all, the driving idea behind social media.

In addition, users are now able to attach photos, documents, and other files to individuals or groups involved. The ability to scroll back on a single thread means you can catch up quickly and your “inbox” is organized for you.

 

Better Communication

As you can guess, millions are breathing a sigh of relief. It’s not just the frustration with the old way that has them pleased, though. It’s also the idea that LinkedIn’s messenger makes communication more natural. With small additions like being able to add GIFs and personal bits of flair, users will be able to communicate more personality than the stark system of old. What’s more, LinkedIn has even gone so far as to suggest that a new teleconferencing function will be available, too, making LinkedIn a valuable place that lives up to its name.