The biggest news at Microsoft Ignite was all about Azure

microsoftMicrosoft’s flagship Ignite conference just wrapped up, and I still have Azure on my mind. The cloud computing platform received considerable attention at the conference, and for good reason: Connectivity and security improvements, as well as new partnerships, set the roadmap for its future.

Microsoft presented dozens of advancements, innovations, and upgrades at Ignite, from nifty upgrades (improvements to the Surface Pen allow it to cross out and delete text) to functional enhancements to core products (Exchange 2016 has better interoperability with SharePoint 2016). Other big stories included Docker’s inclusion in Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft’s push to “democratize AI.” Continue Reading…

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Here’s what you need to know before your business buys a drone

DRONELike the Pony Express 150 years ago, the Drone Express may change the way you get mail and packages. Of course, the Drone Express is still a few years away, but drones are allowing organizations to think up new ways to conduct business.

Insurance companies, for example, rely on drones to inspect houses for damage; government engineers use them to examine buildings, bridges, and railroads; utility companies check phone lines with drones; and law enforcement and fire departments employ drones to scope dangerous scenes like burning buildings or forest fires.

But as you consider how drones can help your own business, there are a number of issues and regulations around commercial drones to know and address before your first flight. Here are the most important ones to consider to ensure your drone launch lifts off successfully. Continue Reading…

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4 must-see technologies at Cisco Live 2016

SHI-Cisco-Live-2016The holy grail of IT might be the single pane of glass, but it eludes many IT professionals because of all the segmented technologies and platforms they have to manage. How can an organization get there? Two words: visibility and control.

Which is why those topics will be major themes at this year’s Cisco Live, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas.

Cisco’s many acquisitions in the last year, including Internet of Things (IoT) platform Jasper and a plethora of security-oriented companies, all weave around the common threads of visibility and control. These moves highlight the industry trend toward tools that provide more insights into an IT network and answer the call for stronger asset management. Continue Reading…

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4 of the most frustrating private cloud challenges and how to solve them

Private cloud headachesCloud adoption is now the norm as nearly 9 out of 10 companies prefer cloud solutions, but many IT professionals are still asking, “Which cloud computing environment is best for my organization?” Interestingly enough, many organizations are using the “cloud” now and may not realize it — a private cloud, better known as an on-premises computing environment that’s supplied, deployed, and maintained internally.

Of course, discussions about cloud migration typically revolve around moving to a public cloud environment, in which computing services are offered and maintained by a hosting provider (e.g., Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon Web Services). Many organizations opt for a hybrid cloud environment that gives organizations the best of both private and public clouds.

So there’s a choice to be made: Should you stay in a private cloud or migrate to a public cloud? What about a hybrid cloud? While a private cloud does offer some benefits (a more secure computing environment, increased performance, and direct access to resources), there are disadvantages as well.

Let’s review the common headaches most organizations have with private cloud environments, and how public cloud offerings can give your organization some relief. Continue Reading…

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5 hallmarks of successful asset recovery

asset recoveryOut with the old, in with the new, right? Let’s adjust that adage a bit: Securely dispose of the old, and in with the new.

Asset recovery – the proper disposal or recycling of hardware devices – is a modern IT requirement for organizations of all sizes. Too often, old equipment that has gone past its end-of-life or is replaced with a new model ends up being thrown away, winding up in a landfill. How many devices get lost in a cluttered drawer and closet, and then simply thrown out? Continue Reading…

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Follow these 6 truths to unleash your ITAM program

chainLost laptops. Unused software licenses. Ghost assets. For too many organizations, these IT failures are really a failure of IT asset management (ITAM). In these companies, hardware and software tracking is too challenging a goal, or one that gets bumped down the pecking order every year.

Here’s the truth: It doesn’t have to be this way. Over the past 20 years, we’ve learned that ITAM must be implemented in every organization, no matter how large or small. And along the way, we’ve uncovered six truths about the most successful ITAM programs and how to get your own off the ground.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that asset management is attainable by all. Let’s uncover the truth, and help your organization get on track for an ITAM plan. Continue Reading…

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Paid for, but not used: Why you’re probably not using some software entitlements

keyboard2Many organizations struggle to keep up with more than just the owned versus deployed positions of their software licensing; additional entitlements, such as software maintenance, are often purchased with the license, but go overlooked and unused. These additional entitlements, the terms of which differ from publisher to publisher, are typically valid for a fixed timeframe, and organizations often fail to act on them within that period. Continue Reading…

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The ONE answer: Cisco’s new licensing suite unlocks the power of software

unlockWe’ve said it plenty of times: Licensing is rarely simple. Cisco is trying to change that.

Enter Cisco ONE, a suite that bundles all available licensing options for a device or platform together in one package. With Cisco ONE, organizations are freed from the requirement of buying licenses on a feature-by-feature basis. Because these licenses are un-coupled from devices, organizations can plan for consistent hardware refreshes without having to buy new licenses. Continue Reading…

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Acrobat DC made easy: 5 questions about Adobe’s document manager answered

question mark guyIn April, Adobe released Acrobat Document Cloud (DC), its newest iteration of the document reading and editing application. Unlike Creative Cloud, which is only offered in a subscription-based model, Acrobat DC is available through either a perpetual license or as a subscription. Both licensing models can be purchased for every market segment, depending on an organization’s needs and IT environment.

Perpetual or subscription – what’s the difference? Organizations have struggled with this question and others since Acrobat DC was launched earlier this year, and we want to clear up the confusion about which options are available and other roadblocks users have come across. Here are five common questions we’re asked about Acrobat DC.  Continue Reading…

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