Cloud Archives - FMT
Improve your Cyber Security! That’s a Presidential order!
Yes, you read that right, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order stating that the Federal government has to review and improve its Cyber Security – it’s a security journey if you will. While that may seem like a huge undertaking for the likes of the United States, there are key takeaways that every business should apply - and you do not have to have the budget of the government to do so! Let’s look at a subset of this rather long, but truly important order: “To keep pace with today’s dynamic and increasingly sophisticated cyber threat environment, the Federal Government must take decisive steps to modernize its approach to cybersecurity, including by increasing the Federal Government’s visibility into threats, while protecting privacy and civil liberties. The Federal Government must adopt security best practices; advance toward Zero Trust Architecture; accelerate movement to secure cloud services, including Software […]
How Can Microsoft Help Your HR Team?
The onboarding and offboarding of employees is often complex and involves manual processes. It may require dependencies on external teams or even applications to complete. Typically, Human Resources department (HR) will interact with the IT department on an ad-hoc basis to either request application provisioning or de-provisioning. All this interaction requires time and resources, which can slow down the new employee onboarding process. There is a possibility of idle time for the new employees as they wait for access to applications. On the flip side, as an employee offboards, this same interaction creates a security risk in the form of prolonged access to applications for former employees as well as the account possibly being compromised. Is there a way to optimize HR processes? Single Sign-On (SSO) Microsoft entered the Cloud landscape back in 2008 with Microsoft Azure, providing the world new resources. One of them is a service called […]
SmartRoom: FMT’s Innovative IoT Temperature Sensor
Are summer days, setting your room ablaze? Maybe winter chill is making your health go downhill? Well, there's no need to suffer through that anymore! The new SmartRoom device has a notification system and a temperature reader that helps to keep you regulated any time of year. FMT has adopted this technology for their conference room. Here's how it works: If at any time, guests in our meeting room are feeling too warm or chilly, they can open up our mobile application, choose a comfortable temperature and send a request to one of our admins to adjust the thermostat to their likings. The notification system also has a setting for you to pre-set what the temperature range in your room should be between at all times. If at any time the room gets too cold or too hot, a message will be sent out automatically to adjust the thermostat to bring the […]
How Collaboration and Visibility Lead to Higher-End and Higher-Margin Work
While many businesses are quick to laud the benefits of cloud computing, file-sharing, and data analytics, the fact remains that so many businesses and organizations are unable to take full advantage. Though ERP and cloud solutions are transformative tools to reshape the way you do business, too many companies are still limited--fighting through data silos, hampered by structural confines, or simply hindered by growing pains. “Although the power of analytics is common currency, it’s spoken of far more often than it’s practiced,” according to Edd Wilder-James at the Harvard Business Review. Wilder-James’ quote here can extend beyond just data analytics, but to the transparency and visibility that’s at the core of effective resource planning. Usually, managers don’t simply neglect resource planning, but instead, it stems from a result of simply growing fast, trying to manage the growing tension between scaling internal processes to meet a growing demand. Symptoms Behind Silos […]
Azure AD Connect Pass-Through Authentication
Have you ever wanted a simple Single Sign-On (SSO) solution for Office 365 without having to manage and maintain SSL certificates or ADFS? Microsoft has deployed a preview version of their “pass-through authentication” to the latest version of the Azure AD Connect (AAD Connect) tool. What this means is a simple, but effective SSO solution for the end user on a corporate domain joined machine. Another benefit of the pass-through authentication provided by the Azure AD Connect tool is the integration with self-service password reset (SSPR) functionality that enables the end user to reset their password without the need of helpdesk support. From a high level, the authentication process is depicted by the diagram below. Many security related questions arise whenever a new SSO solution is presented. Microsoft has confirmed all usernames and passwords are passed to the on-premises connector, then passed back to Azure AD over an encrypted HTTPS […]
5 Reasons to Upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2016
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re interested in using SQL 2016 for your databases but are adopting the “wait and see” approach before making the leap to a new software version. Whether you’re interested in trying SQL Server’s new free editions and reworked reports, or you’re trying to enhance your current working environment with high availability, improved backups, and cloud functionality, you’ll be very excited to hear about the changes in SQL 2016. With the release of SQL 2016, a few major changes were made to entice customers to make the switch. Free Access to the Developer Edition You can now download and use the Developer edition for free. This is a great way to test out the functionality of SQL 2016 without the upfront cost. This edition of SQL server is fully functional, and comes equipped with every feature that you would find in the standard edition all the […]
Explore New Features and Stay Current with Windows Server 2016
At the Ignite conference in September, Microsoft released an evaluation version for IT professionals to get a look at what the RTM or “Release to Manufacturing” version of Windows Server 2016 will look like. The final version was generally released on October 12th. Like many Microsoft releases, Windows Server 2016 brought a lot of new and expanded features to the flagship server OS software. However, it’s important to keep in mind another important reason to begin planning for your deployment of Server 2016: staying current. Out with the old … In with the new As you probably know, extended support for Server 2003 has ended, and with it comes the end of patches and security updates. I’m sure we all have a few 2003 servers left that are running legacy applications or non-production workloads. While these servers should definitely be addressed, let’s also talk about Server 2008 and 2008 R2. […]
3 Applications That Boost Business Productivity and Collaboration
Efficient collaboration and communication are key components in the success of every business. If your company is still sending attachments back and forth, reserving the conference room to review and update documents, or married to email, you could be missing out on new business. This blog post reviews 3 cloud-based software applications that integrate people and processes to help maximize productivity. Skype Mobile computing continues to evolve and redefine the way we work and live. It is now standard practice for businesses to have remote employees, customers, and partners. Skype helps connect people near and far through audio, video, and web conferencing. It also helps increase productivity by offering the ability to send instant messages instead of playing email tag for issues that could be resolved quickly. Skype integrates with SharePoint and Office Online, so you can collaborate, work on documents together, and get things done faster. SharePoint If there […]
Office 365 or Google Apps? What’s the Best Cloud Productivity Suite?
Choosing between Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 for your productivity suite can be one of the most difficult decisions you make for your company. After all, with the emotion that goes into the Google versus Microsoft debate, something as simple as choosing a cloud-based productivity suite can quickly cause rifts between co-workers the size of the Grand Canyon. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of these products to help uncover the answer to the question, "Office 365 or Google Apps?" 1. Pricing Both Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps have pretty straightforward pricing plans. However, the two products begin to differentiate themselves when you look closer at what you’ll get for your money. Office 365 offers several different business and enterprise plans, but we’ll look at the 3 most standard options: Business Essentials for $5 per month, Business for $10 per month, and […]
Is Your Redundancy Safe Enough?
Redundancy is not a new concept, but not all redundancy is equal. The value of redundancy depends on how closely (or broadly) you look at it. Hardware Redundancy If you have five storage devices working in RAID 5 you may have one of those storage devices fail, but all of your data would remain intact due to the support of the redundant drives. To use an analogy, if you have five warehouses and they are all are filled to 80% capacity, you can move some of the contents into the extra space left in all the other warehouses in the event that one experiences a flood. Normally, this means each warehouse uses less than 100% of the available capacity, so in the event of a flood, you can redistribute the contents of the flooded warehouse into the undamaged warehouses. This redistribution allows you to keep working on cleaning up the […]
Break Up with Your On-Premise Server, Fall in Love with Azure!
Dear on-premise server: It’s not you, it’s me. I need more stability, the ability to grow, and I want more money in my wallet! I’m breaking up with you and moving on… While some breakups are difficult, some breakups are needed. The computing world is moving on, and if you don’t break up with your on-premise server, it might soon break up with you. On-premise servers suffer from failing software and hardware, inability to provide services to meet your customer’s demands, and more. Don’t wait for your server to break up with you, move on to Microsoft Azure. Why Azure? Microsoft Azure provides an enterprise-grade cloud platform that you can use to get up and running quickly, thus immediately improving your bottom line. Your ability to easily and quickly spin up new projects, move old infrastructure, and be dynamic in your decision making can give you a powerful tool at your disposal. With […]
3 Benefits Realized When Moving to Microsoft Azure
So, you’re thinking about moving to Microsoft Azure. You’ve heard it mentioned and aren’t sure what exactly it is, and how it can help you. This blog post will share some of the benefits of Azure as it relates to IT planners, how to get thinking about moving your current infrastructure into Azure, and how to deploy new projects into Azure. What are the benefits of Azure? Some of the major benefits of Windows Azure revolves around the ability to make and execute a decision without delay. In the past, you would need to plan out your system rollout and order your hardware, wait for weeks for it to arrive, then spend the time to rack, wire, and configure the hardware. With Azure, you can have your infrastructure online in minutes. You are able to start small, and quickly ramp up the speed of your servers as needed. You can […]