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Lync & Skype Integration Now Available

  
  
  

Lync and Skype integrationsMicrosoft has completed the first phase of the integration between its enterprise voice communications platform Lync and its consumer telephony network Skype.

Microsoft recently announced that it's now possible for Lync and Skype to interoperate, meaning users can access their Lync contacts via Skype and vice versa, and then message them or place an audio call. Support for video calling and other features, as well as support for additional platforms, are still in the works.

Microsoft disclosed its Lync-Skype plans last year, and in February demonstrated the interaction between the two products for the first time, promising global availability of the first phase of the integration in June of this year, a deadline it has now met.

The interoperability works both for companies that have Lync 2010 and Lync 2013 installed on their own servers and for companies that use it as part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite. Skype users must be up to date with the latest client software for Windows or Mac OS.

Lync is used by more than 90 out of the Fortune 100 companies, and the entire ecosystem includes over 1,000 partners. Lync subscriptions have also grown from 3 million over a year ago to over 5 million, as of February, while Skype has 300 million active monthly users, according to Microsoft.

Lync users will now be able to communicate with customers, partners and others outside of the organization that uses Skype.  

For more information about this integration, please contact ANS and we can help get the process going for your business. 

Three exciting announcements at ANS

  
  
  

Absolute Networking Systems has had some very exciting things going on lately. In the last few weeks, ANS has worked to finalize a new partnership that will enhance our Business Communications offerings. ANS is both proud and excited to announce the addition of Mitel® to our portfolio of Business Communication Platform offerings. Mitel® (Nasdaq: MITL) simplifies complex communications and keeps businesses in step with the pace of change. Mitel is a global company with 1600 partners and 100,000 customers worldwide. We are very excited about our partnership with Mitel and look forward to offering these solutions to our clients. 

Microsoft has named Absolute Networking Systems as a Cloud Accelerate partner. Only a hand full of Microsoft partners in this region have been awarded this level of partnership with Microsoft. Absolute Networking Systems earned this level of cloud partnership by becoming experts in the design, deployment, and customization of Office365 Cloud products and services. Microsoft says, “They’ve proven themselves masters at providing advanced cloud-computing solutions to help customers reduce IT overhead.” Needless to say, we are very excited to have one of the worlds largest companies say this about us.

Louisville I.T. consultantsAnd finally, ANS has joined Greater Louisville Inc (GLI). We are now in the Top Investor Program with GLI and hope to reach further into our community through building relationships. Since 1996 we have taken pride in being a locally owned company and we look forward to the local relationships that we feel will come through our relationship with GLI.

As always, I want to take a minute to thank our customers and our partners for allowing us to do what we love every day. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to find out more about any of the topics above.

What is Virtualization and why Does my Business Need it?

  
  
  

Microsoft virtualization Virtualization is no longer just a cool, I.T. consulting initiative, but a way to protect your business from downtime, save money, reduce maintenance, and increase efficiency. Absolute Networking Systems has been helping our clients in Louisville, KY and across the United States virtualize for many years now and we can help your business as well.  

The most common question we get when discussing virtualization is, “What is server virtualization and how will it help me?” Here are some tidbits that we hope help you understand a little better:

  • Server virtualization is the masking of server resources, including the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems, from server users. A software application divides the one physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments. What this basically means is that there is less hardware, but more flexibility. 
  • Why would anyone virtualize some or all of their serves? Server virtualization can be used to eliminate server sprawl, where many basic application servers can be consolidated on one, more robust server. It allows a more efficient use of server resources. For example, one backup and one uninterruptable power supply (UPS) serves several virtual servers.
  • Server virtualization is useful in improving both server availability and disaster recovery, as the virtual server can be reloaded on different hardware if there is a hardware crash. This decreases downtime. 
  • Server virtualization aids in software testing and development. One can load a new software release onto the virtual server and confirm everything functions smoothly before releasing the upgrade to live servers. 
  • Server virtualization can centralize server administration, managing multiple servers through one software console. 

Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware are the two most commonly used software's used to accomplish virtualization. There are many more benefits to virtualization and Absolute Networking can guide this process to ensure all goes smoothly. If you'd like to learn more about virtualization, please contact ANS. Our sales reps will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Office 365, It makes I.T. Support Easier and Increases Productivity?

  
  
  

Microsoft Office 365What do you want to accomplish with your business? Increase productivity? Reduce Costs? That is exactly what we seek for our Louisville, KY area clients. Maybe before diving into the pros and cons, the question needs to be asked, What is Office 365?

Office 365 is a software as a service solution that provides many of the software and applications you need to run your business via the Internet Cloud. Here is how Microsoft answers the question.

Now that is out of the way how can Office 365 help your business? Don’t take our word for it check out these examples.

Boost Productivity
Here is an example of a construction company that was able to utilize Office 365 to increase efficiency in their organization. One key was Simplified I.T. Management.

Reduce Costs
A realty company found they could save over $30,000 with an Office 365 solution. Maybe you can reduce I.T. costs too?

Simplify I.T. & Boost Collaboration
Check out how this retailer boosted interaction with field team members and the brand corporate was trying to improve. Imagine better collaboration for all of your team members, no matter where they are.

The fact is Microsoft is a leader in the cloud. Unlike many others Microsoft will be here long after the venture companies and hottest cloud start ups have moved on. Stability for your business, that is what we suggest.

Is Office 365 a perfect match for every business? Absolutely not. Does it require some type of hybrid implementation and not being 100% in the cloud? Quite possibly. Can Absolute Networking help you decipher through this madness to create a plan that suites your business I.T. needs for now and the future? The benefits of going to the cloud continue to grow, and now is the time to move past your competition, to the future.

Technology for Business, it’s what we do.

Absolute Networking is a Technology Company serving the Louisville, KY area for business. We provide I.T ConsultingBusiness Telephone SystemsData Cabling, & Cloud based solutions including our hybrid data backup solution. Give us a call 502.267.2552 or fill out our contact us form to get in touch with us.

My Business Needs Virtualization?

  
  
  

Louisville IT companyThe fact is you may already have it and not even know it! But virtualization is no longer just a cool I.T. Consulting initiative, but a way to protect your business from downtime, save $’s, reduce maintenance, and increase efficiency. We have been helping our clients in Louisville, KY and across the U.S.A. virtualize for many years now and simply put, it works.

The most common question we get when discussing virtualization are "What is server virtualization and how will it help me?" Here are some tidbits that we hope help you understand a little better:

Server virtualization is the masking of server resources, including the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems, from server users. A software application divides the one physical server into multiple isolated virtual environments. SIMPLE ALERT: LESS HARDWARE & MORE FLEXIBILITY

Why would anyone virtualize some, or all of their serves? To highlight just a little bit server virtualization can be used to eliminate server sprawl, where many basic application servers can be consolidated on one more robust server. It allows a more efficient use of server resources. For example, one backup and one uninterruptable power supply (UPS) serves several virtual servers SAVE $S.

Server virtualization is useful in improving both server availability and disaster recovery, as the virtual server can be reloaded on different hardware if there is a hardware crash. DECREASE DOWNTIME

Server virtualization aids in software testing and development. One can load a new software release onto the virtual server and confirm everything functions smoothly before releasing the upgrade to live servers. INCREASED EFFICIENCY

Finally, server virtualization can centralize server administration - managing multiple servers through one software console. BETTER MANAGEMENT

Now that you know the low down what do you do now? Your virtualization should be limited to two software vendors that make it possible, VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V, any other choice would not be suggested. The utilizing internal I.T. or a strategic partner like Absolute Networking gain guidance and experience to ensure all goes smoothly.

A proper plan is key. Plan out the migration and once completed start sleeping better at night and enjoying the benefits of virtualization!

Technology for Business, it’s what we do.

P.S. Absolute Networking is a Technology Company serving the Louisville, KY area for business. We provide I.T ConsultingBusiness Telephone SystemsData Cabling, & Cloud based solutions including our hybrid data backup solution. Give us a call 502.267.2552 or fill out our contact us form to get in touch with us.

My Business Needs a Technology Overview?

  
  
  

Absolute NetworkingIf you find yourself saying any of these statements you may want to re-think things a little:

  • I do not need a technology overview, my current I.T. Consultant is doing fine.
  • My business doesn’t hardly use technology, why would I waste another penny on I.T.?
  • My business is having cash issues, I do not need another I.T.company to charge me a bundle.
  • Everything is working fine and if it’s not broke, why would I fix it?

If you are a door-to-door salesperson, rely on mailbox inserts only to drive business, or simply have one employee with a computer, then you may leave the room now. The REST OF YOU really need to pay attention.

Technology is HOW prospects inquire to your company.
Technology is HOW your business increases efficiency, customer service, and reduces costs.

Believe it or not your current I.T. support vendor may not be doing things perfectly. You may love them, but it does not mean you shouldn’t get another input every year or two. At the worst, you confirm your confidence in your current vendor. At best, you find you can increase efficiency and save thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.

Here are some good questions to be asking yourself: 

  • How well prepared am I for an extended power outage?
  • Are remote users able to access all they need to be productive?
  • Is my business data secure, protected from external AND internal violations?
  • If I knew next weekend your systems would fail for at least a week, what would you spend today to avoid that today?
  • I wonder if I can accomplish the same I am doing right now and save 10, 25 or maybe 40% on what I currently spend on I.T. today?
  • I wonder if I invested X$s, would it increase efficiency 40%? Would it increase customer service 50%? Would it help in retaining quality employees?

The goal is to get you past having challenges with your technology and focus where you should—on your business.

We have prepared a guide for you here: “I.T. Consultant Guide.” Included in the guide are some important websites for your information, here are a few to get you started: 

Don’t settle for anything less than challenging the thinking of internal and external I.T. team members. Rest assured, there is always someone else doing it a better way – learn from other’s mistakes and from free resources like our Technology Guide.

Technology for Business, it’s what we do.

P.S. Absolute Networking is a Technology Company serving the Louisville, KY area for business. We provide I.T Consulting, Business Telephone Systems, Data Cabling, & Cloud based solutions including our hybrid data backup solution. Give us a call 502.267.2552 or fill out our contact us form to get in touch with us.

Outsourcing I.T. Managed Services

  
  
  

Louisville IT companyAll businesses, large or small have three basic IT service needs:

  • Helpdesk – A first responder who quickly solves simple problems like “I can’t print” or “Can you setup a new computer for me?”
  • System Engineer – A diverse technical skill set with 5+ years of experience. Provides support for servers, securing your network from hackers, and deploying enterprise wide database applications.
  • CIO – A technology visionary for your company. Someone who understands where the business is headed and how technology can help you enhance operational efficiencies.

According to Salary.com the average base salary for a systems administrator is over $75,000 per year. Considering that one person may only have a subset of knowledge for your overall IT needs, you would still need to contract with additional vendors to fill in the gaps. In addition, you now have one more employee to manage and provide benefits and raises for. Finally, what happens when that person is out sick? Now you need to have a backup plan for another key employee.

Absolute Networking can be your outsourced IT department with a hybrid managed IT services plan of attack that solves all of those problems for you. For normally much less, as hiring that one employee, we provide a complete, turnkey, and redundant IT department including all of those skill sets and manage the process for you with complete transparency at a consistent affordable price.

Here are just a few of the benefits to using an outsourced it department:

  • Redundancy – for a fraction of the cost of one full time employee, you have access to a team of resources.
  • Better management – We manage IT professionals every day. We can do a better job of managing their effectiveness and provide them opportunities for professional growth.
  • Industry Standards – On a daily basis we are studying our industry trends and standards and apply those best practices to our clients. We also see what works and what doesn’t work, first hand. Our clients benefit from our collective experience.
  • Investment in training and education – we provide continuing education incentives for our employees to make them better prepared for tomorrows’ challenges.

Absolute Networking has been providing quality IT Support and Services since 1996 to our community. We have numerous clients that have been relying on us for our services for 10, even 15 years. Imagine having the confidence to stay with an I.T. Consulting company for over a decade. You can get the that level of comfort knowing you are maximixing your investments with Absolute Networking.

P.S. Absolute Networking is a Technology Company serving the Louisville, KY area for business. We provide I.T. Consulting, Business Telephone Systems, Data Cabling, & Cloud based solutions including our hybrid data backup solution. Give us a call 502.267.2552 or fill out our contact us form to get in touch with us.

Technology for Business, it’s what we do.

Benefits of Microsoft Windows 2008R2 Server

  
  
  

Windows Server 2008 R2Microsoft is rolling out an updated server platform called Windows Server 2008R2. Don’t be scared if you are not a data center or enterprise, the platform still has many benefits for your business and they do have a standard edition. We have successfully implemented migrations and even new server builds for a number of clients and they have gone well.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Reduce Costs with Virtualization: Some Pretty Cool stuff including allowing you virtual moves of virtual machines, better memory management, and not limited to just Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization software.
  • Juice Management: Not your Grandma’s OJ but power, energy. Less power used saves money and decreases heat with Core parking and expanding on power-oriented Group Policy settings.
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS): You will probably be headed to Windows 7 on your desktops and this platform integrates for even better remote support, roll outs, security, and services for your users.

Also included are new Business Process Analyzers that automatically audit your servers to make sure you are running those servers with the latest security patches and best practices. This is a big help for businesses required to pass regulatory requirements, like those imposed by SOX, HIPAA and credit card processing auditors.

Companies remaining on older versions of Windows Server, including Windows Server 2003, will have increasing problems passing such audits, since those platforms are necessarily out of date. Windows Server 2003, for example, entered its Extended Support phase in July of last year. Migrating to a modern server platform is a necessary first step in keeping your business more secure.

As always, your first concern is confirmation testing of the applications that run your business on this new platform, ask us about a free trial or learn more at Microsoft’s web site.

For more I.T details check out these Microsoft Windows Server 2008R2 references:

Don’t forget you still have on-board Virtualization, Network Access Protection (NAP),and many other benefits with Server 2008. The fact is for reliability, security, efficiency, and cost effectiveness Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008R2 maintains the lead far and above the competition. Don’t be fooled into thinking other server platforms are as well developed or tested. Oh, they might be free or cost less but the ability for you to gain cost effective support and future updates make this platform unlike any other.

P.S. Absolute Networking is an I.T. Company serving the Louisville, KY area for business. We provide I.T Consulting, Business Telephone Systems, Data Cabling, Microsoft, Cisco, & Cloud based solutions including our hybrid data back up solution. Give us a call 502.267.2552 or fill out our contact us form if we can be of any service or answer any questions.

Technology for Business, it’s what we do.

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Meet M.C. Irvin

  
  
  

As part of our new initiative to share a little insight into our family members here at Absolute Networking who make it happen day in and day out, say hello to M.C. Irvin!

M.C. Irvin1. Tell us a little bit about the type of work you do for Absolute Networking.

I really enjoy helping Customers improve the use of technology solutions.  It is truly amazing how much small improvements can have a large impact on productivity.  Change is not always easy but it can have great benefits.  For instance, implementing a new phone system, with voicemail to email, gives a person the ability to call a Customer back sooner so you have improved responsiveness and even better Customer service!

2. When you aren’t doing work for us, what keeps you busy?

I really enjoy the outdoors. What can be better than hiking our beautiful Kentucky countryside on a beautiful day? Hanging out and relaxing on beautiful Lake Cumberland offers a pleasant distraction from “the daily grind.”  All things outdoors allow us to enjoy the beauty of our wonderful environment.

3. Have you always been in this industry? If not, what brought you where you are today?

I have been around computers for 1,000 years, in some capacity. The evolution of technology moves at a blinding speed and it has always been a fun challenge to try to stay “in the know” and share new technology with others.

4. What’s one thing you love about what you do for a living?

Helping my Customers and earning new ones. There is tremendous gratification in hearing a “Thank You.”  When you can show a prospect a new solution or a fresh approach to what they are trying to accomplish, and it propels them toward their objectives, they are grateful. That is a very rewarding experience.

5. Tell us a little bit about what you do for fun.

See #2

6. If you could do one thing for a living that had nothing to do with your current job, what would it be? 

Small project construction. I really enjoy planning, building or assembling, and completing small projects. It can be a small woodworking project, landscaping, building a brick fireplace/grill or a host of other small projects. The enjoyment comes in learning what needs to be accomplished, planning, executing and then stepping back and enjoying the gratification of seeing the “fruits of your labor.”

7. What is your favorite food treat, favorite color, favorite tv show, & favorite web site?

Pizza, Blue, I Rarely Watch TV, Google Finance 

M.C. Irvin has been in our family for over ten years on our sales team. Feel free to give him a call at our office, email: mcirvin-at-AllCommunicate.com, or connect on LinkedIn.

Microsoft Technology Vision of the Future

  
  
  
What a neat little video to check out what is going on in Microsoft's big brains for the next 8+ years.  We have to guess that these innovations are already in the works, right?  



Some other cool Future Technology things to check out:

A top Futurist who is doing, and has done some very exciting things, Ray Kurzweil, might be worth a check out.

As we look to the future do not forget the past, are you familiar with Moore's Law?  For you and I the non-scientists, it equates to a double of computing speeds every two years while prices remain a constant.  For Moore's law this means today is measured as x1, then in ten years technology will be 32x.

Is your business ready?

Louisville communications provider

For business how does all of this help?  Digest all of these future tidbits, then, look at your business & industry.  How can you innovate beyond where you are today?  Is it possible for your ENTIRE staff to be working from home and or the field and still be effective?  What if the decisions you made today started working you toward a more reliable computer network and technology infrastructure?   What if you were 5, 10, 15 years ahead of your competitors?  

P.S.  We can't promise we can predict the future of your industry, but we might be able to offer a 2nd opinion on your business's technology.  Give us a shout, fill out our Free Consultation form and maybe your technology decisions can start being based upon a future plan, not just avoiding tomorrow's headaches.

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