April 27, 2017

Zephyr Networks Helps New Client With Long Overdue Microsoft Exchange Server Migration

A Microsoft Exchange Server Migration often proves to be a lot more challenging than most clients realize, particularly if they have waited nearly a decade to make the switch. When it comes to making a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to upgrade to the latest available technology, many companies believe that such a transition is as easy as pushing in button. In truth, if your company has waited to update and become comfortable in the old system, a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration often becomes a multi-step process that includes the re-training of your staff.

microsoft exchange server migration

Exchange Server Migration Problems

Important Note – The Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Outlook 2003, Windows XP, Exchange 2010 SP2 and Windows Server 2003 will no longer be  eligible for tech or updates support from Microsoft. All the lifecycles of these Microsoft products end in early April of 2015, except for Windows Server 2003 that ends in the middle of July 2015 .

  1. Outlook 2003 will transition out of extended support on 8th of April 2014
  2. Exchange Server 2003will transition out of extended support on 8th of April 2014
  3. Windows XP will transition out of extended support on 8th of April 2014
  4. Exchange 2010 SP2 will transition out of support on 8th April 2014
  5. Windows Server 2003will transition out of extended support on 14th of July 2015

The Challenge of a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration

At the same time, such a switch opens up new doors by expanding your technological capabilities and providing your company with the latest Microsoft Exchange Server’s innovations and tools. Zephyr Networks has the staff and the technological know-how to effectively help your company with a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration without interrupting your daily business while ensuring the safety of your data, and continuity for your employees. Recently, we helped a new client make a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration that they desperately needed since it had been over a decade since their last update.

The challenge with a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration when so much time has passed is the multiple steps needed in the process. Since the company was still operating with the 2003 version of the Microsoft Exchange Server, they had missed several versions. In fact, Microsoft Exchange 2003 is no longer supported by Microsoft. Microsoft almost takes for granted that a company, at the very least, has updated to the 2007 Microsoft Exchange Server version. But the reality is many companies are still using Exchange Server 2003.

Two-Step Migration To The 2013 Microsoft Exchange Server

In order to protect the ongoing fluidity of the company’s email processes while keeping the past data secure, Zephyr Networks needed to take a two-step approach to the migration process. First, their present 2003 Microsoft Exchange Server was migrated to the 2007 Microsoft Exchange Server version. Although the staff was given information about this initial migration, it was done during downtime when there was less demand on the system. In the second step, Zephyr Networks was able to bypass the 2010 Microsoft Exchange Server update and migrate directly to the latest 2013 Microsoft Exchange Server. By making a two-step leap, although it took more time, it ensured the integrity of the existing system and data while guaranteeing a clean Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to the latest version. End users saw little change in their daily activities but were quickly able to use the enhanced capabilities.

Advantage of Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to 2013

After the Microsoft Exchange Server Migration, Zephyr Networks helped train the company’s employees in the effective use of the new system. Beyond on-the-site training, we provided access to the best online tutorials and training manuals provided by Microsoft. In addition, if any problem came up after the Microsoft Exchange Server Migration, we were one phone call away from a solution.

On the Microsoft website, the advantages of making a Microsoft Exchange Server Migration to the 2013 version are clearly laid out. Unlike the 2003 version, the latest Exchange lets a company tailor their solution based on their unique needs, ensuring that their communications are always available in light of the rise of mobile technologies. While protecting a company with the latest Microsoft safeguard, the 2013 Microsoft Exchange Server increases productivity by helping employees manage increasing volumes of communications across multiple devices and work together more effectively as teams.

Zephyr Networks Can Help Your Company

If your company already has been using the Microsoft Exchange Server system, Zephyr Networks can help you with any Microsoft Exchange Server Migration needs while address any other information technology issues at hand. Whether you want to move to the private cloud or improve your network security, we can help. If you are not using Microsoft Exchange Server already, we also can offer a variety of options that might be better suited for your business needs, saving you both time and money. To find out how Zephyr Networks can help your company, please call (800) 884-7559 today for a free consultation with one of our information technology and networking support experts.

The Google Drive Suite Part 2 – 14 Premium Google Apps

premium-google-apps-zephyr-networksThis is the second part of a two-part blog focusing on the remote access potential of Google Drive and the variety of premium Google Apps available in the cloud. Zephyr Networks has seen first-hand with our clients that Google’s cloud-storage solution is a valuable resource for small to mid-sized businesses.

Beyond allowing a company to store and access files from anywhere, the first 5 GB of cloud storage are free. What is even more impressive is that Google Drive allows access to an amazing suite of premium Google Apps. Google also recognizes your history with other popular  apps, offering full integration with many third-party applications.

In Part 2 of this article, Zephyr Networks extends the list of productivity applications that work with Google Drive to include the premium Google Apps that have to be paid for on an ongoing basis. You can find the comprehensive list of all of the apps available, including those in the Beta-testing phase, at the Chrome Web Store. Zephyr Networks helps to guide our client companies in knowing what premium Google Apps makes the most sense for their business model and needs.

Part 1 of this article focused on 20 completely free Google Apps. Part 2 focuses on 14 premium Google Apps that need to be paid for based on usage rates, monthly subscriptions and premium plans. The majority of these paid apps are free to try, and some of the apps continue to be free if the usage rates remain beneath the pay threshold.

Part 2 – 14 Premium Google Apps

  1. HelloFax makes it easy to sign documents and send faxes online. Send and receive faxes. Sign documents and fill out forms. Price: Up to 5 fax pages per month free.
  2. SlideRocket creates stunning presentations. Save and share directly from Google Drive. Manage a library of presentations, slides and assets. Price: Lite is free; Pro is $24/month.
  3. Balsamiq Mockups lets you create, edit and share sketch-quality wireframes, all within Drive. Price: Full functionality starts at $5/month.
  4. Floorplanner gives you the tools to make floor plans fast. Recreate your home, garden or office with a library of objects to reshape, resize and rotate. Price: 1 project is free; 5 projects is $14.95/year.
  5. Conceptboard is an app for visual online collaboration using whiteboards. Price: Individual plans range from free to $9/month.
  6. MindMeister Create, edit and share mind maps. Plan projects, manage meetings and sketch out business plans online with partners and colleagues, all in real time. Price: Personal plan is $4.99/month.
  7. Smartsheet Project Management combines a familiar spreadsheet interface with automated workflows, sub-tasks, dependencies, and collaborative worksheets with interactive file sharing and notifications. Smartsheet Price: Paid plans start at $15.95/month.
  8. WeVideo makes video editing easy for everyone and accessible from anywhere. Features optional storyboard mode for quick and easy editing. Style your video with creative and professional themes. Price: Up to 15 min export is free; 1-hour export is $4.99/month.
  9. Zoho CRM is a first-class customer management tool that is priced depending on the number of users. Under three users, it is free. Beyond 3 users, the cost depends on the plan chosen from $12/month per user for the Standard Plan to $35/month per user for the Enterprise Plan. Zoho offers more advanced options than most CRMs while covering all the basic needs.
  10. Zoho Writer is an online word processor that lets you access, edit and share your documents online. Features instant collaboration, inline commenting and chat facilities. Price: Personal plan is free; Standard plan is $3 per user/month.
  11. Zoho Sheet is an app to create and edit spreadsheets from anywhere. Share spreadsheets and collaborate in real time. Price: Personal plan is free; Standard plan is $3 per user/month.
  12. Zoho Show is an online tool for making powerful presentations. It allows users to collaborate on presentations and make remote presentations to clients. Price: Personal plan is free; Standard plan is $3 per user/month.
  13. Heap Note is a note-taking, task-managing, and task-scheduling app, all in one. Price: Up to 5 tables free; Premium plan is $1.99/month.
  14. PowToon is a video animation and presentation application. Create an animated video, and then convert it into an animated presentation. Price: Monthly plans start at $9/month.