October 23, 2017

Zephyr Networks Highlights The Importance Of Mobile Technologies For Small To Mid-Sized Businesses

If you have yet to figure it out by now, mobile technologies swiftly are becoming the dominant mode for both online sales and business communication. In 2014, retail sales of mobile devices shot through the roof, generating over $520 billion in revenue. From a recently published study The Mobile Revolution: How Mobile Technologies Drive A Trillion-Dollar Impact, that astounding figure is correct.

 Mobile Optimization Leads To Productivity & Profits

In addition, mobile content and apps generated $530 billion in revenues globally in 2014. Overall, the study found revealed that mobile technologies generated an incredible $3.3 trillion in revenue. Although the figure is downright awe-inspiring, it makes sense when you consider that consumers worldwide value mobile technologies at 11% to 45% of their incomes. Indeed, the vast majority of people around the world are willing to give up luxuries for a year if forced to choose between luxuries and keeping their mobile phones.

Zephyr Networks appreciates such positive moments when the tide of history moves in the same direction as our business model. For several years, we have emphasized the importance of our customers integrating mobile technologies into their technology profile. At Zephyr Networks, we can manage the mobile capabilities of our clients, integrating mobile devices into their workflows and overall technological & networking possibilities. We’ve also built a workflow around mobile devices in the past.

BCG Study Of Mobile Usage With Convincing Results

mobile technologies

Mobile Technologies = Business Success

The Boston Consulting Group and Qualcomm collaborated on the extensive study of 6 countries’ adoption of mobile technologies. They have provided an extensive summary of those findings in a convincing fashion. The 6 countries examined in the study are United States, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, China and India. Representing 47% of global GDP, these 6 countries show how important mobile technologies are to business ventures across the board.

Mobile technologies are emerging as a growth engine for small to mid-sized businesses with the top 25% of adopters seeing two times revenue growth and up to eight times the number of jobs created. Small to mid-sized businesses that adopt mobile technologies to stay connected with customers and streamline operations are growing revenue twice as faster as their competitors. 82% of small to mid-sized businesses on the cutting edge of mobile adoption say that mobile technologies are giving them greater flexibility and agility in connecting with customers and generating customer loyalty.

Mobile Technologies & Small To Mid-Sized Businesses

Small to mid-sized businesses that embrace the mobile revolution are seeing up to 50% of all searches for their businesses from mobile devices. The study found that mobile adoption leaders have successfully integrated their mobile platforms with existing business applications, further strengthening customer relationships. In addition, they were able to generate greater visibility from the perspective of both production and distribution.

The experts cite a recent Jupiter Research study that explored how mobile payment solutions including Square are enabling small to mid-sized businesses to be more agile, efficient and responsive to customers’ selling strategies. Please know that the goal of Zephyr Networks is to seamlessly integrate mobile technologies into your business, making the transition to mobile optimization smooth and positive.

Zephyr Networks Supports The Mobile Revolution

If you want to learn more about how mobile devices can help increase your company’s profit margins, please call Zephyr Networks at (800) 884-7559 today.

Why we want Windows 10

Let’s face it.  Not all of us enjoyed Windows 8.  A lot of consumers were scared off by the drastic changes of the touch-friendly, tile-based system.

But with the soon to come Windows 10, Microsoft has blended the familiar features pc users loved for twenty years while moving forward with their new OS for PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Users can look forward to seeing the familiar Start button; the traditional Desktop view returns; Continuum Mode allows for ease of use with hybrid laptop/tablet computers; and Task View for multi-tasking via multiple desktops.

Although the projected ship date is 2015, Windows 10 is well on its way to righting the wrongs of its predecessor.

IT Infrastructure, Computer Networking & Data Storage Predictions For 2014

data storage predictions, it infrastructure, zephyr

2014 IT & Data Storage Predictions

As an Orange County provider of proactive technology solutions, Zephyr Networks offers a series of IT infrastructure, computer networking and data storage predictions for 2014. Following the trends of 2013, small to mid-sized companies will continue to move toward virtualization, mobile diversity and cloud-based storage and applications. Given the security implications of the NSA disclosures over the past year, there also will be a remarkable shift to private cloud options to provide a greater sense of data and network security.

Zephyr Networks outlines in brief our IT infrastructure, computer networking and data storagepredictions for 2014.

2014 Information Technology & Data Storage Predictions:

1) The private cloud will be embraced by small to mid-sized businesses to guarantee greater security. Zephyr Networks is expanding our business in 2014 into data center management to enable private cloud options for our client base. Private cloud options allow for virtualized storage while avoiding the snooping eyes that seem to be all over the public and corporate versions of the cloud.

2) Virtualization goes from being the business exception to the business norm for small to mid-sized companies. Through virtualization, a company can run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single machine. There will be a sharp rise in network virtualization, server virtualization and application-desktop virtualization through Google Apps.

3) VMware will be the number one option embraced by small to mid-sized business to address their virtualization needs. VMware, the industry-leading virtualization software company, streamlines IT operations by virtualizing the IT infrastructure. From the data center virtualization to the private cloud to mobile devices, VMware enables access to a company’s essential data and applications from any device, anytime, anywhere. Such access is not only going to be what is wanted, but it is going to be what companies need to stay competitive in 2014.

4) Application and desktop virtualization will become the norm as companies move away from traditional isolated software on individual computers and embrace virtualization. By taking full advantage of virtualization, small to mid-sized companies will be able to save money. Although it began in 2013, such a shift will become commonplace in 2014 as small to mid-sized companies recognize the value, the security and the universal access provided by application and desktop virtualization.

5) IT infrastructure growth and the expansion of virtualization in all business arenas will call for the dual need of both greater bandwidth and expert help. As a result, IT providers like Zephyr Networks will be needed to manage and secure all of the new options available. Although less expensive and more utilitarian, the new options will still be new, demanding a greater need for external support and management. With the support offered by companies like Zephyr Networks, the technology advances of 2014 will allow small to mid-sized businesses to truly thrive as the year progresses.

 

 

The Google Drive Suite Part 1 – 20 Free Google Apps

Google AppsThe number of free Google Apps available in the cloud on Google Drive is quite impressive Zephyr Networks knows from experience that Google’s cloud-storage solution is a valuable resource for small to mid-sized businesses. Beyond allowing you to store and access your files from anywhere with the first 5 GB of cloud storage free, it also allows access to an amazing suite of free Google Apps, including full integration with third-party applications. With the vast variety of free Google Apps in the cloud, remote access has been taken to a new level of excellence.

In this two-part article, Zephyr Networks offers a list of productivity applications that work with Google Drive. 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 Google Apps makes the most sense for their business model and needs.

Below is the first part of the article that covers the available free Google Apps offered in the Google Drive Suite of Applications. Part 1 focuses on 20 completely free Google Apps. Part 2 focuses on 13 premium Google Apps that need to be paid for based on usage rates, monthly subscriptions and premium plans.

Part 1 – 20 Free Google Apps

  1. Google Docs Access, create, and edit old Google docs in Google Drive. Edit documents with collaborators, and see changes as they type. Price: Free.
  2. Google Slides creates presentations with rich animations, drawings, transitions, themes, and more. Presentations are automatically saved and stored in Google Drive. Price: Free.
  3. Google Sheets creates and shares spreadsheets. Then publish them publicly, share them with others, or keep them private. Price: Free.
  4. Google Drawings builds diagrams, and creates flowcharts. Easily add them to other documents, or embed them on a website. Price: Free.
  5. Google Forms creates online forms and surveys, and then check the results in a neatly organized spreadsheet. Share forms from a link, embed them on your website, or right inside an email. Price: Free.
  6. Google Apps Script is a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides easy ways to automate tasks, across Google products and third-party services, and build web applications. Price: Free. 
  7. RealtimeBoard is an easy to use whiteboard that helps you visualize and collaborate. With markup tools and mini-chats, work on your projects and discuss in real time. Price: Free.
  8. Pixlr Express is a photo editor with nearly 250 effects, including borders, overlays, color adjustments, crop and rotation editors. Price: Free.
  9. PicMonkey is a free photo editor with collage, touch-up, fonts, effects, filters, frames, and stickers. Price: Free.
  10. Draw.io. draw.io is a free diagramming application that enables you to draw flowcharts, network diagrams, wire framing and mockups, and more. Price: Free.
  11. Pixlr Editor is a full-featured web-based photo editor. Tools include drawing, clone, sharpen and blur, filters and adjustments. Price: Free. 
  12. Gantter is an enterprise cloud-based project scheduling application. Easily import and open existing Microsoft Project files. Price: Free.
  13. Marqueed is a collaboration tool to discuss and work on images and designs. Price: Free.
  14. PDF Mergy provides a simple way to merge PDF files. You can either select the files you want to merge from you computer or drop them on the app using drag and drop. Price: Free. 
  15. Open Drive is a collective encyclopedia project based on cloud public files. It’s designed to provide free reusable contents. Price: Free.
  16. Form+ provides an interface to create forms by just dragging and dropping components. Supports the creation of forms with a wide variety of input types. Price: Free.
  17. Ultradox generate contracts, invoices and much more from Google Docs templates. Create personalized documents from your own templates by turning Google Docs into a template engine. Price: Free.
  18. Presentation Remote enables you to use a smartphone as a remote control for presentations. Price: Free.
  19. TwistedWave is a full-featured audio editor that allows you to edit audio files from your computer or Google Drive. Save in one of the many supported file formats with multiple export capabilities. Price: Free.
  20. Revisu enables creative teams to share their designs, track versions, and collect feedback. Automatically keep collaborators in the loop whenever a new version is uploaded. Price: Free.

Zephyr Networks Integrates Different Technologies And Cloud Potential To Improve Client Productivity And Profitability

When it comes to managing the IT needs of our clients, Zephyr Networks takes a proactive approach towards Cloud potential. We understand that a company hires an information technology services provider in order to improve both productivity and profitability. After all, when it comes to business, the bottom line remains the bottom line. By integrating new and different technologies that jibe with Cloud potential into a client’s company framework and employee infrastructure, we help turns abstract ideas about productivity and profitability into working realities.

Zephyr Networks understands that with the expansion of network capabilities and the proliferation of new devices, the base employee computer station is no longer what it once was. By focusing on integration and believing in Cloud potential in the form of Cloud computing, we allow information technology solutions to work across a variety of platforms while avoiding conflicts and bugs. Our goal is to help you lower operation costs while providing access to the latest technological solutions so you can keep up with the competition.

Cloud Potential Means Google Drive

cloud potential, google drive,

Explore Cloud Potential

A perfect example is when one of our clients wanted to have employee’s update their work files with client and sales information remotely. At the same time, they did not want to pay for every employee to have a laptop with the resulting Wi-Fi costs. Zephyr Networks offered the solution of combining Google Apps with iPads to foster better, cheaper and faster results. Integrating a Google Drive solution with the cloud-based PDF Expert application, the employees could fill out PDF files remotely and load them to their Google Drives using cloud technologies. Full Wi-Fi accounts and laptop computers were not needed to accomplish the goals of the company.

By fully taking advantage of Cloud Storage and Servers, companies can be relieved of the ongoing maintenance burden of their own servers. Zephyr Networks has become experts at integrating Cloud Programs and Cloud Solutions with the local systems of our client companies. At the same time, we help with security credential management to ensure network security and data security.

The Evolution of Cloud Potential

As we like to tell our new clients with a smile, Cloud potential quickly is evolving into the new mainframe of the world. If you can, imagine the mainframe concept of your own servers on a global scale in the form of the Cloud. If you want to learn more about our proactive solutions for IT services, please call us toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.

 

The Google Drive Suite Of Google Apps Part 2 – 13 Premium Apps

Beyond allowing a company to store and access files from anywhere, Google Drive allows access to an amazing suite of Google Apps

This is the second part of a two-part blog focusing on the remote access potential of Google Drive and the variety of 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 Google Apps, including full integration with 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 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 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 13 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 – 13 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 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

The Google Drive Suite Of Google Apps Part 1 – 20 Free Apps

With a vast variety of Google Apps in the cloud, remote access can be taken to a new level of excellence

Zephyr Networks knows from experience that Google’s cloud-storage solution is a valuable resource for small to mid-sized businesses. Beyond allowing you to store and access your files from anywhere with the first 5 GB of cloud storage free, it also allows access to an amazing suite of Google Apps, including full integration with third-party applications. With the vast variety of Google Apps in the cloud, remote access has been taken to a new level of excellence.

In this two-part article, Zephyr Networks offers a list of productivity applications that work with Google Drive. 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 Google Apps makes the most sense for their business model and needs.

Below is the first part of the article that covers the available free Google Apps offered in the Google Drive Suite of Applications. Part 1 focuses on 20 completely free Google Apps. Part 2 focuses on 13 Google Apps that need to be paid for based on usage rates, monthly subscriptions and premium plans.

Part 1 – 20 Free Google Apps

1. Google Docs Access, create, and edit old Google docs in Google Drive. Edit documents with collaborators, and see changes as they type. Price: Free.

2. Google Slides creates presentations with rich animations, drawings, transitions, themes, and more. Presentations are automatically saved and stored in Google Drive. Price: Free.

3. Google Sheets creates and shares spreadsheets. Then publish them publicly, share them with others, or keep them private. Price: Free.

4. Google Drawings builds diagrams, and creates flowcharts. Easily add them to other documents, or embed them on a website. Price: Free.

5. Google Forms creates online forms and surveys, and then check the results in a neatly organized spreadsheet. Share forms from a link, embed them on your website, or right inside an email. Price: Free.

6. Google Apps Script is a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides easy ways to automate tasks, across Google products and third-party services, and build web applications. Price: Free.

7. RealtimeBoard is an easy to use whiteboard that helps you visualize and collaborate. With markup tools and mini-chats, work on your projects and discuss in real time. Price: Free.

8. Pixlr Express is a photo editor with nearly 250 effects, including borders, overlays, color adjustments, crop and rotation editors. Price: Free.

9. PicMonkey is a free photo editor with collage, touch-up, fonts, effects, filters, frames, and stickers. Price: Free.

10. draw.io. draw.io is a free diagramming application that enables you to draw flowcharts, network diagrams, wire framing and mockups, and more. Price: Free.

11. Pixlr Editor is a full-featured web-based photo editor. Tools include drawing, clone, sharpen and blur, filters and adjustments. Price: Free.

12. Gantter is an enterprise cloud-based project scheduling application. Easily import and open existing Microsoft Project files. Price: Free.

13. Marqueed is a collaboration tool to discuss and work on images and designs. Price: Free.

14. PDF Mergy provides a simple way to merge PDF files. You can either select the files you want to merge from you computer or drop them on the app using drag and drop. Price: Free.

15. Open Drive is a collective encyclopedia project based on cloud public files. It’s designed to provide free reusable contents. Price: Free.

16. Form+ provides an interface to create forms by just dragging and dropping components. Supports the creation of forms with a wide variety of input types. Price: Free.

17. Ultradox generate contracts, invoices and much more from Google Docs templates. Create personalized documents from your own templates by turning Google Docs into a template engine. Price: Free.

18. Presentation Remote enables you to use a smartphone as a remote control for presentations. Price: Free.

19. TwistedWave is a full-featured audio editor that allows you to edit audio files from your computer or Google Drive. Save in one of the many supported file formats with multiple export capabilities. Price: Free.

20. Revisu enables creative teams to share their designs, track versions, and collect feedback. Automatically keep collaborators in the loop whenever a new version is uploaded. Price: Free.

The Twitter Hack Of The Associated Press And Possible Network Security Threats To Your Company

twitter hacked, network security threats, network security, social networking

Network Security Threats & Social Networking

Revealing the network security threats presented by social networking, Zephyr Networks was not surprised when Twitter experienced a serious security problem on April 23, 2013. Stocks plunged sharply after a hacker accessed the AP newswire’s account and tweeted about a false White House emergency. The shocking tweet came from the Associated Press earlier this afternoon: “Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” The AP’s communications team quickly tweeted from its own account that the main AP Twitter was compromised, but investors had already panicked. The Dow Jones industrial average immediately plunged by more than 140 points.

A Compromised Twitter & Network Security Threats

After years of hacks that typically involved little more than obscene language, Twitter’s sub-par security measures have now caused serious real-world consequences and revealed a new form of network security threats. What is even more important is the threat that Twitter brings to your own company, increasing  network security threats. Are the Twitter accounts of your company secure? Are the social networking activities of your employees a possible confidentiality threat to your business?

Many hacks happen when account owners use guessable passwords or access Twitter over public Wi-Fi and shared computers. If one person who tweets from a corporate account loses his or her phone, an entire corporation’s Twitter account could be at risk. While Twitter can’t control those issues, Zephyr Networks wants to point out that our network security threats team addresses such issues once we are hired to protect your company.

Security experts have called on Twitter for years to beef up its security using simple methods: Sharply limit the login attempts allowed from a single IP address. Let only one person access a Twitter account at a given time. Ideally, Twitter would employ a “two-factor authentication” login method. It’s a basic security tool already used by Google, Facebook and Dropbox that requires both a password and a piece of data, such as numbers sent via text message.

Network Security Threats & Twitter Hacks All Too Common

What is so frightening to Zephyr Networks is that the Associated Press hack was not an isolated case of Twitter hacks and network security threats. The Twitter accounts of CBS’ 60 Minutes and 48 Hours were compromised over the weekend. In July 2011, News Corp.’s Fox News account — followed by more than 2 million people — was hacked in and tweeted that President Obama had been assassinated. Comcast’s NBC News account was also compromised two months later, falsely tweeting that a plane had crashed into the Ground Zero area of Manhattan.

It is unclear what, if anything, Twitter plans to change. As always happens after a hack, a company spokesman said the typical blank response, “We don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.” As a result, Twitter has put the onus on brands to ensure they’re being smart about choosing and sharing passwords. Following all these hacks, Twitter tweeted a link to a “friendly reminder about password security.” Thank you very much, but Zephyr Networks knows that your company needs more than a mere link to protect your company against the network security threats created by social networking.

Twitter can tweet about best practices all it wants, but that approach clearly is not working and will not protect your company. If you are worried about the network security and the cyber defense of your company, please contact Zephyr Networks today. When it comes to ensuring and maintaining your network security, we are your solution. To learn more about how we can protect your company, call Zephyr toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.

 

Apple Computers and the Java Vulnerability Issue

Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Sheila Gershwin of Pressworks.com had the following question for Marc:

“After your mentioning the vulnerability I’m confused as to how I can disable Java.”

Marc responded below:

“For you, just run your Apple software update and Safari should be good to go.

If you use Firefox or Chrome, instructions can be found below:

From the New York Times…
The current loophole affects Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, but also Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms. Apple no longer ships its machines with Java enabled by default, and moved quickly after the alert to disable the software remotely on machines where it had already been installed. Those who do not own Macs were left to manually disable Java software themselves.

To disable Java on a Windows PC, go to the computer’s control panel. Open the Java icon, click on the security panel and uncheck the box for “enable Java content in the browser.” Oracle has more detailed instructions on its Java Web site.
Source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/department-of-homeland-security-disable-java-unless-it-is-absolutely-necessary/

Here is a link with instructions to disable Java. Make sure you read the update at the top of the screen.
http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/08/30/how-turn-off-java-browser/

As always if this is confusing to you and you need help feel free to contact us at (800) 884-7559 or use our handy Contact form.