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.

A Zephyr Networks Client Tells a Competitor Why We Are The Best In The IT Services Industry

Although the technology professionals at Zephyr Networks are happy to tell you why you should work with us and why our IT services are the best in the business., it sounds so much better coming from a client. That is particularly true when it’s being expressed to a competitor. As the President of United Polychem, Inc. in Costa Mesa, Lynne Vanderwall has been a loyal client of Zephyr Networks for several years. At the end of last year, he grew sick and tired of one of our competitors contacting his company over and over again, trying to recruit their business and steal them away from Zephyr Networks.

A Client of Zephyr Networks

As a direct consequence of this badgering, Lynne Vanderwall sent the following email to the sales rep from the other company. He copied Marc Winger, the founder of Zephyr Networks, so he could see the email. Later, she kindly told Marc that Zephyr Networks could publish his response on our website. Although we have redacted the name of our competitor, we are proud to publish the following testimonial about our services:

United Polychem, Zephyr Networks, IT Services

Endorsement from Lynne Vanderwall

Please remove us from both your email and call list.  We are with Zephyr Networks, and they are our IT Management Company. We just signed a 10-year contract with them. There has never been an IT services company that has been more of a partner and friend to our company. We have been impressed across the board by all of the people at this firm and the services they provide. United Polychem has no reason to change and won’t for the next ten years so please remove us from all of your lists.

Lynne Vanderwall – President of United Polychem, Inc.

 Endorsed By United Polychem, Inc.

When Lynne mentions how he has “been impressed across the board by all the people at this firm and the services they provide,” the endorsement reflects an important quality that is philosophy and mission of Zephyr Networks. Although Marc Winger is clearly the leader of the team as the head of the company, Zephyr Networks is, always has been, and always will be a team operation. Every person hired becomes an intrinsic part of that team by both having the technical expertise and adopting the customercentric service approach that has made us successful.

Once again, we would like to thank Lynne Vanderwall for allowing us to post his positive endorsement. If you want to know more about what Zephyr Networks can do for your company, please pick up the phone and call us at (800) 884-7559 for a free consultation. It could become the best decision you make for the technological health and IT services success of your company in 2015.

Zephyr Networks Offers Holiday Upgrades Of The Latest Technology That Could Help With 2014 Tax Savings

Holiday upgrades equal the rare combination of a smooth transition married to cost-saving tax incentives. With Thanksgiving over and Christmas right around the corner, Zephyr Networks is offering our clients and new potential clients a way to save money while improving their technological capabilities. End of the year tax incentives equal the ability to reduce your company’s 2014 tax burden. By spending money today on holiday upgrades, improving computing and networking systems, you will have them up and running by the end of the year.

Holiday Upgrades Can Mean Tax Savings

The idea is to get spending on the books now by having new computer upgrades up and running before the end of the year. If the systems are in place by year’s end, the expense can offset profits, lowering your taxes later. By purchasing new equipment like computers, tablets and mobile phones that are tax deductible as legitimate business expenses, you create tax savings in 2015. Such opportunities are a big reason why the Zephyr Networks team works through the holidays.

In addition, by working through the holidays, we assure our client that any new technologies or computer upgrades are integrated into your company with as easy of a transition as possible. During the holiday season, interruption is minor. Such downtime means it’s the perfect time for a major upgrade and a smooth migration. While the competition is off skiing, Zephyr Networks is working hard for your company to give you that competitive edge in 2015.

Zephyr Advantage = Holiday Upgrades Installed

holiday upgrades, tax savings, zephyr neytworks

Zephyr Networks Holiday Upgrades Mean Saving Money

Any good accountant will tell you that spending money on better equipment and technological upgrades at the end of the year is a great way to offset profits. By using funds spent on holiday upgrades as company tax deductions, technological upgrades truly become holiday upgrades. After all, isn’t the best-looking version of Santa the one that looks a little like more Benjamin Franklins in your pocket?

The bigger bonus of holiday upgrades is that the newer, more cutting edge equipment delivers greater reliability and greater security. You also can upgrade your network security software and virus protection capabilities, providing the safety your business deserves while doing some smart tax planning. The majority of such computing, networking and mobile offerings are tax deductible as legitimate business expenses. Still, at Zephyr Networks we do not pretend to be accountants. As computer networking, information technology and cybersecurity experts, we recommend you talk to your accountant.

Holiday Upgrades Make Sense

Without question, however, in today’s day and age when the latest computer hardware and mobile devices are improving at such a rapid pace, making a smart holiday upgrades make sense. With better and faster mobile devices like the latest tablets and smartphones, your employees can have what they need to do their jobs effectively wherever they happen to be. Such an expense is money well spent because you are improving your company’s capabilities while reducing its tax burden.

Through a free consultation, Zephyr Networks will examine your year-end technological needs and make specific recommendations about what upgrades to purchase before 2014 is over. If new equipment is needed, we will explain what is needed and why it is needed. As a new client, we will help integrate the new upgrades into your company’s technological culture and train your staff when needed.

Time To Take Action Is Now

holiday upgrades, zephyr networks

Your Holiday Upgrades Up & Running By 2015

An accountant friend of Zephyr Networks told us that Congress has not extended section 179 of the tax code that corresponds to accelerated depreciation. As a result, if businesses want to take advantage of accelerated depreciation they need to have the new hardware and software in place and functioning before midnight January 1st, 2015. Zephyr Networks can make this happen, and this is why we work through the holiday season, installing holiday upgrades of computer equipment and networking solutions. While you are on holiday, Zephyr Networks will be working to get your holiday upgrades up and running.

According to the accountant, cloud computing services could be a workaround. If your company signs up for cloud based services, colocation, virtual private servers, or dedicated servers before the end of 2014, your business does not have to put the entire investment on their books today. Still, since the Zephyr Network’s private cloud is already in place and operational, you can expense the entire licensing for cloud computing immediately. When it comes to holiday upgrades, this makes good sense. Please check with your company’s accounting firm to see if such an option works for you.

Call Zephyr Networks To Learn More

To learn more about holiday upgrades as 2014 comes to a close, please contact Zephyr Networks today by calling (800) 884-7559.

 

Disclaimer: Zephyr Networks is not an accounting firm so we are not offering any accounting direction, advice or feedback. We strongly recommend you consult with a licensed CPA to receive expert clarification about any points raised in this opinion piece. In addition, this article presents only a partial view of the subject matter. It does not claim or attempt to be comprehensive or perfectly accurate. Pursuant to U.S. Treasury Department Regulations, any federal tax commentary in this article is not intended or written to be used for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

 

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.

 

 

A Poetic Look At The Cryptolocker Virus By Doug Breskow

From The Crypt

 — A Halloween Poem by Doug Beskow 

cryptolocker, crypt, halloween, doug breskow, zephyr networks

Ghosts, goblins, headless horsemen don’t scare,
Not even the man with horns and flaming red hair.
Jack ‘O’ Lanterns, skeletons and skin head punk rocker,
Won’t give you fear like Cryptolocker.

It’s not walking dead or some scary grave yard,
But a real computer virus that hits really hard.
It comes as an email from DHS, UPS or FedEx,
And encrypts your files and then with might to flex,
Demands a ransom of 3 to $700 in four days,
Or else files, data and pictures disappear in a haze.

Cryptolocker is real and this Halloween you should feel,
Not fear of witches, goblins and other unreal,
But, Cryptolocker virus because it is real!

Zephyr Networks Celebrates On Labor Day How Our Proactive Solutions For IT Services Help People Do Their Jobs Well

On Labor Day, Zephyr Networks celebrates how our proactive solutions for IT services help people do their job well. In small to mid-sized businesses across Orange County, the IT services of Zephyr Network often have proven to be the difference in terms of helping a company effectively integrate new technologies and contingency planning into their business model. The goal os Zephyr Networks is to allow technology to be a bonus that helps your company as opposed to a distraction that damages your productivity.

IT Services & Labor Day

it services, zephyr pyramid, technological solutions

The Zephyr IT Services Pyramid Of Success

A Zephyr Technology Officer is appointed to each of our client’s as an ongoing IT consultant to ensure the ongoing smooth and successful applications of new technologies and help with IT services. As a PTO (Professional Technological Organization), Zephyr Networks helps our clients with information technology challenges, cloud applications, network security and website problems. By focusing on our four-part tiered solution of stability, continuity, security and productivity, our IT services help allow for technology to be an essential element of your company’s future success.

Viable IT Services Solutions

At Zephyr Networks, the process of our initial consultations with a new client is based on learning your company’s business model. By understanding your company’s business model, we are able to figure the technological gaps causing your company problems and provide short cuts and viable IT services solutions. On Labor Day, we hope to consistently help make the work of our clients more effective and more efficient.

Wikipedia defines Labor Day as being “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.” For Zephyr Networks, the technological well-being of your company is important to us. 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.

Truly Proactive IT Support

Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks

Many “Managed Service Providers” (MSP’s) promise the world. They talk about 24 by 7 monitoring and response. But many of them do this by using an automated program that, if it identifies a problem on your servers, it notifies you and maybe runs a script to restart a program while they snore away. These scripts are supposed to keep your system running well all the time and make it so they don’t have to send someone onsite.

To Zephyr, this is not enough. Your network is a unique, living, ever changing, dynamic system that needs proactive personalized attention to keep it running its best. Our Proactive Plus IT Infrastructure Care program includes time designated for our technicians to come on-site and go through checklists specifically designed for your network. But most importantly, a solid percentage of that time is designated to listening to end users I.T. needs. We focus on trying to determine what will help make them more productive. Part of that is listening to their honest perception of their network performance. Part of it is just watching how they work and making some subtle suggestions on shortcuts. As a company, we think it is important to get the pulse of a network from the people who use it most. A lot of that is listening, and when was the last time your IT consultant actually listened.