October 16, 2019

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.

 

 

Designed To Help With HIPAA Compliance Issues, Will The New Google Apps Business Associate Agreement Be Embraced By Small To Mid-Sized Healthcare Companies?

Will small to mid-sized healthcare companies embrace the opportunity of cloud security integration offered by the new Google Apps Business Associate Agreement? In a recent Google Apps update connected to the HIPAA Omnibus, Google announced the introduction of the new Google Apps Business Associate Agreement for healthcare companies looking to use Google Apps. The Google Apps Business Associate Agreement provides healthcare company support through the integration of Google Apps and help with HIPAA compliance issues. The focus of the agreement is to ensure network safety and security.

Google Apps Business Associate Agreement HIPAA Compliance

Since Zephyr Networks fully supports the use of Google Apps for our client companies, it is clear that this positive step by Google will allow healthcare companies to make a cleaner transition to the security and support of cloud-based applications. The goal of the Business Associate Agreement is to remove barriers for healthcare companies to adopt Google Apps and help with HIPAA compliance challenges.

What Zephyr Networks appreciates about this forward step is the focus on helping  small to mid-sized companies that use fewer Google App services. Despite their limited use, such usage truly can improve their productivity and ensure HIPAA compliance. The Google Apps Business Associate Agreement only applies to the following Google App services: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Apps Vault.

google apps business associate agreement, hippa security

Google Apps & HIPAA Security

From extensive experience with past healthcare clients, Zephyr Networks knows the usage of such Google Apps can go a long way toward helping a business adapt to the new HIPAA requirements. Google Apps offer cloud flexibility and remote access while being safe and secure. It is a perfect combination for small to mid-sized healthcare companies faced with the challenges presented by compliance to the new HIPAA Omnibus. 

Google Apps Business Associate Agreement Questions

To sign up for the Google Apps Business Associate Agreement, a health care company representative must answer three online questions about their business:

  1. Are you a covered entity (or business associate of a covered entity) under HIPAA?
  2. Will you be using Google Apps in connection with protected health information?
  3. Are you authorized to request and agree to a business associate agreement with Google for your Google Apps domain?

Zephyr Networks Believes In Google Apps

If the response to these questions are in the positive, the company representative will be taken to the online business associate agreement. Without question, this update is targeted specifically at small to mid-sized businesses. Most larger healthcare companies already will have adopted the usage of Google Apps and other security-oriented cloud strategies to deal with the HIPAA Omnibus. If you need help with Google Apps and the decision to sign up for the Google Apps Business Associate Agreement, please call Zephyr Networks 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.