support
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Here are three critical threats to your business and tips to protect yourself from them:

1. Trojans and system monitors - Keep your computers updated with the latest Microsoft Updates.

2. Somebody looting your bank account - Protect yourself by never, ever replying to spam, including spammers' "unsubscribe" links. And don't fall for a phishing scam.

3. Sabotage by an employee - You should have more than one person who is familiar with the network, in addition to yourself. This is similar to accounting controls, where no one person can access the money. Two employees should be watching things. You should be watching, too.

Ask us how to protect you today!  itsolutions@seifert.com
Published: Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The only constant in life today is change. Especially when it comes to the technology we use to help run our businesses. Today, the pace of that change is constantly accelerating, whether as a result of major innovations like cloud computing or the impact of economic events.

Technology should be an asset—one that helps you to anticipate, manage, and respond quickly to change. Technology should also help your organization reduce costs and get more from the investments you make.

When it comes to growing with greater efficiency, there are some key questions businesses are asking today:

·         How quickly can we get new employees up and running with the tools they need?

·         How do we keep up with the massive growth in data needed to do business today?

·         Are we getting the maximum return on our technology investments?

·         Can we simplify IT, so less time is spent on repetitive tasks and more is focused on addressing strategic business needs?

Get solutions that help you grow your business with greater efficiency—by reducing costs and getting exactly the technology you need when you need it. And because it’s Microsoft, you can build on familiar tools, so growing your company doesn’t have to mean growing your training and ramp up costs.

Grow efficiently use cases:

Adapt quickly to changing business needs

Scale up or down on demand

Scale your business applications up or down with availability on demand, while only paying for what you use, with Microsoft Azure.

Add employees and apps as you go

Quickly equip employees with exactly the apps and services they need, as they need them with Office 365.

Make it easy for each employee to access all their apps and devices with a single sign-on using Azure Active Directory.

Run your business on Microsoft Cloud

Get your always up-to-date business applications through a simple monthly subscription with Office 365.

Replace large up-front costs with more affordable pay-as-you-go pricing by hosting business applications like Microsoft Dynamics ERP on Microsoft Azure.

 

Easily manage the data explosion

Bottomless, affordable application storage

Get a cost-effective, instantly scalable solution for storing all of the growing data from your business applications with cloud-based Microsoft Azure Storage.

Flexible storage for employees’ files and data

Easily access and work with your latest files with OneDrive for Business, which synchronizes files across PCs and devices, whether online or offline.

Data-driven applications that keep up with your business

Make sure the database that drives your core business applications, like inventory or ordering systems, can keep up with data growth using in-memory performance in SQL Server 2014.

 

Get more from your technology investments

Upgrade easily and affordably

With Windows 10, you can get an in-place upgrade on your existing PCs or easily migrate to a range of affordable new devices. And with Windows as a service, you can get security updates more quickly and reduce management costs.

The right devices at the right price

Get the right Windows 10 devices for your business with a wide range of price points and a selection of innovative features and form factors.

Get the most from your servers with Microsoft’s hybrid platform

Move to the cloud while getting the most out of your on-site servers with Microsoft Azure, Windows Server, and Azure Operational Insights.

 

Reduce the cost and complexity of IT management

Easily manage who can
access what

Windows 10 PCs and devices use the same identity service as Office 365, making a single identity—and single sign-on—possible across Office 365, Windows devices, and more than 2,400 Azure Active Directory apps.

Get automatic updates from cloud to devices

Reduce time spent keeping everyone up to date and know you’ve always got the latest tools and software with Office 365 and Windows Update for Business.

Simplify application management

Centrally acquire, distribute, and manage apps for your employees using your own category in the Windows Store with Private Catalog and the Business Store Portal.

 *Content provided by Microsoft.


Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Jeff Snyder
Seifert Technologies Network Engineer, Jeff Snyder


Smithville considers server, phone, email upgrades

By Thomas Doohan Staff Writer for The Daily Record

Published: April 24, 2016 4:00 AM

SMITHVILLE -- Council plans on making improvements to the village's technological capabilities, but before it proceeds, the group needs to do some homework.

During council's meeting April 11, Jeff Snyder, a representative from Seifert Technologies, the company hired to manage the village's technology, discussed the areas in which council should look at making improvements. He said the priorities moving forward should be purchasing a new server, a new phone system and contracting with a new company for email.

"We have a server here that is easily 10 years old, if not older," Snyder said.  While it still functions fine, the piece of equipment is an issue because it recently stopped being supported by Microsoft. That means patches for the server will no longer be produced, which will make any issues that could arise "a little bit of a concern."

Right now, Snyder said, the primary user of the server is the Smithville Police Department. However, it would be to the village's benefit for all the village's departments to use the server.

"The entire town could leverage that server, not just the police department," Snyder said. Describing how it would benefit the other departments, he said "you've got recoverability."

For instance, the water department operates with a computer system that is contained within the water plant. Snyder said with a new server, the water plant could maintain its records on a computer on location and back up all its information to a server at a centralized location.

The village also needs to look into getting a new phone system. Snyder said the phones within Village Hall are having issues with voice mail. As such, the village needs to think about the reality that the phone system will eventually stop working, he added.

Snyder said the two best solutions for the phone issue moving forward are either Google Voice or a new phone package offered by MCTV. Google Voice would provide voice mail forwarding, which could temporarily alleviate the village of its phone problems.

The solution at MCTV is what is called a PBX system, Snyder said. The phone system would not be hosting in house, but at MCTV. The only thing the village would need to do is purchase new phones.

Kyle Krownapple, president of the Board of Public Affairs, said he has had experience with Google Voice and does not recommend it. He said it should only be a temporary solution. Snyder said his experiences with the program have been favorable, but reiterated the program would only be implemented as a short term solution to the current voice mail problem.

Currently, the village uses MCTV for email. Snyder said MCTV offers five email addresses per account. He said Smithville has five accounts and has 21 email addresses in active use.

The system has worked in the past, but with talks of expanding email capabilities to position council members to be more equipped to deal with public records requests, improvements should be made, Snyder said. The systems he is looking at are Microsoft Office 365 and Zoho. Both are upgrades from the current system, but come at different price points, he said.

Councilwoman Joyce Garn said she wanted to know why there were so many email addresses activated under the MCTV accounts. Snyder said the Police Department has email addresses for each officer. Should the village go forward with one of the new systems, he said he would work to consolidate the addresses into one, and get it forwarded to a new account in the new system.


Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mobile Workstation Banner

There are many industries that depend on access to data in the field. Mining, utilities, and telecommunications, to name a few, have extensive field operations where staff routinely use portable devices to access backend systems and collect data from remote sites.

Mobile workstations complement ruggedized smartphones and tablet devices by allowing more data processing and content creation at a remote location.

Desktop apps with data visualization

Mobile workstations bring the power of desktop computing anywhere, which is a big advantage for field data visualization. Workers can perform data imports and on site processing without the need to go back to a central office or rely on a cloud-based service when the ability to transmit data over a mobile or satellite network might be limited or impractical.

Mobile workstations offer compelling productivity enhancements for field data operations:

  • The ability to run full desktop (Windows and Linux) productivity applications not available on mobile devices
  • Superior graphics capabilities for real-time data visualization
  • Optional integration with mobile devices via Bluetooth or USB connections
  • High volumes of local storage (HDD or SSD) for remote data collection without a cloud service

Another benefit is that most field staff are already familiar with desktop workstations. For them, taking a mobile workstation into the field to perform data analysis doesn’t require any additional training or resources.

Taking a page from gaming

The evolution of the mobile workstation has accelerated during the past decade, and today's technology is closely aligned to that used by 3D gamers. High performance 64-bit processors, large amounts of memory, and SSD storage combine to create mobile workstations capable of visualizing data and generating 3D imagery in response to human interaction.

This concept of real-time visualization can be applied where there’s a high-volume of field data from telemetry and other systems that otherwise would go back to a central site for processing.

Data analysis applications can be developed for mobile workstations and used locally with or without an Internet connection. The results (and raw data) can always be integrated with a big data visualization platform when the mobile workstation returns to the office.


Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mobile Workstation Banner

Hybrid clouds—those that are constituted of a combination of public and private cloud services, and on-premises software and services—are the predominant form of cloud architecture. A hybrid cloud can have a substantial impact on workstations, not just servers. Understanding said impact is the key to designing an end-point fleet that is effective in meeting an organization's needs.

1. Storage

Workstations designed for pure cloud architectures have minimal local storage needs because all applications and data are stored in the cloud. Local swap files and, perhaps,enough storage to allow brief periods of offline work are all that's necessary.

Hybrid cloud workstations, by contrast, assume an infrastructure in which some functions and data may well be stored locally before or after remote processing in the cloud or on-premises servers.

Given that some of the infrastructure will be in the cloud, the storage requirement won't be as great as in a laptop designed for completely independent work. That means IT manager scan look at pricing charts to see whether solid-state drives become an option.Either way, storage can be high performance for the same price as a lower-performance, larger storage option.

2. Memory

Most popular web browsers are inefficient memory users, especially as the number of open and active tabs increases. While many institutional buyers look at minimum memory capacity options (or perhaps, in order to "future proof" the workstations, amid-tier memory option), workstations intended for hybrid architecture deployment should have maximum memory configurations to keep browsers and other applications running reliably.

3. Other requirements

With moderate levels of storage and maximum levels of RAM specified, the rest of the workstation can fall into place.

1. Graphics

Hybrid infrastructure doesn't bring with it special graphics requirements. If the baseline graphics adapter in the workstation is sufficient for web browsing, it should be sufficient for displaying information from hybrid applications.

2. CPU

It's not the speed that matters, but the number of cores. Many manufacturers now offer a variety of different processors with one, four, or, sometimes, two cores. Because of the way browsers tend to work within the operating environment, multiple-core CPUs perform considerably better than a single-core CPU. If the choice is between a single-core processor that's slightly faster and a multi-core processor with a slightly slower clock, go for the multi-core option. You and your employees will be glad you did.

Perhaps the best news is that the same factors that make a workstation best for a hybrid architecture will help keep it relevant for the full length of the refresh cycle. That makes looking at specifications a winning activity for everyone.


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

Shop Class

Where to spend on IT in 2017

Uncertain times call for wise planning in IT. Global political uncertainty and flat company revenues mean budgets will be stalled for the near future, affecting investment in not just products but people. It sounds dire; however, four clear themes remain relevant in governing IT budget spend for 2017.

techbit.guide


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

Shop Class

The future might already be here.

AI is already here to help you solve problems that involve too much data for humans to grasp in a meaningful way. “Deep learning” AI systems will dive into the data to find patterns that we mortals cannot. The cloud is making this sort of AI accessible to organizations of all sizes.

techbit.guide


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

Shop Class

Smart machines are getting smarter, and a new IT reality has dawned.

The machines are rising.Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven it’ll be no fun at a party, havingtaken down the world’s best player at the difficult strategy game Go. If thatmakes you anxious, good news: virtual reality (VR) is being used by doctors tohelp patients with anxiety. We live in interesting times, so what’s going to beespecially interesting to watch this year?

techbit.guide


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

security

9 hardware and software vulnerabilities you should address now.

Research from Spiceworks, a network of IT professionals, highlighted more than 70% of respondents rated security as their top concern for 2017. Here are nine things that should be keeping you up at night…

techbit.guide


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

security

How to stay safe and secure online in 2017

One of the few industries in the world that will never see budget cuts is security. As the world grows ever more complex and connected, our valuable information is increasingly exposed to malicious actors around the world.

techbit.guide


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

classroom

Traditional typing skills in the digital age

Handwriting is in decline as students increasingly use digital forms of writing throughout their lives – from their personal communications through to their essays. Does this mean learning to touch-type is now a vital skill? Perhaps not – there’s researching suggestion that knowing how to touch-type doesn’t necessarily make you a faster or more accurate typist.

techbit.guide


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

healthcare

How to pick the right health software

With aging populations, advances in medical technology and the growing importance of ‘e-health’, software vendors are focusing more attention than ever on the health market. But with so many newcomers, how can you know you’re choosing the right software provider?

techbit.guide


Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

Achieve more

Can you achieve more by doing less?

The eternal quest to achieve perfect work-life balance. We all know it. We all want it. None of us ever seem to get it. But maybe, just maybe, that’s not the point.

techbit.guide


Published: Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Have you ever been in the market for a new computer and wondered what the difference is between a business class workstation and a computer used for personal use?  Most people don’t realize there is a difference between them, but there is.  Would you use a screwdriver to hammer a nail into a wall?  They are both tools, they both push similar types of objects inward, but there is a big difference between both tools. Computers built for business application are designed differently, for a different audience and purpose.

Some major differences between the two are that business desktops are built to last longer, run 24/7, and are easier to service than consumer PCs.  The longer a business PC is down, the more money it costs you in lost earning time.  Another big difference is storage space and hard drive speed. Business PCs require less storage but faster speeds than consumer PCs. Most consumer PC hard drives run at 5,400 rpm while business class hard drives typically run at 7,200 rpm. This allows for faster read/write speeds and more productivity. Since storage is so inexpensive these days, a hard drive with 300GB to 500GB of space is a good balance between economy and space.

An increasingly important issue businesses face is security.  Once a business expands beyond a half-dozen employees with PCs, consulting with an IT expert is recommended. At this point purchasing business class workstations with corporate IT features will provide added security to your network as well as make deployment and troubleshooting easier. Business computers are better equipped to deal with the business environment.

Software is another reason to purchase a business PC. Personal use software is not always compatible with professional use applications.  One example of this can be seen in the world of CAD engineering software.  According to HP’s Jeff Wood, VP of product management, “the workstations have been highly tuned for professional applications. Another consideration is [that] many of the CAD software vendors are unwilling to provide software support for non-certified consumer PCs.”  Compatibility between hardware and software involve cooperation between both software and hardware vendors. “While in some instances using a high-end consumer PC or even a gaming PC may work to meet the minimum requirements for desktop CAD applications, typically these systems are maxed out and provide little to no room for future expansion,” says  Andy Rhodes, executive director of Dell Precision workstations in Making the Case for Professional Engineering Workstations.  Most consumers are not aware of the difference between licensing for personal use and commercial use.  “Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certification ensures the system is qualified and supported by the ISV for workstation software applications,” says Al Makley, director of ThinkStation Architecture and Technical Solutions, Lenovo. Often times the work behind the scenes for software and hardware compatibility happens before a line of computers is brought to market.  Compatibility issues for different software versions were tested prior to release in different environments. Certification is a rigorous process.  Many consumer desktop PCs do not have ISV certification.

These days, it may be tempting to grab the cheapest system out of a sales circular and call it your "business PC", DON’T DO IT! You and your business will be much better off going with a business class workstation of your favorite PC maker. It will be faster, more secure, last longer and offer better support than a consumer PC that comes with an array of bells and whistles that you won’t use in a business environment.


Published: Monday, January 11, 2016
Cloud computing is a broad term for services that are all stored in a cloud environment.  With significant improvements in technology over the last 10 years, many companies are offering cloud products and services that sit outside of the common definition of cloud.  In order to truly understand how the cloud can add value to your organization, it is important to understand what the cloud really is.

There are three main components to cloud services: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).  Each of these is a unique offering.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing as “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources.”  This means that end users are able to access the cloud resources quickly and easily in a self-service manor.

Let’s look at the three categories of cloud offerings:

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is sometimes referred to as "on-demand software."  An example of on demand software is Microsoft Office 365, accessible through the internet by purchasing user licenses. SaaS is a great option for end users with thin clients or computers with lower storage capacity such as Google Chromebooks and Microsoft Cloudbooks.  SaaS is typically preferred by users who want the latest software versions as soon as they’re available and the convenience of spreading out the cost of new software licenses by paying monthly vs. buying the licenses upfront. 

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a category of cloud computing services that provide a platform allowing customers to develop, run and manage web applications. By using a PaaS platform users can avoid the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an application.  This set of tools and services are designed to make coding and deploying applications easier for end users. Examples of PaaS systems include Microsoft AZURE Websites, AZURE cloud Services, and Azure Mobile Services.  Many CRM systems can be utilized in the PaaS format including Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way of delivering cloud computing infrastructure such as servers, storage, network and operating systems.  This platform is offered as an on-demand service that comes with a smaller price tag than building a traditional on-site network infrastructure.  Rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service on demand.  There are two types of IaaS systems public and private.  These two types of IaaS systems can be obtained separately or combined to customize a platform, depending on the needs of the end users.  As with SaaS and PaaS systems, IaaS is a rapidly developing field. 

Cloud computing is more than a single description, it is instead a general term that sits over a variety of services.  From IaaS at the base, through PaaS as a development tool and SaaS productivity software, cloud computing is now replacing onsite applications and equipment.

Before you move your business into the cloud, it is important to understand the different aspects of cloud computing.  Assess your own situation to decide which types of solutions are appropriate for your unique business footprint.  Contact our experts today to learn more about the cloud computing options offered through Seifert Technologies, Inc.

Email Newsletter Sign-up
Blog Archives