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Cloud Computing or Not?

Cloud ServicesMany questions still surround cloud computing for accounting professionals. I often hear issues on reliability, the idea it is a fad, or costs.  The biggest issue raised is whether these cloud services are secure for your accounting professionals and their client’s data.

Cloud computing is technically not a new concept. Back in the 1970’s, mainframe and minicomputers were all accessed by remote terminals. After the early success of the PC, CompuServe and AOL started providing online hosted services, accessed through phone lines. Today, if you are using Facebook or thousands of other online services, you access them through the internet. Conceptually, this is the same way mainframes were accessed 40 years ago.

Popular cloud services are securely hosted in remote facilities with many layers of protection.  Physical security is one of the first recognizable features any facility should be providing.  Most are hardened buildings manned around the clock tightly and controlled with regards to who has access to the data center. Online security and access control are tightly managed with only authorized access to specific infrastructure and systems. This is all managed by strict guidelines though compliance and regulations, designated by standards like PCI DSS, ISO 27001, SAS70, SSAE 16 and HIPAA.

Security is not a guarantee, but a process to follow best practices based on expertise, training and planning.

Another aspect of these standards is reliable disaster recovery systems in the cloud.  The time to recover from a disaster is the most important part of any business tragedy.  A failed server at a business can several take days to get back. Meanwhile, cloud disaster recovery can take only a few hours. How long can your business afford to be down?

The end user experience has gotten a lot easier over the years with more intuitive graphical user interfaces for personal computers, but back-end devices and systems have only gotten more complex. An example is trying to understand, but implement proper security updates is more critical than ever today. When was the last time you updated the firewall protecting your network and data? 

Cloud computing moves the expertise, effort, and risk to more highly qualified organizations.  This helps you focus your attention on clients, tax laws, regulations, and fillings.  

Do you want to learn how a cloud solution can help improve your own disaster recovery and security?  Contact Ease Technologies today at (301)854-0010 to learn how our Ease Cloud Workspace can provide you peace of mind.

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Microsoft Teams rolls out to Office 365 customers worldwide

This week, Microsoft started rolling out Teams, its team collaboration service, to Office 365 business customers worldwide. With more than 85 million active Office 365 business customers, Teams will provide a chat-based workspace to complement the suite of applications on offer such as Outlook, Excel, and Word and more found in Office 365. 

Team members of an organization can add or join channels that are created to different projects or divisions within the company.  Inside the Teams environment, you can communicate with your associates through threaded text messages or via audio and video chat. You can create private one-on-one or small group conversations or open up communications to a larger group.

Microsoft Teams takes direct aim at the very popular program named Slack, which allows coworkers to collaborate via chat in a similar way.

"Outlook is a hub you live in. Teams is a hub you live in," said Brian MacDonald, the Corporate Vice President who heads up Microsoft Teams. "Unlike Slack, we are not trying to kill email. We're building strong integration between the two."



Office 365 business customers will find Teams automatically added to their online version of Office 365.  Desktop versions can also be found and downloaded for faster-cached communications on your PC and Macintosh.  Mobile versions of Teams are rolling out for iOS, Android and Windows phones.

Teams comes at no additional cost beyond what customers already pay for their Office 365 subscriptions.

Do you want to get more out of cloud services like Office 365? Contact Ease Technologies today at (301)854-0010 and learn how our Managed Services and Ease Cloud Workspace can help keep your business more productive.

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How to be more productive with your iPhone using Control Center

Control Center, as the name implies, lets you manage some of the most important settings on your iPhone or iPad, with just a swipe and a tap. A lot has changed in iOS 10 with the addition of 3D Touch controls to get you even further, faster. Here's what you need to know!



Does your IT service provider provide you the support and responsiveness you need? Ease Technologies provides IT support services and cloud solutions for organizations in Baltimore, Washington or Fairfax. Contact us today and learn how we can provide you the support you deserve. 


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Ease Technologies Recognized for Excellence in Managed IT Services 2017

Columbia, MD, February 27, 2017 – Ease Technologies, Inc., the leading IT Services Provider in the Mid-Atlantic region, announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Ease Technologies to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments. 

crnIn today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.

The list is divided into three categories: the MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market; the MSP Elite 150, recognizing large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premise and off-premise services; and the Managed Security 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premise, cloud-based security services.

“Managed service providers play an increasingly important role in the day-to-day operations of businesses across North America,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “MSPs help organizations streamline their spending, effectively allocate limited resources, and benefit from advanced expertise in the latest technologies. We congratulate the service providers on CRN’s 2017 MSP500 list, who have continually succeeded in meeting their customers’ changing needs and help them get the most out of their IT investments.” 

“All of us at Ease are excited about being placed again on the list for the fouth year in a row and give credit to the hard work and dedication of our employees and loyal clients”, said Chuck Bubeck, President & CEO.  “We have successfully adapted and crafted our solutions for the changing technical support market over the last two decades and are proud to see our efforts rewarded once again”.

The MSP500 list will be featured in the February 2017 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/msp500

About Ease Technologies
Ease Technologies is a technology consulting and services firm for clients and markets who desire flexibility, creative talent and high reliability in a partner.  Since 1993, Ease has provided expertise and service offerings that include Managed IT Services, Cloud Workspace, software development, education consulting and IT staffing serving the Maryland, DC, Virginia region. www.easetech.com

About the Channel Company 
The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

Copyright ©2017. The Channel Company, LLC. CRN is a registered trademark of The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Channel Company Contact:
Melanie Turpin
The Channel Company
508.416.1195
mturpin@thechannelco.com 

Ease Technologies Contact:
Dave Kile
301.854.0010
Ease Technologies, Inc.
dkile@easetech.com



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Apple provides iOS 10.2.1 for iPhone 6s shutdown issues

Many iPhone users have experienced issues with “unexpected” shutdowns of their devices. The problem seems to manifest itself with iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus devices that stop working, forcing a user to have to plug into a power outlet to get their iPhone back on.

Apple has provided a fix to this bug with the new update in iOS 10.2.1. Already there is evidence that this update has dramatically helped iPhone users with this issue. The shutdown problem does not impact iPhone 7 devices.

Here is the comment Apple provided on the issue and update:

With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we’ve received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we’re seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down.

We also added the ability for the phone to restart without needing to connect to power, if a user still encounters an unexpected shutdown. It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue, but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare.


You can start the update on your iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus by first backing up your device. Make sure you have plenty of battery power or are plugged into an outlet and then going to your Settings>General>Software Update to begin.  

Does your current IT provider responsiveness you need? Contact us today, and we'll help get the service you deserve.  Contact Ease Technologies today at (301)854-0010 and learn how our Managed Services and Ease Cloud Workspace can help keep your business more productive.
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