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Data Deduplication for Primary Storage in Today’s Market

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Most all of us are familiar with data deduplication as it applies to data redundancy in backup storage. As you know, there are countless avenues to deduplication, from software backup applications, to deduplication appliances, to cloud targets. And the insertion of deduplication capabilities into the software stack of primary storage has been available for years, or longer in some cases. Yet, due to overriding concerns around performance questions, we have found most IT shops still a bit leery of primary storage deduplication. 

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Top Windows 10 Features for Business Users

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The question to upgrade to a new operating system for any organization has far reaching impact to not only IT staff, but also to all of your users. There are always risks, the cost of support and the potential loss of productivity for the organization. With that said, should you take the time to evaluate Windows 10? I would recommend it as there are some very specific features and enhancements that are targeted at business users to increase productivity, performance and security. 


Microsoft Announces New E5 Suite for Office 365

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At this month’s annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, corporate vice president John Case announced a new premium Office 365 Enterprise Suite called E5 available to eligible partners and their customers by year end. The new E5 suite underscore Microsoft’s mobile first, cloud first strategy by adding features that enhance real-time, day-to-day business communications; improve data analysis and reporting; and strengthen compliance and security threat management to an already robust business productivity suite of products. Case’s announcement should banish any detractors of the wildly popular Office 365 SaaS suite who critiqued the purchase and integration of Yammer and Skype.

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Current I.T. Forecast: Mostly Cloudy

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Of the over 1,200 IT professionals surveyed in CDW’s Cloud 401 Report, 100 percent of the respondents report that cloud computing services have been implemented as part of their IT strategy. And of their total IT services, 35 percent of those are delivered completely or partially by the cloud, with 54 percent being migrated from traditional delivery and a whopping 46 percent starting in the cloud. So, one could glean from these statistics that organizations are no longer testing the waters. 


Part 1: Contact Centers No Longer a One-Way Street

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Contact centers are undergoing a major transformation. The customer experience has gone from being single channel predominately focused on voice to multichannel – and now omnichannel.

Let’s focus on one solution within the multichannel scenario though: Remote Expert Mobile that was recently released by Cisco. Consumers are demanding rich interaction with the companies they want to work with. With the advent of smart phones, consumers expect information to be provided at their fingertips and the companies that embrace this will ensure a higher customer satisfaction, net promoter score and increase in first call resolution.

R.I.P. Windows Server 2003 (April 24, 2003 – July 14, 2015)

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In 2010, Microsoft ended mainstream support of Windows Server 2003. And you probably are aware that official end of life for all versions of this workhorse OS – that has served organizations well for over a decade – occurred on July 14, 2015.

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft will no longer be providing updates, automatic fixes or online technical assistance. The operational, regulatory and compliance risks of operating servers no longer receiving updates or technical support can be alarming. In addition, the potential costs of maintaining legacy servers and protecting them from an elevated risk of cybersecurity dangers can take a chunk out of IT budgets. 


Creating Custom Applications in the UC Space

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One of the reasons I love working with Cisco Unified Communications (UC) is the flexibility they provide within their solutions to create custom applications. Just about every application within Cisco UC allows for some form of automation or customization. Examples include Communications Manager, Unity Connection, CTIOS Client (a Windows-based agent desktop built on the .Net framework), Finesse (a web-based agent desktop), Customer Voice Portal, and Jabber – just to name a few. You can even write applications to execute on Cisco voice gateways utilizing Tcl (Tool Command Language). 


Windows 10: How to Ensure a Smooth Migration for Your Business

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With Microsoft officially confirming the migration we’ve been expecting for the past year, many organizations are moving past the initial shock and diving into the nitty gritty of coordinating the move. We have the dirt on Windows 10 from our usual band of experts, so instead of letting our customers go fishing for this information, we wanted to clear things up so you aren’t in the dark.