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Quick Tips for a Cloud Based DR Strategy

You are jeopardizing your IT environment and your job if you don’t have a strategy for disaster recovery. Whether you are ready or not, unexpected outages will occur and if you don’t have a protocol in place, data loss will cost millions of dollars or even bring your company to failure. Forward-thinking IT leaders are increasingly turning to cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) as a simple and cost-effective solution for protecting IT resources, ensuring high availability and having a plan to fully regain operations.

Here are some quick tips and benefits of including a managed cloud solution in your DRaaS option and how it can make it easier to economically protect your most valuable asset: your data.

 

1.        Cloud availability can eliminate human error and costly downtime

Cloud based DR prevents inaccuracies and flaws associated with traditional offline backups while improving visibility into file stores and virtual machines. This solution plays a heavy role in Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs), Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and regular testing and updates. Cloud technology has the robust capability to get you back into business within minutes of an incident.

 

2.       Cloud can do more than just back up

Traditional DR is often difficult to operate, hard to configure and quickly becomes outdated. Often times it’s out of financial reach for many organizations. Therefore firms solely rely on back up for their disaster recovery, however it doesn’t cover documented policies and procedures, application prioritization, RTOs and RPOs. Fortunately, cloud computing reduces the need for on-prem data center space, IT infrastructure and resources. It simplifies management of backup configuration and media.

 

3.       Cloud based DR can bring tremendous cost savings

The world is depending on 24/7 availability of data and applications, unanticipated downtime can be devastating. Outages now cost organizations an average of $140k to $540k per hour, and $5,600 per minute. What is even more alarming is that 25% of businesses never recover from disaster. Cloud has the flexibility of using operational budget rather than a large upfront capital expenditure to implement or expand a protection plan, as well as scaling up or down as requirements dictate.

 

For those who had already known the benefits of cloud and are well on your way to adopt a fully comprehensive solution, it now all comes down to finding the right managed cloud service provider with the right mix of solutions to meet business needs. With hybrid, multicloud IT infrastructure becoming the norm, organizations are increasingly dependent on multiple tools for data protection as part of their DR strategy. As you evaluate DRaaS providers, MR2 is here to highlight how our industry-leading partner, Navsite is a reliable cloud provider with managed cloud solutions to solve any of your IT needs. Benefits of working with Navisite include:

  • Reliable cloud provider that delivers excellent customer service, offers a high level of customization ability and meets any require certifications
  • Its cloud-based solution is easy to configure, manage and test
  • Takes a tailored, application-centric approach to DRaaS Tier 1, 2 and 3 applications, infrastructure and/ or business units may require separate tools to meet different RPOs and RTOs
  • Makes business continuity easy and simple, offering a portfolio that’s flexible, scalable, and feature-rich offerings, including vCAv, which makes it possible to get back to business a few minutes and a few clicks after disaster strikes

 

To learn more, contact a MR2 Solutions specialist today 949-474-4495 or email – michael@mr2solutions.com.

 

If you’d like to connect with experts from Navisite directly, come out to our Magic & Wine show event. Meet with them and other IT professionals in the area while enjoying a cocktail reception and complimentary magic show. Register now below:

 

MR2 Magic & Wine Show Event

Friday Nov. 9, 2018 | 6PM

Majestic Garden Hotel Anaheim

REGISTER HERE  

How to Lead today's Hybrid Enterprise with Software-Defined Perimeter

Enterprises today are challenged with accessing resources that are not on-prem securely. IT professionals also struggle with today’s digital transformation where control is limited as companies migrate and manage remote users, applications and cloud systems. In addition, IT workloads have evolved dramatically where XaaS and cloud service providers have shifted the IT infrastructure that supports the enterprise away from its users. Enterprise applications and workloads are increasingly supported by distributed infrastructure and capabilities that often stretch across multiple cloud providers, data center providers and XaaS providers. In this shift, often times the security policies and solutions that are protecting critical data and applications remain on physical hardware.

 

The Need for Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a philosophy that changes the way businesses approach network security. The concept is that it’s a security model that redesigns networks into micro-perimeters. Zero trust is generated to limit risks associated with excessive user privileges by adopting these three main elements. First is the fact that zero trust ensures all resources accessed are secure regardless of the location or hosting model. Second, this model adopts a “least privledge” strategy to strictly enforce access control. Lastly, the zero trust model inspects and logs all traffic for suspicious activity.

“Zero Trust demands that CIOs and CISOs move away from legacy, perimeter-centric models of information security – which are useless for today’s digital businesses, no longer bounded by the four walls of their corporation – to a model that is both data- and identity centric and extends security across the entire business ecosystem.” – Forrester

 

What is Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) and how does will it help?

Software-defined perimeter is an open security architecture promoted by cloud security alliances comprised of vendors and practitioners that specialize in network security. SDP has three main elements for this type of architecture:

-          Identity-Centric: user- or device- based access control; bridges the gap between network security user roles, admin and application access tailored to the specific policies; enables the network to minimize the number of network access

-          Precise, Adaptive, Resilient Security: emphasizes authentication before connection where it can dynamically- provisioned for 1:1 connectivity where each individual will have a unique view of the network tailored to their policy

-          Designed for hybrid environments: Infrastructure-neutral and simplifies security for environments with a mix of cloud and on-prem environments

“By 2011, 60% of enterprises will phase out network VPNs for digital business communications in favor of software-defined perimeters.” – Gartner

 

A Better Approach to Secure Access

It’s virtually impossible to secure your distributed, hybrid IT infrastructure with perimeter security that hasn’t been updated in 20 years. Perimeter-based security solutions such as VPNs, next-gen firewalls and NACs are ineffective against malicious insiders and targeted attacks. These antiquated tools are also complex and expensive to operate.

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Our top colocation and security partner, Cyxtera, offers a top of the line solution called AppGate SDP that meet these zero trust elements. It is also resilient and massively scalable to support enterprise-grade, mission-critical and global environments. Learn more with Jim Anthony, Cyxtera’s VP of Cybersecurity Sales Engineering as we will be a guest speaker at our IT Executive Panel Discussion at our MR2 Porsche Driving Experience event. Learn more here.

 

 

4 Ways to Drive Productivity in your Workforce

Many modern organizations today are quickly discovering that cloud delivery of daily-use applications, like those constituent of Microsoft Office, is poised to fundamentally raise the bar for workforce activity. High availability, device-agnostic delivery of critical resources, and enhanced centralized control can all benefit organizations taking office apps to the cloud. There are, however, challenges that IT teams must be equipped to address. Vulnerable endpoint devices, a distinct lack of insight into mobile operations, compliance standards and cumbersome provisioning processes can lead to notable concerns. How can organizations safeguard mobile operations without hindering productivity? How can IT teams remedy these concerns with minimal cost to the organization? 

1. A strong foundation for IT teams - outsourcing management to an industry leading technology partner can delivery some of the most powerful and effective office tools, via the Cloud, with committed support from dedicated expert staff. Organizations can be rest assured of rapid alert issues with customized, real-time health check monitoring, and expedient response for resolution. Enable centralized control of permissions at the device and application level, compliance and policies and resource provisioning. By outsourcing these services can help work in concert to simplify IT's role in enabling a productive mobile workforce without increased CapEX, and leveraging a predicable OpEx structure with one destination for service and support. 

 

2. Centralizing Control Without Sacrificing Insight - choose the best technology partner to align your organization's business productivity goals with the essential controls and settings to your organization's IT teams and administrators. IT can efficiently enable end-users, workgroups, or the organization in its entirety without access to the endpoint device or complex server configurations. IT teams can then extend and enhance security and policy standards beyond the application suite, to the endpoint device, and user accounts with comprehensive EMM capabilities. Security standards and end-user permissions can be realized on-the-fly, without lengthy roll-out procedures or risking a lapse in compliance. 

 

3. Reliability and Security Built-in to every solution - Leverage a resource that had a deep and outstanding partnership with Microsoft and VMware to gain access to some of the most influential and resilient solutions for productivity and mobility. Your firm will have the capability to enhance their staff, customize solutions for distinct business and compliance needs and have application-level support readily available. Having a technology partner committed to responsiveness and proactive preparedness will allow IT teams to eliminate the question of support capacity in order to focus on the critical business technology goals. With strong Service Level Agreements and enterprise-class data centers, secure mobile productivity will elevate the standard for availability and resiliency. 

 

4. Work with MR2 Solutions & Navisite for your cloud, mobile, disaster recovery and security needs - Every client deserves world-class service and support - our team of highly experienced IT professionals is passionate about your business and dedicated to your success. MR2 Solutions works to ensure we continuously move toward your long-term business goals and deliver results. Our philosophy and commitment to service is deeply rooted in the depth of expertise we bring to every relationship. 

 

Learn more on how we can help at our EXCLUSIVE IT PANEL DISCUSSION at the PORSCHE EXPERIENCE CENTER. Listen to IT executives talk about today's IT mega trends of Cloud, Security, SD-WAN and UCaas that can help empower companies to leverage technology to drive company revenue. Afterwards, join us for lunch and a cocktail hour reception to network with fellow c-level executives and technology experts. Attendees will also have the opportunity to get behind the wheel at the Car Simulator lab and take a unique behind the scenes tour of the grand facility. With limited seats, REGISTER NOW!

 

PORSCHE DRIVING EXPERIENCE Powered by MR2 

Fri. July 27, 2018 | 9:30AM

Porsche Experience Center | 19800 S. Main St, Carson, CA 90745

>> REGISTER HERE <<

Making Business Communications Easy Again

CIO’s looking for ways to help employees stay connected and collaborate while working in different locations around the globe are faced with a complex variety of devices, applications, and collaboration technologies. While employees have access to many of these technologies on their personal devices, the traditional barriers of complexity and costs have limited deployment of business-class solutions to larger enterprises.

Enter unified cloud communications. A cloud communications solution offers businesses a unified telecommunications service that leverages newfound reliability and advanced technology, without the cost and complexity associated with larger enterprise solutions.

But not all unified communications solutions are created equal.

With a focus on providing maximum benefit with minimum impact on your company, 8x8 has built a single Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform that enhances the customer experience by harmonizing the employee experience. Here’s how the platform optimizes the communications experience:

1. Offloads complexities to the cloud

Bringing voice, collaboration tools, contact center and real-time analytics to the cloud removes the need to purchase, provision, manage and maintain on-premise equipment. It removes the expense of expert administrators, means fewer vendors, fewer bills and fewer apps, while connecting employees from across the street to around the globe, 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform makes it easier to meet customer needs and exceed their expectations.

2. One phone number, multiple devices 

In today’s communications-drenched work environment, both customers and employees demand immediate access via their preferred communication device. Problem is, switching between different devices leaves data behind and requires different passwords, protocols and too many apps and configurations to manage.

With 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center solution, your employees and customers can continue to engage one another using their preferred devices, but on a single, unified platform that allows a streamlined, consistent experience. Chat, mobile phones, softphones, desktop phones, instant messages and video chat are integrated from the ground up on one platform, removing the siloes that many businesses are currently contending with as they struggle to keep up with the changing landscape of communications.

3. 21st Century collaboration capabilities

With offices in multiple locations where employees can tap resources well beyond their physical locations, having a cloud-built unified communications platform that can integrate multiple devices into one number and offer advanced collaboration is critical. 8x8’s built-in collaboration allows for an extended reach to a broader pool of experts, improved decision making, and more engaged employees. This new dimension of business communications dials in productivity while creating a richer experience for employees and clients, allowing for more innovation and competitiveness, regardless of the size of business or the market you’re in.

In fact, that’s why 8x8 has spent the past half decade building and acquiring technology across two previously separate categories: unified communications and contact center solutions.  It is by no stroke of coincidence that 8x8 offers products that specifically enable organizations to leverage their employees, experts and data to innovate and serve customers in ways that build true business value.

4. Better Call Quality

8x8’s communications-as-a-service model affords companies with enhanced call quality on a supremely stable and reliable communications platform. By including seamless failover capability that requires no additional capital, rack space or servers to maintain, they’re able to deliver maximum communications uptime for clients. Where traditional infrastructure and premise-based systems can be configured for disaster recovery, this process can be complex and riddled with missteps that mean when disaster strikes, the phone systems take hours or days to recover. 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center assures maximum availability and rapid disaster recovery without the bottlenecks and single-points of failure that weigh down premise-based legacy systems, so your business can stay connected no matter what happens.

 

Contact our specialists to learn how 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center Platform can enrich the employee experience and deliver an exceptionally positive customer experience. 

The 8 Most-Asked Questions About Cloud Communications – Answered

81% of CIOs believe IT is entering a new era of customer-driven initiatives. Businesses are increasingly embracing cloud communications to craft better customer experiences. Some IT executives, failing to recognize the opportunities cloud solutions can bring to their businesses, are reluctant to adopt this new communications platform. Savvy CIOs view it as a key enabler of a more agile, connected employee and customer experience. They recognize that providing employees with a more aligned communications platform will empower them to deliver a superior experience for customers. As with any new technology, there are several misconceptions and questions to consider.

These 8 most-asked questions will shed some light on how transformative cloud communications can be for your business:

1. Is it cost-effective? Cloud is more agile and requires less infrastructure than its on-premises counterpart. You only pay for what you use, allowing most companies to reap the benefits of savings while gaining in highly desirable collaboration, mobility and customer engagement features for employees.

2. Is cloud right for my size business? Not all cloud solutions offer the robust capabilities and reliable platform to work as a successful communications model for companies. 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform supports 50,000 global businesses of all sizes, with a cloud solution that can grow with you, easily scaling up or down without compromising features.

3. How reliable is a cloud solution? Again, this depends on the solution you deploy, but cloud solutions are far more reliable than on-site hosted phone systems. 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform can increase your uptime significantly. Their agreements include a money-backed guarantee of 99.99% uptime.  Can your PBX provider offer the same? 

4. Will I get global call capabilities? With 15 redundant data centers distributed across the globe, 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform offers international local, toll-free and local number transfer services in over 80 countries. Plus, 8x8’s patented geo-routing algorithm delivers the highest call quality regardless of where the caller is in the world.

5. How accessible is it? If it is a complete cloud communications solution, the solution delivers the full breadth of UC and contact center capabilities with the flexibility to add capabilities and users as needed. This includes contact centers and calling platforms. With a cloud communications system from 8x8 everything is accessible anytime, anywhere from any device.

6. Can it do what my phone does now? Nobody wants you to give up capabilities. A cloud communications solution from 8x8 offers you the full breadth of capabilities you depend on today including voice, video, messaging, meetings and customer engagement tools to improve productivity and revenues for your company.

7. Is a cloud solution secure and compliant with government regulations? It should be! 8x8’s Cloud Communications and Contact Center platform is backed with industry-leading security and compliance standards and has passed third-party audits for compliance with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, FISMA and other U.S. regulations.

8. How do you pay for cloud? Cloud solutions are often more accessible to businesses of any size because instead of a capital outlay, they can be paid for monthly as an operating expense. 8x8‘s flexible mix of service packages provide more cost-effective solutions, while also reducing the amount of specialized IT skills and resources required to make the phones work.

Not all cloud communications solutions are created equal. A single Cloud Communications and Contact Center solution from 8x8 offers companies ONE platform that aligns and engages on all channels, creating a harmonized platform that empowers employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Everyone’s talking about cloud solutions. Get the facts first. Contact us to learn more.

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