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Most Recent Articles



Are You Listening to Your Data? Using Business Intelligence Tools in the IT Sector

Posted by on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 with 0 Comments

The amount of data available to businesses today is staggering. Many marketing and sales departments can quantify exactly how many television advertisements or how many cold calls or how many proposals it takes to equal a specific number of customers or revenue. Quite literally, the influx of data available makes many parts of an organization a living, breathing math formula where a specified input results in a predictable output.

As an IT services provider, you too have quantifiable data to measure in the pursuit of working more efficiently and effectively. That said, however, the results you are after aren’t as easily defined as activities like lead generation and customer satisfaction. From a technical perspective, your data is much more specific in nature, but wider in scope. From server uptime to the time it takes to close a support ticket, your data is telling you what you need to know to run a better IT organization. But are you listening?

IT and big data

Turn all that data into valuable insights about your organization.
Image courtesy of Dell’s Official Flickr Page

Understanding the information at your disposal requires some help. Business intelligence tools, or “BI” for short, are available from companies like SAP, Microsoft, Tableau Software, and many others. Choosing a BI tool for your organization starts with understanding exactly what you are trying to measure. Here are four key metrics that IT service providers should be measuring on a regular basis.

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Moving to a Colocation Facility? Here’s How to Handle Your IT Hardware Relocation

Posted by on Monday, February 24th, 2014 with 1 Comments

“I can’t find the cable.” Dennis was frustrated. He’d packed the server room himself and the entire team was working over the weekend to move their hardware into a nearby colocation facility. The facility they’d chosen had excellent power and connectivity, as well as on-site engineers ready to help at any time of day. They had leased just the right amount of space and gotten a great price. Now everyone was standing around waiting on him to connect the storage array. As luck would have it, Dennis couldn’t find the power cable for the primary SAN.

A lost cable. Mismatched servers. A broken hard drive. Moving your IT hardware to a colocation facility brings with it the same risks as moving from one house to another. While some people view IT hardware relocation as a simple process, there is actually substantial risk that must be addressed. Leaving your organization open to mishap can greatly affect your timeline for implementation and the continuity of your business operations. Here is a simple checklist designed to make your transition to a colocation facility a success.

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Anatomy of a Network Assessment: Retaking Control of Your IT Environment

Posted by on Friday, February 21st, 2014 with 3 Comments

Larry was planning an entire refresh of his organization’s storage array. Big-name vendors like Dell and EMC were asking for meetings once a week. Bids and proposals were arriving almost daily. Budget dollars for the project were allocated and the company CIO told Larry, the head of in-house IT, that the project was to be completed by the end of the quarter. Larry was spending all day, every day learning about exciting new systems and services that could benefit the company and make the entire IT backbone stronger for years to come.

One day, the CIO asked Larry what the holdup was. Surely there had been enough time to consider all of the options and make a decision. In fact, Larry had presented his ideas just last week to the entire board and a consensus was reached on which direction to go with regard to the hardware, software, and services needed. Why wasn’t the project moving forward?

The truth was… Larry didn’t know where to start.

Server room and worker

Tracking all hardware is imperative to your IT success.
Image courtesy of Flickr’s Creative Commons, user Reynermedia

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No More Windows XP… Are You Ready? Transitioning from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8.1

Posted by on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 with 4 Comments

The sign of a great product is when customers and clients refuse to upgrade to the newer version because the “old” version works so well. In technology, nowhere is this more evident than the number of Windows XP licenses still in use today. Despite the release of Windows Vista, Windows 7, and now Windows 8 (and 8.1), an untold number of businesses continue to utilize a legacy operating system that was released by Microsoft almost 13 years ago.

Think about all of the amazing technical developments and breakthroughs that happened after the release of Windows XP in October of 2001. Concepts like “cloud computing” were just coming into widespread use. The iPhone wouldn’t be released for six years. Dual Core processors hadn’t reached mass adoption. VOIP service was still notoriously unreliable and expensive in most instances. Yet the operating system Microsoft released before each of those technologies matured continues to have not just a presence, but a significant share of the operating system install base in many enterprise environments.

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6 Steps to a Smoother Move to Your New Colocation Facility

Posted by on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 with 5 Comments

You’ve finally decided that having your on-site server room isn’t a good use of resources. Aside from the expensive A/C bill and the need for on-site technicians, you’ve always been worried that maybe building security isn’t as robust as it should be. And with the tornados that seem all too common in the area, you’ll feel better moving your data, disaster recovery, and application servers to a colocation facility that can offer better stability for your IT assets. You’ve researched different options and met with different providers and finally settled on a colocation facility that offers round-the-clock monitoring and management, excellent security, and on-premise engineers to help in mission-critical issues. You can gain physical access whenever you like, even on holidays. Yes, it’s time to make the switch. The contracts are signed. You even gained approval for new hardware to install at the colocation facility to take your organization’s IT backbone into the future.   

a secure colo facility

There are abundant benefits to moving to a colo facility.
Image courtesy of Rich Miller via

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