Blog

March 14th, 2014

Operationally Mature Cloud-Providers typically charge on a “per-user” basis, ranging from $70 to $350 per user per month. The main variables affecting per-user price include the types of applications, data storage/size requirements, data retention periods, security measures, complexity of your environment, services that are bundled with cloud computing power, number of servers, availability of multiple data centers, disaster recovery options, and compliance levels. This fixed-fee approach makes pricing transparent and monthly bills predictable.

Other cloud providers price on a “per-user-plus-cost” model that includes the above variables plus other costs. The “plus costs” may include items such as bandwidth usage, power consumption, cooling requirements, failover capabilities and number of multiple Internet Service Providers available. These built-in, provider-based revenue “safety valves” make it difficult for companies to calculate usage and, therefore, their monthly costs. “Plus costs” can vary greatly from month to month, bringing unpredictability to your monthly cloud-computing bill.  If you have more questions or would like a customized quote, call Jennifer at 678-730-2703 or email Jennifer@mis-solutions.com.

 

March 14th, 2014

If you are considering cloud computing or Office 365 to save money and simplify IT, it’s important to understand what cloud computing is, how it works and the pros and cons. Even if you aren’t ready to move to the cloud, understanding it’s advantages and risks is a prudent move to prepare your business.   For a customized consultation for your business, call Jennifer at 678-730-2703.

 

March 14th, 2014

Migration PicMicrosoft is ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. If your organization has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late and the countdown is on.  To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office, you need to begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support.

What does end of support mean to you?  After April 8, 2014, there will be NO new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP and Office 2003 when support ends may expose your company to potential risks. Therefore, any computer or server with these software programs installed will be completely exposed to serious hacker attacks aimed at taking control of your network, stealing data, crashing your system, and inflicting a host of other business-crippling problems you do NOT want to have to deal with.

This is such a serious threat that all companies housing financial and medical information are being required by law to upgrade any and all computer systems running XP or Office 2003 because firewalls and anti-virus software will NOT be sufficient to completely protect them.

How do I begin my migration?  Call Jennifer at 678.730.2703 today to develop a migration plan for the hardware and software upgrades you need to avoid a serious security risk to your organization and stay competitive.

 

March 14th, 2014

Lliam

How to Double or Triple Your Business

Recently recognized as a member of the 2014 Accountability Group of the Year from among 630 IT business owners, CEO of MIS Solutions, Lliam Holmes understands what it takes to double or triple your business. During an interview about the group’s success, Lliam offered the following advice:

In order to solidify bigger deals, you must establish a process, assess results methodically, and be more active than your competition. MIS Solutions testifies that their successful business is built on the understanding that outperformance, innovation, and ridiculous amounts of activity yields a successful formula for their business. The key to doubling or tripling business resides in the following strategy:

Your process must be strategic

In business, you must know “how” to execute and be “ready” when the time comes. When you know how, and you execute, you can revisit the results and make strategic changes that ultimately make the final results better.

Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity

Many people become paralyzed waiting on the right opportunity in business but, the best thing you can do for your business is look at marketing strategies and get started as soon as possible.

Outperform the competition

Successful people multitask. They have many projects going on at the same time because they know all of them will not be successful. The important aspect about multitasking is the need to be deliberate and understand that some things fail.

Develop an evaluation process

An evaluation process established in advance will allow you to objectively cut projects that are failures.   Following the aforementioned steps will help you double or triple your business.

Additionally, you can call the office at 678-730-2703 and talk to Jennifer. Don’t allow your shortcomings to limit you instead, they should motivate you to success.

 

February 4th, 2014

10xrulebookimageIf you get to know Lliam or myself, you’ll find that we are obsessed with making our team, clients, MIS and everyone we encounter successful.  As life-long students, we are constantly searching for new ideas and strategies to build upon our successes and share with our friends.  Since June of 2013, we’ve become obsessive with the idea of the 10X rule, which is really a mindset to help you achieve “Massive Action” results and accomplish your dreams.

I recently read the book: The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone and if you are obsessed with success, it’s a must read for you too.  Here’s what this is all about: Most people operate with only three degrees of action-no action, retreat, or normal action. If you’re after big goals, you don’t want to settle for the ordinary. To achieve the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also know as the 10 X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals  a way to realize their goals and dreams.

The 10 X Rule unveils the principle of “Massive Action,” allowing you to blast through business clichés and risk-aversion while taking concrete steps to reach your dreams. It also demonstrates why people get stuck in the first three actions and how to move into making the 10X Rule a discipline. Find out exactly where to start, what to do, and how to follow up each action you take with more action to achieve Massive Action results.

  • Learn the “Estimation of Effort” calculation to exceed your targets
  • Make the Fourth Degree a way of life and defy mediocrity
  • Discover the time management myth
  • Get the exact reasons why people fail and others succeed
  • Know the exact formula to solve problems

Extreme success is by definition outside the realm of normal action. Instead of behaving like everybody else and settling for average results, take Massive Action with The 10 X Rule, remove luck and chance from your business equation, and lock in massive success. If you have further questions about the 10X Rule, shoot me an email to Jennifer@mis-solutions.com

 

February 4th, 2014

Shiny New Gadget of Month

It’s the No. 1 New Year’s Resolution – lose weight and get in shape. And by now you are either well on your way to achieving that resolution or you have gotten sidetracked and are back to your old ways. Either way, this little gadget can help you. Whether you want to get on track or just stay there, the FitBit One™ can keep you in line.

This little device uses Bluetooth technology to track and report your steps, distance, calories burned and stairs climbed. Come nightfall, it measures your sleep quality, helps you learn how to sleep better and wakes you in the morning. You can even sync it with a smartphone app to track the food you eat and other activities you perform that burn additional calories.

For just $99, it’s a great companion to help keep you motivated and on track with your fitness goals. Remember Pearson’s Law: “That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” Check it out at www.fitbit.com

December 30th, 2013

Disconnecting from TechnologyThe New Year brings renewal in our lives. It is a time that many people vow to make changes to correct certain behaviors in their life that are causing them pain or harm. With technology improvements, it has rapidly become difficult to disconnect from technology, which can cause harm in our health and sanity. Here are 9 simple steps you can take this year to disconnect from your technology, even if for just a little while:

1. Turn it off. Whether overnight or on a day each weekend, turn off technology and feel the peace of disconnecting from the connected world.

2. “No Tech Night.” Get your family involved. Turn off the TV. No iPhones or tablets. No work to catch up. Read a book. Play a board game. Or even just talk with each other!

3. No E-mails First Thing In The AM. Focus on YOUR biggest task first before you dive into everyone else’s agenda.

4. Social Media 1x Per Day Only. Set a certain time each and every day to check social media and then stay off the rest of the day.

5. Read Actual Printed Materials. Books, magazines, a real newspaper or this monthly newsletter!

6. Don’t Sleep Next To Your Phone. Leave it in the other room. You’ll sleep easier.

7. Get Outdoors. Simple, but effective.

8. No Cellphones During Dinner! Enjoy your food and the company around you.

9. Set Your “Work Hours” And Stick With Them. You’re not expected to work every hour of the day. Take your life back and just live a little.

December 30th, 2013

Mike Wolfe American PickersEarlier this year, I had a fantastic opportunity to meet Mike Wolfe from American Pickers. He shared his journey as a boy digging through the trash to becoming a  TV hit series star.  His story was inspirational, fun, energizing and full of wisdom for any entrepreneur chasing after their dreams.  Since this month marks a new beginning, I wanted to share some of Mike’s Wisdom with you to encourage and lift you up as Lliam and I were.

1. The importance of MAKING it happen everyday.  Mike has been self-employed for over 26 years and he claims a key to his success is – he simply gets up and has created a habit of “Making It Happen” every single day.  He said this with such compassion and conviction – you could tell that it has been a rough road.  Nevertheless, he “made it happen” each and every day.

2. Core Value – Make A Personal Tangible Difference In Other’s Lives.  Mike shared that he always knew he was suppose to make a personal difference in other people’s lives – not just writing a check to some nameless, faceless person.  His heart told him to make a personal connection with people.  As an example, he is a “hugger” when he meets someone new or serves others.  He said there is something magical about connecting with others.  This sentiment hit home for me – because I hug others as well.  Maybe it’s just a southern thing –we, here in the south, slow down and just give people hugs. Likewise, his show American Pickers gives him this opportunity everyday.  The show is not about the junk – it’s about the personal stories and connections the people have with their stuff.  He thoroughly enjoys learning and sharing those stories with others – it’s about the people and their stories that make him love the show so much.

3. Stay Grounded and Remain True To Yourself.  As Mike’s success grew, doors opened and opportunities blossomed.  Some were good and others just didn’t set right with him.  He said “No” to many opportunities that others dreamed of because he had strong convictions about his beliefs, right and wrong.  I can tell you – that after you have sweated blood and tears for a personal passion – it’s hard to say “No” to opportunities but I applaud Mike for staying “True Blue” to his values.   In doing so, the “right opportunities” presented themselves.  He is a living example that one can fulfill their dreams and stay true to one’s core and central values.

4. Being Told No Is An Opportunity.  Mike pitched his TV series countless times and faced too many rejections to count.  Instead of giving up, he used these moments as opportunities to improve and better his game.  He said that “No – often simply means not right now – not No forever.”  Taking this outlook, he pressed on and eventually the right opportunities presented themselves.

  • Tapping Into Your Alternative Energy. As Mike shared his story, it became    very apparent that he is extremely open minded.  He kept referring to “tapping into his alternative energy” and being intentional about not future casting how things should work out.  As he was rejected time and time again, he always tapped into his “alternative energy” to see new possibilities emerge – perspectives not yet explored.  He said this practice has been a game changer for his personal development, relationships and career.  He encouraged us to do the same.
  • So when I talked with him 1:1 after his on stage discussion, it was as if the world stopped around us.  He gave me his 100% undivided attention.  I told him I admired his conviction on being a hugger and that like him, I was a hugger and stronger for it.  Next thing I know, he gave me the biggest bear hug like we were old kindred spirits. It caught me off guard and I giggled like a school girl. His gesture spoke loudly and illustrated his genuine love of connecting and impacting others. I hope you take these pearls of wisdom and apply them in your own journey to create moments and opportunities of a lifetime.

  All My Best, Jennifer

December 27th, 2013

Shiny Jan GadgetNow you can share the latest YouTube sensation, share that adorable video of kitty doing her tricks or watch a movie on the big screen, all from your phone. With the iPhone/iPad Pocket Projector, your iPhone’s screen can project an image reaching up to 85 inches diagonally and from as far as 10 feet away. It’s simple, easy to use and super quick to set up this mini-device.

The projector weighs less than 5 oz. and is smaller than a smartphone. The iPhone/iPad Pocket Projector can turn your ceiling, tent, blank wall or even the side of your house into a movie theater. The projector’s 640 x 480 pixel resolution ensures a nice picture, and a manual focus wheel enables you to “dial up” sharpness and clarity. (The sound still comes from your iPhone speaker, so for the best quality, you may want to invest in some new speakers to stream the audio.)

A free app enables you to magnify or rotate images and project everything from videos to a four-hour search for the perfect shoes. The internal battery provides two hours of projection and recharges via USB with the included cable. This device is compatible with most iPhones/iPads, except the iPhone 5, the new iPad with Retina Display and the iPad Mini. Get one today at www.amazon.com.

 

December 26th, 2013

2014 Image1. Test your backup system.  More often that not, most companies have data backup systems that are out of sight and out of mind.  The most important part of any backup system is the routine testing of the data recovery procedures.  The time to test your system is not after a disaster.  Our Greenlight Rapid Recovery clients tell us they love the fact that we are monitoring and testing their backups daily so that when the server does have a problem, they have peace of mind that we will recover in 30 minutes or less. If you need help testing your system or reviewing how long it would take to recover a key server in the event of a crash, give us a call.

2. Replace Old PCs and Servers that run the following programs: Windows XP, Microsoft Exchange 2003, Microsoft Office 2003, or Windows Small Business Server 2003. Why? Because Microsoft will no longer be supporting these systems effective 4/8/2014 which means no more patches, updates or security releases.  We recommend replacing or upgrading any machines running these programs on or before 4/8/2014 to prevent new viruses or security exploits targeted at these systems.

3. Encrypt your email. Every week there are reports of cyber attacks and data breeches.  If you deal with credit card numbers, banking numbers or personal identifiable information (social security numbers, birthdates etc.), we recommend your consider email encryption to prevent unauthorized access.

4. Map out your IT strategic plan. Clients that report the least downtime and lowest IT costs are those make time to map out their IT strategic plan.  What does this mean?  Annually, they sit down with Team MIS to evaluate security, data protection, PC and server replacement strategies, mobility plans, cloud based solutions, strategies to lower costs and improve employee productivity.  We then map out a plan and budget  to help them eliminate risks and maintain their systems.

If you need help or have questions about any of these recommendations, give Jennifer a call at 678-730-2703 or email Jennifer@mis-solutions.com