Get to know Microsoft Windows 10

The Windows 10 operating system introduces a new way to build, deploy, and service Windows. Windows 10 is the best combination of the Windows you already know, in addition, there are a lot of excellent improvements you would like to have.

Windows 10 brings a new set of capabilities for identity, information protection, and malware resistance. For total protection, Windows 10 helps you stay up to date on the latest features and has more built-in security protections to help to keep your system safe. Windows 10 delivers entirely new ways to protect your business from modern threats.

For years, companies have leveraged Microsoft Windows solutions for their business needs and innovation. Windows 10 represents a renewed committed to superior levels of choice and personalization. In an evolving cloud-first and mobile-first world, organizations can continue to trust Microsoft and Broadview Networks to provide the richest solutions across virtually any device with enterprise-quality security.

Key feature innovations in Windows 10:

  • Protection against modern security threats
  • Familiar and productive user experience
  • Managed for continuous innovation
  • Range of innovative devices
  • Industry solutions

Contact us today to learn more about how Windows 10 can keep your organization safer than ever before.

Microsoft, Windows 10

Broadview Networks named as one of Canada’s Best Managed IT Companies

Broadview Networks has been named as one of Canada’s Best Managed IT Companies. This is the time and place where IT industry comes together to recognize the country’s best managed VARs, MSPs, and ITSPs. This award is a way to help the IT Channel to become bigger, better and stronger!

Broadview Networks has exceeded the best practices that are used to run a business by continuously demonstrating commitment and dedication towards their strategies, employees, customers, vendors, partners, and more.

Canada’s Best Managed IT Companies is a business assessment tool to evaluate 12 key areas of business essentials to measure best business practices. Broadview Networks has successfully demonstrated a powerful combination of vision and entrepreneurial spirit that achieves results and challenges the status quo.

“We are very proud of this award as it exemplifies our commitment to process, and our use of industry-leading tools to deliver the best possible customer experince”, said Michael Orloff, President of Broadview Networks.

Sales volume was not a factor in the assessment. It involved critical factors that enable the company to continue growing, being profitable, benchmark progress year over year, benchmark business practices to improve weaknesses and at the end persistence and constancy are one of the most important factors to successfully run a business.

About Canada’s Best Managed IT Companies

Canada’s Best Managed IT Companies is a free online business assessment tool exclusively for VARs, MSPs and ITSPs to be evaluated in 12 key areas of business with about 200 questions to measure best practices. For each country, 8 Judges/Coaches will be reviewing the applications and scoring them based on the 12 business categories as outlined below.

  1. Business Vision and Strategy
  2. Human Resources
  3. Sales Process
  4. Marketing Process
  5. Help Desk Support
  6. Business Operation Processes
  7. Supplier Strategy
  8. Product Strategy
  9. Intellectual Property
  10. Financial Management
  11. Leadership and Management
  12. Customer Satisfaction
Awards and Recognition

Broadview Networks Named One of Tech Elite Solution Providers

It’s almost a year since Broadview Networks announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Broadview Networks to its 2016 Tech Elite 250 list. This annual list honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology vendors.

To compile the annual list, The Channel Company’s research group and CRN editors work together to identify the most customer-beneficial technical certifications in the North American IT channel. Companies who have obtained these elite designations— which enable solution providers to deliver premium products, services and customer support—are then selected from a pool of online applicants.

Broadview Networks is a leading certified partner for Microsoft with 10 Gold & Silver Competencies, a leading Premier Partner for Dell, leading Premier Partner for IBM, leading Gold Partner for Fortinet, and certified in many other vendor technologies.

“The solution providers selected for our annual Tech Elite 250 list have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and gained strong industry credibility by earning some of the most difficult IT certifications available from top technology vendors,” said Robert Faletra, CEO, The Channel Company. “Attainment of these exclusive certifications strengthens the channel as a whole by invigorating partnerships and enabling the delivery of exceptional customer service. We congratulate each of these organizations and look forward to their continued success.”

“Mastery, is a Core Value of Broadview Networks, and we invest significantly to have elite certifications and capabilities.” said Michael Orloff, President and CEO of Broadview Networks, “We are proud to be recognized as leader in IT Certifications not only in Manitoba, but for all of North America.”

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

CRN is a registered trademark of The Channel Company, LLC. The Channel Company logo is a trademark of The Channel Company, LLC (registration pending). All rights reserved.

For more information contact us today or visit online  www.crn.com.

Awards and Recognition

Broadview Networks Recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employer

Time flies! It’s been a year since Broadview Networks has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers in 2016. Selected by a blue-ribbon academic Advisory Board, Broadview Networks was selected to receive this honour based on excellence in criteria such as employee communications, performance management, training/skills development, and community involvement.

“We’re incredibly excited to be honoured with a place on the 2016 Top 100 Small & Medium Employers list,” said Michael Orloff, President and CEO of Broadview Networks, “This serves as a well-deserved reward for the team’s diligent efforts.”

Canada’s SME sector is tremendously important to the nation and is responsible for over half of the nation’s gross domestic product, nearly 90 percent of the private-sector labour force, and over three-quarters of the new jobs created in the past decade. The complete list is published annually in a special magazine, available in The Globe and Mail.

“This is certainly recognition we’re proud to have achieved, and it’ll serve as a benchmark for Broadview Networks to keep working toward in the coming years,” said Orloff.

About Canada’s Top 100 Small & Medium Employers

Now entering its third year, Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes the nation’s best workplaces and forward-thinking human resources policies. Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same eight criteria as our national competition:

  1. Physical Workplace
  2. Work Atmosphere & Social;
  3. Health, Financial & Family Benefits;
  4. Vacation & Time Off;
  5. Employee Communications;
  6. Performance Management;
  7. Training & Skills Development; and
  8. Community Involvement.

To determine eligibility, the Top 100 editors adopted the SME definition used by Statistics Canada, limiting the competition to private-sector commercial organizations with under 500 employees.

For more information contact us today or please visit:  http://www.canadastop100.com/sme/

Awards and Recognition

The 2 Secrets to Office 365 Success that Most Companies Neglect

The explosion of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools and applications has been a boon for companies of all types and sizes, and few SaaS offerings have been as widely adopted as Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 extends all the capabilities of your legacy, on-premises Office applications that you’ve come to rely on into the cloud.

The enhanced productivity provided by Office 365 can be a game-changer for businesses. Team members can work together remotely, enabling enhanced internal collaboration as well as the potential to better leverage external human resources, such as freelancers or business partners. Additionally, employees can access their work from any location where they have Internet access. This means that they can work on any project, anywhere, at any time.

So how do you reap the benefits of Office 365? For starters, your team has to adopt and use Office 365. This may sound obvious, but poor adoption rates are a common problem for organizations that attempt to implement Office 365 without the proper skills and expertise.

Compounding the challenge is the fact that, if your team fails to adopt Office 365 within the first ninety days, there’s only a 10% chance they ever will. [1]

There are three primary components to successful Office 365 adoption: migration, training and ongoing support. While most companies know how to secure ongoing support, many falter in the migration and training components.

Mitigating Migration Problems

The process of migrating to Office 365 requires a specialized skillset, as well as the right technology to ensure all your data is transferred properly. Many organizations make the mistake of taking on migration themselves. This do-it-yourself approach is likely to result in lost data and an uncertain migration schedule, leaving you to pick up the pieces.

Finding the right managed service provider can help you overcome the obstacles faced by migration. An expert onboarding team will work with you to schedule migration and any downtime that may be required. Because managed service providers do this on a regular basis, they will know exactly how long migration will take. When migration is done, employees simply log in and begin work in the cloud.

Training for Office 365 Success

Transitioning to the cloud and SaaS represents a significant shift for most businesses. Even if you get the implementation and migration right, you will still have to train staff on how to use their new cloud applications. Without human-assisted onboarding, staff members are more likely to become frustrated trying to work with unfamiliar technology, and will revert to using what they know.

It may be tempting to send employees a welcome email or pre-packaged instruction manual. However, these strategies are often ineffective, resulting in either information overload or a lack of adequate information. Like most new skills, it is far more effective to have staff trained in-person; this way, all sticking points can be dealt with in real time, with employees receiving instruction tailored to their individual needs.

It’s All About Starting Off on the Right Foot

At Broadview Networks, we use our four-step engagement process when implementing cloud solutions for our clients. This begins with a cloud assessment, in which we review the cloud-readiness of your data infrastructure, cloud usage (if any), existing applications and services, and organizational readiness. The cloud assessment provides us with a thorough understanding of how your business works, and what you require from a cloud implementation.

Next, we build a strategic cloud vision. This is where we begin to implement Office 365 by introducing the components that will let you see the most immediate benefit to end-user productivity, without overwhelming your organization and increasing the rate of app churn. A common strategic starting point is the transition to Exchange Online, as it provides the same user experience as legacy, on-premises exchange, but with more reliability, extra storage, and additional features.

After easing your organization into its cloud transition, we begin to look at some of the following:

  • Expanding mobile access to documents with applications such as Office 365 and OneDrive for Business.
  • Integrating a SharePoint environment for increased data availability, as well as streamlining workflows and processes.
  • Implementing Skype for Business Meetings for complex real-time communication and enhanced remote collaboration.

The third phase is cloud adoption, where we focus on onboarding and training your employees. Our IT instructors work with the technologies they teach in real-world deployment and support scenarios, and use this experience while applying classroom theory to the needs of your environment.

The fourth and final phase is where we test, review and revise. Did employees adopt new applications and processes? What’s working, and what requires further optimization?

To learn more about the benefits of working with an experienced Managed Service Provider for your Office 365 implementation, contact us today to get started!

Author: Michael Orloff
President


[1] The 90/10 Rule of Adoption and Customer Success
http://research.scoutanalytics.com/churn/the-9010-rule-of-adoption-and-customer-success/

Microsoft, Office 365

Remote Access Solutions: Why VPNs Aren’t Enough

In a shifting business landscape that has introduced phenomena such as BYOD and teams made entirely of external contractors, the ability of organizations to provide their teams with remote access to data is proving more and more critical with each passing year. This should come as no surprise, as the benefits of an anytime, anywhere data infrastructure are numerous:

  • Remote data access gives employees flexibility over where they can perform their jobs.
  • “Day extenders” (employees who work after hours and on weekends) benefit from access to email and networked applications.
  • The ability to provide external contractors and teams with instant access to organizational data enables increased flexibility and more opportunities for business partnerships.

For years, organizations have relied on virtual private networks (VPNs) to provide remote employees and business partners with access to corporate and business systems. VPN technology is a cost-effective way for them to extend their network’s reach to anyone, anywhere, and has become ubiquitous with remote-access connectivity. However, the security risks posed by VPNs are beginning to outweigh the benefits.

The Trouble with VPNs

When a VPN is activated, there is usually a full connection between the remote network and the company network. This puts the company network at risk, as security threats have the potential to exploit the connection to the system through the less secure remote network. Additionally, employees may be accessing their company’s VPN from an unsecured network or an unsecured device, or without using security best practices (i.e. strong passwords), exposing them to cyber attack. Once an attacker breaks in, they have access to the same part of the network as the hacked employee does.

Further compounding the issue of widespread VPN use is the difficulty of support. VPN environments aren’t always compatible with every type of network, complicating end-user connectivity. For instance, users may find that their remote network is blocking access to the VPN, necessitating a needlessly complex set of steps for accessing company resources.

Introducing Remote Desktop Gateway on Windows Server 2016

Remote Desktop Services – specifically Remote Desktop Gateway (RDG) – enables the remote access capabilities of VPNs while providing a solution to their security and compatibility drawbacks. Via a secure sockets layer (SSL) connection, RDG allows users to securely connect to their work computer’s desktop via any machine with an Internet connection; all they need to know is the URL and name of their PC.

RDG is easily integrating into data environments, making secure, enterprise-grade remote management capabilities available to companies of all sizes. Anytime, anywhere access can be leveraged for critical business applications while providing remote users with the comfort and capability of their own computer.

RDG’s security and reliability are augmented when combined with Windows Server 2016:

  • Device Guard, a new security feature for Windows Server 2016 and the Windows 10 operating system, provides advanced protection against malware, and improved hardware and software system integrity that allows only trusted applications to run in your environment. Device Guard helps your organization better protect their operating system from being attacked by malicious outsiders, and strengthens your security posture.
  • Credential Guard provides secure Single Sign-On to a remote desktop server, making it easier for users to log onto a local PC once and access all remote services.
  • SQL Azure provides Remote Desktop Services Connection Broker database, allowing for multiple Remote Desktop Connection Brokers to access the cloud reliably.

For organizations looking for remote access capabilities, RDG on Windows Server 2016 is the strategic option. For more information on how Broadview Networks can help you implement a remote access infrastructure, contact us today to get started!

Author: Michael Orloff
President

Microsoft, Windows Server

Achieving Outbound AND Inbound Internet Redundancy with Azure Traffic Manager and Azure DNS

From field services providers who complete all of their “paperwork” online to retail outlets that host their inventory tracking software entirely in the cloud, we are now living in an age where modern businesses require constant Internet access in order to remain competitive.  Additionally, connections between business units, vendors and Small Office Home Offices (SOHOs) are all needed for continuity purposes, which in turn are expected to run around the clock, seven days a week.

For these reasons, businesses are always looking for ways to improve Internet uptime, the gold standard that is often referred to as “five-nines (99.999%) uptime.” This level of uptime guarantees virtually constant connectivity while allowing for a small amount of downtime due to unforeseen incidents and scheduled maintenance.  This may seem like an unachievably high standard to set; after all, things break, and events outside our control inevitably occur. But, given the importance of connectivity for business success, a highly available architecture needs to be created in which such unforeseen events will leave your Internet access unaffected.

Network Redundancy: The Common Sense Solution

The standard solution to the problem of Internet uptime is network redundancy. If you only have a single point of failure, then when it fails you lose your Internet connection. By putting in a second, redundant access method, you will be able to connect to resources and maintain business operations should your primary connection go down.

Installing a redundant Internet connection makes sense intuitively: if your Bell connection goes down, you’ll be able to switch seamlessly to your Rogers connection. Right?

On the surface, a redundant Internet connection seems like the perfect solution. However, when examined more carefully, it becomes apparent that it solves only half the problem. While a redundant ISP allows you to access outbound services, such as web browsing, they do not make inbound services like email and applications servers redundant. This is because inbound services are reliant on a host name lining up with an Internet Protocol (IP) address, which in turn is tied to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This means that, with a basic redundancy solution, when your ISP goes down you lose access to any mission-critical inbound services that are tied to it.

Achieving Redundancy the Hard (and Expensive) Way with BGP

For years, the only way to achieve inbound service redundancy was to use Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). BGP involves taking the prouting of your IP away from your ISP, severing the tie between them, thus enabling you to direct all of your outbound services to any ISP.

There are two main problems with BGP:

  • BGP input/output routing is complicated to configure, which means that you’ll need a full-time IT staff present to ensure that failover occurs quickly and seamlessly.
  • BGP is expensive. Most network providers’ SMB packages don’t include BGP capabilities, reserving them instead for enterprise-class corporations.

Because BGP is largely inaccessible for Canadian SMBs, many struggle to overcome the challenge of meeting five-nines availability standards. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Meet Microsoft Azure Traffic Manager with Azure DNS

The solution to achieving inbound redundancy alongside outbound is found in the combination of Azure DNS and Azure Traffic Manager. Azure DNS replaces your current IP address for all of your inbound services. Then Traffic Manager checks your services for the ISP they are tied to, and sends back an IP address from one of your active ISPs. Traffic Manager then gives Azure an available IP address, while sending the correct IP address to the inbound service.

If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is. The important thing to note is that, with DNS and Traffic Manager, you gain inbound service redundancy without the expensive BGP routing.

Attempting to implement Traffic Manager and Azure DNS solutions represents a significant challenge for the IT departments of most SMBs. At Broadview, we help our customers assess which of their inbound services benefit from Azure Traffic Manager/DNS. We then ensure your firewall environment is set up for secure failover. We also configure your entire Azure environment, ensuring that everything works as it should.

For more information on how your organization can benefit from Microsoft Azure Traffic Manager and Azure DNS, contact us today to get started!

Author: Michael Orloff
President

Azure, Microsoft

Is your Network Future Ready?

Dell EMC Networking offers an innovative disaggregated-hardware/software solution for data center networking. This solution gives you the power to transform your network and accelerate data-center innovation with simplified, high-capacity network fabrics.

Enterprise organizations are dealing with highly dynamic computing, storage and networking needs at a greater capacity than ever before. The primary factors driving the industry are mobility, cloud computing, big data, and the Internet of Things (IOT). However, In today’s data center, rapid increases in virtualization, cloud deployments, and big data analysis have created new challenges as organizations look to build IT infrastructures that meet today’s and tomorrow’s business demands.

This open approach enables businesses to simplify their data center networking through complete disaggregation, including disaggregating the operating system from the hardware, disaggregating the virtual network from the physical network, and disaggregating the control plane from the data plane. Dell truly believes that our open network solutions stimulate rapid innovation by helping our customers achieve unprecedented levels of flexibility and efficiency. As well as, enables IT managers to leverage open-source tools and provide expertise to help reduce costly engineering overhead.

Broadview Networks commitment to networking expertise with Dell EMC’s award-winning line of switching products.

Contact us today to get started!

Dell, Networking

Dell EMC Compellent SC Storage

Dell EMC SC9000 is one of the fastest, most capable, and scalable midrange storage systems. It’s a highly impressive storage array that surpasses all their expectations. The SC9000 provides an ideal solution for large-scale storage, high-end workloads, and distributed enterprise environments. It is ideal for a private cloud deployment, provides business continuity, and enable transparent auto-failover to synchronized backup volumes on another SC series array.

The SC9000 combines centralized support, education and sales resources with 24×7 active system monitoring to help improve performance and stability. With SC9000, flash becomes practical and cost-effective at any scale, extending its proven competitive advantages to more aspects of your data- business.

Pros include:

  • Best-in-class data deduplication and compression technology
  • Integrated management with Dell EqualLogic PS arrays via the Dell Storage Manager
  • Dell Copilot integrated support platform

The SC9000 is the perfect capstone to a virtualized next-gen portfolio that now encompasses entry to the largest enterprise in one unified platform. With this release, Dell is actually offering ALL businesses an on-ramp to a supremely adaptable solution that can evolve cost-effectively to the highest levels.

Modern SC family values:

  1. Better flash optimization
  2. Deeper tiering, beyond flash
  3. Faster assimilation of new technologies
  4. Simultaneous scale UP and OUT
  5. Smarter data reduction
  6. “Always available” storage
  7. Pervasive enterprise integrations

Contact us today to get started!

Dell, Storage

Protecting Your Organization from Cyber Threats

CyberSAFE Training for ALL Employees

It’s possible that you may have escaped a data breach in 2016, but it’s not likely that you will do the same in 2017 unless your employees are properly prepared to recognize and avoid cyber threats.  Don’t let your organization become the latest victim of a data breach.

95% of all security incidents are due to human error.  Training your employees to detect and avoid cyber threats is critical to protecting your organization’s data.  In Broadview Networks’ CyberSAFE end-user security training and certificate program, students will learn to identify and avoid the most common risks involved in using conventional, mobile, and cloud technologies.

Corporate Benefit:

CyberSAFE allows organizations to increase their security posture quickly and with minimal investment by ensuring that end-users are equipped with the knowledge necessary to be good stewards of their organizations’ data.

Employee Benefit:

This half-day course is designed for non-technical end-users of computers, mobile devices, networks, and the Internet, enabling employees of any organization to use technology more securely to minimize digital risks.

Course Outcomes:

Students will identify many of the common risks involved in using conventional end-user technology, as well as ways to use it safely, to protect themselves and their organizations from those risks.

Training Credential:

This course is designed to prepare students for the Certified CyberSAFE credential.  Students can obtain their Certifi­ed CyberSAFE certi­ficate by completing the Certified CyberSAFE credential process on the CyberSafeCert.com platform after completing this training.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: Identifying the Need for Security

  • Identify Security Compliance Requirements
  • Recognize Social Engineering

Lesson 2: Securing Devices

  • Maintain Physical Security of Devices
  • Use Passwords for Security
  • Protect Your Data
  • Identify and Mitigate Malware
  • Use Wireless Devices Securely

Lesson 3: Using the Internet Securely

  • Browse the Web Safely
  • Use Email Securely
  • Use Social Networking Securely
  • Use Cloud Services Securely

Duration:

3.5 hours (inclusive of the time required to complete the Certifi­ed CyberSAFE credential process)

Exam/Credential:

CyberSAFE is accompanied by the Certi­fied CyberSAFE credential process. This brief online credential covers 20 questions, and is included as part of the course.

“End-user awareness and training reduces security-related risks by 45% to 70%”. – Reuters.com

To learn more and gain a CyberSAFE certified credential

Register Today!

Contact us today to get started!

Training & Skills Development