Our July Client of the Month is Jackie Gregg, Controller at Control Chief, a manufacturer of industrial crane remote control and locomotive remote control solutions. We have had the pleasure of working with Jackie since the early days of Databranch and have enjoyed partnering with Control Chief for their IT needs since 2009. Our mission is to help our clients succeed through effective planning, implementation and management of their technology and as Jackie says in the video below, “What do I have? I have peace of mind. I can go on vacation for a week and know that my servers are going to run and my people are going to keep working. If there’s a problem all I have to do is pick up the phone and I’m going to have someone here onsite with the problem fixed and that’s well worth the price we pay you every month. Would I recommend Databranch? Highly.”
Recently, a few of our Office 365 Exchange Online clients have been receiving correspondence from Microsoft concerning the version of Outlook they are using. The message is Outlook 2007 and 2010 are out of mainstream support and their users might start experiencing reduced functionality. In this post, I’ll answer the two biggest questions we have been receiving from our clients, “What does this mean for me? and What do you recommend I do?”
What does the end of mainstream support for Outlook 2010 mean for my organization?
In general, there are two levels of end of support Microsoft products move into: End of Mainstream Support and End of Extended Support. When a product enters into the end of mainstream support it means Microsoft will no longer be releasing any non-security updates or new software design changes. The program will still function and is not a security risk to your network since Microsoft keeps releasing security fixes until the End of Extended Support date but because new features will not be added the software may not be as compatible with newer programs like Office 365 Exchange Online which is constantly being updated and improved to provide the highest level of service to subscription customers. This is why Microsoft is urging clients using their hosted email platform to upgrade their Outlook clients. Even though you will still be able to use Office 365 and connect to the platform for email, your experience will diminish over time and Microsoft won’t provide code fixes to resolve non-security related problems.
What does Databranch recommend our clients to do?
We recommend that organizations start upgrading their Outlook to a client that is still in Mainstream Support like Outlook 2013 or 2016 or start budgeting for Office upgrades. Like Windows 7, Outlook 2010 will be in Extended Support until 2020 and all users will want to be upgraded prior to the end of support date in October of that year.
Is your organization looking to migrate your email platform to Office 365? Databranch is a Microsoft Certified Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Provider and is ready to assist with your migration. A Databranch Cloud Solutions specialist can be reached at 716-373-4467 ext. 15, email@example.com, or click here to get started.
Our June Client of the Month is Mary Comstock, Treasurer at Dura-Bilt Products, Inc., a manufacturer of aluminum products including awnings, sun rooms, screen rooms, storm windows, and doors. Dura-Bilt has been in business since 1958 and Databranch has had the pleasure of partnering with them for their IT needs since 2004 and their DSL days. The key to our longstanding relationship according to Mary, “You guys treat us very well. It’s the service that we’ve gotten that keeps us here with you and loyal. If you see an issue you’re reaching out to us immediately to get it resolved. You’re more of a proactive than reactive provider and I feel like family in the sense that we know about each other’s personal lives outside of business relationships. Can you go someplace else and find IT cheaper, probably, but will they give you the same service probably not.”
Since becoming a Databranch Comprehensive Care client Dura-Bilt has seen many benefits including speed of reaction time, employee productivity, and peace of mind. From Mary’s perspective, “When we have an issue it’s addressed very quickly which really makes a big difference. I can call and talk to someone immediately and I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than an hour for a response. Employee productivity has gone up because we have less downtime from computer issues and everything seems to run smoothly. Just knowing I have people out there who are very knowledgeable and take care of our needs very quickly gives me peace of mind that we can get back into business processes very quickly”
One memorable service challenge our businesses worked through together occurred in 2011 when the Dura-Bilt office flooded. During our interview Mary recalled, “We needed to setup a makeshift office and you guided us through what steps we should take to make sure that we kept any damage to a minimum and it worked. We were back up and running the next day. We had computers in the break room, walls were torn down, and we were working at coffee tables but I give a lot of credit to your team for being there for us and walking us through all the steps we needed to take to make it through that.”
Databranch makes it a priority to stay up-to-date with the latest technology especially in the area of business continuity and Mary emphasized how valuable this is to her and Dura-Bilt. “Your team is always looking at what the next step is before I would even think of it. For example with the Datto, our latest device for backups. We always had an in-house backup and we’d have to take the drive out and off-premises and now we don’t need to worry about that since we have the cloud backup and the Datto machine itself. You guys are always one step ahead of us which says a lot.”
When asked about Databranch’s relationship with Dura-Bilt, Databranch President David Prince had the following to say, “We are grateful for our long standing partnership with Mary and Dura-Bilt Products. They are truly one of our favorite clients and a pleasure to work with. If a measure of success is the quality and strength of the relationships you develop along the way, we have a very successful relationship with Dura-Bilt and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”
During this time of year the threat of fire, flood, severe storms, water damage from office sprinklers, and even theft is very real.
One of the most valuable assets for any company is its data. Hardware and software can easily be replaced, but a company’s data cannot!
As a reminder to all of our clients and friends, here are some simple things you should do to make sure your company is ready for any natural disaster.
Back Up Your Data Remotely! Everyone knows that data should be backed up on a daily basis, but many people still use in-house backup systems that will get damaged in a natural disaster or fire, and can easily be stolen. We recommend backing up all data to an off-site location, and we offer this as a service to our clients.
Use a Quality Surge Protector With Uninterruptible Power Supply Battery. A high quality surge protector combined with an uninterruptible power supply battery backup will go a long way in protecting sensitive electronic equipment from surges and other electronic irregularities that can destroy your computer’s circuitry.
Make Sure Your Servers Are Off The Floor Or In The Cloud. If your office gets flooded, having your equipment off the floor will prevent it from being completely destroyed. Server racks can be purchased and installed very inexpensively. Or consider moving your critical server equipment to the cloud and be protected no matter the weather!
Have A Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan. Every business should have some type of plan in place for continued operation after a disaster. Would people know where to go? Who to call? How to log in and access data remotely? Hopefully you’ll never need it, but having a simple plan will make you sleep a lot easier at night knowing you have a way to continue to operate when disaster strikes.
FREE Report: The 10 Disaster Planning Essentials For Any Small Business
Don’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve in an instant! This report will reveal important planning strategies you should have in place now to protect yourself from common data-erasing disasters including natural hazards, human error, cyber criminals, hardware failure, software corruption and other IT failures.
Databranch, Inc. Achieves a Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud SolutionsCompetency
Databranch, Inc. earns distinction through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.
Olean, NY— April 13th , 2016 — Databranch, Inc.,an information technology solution provider specializing in Managed Services, Networking, Business Continuity and Security, today announced it has achieved a Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft Corp. customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment. To earn a Microsoft silver competency, partners must successfully demonstrate expertise through rigorous exams, culminating in Microsoft certifications. And to ensure the highest quality of services, Microsoft requires customer references for successful implementation and customer satisfaction.
“This Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency showcases our expertise with today’s rapidly evolving cloud technology market and demonstrates our knowledge of Microsoft solutions,” said David Prince, Databranch President. “Our plan is to accelerate our customers’ success by serving as technology advisors for their business demands.”
“By achieving a silver competency, organizations have proven their expertise in specific technology areas, placing them among the top 5 percent of Microsoft partners worldwide,” said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “When customers look for an IT partner to meet their business challenges, choosing a company that has attained Microsoft competencies is a smart move. These are highly qualified professionals with access to Microsoft technical support and product teams.”
The Microsoft Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency is earned by demonstrating expertise and commitment to delivering solutions tailored to small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Because of our focus on helping SMBs adopt cloud computing in order to accelerate their business operations, we invested and attained this competency to project our readiness to address the rising customer demand for Microsoft cloud solutions.
The Microsoft Partner Network helps partners strengthen their capabilities to showcase leadership in the marketplace on the latest technology, to better serve customers and, with 640,000 Microsoft partners in their ecosystem, to easily connect with one of the most active, diverse networks in the world.
Established in 1985.
Databranch, Inc., is an IT consulting and outsourcing provider serving local, national and international businesses in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania since 1985. We help our clients use information technology to cut costs, increase efficiencies and enhance customer service across four main areas: managed services, networking, business continuity and security.
When it comes to avoiding downtime, Databranch, Inc. is among the best of the best. The IT consulting/outsourcing provider and Datto partner has been operating out of western New York for over 30 years, delivering managed services, networking and security.
David Prince, President of Databranch, is a big fan of the Datto business continuity solution. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, so we have a good idea of what does and doesn’t work. Tape backup has proven to be unreliable and can add days to the recovery process. For years, I was on a quest to find something better, and Datto has been that and more ever since we’ve partnered with them,” according to Prince.
He cites the ability to extend support to clients remotely as one of the biggest features that help his business thrive. According to Prince, Datto has helped grow his business, and differentiate Databranch from other MSPs.
“Datto has been a lifesaver for us ever since we adopted the solution. It’s given me peace of mind knowing we can recover in any situation. Since we cover such a large geographical region, being able to get a client back up and running remotely has saved valuable time and money for our clients; especially when dealing with inclement weather or urgent issues,” said Prince.
Working in such a large and diverse region, Databranch serves a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing. One of those clients is Clarion Sintered Metals, a powdered-metal manufacturer located in Pennsylvania. Clarion runs a 24/7/365 operation, so downtime is never an option.
When Clarion’s servers crashed, Databranch was there to save the day and keep operations running as normal. Thanks to a proactive MSP and their Datto solution, Clarion didn’t suffer any downtime.
To learn how Databranch and Datto protected Clarion, download the full success story here.
To receive more information about how Databranch and Datto can help your organization fill out the form below to be contacted by a Databranch business continuity expert!
The explosion in recent years of mobility solutions and employee’s bringing their own devices has had a big impact on small businesses. In fact, 52 percent of information workers across 17 countries report using three or more devices for work, according to research from Forrester and 61 percent of workers mix personal and work on their devices.
On one hand, there are huge benefits for organizations and employees — employees can be far more productive and work on the go with untethered access to the information they need. Business owners can also realize cost savings while reducing the time spent managing IT. Yet, there are risks: namely, how do businesses protect confidential information from leaking outside of the organization when employees can access and store data in a multitude of ways across devices.
When employees use personal devices for work, they can be mishandled inadvertently, like an accidental forward of a confidential mail, or in more nefarious ways, such as a hacker gaining access to confidential information through stolen credentials. According to a Verizon data breach investigation report, 75 percent of network intrusions used weak or stolen credentials to gain access.
It’s important to have a strong device policy in place but even when the rules are clear, there is room left for costly errors. CEB found that as many as 93 percent of employees admit to violating information security policies. That means, depending on your business, there is a wide variety of data that could be at risk. It may be customers’ personally identifiable information, such as in healthcare, retail or financial institutions, or company confidential information, such as trade secrets, company financials, or employee records. With so much data available, traditional company firewalls and perimeter solutions no longer suffice to protect confidential information wherever it lives. Today, many small businesses are cobbling together a number of solutions to attempt to solve this problem. But none tie it all together until now.
Microsoft has developed Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), which is the only comprehensive solution that protects information assets across four layers: user identity, content, applications & cloud services, and devices. When combined with Office 365, it offers native protection for applications and services your customers use every day. Best of all, it’s about half the cost of competitive solutions. Not only is EMS flexible and easy to integrate, it offers enterprise-grade security for small businesses. Key security features include:
Threat detection: Detect abnormal user behavior, suspicious activities, known malicious attacks and security issues right away.
Conditional access: Control access to applications and other corporate resources like email and files with policy-based conditions that evaluate criteria such as device health, user location etc.
Single sign-on: Sign in once to cloud and on-premises web apps from any device. Pre-integrated support for Salesforce, Concur, Workday, and thousands more popular SaaS apps.
To learn more about protecting your business, visit Microsoft Enterprise Mobility or watch this video. Ready to integrate EMS? Reach out to Databranch at 373-4467 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
You Already Take Security Seriously… Why Not Take Security to the Next Level with Strong, Easy-to-Manage Passwords?
Password Management as a Service
Your business has always taken security seriously and been mindful of protecting your data. You’ve invested in firewalls, anti-virus programs, spam filtering, and backup/disaster recovery tools. But when is the last time you considered the first line of defense beyond all these security measures? Passwords are used to protect your systems, data, and online accounts; however, the difficulty of remembering strong passwords often puts people off creating them. Interested in learning more about Databranch’s new password management service? Reach out to a Databranch Account Manager at 716-373-4467, email@example.com, or click here to get started.
Our Password Management as a Service offering makes it simple for you to use strong passwords while delivering the following benefits:
Ease of Use
Your staff members can easily reset their own Windows login passwords without needing to call the help-desk and wait for a response.
Your staff members will no longer waste time hunting for or trying to remember passwords, and through one-click login tools…
Improved Operational Efficiency
Your staff members will be able to consolidate website favorites/ bookmarks across all computers using one click login tools…
Your staff members will use more complex passwords as opposed to easily remembered passwords – and each password will be unique.
How To Ensure The Heat Doesn’t Fry Your Server (And Your Profits!)
With the “dog days” of summer upon us, most business owners are looking for ways to keep their company’s sales and profits HOT, while keeping their IT expenses COOL. But if proper attention is not given to your server and network equipment during the summer, all that heat outside can actually bring your company’s growth to a grinding halt and increase your IT expenses significantly.
Excess heat can be a big problem for small to mid-sized business servers, since a server that becomes overheated usually costs more in energy, fails more often and is more likely to crash. For most companies, a server crash can mean hours or days of downtime, unproductive employees, HUGE amounts of stress and thousands of dollars in lost opportunity.
7 Steps Every Business Owner Must Take To Prevent a Heat-Induced Server Crash
Here are a few simple things you can do to prevent your server and network equipment from overheating and crashing this summer:
Tidy up the server room; a neater room will increase airflow.
Keep the doors to the server room closed and seal off the space.
Make sure cold air reaches all the equipment.
Have a redundant A/C unit that is specifically designed for computers.
Buy a rack enclosure where the cooling is built into the bottom of the rack
Keep the temperature at no more than 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t let the summer heat get you down. Protect your server and computer equipment from frying with our FREE “Beat The Heat” Audit. To schedule your “Beat The Heat” Audittoday, give us a call at 716-373-4467 or visit www.databranch.com/heat. Offer Expires 8/31/15.
By submitting this form, you'll be subscribed to Databranch's monthly newsletter and will be alerted when we share new technology content and offerings with our clients. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time.