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24 Cloud Storage Options for SMBs

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From sales collateral to documents, signed contract scans, and even expense receipts, almost everything that crosses our desks these days is contained in a digital file. Like their paper ancestors, these files need to be put somewhere safe where they can be found and referenced easily.

This need is the driving force behind the explosive growth of cloud storage options for SMBs. These vendors enable SMBs to cost-effectively centralize their files on remote servers while taking on none of the hardware, software, and management costs that building a homegrown solution would entail.

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Enterprise Microsoft Azure users get free one-year support

In order to hasten the transition from its traditional retail products to its cloud based products, Microsoft has just announced that it will be offering one year of free technical support to Azure users.

From May 1, 2016 through to June 30, 2017 users who purchase Azure Services under an Enterprise Agreement (EA) will receive a year of free support from the company.

According to Microsoft: “This upgrade is designed to give you an additional level of support on your journey to the cloud, and it comes at no charge”.

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Image Credits: digitalistmag.com
Image Credits: digitalistmag.com

Our digital choices define us. Our preferences, habits, and needs form a composite portrait that makes it easier for companies to identify and deliver what we want. It’s called individualization, and many modern companies, from small and midsize startups (Uber, Airbnb) to major corporations (Amazon, Alibaba), are designed to excel in that nanosecond interplay between users and the services they’re looking for.

While major companies across all sectors have quickly retrofitted themselves to compete in this environment, a high percentage of established enterprises (with more than 10,000 employees) are having a much harder time. They’re trying to meet the demand for an individualized end-user experience while handicapped by outdated legacy systems.

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ethernet cable

Low-income Americans will be eligible for a monthly subsidy of $9.25 to receive high-speed Internet service in an effort approved by federal regulators on Thursday to close the so-called digital divide and expand access to broadband.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to expand a 3-decade-old program that subsidizes phone service for people who cannot afford it.

Now consumers will be able to apply the monthly Lifeline subsidy to broadband service or a bundled voice-and-data package from an Internet service provider.

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Image Credits: blog.smartthings.com
Image Credits: blog.smartthings.com

So far, the solutions to wireless spectrum crunches have involved either offering relatively untapped airwaves or reusing frequencies that were previously assigned to something else. However, DARPA knows this can’t go on forever — and it’s looking for help to devise a clever way around the problem.

The military research agency has launched a new Grand Challenge that will have teams develop artificial intelligence-powered radios that cooperate with each other to avoid wireless congestion. Rather than force devices to use narrow frequency ranges regardless of how crowded they may be, DARPA would like to see those gadgets negotiate frequency sharing whenever they need it.

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Data is ubiquitous — but sometimes it can be hard to see the forest for the trees, as it were. Many companies of various sizes believe they have to collect their own data to see benefits from big data analytics, but it’s simply not true.

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of free data sets available, ready to be used and analyzed by anyone willing to look for them.  Below is a list of 35 of the most globally interesting I’ve come across, but there are many, many more in many different niches.

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Network security

The growth of distributed enterprise networks and changes in traffic patterns as data moves to the cloud has presented companies with problems in ensuring that all of their information and endpoints are properly protected.

To address this, Israeli company Cato Networks is launching its new network security as a service (NSaaS) platform. Cato Cloud is aimed at making network security simple and cost-effective for the distributed, cloud-centric and mobile-first enterprise.

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Many IT teams all over the world acknowledge the fact that a secure way to store and share files, both internally (within a company) and externally is extremely important. However, many IT teams also lack the proper tools to do so.

Those are the results of a latest survey by Ipswitch, after asking 555 IT professionals across the globe about their file sharing habits.

The survey says that 76 percent of IT professionals find it important to be able to securely transfer files, still 61 percent use unsecured file-sharing clouds. At the same time, 32 percent of IT professionals don’t have a file transfer policy in place, but 25 percent plan to have one. A further 25 percent said their company has a file transfer policy, but the enforcement is inconsistent.

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cloud email

Cloud email services are still not as big as you’d expect in the enterprise, but they are growing stronger. Those are the results of an automated survey by market analyst Gartner. According to the survey, 8.5 percent of public companies use cloud email service from Microsoft’s Office 365, while 4.7 percent use Google Apps for Work.

The rest, 87 percent, use either on-premises, hybrid, hosted or private cloud email, managed by smaller companies.

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These days it’s much easier to set up a new broadband router. They all come with Wi-Fi enabled and secured. Typically you’ll find the Wi-Fi password on a label stuck to the router, and it may even show the user name and password and default IP address. See all router reviews

 It’s trickier for older routers, especially if someone has changed the IP address, password or you’ve simply forgotten the details.

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