Data Sprawl

Posted by Tim Luzadder, TCC Enterprise Infrastructure Director

Back in the day, companies had a primary file server for holding all the important files. That was it. Nice and simple. Administrators knew to back up servers as well as the local home folder on desktops and laptops. There may have been other file servers in remote offices, but it was still obvious where the files were. Today’s storage architecture doesn’t even compare. It’s not an outgrowth; it’s whole new species!

We still have file servers, desktops, and laptops, but now we also have SharePoint hosting file libraries, employees emailing themselves documents so they can work on them at home, and countless memory sticks going through home washers and dryers. That doesn’t even come close to all the alternate solutions employees utilize — mechanisms like tablets, smartphones, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, S3 buckets, Evernote, and the list goes on. These may all be straightforward, effortless solutions, but the typical consumer version lacks security and controls that companies need to protect themselves from data breaches and spills.

Getting this data sprawl under control starts with establishing corporate policies for data and information governance and the Approved List of technologies permitted for use by staff. Organizations need to implement a variety of tools and solutions that offer similar flexibility and workflow that the staff are accustomed to in a manner that maintains company security objectives. These solutions must be socialized and the staff must be trained. Only then can Administrators block the sites that are not approved and enable other means of blocking rogue technology.

 To learn more about TCC’s IT Managed Services, please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.

 

TCC 2018 Early Childhood Conference Sponsorships

Posted by Michelle Thomas, TCC Senior Policy Advisor

We may have just rung in the New Year, but the TCC team is already busy planning our 2018 conference schedule. During Spring 2018, TCC will kick off two new early childhood conference sponsorships: The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Public Policy Forum and the McCormick Center National Leadership Conference.

The NAEYC Public Policy Forum will provide an opportunity for NAEYC members to gather, learn and mobilize advocacy efforts in Washington DC, from March 4-6, 2018. The event will culminate in State Team visits to Capitol Hill to ensure elected officials know who we are, and what our children, families, and educators need to thrive.

The McCormick Center National Leadership Conference will take place in Wheeling, IL, from May 10-12. The conference will bring together early childhood leaders from across the country to hear inspiring keynote speakers, take part in a public policy forum, attend skill-building sessions, and network with other leaders in the field.

TCC Early Childhood Data Systems – Solutions that Work for States

Over the past 18 years, TCC has developed data solutions that support an array of early childhood programs, including: Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) subsidy program, child care licensing, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), pre-K management system, and professional development registry (PDR) systems.

States

We’ve taken our extensive experience and subject matter expertise to develop products that can be configured to meet any state need.

  • States use Ascend to manage the complex system of early childhood programming and better inform their short and long-term program, policy and investment decisions.  https://www.e-tcc.com/ascend
  • States use eXpedite as an off-line, mobile solution to capture licensing inspection and other early childhood data that may be collected onsite. Field data can be synched to Ascend or any back-end system in a matter of seconds. https://www.e-tcc.com/mobile-workforce-software

To learn more about TCC’s Early Childhood Data Systems please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/early-childhood or email Mike.Boyle @e-tcc.com.

 

Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Mainframe Disaster Recovery Plan

Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Services

I read some surprising statistics regarding Disaster Recovery (DR) in a recent article in IBM Systems Magazine. Pearson, T. (2018, January). A Plan in Place. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from http://www.ibmsystemsmagmainframedigital.com/nxtbooks/ibmsystemsmag/mainframe_20180102/index.php#/32

The article stated that in a survey of organizations:

  • 50% of organizations do not have a documented DR plan
  • 50% use data backup as their sole DR plan
  • 55% are not testing recovery plans regularly
  • 23% have never tested their recovery plan

We know that unplanned outages can happen at any time to any organization. Organizations need to plan a recovery methodology that allows operations to continue or resume very quickly after an outage. The article discusses this four-step approach to recovery from a disaster that results in the loss of technology and facilities.

  1. Identify the location where the recovery will occur.
  2. Define what data you had at the time of the disaster so you know what to recover.
  3. Identify where applications will be hosted so they can be restarted.
  4. Consider the human factors such as communication and collaboration.

These are just some of the major considerations for crafting a disaster recovery plan. Resuming normal business operations also includes planning for workforce shortages and other non-technology factors. Once a plan is in place, it should be tested at least once a year so all parties understand their roles and responsibilities.

To find out more about TCC’s Mainframe Managed Services, please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.

 

 

Things to Consider When Moving to MS Office 365

Posted by Derek Epps, TCC Senior Account Executive of Managed Services

E-mail has quickly become one of the main forms of communication among businesses around the world. According to http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf it is estimated that the number of e-mail users is 2.6 Billion. By the end of 2019 it is estimated there will be over 2.9 Billion and this number will continue to increase. That is roughly one third of the word wide population.

So what does this all mean for businesses? What e-mail system makes sense for your business? With so many options out there it’s hard to find the best solution for the best price. You probably need an e-mail system for your business that is reliable, cost effective, and low maintenance. Today we are taking a look at some compelling reasons to consider Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 platform. Here are some things to consider when looking at Microsoft’s Exchange and Office 365.

No servers onsite and maintenance free

MS Exchange 365 is hosted by Microsoft in secure data centers across the world. Microsoft even guarantees 99.9% uptime or your money back. Do you have this guarantee with your current e-mail service?   http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/DocumentSearch.aspx?Mode=3&Document

Work anywhere from any device

Working from the cloud allows you the ability to work virtually anywhere that you have an internet connection. There is no need to have a remote connection into your exchange server or have an unsecure e-mail platform. With MS Exchange 365 you don’t need to be in the office to check your e-mail.

Data Loss prevention

MS Exchange 365 offers backup of your files that gives you peace of mind in case something was accidently deleted.

Office Web Aps

Not only can you have your e-mail in the cloud but you can also have the full MS Office suite in the cloud. Rather than purchasing a copy of Office every few years you can standardize your company’s apps and never have to worry about MS Office upgrades again!

Archiving & Encryption

Do you have the need to archive old e-mail and are struggling with external hard drives or third party services. MS Exchange 365 offers this service as well. If you are a company that needs encryption, MS Exchange 365 offers an option to meet your needs.

Spam Filtering

There is no need to purchase a third party spam filter or to rely on a third party spam service. This is included in even the most basic package of MS Exchange 365.

No more e-mail upgrades

Once you move to MS Exchange 365 you will never have to upgrade your e-mail system again. This saves you time, headache and capital on paying an employee or third party service to upgrade your e-mail.

Security

MS Exchange 365 is hosted securely in Microsoft’s datacenters and offers one of the most secure destinations to host your e-mail in the world. You have to consider which would be the safer place to house your e-mail, which is potentially life blood of your company. Your office or a secure data center?

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/trustcenter/security/office365-security

Storage

Each user gets a whopping 50GB per mailbox of e-mail storage. According to https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-the-average-size-of-an-email-message-1171208 an average e-mail client uses around 75KB. To put that in perspective there are 976,563KB in 1GB. Still not enough storage? You can purchase more by the GB.

Calendar sharing & Skype

Always wanted an internal communication software platform that was made for business? Skype messenger integrates with MS Exchange 365 to allow you to effectively communicate internally and securely to other employees. It also integrates with your calendar allowing coworkers to see if you are busy, available or out of the office. MS Exchange 365 calendar allows you to easily share and view other coworker’s calendars to better plan your day and stay organized.

With all these reasons it is hard not to consider MS Exchange 365. Especially if you are in the market for a new e-mail platform for your business.

If you have questions you can email me at derek.epps@e-tcc.com.

To learn more about TCC’s IT Managed Services, please visit our website at https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.