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What is Cloud Computing?

Posted on: January 12th, 2017 by Matt Sheffer

Cloud Computing continues to play an important role in the Information Technology industry!  If approached the correct way through careful research and planning – this strategy offers cost effective benefits to the SMB market.  The most common set of questions around cloud computing are….”What is it?”, “What is the benefit of moving to the “cloud?” and “How secure is cloud computing?”  By definition Cloud Computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet.  Two of the more popular cloud service providers (Microsoft and Amazon) have invested heavily over the past several years to build platforms for both the SMB and Enterprise market.

Why should I use Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing holds many benefits regardless of the type of business or vertical market.  Perhaps the most noticeable benefit is the reduction in labor costs which are inherent with an on premise datacenter. Infrastructure hardware can get expensive as a result of continual growth and constant refresh cycles.  Cloud Computing scales with your business so you can still maintain all of the performance and benefits of having an on premise solution.  Businesses both small and large understand the importance of having their systems run at peak performance – cloud computing offers a high level of service backed by uptime guarantees north of 99% through most providers.  Prior to cloud-based service offerings, access to critical files required remote desktop or VPN technology in order to establish a connection to an on premise server. With Cloud Computing, your information is easily accessible through a web portal that is reachable through any web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Firefox.

What are examples of Cloud Computing?

Two examples of cloud computing that are used every day by businesses who may not realize it, Google Drive and Dropbox.  Google Drive and Dropbox are two very well-known cloud based storage applications. Subscriptions are purchased based off of how much storage a business requires.  Data is stored in online datacenters, also referred to as a server farm.  Data is then accessible by logging into your Google or Dropbox account through any web browser on any computer, tablet or smartphone device.  Another well-known example of cloud computing is Office 365.  One of the many services offered by Microsoft is Office 365 Hosted Exchange.  Instead of having to purchase your own on premise email server, you can buy monthly or yearly subscriptions from Office 365 and have your email hosted by Microsoft.  This allows a business to retain the same functionality as if the server was hosted within the walls of their business.  Office 365 Hosted Exchange is one of the most cost effective ways for businesses of any size to have continuous access to email without the administrative labor costs as well as a potential for loss of service.

How Secure is Cloud Computing?

One of the biggest concerns businesses have today in general is security, and rightfully so.  IT Security will be the fastest growing segment of the IT industry over the next 3 years!  Whether on premise or in the cloud, having the appropriate level of security in place is critical.  When selecting a cloud service provider, sticking with the more popular names in the industry is a smart decision.  Cloud providers must satisfy the most complicated set of security compliance standards put in place by an independent auditor.  Millions of dollars a year are spent on security by the major players in the cloud computing space, this pales in comparison to the cost associated to a data breach of any kind.  When selecting a cloud provider, it is always a good idea to review their security practices as well as their level of liability in the event of a breach.  Most organizations today are taking a closer look at “Cyber Security Insurance” to help offset any costs associated with a data breach.  Keep in mind, a data breach can happen to an on premise datacenter as well.  Security protocols put in place by cloud service providers provide a multi-layer approach to security not typically seen with on premise datacenters.

The adoption of cloud based service offerings will continue to increase at a rapid pace over the next few years.  Making the decision to move all or parts of your business to the cloud is not an easy one and should be discussed with experts in the field.  Quality Digital Office Technology has positioned ourselves to be at the forefront of this evolving technology.  Our staff of highly trained professionals can help navigate the complexities of Cloud Computing.  When you are ready to explore if Cloud Computing is right for your business, please reach out to us – we’ll be ready!

– Zachary Wolpert

#MakeItaQualityDay!

Announcing Forms for Eclipse

Posted on: September 16th, 2016 by Matt Sheffer

Quality is excited to announce a new add-in for eclipse document management software. Eclipse brings enterprise level content management and automated AP solutions to a web based platform.

In this newest module for the software, eclipse now offers the ability to create, distribute, and fill out forms directly within the eclipse client. Now, forms such as vendor forms, HR on-boarding forms, or even customer satisfaction questionnaires can be sent out digitally. With this comes a few major benefits to profitability and productivity. Paper gets eliminated at the source, while processing time and the visibility of workflows become enhanced. Data entry can be standardized with automatic formatting, and the re-keying of information can be eliminated.

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These documents are created within the eclipse web based client, and can have direct links, or be emailed to anyone who may need to fill one out. These forms are also filled out directly within eclipse. This means that once they are filled out and submitted, they can immediately enter a workflow. These workflows can be set up to notify specific employees, calculate certain values, or even approve or deny a document based on certain criteria that you set. These forms are then saved within the system, to be easily searched for at a later time.

Contact Quality to schedule your electronic forms demo today!

A little Help from a Friend

Posted on: September 9th, 2016 by Mindy Gasparin

Quality had the privilege of working with Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation  on a furniture move at the beginning of September.  Our Furniture team was able to move them from an office in Harrisburg to their new location in New Oxford PA.  There were several logistical challenges to the move but our team was able to get everything moved and setup for them in just 1 day!

Their mascot Hugs helped out with the move too!  Thanks Hugs and all the people at Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation for all the amazing things you do!

cancer-recovery

Refresh Leadership Simulcast

Posted on: March 1st, 2016 by Mindy Gasparin

Quality is extremely excited to be a sponsor for the 2016 Refresh Leadership Simulcast presented by Express Employment Professionals on April 13, 2016.

The 2016 Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast speakers include:

  • Marshall Goldsmith, Author, Professor, and Executive Coach
  • Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal, Television Sports Analyst and 15-time NBA All-Star
  • Kaplan Mobray, Author, Motivational Speaker, and Career Consultant

This half-day event was designed with leaders like you in mind. Join us to learn more about the power of great leadership and take away new insight on how to refresh, energize, and motivate the people you lead.

Please click here to register for the event!

#RefreshLeadership  #MakeitaQualityDay

5 Facts you might not know…

Posted on: February 18th, 2016 by Mindy Gasparin

Quality is a believer in business to business relationships and supporting local businesses whenever we can.  This also means congratulating them when they achieve great successes and business accomplishments.

We are very excited for The York Water Company who is celebrating their 200th anniversary today by ringing the Nasdaq Stock Market Closing bell from 3:45-4pm today!

In an article from the Central Penn Business Journal:

To commemorate the company’s 200th anniversary, company President and CEO Jeffrey Hines, joined by members of the company’s board of directors and employees, will be ringing the Nasdaq Stock Market closing bell from 3:45 to 4 p.m. today

“This is quite an honor, not just for our current employees, but also for those who came before us,” Hines said .

As they ring the closing bell, water company officials will be joined by York College students.

York Water is the oldest investor-owned water utility in the U.S., and has been a publicly traded company since 1816, making it the oldest such company listed on any major exchange.

It serves an estimated 192,000 people in 48 municipalities in York and Adams counties.

The company’s average daily consumption is about 18.5 million gallons of water, and its average daily availability is around 35 million gallons, company officials said.

5 facts you may not know about York Water Co.

1. Number of employees: 106

2. It is the oldest company in both the city and county of York.

3. A $25 share of stock, bought in 1816 and reinvested for 200 years, would be worth more than $20 million today. The company also has never missed a dividend payment in its 200-year history, the longest such streak in the U.S.

4. The company obtains its water supply from the south and east branches of the Codorus Creek, which drains an area of approximately 117 square miles, and has two reservoirs, Lake Williams and Lake Redman, that together hold up to 2.23 billion gallons of water.

5. It is the biggest manufacturer in York and Adams counties, delivering an average of a ton of “product” to every customer every day through 1,000 miles of pipeline.

Crypto Virus Alert

Posted on: February 16th, 2016 by Mindy Gasparin

The most recent variation of the Crypto virus is proving successful in penetrating business systems due to the timing of the new variation and the delay in security vendors to provide updated security files to thwart the attempt.  This variation continues to encrypt files on servers through drive mappings present on a computer or set of computers.  As has been the case with past variations, typical virus and malware cleaners are unable to detect nor remove the threat.  Once the files are infected (encrypted), the only path to a clean system is to restore from a backup solution.

Please be vigilant while working with files, corresponding through email and “surfing the web”.  If a file looks suspicious, it most likely is.  This latest variation disguises itself as an .mp3 file.  Should you receive a file via email with an .mp3 extension, delete the email immediately and without hesitation.  If you open a file and find your system compromised, unplug the network cable from your computer right away as a first course of action.  Second, shut down your computer and notify our IT help desk. 

Attempts to compromise systems will only increase in today’s world.  The impact of these sophisticated attempts are real and can be extremely effective.  We are doing everything we can to protect our systems but we need everyone’s help.  If you are unsure about something, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask for guidance.

Quality DOT – Website Launch

Posted on: February 2nd, 2015 by Matt Sheffer

One of Quality’s goals for 2015 was to update our website to make it more user friendly and approachable. We spent many long hours with the design team working on the details and fine tuning what we were looking for. A video was planned that would highlight “The Quality Difference” and market Quality’s ability to assist our customers across all divisions.

We proceeded to have 2 days of filming and many retakes to get the best video content. The end result was the video streaming on our website. We are very grateful to the production team that put this together. And with every good production there has to be some “Quality” bloopers.

Enjoy!!