Comcity and IBM recently held a System Networking Lunch and Learn for Melbourne Businesses.
Guest speaker, Glen Lance, IBM's Systems Networking Specialist for Australia and New Zealand presented on the best solutions available to reduce the cost and complexity of deploying both physical and virtual infrastructure solutions and networks.
Glen is very passionate about Systems Networking and really is an expert in his field so Comcity were delighted to have him share his extensive knowledge and help us understand how beneficial Networking can be to businesses.
To learn more about Software Defined Networking see informational material from the event here or to speak to a specialist email email@example.com or call 1300 SUPPORT.
Microsoft Office is used by billions of businesses and individuals around the world. Earlier this year Microsoft launched Office 2013; as with any software, whenever a new version is released, the inevitable "Should I make the switch?" questions appear and with good reason. Some software updates seem like nothing more than superficial changes. However this upgraded Office has made some really noticeable enhancements for users and is designed to better suit a growing world of touchscreens, cloud connectivity and social networks. The new office leaves many frustrations of previous technologies behind, J. Peter Bruzzese (Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Trainer) highlights some key improvements users will notice when moving to Office 2013;
Word 2013-Wish you could use content from a PDF? Word 2013 has extended the application's ability in handling PDF documents by allowing you to open and edit them right from within Word and then save the changes as a PDF file. A wide range of graphic enhancements have been introduced like the new Insert Pictures dialog, Live Layout and the new Insert Video dialog that lets you quickly add videos into a Word document.
Excel 2013 -Excel returns better than ever with several outstanding new features. One of them called FlashFill is a new way to quickly fill data into columns. Charts get a makeover with the features Recommended Charts along with new Chart Customizations. These tools give Excel a more "intelligent" approach to working with our data.
Outlook 2013 -Contacting others with email still remains the focus of Outlook 2013, but now it benefits from several key upgrades. Topping the list is a wealth of messaging enhancements. For example, you can now reply right from within the reading pane without ever opening the mail. And for keeping track of our contacts, the new People Cards simplify the whole process. No need to switch between different views to see your Calendar, Tasks or Contacts in Outlook. Now you can utilize Peeks to show you a quick glance at that info without changing your view.
PowerPoint 2013-For developing presentations, we now have SmartGuides that help us along the way and also an easy to use Eye Drop Color Tool. When it comes time to present, you'll be pleased to learn that an Enhanced Presenter View has a host of new features that can enhance your presentation to the delight of your audience. For maximum compatibility, PowerPoint 2013 now lets you turn your presentations into MP4 videos as well.
In addition to these application specific enhancements, there are also changes held in common to the entire Office 2013 suite. They are as follows:
-For mobile device users, be sure to check out Touch/Mouse mode located on the Quick Access toolbar.
-Backstage on the File tab are several upgrades in the layout and commands.
-Take better control of the Tab and Ribbon navigation through Ribbon Display Options.
-Share and access your work with integrated SkyDrive connectivity. Quickly access your data and edit it from a variety of devices.
-Users authenticate just once per session for all Office 2013 apps including SkyDrive.
It's no surprise that many businesses are implementing SharePoint into their business environments across Australia - the benefits it brings are immense. SharePoint is an enterprise information portal that can be configured to run Intranet, Extranet and Internet sites. It allows people, teams and expertise to connect and collaborate.
SharePoint offers many advantages to businesses including;
To find out more about SharePoint's business benefits check out; /softwaredevelopment/sharepointsolutions, mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call1300 SUPPORT.
Gone are the days where the cheapest and easiest way for a business to manage its IT needs is with a large-scale, in-house infrastructure; in its place is the cloud. The shift to the cloud has intensified in the past few years as businesses realise the significant benefits in using cloud applications. Mailguard outlines five of the major advantages:
Scalability refers to an application's ability to meet an expected level of capacity for a business. The cloud allows business owners to quickly and easily scale their resources to manage any number of users. Whether it's one hundred, one thousand or ten thousand users, applications in the cloud can be scaled accordingly - either up or down - to meet the company's needs. This is most effective for small to mid-sized businesses who may want to re-evaluate their planned levels of capacity more frequently.
Users of cloud applications access them over a network, usually via a web-browser, which means there is no hardware or software required. Businesses are able to avoid the costly process of setting up infrastructure as well as providing constant maintenance. Instead, this is all managed by the cloud service provider; allowing businesses to focus on their own projects.
Cloud services offer a per-user, per-month contract which gives business owners the ability to easily forecast their expenses. In addition, cloud users only pay for the service they use which eliminates any unnecessary costs associated with housing your own infrastructure. In a survey conducted by Management Insight Technologies it was found that almost 80% of IT executives prefer the cloud because it either saves money or because the costs are predictable.
In the survey above a large portion of executives voiced concerns regarding data security in the cloud. However, contrary to popular belief, cloud applications are actually less likely to have security issues than in-house infrastructure. This is because cloud providers have more resources to invest in protecting your data.
Cloud applications are notoriously easy to use because integration usually occurs automatically and is managed by the service provider. Furthermore, all the information is stored in the cloud which means it can be accessed from anywhere there is an internet connection.
To learn more about cloud security and the benefits cloud can bring to your business log onto www.mailguard.com.au or www.comcity.com.au. For a complimentary technology and cloud audit or for more information email email@example.com or call1300 SUPPORT.
Today we are faced with a growing number of choices when it comes to tablets, laptops and hybrids. These devices offer employees and corporations countless business benefits however choosing the correct device for your business can be overwhelming. Some of the main contenders for 2013 are the new iPad, Microsoft Surface RT and Pro, Android tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Google Nexus 7, Lenovo's ThinkPad tablets; Twist and Helix and the Blackberry Playbook, to name but a few! At the moment they seem to be split into 3 main form factors; The Pure Tablet, The Flexi Tablet and The Detachable Laptop....
The Pure Tablet
No one can deny Apple has certainly been the most widely known tablet over the last few years, when the Apple iPad entered the market, people were amazed at the technology this small device offered. No tablet could beat the technology and battery life, and most products were several steps behind Apple's tablet. Now the new iPad is two times faster than its predecessor, 33% thinner and offers additional multimedia features including a front-facing camera. However without Microsoft's Office Suite capabilities and access to windows based applications the dispute still remains, is it the optimal option for a business? Many argue that the tablet is more of a toy than a business tool. For those who are not sold on Apple's ecosystem there are many other Pure Tablet options -and good options at that, including the ThinkPad Tablet, Microsoft Surface RT and Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.
Flexi Tablets and Detachable Laptops
Physical keyboards are a rarity in the tablet device arena but for business use an all in one device that offers a flexible form factor with both tablet and notebook features is often the most suitable choice.
With Microsoft finally entering the touch screen era via Windows 8 and the release of the Surface RT and Surface Pro, Microsoft are certainly back fighting for its spot in the device field. Although Microsoft Surface Pro's initial reviews were mixed, many organisations are very excited about the prospect of a decent tablet that has all the capabilities of a laptop and PC and can work with the Microsoft Office - 2013, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Surface Pro has original Type and Touch covers which offer a comfortable interface and typing experience with a clean, crisp design and sharp 1080p screen. It is very flexible and has the ability to quickly switch between tablet and notebook usage modes. It lets you seamlessly access/edit/share MS office content currently housed on your windows servers from anywhere. Having said that the Surface Pro is not without its faults; the battery life is disappointing, there is only one USB port and the keyboard cover is optional extra making it cost as much as a regular laptop.
Lenovo also offers a comprehensive portfolio of options; the ThinkPad TWIST's detachable keyboard transforms it into a laptop when you need to type, a tablet when you're on the go, and a stand if you want to share presentations. The ThinkPad Helix Ultrabook Convertible which is due for release in March also sounds promising, its "rip and flip" design will allow you to use it 4 different ways; laptop mode, tablet mode, stand mode and tablet+ mode. Lenovo devices are also Microsoft optimised and provide long battery life so with their versatile form factor you will be able to work anywhere, anytime, anyway you want.
These futuristic-looking devices might seem other-worldly, but they're genuinely great if you're not sure whether to get a tablet or laptop but want the benefits of both. Obviously there are pros and cons to all devices and they are constantly improving and evolving but to date for businesses looking to work seamlessly from anywhere we think Lenovo and Microsoft latest Flexi Tablets and Detachable Laptops are hard to beat bringing you the performance and convenience of a PC in a compact tablet form factor.
Microsoft is set to end promotional pricing for its Windows 8 operating system at the end of the month, raising prices substantially from February 1st.
It is evident that many businesses have already moved to Windows 8 - this month Microsoft announced that it had sold over 60 million Windows 8 licenses since its release late last year. It seems whether they are ready or not in an effort to save money down the line many savvy businesses are purchasing their licences now!
Moving to Windows 8 will pose some changes for staff and operations therefore a planned upgrade is recommended. To help deal with this you can purchase the licences now from $39.99, hold them and then they can be installed again at a later time that suits you and your team.
To take advantage of the promotional pricing before it ends next week and hear more about your options email firstname.lastname@example.org or call1300 SUPPORT.
Trade in your old firewall for advanced security from WatchGuard. Act now: Offer ends May 31th 2013.
Would you leave your house
unlocked? Not upgrading your IT Security is like not locking the
door to your business IT environment.
But don't worry it won't cost you a fortune, get a fantastic deal with our Red Instead promo. In conjunction with WatchGuard, Comcity is offering an unbeatable deal on WatchGuard's powerful next-generation XTM solution.
With our Red Instead program, you can trade in your old security appliance from any manufacturer and pay only for the services. It's like getting the device for the box FREE!
WatchGuard Firewall XTM will enable your business to define, enforce, and audit a strong security and acceptable use policy, with a range of capabilities unmatched in its class. With WatchGuard XTM, your organisation can:
Contact Comcity to hear more about how you can benefit
from this fantastic offer.
Comcity has been placed on the prestigious Nine Lives Media MSPmentor 25 AANZ Edition again, this esteemed list identifies the top 25 managed service providers (MSPs) across all of Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
MSPmentor, produced by Nine Lives Media, is the ultimate guide to managed services. "We've seen a new wave of managed services adoption across Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Our MSPmentor 25 AANZ Edition recognises these clear market leaders." said Amy Katz, president of Nine Lives Media. She commends Comcity; "MSPmentor congratulates Comcity on this honour, qualifying for our MSPmentor 25 AANZ and 501 Global Edition puts Comcity in elite and exclusive company."
The report is based on data from MSPmentor's global online survey conducted October-December 2012. The MSPmentor 25 AANZ recognizes top managed service providers based on a range of metrics, including annual managed services revenue growth, revenue per employee, managed services offered and customer devices managed.
Jason Reading, Comcity CEO said; "We are delighted to be listed again. Comcity aim to provide services that bring real value to our clients, significant awards and achievements like these help confirm to everyone our commitment to providing high quality managed IT services. On behalf of our entire team at Comcity, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our valuable, loyal clients, we value our partnership and will continue to work to improve our service offering to benefit your business."
The comprehensive listing of the honourees can be found by visiting: http://www.mspmentor.net/top501-page31-2013/
Comcity's CEO takes time out to discuss how cloud services are fast becoming the simplest, most effective solution to Australia's business IT needs.
There is no doubt about it, cloud is all around us and this time it's not just Melbourne's unpredictable weather; the business world is very happy to see this cloud coming their way! Rarely a week goes by without news of cloud computing bringing cost saving and benefits to businesses worldwide. Practically every business is moving to the cloud or at least thinking about it. "There is no escaping it, cloud computing is similar to the start of the Internet all over again and the early users of cloud computing services will reap the rewards", Jason Reading, Comcity founder.
Many Australian businesses today confess to being confused by the term 'cloud computing.' Lack of awareness appears to be holding back many firms from generating real productivity benefits of cloud computing. For those who may not be familiar with the term, Comcity's CEO Jason Reading explains that cloud computing is a way of delivering IT services via a web browser. "It allows business owners to remove themselves from the ownership of their IT infrastructure, so that they can focus on their core business. Business owners should see cloud computing as a service such as your electricity and phone line", says Jason.
According to Jason, there are numerous advantages for businesses moving to the cloud. "Not only does cloud computing reduce your IT cost but companies can gain access to more sophisticated software that would otherwise be out of reach for many small businesses". In accordance with their exciting cloud developments and demand for cloud solutions Jason has moved Comcity's systems to its very own world class Data Centre, Equinix in Sydney. This allows Comcity to bring a high-performance network ecosystem to clients with market-leading physical security, safeguarding their most valuable information. Unlike an in-house business network, Comcity's Australian based Data Centre will be constantly monitored by trained network security professionals and is subject to ongoing security auditing and validation.
Cloud Computing allows business owners to remove themselves from the ownership of their IT infrastructure, so that they can focus on their core business. "Cloud computing has offered a technology revolution for small businesses, giving them access to a range of capabilities that typically only larger companies can afford." he says. According to Mr Reading the cloud computing industry is "growing and developing rapidly". Comcity is seeing huge growth in demand for cloud solutions, along with new cloud clients many of Comcity's current IT services clients are moving to cloud services to benefit and save from cloud computing features. He adds; "It is great seeing our clients' businesses gain a real competitive edge over their competition".
"Not only has Comcity's cloud solutions enabled us to cut large upfront costs and improve our business processes and productivity but the support and mentoring that they provide us is in valuable. It is great to have qualified and experienced people who can give advice and guide us strategically for all business decisions." Damien Smith; Enterprise Care (Comcity Cloud Client).
So as you can see there is no doubt about it, cloud computing boasts many strengths and offers extensive business benefits; increasing business mobility, speed and efficiency while reducing unnecessary costs and time wasted. Having said that, Jason adds "cloud is not without its challenges, this means IT and businesses need to work even more closely together to ensure cloud adoption is not counter-productive". Selecting the correct cloud computing provider will be instrumental to the success of bringing the cloud to your business, you need a dedicated collaborator who is prepared to develop a deep understanding of your business needs, one who sees cloud's possibilities for achieving high performance and links them with a tailored practicality that suits your business.
Jason and his team of cloud experts have created a 'Buyers Guide to Cloud Computing' Whitepaper to assist businesses in understanding and examining the potential positive impact of cloud solutions. Download them now or for more information on how cloud computing can help your business or to receive a FREE Cloud assessment , visit www.comcity.com.au, email email@example.com or call 1300 787 767 (1300 SUPPORT)
Australian Business Solutions Magazine takes time out to interview Jason Reading, CEO of Comcity to hear how Comcity continue to innovate and grow in this increasingly fast-paced business world.
Read the interview here:
Comcity Technology claims MAPA 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for Small Business Specialist Partner of the Year.
Jason Reading, Comcity CEO commented, "Comcity is more than an IT Services business; we care about our clients and their unique needs. We aim to deliver real business process improvements and contribute real value to their bottom line so we are delighted to be recognised by Microsoft."
Awards were presented in 24 categories, and Comcity was recognised for superior technology and innovation in Small Business Specialist Partner of the Year. The Small Business Specialist Partner of the Year Award recognises Partners who have delivered exemplary solutions using Microsoft technologies to address customer business needs and challenges. Comcity has been providing award-winning, tailored IT services, solutions and support to SMBs and larger organisations in Sydney and Melbourne since 2000. This is the fourth time that Comcity has been voted as one of the leading Microsoft Partners in Australia.
Evan Williams, Small and Medium Business & Partner Group Director, Microsoft Australia commented; "Our partners' achievements are a testament to the expertise, dedication and innovation they continually demonstrate in delivering first class solutions to our customers. We offer our wholehearted congratulations to the winners and look forward to continuing to work with and growing our existing partner ecosystem."
The MAPA programme recognises
Microsoft Partners that have developed and delivered exceptional
Microsoft-based solutions during the last year. Comcity is renowned
across the IT and business services sectors for expertise and
commitment to their clients who operate across broad industry
sectors and disciplines. Comcity received this award for helping
The Victorian Healthcare Association, a key body representing the
interests of the public healthcare sector in Victoria. VHA's
members include public hospitals, rural and regional health
services, community health services and aged care facilities.
Comcity's small business solution is focused on helping VHA achieve
and exceed their ongoing business goals through Comcity's IT
services and Microsoft's latest technologies.
As Victorian Healthcare Association is a government organisation whose central focus is to contribute to the achievement of optimal health outcomes for all Victorians this small business needed an effective Enterprise Grade IT solution at minimal cost. Through analysing every element of VHA's business, Comcity took an intuitive approach, ensuring that their trusted end-to-end solution offered VHA enterprise grade capabilities, resolved issues and enhanced their overall business performance at an affordable cost. Comcity's strong history of commitment to their clients is supported by an ethos of innovation, high performance and the provision of streamlined IT solutions. Comcity is honoured to be recognised by Microsoft once again in 2012 as one of its leading partners of the year.
To find out how Comcity's solutions can benefit your business call 1300 SUPPORT or request a FREE TECHNOLOGY AUDIT.
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