The Differences Between G Suite and Microsoft Office

The Differences Between G Suite and Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office vs G Suite

Which is better for you?

Microsoft Office has long been considered the default option for business, and it’s not surprising why this is so. People are comfortable using Microsoft products. They “grew up” using them. The features are more than enough to handle most business situations. And IT is comfortable in handling all aspects of implementation and security.

Why make a change?

In recent years, Google has been making significant strides in how people use the online world. If you look at the G Suite setup today, you’ll find a comprehensive feature list that takes care of all of your IT requirements: spam filters for email, cloud storage integration, easy integration with third-party tools, and an “office suite” that easily rivals what you’ll find with Microsoft.

Still, many fall into old patterns and simply rely on old tools to get things done. Some may also be concerned about the functionality and security of the G Suite platform. Yet with a little nudge to see how far G Suite has come, you’ll quickly understand why it is now ready for mainstream usage.

Cloud Storage

There’s no doubt that this is one of the big reasons people convert to G Suite. Microsoft integrates with its OneDrive cloud offering, while G Suite integrates with Google Drive. Google Drive is more popular, which means that if your employees with be collaborating on documents with external contractors and vendors, there is more likelihood they will be working with the Google Drive platform. While OneDrive offers 5GB of initial free storage, G Suite Basic starts at 30GB, progressing up to unlimited storage when you select the G Suite Business or G Suite Enterprise option.

Third Party Integration

One area where G Suite pulls ahead is with third party integration. Using the G Suite Marketplace, you can quickly add in third-party apps – from project management to CRM systems, smoothly merging and updating tools with little more than a click of your mouse. OneDrive offers a similar feature, but selection is still more limited.

Email

Email is a basic function that both popular products offer. Microsoft Exchange offers two variants, a traditional format and a hosted cloud-based solution that has business-friendly features. Google provides Gmail, which is perhaps the most popular consumer email service. This means your employees will be more familiar with the interface and the apps, and its use of labels can make it a more flexible system when compared with traditional folders used in Exchange or Outlook.

These are just a few of the many reasons we prefer the G Suite platform. And with just a little training, you’ll quickly find out how it can work best for you too.

Preparing For The Future Direction Of eHealth

Preparing For The Future Direction Of eHealth

What does the future of healthcare look like?

It takes little imagination to see technology integrated into every step of the process. In fact, we add a bit more to it each day. No matter what capacity you enter the system, whether as a patient or as the head of a large medical practice, eHealth is being implemented as:

Electronic Health Records – enables easy communication between different healthcare professionals

Lifetime Health Records – full aggregation of individual electronic health records capturing population-based tracking to both predict and anticipate future events

Telehealth – includes all types of physical and psychological remote monitoring that does not require a patient to travel to see a specialist

Public Health Education – complex media channels that allow citizens to stay informed on a variety of health and medical related topics

Virtual Healthcare Teams – healthcare professionals who collaborate and share information on patients and events

And of course, this is just a start. We’ll see technology taking over many of the jobs previously held by staff of all levels, from office work to the most experienced surgeons and medical staff. Health 2.0 and Medicine 2.0 is still being interwoven as new technologies are developed every day.

Not only will this make medical staff perform better, but it will also allow patients to take a more active role in their care. This empowers each of us to make more well-informed decisions throughout the process.

Where do we go from here?

Learn

A whirlwind of transition brings both confusion and opportunity. The only way to progress forward is to take it all in stride and learn more every day. Can you imagine going back to paper files or a time without access to the Internet? Yet at one time, that was the norm. Adding a little to your vocabulary every day is the only way to stay informed.

Explore

This isn’t a time to do things as they’ve always been done. This is a time to explore. What systems can help you do more with less? What information exists that will put you in a better light with your patients and your colleagues? What can you learn that will help you for your future?

Secure

Before you jump in with any new technology, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions. How will this impact my business? How will this integrate with everything I already have in place? Will this open my up to more risk? How can I keep my information more secure?

This is a learning process, a journey we’re all making together.

How can we help you?

The Riskiness Of Building The Internet of Things

The Riskiness Of Building The Internet of Things

Imagine roads where driverless cars are everywhere. You no longer own a car; you simply call for one when you are ready to leave.

Imagine a refrigerator that anticipates your moves. It can order foods as they become low or run out. You can plug in what’s for dinner, and have it place an order based on your needs.

Imagine a bracelet wrapped around your wrist, monitoring your important vitals. If can remind you when to take medicine, record your daily activities, even make suggestions via your doctor on ways to improve your life.

Doesn’t sound so futuristic, does it?

The Internet of Things is changing our world like never before. It’s  opening up the doors for exciting opportunities. And with it comes the good and bad.

Right now, the Internet of Things is being created resembling the Wild West. We’re taking what we know about Internet growth and applying all we’ve learned to this new frontier. But is that the right way?

First, it’s important to understand the magnitude of what the Internet of Things will bring to the table.

When the Internet first entered our lives, we accessed it via one machine: a computer. It was relatively easy to teach someone how to keep their computers safe; updates and patches were mandatory.

But the Internet of Things goes beyond a stand-alone computer on our desk. It touches almost everything in our lives. Hitting “yes” when your mobile device asks if it can upgrade an app is easy; will you remember to upgrade your refrigerator on your own?

It’s not just upgrading that will keep you safe and secure. It’s also about privacy. Your refrigerator may know when you run out of double chocolate ice cream; it may order it for you on a regular basis. But do you really want to provide that information to marketers without your knowledge? You may not care about your ice cream habits, but what about more sensitive areas of your life?

Because once everything in your life is connected and running via AI technology, your whole world will be an open book. You’ll ask different questions. You’ll be faced with new challenges. Legal and policy challenges will bear their heads.

Will your mobile device be considered expert material on the witness stand?

And what happens when certain technologies go away, companies fail, or simply change course?

If no one is there to update and monitor a technology, will we have to throw it away?

Will we have abandoned “cities” where nothing but the old technology exists between the walls?

While we can and have allowed the Internet of Things to develop in Wild West magnitude, it may be time to stop and think about our future. Should underlying protocols be in place? Should we be planning for universal design rather than allowing everyone to approach it on their own? What will our world be like in 10 years, and what will we do if nobody is there for updates and patches?

While the answers might not affect us much today, they will be a part of our daily lives tomorrow.

Avoiding A Watering Hole Attack

It’s the water that brings them in. They stand around getting their fill. They sip quickly, nudge those close by for a little more. They stand together, band together.

And then, when they least expect it, the predator attacks. He lurks unseen, camouflaged from view. He watches for the perfect opportunity. And then feasts.

Nope, I’m not talking about the latest documentary on the nature channel. Instead, I’m talking about something that is very real in the business world.

A watering hole attack is a security exploit in which an attacker seeks out a specific group of end users by infecting websites the group is known to frequent. The goal is to create as many holes as possible within a particular area to provide ample opportunity for gaining access to the network they desire.

Watering hole attacks aren’t fringe websites where your employees shouldn’t be. Instead, watering hole attacks stem from legitimate, popular websites they not only frequent regularly, but you also encourage it.

The attacker profiles his targets, learning who they are, what functions they serve, what they have access to. Then they look at what websites they frequent. Their goal is to find weak sites where vulnerabilities exist. They want to easily slip in and out, injecting malicious JavaScript or HTML code that redirects the target to a separate site where malware resides. Then the compromised site simply sits and waits.

They typically choose well-known well-regarded websites that carry a lot of clout within an industry.

For example, The Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington DC based think tank that provides foreign affairs resources to government officials, journalists, and business and education leaders was hit by a watering hole attack and hosted malware for several days that it installed on unknowing visitors to the site.

 

In another instance, a Forbes ad server was hacked, and from there, visitors from government and bank networks were compromised and used to infect target networks.

While watering hole attacks aren’t the most common form of gaining access to information, they do pose a considerable threat when initiated because they are difficult to detect. They usually target organizations with valuable information and a lot to lose.

And training an employee is difficult at best. You can teach someone to recognize a phishing scam, but how do you teach an employee to identify if a legitimate website has been compromised?

Anticipate Updates

In most cases, the software and programs you use throughout your business announce when updates are coming. Watch for updates and make it mandatory that every department installs patches and upgrade systems immediately when they become available.

Monitor Traffic

If you understand what a normal day looks like, spikes in traffic will stand out. If your security solution inspects all network traffic, you can quickly see when oddities occur.

Analyze Behavior

Selecting a behavioral analysis software to add even more protection. It can detect when unusual user behavior occurs, such as a laptop sending confidential documents outside peak hours.

Watch Popular Websites

Sometimes the best way to stay safe is to watch what others are doing. What are the top sites your employees visit? What’s your relationship with their management and security team? While it’s not imperative to have friends on the inside, just visiting their sites and monitoring their traffic and news can help you stay on top of what’s happening on their sites. If you detect malware on a site, block traffic immediately and contact the owner.

Yes, watering hole attacks are just one more item for an IT department to watch for to ensure a data breach doesn’t occur. But by being aware of its occurrence, it gives you a better chance of finding threats early in the game.

Should You Make The Move To G Suite?

Should You Make The Move To G Suite?

Just a few months ago, Google rebranded its Google Apps for Work enterprise cloud suite to its new name G Suite. Its intent is to go head to head with its top competitor, Microsoft Office 365.

In many ways, Google has set the standard for cloud application based systems. In a short amount of time, they have proved that you don’t need a program sitting on your desktop in order to be successful. They have proved that a browser window is all you need to create a fully functional client for common office applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and more.

That means your apps will work smoothly and consistently from wherever you choose to access your information, from the office or the road, from your desktop or your smartphone.

It also means that Google offers everything in one neat package. Email, calendar, team collaboration, personal and team file sharing, document creation, spreadsheets, presentations, audio and video calls, even its own internal security and compliance is all there ready and waiting for you on a pay-as-you-go basis. You only pay for the users who use G Suite instead of loading up software that can go untouched.

What’s holding you back?

Maybe you have programs already in place. You’re comfortable with them. They work for you. Why change? Many businesses start with a small team using G Suite while others in the company stick with the old systems. The great news is G Suite is compatible with most of the old file formats: .doc, .xls, .ppt. Which means teams can go back and forth using the old and new formats to get work done faster than ever before. We usually find that once people see the power of working online, they end up phasing out their old tools completely as they discover the real power of being able to collaborate and use tools from anywhere.

But Google has free products; why should you pay for G Suite?

Google does have a variety of free consumer based products. Using them can introduce you to the features and control they offer for running a business. With G Suite, you get things like a professional, business-grade email system, and extra storage for Gmail and Drive. You also get some crucial advantages like security management and full administration of all your user accounts.

Why should you work with a G Suite provider?

It starts with migration and management support. You don’t know what you don’t know. And when integrating a new platform throughout your business, it can have significant implications if it’s not done right. The more people you have to manage, the more G Suite systems you choose to operate with, the more support you’re likely to need along the way. That’s where working with a provider really becomes handy. That way you can focus on what you do best while getting the data you need to analyze and see the big picture. You worry about your business, we deal with things like the implementation and licensing for you.

How could working with G Suite improve the way you do business?

Designing The Perfect CIO and Other C-Level Partnership

Designing The Perfect CIO and Other C-Level Partnership

CIOs and other C-levels aren’t known for always having the friendliest business relationships. While they all might be reaching for a common goal, the approach varies, and with that comes differences. Sometimes major differences.

But in today’s digital age, thriving means forging an effective partnership to create the best customer experience possible while doing so at the highest profit levels achievable. C-levels can do that in many ways.

Focus on the customer experience

Through all of the digital transformation that has occurred over the past decade, a vast majority of business professionals stated that customer experience is one area they are pursuing in greater depth. Why? Because customer expectations are higher than ever before.

Customers now have the tools to learn whatever they choose and make decisions based on data that is available right in the palms of their hands. This power is changing the way consumers shop, and the way businesses approach the sales process. You have to know who your customer is, what they want, and provide them with the right resources. That means both on the digital and the experience side.

Collaborate on data

Big data is on everyone’s mind. And every department uses it in different ways. While a CMO uses the data, the CIO manages it. And without the knowledge and experience of a well-informed CIO, the data provided to the rest of the company may be risky and inaccurate at best. A clear data strategy can bring everyone on board to understand the ultimate goal and stay on track for getting there in the best way.

Develop quick thinking

Let’s face it; your customer won’t wait. If your website is slow, if your data isn’t accessible, if they can’t get the information they want when they want it, they can find another company that can deliver. While metrics are important to the overall health of an organization, speed is a requirement to bring everyone on board. Sometimes that means relying on outsiders to provide up-to-date information when you need it most. Giving all departments space to be at the top of their game will help you achieve in a more responsive way.

Create alignment

Cross-functioning is now more important than ever. If one department doesn’t understand what the other department is doing, it can cost you your business. It’s important that C-levels meet not only on a regular basis, but also work together every day. If one side doesn’t understand what the other is doing, they can’t watch out for the best interest of the company. Transparency is key now and in the future, especially as things change at digital speed.

How are you handling your C-level partnership? Is your CIO responsibilities everything they could be?

What’s Your Security Plan For A Power Interruption?

What’s Your Security Plan For A Power Interruption?

Has this ever happened to you?

You are working on an important document, a proposal for a client or a customer report. All of a sudden, everything goes blank, and your computer shuts off. The power has gone off.

After a few mumbled words under your breath, you think back to the last time you hit the save button. Seconds before? Minutes before? Did you hit save at all?

Power outages may seem infrequent; maybe a few have occurred in your office and your home this year. But what about other forms of power interruption? There are four main types of power disturbances:

  • Voltage dips
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Radio frequency interference
  • Power surges

Power surges are considered to be the most destruction of them all.  They are brief, lasting only milliseconds. And they can vary from unnoticeable to completely destroying everything in its path. They can originate from an electric company making switches to a power grid, from a lightning strike, or from a large appliance like an air conditioning unit turning on and off.

None is out of the question. All can happen and impact your business any day of the year. The question is: are you prepared?

Surge Protection

As a business owner, there are three simple steps you can take to ensure you are ready for any power surge that threatens your business.

  • Use point of use surge protectors for every piece of equipment you own. Be aware that these can wear out as they take on surges; replace often.
  • Install a heavy duty surge suppressor at your main service panel. This will deal with large transient voltages that enter your building.
  • Make sure you are protected with insurance. Your agent can recommend coverage that will ensure all equipment is protected for both repair and replacement.

Regular Backup

No matter how careful you are, there is always a risk of your hardware being destroyed, leaving your data vulnerable. Backing up regularly is the only way to ensure you don’t lose valuable resources if the unthinkable happens. Regular backup ensures:

  • Simple recovery. Mistakes happen all the time. Whether you forget to hit save, or a power surge destroys your equipment, having a backup system in place ensures that every word is saved off site and is available whenever you need it.
  • Avoiding downtime. Studies show that up to 43 percent of all businesses that shut down after losing major data loss never reopen. Not only can it impact your relationship with your customers, but it can ruin your reputation as well.
  • Never do work twice. Nothing is more frustrating than having to recreate something you got right the first time. Editing is easy. Recreating is time consuming and difficult. With a solid backup system in place, you’ll never have to worry about that again.

What’s your security plan for power interruption?