Saturday, 29 October 2011

Virtual Desktops - Are You Ready?

So you've made the decision to deploy a desktop virtualisation solution to:
  • Increase flexibility, enabling users to work from anywhere on any device
  • Improve business agility and the ability to quickly deliver IT to new employees, remote offices, or recently acquired companies
  • Free up valuable IT resources to focus on growing your business vs. managing your desktops

Desktop virtualisation typically involves running virtual machines on a hypervisor in a datacenter, instead of running individual desktops at the client device level. The centralised nature allows users to access their data and applications from almost any remote device (e.g.. desktop, laptop, tablet, ipad, smartphone, etc.). This helps your IT department to:

  • Maintain corporate compliance
  • Quickly add new users profiles to the network
  • Address corporate security and user storage concerns
I am currently involved with a number of projects that provides for Cloud based email services from Google and virtual desktops. This level nothing in the client office accept some Cloud PC's or Thin-Clients. 

If you wish to explore this for your business let me know. We have now performed this work more than once!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Future of Retail - cashless?

 

This is worth a review. This is where PayPal is getting to using MobilePhone payments using QR-Codes.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

QR Codes for Wifi login

You may have started to see QR codes around town or in glossy magazines. QR codes are a two dimensional bar-code. But how you can apply them to business and web based content is where the benefits come into play.

Did you know you can generate a QR code for your office or restaurant wifi login? This works for Android phones at the moment.  Simply scan the QR code and the wifi settings including password are past to the network and your phone can login.

There are many ways codes can be used. If you wish to discuss please contact me as I have now worked on a couple of QR projects.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

5 Chrome Extensions Recommended

Google Chrome is growing in popularity as the browser of choice. Last month's statistics put it at 2nd place with 30.5% market share compared to Firefox at 39.5% and Microsoft's IE now down from 1st to 3rd place with 22%. As a Google Apps user, Chrome offers some great tools to enhance our daily life. To install extensions click on the spanner in the top right corner of your Chrome browser, then select Tools | Extensions. Bottom right normally displays Get More Extensions.

Here are a five I recommend:
  1. Send to Google Docs. This extension allows you to upload a PDF version of the current web page you are viewing and saves it into Google Docs.
  2. Google Chrome to Phone Extension. Enables you to send links and other information from Chrome to your Android device. For example a Google map reference.
  3. Chrome Remote Desktop. Allows you to remotely access another user's computer through the Chrome browser for support or may be accessing your home computer from the office.
  4. Web Clipboard. This extension will allow you to use the Google Web Clipboard to store text and HTML content. It uses Google Docs web clipboard, so you can access all your data directly in any Google Apps!
  5. Print via Google Print Cloud. Now you can print any doc/pdf/txt/jpg/jpeg file, Gmail email, attachment or Google Docs document using Google Cloud Print™.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Keeping Google Apps Data Safe

Backupify for Google Apps
This week I had two situations when customers contacted me about their Google data being deleted. The first was a real disaster as a IT provider deleted all the company accounts because they were upset because the customer terminated their IT contract. This put 30 staff and two companies out of business. Did they have a backup?  No.

The second was a case where a user telephoned me to say they had deleted some documents and now wanted them back. Did they have a backup? No.

For the first case we had some luck as I worked with Google and was able to recovery everything for the customer. They now owe me a very big dinner!  I also have a new client. In most cases Google can restore data within 5 days of it being deleted.

Backupify Snapshot - Download Google Apps data
The second case, well nothing we could do. I recommend customers implement Backupify for Google Apps. For US$3 a month how much time and effort is that going to save? Call me if you would like to try a test account.

Employees Leave
There is one other scenario users should appreciate, if a staff member leaves your employment an you wish to use their active license and not purchase a new one, simply deleting their account may not be the right approach. If you delete their account all documents that are owned by the user would be gone. So if that person had shared pricing documents or marketing information with everyone, it will be all lost.

To fix this there are a couple of tricks. First up, Backupify will allow the administrator to download and export an entire Google Apps Account with Backupify’s Snapshot tool. Backupify Snapshot— a new tool that enables people to archive Google Apps data by downloading and storing it locally, so they can delete or re-use ex-employees’ accounts. Once this is done you can use the Google tools from the Admin Console to reassign ownership rights to another users. Also consider using tools from Cloudlock.com