Bi101 Blog … on cloud computing and SaaS, by Business Intelligence 101

NetSuite SuiteWorld 2015

To our NetSuite users, followers, fans and partners, we thought you’d be interested to know, Bi101 attended SuiteWorld 2015 along with 7500+ other attendees, it was a whirlwind of activities and excitement! NetSuite’s rapid growth was evident at the annual event in San Jose, California.

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We enjoyed keynotes from Zach Nelson, NetSuite CEO, Evan Goldberg, Founder, CTO & Chairman​, and Fred Studer, NetSuite CMO. Click here to watch keynotes. A few highlights include:

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What’s Next for the Exchange Administrator?

The industry is changing. Email is moving to the cloud and the natural question that Exchange Administrators are asking themselves is: where do I fit into the new world? Admins who manage on-premise exchange servers like Exchange 2010 have at least some reason to be concerned – cloud-based email and other software services are more convenient, more accessible, and often more secure than managing an in-house server infrastructure. But just because the nature of the role is changing doesn’t mean Exchange Administrators themselves are becoming obsolete.  Bi101 is here to help broaden Administrator skill sets so that they can deal with a wider range of issues. We’re not here to replace your Exchange Administrator – we’re here to help them (and your entire company) through challenging transitions and to provide the training and services to help Admins adapt.

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Microsoft has said they will support Exchange 2013 until 2022 and Exchange 2016, due out this year, until 2025. This support also applies to some hybrid deployments (part cloud, part on premise server solutions) so the option to stick with Exchange is enticing but ultimately a band-aid solution. Why not take this chance to stay ahead of the curve and move your company to the cloud now? Your company and your employees will be forced to adapt regardless so why not arm them with the absolute best tech solutions as soon as possible?

Migrating to the cloud is a complex, multi-step process and we are the experts you need. Completing this transition means reconfiguring networks to accommodate data transfer, scheduling mailbox migrations, and synchronizing various directories to ensure a smooth changeover. Thorough knowledge and experience with migrations plus a keen understanding of exactly which tools will best suit your specific situation are called for – this is where we step in.

Bi101 provides support to your local Exchange Administrator so that the transition goes as smoothly as possible and so that your existing team is better equipped to deal with any and all challenges going forward. We do this by providing a customized action plan developed with your team’s input and advice and that caters to your business’s specific structure and needs. Our goal is to empower your employees to understand as much as possible about the benefits of cloud-computing so that your company can begin reaping rewards instantly after the switch. This means an immediate boost to office productivity as well as happier, more efficient employees.

The cloud offers easier access and collaboration as well as more security for your company’s data assets (including email and all associated attachments). With all-in-one services like Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 you get automatic data backups and best-in-industry data protection. With on-premise servers you get shrinking software support for products like Exchange 2010, slower speeds, and a more temperamental system forming the backbone of your company. Your data assets are the most important part of your business – leaving them unsecured or losing access to them even briefly is a risk you can no longer afford to take.

The growing impact of cloud-based software cannot be denied, but Exchange Administrators need not be afraid of the trend. Migration to the cloud means your Administrator can spend less time managing an on-premise server and more time solving important technical issues that arise at the office. As more and more businesses switch away from on-premise systems and migrate to the cloud the role of the Exchange Administrator must evolve along with the industry. A diversified understanding of the options is the best way to keep yourself ahead of the curve and we’re here to provide you with that understanding.

If you’re still not convinced that migrating to the cloud is the right move for your business – check out these amazing success stories to see how your company can gain ground with cloud-based computing!

Helping businesses through complex implementation and change

When we prepare for a difficult migration we like to have a detailed plan in place – one that is tailored to your business so that you can reap the most immediate rewards possible. In order to handle these transitions in the best and most efficient way, we created a framework to help businesses through complex change. We call it, Modelworks and in using it the team at Bi101 will get to know your business as well as to brainstorm and simulate some of your key processes in order to recommend you the best possible customized solution. After that we design a specifically tailored implementation and training plan to ensure that everything comes together. The goal is not only to provide you with the best solutions to fit your business but to plan and execute the transition with as little disruption as possible. The absolute best way we can help your business soar is by getting to know your specific needs, supporting you through the migration process, and ensuring that your employees are ready to hit the ground running after it’s all over.

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Modelworks is a set of guiding principles for Bi101 – at its core its a software implementation plan but in practice it’s all you need to know about the way we provide amazing service to our clients. We are experts in software protocols and complex transition procedures of all kinds – the real question is: which ones are the perfect fit for you? In order to help you determine this, we look carefully at your current business model and SOPs. We analyze where your highest potential for inefficiencies are and only then do our consultants make a formal recommendation. Here at Bi101 we realize that off-the-shelf solutions won’t always do 100% of what you need done – so we look at your business processes and make complex, tailored recommendations which may include more than one software change. In order to do this we construct a model that validates your existing software and operational processes, assessing a range of variables in order to optimize how your office runs! Then we make recommendations and work with your team to decide on the best possible solution(s).

The next step is really the heart of what Modelworks is all about – the implementation plan. In order to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition we prepare a detailed software implementation plan for your company. We also take another close look at the new process with the new software solutions we’ve jointly determined to be optimal in order to revalidate your new workflow. All reports and any customizations are tested thoroughly as we lead your team through a tailored roadmap for the migration. Advanced and detailed planning means we typically avoid any interruptions in service and are able to predict and quickly solve any issues along the way. Our software implementation plan doesn’t end with the installation, however.

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As we build the full software implementation model we are continuously documenting all procedures and creating a repository of training materials for your staff. We realize how important it is for your employees to be able to hit the ground running after a software change and we plan carefully so that your team is confident enough to start taking advantage of the changes immediately . This completes the official Modelworks framework – your consultation, planning, implementation, and training service providers at Bi101 are here to help you through this change. And just because the official implementation has ended doesn’t mean our service stops. We’ll remain a trusted partner going forward and our support staff will be available any time you need us, no matter what happens.

If you’re still wondering if cloud-computing is a good fit for your business, read more about how the newest, best technological solutions can elevate your organization here!

The Globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps

Businesses are always looking for better solutions – ways to optimize productivity, reduce cost, and promote collaboration. To help do this more and more companies worldwide are looking to cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps. The move to cloud-computing is a fast-spreading business trend and the globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps is a particular indication of what modern companies are looking for from these solutions. These two market leaders provide the data accessibility, protection, and collaboration within an all-in-one package along with the amazing support and software integration necessary to take full advantage of the new technology right away.

As the popularity of cloud-computing continues to increase, businesses worldwide will have to choose sides and decide which of these solutions works best for them. The alternative to cloud-based email and data storage services is typically an on-premise exchange server – one that needs consistent attention and can hobble businesses (at least briefly) if things ever go awry. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps offer all-in-one, scalable solutions for your business with a trusted support system to backup your data assets and to weather nearly any emergency. Wondering what specific trends are pushing the globalization of Microsoft and Google as key cloud solutions? We’ll tell you.

Both Microsoft and Google are innovating consistently in order to maintain cloud-computing market share and to capture more value in the global economy. Several important business trends are driving this innovation, among them the rise of the thin client computer, a strong focus on video-conferencing, and the availability of cloud storage.

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An increasingly mobile and global workforce across nearly every industry means a strong focus on videoconferencing software in the modern office. Google and Microsoft have each designed their own video conferencing software for business and continue to innovate easier and better ways for business clients to use it as a collaborative communication tool. While Google continues to focus on and innovate its own app Hangouts, Microsoft has recently announced that Skype for business will very soon come standard for Office 365 clients. As cloud-based video-conferencing becomes smoother and easier for teams to use, the globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps will continue.

Cloud storage is another key emerging issue for industries choosing between the two software giants. As storage prices plummet, the amount of data stored in the cloud increases dramatically. Storing and securing sensitive corporate data – in particular ensuring compliance with industry-specific legal regulations – is a key reason for businesses to migrate to the cloud in the first place. Microsoft and Google each offer significant amounts of free storage as incentive to customers and the need for more and more storage is part of what is driving the globalization of these products. Once your data is in the cloud, your company already most of the way towards working from the cloud.

The bottom line is that from the largest Fortune 500 multinationals to the smallest, leanest of start ups and SMBs – businesses everywhere are taking part in the globalization of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps. That’s simply because no matter what the size and scope of your organization you need communication and document-sharing that works and you need it to be scalable. These cloud options offer value to industries and businesses everywhere.

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The B2B Software Services Experts Are Here

At Bi101 we are the B2B Software Services experts. Our business is about helping other businesses find and implement the software solutions that will increase productivity and bring them more success. We’ve helped companies big, small, and across all industries navigate what can be a intimidating but ultimately rewarding transition to new software platforms. We do this by providing expert consultation on a company’s specific software needs, technical guidance and training throughout the software transition, and high-touch client support after the migration. Understanding and then meeting the specific needs of our clients is the top priority.

When you reach out to Bi101 we first offer free consultation services. The best way we can help you is by knowing more about your business – that way we can offer customized recommendations for best fit solutions that will take your company to the next level. For example when Iter8, a software company working with P&C insurance carriers to develop integrative solutions for independent agents, policyholders, and service providers gave us a call we first wanted to know about the nature of the issues they were facing. Iter8 had been using QuickBooks for their financials, Timeledger for Timesheet & Expense entry, and BeMo hosted by Microsoft Project Server for project-planning purposes. The problem was that none of these solutions “talked to each other” and their billing protocols involved multiple spreadsheets that took far too long to complete each month. Bi101’s recommendation was a move to NetSuite ERP and OpenAir – an all-in-one solution that would effectively replace the three applications Iter8 was currently using and reduce the time it took to prepare the books by collating all the data automatically into timely reports. Six weeks later Iter8 went live with NetSuite and they are now running more efficiently than ever thanks to the great recommendation and support!

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After we assess and recommend a best fit software solution for our clients the next step is implementation. Bi101 is available to help companies through what can be a daunting transition and can address any technical issues quickly and effectively as they arise. Science Media, Inc, a tech startup incubator in Santa Monica, came to Bi101 for help when they realized they needed faster and more flexible collaboration software for their team. Managing an in-house Microsoft Exchange server was cumbersome and wasn’t covering all the needs of a fast-growing business. Science Media decided on a migration to Google Apps and Bi101 was there to help with the complex transition. Bi101 produced a highly-customized migration plan tailored to Science Media’s specific needs for data security and broad employee access. As a partner in the transition Bi101 ensured that all data was transferred securely from the previous host and that the staff had no service interruptions. Science Media described Bi101’s expert support as the “key to making our transition a success”

Last but not least, Bi101 provides employee training and post-migration technical support services. Training staff on new software is the key to an effective implementation. Funmobility, a digital marketing firm, approached Bi101 about a migration to Google Apps and after helping them through the migration itself we were there to help their office get over a daunting learning curve for new software and to keep daily operations running smoothly. FunMobility’s transition was quick and painless as a result – and if issues come up they know that Bi101’s support services are only a phone call away. We remain trusted partners after our software migrations so that we’re there to help deal with any challenges that may appear down the road.

Don’t worry – the B2B Software Services experts are here. We help businesses increase efficiency through better software solutions and a smooth implementation process that means your company can take full advantage of the new technological productivity. 

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