In January's Newsletter

On The Calendar If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.january-2015-calendar REGISTER TODAY from our Events page! Thursday, February 5th - We're so excited to celebrate our new location in Keller with you! Join us February 5th at 4:30 p.m. for great food, drinks, always-awesome giveaways, several of our vendor partners, networking opportunities and special guests Four Day Weekend, Fort Worth's best comedy improv troop!  We will be treated with an inspiring and fun "The Power of Yes, And..." presentation in a special venue...we hear it might just change how we all think - and do business - in the New Year! Visit our social media pages throughout the month, RSVP from our Events page, or email us directly for your invite! Subscribing to our blog and following us on social media is a great way to stay aware of events that pop up, best security practices, new alerts and other information for business owners and IT Managers.
IT Trends for 2015 If you're wondering what types of business tech we see on the 2015 horizon (or want to know so you can fine- tune your beginning of the year budgeting efforts) here's a quick rundown:
  • Desktop Virtualization - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) lets you deliver desktops and apps without compromising compliance. Apps and data stay in the datacenter so the risk of information loss from lost and stolen devices is reduced.  VDI can provide efficient management with a single console and rich user experience on a variety of devices and platforms.
  • Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Beat your competition to market using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), allowing you to deploy both virtual and dedicated bare metal servers, develop applications and run production-ready workloads in the cloud, pay for only what you use,
  • Cloud VOIP – If you’re a small business with fewer than 20 employees, or if your small business has multiple locations and a distributed workforce, it’s likely that Cloud VOIP is the right telephone system solution for you.
  • Office 365 – Office 365 is a lot more than just Hosted Exchange email.  You can jointly edit documents with other users, use Lync to communicate and instant message, view/edit documents from your smart phone or tablet, and always have the latest versions of workhorse Office apps such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Remember, oftentimes you'll discover your most significant savings in less-tangible avenues, such as improved business processes and cost-over-time. If you'd like to discuss how some of these technologies could impact your business in 2015, there's no time like the present - just give us a shout!
These Smart Phones Are Tops Several smart phones stars burst onto the scene this past year - did you unwrap any of CNET's recommendations...?  Here's highlights:
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - 4.5/5 stars. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will thrill anyone who loves a fast phone with a large screen, but it's best for compulsive scribblers willing to pay a lot for its winning stylus.
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus - 4.5/5 stars. The iPhone 6 Plus is too big for everyone to love it, but it's Apple's best phone this year. If your budget and your pocket can make room for it, give the iPhone 6 Plus serious consideration.
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 - 4.5/5 stars. Just about every aspect of Samsung's marquee mobile is better than ever, with souped-up specs under the hood revving up performance at every turn.
  • Apple iPhone 6 - 4.5/5 stars. The iPhone 6 delivers a bigger screen while remaining easy to handle, with plenty of features to satisfy everyone -- and the promise of Apple Pay on the horizon to potentially sweeten the deal even further.
  • LG G3 - 4.5/5 stars. Possessing the right blend of features and design, the G3 finally gives LG the right phone with which to challenge Korean rival Samsung.
  • Sony Xperia Z3 - 4.5/5 stars. The Sony Xperia Z3 is Sony's most formidable to date with a formidable display and promising features that easily give Android competition from HTC, LG and Samsung a run for their money.
  • Motorola Moto G - 3/5 stars. Motorola's new Moto G exemplifies the budget Android phone, but if you prefer your data LTE-flavored, it's best to wait for that model.
  David Johnson, Fulcrum Group VP, has this observation to share, "I like the Note 4.  The stylus functionality has improved significantly from previous versions. And the iPhone 6 Plus is a step in the right direction for Apple.  People love smart phones with big screens." For the article in its entirety, go here.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ for updates, pictures, and all the usual alerts, tips and hints of all kinds for small business owners and managers.
SPOTlight On:  Greg Spicer If you've had voice/data cabling installed with us any time in the last few years, you've likely interacted with infrastructure cable technician, Greg Spicer.  Greg has assisted the Fulcrum Group for a number of years on a contractor basis and is now with Fulcrum, full-time. Greg's approach accompanies an undeniable desire to get it right the first time (and "in as unobtrusive manner as possible"). His level of qualifications can reassure clients that that their installed network will provide many years of service, as well as much flexibility. An appreciator of the outdoors - gardening and fishing, in particular - Greg notes that one of the high points of his job is the diversity of his work environment - "indoors one day, outdoors the next - keeps the viewpoint fresh."  Welcome, Greg!  
Tech TipTech Tips from The Fulcrum Group, Dallas Fort Worth IT Managed Services Providers: Sony's Holiday Hack is a good reminder While North Korea was originally singled out, additional evidence surrounding the big Sony hack points to some inside "help" in the matter.For every organization, it is imperative to consider the possible repercussions of personnel changes and having good processes for new employee provisioning - and de-provisioning, as well.  Some good advice on the topic can be found here. Also Kuluoz, a botnet-related Trojan malware, continues to be an issue. Particularly, on more machines (and after infection) it sometimes spawns Fake AV infection, as well.  A noteworthy fact:  SecureWorld says it lives in over 80% of organizations. Keep us on your daily radar to get these and other helpful tech tips - follow our blog and our social media pages and stay aware!  
Did You Know...? Replacing Your Windows 2003 ServersThe Fulcrum Group Dallas Fort Worth IT Experts If you're still running Windows 2003 servers, you need to lend us your ear for a second... Microsoft support for Windows 2003 servers is ending July 14th, 2015.  Let Fulcrum Group IT experts guide you smoothly through your migration. Give us a shout if you'd like to discuss best options for your organization.