January News:

On The CalendarJanuary at The Fulcrum Group Happy 2020 to you!  This month, we want to make you aware of the following: Windows 7 & Windows 2008 Server End of Life We detail below in our newsletter this month some key takeaways to End of Life for these business platforms. Also, not to miss - Vistage Executive Summit - happening Tuesday, February 11th in Irving. Executives, you'll want to register today! We'll let you know about any additional upcoming special events through our social media pages, which we'll update on our Events page as they occur. Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us. If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.
IT Trends For 2020Top Trends for 2020 2019 has now come to a close, and it's now time to look at what to expect for IT in 2020.  Here are some trends we think you should be on the lookout for: Tech Trend 1 - Emerging Technologies continue to Transform Business From technology that blurs the line between reality and cyberspace to  digital cities that link humans, machines, and everyday objects, businesses are utilizing technology in new and creative ways to increase business value. Tech Trend 2 - Data is the Digital Currency Transformation will also happen through data.  Businesses will utilize more data from more sources than ever before.  IoT devices, tracking of users' habits via smart phones and web browsers, and other sources will provide the data; businesses will now use that data in more ways than ever before to make decisions, gain competitive advantages, and perform predictive analysis to prevent problems and outages. Tech Trend 3 - Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Service Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest technologies over the past few years.  It has moved from bleeding edge to mainstream, especially in the Enterprise space.  Developing and deploying AI is an expensive proposition for small and medium sized businesses, so expect to see more AI as a Service offerings to meet the growing demand for AI in the SMB space.  This will allow SMBs to take advantage of AI without the high upfront cost. Tech Trend 4 - 5G Mobile Data Networks 5th generation mobile data networks are now being deployed across the US by most wireless carriers. More and more 5G capable smart phones and tablets will become available, opening up new opportunities for AI, IoT, machine learning, and other data-intensive technologies. Tech Trend 5 - Multi-Experience Businesses are moving towards giving their customers a technology "multi-experience".  This will allow customers to communicate with businesses in a variety of methods (mobile, web, text, chat, etc.), and will combine AI technologies with multi-sensory and multi-touchpoint interfaces like wearables and IoT sensors.   Domino's Pizza is an example of a business that has embraced the "multi-experience" for their customers, using technologies such as autonomous vehicles, pizza tracker, and smart speaker communications ("Alexa, place my standard Domino's Pizza order"). 2020 promises to an exciting year, and it will be interesting to see how many of these technologies are embraced by businesses large and small.
Microsoft  Windows  7 & Windows 2008 Server Have  Officially  Reached  End  of  SupportMS Windows 7 & Windows Server 8 End of Support is here Microsoft Windows 7 & Windows 2008 Server Have Officially Reached End of Support. You’ve heard us frequently talking about end of support for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server.  The January 14th, 2020 deadline has already passed, and end of support is officially here. If you have Windows 7 computers and/or Windows 2008 servers, here are the key takeaways.
  • Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server reached end of support on January 14th, 2020.
  • There is Extended Security Updates available for Windows 7, but NO Extended Security Updates for Windows 2008 (unless you are willing to move your Windows 2008 servers to the Microsoft Azure Cloud).
  • Cost for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates is $119 total ($69 for ESU license, $50 for deployment/patching setup).
  • Windows 7 computers and Windows 2008 servers will be considered “out of compliance” and no longer supported under your SPOT Managed IT Services agreement effective January 14th, 2020.
We have more detailed information on our blog this month.  Reach out if you have any questions.
January Security Awareness Newsletter

Click here to read our latest Security Awareness Newsletter.

Cybersecurity SPOTlight: The Art of the Con Some real life cons, and how to avoid social engineering attacks in this month's edition of our Security Awareness Newsletter! As always, feel free to reach out to us with questions.
Vistage Executive News - 5 Tactics for Effective Cybersecurity Management Vistage Executive News Cybersecurity ranks near the top of the list of concerns for business owners in 2020.  Here are some solid tactics we feel are helpful to know.
Fulcrum Group Did You KnowDid You Know...? Windows 7 Extended Security Updates Did you know…Fulcrum Group provides Windows 7 Extended Security Updates through our SPOT Managed IT Services program? Get extended life from your Windows 7 computers through Extended Security Updates.