Month: January 2014

Infographic: Hire Out of State with Hosted Desktops

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According to a recent survey cited by the Wall Street Journal, only 19 percent of American businesses plan to hire new employees in 2014. Many of the businesses not planning on hiring this year would probably change their minds if they knew that they could hire workers from other cities and states where the cost of labor is lower. By signing up for IronOrbit Hosted Desktops, for example, businesses can hire people anywhere in the United States, and provide them with all of the same IT resources that onsite employees have access to (IronOrbit Hosted Desktops are anywhere-accessible IT solutions that appear and perform the same as locally-installed Windows desktop operating systems). And by using IronOrbit Hosted Desktops to hire more affordable remote workers in other cities and states, businesses can reduce their payroll costs by an average of up to 42 percent and raise productivity by as much as 350 percent. To learn more about why businesses wanting to hire more affordable remote workers in other areas should sign up for our Hosted Desktops, check out our infographic posted below; and to sign up for our Hosted Desktops, contact us at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 today!

OutOfState-01a

Upgrade from Office 2003 with Hosted VDIs

Upgrade Office 2003 OTNO Blog

Just as Microsoft will be discontinuing its support for Windows XP after April 8, 2014, it will also no longer be providing any security patches or technical support for Office 2003 after that same date. Because applications that aren’t supported are vulnerable to security breaches and downtime, businesses should contact IronOrbit and switch to a newer version of Microsoft Office before it’s too late. The advantages of signing up for a hosted version of Microsoft Office from IronOrbit, as opposed to purchasing licenses for onsite versions of the application, include:

  • More accessibility. Hosted applications from IronOrbit can be accessed from anywhere with any Internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone. With an anywhere-accessible Microsoft Office, IronOrbit users can, for example, input data into Excel spreadsheets or Access databases when performing offsite services; use a tablet to display a PowerPoint at an offsite meeting; or draft reports in Word from a Wi-Fi-enabled train or airplane. Despite being anywhere-accessible, our Hosted Applications are also centralized—the application and its files never leave our servers, and the only data sent to users’ devices is the video and audio of the application as it responds to users’ keyboard and mouse inputs.
  • No onsite servers required. IronOrbit Hosted Applications don’t require the purchase or maintenance of any onsite servers or PC workstations. All an IronOrbit user needs to access our hosted solutions is an Internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Fully-managed and secure. IronOrbit Hosted Applications are protected by our Orbital Security System (firewalls, IDS/IPS, antivirus, and content filtering). They’re also backed with 24x7x365 US-based technical support.

Businesses can also upgrade to a newer version of Microsoft Office by signing up for IronOrbit Hosted Virtual Desktops, which are IT solutions that appear and perform the same as locally-installed Windows 7 or Windows 8 desktop operating systems. In fact, we at IronOrbit usually recommend that businesses use Desktop Virtualization to deploy Microsoft Office rather than implement it separately as a Hosted Application, for a couple reasons.

First, many of the computers old enough to still be running Office 2003 are also running the Windows XP operating system; and by signing up for IronOrbit Hosted VDIs and using them to deploy a newer version of Microsoft Office, businesses can upgrade them both at the same time. Second, a user can access all of his applications (not just all of the programs in the Microsoft Office suite, but also any other applications that he wants to install) from his assigned Hosted Desktop, instead of having to log in and access each application separately. Third, users can do more with IronOrbit Hosted Desktops than just run applications—they can also use them to store files, access email, and browse the Internet. Also, like IronOrbit Hosted Applications and Hosted IT Infrastructures, our Hosted VDIs are centralized; come with our Orbital Security System and 24x7x365 technical support; can be accessed from anywhere; and cost only a low, flat monthly fee.

To switch to a newer version of Office by signing up for these Hosted VDIs or our Hosted Applications, businesses should contact us at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 today!

Reduce Payroll Costs with Hosted Desktops

If you‰Ûªre a business that would like to add talented and hardworking people to your workforce but are prevented from doing so by the high cost of labor in your area, you‰Ûªre in luck.

With IronOrbit Hosted Desktops, businesses can hire employees living out-of-state or overseas‰ÛÓand do it without having to make any radical changes to their IT infrastructure.

IronOrbit Hosted Desktops are web-based IT solutions that appear and perform the same as Windows desktop operating systems.

Though they can do anything that a locally-installed Windows desktop OS can do. Like run applications, access email, save files, and browse the web.

They also have the advantage of easy accessibility from anywhere with any Internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone. In addition, our Hosted Desktops are centralized onto a small number of interconnected servers.

This is despite being more accessible than locally-installed desktop operating systems. Which makes them easier to protect and manage.

The benefits of IronOrbit Hosted Desktops for businesses with remote workers include:

  • Desktop-level functionality. IronOrbit Hosted Desktops are versatile and powerful desktop. Like environments that allow workers to access all of their files and applications from a single interface. They also enable remote workers to be as productive as onsite workers.
  • Anywhere-accessibility. IronOrbit Hosted Desktops are accessible via the Internet from anywhere, and our three data centers. Including one on each coast of the continental US, ensure that our solutions are as fast and responsive as even the most high-end onsite PC workstation, regardless of the user‰Ûªs location.
  • High scalability. Provisioning a Hosted Desktop for a new remote employee takes at most a few days.
  • No additional hardware purchases required. It won‰Ûªt be necessary for a business to purchase end-user devices for its remote workers.  IronOrbit Desktop Virtualization solutions are accessible from any computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • No additional IT personnel required. Businesses don‰Ûªt have to hire any additional IT personnel when they sign up for our Hosted Desktops. Experience 24x7x365 technical support, an enterprise-level IT security system, and automated data backups come standard with all IronOrbit solutions.

The numbers

The difference between the highest and lowest average annual wage among states is almost $25,000. It can also be inferred from these statistics that a business in the state with the highest average annual wage, Connecticut, could reduce its payroll costs by an average of up to 42 percent if it hired remote workers living in South Dakota, the state with the lowest average annual wage.

In addition, businesses can reduce their payroll costs even more by hiring remote workers in other countries. Workers in the United States make an average of $45,790 per year, for example, but the per capita income in India is only $1,527.

To start reducing their payroll costs by hiring remote workers, businesses should contact IronOrbit at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 to sign up for our Desktop Virtualization and Hosted IT Infrastructure services today!

Customizable QuickBooks Hosting

All IronOrbit hosted solutions are customizable, including our Hosted QuickBooks solutions. Aspects of our QuickBooks Hosting solutions that can be customized include:

  • Users (the amount of)
  • Storage (the amount of)
  • Security policies
  • Authorization methods
  • Access policies

Our clients also have the ability to select the version of QuickBooks that they want IronOrbit to host for them. IronOrbit can host any current version of QuickBooks, including QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, and QuickBooks Accountant.

We can also host any past edition of any QuickBooks version (QuickBooks Pro 2011, QuickBooks Pro 2012, etc.). Just in case a business prefers the features or interface of that edition of the software.

Finally, IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting solutions are also compatible with all of the plugins for onsite versions of QuickBooks. IronOrbit users can use these plugins to add payroll, inventory, CRM, payment processing, POS, and e-commerce features to their Hosted QuickBooks deployments, thereby customizing them even further.

The customizability of a QuickBooks Hosting solution is especially important to businesses with existing onsite deployments of QuickBooks that want to be able to migrate the application to a hosted IT infrastructure without having to switch versions or lose any important features or settings.

IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting and Enterprise QuickBooks Hosting solutions, for example, are so customizable that many businesses’ onsite versions of QuickBooks can be transferred to our hosting infrastructure without a single change.

Many hosting providers, in contrast, can’t host every version of QuickBooks; don’t offer the full desktop versions of the software; don’t support plugins; or don’t allow the users, storage, security policies, authorization methods, or access policies of a QuickBooks deployment to be customized. It’s both more difficult and less advantageous to switch from an onsite deployment to a hosted version of QuickBooks with hosting providers that don’t support customization.

Meanwhile, other benefits of the customizability of IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting include:

  • More control over security and access policies. Businesses are able to choose the security and access policies and authorization methods of their IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks deployments. They can opt for an ultra-secure deployment (requiring strong passwords, requiring that passwords be changed every month, limiting access to approved IP addresses, etc.) or a deployment that’s as easy to access as possible (no password requirements, automatic access for approved IP addresses, etc.).
  • More control over costs. In order to reduce their costs, IronOrbit clients can deduct from their QuickBooks deployment’s users and storage capacity or downgrade to a more cost-efficient version of QuickBooks.
  • More scalability. Any amount of users and storage capacity can be added to an IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks deployment at any time. As a result, it’s easy to provide new employees with access to the application, and there’s never any danger of running out of space for the software’s inventory, CRM, or financial recordkeeping data.

In addition to QuickBooks, IronOrbit can also host any other application (Microsoft Exchange, the Microsoft Office Suite, Sage 50/Peachtree Accounting, CRMs, ERPs, EHRs/EMRs, etc.) in a way that’s equally customizable, as part of our Application Hosting Services.

For QuickBooks Hosting or Application Hosting solutions that are highly customizable and scalable and that can be adjusted to be as secure, accessible, and cost-efficient as possible, businesses should contact IronOrbit at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 and sign up for Hosted QuickBooks from us today!

The Benefits of 24x7x365 Technical Support

24x7x365 technical support is included free with all IronOrbit hosted solutions. Our technicians are available around-the-clock via phone, email, or online chat.

In addition, our technicians are all based in the United States and are either native English speakers or fluent in both English and Spanish.

Also, our technicians all have several years’ experience providing remote IT support and possess an in-depth knowledge of all of the IronOrbit cloud hosting solutions. These include Server Virtualization, Desktop Virtualization, and QuickBooks Hosting services.

Many of our technicians have advanced certifications, including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CCNA, CCNP, CCISP, MCITP, and MCSE.

In short, because our technicians are all available 24x7x365, are fluent English speakers, and are extensively trained, experienced, and skilled, any time IronOrbit users can request help from us.

Whether it’s two in the morning or two in the afternoon, they can always expect to be provided with IT support. We are prompt, highly-effective, and hassle-free.

IronOrbit technical support isn’t only unique in its unparalleled quality and around-the-clock availability, however. It’s also unique in that it’s all-inclusive, meaning that we will provide technical support for all of a client’s IT hardware.

All-Inclusive Features:

  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Monitors.

And software (like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange, or Intuit QuickBooks, regardless of whether or not they are used in connection with an IronOrbit hosted solution.

Businesses can contact us for technical support with any aspect of their IT infrastructure that we can fix directly (via remote connection or by repairing or recalibrating something that’s on our end) or guide them through the process of fixing the problem themselves.

The reason we’re capable of providing all-inclusive support, meanwhile, is that, rather than hire technicians whose skill set and experience would only allow them to provide IT support for our hosted solutions.

At IronOrbit we’ve made a point of hiring technicians with the versatility and wide-ranging knowledge to be able to fix any problem with any device or application.

24x7x365 technical support is just one of the IT services that are included at no extra cost with all of our hosted solutions; the others include Orbital Security (firewalls, IDS/IPS, antivirus, and content filtering) and managed data backups.

And just as the IT services that come with our hosted solutions preclude businesses from having to hire any onsite IT personnel. Every aspect of an onsite IT infrastructure is capable of being replaced by an IronOrbit hosted solution.

We can manage the following aspects of your IT so you don’t have to:

  • Desktops
  • Applications
  • Email servers
  • Terminal servers
  • File servers

Our hosted solutions eliminate the costs and hassles associated with a business managing its own IT infrastructure. At the same time make its IT more secure, reliable, and accessible.

To put the costs and hassles of IT management and maintenance aside, businesses should contact us at (888) 753-5060 or [email protected] and sign up IronOrbit cloud hosting solutions today!

Infographic: End of Life Windows XP

On April 8, 2014, or less than three months from now, Microsoft will be discontinuing its support for the Windows XP operating system. Because running an unsupported OS in the enterprise inevitably leads to security breaches and downtime, businesses should contact IronOrbit at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 to upgrade their IT infrastructure to Windows 7 or Windows 8 before the deadline.

EndOfLife-WinXP-OTNO-Infographic

Advantages of Managed Application Hosting

Managed Apps OTNO Blog

Hosted solutions that are maintained, secured, and supported by the hosting provider are called managed hosted solutions. For example, IronOrbit Hosted Applications, just like our Hosted Desktops and Hosted Dedicated Servers, come with 24x7x365 technical support, around-the-clock performance and security monitoring, comprehensive IT security (including firewalls, IPS/IDS, antivirus, and content filtering), and managed data backups. The advantages of Managed Application Hosting solutions include:

  • Lower costs. Once businesses sign up for IronOrbit Application Server Hosting, they don’t have to hire any onsite IT personnel or bring in any IT freelancers—seeing as we provide technical support not only for our own solutions but also for also for our clients’ hardware (including computers, tablets, smartphones, printers, and scanners) and applications. Furthermore, with our already secure and backed up Application Hosting solutions, businesses also don’t have to pay for or implement any IT security or data backup systems. These managed services don’t add any additional costs to the low, flat monthly fee that businesses pay for our solutions, either—rather, our low, flat monthly fee already takes the costs of these services into account.
  • Better security, reliability, and performance. IronOrbit Application Hosting solutions are managed, maintained, and secured around-the-clock by our knowledgeable and experienced technicians. As a result, IronOrbit Hosted Applications are better protected than most onsite IT infrastructures (which aren’t managed 24x7x365 and whose managers have comparatively less knowledge and experience) from security breaches and downtime. IronOrbit Application Hosting solutions also perform better than unmanaged applications due to being maintained around-the-clock—though our exclusive Atomic Speed Technology also accounts for some of the difference in performance.
  • Less hassles. With IronOrbit Application Hosting, businesses don’t have to worry about hiring any onsite IT personnel or IT freelancers or implementing any IT security or data backup systems. At the same time, businesses with IronOrbit Hosted Applications also don’t have to worry about security breaches or outages. Companies that sign up for IronOrbit Application Hosting would be able to focus on their business instead of their IT, with the knowledge that their applications will be maximally secure, reliable, and fast at all times and that enterprise-level IT support will always be just a phone call or an email away.

Businesses rely on applications like ERPs and CRMs to be efficient and productive. In order to be effective, however, applications need to be continually managed, maintained, and protected. By contacting IronOrbit at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 and signing up for our Managed Application Hosting solutions, businesses can ensure that their applications are always ideally secure, reliable, and fast—even as they reduce their IT costs and eliminate the hassles and unpredictability of internal IT management.

Increase Productivity with Hosted Applications

The ability of IronOrbit Application Hosting solutions like Hosted QuickBooks to increase productivity was reinforced by write-ups from the last month about mobility and telecommuting.

How Going Mobile Enhances Productivity

Recent articles in CIO Insight and InformationWeek India bore the titles “Enterprise Mobility Dominates IT Agenda in 2014” and “Mobility: Topmost on the boardroom agenda for 2014.”

The article in CIO Insight reports that 67 percent of organizations expect mobile technologies like IronOrbit Application Hosting to increase their productivity levels.

Meanwhile, in the article in InformationWeek India, Sanjay Deshmukh of Citrix (an IronOrbit partner) argues that “‘work’ is no [longer] a place we go to. It’s what we do when ever and where ever business needs to be done.”

He adds, “Mobility has become one of the key drivers for business transformation and growth.” Deshmukh also identifies “containerized” applications (virtualized, network-delivered applications, like IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting, which always remain on the servers on which they’re installed) and desktop virtualization solutions like IronOrbit Hosted Desktops as mobile solutions that businesses need to embrace in 2014.

A Telecommuting Workforce Is a More Productive Workforce

Another mobility topic that’s trending right now is telecommuting, a subject that Brigid Schulte of the Washington Post recently wrote about in her article, “Telework, once a ‘mom perk,’ keeps government humming during snow storms.”

Telecommuting, Schulte says, has enabled government agencies like the Department of Agriculture, the General Services Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and the Patent and Trademark Office to raise productivity levels and enhance employee morale. Some of the statistics that she cites to support her argument include:

  • Telecommuting saved the federal government $30 million per day during the severe snowstorms of 2009-2010, when federal employees had no choice but to work from home
  • Telecommuting is the only aspect of federal employment that has seen a continual increase in positive feedback “year after year” in surveys of employees
  • Telecommuting would save the federal government $11 billion per year in “real estate savings, productivity increases, continuity of operations, [and] a reduction in absenteeism, presenteeism [when an employee is physically present but unproductive], turnover, [and] healthcare costs” if 45 percent of federal workers telecommuted 2.5 days per week
  • Telecommuting employees processed 3.5 times more patents per year than their office-bound counterparts at the Patent and Trademark Office

QuickBooks Hosted by IronOrbit

IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting can be accessed from anywhere with any Internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone.

With IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks, employees can continue to be productive even after they leave the office (finishing an assignment while riding home on the train, for example), or they can telecommute and potentially be 3.5 times more productive and avoid work stoppages due to severe weather.

To sign up for Hosted QuickBooks, contact IronOrbit, a leading QuickBooks Hosting Provider, at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 today!

The Extra Capabilities of IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks

When hosted with IronOrbit, QuickBooks is more accessible, cost-efficient, secure, and reliable.

IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks can be accessed from anywhere with any Internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone; costs only a low, flat monthly fee; is protected from malware and hackers with firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and antivirus software; and comes with a 100% uptime guarantee.

In addition, even though the features of the onsite versions of QuickBooks and IronOrbit’s Hosted QuickBooks are the same, IronOrbit QuickBooks

Hosting is the more versatile of the two because of its anywhere-accessibility and centralization. Some of the things that IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting Services can do that an onsite version of QuickBooks can’t include:

Serve as a centralized accounting system for enterprises

Businesses with multiple offices can use IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks as a centralized accounting system. An IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting deployment is the same no matter who accesses it and regardless of where it’s accessed from. It can thus be used to centrally store, access, and analyze all of a business’s financial data.

Serve as a company’s primary recordkeeping and data storage platform

In addition to the extensive out-of-the-box accounting (accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, bookkeeping, etc.), payroll, and inventory features of most versions of QuickBooks, it’s possible to add even more features to QuickBooks—including customer relationship management, supply chain management, and payment processing features— with first- and third-party plugins.

A deployment of QuickBooks augmented with plugins is preferable to separately-deployed applications with the same features because of the former’s centralization; with access to customer, supply chain, and payment data, QuickBooks is able to keep more comprehensive records and perform more accurate and complex calculations and projections.

Meanwhile, an IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks deployment modified with add-ons is able to incorporate even more data than an onsite QuickBooks deployment enhanced with plugins, since a single IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks deployment can be shared by several geographically-separated offices at once and can be accessed by offsite workers like telecommuters and delivery truck drivers.

Serve as an online workspace for freelance accountants

IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks lets freelance accountants access all of a company’s financial data without having to travel to the client’s office.

By working remotely, accountants are able to get more work done, support a larger client base, and bring in more revenue. This arrangement is also potentially more convenient and more cost-efficient for the client.

Of course, the client will have to be signed up for IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting for this arrangement to work. To arrange for this to happen, accountants can recommend IronOrbit QuickBooks Hosting to their clients or even offer Hosted QuickBooks as a service in partnership with IronOrbit.

To turn QuickBooks into a centralized, anywhere-accessible, and highly-versatile accounting or business management platform, contact IronOrbit at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 and sign up for our QuickBooks Hosting Services today!

IronOrbit Managed Server Hosting Options

Hosted servers (servers that are physically located in a hosting provider’s data center, which companies manage and access via the Internet and typically rent on a month-to-month basis) are preferable to onsite servers because the former can be accessed from anywhere and don’t require the purchase of expensive hardware.

Businesses can use these web-based servers to host any IT solution they want—including applications, virtual desktops, email clients, databases, and websites.

The advantage of selecting IronOrbit hosted servers, meanwhile, is that our hosted servers come with 24x7x365 all-inclusive technical support, an enterprise-level IT security system, and managed data backups.

With IronOrbit Managed Server Hosting, businesses get around-the-clock IT support and thorough protection from security breaches, downtime, and data loss.

The five different varieties of Managed Server Hosting that we offer are:

  • Dedicated Server Hosting. A dedicated server is a single-tenant hosted server. Unlike with virtual dedicated servers, where a business’s virtual server is hosted on the same physical server as the virtual servers of other businesses, with dedicated servers businesses get an entire physical server to themselves. The main advantage of dedicated servers is that they generally have more processing and storage resources than virtual servers. It’s also required in some industries to host sensitive data like payment card information or medical records on single-tenant servers.
  • Virtual Dedicated Servers. With virtualization technologies, it’s possible to partition a single physical server into multiple, independently-functioning virtual servers. With virtual servers, businesses that only need one-fourth or one-half of a physical server’s processing and storage resources only have to pay for one-fourth or one-half of a physical server. And because virtual servers are scalable, businesses can also add users and resources to a virtual server at any time.
  • Terminal Servers. A terminal server is a server that’s running Microsoft Terminal Services. With Terminal Services, businesses can centrally host and manage all of their Windows-compatible applications. Hosted Terminal Servers from IronOrbit are ideal for businesses that want remotely-accessible applications, or that don’t want to deal with purchasing and managing their own onsite servers but that still want to directly manage their applications.
  • Citrix Servers. A Citrix server is a server that’s running either Citrix XenApp or Citrix XenDesktop. As with Microsoft Terminal Services, with Citrix XenApp businesses can centrally host and manage all of their applications. With Citrix XenDesktop, similarly, businesses gain the ability to centrally host and manage their virtual desktops, along with their applications.
  • Compliance Hosting. A compliance server is a server that has been customized to comply with data security regulations such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, and GLBA. IronOrbit Compliance Servers have been used by businesses in a number of industries—including retail, healthcare, finance, government, and manufacturing—to ensure compliance with their respective regulations.

To sign up for any of these types of IronOrbit Managed Server Hosting, businesses should contact us at [email protected] or (888) 753-5060 today!