State of IT 2017

As we start the New Year it’s appropriate to look at the state of I.T. and give you the JustWorks perspective on where the best path forward will take us.

First we need to remember that the basic structure of a computer has not changed: a computer uses a processor to process data that is kept on storage. The proximity of the processor to the storage is still absolutely key, and that affects how “cloud services” work, or don’t work. The larger the data being processed, the more important it is that the processor and the data it is working on are joined by a fast connection, so applications like CAD and accounting cannot tolerate a situation where the processor and the storage are separated by the typical Internet link available to most businesses today. Either the data needs to be local (in the same place, like the office) to the computer, or the processing needs to be done remotely, close to where the data is.

Using this model we can more easily understand the different cloud services that are available.

  • “True cloud” services are where both the processing and the storage are provided by the vendor, so all the user needs is a window into their systems — a good example is QuickBooks Online, where the data and the processing are done on Intuit’s servers and all you need is a web browser to see the results.
  • “Hybrid cloud” services are where the processing and the storage are not always colocated. A good example of these type of services are the cloud file services, where the files exist in the cloud but are also replicated locally so that they can be used by your (local) computer. Hybrid solutions typically require both some local systems and some remote (cloud) systems to deliver the solution effectively.

For the majority of businesses the world of cloud services has not advanced to the point where they can replace their local applications, and it may well be many years before that is true. So most businesses are stuck in between the old world of local networks and servers, and some combination of the true and hybrid cloud services.

The way forward is to be ready to move applications to the cloud when that becomes feasible, and in the meantime get as much advantage as possible from hybrid cloud services without breaking what works on the local, office-based network. This is what we have designed JustWorks 7 to deliver.

jw7JustWorks 7 is our seventh major design revision in our 21 year history, and just happens to neatly coincide with 2017 as the launch year. In designing JustWorks 7 we have preserved the ability of our customers to continue to run the applications they need on their office network, while also providing the benefits of a distributed cloud file system that is available from anywhere on any device. Customers can share their data securely with partners and vendors, enable remote working, and still have lightening fast access in the office.

JustWorks 7 provides a platform that supports local applications today, and is ready for those applications to move to a cloud service provider as soon as our customers are ready to do that. Our design is a “hybrid cloud” that prepares our customers to move to “true cloud” when the time is right.

Our new design moves the core collaboration tools of email, calendaring and file sharing so that they are cloud based, but easily accessible from the office too. The reference design for JustWorks 7 is based on using Microsoft’s Office 365 services for email, but can also accommodate anyone who would prefer to use Google, Amazon or another vendor for email. The JustWorks 7 cloud file service works equally well irrespective of which vendor is providing the email services.

JustWorks 7: designed for the future, and today.
We make IT simple.

New Email security from Reflexion

2fbc1856f1480bb04c0449b8eb78109dAll JustWorks customers will be moved to new email spam security services before April 30th 2016.

The old provider of these services (McAfee/MXlogic) have decided to cease providing this service, and so we are switching to Reflexion to provide the same SPAM filtering and email continuity services.

What will it cost me?

Nothing. Services remain as is, and any additional costs are carried by JustWorks, so long as you subscribe at the MANAGE service level or higher.

When will it happen?

We will let you know your exact cut-over date, which will be a weekend.

You will receive a Welcome email, and starting on the Monday the notices you receive regarding SPAM messages in your Quarantine will look a little different.

What do I have to do?

Nothing. JustWorks will handle all of the migration and transition as part of your contract services, so long as you subscribe at the MANAGE service level or higher.

You should familiarise yourself with the new web site features of the new service.

New “cloud” services for 2016

JustWorks has added some key new services to our full service managed systems portfolio. All of these services are available as extensions of your existing services, and they have all been tested by JustWorks in production.

To provide advanced services for the new “cloud” era we are offering new services to meet the following needs:

  • Messaging, fax, conferencing & phone in single unified service
  • File sharing accessible from any device, any where at any time
  • Security enhancements for your Internet connection

Messaging, fax, conferencing & phone

We are happy to announce that we have partnered with RingCentral to bring you fully unified communications in the cloud.
RingCentral can completely replace your phone system, or just add additional functionality to what you already have. The service includes “follow me” phone numbers so that you only ever need to provide a single phone number for your business contacts to reach you, no matter whether you are sitting at your desk or on the road (even where you have WiFi but no cell phone signal!). The service also includes unlimited calls and SMS messaging in the continental USA, fax and voicemail to email integration, and last but not least online conferencing for phone, screen sharing and HD video.
You can find out more at www.ringcentral.com or just call us and we can walk you through how it might fit with your needs.
Pricing ranges from $40/month for your whole company, to $40/user/month for full phone functionality including a desk handset.

File sharing accessible from any device, any where at any time

JustWorks has partnered with Egnyte to enable the extension of your in-office file sharing out into the rest of the world, all while maintaining the high levels of security you have come to expect from JustWorks solutions.
Once we have setup your cloud file server, you will be able to access all your files from any web browser, smartphone, tablet or remote computer, with ease. You can also create connections for your vendors and subcontractors to share specific files/folders securely with them.
You can find out more at www.egnyte.com or just call us and we can walk you through how it might fit with your needs. The first 2 users and 1Tb is included in our Manage service level, and pricing is $20 or $40 per user/month after that, depending on what version you choose.

Security enhancements for your Internet connection

We have migrated all JustWorks installations to the Sophos security platform – there’s nothing you need to do, this is part of our service.
Now that the Sophos security system is in place at your offices we will be able to enhance your Internet and network security with better WiFi security, email encryption, and load balancing over multiple Internet connections.

We will also offer Sophos Reflexion email security as an alternative for email SPAM filtering, as McAfee are discontinuing their service.
We will be in touch with you when we roll this out to your site.

We are excited to be able to offer these new services, and look forward to making them simple for you take advantage of.

Welcome!

This is the start of the JustWorks blog.

Over time we will be adding article and posts to this site to keep you updated on the state of the I.T. industry and how developments in technology affect businesses. We will cover a range of topics including “cloud computing” and how best to use developments in Internet services for maximum effect.

Keep in touch, give us feedback and let us know what you find useful.

Thanks

Andrew Percy, CEO, JustWorks

Cloud Computing Seminars

We are hosting a series of executive seminars explaining ‘cloud computing‘ and it’s implications for business – www.justworks.net/news/seminars.php. We have a couple of dates already set – the next one is lunch on March 22nd at the Deanza Hotel in San Jose – and we are planing more through the end of May.

We’d love to see you there and please feel free to bring along any colleagues or associates that you know who are also working out how this (r)evolution in technology is going to affect their business.

The seminars are being held in San Jose and Paulette is coordinating the seating and meals, so call her at (408) 369-7585 x225 or email her at psidi@justworks.net to reserve spaces.