The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

A Few Ways Small Businesses Can Use the Cloud

A Few Ways Small Businesses Can Use the Cloud

A lot is made about cloud computing and its cost and time saving benefits, but when your business is small, a lot of times, it could just be looked at as an unnecessary addition to your computing infrastructure. Today, we thought we would go through a few ways that even the smallest of businesses can utilize cloud computing. 

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Are You Wasting Money in the Cloud?

Are You Wasting Money in the Cloud?

The cloud has proven to be an extremely useful tool for modern businesses. Not only does it provide anywhere-anytime access to applications, processing, storage, and more, it also delivers those products as a service, allowing an organization--or an individual--to budget for recurring costs rather than major upfront ones. This provides your organization with functional, supported, and secure computing environments that eliminate a lot of the support costs that traditional computing environments require. It sounds like a perfect scenario for small and large businesses alike, but things aren’t always what they seem, as a lot of cloud users have found that they have incurred several hidden costs by using cloud platforms. Today, we take a look at these hidden costs. 

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Businesses are Dashing to the Cloud. Is Yours?

Businesses are Dashing to the Cloud. Is Yours?

This is a strange time for everyone. For business owners, it’s filled with uncertainty as many of their businesses have had to shut down in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Others were forced into embracing remote operations. For these companies, their cloud platforms are turning out to be major benefits. Today, we’ll explain why.

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Is the Hybrid Cloud Something You Should Consider?

Is the Hybrid Cloud Something You Should Consider?

Cloud solutions are extremely popular among modern businesses, whether they rely on public cloud resources or maintain their own in-house private cloud. Some businesses, however, elect to take the middle ground and use a “hybrid” cloud solution. Let’s take a few moments to determine if your business could benefit from this approach.


First, let’s examine what makes a cloud solution a “hybrid” one.

What is a Hybrid Cloud Solution?

As Peter Mell and Timothy Grance defined in Special Publication 800-145 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the hybrid cloud deployment model is defined with the following excerpt:

“The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).”

Or in other words, two different cloud models that function separately, but are both used for regular business operations. Some businesses elect to run their operations and applications on a private cloud solution, but use public cloud platforms for their backup and disaster recovery needs.

Benefits and Challenges of a Hybrid Cloud Approach

There are quite a few benefits that a hybrid cloud approach has to offer, including:

  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: You have the option to focus the hybrid cloud exclusively on your continuity strategy. With a backup in both a public cloud and private cloud, your chances of not having access to your data when you need it are effectively eliminated.
  • Better Control-to-Need Ratio: Combining private and public cloud solutions together allows you to ensure you have the control over some elements of your business, while the public cloud allows you to better scale to meet your needs.
  • Cost Benefits: There is no denying that some projects are too big to efficiently run on a private cloud. A hybrid cloud approach allows you to both keep your data secure while accessing the processing power a public cloud platform can provide.

However, the hybrid cloud does have some inherent challenges that could prohibit you from benefiting from its use.

  • Lack of Visibility: In a hybrid cloud system, it can be difficult to keep track of where your data is being stored, and whether you are investing more than you need in one of its parts. This can have detrimental effects on your budget.
  • Complicated Security: Even though your cloud vendors are putting forth their best efforts, the security of your data is your responsibility, and the marriage between public and private clouds introduces additional risks.
  • Bottleneck Concerns: When data moves between public and private clouds, there could easily be a bottleneck somewhere in your network, creating severely negative impacts.

Still not sure if the hybrid cloud is right for you? Reach out to The Connection, Inc and find out! Give our experts a call at (732) 291-5938.

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Are You Wasting Money on Cloud Services?

Are You Wasting Money on Cloud Services?

Cloud services have proven to be extraordinarily useful for businesses of all types. With an immense amount of options to choose from, businesses can get anything from AI to Windows in the cloud. With so many services available, sometimes businesses will pay for computing resources that they don’t use, cutting into their available operational capital. Today, we take a look at how businesses throw capital away by not keeping a close eye on their cloud-based resources.  

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How Cloud Services and Pizzerias Offer Similar Benefits

How Cloud Services and Pizzerias Offer Similar Benefits

When you look at the cloud service business model, it can be easy to wonder how it is so beneficial to businesses - or really, how it fiscally can be. After all, dollars to donuts, the monthly service charges most likely add up to less than a business would spend for another, comparable service. To understand how the cloud does this, it may help to look at something that often occurs in the office.


Let’s say, ordering lunch.

How the Cloud is Like a Lunch Order

Cost Efficiency

Let’s say you are at work, and you decide you want pizza for lunch, as do some of your coworkers. Now, you could each purchase a slice or two for $5, and everyone would be happy. However, if you bought an entire pizza pie for $15 by pooling your money, there’s a good chance that each person could get the same amount of pizza for a more affordable cost.

This is essentially how cloud services work. Because you are just storing your data, applications, or what have you on someone else’s computer, you pay them rent for the privilege, as well as to support their maintenance of the infrastructure required. Admittedly, this sounds like it would be more expensive than just purchasing and maintaining the infrastructure itself - but there’s a key difference with cloud services.

That difference is you often aren’t the only one using that infrastructure.

Just like multiple people pitching in for a pizza ultimately comes out to be less expensive than each person buying their slices individually, multiple businesses paying to support a cloud infrastructure provides each of them with a better deal.

Reduced Maintenance

This combination of leasing their share of the cloud and contributing to its upkeep also allows the business to avoid large, surprise costs.

Let’s say that, to continue the lunch metaphor, you decide to make your pizza one day, but the dough you bought at the grocery store is rancid. As a result, not only is your pizza no longer edible, you are out the money you spent on its ingredients. This is the same experience of a business that is managing an internal solution and encounters an issue with it. Now, outsourcing your cloud needs to a service provider is more like ordering a pizza out - if there is something wrong with it when it is delivered, it isn’t your responsibility to make it right - it’s the cloud provider’s/pizzeria’s.

Productivity

Finally, just like ordering a pizza, cloud services allow you to better utilize your time to accomplish more. Both making a pizza and (albeit on a much grander scale) maintaining an infrastructure can be time-intensive tasks, which means that either will prevent you from taking care of other matters. Turning to an outsourced resource, like a pizzeria or a cloud provider, means that this time is freed up… which leaves you available to carry out other tasks that could help generate revenue. Furthermore, you will also have more space to be productive, as both can be remotely accomplished and delivered to your location, eliminating the need for bulky (and potentially expensive) pizza ovens/servers.

Do cloud services sound like an appetizing option for your business? Reach out to the professionals at The Connection, Inc to learn more! Give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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Utility Computing in the Cloud

Utility Computing in the Cloud

There is no denying that the cloud has exploded into the fastest growing business computing method, and for good reason. The cloud has a plethora of options that are designed to meet the needs of the modern business. Today, we examine how your business can leverage the inexhaustible supply of cloud options. 

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Four Ways Cloud Storage Can Benefit Your Business

Four Ways Cloud Storage Can Benefit Your Business

Cloud solutions have proven their value in many different business applications, a major one being the ability to use a cloud service as a storage solution. By doing so, a business can enjoy a few additional advantages as compared to one that relies on more traditional storage solutions.

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Improve Your Business’ Communication with VoIP

Improve Your Business’ Communication with VoIP

Traditional telephone systems used to be necessary to getting work done in the office and communicating with clients, but in today’s business world, with access to plentiful cloud-based options and the world’s resources at your fingertips, you have other potential assets to pull from. By utilizing a Voice over IP phone system, you too can free yourself from the clutches of telephone companies and move your organization in the right direction.

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Why a Hybrid Cloud is Right for Your Business

Why a Hybrid Cloud is Right for Your Business

The cloud can bring numerous benefits to a business. Public cloud offerings can reduce technology costs, provide scalability and flexibility to a business’ computing infrastructure, promote collaboration, protect your business from data loss, and much, much more. What it cannot do, however, is guarantee the control some organizations wish to have over their technology infrastructure. Some businesses prioritize that control, while others are bound by industry and government-induced regulations. For those businesses, there is the hybrid cloud.


The hybrid cloud is a cloud interface that combines the cost-effective solutions from the public cloud with the control and organizational effectiveness of a private cloud. With processing or applications working in each environment, there needs to be some coordination that provides the business’ resources the ability to integrate the two systems. Let’s take a look at the basics of a hybrid cloud strategy.

Public + Private = Hybrid

Some businesses can get away using public cloud resources for their whole IT strategy. Being able to trust cloud services vendors with your business’ most sensitive information is not easy. That’s why many businesses keep that data in onsite servers. If a company has a remote workforce--and, according to the latest numbers, nearly 56 percent of companies allow for some semblance of remote work--the LAN network isn’t going to cut it.

For this reason, the private cloud was born. The private cloud, which is a centralized computing environment that can be accessed remotely, was able to significantly speed up business, but the capital costs were substantial. To reduce capital costs, public cloud services were retained. Hybrid cloud computing was born. Businesses can get the cost reduction found with public cloud services, while also getting the control and security that comes with onsite-hosted, remotely accessible IT solutions. Companies now could do more with less; and, their workers could do it from wherever they are, delivering value all the way around.

How Does It Work?

Since a company’s hybrid cloud isn’t either a public cloud or a private cloud, in order for them to work in concert, there needs to be some coordination. In hybrid cloud computing, an orchestration layer enables users to easily move data and applications in, over, and around a hybrid cloud interface.

What Are the Benefits?

We talked a little about cost reduction, but more specifically it isn’t that at all. It is more of a cost redistribution. In fact, over time, you should expect to pay the same for a private cloud as you would a public cloud service. The effect it has for your business isn’t any less noteworthy, however. Capital expenditures, especially significant outlays that come with new hardware, can vary quite a bit depending on many different factors. This variability is a problem for your IT budget. With a per user/per month solution you can quickly identify what your costs are and predict them months ahead of time. Since you take in new revenue, paying for public cloud resources is easier.

The private cloud’s benefits are easier to ascertain. Having control over sensitive data is always important, but when your customers and employees (and everyone else who trusts you with data) are at stake, it is essential that you have the control over that data. Since keeping this information, and often centrally-used applications that may have some of this data tied to them, out of the public cloud is prudent, the hybrid cloud interface effectively protects the data and applications you need protected, while still providing the access your organization needs.

Are you searching for a solution to your organization’s computing needs? Contact the professionals at The Connection, Inc today at (732) 291-5938.

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Professional Services Depends on This Technology

Professional Services Depends on This Technology

Consultation is something that can save businesses a considerable amount of time and resources. After all, you can’t expect a business professional to know everything there is to know about everything. Professional services, like those of lawyers, financial consultants, accountants, advisers, and marketing specialists, are required by just about all businesses to at least some extent. Suffice to say that each of these specialists has dedicated software and IT solutions that are needed for success.

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Taking a Look at Cloud Growth

Taking a Look at Cloud Growth

In today’s modern business world, you’d be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t utilize the cloud to at least some extent. Let’s take a dive into how businesses use the cloud to be more sustainable and efficient.

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With So Many Cloud Options Picking the Best One Can Be Dizzying

With So Many Cloud Options Picking the Best One Can Be Dizzying

Technology plays an integral part in just about all modern businesses in some way, shape or form. Without a place to purchase devices, however, no one can reap the benefits of them. Some businesses are vendors that provide organizations with these devices. In a sense, they act as the middle man between the producer and the consumer, acquiring devices for sale to businesses and users alike. In this way, vendors are critical for every single business.

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Startups are Depending on Cloud Services

Startups are Depending on Cloud Services

Businesses spend a lot of time thinking about new technology solutions, but new organizations in particular need all of the tools they can get to be competitive in the competitive marketplace. The cloud is one of those tools that will continue to grow alongside your business provided you take measures to keep it flexible enough to change as needed. We’ll help you understand how the cloud can be great for new businesses, as well as some of the solutions you can take advantage of through it.


The Cloud for Communications
All businesses need a telephone system of some kind. The traditional telephone infrastructure used by older organizations got a lot of mileage, but it’s unnecessary for the modern office. In traditional business telephone solutions adding users can be irritating and expensive. Cloud-based communication solutions like Voice over IP allow you to add extensions while taking advantage of everyday features that you would get with a more traditional telephone system. The benefits include eliminating an unnecessary service in traditional telephony while consolidating your infrastructure to use your bandwidth for communications.

The Cloud for Data Storage
The cloud allows for easy access to data storage. This gives your team the capabilities to access the same files from anywhere at any time as long as they have the correct permissions. Cloud-based data access promotes flexibility in devices used for work purposes as well as productivity by enabling employees to work as they see fit. Of course, permissions are something that must be paid attention to, as the more people who can access data, the more likely it is that something goes wrong with it. A good rule to follow is limit data access by user role.

The Cloud for Application Access
Some businesses have critical applications installed on every workstation, but this can be expensive and time-consuming. For one, you have to install this software on all devices they are needed on. This means you need multiple software licenses for each instance of the software running, whether it’s in use or not. Storing applications in the cloud gives your business more opportunity to apply patches and updates as needed, as well as making account management much easier.

How does your business use the cloud to its advantage? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to reach out to us at (732) 291-5938 for more tips on how you can leverage the cloud to your organization’s benefit.

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VoIP Is the Leading Choice for Business Communications

VoIP Is the Leading Choice for Business Communications

Few technological assets are as important in today’s business world as a working telephone solution of some sort. While its form has changed considerably over the years from a traditional handset terminal to a desktop application or mobile device, its functionality remains largely the same. In some ways, it’s even better and more improved, offering unprecedented opportunities for businesses to revamp their entire communications infrastructure.

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Which Cloud-Hosted Solutions Will Work for Your Business

Which Cloud-Hosted Solutions Will Work for Your Business

These days, many businesses turn to hosted solutions to take advantage of services that they haven’t been able to use in the past. Whether it’s because they don’t have the staff to properly look after the services or they don’t have the in-house infrastructure for it, organizations continue to take advantage of hosted solutions to varying degrees. We’ll walk you through your options for whether you should build, rent, or buy your hosted solutions to best fit your business’ needs.

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Will You Be the Latest Business to Move Your Email to the Cloud?

Will You Be the Latest Business to Move Your Email to the Cloud?

The cloud helps many organizations expand their territories beyond simply the physical workplace. Employees can now access data and applications on any connected device. Your office can benefit considerably from cloud-based resources, with email in particular being a standout solution for the cloud.

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Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business these days that doesn’t use the cloud in some way or another. Before investing in the right cloud solutions, it’s important that your organization considers several factors. Here are three of the most common ones that your business should consider before investing in and implementing a new cloud service.


What Type of Cloud Is It?
If you’re trying to determine which cloud solution you’ll be implementing, the number one thing to consider is if it’s going to be a public, private, or hybrid cloud solution. Public clouds are generally hosted off-site on a third-party provider’s infrastructure, but a private cloud is more focused on hosting the service in-house on your organization’s infrastructure. A hybrid solution is typically a solution that is hosted on another organization's infrastructure, but still offers a level of control that you don’t have with the public cloud. Depending on your business’ needs, a public cloud solution might not be enough. For example, a public cloud’s storage space might be partitioned off so that only you can access your storage space, but it’s still hosted on the same infrastructure as someone else’s, which might make some organizations shy away from it. If your business would rather have its own private storage or private cloud, hosting on your own hardware is the way to go--or working with a MSP to make it happen in a hybrid environment.

What Responsibilities Does Your Business Have?
This is incredibly important to know, especially if your business isn’t the one hosting the solution. You should know what expectations there are on your end of the dealings with your cloud provider. An example of this is if you’re getting your cloud storage through a third-party provider. While they are the ones responsible for hosting it, you’re the one responsible for accessing it. This includes having workstations and an Internet connection with enough bandwidth to make full use of your new solution or service. After all, if your business is using solutions that it can’t reliably access, it’s time to reevaluate your options so that downtime isn’t ruining your bottom line.

What is Your Service Level Agreement?
Part of working with other organizations that provide goods and services to your business is communicating with them when you’re in need of assistance. Therefore, you’ll have to consider just how timely you can expect your cloud providers to be when faced with support requests. If you aren’t aware of these details, you could suffer from downtime that could have been avoided with a little more proactive thought.

The Connection, Inc can help your business build out a solid cloud computing strategy. To learn more, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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Which is Best for Your Server Needs, In-House or Hosted?

Which is Best for Your Server Needs, In-House or Hosted?

A server is a necessary component of any business’ IT infrastructure, as its job is to make sure that information and policies are distributed the way they need to be across a network. Once, servers had to be on-site in order to work, there is now the option to have a cloud-hosted virtualized server. Which of these is right for your needs? Let’s do a quick comparison to find out.

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Unified Communications Boosts Organizational Collaboration

Unified Communications Boosts Organizational Collaboration

Communication is one of the most important parts of running an organization, and this is especially true for smaller organizations that need to work closely in order to make progress. Today’s collaborative workplace is dependent on people understanding a unified message and working to succeed in that endeavor. To this end, a unified communications strategy can be extremely helpful.

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The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730