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Article published on the AppRiver Blog

Google continues to phase out Postini services in favor of the Google Apps platform.  Consequently, we continue to receive requests to migrate Postini filtering accounts to SecureTide by AppRiver.  In this post, we will discuss the process through which your Postini mailboxes and settings can be easily migrated to SecureTide.

To export all mailbox senders lists (approved and blocked), as well as the associated settings, you will need to follow some simple steps both to retrieve the data and to prepare it for our  Support team will assist you during the migration to SecureTide.  After the data is in place, we’ll help you change your MX records to redirect your mail through our data centers.  Once the process is complete, your domains, mailboxes, approved senders and blacklists will be available through the Customer Portal and your spam and malware will be captured in our quarantine areas.

To export Postini mailboxes and settings, follow these simple steps:

1.  Export Mailboxes and Aliases

Exporting the complete set of data is a two-step process that produces two separate source files.  The first file to be exported contains mailboxes along with their aliases:

  • In the Postini interface, go to Orgs and Users > Orgs.
  • Click on the domain you wish to export. (For this example, we will use domain.com as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.  Select Domain

  • In Organization Management, note the Organization ID number located in the Settings section (see Figure 2).

 

Figure 2.  Note the Organization ID Number

 

  • Select the Batch link at the top of the page, enter the following command into the Manual Input field (see Figure 3), using the Organization ID number noted previously as the value for targetOrg and complete the on-screen instructions:

listusers ALL, targetOrg=1000012345, childorgs=1, fields=PRIMARY_ADD|ADDRESS, aliases=1, sort=primary_add:nd

Figure 3.  Export Aliases from Postini using the Batch Command

  • Select the batch results, copy and paste the data and save as a text file called domain.com_alias.txt.

2.  Export Approved/Blocked Senders Lists

Continue as follows to export all associated Approved/Blocked Senders Lists:

  • Go to Orgs and Users > Users.
  • Choose the top Account-level org from the Choose Org list.
  • Click the Download Users/Settings link as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4.  Export Approved/Blocked Senders List

  • Select the Batch results, copy and paste the data from the popup window and save the data as a text file called domain.com_Users_Settings.txt.
  • The exported data will contain such information as the # address, user_id, junkmail_filter to set email filtering active, category filtering levels, virus scanning settings, approved_senders, approved_recipients, blocked_senders, as well as other available inbox settings (see Figure 5).

Postini Exported Settings Shown

3.  Provide data to AppRiver for Migration

Now that you have all data exported into two separate files, send both files to support@bluesolutions.co.uk.  Our support team will import your data to our platform and provide a walkthrough on AppRiver’s SecureTide service.

Call our sales team on 0118 9898 222 for more information about AppRiver secure email messaging solutions.

StorageCraft banner27Jun14StorageCraftStorageCraft® ShadowProtect® Small Business Server has been rebranded to StorageCraft® ShadowProtect® for Small Business.

This name change is being made to better reflect the diversity of Microsoft products supported, including:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and Foundation
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Foundation
  • Windows Small Business Server (SBS)
  • Additional Windows operating systems listed on the ShadowProtect page of the StorageCraft web site.

The only change is the name. All features and functionality remain the same.

If you have any questions about this name change, please contact our sales team on 0118 9898 222.

 

 

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Article published in IT Channel Expert with Jonatan Bucko, Blue Solutions Product Manager

From software installation and set-up to managing networks, MSPs/IT service providers often have never-ending to-do lists. While problem solving for clients, they need to find answers to their own questions to help them run their businesses.

So what are the pitfalls for MSPs/IT service providers and how do you deal with them? In this article, I’ve outlined some of the difficulties they face and how they can be managed:

Finding the right solutions for your clients

If you type ‘MSP/IT service provider’ into Google, you’ll find never ending pages for back-up, security, cloud solutions etc. Before you commit to buying any new services, do some research on the industry. For example, industry trends, current customers’ peak network and server usage times. Think about your clients’ requirements, are their businesses growing? Is there a particular IT issue that’s caused a problem that you can help with? Don’t forget that speaking to your industry peers can also help; the insight you can gather from speaking to others at forums and conferences can keep you informed and ensure you provide solutions that clients want.

Running multiple networks with stretched resources

Running multiple clients networks creates a lot of opportunities but also means an MSP/IT service provider’s time and resources are stretched. Juggling tasks, responding to queries and keeping customers happy can make your days longer than they need to be.  MSPs/IT service providers should take a look at where they can use solutions that will make this ‘juggling act’ easier, while providing greater value to any clients.

For example automation tools can reduce the time spent on certain tasks, reduce costs and increase efficiency. Also, with a back-up and disaster recovery solution, MSPs/IT service providers can show customers they are efficient in the way they can pre-empt issues (e.g. being aware of a server running out of space before it affects a client’s business operations).

Increasing efficiency

Following on from my previous point – reducing costs and improving efficiency is key to maintaining a thriving business.

One of the tools available to help MSPs/IT service providers with this are IT systems monitoring & management platforms, which remove time-intensive and repetitive support tasks. These solutions become a necessity as you scale your business and its service delivery model.

Whilst many will provide out-of-the box automation of common IT tasks, in some cases creating an automation policy (script) may be required to address a particular time-hog. It is important that the platform allows for comprehensive scripts to be created, through an interface that exposes the functionality to even the novice users, making it easy for them to build policies that will automate repeatable work.

The scripting engine must be intelligent enough requiring minimal user input, yet working in harmony with the platform’s many facets such as monitoring, ticketing and time entry functionalities. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if the newly created policy is going to run on two machines or 2,000, it must do the exact same thing in the same amount of time in every single occurrence.

Once the repeatable tasks have been automated, a review schedule should be created to periodically assess and improve the service delivery as it evolves and the business will reap the benefits.

It could be summarised that a business can scale only as much as its individual processes do.

I’ve heard this comment from a business owner: “The main component is the consistency of approach not necessarily the back-end technology. The platform must enable you to create repeatable, improvable and scalable, automated processes, which can potentially deliver unlimited value at marginal cost”.

Managing costs and making a profit

Constant changes to technology and customer requirements means MSPs/IT service providers are always trying to manage costs and maintain profits. Many of them are finding a way to do this by joining MSP partner programs.

Joining these programs gives MSPs/IT service providers a business model that fits how they work. When looking for a program some other points to consider – will the program help you to manage billing your clients or which tools are available to help you run your business efficiently? Above all, will joining the program grow your business?

Staying on top of industry information

So, while MSPs/IT service providers are busy running their businesses, where do they find the time to stay up-to-date on the latest products and industry news? To be honest this isn’t always possible. So looking out for vendor materials that cover different industry topics can save you a lot of time and keep you on top of everything. Make use of free e-books, webinars, videos, online demos and white labelled content (that you can brand). This will save you the time and trouble of trying to create your own content, as well as helping to answer clients’ queries.

Let’s not forget about the admin!

A lot of us have never liked doing admin – and this won’t change! But it’s something that MSPs/IT service providers need to manage well to avoid payment delays and ‘slowing’ their businesses down. For example, think about your invoicing – what date do you plan to do this? Will the vendor’s processes align with yours? Dull I know but it has to be done.

As you can see from these examples, with some planning and using available resources, MSPs/IT service providers can manage these pitfalls while building profitable businesses.

Contact our sales and product specialists today on 0118 9898 222 to help you find the right solutions for your MSP business.

 

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Article published by AppRiver

With the release of iOS 8.2, Apple fixed the “GMT bug” that caused dual time zones to display in Calendar events. It is possible to edit and fix your individual calendar events that were displaying dual time zones in your iPhone or iPad’s Calendar after receiving the iOS 8.2 software update. This is a huge improvement over the previous iOS update, but you may have hundreds of events added to your calendar before the update that are still displaying the second time zone.

There is a method to remove the existing second time zones in bulk described by user JG in SB in Apple Support Communities forum that we were able to replicate, and tested with success even after the update to iOS 8.2.

Removing the second time zone from all events created prior to the update can be accomplished by performing these steps as follows:

1. From the Home screen tap Settings.

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2. In the Settings app tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

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3. Tap the Exchange email account

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4. Toggle Calendars synchronization Off by sliding the dialer from right to left (green to white)

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5. Tap Delete from My iPhone to delete all existing Exchange calendar appointments. These events are backed up with Exchange.

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6. Check the Calendar app to confirm all of the old events are deleted from the device then turn Calendars sync back on in the Settings.

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This should reload all of the Exchange calendar events from the server back to the iPhone without the second time zone displayed in the previous version.

Click here to view the original post detailing the “GMT Bug” displaying dual time zones in Calendar events.

Want to find out more about AppRiver solutions for your business? Contact our Sales Team today on 0118 9898 222.

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Article contributed by AppRiver

A common question that's often discussed when migrating customers to AppRiver Secure Hosted Exchange or Office 365, is understanding the differences between public folders and shared mailboxes and when to use each one. If that wasn’t creating enough confusion, site mailboxes were recently introduced to combine SharePoint’s resource sharing features with emails and conversations processed by Exchange. So this post will explain in a simple manner the differences between each option and when each can best be used to meet each requirement.

Public Folders
Public folders are designed for shared access and provide an easy and effective way to collect, organize, and share information with other people in your workgroup or organization. Public folders can also be used as an archiving method for distribution groups. When you mail-enable a public folder and add it as a member of the distribution group, email sent to the group is automatically added to the public folder for later reference. Main features are:

  • Public folders are stored in Exchange.
  • Public folders work well for enterprises with older versions of Office still deployed as well as brand new deployment.
  • Documents stored in Exchange don’t have the benefits of SharePoint document libraries (e.g. workflows, version control, metadata, etc.) and aren’t visible within SharePoint.
  • A common option used with public folders is to set an email account that will rout all incoming traffic to a public folder for a shared access.

Note: Office 365 has increased the limit on the number of public folders available to 250,000 folders.

Shared Mailboxes
Shared mailboxes make it easy for a specific group of people to monitor and send email from a common account, like public email addresses, such as sales@appriver.com or info@appriver.com. When a person in the group replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, the email appears to be from the shared mailbox, not from the individual user. Shared mailboxes are a great way to handle customer email queries because several people in your organization can share the responsibility of monitoring the mailbox and responding to queries. Your customer queries get quicker answers, and related emails are all stored in one mailbox. Main features are:

  • Shared mailboxes provide a generic email address that can be used to send emails to a team.
  • Access to shared mailboxes is set under Exchange permissions.
  • Allows multiple users within an organization to monitor and reply to an email.
  • Reply email address is the shared mailbox address.

Site Mailboxes
A site mailbox can be used from a SharePoint team site to store and organize team email. It can also be used from Outlook 2013 (included with Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus) for team email, and as a way to quickly store attachments and retrieve documents from the team site. Main features are:

  • Emails are stored in Exchange.
  • Site mailbox is an app that you add to your SharePoint site.
  • It’s important to pick the right naming since once you have created a site mailbox, you can’t change its email address.
  • Invoking the site mailbox is done by cc’ing the email address of the site mailbox.
  • You can add folders from your site mailbox to your outlook favorites so that it is directly visible in Outlook.
  • When viewing a site mailbox from outlook, both email and documents are visible.
  • You can add documents by attaching them to an email message.
  • Security is driven by SharePoint team site permissions.
  • Integrates with Outlook and can be also accessed through the Office 365 web app.

Still have questions about your mailboxes? Contact our sales team on 0118 9898 222 for help with finding a solution to manage your mailboxes securely.

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We joined industry leaders and professionals at the CompTia EMEA Conference on 5th and 6th November. This event gave our team a good opportunity to meet with our current and new Resellers and other industry professionals.

Throughout the day, our team were busy talking to MSPs and Resellers about the best technology to run their businesses, covering I.T. automation, disaster recovery, anti-spam and malware solutions.

Nicola and Janet CompTiaThe event was also a great opportunity for us to join two of our vendors at their stands - StorageCraft, a data backup and disaster recovery vendor and AppRiver, provider of email messaging and Web security solutions. Our Product Manager, Nicola Boswell is pictured left with Janet O'Sullivan, StorageCraft Marketing Manager. We also met with Western Digital, who will be joining our portfolio to enable us to provide end-to-end solutions for Resellers.

We'll tell you more about that soon...

Our Sales Manager, Emma Wale, who attended the two day event commented “being at CompTia puts us among our industry peers and shows we are committed to providing the best service and leading solutions for MSPs and Resellers”.

If you missed our team at CompTia, you can contact us on 0118 9898 222 and speak to our product specialists or visit our website.

Malicious Web content can expose your company to higher costs, lower productivity and legal issues. AppRiver's SecureSurf can protect your network from Web-based malware and viruses, and shield your employees from offensive content. SecureSurf requires no onsite hardware or software and it won’t require constant attention from your IT staff .

This graphic is a quick snapshot of the top 10 categories blocked by SecureSurf. It highlights how this solution works everyday to help business owners keep their company safe from web-based viruses and protect employees from undesirable websites.

Take a look and see how AppRiver will protect your network.

Want to know more about AppRiver's email and web security procucts? Contact our Product Specialist Nicola Boswell for more information.

 

Top10Categ_blockedRevised

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It's been a busy time at Blue Solutions and we wanted to keep you up-to-date with some of our changes, especially when it's good news for our MSPs and Resellers.

We've recently welcomed a new team member

We've expanded our technical team and Deane Mallinson, our new Sales Engineer joined us in September. Deane's wide ranging role will be to focus on the support function offered by Blue Solutions.

With 20 years' experience, in the I.T. industry ranging from first line support to management, Dean PictureDeane will be managing our internal, external, pre and post sales support helpdesk, while mentoring our team.

As Deane's qualifications include MCSE, MCSP, KLCT, KLCSA and GCT, he is well equipped to ensure our customers get the support they deserve.

As part of our continued commitment to supporting and investing in I.T. graduates,  Chris Kudzin has joined Deane's team as our I.T. apprentice.

 

Other changes

Emma at Blue SolutionsEmma Wale (pictured left), a long-standing member of the Blue Solutions Team was recently promoted to being our Sales Manager. With extensive experience in the I.T. and software channel distribution industries, Emma's main focus will be to manage sales growth and overall profitability for Blue Solutions.

While continuing to work as the main contact for DataFortress, the online backup solution (powered by Attix5), she will support and develop our sales and product specialists on a daily basis.

What's happening with our other team members?

Our product  and sales specialists roles have changed too.  Our sales team (pictured below) will be available to manage your orders and help with any queries on a daily basis.

Blue Solutions Team Updated

We also now have a team of vendor specialists, who are available to help you develop your business, with solutions for the channel. You can view our key vendors at our website.

Why have we made these changes? As parts of our business have moved into the managed services sector, we have restructured our sales team to ensure we continue to provide the best service for all of our customers. Your contacts are:

nicola-ImageNicola Boswell (pictured left) is our Specialist for AppRiver and StorageCraft

 

 

 

Sharon Pace has been appointed as our Blue Solutions Key Account Manager and Tom Mangion is our Trend Micro Renewals Specialist.

If you need any questions about our vendor products, please contact out sales team on 0118 9898 222.

 

AppRiver logo largerversionArticle contributed by Jim Tyer - EMEA channel director at AppRiver

Cloud has seen the traditional sales model implode. But that doesn’t mean it’s game over – just time to learn new rules...

The way we consume technology has changed so the way we sell technology needs to change too.

Customers want innovative ways to use technology and revolutionise their businesses - to respond to demands from employees sporting the latest laptop, tablet or smartphone; allowing safe connection to the corporate network; while facilitating collaboration between colleagues, third parties and clients.

Thankfully, cloud technology can rise to these challenges. The problem isn’t what cloud can or can’t do, but the impact it has on traditional business models.

How can you stay relevant in a world where customers have easy access to cloud-based solutions ? You need to make yourself invaluable. The key element to staying relevant is ‘value added’ – ultimately your biggest USP, guaranteeing new business and establishing recurrent revenue streams:

Trusted Advisor - hard to earn yet easy to erode

Building trust is simple, yet far too many get this wrong – not just resellers but vendors too!

If a customer calls, call them back. If you offer support via email, have a real person write back confirming receipt of the enquiry and how it will be handled. Similarly, if you say you’re going to do something then do it - or let the customer know you’re trying to.

In tandem, if a customer seeks advice give it freely and without motive, even if it means dissuading them from spending money. You’ll find they’re far more likely to believe, and trust, you next time when they need to invest.

Similarly, don’t cut corners to keep costs down, or worse try to conceal the full expense. No-one likes unpleasant surprises. You might lose a sale initially but, guaranteed, the customer will appreciate your honesty.

Don’t take it personally if a customer buys one product from you, but adds it to something from somewhere else – for example, let’s say a customer wants to use you for spam filtering but decides to go with another web filtering vendor. Though it might hurt financially in the short term, the relationship is what’s important here. Where you make the difference, and win loyalty, is by managing the complete package.

Partners who take this role seriously and are willing to be honest with customers (even if it means a short term loss to build long term trust) will retain a stronger, happier customer base and stay viable for years to come.

Backoffice support – go over and above

This is an area where the ‘organised’ reseller can make a real difference for many organisations – particularly smaller businesses where IT isn’t a specific job function. Subscriptions and licence renewals are easy for a busy manager to overlook, so providing this as a service not only adds value to your offering, but also ensures you guarantee this key revenue stream.

This doesn’t just have to be for the products you’ve sold, and you may not be financially rewarded. Take website domain renewals – even Disney has problems tracking its renewals, almost losing its ‘Club Penguin’ sites in 2011, oops!

Migrations – hand holding as standard

Having made the sale, far too many resellers walk away and leave the customer and vendor to implement the change unaided. This can lead to frustration and even reputational damage – for all involved. Your role is to work seamlessly with vendors so your customer experiences a painless transition.

Supply vendor(s) with an in-depth plan of any existing infrastructure to incorporate into the new design. Identify incompatibilities before implementation so they’re resolved before becoming problematic.

Support your customer by devising a detailed migration plan – including key targets. Use previous intelligence of similar installations to offer advice and support your customer will need, or overlook, to make the move. Share additional literature in good time that other customers found useful.

Supportsomewhere in the world its normal business hours

In an age where business never sleeps – neither can your customer service. Resellers of the future will invest in excellent 24/7 assistance, or partner providers where top-notch technical support is a way of life. Skimp on this and it could greatly damage your reputation, limit renewal rates and ultimately infringe on customer retention.

Training – education is king

It’s a lucrative revenue stream, yet few resellers offer training. Consider investing in your own training department, offering courses to customers teaching them how-to manage the solutions they’ve got, demonstrating how to get the best out of the investment. Who knows, you may even find there’s an opportunity to upsell a complimentary product from your portfolio that makes another product function, or integrate better.

Of course, if you don’t already offer this service it’s not something that can be introduced overnight so for now consider bundling vendor supplied training into the equation.

Adapt or die trying

As resellers, you’re no longer selling boxes and cables – you’re translating the ideals of your customers into reality. Or at least you should be. The reseller of the future will happily rise to the challenge set by customers, anticipating their needs before even they do.