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Sinu Blog: Playing with Sand

  • Friday

    Internet Speed: Are you getting what you are paying for?

    With Internet costs rising and broadband speed increasingly important for day-to-day business operations, more people – including the government – are questioning whether they are receiving the broadband speeds they are paying for. Sinu can do something to help you negotiate faster Internet speeds now. If your business has had the same Internet contract for years, you may be paying too much for too little speed. Send Sinu your Internet Service Provider (ISP) invoices and we’ll see if we can negotiate faster connectivity for the same or less than you are paying for today. This is a free service to Sinu customers. 

    The question of getting the advertised Internet speeds you are paying for is getting national attention. After several complaints, the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, started a probe into Internet speeds delivered by top providers in the state. According to a report by Bloomberg, letters were sent last October to top Internet service providers (ISPs) from the AG’s new senior enforcement counsel, Tim Wu. Wu, a prominent open-Internet policy advocate known for coining the term “net neutrality," warned the ISP companies that actual performance of broadband service “may deviate far enough from the speeds advertised to render the advertising deceptive.” The letters were based on consumer complaints, the AG's own analysis and a report by M-Lab, a group that tracks Internet data. 

    While we are all aware that the Internet can slow down during peak usage times, M-lab reports that the real problem lies with the "interconnection points" where an ISP (your broadband company) meets what's known as a transit ISP, a company that usually operates in the background carrying content (such as Netflix) to ISPs.

    The Federal Communications Commission, who oversees the Internet and is also looking into advertised broadband speeds by ISPs. The FCC's Open Internet rules, which took effect last June, strive to provide "consumers and businesses access to a fast, fair, and open Internet," however they don't definitively address interconnections between ISPs and transit providers. 

    So how can you test your real Internet speed? There are several free tools available. The AG’s office is encouraging New Yorkers to test their own broadband speed at home using and submit the test results to help determine Internet speed accuracy. If you’re not in New York, or if you just want to check your Internet speed without participating the AG’s study, the New York Times lists several free tools and many factors that might affect broadband speeds. Some of the tools include Ookla Speedtest.netSpeedtest.netMegaPath SpeakEasy Speed Test and Bandwidth Place.

    Check with your Relationship Manager for more information about renegotiating with your ISP, and other ways, such as installing a super fast Cisco Meraki wireless device, to ensure your Internet keeps pace with the demands of your employees. 



    What to do about emails when an employee leaves  

    Departing employees often leave behind vast amounts of information in their email correspondences, so archiving the data is recommended. For continuity, an organization may wish to take some action to deal with emails which continue to arrive at that address after they have left, either with an auto-responder message indicating that the employee has left and who to contact, or by forwarding the emails to another address.  

    There are several options for handling a former employee’s email address:  

    1. STORE, FORWARD AND NOTIFY: Leave the mailbox open, change the password and forward the mail to an appropriate employee. This can also include an auto-responder message such as “I’ve left the organization, please contact the sales department as follows…” While archiving, forwarding and auto-responder messages have no cost, leaving the mailbox open will incur a monthly mailbox cost.
    2. ARCHIVE AND FORWARD ONLY: Archive and delete the mailbox. The data will be backed up and you will have access to the data. Sinu would typically create an alias of the old address to an appropriate employee's mailbox so that a current employee receives the former employee's mail.
    3. ARCHIVE ONLY: Archive and delete the mailbox. The data will be backed up and you will have access to it. Mail sent to the employee’s address will bounce.   

    As noted above, we can archive a single email address for a departing employee, however you may want to consider implementing an organization-wide email archiving system. It is not only easier to retrieve information than a backup, it will also protect against malicious intentional deletion of email data from an unhappy departing employee. We also recommend a yearly review of forwards and old mailboxes to lessen the number of unchecked mailboxes which could cause a missed communication with a customer or donor, not to mention avoiding the unnecessary costs of unused mailboxes. 

    For more information about the benefits of email archiving, see: What else can Sinu do for you? Sinu now offers more business productivity tools




    What else can Sinu do for you? Sinu now offers more business productivity tools. 

    Sinu customers already know that we provide a reliable IT infrastructure and full-time support, but did you know that we also install and manage a wide range of business productivity solutions offered as a monthly subscription service by Sinu?

    Sinu can manage many of the SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions you currently use, or may have considered using, including online conferencing, email archiving, and file sharing. Sinu can guide you on which solutions will best meet your needs and effectively integrate them into the Sinu Solution. When you buy Cloud Services through Sinu, we add peace of mind: we handle all the software installation and any needed updates, ensuring all the technology works together seamlessly so your employees are productive and your data is secure.

    Listed below are a few of the business solutions that Sinu can manage for your organization, so you can focus on your goals rather than the day-to-day management of your IT.

    Skype for Business

    Depending on your conferencing needs, Skype for Business can be a cost-effective way to add online audio and video conferencing for your team, plus instant messaging. Unlike the free consumer version of Skype, Skype for Business offers several features we have come to expect from a paid online conferencing service. And at a cost beginning at $2 per month per user, many of our customers find that it offers more value than some of the legacy online conferencing service solutions.

    Skype for Business features include:

    • Add up to 250 people to online meetings
    • Share screens
    • Collaborate directly
    • Enterprise-grade security
    • Integrates with Office apps
    • Phone call-in numbers
    • Record meetings

    Compliance Email Archiving

    Email is the primary channel of business communication. It provides organizations with a fast medium of conveying business correspondence such as proposals, price quotes, human resources information, and sales transactions. Consequently, email has become the electronic substitute for legal business documentation and many industries are mandated to preserve their data, keep it secure against unauthorized access, and make it accessible for authorized use.

    Merely backing up your data is not enough. Email archiving systems provide advanced search and retrieval functions that most backup systems do not offer. Backups save current data against the event of failure or disaster; archives protect data so that it can be accessed when needed.

    Even if your industry does not yet require compliance email archiving, there are several reasons to consider adopting it as a best business practice:

    • Litigation support – Retrieving requested information from an archive is timely and cost-efficient to perform in comparison to the time and resources required to rebuild the information from backups
    • Data storage costs – Migrate aging data from primary storage to low-cost, high-capacity archive storage for long-term retention can reduce data storage expenses 
    • Knowledge management – It is estimated that 75% of a business’s intellectual property can be found in its email system and email archiving allows for data to be accessed when needed
    • Protection against malicious intentional deletion – Don't fear that a departing employee deletes everything on the way out the door 

    Sinu can manage an enterprise-class compliance archiving and monitoring solution that integrates with your current email and messaging systems. Our goal is to help alleviate the burdens of data management, storage, security and business continuity by finding and managing the best solution to meet the demands of regulatory compliance, audits, and eDiscovery.

    Dropbox for Business

    Dropbox for Business takes the popular individual file sharing, storing, and syncing solution to the next level by adding several security and sharing controls to help protect your business data.  

    There are several reasons organizations turn to Dropbox for Business:

    • Your team can work on one platform with all the apps they already use to be productive – everything from Word and Excel to Photoshop and Acrobat
    • Information can be easily accessed from any device – Dropbox supports Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and Linux
    • Sharing controls let you set permissions to allow for different access levels
    • Activity logs track how content is accessed — including new shared folders, invited members, changes in permissions, etc.
    • Remote wipe secures data if a device is lost
    • A personal and a work Dropbox can be linked for easy access, but files remain separate
    • Strong cipher encryption keeps data safe
    • Additional security features, including single sign-on (SSO) and two-step verification, further safeguard your data 

    As a reseller of Dropbox for Business, Sinu is skilled at Dropbox implementation and support, so your business can get the most from the Dropbox solution. 

    At Sinu, we are a bit obsessed about offering the most reliable and efficient IT support services for superior customer experience and employee productivity. So give us a call if you have a question about these services or any other new technologies that emerge – we’d love the opportunity to discuss what we are currently testing, share best practices, and demonstrate how the Sinu platform can be maximized to keep your employees happy and productive. For more information, contact David Owen.