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cloud based computing

The world of technology brings many different confusing buzzwords to the table, such as VoIP, search engine optimization, cyber security, and the cloud. Otherwise known as cloud computing, the cloud is a method of storing data over the Internet rather than on a physical hard drive.

Saying that you are hosting your information on a cloud server can be quite confusing for those who are not used to this technology yet. While you might prefer to envision a white fluffy cloud magically hosting your important data, that's not the case. Here's the truth: Even if you don't know anything about the cloud, you're already using it. If you use any popular email service, your emails are already in the cloud.

So to help you understand this technology, we have compiled a quick and easy beginner's guide to everything you need to know about using a cloud based network.

How does it work?

Cloud computing provides a simpler way for many different people to access information over the Internet. This includes servers, storage, databases, photos, and various applications. Cloud computing companies own and maintain these networks, while you decide what software to use and what information is stored on the web.

Advantages of having a cloud based network

Only pay for what you consume.

When you choose this method, you do not have to invest in expensive data centers and servers without knowing how much of them you will actually use. With the cloud, you will instead pay only for what you need.

Lower pay as you go prices

Since millions of customers are using the cloud, there is a better economy of scale with this method.

No capacity problems

Take the guesswork away from your digital storage needs. With the cloud you do not have to guess at how much space you need to store your files, and it is especially easy to adjust your capacity in minutes.

Increased speed

When you take advantage of cloud hosted networks, you're never more than one click away from updated IT resources that can bring speed and agility to your server.

Types of cloud computing

There are two basic types of cloud computing, public and private cloud based networks.

Private cloud hosting is where the hardware, storage, and network are dedicated to one single client and company.

Public cloud hosting is when the network provider makes everything available to the general public over the Internet. In this model, you share your cloud with other businesses.

Using each cloud offers different benefits for different individuals. All in all, a full 88% of organizations currently use the public cloud, while 63% use the private cloud. If it seems like those numbers don't quite add up, it's because more and more people are using a hybrid of the two, known as the hybrid cloud model.

Cloud computing is a great storage method for any business, no matter the size. It can be used for data backup and storage, Voice over the Internet Protocol (digital phones), mobile applications, or simply sharing family photos with friends. If you are looking to learn more, contact MVP today.

website design

Website design is a powerful tool that will ensure potential customers have an easy experience with your website -- which increases the likelihood that they'll become a customer or client. Although it's not necessarily easy to optimize your website, there are a few web design tricks you can try to keep customers coming back for more.

Concentrate on your homepage
Your homepage should not be cluttered with ads, but rather it should be clean and streamlined. Have your polished, professional logo at the front and center of the page, and implement a easy-to-navigate tab system if you have multiple pages. Also, make sure that pertinent information -- your phone number, email, locations and hours of operation -- is visible on every page.

Less is more when it comes to pictures
Having too many pictures on your page can slow down your site. This is important; according to eConsultancy, a full 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. Think of all the potential customers and revenue you can lose just by having a picture too many! Keep the pictures to about two or three per page, and make sure they are small.

Use color strategically
Again, less is more. Stay with a neutral color palette to project a clean, modern, and professional image. It is a good idea to concentrate the color on the page to specific keywords; this way the customer will be guided to important content.

Design every page as a landing page
Not only is this beneficial for your search engine optimization plans, but a website design that ensures every search leads to a landing page will make it easier for your client to navigate. Doing so will bring the client to exactly the page they are looking for, decreasing their frustration and increasing your conversions.

Optimize the page for mobile use
One of the best web services you can offer is to optimize your website so it is easily read on mobile devices. Considering that the majority of Americans use mobile devices daily, this is just one more way to increase customer satisfaction.

Website design doesn't have to be complicated. Our professionals at MVP are here to help!

voip phone solutions

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, which is a way to connect your phone service over the Internet instead of regular analog phone lines. This form of communication is on the rise, as research predicts mobile VoIP users will reach a full one billion users within the next year. Unfortunately, many VoiP users can become confused about this service compared to a traditional phone system, so here are some frequently asked questions about VoIP phone solutions to clear up any confusion.

How does VoIP work?
VoIP services convert your voice into a digital signal that travels over an Internet connection. Compare this to an analog phone, which converts your voice into a regular telephone signal before it reaches its final destination. Using a VoIP solutions provider will allow you to make a call from your laptop, and it will give you the ability to make a call whenever you are connected to the Internet.

What equipment is required for this service?
First and foremost, a high-speed broadband Internet connection is required. You will also need a computer, a VoIP phone solutions adapter, and/or a specialized phone to make the calls depending on the VoIP services company you choose.

Is there a difference between calling locally and long distance?
Each different service provider has different limits for what constitutes long distance. The provider may allow you to choose one specific area code -- different than the one you live in -- that you can call unlimited, or they will allow you to call anywhere in the nation for one flat rate. Speak to your provider if you have any specific requirements about long distance calling, to ensure you are not charged an arm and a leg every time you make a call out.

What are some advantages of VoIP?
There are many advantages of using VoIP phone solutions including:

1. It is easier to install, configure, and maintain than an analog phone.

2. You can easily add phone lines without any hassle.

3. Your phone number travels when you do, so you do not have to worry about changing numbers if you are working from home or traveling for business.

4. It is more cost effective than analog phones.

5. VoIP integrates with other business systems meaning that you are able to place an outbound call through your email, access your voice mail within your company dashboard, and even have a transcription service installed so you don't have to worry about taking notes during an important call.

VoIP is a easy-to-use business system that can streamline your daily activities to save time. Install a VoIP service to bring ease of calling into your office today.

cloud based network

With the Olympics off to a flying start, the entire world is captivated with the almost super-human athletic achievements on display. But what many spectators don't realize is the advanced technology behind every event they watch.

The Olympics are a unique event where tech companies can come and take full advantage of their new and improved technology on a global scale. And at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, that includes incredibly impressive advancements in cloud computing.

Cloud Computing and the Olympics Go Back Further Than You'd Expect

Cloud computing, the act of using a cloud based network to store data remotely, is no stranger to the Olympics. The 1980 Lake Placid Winter games were the first to use minicomputers, portable terminals, and PC-esque intelligent terminals to develop a customized scoring software. Overall, the goal was to streamline the scoring process for the judges, reducing the risk of biased scoring. Before Lake Placid, this network of computers, along with the IT support firms behind them, were so expensive that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could only afford one.

Fast forward 36 years, and the Olympics are almost overrun with technology dependent on a cloud based network. Today in Rio, the scoring process is easier than ever and varies by sport. Here's a breakdown:

Fencing: touches between the foils are detected electronically, and use a Wi-Fi service to report the touches to the judges.

Taekwondo: Fighter's points are determined by using magnetized socks and impact sensors in body pads and helmets.

Volleyball: this sport is introducing replay review for the first time in the history of the Olympics.

Swimming: Waterproof screens at the bottom of the pool allow distance swimmers to account for their laps. We can only hope they have a data backup disaster recovery solutions in place in case of a crash!

Rowing and Canoeing: GPS locators are installed in the boats and oars so the spectators can track the races publicly.

Archery: Scoring is now done electronically with help from sensors built into the targets. In addition, the athletes will be wearing a heart monitor that will display their vitals for spectators to watch.

Opening and closing ceremonies: The IOS will be using virtual reality to broadcast high-definition images of the opening and closing ceremonies. The spectators will need specialty virtual reality glasses to see the broadcasts, but the goal is to make them feel as if they are in the middle of the event.

All in all, the Olympics are setting the stage for businesses everywhere that are interested in using a cloud based network. Currently, 82% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, and even though a full 88% of organizations are using the public cloud at the moment, cloud computing is only expected to grow. Experts believe that by 2018, more than 60% of all businesses will have at least half of their infrastructure on cloud-based platforms.

cyber security

It seems as if everywhere we look, there are new security hacks and breaches happening all over the digital landscape. No one seems to be safe, and even large retail powerhouses like Michael's, Target, and Home Depot have recently fallen victim to hackers.

Unfortunately, cyber hacks are not limited to only big businesses. Considering the fact that in 2013, there was an average of 82,000 new malware threats per day, small companies can just as easily fall victim to online sleuths. In fact, because these mom and pop operations have lower security, they often make attractive soft targets for cyber criminals.

So in order for you to stay as aware of malware as possible, here are three things you should know about cyber security protection.

  1. Less is more

    Simply put, a hacker cannot steal what you do not have. This means keeping your data to a bare minimum, as the higher volume of data you keep online the more you are susceptible to a hack. Do not collect sensitive data that you do not need in order to protect not only yourself but your clients.

  2. Practice active security

    You still have to protect the data you do choose to keep, so it is important you take proactive steps to defend yourself against hackers. This includes simple things like using a strong password, changing your password frequently, using eight characters or more, along with an uppercase letter thrown into the mix. Do not go basic just because it may be easy to remember! In fact, two million Adobe users reported using '12345678' as their password, so one moment of being lazy can potentially cause a lot of headaches down the line.

    Additionally, be wary of who you let handle your security features. Only allow this privilege to more experienced employees, or set benchmarks where an employee can only access data they require to do their job. If you aren't sure what big steps you need to take, then it may be time to invest in a professional cyber security assessment.

  3. Keep it simple

    Cyber security doesn't have to be hard. It all starts with basic precautions to protect your data, including keeping your WiFi password private, having regular network security assessments, installing a firewall, and investing in a quality backup disaster recovery solution with a qualified IT support company.

Just keep these tips in mind, and you will keep the hackers at bay!

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