Posts Tagged ‘email’

The Year of the Cloud

Posted on: December 30th, 2012 by jiml | No Comments

We have a saying at Colden Company Inc. which is “If you are running your business the same way you were two or three years ago, you are not staying the same – you are falling behind.”.  Your competition is not standing still, and unless your business is progressing as well, it is not keeping up.

Technology is one of the variables that can help make your business successful or cause it to fall behind. At Colden Company Inc., we specialize in bringing pertinent technology into businesses to help keep their competitive edge. It is important to realize that all the technology in the world will not make your business successful on its own.  Technology is a piece that compliments business directives.  It is important that the business directives are the drivers – not the other way around.

One of the reasons we often hear from businesses for maintaining the status quo is uncertainty. The business environment is uncertain and the rapid change in technology can also lead to uncertainty about which direction to take.  We have seen many businesses hold off on upgrades because of financial uncertainty and the byproduct of that is risk to the business because of older or more frequently unstable technology.  This increases short term maintenance costs but saves the larger investment dollars.

Businesses are longing for certainty. Cloud technology can help bring more certainty to monthly costs and also reduce the large upfront costs that accompany traditional on-premise upgrades.  According to research at Gartner, 80% of businesses are already using some type of cloud-based service.  If you are a regular reader of our blog postings, you already know that we feel email is a great application to migrate to the cloud. In today’s world of mobile devices, there are many ways to send and receive email, leaving your business not dependent on the office Internet connection for availability. From a technical perspective, email does not require as much of a persistent connection as line of business (LOB) applications, making it a natural fit for the cloud.  In addition, the consistent monthly recurring cost (MRC) brings that certainty that businesses need. Many cloud services include license upgrades as newer products are released, further reducing the periodic large expenditures that on-premise solutions are prone to.

If your business is looking for certainty and you have found yourself standing still over the last couple years, then 2013 is the Year of the Cloud! Colden Company has successfully assisted customer in this type of migration and we would be happy to provide our expertise to your business.  Call us at (888) 600-4560, or via email at info@coldencompany.com.  Find us on Facebook and Twitter (@coldenco) as well.







Email: Into the Cloud!

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by jiml | No Comments

There has been a lot of discussion about cloud computing in recent years and major companies like Google and Microsoft are investing millions of dollars into competing for that space. At Colden Company Inc., we are often asked about the cloud and whether or not our clients should consider the move into a cloud environment. The answer to the question “is the cloud good for my business?” is, of course, “it depends”. It is important to review what line-of-business (LOB) applications that your business relies on and whether or not cloud options are available and an improvement over traditional on-premise applications. Obvious benefits to cloud solutions include improved business continuity, less upfront hardware expense, and fewer ongoing maintenance expenses, while downsides include reliance on a stable Internet connection for access to data and perhaps decreased performance of certain applications.

In general terms, we prefer our data files stored locally, but backed up to the cloud. This insures fastest access and the safety of having a backup in the cloud, protecting against a site-level disaster. We prefer our email in the cloud for reasons will we discuss shortly and we prefer to examine our LOB applications on a case-by-case basis. Let’s focus on email since we feel it is a great cloud application.

Cloud applications rely on Internet connectivity so having a solid connection is vital. In today’s mobile computing world, email comes not only to PCs and laptops but also to smart phones and tablets. These devices often use 3G or 4G connections which are really separate Internet connections than the office network, providing a layer of redundancy in case the office Internet goes down. Secondly, email is not an application that requires a 100% persistent connection and is not as large a bandwidth user as many LOB applications. These two points make email a natural fit for the cloud.

Many people think that cloud email will only offer a reduced feature set as was evidenced by Microsoft’s Outlook Web Access for many years. This is no longer the case. Microsoft Hosted Exchange, Office365, and Google Apps for Business offer fully functional and web-based feature sets compared to on-premise solutions. With both the Microsoft and Google offerings, you can even continue to seamlessly use your local Outlook client while realizing the benefits of the cloud. Reduced functionality is no longer a reason to stay out of the cloud.

Email is just so critical to business today that having the guaranteed up-time that many cloud services provide is a great way to ensure the reliability of this critical business tool. Google and Microsoft both commit to a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of greater than 99.9% for their business cloud offerings. Cloud email is secure and reliable, making it a great fit for such an important business tool.

Finally, no evaluation would be complete without considering costs. Studies have shown that cloud email has less up front cost and in many cases, lower long term costs for the business as a result of less maintenance and fewer lost hours in productivity. With a cloud-based solution for your email, expenses are stable and predictable – both very attractive traits to business owners.

Are you interested in hearing more about how your business can migrate its email to the cloud? Contact Colden Company Inc. at (888) 600-4560, info@coldencompany.com, see us on Facebook or Twitter @coldenco.






Fighting Back Against Spam

Posted on: July 30th, 2011 by billp | No Comments

Spam is a problem any business e-mail user deals with on a daily basis. Spam is broadly defined as the use of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages. While e-mail spam is the most common form, there is also instant messaging spam, social network spam, blog comment spam, search engine spam, and other forms. Whatever form it comes in, spam is a drain on business’ computing resources (storage, bandwidth, etc.) and employee productivity. In this newsletter, we will focus on e-mail spam since it is the biggest problem for most business users.

Spam can be used by advertisers to broadly distribute information about their products or services. Spam can, however, also be used for malicious purposes by being a vector for malware distribution. Spam can even be used for criminal purposes through the use of phishing attacks. Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Regardless of the purpose, spam is an unwelcome guest in your e-mail system.

Spamming remains a viable business because advertisers have low operating costs and it is difficult to hold spammers accountable. Because the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of unsolicited mail has become very high. In the year 2011, the estimated figure for spam messages is around seven trillion. The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the additional volume of email. Spamming has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions.

There are many techniques that you can use to reduce the amount of spam that finds its way into your inbox. The simplest – but most labor-intensive for the user – methods are the whitelist, blacklist, or keyword filtering approachs. Your e-mail client may allow you to create a whitelist of users that you allow to send you e-mail. The problem, of course, is that senders that are not on your whitelist will be quarantined or rejected initially. A blacklist is a more conservative approach because you maintain a list of senders that should not be allowed to send you e-mail. However, blacklists tend to be ineffective because spammers rarely send from the same e-mail address for long. Similarly, keyword filtering can be ineffective because spammers often use misspellings of common words to evade filtering.

A more effective form of spam filtering involves the use of speculative (a.k.a heuristic) filtering. Simply stated, speculative filtering works by subjecting e-mail messages to thousands of pre-defined rules. Each rule assigns a numerical score to the probability of the message being spam. This score is then evaluated against the user’s tolerance for spam (low, medium, high, etc.) to determine if the message will be quarantined or delivered.

Colden Company is proud to offer Google Message Security (Postini) to its customers. Postini uses extremely effective speculative filtering to keep spam from reaching your inbox, draining your employees’ productivity, and consuming your business’ computing resources. Postini is software-as-a-service (SaaS), meaning that it requires no additional hardware, software, or other infrastructure to be purchased. Even better, Postini stops spam, viruses, phishing, denial of service, directory harvest attacks, and other attacks before they reach your network without message loss or disruptions to email service. Google offers 99.999% availability for message processing and 100% virus protection Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for Postini, securely filtering and delivering billions of transactions each day.

Do you want to stop spam and other unwanted e-mail from ever reaching your network? Find out more by contacting us at 518-885-2857, toll-free at 888-600-4560, via email at info@coldencompany.com, or on Twitter.