Virtual Work Environments That Encourage Team Collaboration

Hybrid and remote work are here to stay. Fortunately for employers and employees, recent studies have found working remotely does not negatively impact productivity. Offering hybrid and remote work can help employees attract and retain top talent.

Once a company decides to offer hybrid or remote work, its leaders need to decide which platform will encourage team collaboration best. There are many platforms on the market today. These virtual work environments all offer something a little different, so it’s important to understand your options before making a decision to switch platforms or integrate a new platform into your operations. Here’s a look at a few of the most popular virtual work environments.

Microsoft Teams: The Whole Package

Many companies use Microsoft Teams for their virtual work environments, and it’s no wonder why. The platform is an all-in-one team collaboration tool that has everything a team needs to stay connected and productive.

Unlike its competitors that only offer video conferencing, Teams offers encrypted instant messaging, file storage and sharing, and real-time document editing. It also integrates with other Microsoft tools to put information at your team’s fingertips. This is all in addition to its robust video conferencing tool.

You can learn more about Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft products in our white paper, How to Maximize the Microsoft 365 Tools You Already Have. Download it today for tips!

Zoom: Web Conferencing & Webinars

Zoom’s become a major player in video conferencing technologies. Its interface is easy to use for meeting participants and hosts alike. Team collaboration on Zoom is limited to video interaction, chat, polls, and in-chat file sharing (though files are not stored to the cloud as they are on Teams).

While Zoom is a good video conferencing tool, it lacks instant messaging, file storage and sharing, and other team collaboration tools available on Teams. This means business leaders will need to invest in additional tools to round out their virtual work environments.

WebEx: Nearly the Whole Package

WebEx is a Cisco product that is similar to Microsoft Teams. Like Teams, WebEx does video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing and storage. These are all things your employees need for team collaboration and productivity.

The main drawback to WebEx over Teams is that WebEx requires an additional monthly fee, while Microsoft Teams may already be available to you through your Microsoft 365 suite. Why pay extra for a service you already have?

Team collaboration is easy with the right virtual work environment. At Now IT Connects, we use Microsoft Teams to collaborate with our internal team as well as our clients. We can help you integrate the application at your business to improve productivity without sacrificing efficiency or security. Get in touch with us to learn how.


How to Migrate from Local Servers to the Cloud

How to Migrate from Local Servers to the Cloud_now it connects

So, you’ve finally made the decision to migrate to a cloud-based server like Microsoft Azure. Congratulations on taking the next step in making your business scalable, more productive, and more secure!

Migrating your data and systems over to the cloud is a big undertaking, and you don’t want to lose any valuable information in the process. To make the migration go as smoothly as possible, we recommend following these four steps.

Step 1: Take Stock of Your Software and Apps

The first step in the data migration process is to create an inventory of all of your current applications and software that will need to move to the cloud. Make a list of all of the software everyone at your company uses. In larger organizations, it may be helpful to tackle this department by department.

In the process, you will likely uncover tools that are rarely used or are no longer helpful or valuable. If that’s the case, consider using your migration to the cloud as the opportunity to get rid of these programs. Before you cut any tools, however, confirm that other applications and software don’t rely on them to operate. Dependencies between applications can complicate the migration process. If you fail to migrate tools that other apps depend on, your whole system may break down until you resolve the issue.

Step 2: Develop a Migration Plan

IT professionals use six migration strategies when they move data from local servers to the cloud. Rehosting your servers creates a clone of your current local servers and moves that clone to the cloud. Replatforming transfers applications from the local server directly to the cloud.

Refactoring makes changes to the code of applications to optimize them for cloud-based use. Repurchasing may be required if you are moving from individual licenses for your servers to a SaaS provider. Retiring applications and software that you no longer use is often a part of the migration strategy. Finally, some companies find they must retain certain applications that cannot be migrated to the cloud.

Step 3: Create and Implement a Backup Plan

Before you move your data and system to the cloud, make sure you have a robust and efficient backup plan in place. Sometimes, moving data from local servers to the cloud can cause issues with software and apps. Having a backup allows you to reload these tools and try again.

Another thing to consider is how you will back up your data once it’s on the cloud. Most cloud-based server providers offer backup tools and best practices training that can keep your data safe, including automated backups. In addition to these fail-safes, train your staff on how to use the new cloud-based server and avoid accidental data losses while using the system.

Step 4: Migrate Your Data

Once you’ve taken an inventory of all the programs you wish to move, developed a migration plan, and implemented a backup strategy, it’s time to take the plunge and migrate your local servers to the cloud. Working with a reputable and professional IT company can help the process go smoothly and allow you to continue to focus on running your business as your servers are moved to the cloud.

For help with your server migration or to learn more about cloud-based server options, get in touch with the Now IT Connects team today.


Wireless Point-to-Point for Sprawling Facilities

wireless point-to-point for sprawling facilities-Now IT Connects

Providing internet access to a sprawling facility can be a daunting undertaking. It can be difficult to provide a fast, reliable internet connection across an expansive building, such as a warehouse or logistics facility. Likewise, it can be tricky and expensive to make sure several outbuildings on a single property have internet connections.

In both of these cases, wireless point-to-point may be an affordable, scalable solution for providing reliable, fast internet.

Wireless Point-to-Point Is an Affordable Solution

Compared to laying cable or fiber, wireless point-to-point systems provide one of the best values in internet access today. The hardware to set up the system is relatively inexpensive, and the system requires no obtrusive digging or alterations to your site. This means the up-front investment in wireless point-to-point is far less expensive than other options.

Wireless Point-to-Point Is Fast and Reliable

With such a simple and affordable installation process, some companies may wonder if the internet connection provided by a wireless point-to-point system can compete with the reliability and speed of fiber or cable. We’ve got great news for you: wireless point-to-point provides equal or even greater reliability and speed compared to its competitors.

Since wireless point-to-point systems don’t require buried or hung cables, they will never experience service interruptions as a result of construction, road work, or other incidents. At the same time, they consistently provide speeds up to 500 Mbps, similar to cable and fiber. If a workplace is looking for a fast, reliable internet connection, wireless point-to-point is a great solution.

Wireless Point-to-Point Is Scalable

With fiber and cable, expanding the reach of your internet connection requires more digging and cable laying that can interrupt your team’s productivity. With wireless point-to-point, we can install another point on the system in an afternoon. All we need is access to the building you’d like to expand service to. Additionally, the hardware can easily be moved within a location or to another location altogether. Whatever your business needs to grow, wireless point-to-point can handle it.

Wondering if wireless point-to-point may be the internet solution you’ve been looking for? Get in touch with the Now IT Connects team today. We can help you understand your options and make the right choice for your business.


Wireless Point-to-Point (P2P) Applications and Benefits

wireless point-to-point applications_now it connects

If your company operates out of multiple buildings, it can be complicated and costly to create a network connection between the buildings with fiber or cable. The same goes for sprawling properties with video surveillance systems. In both of these cases, a wireless point-to-point (P2P) system can provide affordable, secure connectivity.

Wireless Point-to-Point Connects Multiple Buildings

A wireless point-to-point system create a network connection between multiple locations securely and reliably. Wireless P2P is a good option for both urban and rural properties. In urban settings, wireless point-to-point is ideal for buildings located on the same parcel, since environmental interference from other networks can make it difficult to connect locations across wider distances. But in rural areas with low building density, wireless P2P can connect buildings miles apart.

Wireless P2P Can Support Video Surveillance Systems, Too

In addition to network connections, wireless point-to-point can provide a secure, dedicated network for video surveillance systems. For businesses with acreage, sprawling outdoor storage yards, or expansive parking lots, wireless P2P can make it easier and more affordable to maintain 24/7 video surveillance on the property. The network collects all the video data from the field cameras and transmits it to a central point for monitoring.

You’ll Avoid the Costs of Laying Fiber or Cable

One of the most significant benefits of a wireless point-to-point system is its cost. The investment in wireless P2P hardware, installation, and management is a fraction of the cost of fiber and cable. Fiber and cable require trenching and physical modifications to facilities to hardwire the network. Applications over long distances are often cost-prohibitive or impossible. With wireless point-to-point, the devices are installed discreetly on the roof.

Wireless Point-to-Point Scales with You

Another great benefit of a wireless point-to-points system is that it scales as a business grows. Adding additional connection points is more affordable and straightforward than laying more cable or fiber. It is possible to transfer a wireless P2P system to a new location, something that’s impossible to do with a hardwired network.

Wondering if wireless point-to-point is the network solution you’ve been looking for? Get in touch with the wireless P2P experts at Now IT Connects. We can find the wireless P2P or other network solution that’s the right fit for your needs.


Registering Your New Domain Is Easy with Our Tool

how to register your website domain_now it connects

Registering your company’s domain is the crucial first step toward setting up a new website. But choosing a domain provider can be confusing. That’s why Now IT Connects offers domain registration right on our website. Get up and running in just a few easy steps.

1. Come Up with a Great Name

The best name for your domain is one that is easy for both your audience and Google to understand. Choose a name that is simple and easy to remember. Your best option is to simply use your company name.

2. Use Our Domain Registration Tool

Once you’ve settled on a name for your site, visit our domain registration site. There, you can search for and purchase your domain, web hosting, email, and other essential website tools.

3. Purchase Your Domain and Choose a Hosting Platform

To see if your first-choice domain is available, search for it with our tool. If it’s available, great! If not, make sure you have a couple of backup options. If the .com extension is available, we recommend going with that (unless you’re a nonprofit, in which case .org is a good option for you). Notice that the cost of the domain changes depending on the extension. Once you’ve made your decision, add your selection to the cart.

Then, click on “Hosting” in the top navigation bar to select a hosting environment for your domain. This is where your domain will live on the internet. cPanel is a popular choice, as is WordPress. Or, you may choose to host your domain on a dedicated, private server.

4. Add Not-So-Optional Extras

If all you’re interested in is the domain, you could check out at this point. However, we encourage you to consider purchasing some essential security tools first. An SSL certificate lets users who visit your site know you keep their data safe. Google considers SSL certification in its search results. Sites without an SSL certificate are ranked lower than sites with the certificate in place.

Website backup is another service we highly recommend. Don’t put a lot of time, effort, and money into a new site you are not planning to back up and keep safe. Website backup is affordable, automated, and provides a lot of peace of mind.

5. Purchase Email and Online Storage

Don’t forget to add email and online storage to your domain purchase. These services will allow you to send emails from your website domain (john@nowitconnects.com, for example) and add and remove email users with ease. Online storage is a good option for backing up files to the cloud and making it easy for your team to collaborate. Call Now IT Connects to learn more about your Microsoft 365 email and online storage options.

6. Get Online!

You’ve purchased your domain, hosting, SSL, backup, email, and storage. It’s time to get online! The next step is to design a beautiful, optimized website. There are several good DIY options, but we recommend calling in the pros to maximize your investment in your new website. For a recommendation or for help registering your domain, contact our team!


Despite Uncertainty, You Should Still Plan Now for 2021

2020 has been a challenging year, and the one thing we can all rely on is that life is unpredictable. But uncertainty is no reason to forgo 2021 planning. Your business will still need to maintain or update its hardware and software and be protected against cyber threats. Now is the perfect time to start thinking through your IT plan for the year.

Plan for Hardware and Software Updates

Your business’s hardware and software requires regular maintenance and updating. The Now IT Connects team can perform most of this maintenance remotely. But if it has been a few years since you’ve replaced your hardware or reviewed your software to see if it still serves your business, 2021 is the perfect time to assess your IT needs.

If your servers are older or if you still rely on old removal devices to protect your data, consider upgrading your hardware and moving your backup process to the cloud. New systems are faster, more reliable, and can process more data, while cloud backup can save you space in your server room and time switching removal devices, as well as improved peace of mind knowing your data is securely backed up in real time.

You likely also depend on a variety of software or web-based applications to run your business, including project management tools, accounting software, and inventory management applications. Unless you perform regular audits of your IT inventory, you may be missing out on new tools that could improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. In 2021, take a look at all of the systems you have in place at your business. If your list includes several programs that no longer serve you, or if none of your tools are integrated, give Now IT Connects a call.

Protect Your Business against Cyber Threats

This year, we’ve featured several blog posts from our partner Secure Net Pros. If cyber security is not a priority at your business, plan to make it one in 2021. Cyber attacks from bad actors will continue to threaten companies, with small businesses being especially vulnerable to cybercrime. If you do not have a cyber security plan in place for your business, we recommend connecting with the experts at Secure Net Pros.

Find a Trusted IT Partner

Finally, if you are managing the IT at your business all on your own, make 2021 the year you partner with a managed IT provider. Not only will you save hours of time, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your systems and data are maintained and protected. Contact the Now IT Connects team today to discover the possibilities.


Disaster Planning for Your Business’s Network

network disaster planning

Time management guru Alan Lakein once said, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

While the Now IT Connects team hopes that you never experience a network disaster at your business, chances are that you’ll have to respond to something unexpected at some point. Putting together a network disaster recovery plan can help you reduce the damage done to your business and help you get up and running faster.

Network Disaster Causes

While some disasters are results of fires or floods, most network disasters occur due to hardware failure, network attacks, or human error. It’s possible for even the best hardware to fail. When those failures occur in a vital piece of equipment, such as a router or modem, it can cascade that failure throughout your network. Other times, bad actors can gain access to your network through an unaddressed vulnerability and wreak havoc on your network. And human error can always cause a bad day at the office.

Identify Your Disaster Recovery Team

The first step in planning your network disaster recovery should be to identify the team that will be responsible for managing recovery tasks. This team should include staff from all departments so the plan accounts for every piece of technology and potential disruption a disaster would cause. Your disaster recover plan should assign specific tasks to each team member so everyone knows how to leap into action if a network disaster occurs.

Plan How You’ll Recover

In addition to identifying your disaster recovery team, your plan should include concrete steps that will get your business up and running as quickly as possible. Prioritize the steps you’ll take so you minimize disruptions and delays. Identify the essential operations you’ll need to get back up as soon as possible as well as the non-essential tasks that can wait a few hours or a few days to get back to normal.

A thorough disaster recovery plan articulates every detail about what is to be done in the event of a network disaster. Step-by-step plans allows your team to act swiftly without wasting precious time figuring out what to do next. The time spent planning your recovery will save you countless hours and frustration later.

Put a Prevention Plan into Place

As Lakein said, planning lets you take action now on future events. By investing in the time and effort to put together a disaster recovery plan, you should identify gaps in your current network infrastructure that you can fix now to possibly prevent a future disaster.

Your disaster recovery plan should include an inventory of all the hardware, software, and equipment at your business. This gives you an idea of the assets you have, what’s required to maintain and protect them, and any equipment that you should replace or upgrade to ensure you maintain a high level of security.

Another way to prevent loss in the event of a disaster is to implement a backup system. While some businesses still fiddle with backup tapes, most have moved their backup data to the cloud. Implement your backup solution, then make a plan to review this data quarterly.

Once you have your plan put together, it’s time to test it out. Add a disaster day to your company calendar and put your team through a simulated disaster. Give everyone a chance to practice their roles. A little practice now will help an actual recovery scenario go much more smoothly.

The Now IT Connects team helps businesses develop disaster recovery plans and backup their data to ensure it’s safe no matter what happens. For help with your own network disaster recovery plan, contact our team today.


Building with Your IT Needs in Mind

building with IT in mind_Now IT Connects_Minnesota

The COVID-19 pandemic will permanently change the way we all work. The health and safety of your employees is vitally important. But so is the ability to stay connected, especially when a portion of your workforce is working remotely. Here are a few ways you can design your workspace with your IT needs in mind.

Integrate, Don’t Retrofit

Your company’s IT needs should be integrated into the design of your workspace. Don’t wait until you finalize plans and put up walls to consider what your IT needs are. Include your IT team in the design process so you create a space that will meet your current and future technology needs. Your IT experts can advise you and your architect on what space you need to house your IT infrastructure and how to integrate ethernet and USB ports and WiFi networks into the structure of your space to make it easy to stay connected.

IT Needs for Individual Workspaces

What IT does each individual worker require in your workspace? At a bare minimum, they likely need plentiful electrical outlets, USB and ethernet ports, and a strong WiFi connection. Screen privacy should also be a priority, especially for employees who work with sensitive information. Consider the hardware you will need to support. Will you invest in desktop computers for everyone to encourage desk use, or provide laptops or tablets to empower people to work where they choose?

IT Needs for Conference Rooms

Due to COVID-19, it is likely that a portion of your workforce will be working remotely over the next few months and perhaps permanently. Meetings with clients and vendors may also occur virtually. It will be vitally important to include a space to facilitate collaboration between remote workers and in-office employees.

Conference rooms require IT infrastructure that makes collaboration easy and seamless. To do so requires forethought during the design stage to hide network and AV cables behind a wall to supply a projector or in a floor trench to serve the conference room table. To facilitate video conferencing, you’ll need a webcam as well as a projector, and a mic as well as speakers. If you plan to use an app-based room scheduler, having a tablet outside the door of the room can make it easy for workers to review the calendar and schedule their meetings.

IT Needs for Common Areas

As flexible workspaces become more popular, common areas of your workspace will need to be technology-friendly. Employees should be able to stay connected to email and other essential applications wherever they are.

When designing your common area spaces, carefully place WiFi routers so every square inch is covered. If you have a lobby, consider installing digital signage to direct visitors and share information in real time. Remember to add the IT infrastructure to support any access control system you require.

If you need help determining what IT infrastructure you’ll need to support your business in your new space, Now IT Connects is here to help. We can design, install, and maintain your network, hardware, software, and web applications to keep your team productive. To get started, contact us today.


Recovering after an IT Disaster

recovering after IT disaster_Now IT Connects_Clearwater MN

You spill coffee all over your laptop keyboard, and now it refuses to boot up. You log onto your computer to find your files are corrupted and unusable. Worse, you power up your computer only to get a black screen with a message that your computer has been taken ransom. All of your data is being held hostage until you pay the cyber criminals who’ve taken over your computer. How do you buy bitcoin, anyway?

IT disasters can strike anyone, anytime. That’s why many companies have disaster recovery and data backup plans in place. Recovering from an IT disaster is easier when your team understands their responsibilities and you have the policies and technologies in place to minimize the interruption a data loss causes to your business operations.

Know Who’s in Charge of What

A good disaster plan includes the team members at your business who will be involved in the recovery after an IT disaster. These people should be ready to jump into action in the event of a loss of data or other IT disruption. The rest of your staff should know who is on this team as well so they can approach them with any questions or concerns they have.

The people on your disaster recovery team may include a point person who is managing the entire recovery process, someone who’s in charge of assessing the damage, a team member who is responsible for repairing the damage (or coordinating with a professional IT team who can do so), someone who is in charge of recovering data from backup storage, and a team member who is responsible for communicating all of these actions to your team and any other affected stakeholders.

Tackle the First Few Hours

Spend the first few hours after an IT disaster addressing immediate concerns. Assess the damage that the disaster caused and run through your inventory of hardware and software to understand how extensive the damage is. You may need to source new devices so your team can continue to work as you recover from the incident, even if they are working with limited IT resources. Then, put your disaster recovery plan into action.

Get Everyone Back Up and Running

Once you have an idea of the extent of the damage the disaster caused, prioritize how you’ll roll out your recovery. What data and systems are mission critical to your business operations, and which ones can wait a day or two? Once you have your list of priorities, work with your disaster recovery team to execute them. These items may include:

  • Repairing damaged server hardware and software
  • Replacing failed hardware and software
  • Restoring email access to employees
  • Restoring website content and data after a cyber attack
  • Training employees on new tools and new data policies
  • Communicating a data loss event with stakeholders

Communicate with Your Team

Don’t forget to continue to communicate with your team throughout the disaster recovery process. Inform them that a data loss or technology failure has occurred and let them know that your recovery team is working hard to get them back up and running. Communicating with your team allows you to manage their expectations for when they’ll be back to normal.

Not sure what would happen to your data in the event of an IT disaster? The Now IT Connects team is here to help. To start protecting your company’s data, contact us today.


Give Your Business an IT Disaster Recovery Check-Up

IT disaster checkup_Now IT Connects_Clearwater MN

These last few months have been tough, and the last thing anyone needs is another crisis on their hands. It’s impossible to know when an IT disaster may strike, but you can minimize the stress and the damage with a disaster recovery plan and experienced IT pros on your side.

Disaster Recovery Basics

IT disasters may be instigated by an actual physical disaster, such as fire or flooding at your business or other physical damage to your hardware. But more often, disasters occur within your systems themselves. This could be a fatal failure of your hardware or software or a direct attack on your network by cyber criminals. Malware, ransomware, denial-of-service attacks, and phishing scams can all create wreak havoc on your network.

While it’s impossible to prevent all disasters, it is possible to protect yourself from many of them. You can also create a plan for what happens when disaster strikes so your network can get back up and running quickly and your staff can get back to work.

Review Your Current Disaster Recovery Plan

When is the last time you’ve looked at your IT disaster recovery plan? If it’s been awhile, it’s time to get to work. Older disaster recovery plans often include technologies that are obsolete or degraded beyond usability (think those old tape backup systems). Even cloud-based data backup solutions should be tested annually to ensure they are set up properly.

Disaster recovery plans include more than just your procedure for backing up data. Here’s a list of common items found in a disaster recovery plan:

  • Who is responsible for executing and managing the plan
  • Immediate steps following the disaster
  • Inventory of hardware and software that may be affected by a disaster
  • Post-disaster business continuity plan
  • Strategies for communicating with stakeholders
  • Policies for data, email, and social media use

Work with a DRaaS and DR Provider

Managing data is a complicated, high-stakes task. If left vulnerable to attack or disaster, data can be lost forever, crippling a business. As data security becomes a top priority for businesses, IT companies are increasingly offering DRaaS (Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service) and DR (Disaster Recovery) as services. Companies can outsource their disaster recovery plans and procedures to IT experts who can provide a multi-faceted solution that includes backup recovery, file syncing, and cloud-based data storage to prevent the loss of data.

Not sure what would happen to your data in the event of an IT disaster? The Now IT Connects team is here to help. To start protecting your company’s data, contact us today.


A Closer Look at Our IT Services

A Closer Look at IT Services_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

Ever wonder with the Now IT Connects team is up to every day? Wonder no more! We have several main IT services that keep us busy throughout the day and week. From backup and cloud solutions to network security and comprehensive managed IT services, here’s a look at how we can help you.

Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services are the Now IT Connects team’s bread and butter. Why try to figure IT out on your own when you can partner with an IT company who provides you with cloud-based solutions, network maintenance, hardware updates, and email troubleshooting?

Through our managed IT offerings, you can rely on us to take care of IT through ongoing device management, monitoring, and alerting services. Our cloud-based managed IT platform allows us to monitor your systems remotely so we aren’t interrupting your day. We can schedule updates overnight so your team experiences minimal downtime, and our alerts system helps us resolve any issues before you even realize they exist. If you want to stay up and running in 2020, the Now IT Connects team has your back.

Network Security

Your network is your business’s heart, brain, and circulatory system all rolled into one. It keeps your business running, your team productive, and your operations moving forward with ease. When your network’s compromised, it can grind your entire business to a halt.

Unless you have IT expertise, we recommend working with an IT service provider like us with the know-how and technology resources to protect your hardware and software from malfunction, misuse, modification, and attacks.

Email and Spam Protection

It’s tough having your email down for an hour, let alone a day or two. Business email systems must constantly defend themselves against viruses, malware, direct attacks, and inadequate storage. That’s why Now IT Connects offers cloud-based email solutions. Cloud-based email and spam filtering systems offer limitless storage and real-time security updates so your inbox is always protected.

Backup and Cloud Solutions

Speaking of the cloud, it’s a powerful, secure place to store your data. One of the IT services we provide is cloud-based data storage and backup. We partner with trusted cloud service providers to offer our clients secure data storage that’s available anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud computing also helps our clients eliminate the need to manually back up their data to tapes or other local storage devices. Instead, we can automate daily backups to the cloud to ensure your data is always available and safe.

If you’d like to take your IT to the next level this year, we’d love to meet you! Give Now IT Connects a call today at 320-558-6300.


New IT Products for 2020

New IT Products_Now IT Connects_Clearwater Minnesota

Every year, hundreds of new tech products hit the market. It can be tough to know which ones will make a real, positive impact on your business. That’s why we’ve come up with our own best-of list of new IT products we’re looking forward to using in 2020.

Two-Factor Authentication Is Something You Can No Longer Ignore

Two-factor authentication has been around for years, but it is finally hitting the mainstream. Two-factor authentication, or TFA, requires two forms of identification to access an online account. You may have noticed that your bank now requires you to enter a password, then receive another code via email or text to enter before you can access your account. That’s an example of TFA.

For now, TFA is one of the safest ways to secure your online accounts. We highly recommend you use TFA whenever it is offered to you, whether it’s on your business bank account, on your cloud storage account, or your email.

WatchGuard offers a two-factor authentication product called AuthPoint that helps you secure all of your business systems from a single app, including your email, network, CRM, data storage, and accounting applications. Check it out.

Barracuda’s Content Shield Web Security Keeps Teams Productive

Barracuda MSP (formerly Intronis MSP) is our favorite managed IT service platform. Recently, Barracuda announced enhancements to its MSP (managed service provider) product that will help you encourage your teams to stay productive.

The product now includes Content Shield web security. Content Shield filters URLs so your managed IT provider can protect you and your employees from malicious web content. The product also improves malware protection and allows business owners to block web traffic to specific websites (like Facebook). All of these features help keep your team more productive at work.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 Could Revolutionize the Way You Collaborate

Our two first new IT products for 2020 are functional but (unless you’re an IT nerd like us) not that exciting. Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 product is both functional and extremely exciting.

The Surface Hub 2 is a piece of hardware that makes collaborating effortless, whether your team members are in the same room together or across the world from one another. The Surface Hub 2 is a smart whiteboard, teleconferencing, and collaborative computing device all rolled into one sleek product you can wheel anywhere in your office. We believe it will revolutionize the way you collaborate.

Those are the products Now IT Connects is looking forward to following in 2020. What are some of yours? Let us know on social media or contact us to keep your business running smartly and smoothly this year.