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Are your Office 365 emails automatically backed up online?

More and more businesses are upgrading to Office 365, a cloud-based email and software suite powered by Microsoft. We can offer this product directly to our clients as well. Each licence grants a user access to email services and/or the Microsoft Office software suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, and so on). This can dramatically simplify your business workflows and ensure consistency of software and technologies in your organisation.

Using Office 365 is a very cost effective strategy, particularly for small businesses or for those whose needs change over time. However, one common misconception is that using Office 365 means that your emails are automatically backed up. This is not the case.

Your data is not backed up

When you use your email service on any device, the data is synchronised with your other devices. For example, if you send an email using your PC, then later use your phone to access your emails, you’ll have that email in your “Sent Items” folder. This ensures that you always have ALL information on every device. The same applies to updating your address book or calendar — it’s all kept in sync across all of your devices.

The downside of this is that if you delete an email/contact/calendar item (etc) on your computer, it will be deleted everywhere. There’s a 30 day recovery window, but after that, the data is gone forever. We’ve have seen this happen time and time again. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this.

An easy solution

A quick, easy, and inexpensive way to ensure your data is secure is to use a cloud-based backup solution. This means that your data is automatically backed up, and stored externally for a period of your choosing. If you’ve already gone past the 30 day recovery period available through Office 365, you can always go to your backups and restore the data that way.

For a very low monthly fee, we can offer this backup service, giving you unlimited storage and retention. While perfect for Office 365, it’s actually suitable for any email platform, such as Gmail and Microsoft Exchange. You can set up a daily backup schedule, and migrate, download and restore your emails at any time. There are many other solutions on the market which do a similar job, and pricing and inclusions vary.

For more information about keeping your critical business data secure, get an instant quote online today.

Is it better to have all your cloud services with one provider?

Cloud computing is becoming extremely popular. As a web development company, we wholeheartedly support cloud based hosting and software applications. One of the problems we have noted however, is that many people don’t quite understand how to manage the various products and services that fall under this umbrella. So let’s start there.

What are cloud services?

Cloud services can include your website hosting, the registration of your domain name, your website itself, your email services, online backup solutions, and more. Many businesses aren’t sure whether to have all of their cloud services managed by one provider or spread across different providers.

There are good reasons that support both sides of the argument, but overall the best strategy is to have just one cloud provider, for the following reasons:

  1. One single point of contact: If you engage just one provider, you can get in touch quickly and easily, and if they’re local you even drop into their office for a chat.
  2. Troubleshooting: Only having one provider means that you know the source of any problems. With multiple service providers, you can spend far too much time trying to track down the culprit and convincing them that it really is their problem. The buck stops there.
  3. A consistent service: As a leading web development company, we know that services or applications hosted by different providers can clash and cause problems that are difficult to identify and to fix. Having only one service provider can minimise or even prevent these problems.
  4. One setup process: When you only deal with one cloud based provider, you only need to go through the signup and setup processes once.
  5. Cost effective: Bundling all of your cloud based services with one provider can save you a substantial amount of money every year.

What about the risks of having all of your eggs in one basket? Well, if you keep all of your login details safe and deal with a reputable company who has been around for many years, you will always be able to recover your data if the worst happens.

To find out more about cloud based services talk to your web development company, call us on (07) 3333 2932, or get an instant quote online.

What is the “cloud”, and how will it benefit my business?

When companies search for business web hosting in Australia, they’re faced with all the hype about “cloud computing”, “cloud hosting”, “cloud emails” etc. This is a buzzword that tends to confuse many people, however all it really means is that you are storing your information on the Internet.

People seemed to have adopted the term “cloud” to cover all things online, and now it is used by just about everyone. For example, Adobe now offers Photoshop only via the cloud, Amazon offers cloud storage and hosting, while Google, Fed X, Cisco, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Dropbox and other major players are all moving to cloud-based software solutions. This means that more and more software is being managed or used through web browsers or dedicated apps rather than traditional desktop program installations.

Local versus cloud storage

Storing a file “locally” means that the file is physically saved to your device, whether that be a computer, tablet, phone, USB flash drive, or external hard drive. If the file is uploaded to the Internet in some way — such as by posting a photo on social media, creating a document in Google Drive, or backing up files to Dropbox — then that file is now in the cloud.

Online backup solutions such as Dropbox.com or OneDrive (part of Office 365) will allow you to keep a copy in both locations, and keep those files synchronised, so if you create a new file locally, it stores it in the cloud as well (though you can pick and choose which files this applies to).

Is the cloud secure?

Some people have concerns about the security of the cloud. But in reality, while there is a risk of your online data being compromised, the same can be said about the data stored on your computer or any other device which connects to the Internet.

Hackers are always trying to find passwords and other private information, and they don’t restrict those activities to online data; data is frequently stolen from personal devices because there’s often not much security in place.

So in some ways, the cloud can actually be a safer way to store your information — if you choose a software provider who places great emphasis on security and privacy.

What are the benefits?

In a nutshell:

  • Multiple people can access to the same files/resources, even at the same time.
  • Large files can be sent between users much more quickly and securely than via email or in the post.
  • It’s relatively inexpensive for some software purposes (such as backups), compared to in-house servers.
  • Your data can be restored quickly from online backups, if you had a disaster at your office, such as a fire.
  • It’s easy to scale your resources (such as storage space) up and down as your needs change, compared to physically installing/removing hardware locally.
  • It’s much more cost effective to host your website with a reputable local hosting provider than running your own dedicated in-house web server.

Are you making the most of the cloud?

Whether it be online backups, web hosting, file editing, software, or anything in between, the cloud offers countless ways to make your business more secure, profitable, and efficient than ever before.

For more information on business web hosting in Australia, or details on what other business solutions we can offer, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get a free online quote.

Startups and the changing face of technology

Many of our clients are startups and need a website to promote their products or services online. Apart from the usual problems facing any new venture, our new clients also have to deal with the rapidly changing face of technology as well.

Smart technology

Most small businesses are not in a position to take advantage of smart technology just yet. A good example is the technological leap from smart phones and tablets to smart wristwatches, allowing employees to receive emails on their watch.

If you want to be in the frontline of technology then it might be worth your while keeping up with smart technology. Alternately, you might just decide to save your money and wait a little longer to decide whether the latest gizmo is here to stay or is just another fly by night.

Cloud computing, big data and security

Without a doubt, the startup costs of a business heavily invested in cloud computing will be much lower than for traditional startups. However, with so many cloud based service providers jumping on the band wagon, the challenge is not only with understanding the technology and keeping up to date, but in selecting the best provider, as well as customising your cloud apps and services on an ongoing basis.

Even more of a problem is the issue of security and the protection of company data and resources from hackers. So with cloud technology, educating employees about online security will be essential to protecting the integrity of both company and customer information.

Then there is the issue of big data, which can be handled quite easily with the massive resources of the cloud. Accessing personnel who can handle this type of data however, may become a challenge all of its own.

Customised user experiences

Lastly, as technology continues to advance, customers’ expectations also increase and businesses face the challenge of creating consistent user experiences, across multiple platforms and channels. This means businesses need to be focused on social media networking and on creating unique interactions for customers, who want to access information at the touch of a button.

For more information on website promotion, online marketing or website design in Brisbane, call GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.