604.628.6970 | 1.877.662.2759 info@seatosky.com
Perks of Microsoft Open Value Subscription Licensing

Perks of Microsoft Open Value Subscription Licensing

Technology is changing at an incredible pace and staying up to date is becoming more and more important in our competitive business world. Considering this, does it make sense for a business to spend a huge outlay of time and money every few years just to keep up? And once the upgrade is installed, how to you make sure the staff understand how to take full advantage of the new features? Would it make more sense to approach software as a subscription – spreading payments over the life of the software’s useful life – with rights to upgrade as new versions come out? Subscription licensing has become the primary choice for the large majority of our clients. It takes the responsibility of staying on top of software updates off the plate of upper management and makes it a recurring task of the IT department – an operational item, rather than a capital item that is usually tied to hardware upgrades or replacements. There are many benefits to this software model and it the interest of time, I have provided bullets outlining the advantages as listed by Microsoft below: ” Low Cost Option As a rental agreement OVS is a cost effective licensing agreement for small and medium sized companies. Access to Latest Versions of Microsoft Products OVS customers can automatically use the latest software available from Microsoft, ensuring they get the benefits of the best Microsoft has to offer. Pay According to Use Customers only pay for software actually installed. Each year, customers can increase and decrease the number of desktops as need be to support their business requirements...
Windows Server 2003; End of Support Coming in July 2015

Windows Server 2003; End of Support Coming in July 2015

2015 is going to be a year of change for the better. I mean this quite literally if your business is running Windows Server 2003 because Microsoft has solidified an end date for the older server operating system; July 14, 2015. As the reader, you might be thinking; who cares, that’s months away, but the truth is upgrading older server software usually means also upgrading the older specialty software that relies on Windows Server 2003 – this could be anything from estimating software to database software that requires SQL. As such, it is important to sit down with your current IT support provider – or, if you are looking for a new one, Sea to Sky Network Solutions – and begin the process of creating an upgrade plan this month. Microsoft reports that from the date of approval to the go-live date it takes, on average, 150-200 days to plan, test, migrate and upgrade a server-based solution. That means your organization should be thinking about this now – right now! This news should not come as a surprise to most, in fact, mainstream support for Windows Server 2003 formally ended in 2010. The past 5 years of ‘Extended Support’ was really meant to provide businesses with ample time to upgrade in a controlled and cost-effective manner while maintaining access to critical security patches meant specifically for Windows Server 2003. In 2013 there were 37 critical updates released for Windows Server 2003/R2 and 2014 was similar in numbers. We are talking about updates meant to counter threats and vulnerabilities from hackers who know that servers usually house extremely sensitive data....
Green IT: How we make a difference.

Green IT: How we make a difference.

At Sea to Sky, we recognize the importance of doing our part to encourage the IT industry to ‘go green’. This isn’t a simple task, and it involves a whole lot of different tactics, but by making small changes, we can make a big difference. Some of the ways we work with our customers to improve our quality of life include: Energy efficiency This is two-fold – first, is using energy efficient equipment; this may mean replacing older hardware with more efficient newer equipment – or simply making buying decisions that include an awareness of the efficiency of that model. Virtualization. Virtualizing servers can make a big dent in your monthly power bills. By consolidating multiple physical servers into virtual servers on one physical box, resource utilization can be maximized, and waste can be greatly...
Tech solutions: Answers to common tech problems

Tech solutions: Answers to common tech problems

Managed services are the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses. This can include outsourcing HR-activities, production support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities. The person or organization that owns or has direct oversight of the organization or system being managed is referred to as the offeror, client, or customer. The person or organization that accepts and provides the managed service is regarded as the service provider or MSP. Typically, the offeror remains accountable for the functionality and performance of the managed service and does not relinquish the overall management control and responsibility of the organization or...
Why you will benefit from being on managed services.

Why you will benefit from being on managed services.

Managed services are the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses. This can include outsourcing HR-activities, production support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities. The person or organization that owns or has direct oversight of the organization or system being managed is referred to as the offeror, client, or customer. The person or organization that accepts and provides the managed service is regarded as the service provider or MSP. Typically, the offeror remains accountable for the functionality and performance of the managed service and does not relinquish the overall management control and responsibility of the organization or...
Top 5 coolest things about the new Surface Pro 3.

Top 5 coolest things about the new Surface Pro 3.

The new Surface 3 took everyone by surprise when it launched – it was the first tablet laptop replacement that came close to being a legitimate contender for a laptop replacement. The small size was compensated for by the functional keyboard and an amazing pen. 1. The awesome pen. sdfksdlkfjldsfjkalkd   2. The keyboard cover you can actually use. lksdfj;klasjdf;lksdjfsd   3. The USB & mini ports. sdjhfjsdafhlajshdflkjhalskjdfh   4. The long battery life. asdkjfnsakdjfkl;ajsdfjklsdjf   5. It’s super light size. Portable...

Welcome Sarah and Taylor

Sea to Sky would like to extend a warm welcome to two new full-time employees who bring with them valuable computer network management and customer service experience. As we grow our business we know that our managed service offering is only as good as the people who provide the support. Sarah and Taylor understand Sea to Sky’s corporate mission and are excited to help the company achieve our shared goal. Sarah called the Okanagan home before moving to Vancouver four years ago. Shortly after making the move to our beautiful city she graduated from the UBC Sauder School of Business, and worked in the real estate industry. Sarah’s past experience in that field allowed her to sharpen her administrative office management skills and broaden her practical business perspective. She brings years of client service experience to the Sea to Sky team. Outside of work Sarah enjoys travel, music, and photography. Taylor is a native of Vernon, BC and recently moved to Vancouver to work in the technology industry. Before graduation, Taylor worked at a retailer as an AV systems specialist. He believes that the customer service experience he acquired at his previous job provides a strong foundation for his work at Sea to Sky Network Solutions. In Taylor’s spare time you can find him on the local ski hills or enjoying the culinary culture of Vancouver. We know that Sarah and Taylor will enhance Sea to Sky’s position as a leading IT support provider in British Columbia. Next time you call us for computer help, and connect to one of these specialists, please make sure to welcome them to the team....

Sea to Sky Network Solutions 2013: A Strong Foundation for 2014

It has been a successful year for Sea to Sky Network Solutions and we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has dedicated their time and resources to the company’s success in 2013. Our business exists to provide IT support to organizations in need of advanced solutions to complex problems as well as managed service support for day to day issues. We know that without our vendors, team members, and clients our achievements would not have been possible; thank you.  Looking back on 2013 it is evident that our accomplishments are the result of hard work and dedication. We have experienced substantial growth as we expand our product and service offerings to reflect the business requirements of our clients. To accommodate for this growth we have hired new staff, moved into a larger office space, and deployed an advanced cloud solution designed to maximize the value of an organization’s IT dollar. New staff: Sarah – Administrative Assistant Sarah joined us in December and assumes the role of administrative assistant. She has already proved to be a valuable member of our team. We look forward to working with her. New office space: In the second quarter of 2013 Sea to Sky moved into a larger office space located near Howe and West Pender; in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Our ~3500 square foot facility includes advanced internet and power connectivity to help us provide timely support to our clients. If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by and say hello! New cloud offerings: Our cloud offerings are fully deployed and currently running for several...

Windows 8.1 Pro is ready for business

Windows 8 is stable, secure and ready for business use! If your organization is contemplating a hardware lifecycle refresh, Windows 8.1 Pro should be first on the list of operating systems to consider. There are several reasons to upgrade; here are a few of the key benefits: 1. Windows 8 is backward compatible with software designed for Windows 7; no need to replace everything at once. (Note that individual software suites should be kept up to date regardless of operating system compatibility). 2. Windows 8 provides an interface that works well with a traditional computer controllers (mouse and keyboard), but truly excels with touch screen devices. This suggests that deploying Windows–based hardware can help reduce learning curves and costs associated with training and security testing during new deployments. Think phones and tablets. 3. The dashboard is a great place to quickly access important programs and information a user may require on a daily basis. In the coming years, we anticipate more custom apps designed by the company to help with employee efficiency. 4. Better support for multiscreen environments. While this might sound like a nice-to-have, Windows 8 truly improved my personal day to day computing. For instance, the menu bar spans across both screens and duplicates shortcuts (now called pinned items) on either the start bar or start screen. It also duplicates the reintroduce start button. After all, the reason for two screens is to work twice as much; right? Creating a familiar, but better, experience was a top consideration for Microsoft when developing Windows 8. After testing the software within our own organization for several months, we are...
Hacker Hunting: How cybersecurity companies are fighting cybercrime.

Hacker Hunting: How cybersecurity companies are fighting cybercrime.

One of the most fascinating live feeds on the internet would have to be the Norse IPViking map which shows cyber attacks happening around the world in real time. The graphics show a number of “honeypots” or cyber traps set by Norse’s IPViking agents that lure hackers into attacking them by mimicking real servers on the internet like banks, servers and even Microsoft. When a hacker or malicious computer tool tries to attack they are unwittingly giving up revealing information about themselves such as IP addresses. This means that Norse can keep an eye on their activity and monitor their threat level. As each IP address is collected, Norse assigns an IPQ to it, which is a zero-to-100 rating system denoting threat level, based on factors like how malicious or frequent the attack was. If a server has a Norse security product installed it will deny access to IP address over a certain threat level.  ...