5 Demands Business Consumers Make of DRaaS Solutions Providers

shutterstock_242206567Information is the lifeblood of a business.

Consider just how important data is to any organization: if a business’s flow of data is interrupted for any sustained period of time, it can spell disaster for a company. That is one reason why disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is so important to every modern business.

Providers, however, should not take for granted that their DRaaS solution is the most appealing one. What do potential business clients really want from their DRaaS solutions? Five often-cited demands are mapped out below.

Consistency

One of the most important demands a client makes is for consistency and reliability. They expect service providers to put the same emphasis on their recovery services as they do on their business services. Consistently meeting SLA components–including recovery time and recovery point objectives–often is the determining factor in the minds of prospective clients.

Speed and Ease of Use

Clients facing a catastrophic failure of their computing systems are, predictably, less than understanding when a provider takes longer than expected to get their systems, data, and applications back up and running. Faster is best in this case.

In addition, clients want the recovery process to be a simple and easy one; the more difficult the process, the less satisfied the client will be. Speed and ease of use are vital issues for any DRaaS provider.

Testing and Validation

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the key to making the strongest chain possible is to identify weak links before they snap.

A DRaaS provider that tests the system for weaknesses and addresses those weaknesses before they become problems (i.e., potential downtime) proactively assists clients to meet their SLA goals. This boosts client confidence that the provider is doing everything possible on the client’s behalf.

Availability

This might seem obvious, but clients want a DRaaS provider that they can contact when needed. The ability to get in touch with a human being at any time of the day or night is a definite plus.

Options

DRaaS providers that offer clients a variety of choices to serve their business continuity needs have an enormous advantage over those who do not. More and more clients are expecting–and receiving–customized services tailored to meet their exact needs.

To stand out from the crowd, a provider must not only offer a variety of options but also must effectively assist a client in making the best choices from among those options.

In the end, the DRaaS providers that pay attention to what their customers demand and are able to satisfy those demands will be the ones who prosper.

ROI Networks Ranks No. 4422 on Inc. Magazine’s Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Inc5000 starburstInc. Magazine ranked ROI Networks, a leading systems integrator provides superior business communication and collaboration technologies, number 4422 on its 33rd annual Inc. 5000 list. This list is an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, which celebrates America’s most successful independent entrepreneurs.

“ROI Networks is extremely honored to make Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States,” ROI Networks CEO Jeff Hiebert said. “It’s no secret that utilizing technology to improve communication is increasingly significant to businesses. Our strong, strategic partnerships and industry expertise provide us the tools to deploy high-quality, tailored communication solutions that companies of all sizes need. While there are more technology options now than ever before, we are very grateful that so many businesses are choosing ROI Networks.”

This year’s Inc. 5000 is the most competitive group in the list’s history. The list’s average company produced an overwhelming three-year growth of 490 percent. The aggregate revenue for the Inc. 5000 list is $205 billion, with approximately 647,000 jobs created during the past three years. A full list of the Inc. 5000 can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The story of this year’s Inc. 5000 is the story of great leadership. In an incredibly competitive business landscape, it takes something extraordinary to take your company to the top,” Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg said. “You have to remember that the average company on the Inc. 5000 grew nearly six-fold since 2012. Business owners don’t achieve that kind of success by accident.”

The annual Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala, celebrating all the companies on the list, will be October 21 to 23, 2015, in Orlando, FL.

Software-Defined Networking: A Game-Changer for Enterprise IT

shutterstock_279373868Software-defined networking (SDN) has proven itself as a successful technology that is here to stay.

However, there is still a lingering hesitancy among IT departments in adopting this networking solution. While the rollout of any new technology is never completely painless, IT stakeholders might be focusing too much on potential implementation stumbling blocks and overlooking the key benefits of SDN for IT as a whole.

Here are four ways that SDN serves as an advantage to IT and the organization overall:

Innovation

SDN is the latest in network management technology, which also means that it is faster and more reliable than traditional tools. These are factors that impress executives and employees alike, and they will translate to organization-wide recognition of IT’s efforts in this arena.

Flexibility

Manual setup of networks with hard-wired technologies is a tedious and time-consuming process. With SDN, IT has more options for setting up real and virtual networks. In addition, SDN technology enables optimal compatibility with new devices and apps that are accessing the network.

  • IT benefits from the increased flexibility regarding control of SDN. Rather than manually gaining remote entry into a device network, administrators quickly can access the entire network to make changes.
  • SDN makes it easier to design new networks; this alone can expedite the project planning and implementation process significantly for new IT initiatives.

Cost Efficiency

There are two primary ways that SDN saves organizations money: management centrality and hardware costs.

  • Centralized management: The ability to centrally manage and control networks through SDN saves both time and money for IT administrators, resulting in reduced operating expenses.
  • Hardware costs: Administrators using SDN frequently experience reduced overall hardware costs in comparison to traditional network management methodologies.

Reliability

SDN offers more efficient management capabilities, which cuts down on the time associated with manual intervention and troubleshooting in the case of maintenance downtime. Furthermore, there is a decreased potential for errors associated with manual troubleshooting, which may cause additional downtime. Overall, this means a higher performance level and greater uptime for the supported services.

The Big Picture

IT departments across multiple industries directly and immediately benefit from implementing SDN technology. Not only is it an innovative and impressive technology, but it also satisfies core IT requirements in the areas of flexibility, cost savings, and reliability.

SDN is more than just a way to simplify networking; it is also a means for IT departments to conserve valuable resources.

Relying on the Cloud for Business

shutterstock_176642348Cloud technology has grown by leaps and bounds since it first emerged on the tech scene. Once used for personal recreation or as a tool, many tech trends slowly start to be seen as valuable for business. This has certainly been the case over the last several years of cloud-mania.

Unfortunately, the spread of misinformation regarding cloud has affected its adoption by the business world. So, here are the cold, hard facts about the business applications of this powerful tool.

Flexibility

There are many models that can be followed when making a migration to the cloud. Public, private, and hybrid arrangements are available to help hold data and applications in the most beneficial manner. Sensitive data can be housed privately so it is better protected. General information, web content, or non-sensitive applications can live publicly. Many companies also use a hybrid arrangement to meet different organizational needs while minimizing overhead.

Cloud-centric solutions are not required for everything, and businesses may opt to employ more traditional technology like on-site hardware for some applications. However, there is such a wide range of cloud configuration methods that IT is likely to find a solution for deployment, support, and operations.

Determine True Needs

While many providers will boast deluxe server components that carry a hefty add-on fee, these items are not always necessary. A wide variety of vendors offer reliable solutions these days and do so in customizable packages, eliminating wasteful spending.

Important questions to ask potential providers:

  • What is provided for the cost?
  • What service level is guaranteed?
  • The downtime procedures used?
  • The length of time for a full VM deployment?

Check the reputation of the provider before signing a contract. Many vendors may negotiate or improve their charges based on the competition; do not be afraid to ask for the best price and package value.

Comprehension

It’s critical that decision-makers understand what a vendor is offering before committing to a solution. For example, an important fact to note is that virtualization and cloud are not one and the same; rather, virtualization is a necessary part of cloud. Understanding how the technology works and what is required will help identify budget needs and critical points of discussion.

Some of the best cloud computing advantages? The power and flexibility of the tools. Investigating the options and researching the facts is absolutely essential for sound decision-making. Compare end-user needs with the available options and the right choice will be easily made.

A Holistic Approach to Business Continuity

shutterstock_280781006Many companies don’t realize the value of business continuity (BC) plans before a security breach occurs. All too often, consumers hear the news of yet another major security breach. These breaches cost consumers and businesses millions of dollars on an annual basis and are becoming a more frequent problem in the US. Combining a solid security policy with a strong BC strategy can help reduce the risk to companies large and small.

Merging Security and Strategy

For many companies, security, business continuity, and disaster recovery fall into silos when they truly should be consolidated. Failing to have all relevant parties in the conversation means that critical pieces of the puzzle will be omitted and the incident response plan could have dangerous gaps. Combining all essential parties from the beginning will improve reaction time and curtail recovery costs.

Consider Natural and Man-made Factors

Companies located in areas prone to natural disasters have an increased responsibility to create a practical and executable business continuity plan (BCP). Floods, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes can certainly disturb operations and interrupt service to customers. What may be less predictable are the human threats like denial of service (DOS) attacks and infiltration via third party or peripheral sources.

A well-constructed BCP should identify all potential sources of business disruption and include a comprehensive response to each. The disaster recovery plan must be tightly tied to the BCP, with all departments well-versed in each action item. Knowing what to do before, during, and after an incident makes a major difference in resuming normal business processes.

The High Cost of Doing Business

Breaches are becoming more commonplace as attackers become more savvy and resourceful. By integrating business continuity plans into prevention and remediation strategies, breaches can be identified and contained much more promptly. As a result, associated costs may be significantly lowered, as well.

Security, business continuity, and budgeting must go hand in hand since each has a substantial responsibility to protect a company’s financial health. Plan well and be sure to include testing and BCP execution costs in the annual budget. Extensive preparedness has a lasting positive effect on financials as there are sure to be fewer cases of lost customer loyalty (and therefore revenue) as a result.

A well-constructed BCP must incorporate many moving parts. For instance, involving personnel across all key departments means more employees will be aware of the potential for harm and vigilant for budding problems. Prevention is undoubtedly the best way to handle security breaches and the result is worth the effort.

CIOReview Selects ROI Networks for 20 Most Promising Avaya Solution Providers 2015

Avaya Solution Providers 2015FREMONT, CA—July 8, 2015  CIOReview has chosen ROI Networks for its 20 Most Promising Avaya Solution Providers 2015. The positioning is based on ROI Networks’ ability to simplify the deployment, support, and management of Avaya solutions through its purpose-built infrastructure—ROI vPack.

The annual list of companies is selected by a panel of experts and members of CIOReview’s editorial board to recognize and promote technology entrepreneurship.

“ROI Networks has been on our radar for some time for stirring a revolution in the Avaya space, and we are happy to showcase them this year due to their continuing excellence in delivering top-notch Avaya solutions,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor, CIOReview. “ROI Networks’ solutions continued to break new ground within the past year, benefiting its customers around the globe, and we’re excited to have them featured on our top companies list.”

“ROI Networks is honored to be recognized by CIOReview’s panel of experts and thought leaders,” said Jeff Hiebert, CEO, ROI Networks.


Jeff Hiebert - Todd StiresAbout
ROI Networks

ROI Networks is a systems integrator focused on the delivery of business collaboration solutions which enable customers to optimize enterprise communication regardless of network or device utilized for each interaction. These solutions include the underlying network infrastructure, carrier services, security, unified communications, audio, video and web conferencing and contact center components.

About CIOReview

CIOReview constantly endeavors to identify “The Best” in a variety of areas important to tech business. Through nominations and consultations with industry leaders, our editors choose the best in different domains. Avaya Special Edition is an annual listing of 20 Most Promising Avaya Solution Providers in the U.S.