SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide

With Windows 7 approaching the end of support deadline, it’s time to get cracking on upgrading your organization to Windows 10. Use this planner to help ensure a successful migration.

Windows 7

By Jonathan Hassell

All good things must come to an end, and the reign of Windows 7 as an actively supported, good-enough operating system is no exception. While it may feel like you just finished the heavy lifting of migrating your Windows XP machines to Windows 7, it turns out that Windows 7 is now almost nine years old, at least two and a half versions behind Windows 10 (depending on whether you consider Windows 8.1 to be a version of Windows all its own), and approaching end of Microsoft support in 2020.

All of this is to say that you need a plan. Except in some edge cases, it makes little sense to spend the time and money to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, since that only buys you a couple more years of supportability. The smart money is on moving to Windows 10, buying everyone expensive Macs, or, gasp, deploying Linux on the desktop. And while small businesses might be able to buy everyone MacBooks or move to Linux, large companies with lots of software investments in the Microsoft stack will continue running Windows, thus leaving Windows 10 as the only option.

Of course, moving any large quantity of users from one operating system to another, especially one with as many differences, shiny new objects and moved cheese as Windows 10, is no small feat. That’s where this guide comes in. I want to help shine light on the considerations and actions you need to take in order to make your migration successful.

A caveat before I begin: While this is not a review of Windows 10, I think it is important to let you know what to expect. Windows 10 is, to me, a frustrating mix of tremendous security improvements and OS enhancements, along with several significant steps back in stability, usability, and overall quality. I have not run Windows 10 without it crashing, hard, at least every 48 hours on any system. My experience indicates that in general you will find that your client machines have more trouble than they did running Windows 7, and you may well have the trouble ticket count to match.

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Small Businesses Are The Real MVPs Of Analytics And BI Growth

 smbs driving analytics growth

Louis Columbus , CONTRIBUTOR

  • Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) spend more on software subscription services and new software, while large enterprises spend more on maintenance and consulting.
  • BI initiatives in small & medium enterprises are most likely to be driven by sales and marketing.
  • SMEs with up to 100 employees are the most aggressive of all businesses in their plans for analytics and BI adoption in the 12, 24 and 36-month timeframes.
    SMEs with up to 100 employees are also nearly 3X more likely as large enterprises to report the highest rates of BI adoption

Dresner Advisory Services recently published the 2017 Small and Mid-Sized Enterprise Business Intelligence Market Study, part of the Wisdom of Crowds® series of research and the 5th annual edition of the study. Dresner Advisory Services defines a small enterprise as an organization with between one and 100 employees; mid-size enterprises have between 101 and 1,000 employees, and large enterprises have more than 1,000 employees. For additional details on the methodology, please see the study. Operations and Management are the greatest Business Intelligence (BI) drivers in organizations of any size as their focus is on improving operational efficiency. Small and mid-size enterprises are more likely to be driven by sales and marketing business roles. The smaller the company, the higher the priority for growing revenues and finding increased competitive advantages using analytics and BI.

Key takeaways from the study include the following:

  • In 2017, SMEs are driving the highest levels of cloud computing adoption, while concentrating on reporting and dashboards to improve marketing and sales decisions. Large enterprises are prioritizing data governance, location intelligence, and enterprise planning to improve operational efficiency often on a global scale. Interest in big data transcends all sizes of organizations included in the study.

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Bitcoin could 'bring the internet to a halt,' banking group warns

by Jethro Mullen @CNNTech

ICO

Don't bet on bitcoin ever replacing the dollar or other traditional currencies as everyday money.

That's one of the messages from a new report by an organization that represents dozens of the world's central banks.

The group, Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS), said the "intense interest" in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies had prompted it to look "beyond the hype" at what use they could actually contribute to the economy.

The report's authors were unimpressed, detailing a range of problems with trying to adopt cryptocurrencies as a widely used form of money.

They include the danger that just processing all the payments "could bring the internet to a halt," said the report, which was published Sunday.

A big part of the appeal of many cryptocurrencies to their supporters is that they are decentralized rather than tied to a central bank like the US Federal Reserve. Records of transactions are kept on a digital ledger.

But because every single transaction is added to the digital ledger, the report said using a cryptocurrency like bitcoin for retail transactions around the world would quickly swell the ledger beyond the capacity of computer servers to store it. Supercomputers would be needed to keep up with verifying incoming payments, and the huge amounts of data being exchanged between users would bring the internet to its knees.

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How to use Windows 10's File History backup feature

Here's how to back up your files with Windows 10's built-in feature, File History.

By Ian Paul

external hard drives 100761623 large

Windows 10’s File History is an easy way to get started with backing up your personal files since it comes built-in to your system.

File History takes snapshots of your files as you go and stores them on an external hard drive either connected over USB or your home network. Over time, File History builds up a library of past versions of your documents that you can recover if need be. Say, for example, you really liked a paragraph from the first draft of an essay, but you deleted it long ago and are now battling regret. You can dip into File History, retrieve the right version of your document, and copy the paragraph.

Windows 10’s File History is an essential part of any PC backup strategy, but it’s only

one part. Ideally, you’d have your files in three places: the working copy on your internal hard drive, a local backup that you can access straight away, and a remote backup that keeps your files safe offsite. That way, if anything ever happens to your house such as a fire, flood, or tornado, the third copy is still safely tucked away in the remote location.

The easiest way to take care of the remote backup is to use an online backup service. We’ve got a separate article dedicated to reviews and purchasing advice for online backup. While you’re at it, check out our look at the best external drives for backup, storage, and portability to get a quality drive for your local File History backups.

To get started with File History in the latest version of Windows 10, open the Settings app and go to Update & Security > Backup.

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$2,500 in Amazon gift cards!

Christmas is very, VERY early this year!

We’re giving away free Amazon gift cards to all SherWeb partners who bring in new Office 365 subscriptions. Register today!

Promotion Details

Offer ends June 30, 2018

All Office 365 subscriptions are included, except:Amazon

Microsoft Intune™ Extra Storage
Office 365 Archiving In-House
Office 365 Extra File Storage

Here’s how it works:

  • Sell 125 seats and you get a $200 gift card
    Sell 250 seats and you get a $500 gift card
    Sell 500 seats and you get a $1200 gift card
    Sell 1000 seats and you get a $2500 gift card
    * Only available for US or Canadian customers who are not on SherWeb Hosted Exchange.

Terms and Conditions

This promotion applies to Eligible Customers who register for the promotion on this web page and is subject to the following conditions. Eligible Subscriptions must be provisioned before the end of the Promotion Period. Eligible Customers must maintain each Eligible Subscription for a minimum period of twelve (12) months. The minimum payout credit per Eligible Customer is $200 and the maximum is $2,500 according to the following terms: 125 Eligible Subscriptions represent $200 of Amazon gift cards, 250 Eligible Subscriptions represent $500 of Amazon gift cards, 500 Eligible Subscriptions represent $1200 of Amazon gift cards and 1000 Eligible Subscriptions represent $2500 of Amazon gift cards. SherWeb will send you the Amazon gift card 60 to 90 days after the Eligible Subscriptions are provisioned. The Amazon gift card will be sent to the Eligible Customer’s main contact. SherWeb reserves the right to enforce a payback of the gift card amounts for all Eligible Subscriptions that are canceled within the first 12 months.

Definitions

"Promotion Period" begins upon registration for this promotion and ends on June 30, 2018 at 11:59 PM EDT.
"Eligible Customers": means any US or Canadian SherWeb customer who is not currently using SherWeb Hosted Exchange. Customer must have at least one hundred and twenty-five (125) Eligible Subscriptions.
"Eligible Subscriptions": are all Office 365 subscriptions, except Microsoft Intune™ Extra Storage-Unknown, Office 365 Archiving In and Office 365 Extra File Storage. Eligible Subscriptions exclude migrations from SherWeb Hosted Exchange to Office 365.

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