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July 23 2012

Three Reasons You Should Switch to Office 365

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Office 2013 will soon be here, along with a new and improved version of the cloud-based Office 365. If you’re looking to upgrade, you have to decide whether the traditional desktop version of Office is the way to go, or if Office 365 is a better fit for your needs.

Office 2013 is impressive, but Office 365 is a better value in most cases.

1. Cost
Microsoft hasn’t yet shared what the price tag will be for the new Office 2013. But, unless it follows the same bold path laid out in offering Windows 8 for a mere $40, history suggests the new productivity suite will start somewhere in the $150 neighborhood.

Office 365 plans start at $4 per month. Small businesses can get access to Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync in addition to the core Office productivity applications for only $6 per month. Larger businesses that want to take advantage of Active Directory integration can do so for $8 per user per month.

Breaking those down, it takes more than three years to reach $150 based on the $4 per month plan, and more than 18 months under the $8 per month plan. The 18 months is less time than a business typically gets out of an investment in the desktop Office software, but it also comes with more than the software itself.

Of course, those are the current subscription prices and plans for Office 365, so those figures are subject to change as well.

2. Updates and Maintenance
What else do you get with your Office 365 subscription? An IT department. Sure, you can set up your own Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync infrastructure. You can manage and maintain the desktop Microsoft Office software, and install the patches and updates every month yourself. How much will that cost?

Consider that implementing the same capabilities in-house requires servers, and network infrastructure, and IT personnel to install, manage, update, and maintain it all. Plus, you still have to buy and maintain the Office software itself.

With Office 365, Microsoft takes care of all the dirty work so you don’t have to. Updates, patches, and upgrades just happen in the background without you needing to worry about it. When the server crashes, its Microsoft’s problem. When a hard drive needs to be replaced, Microsoft will handle it. You get the benefits of using Office without any of the headaches of updating and maintaining it all.

3. Accessibility
Office 365 lives in the cloud. That means you have access to Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Microsoft Office tools from anywhere you can get a Web connection, and from virtually any device–Windows or Mac desktops and laptops, Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones and tablets.

Office Web Apps provide basic features and functions for free.This isn’t quite the selling point it once was for a couple reasons. First, even with the desktop Office 2013 suite Microsoft is pushing users to save files to the cloud-based SkyDrive, or to a SharePoint server by default. So, there’s no reason the data can’t be accessible regardless of whether you choose Office 2013 or Office 365.

The second reason it may not be all that compelling is that Office Web Apps are already available for free from the SkyDrive site. So, even without Office 365 users can create, view, and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files from the Web.

For businesses, though, SharePoint, Active Directory, and other elements of Office 365 that go beyond simply creating and editing Office documents still make Office 365 a better value.

Your mileage will vary of course. There are a number of factors involved in calculating the cost of purchasing, installing, configuring, updating, and maintaining Microsoft Office and the accompanying back-end services versus the ongoing subscription costs associated with Office 365. Office 365 is a solid service providing tremendous bang for the buck, though, so it won’t be easy to beat the value it brings to the table.

January 15 2009

ISInc e-Learning

Do you have staff in remote locations, and find it difficult to get them the training they need? There comes a time when your resource is too valuable to send off site for a class.  This is where ISInc’s e-Learning can come into play.  Now your students can access the same classes via their desktop computer.  

ISInc’s e-Learning training is live, interactive online training for those who would like to attend one of our face-to-face instructor-led training courses without leaving their offices, homes or classrooms.  Learners can listen to the presentation, ask questions, hear others’ questions and get live answers, all from wherever they choose.  They can engage in discussions with others in the physical classroom and  throughout the country who are involved in the same class session.

ISInc’s e-Learning training blends the best from traditional face-to-face instructor-led training with the latest in conferencing technology, allowing us to deliver live training to multiple locations at one time.  This model is based on our over 27 years experience as trainers and the general premise that the classroom is the foundation of a great training experience.

All courses offered at ISInc can be taken online via our live e-Learning training using Microsoft Lync. So, if you have employees in remote offices that you are trying to schedule for IT training, consider ISInc e-Learning Training. Please contact us for more information.

For more information on our e-learning and to view a video on how it all works, visit our e-learning page here.

November 20 2008

FREE SQL SERVER 2008 Software

Get the expert training you need to get the most from Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008—and the software—FREE when you enroll and attend select SQL courses at ISInc. With this expert training, you’ll learn to take advantage of the powerful and trustworthy array of new data-driven management solution of SQL Server 2008, plus come away with a free copy of the software.

 

That’s right. Enroll and attend any one of these 8 featured SQL Server 2008 training classes between December 10, 2008* and June 30, 2009 (while supplies last) and you’ll receive a fully-licensed copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition with 1 CAL—FREE.

 

This offer is available for a limited time and only on these 8 courses while supplies last, so act now.  Contact us at 916.920.1700 or via email at [email protected] to register and remember to ask about the free software. You can also enroll directly into a class from the website and just type “FREE SOFTWARE” in the notes field to take advantage of this terrific offer.

 

Qualifying Classes:

 

2778 Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Transact—SQL

6158 Updating Your SQL 2005 Skills to SQL Server 2008

6231 Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database

6232 Implementing a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database

6234 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services

6235 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services

6236 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

6317 Upgrading Your SQL Server 2000 Skills to SQL Server 2008

October 28 2008

Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Seminar

Thanks to everyone who attended our Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Seminar.  If your organization has any questions about how ISInc can help you learn, deploy, upgrade or manage your Microsoft SharePoint 2007 implementation, please contact us.

The slides from the presentation can be downloaded here:

Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Seminar by ISInc

If you are interested in our many training options, please look at our Microsoft SharePoint Training page for a list of available courses.

August 5 2008

DOD 8570 Requirements

DOD 8570 Requirements and Training

– The Department of Defense has put together a requirements list for anyone who works in Information Architecture (IA). You have to obtain at least one of the “approved certifications” to meet the minimum requirements for each category.

They have skills broken down into 6 certifications:

  • Technical Level 1
  • Technical Level 2
  • Technical Level 3
  • Management Level 1
  • Management Level 2
  • Management Level 3

Each of these levels requires you to have at a minimum one of the professional certifications listed below:

Technical Level 1

  • A+ – CompTIA A+
  • Network+ – CompTIA Network+
  • TICSA – TruSecure ICSA Certified Security Associate
  • SSCP – System Security Certified Practitioner

Technical Level 2

  • GSEC – GIAC Security Essentials Certification
  • Security+ – CompTIA Security+
  • SCNP – Security Certified Network Professional
  • SSCP – System Security Certified Practitioner

Technical Level 3

  • CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • SCNA – Security Certified Network Architect
  • GISO – GIAC Information Security Officer
  • GSE – GIAC Security Expert

Management Level 1

  • GSLC – GIAC Security Leadership Certificate
  • Security+ – CompTIA Security+
  • GISO – GIAC Information Security Officer
  • TISCP – TrueSecure ISCA Certified Security Professional

Management Level 2

  • CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • GSLC – GIAC Security Leadership Certificate
  • CISM – Certified Information Security Manager

Management Level 3

  • CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • GSLC – GIAC Security Leadership Certificate
  • CISM – Certified Information Security Manager

If you need to quickly get one of these certifications and you don’t see the class on our public schedule, please contact us. Also, we can provide on-site, customized training to help your group meet these requirements as well as online via our e-Learning training that utilizes Microsoft Lync to create a virtual classroom. Click here for additional information on our e-Learning training.

Please follow the link below for detailed DOD 8570 information:

DOD 8570 FAQ

The full DoD directive 8570 can be read or downloaded online.

May 10 2008

Cookin’ Up Some Knowledge at GTC 2008

ISInc has been participating at the government technology conference for more than fifteen years. Why GTC you may ask when ISInc normally just relies on word of mouth advertising? We feel this show provides us with the opportunity to touch a lot of potential new state customers and introduce them to our organization, as well as say hi to our friends and clients that we have been working with for years. If you or someone from your organization is attending GTC in Sacramento on May 14-16, 2008, please be sure to stop by our booth #713 and say hi.

Whether we are wearing baseball jerseys to promote spring training, race car outfits to get you up to speed and ahead of the crowd quickly, or cooking attire (as in this year’s theme of helping “cook up some knowledge”), our staff is pretty easy to pick out of the crowd. Why a cooking theme this year and how does it relate to training and consulting? Well, for one thing, ISInc has become well known for our weekly spring and summer barbeques and the fresh vegetables and fruits from our organic garden at our office. Secondly, with the release of new software from companies such as Microsoft, we felt it was important to remind people that there is a lot of new information on new products to get up to speed on. So, whether you select training or consulting, know that our staff is up to speed and ready to transfer their knowledge to you so you can implement the new technology quickly and effectively. We hope to see you at GTC!

February 25 2008

VMware Courses Now at ISInc

We’ve heard from many of our customers about the difficulty they have been having getting training on VMware (travel expenses for training often mean training requests will not be approved). ISInc is excited to announce that you now have a local option for VMware training right here in Sacramento at ISInc.

If there are other VMware courses that you or your organization are interested in, please contact us at [email protected] or by calling 916.920.1700 and let us know. Here are the courses that are currently being offered at ISInc’s facility:

  • Virtualization with VMware ESX and VirtualCenter SMB to Enterprise

Want more information on VMware?

VMware (NYSE: VMW) is the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the data center. Customers of all sizes rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2007 revenues of $1.33 billion, more than 100,000 customers and more than 10,000 partners, VMware is one of the fastest-growing public software companies. VMware is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and on the Web at http://www.VMware.com.

February 22 2008

Have Software Assurance? Don’t Let Your Training Vouchers Expire!

Many Microsoft License packages include the option for Microsoft Software Assurance. If your organization has an Enterprise Agreement, or have purchased Software Assurance with your current license package, be sure to take advantage of the free training or consulting services available to your organization. More »

February 20 2008

ISInc awarded Novell Partner of the Year!

ISInc is the 2008 Novell Partner of the Year for Training.  This is a great accomplishment and it has to do a lot with our team here at ISInc.  Thank you to all of our customers who have helped us achieve this benchmark within the Novell organization!

We have been a partner with Novell since their program inception.  ISInc continues to maintain a Novell Platinum rating and we look forward to rolling out more services soon.  Take a look at the classes we have to offer in the Novell section of our website.

February 10 2008

ISInc Gains National Recognition

In recognition of the economic power of multicultural businesses, DiversityBusiness.com, the nations’ leading multicultural internet site, recently named ISInc as one of the top Women-Owned and Small businesses in the United States (Div500)”.  The Div500 is the 8th annual listing of the Nation’s top 500 women-owned and top small businesses. The companies listed on the Div500 represent the Nation’s top multicultural earners and challenge the long-held notion that a women-owned business is small or insignificant. Div500 members are sought after by major corporations wishing to increase spending with women owned companies.  ISInc ranked 295 in top women owned businesses in the United States, and 459 in top small businesses in America.

 The Impact of Women Owned Business
“Women businesses and consumers are a growing force in the U.S. economy, and a force to be reckoned with,” said Kenton Clarke, CEO of Computer Consulting Associates International, the company that built DiversityBusiness.com. This is a whole business segment that can carry its own, that provides jobs, products and services, and generates wealth for their communities.  These are the new leaders in American business.”
Affected by recent economic and demographic trends and changes, Fortune 1000 corporations throughout the country have recognized that buying products and services from women owned companies positively impacts their business. Diversity-owned businesses contribute over $1.4 trillion in sales to the U.S. economy.
 The Div500
The Div500 is a classification that represents the top 500 women-owned businesses in the U.S., in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, food service and professional services. Large organizational buyers throughout the country that do business with multicultural and women-owned businesses use the list. The Div500 is produced annually by DiversityBusiness.com, the nation’s leading multicultural B2B Internet portal that links large organizational buyers to multicultural product and service suppliers