Expanding the Data Protection Continuum with the Cloud

Vince Lombardi once famously said: “We are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence.”

A few years back, Mozy shook up the idea of what a “perfect” backup strategy looked like. Computer usage had changed with laptops becoming the preferred tool of mobile workers. By and large, many businesses simply gave up on trying to protect data stored on devices at the edges of the network.  A “perfect” end user data protection strategy consisted of a successful nightly backup of the file servers. Few gave laptops a second thought. With the expansion of the data protection into the cloud, the “perfect” backup just got even more excellent than before.

Since first launching Mozy in 2006, we’ve continued to enhance our service to better support your organization’s data protection strategies. We started with backup for Windows endpoints and then bridged the continuum further by adding support for Mac endpoints and later Windows and Mac servers. With continued investment in research and development, Mozy backups got faster and more efficient so larger data sets could be protected. In September 2011 we introduced the Mozy Data Shuttle, accelerating the backup of large data sets in the cloud. This past year we introduced Mozy Sync which enables data to be securely accessed across desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, further unleashing employee productivity.

Today, we’re proud to announce that we’re expanding the continuum even further into the cloud with the launch of Mozy data protection for Linux servers.

Why?  Because information is the lifeblood of your organization and we understand your challenges in trying to protect data, wherever it resides. Desktops, laptops, mobile devices, or servers at branch offices; it all needs to be protected and made available whenever and wherever your employees need it.

That’s also why Mozy is included in the EMC Data Protection Suite – a comprehensive portfolio of data protection solutions from the leading provider of backup, recovery, availability, and archiving solutions.

But that’s not all we’re announcing today. Mozy is also making your data protection journey to the cloud even more secure with the addition of three new features:

1) Corporate Key Support for Mozy Sync
With the introduction of C-Key encryption support, your organization may now choose to utilize your own secure encryption key with the popular Mozy Sync feature.

2) Enhanced LDAP Support
Our new on-premise connector interfaces directly with your LDAP-capable directory service and pushes account information to Mozy. Because your directory service does not need to be exposed externally, this makes automated user provisioning and management more secure.

3) HIPAA Compliant Data Protection
The latest iteration of the Mozy service includes a new one-click custom configuration setting to ensure end-user data is protected in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) guidelines.

Like the legendary Coach Lombardi, we will continue in our relentless chase of data protection perfection at Mozy and EMC. The rules of the game are simple: Protect your data and make sure it’s there when you need it.

We hope you enjoy the new features.

When High Tech Touches Your Food

It’s not a stretch to say that high tech touches everything these days. You almost certainly own a smartphone or tablet (probably both), which you no doubt use for any number of ways to make your life easier, faster, and more convenient. Now you can add one more thing to that list: How to buy the perfect steak.

And while you definitely don’t want anyone touching your food, when high tech does it, there are benefits. Read on.

Codes, calories, and consumer confidence

Steak and other cuts of meat have gone high tech in Thailand and other countries. And not just beef, but pork, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, frozen food, baked goods, and ready-to-eat meals.

Consumers simply use their smartphones or tablets to scan the QR code—those blocks of black and white squares typically used for storing URLs and other information—on the food package to trace the history of the contents. For example, you want to know about the producer, the farm, the slaughterhouse of your steak? Just scan the QR code. It’s a great way for consumers to get information about the freshness and quality of the food they are buying.

But there’s even more information to be had from that QR code. You want all of the nutritional information—vitamins, minerals, calories, and fat content? Scan the QR code. What about favorite recipes—what’s the best way to cook your steak? You got it: scan the QR code.

Information is power, and when it comes to food, not only does information help to establish safety measures and help to ensure quality, it’s a great way to instill consumer confidence.

The new fast food?

Is fast food not fast enough for you? Maybe delivery to your front door step (or your neighbor’s roof, depending on the strength of the wind) via parachute is the next step in food convenience. Some folks Down Under have come up with a clever way to deliver your calories. While the QR code gives you information about your food, the parachute delivers your food. Although it’s certainly a new twist on food delivery, it’s probably not too practical. However, maybe a floating piece of toast with melted cheese will satisfy your craving for something “light.” I’d say Swiss cheese just got lighter.

Maybe food by parachute is not the next trend. But how would you know if it is? Food Genius might. The big data startup claims it is able to detect future food trends. Lately, Food Genius has been aggregating data from restaurant menus and has determined that burgers are one of the most popular foods in the country. Maybe you already thought that, but what you might not know is that peppers are a more popular topping than pickles. And if you like cheese on that burger, cheddar is the most popular cheese for primping the patty.

I’m no genius, but they might be on to something. Dang, I’m getting hungry all of a sudden. Maybe something topped with peppers. And cheese! Hmm, I wonder if that can be delivered by parachute? Who would refuse a peppered patty provided by parachute?

Improving efficiencies

Not only is high tech figuring out food trends, high tech is also helping restaurants increase efficiencies.

Avero’s  software lets restaurants track purchases and voided items at the time of transaction. Restaurants can use that information to improve service, increase sales, and identify employees who might be stealing food, like burgers topped with peppers and cheddar cheese. This type of information is vitally important to staying in business when you consider that pre-tax margins for restaurants is a scant three to five percent. If profits were food, those would be low in calories.

But let’s say you didn’t like your burger (because you never really liked peppers), you could use Punchh’s mobile app to share your disappointment by writing a review. But if you loved that burger because it was dominated by those peppers, you could proclaim the virtues of the pepper-topped patty. Pucch’s app does more than just provide a way to share your gastronomical experience. Restaurants can use the app to let you sign up for their loyalty programs, take surveys, or even order your next burger. That’s one small touch to get your hands on the next great burger.

Using the cloud to help prevent waste

And because we’ve been talking about food and high tech and how the two get along (unlike those nasty gray peas that rolled into your applesauce when you were a kid), what about the food that goes uneaten? According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a whopping 40 percent of food in the U.S. ends up in landfills. Americans throw out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, according to the NRDC report. Can high tech change that?

LeanPath is one company that’s passionate about food waste. Making the most of their cloud-based analytics platform, they’ve helped their customers reduce food waste by as much as 80 percent. Before throwing away any pre-consumer food waste, including overproduction, expired items, and food trimmings, restaurants are able to “catalog” it, analyze it, and then use that data to gain insights into making future food purchases and running the business more efficiently.

High tech and food go together like two peas in a pod. And that involves a lot of data in one form or another. So, be sure that whatever you’re doing with your data that you’re also backing it up and protecting it—and that it’s fully and quickly recoverable. And that’s more than just food for thought.

Tell us how high tech has influenced what you eat. And let us know if you are one of those people who likes peppers on your burger.

Journey of the Hard Drive

The life of a hard drive

We’ll handle HIPAA and PHI, but you make the APPT at the DR

These days, you’ve probably heard plenty about health insurance and affordable health care. But have you ever heard of PHI?

What, you don’t know what PHI is? You should. After all, you’ve got it. It has to do with your health, but it’s no disease. PHI, or “protected health information,” is the information your healthcare provider keeps on file as a result of your visits to your general practitioner, gynecologist, psychologist, dentist, psychiatrist, counselor, the emergency room, etc. It’s your personal health information. It’s detailed and it’s private.

Did you know that Mozy plays a critical part for those professionals who work in healthcare—be they doctors, nurses, administrators, and other staff members—by providing security measures for the protected health data and files about you that they back up?

You’ve probably heard the term “HIPAA,” and maybe you’ve even wondered if it’s some species of wild animal. HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The act sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data in the United States. Any business that stores health information is required by law to protect it. Businesses must ensure that all of the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed so that your health information remains protected.

As a provider of HIPAA-compliant backup services that safeguard health information, Mozy ensures that health information is protected in a way that complies with HIPAA regulations. Mozy software and services ensure that the appropriate safeguards are in place so that the businesses that back up health information have the tools to keep it confidential and secure. That means encryption keys are required and that data must be encrypted during the backup process. That same data must be encrypted at rest while it’s stored in Mozy’s data centers (only the ones in the United States as required by HIPAA). What that means is that those who are not authorized to access protected health information cannot access it.

Whether or not it’s protected health information or any data that businesses back up, or files that you back up at home, Mozy provides automated cloud backup and disaster recovery protection against hardware failure, theft, virus attack, deletion, and natural disaster.

If you don’t work in healthcare, you might consider some of these details boring. But remember this: your personal healthcare information is yours—and it’s private. And Mozy takes the details to protect your data very seriously so that you can focus on other things.

The intricacies of HIPAA may be complicated, but our commitment to you and your data is simple and based on these principles:

•    Your information is your information, not our information.
•    We never sell your information to anyone, nor do we sell information about you.
•    We never sift through your information in order to create a profile of you or target advertising.
•    You can always get your information back while your account is active. We have no rights to your information if you leave the Mozy service.

So, whether it’s your health information at your doctor’s office or it’s your family photos or tax documents on your home computer, Mozy can protect it.

By the way, when was your last checkup?

What does ‘enterprise-ready’ mean?

What makes a cloud service “enterprise ready”? Is it enterprise pricing models? An enterprise sales team? An enterprise mentality?

As more and more cloud service providers look to target enterprises with their offerings, the “enterprise-ready” question becomes increasingly important. The ‘third platform’ (adopting cloud-based apps instead of traditional server-based solutions) is gaining traction within big business, as expected. But how do they find out which solutions are truly built to meet their needs?

What does enterprise ready mean?

At Mozy, we take our enterprise credentials seriously. Sure, we offer a product that’s so simple to use that millions of individuals trust us with their data protection. But we also have more than one hundred thousand businesses and one thousand enterprises who choose Mozy to protect their data.

Why? Well, at Mozy, we believe that being enterprise ready is something that needs to permeate the whole of our business. It means building world-class data centers that run on enterprise-grade hardware. It means offering enterprise-level security at all stages of the backup process. It means offering enterprise-quality support with dedicated resources 24x7x365. It means enterprise control and administrative tools. It means being a part of EMC, a global leader in data protection and availability solutions. It means a hundred different things, not least of which is a commitment to excellence in compliance.

That’s why Mozy has long made SOC 1 SSAE 16 Type II examination and ISO 27001 certification a priority. Mozy is one of the only cloud data protection service providers to undertake these rigorous independent security assessments. This sort of compliance exercise is completely voluntary and not something to be entered into lightly – we see it as a badge of honor and an external validation of our commitment to you, our valued customer.

So, what does ‘enterprise-ready’ mean? It means thinking at every turn about what enterprises need and going the extra mile to provide it. Or, that’s what we think anyway. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

The State of the Modern Meeting

Business owners and professionals can come together on at least one idea about meetings: While nobody loves to take them, everybody agrees that face-to-face time is a key value to the conference-room setting for meetings. Companies are increasingly looking for effective ways to provide that face-to-face opportunity–even when one of those faces is far apart from the other.

Indeed, the circumstances around “face time” are changing.

The State of the Modern Meeting

A new Blue Jeans Network survey shows that while 71% of polled professionals believe they’ve lost a business deal because their personal contact with a client or partner was replaced by conference calls and all-audio environments, some 30% are now using online tools to create video meetings that can in turn replace the physical conference room.

“This new way to collaborate means that bad weather, budget cuts, holidays and a geographically scattered team are no longer threats to business productivity,” said Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer at Blue Jeans. “You can easily conduct face-to-face meetings with nearly any browser-based device — from any location.”

The Blue Jeans Network survey offers additional insight into the state of the modern meeting and the changes business conferences will undergo in 2014.

Meeting Modern: Trends and Technology

A number of trends are affecting the meeting milieu.

  • In 2013, winter storms resulted in more meetings rather than fewer–some 20% more. Meetings simply became online conferences instead of in-office meet-ups.
  • One-third of all meetings now include participants who are appearing via mobile devices. New York holds the title for most mobile meeters, with San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston close behind.
  • Mobile is driving a change in meeting times, as well. Three times the conferences via mobile devices are now happening at 7 a.m. versus 8 a.m., or at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.
  • Meetings on Saturdays and Sundays declined by more than one-third in the last half of 2013–from one in 10 meetings occurring on the weekend to just one in 15. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most popular meeting days of the week.
  • The traditional lunch hour is also improving, at least in terms of how many times meetings intrude upon it. The polls shows a 20% dip in conferences scheduled between 12 noon and 1 p.m.

The survey also revealed another interesting statistic: While 41% of meetings begin on time, the survey stated, CEOs, CTOs, and other C-level execs typically arrive after everyone else.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

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How Small Businesses Can Avoid Common Hiring Missteps

Small Business InterviewHiring a new employee can be stressful–especially for a small business. Get it right, and you improve the productivity and profitability of the company. Get it wrong, and it can end up costing the company dearly–in time, money and, potentially, reputation.

While there is always an element of the unknown when making a new hire, there are some tried-and-true guidelines that organizations can follow to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Your ‘gut’ isn’t a hiring manager. Your intuition can be a powerful force, but, when it comes to hiring, gut feelings should not drive your decision-making process. Rely more on work samples and references and less on a candidate’s charisma.
  2. Favors to friends and family won’t do you any favors. Cousins, nephews, buddies and next-door neighbors–keep all these individuals in their place. Due to emotional ties and the complications that come with friendships, bringing personal and family relations into the workplace can be a recipe for trouble if things don’t go well on the job.
  3. Not every great candidate is a great small-business candidate. The stellar designer whose last job was in a shiny office tower with 10 times the resources your small business can provide might not be the right fit. Problems arise when a new hire has all the right qualifications and skills, but also has expectations that are torqued to a big-business kind of horsepower. Be clear with your candidates about the nature of a small business — your small business. Be specific about its atmosphere and limitations, and also its charms. How a candidate responds can tell you a lot about how he or she will fit into a small-shop experience.
  4. Listen more than you speak. You feel strongly about your business and love talking about it, but it’s important when interviewing a job candidate to listen more than speak. Market the pros of your company and provide all pertinent information, but then stop talking for as long as you can and open your mind to what the potential employee has to say. Watch the candidate’s body language and seek out tones, textures and all the little things that will develop your impression of how this person’s skills and background match up with how they present themselves and who they probably really are.
  5. Beware of illegal questions: Small-business owners may not have a human resources department or even an HR specialist on board, so they have to learn themselves what is and isn’t OK to ask during a job interview. Stay away from questions about things like pregnancy, marital status or age. Basically, avoid any questions whose answers could be perceived as placing a candidate at a disadvantage.

The good news is that successful hiring comes down mostly to common sense. Pay attention to these tips and then start fielding your best bets with the confidence that you’re about to find the right person for the job — and that you’re going about it by making all the right moves yourself.

 

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My name is Kris and I work for Mozy

Welcome back to another edition of our “My name is…” series – this blog series is dedicated to introducing you to some of our in-house talent, the talent that keeps the Mozy running. There is no question that we are very fortunate to be able to work with intelligent, compassionate people from around the globe.

This month we’d like to introduce you to Kris Meulemans, one of our EMEA senior Cloud Systems Engineers. Kris spends his time helping customers, sales teams and many others to spread the Mozy love. Kris has been instrumental in helping our EMEA customers with familiarizing themselves with the awesomeness that is Mozy. I know that Kris has helped me with many requests over the months and has always been extremely accommodating.

My name is Kris and I work for Mozy

I define my workspace as …
Whatever bit of space I can put my laptop down on, although I do love my double screen set up.

A device I can’t live without …
My mp3 player – although a snazzy laptop that boots in no time is a close second.

When I arrive at work, I typically start off by …
Saying hi to my colleagues, discussing any hot issues over a coffee and getting started into my email.

My work routine is …
Never the same and always as efficient as possible due to the many hats I wear during a day. Prioritize, run emails through the do, delegate, delete routine and have regular coffees to keep up with ‘the pulse’. That’s if I’m not travelling somewhere.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …
I definitely do, my headset is on most of the times. In a nearly open plan office with people on the phone all around me it’s the only way to get and stay in ‘the zone’.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …
Learn as much as possible in any way possible. Your degree is an entry key; the rest comes down to constantly adapting and continuously improving what you do. If you see problems, fix them.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …
My family and friends, Saltimbocca and music. There are many stories attached to the second, suffice to say that any Italian restaurant can be judged by it.
Author’s note: I will have to agree with Kris on this statement – Saltimbocca is definitely at the top of my list for Italian favorites. Oh the deliciousness that is Italian fare…

My eating habits are …
Quality first, as much as possible with friends and always ending with a good coffee.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …
A drummer on tour with a world famous band.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …
The exactly measured recipe combining techie consultancy, project management, general fixing of things, listening, coaching, strategic thinking and a special secret selection of spices.
Author’s note: Well put, Kris!

Mozy Takes Home a “Best Use of Technology” Stevie Award for Legendary Support

Stevie AwardAt Mozy, our customers come first. But if there’s something else we truly believe in, it’s the power of technology to transform businesses. So, when we have a chance to marry the two together and use technology to improve the customer experience – well, we jump at it!

In recent years, we’ve completely overhauled our online support experience with improved facilities for online chat, a huge knowledge base of articles, an enhanced online community and even resources for solving customer issues through social media.

You guys only see the front end of those solutions but there’s a lot going in the background to make all of those things work together. That way, as you access different support channels, we have a single view of you, and our agents always have the information they need at their finger tips to support you in the best possible way.

We hope you’ve noticed how easy it now is to access support from Mozy. Someone else that’s noticed is the judging team at the Stevie Awards. The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top recognition for sales, contact-center, and customer-service excellence.

Last week, the Stevie Awards judging team gave Mozy an award in the Best Use of Technology category at their Sales and Customer Service awards ceremony.

We’re so proud of our award and our support team overall. You can find out why by reading more about the team and what we offer here. And, if you ever need us, our award winning team is right here 24x7x365.

The One Question Business Owners Should Ask When Looking At Data

Small Business Owners Should Ask Questions About Data“So what?”

Although the question may sound stupid and the answer may seem obvious, it is absolutely necessary to ask.

The Web is overflowing with rich data, but much of it is mined and reviewed in the absence of clearly defined goals. Oftentimes, mining data is expensive. Many businesses have aimlessly followed the big data trend and now have nothing to show for it. Business owners would benefit immensely from data — big and small — if they knew how to turn that data into actionable insights.

Here’s an example from personal experience that illustrates this point.

Turning data into action

When I’m not blogging, I analyze data collected from 200,000 websites reaching over 250 million people each month to identify important inbound traffic trends. Last month, I produced a report titled “Search Traffic vs Social Referrals,” which reviewed the amount of traffic the top 5 search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL) and the top 5 social media platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit) drove to websites during the past 13 months.

The predetermined goal was to understand–relatively–how much traffic search engines and social media sites sent to sites around the Web.

The data suggested social referrals to sites doubled over the past year. As the marketing manager for Shareaholic, I asked myself the all-important question, “So what?” I reasoned that because social media has driven an increasing number of visits to websites, more resources should be invested into improving social reach. Thus, I began creating content that was more shareable versus simply optimized for search engines.

Asking “So what?” when looking at data drives you to extract important information–the kind of data that can provide valuable insights useful for making sound business decisions.

The above example illustrated how I, as a marketer, used inbound traffic data to make smarter marketing decisions. Similarly, you can look at financial spreadsheets, technical data or the results of a survey to improve your business.

Looking beyond the data

With all of this said, it’s important to have a bit of healthy skepticism toward findings. When I discovered social media referrals grew 111% year over year, I didn’t immediately — and blindly — follow the numbers.

I researched the underlying causes for the recorded trend to make sense of it all. In this situation, my research corroborated the trends I saw. The explosive growth of social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter provides supporting evidence that social media could — and did — drive an increased number of visits to sites across the web.

Conclusions

Essentially, data gives you an opportunity to observe trends, understand why the trends are happening and make wise decisions that will help your business.

If you’re in the planning stages of a data mining project, be sure to ask the question, “So what?” before moving forward. Pursue the data with meaningful purpose; don’t gather data for the simple sake of doing so.

If you’re wrapping up a research project with nothing to show except spreadsheets filled with numbers and charts with poor labels, don’t feel overwhelmed, and don’t throw in the towel. Instead, figure out ways to use the data to further business goals.

 

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