More is More with a Modern Workplace!

Driving productivity, collaboration, flexibility, and mobility has never been easier

The demand for having a flexible and mobile workforce is something that has flooded every business and troubled many IT departments long before Covid ever hit. There’s nothing novel about that. Before the pandemic hit, Gartner released a study predicting that by 2030, the demand for remote work will increase by 30%. Fast forward a few years…this number has probably been already met, if not exceeded!

As our lives return to some forms of “normality”, 82% of company leaders will be including remote working some of the time with more than half shifting totally to remote. This shift has inevitably stressed-out IT, both people and systems. How is a business going to deliver its data, systems, and applications to its workforce? How is it going to control and manage the devices used to access these resources? What about securing all of this? How can a business achieve all this? Sounds overwhelming! This is the perfect fit for a Modern Workplace.

The Modern Digital Workplace

There’s no denying it. The nature of work has changed, radically and rapidly. A business needs to keep up. Employees expect to work securely from anywhere, from any device, a place and space to collaborate, be more efficient and productive. A modern workplace is the answer to deliver this and much more.

It’s no secret that when a business enhances the quality and effectiveness of their employee’s work experience, they’re happier, feel valued, satisfied, more engaged, and well, more likely to stay on! Mckinsey states that improving communication and collaboration technologies could increase productivity of interaction workers by 20 – 25 percent! A business needs to provide its workforce with this feeling of empowerment, and must do so securely, all the while protecting its vital IT assets.

Veracloud has developed four fundamental pillars in deploying the ultimate Modern Workplace. An onboarding process ensures that all business information is collected and the appropriate features aligned to business strategy. Our Modern Workplace is a journey towards an enhanced experience, not only for the business, but for its employees. Providing the best the Microsoft ecosystem has to offer, topped up with industry-leading integration, improved communications with teams, endpoint and device management, information protection and security, user protection, personalised and fully-customisable intranets, and a tonne of other features. As a fully managed solution, we will gradually roll-out features and be there to support employees to ensure a seamless transition towards adapting to new ways of working. Reach out today. Your employees and business will thank you tomorrow!

Cloudflare Suppresses Largest DDoS Attack Ever Reported

With an ever-increasing reliance on and demand for online services, every business must be online in today’s digital age to survive. Whether for internal corporate use or for providing customers with a service, the risks of an attack are great, great enough to bring your entire business to its knees, causing irreparable damage to your reputation and customer base. Cloudflare to the rescue.

Cloudflare has recently pulled off nothing short of a security wonder – automatically detecting and mitigating possibly the largest ever Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. What is a DDoS attack? Simply put, it is a malicious attempt by hackers to disrupt the typical traffic received by a server, service, or network. An overwhelming amount of traffic is sent to this target to flood it with internet traffic.

Through their autonomous edge DDoS protection, Cloudflare managed to suppress an unprecedented DDoS attack, with 330 million total requests, peaking at 17.2 million requests-per-second (rps).

Source Cloudflare

In terms of internet traffic, with a typical 800-1000 requests per second…that’s huge! However, thanks to the reliability of their global scale network, Cloudflare not only managed to mitigate this attack, but did so without requiring any manual intervention by their security engineers and without degrading performance.

That’s big! But does size really matter?

Although DDoS attacks are increasing in power, a business does not need to experience a large-scale attack as the one above. According to Cisco’s Internet Report the average DDoS attack size is a 1 Gbps attack that is more than enough to take most organisations completely offline. If you believe that your business is too small to suffer an attack, think again! Small businesses are typically the preferred targets due to the lack of defences in place. Numbers show that cyber criminals target up to 43% of their attacks on small business, with only 14% of businesses prepared to take precautions. With an average cost of an attack on a business of over €150,000, 60% of businesses that have been a victim, close shop within 6 months.

Following Veracloud’s partnership with Cloudflare, we assist companies in creating a trustworthy digital environment to bring the level of security required by all businesses, small or large. Protect your online assets today before it’s too late. Reach out now and learn how Veracloud can assist your company with securing your online business presence!

Windows 365

Windows 365: Cloud PC for your Hybrid Workplace

Microsoft has recently announced that it will be releasing Windows 365, an incredibly simple way to securely stream Windows from the Microsoft Cloud, the most comprehensive and trusted cloud on the market. As also referred to as Cloud PC, a new user experience is on the horizon, with the traditional PC operating system moving completely to the cloud without impacting on users’ expectations. Whether it is a personal computer or a corporate device, the full experience of providing the apps, data availability and settings will be maintained in this Cloud PC. 

What is Windows 365 

Windows 365 is a virtual desktop service that is a part of Microsoft 365.  It offers organizations a fixed-price monthly subscription, to a cloud PC that is dedicated to a user and can be managed using the exact same tools as a traditional Windows PC. Making a cloud PC available to a user (once the initial environment is set up) is a matter of assigning a Microsoft 365 license.  Three key properties of Windows 365 are worth repeating and emphasizing.   

A cloud PC is dedicated to a user, fixed price, and part of the Microsoft 365 cloud rather than Azure. 

This SaaS (Software as a Service) offering that is built on the Azure Virtual Desktop platform, will allow anyone to freely access their desktop wherever they may be in the world and from whichever device. This is a persistent Cloud PC, meaning it is always on and easily accessible 24 x 7. You will also find the exact same desktop, wallpaper, and document you were working on a few minutes, hours (or days) ago readily available to continue where you left off. 

How Veracloud Supports Windows 365 

Microsoft has expanded the available options for virtual desktops.  Organisations now have the flexible Azure-based AVD with single-user, multi-session, and RemoteApp options and the simplified M365-based Windows 365 with Enterprise and Business cloud PC alternatives. 

For the past year, Veracloud has gained momentum in implementing Azure Virtual Desktops for almost every solution need and gained hands-on experience building successful setups on the Microsoft cloud. We do this by helping our customers choose the right Microsoft service for the right use-case, automate the deployment, simplify ongoing management, and optimize to reduce ongoing costs. 

If you are considering either an AVD or a Windows 365 deployment, or maybe a bit of both, our technical engineers will provide the support and guidance required to identify the solution that works best for you and your business’s needs. Contact us now and explore the world of a hybrid workplace and get your business to the next level. 

Microsoft rebrands and enhances its VDI offering

While rebranding WVD to AVD, Microsoft also provides a broader service offering

The launch of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in 2018 was something that proved to be essential for companies. With the pandemic breaking out just over a year later, organisations had to quickly adapt and provide its workforce with remote capabilities, without sacrificing security, management, and employee productivity. WVD came to the rescue, providing the best virtualised Windows and Office experience for a multi-user environment, delivered on Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft has recently rebranded WVD to Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). But it’s not just a name change that Microsoft is announcing. Kam VedBrat, GM of AVD, states that Microsoft is preparing to broaden the AVD product with exciting new capabilities and integrations. These enhancements specifically focus on the security and management aspects around AVD.

Integration with Azure Active Directory (AAD) will provide the ability to join AVD virtual machines directly to AAD and connect to the virtual machines from any device with basic credentials. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides central management with the ability to automatically enrol virtual machines, manage policies and distribute applications across devices, drastically simplifying administration though the admin centre. Automated deployment will get you going in minutes with the new QuickStart experience. This automation will validate requirements, kick-off an automated deployment, and will also implement according to best practices.

How can Veracloud help?

Ever since being included in the Azure Marketplace, we have gained momentum on the AVD front and can now assist every company with most use cases for this VDI offering. We have already provided our expertise in setting up large-scale AVD deployments both locally and internationally, tailored to the requirements set forth by the company, while adhering to strict security and regulatory compliance procedures.

If you are considering implementing AVD or are not sure whether this is the right solution for you, we will provide the support and guidance required. Contact us today and explore the cost reduction and benefits associates with Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Veracloud Partners with Cloudflare

Protect your online business with Cloudflare

We’ve all heard the sayings “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business” or “If your business is not online, it doesn’t exist”. With Internet search engines becoming the digital yellow pages of recent times, a company’s online presence has become paramount. The benefits from having even a basic website are countless – credibility, brand, generating leads, driving traffic to your website, issuing company announcements, customer services, 24x7x365 visibility, to mention a few.

The downside to this is that if you’re online, your website, and ultimately your business, is also exposed. With cyberthreats evolving and becoming increasingly complex, every business needs to provide safeguards across all its digital layers. Cyber criminals have quickly adapted to exploit our fears around the pandemic abusing the demand people have for information and supplies. The latest report on the Threat Landscape places web-based and web application attacks as highly preferred exploit methods for threat actors. Protecting your Internet presence has become fundamental.

Cloudflare to the rescue!

Veracloud has partnered with Cloudflare to assist companies in creating a trustworthy digital environment for businesses, their employees, and customers alike. Achieving this is possible with Cloudflare’s extensive list of products and solutions. Whether you want to protect your infrastructure, your teams, developers or simply want insights and analytics into your online resources, Cloudflare will deliver. In recognition of this, Cloudflare has been named leader for DDoS Mitigation Solutions across 11 significant providers and also the Customers’ Choice in Q1 2021 for Web Application Firewalls.

Partnering with Cloudflare has been a strategic move that complements Veracloud’s cloud-based products and services. This will enhance the company’s security portfolio by providing businesses, their websites and online services the required security. Reach out now and learn how Veracloud can assist your company with securing your online business presence!

Managed Wi-Fi

The Future of Wi-Fi is Now

Wi-Fi networks and underlying technologies have recently undergone a huge leap in technological advancements. With Wi-Fi 6 certification approved in early 2021 by Wi-Fi Alliance, this will bring about a rise in innovation. Devices operating on this new spectrum will deliver lower latency, gigabit speeds and higher capacity. Operating on this band will need to have the respective network infrastructure in place to support a new user experience. With global network performance predictions increasing at an unprecedented rate, how will this affect your Wi-Fi network? There is only one way to look at it.

The Veracloud Way!

Wi-Fi as a Service

The future of Wi-Fi is not only in the technology but in its delivery. Built on Cisco Meraki technology, Veracloud is a market leader in providing Managed Wi-Fi Networks. From the assessment of your needs and design of your network, to the implementation and ongoing maintenance, we will take care of everything for you to focus on what matters the most…your business.

From a fully managed Wi-Fi network to a co-managed one, our custom solutions will fit your every need. Whether you are deploying Wi-Fi for the first time or upgrading an existing system, our engineers will help you with the design and implementation plan to ensure that your organisation gets the best levels of performance, stability, and security on your Wi-Fi network.

With the launch of an online Wi-Fi Cost Estimator, Veracloud has all the options readily available to provide complete peace of mind in providing an affordable Wi-Fi solution best suited to your business needs. Additionally, through its Managed Wi-Fi service, you will never need to waste your admin’s time with deploying, managing, and troubleshooting your Wi-Fi networks. But that’s not all. Apart from your standard project-based approach, Veracloud can provide financing options too by removing the burden of capital investment and towards a new concept of WaaS…Wi-Fi as a Service.

Reach out today and learn more about how Veracloud can help you integrate the best Wi-Fi technology on the market.

Cloud Computing

How Cloud Technology is Helping us Get Through COVID-19

What does the Future Hold for Businesses

So much has changed during the COVID-19 outbreak where working remotely has ended up, you can say, the only option to learn, work and relax for both individuals and organisations. Organisations who had already invested in cloud technologies had an early lead advantage to getting their employees to become a remote workforce and to work on their teleworking adoption mentality. Also, those organisations that had not previously invested quickly found a budget to immediately migrate to the cloud.

What does this mean? Cloud technology abruptly positioned itself as the ‘go-to’ business continuity solution for all types of organisations, big or small. The question now is, will the affected industries and sectors remain with this concept of remote working or will they go back to old habits.

Cloud Technology pushing us through COVID-19

Manage and Diversifying Risk

The concept of cloud technology, for those who adopt and implement it, is to eliminates the dependency of physical data centres which host servers, switches, firewalls, etc… in order to all the proper management and upkeep of infrastructure, data, and applications in real-time, wherever you are located. This in turn has the direct benefit of not requiring IT administrators to be on-site to check, maintain and monitor networks and servers. This helps comply with governments requests to keep people safe and adhere to social distancing whilst allows for businesses to operate to continue to operate without the need of having their staff within the office.

Enabling Remote Work

If there was one good thing to come out of this pandemic is that the adoption of remote working was exponentially accelerated which allowed organisation who had been contemplating about moving the cloud but where unsure, to actually do it. They may now evaluate and compare their business efficiency and operations, before and after COVID, to take the decision on how to move forward with the remote workforce initiative from here on.

What does the Future Hold?

Tried and Tested

Cloud-enabled companies now have the practical experience of how a global disaster can affect their business and are now better prepared and equipped to weather any future interruptions and recover from them. With that said, apart from recover point, cloud-enabled organisation are now even better positioned to recover faster giving them a competitive advantage.

Digital Transformation…Now

The global widespread adoption of cloud technologies due to COVID-19 for remote work has opened a world of opportunity for them to properly investigate and invest in digital transformation technologies. This means that each and every business now has the opportunity to position themselves as the other world-leading organisations who use cloud technology to gain a business edge.

The new Norm of Remote Working

Organisations are now intending to shift some or most of their on-site employees to become remote workers passed COVID-19. The amount of money which may be saved by enterprises on rent of office space for both their staff and data centres, as well as time spent for their employees to commute is not something to be ignored.

Proof that you need to put in place new types of Business Continuity Plans

Now, more than ever, companies who either didn’t have a business continuity plan (BCP) or had gaps in there BCP have had a cold slap of reality and have taken the initiative of creating and updating their BCP.

The traditional thinking that a BCP is only in place to perform backups is something that has been recently realised. Backups are used to perform a one-time fix to a disaster, however, COVID19 proved that disasters may sometime take longer than a couple of days but will last months, if not years. Therefore, backups alone will not cut is and thus why organisations are looking into cloud technologies to implement a proper and robust BCP.  

Business continuity plans of the future will include a cloud-based remote access infrastructure that can be scaled up on the fly to support an entire workforce when needed. They should have relationships managed services partners that can help businesses handle increased IT operational workload so they can stay focused on their immediate business needs.

We are Here to Help

If you need help getting your business into the cloud quickly, enabling remote work, mitigating the risks of offshore outsourcing or reinforcing your business continuity plan with the agility of Azure and Office 365 technologies — our team is here to help. Get in touch to schedule a call today.

Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta!

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