Protect Your Data in Files, Apps and Across Organizations

2019-03-07T16:21:02-04:00March 7th, 2019|Microsoft, Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, Microsoft Cloud Service Provider, Microsoft Infrastructure, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, Mobility, Security|

Mobility has become a staple of the modern workplace, offering flexibility to employees and greater productivity to employers. However, this flexibility often requires that employees use their own devices to work when out of office. So how can you protect your data without losing the benefits of “bring your own device?” Tools such as Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Intune can help you manage access to your data and company networks without invading employee privacy. At Coretek Services, we want you to get the most out of what technology has to offer. Contact us to learn more.

Brewing a new age: Carlsberg taps technology to modernize a centuries-…

2019-03-01T16:18:03-04:00March 1st, 2019|Azure, Azure Architect, Cloud, Cloud Architect, Microsoft, Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, Microsoft Cloud Service Provider|

At Coretek Services, we know that shifting to the cloud is a large undertaking. But with the right tools, your organization can make the journey as seamless as possible. Carlsberg Group used Azure to merge their 140-brewery empire. Carlsberg Group is one of the leading brewing companies worldwide, distributing beer across 150 markets. To get a fuller view of their customers, they use Azure. With more than 100 services and great end-to-end tools, you can use Azure to make your business successful just like Carlsberg. We want to help you enhance your business with the cloud. Contact us to find out how cloud computing can turn your information into insight.
Brewing a new age: Carlsberg taps technology to modernize a centuries-old company

6 Ways Big Data Helps Companies Mitigate Risks

2019-03-01T16:10:06-04:00March 1st, 2019|Azure, Cloud, Microsoft, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider|

In the past, “change” had a negative connotation. Today, change is a part of doing business in every industry. In fact, the company that can pivot the fastest often reaps the reward of going to market first–customer patronage. But can a business change and mitigate risk? Azure can help your business analyze Big Data, identify patterns and trends, and facilitate pivots when the market changes. With Azure, you can integrate Big Data from across the enterprise value chain and use advanced analytics in real time to optimize supply-side performance, save money, and reduce risk. Coretek Services wants to help you integrate this amazing tech into your business. Contact us to find out how.

Announcing new options for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support

2019-02-28T12:26:21-04:00February 28th, 2019|Azure, Desktop Management, Desktop OS, Domain Integration, End of Service, Exchange, Microsoft, Microsoft Infrastructure, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, Office 365|

We get it. Change is scary. If you’ve been running the same operating system for many years, a large-scale overhaul is understandably intimidating. But it’s time. To continue their focus on progress and innovation, Microsoft is ending support for some popular 2008 products, including SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. If you are still running either of these, don’t panic! Microsoft has put options in place to give you the time you need, and we at Coretek Services, are here to assist you with a smooth transition. Check out this article and contact us for more information.

Win10 – How to Turn a Windows 10 Migration from a Sunk Cost to a Positive ROI Business Enabler

2019-02-20T12:42:31-04:00January 17th, 2019|Citrix, Cloud, Microsoft, Microsoft Infrastructure, Uncategorized, Virtual Desktop Enhancement Suite|

Full Article – Part 1: VDI – How to Turn a Windows 10 Migration from a sunk cost to a positive ROI Business Enabler

CLICK HERE FOR RECORDING OF PART 1 WEBINAR

Windows 7 migrations were ugly.  Many organizations are still recovering from the experience which is leading to an overall procrastination to move to Windows 10.  Who wants to repeat that experience?  The cost overruns.  The time overruns.  The complexity of matching machine to user to application set.  The applications that we finally got to work and are full of legacy data that we still can’t retire.  Can we just poke ourselves in the eye instead?

In addition, we still have so many IT issues that we can’t seem to get ahead of:

  • Half-baked DR strategies that we can’t find the money to complete
  • User experiences that lack in mobility
  • Data Center overload and CAPEX expenditures, and yet still lacking in capacity
  • Security perimeters that are a moving target that leave us vulnerable and exposed
  • An IT staff that only has time for run and maintain efforts which leaves the organization vulnerable to a lack of strategic vision and growth

With these issues still plaguing us since WIN7, it’s no wonder WIN10 looks like the IT project that will put the final nail in the coffin of our IT careers.

But what if we looked at WIN10 differently than WIN7?  Are there better strategies to take advantage of when moving to WIN10?  The answer is yes!  And you will be surprised to know it’s nothing new, but it is better: VDI.

For the purists out there, let’s first clarify that when referring to VDI in this article, we are not referring to the purest form of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which is persistent desktops in your data center.  Rather, throughout this article we refer to VDI loosely as any remote virtual desktop; whether it is a shared, hosted, remote, or presented – pick your flavor desktop from your data center, a hybrid data center or the Cloud.  In other words, any sort of desktop, including presented applications, that is NOT your own personal desktop tied to a physical device.

Deterrents to VDI

We’ve been helping organizations justify their move to VDI since 2005 – successfully.  There are zero customers who – after having deployed VDI – ripped it out because they determined that they did not achieve the benefits they hoped for; including better security, higher resiliency, enhanced user experience, lower overhead, better IT management and eventually, a cost payback.  The keyword in the last part is “eventually”.  That’s assuming you did VDI right.  We’ve seen botched deployments of VDI, but we haven’t seen an environment we can’t optimize (a.k.a. fix).

There is no doubt that the deterrent to VDI is the upfront cost.  But there are also upfront costs moving to WIN10.  We’ve done the math and can tell you that the cost of staying on physical endpoints and moving to WIN10 is far more costly – both up front and within 5 years – than moving to VDI as a strategy to migrate to WIN10.

Benefits of VDI

If you are considering VDI, it is usually because you hope to achieve these key benefits, which can also be seen as key success metrics:

  • Enhanced User experience
    • There are 2 key aspects: First, the VDI user experience must be the same as or better than the experience of the physical desktop.  Second, does the user have the autonomy to work anywhere on any device with the same access to data?
  • Security
    • VDI will inherently improve your security posture by removing sensitive data from endpoints.
  • IT Management overhead
    • The biggest soft-cost savings of VDI is the lessened need for IT resources to manage physical endpoints. It is true that different skill sets are required, but the architecture of VDI means that it takes overall less people to manage more than a traditional environment.
  • OPEX vs CAPEX
    • It’s true that the IT world is experiencing a 3.5% increase in OPEX spending over CAPEX. There are many financial reasons for this, but perhaps the most compelling reason we see it is because predicting the future is so unpredictable.  By consuming IT services as needed, the business stays agile; and OPEX spending can stay in sync with the business, as opposed to big upfront expenditures for guesstimates that could change.
  • Resiliency
    • VDI – when architected correctly – will inherently provide Disaster Recovery resiliency. In addition, with cloud and hybrid cloud strategies deployed, you gain bursting and elasticity benefits that you just can’t get from a traditional data center/physical endpoint strategy.  A VDI desktop experience also means less downtime than a physical endpoint.  According to the most recent IDC reports, a VDI desktop will experience 1.7 hours of downtime a year, compared to 17 hours of downtime for a physical endpoint.

Exploring your options

You don’t have a choice – you must get to WIN10 by January 14, 2020.  Don’t do the status quo of how you did WIN7; take advantage of the opportunity to do it better.  Let’s lay out the options:

  • Option 1: Status quo – WIN7 to WIN10 on physical device to the same physical device.
  • Option 2: Leverage VDI to migrate to WIN10 from current WIN7 physical devices to the same physical devices via a conversion process such as Igel – OR – onto new thin devices or BYOD.

Both options have the same aspect of assessing the applications for compatibility.  For this article, we will only be discussing the VDI and endpoint strategy.  In future articles, we will discuss the applications.

The pros and cons of these two approaches to get to WIN10 can be summarized as such:

Option 1:  Status quo – WIN7 to WIN10 on physical device to the same physical device.

The cost options vary depending on if you are doing an in-place upgrade versus “wipe and load” to the current devices.  With this option, there will have to be an assessment of the current devices for their ability to support WIN10.  If you choose to stay with physical devices there may be a contingency of endpoints that will have to be replaced.  Many organizations have a 3-to-5-year device replacement lifecycle, which could happen organically during this migration process.

An additional point of consideration is the compatibility of the current physical device.

Of the options being discussed in this article, this is the most costly option – both upfront and over 5 years – regardless of device replacement or not.  And the benefits are the least desirable.  This is the status quo option that does not offer any leverageable changes in the way you do business that would give you a competitive advantage.  IT Management overhead stays the same, as does user autonomy, security, and resiliency.

Option 2:  Leverage VDI to migrate to WIN10 from current WIN7 physical devices to the same physical devices via a conversion process such as IGEL– OR – onto new thin devices or BYOD.

The upfront costs between this option and the first status quo option are surprisingly close.  However, when comparing the 5-year TCO, this option is the clear winner; by about a 40% advantage.  In addition, the key success metrics of VDI make this a far-superior path that will pivot your organization onto a new and better path filled with competitive advantages.

To VDI or not to VDI – that is the question for your WIN10 Migration.

The takeaway is that you have options.  You can stay the course with a traditional upgrade path, or you can explore VDI as a viable path.  Please join us for a webinar on Thursday, January 31 at 2:00 pm EDT, 1:00 pm CDT, or 11:00 am PDT where we will take a deep-dive in the into the TCO and ROI of VDI and work through real-world scenarios compared to industry published standards.

This is the first part of a 4-part series around various aspects of VDI.

THURSDAY
JANUARY 31, 2019
2:00 PM EDT
REGISTER HERE FOR PART 1

What the Citrix + Microsoft Cloud Alliance means to you.

2018-12-06T10:11:29-04:00December 6th, 2018|Announcements, Azure, blog, Citrix, Cloud, Microsoft, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, News|

Ray Jaksic, Coretek CTO, was interviewed for this Citrix blog post…

https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2018/11/19/what-the-citrix-microsoft-cloud-alliance-means-to-you-and-your-customers/ 

Want to help your customers solve key challenges and streamline their cloud journey?

That’s the bottom line on the Citrix and Microsoft Cloud Alliance, which we’ve built to help you close Citrix Workspace and Citrix Cloud deals with customer workloads in Azure. When you help meet the overwhelming customer demand for Citrix Cloud solutions in Azure, you can grow your business and your margins while solidifying your role as a trusted advisor in the era of cloud and digital transformation.

“For us, our strategy is cloud and moving customers to cloud. When you tie Citrix and Microsoft together, we’re able to solve some unique use cases within the marketplace that you can’t solve any other way. Cloud Alliance makes it incredibly attractive and profitable for us to transition customers to the cloud.” – Ray Jaksic, CTO, Coretek Services

Why Cloud Alliance is great for your customers

Everyone knows how valuable cloud is. You can increase business agility, respond more quickly and cost-effectively to new business needs and opportunities, reduce waste, shift capex to opex, increase workplace flexibility—we all know the script by now. One of the most obvious customer questions to consider is: why aren’t they already running Citrix Cloud services on Microsoft Azure? What’s making them hesitate about cloud adoption? They’re afraid, worried that it’s all or nothing, or that it will be complex and expensive. You can help them understand they can dip their toes in and move at a pace that works for them.

This is the “aha!” moment: there’s no need for them to take their entire Citrix infrastructure and put it in Azure on day one—or ever. We think Azure is the best place to put Citrix workloads, but not every customer can get there overnight. Customers might not choose to put all their workloads in Azure for many reasons, including regulatory compliance, pre-existing deployments in other clouds, or a desire to keep some things running in an on-prem datacenter. The Citrix Cloud management plane lets customers securely manage Citrix workloads in any combination of on-premises and public cloud infrastructure. This puts choice back into the hands of the customer, where it belongs. Particularly when used with Citrix Networking, the Citrix Workspace app allows your customers to seamlessly access all workloads, including virtual, SaaS, and mobile apps, whether the customer wants them in Azure, on-prem, or anywhere else.

How Cloud Alliance helps you close deals and make more money

Cloud Alliance is good for your bottom line in three ways. First, you’ll get training, tools, marketing support, and other enablements at no added cost, helping your whole organization become more effective. Second, you can earn financial incentives from both Microsoft and Citrix for performing value-added sales activities you’re likely going to do anyway. And third, by leveraging the Cloud Alliance framework, you’ll help customers move those Citrix workloads into Azure, leveraging great technologies from Citrix and Microsoft to drive a modern desktop for your customers. Happy customers buy more, which means more billable hours for you as you help them uncover additional opportunities to cloud-enable their business.

You know what slows down most POCs? Having to build the environment: installation, integration with required services, making sure everything works together, and not missing a critical step. Cloud Alliance partners gain access to a pre-built environment in the Citrix demo center; it’s already built for you, with everything working perfectly. You spend less time installing and configuring, and more time demonstrating value. Even better, when you use the demo center to deliver a personalized proof-of-concept to a qualifying customer, you’ll get a $5,000 incentive as well, even before the deal closes.

For one of our most successful partners, Coretek Services, Cloud Alliance further supports what they’re already offering to customers. Ray Jaksic, Coretek Services CTO explains, “Citrix and Microsoft working together is a dream come true. These are our two most strategic partners working together to offer a collaborative solution. Cloud Alliance comes at the perfect time. Our peoples’ time is money. This initiative is going to help support us and allow us to do more Citrix workloads on Azure. As an added benefit, our salespeople will go after pushing this because of the incentives they’ll personally receive.”

When you close the deal, we’ll further reward you with additional training vouchers for any certification course you choose so you can keep investing in your people and their skills and issue an Azure credit to reimburse you for a do-not-exceed amount of Azure consumed during the POC. That’s on top of the normal incentives you’ll get from both Citrix and Microsoft through programs you’re already familiar with. Remember what I said about getting paid twice on the same deal?

Is Cloud Alliance right for you?

Cloud Alliance initiative is obviously a great fit for Citrix partners with experience selling Citrix Cloud on Azure, but that’s just the beginning. For Citrix partners who’ve been selling our traditional solutions but haven’t added Citrix Cloud services yet, this is a great way to stay relevant in a cloud-first world and add new Azure skills to your practice. Microsoft Azure partners who are new to Citrix are also a great fit. You already know everything there is to know about Azure—now you can extend the solutions you offer to address high-value use cases to help your customers.

Ready to make Cloud Alliance part of your business? We’d love to have you! But don’t wait—the Citrix and Microsoft Cloud Alliance is live right now, with resources and funding available to participating partners. Check out the on-demand recording of our Cloud Alliance kickoff webinar and access our Cloud Alliance page on Sales IQ to learn more. Become a Citrix partner and get in-depth training at Citrix Summit this January 7 – 9, 2019, in Orlando, Florida, to accelerate your success. Talk to your Citrix Partner Account Manager today, start delivering the Citrix on Azure solutions your customers need now, and then come celebrate successes with us at Citrix Summit in January!

Coretek and Microsoft have Paved Your Way to Digital Transformation

2018-11-05T16:26:56-04:00November 1st, 2018|Announcements, Azure, blog, Citrix, Cloud, End of Service, Microsoft, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, News, Office 365, Server Migration|

Wherever you are on your Digital Transformation journey, Coretek is here to help.
And with these FREE offers to get you started…what are you waiting for?

  • Data Center Migration:
    A Comprehensive Azure Migration Strategy
    Limited Time Offer: FREE Migration to Azure
    Migration  to Microsoft CSP Includes:
    • Assessment of applications and workloads for cloud readiness
    • Determine and plan viability, migration approach, and TCO of running in Azure
    • Design and deploy identity, network, security and sub-scription architecture
    • Migrate your applications and infrastructure to Azure

  •  Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops on Microsoft Azure: 
    Limited Time FREE OFFER: Test Drive Your Cloud VDI in One Week

    Test Drive Includes:
    • Configure One Site-to-Site VPN if necessary
    • Citrix Cloud Subscription Configuration
    • Deliver up to 10 Shared Virtual Desktops
    • Deliver up to 10 Win10 VDI Desktops
    • Office Pro Plus Integration

  • Extend Your Security for 2008 Windows and SQL Servers:
    Limited Time Offer FREE MIGRATION: Lift and Shift Your EOS Infrastructure
    • Free Migration of your End of Service infrastructure to Coretek’s Cloud Service Provider (CSP) instance.
    • Provide day-to-day support, patch and upgrade management.
    • Manage and monitor your consumption with Coretek’s Azure Management Suite (AMS) dashboards

  • Securing your Identity Workshop:
    Limited Time Offer: FREE Half-Day Securing Your Identity Workshop
    What to expect:
    • Discovery session to understand Identity and Security Landscape
    • Technical Deep Dive into relevant topics
    • Recap Session summarizing next steps
    • Recommended follow-up 1 week POC/Pilot 10K cost may be covered by Microsoft

Need help with an Azure project and want to work with the best?

Fill in this form and one of our Azure Experts will contact you.

Coretek CEO, Ron Lisch, shares his perspective for MSP success in the Motor City

2018-07-25T11:52:11-04:00July 19th, 2018|blog, Feature, Home Page, Microsoft, Micrsoft Cloud Solution Provider, News|

July 19, 2018–Coretek CEO, Ron Lisch, shares his perspective for MSP success in the Motor City with ChannelNomics:

“The economic growth [in Southeast Michigan] is something being witnessed by local MSPs, such as Coretek Services.

In fact, interest in manufacturing and autonomous vehicles in the area is representing new opportunity for MSPs, Ron Lisch, Coretek’s CEO, tells Channelnomics, pointing to the vast majority of R&D in this space being conducted in Detroit and California.

“Becoming relevant in those markets is really strategic for us because the amount of data that’s generated in that market in the automobile itself is just massive, and then it all has to have a place to reside and people are looking for groups to help manage that,” Lisch says.”

Read More here:  https://www.channelnomics.com/channelnomics-us/analysis/3034238/msp-road-trip-detroit-michigan

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