Software Defined WAN or SD-WAN

Many in the industry are buzzing about the emergence of SD-WAN.  While the concept is really exciting in that it can dramatically increase internet uptime, not all implementations of it are created equal.

First, let's cover the benefits.  Having worked with internet service providers (ISP) for decades, we at Solve iT are excited about the ability we have with this technology to now hold them accountable for their Service Level Agreements.  If they promise a certain amount of uptime, then they should live up to that.  When the SD-WAN appliance checks on circuit availability 5 times every second, it can then provide meaningful reports to help with ISP management.

But, that is only the start.  What is even more important is that now we can provide Quality of Service (QoS) over the internet and prioritize voice and cloud application traffic.  This provides a huge benefit when implementing any sort of cloud technology.  In fact it removes the primary reason for not adopting cloud.  Choppy voice calls are thing of the past.

The technology Solve iT has adopted removes dependence on a single carrier by aggregating multiple carriers into a single connection outside of the firewall.  Further, Big Leaf overcomes another traditional problem by supplying it's own IP addresses.  This means that no matter the inbound carrier, internally hosted applications (email, web sites, etc.) are fully functional even in the event of an outage.

To take this one step further, all sessions are maintained during an outage.  Basically, you can continue your hosted voice conversation along with VPN connections because they transfer from carrier to carrier seamlessly.  It's truyly amazing stuff.

If you'd like to learn more, please join Solve iT, Big Leaf, and Spectrum for a Lunch-N-Learn event on September 20th, at Upstream in Charlotte.  Click here to view a short video or Register for the event.

Office 365 Support Moving

Office 365 Support Moving

New support options for subscribers to Office 365!

Ever called for support on Office 365 and been left wondering when you will get an answer to your question?  Well... Microsoft is changing how end users gain technical support for Office 365 issues.  Now, after a little bit of administrative work on the back-end, Microsoft partners like Solve iT can take the pain out of getting support when you need it. 

Upgrade to Windows 10 for FREE??

Here at Solve iT, we are frequently asked about the offer from Microsoft to upgrade the Windows operating system to Windows 10.  Having lived through numerous failed in-place upgrades of operating systems, we err on the side of caution in every circumstance.  However, after performing successful in-place upgrades of our own systems to Windows 10, we believe that Microsoft has done an exceptional job of providing a rather seamless process.

There is one main caveat: the new internet browser called Edge is not quite as compatible with legacy websites and applications as we'd like.  No fret, Internet Explorer 11 is still included in the system and can be used when Edge will not suffice.

If you'd like to discuss this for your business, don't hesitate to contact us.  You will need to HURRY though, the FREE upgrade offer from Microsoft ends on July 29th, 2016.  To upgrade when you're ready, go here:  http://www.windows.com/windows10upgrade

Easy HIPAA Compliance Mistakes to Avoid

As Dr. Lorne Lavine points out in his Modern Dental Network article, there are 5 common HIPAA Compliance mistakes many practitioners make that can easily be avoided.  Here they are with our own twist as they pertain to today's Dental practices.

  1. Not Encrypting Data - this is usually handled by the major software vendors like Dentrix and Eaglesoft, but not always.  You should ask your vendor this question if you are not sure.  Also of note is the fact that encryption while the file is at rest is one thing, encryption while it is in transit (such as moving between a computer and a server) is quite another thing.  Again, most software vendors will handle this for you, but it's good to confirm that it is being done.
  2. Not Backing Up Patient Data Regularly - Even if you have a backup system in place, how do you really know it's working?  When was the last time an attempt was made to restore any data?  Backing up is not the only concern, verification that you can restore the data when you need it is crucial.
  3. Sending Patient Information through Email - If I had a nickel for every time I've seen this, well...  I'd be writing this blog article from Aruba instead of my office.  Some practices try to avoid this by putting an Employee policy in place restricting this from being done.  While that might provide some liability assurance, it doesn't really work.  Email Encryption mechanisms have come way down in price and are affordable for even the smallest practices, so there really is no reason to worry about it, just encrypt it if you are going to use email that way.
  4. Use file sharing applications like Box, Dropbox, etc.  - A lot of these services are now claiming compliance and I suppose the validity of those claims that could be debated ad nauseum,  Where compliance is concerned, it's important to show due diligence.  Basically, take simple steps towards compliance each year.  You'll get there eventually, as long as you keep working at it and reduce your risk of a breach.
  5. Not Restricting Access to Patient Information - This one can be a little tricky as most clinical people move from one exam room or operatory to another.  There are some feasible tips to help with this such as ensuring that the computer is locked before you leave the room, and putting in screen timeouts so that the screen goes black when not in use.