Windows Server 2008 R2 End of Life

Windows Server 2008 R2 End of Life

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, meaning they will no longer release additional security patches and updates.  If your business runs off Windows 2008 you have some serious choices to make.

        • Do Nothing – For a lot of small businesses this is a serious consideration- one that causes people in my industry to lose sleep.  I understand the thinking, “A server is a big investment. It has been running for years without any issue. None of these horror stories will happen to us.”  I’ll be honest. The truth is, it’s a gamble.  But we have history to look back on. Five years ago we went through this with the end of life for Windows 2003 Server.  We had some clients that, for a variety of reasons, chose not to upgrade or replace their servers.  Two small businesses are no longer in operation as their data was compromised by an encryption virus. Three other businesses suffered significant downtime due to hardware failure of their old, dying servers. Then, adding insult to injury, they were hit with a pretty hefty service and hardware bill to get them back up and running.  The others eventually replaced their servers.  You have poured your heart and soul into your business… is this something you want to roll the dice on?
        • Buy a new server – This can be a no-brainer for some companies.  If you run client-server type applications or have a complex infrastructure that would be a nightmare to migrate to the cloud, then purchasing a new server might make sense.  Odds are your current server hardware is over 5 years old and you will see an immediate improvement in performance. Plus Windows Server 2016’s support will run through 2027, thus kicking the can down the road.
        • Migrating to the cloud – Oh the cloud, such a magical word.  Actually vague, the cloud can mean so many things.  The cloud is basically anything on a computer or server that is not local to you.  The cloud has always been there. Your website for instance, has most likely always been in ‘the cloud’.  Migrating your server to the cloud could happen in a few different ways.  You could take an exact copy of your server, virtualize it and host it with Microsoft in their Azure environment. Or, let’s say you run Quickbooks on your server, you could migrate to Quickbooks Online.  Perhaps you have a SQL database on your server, you could host that in the cloud.  However, for most small businesses, you are just using your server for file sharing.  The good news is, you might not even need a server anymore.  Especially if you have Microsoft Office 365, you can utilize Microsoft Teams and transform the way your company communicates.

In the end this is a business decision, just like the hundreds of others one that you have to ponder throughout the year.  The Miller Group is always here to assist you with any questions.

Top 5 Reasons Your Website Needs SEO

Top 5 Reasons Your Website Needs SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has widely been adopted as an online marketing strategy. Your competitors are utilizing it. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should be too.

 

Increased Traffic

First page results in a search engine receive the majority of impressions and clicks.  Ranking near the top can result in a significant increase in traffic for your website.  SEO also focuses on creating informative and keyword relevant title tags and meta descriptions, which show up in the results pages of a search.  Properly optimizing your tags and descriptions will help increase the click-through rate, which also increases the web traffic you want.

ROI

SEO provides trackable results.  Regardless if you are selling something on your site or not, you can track how someone got to your site and what they did when they were there.  For an e-commerce website you can track which keyword brought the customer to your website prior to purchasing.  You can attribute values to your lead conversions, like a ‘contact us’ form, allowing you to calculate the value of your SEO strategy.

Cost-effectiveness

SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online. SEO’s inbound nature helps businesses save money as opposed to outbound strategies like cold-calling. Some studies show that the leads generated by cold-calling cost 61% more than leads generated by an inbound strategy like SEO. Also, since SEO targets users who are actively searching for products and services like yours, the traffic resulting from SEO is more qualified than many other marketing strategies.

Increased site usability

In an effort to make your website easier to navigate for search engines, SEO simultaneously helps to make your website more navigable for users as well. SEO consists of rearranging the site’s architecture and links to make pages within the website easier to find and navigate. This not only makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find pages but also makes it easier for users to find information on your website as well.

Brand Awareness

Since top position rankings result in significant impressions, having your website in these top positions on the result pages translates to more exposure for your website. Plus, being on the first page for your targeted keywords not only helps users to associate your brand with those keywords, but it instills trust since companies on the first page are generally perceived to be more trustworthy. The more your pages and content rank in high positions in the search engines, the more chances you have for users to see your content and associate with your brand.

If you are looking to implement SEO and need some guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at The Miller Group.

THE MILLER GROUP ACHIEVES ENTERPRISE PARTNER STATUS WITH DATTO

THE MILLER GROUP ACHIEVES ENTERPRISE PARTNER STATUS WITH DATTO

THE MILLER GROUP ACHIEVES ENTERPRISE PARTNER STATUS WITH DATTO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

St. Louis, Missouri: January 27, 2019– The Miller Group today announced it has achieved the exclusive Enterprise partner status with Datto, the world’s leading provider of IT solutions delivered through managed service providers (MSPs). Datto’s Enterprise status represents the top 10 percent of the company’s partners, worldwide.

The Miller Group has exceeded high standards of performance to qualify for Enterprise status within Datto’s Global Partner Program. Enterprise status includes many exclusive programs and benefits designed to support further enablement and business growth.

The Miller Group has been a Datto provider since 2015 and has quickly risen up the partner status ranks.

“This is great for our clients. Achieving this level with Datto means better support and better options for our client’s backup & disaster recovery needs,” said Joe Svoboda, CEO of The Miller Group. “It’s an honor to be part of an elite group of successful Datto partners.”

“We are thrilled that The Miller Group has reached Enterprise Partner Status,” said Rob Rae, vice president of business development, Datto. “It’s been fantastic to see The Miller Group leveraging our training, support and marketing resources to take their business to the next level. We look forward to more success in 2019 as we continue to roll out new partner services.”

About The Miller Group

In business since 1985, the Miller Group is headquartered in Des Peres, Missouri and is a full-service technology solutions provider for small to medium sized businesses. They currently service over 400 companies across the St. Louis region and have a reputation for outstanding customer service.

For more information on The Miller Group visit www.themillergroup.com

About Datto

At Datto, our mission is to empower the world’s small and medium sized businesses with the best in enterprise-level technology. We do it by equipping our unique community of Managed Service Provider partners with the right products, tools and knowledge to allow each and every customer to succeed. It’s an approach that’s made us the world’s leading provider of MSP delivered IT solutions. Datto is headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., with offices worldwide.

Ransomware Statistics Small Businesses Need to Know

Ransomware Statistics Small Businesses Need to Know

Ransomware has had a BIG year. So big that 90% of IT providers reported ransomware attacks on small businesses in the past year.

Attacks on various industries are becoming daily occurrences. We hear of companies paying huge sums to retrieve their data from the malicious software. Often, the companies affected aren’t familiar with ransomware until it’s too late. So, allow us to introduce you to the infamous ransomware.

Hackers aren’t wasting any time when it comes to attacking small businesses. Want more facts on ransomware? Check out this Infographic for a quick and easy overview on the cybersecurity threat and to learn essential tips for defending your business!

Joe’s High School Days

Article from May 5th, 1992 edition of Jefferson County Journal…

Three Windsor High School students have won nearly $9,000 worth of computer hardware and software for their school.

The three boys didn’t beat out the rest of the high schools in their division by raising the most money or drawing the right number out of a hat or even running the fastest in a sporting event.

They won by using their minds to swiftly program a specific computer language in a head-to-head competition against computer whizzes from other school around Missouri.

The contest was sponsored by Hewlett Packard and help April 11 in St. Louis. Windsor’s prize winning program has been sent to compete against the 16 other regional winners from across the country and was judged May 2 in Cincinnati.

Windsor’s winning team included Rick Borage, Joe Svoboda and Ryan Hager, all 17 years old.

According to the boys’ computer teacher, Kirby Mirly, each member brings a different strength to the team.

“These three work really well together,” Mirly said. “They do a lot of programming on their own. To participate in this contest, the programmers were asked to program in a specific language. Since this was not the language they were competing in previously, I was concerned about how they would adopt.”

Working together, the three students succeeded.

“We worked as a team; we all did certain parts,” Hager said.

Borage, the son of Donna Staat of Barnhart, brings very strong mathematical and analytical skills to the group. Borage is also the fastest typist on the team, giving the group an advantage in speed.

In Mirly’s words, Svoboda, the son of Will and Kathy Svoboda of northern Jefferson County, is the team’s “free-thinker,” who leads the group through complex problems.

“He’s a free-wheeler; he won’t get stuck,” Mirly said.

Hager, the son of Raymond and Donna Hager of Barnhart, contributes a strong technical sense to the team.

“He is very DOS-oriented,” Mirly said. “He loves programming. He gives us the base.”

The three boys said they had competed in computer-programming tournaments before, buy agreed this was their most successful attempt.

“I personally feel the greatest accomplishment of these three students is that they have stayed together long enough to see the fruits of all their hard work,” Mirly said. “After two years of study and contests, I feel that these young men have learned a lot about programming and winning.”