Articles By 0alhki

5 Ways Your Small Business Can Prepare for Winter

How can you prepare to keep your employees, customers, and business safe in a winter storm? Here’s what you need to know.

Know What to Watch Out For

Monitor local news and check weather forecasts at the National Weather Service website. Here are some terms you might hear:

  •   Winter storm: Winter storms involve snow, sleet, or freezing rain.
  •   Ice storm: When 1/4 inch of ice or more builds up, driving and walking are hazardous, and power lines can break because of the weight of the ice.
  •   Blizzard: A blizzard involves snow, gusty winds up to 35 mph or more, near-zero-visibility conditions, and a wind-chill factor that can be life threatening.
  •   Winter storm watch: Severe winter conditions might occur in the next 12-36 hours.
  •   Winter storm warning: Severe winter conditions are expected in the next 12-24 hours. This is defined as 4-6 inches of snow or sleet, or at least 1/4 inch of ice.
  •   Blizzard warning: A blizzard is expected in the next 12-24 hours.

Like Mother, Like Daughter: At ZLH Enterprises, The Future is all in the Family

When Zina Hassel began the technology consultancy firm ZLH Enterprises (Manalapan), in early 2000, she was not thinking about an exit strategy.  Consulting was what intrigued Zina. And the push to get things accomplished when suppliers said it couldn’t be done was what fueled the fire.

When Zina eventually retires from ZLH Enterprises, which she built from the ground up, she’ll be passing the baton to her daughter Jodi Hassel.  And Jodi, who has been studying and mastering the business for the past seven years, will be ready. “She is fluent in almost every aspect of the business,” Zina told NJTechWeekly.com

Unlike some company founders who fret over the upheaval such a transition might cause, Zina is sure they will both be ready for the change. Jodi put it best when she said, “I know Zina will never truly leave the business. She may cut back and be more in the background, but she’ll always be there to give me advice.”  Jodi is confident in her skills and abilities, and already manages the business during Zina’s absence.

The one thing these two differ on? Zina kept the business small and hands on, a boutique telecommunications consulting business. Jodi wants to build and expand the business, and knows there is plenty of room for growth in the market. Both agree that the best growth strategy is already in progress … continuing to shift the business from telecommunications to technology, and continuing to expand their channel programs and resources.

Why Every Small Business Needs a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

June 1, 2016 | Larry Alton | Contributor | Entrepreneur

As a digitally active business in 2016, you can’t afford to lose your data. Whether at the hands of a natural disaster, human error, or cyber attack, data loss is costly and extremely risky. That’s why you need a backup and disaster recovery solution.

What is BDR?

As a small business owner, you’ve probably asked yourself this simple question at least once: “What is BDR?” Well, the most basic definition is a combination of data backup and disaster recovery solutions that are designed to work together to ensure uptime, diminish data loss, and maximize productivity in the midst of an attack, natural disaster, or other compromising situation. In other words, BDR solutions keep businesses safe when trouble strikes
According to research by Security Week, the total volume of data loss at the enterprise level has increased more than 400 percent over the past couple of years and the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. With the rise of big data, cloud computing, and BYOD policies in the workplace, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for businesses to protect their private data.
IT Web suggests that the total cost of data breaches will be more than $2.1 trillion by 2019. This is in part due to the fact that small businesses don’t always take security seriously. They wrongly assume that it’s the big corporations that face the highest risks. Unfortunately, this is a false assumption.
A Verizon report says that small data breaches — those with fewer than 100 files lost — cost between $18,120 and $35,730. Unless these are expenses that you can easily sustain, it’s time to implement a BDR plan.
Five reasons why SBOs need a BDR plan.

How Our Growing Tech Company Stayed Open During Hurricane María

July 30,2018 . Dolmarie Mendez | Guest Writer | Co-founder and CEO, Abartys Health | Entrepreneur

As the leader of a healthcare technology company,I have the responsibility to make sure my co-workers and I are ready for anything, in both the best and the worst of times.
While having our company headquarters in Puerto Rico gives us advantages that I wouldn’t trade for anything, Hurricane María last September brought about circumstances impossible to foresee. Our building flooded, power and telephone lines were disrupted and supermarkets and hospitals were closed for weeks.
To put the devastation into perspective, Hurricane María completely destroyed more than 87,000 homes in Puerto Rico (with more than 385,000 other homes sustaining major damage). Some 250,000 Puerto Rico residents were displaced to the mainland United States, in some cases permanently.
One study from the New England Journal of Medicine said that Hurricane María claimed some 4,600 lives, though the authors added that even this staggering figure could turn out to be conservative. In terms of costs, it’s estimated that Hurricane María has cost more than $90 billion.
We were one of 10,000 businesses affected by the hurricane. And yet, we knew that maintaining normal operations in the face of such obstacles was non-negotiable, given the vital technical services we provide to insurance companies and medical providers. And while not every tech company will have to deal with the catastrophe of a hurricane, there will almost certainly be unforeseen obstacles that test every company’s resilience.

We’re in the middle of hurricane season again.

Now that we’re in the middle of hurricane season 2018, here are the lessons we learned that other companies facing disasters similar to ours — especially companies in technology — can do to “weather the storm” when disaster strikes.

Hurricane Maria Almost Destroyed This Entrepreneur’s $300,000 Franchise Investment. Here’s How she Moved Forward

Hurricane Maria Almost Destroyed This Entrepreneur's $300,000 Franchise Investment. Here's How She Moved Forward.

Post-hurricane, this Pita Pit franchisee in San Juan dealt with lack of food, gas, power and communication. Here’s how she used a new mindset to move forward

Hayden Field, EntrepreneurStaff, Associate Editor, July 11, 2018 Women/Entrepreneur

In the Women Entrepreneur series My Worst Moment, female founders provide a firsthand account of the most difficult, gut-wrenching, almost-made-them-give-up experience they’ve had while building their business — and how they recovered.
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2018, it left almost insurmountable tragedy in its wake. Although the death toll is widely disputed, one Harvard study estimates a potential 4,645 excess deaths, and the storm likely caused between $40 billion and $85 billion in damage, according to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide. Businesses — and plans for businesses — were also heavily impacted. Valeria Quinones had invested $300,000 to open a Pita Pit franchise, and although her construction site wasn’t destroyed, she faced hunger, power outages and monetary losses. Here, she tells us how she used a new mindset to take her next steps and move forward.

You May Have a Disaster Plan, But What About Business Continuity Planning?

Written by Randy Johnston ACCOUNTEX

Every few years, we get reminders of how vulnerable we are to acts of nature. Events beyond our control, including fires, floods and hurricanes causing large-scale disaster, have been experienced in various parts of North America recently. Both man-made and natural events will occur, frequently without warning.

Randy Johnston is a top-rated technology speaker at the annual Accountex USA conference. Randy is broadly known for his Technology Update presentation, which he updates continuously. At Accountex 2018 in Boston, Randy will be presenting on Cloud Technology. Randy has expertise in technology, security, accounting, software and computer infrastructure, and strategic planning and management.

With technology, additional risks come from hacks by bad actors resulting in data breaches or malware infections, hardware manufacturer errors that lead to issues such as the Spectre or Meltdown processor exploits, and software manufacturers making erroneous updates to their software that lead to work stoppages. These events all illustrate the need for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.

Let’s separate these two concepts, try to understand the difference, and focus on what we can do to improve business continuity.

10 Things Great Leaders Do to Handle a Disaster

Crisis will test any leader. Here’s how the best get through it.

Joel PetersonChairman,JetBlue  Inc.
When disaster strikes — be it a deadly hurricane or a massive cyber-hack — great business leaders respond rather than react.
The difference is subtle but significant. A reaction is a reflex; a response is a procedure.
And the best leaders recognize that real-time responses according to a procedure require a pre-wired plan and practice executing that plan. As Gen. Dwight Eisenhower said of the D-Day invasion, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
In the airline industry planning is an obsession. Crisis management is critical. Executives who plan for the worst are best positioned to serve all constituents when it counts most.
Executives who don’t plan for disaster responses are caught reacting, sometimes resulting in mistakes that can irreparably harm customers, businesses and careers.
I was reminded of this during the recent hurricane in Florida. On the one hand, I was heartened by the response of so many people pitching in on the relief efforts. On the other hand, I was distraught to learn that elderly nursing home patients died from heat exposure when an operational hospital was right across the street. Both cases illustrate the fact that executing under pressure depends on prepared teams.
Here are ten tips to consider when “What if?” becomes “Now what?”

Disney’s Ben Havey: Collaboration & Content in a 5G World

CxO Spotlight
Phil Harvey, US News Editor
8/29/2018
Content creation, distribution and ownership are having more sway than ever on the world of communications and that influence is likely to accelerate as the next generation of mobile networks is constructed and consumed.
As this is happening, it does help to find out what the people at the major intersection points of technology, communications and content are thinking, and how they’re planning to take advantage of the capabilities that are just around the corner.
To that end, Light Reading took a tour of the new Disney’s new StudioLAB to see what kinds of projects are in the works and how the company’s work with Cisco and other technology partners will help it become a new kind of service provider — one creating content experiences for mobile devices and public spaces alike.
Check out this interview with Ben Havey, VP of the Technology Innovation Group at The Walt Disney Studios, and just imagine what’s ahead. Once you’re done reading this interview, please have a look at our quick video recapping the StudioLAB tour and my blog with some additional reporting and analysis.
Phil Harvey: We’re in a space called StudioLAB. Is it more of a studio or more of a lab?

Updated: Microsoft Azure’s southern U.S. data center goes down for hours, impacting Office365 and Active Directory customers

GeekWire  by on

Some Microsoft Azure customers with workloads running in its South Central US data center are having big problems coming back from the holiday weekend Tuesday, after shutdown procedures were initiated following a spike in temperature inside one of its facilities.

Around 230am Pacific Time, Microsoft identified problems with the cooling systems in one part of its Texas data center complex, which caused a spike in temperature and forced it to shut down equipment in order to prevent a more catastrophic failure, according to the Azure status page. These issues have also caused cascading effects for some Microsoft Office 365 users as well as those who rely on Microsoft Active Directory to log into their accounts.