How to Successfully Migrate to Office 365

Making the move to Office 365 has become a bit of a no-brainer for modern businesses in recent years. The advantages of moving operations to the cloud—and the sheer availability of communication and business tools that can evolve as your needs do—are staggering. However, new systems means migration, which is a process that makes many business owners balk.

But migrating to Office 365 for your business in Maryland doesn’t have to be the headache you expect it to be! A prepared and well-equipped business can make the move without so much as missing a step, and today, we’re here to help you accomplish exactly that.

Maryland Computer Service has helped over 30 businesses throughout Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC make the move to Office 365 with no downtime! Our migration service can help you gain all of the advantages of a perfect move, guaranteed. Contact us online to learn more!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Office 365 Migration

Moving to Office 365, or making any migration successfully, is about preparedness, communication, and working with the right team. Take these steps, and you’re sure to be reaping the benefits of greater accessibility and productivity in no time:

  1. Understand what Office 365 can offer you specifically. There are many different plans when it comes to Office 365. Each is going to offer unique advantages and tools, and not all plans match up with everyone’s needs. Be sure that you understand the plans and services available to you, and choose accordingly.
  2. Do some asking around. Office 365 is rapidly becoming the standard in cloud based business operations, so you’ve likely got some business neighbors that have firsthand experience. Maryland Computer Service has helped dozens of businesses migrate to Office 365, and getting the opinions and insights of folks who have been through the migration can provide invaluable in helping you prepare for the coming move.
  3. Decide what to keep local. Microsoft hosted services offered through Office 365 are a massive advantage, but your comfort level is taken into consideration, too. If there are certain aspects of your business you prefer to keep on your side alone, or stored on site (data, networks, etc), you have that right. Though we will say that many businesses consider local security to be a good idea, we can honestly tell you that Microsoft security on the cloud is leagues ahead of most security and encryption systems.
  4. Work with the right migration service team. If you’re following along, you’ve likely already decided that Office 365 is your best bet for improved business function and growth. But no matter what the system and products can do for you, the number one thing you’re going to need during a migration is a team of experienced, certified professionals. Working with pros ensures minimal or zero downtime, and a flawless integration of 365 with your business. It’s your best option for a pain-free, benefits-only experience.

Migrate to Office 365 with a Certified Microsoft Partner

Maryland Computer Service is a Certified Microsoft Partner, as well as a small business specialist. We are uniquely equipped to provide peerless service when it comes to Office 365 migration and more!

If you’re ready to begin the transition to 365, our experts are ready to assist. Contact us today to learn more about our migration services, or call us (301) 202-6521 at to learn about the Office 365 plans we offer!

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

It’s the age of the Internet, and an increasing number of businesses are relocating critical information to the “cloud.” This move to cloud computing shifts business files, applications, and software from physical hard drives and computers to a virtual space on the Internet.

Most people in the modern world use cloud computing every day without realizing it. Transferring money into your bank account over the Internet? Paying bills online? Updating your social media status? These are all examples of cloud computing.

Reasons to Consider Cloud Computing for Your Business

If your business doesn’t yet utilize the cloud for storage, backup, and data access, consider all the benefits of cloud computing that you’re missing out on.

Flexibility

Fluctuating bandwidth or storage requirements are no problem when you utilize cloud computing. Obtain as little or as much storage space as your business requires, and only pay for what you need. This makes expanding or downsizing your business an easy endeavor and provides built-in future proofing.

Accessibility

Need to access an important work document from across town or while on vacation? It’s easy with cloud computing and an Internet-enabled device. Imagine the ability to work from anywhere and collaborate with telecommuting team members without needing to gather in the same office. The accessibility available with cloud computing is incredibly convenient and a huge time saver.

Security

When you lose your laptop or a hard drive gets stolen from your office, your concerns go well beyond paying to replace the hardware – you must also contend with losing the sensitive data stored on that device. Cloud computing ensures the survival of your data, no matter what happens to your computer. And if hardware gets into the wrong hands, you can remotely wipe data to prevent a security breach. Of course, cyber attacks pose a threat to data stored in the cloud, but with the right cyber security solutions in place, you have little to fear.

Disaster Recovery Options

Along with the importance of data security, you must also have a plan for data recovery following a disaster. From floods and fires that physically damage your office to viruses that corrupt your hard drive, you need a way to get your business back on its feet. With cloud computing, disaster recovery is built right in. This saves you time and money by speeding up the return to business as usual.
Cost Effectiveness

You can shape everything about cloud computing to meet your budgetary needs. First, only pay for the storage you require. Then, sign up for a low monthly subscription to gain access to an outsourced IT department. This prevents you from spending thousands of dollars a year on an in-house tech crew and new equipment. Software updates are even included with your subscription, so you’re not left to pay for these separately.

Eco-Friendliness

While cloud computing is primarily to help your business, it’s not an entirely selfish move. By keeping collaborative documents in a digital format, you cut back on in-office paper use. You can also scale down your server capacity, which cuts back on energy use and lowers your carbon footprint. You can even include your cloud computing venture on your list of “green” credentials for marketing and PR purposes.

Move Your MD, VA, or DC Business to the Cloud

Ready to take advantage of these benefits of cloud computing? The IT experts at Maryland Computer Service are here to set you up with the best cloud computing service for your business. Call us at (301) 202-6521 or contact us online to learn more about moving your network servers online with our cloud computing services!

How to Create a Virtual Network Using Microsoft Azure

Creating a virtual network using Microsoft Azure, is faster, and easier, than you might think. This cloud-based, virtual representation of your network is customizable, giving you full control over DNS settings, IP address blocks, route tables, and more.

Connect your Microsoft Azure virtual network to your on-site network with any of the secure, cross-premises connectivity options, including ExpressRoute, Point-to-Site, or Site-to-Site.

Before you begin creating your network, you’ll need to decide whether you want to work with Azure classic portal or Resource Manager, as there are some important differences between the two.

Resource Manager is recommended by Microsoft for all new resources, and where possible, to re-deploy existing resources.

Steps to Create a Virtual Network Using Microsoft Azure

To create a virtual network using Microsoft Azure, be sure to gather the following information prior to starting:

  • IP addresses and subnet range of your on-premises network.
  • IP addresses and subnet range of planned for your Azure network.
  • External IP address for the virtual private network (VPN) device.

Next, follow these steps to design your virtual network and link to your existing on-premises network.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal, using your Microsoft credentials.
  2. On the management portal, select Networks, and click “New.”
  3. Enter your information on the Virtual Network Details page, creating a unique name for your network, and choose the appropriate region before continuing to the next page.
  4. On the DNS Servers and VPN Connectivity page, choose Point-to-Site, or Site-to-Site configuration; you can enter the DNS name and IP address later, or Azure will, by default assign you some DNS servers to choose from. Site-to-Site connectivity connects your on-premises network to Azure.
  5. Upon choosing Site-to-Site configuration, proceed to the next page.
  6. Enter a name for the VPN device, and an external IP address.
  7. Enter the IP address and subnet range of your on-premises network, and proceed to the Virtual Network Address Spaces page.
  8. Once there, enter the IP address and subnet range of the new network, add the requisite subnets, and a gateway subnet.
  9. Click Create, to configure you network (this should only take a few minutes).
  10. Once your new Virtual Network appears, click on it, and explore, to make any necessary or desired edits.

Benefits of a Microsoft Azure Virtual Network

Azure provides a safe, reliable platform for virtual machines and applications, while allowing you to use private IP addresses, DNS servers, and more.

Additional benefits include:

  • Flexibility and scalability. Combine infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to build services and apps.
  • Access to the cloud. Extend your onsite IT environment to the cloud and choose from a number of connectivity options.
  • Greater control. Run virtual appliances, and create sophisticated network topologies with Azure, with more control over the design of your network.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Services in MD, DC & VA

More businesses than ever are moving their most critical software and applications to the cloud for enhanced security, greater storage capabilities, and remote access capabilities.

Maryland Computer Services helps businesses of all sizes migrate and launch these applications in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

For Microsoft Azure cloud services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, use the chat feature in the lower-left part of your desktop screen, give us a call, or contact us online!

One of our IT professionals will be happy to assist you with all of your IT needs.