Microsoft

Digital Transformation and What it Really Means for Business

It's impossible to pick up a business magazine or read an IT blog without seeing "Digital Transformation" in the headlines. And while it's garnering a lot of ink and pixels, many professionals aren't quite sure what this means for their business. When we need technology answers, we go right to Mike Balatzis. He's Red Level's Microsoft Solutions Manager and besides being a nice guy with a big brain, he talks in plain English so even the non-geeks can understand. We peppered him with a few questions about Digital Transformation and what it really means for business owners and executives. Here's the scoop. What is the Digital Transformation? In simple terms, every business is a Digital Business and the importance of [...]

You almost became the next Equifax. Did you even know? (Part 1 of 2)

While Equifax made global headlines with their cyber breach, IBM’s research has shown that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are the targets of 62% of all cyber attacks. That equates to 4,000 SMBs daily¹ – or in more context, nearly 1 in 4 (24.33%) of U.S. SMBs (excluding nonemployers) annually. While an attack on your organization may not create global headlines, the impact to your organization and its’ employees could be devastating. If it extends to your customers’ information and records, it could negatively impact them and shatter your reputation. How devestating? I’ll share a real-world example. […]

Smoothing the (Sometimes) Bumpy Path to the Cloud

For all of its entrepreneurial spirit and historical legacy of innovation, Southeast Michigan isn't Silicon Valley. This region built its business foundation on hardware, in the truest sense of the word - big factories, big machines, big cars - and lots of it. Given our mindset, a transition from a self-run, in-house IT infrastructure to the new and seemingly nebulous Cloud environment doesn't seem like the most natural move for many. Nonetheless, that's what Michigan businesses are doing - and they're doing it in droves. For many if not most companies, the Cloud question has become a matter of 'when,' not 'if.' Businesses are looking past their crowded, cable-filled server rooms and envisioning a future of fast, secure, accessible-anywhere applications, [...]

The Redmond Channel Partner Top 200: We’ll Feel At Home Here

Most of us are familiar with that special feeling that comes from time to time when you know you’re performing professionally at the top of your game. It’s beyond the sense of simply knowing you’re doing a good job – it’s the sense of hitting a home run, and being confident that you could immediately go out and do it again. That’s how I’m feeling about our Red Level team these days. Some recent news we received from Redmond Channel Partner, Microsoft’s knowledge-sharing site for Microsoft solution providers, is one of the main reasons why. We recently announced that Red Level had been named to Redmond Channel Partner’s “Top 200 Solution Providers” list, an annual index of the top 200 [...]

#WANNACRY: A Happy Accident Is ‘Holding Back The Tears’ – For Now

An unfortunate truth about computer security is that would-be hackers only have to be lucky once, but data security specialists have to be lucky always. Today, it’s looking like we’re very lucky indeed – if only for the moment. If you’ve been following the stories (and the near-panic) surrounding the #WannaCry ransomware attack and have been concerned about your own systems’ potential vulnerability, the good news is that a British malware specialist’s quick thinking and good luck seems to have bought you some time. For those who don’t know, #WannaCry is a particularly malignant bit of malware currently being spread through some highly sophisticated phishing emails. When these are read and acted upon, they trigger the download of an application that [...]

Here’s to Bright Ideas – And New Possibilities

As of today, Red Level is reaching an important milestone: We’re spending our last day in our old offices on Catherine Industrial Drive. Tomorrow, we begin a fresh, more expansive chapter in our story with our move to our new state-of-the-art offices in Novi. This new chapter takes us down the road to Grand River Ave. Our new offices are nearly triple the size of our former space, and boast not only a fresh new décor, but the latest game-changing technologies. I think we’re going to like it here. This move is the result of a lot of planning, a lot of deliberation, and a lot of hard work on the part of our team - and it signals a [...]

Don’t Be Afraid of the Cloud

I’m an old-school network guy. My career has been built meticulously architecting datacenters with the latest offerings on SANs, switches, servers, firewalls, and threat remediation. I read all of the articles that talked about how the cloud was the future and how it would change the landscape forever. In no way did I accept that any cloud offering would meet my high standards of performance or security. Then by virtue of a changing career path, I was afforded the time to learn the real truth about a concept I had completely dismissed. And as it turns out, it’s actually the most incredible platform that I was never able to architect myself. Microsoft has bridged the gap between my beloved on-premises [...]

Six Keys to Effective Project Management

Most projects are about change – and change is seldom easy. Both individual people and organizations seem hard-wired to resist it, and often for good reason: It’s often messy. It’s usually difficult. And however careful the planning, preparation, and execution beforehand, there is often a sense of uncertainty about the results – if not about the outcome, then about the response to it. Easy or not, though, change is necessary – and actually, it is inevitable. If there’s one thing that seems abundantly clear in our mobile, technology-driven, fast-paced world, it’s that nothing stands still for very long. Change is the environment we live in - whether purposeful and directed or accidental and chaotic. The choice becomes whether to resist [...]

We’re Microsoft’s Heartland Cloud Partner of the Year

Excuse me if I seem a little bit proud at the moment. I am. Red Level has been named as Microsoft USB Champions Club Heartland Cloud Partner of the Year for 2016. Not for the first time, or the second, but for the third year running. In 2014, Red Level was named Partner of the Year and for the past two consecutive years, Cloud Partner of the Year. A true “hat trick”. What does that mean, you ask? Well, if you’re not in our line of work, that title might not mean a lot to you, but from where we stand it means a lot. In essence, it means that our company has been selected for outstanding performance when it [...]