KiZAN Blog

What Is Automation and How BPA Helps Your Business

Posted by Justin Kobel on Feb 16, 2017 1:01:36 PM


The inefficient, manual, repetitive task is engrained into the day-to-day operations of most businesses.  It manifests itself in a variety of ways. 

Here are a few of the most common: 

  • The cutting and pasting of data from one report into a spreadsheet in order to produce "the real" report
  • The upkeep and use of an obsolete system or software “because it contains valuable information”
  • The laborious reconciliation of timesheets, billings, expenses or “non-accounting” data
  • Unsecured paper/document-based messaging or communication workflows
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Topics: Automation, Business Process, Business Productivity

Windows Upgrades Have Never Been Easier

Posted by Curtiss Adams on Feb 14, 2017 3:00:00 PM

For many companies, upgrading operating systems across the organization can be a complex challenge.  Application and driver compatibility are two variables among many that must be thoroughly analyzed to successfully deploy windows upgrades. 


"The windows 7 upgrade was hard enough.... 
Why upgrade to Windows 10?

Windows upgrades are now simpler with Upgrade Analytics

The Upgrade Analytics tool is designed specifically to address uncertainties in the application and driver environment when upgrading to Windows 10.  

Comprehensive analysis of the technology landscape can be frustrating and time-intensive, but if the proper planning is not completed, then less than desirable outcomes are often achieved. 

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Topics: Windows 10, Microsoft Operations Management Suite, Upgrade Analytics

Your Operating System Could Be Killing Productivity

Posted by Curtiss Adams on Feb 14, 2017 12:33:40 PM

Generally speaking, companies must weigh the pros and cons of upgrading or updating any system.  It is accepted that physical assets such as machinery or equipment must be maintained at specific intervals.  

Furthermore, the projected end of life date is typically established at the time of purchase.  Equipment kept in use past its projected EOL requires additional maintenance and upkeep and often hampers productivity or increases risk and most companies would not dispute this fact. 

Software systems are no less critical.  Software applications and operating systems also have a projected EOL, but often the temptation to extend the service life of these assets is greater than for a piece of equipment that you can touch and feel. 

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Topics: Microsoft, Security, Windows 10

What Is a Cloud Application?

Posted by Brad Watson on Feb 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Much of the buzz surrounding all things “tech” now revolves around a single word: “Cloud.”  The “Cloud” is everywhere. The “Cloud” is all-knowing.  The “Cloud” is curing the diseases that science did not even know existed.  “Cloud Cloud Cloud!”  

The “Cloud” is surrounded with so much marketing hype we may rightly expect to be awestruck when we come into contact with it.  In reality, the cloud is becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives in ways that probably go unnoticed.

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Topics: Azure, Mobile Applications, Custom App Development, PaaS

Lessons in Disaster: 5 Excuses That Will Kill Your Business

Posted by Joe Kipp on Feb 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Disasters, we all want to avoid them, but sometimes it is impossible. The best we can do is have a solid plan to recover, rebuild and limit the damage when disaster strikes.

We do this in our personal lives, but when it comes to our business, we tend to procrastinate and make excuses. No one seems to think it can happen to them, then a tornado, hurricane, fire or other catastrophic event wipes out their company.

Most business cannot survive if their systems are down for a few hours, not to mention days, weeks or months.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity

Disaster Recovery - 5 Ways OMS Will Save Your Bacon

Posted by Joe Kipp on Feb 2, 2017 4:42:23 PM

As the technology demands of today's business environments expand, protecting both virtual and physical assets becomes an increasingly complex matter.  As such, multiple disaster recovery solutions are often required to address the entire technology infrastructure. 

However, this added complexity adds cost and creates doubt as to whether the DR solutions will actually work as intended when everything "hits the fan."

Microsoft's Operations Management Suite (OMS) eliminates the complexity and offers a comprehensive disaster recovery solution for VMware, Hyper-V, and physical servers to analyze, manage, and protect your business. 

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Topics: Azure, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity

What is Automation and How Should We Plan?

Posted by Brandon Stephenson on Jan 30, 2017 10:26:20 AM

Answering Automation - Project Planning Questions

In this series, we set out to answer some common strategic and project questions about Automation. In the previous blog posts, we’ve talked about what automation is, and how to decide what functions and processes should be automated. Now we are going to tackle project planning questions, or issues that come up once you the target of automation is chosen, such as:

Where do you start?
How far do you go?
How do you know when you are done (at least for the moment)?

Previously, we’ve talked about some broad concepts, but these questions are a little more narrow and practical.
Let’s dig in!

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Topics: Azure, Automation, Business Process

Why Build Apps in the Cloud?

Posted by Mike Branstein on Jan 25, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Application development is tough. reported the typical development time for an iOS app to be 12 weeks, and that does not include the time needed to research, plan, or develop the scope properly.  Nor does it factor in development time for “other” necessary mobile or desktop environments. 

Suffice it to say, the complexity of the business requirement is proportional to the development time and resources needed to complete the project.  Therefore, it is incumbent for companies to gain efficiencies from all available avenues in order to “go to market” within the window of profitability the business case requires. 

Developing your app in the cloud can provide these efficiencies.

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Topics: Custom App Dev, Azure, Mobile App Development

5 Reasons Why Azure PaaS Matters

Posted by Mike Branstein on Jan 25, 2017 8:30:00 AM

What is PaaS?

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a complete development and deployment ecosystem for the cloud.  

PaaS hides the complexity and need to manage the underlying infrastructure.  With PaaS, businesses can avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing the disparate software licenses and the underlying application infrastructure and simply manage the applications and services they develop.

For example, PaaS services on Azure include:

  • Web servers
  • File storage
  • Message queues and service buses
  • Machine learning services
  • Big data services
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Topics: Azure, Platform-as-a-Service, PaaS

What is Automation and What Should We Automate?

Posted by Brandon Stephenson on Jan 23, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Answering Automation - What should we Automate?

In our last blog article (What is Automation?), we talked about some of the broad, common questions about tackling an automation initiative in IT. We said that automation is the use of applications, integrations, and runbooks to configure solutions that remove manual work from IT, and that is important because it reduces costs, improves accuracy, and overall improves the customer experience.

We also broke out automation into three buckets:

  1. Apps, which are tools that automate some work in a standard way.
  2. Integrations, which let systems talk to each other and perform automation that way.
  3. Runbooks, which take a complex process and work through it in multiple technologies from end to end.
Now, we are going to tackle the next big question:   “How do we select what we are going to automate?”

Read More

Topics: Azure, Automation, Business Process

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