Advance2000 Blog

Seamless Real-Time Collaboration

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Our Building Information Model (BIM) Cloud Computing solution can optimize thedesign process while reducing costs and increasing productivity for yourbusiness. Top five benefits to joining our BIMPrivate Datacenter include:   

• Seamless Collaboration

Higher Productivity

Superior Security

Enhanced Sustainability

LOWER COST!

 

AEC B2B Project Cloud

(Cloud Computing, AEC Collaboration Hub) Permanent link

Facilitating Real-Time Collaboration; Teresa James, Cloud CIO Advance2000

ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) is one of the largest events for the design and construction industry in the country, and the largest regional conference and tradeshow. The building industry varies dramatically from region-to-region due to issues of climate, geography, politics and economics. ABX and the Boston Society of Architects help build long-term relationships around these shared experiences and challenges. ABX offers new ways to work and collaborate, and new tools to help you push the boundaries of design and stay competitive.  

Hear from Teresa James- Cloud CIO at Advance2000, about Advance2000 AEC B2B Project Cloud – Facilitating Real-Time Collaboration.


Everyday project teams internally and externally spend time waiting for data to be sent back and forth. Files are passed individual to individual, firm to firm. Large AEC files are resent multiple times due to corruptions or constantly retrieving/ syncing new datasets. Deadlines have to be extended due to technology hiccups or information is delayed and uncoordinated. Come learn how an AEC B2B Project Cloud changes this workflow improving a project team’s productivity, mobility and deliverance on time and under budget.

Teresa James is a Cloud CIO at Advance2000, a full-service IT engineering firm specializing in cloud computing. Her roots started in technology education and progressed to IT leadership.  In her 25+ years in information systems nothing makes her more excited than managing and developing solutions in the AEC industry where her last 17 years have been focused. She utilizes the Advance2000 cloud daily from the Boston area while the heart of the operation resides in Buffalo, NY.  Ms. James can be reached at tjames@advance2000.com or on LinkedIn, linkedin.com/in/tjjames.

Are you ready for High Performance?

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Are you ready for High Performance?

TEN Advantages to Joining the Private Cloud

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01. ACCESSIBILITY 

  • Anytime, Anywhere.
  • Work or acquire talent from anywhere at any given time.
  • Increases workforce mobility thus leading to increased productivity.

02. REAL-TIME COLLABORATION   

  • Reduces costly errors.
  • Creates efficiency.
  • Expedites deliverables.
  • Saves money.

03. STABILITY 

  • Zero down time.  We have applied our expertise and constructed our data center to have zero down time.  100% Up-time SLA.
  • Allow for all size firms to realize the same benefits as enterprise organizations by taking advantage of our resilient infrastructure set up.
  • Electrical redundancy/ cooling/ monitoring/ backup.

04. LATEST TECHNOLOGY 

  • Always using and having access to the latest technology and software.  
  • We will manage and upgrade your software.
  • Not like traditional IT, where your investment starts depreciating from Day1.  Your technology and software are continually upgraded to the latest approved releases.

05. ELIMINATE IT CAPITAL EXPENDITURES  

  • Your budget is predetermined and predictable through an OPEX model.

06. QUICKER DEPLOYMENT TO MARKET

07. AGILITY 

  • Quick upgrades with zero down time for any software demanding increased hardware capacity.  

08. MANAGING & MONITORING YOUR ASSETS  

  • Allows you to focus on your core business.
  • We do it for you.  
  • No need to build your own server room.  This can be costly.  The costs of cooling, electricity, managing, maintaining, etc.
  • Secure, Reliable infrastructure.
  • Experienced Team of over 140 IT professionals.
  • Eliminate any risk to your backup.  We backup your data on multiple platforms in various locations ensuring its safety.
  • 24/7/365 Support.

09. ELASTICITY  

  • Cloud-based as well as computing IT services can be quickly and easily scaled up to any size for your project needs.

10. WE ARE THE IT GRID FOR YOU!

The Advance2000 Cloud For Your Business

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Williamsville East Football Program Ad

Advance2000 Cloud Computing: Collaboration & Innovation

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How the Advance2000 Cloud can benefit your company by promoting collaboration and innovation for your clients.
 
Cloud Computing with Advance2000 is ideal for organizations who desire to:   

  • Increase computing power and performance while reducing costs
  • Collaborate seamlessly between offices or other firms in REAL-TIME
  • Manage computer upgrades
  • Eliminate the hidden cost of trickle down upgrades (computers passed from person to person)
  • Increase mobility for work: 
    o from home
    o from the job site
    o between multiple offices (or firms) working on the same project simultaneously with no file sharing and without Revit Server, network accelerators or other file sharing services.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) Solutions

(Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) Permanent link

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Solutions

Advance2000 100% Accountability Culture

(About Advance2000) Permanent link

Our definition of Accountability: Doing what you said you would do, as you said you would do it, when you said you would do it - period!

A company must run like a well-oiled machine to maximize profits and stay competitive.

Therefore, specific tools, efficient systems and disciplined processes must be implemented to create a highly productive work environment.

Part of the culture we build here at Advance2000 stems from Accountability. At the end of the day, we all need to be accountable, in our personal and professional lives.

All employees who work for Advance2000 know that we expect:

100% accountability
100% of the time
By all and for all;
We pay for results!


Excuses, placing blame and whining are unacceptable!

To permanently eliminate surprises of non–performances, the moment one knows that a commitment will be missed, the obligation is:

1. TALK (no e-mail or no voice mail) to the person whom the commitment was made.
2. PROVIDE at least two viable solutions to meet the original goal- that will need the person’s approval. (If approval is not needed –then take the appropriate action without approval).

Three ideas that when applied immediately, will improve your personal results and those of the employees of your company:

1. Delegate work more effectively.
2. Enhance effective communication.
3. Eliminate the words “I’ll try” from your vocabulary.

By applying these facets in your daily work and life, you will be a much more successful in your workplace and in your personal life. The results begin to trickle to everyone. Your clients, friends, family and customers notice the difference.

Improving Patient Care: Integrated Communications in Healthcare

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A2K ALU South Jersey Healthcare Foundation Ball Ad 2013

Anytime, Anywhere Access: Cloud Computing

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THIS is Cloud Computing – The ability to work where ever you want to.

Chances are you have already used a cloud based program today. If you checked your gmail, streamed a Youtube video or logged into Facebook then you have already accessed information stored in a cloud.
Anytime, Anywhere Access

We are moving to an interconnected "world of many clouds". This will give people access to services any time, on any device, anywhere in the world..

Today’s advances in communications and networking capabilities offer organizations unlimited opportunities to create a business advantage by conducting business by using multiple types of devices and communications anytime, anywhere: From Home, On the Move, From the Park, In the Café, On the Beach.

By providing on-demand access to applications and resources anywhere, cloud computing offers businesses significant cost savings, operational scalability, and an accelerated time to market. Now you can “go mobile” and work on projects anywhere your clients take you.

To learn more about Advance2000's Cloud Computing Solutions, contact us today.

Overcome Your IT Challenges

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Gain Profitability and Productivity with Advance2000 Cloud Computing.

IT Challenges….
1.  Aging Network Equipment Running Old Software (i.e. Servers Running Microsoft 2003)
2.  No offsite backup or storage capabilities (i.e. No Disaster Recovery Capabilities)
3.  Older Voice System with Limited capabilities
     (i.e.  Seven year old voice system – no collaboration, mobility, and call management features)
4.  Major pending desktop investment (i.e. Desktop Lease expiring within 90 days)
5.  Limited IT engineering resources (i.e. One employee with limited application and network experience)

With Advance2000 Cloud Computing…
1. Your Server Hardware is Always Refreshed
2. Complete Availability as Your Data is Always Protected
3. State of the Art Telephony that will greatly improve your Collaboration
4. Latest and greatest desktops - No more sudden investments  
5. Expert Resources at your finger-tips

Advance2000 Culture & Values

(About Advance2000) Permanent link

  • We are a high performance organization committed to collective growth and success of everyone - our customers, our vendors and our organization.

  • We are customer service-centric organization that believes that the best service comes from employing the best people.

  • We provide the highest levels of customer service and consider our customers’ success as our own.

  • We believe in everyone’s openness, input, mentorship, mutual respect, teamwork, and leadership regardless of titles – at Advance2000 you don’t have to have a title to be a leader.

  • We practice sustainability throughout all levels of our organization from facility management to encouraging employee health.

Enhancing Integrated Communications in Healthcare

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Advance2000 provides dynamic communication solutions that transform traditional institutional care into proactive, patient-centered healthcare.  By securely and efficiently connecting healthcare professionals, patients and families, we offer solutions from telemedicine and real-time communications to wireless and bedside communications. We assist healthcare organizations by improving patient care through advanced connectivity. Our dedicated healthcare team provides healthcare solutions to increase your productivity, help drive improved patient care, and lower costs. Our healthcare customers include integrated delivery networks, hospitals, physician practices, not‑for‑profit organizations, and medical device manufacturers. To learn more about Advance2000 Healthcare Solutions visit our Healthcare Page.

Optimization Tips for AutoCAD in the Advance2000 Cloud

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Running AutoCAD in the Advance2000 Cloud is a little bit different than working on a physical desktop. In the Advance2000 Cloud, visual changes on your AutoCAD desktop, particularly mouse and cursor actions, are sent back through the wire to your physical computer and monitor. Accordingly, there are AutoCAD settings that can minimize the amount of screen “chattiness” for a faster experience in the Advance2000 Cloud; this blog post describes the most useful settings:


Optimization Tip #1 | CursorSize

Set AutoCAD crosshair size (CURSORSIZE) to a small value.  CURSORSIZE value is expressed as percentage of screen, from 1 - 100%.  Avoid large or full size crosshairs, this setting alone significantly impacts cursor action and performance.

Default:  5
Command line:  CURSORSIZE   4
Dialog Box:  Options > Display > Crosshair size > 4


Optimization Tip #2 | 3D Object Snap

Turn off 3D Object Snap unless actually needed.

Command Line:  3DOSMODE  1
Dialog Box:  DSettings > 3D Object Snap > uncheck all > uncheck “3D Object Snaps On”
Shortcuts:   F4 + same settings as above, or dehighlight 3D Object Snap button on status bar.


Optimization Tip #3 | Selection Preview

Controls when objects are highlighted when moving cursor around.  Highlighting objects and applying highlight “effects” slows down the display.  Recommend setting highlight only when a command is active. Also see PREVIEWEFFECT below.

Command Line:  SELECTIONPREVIEW  2   (preview only occurs when a command is active)
Dialog Box:   Options > Selection > Selection Preview > only check on “When a command is active”.


Optimization Tips #4  #5  #6

PREVIEWEFFECT  0  - set simple “dash” highlight mode when mousing over objects, instead of slower display modes.

SELECTIONANNODISPLAY   0  -  turns off temporary dimmed display of annotative object scales.

VTENABLE  0  -  turns off display of View Transition styles, which are unnecessary.


We hope that these six Optimization Tips for AutoCAD will prove useful in optimizing your AutoCAD experience in the Advance2000 Cloud. There are numerous other unique tips and techniques that can enhance performance when engaged in specific editing and modeling functions in AutoCAD. AEC customers will gain access to the full set of AutoCAD optimization tips and techniques when transitioning to the Advance2000 Cloud.

No matter the size of your business, we have a solution that will guarantee faster project delivery and easier collaboration. Contact Us Today


Advance2000 BIM Cloud Computing Q & A

(Cloud Computing, Building Information Modeling (BIM)) Permanent link

Advance2000 BIM Cloud provides a high performance solution for your graphical work stations. The collaborative nature of the Advance2000 BIM Cloud improves collaboration between designers, architects, and contractors. Our experience providing Private Cloud Solutions to the AEC market has led us to evolve and grow the Advance2000 BIM Cloud to better serve your needs.  Here are some Q & A’s about the Advance2000 BIM Cloud Computing. 

Q: How does the Cloud affect rendering performance?
A: Rendering is all about having enough CPU to churn through the calculations. Clients that do a lot of rendering will have dedicated remote nodes. If you want to render on the workstation you also design on, there are ways to keep the rendering programs at a lower priority so that when a worker needs the computer, they get it.

Q: How does the Cloud affect the ability to use third party applications, such as Revit add-on apps?

A: So, long as the third-party app will technically run over a Cloud connection and the third-party EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) allows you to do that, then there is no difference. Advance2000's Private Cloud is just like having your own IT infrastructure. Whatever you can do in your office, you can do in the Cloud.

Q: What is the pricing model for Advance2000 BIM Cloud?

A: Since Advance2000 offers a “Private Cloud” using standard building blocks, your BIM Cloud Solution will be unique to your company. As such, the prices will vary greatly depending on the capabilities, size, storage, circuits, phones, applications, etc. It is difficult to compare apples to apples at the component level, but you will see significant cost savings while increasing your capabilities by consolidating your IT.

Q: Is a network license needed?
A: You have to look at the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) from the software manufacturer that you want to run in the Cloud. Some of the EULA’s are OK with this, others are not. They want to make sure you don’t buy one license and then have 10 people use it. If you are asking about Autodesk’s Revit, then yes, their EULA requires a firm to have their Revit licenses on a network licensing model. They can track usage this way and don’t really care where you actually run Revit. Related to this question is location-based software that requires some sort of HW key. Assuming the EULA is OK, then we have various ways to pass HW (USB usually) keys to a remote desktop but we’d have to test it. The license server can be in our Cloud or at your office. Your Cloud workstations just need to be able to “see” the license server either via a private circuit or VPN.

Q: How does printing back at the local office that is connecting to the datacenter work? The plotter in all cases would reside in the local office.
A: Advance2000 does this all the time. The print server in the Cloud spools to your local plotter, printers or multi-function copiers. Going from Cloud workstation to Cloud print server is fast (just like being in a local office). Our “Clouded” offices only have a Cloud access device (like a laptop, desktop, or iPad), network switch, maybe a router, printers, and a phone handset.


Advance2000: Intelligent, High Performance, Secure, Computing for Your Business

(Cloud Computing) Permanent link

 

Advance2000 Computing for Your Business

Advance2000 Private Cloud Computing Provides...

(Cloud Computing) Permanent link

...greater agility and improved performance, redundancy, security and collaboration. Advance2000 Private Cloud Computing solutions can optimize your business to make it more agile, mitigate risk and reduce costs. By hosting your IT infrastructure in ‘the cloud’, you can perform all of your critical business functions from anywhere with a secure internet connection. Reasons why business owners benefit from the Advance2000 Private Cloud:

Virtualization – Virtualization drives utilization of your hardware up tremendously thus allowing to afford better performing hardware. Also, in the event of failure, virtualization provides real-time migration of servers or desktops to keep your system availability and people utilization high.

Agility – Deploying your technology faster achieves faster business results.  If a system is already built in the cloud, we just add users.  Otherwise, you have to design-build-deploy a new system and that takes time.  

Cost – IT costs scale exponentially when it is distributed into all your offices.  In the cloud, they scale linearly by taking advantage of consolidation and economies of scale. The Advance2000 Private Cloud reduces your large capital acquisitions and provides more IT capabilities.

Mobility – How many individuals are confined to their office?  Workers want to be able to work anywhere and anytime.  The cloud keeps your IT infrastructure stationary so your people can go mobile.  If we can push a high performance workstation into a datacenter, we can push any application into the datacenter.

Data Centralization – Having all your IT assets in the Advance2000 datacenter rather than scattered around multiple offices provides a huge advantage.  Most businesses are sitting on terabytes of information that is hard to find and use.  The cloud allows us to bring people to the data, rather than the other way around.

Regulatory Compliance & Security – This is very expensive, time consuming and requires constant vigilance.  The Advance2000 Private Cloud is able to pass the regulatory hurdles and each business in the cloud does not have to bear the full brunt of the cost.

Business Continuity – Very basic question, does your computer need electricity to run?  Are all your offices on generator with backup air conditioning? Most are not, but Advance2000 Private Clouds provides this basic level of reliability.

Strategic IT – Your IT strategy and architecture must reinforce IT as a key enabler for your business growth closely aligning with your business vision to promote innovation and improve service quality. The Private Cloud is the way to make a business better, faster, and cost efficient.

Industries In Our Cloud

(Cloud Computing) Permanent link

High Performance Cloud Computing for Your Business.
Advance2000 can deliver comprehensive IT solutions to optimize productivity so that any industry can operate at its highest performance. We are an early adopter and a leading provider of Private Cloud Computing solutions. Our experience, paired with our state-of-the-art data center, allows our customers to take advantage of this service and dramatically improve their business agility, productivity and reduce costs.

Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC)
We understand the complexities of the AEC industry. Our Private BIM Cloud supercharges a firm's IT, and provides a way for teams to work together more effectively. As Advance2000 BIM Cloud users become proficient working in this new environment,they can include their partners, consultants and owners. A firm can even invite consultants to work within their own Private BIM Cloud.

Education
Advance2000 provides industry leading IT solutions to public and private schools. Technology provides the support and challenge required to keep students engaged and motivated and empowers them to reach their potential. Our Education Solutions, such as Hosted/On Premise VoIP or Virtual Desktops/Servers, widen access to resources in a cost-effective way, improve collaboration between institutions, open new avenues for connecting knowledge, lower costs, and easy-to manage, solutions.

Government
Budget pressures force government organizations to seek more cost-effective ways to provide services to their constituents and mission partners. Emerging innovations in Information Technology and Communications (IT&C), such as secure Private Cloud Computing communications and GIS, can help achieve savings and expand the effectiveness of operations.

Healthcare
We offer solutions to provide healthcare organizations with IT solutions that will reduce costs, increase efficiency and drive higher quality patient care. Advance2000’s Private Cloud Computing solutions can host all of your practice’s data in a secure environment that is fully equipped with all necessary redundancy to guarantee that your information is always available to you. Our cloud can host your Electronic Medical Records (EMR), your fully integrated phone system and all of your network and desktop solutions.

Legal, Insurance & Financial
Advance2000’s Private Cloud Computing solutions are ideal for use in the legal, insurance and financial industries because they offer a safe and complete IT solution without the capital expense of installing it on premise. By utilizing the mobility of our Cloud Computing solution, your associates can access their desktops from any secure internet connection, allowing them the flexibility to be productive no matter where their work takes them. We successfully service hundreds of Attorneys on-site and in our Cloud.

Manufacturing, Distribution & Logistics
In the manufacturing, distribution and logistics business, it is extremely important to have real-time data available in order to make important decisions regarding your business. With Advance2000’s Cloud Computing Solutions, you can connect all of your facilities, trucks and systems together for maximum operational efficiency and optimization. When you need to deliver your goods on time and at a low cost, you need an IT solution that will provide you with real-time information and operational efficiency. Advance2000 has many solutions to make your organization flexible and agile.

To learn more about how Advance2000's Private Cloud Computing can optimize your business, contact us today.

Start Using our Cloud Today!

(Cloud Computing) Permanent link

Try the Cloud Free demo accounts that allow you to "kick the tires."
Use the Cloud Do a small, proof-of-concept project with minimal commitment.
Embrace the Cloud Formulate your cloud strategy to move more projects & IT to our cloud. 

Cloud Demo Request 
 
Your business will benefit from Advance2000’s Private Cloud Computing Solutions by:

  • IT Cost Savings
  • Real-Time Collaboration 
  • Data Centralization
  • High Performance
  • Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
  • IT Staff Redundancy 
  • Secure/Mobile
  • Enhanced Productivity

Advance2000 BIM and The Cloud

(AEC Collaboration Hub) Permanent link

Advance2000 AEC Collaboration Hub

The Advance2000 AEC Collaboration Hub is a network of BIM Clouds that allows every firm on the building design team to collaborate in real-time, as if they were sitting in the same physical office.  

Our Private BIM Cloud supercharges a firm's IT, and provides a way for teams to work together more effectively.  As Advance2000 BIM Cloud users become proficient working in this new environment, they can now include their partners, consultants and owners.  A firm can even invite consultants to work within their own private BIM Cloud.  

Advance2000 is rapidly growing an ecosystem of AEC firms working together in our Collaboration Hub.  Any firm with a BIM Cloud within the Advance2000 AEC Collaboration Hub can easily "connect" their Cloud to any other firm to securely and efficiently collaborate on a project.

Advance2000 Cloud Computing Solutions

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Advance2000 Cloud Computing solutions optimize your business to have greater agility, redundancy, security, scalability, collaboration and overall efficiency.

A2K Cloud Computing Diagram Blog Post

Advance2000 Private Cloud Computing Benefits

(Cloud Computing) Permanent link

IT High-Rise:  A private cloud is much like a high-rise office condo.  When you need office space, you have choices to either build/operate your own building or to rent space in a pre-existing building.  A private cloud now gives you the option to rent your entire IT organization just like office space for many of the same reasons.

Reduced Costs: Cloud Computing reduces your hardware, networking management and overall IT expenses. In addition, with cloud computing, you pay for what you use. It’s quite possible to double your IT capabilities for half the cost.

Scalability: When an organization has outgrown its solution and they start to spend time trying to make the solution fit a need, or they’ve reached scalability capacity, not only does the business owner need to consider the infrastructure expense or capital investment but also the costs associated with maintenance. An organization can scale business’ storage needs seamlessly with Cloud Computing rather than having to go out and purchase expensive programs or hardware.

Real-Time Collaboration: All members of a project can work on files and collaborate in real time from any location.  No more copying files back and forth and waiting for someone to work on them.  These workers can be in your company, or you can collaborate with workers in an outside firm.  Even large, multi-billion dollar companies that have their own private cloud, find it more cost-effective to do projects in our cloud due to the “network of private clouds” with which they can connect to collaborate.  They realize they don’t want to be the IT shop for all their collaboration partners and rely on Advance2000 to do that.  It is our opinion that this capability will be the biggest reason firms adopt a cloud strategy.

Mobility:  When all your workstations, servers, applications are in a centralized data center, you are free to travel about the country with only a cloud access device (e.g. tablet, laptop, terminal, etc.).  This strategy also gives you office space mobility.  Have you ever moved your office only to discover moving your entire IT infrastructure causes a huge business disruption?  With your IT in a private cloud, it doesn’t move when your firm grows.  Office relocation is a snap.

Security: With your company’s data safely stored on secure data centers instead of your server room, losing power due to hurricanes, earthquakes or a construction worker cutting the power lines, you are back at work as long as you have an internet connection.   Advance2000 also has business process and regulations “clouded” so you don’t have to go through the long and costly process of HIPAA or SSAE16 certifications.

Centralization: 10 offices of data spread out all over the US are much hard to manage (and more costly) than 1 data center where all you data is located.  With centralized data, you can leverage your investments in SAN technology (for backup/redundancy) as well as provide high performing tools to access/manipulate the data.

Enterprise IP Telephony: Every business has a phone system and if you are large enough you will have an in-house PBX.  With a “cloud PBX” service that is part of your private cloud, you no longer need expense T1 lines in all your offices to deliver dialtone.  We use a centralized SIP circuit to deliver dialtone to all our customers.  Our phone service has a near zero capital outlay and it’s quite possible to have the savings you receive by shutting off your T1’s pay for the new cloud phone service.

Next Generation Wide Area Network: Many firms with multiple offices connect them by either a VPN over a public internet or a “fully meshed” private MPLS network.  MPLS was needed to gain access to IT resources located in multiple offices.  Once your IT is centralized into one datacenter, the need for a costly MPLS network goes away.  Now our clients can take advantage of high-bandwidth metro Ethernet circuits directly from their office to our datacenter.  Switching from MPLS to Metro Ethernet it is possible to see 5x+ more bandwidth for 30-50% less cost.  In addition, we are replacing expensive routers with switches in this network to save even more money.  A private cloud allows you to take advantage of these new and cost-effective network technologies.

IT Labor: You need highly skilled (and highly paid) individuals to keep your IT running.  Our private cloud optimizes the skilled labor you have so they are as efficient as possible and are leveraged over a larger customer base.  With a private cloud, you get “people redundancy”.  How protected are you if your key IT staff leaves the company or takes a vacation?  A cloud gives you a team of professionals to keep your business running 24x7 no matter who is on vacation.

Economies of Scale: Advance2000 buys IT in bulk which drives down the units costs we can pass along to our customers.  For example, we buy 300TB of storage at a time and the unit cost for 1TB of storage is very low.  If our customers would go out to buy 1TB of storage, their unit cost for that 1TB would be much higher.  We have this buying power in all aspects of IT and pass along the savings to our customers.  Even a firm has enough money to build their own private cloud, they are building for say 200 people.  We’re building a cloud for 10,000+ people and they quickly realize the savings potential.

Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery: Virtualization is an IT best practice to improve your system availability.  You can’t make money when your systems are down.  With all your IT in a cloud data center, you have everything running on generator, multiple HVAC units, multiple servers to provide high-availability to your virtual servers and desktops.  Most SMB’s have no ability to build/maintain this environment.  It allows small firms to gain access to the IT best practices just like the big boys.

Advance2000 Private Cloud Computing enables your business to have greater speed, agility, high performance, redundancy, security, scalability, collaboration and overall efficiency.

The Advance2000 AEC Collaboration Hub

(AEC Collaboration Hub) Permanent link

LinkedIn Group: “Advance2000 AEC Collaboration Hub”
Advance2000 BIM Cloud clients may join this private LinkedIn Group to connect with one another.  So, when a Dallas Architect is looking for a Structural Engineer that knows Revit and is on our cloud, this forum is where they go to answer that question. This LinkedIn Group is for current Advance2000 private cloud clients. Members of this group are in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. These firms can not only network with each other on LinkedIn, but they can connect their clouds to collaborate in real-time on projects. Any employee from our clients' firm will be admitted. If you'd like to join this group and you are not currently a client, please call 800-238-2621 or submit a request on www.advance2000.com to become a private cloud client. Join the LinkedIn Group: Advance2000 AEC Collaboration Hub Today!

AECBytes Article: AEC Collaboration Hub, by Chris France, President, Advance2000 NC
AECbytes is an online publication launched by Dr. Lachmi Khemlani in Nov 2003. It is focused on researching, analyzing, and reviewing technology products and services for the building industry. Every month, it publishes various articles including newsletters covering conferences and shows, reviews of products, feature articles profiling case studies of firms and projects that showcase the use of technology, viewpoint articles featuring contributions from industry leaders, and tips and tricks authored by experts in individual AEC applications. Now that the AEC industry has embraced BIM Cloud Computing, it’s now possible to “join” their BIM Clouds for real-time collaboration.  Check out our AECBYTES “Building the Future” Article (May 15, 2012) for more detailed information.

Meetup: RocCity Revit User Group

(Building Information Modeling (BIM)) Permanent link

Advance2000 is proud to support the RocCity Revit User Group!

The RocCity Revit User Group was created to provide a venue to discuss, learn and contribute knowledge about BIM technology, specifically the Autodesk Revit technology (all disciplines) in Rochester, NY and the surrounding areas. Each meeting offers a chance to network with other users and learn more about this parametric technology and how to use it effectively for Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations. At the RocCity-RUG meetings topics range from business issues to production; allowing experts and those just getting started to learn and contribute in a focused environment. The meetings bring timely, valuable, practical information about Revit with a real world focus.

For more information about The RocCity Revit User Group's calendar, discussion forums, member registration, photo gallery and more, visit: Meetup: The RocCity Revit User Group.


Everyday Examples of a Cloud you use all the time…

(Cloud Computing) Permanent link

People are having a very hard time wading through all the hype of “cloud computing”.  Most of the problem is because we are dealing with abstract concepts in a virtual world (ie. things happening inside a computer).   Here are a few examples of a cloud that currently exist in the physical economy.  Guess you never looked at it like this before, eh?

Home Cloud – A designer creates your home first in his mind, then on paper.  A General contractor acquires a team to build it and uses a wide variety of building products (granite, tile, wood, dry wall, etc) to complete the finished product.  They sell you the house and hand you the keys.
   
Car Cloud – A designer creates your car first in her mind, then on paper.  A manufacturer acquires a team to build it and uses a wide variety of products (tires, steel, rubber, plastic) to complete the finished product.  They sell you the car and hand you the keys.
   
Jet Cloud – A designer creates your jet first in his mind, then on paper.  A manufacturer acquires a team to build it and uses a wide variety of products (aluminum, titanium, rubber, plastic) to complete the finished product.  They sell you the jet and hand you the keys.   Oh, it’s too hard for the average Joe to fly a jet?  A service provider pops up to give you a ride.
   
Electricity Cloud – A designer creates your power plant first in her mind, then on paper.  A General contractor acquires a team to build it and uses a wide variety of building products (copper, silver, steel, etc) to complete the finished product.  They sell the plant to the Utility and hand over the keys.  Utility sells power to you over a wire.
   
Phone Cloud – A designer creates your phone first in his mind, then on paper.  A Manufacturer acquires a team to build the phone and the network to connect phones.  Then uses a wide variety of products (wires, plastic, computer chips, speakers, microphones, etc) to complete the finished product.  They sell you the phone and send you a monthly bill for the service.
   
Office Building Cloud – A designer creates your office building first in his mind, then on paper.  A General contractor acquires a team to build it and uses a wide variety of building products (marble, tile, wood, dry wall, etc) to complete the finished product.  They sell you the office building and hand you the keys.  Oh, if it’s too hard for the average Joe to build an office building?  A service provider pops up to rent you space in the office building that they manage and own.
   
Business Information Technology Cloud (aka Private Cloud) – all the computer systems that you need to operate your business.  A designer creates your IT first in his mind, then on paper.  A systems integrator (GC and/or manufacturer) acquires a team to build it and uses a wide variety of building products (generators, computers, monitors, databases, servers, etc) to complete the finished product.  They sell you the IT or Private Cloud (btw “IT” is too boring a word so we jazz it up and call it a cloud) and hand you the keys.   Oh, if it’s too hard for the average Joe to build an IT shop?  A service provider pops up to rent you space in the private cloud that they manage and own (Advance2000).  And you get to it over a wire.

Because of the advances in fiber optics, it no longer makes sense to own/operate your IT systems.  Like all manufacturing methods—the more volume you have, the lower the costs to consumers.  The higher volume you have in cloud consumers, the lower the costs.  You can grow your business faster once you look at your IT like any other asset or service you acquire.  You have to ask yourself “what business am I in”?  Today, if I said every business must build their own power plant to be successful, you would think I’m crazy.  One day it will be just as crazy to build your own IT shop in order to be successful.  And for most businesses, that day has come.  -Chris France, President Advance2000 NC

Advance2000 Cloud University Webinars

(Webinar) Permanent link

Advance2000 is now offering a series of educational webinars called “Cloud University” to help businesses and IT leaders understand how modern technology improvements are changing and challenging some of the traditional IT thinking. Advance2000 Cloud University Webinars will occur on the third Wednesday of every month. No, you won’t have to pay any tuition, just come ready to learn!

 Various topics that will be discussed at our Cloud University Webinars include:

  • BIM Cloud Computing
  • AEC Collaboration
  • Enterprise Telephony and Integrated Communications
  • IT Outsourcing
  • Video Conferencing
  • IT Infrastructure

In our inaugural Advance2000 Cloud University Webinar, on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT, we will explore Enterprise Telephony and Integrated Communications. We will investigate the various capabilities that are now available: Integrated Messaging, Unified Communication, IP Telephony, and SIP trunks. You'll also learn the comparison between "hardware" and "software" PBX solutions (e.g. Cisco, Shoretel, Alcatel-Lucent, and Microsoft), as well as hosted voice solutions. Learn how some firms are using these technologies to offset the cost of a new system to get a "free" communications system. To Register for the Advance2000 Cloud University Webinar: Enterprise Telephony & Integrated Communications, visit GoToMeeting.com today!  

10 Laws of Information Technology

(Technology) Permanent link

No matter how much technology changes, there are some things that don’t change:

1. Never lose data. Whether it’s just your laptop or 100 terabytes of storage. This is your intellectual property and the only thing you can’t replace if it is deleted.

2. Centralize when you can, distribute when you have to. Adding more offices causes your IT spend to grow exponentially. This applies to any piece of technology you buy

3. Standardize when you can, customize when you have to. If everyone picks their own software to do work, it is very difficult to get teams to work together. Multiple technologies not only drive up your IT  costs, it slows your business down.

4. Simple is always better than complex. Think real hard about buying four best-of-breed applications and then lashing them together. Many times one application that does 90% very well is more than good enough for your business.

5. Spend as little as possible solving problems or achieving goals. IT can be a money pit and not realize the intended business value. Start small, get people using it, then scale as necessary.

6. 100% utilization of IT assets will always yield the lowest cost. Professional services firms know that they make more money when their human resources are fully utilized on billable work. Take the same approach with your IT assets.

7. Always have a “Plan B”. That has become a verb in IT.  We need to “plan B” it or “plan C” it.  Some of the best technologies do not get adopted by your people.  The best technology is the one that gets used and sometimes you have to change. 

8. If it CAN break, it WILL break! Like any capital asset, these things don’t last for ever. Systematically identify and eliminate single-points of failure if the cost to eliminate the failure is less than the revenue impact to your business.

9. Volume changes everything. A 1-5 person firm has certain technology needs and budgets. If your business plan is widely successful and you grow to 100 people, you’ll probably have to throw out your technology and start over. Just like you plan for business growth, plan for IT growth.

10. Do not be married to your technology. Many firms develop a particular expertise in a piece of technology and effectively become married to it. Business growth is more important than any technology. Be ready to decommission it if it becomes a drag on your revenue and expansion.

Congrats to our Partner, Alcatel-Lucent!

(Partners) Permanent link

Congrats to our partner, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Solutions, for being recognized as an innovator as a Finalist in Best of Interop Awards! http://www.bestofinterop.com/

20 Reasons to Consider a Private Cloud Computing

(Cloud Computing) Permanent link

Private Cloud Computing is a secure, dynamic and instant platform for delivering IT services to all employees throughout an organization. Using applications hosted at a remote IT facility or data center), the information is accessible anywhere via a secure internet connection.

(01) Whole team can be virtual/collaboration
(02) Increased productivity
(03) Enterprise class security, redundancy
(04) Agility to go to market quicker with services
(05) Greater elasticity
(06) Move to the cloud over time
(07) Reduced costs
(08) Information centralization
(09) Extended life-cycle of desktops
(10) Keep current & capitalize on new features
(11) Aging infrastructure
(12) 24/7/365 coverage
(13) Opex vs capex
(14) Converged networks
(15) IT labor is outdated, need to upgrade skills
(16) Reduce office technology space footprint
(17) High availability
(18) Intra-business collaboration
(19) Advantages of public cloud, but control of your own infrastructure
(20) Access all corporate data anytime, anywhere without downloads

Welcome to the Advance2000 Blog

(About Advance2000) Permanent link

We're so glad to be able to bring you more information about Advance2000 through our new company blog! Some upcoming things you can expect to see on our blog are:

  • Updates about our products and services
  • Informational posts from our Business Line experts
  • Fun and exciting updates about Cloud Computing
  • Lots more fun and exciting stuff!

We hope that you will find this forum interesting and will check in with us often!