Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fastest way to login securely (no password needed!) - Google Prompt

Everyone uses passwords, but sometimes even passwords aren't enough to prevent security breaches. Quickly adopted by millions of users, Google introduced an added measure of securing email and data, known as 2-Step Verification. We've written a dedicated post about it here: It's a great way to ensure your emails and documents are safe, but requires you to retrieve a code via text or Google's Authenticator app which you then have to enter, every 30 days if you so choose.

There's an easier way now; Google Prompt. Instead of typing in your password each time you sign in to your Google Account, you can get a prompt sent to your phone. Simply, tap the notification from Google to confirm, and you'll be signed in quickly and securely.

You'll need an iPhone 5S and up or an Android device for Google Prompt to work. Setting it up is a piece of cake:

  1. On your computer or tablet, go to the "Sign in & security" section of My Account. You might need to sign in to your Google Account.
  2. In the "Tired of typing passwords?" box, select Get started.
  3. Select Set it up, then sign in to your account. You'll be taken to a guided setup process.
  4. In the "Your phone" section, choose which phone you want to use to sign in.
  5. Turn on your device's security feature.
    • Android: If there isn't a check next to "Screen lock," select Add a screen lock and follow the onscreen instructions.
    • iPhone: If there isn't a check next to "Touch ID," select How to set it up and follow the onscreen instructions.
  6. Choose Next.
  7. Below your username, select Next to practice how you'll sign in.
  8. On your phone, follow the onscreen instructions to see Google's prompt, then tap Yes.
  9. On your computer or tablet, select Turn on to the finish setup.
That's it! Now whenever you attempt to sign in to your Google Account, you'll get a "Trying to sign in?" prompt sent to your phone, just tap Yes and you're in!

Google understands security doesn't have to be tedious and Google Prompt makes for a quick and effortless way to access your account while maintaining a higher level of security than your average password. Contact our Interlock IT team today to secure your precious data with Google Apps!

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Cloud Powerhouse

We like to think cloud-technology users understand the power and security Google Apps can bring to their daily workflow. As industries evolve, so do the trends in user interaction with technology. Cloud adopters understand that IT systems don't have to be complicated, difficult, and expensive. Solutions like Google Apps empowers companies to grow at unforeseen heights and we find cloud adoption increasing more than ever, especially in fast-growing companies and startups.
Interlock IT recently had the pleasure of leading a Google Apps implementation for Imaginea Energy - a Calgary based oil and gas company. As Imaginea grew, they recognized their legacy storage, productivity, and email tools didn't reflect their open and transparent culture. Their closed environment made it difficult to collaborate together beyond very small teams so they started to look for a solution that was robust and powerful enough to mirror their vision. Google Apps for Work was their answer.

Within as little as four weeks, Interlock IT helped Imaginea Energy migrate email to Google Apps and transform into a highly productive and collaborative workplace. Flexibility to work remotely also allowed their employees maximum autonomy. Collaboration became seamless with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. Working offline became a possibility with immediate syncing upon network connectivity and Google Hangouts saved significant travel costs, enabling teams to spend more time on-site and less time driving. Since the implementation, Imaginea has become unstoppable and continues to grow rapidly.

Interlock IT loves saving customers the headaches and costs that accompany clunky outdated non-cloud platforms, and as anticipated, Imaginea was able to cut their IT costs in half! Interlock IT helped strategize the move of their legacy oil and gas applications from their traditional on-premise Windows servers to virtualized Windows servers on Google's Cloud Platform. Just see what Greg Bennett from Imaginea had to say, "At Imaginea, we defy industry stereotypes by focusing on Planet, People and Profit together. When you set out to reimagine an industry like oil and gas, achieving that vision is only possible with the right people and the right tools. The Interlock IT team led us through a smooth transition to a powerful, cost-effective, and secure collaboration suite. With Google Apps, we’ve set course to truly transform our business and the energy industry." Be sure to check out Greg's full blog post on the official Google for Work blog.

In recent years, the use of Google Apps has been growing steadily and capturing large chunks of the market. Businesses as well as consumers are increasingly considering Google Apps for meeting their productivity and collaboration needs. It's no secret that the markets are flocking to Google Apps and chances are that even your business or organization already uses at least one cloud-based application. Why not give Google Apps a try? As cloud experts, we've witnessed the repeated success of companies that embrace the Google platform. Industries ranging from energy to education and beyond are aware of the potential Google Apps brings to their respective trade. Contact Interlock IT today to learn how Google Apps can revolutionize your business workflow!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cliniko to Xero Integration

The Cloud! It's the much needed, efficient, and cost-effective upgrade to your obsolete IT infrastructure. If you're a business that understands the importance of having a solid IT system, you'll definitely appreciate the wonders and advantages of cloud-computing. At Interlock IT we pride ourselves in promoting cloud solutions and even cater to our customers need's for custom integrated solutions. You can think of us as a marriage counselor for your cloud products that need more out of their relationship.

Having a professional accountant (CPA, CMA) as our founder, it's only natural for our team to delve into cloud-based accounting software. Xero, for example, is an accounting software that helps you see your cash flow in real-time, has online accounting, banking, and payroll features.

We think Xero is a superior solution to Quickbooks and Quickbooks Online. Xero's massive growth, adding over 242,000 subscribers over the last year, speaks for itself. As of March 2016 Xero has 717,000 subscribers worldwide. You can learn more about Xero on their website.

Cliniko is another web-based product used by thousands of healthcare practitioners in more than 55 countries worldwide. Cliniko helps manage your schedule, treatment notes, invoices, payments, and much more. It works great for solo practitioners, large teams, and anything in between. You can learn more about Cliniko on their website.
Cliniko and Xero; it's a good combination and Cliniko even offers it's own step-by-step integration guide to Xero. However, the integration falls short in a number of areas. We (Interlock IT) can make up for that! For example, the Cliniko provided integration to Xero Accounting can only map one Cliniko instance to one Xero Accounting organization. It also does not support Xero Tracking Categories for splitting revenue and costs by Cliniko location or business within a Xero organization. We support both situations. We’re flexible and happy to discuss sharing the software development costs of meeting other unique needs such as batching payments by day.

Be sure to contact us! Our team of experts is here to make sure you get the most out of your solutions because we understand it's so much easier when everything is connected!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Disaster recovery - Secure your email and files!

Interlock IT is cloud-focused and cloud-centric. We believe it's imperative for businesses and organizations to adopt cloud based solutions simply because this is where the future of technology lies. In the second quarter of 2013 more than half of Fortune 500 companies were paying for Google enterprise products, and some 5 million companies were using Google Apps for Work. Since then, it's become an even more powerful tool with even more users! These companies and organizations have thoroughly recognized the potential and security that Google Apps delivers.

What's happened in the last few weeks in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas is unfortunate. As we know, many thousands of people have been displaced and many hundreds of businesses and schools have been destroyed. What's worse is the wildfires continue to rage and thousands of firefighters remain in battle against the inferno after several weeks. Here is the latest:

A few minutes is all it can take for nature to claim your life's work. Companies using Google Apps and other true cloud-based solutions understand that their data isn't at risk of being stolen or destroyed by natural disasters like we see in Fort McMurray today. All their emails and other invaluable documents are stored in the cloud for easy restoration in the event of a natural disaster. They also worry far less about data breaches and theft. The concept is simple; if you're like most reasonable folks, you don't stash large sums of cash under your mattress. You more than likely use a bank where your hard earned money is secure and easily accessible. Similarly, Gmail is the world's most trusted email solution with over 1 BILLION monthly active users and counting. User's have the peace of mind knowing their precious data is safe and only a click away.

Google has additional ways of safeguarding your data through The Google Analytics security and privacy principles which include operational security and disaster recovery. This is to minimize service interruption due to hardware failure, natural disasters, or other catastrophes. Google also implements a comprehensive disaster-recovery program at all of its data centers which covers data replication, geographical distribution of data centers, resilient and redundant infrastructure, and a continuity plan in the event of a disaster. Google has you covered!

We at Interlock IT take it upon ourselves to educate technology users of the importance of cloud computing. Uploading your data to cloud based services such as Google Apps is a smart way to ensure you are prepared and protected for the unexpected. Email and communication is terribly important in any industry, so destroyed hardware tends to result in major data and productivity loss. Cloud based users however, can jump to any other machine and retrieve all their work instantly from anywhere at anytime. This mitigates the loss of productivity and assures the continued function of the company.

It's always better to be prepared before a disaster strikes than after. Be sure to contact us to learn more about Google Apps and how we can assist your organization seamlessly migrate to the cloud!