Plus how to survive March Madness in the office

Microsoft Teams is a Slam Dunk for Your Employees

Every year, workplace productivity takes a hit when the NCAA tournament tips off. We can't prevent this kind of downtime, but we can help make your employees more efficient throughout the rest of the year with Microsoft Teams. A collaboration and productivity platform that outpaces popular Slack and is backed with easy integration with Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications, Teams is a powerful tool every office should use.


To learn more about the benefits Teams offers, we spoke with Microsoft Partner Technical Architect Robert Gates (no relation to Bill). Here are some of the highlights from our discussion.

Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 / Sequel Server 2008 are Getting Benched

It is unlikely that a 16-seed will be a threat to the higher seeds in their section of the bracket but ignoring all the buzz about the current Microsoft End of Support (EOS) will endanger your business.

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows 7, Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008. Right now, we are in the “sunsetting period” – the stretch of time between End of Life and End of Support. This is the ideal time to prepare and determine how you will address EOS.


This article on the Nortec blog will get you up to speed on the real dangers your company will face if you don’t act and help you start planning a transition.

If you haven’t started planning your transition off Windows 7 or Server 2008, Contact us.

Team Nortec
Kevin Wills, VP of Professional Services

Meet Kevin Wills, VP of Professional Services, who took time out of his immensely busy schedule to answer a few questions.

What is a typical day like for you as the VP of Professional Services?

I meet with customers about ongoing engagements and hold working sessions with them using Skype or Teams for collaboration. At least part of each day – and right now it is a big part – is spent learning something new about technology. Currently, the focus is on the ever-changing Azure. I’ll also assist sales with the creation of statements of work and RFP responses.


In your opinion, why is your role pivotal to client success?

The position serves as an escalation point and helps customers fix business problems by applying technology. It brings in an outside perspective, framing problems and approaching solutions in a way that is very difficult to do with only an internal view.

Typically, clients don’t have time to stay current on industry trends and new technology, but this position ensures someone is keeping an eye on these for their organization.

Can you share some thoughts on what you think is on the horizon for technology for businesses in the next 5 years?

One thing business owners can expect is an evolution of cloud data centers. As new implementation strategies are adopted there will be far less Infrastructure as a Service and much more Software as a Service and Platform as a Service.

There will also be an explosion of Artificial Intelligence and Business Intelligence, and the cloud will become central to backup disaster and recovery plans.

How can an organization know if they need to improve their business processes?

There is always room for improvement, but two major red flags are: something is redundant or there are inefficiencies that disrupt/block workflow.

Also, if people are saying, “I wish we could do this,” without actually confirming they can’t.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?

  1. Driving cross-country
  2. Attending a Barrett Jackson auction
  3. Learning German

Nortec 9

Event-Planning Firm Grows Its Security Solutions with Data Protection

Located in Washington, D.C., J Street Group provides event-planning services and consultations to public and private sector clients in the U.S. and around the world.

High-profile leaders and international organizations are among their clients. The team is often out of the office, relying on email to communicate. These factors make security a top priority for J Street Group, and this was one of the reasons they initially reached out to us.


J Street had outgrown their first email provider and wanted to switch to Office 365. At the same time, employees were receiving an alarming number of spam messages and phishing attempts – as many as 75 to 100 per employee per day. To resolve these threats, Nortec implemented Office 365 and took further steps to improve security at J Street.