Spirinet Named One Of “Next-Gen 250” By

IT Support and IT Outsourcing company Spirinet has been named one of the “Next-Gen 250” by  The “Next Gen 250” is awarded to companies who have zeroed in on lucrative and emerging technologies, among them cloud computing, mobility, virtualization, unified communications, business analytics and business intelligence.  All of the companies on the “Next Gen 250” have only been in business since 2000.

“Being named to the “Next Gen 250” is a great honor,” says Kirill Bensonoff, of Spirinet.  “We pride ourselves on our ability to identify what upcoming technologies will offer the most value to our clients.  At the beginning of the company it was outsourced IT, and as we grow we find that cloud computing has become a key component to our offerings.”

Mr. Bensonoff adds: “Few industries move more quickly than technology, but having a set of core values that define your company’s decision making is extremely helpful.  Our business decisions have always been made by asking these simple questions: How does this technology make life easier for our clients?  What value does it add?  Is it just a new way of doing something, or a better way?”

For more on CRN and CRN’s “Next-Gen 250”, please visit:

About Spirinet:

A premiere provider of IT outsourcing and consulting services, Spirinet has become the full-service IT department of choice for small and medium-sized businesses all over North America. With unique remote technology capabilities Spirinet is also supporting companies with offices world-wide. They are headquartered outside Boston, MA.  They can be contacted at their website, or by phone at (877) 342-5677.

About delivers strategic information and useful business tools that technology integrators use everyday.  Their website is:

Google+ and its New Features – Part 2

How Google+ Differs

But Google has taken extra steps to add value, enabling group video chat through a ‘hangout’ section, and by identifying topics users might be interested in with a ‘sparks’ page – a front-end to Google Search.

The service is also integrated with Google’s Profiles, Buzz and Gmail functions, so it’s simple to roll in any existing social connections. Users will notice a new Google+ panel in the upper-right-hand-side of any Google page after logging in.

In a strategy that worked wonderfully for Google’s Gmail offering, Google+ is currently invite-only, so you may have to wait for access to trickle down through your best-connected friends and colleagues.

Until then, Google+ is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Google+ and its New Features – Part 1

Google is barging back into the social network space, attempting to leverage its giant email user-base with a new security-focused offering called Google+.

Google+, launched just a year after the tech behemoth’s first, widely criticized foray into social media, Google Buzz, is also full-frontal attack on social networking heavyweight, Facebook. Google is making a real attempt to build on the perceived weaknesses of existing networks.

Privacy is Key

The big battleground will be privacy. Facebook has come under increasing scrutiny for defaulting to the loosest security settings – Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg famously claimed that privacy is dead in the social networking age – and Google Buzz, too, came under fire for taking insufficient account of security concerns.

In response, Google+, which is currently still in “field-testing” phase, allows users to separate their network of contacts, or ‘connections’, into invisible ‘circles’, so users can control who gets to see what information. Connections can easily be swapped between groups – colleagues, friends or family, for instance – by dragging and dropping, which could be a big plus for Facebookers frustrated at the daunting prospect of sorting their giant network of friends into new groups after the fact.

Like Facebook, Google+ allows users to send messages to one another, via browser or smartphone, and upload image and video albums. Notifications and posts are displayed in a familiar-looking news feed, or ‘stream’. And instead of ‘liking’ a post, Google+ users can hit a ‘+1’ button.

Stay tuned next week for more on Google+!

Understanding Google’s Chromebook and ChromeOS – Part 2

This week, we continue our look at Google’s Chromebook and ChromeOS.

A Simpler, Cheaper Alternative

The Chromebook also promises big savings, with the overall cost of ownership (including hardware, software and support) coming in at about half that of a traditional PC, according to Google. The tech giant says its device costs about $1,500 all in, compared to about $3,000 for a PC.

Of course, the Chromebook isn’t for everyone. Anyone familiar with Google’s existing online office suite will know how simplistic it is. More complex tasks would still need to be performed with Microsoft Office, or something similar.

The device is also essentially useless without an Internet connection.

Still, the Chromebook’s slick simplicity will appeal to some cloud devotees. And this certainly won’t be the last we hear from Google in this space.

Here are the specs:

• 12.1 or 11.6 inch screen

• 16GB SSD storage


• Intel Atom 1.66GHz

• 8-second boot time

• Wi-Fi/3G or Wi-Fi-only


Understanding Google’s Chromebook and ChromeOS – Part 1

In a major nod to a cloud-computing future, Google has thrown its enormous weight behind a series of virtually storage-free laptops running its new Google Chrome operating system (ChromeOS).

The Chromebook, a “thin-client” laptop currently being built by Acer and Samsung, is designed as a leaner, more cost-effective alternative to the traditional laptop, which relies on a large hard drive full of software. All you need for a functional Chromebook is an internet connection.

The netbooks, which retail for between $349 and $499, shun Microsoft’s dominant Windows OS and its lucrative Office suite – including the popular Word, Powerpoint and Excel programs.  Instead, the Chromebook comes loaded with ChromeOS, which only runs a browser and associated programs – its tiny 16BG SSD storage doesn’t leave room for much else.

Cloud Capabilities

It’s designed for users to run everything through the Chrome browser, with all office work done online through existing apps such as Google Docs. Documents are then stored online, in the cloud. And that’s where you see some of the real benefits.

Cloud-based storage means you never have to worry about losing the laptop itself — it’s simply a way of accessing your information online. You could access and edit those same documents from a replacement Chromebook, or any other computer with an Internet connection. If you trust your cloud host, you never need to worry about losing data again.

Check back next week for more on Google’s Chromebook and ChromeOS.

What’s new in Apple’s iOS 5 – Part Two

Here we continue our look at Apple’s iOS 5:

  • Revamped Safari and Mail: Despite mobile devices becoming more and more important, web developers still target designs towards desktop users.  The iOS version of Safari now allows people to re-arrange websites, turn off ads, and focus on the most relevant areas for a more user-friendly experience.  The mail app has also been revamped to bring it in-line with a desktop mail client.  It offers rich text formatting, email address dragging, and the ability to flag messages.
  • Revisions to the camera: iPhone users previously would have to go through their lock screen and bring up their camera before they could take a picture – meaning that they often completely missed the boat on a candid moment!  With the new iOS 5, there will be a shortcut to the camera from the lock screen, so candid moments won’t be missed!
  • iMessage: Taking a cue for BlackBerry’s BBM, iMessage allows iOS users to send text and multimedia messages to each other at no additional cost.  iMessage conversations can be continued no matter what device the customer is using, so if someone starts a chat on an iPad and them goes mobile with their iPhone, the conversation will be uninterrupted.
  • Newsstand: Newsstand is a new app for iOS.  It’s similar to iBook or iTunes, which allows you to download books and songs automatically, however Newsstand is geared specifically towards newspapers and magazines.

As always, we will keep an eye on these new technologies and keep you informed as they progress!

What’s new in Apple’s iOS 5 – Part One

iOS 5 is Apple’s latest version of their mobile operating system, designed for use with their iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Announced in early June 2011, it brings a host of new features designed to enrich the user’s experience.

What’s most interesting about this version of iOS is its movement towards allowing the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch to exist without the need for a desktop or laptop to sync to.

iOS 5 updates the device automatically and all applications can work without a “home” computer. It’s another step in the direction of total autonomy, particularly for the iPad.

Other new features of iOS 5:

  • Revised notifications: Any iPhone or iPad user can tell you that the system notifications can be pretty annoying.  They pop up and interrupt whatever you’re doing, no matter how important the message is.  Apple has heard this feedback, and have revamped this area in iOS 5.  Notifications are now unobtrusive and will be displayed on the lock screen

Check back next week for part 2 of our look at Apple’s iOS 5.

Five Benefits To IT Outsourcing For Medium-Sized Businesses.

Spirinet is a Boston-based company, but provides outsourced IT services to clients across the world.  One question we’re often asked by potential clients is: “exactly what are the benefits to outsourcing my IT, versus hiring a part-time IT specialist who comes into my office?”

We wanted to use this blog post to outline what we feel are the five strongest benefits for medium-sized businesses when they outsource their IT department.

1/ Cost:

This is often the first decision-making step of any business, and we’re glad to report that outsourced IT provides at least a 20% savings from a physical IT asset.

This cost reduction is due to a variety of factors, such as the virtual nature of the business, the flexibility of an outsourced solution, and much more.  We’ll discuss the reasons for cost savings in our subsequent points below.

2/ Broad Knowledge:

When you hire a part-time IT employee who comes into your office, you’re only able to benefit from one person’s experience and perspective.  No matter how competent they are, there will inevitably be holes in their knowledge where you aren’t going to get the best advice or support possible.

With an outsourced IT firm, you’re benefitting from many different perspectives and vast expertise, honed by working with hundreds of clients across a wide variety of categories.  In short, an outsourced IT firm can give you the highest level of advice and provide you with the most accurate and timely support.

3/ Responsiveness:

Most medium-sized businesses can only afford to have a part-time IT asset.  Either the asset comes in for half days, or on specific days.  However, your technology is running 24/7, and when it breaks, you need action – very, very quickly!

With an outsourced IT firm, you’re getting support 24/7, 365 days a year.  Can your part-time IT asset say that?

4/ Reduced Overhead:

With a physical part-time IT specialist, you have to keep him or her on payroll whether or not there are IT issues.  Outsourced IT is far more flexible, and can work with the ebbs and flows of your IT needs.

5/ Risk Management:

A big issue with companies is turnover.  Just when your IT specialist gets the hang of all of your different systems, they’ve accepted another job – and you have to start from scratch again!

With an outsourced IT company, you have continuity, and can be comfortable with the knowledge that someone who knows your business very well will always be available when issues arise – a big weight off the shoulders of most companies!

In Conclusion:

After reading through these five points, hopefully you can see what a big difference IT outsourcing can make for companies large and small. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, or review more information about IT outsourcing on our website.

About Microsoft’s new Office 365 service, and what it means to small business – Part Two

Let’s continue with our look at Microsoft’s new Office 365 service that we began last week:

Safety and security:

One concern we hear from customers is on cloud security – how safe is our data if it’s not sitting on our hard drives? Will it always be accessible?

Microsoft, in its marketing literature, promises a “99.9% Uptime Guarantee”.  In addition to that, Office 365 builds on the security protocols that Microsoft has had in place for many years with their widely used Office Exchange servers.  So rather than trusting your data to a new program, you’re actually benefiting from many years of proven security.

Microsoft also offers its Service Level Agreement, which it backs with financial milestones.  Lastly, Microsoft promises that Office 365’s servers are geo-redundant with multiple datacenters, so even if one area of the service runs into issues, your data will keep being accessible through the redundancies.

Subscription plans:

Rather than offering a one-time flat fee, Office 365 is a subscription-based program.  The subscription levels vary based on the level of service required, and begin at $2 per user, per month and scale up to $27 per user, per month.

In conclusion:

Microsoft Office 365 represents an exciting new direction for the Office products, and small businesses should definitely pay close attention to it as a new way of bringing their business closer together.

About Microsoft’s new Office 365 service, and what it means to small business – Part One

Microsoft Office 365 is Microsoft’s newest entry in the Office series of products.  It is a cloud-based platform, which means that all of the programs are stored and accessible online, rather than being on a local hard drive.

When we say “Office in a Cloud”, the first thing you may think of is simply having the usual Office programs – Excel, Word, etc. – hosted on the web instead of on your hard drive.  While this is the case (though some subscriptions to Microsoft Office 365 allow for hard drive downloads of these basic programs), Office 365 promises to greatly expand on this core functionality to make itself an “all in one” solution to your professional consultancy or small business.

Let’s take a look at what Microsoft Office 365 offers over the traditional versions of the program:

Available anywhere:

As with all cloud programs, one of Office 365’s big “claims to fame” is that you can use its services anywhere – on any of your computers (home or work), your mobile devices, your tablet, and much more.  Rather than having to worry about what files and programs are on which computer, now all of your computers are on exactly the same page with one another.

This also means that your Microsoft Exchange data, including contacts, emails and calendars are also always in sync with one another, no matter what platform you’re viewing them on.

Collaborative access:

Let’s imagine that you have an Excel document you’re working on with other people in your business.  In the past, each person would make changes and then email it along to another – a chain that leads to terrible version control issues, errors, and much more.

With Office 365, users can edit Excel spreadsheets with others in real time.  All changes are tracked and documented, so you can always be sure you’re working on the latest version of the Excel file, every time.