Author Archives: Thrive

Best Practices for Building a SharePoint Intranet for the Remote Workforce

A SharePoint intranet is a connected workspace that allows teams within your organization to connect, collaborate, and share information, whether you’re in the same building or distributed across the world. When built correctly and used successfully, intranets are a powerful tool to engage people and to connect them with the knowledge and resources they need to do their jobs.

To ensure your team correctly utilizes the powerful capabilities of an intranet, we put together this guide of nine best practices to follow to help you get started.

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Thrive White Paper Best Practices Building SharePoint Intranet Cover

SharePoint Governance

Microsoft SharePoint helps organizations achieve specific collaboration, business process or operational goals as part of their larger digital transformation strategy.

Learn how to build a comprehensive SharePoint governance plan that works for your organization by managing the three main pillars: IT governance, information management and application management.

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Thrive White Paper SharePoint Governance Cover

Teams Governance

Microsoft Teams is a great team collaboration solution that Thrive supports as part of our Digital Transformation services. After integrating the people, content, and tools into Teams, it’s important to establish a strong governance approach to ensure long-term satisfaction and security.

Learn a more organized and strategic approach to preparing, documenting, configuring, implementing, communicating, maintaining, and adjusting your Teams governance journey.

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Thrive White Paper Teams Governance Cover

Thrive White Paper Teams Governance Cover

 

COVID-19: Clearing the Hurdles of Managing a Remote Computing Environment

There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we look at work. It has meant spending more time than ever in our homes.

That has led to an increase in employees using personal laptops and PCs for work. Just a few short months ago, it was fairly easy to maintain things when in the office. Now, there are new challenges, as team members may not connect back into an office network to receive updates to the software or operating system.

covid 19 remote computing environment

If you standardize a remote desktop environment, however, you can control what’s happening from anywhere, from configuration updates to software maintenance to managing employees.

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There’s no need to design, build, and maintain a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in-house when Thrive can do it for you. Our Cloud Workspace gives your organization access to virtual desktop and applications from any device while maximizing performance. The secure, private cloud platform cuts out the need for expensive hardware.

Standardizing the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure allows us to access the management platform quickly. Without having to try to connect to a device remotely, we cut down the amount of time a helpdesk request takes.

Think about your organization or team for a moment. There’s a good chance that employees have joined the team, while others have departed during COVID-19. How are you onboarding new users and bringing them up to speed, or safely handling offboarding tasks?

Thrive has automated its service delivery model in recent years to help organizations onboard new users and handle offboarding tasks in a matter of hours. The days of manually punching in sales orders or having to approve files are gone. In the past, it could take three to four days to finalize software and hardware for an end user, leaving them waiting.

These days, once a new hire has been brought on board, they can log in from anywhere in the world if VDI is in place. All managers need to do is fill out a form, follow HR protocols, and a new user can be activated. On the flipside, if a user leaves the company, it’s easy to go in, fill out the form, and disable an account so that the user no longer has access. We continue to add all kinds of automation to the platform as time goes on, making it easier to reduce costs, increase data security, and enable end users to access desktop applications and data faster.

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The Thrive Cloud Workspace delivers Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), with back-end VDI fully managed and hosted by Thrive. Thrive’s Cloud Workspace allows for remote desktop environments or VDI depending on the requirements of your organization.

To learn more about advancing your remote computing environment in these times, and in the future, contact the team at Thrive today!

How the Thrive5 Methodology Delivers IT Best Practices

Are your applications and data properly protected? Our Thrive5 Methodology helps answer that critical question for businesses every day.

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Our consultative approach takes a deep dive into multiple segments of IT operations and infrastructure to understand business requirements and provide solutions. At Thrive, we’re well-positioned to provide solutions to existing IT issues while working to prevent potential emerging threats.

The Thrive Technology Assessment

Does your organization need someone to lift up the hood and take a closer look at your IT operations? There’s a good chance the answer to that question is, “Yes.” During the initial phase of the Thrive5 Methodology, we perform a technology assessment that includes an in-depth review of your:

  • Servers
  • Networking
  • Cybersecurity
  • Governance
  • Messaging

Looking at the existing solutions, we compare them against IT best practices to identify gaps that can be eliminated to mitigate risk and deliver greater efficiency for the business.

We all know that in 2020, IT departments were thrown a significant curveball. More specifically, backup and disaster recovery became a critical piece of our assessment process as many Americans worked from home. Just last month, a large-scale Google outage struck, affecting end users and their ability to access e-mail, YouTube, Google Drive, and Google Classroom, among other things. We help organizations plan for these types of scenarios, among others, to mitigate downtime.

We evaluate business processes as well as technology to ensure you’re meeting your company’s uptime requirements. What is your business willing to tolerate from a downtime or data loss perspective when unexpected events occur? Typically, that tolerance is low. We peel the layers back to understand your current technology stack and make specific recommendations to fill in the gaps and provide perspective on cost and priorities.

Solutions that Meet Your Specific Needs

Nine times out of ten, a company is missing critical tools that enable them to understand the current state of their environment on a real-time basis. That makes it nearly impossible to know how to deploy upgrades and new solutions.

For example, we have seen several organizations using on-premise hardware when it makes more sense to be in the cloud. Part of our assessment process maps out how our clients will migrate to the cloud. Some customers require a full overhaul, while some may only need minor updates. What the majority, if not all of our customers need, is the latest generation of security products, including our fully-developed SIEM/SOC solution, EDR-based protection for workstations, next generation firewalls, and disaster recovery.

As many of our services are standardized and consistent across the board with best practices, we have built out our service delivery and account management structure with the flexibility to align with our clients’ specific needs. Our service delivery teams also have vertical alignments, enabling them to provide additional value and expertise in both their recommendations as well as implementation and a best-in-class customer service experience.

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No matter where your employees are currently working, the team at Thrive is here to answer the call and provide solutions through our Thrive5 Methodology. To learn more about creating an IT roadmap for your organization, get in touch with us today!

The Thrive Platform: NextGen IT Service Delivery

For businesses of any size, keeping employees connected, working and productive is critical. But managing the IT needs of an organization is complicated. That’s why the NextGen technology experts at Thrive have created the Thrive Platform, powered by ServiceNow.

Customizing Your Organization’s IT Framework

Creating an IT framework isn’t just about protecting intellectual property or trade secrets – it’s about stopping attacks that can disable your business. By laying out an IT framework, you’re ensuring devices are protected and business operations run smoothly.

Finding the right framework fit for your organization’s IT approach is easy when working with a team that understands the current landscape and requirements of your business. With Thrive, you can have a customized IT framework that provides transparency, security and performance.

Thrive’s Top IT Frameworks: ITIL & CIS

There are two frameworks we tend to use here at Thrive: ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library)-based and CIS (Center for Internet Security)-based. ITIL-based frameworks govern things like efficiency, capacity planning, liability planning, and end user requests. Lately, my focus has been on CIS-based frameworks, which give insight into what is being done well within an organization and where improvements can be made.

Oftentimes, we identify areas in which there may be framework gaps. This can be anything from comprehensive asset management and discovery to software packages. One big challenge organizations currently face is the concept of “shadow IT.” With different business units utilizing the cloud, there’s no need for employees to request permission to install applications or contact IT to perform a basic action, like using Google Drive. However, this can raise its own set of problems.

Staying On Top of Security

By going through CIS software discovery controls, we help raise awareness to ensure that a business is aware of all applications, both cloud and internal, and account for them.

This helps answer important questions like:

  • How is a member of the organization authenticating themselves?
  • What’s the nature of the data that’s being stored?
  • When someone leaves an organization, is HR aware that files can be transferred, putting company information at risk?
  • Are unauthorized users accessing sensitive or proprietary information?

We help organizations understand hardware and software controls, who should manage authentication for systems, what level of encryption is present, and whether endpoint patching and endpoint detection and response systems are in place.

If something happens, how do you respond if there is suspicious activity? How are employees notified of a potential incident, and who should be contacted for the next steps? We go through these controls with IT leaders and key members and stakeholders at the executive team level to enlighten organizations.

Using Frameworks to Set Priorities

Within the CIS framework, there are benchmarked levels that a company can strive to reach, and we often help clients evaluate which level is the right fit for them. This helps keep an IT organization aligned on which actions can efficiently produce the best outcome (or reduce the risk of bad outcomes) instead of sinking resources into something beyond their needs.

Security training goes a long way, and bringing your workforce up to speed can have several benefits. A SIEM service can identify and respond to security anomalies, but if you can educate your user community for a relatively low cost, you now have more eyes trained to identify anomalies or limit the likelihood of a phishing attack.

DNS filtering should be another standard. How does your company figure out what cloud applications employees are using? With DNS filtering across all devices, you’re opening the lines of communication with employees, with the ability to add controls to account for who is logging into the system. This allows you to track how data is flowing and how to protect it.

By laying out a framework in phases, we can show the steps that should be taken, including the basics, to make sure your users are educated and endpoint devices are protected. Typically, in a first phase, we focus on security awareness training, to show executive teams how many employees have failed when it comes to a phishing-type attempt.

When putting in something like EDR (endpoint detection and response), we can show visibility into the types of issues that can happen. It’s not just about protecting trade secrets – it’s about protecting business uptime and minimizing downtime.

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The Thrive team is here to adopt the framework that will be the best fit for your organization.

Interested in learning more? CONTACT US TODAY!
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“Learn More about NextGen IT Service Delivery for Your Business”

No single solution has existed to automate IT tasks, enable anytime, anywhere self service for employees, and deliver a 360º view of an organization’s technology assets.

The Thrive Platform is an easy-to-use portal that creates a superior IT experience by giving employee end users, approval managers and IT points of contact a personalized view of what they need to see.

Sign up today to schedule a demo with the Thrive Platform team and see how it can transform IT service delivery.

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