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EarthLink Business Educational Series

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Managed Services

Application Performance Optimization and Hybrid Networking

Your answer to meeting fast-changing business demands

Your customers and employees are tech-savvy and mobile enabled. Your customers expect speed, convenience and personalized service. To embrace the technology trends that will differentiate your business and power enhanced customer and employee experiences, you need an intelligent, high-performance network solutions that’s custom-built to support the performance needs of your business applications–whether they are delivered on premises or from the cloud.

IT Leaders need a Wide Area Network (WAN) that is optimized to match the unique operational and performance demands of their company, where they’re able to focus their resources and energy on what really matters: strategic technology initiatives what will set our business apart–delivering the enhanced experiences customers expect.

Download the eBook to learn how to overcome the biggest challenges impacting your network: budget and building a custom network.

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Optimize Your Business and Cloud Networks

How multi-location organizations can overcome two network obstacles to innovation

Retailers and other organizations that serve customers at multiple locations face growing pressure to improve customer experiences across all channels — mobile, online, social, phone, and in-store. A retailer needs the innovative ability to deliver a superior experience from all angles - by linking mobile, online and in-store channels.

At many organizations, however, innovation is being stifled by deficiencies in network infrastructures. Uncorrected, such flaws might cause a business to lose customers, who will tolerate no less than a great customer experience.

Read this whitepaper to learn more about how the adoption of innovative technologies will help you to consistently deliver a more integrated and connected customer experience.

Read the whitepaper to learn more.

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Secure Your Data, Satisfy Your Shoppers

EarthLink Secure Storefront

There's no question that a retail revolution is underway. Technology is reshaping the industry, and as an IT leader, you are now front and center. You need to be able to identify and prevent security vulnerabilities before they become a threat.

Meanwhile, today's customers are shaking up shopping traditions. Technology has infiltrated every aspect—from the initial search to price comparisons to in–store browsing. Retailers need to improve the customer experience and capture business intelligence to help grow revenue.

Read this eBook to learn how you can actively protect your network from breach attempts and provide a better customer experience while also gaining greater visibility into the behaviors that are driving this massive change into the digital age of shopping.

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Cloud Assurance: Ensuring Security and Compliance for your IT Environment

Security matters, regardless of size

Those in charge of IT security for their companies know that maintaining the security of their IT landscape and satisfying compliance requirements is critical to business operations. When it comes to running a small business, the concerns are the same as any sized business. After all, there has been a shift from hackers who used to primarily target only large enterprises, who are now going after small and mid-sized companies as well. In other words, there is no such thing as being "under the radar" any more.

The security concerns for midsize businesses are the same for every company — loss of business, loss of reputation, potential financial penalties, just to name a few. Moreover, poor security can mean the failure to meet industry security compliance (PCI/HIPAA), which can lead to negative publicity and severe fines and penalties.

This whitepaper covers the latest security trends, reinforces best practices in securing a cloud infrastructure, outlines how best to meet compliance requirements, and also explains what a mid-market organization should look for in a cloud security provider.

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The New Cost Structure of Retail IT

An EKN Research survey, sponsored by EarthLink and Cisco

Technology is clearly an enabler of new-age retail — from creating a single view of products and customers to improving store efficiency and customer engagement. However, outdated org structures, success metrics, and budgeting practices are holding IT organizations back. According to a recent survey by EKN Research, retailers spend 54% of their IT budget on "keeping the lights on" or maintenance related activities versus their ideal target of 40%. More than 1 in 2 stated they spend too little on new development.

How does your IT spend stack up against the competition? Get the full survey results along with recommendations in this free EKN Research report, sponsored by EarthLink and Cisco.

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Choosing the Right Cloud & Storage Levels

Moving to the cloud offers many business advantages, and is a natural evolution for many companies. Organizations are choosing cloud services to focus their staff on business priorities, fuel top-line growth, increase agility, reduce capital expenses, and pay for only what they need on demand.

And the timing couldn't be better as CIOs are becoming brokers of IT services in response to C-Level pressure to support business growth, reduce cost, and improve IT services and IT security. However, organizations can choose from multiple cloud options, making it challenging — and often overwhelming — to determine the right option for their business.

Download the whitepaper to learn more about the various available cloud options — both public and private — and the pros and cons of each, providing a practical guide for organizations to make the best choice.

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Beyond Mobile Device Security

Why Comprehensive Endpoint Security and Management is a Must-Have for Small and Medium Enterprises

Recent research reveals that malware attacks are increasing and are significantly impacting IT operating costs. Advanced persistent threats and hacking pose the biggest headaches for IT security pros.

The issue is even more apparent due to the surge of personal devices being used in the workplace. In fact, many IT Directors are left wondering how they can manage and support all the different devices and still achieve security and compliance objectives.

Download the whitepaper to learn why it's critical for companies to protect all endpoints, not just mobile devices, in the operating environment. We'll also address challenges related to applying stringent security across all endpoints, and balancing that with convenience and ease-of-use for employees.

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PCI Compliance: Protect Your Business from Data Breach

Compliance is essential for secure credit card transactions and financial stability

Merchants often underestimate the high risk and cost of a credit card data breach. They shouldn't. Data breaches now affect one in six small businesses, as well as large retailers like Barnes & Noble, Zappos, and TJX. And a single breach can cost from $80,000 to millions. To combat the growing threat, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) was created in 2006. By implementing the standard, you reduce the risk of becoming a data-breach victim.

Download the whitepaper to learn more about the cost and risks associated with credit card data breach, the requirements for PCI compliance, and how you can protect your business—and your customers—by assessing and validating your compliance level today.

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Small and Mid-market Businesses Achieve Tremendous Benefit From Cloud Services

Cloud computing dramatically improves SMB agility and flexibility

For small and mid-market businesses, keeping IT nimble is more than a goal—it's a competitive mandate. The faster and more flexibly they can adapt to market changes and implement new strategies, the better the business outcome they'll get.

That's why so many in the SMB space are turning to cloud computing. Though commonly associated with enterprise-class organizations, the cloud model is equally as good a fit for small and mid-sized businesses—allowing them to accomplish more, faster, with fewer resources thus—outmaneuvering their competition.

Download the whitepaper where you will learn how a leading cloud software and platform services company enjoyed a successful migration to cloud computing and were able to keep their IT people very focused on strategic profit-generating product advancements, while also reducing management complexity, business risks, and operational costs—which have fallen a remarkable 16%.

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Will You be Prepared When the Next Disaster Strikes?

Learn about common methods to restore your IT infrastructure.

How disastrous will the next Sandy or other natural disaster be for your business? The total costs of any significant service outage can be devastating, from both revenue and public relations standpoints. But how much should you spend to prepare and what's the best strategy?

Laura DuBois, Program Vice President, Storage, IDC will present current trends in adoption of cloud-based Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery and will highlight best practices you should consider.

EarthLink Business experts share how our full suite of disaster recovery options are being implemented by a range of businesses throughout the U.S.

Download the whitepaper to learn about the disaster recovery protection required to improve business resilience and continuity — spanning voice, network, data, and IT infrastructure — so when the next disaster strikes, business losses are minimized and you can restore your communications services rapidly.

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The Benefits of Cloud for Small to Midsize Retailers

Learn How Cloud and Managed Services Can Level the Playing Field.

There's commodity IT, and there's IT that adds value. Commodity IT is email, server maintenance, managing patches—keeping the lights on. Value-add IT is innovation that improves the customer experience and drives revenue. Changing consumer expectations make shifting IT resources from commodity to value-add a retail imperative, and retail giants are leading the way.

For small to midsize retailers, managed cloud hosting can help to level the competitive playing field, as it shifts IT resources away from "keeping the lights on" to projects that add to the bottom line and move business forward in the digital age.

Download the whitepaper to learn more.

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Network Services

The Right Choice: Enterprises Enjoy Array of Options for Wide Area Networks (WANs)

TCF Company, a fast-growing regional retail chain, is facing a network dilemma.

Most of its data and voice traffic comes through its suburban headquarters location, which also houses its data and call centers. Lower volume — but still critical — traffic traverses to and from its two distribution centers, while the 15 primary retail stores and 10 mall kiosks need to handle bandwidth spikes during peak shopping times.

Just a decade ago, our fictional retailer would have had limited choices about how to solve its complex and diverse requirements. Most likely, a single network design — driven by cost and geographic availability — would have served the company’s entire ecosystem.

Today, more choices are available, enabling IT leaders to design flexible networks that strike the right balance of cost and performance for each location. Importantly, many are taking advantage of newer topologies to form the foundation for Software-Defined Networking (SDN), which will further optimize the management of increasingly high-bandwidth applications.

But the questions remain for IT leaders everywhere: Which network is right for me today? And, will it prepare me for the future?

Read the whitepaper to learn more.

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Impact of Store Networks and WiFi on Customer Experience

As a retailer, you know you need to dramatically upgrade your store infrastructures to create the store experience of the future. But are you aware of the tremendous financial upside when WiFi is part of the solution? Do you know the payback for implementation is easily attained from increased sales in as little as 12 months? This study, conducted by IHL, will arm you with the data points you’ll need to enroll the rest of your organization in committing to an infrastructure upgrade at the store level to achieve an Omni-channel strategy. To learn more, download the report.

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Driving Service Efficiency and Customer Engagement with In-Store WiFi

Shoppers with smartphones are retail game-changers

The mobile invasion isn't coming; it's here. Smartphone-carrying shoppers are already transforming retail, and the movement spans demographics. 56 percent of U.S. consumers across age groups own smartphones, and adoption is growing rapidly.

Once seen as a threat to brick-and-mortar retailing, smartphone-assisted shopping has proven to be a significant contributor to in-store purchases. Retailers that embrace WiFi information delivery to employees and customers are at the forefront of new forms of engagement that can mean tremendous competitive advantage.

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Is Your Network Ready for the Retail Store of the Future?

Moving to the cloud offers many business advantages, and is a natural evolution for many companies. Organizations are choosing cloud services to focus their staff on business priorities, fuel top-line growth, increase agility, reduce capital expenses, and pay for only what they need on demand.

And the timing couldn't be better as CIOs are becoming brokers of IT services in response to C-Level pressure to support business growth, reduce cost, and improve IT services and IT security. However, organizations can choose from multiple cloud options, making it challenging — and often overwhelming — to determine the right option for their business.

Download the whitepaper to learn more about the various available cloud options — both public and private — and the pros and cons of each, providing a practical guide for organizations to make the best choice.

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Your Cloud is Only as Good as Your Network

How you connect to the cloud can be as important as the cloud itself.

Our EarthLink Business whitepaper, Your Cloud is Only as Good as Your Network, lets you in on a little secret with big consequences: the network link between your business and the cloud is vital to your success with cloud computing. To maximize the full capabilities of cloud computing, you must do more than offload services to a cloud provider. Best results are achieved when you include network connectivity options as a key requirement in your cloud-provider selection process.

Your Cloud is Only as Good as Your Network illustrates the available network-access paths for multiple sites with different needs and shows you how to achieve the best cloud-computing results for your business.

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Voice Services

Top Three Contact Center Challenges Solved in the Cloud

And 8 tips for moving to the cloud

Organizations of all sizes are increasingly embracing hosted and cloud options for the contact center. Spending for cloud-based contact centers surpassed spending for on-premises contact centers in 2012 and the hosted contact center market is forecast to grow at 12.1% rate through 2017.1

What's driving contact centers to the cloud? Like their on-premises counterparts, cloud-based contact center solutions deliver a powerful range of services, including call routing, queue management, interactive voice response (IVR), and analytics and reporting. Yet these types of features, for the most part, are table stakes. You can’t be in the game if you don't deliver.

It is what cloud-based solutions offer above and beyond functionality that is turning contact centers on to them. Instead of adding to the burden of day-to-day contact center management, a cloud solution helps alleviate some of the toughest challenges that executives face, including market, operational, and financial challenges.

Read the whitepaper to learn more.

Source: 1 "Cloud Momentum Boosts Trends in the Contact Center," Frost & Sullivan, published by Interactive Intelligence Group Inc., - January 28, 2014.

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It Pays to Put Your Head in the Cloud

Many businesses think of their phone systems as just another necessary tool. And that's true in many cases.

Any company operating in multiple locations and taking incoming calls to transact business can grasp a new opportunity to boost productivity and generate additional revenues. It's a matter of adopting today's advanced phone systems hosted in the cloud. Just doing so can take their businesses to new heights while helping them cut costs.

If your business is not leveraging the latest communications technology to drive revenue and keep costs low, then you'll want to read this eBook. This eBook explains the benefits of hosted voice and shares real-world examples that illustrate the tremendous value to businesses. It also provides access to a Business Impact Analysis calculator that will reveal how much revenue uplift and cost reduction your business could achieve with such a solution.

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Benefits of Moving Voice to the Cloud

Drive business growth, improve customer experience, reduce costs

In today's business environment, voice communications continue to play a mission-critical role, and an increasingly competitive world demands smarter, more flexible voice services with advanced features. Cloud voice services create innovative opportunities to drive business growth and deliver an improved customer experience, while maximizing efficiencies and reducing costs.

Download the whitepaper to learn how a growing software company moved their voice services to the cloud, allowing for new features to provide better customer support, increased revenue opportunities, and lowered operating costs.

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