Service Update: Advanced Threat Protection

Service Update Announcement

Beginning July 1, 2022, Cumulus Global is adding Advanced Threat Protection services to all clients using Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

With more than 40% of cyber attacks targeting small businesses and two thirds of attacks using email, Advanced Threat Protection is no longer an option. The stakes are too high. Recovery takes an average of 21 days and 60% of small businesses fail within six months of a successful attack.

To minimize the impact, we are waiving the standard setup fee and discounting the service by 20% for customers with an annual commitment. The fee will be reflected on your annual invoice or monthly invoices, as appropriate.

You may opt out of the Advanced Threat Protection service. To opt-out, please notify us by email prior to May 25, 2022. If you elect to opt-out, please review the terms of our Service Level Agreement as posted on our website.

Please contact us or schedule time with one of our cloud advisors if you have any questions.

Cumulus Global Awarded MSP 500 Status for Fourth Consecutive Year

For the fourth consecutive year, CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Cumulus Global to its Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category for 2022. The list recognizes innovative and forward-thinking services providers throughout North America. The award focuses on service providers who deliver best-of-breed services and solutions that help businesses and their teams achieve tangible business results.

“We are honored and grateful that our peers see our managed cloud services as industry-leading solutions,” stated Cumulus Global CEO Allen Falcon. “The continued recognition confirms our believe that small and midsize business success requires a great team, robust vendor relationships, and creative, innovative, and effective solutions.”

With many customers still recovering from the impact of the ongoing pandemic, MSPs have become a vital part of the success of businesses worldwide. MSPs not only empower organizations to leverage intricate technologies but also help them keep a strict focus on their core business goals without straining their budgets.

“In addition to having to adjust their own business operations to account for the changed conditions during the pandemic, MSPs have also seen increased demand for their managed communications, collaboration and security services,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “The solution providers on our 2022 MSP 500 list deserve credit for their innovative and game-changing approaches to managed services in these unpredictable times, as well as their ability to optimize operational efficiencies and systems without straining IT budgets.”

Cumulus Global, as a Managed Cloud Solution Provider, matches the best aspects of MSP services with a “cloud-first” perspective. Leveraging the economies of cloud computing, Cumulus Global offers robust, secure, productivity and digital transformation services more cost effectively than traditional IT services for small and midsize businesses.

The MSP 500 list is featured in the February 2022 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/msp500.

About Cumulus Global

Cumulus Global is an industry-leading managed cloud service provider with a mission to deliver solutions with tangible value.

What We Do: We translate your business goals and objectives into solutions and services.

How We Do It: We start with your business needs and priorities. Planning and migration includes guidance to help your team adopt and utilize new services. Your team benefits from co-managed services, on-going support, and client success services that help you adapt as your business changes and grows.

What We Offer: Managed cloud solutions featuring Google, Microsoft, and more than three dozen providers.

About The Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequalled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

 

 

Mandatory Google Workspace Transitions Begin

Google Cloud PartnerIf you have not completed your transition from G Suite to Google Workspace, Google will automatically begin Google Workspace transitions on January 31, 2022.  You will receive at least 30 days notice of your migration.

Please note that this transition includes significant changes to your subscription options, features/functions, AND PRICING.

Google Workspace

KEY POINTS TO KNOW:

  • Disruption: The transition is non-disruptive to end users and administrators, unless you decide to transition to a subscription with different features.
  • Pricing: Depending on your size and current G Suite services, keeping the same features may result in price increases of 50% to more than 300% (see below).
  • Savings: Cumulus Global can manage your transition, help you select the best Google Workspace for your business, and offer discount incentives for making your transition before the end of the year.

YOUR KEY DECISION:

You need to decide if you want to manage your transition or wait for Google to transition your subscription automatically.

If you chose to manage your transition, we can:

  • Save you money with Google-supported incentive discounts, provided we schedule your transition before the end of the year.
  • Help you select the best subscription plan/mix for your business, ensuring your business and security needs are met at the lowest cost.
  • Schedule your transition at a time that works for you and your team.
  • Educate your IT team on any new end-user, admin, and security features.
  • Support your IT team and end users.

YOUR MANAGED TRANSITION

To learn more about Managed Transitions, please contact us by email, or use the following form:


RESOURCES

In addition to more information in the “About” sections, below, we offer the following resources as well:

About: Automatic Transitions

Google will begin automatic transitions on January 31, 2022.

  • For annual subscriptions, the transition will occur at the end of your current annual or fixed term contract.
  • Companies on “Flex Plan”, month-t0-month services, Google will transition your account as quickly as possible
  • Google will determine the Google Workspace subscription based on your current product features, even if this change results in a significant price increase
  • Automatic transitions are not eligible for incentives or other discounts

About: Pricing Changes

The three biggest impacts on your Google Workspace pricing are your number of licenses,  features, and storage.

License Count

Companies with fewer than 300 users can select from three Google Workspace Business subscriptions.  Companies with more than 300 users will need to select from the two Google Workspace Enterprise subscriptions.  While you can mix and match licenses within the Business and Enterprise tiers, you cannot mix and match Business and Enterprise subscriptions.

Impact for companies with more than 300 users:

  • Companies running G Suite Basic, will see their per user license fees increase form $6 per month to at least $20 per month.
  • Companies running G Suite Business, will see their per user license fees increase form $12 per month to at least $20 per month.

Features

The biggest feature impact for most companies will be their use of Vault.  Companies running G Suite Basic and Google Vault, or running G Suite Business (which includes Vault), will need to transition to Google Workspace Business Plus. Because both Google Workspace Enterprise subscriptions include Vault, any company with more than 300 users will have Vault due to the license count-based migration requirements.

Impact for companies using Vault (with 300 or fewer users):

  • Companies running G Suite Basic plus Vault, will see their per user license fees increase form $11 per month to $18 per month.
  • Companies running G Suite Business, will see their per user license fees increase form $12 per month to at least $18 per month.

Storage

Added storage is no longer an option with Google Workspace. Because you can mix and match licenses within the Business and Enterprise tiers, you may need to transition users to different subscriptions based on their storage needs.

The Google Workspace subscriptions offer the following per-user storage:

  • Business Starter = 30GB, no Shared Drives
  • Business Standard = 2 TB, aggregated across the domain, with Shared Drives
  • Business Plus = 5 TB, aggregated across the domain, with Shared Drives
  • Enterprise Standard = Unlimited storage, with Shared Drives
  • Enterprise Plus = Unlimited storage, with Shared Drives

Other Changes: Vault Former Employee Licenses

Vault Former Employee (VFE) licenses are free or discounted Vault licenses for users that no longer have active G Suite accounts.  With the transition to Google Workspace, VFE licenses are no longer available; VFE licenses will transition to Archive User Licenses (AUL).

Archive User Licenses are NOT FREE. The per user per month pricing for AULs is as follows:

  • AUL – Business = $4
  • AUL – Enterprise Standard = $5
  • AUL – Enterprise Plus = $7

Companies with VFE licenses should plan for alternate retention strategies or potentially significant licensing fees.

 

15 Years of Service

Cumulus Global Logo - 15 Years of ServiceOn August 18th, Cumulus Global reached a milestone: 15 Years of Service.  Founded in 2006, we have provided tactical and strategic cloud services and solutions to small and midsize businesses, non-profits, local governments, and K-12 school systems. Thank you! Our journey could not have happened without the trust our clients and partners place in our expertise, insights, and services.

Our need will be the real creator.” – Plato

Cumulus Global — born as Horizon Info Services, LLC — exists because we wanted and needed to solve critical business problems.  Running a strategic IT consultancy at the time, Allen Falcon and Chris Caldwell had clients struggling to manage spam.  With more than 95% of all email being spam, on-site email servers and Internet connections were saturated and overwhelmed processing junk email. Having found a solution, the duo spun off what is now Cumulus Global to provide cloud-based email security and compliance services to their consulting clients and other small businesses. The service, Postini, did the trick and our business grew.

“Just Google It.” – Anonymous

In 2007, Google acquired Postini and Cumulus Global became one of Google’s first partners and resellers.  Our relationship with Google created new opportunities for Cumulus Global and our customers, and enabled a vision and mission of helping smaller businesses take full advantage of the cloud computing evolution.

Cumulus Global helped Google pilot its Google Apps Premier Edition (now evolved into Google Workspace). We were one of the first partners authorized to resell to governments and schools.  We partnered with Google for the launch of Chromebooks for Education.

With all of these first, Cumulus Global stayed true to its focus: strategic and tactical cloud solutions that augment or replace traditional small business IT solutions for better productivity, value, and business results.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

Following the acceptance and rapid growth of “Cloud Computing”, Cumulus Global landed at #349 on the 2014 Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies.  In 2015, we were #914 in the Inc. 5000.

“Every problem is a gift — without problems we would not grow.” – Anthony Robbins

While the growth was exciting, rapid growth creates challenges. The resources required to rapid growth detracts from other areas of the business.  In 2016, we made a conscious decision to focus on “Better, Not Bigger”.  With this shift, we:

  • Became a Microsoft Silver partner, providing a platform agnostic view of cloud solutions
  • Added a broader range of security, privacy, and compliance services to meet evolving market and regulatory demands
  • Expanded from providing “support” to delivering “services”, offering customers unlimited co-management of cloud and IT services
  • Rolled out new managed services, such as Business Continuity/Backup/DR, Identity and Access Management, and Managed Print services, to provide customers with a complete, cohesive, and secure technology environment.

We continue to anticipate and respond to regulatory, industry, and market changes that impact our customers’ businesses and influence decisions.

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” — Albert Einstein

Like most small businesses, we are only as good as the members of our team. We are fortunate to have a team of dedicated professionals that share our vision and passion.  This has been true throughout our history. Cumulus Global continues to be a comfortable workspace in which our team members feel safe to learn and grow — professionally and personally. We are proud of our team and their commitment to our mission and visions, and our customers. We are also proud that Cumulus Global has helped many on our team build new skill sets, expand their horizons, and launch fulfilling careers.

“Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.” – Abraham Lincoln

Our commitment remains firm: The outcomes you want – business, operational, technological – drive our passion. We help small and midsize organizations, like yours, get more value from existing IT and new, Cloud Forward, managed cloud services.

We …

  • Start by understanding your business so we can align solutions with your goals and objectives.
  • Design, deploy, and manage secure, cloud forward solutions that empower your team and give you a competitive advantage.
  • Partner with Microsoft, Google, and dozens of other vendors to match you with the right technologies and services.
  • Stay with you for the long haul, managing your services, supporting your team, and keeping your IT services in sync with your changing business needs and priorities.

“Nothing happens unless first we dream.” – Carl Sandburg

Cumulus Global began with a vision and a dream that an emerging technology — cloud computing — could transform how small and midsize organizations would use technology to thrive and grow.  We remain actively involved with industry organizations so we may continue to look forward, identify shifts, and pursue new opportunities for, and with, our customers.

Where are you now? Where do you want to be?

Partner with us. Let us help you dream, set goals, and execute plans.  Please contact us to start, or continue, the conversation.

Productivity Suite Assessment Helps Small Businesses Choose or Improve their Cloud

May 25, 2021 – Westborough, MA – Cumulus Global is pleased to announce the launch of its new Productivity Suite Assessment, a consulting service that helps small and midsize businesses (SMBs) determine which productivity suite best meets their needs and how to fully utilize the suite to improve productivity and support business goals. Whether considering, or currently using Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, the productivity suite is the foundation for IT services. The right match is about more than the marketing hype and basic features. The right match integrates with how you work and other systems to support business goals, needs, priorities, and budget.

“For businesses not yet in the cloud, we guide them to the best fit and solution,” stated Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global. “For those only using some of the Microsoft and Google suite services, we help them fully adopt, utilize, and leverage capabilities.”

The Productivity Suite Assessment gives businesses:

  • A comprehensive review of current technology platforms and how well they are serving the business
  • Expert analysis of challenges, gaps, and opportunities to improve productivity and efficiencies
  • Recommendations: “what” technologies are a best fit and “how” to leverage them for greatest impact and value
  • Savings on implementation of recommendations.

“We help businesses decide if Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace best aligns with their operations and technologies. More impactfully, we identify under-utilized capabilities and guide adoption,” noted Falcon. “Using these recommendations, businesses improve processes, empower employees and teams, reduce costs, and enable growth.”

The Productivity Suite Assessment follows Cumulus Global’s best-practice methods.  The three phase project includes: detailed discovery, thorough analysis; and recommendations with guidance on implementation and adoption.  Cumulus Global partners with both Microsoft and Google, providing objective analysis and recommendations. Founded in 2006, Cumulus Global has 15 years experience delivery cloud solutions to small and midsize businesses.

Cumulus Global takes AIM with Manufacturers

www.aimnet.orgApril 27 2021 – Westborough, MA – Cumulus Global is pleased to announce its Corporate Membership in the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM). Through its membership, Cumulus Global will better understand the issues and challenges facing manufacturers. As a member, Cumulus Global will help support manufacturing as a key component of a diverse, healthy economy.

“By joining AIM, we gain access to information and ideas,” stated Allen Falcon, CEO. “A better understanding of the business issues — challenges and opportunities — facing manufactures is key. This knowledge improves our ability to design, deploy, and manage technology solutions that deliver tangible business results.”

Manufacturers, like most businesses, are adopting cloud computing as a mainstream component of their technology infrastructure.  CIO magazine reports that over 90% of all businesses use some form of cloud computing.  According to IDG’s 2020 Cloud Computing Survey, investment in cloud computing jumped 59% from 2018 to 2020.

Smart strategies, investments, and management are critical.  Cumulus Global helps small and mid-size manufacturers leverage secure, public cloud services to maximize results and value. Done properly, cloud solutions help manufactures adapt and compete in our rapidly changing economy.

“A diversified, healthy economy depends on a healthy, diverse manufacturing sector,” noted Falcon. “Our AIM membership supports advocacy for public policies that enable manufacturers to adapt and thrive. This as essential for our community and our nation.”

Cumulus Global believes that manufacturing will continue to play a critical role in our local, regional, and national economies. The company shares AIM’s commitment to innovation and sound economic policy.

About Associated Industries of Massachusetts

AIM (www.aimnet.org) is a forward-looking organization of dedicated, focused, and experienced business leaders. The association works to support public policy and provide services that enable jobs creation and economic opportunity. AIM focuses on public policy advocacy, employer services delivery, business community development, and best practice guidance for, and on behalf, of its members.

Google Workspace Storage Policy Changes Impact Business Subscribers

Earlier today (April 15, 2021), Google announced changes to Google Workspace storage policies for Google Photos and the suite of collaboration apps.  For Google Workspace subscribers on the Business Starter, Standard, and Enterprise licenses, these changes will impact how your data counts against your storage limits.

Policy Changes:

Effective June 1, 2021

  • All new high-quality photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos will count towards your storage limit. Any photos or videos uploaded prior to June 1, 2021 will not count towards your storage limit.

Effective February 1, 2022

  • Any new files created in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, or Jamboard will count towards your storage limit.
  • Existing files that you modify after this date will also count towards your storage limit.
  • Existing files that are not modified will not count towards your storage limit.

Impact

Depending on your use of Google Photos and the suite of collaboration apps, these changes to the storage policies means more of your files will count towards the storage limits in the Google Workspace Business tier licenses.

Business Starter

Storage limit: 30 GB per individual user

  • Prior to June 1, 2021: If you have users that regularly use Google Photos, review their usage and determine if/when they might reach the limit.
  • Prior to Feb 1, 2022: Review usage reports to assess how quickly individual users may reach the individual 30GB limit.

Action: Upgrade specific users to Business Standard or Business Plus, as needed to ensure they have the capacity they need.

Business Standard

Storage limit: 2TB per user, aggregated across the domain.

  • Understand your storage limit. Storage is aggregated, calculate your limit by multiplying the number of Business Standard users by 2TB and the number of Business Plus users by 5TB.  As an example, if you have 10 Business Standard users, your storage limit is 10 x 2TB = 20TB.
  • Prior to June 1, 2021: Review your use of the Google Photos in the aggregate across your domain. Project the rate of growth over the coming year to assess if or when the use of Google Photos may cause you to hit your storage limit.
  • Prior to February 1, 2022: Review your use of the collaboration apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) to estimate your rate of growth and file modifications.  With this estimate, you can project if/when you might approach your storage limit.

Actions: Running Business Standard licenses, you have options: (1) You can upgrade specific (higher activity) users to Business Plus, giving those users higher aggregated storage; (2) You can upgrade your entire domain to Business Plus, increasing your storage available to all users at the 5TB per user level; or (3) You can upgrade your service to a Google Workspace Enterprise license, giving your team unlimited storage.

Business Plus

Storage limit: 5TB per user, aggregated across the domain.

  • Understand your storage limit. Storage is aggregated, calculate your limit by multiplying the number of Business Plus users by 5TB.
  • Prior to June 1, 2021: Review your use of the Google Photos in the aggregate across your domain. Project the rate of growth over the coming year to assess if or when the use of Google Photos may cause you to hit your storage limit.
  • Prior to February 1, 2022: Review your use of the collaboration apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) to estimate your rate of growth and file modifications.  With this estimate, you can project if/when you might approach your storage limit.

Actions: As you cannot mix Business and Enterprise tier licenses, you will need to upgrade your service (all users) to an Enterprise subscription. This change will provide unlimited storage.

Next Steps

Contact us if you would like help assessing your usage patterns, planning your utilization, or assessing your options. We will schedule a meeting with one of our Cloud Advisors or members of our Service Team.

Upgrade to Google Drive for Desktop before May 18, 2021

On May 18, 2021, older versions of Google Drive for Desktop (formerly Drive File Stream or “DFS”) will no longer function.  To continue using the application without interruption, you need to Upgrade to Google Drive for Desktop version 40.x or higher before this date.

To upgrade your version, use one of the following options:

You can read more about additions and improvements in the Google Drive for desktop release notes.

Exchange Server Zero-Day Threat

On March 3, 2021, Microsoft issued an emergency Microsoft Exchange Server patch alert for multiple zero-day vulnerabilities that are being exploited by a nation-state affiliated group. The order impacts on-premise Exchange Servers 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. Older editions are past end of life and do not receive security updates. Microsoft highly recommends that you take immediate action to apply the patches for any on-premises Exchange deployments. The first priority is servers which are accessible from the Internet (e.g., servers publishing Outlook on the web/OWA and ECP).

To patch these vulnerabilities, you should move to the latest Exchange Cumulative Updates, followed by the relevant security updates on each server.

The vulnerabilities and risk do not exist for any version of Microsoft Exchange Online. The risk does not impact any version of Microsoft 365 or Microsoft Office 365.

As discussed in past posts, one of the benefits of cloud-based solutions is the integrated management of the environment. You are not depending on how well your IT provider of staff keep up with maintaining your systems and your security updates. Moving your infrastructure to the cloud shifts the burden of maintenance and operations, letting your team focus on activities that help your run and grow your business.

Want to learn more, contact us and schedule a complimentary Cloud Advisor session.

Cumulus Global Recognized as a Pioneer on CRN’s 2021 MSP 500 List

CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has again named Cumulus Global to its 2021 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category. The annual list recognizes leading North American solution providers that demonstrate innovative and forward-thinking approaches to managed services. These services help businesses and their teams improve operational efficiencies and navigate the ongoing complexities of new IT solutions while maximizing their return on IT investments. CRN’s 2021 MSP 500 list identifies the market’s key managed services players who are setting themselves apart with best-of-breed solutions that provide the business outcomes customers need.

“We are grateful for the award as a continued recognition of our commitment to helping small and midsize businesses attain their goals and objectives,” stated Cumulus Global CEO Allen Falcon. “With the added challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our success, and our customers’ success, would not be possible without creative and innovative solutions, robust vendor relationships, and a team that puts our customers first.”

With cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services, Manage Service Providers (MSPs) are an integral part of the success of businesses worldwide. They help empower organizations to leverage complex technologies, keeping a strict focus on their core business and balancing priorities and budgets.

“Effective MSPs enable companies to focus on their core objectives while improving the quality and reliability of their cloud computing capabilities,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “The solution providers on CRN’s 2021 MSP 500 list deserve recognition for their innovative and forward-thinking approaches to managed services, and the ability to optimize operational efficiencies and systems to maximize return on investments.”

Cumulus Global, as a Managed Cloud Solution Provider, matches the best aspects of MSP services with a “cloud-first” perspective. Leveraging the economies of cloud computing, Cumulus Global offers robust, secure, productivity and digital transformation services more cost effectively than traditional IT services for small and midsize businesses.

The MSP 500 list will be featured in the February 2021 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/msp500.

About The Channel Company (www.thechannelcompany.com)
The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequalled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace.