Breaking the Upgrade “Addiction”

May 5th, 2014
So you working on some project on your mac or pc or checking a text on your iPhone and bam, you get a notice that an upgrade is available.  Do you stop what you doing and start downloading?  Or do you ignore or select remind me later?  What about when it comes to your hosting or enterprise platform, are you an upgrade junkie there too?
Somehow in the last few years there seems to be a growing trend towards an upgrade addiction.  Perhaps its a side effect of the “Consumerization of IT” that we want it all and want it now even if we don’t know what it is, why we need it, or if in fact its compatible with other applications.
Unquestionably upgrades are an important part of software maintenance.  They fix bugs, plug security holes, and give us great new features.  But managed improperly, they can also interrupt our productivity, cause system crashes and incompatibilities, and have the potential to cause massive disruptions (not only on our personal time and devices, but if you are in IT your employees and your customers).  Its one thing to waste your weekend recovering from an bad smart phone upgrade, but what happens at an enterprise level when hundreds or thousands of employees are impacted or if you are a service provider and thousands of customers are impacted.  Was the rush to upgrade worth it?
Before upgrading ask yourself these questions;
Do I have time right now to do this or should I plan for it at a later date?
What is in this upgrade?  Do I need it?
Security patch - then perhaps you should plan time ASAP to address.
Bug fix - is it critical, major, or minor?  How many users does it impact?  Do you even use the feature being fixed?  Perhaps you can investigate
further when time allows (put it on the to do list).
New feature - what is it?  Do I/we/they need it?  Why?  If you have been getting along fine without it, is it gonna change your world?
What’s the buzz -  what is the web saying about the upgrade? is it great, does it crash, does it cause other issues?  do you want to be the guinea pig?
Small and large companies alike have released upgrades (upgrades, updates, patches) and quickly withdrawn them due to major issues.  So maybe its best not to be bleeding edge and let the dust settle before upgrading.

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Check Out the New Ensim Website

March 6th, 2012

The Ensim website has a whole NEW look. Check it out at We’ve also done some work on the content and organization. Enjoy!

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Intel Chooses Ensim Unify Enterprise for Its AppUp Small Business Service

May 24th, 2011

We are really pleased to announce that Ensim Unify Enterprise has been chosen by Intel® to provide user provisioning and application management software for the Intel AppUp(sm) Small Business Service - previously known as Hybrid Cloud.

The AppUp Small Business Service product is built atop Windows Server 2008 and Windows Small Business Server 2008, where Ensim Unify provides automated, role-based user provisioning and application management services for Windows Server (Active Directory), SharePoint, and Microsoft Exchange, as well as advanced group management capabilities for both security groups and Exchange distribution lists.

Its great technology and it can be a real life saver for small businesses that want to reap the cost and efficiency benefits of cloud computing but keep the server and data securely on site. The concept is actually pretty simple: you purchase a system and get a locally hosted server and software on a pay-as-you-go (monthly subscription) basis, allowing smaller businesses to pay per user. That way, you only pay for the users you actually have. No more guessing at the capacity you might need in the future and always ending up with either too much or too little.

At the same time, managed service providers (MSP) could potentially offer hundreds of these systems on a very cost effective basis to its smaller customers with the Ensim Unify control panel managing these systems individually and in aggregate. These MSP’s will find the combination of Intel technology with Ensim Unify’s provisioning and management capabilities pre-installed offers significant advantages that reduce overhead, improve ROI, and increase customer retention and satisfaction.

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Audit Manager Scores High Marks in Windows IT Pro Product Review

May 19th, 2011

We are pleased to announce that we  received a 4.5 out of 5 rating for our Audit Manager product in a recent evaluation performed by Windows IT Pro® magazine. You can learn more about Audit Manager by clicking here - but essentially Audit Manager gives IT administrators an auditing solution specifically designed to work with Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. The goal is to make it simple to discover, analyze, and report any changes made to the Active Directory.

In the review, Penton Media’s Windows IT Pro editor Eric B. Rux said, “Unify Audit Manager is extremely simple to set up, and the product uses functionality that’s already built into Server 2008. The queries are easy to master, and the information that systems administrators, security analysts, or pesky auditors need is right at your fingertips. And at only $5 a user, it’s affordable for even a small company.” (Click to read the full review).  We are, of course, very pleased with the review.

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5 Steps to Launch Hosted Exchange 2010

February 23rd, 2011

For the last several years, hosted service providers have used the Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) solution in order to support hosted Exchange deployments. With the release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1, Microsoft has created a new way to support hosted Exchange deployments. Because of this, HMC 4.5 is the last HMC version that will be offered to hosted service providers.

Note: Microsoft will continue to support HMC 4.5 and HMC 4.0 through December 2011. HMC 3.5 will be supported for existing customers until July 2011.

1. Setup a New Domain
Even if you already offer EX2003 or 2007, this new version of HE2010 requires a New Standalone Environment with 64 bit machines.

2. Deploy in Hosting Mode
Exchange 2010 SP1 is the first multi-tenant ready Exchange Server version that includes hosting features that will allow hosted services providers to create and manage multiple organizations in the same Active Directory forest. Exchange 2010 SP1 can be deployed using a special “/hosting” switch that installs Exchange 2010 SP1 in “Hosting Mode”.

3. Select a Control Panel
Since Exchange 2010 SP1 in hosting mode doesn’t allow the usage of the Exchange Management Console (EMC), it’s recommended to use a third party Control Panel such as Ensim Unify SP to help with provisioning of organizations, administrators, users and resellers. The Ensim Unify Service Provider Control Panel supports non MPF for Hosted Exchange 2010.

4. Migrate
Migrating from HMC 4.5 to Exchange 2010 SP1Guidance on how you can migrate (there will not be a direct upgrade option) from HMC 4.5 to Exchange 2010 SP1 is complete and can be downloaded via this link to the Microsoft Hosting Partner Technical Advisor blog.

Note: Microsoft will not create any guidance on how to migrate from HMC 3.5 to Exchange 2010 SP1 running in hosting mode.

5. Licensing
The licensing model for hosted service providers remains consistent with the model used with previous versions of Exchange. That is a hosted service provider can license Exchange via the Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) which provides user/month pricing or via High Volume Sales (HVS) which provides SPLA at steep discounts based on volume.

For more information on Exchange 2010 SP1 for Hosted Service Providers: Microsoft TechNet

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Enterprise 3.0

February 23rd, 2011

2011 should prove to be an exciting year. Enterprise 3.0 has been released and it offers a host of new features and performance enhancements to give our customers increased flexibility and for managing core IT resources. New and enhanced functionality includes approval workflows, enhanced user naming conventions, support for a variety of new high-availability scenarios, multi-role assignment capabilities, and much more.

Giving organizations the ability to design their own approval workflows has always been important. With 3.0 we added a powerful new framework built on Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF).  This gives us the ability to offer a full in-process workflow capability that can be used to configure just about any operation that requires approval before it is executed. We pride ourselves on our ability to automate just about any complex IT task when it comes to provisioning and management, but there are times when someone must approve a particular task and 3.0 provides that flexibility to business process folks in just about every complex scenario you can imagine.

You can read more about 3.0 in the press release or just visit the product pages on the website.

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Auditing and Compliance

July 29th, 2010

As a product specialist for Unify Audit Manager and having spent a number of years in the Auditing and Compliance sector, I thought it was about time, I put my thoughts and my questions on our blog.

I have had wonderful opportunities discussing auditing and compliance with various experts in the field and I have learned a lot from them. Also, from talking to many customers, it still surprises me how may still don’t pay close attention to the audit logs; not, because they don’t care about them, but simply because they don’t have the time to look at them.

In this economy where heads are on the chopping block, yet the ship must sail, everyone is doing the job of 3, 4 or 5 people. Whether you like it or not, it is a fact. At the same time, as Security Administrators, it is your responsibility to ensure security of your company’s infrastructure and its data.

Are you one of those Administrator’s, IT Security Specialist, Audit Manager or whatever your official title may be, who is fortunate enough to also be a juggler and wear many hats? If so, I would love to hear about your daily experiences. Let’s talk… -Neil Karnik

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Ensim Corporation Receives 2009 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award

July 9th, 2010

We are pleased to announce that Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) has named Ensim Unify Service Provider Edition as a recipient of a 2009 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award. Its always great when another organization as well respected as TMC notices what you are doing publicly with an award. You can view the 2009 Award Winners here.

A bit of background on the award: the Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award recognizes the vision, leadership, and thoroughness of the most innovative products and services. Ensim is proud to be chosen as winners of the Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award.

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Little Security

July 9th, 2010

In reviewing a blog by Eileen Ferectic about how Layoffs Threaten Security she spoke about the negative affects recent layoffs have had on IT security professionals. Her  question caught our attention: “Wouldn’t you think that protecting corporate and customer data would be every company’s top priority? What are these executives thinking?”

Most enterprises have the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality. Until recently there has been the kind of focus you would expect in changing how we protected data. This data includes everything from customer and business data to personal data held by various entities that could cause harm if it were to fall into the wrong hands. This is compounded by the fact that “publishing” information to the internet is so easy.

Despite the risk, we still hear the famous “budget” excuse for not adopting an affordable and comprehensive system to protect their corporate intellectual property. We also hear the “I’ll do it myself” excuse. Well, we all know at the end of the day how this ends up; expensive and incomplete.

I think overall every company has a responsibility to protect corporate data, but I don’t think every company yet shares the same thoughts on how best to do this. So the result being “So now we’ve got a scaled-back, overworked IT security team battling against well-funded, tech savvy criminals.”

dchang The Everything Bucket

Ensim Unify

March 3rd, 2010

It’s a great opportunity when a company get’s to tout its achievements. This blog post shares it’s enthusiasm for not just one of Ensim products but for both Ensim Unify Service Provider Edition and Ensim Unify Enterprise Edition.

Ensim Unify Service Provider Edition took home TMC’s 12th annual Internet Telephony Product of the year award.

“Internet Telephony is happy to recognize and honor Ensim for their development of IP communications technology. With Ensim Unify Service Provider Edition, Ensim has further proven its commitment to quality and excellence while addressing real needs in the marketplace,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “We look forward to more innovative solutions from them in the future.”

Ensim Unify Enterprise Edition has been recognized numerous times this month in industry articles, most recently by KMWorld, covering the latest in content, document and knowledge management. Ensim’s most recent release, SharePoint Manager

“…ensures that when users are provisioned and managed, business and policy objectives are met on a secure, cost-effective basis.”

Thank you once again for all the great support!

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