As more small- and medium-size-business owners look for ways to increase productivity, many are focusing their attention on technology as a productivity driver and re-evaluating their technology infrastructure. Small- and medium-size-business staffs, who are often forced to do more with less time and fewer resources, are moving away from tools that require them to learn how new technologies work and toward tools that learn to work the way they do. The right technology can increase efficiency, save money and reduce waste. Productivity solutions are evolving to provide easy access at any time, through any device. They allow users to stay connected anywhere and retrieve important documents as needed, without interruption. For example, if a small- or medium-size-business owner is at a client’s office, he or she can use a phone or tablet to access a contract and share information instantly. Owners can gain even more of a competitive edge by connecting data from devices and sensors with the cloud and business intelligence tools. As a part of normal product life cycles and to accommodate the shift toward modern technology, Microsoft will completely end support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. Security patches and updates will no longer be available after this period. Research from IDC confirms that businesses should thoughtfully consider using this moment as a starting point for the shift toward modern technology. “We think customers should take advantage of this deadline and see it as an opportunity not only to move forward to a newer version of Windows but also to modernize and prepare for the next generation of computers. Hybrid and public clouds are important components of next-generation IT.” A variety of easy-to-integrate options are available for those ready to upgrade, including new servers, hosting partners and Office 365. The flexibility of Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, to scale up or down aligns with the increased need for flexibility among small- and medium-size businesses. Azure integrates a growing collection of services—computing, storage, data, networking and apps—that help small- and medium-size businesses move faster, do more and reduce costs. Automating manual tasks and making it easier for employees to communicate and collaborate through modern technology mean small- and medium-size businesses can gain efficiencies and improve innovation, and they can choose between deploying workloads and applications on premises or in the cloud to meet today’s business demands.