Enable Ministry Partners’ Hardware-as-a-Service (“HaaS”) offering takes the pain and expense of purchasing hardware and turns it into a comprehensive managed solution that includes hardware, software, maintenance, and ongoing support. Haas has many important benefits:
- Simple, Comprehensive Solution
HaaS is a fully managed service offering which not only puts the equipment in your office but takes care of all the monitoring, maintenance, and support associated with it as well. When it is time to upgrade, Enable will swap all of the hardware during out-of-hours periods, and place the new equipment on your desk, with all of your files and desktop information placed exactly where they belong.
- Flexible, Scalable Model
Scalability is no worry at all when it comes to the flexibility of a Hardware as a Service agreement. As your church grows and adds new staff, Enable will simply add the necessary equipment to your agreement at an affordable monthly rate. This makes it easier to bring on new ministry staff and provide them with the hardware and equipment they need.
- Reduced Capital Outlays
HaaS evens out your ongoing technology infrastructure investments and allows you to avoid periodic capital campaigns or the necessity of having to come up with large sums of money in extensive hardware refresh projects every four years or so. With a HaaS agreement, you ensure that you can acquire and utilize the technology necessary to enable ministry via a budgeted, fixed monthly expense. Additionally, a HaaS agreement removes any unpredictability related to maintenance, upkeep and warranty, as they are all included.
- Avoiding Obsolescence
Our HaaS solution includes not only repair or replacement of broken hardware, but also timely upgrades to state-of-the-art technology. As churches are increasing their use of technology to enable vital ministry functions, a HaaS solution eliminates a great deal of the buyer angst regarding investing resources in IT purchases that too quickly are outdated or fail to keep pace with current technology standards. We believe that all purchases should be made with responsible stewardship as a key consideration; in many cases investing in updated equipment via HaaS to enable ministry can be just such a good stewardship decision. A HaaS solution allows you to stay current with state-of-the-art technology specific to your individual ministry goals and needs — from multifunction printers and copiers, to servers, computers, peripherals and more. No longer will you feel compelled to “try to make things work out” with outdated technology because of cost constraints.
In an increasingly connected, “always on” world, information security is a critical concern. Information security encompasses a broad area, and has implications for individual devices, individual users and church networks.
At the individual computer or device level, it encompasses anti-virus and anti-malware, password protection, and data encryption. In educating individual people about security concerns, we discuss annual security training, preventing email phishing and other social engineering attacks, and protecting personal information. In looking at the church network, we focus on firewalls, vulnerability patch management, data integrity, least-access principles, and administrative controls related to systems access. Moving data or systems into the cloud presents a unique set of challenges for churches as they desire to make information available ubiquitously while still protecting it from unauthorized access.
At each of these layers, there are devices, software, appliances, systems, or training that can and should be utilized to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems and information. We stand ready to assist you with realizing all of technology’s potential for ministry while simultaneously protecting valuable and private member and church data.
Churches have unique wireless requirements that differ greatly from standard office environments. Like everyone else today, church staff and members have an expectation of ubiquitous wireless connectivity, regardless of where they go, including at church. In the recent past, it was relatively easy to hang a handful of wireless access points and open network access to internal users and guests alike; today, that is no longer the case. With almost universal ownership of cell phones, tablets, etc. that rely on “always on” wireless connectivity as their primary connection method, managing a reliable, high performing wireless infrastructure in the church has changed significantly.
The heavy density of wireless clients (especially at peak service or conference times,) the risk of data breaches, and specialized content filtering requirements all contribute to the complexity characterizing the modern church wireless infrastructure. Accordingly, most church environments today require a wireless infrastructure that is actively controlled or managed.
Planning proper access point layout includes considerations for wall construction and layout, minimizing co-channel interference, estimated usage, expected client density, and the existing network cabling plant. A small office suite has a significantly different set of considerations than a church school with 30 wireless clients in every classroom or a worship space with several thousand congregants in one large venue. Internet bandwidth and content filtering requirements should also be considered when planning for new wireless infrastructure.
Church staff, church members and attendees of church events now have an expectation of always being able to connect to church technology resources and information, from the Internet and/or the internal church network. Different users have different expectations as to the breadth of information they should be able to access in the church environment. At the same time, churches feel an appropriate obligation to protect those who are utilizing church resources. Preventing staff, guests, or students from inadvertently (or intentionally) accessing inappropriate or malicious web content presents a challenging balancing act between keeping people safe on the Internet and allowing them to effectively work, browse, or learn. There certainly are pitfalls to avoid in this process.
With organization-owned and managed devices, it can be a little bit easier. But it gets more complicated as when everyone is bringing their own devices (BYOD). In this scenario, content filtering must happen automatically, with no individual device configuration or setup. There are a variety of technologies available to help with this task and many of them work very well in some scenarios but poorly in others. Every church must decide for themselves what content is acceptable and what should be filtered. Enable has worked on this issue for many years in varying environments and can help determine with you how to most effectively accomplish the required content filtering. We can then work with you to successfully implement and manage the requisite technologies.
The use of multisite or satellite campuses to enable church growth and church plants is an ever-increasing phenomenon in the Church today. The reasons motivating churches to adopt multisite models vary from church to church, and the nuances of the models vary. But most churches adopting this strategy are looking to leverage resources, personnel and ministry operations to expand influence as they are about the work of serving others and making disciples.
Connecting different sites or campuses to each other in a secure manner across the Internet can provide a huge benefit in productivity and reduce the capital expense of duplicating equipment at multiple sites. The ability to share files, stream video content, and leverage physical separation for backup or disaster recovery purposes are all reasons motivating churches to connect campuses and remote offices.
A variety of methods exists to accomplish this – from site-to-site VPN tunnels to ISP-managed routing between locations. Some of these methods are better for latency-sensitive communications, like live-streaming a worship service, or placing a Voice Over IP call from one office to another. Others options can make more sense for heavy data transfer loads that are less time-sensitive. Proper multi-site network architecture will accommodate all the data sharing needs between locations. If done properly, this strategy can have a positive impact on multiplying ministry efforts and enhancing stewardship. Enable Ministry Partners have been working with multi-site churches since the inception of the model and are experienced in working through the many issues associated with this structure.
A reliable, robust network infrastructure is important to enabling ministry in the current environment, especially considering the many church management software solutions and other ministry applications that are delivered via a software as a service model. Network infrastructure typically consists of Internet circuits, firewalls, routers, switches, wireless access points, servers and workstations. Each of these devices plays its own critical role in ensuring that important ministry data travels through your network and the Internet properly.
Much like local and regional infrastructure such as roads, highways, interstates, bridges and traffic lights to name a few, your network infrastructure is what provides for ministry communications and data to travel within your network and to the Internet. As with a roadway, if there is an accident or a problem that results in lane closures, traffic flow is impeded and delays result. Similar delays and impediments, when experienced within your network infrastructure, will result in reduced ministry and capacity to serve those whom you serve. As such, there is a need for comprehensive oversight, proactive management and maintenance of your network Infrastructure, as well as trusted consultation in design and implementation on the front end.
Enable Ministry Partners maintains partnerships with the leaders in the technology industry. Some of our partners include Microsoft, HP Enterprise, Ruckus Wireless, Brocade Networks, Dell, Sonicwall Security, Datto Business Continuity Solutions and more. These partnerships assist us in enabling ministry by providing you with the best infrastructure solutions available.