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Click, Click, BOOM – You're in Business But Is Your Technology Ready?

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Click, Click, BOOM – You're in Business But Is Your Technology Ready? It's a fast business world. Brilliant business ideas can be conjured up at some hipster-filled vegan coffeehouse, a website is thrown together, and poof... in no time at all there is a living, breathing, small business venture accessible from anywhere in the world. But as your head hits the pillow at night, with visions of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg dancing in your head, understand that many obstacles will greet you on your road to entrepreneurial success. A fresh innovative idea is merely a start. For every successful startup like Groupon, there are even more that have faltered. Some great, even revolutionary, business concepts that just faded into obscurity; leaving behind nothing but tales of what could've been and insurmountable debt. Failed business technology is often a big reason for this. Many startups think big but tend to operate small-minded to keep overhead and costs down. They then find …

Three Steps To Fix IT Management for SMBs

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Three Steps To Fix IT Management for SMBs Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) tend to have a more difficult time managing IT than larger enterprises. Despite being as technology dependent as larger enterprises, SMBs have tighter budgets and fewer resources to devote to IT management. This leads to a more reactive "break-fix" approach to their technology that never does any smaller company or organization any good. Here's what break fix most often leads to. If the burden rests on the shoulders of hourly or salaried in-house IT support, and they're too busy putting out fires all day, then their skills and talents are essentially wasted. If there is no in-house tech support, and many smaller companies and organizations don't have even one onsite "IT guy", SMBs are commonly taken for a ride by some of the more unscrupulous on-call IT consultants. Although "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a popular saying, it should never be applied to …

Inquiring SMBs Want to Know... What's the Difference Between a Help Desk and NOC?

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Inquiring SMBs Want to Know... What's the Difference Between a Help Desk and NOC? It's no secret that any growing small-to-medium sized business must monitor and manage its business technology in the most cost-efficient way. The tricky part is figuring out how to do this without sacrificing the overall experience of the end-user. End-users can be clients and customers or employees. Both rely on the efficiency of a firm's network, servers, and applications, and the availability of the company's data center. Thanks to the evolution of managed services, it's actually possible these days to reduce costs, which strengthens IT support and infrastructure. It's just a matter optimally integrating all available resources. It's a Staffing Conundrum for Most SMBs Most SMBs tend to be short staffed. This isn't just another reference to the many SMBs with little to no onsite tech support. While that's true, and problematic, it's actually all operations that tend…

Understanding Managed Services and How They Benefit SMBs

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Understanding Managed Services and How They Benefit SMBs Small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) receive a lot of calls each day from slick sales people peddling the next technology trend that's going to save them money and revolutionize how they do business. They're all too quick to caution that if you don't listen to them, you'll fall behind the times, and eventually be swimming in a sea of debt and out of business. No doubt you've heard, or you've at least read about, the benefits of managed services. Managed services refer to clearly defined outsourced IT services delivered to you at predictable costs. You know the exact IT services you'll be getting and what you'll pay for them. There is no surprise sky-high bill for services rendered. So are solicitation calls that pertain to managed services worth listening to? We think so. Then again, we're in the managed services industry. There may be a bit of a bias here. How Managed Service Providers Work Ma…

Are Managed IT Services Right For You? A Few Things to Consider

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Are Managed IT Services Right For You? A Few Things to Consider How do you get a small business to recognize the value of manages IT services? In the start-up environment, we encounter an eclectic bunch of personality types. There is a reason people become entrepreneurs or C-level execs. When we meet the owners or decision makers at smaller companies and organizations, we can tell right away why they're where they are. They're visionaries. They're risk takers. They're competitive. They want to be in charge. Therefore, they aren't always quick to place the fate of their business technology in the hands of a third party. They've come as far as they have by being in control and they're hesitant to give up that control. But we've learned a few things along the way. For example, the Type A personality is highly independent but also very competitive. So we tap into the competitive advantage that managed IT services gives them. The Type B personality is creative a…

Breaking News: Downtime Kills Small Businesses

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Breaking News: Downtime Kills Small Businesses Downtime is bad news for any business whether big or small. A recent two-hour New York Times' downtime occurrence sent Twitter ablaze and their stock price plummeting. Google going down for one to five hours resulted in lost revenue up to $500,000 and decreased overall web traffic by 40%. We know what you're thinking. Holy crap, Google makes $100,000 an hour? Yeah... insane, huh? While the hourly cost of downtime for a small-to-medium sized business won't be nearly as large as that astronomical Google figure, downtime is often more detrimental to smaller companies. Smaller enterprises are more susceptible to downtime and are neither large nor profitable enough to sustain its short and long-term effects. Downtime Leads to Unhappy/Unproductive Employees Even the happiest of employees become dissatisfied when they can't perform basic day-to-day job functions or properly service customers or clients. While some employees may use downt…

The contact center and omni-channel communications

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The contact center and omni-channel communications We’ve talked in other blogs about the value of contact centers over traditional, one - dimensional call centers, but we haven't talked yet about the need for contact centers to be designed on the omni-channel model. This blog explains what omni-channel means and why this is a critical part of the contact center design. Omni-channel refers to a specific model of multi-channel communications. We already know a contact center makes use of many different modes of communications in order to best meet all of your customers wherever they choose to be. But we haven’t talked about the fact that contact centers need to be omni-channel. In the omni-channel model, all of the channels are integrated. The idea here is to allow for cross channel “communication” so that the information and customer data that is accumulated on one channel is immediately communicated to all the other extant channels. The goal: whenever a customer connects on any touc…