Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Small Businesses Are Saving Money by Outsourcing Network Support

Small businesses face a number of different monthly expenses and many of them are not completely necessary. For example, hiring a full-time network support or IT professional for your small business may not necessarily be the best route for you to take. Many businesses in this situation are saving quite a bit of money by outsourcing this job to a professional company in this field. Here are the basics of how companies are saving money by outsourcing their network support tasks.

How it Works

With this arrangement, the small business hires a network support firm to handle their networking tasks. The firm comes in and sets everything up and then monitors it remotely. If the small business needs help with the network, they simply call the firm and get it taken care of. The network support firm can typically handle most things remotely. In some cases, a representative from the firm may have to travel in and fix the problems.


One of the biggest advantages of using this process is that it can save you money. You only pay for the network service that you need. If you hire a full-time employee, you're going to be paying for a lot of sitting around, in most cases. The network should work fine the majority of the time. If you have a full-time employee just sitting there waiting on something bad to happen, it can result in a lot of lost wages. If you outsource the service, you are essentially just paying for the work that you need done.

Another advantage of using this process is that you do not have to incur all of the overhead that comes with having a full-time employee. For example, when you have an employee, you may have to pay for medical insurance, retirement benefits, workers compensation insurance and other costs. You also have to take up space in your place of business to provide him with an office and the equipment that he needs to work. These costs can really start to add up over the long-term. In many cases, it is much more cost effective to simply outsource this work instead.


If you are thinking about hiring a company to handle your network services on an outsourced basis, make sure that you do your homework. There are good companies to work with and bad ones. If you take the time to do your homework and find a company that really knows what it's doing, you should be able to save money without taking on a lot of additional headaches.

Other Resources:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Prevent Network Security Breaches Caused by Employees

Depending on which study you read, employees cause anywhere from 40 to over 50 percent of network security breaches. This can be good news or bad news; it all depends on how your organization is prepared to respond to it. If you’re on the proactive side of the fence, it’s good news because it means you can stop a large percentage of the security problems your firm may be facing.

How Employees Cause Security Breaches

User Behavior: Most viruses, spyware, etc. is downloaded as a direct result of user behavior. It’s not malicious and can be as simple as an employee doing some web surfing.

Email: It’s an integral part of doing business and one of the reasons it contributes to so many security breaches.  It’s very easy for a hacker to penetrate a network and send emails from supposedly trusted sources. An unsuspecting employee may open an infected attachment and infect an entire system.

Unauthorized Installation of Apps:
It seems that every day a new, cool app is being created. And, many employees download them without the authorization of the IT system manager. In fact, many employees don’t even realize they should seek permission from IT to download apps. Hence, they don’t realize the potential harm they could be causing.

These are just three of the ways employees cause network security and data breaches.

An Easy Way to Decrease Employee-Caused, Network Security Breaches

A common thread running through all of these security threats is no mal-intent on the part of employees; it’s simple naiveté. So, how can a company keep its system safe?

An easy way is to “lock it down.”

Simplify Lockdown®, application control software by triCerat, gives system administrators a straightforward way to monitor and maintain remote desktops with superior security. How? By storing a list of known, trusted applications in a database.

This prevents the downloading and execution of unauthorized applications, malware, viruses, worms, and spyware. It is superior terminal system security – at the touch of a button.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why IT Consulting Services Are Necessary

There is no organization today that operates without the use of information technology. Efficient business is made possible via the use of information technology, and that is exactly why it is the backbone of business in the twenty first century. This widespread use of information technology has pushed business owners to seek IT consulting services for various purposes depending on the kind of business and the IT application in it. This is opposed to hiring full-time IT employees.

There are several things a business owner ought to know about IT consulting. The main one is the fact that IT consulting services are cheaper as compared to employing full-time IT employees. IT consultants, to begin with, will not require any training at all. The only thing that a business owner ought to do is just inform them of the IT needs of a company. Take for example a business owner who wants a new computerized management system installed in the point of sale terminals. All that is required is just briefly informing the consultants of roughly what to finally expect out of the system. Employing people on the other hand, means that one has to perhaps incur some expenses in their training of the company’s expectations as IT employees.

Apart from that, consultants are paid depending on the projects worked on while employees are paid higher amounts as salaries, sometimes even in months where they have not worked on even a single project.

Companies that opt for IT consulting usually check out the consultants’ portfolio before hiring them. This is by studying past projects worked on by the consultants in different companies. This is then used to judge the competency of the consultants. If IT consultants created an impressive information system in another company, for example, then the company interested in IT consulting services would definitely have faith in them and their work. This is in contrast to using employees, whose portfolios of similar projects worked on in the past are usually unavailable. It therefore becomes very hard to have faith in them.

Businesses with information systems run the risk of having the daily operations crippled if the systems break down or develop problems. This applies mostly to businesses that heavily rely on such systems. Some business owners think that to prevent sudden system breakdowns, it is wise to employ IT professionals to be on standby in case of such a problem. However, this is completely unnecessary; a better option being IT consulting as it provides constant, non-compromised maintenance. Consequently, this maintenance would help detect and correct a problem in the overall system, which if left unattended, would have caused a system crash.

Additional Resources:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Will An IT Consultant Do For My Company?

An IT consultant can be a very valuable addition to any company for a few reasons. They bring in outside help, they offer good advice and, in many cases, they will save you lots of money. For smaller businesses with no technical expertise, it is important to get someone who can help you when it comes to upscaling your company's technology and services.

An outside view often offers a different perspective from your own. Being inside the company, you are very biased and often times will overlook glaring problems that an outsider can pick out fairly quickly. Getting a second set of eyes and a second opinion will help to cover any gaps or problems that your company's technological side may have. An outside consultant is trained in identifying problems as well as increasing efficiency with all things technologically related. For sites that use eCommerce or any sort of online service, an IT consultant is imperative to get a second opinion and a few ideas on how to best improve productivity and efficiency of your online services.

IT consultants can also offer safety for your company's data. Many companies use network storage or some sort of server to back up their company data which may include employee identification or protected files. If you do not have an in-house security technician, an IT consultant can either help you patch your security holes or refer you services that will allow you to do so. This is an invaluable service offered by outside consultants, yet it is one that is often looked over.

Finally, an outside consultant can tell you how and when to upscale your operations. They are trained to identify at what point a company will need to expand in certain ways such as increasing online storage, telecommunications, or providing different or more online services. Identifying these points will allow your company to not only work more efficiently but also provide more services to clients and make your business more appealing in general. IT consultants also will inform you of the most cost-effective way to upgrade employee software and hardware which can save a company thousands of dollars.

IT consultants offer many services, and to get a second opinion on the technical aspect of your company can be invaluable. An outside consultant will help you and your business to not only expand, but also to work smarter.

Additional Resources:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Your Business: Manage It or Manage IT

Even the smallest and newest of businesses can benefit from an online presence, and it can be argued that a proper and professional online presence is actually essential to do business in any sustainable capacity. However, as any small business on a budget of finance and manpower can tell you, the management and maintanence of such an endeavor can be overwhelming.

The 64 dollar question is always whether to try to save money by managing the IT efforts in house or to outsource the information technology to a qualified third party and perhaps spend more, but save the manpower to do what you do best - manage the business.

Most businesses interested in longevity and a truly professional look must find a way to bear the initial costs of outsourcing the IT effort. Outsourcing the IT to a qualified third party which specializes in managed services allows the man hours that would be dedicated to its maintenance to be re-appropriated to managing the business. The increased efficiency on both sides pays off in the long run, and it absolutely pays for itself before long.

The advantages of investing in a managed IT service include:
  • Increased uptime. Perhaps the hardest and most time consuming part of information technology management is knowing what to do when something goes wrong. Many functions of IT are simple plug and play operations, but the difference between a businessman trying to save a buck by doing his or her own IT vs. a qualified IT professional is that the qualified IT professional knows how to fix the arbitrary problems that often arise when dealing with computers. Outsourcing to a managed IT solution guarantees that your business website will be up and running when your customers need it, which is quite important, as the customer of today does not stick around if he does not immediately find what he needs or expects from a business.
  • Increased efficiency. Even if a businessman saves money by doing all IT functions himself, he still suffers a large economic opportunity cost of the business he could be doing while he is maintaining the IT functions. A qualified professional is able to more quickly solve these problems, freeing up the time of the businessman to accomplish the functions in which he is most qualified, increasing efficiency all around.
  • Help when needed. Information technology is always changing, and keeping up with updates, new versions, bug fixes, etc. can be a full time job. The job of a managed IT professional is to keep a business up-to-date with the latest in the field, to make sure the business remains seamlessly cutting edge.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Choose the Right Tech Support Company

Finding skilled and proficient tech support companies can sometimes be a challenge. But if certain factors are thought out before the selection actually takes place, this can make a smoother transition process to finding the best one.

Language Fluency

This is one of the most essential elements in choosing the right company, especially if the tech support staff is outsourced. To maximize the speed and effectiveness of all telephone and email communications, the tech support staff has to be able to be fluent in speaking, reading and writing a given language, preferably a mostly universal language such as English. Techs who can only understand parts of the language are going to create significant barriers to efficient and expeditious processing of technical inquiries.

Can They Read A Script?

A top tech support team, whether outsourced or not, doesn't have to be full of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs clones. But they do have to be intelligent and educated enough to be able to read and interpret a prewritten script that explains every single possible tech malfunction and problem that can possibly come up. When a customer calls, they have to be familiar with the script from having studied it so they can quickly flip to the right pages to interpret the written directions and solutions. This also has to do with whether they're language challenged or not, but it's more a factor of whether they're capable of being organized and can pay attention to written details.

Knowledge of Many Different Inquiries

The best tech support companies will provide techs who possess a very versatile command of all of the technical issues associated with all of the products and services involved in a multitude of malfunctioning situations. They shouldn't just be familiar with knowing how to to turn on an inoperable TV remote, for example, but they must educate themselves on how to fix every single issue with every single one of the dozens of buttons on that remote as well. The more versatile a tech support group's knowledge base is, the better the customer satisfaction quotient will be.

Courteous and Professional

Last but not least, the tech support company should always be respectful and courteous with every single customer. Professionalism in attitude and demeanor is essential if customers are going to continue contacting the support team when they're facing technical problems. A rude staff combined with a lot of technical issues will only decrease the overall satisfaction of already disgruntled consumers, and this is definitely not a good thing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Print Management Software: Two Ways It Improves Employee Productivity

Using print management software is like having a highly paid productivity consultant on staff, only you never receive a bill. How/why? Quite simply, it is because this software increases employee output almost immediately, in the following ways.

Quick Turnaround: By increasing print reliability, print management software helps employees to process documents quicker. Some of the ways it accomplishes this is by bundling print jobs, sending end-to-end confirmation, and providing failover to an alternate printer if there are problems with the existing machine. This means that orders can be fulfilled quicker, increasing overall output, while at the same time shortening the sales cycle.


Manages Print Jobs: Print management software improves productivity in this area by giving employees everything they need to monitor and track the administrative duties associated with printing. It does this in a number of ways:

  • It decreases the amount of time employees spend troubleshooting jobs by providing a single point of control. Hence, if there are problems, they can be handled expeditiously.
  • It can hold print jobs after they have printed. This makes it easy to reprint if necessary.
  • Print management software can create estimates for customers. By entering minimal information, your employees can seamlessly craft estimates quickly for prospects. This can lead to more accounts and a healthier bottom line for your business.
  • It accelerates the sales process for mobile workers. Your employees will be able to print from any location, from any application, to any printer, using any printer setting. From Austin, Texas to Zion, Kentucky, your mobile workforce will always be able to get their documents printed.

There are many benefits of print management software; the major one being that it streamlines key operating processes, freeing your employees to handle what they were hired to do best.