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The Right Partner Can Help You Navigate Rough Network Waters

La Petite Baleen keeps its network operating swimmingly and has grown the business with the help of a Cisco Partner.

When you’re running a small business, you can’t do it all, like managing your own network. And, oftentimes, you can’t justify the cost of an in-house IT staff. This is when having the right IT partner can help keep your business running.

Our third small business in the spotlight during Small Business Week is La Petite Baleen, a swim school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not large enough to support an in-house IT person, co-founder John Kolbison turned to IS-WORKS, a Cisco certified partner. As La Petite Baleen has expanded from one location to three swim schools, IS-WORKS has helped the company grow, connect, and manage its network. This partnership helps keep La Petite Baleen’s business afloat by improving productivity and minimizing network downtime.

To hear more, watch the video!

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Improving Customer Service Benefits Makeup Company’s Bottom Line

Kroma Makeup serves customers better with unified communications.

The second company we’re highlighting during Small Business Week is Kroma Makeup, which manufactures and distributes a line of wholesale and retail makeup products. In addition to five retail locations and 3,000 retail customers, the company also provides its products to plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and medical spas, so providing an excellent service experience was key to retaining its clients. But the company was losing sales because employees were missing important calls.

To improve customer care, Kroma Makeup turned to Cisco Smart Business Communications System (SBCS) to integrate its phone, email, and fax. Now not only do employees get their calls, but with Cisco Unity Express they can also get voicemail messages delivered to their email.

With Cisco unified communications solutions, Kroma Makeup succeeded in providing customers with improved personalized service as well as increasing employee productivity and reducing company expenses.

Learn more by watching the video!

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Celebrating Small Businesses

See how companies are using technology to help them grow and succeed.

It’s National Small Business Week, and we’re taking this opportunity to honor small businesses. They make invaluable contributions to the country’s economy in many ways, including creating 60-80 percent of new jobs. In addition, small businesses are a driving force of innovation, and technology plays a big part in enabling those efforts.

All week, we’ll be shining the spotlight on small businesses that have put technology to work for them to help them succeed. The first company we’re highlighting is The Headgame, a men’s only hair salon in Roseville, CA. By switching to a unified communications system, the Cisco UC320, the salon provides better customer service with improved call handling.

Watch the video to learn more!

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5 Ways to Educate Employees about Network Security

Teaching workers how to protect your company’s network can bolster your small business defenses.

For all the firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and anti-virus software you install on your network, it’s impossible to block every security threat to your small business. To a large degree, you need to rely on your employees to help keep your network safe. They’re on the front lines, deciding every day whether or not to download a mysterious email file attachment or to click on a tempting pop-up window. Employees need to be trained not only on why network security is crucial but also on what they can do to help prevent security attacks to the company and possibly to themselves.

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Sales Reps and Sales Engineers: When to Talk to Whom

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

As technologies become more complex, so do the means by which those technologies are sold. Expertise varies, and there is a point at which sales efforts are conducted in teams consisting of a sales rep who deals with the contractual element, and the sales engineer who handles the technical heavy-lifting.

Sales Reps are about the overall value proposition. They will hunt you down like a dog, identify your pain points, and come up with a basic idea of what you need, how much it costs, and how to finance it, if need be. In most cases, small businesses without complex technology needs will never see a sales engineer unless they pull-up next to one at a stoplight. But nonetheless, some small companies are big users of complicated applications. Therefore, the integration piece, the legacy software and devices involved, and your sheer value as a customer might generate a visit from an SE.

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