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Best Practices for Participating in an Online Community

We offer 5 tips for getting the most benefit from a support forum

Online support communities are a great resource when you need assistance—whether to resolve a technical problem or get solution recommendations. As the owner of a small company, though, your time is at a premium as you juggle the many facets of your business—marketing, accounting, and customer service just to name a few. You don’t have countless hours to spend combing a support community for the help you need.

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Preparing Your Business for Growth

These 5 building blocks will help ensure your network supports your business today and in the future.

If you’re just beginning to build your network for a fledgling small business or you’re expanding the network of a more established smaller company, you should plan your network with an eye toward preparing your business for growth. Your network should be a secure, reliable foundation; one that’s flexible and can adapt to the changing needs of your business as well as give you a competitive edge.

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Doing Your Own Legwork: Figuring out a Potential Solution in Advance of Your Partner’s Proposal

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

Every now and then, I get questions from business owners about how much they should be leading their own technology decision process, as opposed to relying on third parties. My answer is usually built around their level of expertise, and the degree to which they have the time, energy, and resources to get involved.

Ideas and proposals from channel partners are readily accessible to most small business owners. After all, channel partners make their living from upgrading information technology and finding better ways to execute business processes. The common denominators here include price and performance. And while you may be, to some extent, dependent upon the aggregate wisdom of the channel, there are certain things you can do to get in front of the game, better understand the needs of your own company, and arguably better control your own destiny.

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Why Care About Wireless-N?

What wireless-N technology can do for your business?

It is projected that over the next three years, more than 1.3 billion wireless-enabled networked mobile devices will enter the marketplace. These mobile devices include net books, smart phones, notebook computers, tablet computers, and other devices. This explosion of wireless devices places more demand on the wireless network, which, in turn makes it essential to upgrade the network.

New services and applications, such as video conferencing, add to these bandwidth demands. Video-over-wireless devices, once perceived as consumer applications, have become established in the business environment as a way to reduce travel and training costs.

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Find the Right Video Surveillance System for Your Business

Here’s a checklist of what to consider—hardware and software—for any IP-based solution.

I’ve talked before about the benefits of video surveillance, including enhanced physical security, protecting valuable assets, and improving productivity. As a small business, though, a video surveillance solution may not be on your short list. You may think your money is better spent on those things that will help grow your business and increase revenue.

The truth is, video surveillance can provide your company with a strategic advantage by delivering data on customer preferences and responses, for example. As well, IP-based video surveillance is a cost-effective solution, because you can integrate it into your existing network.

Recognizing the value of video surveillance for your small business is just the first (albeit very important) step. Finding the solution that best fits your company is a longer path, involving hardware, software, and other considerations.

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