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8 factors to consider when moving offices

A technology checklist for determining whether prospective office space will meet your needs

Relocating to a new office presents an exciting chance to enhance your small business. An office with robust technology infrastructure and capabilities can boost employee productivity and quality of life, minimize your move-in and set-up costs, and create an opportunity to leverage new technologies. Every business has its own unique needs and priorities, but a technology checklist can help you find the office that’s right for you.

Here are eight factors to consider when vetting office space: Read More »

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The 10 most common security threats explained

It’s a dangerous world out there in the World Wide Web. Just as your mother may have told you to never talk to strangers, the same advice holds true for the virtual world. You may know to be wary of giving strangers your business bank account details. But can you be sure the website you’re logging into is that of your bank and not a forgery created by a cybercriminal? Read More »

Top 6 Considerations When Buying a Phone System

Today, phones provide more than just a dial tone, and we’ve come to expect them to do a lot more for us. No longer are we satisfied with phones that simply make and receive calls. We expect our phones to allow us to communicate in multiple ways—video, data, and instant messaging, for example. Is your phone system meeting your needs as your business grows? Read More »

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Has Your Company Outgrown Your “IT Guy”

By Ken Presti, Contributing Columnist

It starts with a nagging suspicion that things aren’t in synch, and kind of grows from there.  Symptoms include long response times, an inability to scale, and sometimes just an all-out failure to keep things working.  At one time or another, every company faces the question of whether they have outgrown their IT guy.

The causes can be many, but typically fall into one of two buckets.  The most obvious one is the inability of said IT guy to keep up with the changes of the industry and grow with the job.  In these situations, the answer may be as simple as getting some additional training, as opposed to looking for someone new.  But very often, it’s far more complicated than that.  In some ways, Moore’s Law has now been applied to human resources.  Managers are expected to get more from the people they’ve got, and next quarter they are expected to get more still.  And if you think that’s bad, just wait til the quarter after that.  So very often, it is not a lack of ability or a lack of willingness on the part of the employee, it is simply a matter of trying to get too much done with too few bodies.

When faced with such difficulties with your IT support, there are a couple of different ways you can go.  The least advisable option is to keep bumping along with the situation you’ve got, due to the budget requirements at hand. Unfortunately, a lot of companies go this route, and they do so at substantial risk. The best choice, of course, is heavily dependent upon how much wiggle room there might be for that line item.  For example, you may be able to bring someone onto the team, either as a full-time employee, a part-time employee, or a contractor of some type.  In many cases, you may find channel partners in your area who are ready, willing, and able to either meet your IT needs, or at least add additional resources to the equation without increasing your headcount.

But the important part is that management recognizes the critical role that IT plays in the organization, and is willing to provide the extra support, and least as a defensive maneuver to help protect the company’s ability to deliver on business-level objectives.  In this situation, it may be necessary to make some pretty difficult choices.  But assuming that IT is mission-critical to the company, making such a choice is critical to the bottom line.

The good thing about working with a channel partner is that you can usually find some level of supplementary service that suit’s your company’s budget, whatever that might be. And sometimes the effects of just a little bit of help can far exceed the incremental cost.

Thus, with a little bit of planning, and a little bit of flexibility, you can bring a higher degree of IT efficiency, and oftentimes accomplish that goal while leaving your primary team intact.

Ken Presti has extensive experience in channel program analysis and development.  He is the founder of Presti Research.  His company  focuses on channel and go-to-market programs and strategies in order to help our clients build successful and profitable partnerships with compatible companies.

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The Cisco Small Business Blog Has Moved!

Welcome to the Cisco Small Business Blog.  We write about small businesses using technology to improve their business.  It’s our goal to help small companies learn to leverage their technology investment for maximum business impact.  If this is your first visit, I’m Dawn Brister and I’m the editor for our blog.  I’ve been with Cisco, working with small companies for 11 years.  I will share my experiences with you and help our team of subject expert bloggers communicate what they know.

If this isn’t your first visit to our blog, you may notice it looks a bit different.  Life is full of change!  We have moved to a new platform that will help us deliver richer blog content.

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