Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Small Business

Partner or Go IT Alone?

The term, “middleman” often has negative connotations in our business world.  Cutting out the middleman is often seen as a commitment to profitability.  And at times that can be true.

Unless, of course, the middleman has something of value to offer.

This balance between financial common sense and the need for professional services is a very common theme for small businesses trying to optimize their use of information technology.  When dealing with computers and relatively straightforward networks, it can often be tempting to go it alone as opposed to hiring a technology reseller to help.

I don’t think my job as your faithful blogger is to talk you out of doing this.  We all have varying levels of expertise and skills, and the technology systems that we use have varying levels of complexity, based on what we do and how we get it done.  Add the presence of available time to the equation and we’ve got a three-legged stool that becomes the basis for making the decision of hiring a reseller or forging ahead on our own.

The three legs of this stool are often very closely related.  For example, a company may have someone with a totally different job who can function as the de facto IT person.  That’s kind of a freebie, of sorts. But that person might not always have the time, or even the expertise, to do tech support without neglecting the things they are actually paid to do.  And while technology tends to gain increased importance in all of our businesses, it’s also true that the occasional temporary outage may be more of a crisis for some of us than it is for others.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Energy Efficiency Extends to Your Network: Choosing a switch with power-saving features can save you money and protect the environment

Small businesses in the U.S. spend more than $60 billion annually on energy, according to Energy Star, a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Although there are many steps you can take to reduce your company’s power consumption, have you considered building energy efficiency into your network?

Whether you’re just starting to build your small business network or expanding it to accommodate your growing company, a “green” switch can help save money on your utility bill as well as contribute to a cleaner environment. Here are some features to consider when shopping for an energy-efficient switch:

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Unified Communications = Freedom to Roam

Never miss an important call, no matter where you are!

I love my smartphone. It wasn’t too long ago that I was lugging around separate devices for my contacts, calendar, music, photos, and Internet access. Now I can surf the Web and access everything I need on a single device. And it makes phone calls!

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Use IP Video Surveillance to Gain a Strategic Advantage

Does your business use video surveillance? If not, why not?

It’s funny; when we introduce a product we think we know what it does and how it will be used.  By that I mean we spent time, money and thought looking at what people do at work and how we can make it easier.  When we launched IP Video Surveillance we thought “Cool!  Now people can have their surveillance cameras on the network, they can look at their business from anywhere and we have a storage device that makes it easy to go back to review tapes if you need to.  Wow, we’re awesome!” We had barely considered the possible uses.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Which Switch Is Right for Your Small Business?

Learn the difference between managed and unmanaged switches to choose the best device for your business

I talked briefly about the advantages of managed switches for your small business network, but in this post I’ll give you more information about both managed and unmanaged switches, so you can decide which is best for your company.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,