The best way to prepare for a meeting with your channel partner depends, in large part, on how long you have been working together. We’re going to look at five key points, assuming that you and the partner are starting from Square One. If you’ve been working with the same partner for a considerable period of time, you may already have done some of these. But be on the lookout for anything you might have missed.
#1: Look at your IT needs from a business perspective, as well as a technological perspective.
This is not as basic as it might sound. What are the pain points of your company? Where are your costs just a little too high? What types of functions are slipping through the cracks? As you can surmise, the true potential of technology runs much deeper than the basics around email, Internet access and whatever applications you currently may be using. Your partner may have some ideas for new software that can remove extra cycles or help your people more effectively track functions that somehow get lost in the shuffle.
#2: Provide an accurate accounting of the systems and software already in place.
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Tags: channel, integration, purchasing, reseller, strategies, VAR
Why it’s important for small businesses to prepare for IPv6 now
You know that nagging feeling when there’s something you need to do but you keep putting it off and putting it off. Well, an e-mail newsletter titled “No IPv6 plan? You’re behind schedule” landed in my inbox this morning. It’s a nudge for companies of all sizes; even small businesses, to prepare for the next-generation Internet.
Why should you care about IPv6 when you’re quite happy with the current Internet?
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Tags: internet, internet protocol, ipv4, IPv6, next-generation, providers, service, small business
The ideal switch will protect your small business network and give your company room to grow
A reliable network is the foundation for any successful business; regardless of whether you’re a florist or GM. Your network connects your business to the outside world, allows your employees to be more productive, and gives you low-cost ways to better serve your customers.
A key cornerstone of any network is the switch: It connects all the computers, printers, servers, and storage devices in your office, giving your employees access to shared resources. A switch keeps data traffic moving efficiently, keeps unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data and allows you to add new users as your business grows.
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Tags: checklist, networking, small business, switch, top 10
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.
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Tags: channel, decisions, purchasing, strategy
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:
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Tags: best, energy efficiency, Green, networking, practices, small business, switches, technology