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Videoconferencing for Small Business: Worth a Look

Videoconferencing saves small businesses money and increases competitiveness

Being a small business means that you’re always maintaining a tight budget. So when there’s a financial downturn, it hits small companies harder, because there’s typically little fat to trim from an already lean budget.

According to the annual Microsoft SMB/Partner Insight Report, small businesses focused on three areas for surviving the economic downturn: reducing staff, reducing technology spending, and reducing travel. Although the survey showed that small businesses would start spending a more on staffing and technology this year, travel cost reductions will remain steady at 38%. Most of the small business owners I know would agree with this report.  Would you?

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VoIP Technology has Plenty to Offer Small Businesses

IP-based phones can reduce costs and improve customer service for a better bottom line

Have you ever played the game of “telephone,” where you pass a message from one person to the next to see how much the message changes by the time it gets to the last person? Garbled communications, although funny in that context, are not amusing in business. And like mixed messages and miscommunication, a traditional PBX phone system may be holding your small business back. They’re often hard to use and manage and, in some cases, provide inferior call quality. An IP-based phone system can help your company cut costs, increase flexibility, and improve communications--all of which can give your company a competitive edge. As a result, more and more companies are taking advantage of IP-based phone systems. In-Stat predicts that 79% of U.S. businesses will be using VoIP technology by 2013.

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Protecting your small business starts with email security

Every morning before I leave the house, I do a quick security check: Are the windows closed? Is the back door locked? Is the garage door down? I even take a quick look at the front door to make sure my husband hasn’t left his keys in the lock again.

Securing your small business might not be as simple as returning an errant set of keys to your forgetful partner, but it definitely starts with locking down all possible entry points; physical and virtual. You need to install security devices and software at every point on your network by which someone from the outside could gain access to your company data. For most small businesses, the first place to start is email security.

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People Plus Technology Equals Superior Customer Service

There’s a great ad out right now for an online insurance company. The tagline is “Technology when you want it, people when you don’t.” I like this tagline, because it captures the conundrum most folks face when they need customer service: people or technology? This company’s answer is: both.

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Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing Your Technology

Small businesses can’t be an expert in everything; sometimes you need to call in a service provider

I like to think of myself as a handy man, considering I can change a tire, paint a room, install towel rods, and even wire my speaker system. But I do recognize my limitations. I don’t trust myself to knock down walls or deal with plumbing, for example. Even if I could do it, where would I find the time? So, I swallow my pride and call a professional for the toughest tasks. And when my car or house ends up looking new again, I have the peace of mind to know it was done right, along with the satisfaction that I was able to spend my time doing more important things.

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