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SCORE! Tech advice for SMBs

Whether you’re thinking about adding video capabilities to your small business, taking your data to the cloud, updating your network), or just trying to stay ahead of new technology changes and offerings, we’ve got tips to help you along the way. Recently, via the SCORE small business success blog, Cisco small business experts Ian Pennell, Leigh Martin, Michael Sanchez and Eren Hussein offered their thought leadership and advice to help SMBs stay competitive by using  emerging tech trends.

Ian Pennell helps small and medium sized businesses understand the need for an updated network in order to keep up with efficiency and changing customer needs.  Ian explains that a great example of this is in the area of unified communications (UC).  UC solutions can bring together phone, email, IM, and video conferencing to enable workers to be more productive.  Studies have shown that, on average, UC saves 32 minutes of time per day per worker, providing a huge boost in productivity.

Leigh Martin explains how video can help differentiate a small business by allowing them to reach customers in regions they don’t have the resources or time to visit in person. This helps them compete against larger companies that have established travel funds. Leigh describes the benefits of video for a small business including, reduced travel expenses, greater collaboration, increased communication, better surveillance, and lower staffing costs.

Michael Sanchez discusses the necessary security evaluations a small business should take before jumping into the cloud. Namely, the security of end devices such as PCs and laptops, the connection to the cloud, and the cloud service itself. As well, Michael lists five key security considerations to investigate in order to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data to help companies make the best cloud service selection for their business: secure data transfer, secure software interfaces, securely stored data, user access control, and data separation.

Eren Hussein ties all these ideas together, and explains how the future of technology will impact the small and mid-sized business market. He delves into the need to select products and solutions with scalability, advanced feature sets and strong customer and partner ecosystems in place. “Regardless of what technology solutions an SMB chooses to invest in, network infrastructure will continue to be the backbone of small business technology, serving as the foundation for any future technologies in the SMB space.”

These Cisco experts are helping small businesses navigate the landscape of video, cloud computing, security and the future of technology. Additionally, in a recent Q&A with Jim Parsons , contributing writer at SCORE, David Tucker, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Small Business Technology Group, explains the basics, like why technology should matter to a small business, and dives into more complex topics like the need for tech audits and how to get started building a small office network.  He also provides SCORE readers with an idea of current small business technology trends that Cisco is watching closely today.

Has your small business implemented any of these practices? If so, we’d be curious to hear what other tips you’d provide!

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