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Talkin’ Tech: Storage

Understanding the terms associated with network storage is the first step to making sure your critical data is protected

Storage may not be top of mind for many small businesses, but it should be. Small businesses are built on data—intellectual property, financial records, marketing materials, and more—and losing that data can cost your company in lost revenue, reputation, and customers. Your company’s continued success depends on protecting that business-critical information.

In this installment of our Talkin’ Tech series, we define key terms to help you understand the basics of network storage so you ensure your data’s protected in the event of a disaster.

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Secure Networking for (Really) Small Businesses

Today, Cisco came out with a new wireless VPN firewall specifically designed for the smallest of small businesses. In fact, the router is built for offices with one to five people that need remote access on a secure connection. The new router has what we call “business class” performance without the complexity often found in larger-scale products. Since the Cisco RV110W is designed with the “do-it-yourselfer” in mind, it’s very easy to use, and at $99 it’s affordable, even for extremely small companies.

It’s easy to set up, and requires no IT resources. You just plug it into the network. Partners can put it in place quickly so that you can stay focused on your business and not lose any time. The four-port switch that is integrated into the product lets you connect securely to computers, printers, IP phones, cameras, and other devices.  It works on both Windows and Mac OS-X for remote access to data anytime, anywhere. Also, the high-speed, wireless-N access points give you a faster file transfer time, which increases performance and the coverage area, helping employees to stay productive even if they are not at their desks.

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Hosted Voice Service Easily Connects Remote Offices, Mobile Workers

With hosted VoIP, small businesses can reduce telecommunication costs and enhance collaboration between employees.

Smaller businesses are turning to cloud-based services for a variety of applications, especially hosted voice over IP (VoIP). According to AMI-Partners, 30 percent of small businesses and 50 percent of medium businesses believe VoIP will become critical to their business operations in the near future. Hosted voice services offer many benefits, from reducing upfront costs to accessing advanced communications technologies, and they’re no longer considered a risky way to acquire business applications. Because hosted VoIP removes the burden of maintaining separate phone systems, it offers particular advantages to small businesses with remote offices or mobile employees.

A hosted voice service, such as Cisco Hosted Small Business (HSB) Communications, is the great equalizer. It can lower the cost of remote employees communicating with colleagues. It can also help a mobile sales force stay in touch both with their contacts in the field and back at headquarters. All employees, no matter where they’re working, have access to the same calling and messaging features through the hosted voice service, including extension dialing and conferencing.

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Considering the Legal Ramifications of Video Surveillance

Before installing IP cameras at your small business, make sure you understand the potential “gotchas”.

Small businesses install surveillance cameras for many reasons. They keep your business and assets safe, improve productivity, and can provide a strategic advantage. Today’s IP cameras and monitoring software make it easy for any small business to manage its own surveillance. But before you aim any cameras at your front door or shop floor, make sure you carefully consider all of the legal ramifications of setting up video surveillance. There are more legal ”gotchas“ than just what you can and cannot record.

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What are DMRs and Where Do They Fit In?

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti
What does DMR stand for?

Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Right?

Well, maybe in some circles. But not here. A direct market reseller (DMR) does online or call center-based sales of IT products directly to customers without benefit of a brick-and-mortar retail outlet.

DMRs largely create their profit margins by sourcing products in sufficient quantities to attract volume discounts. They also go to great lengths to ensure efficient logistics and processes which can help to strip as much cost as possible out of their model. Clearance items also tend to find their way to these web sites on a frequent basis, which also helps to keep prices down. So DMRs have always tended to be a good option for cost-conscious end customers with enough tech knowledge to know what to do when the box shows up.

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