Every now and then, I get questions from business owners about how much they should be leading their own technology decision process, as opposed to relying on third parties. My answer is usually built around their level of expertise, and the degree to which they have the time, energy, and resources to get involved.
Ideas and proposals from channel partners are readily accessible to most small business owners. After all, channel partners make their living from upgrading information technology and finding better ways to execute business processes. The common denominators here include price and performance. And while you may be, to some extent, dependent upon the aggregate wisdom of the channel, there are certain things you can do to get in front of the game, better understand the needs of your own company, and arguably better control your own destiny.
What wireless-N technology can do for your business?
It is projected that over the next three years, more than 1.3 billion wireless-enabled networked mobile devices will enter the marketplace. These mobile devices include net books, smart phones, notebook computers, tablet computers, and other devices. This explosion of wireless devices places more demand on the wireless network, which, in turn makes it essential to upgrade the network.
New services and applications, such as video conferencing, add to these bandwidth demands. Video-over-wireless devices, once perceived as consumer applications, have become established in the business environment as a way to reduce travel and training costs.
A very wise man by the name of Albert Einstein once said, “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”
Much of Einstein’s wisdom could be applied to your business’s use of new technology. We know this to be a fact; technology can really improve your business’ performance. It can give your customers a better experience with your company’s products and services, and just make them happier. Technology can also improve your employees’ productivity; allowing them to communicate more effectively, and to resolve problems faster. But best of all, technology can improve the bottom line; your profits!
With VPN, you can secure your network and also offer secure access to remote partners and employees.
Technology—no small business can succeed without it. Your network not only provides secure connectivity to your employees, but also to your community of partners, suppliers, and customers. Although your network is the lifeline of your business, you probably view it as a cost center, buying equipment as necessary—sometimes on the fly when a problem or immediate need arises. However, your network can be a source of cost-effective growth for your company.
If you installed a VPN as part of your infrastructure, it was most likely to provide employees with secure access to your network while working at home or on the road. Apart from the obvious productivity gains that companies can achieve by providing employees with the ability to work from anywhere anytime, VPNs can also make it easier to expand your business and share pre-existing network resources and information.
Skype and Google Voice may seem like attractive, inexpensive options, but business-class IP phone systems offer secure service and investment protection.
I recently wrote about private IP PBX phone systems and the benefits they offer to small businesses, including cost savings compared to traditional PBX systems, easier deployment, and expandability. For small businesses on a tight budget, a free IP phone service, such as Skype or Google Voice, may seem like a more attractive option than having to shell out cash for a business-class IP phone system.
Similar to a private IP PBX, Skype and Google Voice are easy to deploy and offer a variety of voice and data features. In addition, there’s no cost involved up front; they’re free to download. However, both services use the public Internet to make and receive calls, and therefore pose risks in call quality and network security.