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Think Green Before You Buy

Purchasing equipment from companies with responsible environmental practices benefits your business

When it comes to acting “green,” we don’t always think about it early in the decision-making process; buying a filtered water pitcher instead of cases of bottled water, for example. If we did, there wouldn’t have been approximately 135 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) discarded in 2008, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2008 report.

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Retaining Employees: 3 Technologies That Help

When you think about retaining top-notch employees, several factors come to mind: compensation, company culture, and company location. Here’s one more item that should be on your list--technology infrastructure.

Take a moment and think: What’s in your server closet and what’s on your employees desks? Technology can be a powerful tool to help your company hold onto employees. But few employers think about technology as a tool to retain and engage their employees.

Following are a couple technologies and how they can help your company do just that:

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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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