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How Broadband Reduces Small Business Expenses

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

When it comes to proving the benefits of broadband deployment, we frequently focus on the macroeconomic issues – the big-picture impact of infrastructure and access to high-speed networking. But the Internet Innovation Alliance and the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) recently looked at broadband from a microeconomic standpoint.

In their report, Start-Up Savings: Boosting Entrepreneurship through Broadband Internet, jointly issued last month, they calculated how much small businesses can save by conducting their administrative activities online. The answer: a  substantial $16,550.52.

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Smartphones are business tools, too

Learn how you can make employees more productive with their mobile devices

Smartphone usage—and the expectations around smartphones—are changing rapidly. Average smartphone usage nearly tripled in 2011, and by the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth. By 2016 there will be an estimated 1.4 mobile devices per person. Given the rise of smartphones, it’s not surprising that people rely on their mobile devices for more and more of their daily interactions, including business communications, whether at work, at home, and on the road. In a Cisco report, 46 percent of people surveyed expect to be able to access their corporate network from their personal mobile device.

However, there’s more than just flexibility accompanying the BYOD trend. These shifting expectations about connectivity also come with a host of decisions for small business. For example, do you have the network infrastructure in place to enable your employees to use their mobile devices for business communications? Do you have a wireless device usage policy? Are your VPN connections secure? And when your employees do connect to the workplace via a mobile device, do they have access to products and tools to help them do their jobs?

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Building the Right Network to Boost Small Business Productivity

April 12, 2012 at 8:00 am PST

Calling all small sized businesses owners, and resellers – is your network ready for the growing mobility and cloud trends?

Considering that the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population in 2012,[i] and that wireless device traffic will exceed wired device traffic by 2014, we say it’s a great time to make sure you are.  In fact, mobile data traffic has doubled in the past four years and tablets are making their way into the office with more than 3.4X the traffic than a smart phone. Businesses are recognizing these upward trends, as a matter of fact; cloud adoption for small businesses is growing quickly with 72-percent of small businesses using the cloud in 2011 to 98 percent in 2015[ii].  So are your networks built to support the growing use of mobility and cloud in the SMB workplace? Cisco’s new lineup of small business solutions could be just the ticket to get you there.

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Making the Team: How VARsity Players use OnPlus to Score

February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am PST

We’ve seen many trends during the past year start to take hold in the market, with a significant number of value added resellers (VARs) implementing new technologies to better help and service customers. Notably, VARs are placing a strong focus around managed services offerings specific to network administration, virtualization and cloud computing.

As announced in December, Cisco’s OnPlus Service is a VAR-specific offering that helps minimize support costs and generate additional revenue while proactively managing customer network problems. With OnPlus, VARs can create or expand their managed service portfolio by providing remote visibility of a small business customer’s network, and the corresponding devices, regardless of location, through a scalable cloud-based service.

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Looking to Build the Right Network for Your Business? Read Here for Advice on Purchasing Core Networking Solutions

Has your company outgrown its network? Are you anticipating business growth? Or are you simply looking to upgrade your infrastructure? If so, the following tips can help ensure that you build the right network.

The first step toward building the right network involves forecasting how your business will grow. You should consider whether there will be employee growth and brainstorm what networking infrastructure you will need to meet your company goals.  You should also investigate which technologies are becoming crucial to business (such as cloud computing). By choosing the right solutions the first time, you minimize the decisions that need to be remade in the future. Additionally, you prevent your network from breaking down as more users seek access, reducing support and upgrade costs.

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