There are a number of companies that use Microsoft Word to type, format and store documents. They use Microsoft Excel to create financial reports and track inventory. They use Microsoft PowerPoint to share information at Seminars and corporate training.
At UTS, we have been in the tech support business for a long time. It is our chosen profession to help those companies in our area who have IT issues. It’s a profession we love. But there is nothing that makes us groan more than when a client calls up and says, “you have got to recover our data, and we haven’t been performing regular backups”. There is nothing more terrifying as a business owner than to lose access your computers and find your most important files are missing. Your data is essential to the smooth operation of any business.
Backing up your data has always been important, and Cloud backup is rapidly becoming the go-to method of backing up data. It is significantly more efficient than other options. Here in Florida especially. When your data could not only be lost, but your entire information systems structure could be damaged.
Why you should backup
The main purpose of backing up your data is, of course, the ability to roll back and access your archives in the event of local hardware failure. To do business today, you need the confidence of knowing that in the case of catastrophe, your data will be protected and available.
By backing up your information in the cloud, you have the perfect destination for your archives, as your files will be at once everywhere; no longer dependent on any single computer or server. Virtual server environments are in reality vast networks of server centers located around the globe, so that even if an entire facility fails, another failsafe is in place.
Data loss is also a significant hit to your bottom line. Without your data, invoices can’t go out to customers, shipments may be delayed, creative projects could miss their deadlines and the ability to serve your customers will be severely impacted.
Advantages of cloud backup
Ask anyone who lives in Florida, Louisiana or the Carolinas. Each year we hope and pray that hurricane season will be mild. Or at least that any big storms will pass us by. But there is no way to be certain of exactly when a hurricane or tropical storm will hit. This is not why we can’t stress enough having methods in place. It’s important to keep a copy of files offsite. Even if business files are backed up on a file server, a hurricane, flood, fire or theft could destroy the computers… and your regular backups. Keeping backed up files in the cloud ensures data is safe no matter what is going on at your office.
Cloud Backup can also be accessed from pretty much anywhere. So, if the power is out and you can’t work in your regular location, it’s possible to take your laptop and set up shop somewhere a few hours away where you have access to power, internet and your data.
So, don’t wait any longer, get yourself set up in the clouds.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI and voice recognition are gaining traction. The technology which enables us to communicate with computer and devices via voice commands has come along way in a short period of time. Today you will probably encounter more people using some form of AI, then you will people who aren’t. Don’t think YOU are? Have you said OK Google, take me to the nearest Outback Steakhouse? That’s using AI and Speech recognition. There was no typing required to get your directions or access your favorite music.
Lately, businesses in the Sebastian area have been calling about installing new business phone systems for their growing companies.Companies located in Ft. Pierce and Port St. Lucie are contacting us as well. It would seem that Unified Technologies is becoming the go to company for Business Phone Systems on the Treasure Coast. Landlines are becoming a thing of the past, and the older PBX models are just not keeping up with the times.
Do you have a landline at your house? Here in Vero Beach, there are people who keep their landline, yet they rarely use it. It’s just easier and more efficient to just use their cell. In most cases e people maintain a landline out of habit. Don’t be mistled as I talk about landlines, I am not addressing the phone you have on your Cable Provider’s package plan. That is a VoIp phone connections. Most likely Comcast is your telephone line provider, and there is NO line, it’s all wireless.
What happens when you get something new? Are you excited to have this new system? I love installing new hardware that will be less expensive to administer and maintain, and yet provide more functionailty. But something that often happens when you try to use this new thing,is that it doesn’t work like your old system did. In fact, other than the basics, you are having trouble figuring out how to take advantage of all the new features built in to your new system. It’s so frustrating.
If computers are essential to running your business, and I don’t know many companies today that this is not true of, then your next hire should be us. I came across an article on just that subject in the latest Entrepreneur magazine. In this particular article the writer is advising companies to hire a full time IT person, and while I don’t disagree with that, I would suggest if you have 100 employees or less, hiring just one in house IT person will probably not be sufficient.
When you have a company to run, trying to build your business and maintain a functioning computer network at the same time could be disastrous. Computer outages can take one person out of circulation for days if it is an intermittent problem
Add to that the fact your company is running vital software packages for sales and lead tracking as well as the software required to keep your company running and NOT having an IT professional on your team is simply a bad situation.
The writer in this post on Forbes Magazine is making the case for hiring a full time IT person, or staff, as the case may be. While he is making the point for bringing on a full time IT person, there are many points in what he writes that would apply to hiring Unified Technology Solutions as your full time IT department, and even if you already have an IT person, having our services as a backup to your IT guy is always a good idea.
Give this a look and see what you think:
“…The reality of doing business in a Web-centric economy means that you have to learn how to tame all of those electrons. You have to be able to deal with the intricacies of Web sites and data storage, and not let your systems get summarily swamped. And while plenty off-the-shelf products appear deceptively “plug-and-play,” managing IT eventually will require professional chops.
The big question: When to hire that IT guy? Prominent minds disagree on this subject, but there are two basic schools of thought.
The first argues that entrepreneurs should hire an IT professional immediately. This urgent view applies mostly to companies that depend on technology for their very livelihoods–say, a social networking site like News Corp.‘s MySpace, a blog (like my own) or a company hawking an entirely new technology, such as a voice-over-Internet Protocol carrier.
“I’m surprised by how many start-ups out there don’t make IT a high priority,” says Toni Schneider, chief executive of Automattic, the Web development company responsible for WordPress, a popular weblog software platform. “There’s a big competitive advantage if you have someone who owns [your IT] and thinks about it all the time.”
The second school sees IT more as a tool to optimize performance rather than as a core competency of a business. Most entrepreneurs are in this camp. They feel they don’t need to hire a professional geek immediately, but at some point later on when growth (measured in revenues, employees or site traffic) calls for it. “ Which can be a big miscaculation.
You can read the full text of this article at Forbes.com…
What I took away from their article was this: IT should not be the ast thing a growing company thinks about implementing. In fact it should be one of the first things. To run an effective company in today’s business environment, its important to have good tools at your disposal, and functioning computers, a strong network and software which helps your company run better are three of those things. Without a presence to manage those three items, company owners are going to struggle.
Growing companies are often faced with issues relating to new products, the need to track their sales, a comprehensive network for processing orders and tracking sales. Because they have talented, intelligent people on their staff, they take a cursory look around for a solution to their current challenges, and when they don’t find something which fits their needs, they tend to re-invent the wheel, unnecessarily.
Entrepreneur magazine published a post by Harry Red which specifically addressed the sales aspects of companies, but within that post, he talks about how important it is NOT to re-invent the wheel and to look around for someone who can more easily and efficiently solve your problem. I thought these two excerpts were a great illustration of what our Managed IT solutions can do for growing companies:
1. See if somebody already solved your technology problem.
Even when you do have a genuine technology problem, chances are somebody out there already had a crack at it.
Alistair Brett, a World Bank science commercialization expert, and partner at innovation consultancy firm Rainforest Strategies, pointed out how science-based companies tend to reinvent the wheel. They face a specific technical problem, but can’t find a solution outside the company, so they just roll their own.
“In a substantial number of cases, the problem has been solved by somebody who is not directly working in that field of research or development,” Brett said in an interview.
He gave an example of a company that struggled to create a chemical adhesive. The solution was eventually found by an electrical engineer — someone from an outside industry. An expert on a different kind of stickiness…
2. Take a down-to-Earth example.
Let’s say you want to solve information technology (IT) problems for small law firms.
First step? Consider talking to larger law firms, because law firms with in-house IT departments have wisdom for you. They can tell you what kind of problems lawyers have with IT, what technology they need to solve them, how much time this takes away from clients and so on. Instead of starting the puzzle from scratch, you extract wisdom from those who’ve been there before. Simple.
Then, you go talk to smaller law firms and put your new insights to the test.
Do they have the same problems? Can you pre-sell your value proposition? Better yet, will these law firms pay you right now so you can deliver a killer solution to their problems once you have everything in place?
Start this way and you save yourself from grinding through much of the initial learning curve.”
To take the example further. Once you have listened to the advice of a mentor in a larger firm our Managed IT specialists at Unified Technology Solutions will probably have the knowledge you are looking for to help you move forward. If we don’t immediately have a solution come to mind, we have the resources to find the best solution which you. Hiring outside IT Management can save you money in the long run.
When your company uses landlines, the ability to be mobile is restricted. The ability to add lines and upgrade features is limited. The ability to integrate the company Smart Phones is limited. When you install a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) System all of those limitations and restrictions disappear.And, it’s less expensive.