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.
To answer the questions, why outsource your IT Support? When the head of a company like Uber is forced to admit he might be in need of some management assistance, then you can bet there are plenty of other companies who could use some help as well. Trying to be all things to all people is a proposition which is seldom successful, at least not for long. There comes a time when just one person cannot do everything. When a person has to step back, remember their strengths and hand over certain tasks to a staff or source more suited to handle it.
You might ask us why we named our company Unified Technology Solutions? Why didn’t we simply call your company “We Repair and Install Computers?” We called ourselves Unified Technology Solutions for the simple reason that we don’t just install computers, or repair computer problems, we help you manage all your IT challenges, and get the most out of your technology budget.
VoIP means Voice Over Internet Protocol. Back in the late 1990’s companies like Magic Jack were some of the pioneers in the VoIP industry when they began advertising their services as one way to move from expensive landlines. In those days, the sound quality of VoIP calls was poor, and it wasn’t always reliable, but things have really changed since then.
With advances in technology and software, VoIP is virtually indistinguishable from a landline, and the features it offers for business are so effective in cost savings and benefits that many companies are now switching all their phone services to VoIP.
At Unified Technology Solutions, we install and maintain VoIP systems for companies from small to large. They love the flexibility of their VoIP systems and the elimination of costly phone bills is also a great benefit for those who are working on expanding their businesses. Money which is not spent on expensive phone systems can be put to good use elsewherein the company.
Besides saving on expensive phone bills and long distance calling plans, VoIP allows employees and customers to attend virtual meetings anywhere in the world. All you need is access to the internet, a computer or tablet, and even if you don’t have direct internet access, your smart phone can serve as your connection.
Unified Technology Solutions has a VoIP system our company personally recommends. The system we offer is Kerio Operator Voice over IP system. It includes call forwarding, find/follow me, paging and auto-attendant among its features.
The Kerio system offers you the convenience of taking your office phone with you no matter where you are. Customers call the office, and even if you’re out, no one knows.You answer as if you are still sitting at your desk. It’s as simple as that. When you have the need for more phones, there is none of the muss and fuss of adding a traditional landline.
Depending upon your needs Unified Technology Solutions can take some time to discuss your company’s goals and show you how our systems can meet the needs of your company.
So, we explained what VoIP is and how its different from a land line, but why should you care? Because the land line business is not as profitable as it once was. Sooner or later its probably going the way of the old fashioned switchboard. It’s better to be prepared when that time comes.
Running a business is all encompassing. When it was just you and a couple of others, keeping up with IT demands was simple. Now you have 30 employees, a layer of management and managing your IT needs is interfering with your mission.
Growing a business or non-profit adds new layers of computer and data management skills. The prospect of losing valuable information because backups are not performed is something you will need to plan for. Disruption of services due to a network problem can be very costly. Hiring just one person to try and cover a multiple number of devices can work for a while, but even if you do have an IT person, there are times when one person simply cannot do it all.
Whatever cost savings you think you get by attempting to manage your IT needs in house can quickly disappear with one bad outage. It’s still early in the year, and planning to have managed IT services through Unified Technology Solutions is something we would like for you to consider.
We also want to let you know that at Unified Technology Solutions not only can we maintain and repair your computers, we can also help to integrate your Phone service. There are some state of the art VOIP solutions for companies which save you money, but also give you tremendous flexibility.
Give us a call, let’s have a chat, see how we can help you out.
Voice over IP (VOIP) technology is knocking down barriers and changing the landscape for business communications today. Watch this short video to get a sense of how Kerio Cloud can change the game for your firm.
Unified Technology Solutions is a Kerio Preferred Partner and offers their affordable, scalable, easily managed Kerio Operator Voice over IP system (VoIP). It is based on an open source framework that includes all the features you would expect from a higher-end phone system. Ring groups, conferencing, call forwarding, find/follow me, call queues, busy lamp field (BLF), paging, and auto-attendant are all standard in Kerio Operator. Kerio Operator from Unified Technology Solutions uses the latest VoIP technologies to provide features impossible to get on older systems at a fraction of the cost you would expect.