How Cloud Computing Can Make Your Team More Productive

It’s important that you are as productive as possible. Without being productive, you end up spending more in labor costs and potentially miss deadlines at the same time. These are issues that you don’t want to have. Cloud computing can be used to enhance productivity by providing more access to data at every level.

One of the first ways that you can enhance productivity with the cloud is by adding all of the data that your employees use on the field into it. This allows them to access such things as:

–          Field reports

–          Forms

–          Databases

With access to all of this information, they are able to do their job more efficiently – and thus productivity is increased. They won’t have to return to the office to get anything and they can pull up the information on their own using a mobile device.

Various devices such as fax machines can be eliminated because the people in the field will be able to get everything they need electronically

Another way to enhance productivity is through organization. You may find that it’s impossible to stay organized when you have paper all over your desk, in your briefcase, and even in your car. When you use cloud computing, there is no need to have everything in print. Documents can be created electronically so that you can simply view them on the screen.

As an example, a field agent can create a report electronically. They can pull up the report on a smartphone, complete it, and then submit it back into the cloud. You can then access that same report, completed, to have information at your fingertips.

Since the report is being filled out by the field agent in the field, you get the report faster. It also eliminates the need to scan it or use any kind of data entry method to get it into an electronic format because cloud computing was in place from the very beginning.

It’s important that you understand how the cloud works. You have access to data all the time and in all locations. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access the data that you need. Depending upon how you have file sharing set up, you can also minimize the time that it takes to receive reports. When you have more data in front of you, it allows you to make better decisions about your business – and this can help you to make decisions faster.

Whether you have had issues with data entry errors, field agents not having what they need, or even not getting the reports you need in time, the issues can be improved. Cloud computing can change the way that you work because it allows you to access more information, organize it, and access it from anywhere at any time.

All of these features will improve productivity and save you money. This is critical when you are operating a business because you want to maintain a healthy bottom line.

How IT Services Should Be Handled by an Outside Company

There are a lot of IT services available to your company. From hosted servers to phone solutions to web solutions, you can have your choice of services that will enhance your company and bring you more business. Ultimately, you have to decide whether you are going to handle the services internally or if you are going to hire an outside company. While it may seem more cost-effective at first to handle the services internally, it should be handled by an outside company in order to save your money and allow you to utilize your time more effectively.

Companies of all sizes will talk about IT issues within the office and how it can slow them down. Most of these companies complaining about their IT services are those that have chosen to handle them internally. You can avoid this easily by finding a quality company that understands how to provide quality services with no disruptions in service.

Disruptions in service are perhaps one of the biggest reasons why you should focus on hiring an outside company. You can receive the guarantee that you will not have a disruption in service – or a 99 percent chance of no disruptions. This means you never have to worry about your website or email going down. Any kind of downtime can cost you a significant amount of money. And when you minimize the risk of downtime, it’s not something to worry about.

Additionally, when you work with an outside company, they are going to offer you other services that you never even thought about. For example, if you are already getting cloud services from a company, you might as well get disaster recovery as well. This means that if a server crashes or any kind of data is lost, you can have a recovery team come in and find the data that has been lost. 9 times out of 10, disaster recovery can replenish your business as though nothing ever happened.

IT services should be handled by an outside company in all capacities. You should sit down with the company and go over each and every information technology service that you require. As the company gets to know your business, they may even make recommendations as to other services that will allow you to work more productively and enhance your business in different ways.

If none of your employees are focusing on IT, they can focus on other things that will be of benefit to your company. You may be able to allot more time to research and development or you may be able to spend more time fulfilling sales and talking to clients to find out what they are looking for in the marketplace.

IT services can be extremely time-consuming if that is not your business. Office issues don’t have to happen. If you are currently having IT issues, this may be the first sign that you should not be handling it internally.

4 IT Services to Make Your Business Run Better

There are a lot of services that can help your business run more effectively. When it comes to IT services, you need to look at saving time and focusing on your product as opposed to dealing with a variety of IT issues. This means that you need to find a company that is going to provide you with the best network infrastructure as well as a variety of other services to allow you to manage your business more effectively.

Cloud Services

Cloud services have become one of the most popular IT services in recent years. Instead of having a server on premises, your server and all of the data located on it is across the Internet. You and your employees will have a specific log on in order to access all of the data. By taking advantage of cloud services, you are able to access your data whenever and wherever you are. Especially if you or your employees travel a lot, having access to the data on your server is of the utmost importance – and placing on cloud makes the most sense.

Phone Solutions

Whether you are a call center or you simply have a large volume of calls coming in every day, you need to look at the best phone solutions. Many people do not consider phone solutions to be amongst of the IT services that you can take advantage of, but this is because you don’t think about how technology can assist you. You can have your phone systems hosted and you can even have VoIP solutions, which allows you to have voice over the Internet – ensuring that all of your employees are able to take calls right from their computers.

Website Development

If you don’t have the right website, you aren’t getting the kind of traffic that your business deserves. Additionally, if you don’t have certain functions within your website, you are making it harder on yourself. For example, if you don’t accept online orders and you make people either phone you or stop into your store, you are not cashing in on the full extent of your business. All it takes is the right website development in order to step into the world of e-commerce and enhance your sales significantly.

Email Solutions

There is a lot that can be done with email as well. When it comes to these IT services, you can have a company helping you with all of your email solutions. This includes providing an email address to each and every one of your employees and managing it effectively so that people can check their email online, over their phone, and at their desk. This provides more productivity for you and your employees – resulting in more improvements for your business.

The sooner you learn about the IT services that can help you, the more efficiently your business can run. There are plenty of companies out there that offer IT services – though you want to focus on one that has a high level of service and can help you with your growth.

The Pros and Cons of In-House IT Solutions

IT solutions are important in every aspect of your business. Whether you’re running the business solo or you have the help of multiple departments, you have to consider how IT affects you. It’s what keeps you online, allows you to process credit cards, provides you with data storage, and what may even allow you to have a hosted phone solution in your company. Regardless of whether you are a team of 1 or 100, you have to consider who is handling the IT of your business.

There are pros and cons of being able to do it on your own.

The Pros

There are some pros of in-house IT solutions and it’s important to know what they are. If you can do things on your own, then you may want to keep with status quo.

  • You get what you need when you need it. There’s no one to call when something happens because you’re the one taking care of the problem.
  • You don’t have to explain what you need. Particularly with web design, there’s no need to sit down and consult with someone because you’re in charge of the outcome.
  • There’s no pushy sales person. When you deal with some IT companies, they like to push services on you that you don’t need.

The Cons

The cons of in-house IT solutions are numerous, especially if you are running things on your own or with a very small team.

  • You don’t have the manpower to allot to fixing the computer problems. As soon as there is a problem, you or one of your employees have to take time away from another project in order to work on IT – and this may not be time you have available to you.
  • It can become very expensive. Especially if you are trying to host your own website, you have to buy software, hardware, and a lot of cables that you may not be able to afford. An IT company can provide a lot of this for you.
  • It’s hard to budget. While you know how much your internet is from month to month, that may be the only thing that remains consistent. When you have to call an IT company out for help, that’s an expense. If you go over your data or your bandwidth, that may be another expense. If you were to simply hire an IT company, you would be able to budget a flat fee from month to month.
  • You don’t get access to all the services you need. When you go with in-house IT solutions, you are only able to access the services you or your employees know how to do. This means you may be missing out on some great services like hosted phone solutions and web design.

You owe it to yourself to look at IT solutions from a company because it can save you time and money. Don’t write it off as an expense you can’t afford. When you have a flat fee that allows you to access a lot, it may surprise you.

4 IT Solutions You Probably Didn’t Think About

There are all sorts of IT solutions out there. When you call an IT company to come and help you set up your business using the latest technology available, it’s important to listen to what the experts have to say. Especially if you haven’t been well connected in the past, there are some solutions available to you that you probably haven’t thought about.

Mobile App

Do you have a mobile app for the smartphone or tablet? Apps are not just for consumers to connect to your website. While these are helpful to capture 24/7 sales and allow people to find out more about you in a mobile environment, they are not the only apps that you can utilize for the enhancement of your business.

You can also create mobile apps for your employees – and these are ideal for sales staff and those who are out performing inspections and doing other things outside of the office. With the right app, they will be able to fill out forms using their mobile device and save it right into the program you have up and running. This can prevent creating a paper trail and requiring data entry when it’s not necessary.

Hosted Phones

Still paying a receptionist to answer the phones and forward all of the calls to the correct department? You can have a hosted phone as part of your IT solutions where the computer answers the calls, provides a menu of options to the caller and sends the call to the right person or department. This can allow you to take on a greater call volume – and it may provide you with some of the other services you need – such as call logs.

Web Design

You may already know about web design, but when you find the right company to provide you with IT solutions, you can have a better overall web design. This can include an e-commerce page where customers are able to place orders 24/7 without any input from you. Depending upon the way you run your business, there can be tools built-in to the back end of the website where you and your employees can obtain reports.

This can allow you to fulfill orders faster and even get reports as to what products are selling the fastest so you can maintain a more effective inventory.

Spam Filtering

Afraid that your computers are going to get some kind of virus? Or that you are sending out spam without knowing it? Part of the IT solutions you can get from an IT company include spam filtering where they can set up a filter on all incoming and outgoing mail. This ensures that the only emails that your clients or customers receive are ones that you actually sent.

You can get many things when you work with an IT company instead of trying to do everything in-house. From server management to remote access, you get what you need when you need. Contact a company and find out what IT solutions they offer and how it can influence your business for the better.

Outsourced IT: What Is It and Why It Should Be Considered

Outsourced IT may be the answer you have been searching for. If you have been sitting at your desk trying to figure out how you are supposed to have enough hours in the day to concentrate on sales, marketing, accounting, HR, and IT, there is good news. You can hire a company to be your IT department so it’s one less thing on your plate.

What is outsourced IT? When you hire a company to focus on all of your IT issues, you are outsourcing your tasks to them. You pay them a flat fee each month to take on these responsibilities, thus allowing you to work on all of the other things needed for you to run your business efficiently.

You can hire a company to do virtually anything and everything having to do with IT. This includes:

  • Setting up cloud computing
  • Creating a network infrastructure
  • Hosting your domain
  • Designing your website
  • Hosting your phone solutions

You have to ask yourself: Where do you need the help? As soon as you meet with an IT company, they can review your business, provide you with suggestions in terms of where they can help and then quote you with a price. Not sure if you like the price? Compare the costs with a few other IT companies in town. Remember that the cost is likely going to be paid for thanks to the productivity you gain and the work hours that you don’t have to spend working on IT problems.

It’s important to at least consider outsourced IT because you can’t afford to have downtime to your network or your website. Downtime on your network may mean no internet access and no ability to process credit cards. Downtime on your website means losing the inability to collect revenue 24/7. Neither of these is good and both of these can cause you to lose money and customers.

What could you do with an extra 5-10 hours a week? This is the average amount of time that a small business owner spends doing their own IT. You may be spending even more, but on average, these hours could be spent working on new product lines, marketing your current product lines or training new employees to go out in the field and pitch your products.

Regardless of how you spend the time you free up, you are spending them towards building your business. You can be successful as long as you delegate your time and funds wisely. Outsourced IT will allow you the time and money to do the things that weren’t previously possible. Forget about looking at the idea as something you can’t afford. Instead, it’s something you can’t afford NOT to have. It’s all a matter of finding the right IT company to provide you with the services.

The moment you get outsourced IT, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t get it ages ago.

What Are Managed Services?

When it comes to finding things that can help your business run more efficiently, you want to look at managed services. This is a term that is being used more and more – and you need to understand what these are.

Managed services can take on the form of virtually anything – server and desktop management, disaster recovery, VoIP solutions, website development, on premise email solutions, domain registration, cloud services, and much more. Each and every one of these services can enhance your business in one way or another.

As you start to explore how managed services can help you, you need to find a company that specializes in these IT services. The support that you can receive from these companies will allow you to work smarter instead of harder. If you are constantly running back and forth between your office and the IT office in order to find out what is going on, it is likely that you need to hire an outside company to provide you with better IT solutions.

It is not necessary to replace your entire IT department. You may simply want to outsource some of your IT in order to get more comprehensive services. For example, your IT department may not specialize in website development. Their talents are better suited for data security and network infrastructure. By making them work on your website, you are settling for a less than ideal product. Instead, you can outsource the website development to accompany that provides you with a better product and eliminates some of the IT issues that you are currently dealing with.

You are the one in control of how many managed services you take advantage of. Much of this will have to do with whether you have an IT department on premises or not and how much they are able to truly help you. If they are able to provide you with the necessary network infrastructure that you need as well as business continuity plans, then you don’t need to look at these kinds of services. However, if you are looking for phone solutions, Internet solutions, or even email solutions, it may be in your best interest to contact a company that specializes in IT consulting and support.

It’s important for your business to run smoothly. Each and every bump that you hit may set your business back further and further. In order to be successful, your business needs to run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. This means that you cannot afford to have ineffective phone solutions and you cannot experience any kind of downtime on your website. If a customer goes to your website and finds it down, they may go to your competition – and they may stay there.

There are managed services for virtually every IT need that you have. You have to take an honest look at your operations and determine where you need assistance. You can also call an IT company in and they will recommend services based upon your operations.

Run Your Business Smoother With Managed IT Services

You need to do everything you can to run your business in a smooth manner. You hire the right employees, conduct the right training, and you need managed IT services. There are a lot of services that can be obtained from a good company to give you more for your employees, your consumers and your business. Best of all, that same IT company can also do a lot of things for you that your IT department is doing, only better. This means that you can outsource and save money.
Take a look at how you answer your phones. Do you have a receptionist answering phones? What happens when there are too many lines ringing or they run to the restroom? How are the phones being handled then? There are hosted phone systems that you can get to answer the calls and send them through a menu. This will auto-route all of the calls.
Additionally, you can send calls to your employees at their computer through VoIP. The “voice over IP” phone solutions are becoming more popular. As long as an employee has a headset, they can take a call without ever picking up the phone. There are many benefits to doing this including being able to keep a digital phone log of the calls and how long they lasted as well as have voicemail and more.
With VoIP, an employee doesn’t have to be physically at their desk. They can receive calls anywhere they have an internet connection. This is ideal for those who travel a lot, need to work from home on occasion or who need to be reached while on vacation.
If all of your employees are accessible more often, your business will run smoother because customers and clients will be able to get what they need.
There are other managed IT services as well. You can take advantage of such things as:
– Website development
– Hosted email services
– Cloud services
– Server management
Once you decide that you are going to go e-commerce, you need to have a website that is capable of keeping up with the needs of your business and the desires of your consumers. This means that you need professional website design with tools in the background to help you out. This includes being able to print shipping labels when an order is placed and route orders directly to your distribution team.
When you have a website, the managed IT services can drastically reduce downtime. Downtime costs you money because you need IT on the problem and consumers are unable to go to your website and learn about you or place orders – and this could mean they will go to another company in order to do business.
You need your business running as smoothly as you can get it. This doesn’t mean you have to tackle all of the problems on your own. This is why there are managed IT services for you to choose from.

IT Support Helps Your Business Run Smoother

There are a lot of ways that IT support can help your business run smoother. You cannot be expected to do everything on your own. Especially if you are the “be all” for your business, you need to focus on other aspects including marketing and sales. By focusing on the areas that directly affect your profits, you can ensure that your business is thriving. Someone else can provide you with the support you need for IT.
You may not be aware of all of the technology out there that can assist your business. Each and every year, new strides are being made that make it easier for businesses to run. IT support is able to tap into this technology more to provide you with more. This includes more assistance where you need it the most. For example, did you know that there are hosted phone systems that you can get where you can eliminate the need for a receptionist at the front desk?
An IT support person can walk through your business and tell you about all of the areas that can be enhanced through the addition of technology. This may cost you a little bit of money initially, but it is a wise investment. Eventually the help on your IT will allow you to enhance various aspects of your business which can save you labor and increase your profits. Both of these are good for business and will affect your bottom line in a positive way.
By having support from a third party, you get documentation and communication where you need it the most. This includes guarantees in terms of what you need to hear – such as reduced downtime on your website and that help is a phone call away so you never have to worry about IT issues that linger. Even if you are fortunate to have an IT department, they may be limited in their knowledge – and this is where your business may be at a point where it cannot grow because of their limitations.
IT support can help you with your website, your cloud server, your email, your website design and virtually anything else that you need assistance with. When you have someone who makes it their business to give you what you need in terms of IT, your business runs smoother. This is because you have dedicated people who are always looking out for you. They ensure you don’t have downtime and have access to all that you need.
In today’s day and age, you can’t be without IT support in one capacity or another. The more support you have, the smoother everything runs. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. All it takes is raising your hand and asking for some assistance. Finding a third party company that anticipates your needs is out there – and can make a world of a difference on your business.

4 Reasons to Consider Outsourced IT

Outsourced IT has a number of advantages. You don’t have to do it all on your own. As soon as you find a company that you can outsource your needs to, you can take advantage of all they have to offer. There are four reasons why you should consider it.
It’s Affordable
You have enough financial obligations with your small business, why add yet another expense to it? By using outsourced IT, you do not have to worry about the added financial resources of an in-house IT department. You will not have to hire your own techies. You won’t have to buy your own servers. That’s a huge expense that using a third party can save you. Freeing up your budget from this unneeded expense can help expand your business. It will also add a fixed expense to your budget. When owning your own equipment, you could have a huge unexpected expense occur. That’s not something your business can afford.
It Gives You More Services
Because you are not funding an IT department yourself, you have much more financial liberty to get things you need thanks to an outsourced IT department. If you are not a computer guru, you might not even know what is available within the IT community. Let the techies show you what you can have! Techies can upgrade your website and be there if something happens to it. They can help you with email. If you are in sales, they can set up an online store which can help you fulfill your sales quota. The company you hire will also pay to train the techies to keep up to date on the latest computer trends. That is an expertise you cannot be without.
It’s One Less Thing for You to Worry About
When you use outsourced IT, you won’t have to think about your computer and networking services. If you are running your own business, you don’t have the time to think about a network issue. You just need it to work. If there ever is a problem, instead of trying to fix it yourself, you simply have to place a call to the service and the tech guys will fix it for you. Included in their services is everyday maintenance, updates, and fixes to your software, hardware, and any devices you have. You don’t have time to worry about the computer systems and now you don’t have to.
It Allows You to Take On More
Since you don’t have the concern with your computer and networking systems, you can turn your attention to other things to run your business, like actually running your business. You can take on new projects without a worry that you’re ignoring your technology services because you have someone watching them for you. A good website can drive business your way and this will build your business. Having a good technology team will help that side of your business, which is essential. Things are rapidly changing in the business world. You cannot be without email, web services, or other networking aspects and stay afloat. Outsourced IT is the way to go – it’s just good business.