So we have seen some of the problems and pitfalls that you can run into with technology, but that is no reason to run form it. In fact, sometimes the biggest mistake small businesses make is not having enough technology, or no technology at all. If you find yourself in this situation, we can help. We will start by making a high level assessment of your current utilization of technology, and compare that to your business needs. From there we will help you fill in whatever gaps may exist. Most small businesses require the same basic solutions, which are then custom tailored to meet your specific needs.
File and Print Services - The main goal of any centralized server is to provide file and print services. We will help you source the best hardware configuration, properly scaled to your business, then couple that with a network operating system that provides the features you need. HP and Dell both offer attractive hardware solutions for the small business, while Microsoft offers the operating system to run it. In most cases the hardware and the operating system will be purchased as a package from the hardware vendor.
E-mail Services - Chances are, you already have some form of E-mail, but it may not be the ideal solution for your business. For example, we occasionally find small business owners still utilizing consumer grade e-mail services for their business, such as AOL, which results in the e-mail domain name not matching the company domain name. This is not only inefficient, but also does not look professional. We will help you analyze your current E-mail provision, and determine how to improve it. Many small businesses use a hosted E-mail provider, which is a good practice in most cases, but having your own Exchange server can offer additional benefits, particularly when it is coupled with the Windows Server operating system. At the same time, we will review your current SPAM inflow and make recommendations on how to reduce it to acceptable levels.
Security - Nearly everyone is connected to the Internet is some form or fashion, and if you are a small business it is a necessity. But with all its benefits, there are also some caveats - the most serious of which is security. Literally within seconds of connecting your systems to the Internet, you are vulnerable to attacks, this is why a good firewall solution is critical. For small business needs, Sonic-Wall offers some of the best solutions. For around $500 you can buy "the blue box" and establish a barrier between your internal systems, and the Internet. These firewalls provide excellent protection, and often package other services such as content filtering and SPAM filtering right into the same device.
Remote Access and Mobility - It's not enough anymore to just have a network in your office. In today's 24X7 world where your customers expectations are higher than ever, you need the flexibility to work from remote locations. In some cases it is just a mater of convenience, better to work from your couch than drive into the office for those unexpected weekend surprises. But if you travel with any regularity, then it becomes more of a necessity. If you are out of town all week on a job, or at a convention, it is not realistic to expect that you can be out of the loop that long. There are several solutions available for remote access, including native support for VPN, and Smart Phone mobility built into the Windows Server OS. In addition, Sonic-Wall offers some affordable solutions for remote access if a hardware solution is preferred.
As you can see, there are plenty of provisions for small businesses to improve their use of Information Technology, while adhering to your budgets. Many of these technologies have seen drastic reductions in price over recent years, bringing enterprise class features within reach of the small business. Call or E-mail us to set up a time for a free on site assessment, where we will advise you further.