Monthly Archives: December 2012

How to Achieve a Peaceful, Relaxing Relationship with your Business – Part Two

Peaceful_Relaxing_BusinessThis article is part two of a three part series where we outline steps to take to help you achieve cohesion with your business technology. By following the steps outlined, you should see a dramatic increase in the stability and flexibility of your computers and equipment, freeing you up to focus on more important matters. Click here to read part one and part three of the series.

Part one of this series examined the critical areas of your business which should be in place to help you achieve peace and relaxation with your business. If you have not read part one, please do so now before continuing.

Aside from stabilizing your systems, and having backups and redundancies in place, there are a few more areas of your technology that can help you achieve a more cohesive relationship with your business.

3. Automate and Streamline Where Possible

Another way to achieve peace and relaxation with your business is to let your computers and equipment handle most of the work when possible. Often, this means automating and streamlining processes. There are many ways to do this, and depend on your individual company’s needs and setups.

Let’s imagine that one of your processes involves needed to approve a paid invoice. With the current process, the invoice is scanned and added to the client’s file, the invoice is paid, printed, and stamped approved by the financial person. Then, the item must be authorized by upper management, and rescanned back into the client’s file, with all the proper signatures on it. The old original scan is deleted, and the process is complete.

With this process, extra time is wasted with scanning, printing, rescanning, and chasing down people for authorization signatures. Instead, the process could be streamlined by scanning it into the system, and setting up signature stamps, so that it can be signed electronically. Then, instead of scanning, printing, and rescanning, the document is scanned once. It is paid, and stamped by the financial person as complete. Then it can be forwarded via email, or a notification sent through your system, to tell upper management to approve the expense.

By streamlining processes, you eliminate the back and forth, the waiting, and the time wasted recombining files, or cleaning up copies that no longer need to live in the clients files. Additionally, this saves time, allowing staff to process a larger volume of work in the same amount of time.

Again, this is only one example of how processes can be streamlined. It is even better if they can be automated, and completely handled by the computer. However, the extent to which this can happen largely depends on your equipment and current setup.

4. Remote Access

One of the biggest ways to achieve peace and relaxation with your business is by allowing remote access into the office. Remote access involves using either a terminal server, or Remote Windows Workplace, or some other remote software, to access the computers in the office securely, from a remote location.

By allowing remote access to the office, it is easier to access files and important information when you need them. Instead of getting to meetings only to discover you’re missing an important file, you can simply log in and access what you need, without having to reschedule.

While there are many benefits of remote access, some benefits include reducing overhead by having remote employees, giving employees flexibility by allowing them to work from home, being able to take your business anywhere, and more. In this day and age, if your office doesn’t allow remote access, you are missing out on a valuable piece of technology.

While these aren’t the only ways to achieve peace and relaxation with your business, these suggestions go a long way to helping you enjoy your technology more, through automation and remote access. Start assessing your current setup in these areas. Then, stay tuned for the final part of our series, to see what else you can do with your technology to achieve peace and relaxation with your business.

How to Achieve a Peaceful, Relaxing Relationship with your Business – Part One

Peaceful_Relaxing_BusinessThis article is part one of a three part series where we outline steps to take to help you achieve cohesion with your business technology. By following the steps outlined, you should see a dramatic increase in the stability and flexibility of your computers and equipment, freeing you up to focus on more important matters.

With regards to business, there is often a wide held belief that it cannot be easy. And, there’s some truth to this. With all the rules, government regulations, employee guidelines, HR regulations, industry specific information, and more that business owners must stay on top of, it is sometimes hard to remember if you’re coming or going.

Now add in additional business components, like making informed decisions about your office technology needs (and what all of that crazy industry lingo means), and it can end up being downright overwhelming.

But fret not. There’s an easy way to achieve peace and relaxation with your business, and it all starts with your technology. Having a strong, stable infrastructure in place does many great things for your business. It helps reduce staff frustration and downtime, while increasing productivity. It can also provide mobility, giving your business the flexibility to go anywhere.

Below is a list of the top 5 components we recommend for a stable business framework. Use this list while reviewing your current setup to see where your business is strong, and to assess what areas of your network need some extra attention.

5 Components of a Stable Business Infrastructure

1. Stable Systems

One of the quickest ways to have a stressful relationship with your business is to have technology that is unreliable or non-functioning. Resolve to reduce business frustrations by stabilizing your systems.

In order for a system to be stable, it should be up and running properly at least 98% of the time, or more. Additionally, when an outage occurs, it shouldn’t take down the entire office*, even if the outage involves your server.

Think about your current setup. How often is your system problematic or completely down? When an outage occurs, how does it impact the office? If your server went down, could your office be back up and running the same day, even when new equipment is required to fix the problem?

With technology as robust as it is today, there is little reason for your office to be down for a long period of time*, even if the outage involves your main server.

*In this context, we are talking about computer / hardware outages, not unforeseen issues such as natural disasters or acts of God.*

2. Backups and Redundancies

In order for your system to be stable and reliable, it is important to have backups and redundancies in place. Simply having one or the other in place, but not both, is not enough.

Backups are a necessary part of network stability, and are needed to ensure your data is safe should a disaster occur. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all backups are the same. In order for your business to be properly protected, your backups should occur at regular intervals (think hourly), and should be backed up off site.

Think about your current backup situation. Do backups happen on-site, or off? Where are your backups saved? Are they image backups or file backups? If your files are currently being backed up to an external hard drive that is in your IT room, you may want to consider putting a better backup system in place.

Aside from backups, it’s good to have some redundancies in place especially when it comes to your server, so that if hardware fails, you can easily switch over to the working hardware, and keep running. This often means having multiple hard drives. We also recommend a device like our Backup and Disaster Recovery (BRD) device, which not only backs up your data, but can serve as a spare server, should yours completely go down.

While these aren’t the only ways to achieve peace and relaxation, these are the top two areas of concern. Without having a handle on these areas, your business could be at risk for data loss, and more. Start assessing your current setup in these areas. Then, stay tuned for the second part of our series to see what else you can do with your technology to achieve peace and relaxation with your business.