Cutting costs in the workplace doesn’t always mean eliminating services you don’t need or eliminating positions that aren’t necessary. One of the easiest ways to make it happen is by taking a closer look at printing costs. By carefully analyzing and controlling your printing resources, you can minimize the amount of assets you invest in printing and save a considerable amount of revenue.
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog
It’s the holiday season, and shoppers are flocking to stores to find the perfect gift for anyone: the gift card. However, these handy little plastic rectangles may not be so perfect after all. This year, they’ve been a key component to a business email compromise scam that has been popular in the past few months.
A VoIP solution can assist your business in multiple ways, most notably in the realm of savings. While the potential savings over time cannot be ignored, VoIP also allows a business to increase productivity and mobility.
No matter how you look at it, technology is expensive. You’ll rarely look at your IT invoices without cringing a little on the inside. However, it’s important that you take a glance at these every once in a while to understand just what you’re getting from your technology budget. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your IT purchases are yielding a positive return on investment, and therefore, providing value for your organization.
There are a few sounds that are familiar to any office: keys clacking away, coffee being sipped (or slurped), and the rattling, squawking hum of the printer. Yet this image presents a crucial question: do you know how much your printer is costing your business each time it is used? In today’s blog, we’ll review how you can calculate this investment.
The cloud has taken the computing world by storm. You’d be hard-pressed to find a technology that didn’t tie back to the cloud in some way. This is especially true when you consider the needs of the SMB, and how the cloud can provide for those needs.
But why would you want to trust your computing infrastructure to some other company? We’ve actually seen this paradigm shift before. Around one hundred years ago, many businesses used to have to generate their own electricity. There wasn’t a power grid to simply plug into. Could you imagine having to manage and maintain your own generator for all of your electrical consumption? We’re seeing the same thing with cloud computing. Businesses now have the opportunity to “plug-in” and use computing resources without needing to purchase and maintain in-house hardware.
While many associate the cloud with data storage, the cloud is actually capable of much more. Of course, that isn’t to say that the cloud doesn’t provide powerful and flexible storage solutions. With the ability to access data from anywhere, and with many hosted utilities including software, communications, and security solutions, the cloud presents a valuable option to any business’ computing infrastructure.
Businesses need to ascertain what kind of computing issues they can solve by leveraging the cloud. Do you need extra storage? Are you looking to enhance your organization’s communications? Do you need solutions to build a more collaborative or cooperative offering? Are you searching for a solution to improve operational efficiency or reduce your computing costs? There are many cloud-based solutions you can choose from to enhance your organization’s computing power and provide ubiquitous and secure delivery of those solutions to the people within your organization that needs them most.
For the modern business that can’t commit the kind of money to hosting on-site computing environments that they would typically need to ensure a secure and dynamic computing platform for their staff, utilizing Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.’s expertise to find the cloud solution that is right for you is a great option. For more information about utility computing in the cloud and other hosted solutions, call us today at (508) 622-5100.
So, you’ve just finished up a huge, potentially career-altering project. Your finger is poised over the mouse, ready to click ‘save,’ when suddenly your entire project disappears. Turns out, a critical issue just killed your network, your progress, and your mood. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to keep this from happening?
The scenario we just described was a classic example of the traditional IT approach in action--a problem occurs, causing progress, profits, and productivity to be lost.
The main problem with this strategy is that it’s reactionary, and gives circumstances control over your business. Besides the day-to-day hassles and shortcomings that this approach brings, there are potential dangers that threaten your entire establishment. What if a disaster struck and destroyed your entire infrastructure, or you were suddenly struck by a crippling malware attack that infected your critical data?
Without preventative, proactive action, there wouldn’t be much you could do to bounce back; and, based on what has happened to other businesses after such events, it isn’t very likely that your business would last.
However, it is very possible to reduce the risk of such events with some planning, forethought, and preparedness. When a system is built, it’s built to behave a certain way. When it behaves differently, that’s a red flag.
We will keep an eye on your network, monitoring your network in order to prevent an all-out disaster. We’ll keep your solutions from going out of date so they will be there when you need them. However, that’s only half of the battle.
Another significant portion of the issue lies in the tendency people have to assume that the worst won’t happen to them, and as a result, they neglect to prepare for potential problems properly, if at all. They find justification in the thought that, out of so many businesses in the world, the chances that someone would target them is unlikely. After all, their small business is worth peanuts compared the value of larger enterprises.
While this is true, other factors have to come into play as well, as different cybercriminals will take different factors into consideration. So yes, while a small business is worth considerably less than a corporation in terms of net value, this also means that the corporation has exponentially more funds to invest into their cyber security, which many claim to do.
So put yourself in the shoes of a cybercriminal: do you go for the high-value target with significant defenses in place and a team of highly-paid lawyers waiting to take you to task should you be caught, or do you go for the thousands upon thousands of Mom and Pop shops with very small values but negligible defenses? The choice is clear.
Making sure your network is secured and tested against threats before there’s an issue is just another way of adopting a universally proactive strategy, as is preparing and maintaining a backup, monitoring solutions, and many other processes that Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can help you handle. Give us a call at (508) 622-5100 to learn more about our solutions.
You’re in the middle of a project when your computer starts acting up. You smack it around a little bit to see if that has any effect, but it only makes the problem worse. Suddenly, there’s a blue screen and you have no clue what to do. What happened to your data? What will happen to your project? What will you do about the workstation replacement? Read on to find out.
The aforementioned scenario is one that is common in the realm of break-fix IT. Someone’s computer or other piece of technology breaks down and they don’t know how to fix it themselves. They wind up investing in expensive IT support, but more than this, they waste valuable time and resources resolving a problem that could have been prevented. This has led innovators in the technology maintenance sector to create what’s called managed IT services, which are designed to take a proactive stand against IT troubles, rather than resolve them as they occur.
It’s More Cost-Effective
The more time you spend spinning your wheels on an IT problem, the more time you wind up wasting. The more time you waste, the less time you can spend on profit-making initiatives. Previously, your organization was almost certainly including IT in its budget as a capital expense, but by implementing more flexible monthly payments, you can effectively turn your IT budget into an operational expense. The end result is more flexibility in your budget as a whole.
You Have More Time
What would you do if you didn’t have to waste time managing or maintaining your business’s technology solutions? Perhaps you would invest time into building your brand, or maybe you would rather focus on improving internal operations and employee morale. Maybe you’d like to give out the raises that your team deserves, or invest in future innovation. Either way, you’ll have more time and resources to devote to what really matters: running your business.
Your Technology Gets the Help It Needs
Too often businesses rely on their own employees to ensure that technology gets updated. This generally happens if an organization doesn’t have the resources to hire an internal IT department to take care of their technology. In other words, when you have people who have no clue what they’re doing managing and maintaining technology, chances are that mistakes will be made and time will be wasted. By having professional technicians working with your technology, you can know with confidence that your systems are being maintained by trained professionals.
With proactive managed IT solutions from Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc., you’ll never have to worry about your technology again. We’ll make sure that your mission-critical systems are being managed and maintained properly so that you can focus on running your business. To learn more about what preventative solutions we can offer your organization, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.
Technology has been ingrained into today’s society to the point where businesses can’t function without it. Your organization relies on servers, networks, and workstations to keep productive and access important information, but all of this technology saddles your business with the responsibility of maintaining the components, as well as budget challenges.
It’s a known fact that technology doesn’t last forever. In fact, technology grows at such an astounding rate that some users often feel the need to replace their devices the second a bigger and better tech is launched. What if this unprecedented growth and increase in reliability become a hindrance to the sales of PC manufacturers?
How much paper and ink does your company use every week? Every month? Every year? More importantly, how much does this wind up costing your company in the long run? According to a study by 14 year-old science fair wiz Suvir Mirchandani, it was discovered that his Pittsburgh-area school district could reduce ink consumption by 24 percent and save an average of $21,000 a year by simply switching fonts. That's half of what the average American's annual salary is!
It's the nature of trends for people to want to capitalize on them, which means that many sellers of what's trendy may have little experience working with the trends that they're selling. As a business looking to take advantage of the latest technology trends, it's important that you're not bamboozled by a smooth talking technology marketer with no depth.
Remember when you upgraded to a flat screen TV or monitor just a few years ago? You may have marveled at the increased picture quality and celebrated getting rid of your old and bulky equipment, but do you know what happened to the old CRT monitor after you threw it out? Unfortunately, the answer doesn't bode well for the environment.
This statistic comes from California-based market research firm In-Stat, and it highlights the growth of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. To give you an idea of how far VoIP has come in recent years, this figure was at 42% just five years ago. Is your business taking advantage of the VoIP revolution?
For a business owner, leaving money on the table is the worst feeling because it means passing up on easy money. From forgetting to upsell to a customer to having a delivery route be longer than it needs to be, there are many ways that businesses leave money on the table. Take a look at your company's technology; you may be leaving money on the table by using inefficient technology that's literally sitting on your table.
Some people refuse to upgrade their technology because they're ardently committed to the principle of "if it's not broke, don't fix it." We admire a person's resolve to stand up for their convictions, but there are cases when old technology gets in the way of profits. Here are four examples of old technologies that may be holding your business back.
"Heigh-ho, heigh-ho. It's off to work we go!" Do you know the secret to why Dwarves are so good at mining? It's because they don't have an Internet connection in the caves to distract them from digging and singing. If you're looking to turn your staff into a loyal Dwarf-like workforce, then you will want to take advantage of content filtering.
"The Cloud" may mean very different things to different people, and has certainly been used in a number of ways that obscure its actual definition. The cloud a place to store and access files, run software, automatically back up files, virtualize data, and much more. Globally, smaller cities are becoming cloud cities using all of these capabilities to save money and improve their infrastructure and services.
Expenses from running a business can add up quickly. We want to help by sharing six easy things you can do that will save you money and improve your workplace. Even though these two goals may seem diametrically opposed, we have found that they can work together in a synchronized harmony!
The value of professional services is that you can contract someone a reasonable fee to do something that you don't have the time or skill to achieve on your own. If you work in the service industry, this is your business model. Outsourcing the management of your IT to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. is a classic example of a professional service that can save you money.