IT Staff is for Network Management

March 5, 2008

Imagine having your communication data current, safe and linked to the need-to-know people within your project, whether at a Laptop, Desktop PC or Smartphone. Keep current of changes – made in real time – without having to buy, install or maintain the infrastructure to do it… Imagine a large business communication platform bundled for small business where field working professionals and support staff communicate simultaneously in real time.

Contacts, Appointments, Email and To-Do Lists are key pieces of a communication puzzle making up daily business operations. Executives and workers who operate from the field need constant, reliable access to their data (and support staff) to remain productive; I.T. staff in large cap companies (over $750 million in annual revenue) know this. Emerging companies in “run” mode cannot afford to wait for current information or risk losing [valuable] data; delays to receive it could lead to lost qualified opportunities.

Outsourcing this critical component of your business operations passes the baton of handling the seven (7) most important aspects of managing communication data: 1) Hard & Soft costs [to establish a reliable system]; 2) Location and Security; 3) Capital Carrying Costs; 4) Installation and Migration; 5) Data Integrity and Safety; 6) Daily Administration; 7) Scalability. 

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Contacts, Appointments, Email and To-Do Lists are key pieces of a communication puzzle that make up daily business operations regardless of computer or smartphone connections. Executives and workers who operate from the field need constant, reliable access to their data [and support staff] to remain productive; keeping it in real time [with the aid of an assistant] helps keep daily activities running forward. I.T. staff in large cap companies (over $750 million in annual revenue) know this; they can afford to invest and operate their own data management servers. However, the costs [and time] to establish, maintain and grow this infrastructure is typically out of reach for smaller and emerging companies. Such companies cannot afford to wait for current information to crawl to them (or risk losing it); delays and/or losses could lead to lost qualified opportunities. To keep your communications “running” reliably and timely as large companies do – for a low monthly cost – hire a provider to host and manage it for your company offsite.

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Outsourcing this critical component of your business operations passes the baton of handling the seven most important aspects of managing communication data:

1.  Hard & Soft Costs. Source, bid and negotiate hardware and software (Servers, ISP, data host, data sharing, synching system, antispam antivirus software, IT staff, etc.).

2.  Location and Security. Evaluate/select the location to house hardware/software, firewall software, environment’s security.

3.  Capital Carrying Costs. Enduring credit checks and financing terms to finance the purchase.

4.  Installation and Migration. Identify costs to install and configure a system to receive your incumbent system.

5.  Data Integrity and Safety. Solution is kept current of firewall, antispam and antivirus updates to maintain its integrity and safety; your data is beneficiary.

6.  Administration. Pass daily administration and backup of your data from I.T. staff to provider, empowering your I.T. staff to focus on network management matters.

7.  Scalability. Provider handles adds/deletions to your user population as company grows. Add predictably, affordable [and budgetable] user fees the provider in lieu of large capital expenses to upgrade an in-house system.

TEN KEY INGREDIENTS OF THIS SOLUTION:

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1.  Microsoft Exchange Server (MX). Serves as the data management host (viewed and organized through Outlook 2003 or higher). For 2008, get free software upgrade to Outlook 2003 or 2007 within setup fee.  MX’s compatibility with Windows Mobile 5.0 or higher or Goodlink (PALM) enables wireless synch to Windows Mobile or PALM smartphones.

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2.  BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Synchs Outlook data to/from BlackBerry smartphones in real time, making handhelds a productivity tool.

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3.  Microsoft SharePoint (Sharepoint). Meeting workspace software designed to thread people into your network, at will, to share/collaborate information. Send notices, invites, alerts, and set up a workspace to hold a meeting, attach documents, and list contacts. Bring your entire team together online per diem or for projects, no matter where they’re located; compatible with Outlook 2003 or higher.

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4.  Antispam & Virusware. Full-featured email protection and management software assuring safe email to/from your user population. 98% or better accuracy in blocking spam and viruses; processes 10 times the volume of email compared to any other email security service.

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5.  Data Changes In Real Time. BlackBerry users (their assistant and shared users of data) stay abreast of changes to their data in real time, wherever they are.

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6.  Reliable, Safe Data. Data is live 24/7. Lost data can be restored quickly; seen by a PC, laptop or smart phone. Data is backed up regularly.

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7.  Scalable. Staff changes can prompt a need to add/delete mobile users and/or users of your data (PCs and laptops); you process those changes via a web-based control panel as you need to.

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8.  Recovery of Fees. One monthly fee per user. i) Base it on overall savings of outsourcing, ii) on staff production value, iii) debiting from commissions paid to salespeople, or by iv) operating fees independent contractors pay to the company each month.

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9.  Ideal Customer. 1-100 users; solution works – ready-to-wear – upon completion of migration. Enterprise activation from wireless carrier activates the smart phone; all data gets downloaded within 12hrs of activation.

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10.  Wireless Carrier. Any carrier offering Enterprise Connectivity for a monthly fee.

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Large organizations have maximized their operational efficiency for years by implementing e-mail and collaboration features of Outlook running on Exchange Server. CDS originates these features for a small piece of that cost.

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Contact me to schedule an appointment to discuss how this hosted/managed service can help your company and conserve working capital. There’s an article at this website comparing the host’s user fees vs. costs of creating/managing this kind of system yourself. 

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(Make note, I’ve a white paper on this topic (Aug 8, 2008) that explains how a service provider can deliver a more effective email and collaboration platform at a lower cost, in a more flexible and predictable manner; enterprises with less than 5,000 mailboxes benefit.  It demonstrates the practical benefits and economic inevitability of switching to hosted solutions for email, calendaring, collaboration and mobility; such benefits increase security, performance, reliability, and up time. The provider I rep is one of the top three in the industry. Please email me for a copy of this informative white paper; sales@cds-connects.com.)

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