Imagine this scenario: your staff is down one more person this week than you originally planned, you have a growing list of project deadlines that need to be addressed, and you don’t have the necessary IT resources or manpower to deliver the time-to-value that your customers demand. Sound familiar?
With a lot of small and medium-sized (SMB) businesses, this scenario is an everyday reality. They are typically strapped from a cost standpoint to expand their IT staff—if they have a staff at all. Having the right people to assist is a big differentiator for curbing mistakes. In fact, Gartner projects that through 2015 people will be responsible for 80% of all technology failures. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including not having a realistic workload plan in place or underestimating how much labor is needed to prevent these problems from taking place.
To reduce management complexity while keeping costs down, SMBs need the ability to do more using fewer resources, and that’s where managed services has turned into a viable option. With a managed services provider, businesses can either gain timely assistance to augment an overworked staff or have a full-blown IT department at their disposal. Either way, managed services can help bridge the gaps.
The SMB market is definitely catching on. According to Techaisle, the SMB Managed Services market is projected to grow to $44 billion until 2016, at a rate of roughly 12% growth in that span. Of particular note is that remote management monitoring services will increase to $15 billion during the same timeframe.
Managed Services can help SMBs:
- Free up resources that are tied up in IT labor for more impactful business planning and decision-making
- Enlist the aid of managed service providers (MSPs) that have experience helping other like businesses
- Can provide access and scaling to the latest technology at a reduce cost
- Gain financing and leasing options to alleviate the need for large, upfront investments
What are Managed IT Services, Managed Services, Remote Monitor and Remediation, Remote IT Solutions, Help Desk Network Support Services? So many terms…
A new study from CPU maker, AMD, shows that over one third, 37%, of companies are now using cloud infrastructure for their data centers with an additional 43% of companies investigating implementation. And this isn’t just small companies who are relying on the power of cloud technology, with 63% of those using the cloud saying that they have data stored in there worth over $250,000, meaning billions of dollars worth of information is now sitting securely off-site.
Cloud computing has been growing over the past couple of years, and has increased with the wide spread of virtualization allowing companies to scale their IT department easier and more efficiently. 1 in 10 companies are now storing over 10 million dollars in the cloud now, but there is still concerns from security experts who point out that are still some flaws that have come to light recently with companies like Sony having their servers hacked and Amazon’s cloud service going down for an extended period of time leaving many companies unable to access their information. While security was still sited as the number one concern when moving to a cloud infrastructure, these flaws in the cloud computing model haven’t deterred companies from moving to the cloud, having the benefits of accessing their information from anywhere and allowing companies to outsource certain IT tasks to an outside company.
Xerox has been undergoing lots of changes over the past few years, with CEO Ursula Burns heading the helm for the past 2 years, she has changed Xerox from the inside out in hopes to transform them from just a printer/toner manufacturer, into a more diverse IT provider that utilizes the Partner Channel.
Xerox eConcierge is giving extended warranties to users of their eConcierge program. If you haven’t heard of eConcierge we covered it in our previous blog post. It’s a great client for SMB’s who wish to save time and money by using Xerox’s software to monitor all their printers from one location. Xerox makes it simple by informing you whenever your ink is getting low from Xerox and other branded printers. But what makes it truly time saving is the fact that they provide you with a link to the exact ink cartridge you need to replace, no need to search for the model number of the printer or the specific ink cartridge number.
To make this offering even more tempting Xerox is giving its users the ability to extend their printers warranty, for all Xerox printers and multifunction printers. To qualify you only have to download the free eConcierge client for a minimum of 30 days and order 2 ink supplies through the program. After doing this you get a free extended warranty on the device that is good for as long as you continue using eConcierge. Being that you will have to order ink no matter how you look at it and Xerox has made sure to have competitive pricing for their ink, it makes sense for any SMB to get a free extended warranty on their expensive hardware, while at the same time saving time and money utilizing Xerox’s free software. Of course there are no obligations to continue using eConcierge program and you can uninstall it at any point. So check out eConcierge powered by Xerox and see how you can get a free $300 extended warranty for buying products that you use every day.
Electronics are an integral part of every business’s life and as we all know they have a habit of breaking from time to time. Many of the components needed in business carry a high price tag and having them break unexpectedly can leave any SMB scrambling to find the funds to replace their equipment. Having them under a warranty program gives owners peace of mind that they won’t be receiving any unexpected costs and can ensure that they can utilize the device until they are ready to upgrade down the road. What many SMB’s choose to use is the manufacture’s warranty program, without realizing the hidden benefits of utilizing a third-party maintenance contract.
eConcierge powered by Xerox is a new pilot program being implemented to help SMB’s Manage their printers easier and most efficiently. Xerox’s eConcierge program installs a small client onto your computer finding each of your printers on your network; this client monitors each of your printers and gives you all the information about each of your printers allowing you to easily manage them from a single location.
What makes eConcierge really powerful is its ability to notify you, either through pop up notifications or via email that your toner levels are getting low and instead of having to manually check the printer periodically, find the model number and then find the associated toner cartridges through an online store and wait for the order to arrive. Using eConcierge powered by Xerox, you have all the printer info stored in the program, when the ink is low you are sent the notification and a link to the store giving you the exact ink cartridge that works with your printer with competitive pricing. You just click order and the cartridge is on its way.
Are your backups taking too long? How often do you test them, and are you sure they would restore properly when you need them? The problem with most disaster recovery solutions is there is no middle ground for SMB’s (Small Medium Businesses). Large corporations can invest in complex virtualization strategies using technology from VMware, this is a great option, but companies with limited IT support or who don’t have the funds to invest in virtualizing their servers are stuck with strategies that don’t give them the support they need. Many are forced to continue using Tape as a backup solution, which has a notorious reputation of not being able to restore. Others rely on having a RAID array, giving them the benefit of allowing a hard drive to crash without losing data, which does give them some security, but only in that one respect. If the server were to die the data would be fine but wouldn’t be assessable until the server was back up and running. This leaves SMB’s with old outdated and extremely limited Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans that don’t even come close to the benefits that virtualization gives the larger corporations.
NSI’s main target audience has always SMB’s and having seen the gap in technology brought its technicians together to create the ZoomBox. The ZoomBox is an NSI ran and owned product that gives SMB’s the virtualization protection that their business needs without having to change their entire network. What happens is NSI installs a client on any Windows machine that the customer wants to ensure up time and data protection. The ZoomBox then creates virtual images of each server/desktop 1-3 times a day, this image is then backed up to the cloud for extra protection, ensuring that all your data is perfectly safe regardless of what might happen to your business environment.