Tech

Is4profit’s tech section covers a variety of features on how small and medium enterprises can utilise technology hardware, digital software, business broadband and hosting and mobile apps to help them grow and succeed.

Buyer’s Guide to Business Broadband (2013)

Buyer’s Guide to Business Broadband (2013)

For some businesses internet speed is not vital but resilience is. While for others having a fast connection is more crucial than it being available 24/7. Choosing the right connectivity option ensures you get the right spec for your needs and your budget. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a line that permits simultaneous transit of data and voice calls. ADSL uses frequencies which are not used for voice calls across a copper telephone line, so it allows you to have a data connection at the same time as a voice call; although this does require a filter to be installed to ensure they don’t cross-over. ADSL has enabled widespread broadband across the UK. It’s affordable and doesn’t require large setup costs so it’s the most common connecti... »

A Small Business Guide on How to Move Data to a Data Centre

A Small Business Guide on How to Move Data to a Data Centre

Data centre migrations are not something anyone should take for granted. A poorly planned and executed move can leave lasting damage, including unexpected downtime with interruption to sales, not to mention dissatisfied customers. So, why move? This is probably the most important question for SMEs that have grown to a point where they either have a server room in-house, or a large number of desktops, all stuffed full of data. Most companies introduce in-house IT infrastructure and systems as they grow and might continue on an “add-as-you-need basis” for years. If you’re starting to experience unreliability in the uptime of the equipment, or are questioning the reliability of your connectivity (broadband), then moving to a data centre may well be a better option. How do you move? Many who m... »

Mumpreneurs: Top Ecommerce Tips on Getting Started

Mumpreneurs: Top Ecommerce Tips on Getting Started

Building any business on a shoestring is hard even when you don’t have a family in tow. But if you are a mumpreneur then you have to do all of this whilst keeping the kids happy. But don’t let this stop you. I’ve been involved as a business founder and investor in small companies since the mid-1990s, specialising on ecommerce, and I believe there are some basic principles you can follow that will help you to achieve online success despite the pressures. Ecommerce has three huge advantages for mumpreneurs: the business can be run from home; you can fit the work around your family’s needs; and it doesn’t take as much capital to start as conventional businesses. Find a focus Successful website owners tend to be good at one particular thing. For instance, they find a line of products that conn... »

Navigating the Big Data Minefield

Navigating the Big Data Minefield

With smartphone usage consistently soaring, along with the rise of social media and the eruption of a whole host of additional functionality including QR codes, Near Field Communication technologies, online payments and even simple web browsing, 90% of the world’s data has been collected in the last two years alone – 2.5 quintillion bytes a day to be precise! The term Big Data has arisen in recent years to describe the collection and analysis of interactions across these multiple platforms. This is great news for businesses – greater access to customer data means a greater understanding of customer behaviour and preferences and, as such, companies can begin tailoring products and services to appeal to the right audience. However, Big Data in marketing is a double-edged sword. While some cu... »

Building a Business Without Breaking your Family

Building a Business Without Breaking your Family

One of the nice things about working with small businesses is you hear a lot of encouraging stories about ordinary people who do extraordinary things. I started my company 17 years ago, and my wife and I have stumbled our way through the process of raising a family, so I am aware of some of the hardships, which is why Helen Beer’s tale struck a chord. In 2003, Helen came to the conclusion that balancing the demands of the school run, with her London-based accountancy job, wasn’t working. However, instead of throwing in the towel, she bought a copy of our e-commerce software, and set up an online store called QualitySilver selling silver, titanium, tungsten and zirconia jewellery. She had some help from her husband, who has worked in the trade all his career and has lots of supplier contact... »

A Guide to Securing Small Business Data by Encrypting it

A Guide to Securing Small Business Data by Encrypting it

A recent report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) suggested that, cumulatively, cyber crime was costing British businesses millions. When estimated down to a per-business level, the FSB worked out that cyber crime is costing every business around £4,000 every year. The study prompted the FSB to produce a list of top ten tips to protect your business from cyber crime – you can read them at the foot of our news story. But what about encryption of the data itself? Let’s say you have an important document containing some sensitive business data – it could be a list of passwords, employees’ or customers’ personal details or a list of all your suppliers. Whatever it is, if anyone finds this document on your PC, laptop or on a USB drive, then they can rea... »

Secure Password Advice for Small Businesses

Secure Password Advice for Small Businesses

Every small business has passwords, whether it is to access their email, webmail, website, blog, online accounts, log in to trading platforms, online banking etc. But how secure is your password? Here we present some secure password advice for small businesses to help the choose a secure password in the first place and then to keep those passwords safe. Choose a Secure Password in the First Place The whole point of having a password is that you are the only one who knows that password. Having default passwords is not very clever because, although a would-be trespasser might not KNOW your password, you don’t want it to be easy to guess. For example, Gary McKinnon, the famous British “hacker” gained access to numerous US defence computers using the most simple and obvious p... »

A Guide to Presenting a Polished Brand to Customers with a Hosted PBX Solution

A Guide to Presenting a Polished Brand to Customers with a Hosted PBX Solution

New business owners need every possible competitive advantage as they launch their companies and build their customer base. Cloud-based services like a Hosted PBX business telephone system make it possible for new companies of almost any size to conduct business with a state-of-the-art telephone service while they work to establish their market position.   A Business Phone Service in the Cloud Frees Up Precious Working Capital With a Hosted PBX solution, the service provider “hosts” the equipment and manages the network, freeing your business from the need to purchase and maintain an on-premise PBX system. A Hosted PBX system also provides significant, long-term savings, with an impressive set of features and greatly simplified management and configuration. A Hosted PBX also makes it ... »

Five Reasons Not to Worry About Lost or Stolen Laptops

Five Reasons Not to Worry About Lost or Stolen Laptops

As one of the most targeted devices, laptops are often the most at risk of being stolen, and when lost, companies can end up paying considerably. Bearing in mind the amount of personal and confidential data the average user keeps on their laptop, it’s understandable that when a device goes missing, it can leave the owner feeling anxious and concerned that that data might fall into the wrong hands. However, Phil Evans of Datacastle, a specialist in endpoint backup and data protection, says that if the right precautions are taken towards data security then worrying about lost or stolen laptops will be a thing of the past. 1. Encrypt One of the most effective ways to keep your personal and confidential data secure is to encrypt it. By adopting this approach, it doesn’t matter if a laptop gets... »

“Well, we haven’t really thought about that”

“Well, we haven’t really thought about that”

If you participate in activities that include searching for that “right” business intelligence tool, you will find that most organizations have these top 3 challenges in common: Use manual tasks that include desktop query and reporting tools, to answer their business questions. Have “something” in place that they are not really happy with or is becoming out of date and cost prohibitive. Have difficulty managing data within multiple silos and have the need to access, consolidate and optimise it. Hence, they are usually looking for a reasonably cost business analytics alternative that can provide them with answers to their critical business questions; while providing ease of use and other functionality that will fit in their budget. Don’t believe me? Join the many business intelligence group... »

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