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.

Integrating EPoS Systems with Ecommerce

Integrating EPoS Systems with Ecommerce

Physical retail stores that want to expand their sources of sales often face problems merging multiple sales channels with their current retail system. They may attempt to deal with multiple channels by managing two or more sets of figures and they convert these data for the retail system, sometimes manually. Even worse, the retailer may create a separate order fulfilment process for each channel. This situation is both error-prone and inefficient. It can often lead to customer frustration. For instance; an item appears to be available on the business website and then shows up as “out-of-stock” at checkout time. This situation occurs because the retail shop sold the item without automatically reflecting an update to the website. In addition, delayed sales reconciliations affect... »

3 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider Moving to the Cloud

3 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider Moving to the Cloud

The cloud has been quickly adopted by a number of large companies in order to streamline their operations, save money and generally make them more competitive. Several major corporations have moved entire IT infrastructures onto cloud platforms, offering services via this cutting-edge technology and generating serious revenues from it, in spite of its relatively short time on the market. Two notable examples are Manchester Airport, who have moved their web hosting to a fully managed cloud-based hosting platform, and Businesswise Solutions, who replaced their entire telephone system with a hosted cloud telephony (VoIP) system. However, it is sometimes assumed that companies at the other end of the scale, the small businesses, will be unable to take advantage of cloud computing solutions, pu... »

SIP Trunking – Enabling Small Businesses to Access the Benefits of VoIP

SIP Trunking – Enabling Small Businesses to Access the Benefits of VoIP

VoIP is a type of communications technology that makes it possible for callers to communicate over a digital internet connection, with voice signals being sent at broadband speeds rather than via the low bandwidth, high-cost medium of analogue telephone services. Many large-scale businesses have adopted VoIP wholesale, updating their internal telephone systems in order to support the new standard and achieving cost savings as a result The Attraction of VoIP What makes VoIP so appealing is not just the jump to digital, but the fact that it can actively reduce the amount that needs to be spent on calls. This is because when two VoIP users contact each other, there is usually no cost incurred on a per-minute basis, as you would find with standard landline packages. This makes inter-office com... »

Using VoIP to Increase Efficiency and Reduce Costs

Using VoIP to Increase Efficiency and Reduce Costs

With a good VoIP service you can save money and improve productivity, allowing you to deal with customers and clients more effectively. The efficient elements of VoIP are multi-faceted. First, from a cost point of view, small businesses require fewer landline connections to run the required number of simultaneous extensions because VoIP uses high-bandwidth internet rather than archaic analogue connection to pass information from one end of the line to the other. This means the cost of line rental will fall and you can consolidate your voice services into a single broadband connection, depending on your requirements and the number of employees who will be using the service simultaneously. VoIP is also more efficient when it comes to handling calls, because you can initiate a whole range of ... »

How Does the Internet Work?

How Does the Internet Work?

Many small businesses use the internet without thinking about it these days; visiting websites, using web-based tools, checking their online email… But what exactly powers the internet? How does the internet work? Find out in this video from 4D Data Centres with a handy transcript below. Hello and welcome to the IT Scrapbook from 4D Data Centres.  This time we’re answering the question: How does the internet work? The term “internet” is a shortened form of the two words “interconnected” and “network”. Networks are things that are connected together.  They include railway and road networks, electricity networks like the national grid and the network of nerve cells found in your brain. And a computer network consists of two or more computers linked together so that data can pass betwee... »

What Does a Data Centre Do?

What Does a Data Centre Do?

  Hello and Welcome to the IT Scrapbook from 4D Data Centres. This time we’re answering the question WHAT DOES A DATA CENTRE DO? Everyone needs to back up their computer data – including things like documents, customer details and financial information – to keep it safe from theft, fire or being accidentally deleted. And most small businesses, charities and other organisations also need an internet connection for their website and emails, so they normally store their data on a simple server on the premises. This is essentially a specialised computer the size of two pizza boxes connected to the business’s local network and also to the internet; it contains a set of hard discs that store data that can be sent through the network to other computers locally and to people visiting the busi... »

Mobile Working: Business Best Practice

Mobile Working: Business Best Practice

Mobile working is about freedom and simplicity. New technologies are making it easy to access information and work regardless of location. This business advice article explains the benefits of mobile working, looks at some of the most common mobile technologies and gives you pointers on how to introduce mobile working to your business. This article is for: Any business that could benefit from staff being able to work offsite or on the move. It covers: How you can use mobile technologies to work more flexibly and improve productivity. What is mobile working? What are the benefits of mobile working? Mobile working technologies 3G phone PDAs Laptop GPRS Device WiFi Extranets Virtual Private Network Wireless – Bluetooth Implementation checklist Case Studies What is Mobile Working? The id... »

The Risks of BYOD for Small Businesses

The Risks of BYOD for Small Businesses

Start-up companies, particularly those associated with new technology, encounter a plethora of difficulties when laying the foundations of a new business structure, and unfortunately, the failure of start ups is not uncommon. Without a large venture capital investment or sound business model, many businesses fall at the first hurdle. To combat this issue, start-ups and SMEs are increasingly turning to a bring your own device (BYOD) model of working because of the benefits a mobile workforce can offer. This also dramatically reduces start-up costs as employees will already own devices and the capability for employees to flexibly work from home or on the road, and a shift in asset responsibility from the company to the employer. However, if the correct precautions are not undertaken, the cav... »

IPv6: Your Questions Answered!

IPv6: Your Questions Answered!

What is an IP address and why do we need to change to IPv6? An IP address is the unique identifier for each computer on a network (or the internet). It’s like a postal address to send a letter through the mail, and computers use an IP address to send data to another device over a network. ‘IP’ stands for ‘Internet Protocol’ and forms part of the standard TCP/IP, or Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, that most broadband-enabled computers use to communicate. There are currently two standards for IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6. The most common, and older, one of these two is IPv4 and you will have probably seen such an address in the form of X.X.X.X (e.g. 79.71.75.254). IPv6 is the new standard that is being brought in to replace IPv4. IPv6 has been around for a number of years alr... »

True Costs and Efficiency Gains of the Cloud

True Costs and Efficiency Gains of the Cloud

Every experienced business owner knows that one of the hardest things to predict is sales. Inevitably turnover forecasts made in rookie business plans turn out to be wildly over-optimistic triggered by a need to attract backers and by a natural sense of optimism for the new venture. Costs, however, are a lot more predictable. At least in theory. Admittedly, certain costs can be volatile (think of fuel, raw materials, certain labour expenses etc), but surely one of the most straightforward to predict is what the business needs to spend on its IT? The answer, I’m afraid, is more complicated. Any new venture just starting out will no doubt have budgeted for the obvious IT costs, such as PCs, laptops, servers, tablets, printers connectivity etc. But on top of equipment bills, you must also add... »

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