An Exchange Server Alternative For Small Business

For the business user, the main advantages to working in a company that has an exchange server are:

1. File sharing
2. Access to email from any configured computer
3. Contacts access
4. calendar syncrhonized and shared between all employees

Essentially it means the office worker can use any configured computer to access his or her files, emails and calendar. The company will often configure a laptop and provide remote access so the member of staff can also work from home or while travelling and still have complete access.

The problem with this kind of product when it comes to a small or mid sized company, is that it requires someone to manage it and there is a huge cost, in terms of both initial cost and ongoing expenses.

So if you manage a small business and you want your employees to have a high level of flexibility i.e. to be able to telework or while travelling, or even to hotdesk at the office, you will need an exchange substitute.

There are two alternatives which will offer you many of the features of Exchange without the expenditure.

The first is a hosted exchange server. The second is the Easy-Email synchronization solution plus file synchronization software.

A Hosted Exchange server is a great solution. You get almost all the advantages but you are spared the resource cost and management time. You simply pay according to the number of users. This allows for quick expansion so as the business grows you just increase a user.

Easy-Email is a fabulous alternative for small firms.
Its an email sync answer set out in the form of a series of guides that you, or an IT professional you hire, can follow. It will sync a users mail and contacts on their desktop, laptop, home computer, pda or netbook. In addition it will allow them to manage their email from any other computer via Gmail.

The Easy-Email solution is incredibly good value compared to any other alternative solutions It’s just $67 US for the Advanced Guide to Outlook and you can get all of your staff set up for this fee!
The disadvantage in comparison with exchange is that there is at present no shared calendar so you will need to use a google calendar or similar.

And in terms of shared files and folders its really simple. Set up Dropbox. Dropbox provides you with a system of shared folders that are all automatically sync’d via the internet but they are also stored on the computer so you dont have to be online to access the files. You can select which people have access to which folders and the first 2GB of storage space is free (and it’s very reasonable after that).

Small Business Computer Consulting Additional Qualifications For The Sweet Spot

To find the ideal clientele for your small business computer consulting, you want to target small businesses by their number of PC’s, (10 to 50) as well as their revenue. Generally, companies that have anywhere from 1 million to 10 million in revenue are the sweet spot of small business computer consulting. In this article, you’ll learn why you should target this type of business. {Tip: Of course if you’re located in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, or any of the other more than 21 nations around the globe where our training has been adapted, be sure to convert this to your local currency. (See )}

Beware of the high end of this range
Once small businesses get to the high end of that revenue range, where they start having substantially more than 50 PCs, or substantially more than $10 million in annual sales, often the small business owners lean towards putting a real, salaried IT person on payroll instead of using a small business computer consulting professional. That’s when you start running into some tough competition. At this point, your client will add up your services invoices and try to figure out if they can do it cheaper or more efficiently in-house.

Look for clients that need a real server
Another important aspect is to find small business clients that are big enough to need a real dedicated server. Once small businesses need a real server, they need a ton of other professional services to go along with it. And it’s very unlikely they can handle it on their own, with just an internal guru. Bingo-you become their outsourced IT department!

Multiple locations are a bonus
Sometimes a sweet spot client has one location. A lot of times there’s a main office and some branch offices. The branch offices present a big opportunity for your small business computer consulting because there’s usually a HUGE need for sharing data in real time among employees in different locations.

The Bottom Line about Small Business Computer Consulting
In this article, you’ve been learned more about how to find the sweet spot in your small business computer consulting business.

What to Expect When You Start With an IT Support Company

Businesses today rely heavily on computer operating systems, and an inherent part of that technology is that something could go wrong. Many companies cannot afford to have in house departments that specialize in IT issues, so they turn to the valuable services provided by IT support companies.

When a business is starting with an IT support company, it is imperative to have a contract written up to specify exactly what services will be provided by the IT company, what the response times should be when the company is called because of IT problems, the costs of all services, and what will be expected of the IT company. Everything should be clearly spelled out so that there won’t be misunderstandings later when the company is experiencing IT issues that need to be addressed by your IT company.

Things like the period of the contract are important, and what is required to keep that contract going. Also the equipment covered by the contract should be specified, what kind of software is covered, and other things that may be expected from the IT support company. Things like the number of times they come out, once a month or more, and whether support can be provided over the telephone, are all important issues to have covered in the contract when first starting with an IT company.

More businesses these days are relying on workers that work either at home, or in remote locations. This is another important thing to cover in a contract, the question of whether remotely located computers are covered by that IT company’s contract. Another important thing for a company to be aware of when dealing with an IT company is that the shorter the expected response time is, the more the IT services for support will cost. A company should have an idea of how much is allocated in their budget for IT services for support.

There should always be a person within the company, or even several people, that are appointed to deal with the IT company that is providing support. These people should be individuals that are knowledgeable about the company’s computer hardware and software systems, and that can deal with IT effectively. It’s imperative that the IT company knows who within the company they can deal with when there are issues. It is also important for companies to be aware that response time when there is an IT issue is not the same as the time that will be required to fix the problem. Sometimes when a problem is found, it can be quite time consuming on the part of IT to fix it, and patience will be required in waiting for the problem to be corrected.

Knowing how vitally important computer systems and software are to the ability of the company to operate effectively is crucial when a company sets out to find an IT company. Having a clear contract, with expectations clearly stated is always the most effective way of dealing with an IT company.

Messagesolution Releases Enterprise Email Archive 5.6 At Microsoft’s Teched Conference

MessageSolution, Inc., the leading innovator in email and file archiving for electronic discovery, litigation support, compliance, and storage management launched the next version of its award-winning Enterprise Email Archive product line – Enterprise Email Archive 5.6 at Microsoft TechEd 2008 in Orlando, Florida. Held annually, TechEd is the premier technical education conference.

“With the release of MessageSolution Enterprise Email Archive 5.6, legal counsels, internal auditors, executives, and IT administrators have access to a more user-friendly design and an extremely feature-rich workflow, said MessageSolution CTO Jeff Liang.

The new version of Enterprise Email Archive delivers more powerful archive intelligence tools for internal auditors and executives, including drill-down analysis and comprehensive reports. Adding to Enterprise Email Archive 5.6s visual appeal is the ability to create ad hoc professional-style reports from the archives built-in logs and audit trails. Businesses can now clearly illustrate internal record-keeping statistics and easily share reports with colleagues.

Along with improved business intelligence reporting, Enterprise Email Archive 5.6s expanded litigation support features enable businesses to protect corporate intelligence while optimizing storage resources, Liang continued.

Enterprise Email Archive 5.6s enhanced litigation support features include the ability to apply classifications and unique retention policies to case-relevant emails for litigation hold. Enterprise Email Archive 5.6s email classification, privileged email management, and advanced tagging functionalities will help businesses streamline the processing of large volumes of data.

MessageSolution has helped organizations worldwide facilitate the entire legal discovery process, with everything from targeted data search to collection of electronic documents, deposition hold, and complete preparation for the final trial presentation, said Liang.

Enterprise Email Archive 5.6s notation feature also allows legal counsels to share case-relevant information about archived items without impacting archived data in any way. Legal professionals, internal auditors, and end-users can speed along discussions of archived data for litigation events, internal audits, or even business-critical projects.

About MessageSolution:

MessageSolution is the top provider of email, file, and instant message archiving, electronic discovery, compliance, and content storage management. MessageSolution’s products enable organizations to mitigate risk, reduce costs and storage requirements, optimize server performance, and comply with industry and federal regulations. Based in Silicon Valley, California, MessageSolution maintains operations in North America, Europe, and Mainland China, along with distribution channels in Europe, South Africa, Australia, and Asia Pacific.

MessageSolution’s award-winning products, Enterprise Email Archive and Enterprise File Archive, are cross-server onsite archiving software applications. Both products serve organizations across all industries, including finance, health care, education, manufacturing, government agencies and non-profit organizations worldwide. MessageSolution’s products free IT administrators from daily maintenance and increase overall employee productivity.