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Posted by: In: Uncategorized 14 Sep 2018 0 comments

 

 
So, you made it back home from the show. You’re exhausted and work has backed up in your absence. Here is where the entire investment in the show can go down the drain. Follow-up is critical. Every one of those prospects need to have follow-up. Lots of it. One contact isn’t going to be enough.
 
First, send out a short email drip that includes a ‘thanks for visiting us at the trade show.’ The second should be a ‘call to action’ email. Send an invitation to meet via phone or in person, and add something for them to download. The download can be a whitepaper, or even just your brochure, but it is always good to attach something.
 
Now comes the really hard work. Contacting prospects. No one is going to just mail you revenues. You need to actively market to your trade show visitors. If some seem uninterested, put their names in a tickler file to try back in 6 months. Just be sure not to just let them drop; the situation may change in the future.
 
In summary, look at a trade show as a marketing event that goes beyond the time spent at a booth in some convention center. It is just a stage in a lengthy and important marketing campaign. Make sure you prepare for the show and do active follow-up afterward. Otherwise a trade show is just an expensive few days meeting lots of people you will never see again.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 12 Sep 2018 0 comments

 

 
Going to a tradeshow for the first time? Don’t make the mistake of viewing this as a 1-2 day discreet marketing event. Instead, view your exhibit at a tradeshow as the central feature of a much longer and holistic marketing plan that builds to the event, and then culminates in the successful post­show follow up that signs on new customers. In the next few posts, we are going to break down the tradeshow marketing plan into three bite size pieces. Today, the pre-show build up.
 
The goal of your pre­show marketing is to attract visitors to your booth at the show. You want them to know about all about you before they take that first walk around the exhibit hall.
  1. Take advantage of all the marketing opportunities that the show planner offers. This may include access to an attendees list. If so, use this to send out a few introductory emails prior to the show including your booth number. Send one the day of the show reminding the reader where you are.
  2. Sponsorships are also an opportunity, if your budget allows it. This can be a small ad in the program or sponsoring an event or get-together during the conference. This is a bigger step and may be beyond the budget of a SMB.
  3. Social Media: Use social media to introduce yourself before the show. This means an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Send a brief announcement of who you are and that you will be exhibiting at the show, and then a reminder the day of the show or the day before.
  4. Website and blog: Post an invitation to the show on your website and your blog. This should go up about one week prior the to event.
These are just three simple steps you can take to build momentum before the actual exhibition. Next, we’ll talk about marketing during the show.
Posted by: In: IT Managed Services 12 Sep 2018 0 comments

Outsourcing is an excellent way for startups and small businesses to effectively take care of certain IT tasks. By outsourcing IT-related necessities, small business owners can save money and reap other benefits for their organization.

What IT Areas Can You Outsource to a Managed Services Provider?

Businesses thinking of harnessing the benefits of outsourcing may delegate these IT areas to a managed services provider.

Infrastructure

Outsourcing network systems, servers, and other IT-related infrastructure to a reliable provider saves businesses thousands of dollars in labor and costs. This is because building the in-house infrastructure tailored to the needs of the business is neither easy nor cheap. It requires a large budget to purchase the necessary equipment and software. Additionally, highly skilled IT staff is needed to maintain the IT infrastructure.

Handing off the infrastructure to a trustworthy third party allows small businesses and startups to cut their budgets, as the service provider owns the software or equipment and is responsible for operating and troubleshooting the systems. Business owners simply need to pay on a subscription or per-use basis.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting enables a business to access information anytime, anywhere using any compatible device. Hosting an in-house system for cloud computing purposes, however, is expensive. On top of that, it poses security risks if the technology used by the business is outdated.

When business owners outsource cloud technology, they can focus on using the cloud, as opposed to maintaining it. Outsourcing cloud hosting saves businesses thousands of dollars in monthly hosting expenses. They don’t need to shell out cash to rent space for their servers, as well.

Cybersecurity

Defending a business against the latest sophisticated cyber-attacks requires a combination of technology, security expertise, and intelligence. Organizations that lack the necessary resources to build these capabilities in-house should outsource cybersecurity plans to a service provider that delivers ample protection against cyber threats.

Handing off cybersecurity functions to a team of experts eliminates the need to invest in round-the-clock IT security staffing and training. On top of that, it significantly minimizes the load on already-stretched IT employees who are carrying the additional responsibility of managing security.

Outsourcing cybersecurity to a trusted third-party provider improves incident response times and threat detection. A team of outsourced experts in charge of surveying your 24/7 IT security operations and responding to real-time incidents relieves employees of the time-consuming work of checking system alarms and logs, triaging security incidents for remediation, and removing false positives.

IT Tasks that Businesses Can’t Automate

Taking on repetitive IT tasks can be too time-consuming. Typically, the solution to this problem would be to come up with a script or software that can automate the process. If automating these tasks isn’t possible, business owners should consider outsourcing.  Businesses that want to delegate these tedious tasks to a third-party provider can create detailed and step-by-step documentation.

Business Applications

While developing apps customized to the business staff and operations may seem like a good idea, hiring someone to create and build tailored business apps requires a considerable investment in money, time, and patience. Instead of employing in-house IT staff for this task, organizations can outsource their business applications to a provider of business suites, such as Microsoft Office 365.

The Other Benefits of Outsourcing to a Managed Services Provider

When you outsource the IT needs of your business to a managed services provider, your organization as a whole will enjoy the following benefits:

Access to the Latest Technology and Experts

You can obtain advice from a service provider’s team of IT experts to assist you in making the appropriate technology decisions for your business. You gain access to the latest support and technology from a team that’s proficient in deploying it effectively.

Increased Flexibility

If you decide to modify the technology strategy of your business, your provider will have the services and tools necessary to help you transition into your new platform. Working with a service provider also gives you the flexibility to scale up (or down) rapidly when there’s a change in the needs of your company. Your provider, for instance, can quickly bring in extra online storage and servers when your company is expanding rapidly and requires additional server and storage capacity.

Diminished Risk of Data Loss

Managed solution providers make sure that your business has appropriate defenses, such as firewalls, event monitoring software, and security information, to minimize the risk of data loss. They often maintain certification in the security standards required to safeguard sensitive customer and business data.

Reduced Risk of Downtime

Service providers help your business decrease the risk of disruption due to system downtime. They have state-of-the-art facilities with redundant devices that keep the operations of your business going.

Improved Focus on Core Business

IT, for many companies, is a support function and not a core competency. If your business isn’t technology, it may be difficult to bring on board and retain an in-house IT team with excellent skills. Outsourcing allows your management to focus on the company’s business development and core competencies instead of struggling with technology problems. On top of that, providers offer guaranteed service level agreements and 24/7 support to let you get more work done with fewer operational hiccups.

Higher Employee Morale

Outsourcing, when handled correctly, can contribute to the rise of your employees’ morale. It lets your workers concentrate on the job you hired them to do, while the reliable systems coming from the service provider allow employees to be more productive at their core tasks. As a result, your workers are less likely to burn out and quit.

Businesses that are looking for a reliable managed IT solutions provider to take care of their IT-related needs can turn to NetStandard. We utilize Clarity, our IT managed services platform, to make sure that the technology in your business operates at an optimal level. Count on us to deliver outsourced and customized technology solutions that will propel the growth of your business. With us as your partner, we make sure that your business remains competitive in a technology-driven world.

Get in touch with us to find out how our IT solutions will help your business.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 10 Sep 2018 0 comments

“You’re FIRED!” ( now give me your password)

Losing an employee is not usually a good experience. If they leave voluntarily, you lose a valuable asset. If they have to be fired, you have the arduous task of the progressive discipline process and the final termination meeting. But there are other concerns that arise when an employee leaves. Those concerns are security and their access to company data.

Here are some considerations regarding passwords and voluntary termination (A.K.A. resigned) or involuntary termination (A.K.A. fired.) It is important you have a process in place so that whenever a termination occurs, nothing slips through the cracks regarding corporate data security.
  1. When you dismiss an employee, you should immediately change out all passwords for anything the employee had access to. Because almost all terminations should be planned, you should also define the process for canceling access. It is unwise to cancel prior to the termination meeting. If you do that, you create the potential for a confrontation when they arrive at work and find their passwords have been disabled. Instead, plan ahead and assign someone to disable their passwords during the time you are having the termination meeting. Before the meeting, be sure you have a list of all access cards, keys, etc. prepared so they can be cancelled before the employee leaves the building.
  2. Voluntary terminations ­- Different firms have different policies handling resignations. Depending on the specific position, an employee will be permitted to continue working during their 2 week notice period. In that case, you need to consider if there is any possibility the employee might get up to no good during the final days. That is something only you can judge.
In some cases, firms will ask an employee to leave the facility immediately. In that case, you need to have a plan in place. You need to have a list available of all of the restricted systems to which they have access for when this situation arises. The employee should not leave the building until all of their access has been canceled.

This all may seem a bit harsh, but things have changed. 30 years ago, for a disgruntled employee to steal files, they’d be carrying out large boxes of file folders. Now, not only can they empty the building onto a thumb drive, they can take nefarious action that wasn’t possible when data was stored on paper.