Category Archives: Planning

  • -

Using an RISP to ensure maximum uptime and a 600x increase in speed

Tags : 

Is your Internet connection a dependency for your business? Do you suffer from outages? Do you use Cloud based services that need to running at peak efficiency? If so, then an RISP can help. RISP is an acronym for Redundant Internet Service Provider. The service includes a device that sits between your internal network and your firewall. It manages connectivity to multiple Internet connections of your choosing.

In your business right now, you might have a high-speed connection of 30-100MBs for your main Internet already. By installing a second Internet connection, like a cable modem or DSL that is less expensive, the RISP will monitor both connections to determine which is the best one to send traffic on. In the event of an outage by one of the providers, the RISP can re-route traffic to the secondary connection in a seamless manner.

Additional services that the RISP provides is the ability to determine the best path to route traffic for a majority of cloud services. This provides an up to 600x increase in speed to services like Salesforce & other CRM services, Office365, Microsoft Azure and others.

By performing this monitoring, the RISP also monitors your providers connectivity in reference to the Service Level Agreement you have with them. In the event that your ISP has an outage, the RISP will provide a report that helps you get a credit from your service provider.

Pricing for this service starts at $49 a month and is highly scalable for larger deployments.

Technology like this used to be an expensive proposition, but now it’s affordable to virtually anyone.

If your business is dependent on the Internet, like most are, let us know. We can help CBC Solutions can architect a redundant service for you and broker a deal with you and the best RISP for your business. There is not obligation. Contact us for a risk-free assessment today.

CBC Solutions
619-784-5211
info@cbcsolutions.biz


  • -

5 steps to unclutter your I.T.

Information systems can become complicated machines and grow out of control in a very rapid manner for even the smallest businesses. Indeed, even the individual person can fall into this trap. In an era of Smart Phones, GPS, Smart Watches and even connected appliances, the average person can have a plethora of technology without even realizing it. Businesses face the same dilema on a much stronger scale.

For businesses, everything is connected. You can’t even get your car smogged without a shop full of computers connected to the Internet. Cloud Computing has helped this reality by making Enterprise level services available to the average small company at an affordable cost. However, this poses a problem. With all these affordable and scalable services, it’s too easy for companies to get locked into a long term contract with a service that may or may not work for them in 2 or 3 years. It’s also too easy to get distracted with the latest bells and whistles and miss the bigger picture.

As Technology Consultants, we often find ourselves in the business of helping companies sort through the minutia and get their IT costs under control. We do this by following some simple guidelines to approaching a new or existing solution.

1. Document your business process:
A good business process should be documented well to define the flow of information throughout the organisation. Prospects -> Leads -> Opportunities -> Accounts -> Invoicing, etc. Having well documented flow helps to define the technical solution. This ensures that the process defines the application.

2. Understand the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):
Base price and monthly rates are good, but is that really the overall cost of the service in question? No normally. Initial setup fees, switching costs, learning curves, support and downtime all need to be considered when calculating TCO.

3. Look at the big picture:
Instead of focusing on the problem you’re trying to solve today, think about what your business going to look like in 3 years? Defining the overall picture can help you define business requirements in a way that scales with growth. Specking of business requirements,

4. Define Business requirements outside of the technology:
Define your business requirements without any specific technology in mind. Your business process should define the technology rather than the technology defining the business process. Why? because if the technical solution drives, the business process, your business becomes a slave to the technology. It should be the other way around. The technology should work for the business.

5. Integration is key:
In this day and age, you shouldn’t really have to manually copy information from a field in one application to a similar field in another. For example, if you own a CRM system that contains contact information, you shouldn’t also have to enter the same information into your invoicing system. It should be the same information. Otherwise your doubling efforts.

Taking a holistic, systemic approach to the way your business used Information Technology is a critical first step in controlling costs, streamlining operations and making your business run like a well oiled machine. Technology is put in our lives to simplify them, not to complicate things. However, many businesses fall into the trap of complexity disguised as convenience.

Don’t make the same mistake as millions of businesses. Contact CBC Solutions today to find out how we can help.

 

CBS Solutions
(619) 784-5211
info@cbcsolutions.biz


  • -

5 Points about data storage you should be thinking about

Tags : 

For a business owner, managing storage is probably not on the top of your radar. However there are big consequences to neglecting this task.

You should be aware of your storage management policies regardless of whether you store data onsite or in the cloud. Even if you sub out your storage management to a third party, in fact especially then.

Not managing storage can result in higher than normal costs, delayed response from your business as people spend time searching for information. Poor data management can also put you at risk from security threats as well as compliance and legal issues.

1. Storage is expensive

This may sound counter-intuitive if you’ve always heard the mantra that “storage is cheap”. The fact is, Hard Drives and Storage Media is cheap, storage is Expensive.

Costs of storing data may look inexpensive with vendors practically giving storage away these days, but the management of that data is where the hidden costs are.

Backing up, restoring, searching for data, verifying it’s authenticity, managing permissions and even moving the data to a new provider in the future add huge costs to the organization.

2. Data integrity is extremely important

Documentation that isn’t accurate can often be worse than no documentation at all. Either way, it’s never better.

If you can’t verify that stored documents are the latest version and up to date with changing situations, you could be spending more time verifying the information than you would rewriting it.

When financial or legal documentation is incorrect, it could result in poor financial calculations, compliance violations and additional legal trouble.

3. Data retention is a balancing act

Every organization should have a data retention policy. Without it, documents pile up until they are completely unmanageable. A data retention policy instructs team members on when and how to archive and delete data.

However, there’s another point to be made here.

The lack of a documented retention policy can get you into trouble in other ways. For example. I worked for a company once that was named in a lawsuit. The lawsuit wasn’t about them, but the case demanded that they retrieve documents from 10+ years ago. This became a very time consuming task for the company and put a strain on Legal, Sales and IT departments that had to put off or delay other operations in order to respond properly.

If that company had a documented 7 year retention policy, they would have been able to avoid all that.

Likewise, data retention policies that are two short can cause compliance and legal issues as well. Hence, it’s a balancing act.

4. There are compliances your company needs to follow

Most people know that financial documents should be retained for 7 years, but there are other compliances to consider as well.

If your company is required to meet HIPAA, SOX, ISO, SSAE or PCI standards, you could be non-compliant if your retention policy isn’t properly aligned.

Since these compliances usually pertain to a specific type of data, it must be handled properly. Access may need to be controlled tighter than you’re aware.

5. Not all information is equal

Stored information should be prioritized on two levels. First, there should be a security hierarchy to how data is managed. Team members should be allowed the minimal permissions to the documents they need. Secondly, heavily critical data should be stored in the most reliable and fastest media, while less critical data can be archived to less expensive and even slower media.

With these points in mind, you should be able to work with your technology staff and/or providers to develop a comprehensive storage management plan. This plan should encompass the classification, organization, security and retention of each document type.

Using Document Libraries, Folders, Groups and Metadata, documents can be organized in a logical way so that they’re easy to find and secure. Version controls allow you to track and store multiple versions of critical documents without having to double up your storage.

There are many tools available to help you manage storage efficiently today. Using these tools wisely can help you save money, increase business efficiency, and avoid legal issues in the long run.

 

CBC Solutions is a Trusted Advisor of IT strategy and technology procurement. We can help design an efficient storage management policy as well position you will some of the best solutions and providers in the industry. Call now for a free consultation to help us save you time and money!

 

CBC Solutions
Trusted Procurement Advisors
Internet • Voice • Cloud
(619) 784-5211
info@cbcsolutions.biz


  • -

Start with Why…

Tags : 

In his book “Start with Why”, marketing consultant Simon Sinek explains that most business leaders can explain what they do and even how they do it, but only the best business leaders can explain why they do it. [http://www.startwithwhy.com] Simon’s explaination for why that’s important is that your business is not going to stand out because of what you do, or how you do it, but rather it’s the sense of purpose that attracts clients, customers and investors to your organization.

The same could be said about technology solutions. When we’re analysing business processes and the technologies that tie them together, we often see a lot of energy spent on accomplishing a specific task, rolling out a new project or just keeping a certain process alive. But when we ask why the process exists in the first place, that’s when things get interesting.

9 times out of 10 we get a pretty good answer to start. ‘this happens so that will happen’. ‘Why does that happen?’ ‘So this other thing will happen’ and so on. When we dig in far enough, we often find that some solutions exist for the mere reason that someone thinks it should exist, or at one time someone thought it should exist.

In my career, I’ve seen processes that do nothing for the organization but keep IT busy. I’ve seen high speed network connections costing $650 a month plugged into nothing, and sitting for over a year. I’ve seen antiquated technologies up and online simply because no one’s quite sure what it does or if it could be shut down. These add tremendous costs to the organization.

Not that it isn’t a valiant goal to make a technology work, but the purpose of technology is to better the business. Often we see that parts of the business exist to support the technology. It should be the other way around.

When analysing a technical solution, first start with why the solution exists. Then ask yourself, is that the best way? Only then can you really know if the time, money and risk put into the “solution” is worth it.

The challenge on keeping up with the latest technologies is not to have the latest and greatest (those two things are not always mutually exclusive by the way), the real challenge is in knowing why that solution exists and what the real benefit is to the business. Bells and whistles are cool and all. Who doesn’t love a good gadget? But you must consider the risk and cost to the business when implementing it as a solution. Why? because once you integrate a technical solution into the business, the business becomes dependent on it.

One of the fastest ways to save money in a business is to find unnecessary costs, processes and technologies and get rid of them. This not only frees up resources, but it makes the entire system more comprehensive.

Just as the best business leaders know why they do what they do, the best IT leaders must know the reasoning behind every process and continually evaluate the usefulness of that solution. Can you imagine doing a cost/benefit analysis on something without knowing why it exists in the first place? It actually happens more often than you think.

 

What’s your why? Need help finding out? CBC Solutions was founded on the principle that most consulting shops miss this simple point. That technology must have a purpose in the organization and ultimately reduce costs. If it’s not doing that, it has no purpose. Contact us to find out more on how we can help you find the why in your solutions architecture.

 


  • -

Using technology to gain a competitive edge

Tags : 

Large corporations are growing at an astronomical rate. Big business is offering better services, faster response times and lower prices than small and even mid-range business can afford. If SMB is going to survive, there needs to be a competitive edge that allows them to stand out.

Sure there are big benefits to working with SMB. Personalized service, support local business, being there when you want them, flexibility rather than rigid corporate rules, and yes, even pricing can be competitive. All of this means nothing though if your potential customers aren’t reaching out to you or you’re not responding quickly enough.

When someone goes to Amazon to buy a product, it isn’t always because they know they can find the best price there. It isn’t free shipping or even a wealth of products to choose from. It’s certainly not because they get a personalized service. It’s because it’s quick and easy.

Pull up a website, find the product you’re looking for (and instantly compare it to like products), read reviews and make the purchase. It’s there the next (or even same) day. Easy.

So how does a local retailer, for example, compete with that kind of legacy? What must a local retailer do to bring people in their shop and still be able to offer good pricing?

Take another example. A local distributor of industrial equipment offers basically the same catalog as Grainger, the mother of Industrial supply, but goes a step further. By calling one number, the local distributor can shop the best rates, and get the product to you faster than Grainger and even find those odd ball parts that Grainer doesn’t have. This offers a competitive edge, but does that alone get customers coming back to them often enough? Maybe, maybe not. Grainger has every part in their catalog and the whole thing is available online as well as a record of what’s in stock.

If the customer calls in, waits for the right person to take the call, then waits some more while the local distributor needs to look up the SKU, check the warehouse, reserve the part, then call the customer back to let them know it’s ready and take the order and then, after the order is taken, they send an invoice a week later it puts unnecessary strain on the customer. The customer is touched three or four times just for a simple part.

What’s a local business to do?

By implementing some simple technical integrations, local businesses can offer a similar ease of use that cuts through the larger competitors.

Web Presence

One of the biggest things that sets a big corporation aside is their web presence. It’s not just how good their SEO is, or where they drop on a Google search, but more the interactivity on their site. Let’s take something closer to home. Say, Home Depot. From one site, I can find the product I’m looking for, compare vendors, find out if it’s in stock and at which store, make a list of the parts I need to do a job, even find out what aisle and shelf it’s on. When I go down there, I’m in and out.

Every SMB that wants (or needs) to compete with this type of monster should invest a lot in their website. This doesn’t necessarily need to be cost prohibitive however. Little changes mean a lot. A simple relational database integration between supply and a web based inventory system can be cheaper than you think. Online E-Commerce is also pretty affordable. If you ship product, consider a shipping integration that allows the customer to create a UPS or FedEx ticket on order.

If you can’t put every product on your website, consider a “featured product of the week”. Highlight some of the hot sellers and keep changing it up. This will allow you to stand out and show off your product line. You don’t need to be an expert web developer to update this daily.

Integrated Calling

One of the best parts of working with SMB is the experience when calling in for something. When you call a local or smaller company and you usually get a human right away that can answer your questions and take ownership of the issue. Call a major corporation like Amazon or Home Depot and you’re likely to have to dial an 800 number, answer 7 choices from a menu, get transferred three times and eventually get someone who can help you.

In order to offer fast and complete service on the phone, a Voice over IP (VOIP)  system can offer some great features to make sure you don’t miss a call and that your calling is integrated with your normal office applications like CRM, Email, Scheduling and even mobile phones.

You don’t need to buy an inordinate amount of infrastructure and equipment to take advantage of this system either. A Hosted VoIP system is a monthly service that provides everything you need. You pay a simple monthly rate for each extension and plug the phone in like a computer. Everything is configured by a web based interface.

If you have many different departments, a simple Auto Attendant can get the caller to the right department. If you have experts that are away from their desk or on the phone a lot, a good call routing plan can make sure incoming calls are sent to several phone at once, forwarded to mobile phones, even group voicemails and send to a team email.

Sales organizations benefit a lot from this. CRM & scheduling systems linked with outgoing calls can track call volume and conversion rates.

Business Analytics

Most businesses keep track of internal data. For example a property manager is likely to be tracking lease terminations and they’re probably tracking repairs. But what if they could equate lease terminations to repairs? If a lot of leases are not renewed in a building that has a high repair rate, maybe people are moving out because things don’t work right. This would help determine if renovations are in order and cost-justify it.

Most businesses do marketing events of some kind, but how many of them know if those events are paying off? A simple tracking and analysis of event costs to conversion rates can tell you.

Communication is Key

There’s another thing big business has over smaller ones. They become a household name. If I say buy online, you immediately think Amazon.

I’m not saying you need to spam everyone to death here. By you do need to give your customers enough of a reminder that you exist and care about them to keep yourself at the top of their list. Customer Resource Management can help you to know who you’re talking to and about what. This customizable system allows you to track opportunities, events, follow up and even sales pipelines without a lot of work. A CRM that is integrated with Email and Phones can solve the problem of people not putting data into CRM.

Other products like Sidekick or Constant Contact can help you determine the popularity of your emails and ensure that an important email thread isn’t dropped. Sometimes it only takes a day for a prospective customer to buy a service from someone else even though you’ve had an ongoing conversation with them.

None of these need to be exorbitant and costly systems. It’s simply a matter of keeping your technology aligned with the business. This systemic approach will help you get your IT costs under control, streamline your operations and most importantly, help you gain a competitive edge over the larger competition.

 


  • -

Yeah, we can do that…

Tags : 

For a Consultant, there’s nothing better that to say “Yeah, we can do that” to a customer request. The problem is, what if you really can’t do that?

Consultants, Service Providers & even some resellers want to gain their customers trust and be the go-to person for their needs, however, that’s not always the best practice. You’re only going to have so many skills in house. Being a one-stop-shop for your clients is good in theory but it takes the right business model.

One of the more common practices is where a Consulting firm tries to be an “everything shop” by hiring staff that function in multiple disciplines. I had a vendor visit me once while I was an IT Director saying her company did “everything”. When I inquired more, she showed me a card that listed over 25 distinct business units. Everything from structured cabling to software development.

Having worked for companies like that before, I asked “How many people work for you here?”. She said “12”.

That means each person was working 2 or more business units. While that may work from time to time, it isn’t a sustainable business model.

Why? Because the companies cash flow comes from billable hours. These 12 people have to be busy 30-40 hrs a week for the company to sustain a profit. As a result, the service they provide is only going to be as good as the people available for that specific job.

Take it a step further. What if one person leaves the company? They lose a couple competencies in the process. Replacing that person that has core skills in a couple different (and sometimes unrelated) area is a hiring nightmare.

When a company does business that way, it’s hit or miss on every job depending on the available resources.

Fortunately there’s a better way.

There are firms out there who’s role is that of a Trusted Advisor. Trusted Advisors know the basics of the various business units, but more importantly, they have a large referral network to bring in experts who specialize in a certain area and are available at the time. No temps, but reputable firms who have narrowed down their core competencies.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “why would I hire someone to hire people? I can coordinate that myself”. And if you actually have the time to research companies, interview multiple providers, get quotes, compare service and pricing, sign contracts, deal with disputes and manage the whole project yourself, great! Chances are you don’t. Those tasks take a lot of skill and a lot of time. If you have someone with that kind of time on their hands, you’re probably overstaffed and would be better off outsourcing that when you need it.

Also, the cost isn’t as bad as you think. A Trusted Advisor who’s willing to line-item costs should be able to give you a pretty fair deal to take a lot of work off your hands. They’re not easy to find, but valuable to have. Most consultants who want to do everything in house and are not comfortable referring business out. Advisors love bringing in their partners to a job because they know the job will get done right.

Trusted Advisors are able to provide a very well rounded service and perform at 100% most of the time. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of research and time spent with the partners, but once that network is built and the effort is made to nurture those partner relationships, we’re able to take on almost everything without having to hire a lot of internal staff to do it.

Having the best of the best partners at our disposal, we’re able to truly say “Yeah, we can do that” and be true to our word.


  • -

What’s in your toolbox?

Tags : 

I pondered this question while doing some DIY projects around the house. Being an ex-carpenter, I have a lot of tools from the trade.

As a Carpenter, I had two assets that defined the excellence of my work. My skills at the craft, and the tools in my possession were equally important to ensure the job was done right.

Business works the same way. The right tools are essential to an effective business. When we talk about tools in business, we usually refer to technology (at least for the purpose of this discussion).

Your Business Toolbox might hold a good CRM system for managing customers, or an ERP system if you’re in Manufacturing. Your Marketing department probably owns a Website and a couple of good Graphic Arts applications. You probably have a collaboration platform.

But buying technical tools is quite different than running down to Home Depot to buy pick up a new hammer.

Purchases need to be planned as a strategic business decision, adequately budgeted and the right subject matter experts need to be involved. A carpenter doesn’t need an expert to know what type of hammer to buy, but a business might.

There are several options to finding a subject matter expert:

1. Use in-house staff to research products online: Not a bad plan if you trust your IT staff. However, sometimes working within a specific toolset for a long time can cause a narrow viewpoint. Why? Because the technology changes too rapidly for the average IT person to keep up with and still do their day to day job effectively.

2. Talk to Vendors: Who knows more about the product than the Vendor that sells it, right? Wrong. Unless the vendor is truly unbiased and sees each implementation though to know the pros and cons of their solution, and is willing to tell you that.

3. Hire a Consultant to find the right tool: This idea works well, but is by far the most expensive option. Usually you’ll pay a billable rate or retainer for the Consultant to learn your business model, research the right tools and create a project plan to implement it. Though they will be in a position to gauge the effectiveness of the solution.

4. Contact a Procurement Advisor:  The least expensive path to getting the right tools is generally through Procurement Advisors. A good Procurement Advisor will look at your business, then find the best tools based continual research in the market. As Advisors, we need to constantly have our fingers on the pulse of the industry and know what tools are effective for the job at hand.

When a deal is brokered through a Procurement Advisor, it generally doesn’t cost you anything upfront for their services. If you have trust your advisor, that’s even better. Your IT staff doesn’t have to spend the time with vendors and service providers to make sure they get the best rate, the broker has already done that.

But how do you know you can trust your advisor? That is a good question and you better be asking it. Here are some ways you can gain trust in your advisor.

1. Review their track record: Has your advisor always been an advisor? Or do they also have experience in Consulting and IT? An advisor who’s sat you your side of the table will have a better understanding of what it takes to earn your trust.

2. Make sure their recommendations are truly unbiased: Ask for quotes from multiple vendors. The advisor should be able to give you comparable quotes. You may even want to pick a couple vendors you know of to see how their prices compare. Look for honesty and openness from the advisor.

3. Find out what the end-goal is of the advisor: If you feel your advisor just wants to close the deal and move on, they probably do. This does not instill trust. A trusted advisor will want to be with you throughout the process and earn your long-term business.

This is a key distinguisher. Your Trusted Advisor will be close to your business and involved in the whole process from beginning to end. The best Trusted Advisors and Consultants understand one thing above all. Your success is their success!

Nothing else stands out more. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been in business, how big their company is, or what their stocks are doing on Wall Street. It matters how they rate their success. It must align with yours.

Getting back to the toolbox metaphor, your business is more than the knowledge and skill set of the people in your organization. The right tools are essential for keeping up with the competition and energizing your business.

A Trusted Advisor can help you find the best tools with the least amount of effort on your part.

One last parting thought. The technical tools in your organization have to do one thing above all else. They must save you money! Either directly or indirectly.

And so I ask you, what’s in your toolbox?


  • -
Cloud Computing

To Cloud or not To Cloud

Tags : 

Don’t worry, this isn’t just another (OPx vs CAPx) discussion on Cloud Computing. The financial benefits of a scalable architecture as a service have been discussed before. If you want more on that, see my Keys to a healthy technology budget.

No, this discussion is about the other types of fears that hold people back from taking advantage of this technology and/or running into it blindly and making big mistakes.

I’m talking about the real and valid fears illustrated in this article published by Infoweek: http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/9-spectacular-cloud-computing-fails/d/d-id/1321305

Questions like “How secure it the cloud?” and “what if the cloud goes down?” or “what if I can’t get to the Internet?”. All of these are real and valid fears, but you shouldn’t let analysis lead to paralysis.

The Cloud is just like any other technology, it’s a platform that needs to be architected and designed just like any other infrastructure. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to cloud computing.

To adequately take advantage of this technology, lower costs, reduce risk and free up time for you IT department, careful planning needs to take place first.

To start with, real business needs must be defined from the process level. Security is as much a concern in the cloud as it is on your local network. If you’re connected to the Internet, you’re vulnerable, period. The question is how vulnerable and how are you mitigating those risks. More on that in the paragraphs to come, or see “5 Questions to ask your Cloud provider about security“.

Another great consideration is “what if the cloud goes down?” The answers to this comes down to the provider. Are you covered for emergencies? Do you and the cloud provider have a Disaster Recovery plan? Is it clear what the cloud providers responsibility is and what yours is? Do you have a direct support rep or do you call an 800 number and roll the dice?

Guess what, the same concern goes for your Internet carrier, local computer systems, even car insurance. Knowing the details of the contract is key.

In some cases, your cloud solution makes you more dependent on your Internet connection, but not in all cases. Think about what your business would do if all your local computers worked, but you were without Internet access for a day.

Most businesses would either grind to a screeching halt or at least, be severely impacted. Email can’t go out, credit card transactions won’t go through and a majority of your communication to the outside world is cut off. Put the servers in the cloud and the question is simply, how can I get connected while my office is down. A short walk to the nearest Starbucks be a viable solution.

Furthermore, network redundancy isn’t that hard to come by these days and a good network architect or consultant can design one for a lot less than you think. See Worry free connectivity on a small business budget.

Finally we come to security. What if you cloud provider was hacked and your data was stolen or your service was taken offline?

My question is, what if that happened to the servers in your office? Same answer, but the cloud provider is generally going to have more resources to throw at the problem.

Not always, but it’s a good question to ask them…

Getting the risk management plan from your Cloud Provider is not the easiest task. For best results, see a cloud consultant about the options out there the risk management plans for the various providers. There are many Cloud Brokers that can quote the “best deals” in cloud, but make sure they’re also consultants that understand the technology.

We’re here to help. CBC Solutions is a Consulting company with members that have over 25 years of experience performing risk management plans and a deep understanding about cloud and telecommunications. The best deals are waiting for you and at phenomenal rates. Give us a call, our initial consultations are free!

CBC Solutions
619-784-5211
info@cbcsolutions.biz


  • -

5 Common Tech Mistakes Made when Moving Offices

Tags : 

Moving an office is no simple task. Keeping track of where everything is, where it’s going, where everyone is going to sit and how to get them their while still maintaining some level of business continuity can be enough to drive a company crazy. By far, the most overlooked component when moving an office involves technology infrastructure and services. If you’re in the planning stage of a move, even if you’re just looking for property, this is for you.

1. Telecommunications – Connectivity is like the glue that holds our businesses together in the 21st century. Without it, it’s very difficult for a business to function. Internet & Voice lines can be especially difficult to move.

For example, your new location may not be one that is “on-net” with your current carrier. This means that the carrier will have to lease bandwidth from another carrier to continue service and that their lead time to swing service could be heavily delayed by as much as 90 days and your monthly rate will increase! If you’re still on contract, you will have to stay with that carrier and wait out the time it takes for them to get the install done, then pay the additional fees.

Furthermore, it takes a lot of coordination to get them to cut over service on a specific date and time. If you have a contract that’s coming up for renewal and you know you might be moving, see about keeping the contract on a month-to-month basis. This will allow you some options if you find out that there’s a long lead time or the new location is much more expensive.

2. Voice – Moving a business phone system is much more difficult than it seems. The equipment is the easy part. The difficulty comes when you need carrier services and someone to re-install the system at the new location. Generally speaking you can keep your same phone numbers, but if your moving to a different area code or even prefix, it could cost you extra to keep your old numbers.

Question if your phone system is even worth moving. If you’ve been in your current location for a long time and haven’t modernized it, it could be cheaper to change to a new service with the move.

3. Servers, Network Gear & Workstations – Anytime you’re moving computer and high-end electronic equipment, you should have a mover who is certified in that area. Movers that specialize in electronic equipment take special care to make sure that every device is cataloged, and stored in anti-static & shock resistant packaging. Getting equipment reconfigured the proper way requires a very systematic process.

If your employees have laptops and mobile devices, make sure you know who’s taking theirs with them and what’s left to the movers. Not knowing could mean that something gets lost or valuable time is spent looking for something that isn’t in the office.

Also, what about old equipment? If it’s legacy and not in production, why move it? E-waste recycling companies should be engaged to remove old equipment and dispose of it properly. In some cases old equipment can be resold, but often the depreciation value is so low it’s not worth the effort.

4. Cabling – Even if your new location is pre-cabled, it is a good idea to make sure you have it certified by a low-voltage cabling company. If not, you could be facing possible networking issues later on that will be very difficult to track down. Network cabling is very specific and can be quite sensitive.

Also, be sure your cabling vendor is on track to add any drops where they might be needed. Cabling vendors work off billable hours so they might not be available if you call them last minute.

Make sure you have proper cabling to get the connectivity lines from where the vendor drops them to where the equipment is located. If you’re in a high-rise, a third party company will have to extend the vendor terminations to your suite. Your building manager should have that contact info on file.

Don’t forget about wireless. Wireless access uses RF signals that don’t pass through concrete, glass and many heavy metals. Have a wireless site survey done to make sure you have coverage in the right areas and know your access point placement.

5. Conference Rooms – If you have meeting rooms, think about audio/visual devices. Are you installing a flat panel or projector? How are users going to connect to them? There are some really good wireless products on the market. Also, what about conference tables? Can you build cabling & power into the table? The best conference rooms have no visible cable when someone’s presenting. A tangled conference room can be a real distraction.

Bottom line, if your business has a dependence on Technology, don’t discard the concern. It takes a lot of coordination to move an office and still maintain business as usual. Start thinking about it now and have a trusted advisor coordinate your technology move. You’ll be glad you did and there’s a lot of room for improving it at the same time.

CBC Solutions is a holistic consulting company and trusted advisor. We can help demystify the office move from the technical side so you can focus on everything else. If you’re planing or even thinking of moving give us a call. We’ll look at your potential new location to make sure you can get service and coordinate the move so you stay in business as much as possible.

 


  • -

How to cut telecommunications costs by 20-30%

Tags : 

“If you haven’t completed a detailed analysis of your telephone bills in the past two years, there’s a 90% chance you are being overcharged—possibly as much as 20%.” — FCC

“Rather than getting better as a result of computerization, utility bills seem to be getting worse. They are indecipherable, lack itemization, contain inflated or phony charges, and cost customers billions of dollars a year.” — Ralph Nader

With the rise in Telecommunications costs, it becomes increasingly important to analyse your costs for errors, overages and omissions. Additionally, as the market gets more competitive, carriers are offering better and better deals. This, combined with changing business needs causes companies to have to re-analyze their current contracts on an ongoing basis.

CBC Solutions offers a 5 step process to help businesses find the best cost savings they can get while meeting the business needs of the organization.

  1. Assess business processes & determine voice and data needs
  2. Audit contracts and latest invoices
  3. Identify alternate vendors for service needs
  4. Provide a formal recommendation & assist with implementation
  5. Track invoicing and manage contract renewals

On average, CBC Solutions can find 20-30% or more savings on a telecommunication budget and drive down operating costs. With CBC Solutions at your side, you can be sure your getting the best possible rates. We cut through the loopholes and get the vendors competing for your business.

Our Commitment:

  • Absolute Neutrality – Our network of over 100 carriers contains no underlying commitments or quotas. We negotiate the best rates with your best interests at heart.
  • No Risk – CBC Solutions employ a risk-free auditing technique. We find the best rates for your organization so you can focus on your core business.
  • Lifetime Support – We want to earn your trust. As a result, we treat your account as if it is our own. Our vendor relationships allow us to get better support than the average person and we will support you as long as your contract lasts.

Free yourself from the worry of technology and get back to running your business today!