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IT support and consulting

What Are The Differences Between VIRUS, WORM, TROJAN HORSE and BLENDED?

Understanding the differences between a Virus, Worm, Trojan Horse and Blended lets you know how to... read more

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Rebecca Carroll-BellOwner at RCB Mediation Services
Great article Shaun. We were hit by a...something last week. A message came up telling us that our details had been sent to Interpol and we had to pay $100 otherwise we'd be locked out of our computer for good. Luckily hubby was able to find and carry out the solution straight away. Scary!
IT support and consulting

9 tips for selecting cloud accounting software

Moving to a cloud platform is no longer a privilege but has become a necessity to stay productive... read more

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Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
Thanks for sharing this really useful guide Thivaharan. When evaluating lots of software options, I usually construct a selection matrix in a spreadsheet which can make it easier to digest and decide.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Great tips Thivaharan :)!
IT support and consulting

Are you backing up your data and do your have a Disastor Recovery Plan and what is it?

Backup and Disaster Recovery, Every business no matter what the size should at least invest in... read more

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Shaun GoethalsOwner at IT System Solutions
Thanks Sharon much appreciated.
Sharon LatourQueen Bee/CMO at Marketing Bee
Fantastic article Shaun.
Questions

How do you prevent mass iOS 7 upgrades within your organisation's network to avoid huge network congestion?

With the highly-anticpated iOS 7 release day finally upon us, excitement for Apple’s new software... read more

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Cassidy Poon Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I haven't even tried :)!! I'm a creature of habit and haven't yet felt the need to upgrade. I've used iOS 7 previously and it's beautiful except I'm still a little confused by it and not high priority.  Maybe you can try downloading at wee hours of the night where not many people are awake - say 3am? or maybe at a time Uni students will be sleeping haha say 6am :)
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IT support and consulting

Do you only need a computer tech when the computer breaks

In the technical support world, there has been everything from constant bickering to full-blown... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I wish I had a managed service provider solution for my life :) Let me know Roger, if you ever plan on offering one of those!
Questions

How do I change my business name?

Hi need to change business name  from summerhill flair for hair to Absolut Organx dont know how... read more

Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
Assuming you want to continue trading while you make the transition as quickly as possible, I suggest the following steps: 1. Register the new name at ASIC; register domain ​2. Prepare new identity – logo, stationery etc 3. Create interim website – something that will suffice while ongoing development takes place 4. Select change-over date 5. Send out message to customers advising of change 6. Change signage 7. Reopen the following day Hope this helps. On the other hand, if all you want to do is transfer the name and assets of one business to another, register the new name and talk to your accountant.  
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IT support and consulting

What is a managed service provider and how do they do IT support remotely?

I get asked many questions regarding IT and one of them is what is Managed Services and how do you... read more

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Absolutely Wendy they need to be responsive. The tools that a managed service provider uses should allow for issues to be resolved and at minimum the small issues resolved before the customer has to alert the MSP i.e. running out of toner on the office printer frustrating to the customer but easy to monitor and alert the customer too. Beyond the managed service tools there should be access to a client portal for interaction between customer and MSP on logged tickets and a self-help knowledge base for the simple things that might just be needed to jog the memory of the customer when they are trying to add a network printer or set default home page etc….
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
These are certainly cheaper than hiring someone dedicated to looking after your computers, as long as the provider is responsive :D Thanks for the article Shaun!
IT support and consulting

Preparing Businesses to Meet the Future

Let’s face it—today’s businesses are Busy with a Capital B.  You know the saying - over worked,... read more

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IT support and consulting

How to understand the real cost of a software project

Many people are disappointed, upset or downright distraught when a software project costs more than... read more

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Gill Walker Owner at Opsis
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Gill WalkerOwner at Opsis
Hi David Thank you for your question, which I'm sure is on many people's minds. There are a number of factors that govern what any consulting company will charge for their services, and these do include the skills that they have and how specialist those skills are, so you can expect to pay more for harder to find skills, not only because those people are rarer, although this is part of the reason, but also because those people usually spend longer on their marketing in order to find the people who are willing to pay for their skills - so it is a sort of catch 22 situation. Also, suppliers who charge you an hourly or daily rate with just an estimate for the project, will typically sound cheaper in the short term than people who can give a quote for the job. However, there is much greater chance of you paying more than the original estimate with the first group than with the second. In general, when selecting an implementation company you are looking for: a partner rather than a supplier, someone with whom you feel you can work over a period of time, and usually someone who is flexible enough to be able to work when you want them to work, so not assume that you need to have them onsite for five days per week from the start of the project; Then you are looking for someone who understands your requirements and will not try to give you a solution that worked for pervious client without ensuring that it also works for you;           Then you are looking for someone with the expertise in the product as substantiated by customer testimonials. Customer testimonials are far more important than certifications. To conclude, it is largely, but not totally true that you do get what you pay for. So take your time, meet with more than one and ask loads of questions. Remember the maxim - Caveat Emptor, or buyer beware.
David SolomonOwner at Quiddity
Hi Gill. Could you please also comment on the skills and prices charged by the consultants doing any implementation? Is it essentially true that you get what you pay for? Is it therefore false economy to go for the least expensive option? Or are there high quality people who can run the project without needing a king's ransom? Thanks.
Questions

Does anyone know a good expert or advisor in the CRM / Workflow / Practice Management application space?

One of the things I struggle with as a business coach, supporting my clients is how to advise them... read more

Gill WalkerOwner at Opsis
Roland I agree wholeheartedly with Mike Hall's comments about fine wine. There are about 400 different CRM products on the market, which range from simple contact management products such as Act!!! to large enterprise solutions that are highly specialised for one or a few industries and cost several tens of thousands of dollars per person for the licence alone.  Just like with wine, all have their place and their advocates.  Many of them also have people who would not go near them again. However, before asking about specific technologies, if a business wants their project to be successful, they need to invest time in understanding their requirements and being realistic about their budget.  When we look at those projects which fail it is rarely because the incorrect technology was selected, but for much more human reasons, often relating to the scoping of the project. I am a Microsoft Dynamics CRM expert, and I would be happy to talk to any of your clients.  Microsoft is both cloud and on-premise, and is highly configurable.  There are also many overlays and add-ons which add specific functionality.  Given that it works from inside Outlook and leverages other areas of Microsoft Office, it is usually easier for the users to adopt.  From a price perspective it is exceptionally good value for money, not cheap, but immensely good value for functionality delivered.  However, also like wine it needs to be implemented (or served) correctly.  Imagine a cheap wine served in good glasses compared to a really good wine served in paper cups.  The implementation will make or break the project.
Mike HallOwner at Jasmine Hall
Hi Roland, I've been trialing quite a few of these cloud-based applications for my wholesale business for much of this year - accounting, CRM, inventory management, sales pipeline, project management and more - and here's a quick summary of my observations. The market for advisers in this space is wide open! There are some great applications out there for businesses of all sizes, but it's a bit like buying anything else - a breakfast cereal or a good wine. You need to do your research and try them out. And often you'll find something that you quite like but it has some niggling flaws: it does one thing well, but not the other thing you need. Or, more frustratingly - it won't talk to your other apps. That's because a lot of these apps (especially the cheaper ones) are generic, and lots of businesses have different ways of doing things. Also, small business owners & managers just don't have the time to devote to researching what is, or could be, a whole new IT solution for their business. To have a really good idea of how some of these apps work you really need to convert current data across and spend some time actually using them - and often that's just too time consuming and complicated in a small business. Some business owners I've talked to swear by some of the new solutions, and the more savvy have used integration tools to automate some processes across multiple apps. There's no doubt that buy-in from everyone - especially staff and/or contractors is critical too.
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