Small businesses are never static. As hundreds of thousands of small businesses look at different forms of reopening, many will need to adapt to the next normal and technology has a key role to play in this transformation.
Some businesses are completely rethinking their office space and want to start afresh. Others are relocating to cope with expansion. A significant number will downsize their square footage, due to a permanent shift towards more employees working remotely.
For many companies across all sectors, this will mean the need to set up a new office. For partners, this is an opportunity to offer knowhow and support. Central to this is the ability to understand the needs of smaller companies and offer right-sized technology as well as the right message to win their trust and their business.
To help you reach out to small businesses who need help with setting up a new office, let’s take a look at the considerations they need to make in choosing the right technology and the right partner.
Robust yet seamless security
Security is the number one concern for small businesses. This is no surprise when you consider a small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds1. With small businesses increasingly being seen by hackers as an easy target, security has to be at the heart of any networking solution and application in order to protect employees and confidential data, wherever employees are, whatever device they are using. At the same time, security has to be built-in and seamless, not a barrier to access and productivity.
A high performance network
When setting up a new office, it has to be with one eye firmly on the future. And that means using technology that not only represents the best of what’s available now, but offers the longevity and scalability that small businesses need. Right now, many small businesses are seeking a high-quality video calling experience as this is set to remain the main means of communication and collaboration. Reliable Wi-Fi is a must, giving employees the ability to move and work freely on any device while in the office. But high performance can’t carry a high price tag, or it’s simply beyond the reach of small business budgets.
Small businesses might be tempted to shop around to buy the cheapest possible components to create a new networking solution, so it’s worth explaining why this is often a false economy. Separately source products are more difficult to set up and harder to manage, as they aren’t designed to work as a cohesive system. By contrast, sourcing a solution from a vendor that has a complete portfolio of wireless networking and security
technologies offers many advantages – faster set up, effortless integration, easier management and future flexibility. New connections must be as simple and secure as the original network set up. If you’re trying to make additions to a patchwork of products, there’s a much higher likelihood of downtime, which means a loss of productivity for employees and revenue for the business. Not something a growing business can afford.
Cisco – the right size for small businesses
Spanning the full range of small business requirements, Cisco offers a simple, secure and reliable networking and collaboration solution. It takes all of Cisco’s knowhow from enterprise-level solutions and right-sizes it for small businesses through the Cisco Designed family of products and solutions. This gives partners the ability to offer a powerful and trusted solution that offers performance and affordability. Here are a few highlights of Cisco’s technology that would benefit any new office set-up.
A new office deserves leading collaboration tools that reach beyond the walls of the building to embrace every employee, keep them securely connected and enable them to be productive from anywhere. Webex Work equips a company with a complete cloud collaboration solution that combines calling, meeting and messaging services in a single subscription, with attractive flexible monthly pricing for small businesses.
Enhanced email security
Email remains the number one threat vector for all businesses, with attacks coming from ransomware, advanced malware, phishing and spam. Cisco provided a multi-layered approach to email security, which includes advanced threat protection capabilities to detect, block and remediate threats faster. It prevents data loss and secures important information in transit with end-to-end encryption. For small businesses, this reduces the risk of a breach and provides the protection they need to get on with the working day without worrying.
Cisco Business Dashboard
Visibility is another big advantage of choosing a single vendor and not cobbling together a solution from mix-and-match products. With the new version of Cisco Business Dashboard, IT teams have a single tool with which to manage the entire network. As you’d expect from Cisco, there are features that make life easier for the IT team. Zero-touch plug and play deployment to get up and running quickly. A streamlined, user-friendly interface that enables IT teams to set up, monitor and operate network devices, complete with integrated lifecycle management and automated alerts.
Tools to manage your network in the cloud
This leads neatly on to the aspect of cloud for small business. Some smaller companies think that cloud is only for the bigger enterprises, but that’s not true. Cloud can offer useful networking features and better affordability. For example, Cisco gives customers the choice of an on-premises set-up or cloud networking. By opting for cloud, customers can benefit from easier troubleshooting by using Cisco Meraki Health and Meraki Insight. This allows them to monitor all aspects of the network and applications from their Meraki Dashboard and API as well as detect and fix issues in a matter of minutes.
New Cisco Business Switches
Setting up a new office is a good point to leave old tech behind and upgrade to something smarter. This is exactly what businesses get with the new switches in the Cisco Designed portfolio. Offering flexible, easy to set up, secure connectivity, these two series of switches are designed to power connections across a remote and office-based workforce. They provide essential functionality along with advanced security options, with a price point that appeals to small businesses. Naturally, they are managed via the Cisco Business Dashboard.
Partners bring vital knowledge to small businesses
Many small businesses have limited IT resources and technical knowhow when it comes to addressing networking challenges, such as setting up an office from scratch. This is where they welcome the help of a reseller partner who can support them, ask the right questions and offer the right guidance. They need to think about who will manage the new technology. Do they have the skills in-house or would they want you to provide a managed service for this? Also, do they have the right level of technical support available? Most small businesses have dynamic 24×7 requirements as employees are constantly moving
on and off the network from different locations. These questions can spark another opportunity for you, and Ingram Micro is here to help you capitalise fully. With our portfolio of services, we enable you fulfil any customer requirements.
To find out more about Cisco for small business and everything Ingram Micro offers partners, get in touch with Natalie Naudo | Natalie.Naudo@ingrammicro.com | 07767447677