• The Business

    Social networking for your business

    Once considered a fad for teenagers, social media tools have become accepted components of any business’s marketing strategy. Dell is on Facebook; SAP is on LinkedIn; IBM has a large presence on the animated virtual world Second Life. Should you be there, too?
    read more
  • The Business

    Getting ISO27001 Certification

    The requirement for information security certification is spreading from large organisations to small ones. What’s involved, and do you need it?
    read more
The Business

Business Intelligence for Small Businesses with SQL Server

In these times of economic uncertainty, it is vital for your customers to understand how their business is performing. Are they losing customers? If so which ones, and are they gaining others? What do the new customers buy?

 

   
The Business

Selling White Label Services

Reselling services represent a significant – and growing – part of the business for many IT consultants. Margins on IT hardware, and to a lesser extent, software, have fallen steadily. The fees that can be charged for higher-value work, such as code customisation and application testing, have also come under pressure, not least because of competition from suppliers in markets such as India or Eastern Europe and Russia.

   
The BusinessThe Business Resources

Leasing Tax Breaks

The main reason companies lease high-value equipment is to spread the cost and to preserve capital. But there are also tax advantages to leasing equipment.

   
The Business

Let financing take the strain

Customers are looking for alternatives to bank loans and retained capital to fund IT purchases. Leasing and vendor finance is one option, but how should IT consultants navigate the financial maze?
   
Business ContinuityThe Business

Setting rates: should you charge the same rates to all IT clients?

Probably the stickiest moment in agreeing a new piece of work is the one when the client asks, “What do you charge?” The natural temptation is to say, “As much as possible.” How do you really decide on a price?
   
NetworkClientThe Business

Saving power, saving money with a green energy audit: cut printer costs and create power plans

Cold mornings and the clocks going back are going to put up heating and lighting bills for businesses as winter draws in, but increasingly IT is putting up the electricity bill too. Power prices have increased significantly this year and it’s not yet clear whether they have peaked. Offer customers a power audit that covers printing, servers, desktop PCs, storage and peripherals or include it when you’re planning a new deployment to sweeten the deal — and try it out in your own office to find out how much you can save by managing IT power.

 
   
Business ContinuityThe Business

How to write an IT service-level agreement

A service-level agreement manages expectations and improves communication when you’re starting your relationship with a customer as well as when things go wrong.

 

 
   
TelecomsThe Business

Unplugging the PBX to sell a VoIP installation or hosted VoIP

Unless your clients have just returned from a stint on Mars, there is every chance they will already have used VoIP, though they may not call it that. VoIP, or Internet telephony, has been one of the undoubted technology success stories of the last few years. Skype alone claims 200 million users, many of whom work in small and mid-sized businesses.

   
The Business

How to get paid on time

Get your payment terms straight from the start and follow up on invoices professionally to deal with problem payers

   
The Business

Microsoft Support Lifecycle

Microsoft Support Lifecycle
When a new service pack is released, Microsoft will provide either 24 months of support for the previous service pack (for Windows) or 12 months for all other products. Keep an eye on what will need updating when, to stay in support.

   

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IT EXPERT TOP TIP

There are plenty of technical discussion sites on the Web, but if you're looking for a community where you have a chance to meet other experts and network in person, check out the list of UK technical user groups at http://www.ukusergroups.co.uk/. The new Active Directory User Group (http://adug.co.uk/) is kicking off with a meeting at Microsoft's London office in October, the Windows Server Team (http://winserverteam.org.uk/Default.aspx) is planning meetings in January and Vista Squad
(http://vistasquad.co.uk/), the Microsoft Messaging and Mobility Group (http://www.mmmug.co.uk) and Windows Management User Group (http://wmug.co.uk) are running regular meetings too. read more

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