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In 2013, Microsoft significantly changed the Windows 8 and Office user interface. Your employees are going to have to re-learn how to use Office Applications after you upgrade your PCs and Laptops. Here are a few key tips to help evaluate this upgrade for your Small Business.
Small Business "Windows 8" Upgrade Tips:
1. Read the Walt Mossberg article (see link below) on Windows 8 before you spend any money 2. Increase (or establish) a budget for employee Office Software training 3. Line-up extra help for your staff, including: phone and one-to-one coaching 4. Make sure your existing software will work with Windows 8 5. Identify and Implement any business process changes 6. Re-write any office manuals 7. Confirm who in IT Support actually knows anything about Windows 8. It's new to everyone.... 8. Check that all your existing PC & Laptop accessories will work 9. Budget lots of extra money to deal with the unknown 10. You may want to wait for the rest of the industry to come up to speed before you invest in this upgrade.
The bottom-line is that your Small Business Staff & Information Technology Resource "Productivity will likely go down" and your "PC Costs will go up" by implementing Windows 8 in 2013.
Hope these tips help....
Note: It's important for a Small Business Owner to read the Mossberg review below before you upgrade or buy a new Windows PC. Microsoft will have a Windows 8 upgrade by 2014 to fix many of the problems created by the new design.
"Microsoft is giving Windows its most radical overhaul since 1995 and even its most devoted users won’t recognize the venerable computer operating system in this new incarnation, called Windows 8, when it appears Oct. 26." Walt Mossberg
Note: Photo Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It's easier than ever to go green and recycle your home, home office and business office technology. It's good for your business (more and more customers like to see their suppliers recycle) and it's good for the environment. Outdated technology doesn't have to end up in a landfill!
This past years, we spent dozens of hours researching all the different companies that can help us recycle. The following is a list of the leading organizations that we found that can help you with recycling or donating technology, consumer electronics, used PCs, Laptops, Notebooks, Desktops, CDs, Printers, iPods, Macs and other computer hardware.
1-800-Recycling Programs Still can't determine what to do with your old electronics? visit www.1800recycling.com for other resources.
Apple Recycling Get paid for some of your old Apple products and recycle at the same time.
Best Buy Recycle Recycle a product to Best Buy.
DELL Recycle Program Return PCs and Accessories to be recycled.
Epson Recycle Program Return old Epson Printers and other products. You receive a pre-paid FedEx shipping label in the mail to return the product.
Hewlett-Packard Recycle Program Donates used equipment to charities or recycles. There is a small charge and you must ship the hardware to them.
IBM Recycle Program Donates used equipment to charities or recycles. There is a small charge which includes the cost of shipping the hardware to them.
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition is a diverse non-profit organization engaged in research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to promote human health and environmental justice in response to the rapid growth of the high-tech industry. They have a list of San Francisco Bay Area Recycling Services.
Staples Office Products Staples will help you recycle your old hardware, ink and toner. Bring it to a local Store.
TechSoup Provides help to nonprofits and schools in low-income areas. The TechSoup web site provides a nationwide list of organizations that help non-profits.
Usedhandhelds.com Recycle and sell your old Palm PDAs, Symbian PDAs, Pocket PCs, Handheld PCs and Accessories on this web site.
Verizon Wireless Recycling - Return old cell phones, smartphones, or other electronic devices.
Worldwide Recycling Sites This site lists worldwide recycling sites.
Tip: Before you Recycle or Donate a PC, make sure you completely remove all the data from the disc drives. Hiting the Delete Key does not erase your data from the PC.
Download "Darik's Boot and Nuke" (Dban), a "FREE" Software Utility to clean your disc. The software is highly recommended by cnet.com Editors. Click for the cnet Download Review and to Download the Software
Photo Credits: freedigitalphotos.net by teerapun
All the best with your efforts. Please comment with other recycling organizations and recycling tips to help us and our readers.
Over the last five years, we moved more and more of our important information from paper storage to our PCs, Smartphones and to Cloud Applications. When we completed Spring Cleaning this year, we actually eliminated "two 4-draw File Cabinets" with folders instead of typically adding more of them.
In the past, we only backed up the computerized information daily to external disk drives on site and kept a few of them off-site.
During the last 3-4 years, we added unlimited internet backup services. We have hundreds of gigabites of data now stored off-site that are available if something happens to our local equipment. They automatically transmit an encrypted copy all our information off-site everyday. (Note: We test different services to learn how they work and better help our clients).
The backup services are wonderful. The cost of backing up your Smartphone, Laptop, PC or Mac has significantly dropped, security is extremely high and the service is easy to implement. To get started, you download and install a small program from their site on your PC or Mac. We have our systems set up to backup all changes that occur during the day that night. All the data is encrypted by the software before it leaves your home or office. We've tested Mozy, Carbonite and Crashplan. The Transporter drive is next on our list. So far, knock wood... no problems.
We spend about $120 per year for complete data backups of all PCs/Macs.
Below are some lists we compiled during our evaluation and use of the different Internet Backup Services:
- 5 Backup Service Benefits
- 5 Key Questions About Your Current Backup Process
- 10 Applications to Backup in Your Office
- 10 Reasons to Backup Your Home Computers
- 10 Top Ways Data is Distroyed or Lost
- 2 Top Internet Backup Solutions
5 Backup Service Benefits
- Set-up is quick and simple
- Software is easy to install on your PC or Mac
- Backups are automatic and in the background
- All files are encrypted on your Computer before transfer for best security
- Perform incremental backups
5 Key Questions About Your Current Backup Process
Here are five questions to ask yourself about your current computer backup process:
- How often should you backup your data?
- Do you backup your data Daily, Weekly or Monthly?
- Do you keep a copy of your backup in an off-site secure location?
- Is the data encrypted to increase security?
- Do employees (or you) leave backup copies in the car while doing errands, dining or overnight?
10 Applications to Backup in Your Office
- Customer Information and Order History
- Sales Forecasts & Leads
- Customer Service Info
- Purchasing / Vendors
- Accounting- GL, AP & AR
- Employee - HR - Payroll
- Marketing Materials & Templates
- Business Plans, Reports and Calendars
- eMail, IM and Other Communications
10 Reasons to Backup Your Home Data, Videos, Photos and Music
You may want to think about how you would feel if a fire, flood, robbery or tornado destroyed all the photos and videos of all your:
- Wedding & Anniversaries
- Family BBQ Picnic
- Grandparents & Grandchildren
- Financial Statements
- Sons & Daughters
- Sisters & Brothers
- Family Holidays
10 Ways Data Is Destroyed or Lost:
- Fire or Flood
- Storm / Rain Damage
- Delete a File by Mistake
- Burglary & Robbery
- Children's Mistakes
- PC Crashes
- Lost Smartphone, Laptop or iPods
We get asked all the time.... So which is the best backup company to use for a Small Business or Home Office? The bottom line is most of the top companies work extremely well and we don't have a strong preference one way or another. However, if you have a large amount of back-up data, at this time CrashPlan has a few more options to speed up the restore process. We highly recommend Mozy, Carbonite, CrashPlan and DollyDrive to our Friends and Business Clients.
As part of my consulting job at Deloitte and Touche, I use to perform security audits for large data centers and company computer systems. We would have killed to have these great backup and security products available for our smaller clients.
Top Rated Cloud Backup Services for Small Business (and the Home)
If you want more information on four of the top rated Internet Remote Small Business Backup Services, you can click the links below. All four services also provide home versions of their services that are ideal for the Family, a Home Office or a Small Office.
Carbonite Business Backup - Gives you secure, automatic & affordable online backup, plus access to your files anytime, anywhere $229 / year
Mozy Backup for Personal and Business - Secure Online Backup for Small Business... and Home Devices
Crashplan - Provides Secure Encrypted Cloud Backup for Small Business and Home Devices
DollyDrive - Specializes in all Apple devices. If you have an all Apple Home or Small Business, they have Apple specialists and very good prices on large amounts of data.
The Transporter Private Cloud - Low-Cost Cloud Storage and Backup for people that are concerned about Cloud Backup Security. Highly rated by everyone. We like this product a lot. There are two popular models now:
Seagate 1TB SSHD and Drobo Transporter Private Cloud - Buy from Amazon These services protect you from yourself, your employees and criminals.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or please comment below.