the Value of a
Value Added Reseller (VAR)
used with permission from the HP Site
have a variety of perceptions about them. Some of these
perceptions are right on. Some of them completely miss the
mark. The truth is the right VAR can help most businesses
more than they realize. Can the right VAR help you?
critical to run almost every business today, and in most
cases, can offer both competitive and strategic value to
your business. The problem is many businesses don't think
about their PCs, printers or servers as providing a
competitive advantage or as strategic business tools. Even
as a fundamental business tool, many think that there is
little difference in the basic capabilities across the huge
variety of technology devices on the market today. Having
been in the industry for almost 20 years now, I can tell you
that there are many differences worth noting when comparing
computing products. I can also tell you that when used
appropriately, there are both competitive and strategic
advantages to be gained from technology.
This is where
your local VAR steps in. They are experts in technology;
it's what they do. They can help you navigate the basic task
of ensuring you get the right technology tools to support
your business and then show you how to drive business
success from that technology.
areas of expertise and guidance VARs can offer and think
about how they could help your business:
Don't Expect Consumer-Grade Technology to Meet Your
used with permission
from the Cisco Small Business Website
walk into a business meeting, do you wear pajamas?
Do you let
your children manage the accounts receivable for your
buy business technology, do you choose products designed
for home use?
The pricing on
consumer-grade technology is tempting. But the lower price
can end up costing your business dearly, in both
productivity and cash.
Save Time and Money, by Not Going Home
"While you may be saving money now, you're spending more in
the long run," says Austin Smith, founder of Digital Son, a
Cisco Registered Partner. "One of the worst things that a
small business could do would be to go to a retail
establishment and purchase home gear for their business.
Home equipment is just not designed to provide feature sets
that businesses need."
customers report that products that are designed for doing
business are worth the price premium in at least four ways,
because they enable them to:
Integrate Business Technologies
Combining the technologies that a business uses makes
processes more efficient. Work gets done better, and faster.
"Our jobs are
far easier now that we have the Cisco integrated system,
which connects our reservation system and our CRM [customer
relationship management] system," says the sales account
manager at a restaurant-resort business with 37 employees.
Customer Comes Second
by Craig Kitch
of 1990, I was in the final stages of my application process
to join one of the world's most renowned hotel companies,
Marriott. My challenge would be to take the helm of a
problematic hotel with service issues and put it back on
track for Marriott's standards of excellence. The final
interview was with a Vice President at the corporate
headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland and I was on pins and
needles, to say the least. As the interview came to a close,
the VP had one final question: "Craig, who would you say are
the most important people in your hotel?" "The customers", I
announced with enthusiasm, thinking that I had slam-dunked
that one. My interrogator leaned forward on his elbows,
looked me straight in the eye and informed me that I would
never be successful with their company if that was my
attitude. I got the job anyway but I have never forgotten
that conversation or what I learned about my "true"
customers during the ensuing years.
One of the
secrets of truly great managers is that they understand that
their role is to take care of the employees first and then
the employees will take better care of the customer. Think
about it. When staff members have needs that are not being
met by management, discontent and complacency set in and
lower morale. Unhappy employees very seldom go above and
beyond the call of duty to give the customer a stellar
experience. When service complaints arise, management
typically finds the person "at fault" and verbally coaches
them about the importance of working harder and making sure
the customer is always right; then documenting their
personnel file in case it happens again. It does not take a
rocket scientist to figure out where this scenario is
Great Tips for Better Holiday Photos
Reprinted with permission from the
Small Business Center
the problem with holiday photos? All too often, they fail to capture
the feeling of the season. Most holiday pictures look
interchangeable. Your photos of family members lined up and smiling
look the same as those of every other family.
So why not turn routine holiday photos into unique works of art with
just a few simple techniques?
1. Plan ahead
The classic problem with holiday photos is that they have to be
taken weeks in advance so you can send out cards and mailings
Business Continuity Tip
Build a team.
tall order to expect one person to efficiently develop a
comprehensive recovery plan by themselves. After all,
they have to account for every reasonable interruption
across the entire business. There are just too many
moving pieces. There is power in numbers and at worst,
two heads are better than one. Assembling a team will
give you the ability to share information, brainstorm,
and create a natural sounding board to bounce off ideas.
an actual recovery, having a team provides additional
advantages. If the team leader is not available, others
will be familiar with the plan and can execute it. This
built-in redundancy to your recovery response helps
ensure a quick and efficient return to business as
of the Month
Remember, if Christmas
isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree.