There are a lot of vendors providing network security, storage and collaboration. Many of these same vendors provide tools specifically geared to small businesses. They’re simple to install, competitively priced and come with good support options.
The challenge for business owners is not necessarily finding a vendor with the solutions you need. The challenge is knowing which vendors have the solutions you need. One of the vendors I’m highlighting here is Cisco. In November 2008, Cisco announced a $100 million plan for the small business market.
As part of this investment, Cisco has launched three new product lines specifically geared to your small business. An anti-virus and spam blocking appliance (Cisco Spam and Virus Blocker) for your network, network attached storage system (Cisco NSS2000 and NSS3000 Network Storage Systems) and a collaboration and communications system (Cisco Smart Business Communications System Release 1.4) that connects offices, employees and customers from anywhere at any time.
For the anti-virus and anti-spam appliance Cisco has focused on accuracy (you want to block viruses not important client emails) and simplicity of installation.
The storage device backs up every version of every file from your PCs and servers. I’m sure your business, like other businesses is not just storing PDFs and Office documents. Your digital repository probably includes videos, images and other files (including music) as your world moves from traditional Office documents to multi-media documents.
Cisco Small Business Technology Video: Ian Pennell Offers Technology Buying Advice for Small Businesses
One of the nice things about buying from one vendor is that the products you buy work seamlessly together, the menus are similar so the learning curve is shorter and when you call for support you can call one vendor and not have to call 3 or more different ones.
Networking, storage and collaboration are so important – important enough that you should work with a local expert to help you buy and install the solutions best for your business. Whether you choose Cisco, 3Com, McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, IBM or other vendors it’s important to choose the solution that is best for you.