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    Small Business Future Tech Small Business Future Tech Presentation Transcript

    • Small Business Technology in the Future
      • What’s Coming, What’s Here Today, How YOUR Business Can Benefit
      • Presented by Chip Reaves, co-founder & CEO of Computer Troubleshooters Global, www.comptroub.com
    • Goals Today
      • Update You on New Technologies becoming available for small business.
      • Answer your questions on how they might fit into your business.
      • Get your feedback on which (if any) appeal to you.
    • Innovation in BizTech
      • Printing Press
      • Telephone
      • Computers
      • Portables
      • Voicemail
      • GPS
      • Fax
      • Email
      • Cellphones / Smartphones
      • Internet / Web
      • Social Media
    • Innovation vs Experimentation
      • Does it Fill a Need ?
      • Is it Conceptually Simple ?
      • Is there Measurable Benefit (compared to previous)?
      • Is it Non-Intrusive ?
      • Strong YES Answers = Innovation Some Neutral or NO Answers = Experimentation , Likely Dead End
    • Innovation Test: The Fax Machine
      • Fill A Need?
        • For Document Review & Collaboration: Replaced slow transfer of documents by courier and mail, and telephone-transcription.
        • For Contracts: Provided easy way to get legal signatures & other data quickly
      • Conceptually Simple?
        • Document goes in, document comes out.
      • Measurable Benefit?
        • Huge savings in cost and time compared to previous options
      • Non-Intrusive?
        • Requires only a phone line, a little desk space, and electricity: all easy to come by.
    • Innovation Test: The C o l o r Fax Machine
      • Fill A Need?
        • Some: Black & White Faxing is sufficient for document review & contracts. Color would be nice sometimes but isn’t critical.
      • Conceptually Simple?
        • Document goes in, document comes out. But the lack of standards for color faxing makes interoperability difficult.
      • Measurable Benefit?
        • Costs slightly more than b/w faxing, no real benefit 99.9% of the time.
      • Non-Intrusive?
        • Yes, same as b/w fax
    • Innovation Test: Email
      • Fill A Need?
        • Near-instant text communication between friends, business associates, and relatives of deceased Nigerian bankers looking for someone to share in their inheritance.
      • Conceptually Simple?
        • You type it, they read it.
      • Measurable Benefit?
        • Huge savings in cost and time compared to previous options
      • Non-Intrusive?
        • Requires a computer and email account.
    • Innovation Test: Video Mail
      • Fill A Need?
        • Somewhat: Normal email & phone communication can carry any important info, but video can help convey feelings and “show Grandma what her grandkids look like”
      • Conceptually Simple?
        • Somewhat: the concept is simple but no standards for implementation.
      • Measurable Benefit?
        • Maybe
      • Non-Intrusive?
        • No: requires pants & paying attention, can’t move around.
    • Innovation Test: Cell Phones
      • Fill A Need?
        • Immediate communication from anywhere.
      • Conceptually Simple?
        • Push buttons, talk, recharge.
      • Measurable Benefit?
        • Huge time savings & highly convenient - costs can be more.
      • Non-Intrusive?
        • Debatable but pros outweigh cons.
    • Innovation Test: Video Phones
      • Fill A Need?
      • Conceptually Simple?
      • Measurable Benefit?
      • Non-Intrusive?
        • Same as Video Mail
    • The Future of Small Business Technology
      • Likely Innovations between today and 2014.
    • The Questions
      • For Each Future Technology We’ll Ask:
        • Fill A Need?
        • Conceptually Simple?
        • Measurable Benefit?
        • Non-Intrusive?
        • Available Today? (And any present limitations that might be addressed in the future)
    • Space Helmets
          • Does It Fill A Need?
            • It gives us 14 things to talk about, calming triskodekiphobics.
          • Is it Conceptually Simple?
            • Stupid gags usually are.
          • Is There a Measurable Benefit?
            • Only if you like extra attention from TSA
          • Is It Non-Intrusive?
            • Nope
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • What is IP Telephony?
      • Put simply, it’s phone calls & phone systems that work over a computer network instead of phone lines.
        • It can refer to EITHER:
          • A phone system in your office that uses your data network instead of phone wiring for connections and has a computer instead of an analog PBX. (“System”)
          • Phone service that uses the Public Internet or private data networks to reduce the cost of phone calls. (“Service”)
          • Or BOTH
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • Does It Fill A Need?
      • YES! Everyone needs phones, and new features and other benefits can make it a compelling alternative to traditional phone service & systems.
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
      • Yep, it’s a phone.
      • New features can make it simpler than traditional phones (reduced wiring, integration w/ computer apps, etc).
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • Is there a Measureable Benefit?
      • Many!
      • Calls between multiple office locations (branches or teleworkers) are free.
      • Phone service can be reduced to very low rates: no need for dedicated phone lines, long distance as low as 1-2 cents per minute to multiple countries.
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • Find Me / Follow Me
      • Hunt Groups
      • Voicemail-to-Email
      • Voicemail transcription
      • Easy Call Distribution / Auto-Attendant control
      • Easy Scheduling Options
      • Answer/Make Calls from your computer (Softphone)
      • Integrate calls from computer applications & websites
      • Integrated Conferencing & archiving features
      • Integrate with Analog Phone Lines & Systems (including Cellphones) when needed
      • Is there a Measureable Benefit?
      • More!
      • VoIP systems can offer many features not found in traditional phone systems such as:
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • Easily move to a new office if needed (great during a disaster)
      • Let workers take their phones home (temporarily or permanently, great for H1N1)
      • Let traveling workers make calls from their computers anywhere they can get high-speed internet
      • Integrate your VoIP system with employee’s mobile phones when needed.
      • Is there a Measureable Benefit?
      • Even More!
      • VoIP systems *may* be easily transportable, meaning you can:
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
      • Current “intrusions” can be lack of voice quality & lack of qualified local support.
    • VoIP aka IP Telephony
      • Is it in YOUR future?
      • Saves You Money, Adds Powerful Features - “No Brainer”
        • Is it available today? YES, but....
      • *Can* be higher quality than traditional phones if configured properly.
      • Local Support is Improving Rapidly
      • Problems with Wireless & Mobiles
      • Vendors to Watch: Fonality, SUTUS, Speakeasy, Commpartners
    • Professional Email
      • What Is It?
      • Email, Calendaring, and Task List which is sharable with your team, accessible from multiple devices and when offline, and which does not require duplication of effort.
      • Traditional POP email may have some limited sharing ability, may be accessible from multiple devices (but not necessarily synced), is available offline, but generally requires duplicated effort when used from mobile devices.
      • Traditional web email may have limited sharing ability, is accessible from multiple devices but not always offline, generally does not require duplicated effort but may be harder to use for heavy business users.
    • Professional Email
      • Does It Fill A Need?
      • Email is the backbone of many small businesses - any major improvements are welcome.
    • Professional Email
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
      • To set up? No
      • To use? YES
      • This has lead to the rise of Hosted Professional Email (Microsoft Exchange or Google)
    • Professional Email
      • Is there a Measurable Benefit
      • YES!
      • Better synchronization, better collaboration, better features than simple mail. (Africa story)
    • Professional Email
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
      • YES - Email is still just email, new features make it easier.
    • Professional Email
      • Is It Available Today?
      • Somewhat . Hosted Exchange & Google Professional are available today, with certain limitations & bugs.
      • Exchange : ties in with Hosted Sharepoint for fantastic office collaboration. Cost: $10 to $25 per month per user.
      • Google Professional : ties in with Google Apps for inexpensive, highly collaborative (though less powerful) office applications. Cost: $50 per year per user.
      • Both expected to improve dramatically in the next 18 months!
    • Professional Email
      • Other Considerations:
      • Microsoft Sharepoint (Hosted): Powerful team collaboration platform to track shared contacts, projects, to-do’s, any lists, schedules, files & documents, etc.
      • Google Wave : in early Beta now, the hype says it will “dramatically change how we think about email, and threaten Facebook & Twitter”.
    • Electronic Document Management
      • What Is It?
      • The latest evolution of the “paperless office” - documents & files are scanned into virtual electronic file cabinets instead of large metal ones.
    •  
      • Does It Fill A Need?
      • Somewhat. Removing paper file cabinets can reduce office space (and rent!), and accessing documents electronically can be more powerful and more convenient.
      • But the benefits must be weighed against the costs.
      Electronic Document Management
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Mostly. Files are stored electronically, and accessed from inside a dedicated application or from certain connected applications. Files can be searched by keyword or name, and multiple people can access the same file at the same time.
        • It’s easy, but very different from the traditional method - there is a learning curve.
      Electronic Document Management
      • Is There A Measureable Benefit?
        • Only for certain businesses where:
          • Multiple people accessing the same file (even from remote locations) is useful
          • Reducing or eliminating paper file cabinets will save money
          • Combining “paper” files with existing applications (CRM, sales support, etc) is beneficial
          • Staff is willing to learn the new system
      Electronic Document Management
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Not really - it changes how you access important files. The change is easier, but there is a learning curve and an implementation period (while existing files are scanned).
      Electronic Document Management
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Yes, in local versions (i.e. non-cloud). Costs range from $500 to $2000 per user license, plus $200 to $2000 in hardware, plus training & installation.
        • Future hosted versions will have lower costs and be easier to use, but may be slower.
      Electronic Document Management
    • Internet Video Management
      • What Is It?
        • Surveillance cameras hosted & controlled through a web interface.
        • Special features include anywhere-access (via the web), motion sensing, security recording & archiving, and traffic analysis.
    • Internet Video Management
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • For certain businesses where security or traffic analysis is an issue. It can be easier to install and maintain than traditional DVR-based solutions, though it depends on reliable internet connections too.
    • Internet Video Management
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Yes - like putting your DVR / VCR on the internet, with some cool analysis & archiving tools.
    • Internet Video Management
      • Is There a Measurable Benefit?
        • Yes, for businesses who already have security cameras (hosted video is easier and often cheaper), for businesses who need security cameras (it’s similar to lower start-up costs and better benefits), or for businesses who can benefit from the traffic analysis tools.
    • Internet Video Management
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Yes, compared to existing video surveillance systems (less hardware to buy & install).
    • Internet Video Management
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Almost. Some limited systems are available now, better systems will be available in the next 6 months, and large improvements and price cuts are expected in the future.
    • HaaS / SaaS
      • What Is It?
        • Hardware-As-A-Service and Software-As-A-Service. Its’ the concept of acquiring computing solutions on a pay-by-the-month basis instead of paying an up-front purchasing fee.
        • OpEx vs CapEx
        • It’s not just a lease - it’s utility computing.
    • HaaS / SaaS
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • Small Businesses like *aaS becuase it reduces their up-front expenses, provides a stable monthly expense, and diversifies their support.
        • On the downside, monthly expenses are higher than in traditional CapEx purchases.
    • HaaS / SaaS
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Mostly. Flat monthly fee for use of one or more computers or servers with software, it’s similar to renting or leasing but with different ownership, financial, and taxation ramifications.
    • HaaS / SaaS
      • Is There a Measureable Benefit?
        • Up front fees are reduced or eliminated in favor of flat monthly fees, which also makes expenses more predictable. Monthly fees generally also include maintenance and support.
    • HaaS / SaaS
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Yes, except for intruding on your checkbook each month.
    • HaaS / SaaS
      • Is It Available Today?
        • HaaS is available in early versions today, most of which are just improperly named leasing deals.
        • SaaS is available in some mainstream applications today (Salesforce.com, ConstantContact.com), with more coming soon (see Microsoft BPOS).
    • Virtual Hosted Servers
      • What Is It?
        • A Virtual Hosted Server (aka Cloud Server) behaves like a traditional Windows or other office server, but is hosted in a remote data center, runs on virtualized equipment (for high redundancy and availability), and is generally paid for via a monthly fee (OpEx) rather than a traditional one-time purchase or leased arrangement.
    • Virtual Hosted Servers
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • Yes - for customers who want to improve the reliability of their servers and reduce their dependence on their “computer guy”.
        • Hosted Servers provide similar functionality to normal servers, but are maintained by the service provider. So the customer doesn’t have to worry about maintenance and backup - that’s all taken care of as part of the monthly hosting fee.
        • There may be speed issues with certain applications, depending on the speed of your internet connection.
    • Virtual Hosted Servers
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Yes - similar to HaaS.
    • Virtual Hosted Servers
      • Are there Measurable Benefits?
        • Yes - server support comes from the team a the data center instead of one local guy. Up front costs are eliminated in favor of an all-inclusive monthly fee. And server upgrades, changes, and take-downs are possible with just a few minutes notice.
    • Virtual Hosted Servers
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • The Remote Server may (or may not) appear to be slow depending on the speed & quality of your internet connection and your hosting partner.
    • Virtual Hosted Servers
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Yes - thousands of companies use virtual hosted servers today, and the quality and features are improving rapidly.
    • Virtual Hosted Desktops
      • What Is It?
        • Similar to Virtual Servers, Virtual Desktops are individual workstations which are hosted for a monthly fee, and which are accessible from any internet-enabled computer or special terminals.
    • Virtual Hosted Desktops
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • For some companies, the same benefits of hosted servers (team support, flat monthly fee, no up front cost, higher reliability) make sense at the desktop level as well.
    • Virtual Hosted Desktops
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Sort of. Accessing a remote machine is easy, but the line between what is “local” and what is “hosted” can be blurry at times.
    • Virtual Hosted Desktops
      • Are There Measureable Benefits?
        • Desktop costs are covered by a flat monthly fee, and users can access “their” machine from any internet-enabled computer. Local hardware failures are no problem - simply get a new terminal or another machine and keep going.
        • Also, a hosted desktop can benefit from dramatically reduced software licensing costs. Example: A user with a desktop and laptop computer would normally need 2 licenses for every application (one for each PC), but if both devices are just conduits for the hosted desktop, only 1 license is needed.
    • Virtual Hosted Desktops
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
      • Maybe. Currently special steps must be taken to use local resources, like printers, USB devices, or special accessories. Speed may be a problem depending on the quality of your internet connection. Some applications cannot function in a hosted environment.
    • Virtual Hosted Desktops
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Early versions are available today, with limitations. By 2012 it’s expected that Hosted and/or Hybrid-Hosted Desktops will be just as functional as a local computer, at a lower cost.
    • Anywhere Access
      • What Is It?
        • The ability to access your documents, photos, files, and programs from any internet device, anytime. 
    • Anywhere Access
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • Thousands of people pay $35/month for GoToMyPC. Enough Said.
    • Anywhere Access
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • In Broad Terms - yes.
        • In Details - no. (When you access remotely does it look like your desktop or just a list of your files? Does it work on iPhones, Blackberries, etc? How does software licensing work?)
    • Anywhere Access
      • Are There Measurable Benefits?
        • Yes, for workers who occasionally or regularly need to access their resources from home, on the road, or anywhere.
    • Anywhere Access
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Yes - there is generally no effect on the local computer. Remote access may or may not be easy, depending on the device and type of connection.
    • Anywhere Access
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Somewhat: Applications like GoToMyPC or NTRconnect let you access your computer from any computer on the internet.
        • Applications like Office Anywhere let you access your files from anywhere.
        • Hosted Virtual Desktops are accessible anywhere.
        • Usage from mobile devices is always iffy.
    • Search Engine Marketing
      • What Is It?
        • Promoting your business via Google, Yahoo, Bing, and (more generally) the internet.
    • Search Engine Marketing
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • YES! As traditional advertising declines (newspaper, yellow pages, direct mail, TV, radio) advertising via the internet becomes more critical.
    • Search Engine Marketing
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Not really. There are multiple questions such as whether to focus on organic search or pay-per-click, which search engines to advertise on, whether to advertise in alternate venues like Facebook ads, banner ads, etc.
    • Search Engine Marketing
      • Are There Measurable Benefits?
        • YES! Customers, profits, fame, fortune, etc.
    • Search Engine Marketing
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Yes
    • Search Engine Marketing
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Yes, and improving constantly. Managed search campaigns run by SEM specialists use advanced algorithms to improve sales & ROI.
    • Social Media Marketing
      • What Is It?
        • Promoting your business or product through Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google Wave, and the general “zeitgeist” of the Internet.
    • Social Media Marketing
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • Only if you need more customers & a good reputation.
    • Social Media Marketing
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Not Really. In broad terms it’s “Getting people to say good things about you in social media conversations”. In practice, that’s harder than it sounds.
    • Social Media Marketing
      • Are There Measurable Benefits?
        • Customers, Profits, & Facebook Fame.
    • Social Media Marketing
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Yes
    • Social Media Marketing
      • Is It Available Today?
          • Very new, still being developed.
    • Managed Security
      • What Is It?
        • Similar to a Home Security System, a comprehensive, monitored system to keep your computers and data safe from viruses, spyware, spam, hackers, system failure, and other data loss.
    • Managed Security
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • Everyone wants to be secure, but few have the time to keep up with all forms of technology threats, so outsourcing this to a specialist can make sense.
    • Managed Security
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Yes - Let Someone Else Do It?
    • Managed Security
      • Are There Measurable Results?
        • Tricky - the best result is no result.
    • Managed Security
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Can be somewhat intrusive, but in a good way.
    • Managed Security
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Managed Security has been a staple of Enterprise and Mid-Sized businesses for years, but has only recently become cost-effective for small businesses.
    • Backup & Disaster Recovery
      • What Is It?
        • Protecting your data from loss due to system failure, theft, disaster, or intentional attacks, and providing a system to restore your computer systems’ functionality quickly during any critical system event.
    • Backup & Disaster Recovery
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • YES! Lost Data is a serious problem for businesses of all sizes, and advanced BDR systems can reduce catastrophic downtime from days to hours.
    • Backup & Disaster Recovery
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • Somewhat: Data is backed up locally and offsite, and in the event of a castastrophic failure a virtual server can be brought online in just a few hours (or less).
    • Backup & Disaster Recovery
      • Are There Measurable Benefits?
        • If catastrophe strikes it’s PRICELESS.
    • Backup & Disaster Recovery
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Yes - no noticeable effects.
    • Backup & Disaster Recovery
      • Is It Available Today?
        • Advanced BDR systems for the small business market were introduced in 2007 and are fairly well established today. In the future they may not be necessary in an “all-hosted” environment.
    • Managed Services
      • What Is It?
        • “ Health Care for Computers” - a plan from a 3rd party provider which is designed to reduce or elminate computer problems and system downtime through best practices and advanced monitoring.
    • Managed Services
      • Does It Fill A Need?
        • YES. It gives small businesses the same benefits as hiring their own CIO/CTO, at a fraction of the price. It also reduces downtime, stabilizes expenses, and can add new technologies to improve your business.
    • Managed Services
      • Is It Conceptually Simple?
        • YES. For your flat monthly “insurance payment” all your computer problems are covered.
    • Managed Services
      • Are There Measurable Benefits?
        • Reduced Downtime, Reduced Costs, Higher Staff Utilization, More Competitive Technology Platform.
    • Managed Services
      • Is It Non-Intrusive?
        • Managed Services reduce “intrusion” by elminating or reducing problems and unexpected downtime.
    • Managed Services
      • Is It Available Today?
        • On a Small Business level, Managed Services became mainstream in 2007 and are well established today. In the future Managed Services must evolve to include hosted environments and HaaS/SaaS solutions.
    • Conclusion: Small Business In 2014
      • What’s It Like?
        • Servers, Virtual Computers, and Applications are likely hosted away from your location.
        • Backup, Disaster Recovery, and Virus/Spam protection are assumed and built-in.
        • Most hardware & software paid through via a monthly OpEx charge, not a CapEx purchase(?)
        • All phone systems are VoIP-based and fully integrated.
        • Your “Computer Guy” will take a holistic approach to finding you the right hosted & managed solutions for you, AND in helping to promote your business on the internet.
    • But Really....
        • No One Knows!
          • Technology changes FAST, but Small Businesses like to stick with what works.
        • THANK YOU!
        • For more information, a copy of this presentation, or a copy of next month’s “Social Media Survival Guide for Small Business”, contact:
            • Jeff Berg, Computer Troubleshooters Las Vegas
            • [email_address]
            • 702-251- 3494
            • www.comptroub.com/downloads/futuretech.pdf
        • THANK YOU!
        • For more information, a copy of this presentation, or a copy of next month’s “Social Media Survival Guide for Small Business”, contact:
            • Jeff Berg, Computer Troubleshooters Las Vegas
            • [email_address]
            • 702-251- 3494
            • www.comptroub.com/downloads/futuretech.pdf
        • THANK YOU!
        • For more information, a copy of this presentation, or a copy of next month’s “Social Media Survival Guide for Small Business”, contact:
            • Jeff Berg, Computer Troubleshooters Las Vegas
            • [email_address]
            • 702-251- 3494
            • www.comptroub.com/downloads/futuretech.pdf