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Small Businesses: Focus On VoIP and Mobility
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By Russell Morgan

Small businesses need to stand out in today’s marketplace. Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance’s 2006 Small Business Technology Outlook provides important information on some vital technologies for business communication in 2006.

Common Problems
Our research revealed that small businesses exhibit common behavioral patterns regarding technology. For example, managers are so busy running their businesses that they fail to develop technology strategies and plans. They often pay for services they don’t need--while not buying what they do. This hurts productivity.

Rather than spending your technology budget on frivolous accessories, a mobile office and Internet-based phones can streamline your operations and reduce your long-term expenses.

Solutions
Heading into 2006, many solutions exist to meet the current needs of your small business. (See The Ideal Office for topics our research reveals is top of mind with small business owners.

Every small business owner should pay close attention to three technology areas: mobility, voice over Internet telephone (VoIP) and e-mail. A focus on these will give your business a combination of improved efficiency, growth and protection you require.

In each of these areas, there are specific, affordable solutions that you can easily implement on your own or with the support of an industry professional.

Mobility
Many employees want to work from home or have access to critical information while traveling. Mobility refers to two things. On one hand, it is full access to applications. On the other, it is comprehensive integration of data with home office and travel systems. In a crowded marketplace, mobility makes your company more nimble than the competition and improves client satisfaction.

• Cut the cord. Mobility exists within as well as outside the office. Office mobility will reduce expenses associated with office moves and additions. Those savings could be invested in a business travel program.

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Russell Morgan is the president of the Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance
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