In modern business environments, we are more reliant on technology than ever before. With so many automated and digitised systems being used, outages are no longer minor inconveniences, but potentially devastating events that can drain IT resources and dramatically affect a business’s bottom line.
IT outages are impossible to eliminate completely – so a business’s best bet is to be well prepared when the worst happens.
With a well-considered plan in place (preferably in conjunction with your email service provider), a business can minimise the duration and impact of email outages and get back up and running as soon as possible.
Downtime is your business’s nemesis, and the consequences are far-reaching and potentially long-lasting. These are just a few of them:
- Lost business opportunities. Whether B2B or B2C, downtime will interrupt your transactions with potential clients. Online purchases, requests for quotations, funds transfers – all will grind to a halt if your network fails.
- Lost productivity. IT services are essential for your employees to work, and in today’s hyper-connected workplace, downtime can have a domino effect that can bring overall productivity to a standstill. This is an even more serious issue in highly competitive industries, where time to market is crucial to the success of a product.
- Lost confidence. Even your long-term customers and partners will eventually lose patience if your downtime is affecting them as well. This will lead them to seek out other options, and with your closest competitors only a click away, they will quickly find them.
Solution: Have a plan of action in place that will allow your business to limit the duration, and minimise the impact, of any crises that lead to IT downtime.
Step 1: Verify Contact Information
It is vital to ensure that there are open and effective lines of communication between your IT department and your email service provider, so that email outages can be addressed promptly, and status and alert notifications via SMS or other channels can be received from them.
Step 2: Configure the Service Monitor
Service monitors take snapshots of important email delivery queues and continually check the status of your email system. This early warning system will let your IT department know if emails cannot be delivered or are slow to be delivered.
If you have partnered with a continuity specialist like Mimecast, it is important that your service monitor is properly configured prior to an outage.
Step 3: External email archival
Email archive solutions, such as those supplied by Mimecast, are designed to save copies of all inbound and outbound mail to a location that will be unaffected, should your premises experience a power outage.
Make sure to confirm that your emails cannot be deleted, altered or lost, and that they will be kept for a long period of time. It is also useful if the users in your business can login remotely and access copies of their emails if and when they need to.
Step 4: Make sure you have a reliable Domain Name System
DNS issues are responsible for a great number of email outages. If your DNS is slow or badly maintained, it is more likely to cause email failures, so choosing a reliable DNS provider is critical to preventing outages.
Due to the reliance on DNS for sound email flow, it is recommended that you are familiar with your DNS configuration and hosting services. This enables you to plan for and make changes quickly if required.
Making The Case For FTTH With BDCOM
Successfully making the case for FTTH with BDCOM, Miro offers tangible solutions when deploying last-mile fibre connectivity through cost effective PON technology.
As a service provider, deploying a fibre network may seem daunting, expensive and unappealing; this stems from the capital expenditure required, as well as the added risk of the civil work needed during application. With the gaining popularity of fibre amongst various sectors; from service providers, to the end-users who demand high-speed internet, the demand for fibre is only gaining continuous traction; from the rising use of video-streaming platforms, to the ever-stable demand for reliable connectivity solutions, both for business and home use.
Given these facts, as well as the lingering hesitancy of expanding with fibre, the possibilities of this much desired optical connectivity can be realised through PON. Passive Optical Networks are currently transforming the face of last-mile fibre deployments. A world where sending data happens at the speed of light is now tangible at a tenth of the cost with PON. All the advantages which arise from optical fibre are now available in a cost-effective solution.
The demand for cost-effective, last-mile fibre solutions are also increasing due to the high bandwidth requirements of households and businesses; the large expenditure on active equipment and the on-going challenges of delivering high-capacity internet in densely populated areas are only some of the existing concerns. These, amongst other challenges faced by service providers, are accelerating the interest in deploying fibre optic networks to provide higher bandwidth delivery, reliability and lower latency levels.
The hesitancy of deploying fibre within a service offering stems from the myth that a fibre roll-out, especially in last-mile applications, can be a great expenditure in terms of infrastructure and operating costs. This myth can now be proven false with our FTTx solution from BDCOM.
The solutions available with PON (Passive Optical Networks) have been proven to reduce installation cost by up to 70% with the use of simple reflective devices, known as splitters.
Related: Embracing Technology For Business
PON, completely negates the need for active equipment (such as switches, boosters etc.) because it allows the light, to be reflected towards the intended receiver (ONU) which then talks back to the light source (OLT) which is situated by the POP (Point of Presence). PON take up less physical space and consume less energy than traditional Ethernet because of the reduced number of active equipment. PON deployment costs up to 50% less than Ethernet, this includes components, labour as well as materials. The requirements for cooling are also less than with Ethernet, offering the client a saving on their utility costs.
Furthermore, fibre optic cables have a lifespan of up to 50 years as opposed to the 15 year lifespan of Ethernet copper. By analysing these facts, PON technology is arguably the only cost-effective solution to a fibre roll-out because of the major decrease in deployment and maintenance cost; therefore, there is also no surprise as to why it has become increasingly embraced by hospitals, government agencies and universities, amongst other industries.
For more information on the best last-mile PON solution for your fibre application, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced sales team; introducing you to the possibility of FTTx, together.
The Future Of Fleet Management Is Now
Power up your fleet management and make even smarter business decisions with the new WEBFLEET. WEBFLEET is the award-winning Software-as-a-Service fleet management solution from TomTom Telematics, designed to provide you with the data needed to help your field operations become more efficient, more productive, safer and more profitable.
An improved interface and enhanced features mean WEBFLEET is now more powerful than ever before, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere on any screen. Find everything you need to help save on fuel, maintenance and administration costs, while delivering the quality service your customers demand.
It has already delivered proven results for customers across the globe and is powered by continuous innovation, meaning it is ready to grow with you and your organisation as goals and challenges change. Discover the future of fleet management now and help give your business an edge on the competition. Request a demo and find out more at telematics.tomtom.com/webfleet/landingpages/launching-the-new-webfleet.
If You Want Scale, Fail Fast And Learn Quickly
Mindset, focus and an understanding of scale are essential if you want to build a highly profitable, growing business.
“The secret to scaling a business is increasing revenues without incurring a corresponding increase in operating costs,” says Tom Asacker, author of The Business of Belief, Opportunity Screams, A Little Less Conversation and A Clear Eye for Branding, all groundbreaking books that redefine business and communication for the new age of abundance. “The single most important challenge is to have a deep understanding of your value creation and customer attraction and retention process, as well as how the company will ultimately make money over time through the unique realisation of that process.”
According to Howard Sackstein, founder of Saicom Voice Services, scale used to be measured by the number of people you employed or the number of branches you opened. “Today, these questions have become irrelevant,” he says.
“When Whatsapp was sold for $19 billion the business had only 55 employees servicing 450 million users who were sending 34 billion messages a day – that’s a tiny company with enormous scale. So, today scale has come to mean something very different. In the new economy, scale is about scalable technology, how do we build software and apps that can cater for a billion users? The ideas of lots of employees and lots of offices has become old fashioned.”
The problem is that scale comes with costs and that’s why money is often the enemy of entrepreneurship. “Many of the great businesses of the new economy all began in garages, a small group of people, each with real skills each trying to bootstrap an idea to see if it worked,” continues Howard.
“Often people go looking for funding; there’s a problem there too though – they scale too fast once they receive the cash and ultimately they fail because they have too much money. Entrepreneurs need to start small and if they fail they must fail fast. They need to test the market and grow incrementally to prove their idea. Once the idea has achieved a degree of adoption and has ‘crossed the chasm’ of technology adoption, only then can you start thinking of scale. And today scale means few costs, few employees, and tech that can scale to a mass market.”
Your Mindset is Everything
Your mindset while scaling is critical. “Value creation, customer attraction and your retention process are the result of every decision you make as an entrepreneur,” says Tom. “Your mindset shapes how you make these decisions.
“Every rand spent should be to add value in the eyes of the customer, or to improve the process that delivers that value, through automation, distribution, channel partners and so on.
“If businesses aren’t hyper-focused on adding value and deepening relationships with customers, someone will come along who will. If that happens, whether or not that process produces rapid growth is beside the point.”
Howard believes that follow-through is also essential. “So many people really want to build empires,” he says. “But how do you measure your success? Is it the number of employees you have, the number of companies, your disruptive influence on the market, revenue or actual profitability?
“You really need to decide this up front and that will affect your strategy. I probably have an old school mentality, but for me profit is everything. I don’t really understand the idea of focusing on scale with no business model in the hope that on an exit someone will find value. I know that’s a common idea in the tech world and you could get lucky by following it, but I think there are few people with that degree of luck – build for profit and sustainability, build as lean as possible and keep your eye on the actual ball.”
See Howard Sackstein and Tom Asacker live at the fourth Secrets of Scale event, which will be taking place at the MESH Club in Rosebank on Monday, 11 June. Buy your tickets online here: www.qkt.io/secretsofscale
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