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Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Protecting Point of Sale Systems from Costly Downtime

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Point of Sale SystemWe do work for several restaurants and retail stores here in Phoenix, Arizona. These shops are all using windows based point of sale systems. While the software and database that run on the computers to transact credit card payments and process menu items are highly customized and supported by the franchise in most cases, the underlying operating system and hardware is not.

We have learned a lot about these systems and can say with certainty that the biggest issues we have run into are lack of proper backups and lack of spare hardware. When a point of sale system goes down for a store, especially a busy store, it is NO FUN. Employees need to process payments manually by hand and write out paper receipts. As you can imagine, the slowdown at the register does a lot to aggravate customers and employees alike. But there are three things that you can do as a retail store business owner to minimize downtime in the event of a system crash.

1. Perform regular system maintenance

Hiring a firm like my PC Techs to regularly maintain your equipment each month can save you from several hours worth of headache and hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales. Our technicians will visit your store and examine your systems for irregular performance. System errors, faulty hardware, failing hard drives, botched OS updates, and corrupted data can, in many cases, be identified and corrected before it becomes a larger problem. Dust can be cleaned out (the largest cause of hardware failure), and parts inspected. Unnecessary programs can be removed and system performance improved. The best part of this scenario, the repairs can be performed before or after regular hours, so customers never experience delay.

2. Perform regular, complete data backups

Usually during the same time as the system maintenance, our technicians can perform a complete data backup of all of your POS systems. This is important. When a hard drive crashes, you want to get your system back online as quickly as possible. To rebuild an entire system, restore data from on off site repository, and get all the hardware and software working correctly could take many hours. With a complete system backup, it could be as simple as popping in the right piece of replacement hardware and running a 30 minute recovery.

3. Identify and build an inventory of replacement parts

When a system failure happens, recovery time can be improved considerably when the right spare parts are kept on hand. Rather than buying hard to find computer equipment online, and waiting for it to be shipped, a replacement part can be obtained from storage and quickly installed to replace the broken component. That part can later be replaced to storage, so you always have a backup on hand for the next time disaster strikes.

When you think about the security of your data and your ability to transact business, keep in mind your local computer experts and ways that they can work with you to help improve the reliability of your computer operations. For help with the maintenance and emergency support of your POS systems, contact my PC Techs today. (602) 456-0150.

Global IT Spending Set to Rise

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

From InfoWorld:

IT spending has shown some hefty recovery after the economic travails of previous years. According to research from IDC, global sales of software and hardware have recovered from the low point of the recession and, consequently, the analysis company has revised its spending forecasts for the year.

According to the research, services expenditure is set to rise two percent, software spending by four percent and hardware spending by a whopping 11 percent. IDC is projecting an overall increase in expenditure of six percent.

Read more http://www.infoworld.com/d/the-industry-standard/global-it-spending-set-rise-947?source=rss_infoworld_news


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Grow Your Business NOW Through Effective Business Networking

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Growing your business in this tough economy can present overwhelming challenges, especially if your approach relies on outdated marketing techniques. Despite economic indicators showing signs of rebound, the recovery is projected to be slow and difficult, and it appears that all of us are in the same boat. We will face increasing competition, reduced sales, and a shrinking number of prospective leads for some time to come.

With less income and reduced savings, it is very important for you to take a detailed look at how your marketing budget is being distributed. It is important to make every cent count in order to generate the biggest possible bang for the buck. While very few marketing opportunities can match the high impact and low cost of internet marketing, one strategy stands on a comparative level – business networking. Most business owners learn very quickly that word of mouth is one of the highest impact, lowest cost, and most effective forms of marketing available. Unfortunately, most do not know how to employ effective techniques to capitalize on this fact.

You want to put yourself in front of qualified prospects, and these days there are several hundred business networking opportunities available in the Phoenix, Arizona area alone. The choices are daunting and include dozens of business mixers, social events, leads groups, chamber of commerce events, business lunches and more each week. How can you sort through the clutter to find networking opportunities that represent the best ROI? The scope of information can quickly lead to overload, and at the end of the day you may find that you’ve invested a lot of valuable time but have gained very little result. To network effectively, you need to do more than just pass out business cards that will most likely later be thrown in the garbage.

Structured business networking offers several benefits that will help you maximize income and results in a minimal amount of time. Key features to look for in a highly effective, structured business networking event include:

  • Exclusivity for your category, where competitors are not allowed to market products to your network simultaneously and drown out the effectiveness of your message.
  • A sense of obligation between participants, where other network members are recognized or rewarded in some way for their referrals to your business.
  • An opportunity to develop relationships with participants, where other members are encouraged and provided the opportunity to learn more about, and care about, your products and services.
  • A good supply of local business and community leaders, where members have some significant impact in the community and are in a good position to serve as a strong source of unlimited referrals for your business.
  • Quality control. Your networking group should have methods in place to properly verify each member for the highest possible integrity and quality of services. Businesses that cannot be verified as offering a superior quality of service should be excluded, ensuring that businesses you refer to your friends and colleagues will do a good job for you.

Most networking opportunities out there today fall short in at least one, or more, of these critical areas. Are you wasting valuable time and money with a buck-shot approach to marketing, instead of focusing your efforts to achieve greater results with less cost? As you can imagine, establishing your business as a quality services provider in a network of well-connected community leaders who are dedicated to your products and services can work wonders for your income potential. You will find yourself, over time, with a team of highly effective sales professionals working together to help you achieve success.

Tempe Professionals LeTip is one such structured business networking event and provides high quality business networking facilities for members based primarily in Ahwatukee, Chandler, Phoenix and Tempe. Member attendance is required, only one participant per business category is allowed, and members are expected to provide tips and remain loyal to their base. Relationships are formed amongst members through frequent, structured meetings.

There are other groups out there similar to Tempe Professionals that provide structured, effective networking. Chapters are usually established to focus efforts on a particular region, such as Scottsdale, the west valley, and more. If you find that the Tempe Professionals meeting area (in Chandler) is far away from your business location, contact me and I can help put you in touch with a similar chapter located near you.

 

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Resilience Entrepreneurship

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Great advice from David Wee, very positive and encouraging advice for those who have been hit hard by the recession:

Click here to read about Resilience Entrepreneurship


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