3 Ways We Help Assess Your Assets

Upgrading your network and shopping for new technology can be a daunting task. Technology is expensive and it’s an investment that will help your business grow, but that’s only if you purchase what you need. A poor technology purchase can actually be a budget buster. To maximize your new technology purchases, it’s worth it to partner with IT professionals.
When you work with Michell Consulting Group to upgrade your network, the first step we will take is to get to know you really well. The better we know you, the better we can find you a technology solution that’s perfect for your needs. Uncovering the perfect solution requires us to take the time to develop a strong business relationship. Here are three things that we assess from your business through this relationship:
Your Business Needs and Goals
At the most fundamental level, technology is meant to help further your goals and make life easier. When shopping for new technology, it’s easy to overlook this fundamental purpose thanks to the clever ploys of marketing. Just because you are a sucker for marketing doesn’t make you a dummy. We all do it. We all go into the grocery store to buy one item and walk out with a cart full of junk we don’t need. If you run a business, then you are a marketer yourself and you know what to look out for, but that doesn’t make the display cases any less shiny. By having Michell Consulting Group help define your goals and clarify your needs, you will be more likely to end up with the technology that suits you best, instead of the expensive tech that’s the trendiest on the market.
Your IT Infrastructure 
You shouldn’t upgrade everything just because a friend told you that your technology looks old. Before you drop the cash on new tech, you are going to want to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Once Michell Consulting Group is familiar with the needs of your company, we can then assess your IT infrastructure to determine if each piece of equipment is meeting your needs. Taking the extra time to assess your assets will allow us to replace only the technology that needs it. Some of your older looking tech may be exactly what your company needs. If your judgmental hipster friend complains that your tech looks old, then you can tell him the IT professionals at Michell Consulting Group have given it a clean bill of health, and determined that it’s helping to increase your company’s revenue.
 
Plan for the Future 
When we get to know you, your company’s goals, and your IT infrastructure, we also take the time to understand your company’s projected growth. It’s crucial to make room for growth because one of the worst things you can do is spend money to upgrade everything, only to have to upgrade again within a year because your new technology was unable to keep up with the demands of your growing business.
A good technology assessment will take into consideration the future needs of your business for the next five years, and provide you with an IT infrastructure that will allow you to comfortably grow during this time period. A proper technology roadmap will also take into account that the using the right technology will actually cause your business to grow; even this growth needs to be accounted for and planned around. Upgrading your technology is a major expense for any business. There are a lot factors to consider that a casual shopper may be unaware of. Michell Consulting Group can advise your IT purchases to make sure that your technology works for you. Call us at 305-592-5433 and let us assess your assets!

5 Qualities of Influential Business Leadership

As a business owner, your position of leadership is crucial to the success of your company. If you’ve been appointed a leadership role, you are undoubtedly making key decisions and setting the tone of your office culture. You want to be a leader worth following.

The truth is, even if you don’t carry an official “leadership” position where you work, you are still influential. How you will influence is your choice. No matter what your role is, your attitude and choices will affect the people in your office. Make sure you are contributing to the direction of your organization’s leadership instead of detracting from it. If you do have an official “leadership” title, you’ll want to ensure that you’re inspiring your followers to actually follow. Here are five qualities of highly effective and influential leaders.

Vision

An effective leader knows where they are going. They ask themselves important questions about what they want to accomplish, what they’ll need to get there, and how they will measure success. Influential leaders never stop dreaming up new goals.

Conviction

After receiving a vision for their company, a good leader will wholeheartedly chase after it. Your employees will be able to sniff out if you lack passion for your work. In turn, this lack of conviction will trickle down to your workers, who will probably not be excited to serve your vision.

Generosity

An influential leader is a giving leader. Whether donating to charity or working a community service project, your followers will appreciate the fact that you’ve made giving a priority. Nobody likes to follow a Scrooge-like leader. Your generosity will inspire more giving.

Charisma

Make people excited to follow you by being excited yourself. After an encounter with a charismatic boss, an employee will walk away fired up to work for them, and will probably want to stick around longer to see more.

Gratitude

Influential leaders frequently extend credit to where it is due instead of hogging it all to themselves. An effective leader will realize that they can’t achieve their goals alone, and they reward the subordinates who work hard for them. Being in a position of leadership in your company can be extremely stressful, but it’s immensely important and rewarding. Be a leader worth following. What other influential leadership qualities have you noticed in effective leaders? Tell us in the comments.

The SAP Experts Symposium – Michell Consulting Group is Proud to Welcome the Brightest Minds Working with SAP

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, we had the pleasure to meet with our partners and learned about the market-leading products such as B1 Advanced Solutions, Shaperlight, DiCentral (Alligacom), and Valogix Inventory Planner. Michell Consulting Group was able to tie them all together to get the most out of their knowledge for the attendees’ business benefits. We were able to share real-world examples of how using SAP and the Certified Partners could increase productivity, profits, and customer satisfaction.

SAP Expert Symposium Agenda and Speakers:

  • 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration and breakfast
  • 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Welcome and Introductions, John Del Rio , Michell Consulting Group
  • 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Optimize the Value of Property, Plant and Equipment with Business One, Joe Lewis, B1 Advanced
  • 10:30 AM – 10:45 AM: Break (15 mins)
  • 10:45 AM – 12:00PM: Maximizing Profits: Best Practices in Inventory Planning Using SAP Business One, Tom Glacken, Valogix
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch and Networking
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Managed EDI for SAP Business One,  Rocco Nobile, DiCentral
  • 2:00 PM – 2:15 PM Break (15 mins)
  • 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM: Warehouse Management, Tim Singleton,  AchieveIT 
  • 3:15 PM – 3:30 PM: Break (15 mins)
  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: “Sharperlight – Simplified Business Intelligence”, Luiz Rizo, Michell Consulting Group
  • 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Q&A/Networking

Check out the pictures here!

 

Is a Paperless Office Possible?

We are doing business in a digital world. Technology has become so prevalent that the employee who pulls out a notebook at a meeting is now the odd man out. Yet, you will still find dated paper-consuming devices in modern offices like fax machines. Is it possible for an office to go completely paperless?

In theory, it is possible to use several digital solutions to alleviate our dependency upon paper and stop killing the poor trees, but in practice, going paperless is very difficult. Even with all of our digital advancements, paper consumption in modern offices continues to increase by 20% each year, and it has been estimated that the average office worker uses one piece of paper every 12 minutes.

What’s causing the Paperless Problem?

Your own desk may be testimony to this paperless paradox. You may have a smartphone loaded with paper-saving apps, sitting next to a pile of scrap paper that needs to be recycled. Across the room may sit your old fax machine, still churning out the occasional paper fax. Maybe the reason for this paradox is that digital advancements actually give us more ways to print things.

Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t print from your cellphone. Now, every new mobile device comes with wireless printing capabilities. If your fat fingers cause you to hit the wrong button on your device while reading a blog article, then you might walk by the printer and see that you accidentally printed it off and wasted paper.

Then there is the old mindset of “We need to keep a physical copy, just in case.” In case of what? Are you worried about a natural disaster taking out your power forcing you to dig up a copy of your credit card statement so you can pay your bill on time? This scenario is not very likely and its standard practice for major companies to keep thorough digital records of everything so you don’t have to keep a physical copy.

You Need a Paperless Plan

When it comes to successfully going paperless, you have to be deliberate in your paperless resolve. Going paperless requires changing habits, and habits are hard to change by simply creating a new policy that says, “From this day forward, no one can print anything.” To be successful, you will need to have a paperless plan, implement the best solutions, and train your staff on how to use them.

To implement the best paperless solutions, you will first have to identify what are the biggest paper wasters in your office. Your three biggest wasters may be your printers, fax machines, and your mail. You can replace your old fax machine with a fax server solution that will digitize all incoming faxes and send them to your e-mail’s inbox. After your new fax server solution is installed on your network, give yourself the satisfaction of forcefully disposing of your old fax machine…off the roof of your office building.

While you can’t eliminate letters that people mail to you, and you don’t want to if these letters contain checks, you can go out of your way to pay all of your bills online and encourage your customers to sign up for online billing. One way to encourage this is by offering your customers a discounted rate or another incentive if they sign up for paperless billing.

In regards to your printer, if you have the determination to try and do business without one, then we applaud you. However, for 99% of businesses, ditching the printers is not an option. If you commit to ditching your printers, then you will have to send all interoffice communications digitally. There are many different technologies that can be used for this. Another printer solution is to install a print server; this will allow the network administrator to better control who can print what, which will help conserve paper.

If you commit to a paperless office, then you will not only have to overhaul your office with new technology, but you will also have to commit to training your staff on how to use it, and work closely with them until you see changes in people’s paper consumption habits. Michell Consulting Group can help, give us a call at 305-592-5433 and let us walk you through all the steps you will need to go paperless!

 

The Heartbleed Fallout

Last week, the Heartbleed bug was identified as a weakness in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, potentially leaking two-thirds of the Internet’s secure information from any websites utilizing this encryption style. While most major websites such as Google, Yahoo, and Facebook released patches quickly, it does little to actually remediate the problem. Your data could have been leaked over the year-plus that the vulnerability could have been accessed. There is no way to know if it has been compromised.

Fortunately, there is one thing you can do to protect your accounts from hackers; change your passwords. But unfortunately, you probably have too many passwords to count. Unless you use a password manager such as Lastpass, 1Password, or Roboform, you will have trouble changing them all at once. It might take you hours, maybe even days!

We Need a Holiday

Tech writer Rafe Needleman suggests we make a national holiday, National Change Your Passwords Day, where everyone can take the day to change their passwords, and improve their Internet security in general. In fact, he thinks it should be a day off from work, and paid, too. If you think about the security of the entire world’s data, it only makes sense that the data is worth a paid day off from work. You can’t put a price on the security of your entire network. If something were to happen to your data, it could be catastrophic to both your personal identity and your company.

Needleman also discusses when he thinks this holiday should be; the transition from Standard to Daylight Savings Time. Most clocks are resetting themselves these days, and that’s a whole extra hour to change your passwords. He even suggests that they be changed twice a year, during the transition from Daylight Savings Time to Standard time, as well. While changing your passwords twice every year is far better than not changing them, you should probably change your passwords at least once every month.

We Should Make That A Thing!

This wouldn’t be the first time that something like this exists. Though it isn’t a paid day off from work, there is a day reserved for backing up your data called World Backup Day. It was just last month – March 31st. We can’t stress enough how important it is for your data to be backed up somewhere. If something happens to your information and it is compromised, or if a hard drive failure occurs, your entire company’s future could go right out the window. You do not want to take your company’s future so nonchalantly.

When it comes to your personal information and data, nothing is more important. It might not be a paid day off from work, but you should still take some time to change your passwords and to backup your data. Call 305.592.5433 and Michell Consulting Group can help you with both by being your remote IT consultant. We can backup your data for you as well as monitor your systems.