As a small business owner, you undoubtedly have a lot on your plate with the day-to-day operations of your company. Finding time to manage the technical side of the business can seem like a daunting task.
However, outsourcing your IT needs can be equally intimidating. How do you choose the right IT company for your business? What IT services are essential, and which are simply nice to have?
In this article, we will take a closer look at the most popular and mission-critical IT services that you need to operate your small business to help you identify your business needs and choose the best IT small business solutions for your company.
Total IT Management
Technology acts as the nerve center and the beating heart of any business. However, if you are like most business owners, technology is probably not in your main wheelhouse. Running the day-to-day operations of a successful and thriving small business means that you already have plenty of important tasks that require your time and attention. You don't have time to spend your day making certain that all of the technology that makes your business run smoothly is optimized and functioning as intended.
Hiring and retaining a dedicated in-house IT team can be cost-prohibitive for most small business owners. The obvious solution is to partner with a third-party IT management company. The key is to find an IT company that provides the full scope of IT services. This allows your small business to operate as if it has a dedicated in-house IT management team without the expense of actually employing a full-time staff of IT experts.
ALFA offers Total IT Management. When you partner with ALFA for your small business IT solutions, we provide a well-trained, professional team of IT experts to manage, maintain, and support your entire IT infrastructure. ALFA is also able to provide a hybrid IT management and IT infrastructure solution in which a portion of your company's servers or services are hosted through our data centers, while other services and equipment are managed on-site at your facility.
Network Design And Infrastructure
Your network infrastructure is the nerve center of your IT system. When your network goes down, it can be incredibly costly in terms of lost productivity, lost contact, failed communications, and unhappy customers. All of these negative factors can take a big toll on your business's bottom line in a short amount of time.
To avoid network downtime, or at the very least, keep network downtime to the bare minimum possible, choose an IT company that offers solid network design and network infrastructure monitoring services.
ALFA provides reliable, managed, and professional IT consulting services to help businesses take control of their network infrastructure, helping to reduce costs by minimizing downtime and helping you avoid the costs associated with the loss of productivity that occurs with network or infrastructure failures.
ALFA provides 24/7 Network Monitoring services to ensure that your network is always functioning at its full capacity. Our team of experienced Network Infrastructure pros will scan your network regularly to identify any irregularities or potential failures before they have a chance to slow or stop your network. This constant scanning process allows our engineers to act proactively to immediately identify and correct any network slowing issues before they can take down your entire network.
When you choose ALFA as your IT Management partner, you will get our 24/7 Network Infrastructure Monitoring Service, including constant monitoring of all aspects of your network by our expert monitoring team based in the US. Our professional Network Monitoring teams use the Accepted Performance Criteria and more than 200 sensor types to ensure all aspects of your network are monitored. We maintain a complete map of your network at all times, and we store historical maps to use as a reference to note when and where changes to your network have occurred.
Our comprehensive Network Monitoring system is designed to generate alerts before emergencies occur, helping to avoid costly outages and allowing us to fix any problems before they impact your business. Best of all, our alerting system allows for flexible alerts that can be sent via email, SMS, and other means of communication.
In addition to catching potential issues and failures, the ALFA Network Monitoring team will also monitor your bandwidth and keep you informed as to who is using our network, when they are using it and for what purpose. We will provide you with in-depth reports that cover a wealth of monitoring metrics and provide essential insights that quickly highlight areas that may require your attention.
ALFA Network Monitoring Service will keep your network up and running smoothly while reducing the need for you to employ in-house resources to conduct time-consuming activities such as monitoring disk space, services, and processes.
Computer Equipment Sales, Leasing, And Repair
Your time is valuable, and downtime costs your company money. Look for an IT company that provides responsive computer and equipment repair services to help ensure that your important equipment is always ready to perform. Of course, computers do age, software and hardware become obsolete, and parts break down. When this occurs, your IT company should be prepared to sell or lease you the new office and computing equipment you need to keep your business up and to run.
ALFA Business Solutions are ready whenever you need them. ALFA's local computer and office equipment service team is available to respond to all of your equipment servicing needs whenever they arise.
As the rate of cyberattacks, viruses, malware infections, and data breaches has increased steadily year over year, it is more important than ever before that your business employs a company-wide cybersecurity protocol. Because one wrong click or one malicious phishing email can cost your company millions, every employee in your company needs to be properly trained in the mitigation of the latest cybersecurity threats. This can be a full-time job for even the smallest business. For this reason, it is vital that you choose an IT company that provides comprehensive Network Security and Cybersecurity services.
ALFA Network Security Service protects your company with a full suite of security services for firewalls using our Advanced Gateway Security Suite and Gateway Security Services that offer real-time protection through the employment of anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, intrusion prevention (IPS), and application intelligence and control protocols. ALFA's Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) makes use of automated remediation through cloud-based sandboxing to defend your business network from zero-day attacks, while our Content Filtering Service allows you to manage your employee's ability to access inappropriate, unproductive, malicious, or potentially illegal web content. ALFA Network Security Service even helps to protect your inbox with our Comprehensive Anti-Spam Service that filters out and removes junk email at the gateway before it gets a chance to clutter up your company inbox.
VoIP Service And Support
Communication is the key to any successful business operation. VoIP phone service is the gold standard of affordable and reliable business communication technology. VoIP phone services allow you to communicate with staff, partners, and customers using your local network internet connection or your cellular provider's network. VoIP communication services allow you to communicate with anyone from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Simply link your IP-enabled phone to any internet connection from anywhere in the world and use your VoIP phone number for true business mobility.
With VoIP communication services, you are able to receive calls to your VoIP number from anywhere in the world. Best of all, you can use the same VoIP numbers to make calls from anywhere in the world, so customers are always able to recognize a familiar number wherever you are calling from. VoIP communication services allow you to stay connected with your home office team and your customers while you are traveling or working remotely, which saves everyone the frustration of playing phone tag.
VoIP communication services are not just convenient; they can offer your business a level of communication security and reliable continuity that is unmatched by traditional phone service providers. Be sure to choose an IT company that provides comprehensive VoIP communication services.
ALFA VoIP managed communication service is designed with built-in redundancy and no single point of failure, and we spread our secure data center locations out in geographically dispersed sites around the world so that you are guaranteed that if one site loses communication ability, your communication can still be routed through the remaining data centers to ensure continuity. Because much of the hosting process for ALFA VoIP managed communication service takes place in the cloud, you can use the service dashboard and any internet-connected device quickly and easily remotely reroute communications from locations that may be experiencing downtime or other issues to unaffected offices or remote workers anywhere in the world. This means that no matter what life or mother nature throws at your business centers, you can keep communication and customer service flowing.
ALFA Business offers a comprehensive VoIP managed communication service which can save your business as much as 70% off your current company phone bill. ALFA VoIP Managed Services offer a full suite of communications features for far less than you would pay for the same features provided by traditional phone service.
For example, with ALFA VoIP Managed Service, you can expect the traditional communication features like call forwarding, call waiting, conference calling, call recording, and call monitoring PLUS extended features and services like voicemail to email transcription, warm and cold call transfers, an automated attendant, call analytics, and hosted fax services.
Data Backup And Recovery
We have all been there. All it takes is a moment of inattention, a spilled drink, a leaky roof, or an act of nature, and suddenly that proposal you have been working on for days or that 10-page report you just compiled is gone. The loss of important data is not only stressful for you and your staff; it can seriously undermine your customer's confidence in your business. When choosing an IT company, look for an agency that not only provides secure data backup services but also makes it easy for you to get your lost data back regardless of whether the data loss is the result of a small mishap or a catastrophic loss.
ALFA Data Backup and Recovery Service makes it easy to get your lost data back so that your business stays on track. ALFA Data Backups are stored in temperature-controlled facilities protected by Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and on-site emergency backup generators. Access to our secure data storage centers is tightly controlled using biometric scanners, electronic key cards, and PIN codes, so you can rest assured that your sensitive data is in safe hands.
Most importantly, your data is always available for recovery when you need it. Regardless of whether you need to restore a single file, a folder, or your entire system, simply log into your data backup and recovery account, click the "Restore" button, and follow the simple step-by-step recovery process that will have all of your files back to you in no time. ALFA Data Backup and Recovery Service even has you covered when it comes to accidentally or maliciously deleting files. We will store your deleted files on our secure servers for 30 days. During this time, you can recover the lost file right from your PC through your account dashboard. If you are using a Windows operating system, you can also take advantage of ALFA's versioning feature, which will allow users to roll-back changes made to files within any three-month period.
While businesses began the process of switching to a paperless system decades ago, progress has been slow moving, and we still have a good distance to go before we reach a truly paperless society. We are definitely on our way, and great strides have been made in the use of business automation technology and digital scanning that has definitely moved us closer to the ultimate goal. The final stretch is in sight, and today's modern customer expects to complete most processes digitally. This means that your business needs to be prepared to manage digital documents alongside your paper documents. As we progress even further in the digital revolution, you will want to have an IT management partner that is able to offer secure and innovative document management services.
Document management software is the first rung of the document management ladder. Document management software allows you to receive, track, manage and store documents digitally, reducing the amount of physical paperwork that your business must produce and store. Document management software also allows your company to gain insight and understanding of how documents move through the chain of production, including information about when documents are opened, how many times each document is opened, who opened each document, as well as any changes that each user may have made to each document. Using this knowledge, administrators are able to activate access features to better monitor and control who is able to view and edit important company and customer files.
Administrators can also use the informative reports generated by the document management software to monitor and adjust the company workflow. Workflow management tools allow administrators and managers to better delegate tasks and ensure that documents are directed where they need to go so that work can be completed without a large number of redundant steps and wasteful excess document production.
As an added bonus, ALFA Document Management Software works hand in hand with ALFA multipurpose printers to allow administrators to track how many times and where each document is being printed to help avoid wasteful printing practices by directing different types of printing jobs to the most appropriate printing equipment.
Document Shredding And Storage
Because we are still a long way from achieving the goal of a fully paperless business environment, your business will still need to contend with the secure storage and disposal of paper business documents. While document shredding and storage is not a typical IT management service, it will be a big benefit to your business to partner with an IT company that provides this service so that you can keep all of your document management services under one umbrella.
ALFA Business Document Storage Service offers a secured and organized archiving service for all of your important documents to protect your most sensitive and vital business information. By storing your physical documents in ALFA's secure document storage centers, you can free up valuable real-estate space in your facility for more productive uses.
When you are ready to purge expired documents or documents that are no longer needed, you need a secure method of destruction and disposal that ensures that the sensitive data contained within those documents is not able to be viewed by unauthorized persons and does not fall into the hands of bad actors.
ALFA Business Document Shredding Service offers a secure, efficient, and cost-effective document shredding and disposal service to safely purge your unwanted documents. We will deliver secure shredding containers to your facility. Simply fill them up, return them to our secure document shredding site, and rest assured that your documents are being securely destroyed and disposed of properly. ALFA Business Document Shredding Service will always provide a Certificate of Destruction for added confirmation that your sensitive documents were destroyed in compliance with industry safety regulations.
Contact ALFA Today!
ALFA Business offers a full suite of small business solutions that go far beyond business IT management, document management, and document shredding and storage services. Contact our team of professional business consultants today to learn how a partnership with ALFA Business can benefit your company. We are here to help you succeed!