This is, word for word, what a customer recently shared with our team.
Stripping away industry hype, what most end-customers are looking for are business solutions.
Most likely that solution is business hosting of applications, communications and other services, and the smaller the company, that solution becomes increasingly more appealing. It is difficult for a small business to invest resources-in terms of headcount and capital-into technology, which paradoxically is essential for the business to prosper.
Often the idea of "outsourcing" is thought of as solely the province of large companies. However, businesses in the US with fewer than 100 employees actually employ almost 40 million people in the United States. These enterprises today have access to business hosted applications and services that are equivalent to the tools the largest companies are using: email, customer relationship management, accounting, project management, collaboration and many others.
Save on Capital Costs
Business hosted solutions are based on a subscription business model that does away with up-front capital outlays, the need for internal IT expertise, and continual upgrades. Customers pay for exactly what they consume each month, particularly useful for businesses having significant seasonal fluctuations in employee or contractor numbers.
Sharing of information between employees as well as external parties is critical. Business-hosted applications like Exchange email, SharePoint and Office Communicator provide the means to share documents, calendars and other collateral. They allow you to hold an impromptu meeting with voice and video while avoiding the cost of conference calls or travel. It's possible, today, to add a complete unified communications (UC) solution that fully integrates business applications and telephone and includes a very competitive calling plan.
Work From Anywhere
Business hosted applications allow for true location transparency, since you can work from anywhere with an Internet connection. Similarly, you can connect with your cell phone or other device. With workforces moving to telecommuting and an increasing number of professionals rarely coming to the office, hosted applications provide the same user experience-regardless of where you are. No need to establish virtual private network (VPN) connections, since all data is encrypted by default.
The bottom line
Finally, small and mid-sized businesses can avail themselves of technology that reduces costs and increases productivity, at less than the cost of the average cell phone bill.
Tell us what you think
How will Unified Communications drive your business? What are your expectations?
Recycling is for more than plastic and cans. Not using the documentation that is hiding somewhere in your organization is wasteful, and conservation is really trendy right now.
The raw material is already there
You have training you need to develop and you know, somewhere in the recesses of your organization, there has to be material you can leverage for it. But, you have no idea where to find it. Many people end up reinventing the wheel for the same result, costing organizations time and money.
There are plenty of content management systems out there that will gather content and organize it. But, how does it know the audience, their location, the right delivery for the right student?
The key is to put a trained eye to the stack of training documentation, product specifications, whitepapers, presentations, graphics and Help files to put all the puzzle pieces together.
The Content Architect Process from implement.com
Here's a process we've used that has helped many training organizations get solid training plans together, keep costs in check and keep the training team from pulling their hair out.
There is a special hybrid of training and technical writer out there that I call "Content Architects". These people have an uncanny talent. They are able to walk into a business they have little specific background in and go through a series of discovery steps.
They know how to glean the information they need in order to organize content and provide direction on any gaps. These are special people who tend to have a lot of interesting facts to share at cocktail parties too.
I've been lucky enough to work quite a bit with these folks over the years and have found they are invaluable to clients in need of a true content partnership. They are that missing piece, the trained eye, that can truly help bring your content library into focus.
What we have done for many of our clients involves a few simple steps:
- Discovery. Depending upon the client, this can be as simple as a series of interviews and access to the storeroom. This is that important "getting to know you and your business" piece that gets us the global view of what is important to you, your students and your boss. It helps guide us to the end goal or objective.
- Viability. Identify if the proposed training addresses a current pain point in your organization or if there are career objectives for the student. Does your existing content meet these needs?
- Definition. Which elements of the proposed training work and which do not? Is an instructor-led, classroom training the best route? Or, is a self-paced environment more in line with what your students need? Are there gaps in your library that need to be filled or are updates necessary?
- Plan of Action. The final step pulls all these pieces together, creating a useful design document and a solid curriculum plan.
At the end you not only have a clear, organized curriculum plan in place, but an exceptional writer who can deliver the polished product who understands your business from the 400-foot-level...oh, and a great addition to any cocktail party.
Let's hear from you. What content is locked up in your organization, just waiting to be found, designed and built into a Valuable Training Content System?
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At implement.com, we realize that your clients are under pressure to innovate in response to an ever-changing IT landscape. That's why we're excited to announce our acceptance into the Technology Adoption Program (TAP) for Microsoft Exchange 2010.
The TAP was created to evaluate the partner and multi-tenant hosting capabilities of Microsoft's new product version so the company can (1) get early product feedback and (2) ensure that its features are fully capable of managing real-world scenarios.
So, why is this important to implement.com clients? It's great news, for several reasons.
- Since deploying Exchange 2010 RTM is not supported in a hosting scenario, we want to be ready to deploy Exchange 2010 in a fully supported scenario-so our clients can be comfortable with our hosting solutions.
- Due to our unwavering customer commitment and our dedication to solidifying an already-productive relationship with Microsoft, we were one of only a few companies chosen for the TAP program.
- Because of our affiliation with Microsoft and our opportunity to be among the first providing Hosted Exchange 2010 in a supported environment, implement.com remains at the forefront of the hosting world. That's good news for us-and great news for our clients.
The TAP program is widely recognized within the IT sector, which is just another reason why the implement.com team is excited about working closely with Microsoft.
Not only will we get a hands-on preview of Hosted Exchange 2010's revolutionary features-but we'll also be able to assist our clients in benefitting from its strategic business implications.