Search Marketing Should be a Top Online Marketing Priority for Your Company

Because the competition for customers is so fierce today companies need to do all they can to get themselves in front of perspective clients. The Internet has created great opportunities to do this but there are so many choices it can get confusing and difficult to determine which option to select. Leading options include email marketing, social media marketing and search marketing. Each can be effective when used properly, and companies with tight budgets must often select one in which to place their efforts. A case can certainly be made for each option but there is little doubt that search engine marketing should be the first choice.

What is Search Marketing?

Search marketing is an umbrella term for Search Engine Optimization and (SEO) which creates traffic to your website utilizing unpaid or free listings and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which consists of purchasing traffic utilizing paid search listing. The combination of the two create a powerful marketing strategy for attracting customers to your website.

SEO

SEO is the process of utilizing a set of constantly evolving strategies that help a company position its website high on the top internet search engines. The goal of every company is to be on the first page of a Google search. SEO is the right way to do it.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing refers to using paid search to position your company on a search engine. A company can purchase paid listings that will appear at the top and in other strategic places on a search page. SEM will include: the following:

  • Paid Search Advertising
  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Pay Per Call
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Cost per Thousand (CPM) SEM For Beginners

Combining SEO and SEM provides companies with a complete strategy for optimizing search marketing. Too often companies will only invest time and resources in SEO and bypass SEM, however top Search Marketing firms like Click Consult can demonstrate why a strategy that includes the two disciplines is the smartest way to go. .

When done correctly search marketing is extremely effective, sending a steady stream of customers to a company’s website and providing the company with data that is key to making its online marketing more effective.

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Data and Analytics Play an Important Role in Digital Transformation. Here’s Why.

 

The world is forever evolving and changing. New technologies are being developed, behavioural patterns are changing, and businesses with the desire to avoid extinction have to evolve along with everything around them. As a result of modern technology, access to information is easier than it has ever been. Through digital innovations like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and many others, customers now have access to a wealth of information about whatever business or service they’re searching for. This raises the bar for existing businesses (adapt or lose everything).

Digital transformation involves restructuring existing business models, strategies, processes and so on, to suit consumer needs using current technology. The important thing to note about digital transformation is that it is consumer-focused, aimed at giving the consumer the best experience possible, while also making managing operations easier for business owners (CIO from IDG).

Consumer behaviour is constantly changing, and, as a result, organisations have recognised the need to shift from data generation to being data powered. Today, data and analytics are used to identify behavioural patterns through extracted data, analyse said data and use the results to improve business processes (Techopedia). Qualitative and quantitative data are gathered simply through using web analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Open Web Analytics, Clicktale and many others.

Data and analytics are important to digital transformation, as they are key aspects of strategy development. Different aspects of every business produce data, and some aspects provide a larger amount of data than others. As your business produces data, your competitor’s business also does the same. The difference in both cases lies in the goals of each organisation, how data is interpreted, and how the results acquired are developed into strategies that can help improve business processes and operations (Centric Digital).

One of the beneficial aspects of data and analytics, relating to digital transformation, is machine learning. Machine learning involves getting computers to learn and act like humans, by feeding them data and information in the form of real-life observations and interactions. This helps in making more intelligent and informed decisions. For example, selecting alternate routes to avoid traffic, in turn preventing the late delivery of goods or products.

Analytics help companies understand the data at their disposal and help them make better business decisions, resulting in decisions with benefits such as cutting down maintenance costs and improving business operations (Search Business Analytics).

Cloud platforms are also agents of digital transformation, which do not make access to information easier for just the customer, but also for the organisation and its employees. Cloud computing is built around hardware and software that can be accessed through any web browser. They store information and programs for businesses, which can be accessed through a secure connection (iomart).

Analytics in cloud computing involve activities such as tracking social media engagement and statistics.  Analytics deal with a large amount of data which requires plenty of processing power and storage space. Cloud computing thus possesses the space to hold large amounts of data, while also making data accessible from remote locations. This is what makes cloud computing and data analytics a great fit (Forbes).

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Everything You Need to Know About Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a division of Amazon best known for serving up a massive online marketplace for just about everything. In a Forbes article, Jason Bloomberg noted that “AWS is reinventing what it means to be a software vendor for all the markets it serves, including consumer, developer, SMB, and enterprise.” If you’re looking for a powerful cloud service provider, you’ll find that AWS is one of the most innovative and expansive options available with a growing suite of web tools that go above and beyond the standard offerings.

The Basics of AWS

Image via Flickr by magerleagues

At its core, AWS is a cloud computing service that gives business owners the computing power they need with remote storage and maintenance. AWS delivers powerful functionality that’s designed for flexibility and scalability. This service offers all the benefits of any cloud storage provider along with a host of other perks. AWS offers a serverless reference architecture for everything from the Internet of Things to web apps to image recognition. AWS has also announced services that will expand into artificial intelligence, databases, and more.

Helpful Training and Certification Services

Amazon supplies a comprehensive suite of digital training services to help users understand all the features of AWS. You can enroll in free courses, develop new technical skills, and validate what you’ve learned for AWS certification. This is an outstanding offering as the full functionality of AWS is far too expansive for a new user to grasp without seriously studying some of the innovative new technologies that have rolled out with this service.

Reliable Security

Cloud security has long been a major concern for business owners as they transition to this business approach. AWS secures its data centers with network firewalls and uses in-transit transcription across all services. Using the service’s provided tools, users can trace the who, what, and where of calls for maximum visibility. Businesses can also incorporate their own security layers and mobile threat defence within AWS for additional protection on top of what’s already available.

Powerful Scalability for Computing

AWS Lambda is a computing service that enhances the capabilities of AWS, allowing you to run code without provisioning your own server space for the activity. AWS Lambda responds to user requests and provides the necessary capacity and infrastructure to run your code on a per-use basis. This means that you don’t have to supply an abundance of servers for prospective users who may not begin using your code immediately.

AWS Lambda scales seamlessly, so you’re prepared for anything from a slow start to a sudden rush of activity. You pay only for the compute time that you consume and pay nothing when your code isn’t running. This functionality is a key example of how Amazon’s web services are structured to streamline your business activities in the most efficient way possible.

Whether you’re looking for convenient cloud storage or access to a serverless application repository, you can find the features and functionality that you’re looking for with AWS. Designed to serve as a catch-all for all your cloud needs, this solution is meeting its goal admirably.

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Are Your Products Flowing Smoothly? : Supply Chain Management is Important to Your Business

Most people in business recognize that supply chain management is crucial to their success, profitability and customer satisfaction. There are numerous benefits to ensuring your supply chain is properly managed and serves to provide a structure to your business that is efficient, productive and progressive. There is also the fact that as business has become more competitive in recent years; it’s now harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. Supply chain management is integral to achieving this as it provides a solid structure from which to offer a high-quality service to your buyers.

Here we take a closer look at the distinct advantages of good supply chain management:

Improves Customer Service

Everyone knows that the customer is king when it comes to business and delivering good quality products, goods or services in an efficient and cost-effective way, ensures repeat business going forward. Customers want to know their orders will be delivered to the right location at a time that is convenient to them and without having to wait too long. Ensuring your operation is streamlined to deal effectively with individual orders will keep your customers happy and more importantly, make them come back for more.

Reduces Operating Costs

Your supply chain is as important to your retailers and suppliers as it is to your business. Keeping a close eye on product inventory in terms of stock and distribution should be well managed as part of your supply chain strategy to ensure consistent and smooth flowing fulfillment of orders. If you have a product that is particularly popular at any given time, your supply chain should be set up to make sure there’s enough stock at outlets to meet demand. If your supply chain is efficiently managed, you can significantly reduce your operating costs.

Improves your Financial Position

An efficient supply chain is often a good way to streamline costs and boost cost-effectiveness of your operation. Naturally, it goes without saying that if you are making savings in one area of your business, you’ll notice a corresponding increase in revenue. Good supply chain management protects your business from overstocking and wastage and consequently boosts your bottom line.

Increases your Cash Flow

A good supply chain is responsive to orders as they arrive, so that they are fulfilled within the quickest time. Obviously, if you can get your goods to your customers in ten days rather than twenty-eight days, you can invoice them sooner and benefit your cash flow.

How to Achieve Good Supply Chain Management?

You understand how your business works better than anyone and also the buying behavior of your customers too. In order to understand how to best organize your supply chain, you need to undertake some supply chain analytics, to help you create a clearer picture of how you can best serve your customers by improving your supply chain. The difference between good and bad supply chain management can mean the success or failure of a business and so this is an aspect that requires closer attention.

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3 Ways O-rings Revolutionized the World

O-rings are tiny, but their importance is immense. The global gasket and seals market, worth $59.73 billion in 2016, will be worth $97.16 billion by 2023, with demand driven by growing automobile use and electrical and electronics applications, according to Stratistics MRC. As this illustrates, o-rings wield significance out of proportion to their size. Here’s a look at three ways the o-ring has revolutionized the world.

Empowering Aircraft

Early prototypes for the o-ring involved round, rigid rings used for purposes such as sealing sliding telescope tubes and pistons, says TheInventors.org. Today’s o-ring design was invented in 1933 by Danish-American inventor Niels Christensen, who had previously invented an airbrake system for electric streetcars. Christensen discovered that he could create a tight piston for a seal sliding in a cylinder by using a rubber ring set in a groove one-and-a-half times the length of the ring’s minor radius. After several years of perfecting his invention, Christensen applied for a patent in 1937, and received one in 1939.

In 1941, Christensen licensed his patent to United Aircraft, which planned to use it to seal off hydraulic cylinders used for controlling airplane components. But following Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government seized the rights to patents deemed critical to the war effort. Christensen received a lump sum payment of $75,000, later supplemented by an additional $100,000 payout to his heirs. His invention was shared with other military contractors, and the o-ring passed into widespread use in the aircraft industry and other industries.

Today the aircraft industry continues to use o-rings for hydraulic systems that control plane components such as brakes, landing gear, and wing flaps. Manufacturers such as Apple Rubber make specialized o-rings in over 8,000 different sizes and a wide range of materials for use in the aerospace industry and other applications.

Improving Automobiles

After World War II, o-rings came to assume an important role in automotive design. One of the most important functions of automotive o-rings is sealing fluid in braking systems. Braking systems use synthetic oil and operate under temperature conditions that can range from -40 degrees F to over 300 degrees F. O-ring materials used for braking must be able to resist temperature and chemical changes under these conditions and retain their shape and stiffness. For this reason, o-ring manufacturers use innovative types of synthetic rubber to ensure that automotive o-rings retain their properties during vehicle performance.

O-rings are also used to seal fluids in automobile lubrication circuit and air conditioning systems. As with o-rings used for braking systems, choosing the right material is essential for seals used for lubrication and air conditioning. The most common cause of air conditioning refrigerant leak in air conditioners is o-ring failure, which can hurt system performance, ice up evaporator coils and cause compressors to overheat, which can require expensive replacements. Choosing proper o-ring materials can help avoid these issues.

Allowing Undersea Exploration

O-rings have also helped make undersea exploration possible through SCUBA diving. Prior to the invention of the SCUBA tank, divers were limited by their ability to hold their breath or by the need to remain connected to air hoses linked to air pumps on the surface. In 1925, French naval officer Yves Le Prieur conceived the idea of omitting surface air pumps by equipping divers with a portable oxygen cylinders borrowed from tire manufacturer Michelin. Le Prieur’s invention represented the first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA). However, Le Prier’s SCUBA supplied oxygen constantly, so tanks became empty quickly.

To allow more diving time, French naval officer Jacques Cousteau hit upon the idea of combining Le Prieur’s SCUBA tank with a breathing regulator that would only supply air on demand. In 1943, Cousteau tried out his invention, which he called the Aqua-Lung. The Aqua-Lung became the first practical, commercially-successful SCUBA tank, opening the way for modern diving and undersea exploration.

To keep air contained and supply oxygen on demand, today’s SCUBA tanks rely on o-rings in three key locations. One o-ring is placed in the neck of the tank, helping maintain a seal as air flows in and out of the tank. A second o-ring is placed in a valve called a pillar valve, which controls air flow in and out of the tank. The pillar valve connects the tank to the regulator that supplies oxygen to the diver’s mouth, which also has an o-ring. These o-rings allow divers to stay underwater longer and go deeper, enabling us to learn more about the ocean.

 

 

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Electronics for Beginners: Launching a Lucrative Hobby at Home

Electronics makes for a fascinating hobby. It’s not difficult to get started, nor is it too expensive, and you can soon find yourself creating all kinds of things either for fun or to use around the home. You could even turn it into a lucrative hobby by making a side business out of it.

So how should you get started?

Here’s a quick guide to the basics you need in place to get your electronics hobby off the ground and start making fun and useful things at home.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

You’ll need to get a lot of equipment and tools before you can start making anything interesting, but these are all easy to get and relatively affordable.

A soldering iron is one of the most basic tools you’ll need. You will use the soldering iron to solder parts onto the PCB or solder parts together. Start with getting just one, but if you get more serious in your hobby, you might want to invest in a couple, such as one for thicker wires and one all-purpose solder. And you’ll also want a de-soldering tool as well so you can remove components.

A prefabricated PCB is a necessity. This is easier than making one yourself and they are not expensive. You can use them for creating simple circuits up to about 100 components, which is perfect for getting started.

A Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) is a semiconductor device made of Configurable Logic Blocks (CLBs). This allows you to change a design after the device has been soldered onto the PCB, and you can find a wide variety of these online at sites like RS.

A wire stripper is another essential tool. You’ll be stripping a lot of wires, so you’ll want to get yourself a good one. You’ll also want to get a set of pliers for cutting wires.

A VOM/DMM (which stands for Voltmeter Ohmmeter and Milliampere Meter and Digital Multimeter) is essential for any hobbyist. It is used to measures thinks like the ampere, voltage, and resistance.

You’ll also want to get a sharp knife, either a penknife or a cutter, which you will use regularly.

Take Your Safety Seriously

Before you start, always make sure you take safety precautions and learn about the risks. These can range from burning yourself with a glue gun to electrocuting yourself with a capacitator, so be careful. Also remember to turn off all your devices before you work on them.

Learn About Components

You will also need to learn about components to enjoy a successful electronics hobby. You can do this on a course, from books, or just from practice. The most common include capacitors, resistors, inductors, transistors, and diodes. Learn the basics, find out what they all do, and then start practicing with them.

Learn Some Useful Techniques

You will also want to learn a variety of basic techniques that you will use on a regular basis, and using a soldering iron is one of these. Read up about it, go on a course, or watch YouTube videos to find out how to do it properly.

Other techniques like using a breadboard (which involves constructing a circuit without soldering), how to use a glue gun, and how to use a multimeter are also essential skills.

Start Up Your Hobby from Home

These are some of the basics that you will need to know to start up a fun and rewarding electronics hobby. As long as you have an interest in making things and finding out how things work, you will love playing around with electronics. So find a suitable space to work, invest in the basic equipment, learn some techniques, and have fun.

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Power outages are temporary but the damage might not be- Insure the future of your property with a UPS system

power-poles-503935_640

 

Given the day and age in which we live, it is absolutely safe to assume that regardless of our occupations, we all have some type of electrically powered service that we would hate to lose. A lot of businesses today rely on data which is stored as digital information on large computers. Similarly, networks use large server rooms to house all the physical servers which host thousands upon thousands of ideas, notes, identity’s and overall information. Of course, it’s not all about computers. We could be talking about other power dependent gear  that can suffer a lot from a power outage.

Depending on where you’re sitting when a cut in power supply occurs, it could be a bummer, problem, or downright tragedy. If we’re talking about a large organization, a cut from electrical power can result in a sever loss of productivity that in the end translates to losing a lot of money.

Here’s where UPS systems come in. Just to clear the air, UPS stands for uninterruptible power supply or source. The purpose of these systems is to provide temporary backup for a power depended appliance/system/machine, so that virtually no downtime occurs in the case of a power cut from the main source. Keep in mind that UPS systems are different than backup power solutions in the sense that they are not designed to substitute a main power source, but rather to keep things going for a short period of time until the backup solution intervenes. Thus, UPS systems only hold enough power for a couple of minutes usually.

You can think of them as the hand you put over a leaking hole until you can strap a piece of tape in place, before cementing the hole. Or in other words, we are looking at the intermediate between the main solution and its backup. While it doesn’t sound all that critical the way it was portrayed just now, UPS systems have a crucial role in keeping systems running at all times. When the main power source goes down, it only takes the slightest instance before the UPS saves the day.

This both a productivity insurance mechanism as well as a safety precaution. When we say safety, we mean for both machine and potentially the user. Computer components often times get burnt due to power outages, while other situations make it dangerous to be left without a power source. When human lives are in danger.

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Tech Success: Top Apps for Managing Your Workers, No Matter Where They Are

tech-success

Not long ago, businesses only needed remote employee management plans when they employed traveling sales reps, site-repair crews, delivery drivers and other road warriors. Today, with the Internet enabling desk workers to work out of home just as effectively as they might out of the office, telecommuting is common. Remote work has grown 80% over the past decade.

Every business that allows such flexibility needs a plan; telecommuting employees still need to be managed, and they still need to collaborate. If you’re beginning to set up a telecommuting program at your business, it could be a challenge in the beginning to find the right tools. There are apps that every business with remote employee management needs should explore.

Remote desktop software

When members of a team are spread out as they work on a project, nothing can bring them together as effectively as a shared screen. Many businesses make do, rigging up videoconferencing apps for the purpose. While these allow passive screen-sharing, however, participants on call are unable to make changes on shared computer screens. This is where apps such as TeamViewer come in.

TeamViewer works on every major mobile and desktop platform, and allows participants to actually use a shared computer as if it were their own. Not only does TeamViewer help make teamwork efficient, it helps with troubleshooting needs, as well. An employee with a computer issue can always call on support from colleagues headquarters. A tech who is able to look at and operate a device remotely is able to offer effective help.

Meeting software

Skype for Business is often improvised for online business meetings. Businesses employing these non-specialized software applications, however, miss out on a great deal. There are better ways to go about meetings, when one has access to custom-built applications. Specialized meeting apps such as Click Meeting offer features that businesses need — offline messaging, reliable connections, and webinar ability, among others. Multilevel meeting features are an important plus — they allow higher management in the middle of large, mixed meetings, to retreat for discussions.

Cloud storage

Just as remote desktop software helps employees who are geographically spread out, to get together and share their work in virtual conferences, cloud storage allows them to bring their resources together. When employees routinely save everything that they do to the cloud instead of a local drive, every piece of work that employees may create, or every file or resource that they may need, is always within reach. From Amazon Cloud to Dropbox & Asset Bank, several cost-effective alternatives available.

Apps that help with logistics

When telecommuting workers need to actually travel to the office, a number of mobile apps help smooth the process. Weather Live Free, the weather app by Apalon Apps, helps foresee weather problems, Parking Panda helps find and reserve parking spots, Gas Buddy helps locate cheap gas, Card Munch organizes business cards, and Sign Easy helps with document signing needs.

Innovative technological solutions such as Cezanne HR and the others mentioned above can really help these help businesses realize the productivity efficiencies promised for telecommuting.

Jordan Greenwood runs a tech company and has remote workers dotted all over the globe. He writes about how technology has changed the world, running a business with it and much more besides.

 

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The importance of digital backups in modern business

The importance of digital backups is demonstrated by sudden disasters such as fire
Photo by CC user 60026579@N00 on Flickr

Big data is the new competitive advantage so it is crucial that you manage your critical assets effectively by archiving and backing up data to the cloud. Data and technology are now woven into every aspect of modern business and the global economy. It enables enterprises to drive value and revenue via analytics and business intelligence and informs key decisions across every industry, day in, day out.

However, as the importance of data to business grows, so does the impact of errors, fires, floods, failures and other disasters that result in data loss. As a result, the importance of digital backups cannot be overstated.

Digital backups

Digital backups are an essential component of any effective IT strategy, especially in today’s data-driven business world. It is vital for business continuity as you will be able to access important files and sensitive information if the original copy is lost. Digital backups are hugely popular with small and medium enterprises and large organisations as they enable CIOs to transfer data in an encrypted format to a data centre.

Simple and intuitive

Digital backups are always fully automated, which means there won’t be any user intervention and you can decide whether to make a full backup or restore single files via a few simple clicks on a connected device such as a desktop computer or mobile. Recent research by McGladrey & Pullen shows that more than half of the enterprises that suffer a major data loss do not recover and have to shut down within two years so it makes sense to prioritise a digital backup plan.

Class-leading tech

Building an onsite data centre and server room will give you full control over your data and provide the best possible security for it. It will also enable the enterprise to leverage data more effectively and support your critical daily IT activities. Other benefits include additional data visibility and accessibility plus reduced latency and failures. A server room fit out could transform your data analytics and digital backup capabilities.

Digital backups benefits

Cost: Digital backups eliminate the need for time-consuming methods such as tape, which are not feasible for the fast-paced digital age.

Compliance: Digital backups can help you to meet increasingly stringent regulatory and compliance regulations related to data.

Mobile: Digital backups can be completed anywhere, at any time at work or on the move.

Protection: Fully encrypted backup, storage and recovery provide the highest levels of protection for data for enterprises.

Recovery: Data can be recovered via any device with an internet connection and you will get access to it immediately, which reduces the impact of downtime.

Scalable: Digital enables you to scale your backup requirements depending on your particular needs and requirements.

Support: Management and monitoring of digital backups can be completed via an intuitive interface in a quick and simple manner.

Data governance

Data governance and digital backups are intertwined as the latter enable enterprises to ensure that their data assets are managed effectively throughout the enterprise. Data governance is essentially a quality control discipline for all the data you have access to and how you manage, monitor, maintain and protect it. Establishing a digital backup strategy is a critical means of supporting these endeavours and ensuring data won’t be lost or stolen.

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Does a Small Business Really Need IT Support?

Does a small business really need IT support? They might.
Photo by CC user Marko Puusaar on Wikimedia Commons

If you are running a small home business, the chances are you still have an accountant. Most new entrepreneurs realise quite quickly that keeping their accounts and filling out there tax return accurately is not as easy as it seems on paper. Many try to manage in the first year, by which point they see the wisdom of hiring a professional to take care of this aspect of their business. Does a small business really need IT support? In many instances, they could badly use the assistance of third-party tech specialists.

IT support firms do offer packages that are suitable for SMEs

Yet when it comes to IT support, most small business owners never give it a second thought. Unfortunately, it takes a disaster to make most of them see things in a different light. Many entrepreneurs struggle on looking after all of their technology themselves.

This is partly because they do not realise that they can actually get help, for a low cost. Many business owners wrongly assume that because they only have a small network that IT support firms will not be interested in supporting them.

In the past, this would have been true. However, these days it is easy for a small business owner to find IT support in Leeds, and other large cities.

The IT support industry woke up many years ago to the fact that by focusing only on big companies they were ignoring a huge potential market. In the UK, a phenomenal 99.3% of private companies are classified as small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs), employing between 1 and 49 people. As a result, a lot of IT support firms now target small businesses, and tailor their service and prices to meet their needs.

Why you need IT support

Letting someone else look after your IT needs brings many benefits to a business. Top of the list is improved security.

By keeping your hardware and software up to date, and following proper protocols you can keep your data and that of your customers safer. A good IT support package will include regular updates, and help with setting up robust and safe protocols for your network and equipment.

There is a tendency for small business owners to believe that a cyber attack could never happen to them. Sadly, these attacks are becoming more common, and shockingly some firms never recover after an attack. There are profitable businesses out there that are folding following data attacks. You can read more about the level of the problem, and the terrible affect being hacked has on a small company on this page.

More time for you to invest in your business

Letting someone else take care of your IT needs can really free up time. There is no longer a need to take the morning out, to set up your new laptop, or update your kit. Someone else can take care of all of that for you, leaving you free to focus on growing your business, and serving your customers.

Help when things go wrong

The other great thing is that you can get expert help when things go wrong. There is no longer any need to spend hours digging around the internet trying to work out what is wrong with your system.

You just have to pick up the phone and talk to an expert who will know immediately what the issue is, and how to fix it first time. This allows you to get back to doing what you need to serve your customers, as soon as possible.

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