Many people, including small to mid-size businesses are struggling to pay over $150 for a copy of Microsoft Office. I agree that MS Office is the standard suite used for word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, etc but with more than 1 PC in every home, it is becoming expensive to purchase office suite for each PC or for small to mid-side businesses that require an office suite on each desktop and laptop.
Enter OpenOffice.org. A free Open Source Office suite with features rivalling MS Office suite. This free software is a gem and many people and businesses are unaware of this powerful suite. Give it a try and you will not be disappointed. In fact, you may just thank me for saving you money!!!!
For those of us that have gone through a hurricance have definitely learned a few lessons. The first lesson we learned was regarding Disaster Recovery and no matter how much preparation and testing you do, there are still a few lessons you learn when you go through the actual disaster which are quite unique. I am going to list a few lessons learned which are as follows:
* Employees not available as they were taking care of their families and securing their homes
* Mandatory evacuations causing employees including those listed on the DR plan to leave town
* Getting out of town could be difficult due to traffic jams
* Travel in and out of the office even before the hurricane can be difficult due to the road blocks and uni-directional traffic
* Long lines at gas stations
DURING AND POST HURRICANE
* Loss of power
* No communication (no cell service,no land lines, no Internet, patchy and delayed text messaging)
* No gasoline or electricity for extended period
* Limited access to the office building due to curfew and closures due to damage and debris
* Staff not available or accessible
* Curfew in town
* On the road hazards - downed trees, power line, debris, etc
Based on the above and lessons learned, here are some essential tips and tools that can help especially those that are involved and listed on the Disaster Recovery Plan
* Always keep a generator
* Wireless data cards for the time when there is no land line/DSL/Cable available
* Keep your laptop charged and with an extra battery
* Keep extra batteries and UPS
* Keep cell phones charged with extra batteries
* Buy a USB TV/Radio card. This was extremely useful to watch and listen to news when there was not electricity
* Keep gasoline cans and gasoline
By keeping the above in mind, your company and IT DR plans can be prepared with some extra provisions for the above.
As the offshoring trend continues to evolve, organizations have gotten smarter about the realities, expectations and limitations around offshoring. While the "offshoring" marketing buzz is still used freely, the more appropriate terminology for this evolving trend is "smartshoring".
Smarter organizations have realized the limitations around offshoring and have developed some finer and stricter controls around what belongs onshore vs offshore. Smartshoring also involves infrastructure management and sharing across global sites where security, costs, reliability, availability and collaboration are all factors that need to be considered and designed appropriately. With global collaboration, smarter infrastructures have to be deployed to provide reliable communication and across multiple sites.
The traditional development only offshoring has evolved into organizations with all functions being offshored including Sales, Product Management, Marketing, Quality Assurance, HR, Accounting, Support and Legal. With all these functions collaborating globally, the only path forward is to deploy smarter solutions and balance of resources both onshore and offshore, hence the term "smartshoring".
Welcome to COBAIT. We provide end to end IT Management and Technology services to small and mid size businesses. Why are we different from other IT services and management firms? We become an extension to your organization and provide you with complete IT management and not just IT technicians. We bring to you a CIO and the entire group a CIO manages including management services, Infrastructure services, desktop support, vendor management, budgeting, planning. In other words, we include strategy, management, design, implementation and running of the operations. We provide a true end to end IT and technology solution.
As a small to mid size business, you cannot afford a full time CIO on staff. We provide that service at a fraction of a cost without having to hire one. With experience of large fortune 500 company, we bring that level of experience to small and mid size businesses.
When you have to make a vendor or a software selection, who do you call today? We are that firm to call for help.
Rafey Kazi is the Partner & CIO and for COBAIT. Rafey is not only an executive but a Technologist who has been involved in designing, managing and running large operations including real time trading systems, global data centers and product teams across the globe.