December 7th, 2009
Woman reviewing bills

We’ve recently been letting all our clients know the Small Business and General Business Tax Break finishes at the end of December.  So you only have a few weeks left to take advantage of this business tax incentive being offered by the Federal Government!

Eligible small businesses can claim an additional 50% tax deduction, and other businesses up to an additional 30%, for capital equipment purchased prior to the deadline. Read the latest press release here for more detail, and Evolve IT recommends seeking advice from your accountant or tax agent regarding eligibility.

Take advantage of the offer to get the technology you need now to help you:

• Reduce costs – New core technology allows you to do more with less, can reduce power costs and can lower the number of physical servers you may already have, creating a saving in ongoing support and maintenance.
• Work Faster and Smarter – New core technology can help provide your staff with the tools to perform their job better. From accessing information from anywhere, anytime to being able to collaborate on projects in real time.
• Improve Customer Experience – New core technology can provide an enhanced experience for your customers and provide you with a competitive edge.

Contact us now about making a strategic investment in technology whilst taking advantage of the Federal Government’s offer.

Follow me on Twitter: @claytonhm

Topic Articles
June 8th, 2009

A new study, “Understanding Growth Priorities of Small and Medium-sized Businesses” conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by services company Verio, finds that 83 percent of small-business executives are optimistic about their potential for growth once the economy turns.More than half of the respondents believe there will be a worldwide economic upturn by the middle of next year. One-quarter expect to see the global economy begin to recover by the end of 2009 and 34% anticipate a rebound by mid-2010.

An interesting insight from the study reveals the expected role of technology in the recovery. Approximately 57 percent of the executives surveyed “agree” or “strongly agree” that technology will be a huge deciding factor in their ability to emerge successfully from this recession. About 20 percent said they would invest more heavily in innovative technology to help them surpass their competitors.

Are you one of them? Give us a call and we’ll help you explore ways technology can help your company grow.

Related articles:

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Topic Articles, News
May 29th, 2009

article_australiaThe Australian government recently announced a new tax break for small businesses that could help defray the cost of acquiring new assets, as well as provide stimulus for growth despite tightening credit markets. The incentive, announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan and Small Business Minister Craig Emerson as part of the federal budget, boosts from 30 per cent to 50 per cent the amount that businesses with incomes under $2 million can deduct on equipment purchases over $1000. These purchases can include IT-related hardware such as desktops, laptops, servers, routers, switches, storage, and other peripherals.

To qualify for the tax break, small businesses need only to invest a minimum of $1,000 per asset, or combine their purchases to meet the minimum threshold. For example, a server purchased for $5,000 is eligible for a $2,500 deduction, in addition to depreciation-related expenses. A business purchasing two Netbooks for $500 each, with the deduction in effect only pays for one.

A few conditions apply to the tax break. First, the business’s annual income must be under $2 million. Businesses earning over this amount can continue to take advantage of the existing tax break of 30 per cent for eligible assets acquired prior to June 30, 2009 and 10 per cent for eligible assets acquired between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009.

Second, the purchased equipment must be new. However, in certain cases the tax break can apply to substantial improvements to existing assets, such as upgrades to the office network or new storage devices. Software is not included in the tax break unless it’s bundled with a hardware purchase.

Third, purchases must take place between December 13, 2008 and the end of 2009, and the equipment must be installed by end of 2010.

While the tax break will reduce the Australian government’s overall revenue, it is expected to preserve jobs and encourage growth in a sector of the economy that needs it most during these tough times, making it a great boon for small businesses. It’s also great news for IT hardware vendors and their VARs, who may see a boost in sales after fearing the worst from the global recession.

Related articles:

Published with permission from Source.
Topic Articles
May 28th, 2009

article_gogreenThese days there’s a lot of buzz about “going green” – helping preserve the environment, conserving energy, and looking for sustainable ways to grow the economy. The IT industry is doing its part as well, with “green computing,” which is basically computing by more efficient and sustainable means. You can get on board with some of the suggestions below:

  1. Save on energy, save on costs:A lot of today’s computing devices feature power management features and energy saving modes, thanks largely to US government efforts to develop energy-efficiency standards called Energy Star. This is a voluntary labeling program adopted by many vendors to clearly identify and promote their efforts in bringing down energy costs for customers as well as to showcase their own use of eco-friendly production processes and materials. When you purchase Energy Star products and make full use of their features, you not only help the environment but also save significantly on your energy bills.
  2. Reuse and Recycle:Consider retiring old equipment and replacing it with more energy-efficient models. Reuse what you can (such as RAM modules, cables, controller cards, and drives), and find a reputable recycler to help you dispose of remaining parts safely.
  3. Consolidate what you have:Be eco-smart about your purchases. Advances in technology such as machine virtualization now allow you to consolidate computing resources on fewer machines, such as all-in-one printers, saving not only upfront capital costs but also recurring operating expenses such as maintenance, space, power, and cooling. Over time this means less equipment goes into landfills, better utilization of resources, and more money freed up to apply where it counts – to growing your business.
  4. Do more with less:Instead of travelling, consider teleconferencing. Instead of hiring full time, onsite employees consider telecommuting arrangements. Not only do you reduce your carbon footprint by reducing transportation impact but also save a considerable amount of time and money as well.
  5. Outsource IT:For non-core elements of your operations, consider outsourcing, which leverages economies of scale by sharing resources among several customers without losing efficiency or effectiveness. For example, instead of hosting your own website, outsource it to a hosting service provider instead.

We have lots of ideas for going green at your office and saving energy costs along the way. Give us a call and we’ll be glad to share them with you.

Published with permission from Source.
Topic Articles
May 4th, 2009

Research conducted by SIS International Research and sponsored by Siemens found that small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with 100 employees could be leaking a staggering $524,569 annually as a result of communications barriers and latency. The study identifies these top five pain points, in order of estimated cost:

  • inefficient coordination
  • waiting for information
  • unwanted communications;
  • customer complaints
  • barriers to communication

In addition, researchers determined that the time spent per week dealing with communications issues was more than 50 percent higher in companies with more than 20 workers. In hard costs, your company could be losing up to half a million dollars each year by not addressing employees’ most painful communications issues!
The good news:  we can help you implement applications and services to greatly improve your inter-company communications, including collaboration tools such as email and shared calendards and address books, social media technologies such as blogs and wikis, and IP-based communication tools such as instant messaging (IM) and Voice-over-IP (VoIP). Call us today and let us help you stop this expensive leak.Related articles:

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Topic Articles, News
April 2nd, 2009

Janet Attard of The Business Know-How Blog posts 18 tips for small businesses considering outsourcing. She offers insight on how to get the best possible results from outsourced work. Among them:

  1. Know the results you want to achieve.
  2. Understand how long it should take to complete the work. (Ask others in your industry if you’re not sure.)
  3. Set a realistic time table for achieving results.
  4. Insist on all service providers and vendors document their work
  5. Offer feedback and praise

When it comes to your outsourced computer support and network management these are great tips to keep in mind.

Published with permission from Source.
Topic News
March 12th, 2009

Back in January, Jennifer had some great tips on growing and thriving in 2009. I want to revisit one of the main points she raised and a message I’m continually delivering to my small and medium business clients: You CAN create new opportunities, outperform your competitors and grow your business in this economic climate. You need to hunt now or risk being eaten!

Click here to read the rest of this blog on Small Business Daily.

Topic Articles
February 2nd, 2009

The_ROI_Series3_bigWhen an economic downturn starts to hurt, small businesses often hunker down and cut costs. But new technology solutions may be necessary for survival and growth—and they may not be as expensive as you think when you consider their return on investment (ROI). In this three-part series, we’ll review what ROI is, explain how an ROI analysis can help you save or make money, and provide guidelines for analyzing the ROI of a technology investment.

Part 3: Analyzing ROI

As we explained in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, today, more than ever, small businesses considering a technology investment should analyze not only the costs of that investment, but
the expected ROI as well. Unfortunately, few models exist to guide you through that analysis,
and with good reason: Determining ROI involves looking at many components, then applying those components to your particular situation.

Doing this requires making many choices, so first, let’s look at the things one must consider—from both a cost and benefit perspective—when considering the ROI of a technology investment.

  • Your existing technology infrastructure. There are few companies without existing technologies in place—and any new solution will need to work with these systems to be effective. There will likely be costs associated with the new technology’s impact on existing systems—but there will also be benefits. For example, a new technology might offer more efficient automation of workflow or improved information collection, storage, and access.
  • Your business processes. A new technology can clearly improve your businesses processes as described in Part 2 of this series—by reducing downtime, improving productivity, and lowering costs. But implementing the new technology will likely involve training staff in using the technology—and that can have associated costs.
  • Your external relationships. Finally, no business is an island: Your systems may link to customer and vendor systems. As a result, any new technology may impose constraints or require changes of external organizations or individuals—in the way information is delivered or received, for example.

To solve this puzzle, it can be helpful to ask three different but related questions about the technology solution’s cost,effectiveness,andefficiency.

  • Cost: Can you afford the technology—and will it pay for itself? To answer these questions, you’ll need to know the cost of the solution itself and the monetary value of the resources used to implement it, measured in standard financial terms. You’ll then compare the dollar cost of all expenditures to the expected return (in terms of the projected savings and revenue increases). You may need to project the cost and return over a multi-month or multi-year time span in order to show a payback period.
  • Effectiveness: How much bang for your buck will you realize? Now the analysis becomes more complex. Analyzing the effectiveness of a technology solution requires you to look at its costs in relation to how effective it is at producing the desired results—in essence, to expand your measurement of ROI beyond cost savings and revenue increases to include performance relative to your company’s goals. To do this, you’ll probably want to look at unit cost or activity cost.
  • Efficiency: Is this the most you can get for this much investment? Finally, you’ll want to ask whether the technology will produce the greatest possible value relative to its costs. That can present difficulties, as it will require you to conduct a similar analysis on many alternatives, perhaps simulating the performance of the alternatives in some way.

These three types of measurements differ in several ways. While the first is based simply on
Financial metrics—i.e., cost in pure dollar terms—the other two include production output metrics, including the quality of goods or services and customer satisfaction. These production output metrics may even extend to employee morale, or in the case of some companies (such as manufacturers of “green” products or non-profits), social or political benefits.

All of these measurements, however, help you answer the same basic question: whether an economic downturn is a time to reduce technology spending, or a time to examine priorities
and decide which technology investments will pay off in the long-term.

Published with permission from Source.
Topic Articles
February 2nd, 2009

When you have to lay off staff, software-as-a-service can often make up the difference, especially in sales and marketing.

Every business wants a hot niche, and Starr Tincup had one. In 2003, the Fort Worth marketing and advertising startup decided to cater to software makers in the human resources industry—and quickly signed 20 customers. Then the growing pains set in. By 2005, staff had ballooned to 80 from 4, plus more than 200 contractors. But revenues were just $2.5 million, and soon Starr Tincup was $500,000 in debt. SaaS made the difference in the turnaround.

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Topic News
January 20th, 2009

When the toner runs out of the printer in your office do you run to change it or do you cringe, shaking at your desk, just hoping some other poor soul has to change it before you do?

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Topic News