Transforming the branch office

Transforming the branch officeWe all know how important the branch office is in its role to attract, service, increase revenue and, importantly, retain customers. The branch office is very often the face of the corporation, so as can be expected, staff are the most important aspect for the success of this department. Yet, without a reliable and efficient infrastructure, these staff members will struggle to maintain a high standard of support for your customers, both new and future. Legacy infrastructures are becoming more of a hindrance as they grow more and more out of date, yet without spending time with the staff who have to work with them, we can miss problems that may be having a big affect on the way your branch offices run. Perhaps it’s time to have a think about what it’s like to work within a branch office with aging infrastructures:

For staff members using an ageing IT infrastructure, the office  can be a really frustrating place; problems logging in, painfully slow accessing files, unreliable printing forcing them to “turn it off and turn it on again”, failed backups and lost data files, the list goes on. Whilst head office may suffer from these problems, they are particularly common for staff based in branch/satellite offices yet they often aren’t fortunate enough to have  IT staff on site.

The worst of it is that these branch offices have likely been set up with the specific objective of improving the overall customer experience, yet having staff tearing their hair out due to repetitive IT issues  is almost certainly not going to have the desired effect. If these are problems familiar to you and your business then it might be worthwhile considering the HP Branch Office Solution.

A Converged Infrastructure brings together IT silos into pools of virtualised assets, shared by many applications and services and the HP Branch Office solutions takes this one step further and enables branch office employees to enjoy the same fast and reliable access to data and applications as workers at the main office. This superior user experience includes use of data, voice, video and unified communications as well as collaboration tools to provide a fully integrated and above all reliable infrastructure.

If you’d like some more information on options available, then take a look at HP’s – Transforming the Branch Office whitepaper, or you can call one of our specialists on 0870 429 3010.

The First Printers to Support Google Cloud Print

google_cloud_printI’m quite sure that people sitting in their offices 20 some years ago could only dream of the technology many of us have available to us now – flat screen displays on virtually every desktop, laptops and tablets so thin and light they look like something from a sci-fi movie. Undoubtedly back then they would have believed that with all this fantastic technology at our fingertips the “paperless office” would surely be a reality – but I’m sitting at my desk right now surrounded by paper. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I have to confess to being one of those people who likes to print things off, highlight paragraphs and adorn it with my own illegible scribbles. So yes, all of the technology has helped to reduce the amount of paper we use, but at the end of the day we still want the odd piece of paper to clutch in our hands from time to time. However, one of the biggest disadvantages with printing is that most mobile devices aren’t able to print to a local networked printer, or an internet-connected printer – that is, until now …

Google Cloud Print allows you to set up your home or work PC to accept print jobs from a mobile device or a Google Chrome netbook from around the world. As long as the device is linked to your Google Cloud Print account, you can print to your home or work printer wherever you have an Internet connection. It can do this because instead of storing the printer driver on your computer, Google Cloud Print stores it in the cloud. This means you can print from a device regardless of which OS it’s using. Good news for printing from your mobile device.

HP’s portfolio of web connected and cloud-aware ePrint printers are the first to support Google Cloud Print, making printing from any web, mobile or desktop app that supports Google Cloud Print a cinch. Apps supported by the Google Cloud print today include Gmail for Mobile, Google Doc for Mobile and Chrome OS, but expect many more to follow as the service becomes more established.

To see all the ePrint enabled printers available at BT Business Direct click here

Are the conditions ripe for starting a business in the UK?

Propelled by the launch of the Government’s new Startup Britain initiative, there’s a real feeling in the air at the moment that the UK needs to be encouraging entrepreneurship.

An article in The Times by LastMinute.com’s founder Martha Lane Fox calls for an increase in the number of digital start-ups in the UK and suggests that young people should be more encouraged to enter start-up businesses via apprenticeships and internships, as the plus points include close contact with inspiring senior directors.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman lists his ten rules for entrepreneurship. He believes business founders should aim to change an industry with the introduction of a product or service, rather than thinking on a small scale.

And over on Business Zone, the founder of Business Forum, Richard Osborne, has been offering advice on running a small business, suggesting that automating processes and creating a strong brand image are essential to getting up and running.

While it seems there are plenty of inspiring mentors out there willing to share their advice, some of the reactions to Startup Britain have not been quite so rosy, as the comments in this Real Business article suggest….