Cloud-Based File Storage Programs Enhance Business Collaboration, Safety and Simplicity

 

It’s become quite clear to us how valuable collaboration is to the health of a business in today’s marketplace. Today’s businesses cannot afford to have staff waiting around, in order to get access to the tools they need, so they can do the job.

As businesses grow from small teams to larger organizations, there is a growing need to communicate and collaborate effectively. The problem that central data storage solves is that it gives everyone on the team the ability to immediately retrieve, backup and share mission-critical files in real-time. Salespeople no longer need to wait around for support staff to send them follow-up files for customer contact. Managers can instantly access subordinate data in order to make sure that work is getting accomplished. In sum, everyone can get what they need, when they need it, wherever they are, without having to wait on other people.

 

When evaluating cloud-based data storage services, two primary concerns for businesses are security and ease-of-use. One of the pioneers of cloud-based data storage, Dropbox.com, is clearly a simple-to-use solution, yet they lack in security. According to Business Insider, “Nearly 7 million Dropbox usernames and passwords have been hacked, apparently via third-party services that hackers were able to strip the login information from.”  This security breach has huge implications for other off-the-shelf data solutions in that they lack the foundational feature of data storage technology; it must keep your company data safe

 

The second key factor is to examine a solution’s simplicity and ease-of-use. With many providers data storage can be set up at a secure physical location and a central file repository can work well within the confines of an office. Unfortunately, this falls short for the “71 percent of businesses who require technology that enables their staff to work anywhere, at any time.” Solutions that are cloud-based and work independently of employee location are clearly superior.

 

At Prime, we have a number of excellent data storage solutions available for business users. Feel free to reach out to us and let’s get the conversation started.

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Caveat Emptor- Buyer Beware- Get your Eyes Checked before you commit!

At a trade group meeting I met with one of my colleagues from the West Coast. He said that he had seen a lot of business coming in from getting his business listed in Yelp!. Upon returning to my office, I decided that I needed to do the same. I thought to myself “You have been doing this for 23 years. Your clients love you! This should be a no brainer!”. Well, unfortunately for me, the last five words proved to be prophetic.

As I was going through the process of getting my business listed on YELP!, I saw that they offered to boost views of your business profile if you bought advertising from them. I assumed – and we all know what happens when you assume (ass- u -me) – that it would be just like pay per click on Google or Bing. WRONG. It turned out that it was a budget that you put out and that they would bill you for regardless of whether anybody clicked on your ad or not. I use Google Analytics to monitor our site. I know where and who is referring, where people come in and where people leave. Who stays on the page and who bounces out. I monitor the Google Analytic religiously – almost with an OCD like focus. The first month, nothing. The second month, two referrals and the third month 3 referrals from Yelp. However, I didn’t think to track the results with the charges coming in on the company credit cards. OOPS! Almost $1500 in charges over three months.

It turns out that Yelp will bill your card – regardless of the result. I paid over $1500 over three months for what amounted to six leads. OUCH!

I am not one to complain when I make a bad decision. I look to collaborate and make things right. I never would dream of taking a client’s hard earned money and not doing the very best for them. As a matter of fact, when you go on Yelp- you see businesses trying to make it right with their own dissatisfied clients all over the place. I called up Yelp. Spoke to a very nice person- but guess what? They don’t have any intention of making it right. They only try to sell you more services. As a matter of fact, you can’t even review Yelp or your experiences with Yelp on their site. So much for transparency. It reminds me of the bully on the playground being bullied by others “You can dish it out but you can’t take it”. Nananana….

On the Internet, I found forums where the experience I had just had was repeated by many other businesses across the country. It was almost uncanny- everyone was pretty technical, pretty Internet SEO savvy, not new to online business, not a Luddite. Apparently, there is also no legal remedy. Yelp has been very successful in controlling the litigation against them.

So, what have I learned?

  1. Read the fine print. Don’t assume that just because something works one way on Google that it will work that way across platforms.
  2. Let the baker bake the bread. If you’re not an expert, hire an expert. They are less expensive and they are accountable for the results.
  3. Don’t let your expectations cloud your judgement. Verify and know your numbers.
  4. Don’t assume because something works one way for someone else, it will work that way for you.
  5. Make sure you have an exit strategy if something happens know who you are going to call and what they can do for you.

Now, I really feel that everything happens for a reason. I understand that what we provide for our clients answers those five criteria. We explain to our customers in plain English what are all of the terms and conditions. We are the experts when it comes to migrating our clients to cloud unified communications. We manage the expectations and know when to set them high on reliability and performance. We always verify before we cut over- we test the circuits, we measure the quality and we verify the numbers. And…if the organic matter hits the ventilation system, we always have our client’s interests in mind and will fight for them to make them happy.

So, the take away for you is: read the fine print. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Make sure you understand the billing model. Make sure you can hold your provider accountable.

We still continue to business in the cloud – but we work with our clients the old fashioned way. Face to face. Technology or not, it is business. A hard hitting contact sport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prime Telecommunications Educates Customers on Password Protection Policies to Keep Their Businesses Safe

PasPassword Managementsword management has become increasingly important with daily attacks from hackers specifically targeting SMBs (Small and Medium sized businesses) . For example, 6 million LinkedIn account passwords were compromised just a couple of years ago and the list of breach has grown dramatically since. Anyone who has been using major social media sites, like LinkedIn, may have received a notification in the past couple months forcing them to reset their passwords. This is the result of the colossal breach in Internet security and Prime Telecommunications has taken the initiative to advise businesses on how to protect themselves.

As the Internet continues to expand in complexity, so do its vulnerabilities. In order for business owners to protect their organizations, they need to utilize best practices in password security. Here are some steps that business owners can take immediately.

Never Use the Same Password Twice: One of the most effective ways to prevent breaches is also the simplest; never use the same password for multiple accounts. Strong, unique passwords, with symbols, numbers and capital letters are usually far more effective than anything else.

Enable Two-Step Authentication/Verification: This is one of the other simple ways that a business can instantly upgrade the security of their entire network, by simply passing a company policy. Two-step password authentication essentially means that when a user logs into their account, they’ll be required to confirm that log-in attempt by replying to a text message or phone call. This best practice makes it much harder for hackers to impersonate the true account owner because it requires them to have access to multiple accounts before their hacking attempts can be effective.

Stay Vigilant Against Phishing: Hackers have long relied on phishing, a common strategy in which a hacker attempts to defraud an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company. For example, a hacker will gain access to your account information by purchasing your email and password on the black market and then they will log into your email and send a desperate email to one of your contacts, posing as you. “John! My transmission just blew and I’m stranded out here. My phone is about to die. Can you send me $2,000 to this account? I’ll pay you back as soon as I get into town.” Users need to constantly remain vigilant against attacks like this because they are prevalent and have proven effective over the years.

“While these are a few proactive steps a company can take in the right direction, they are only a mere shadow of what is possible if they work with a true managed IT services provider, like Prime Telecommunications, who is regularly monitoring, maintaining and optimizing the security of every device on a business’s network,” stated Vic Levinson, President of Prime Telecommunications. Prime Telecommunications partners with SMBs that need to secure a competitive advantage with advanced technology and want to remain focused on growing their business, instead of keeping up on the latest in online security. “That’s our job,” said Mr. Levinson.

 

It is all about a well planned and well executed recovery and continuity plan

National Preparedness Month was this September and already Hurricane Joaquin is here. We should remember that it is crucial to know how to recover when disaster strikes. It’s serious stuff: the economy takes a damaging hit, and some businesses suffer financial loss so great that they never reopen.

Gartner estimates that the average business loses $5,600 per minute of downtime. Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy have devastated local communities almost to the point of no return, costing billions in reparations to infrastructure, businesses and the lives of those personally affected.

The graphic below illustrates the states most prone to such incidents. September falls in the middle of hurricane season when many coastal businesses keep careful watch on developing storms such as the recent Tropical Storm Erika. However, storms are not the only crises with high potential to harm business continuity. More commonplace disruptions, such as equipment failures and critical employees calling in sick, can also have major business impact over time.

States Most Prone to Natural Disasters

National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder to businesses across the country of how critical it is to assess their readiness to handle disruptions and create a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan. As B2B businesses conduct continuity assessments, they should pay particularly close attention to the reliability and capability of their technology.

According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Brandenburg, “Well-architected cloud [private branch exchange] or [Unified Communications as a Service] offerings can provide a high level of protection during a disaster event, as well as significantly reduce or almost eliminate the time it takes to recover after a disaster.”

In an effort to ensure disaster-related downtime is kept at bay, businesses should proactively back up data, move servers to the cloud and keep communication a top priority.

Back Up Business Data

The first step in disaster preparedness is backing up all relevant data and ensuring that there are replicas of important files and information in case the primary data is lost, corrupted or inaccessible. From personal business files on PCs to sensitive corporate data on servers, this information is a company’s lifeblood and powers day-to-day business decisions, large and small.

To maximize security, businesses should look for cloud-based solutions where information is stored in multiple data centers. This geo-diversity ensures access to backup files in case a regional disaster affects one of the data centers.

One of the most important factors in preparing a backup solution is the time it takes to recover your data. Businesses will want to start recovering time-sensitive materials immediately, and for companies with large volumes of data, this could take days, weeks or even months. Work with a provider who will prepare and ship a physical hard drive so that businesses continues as normal as possible.

Move Servers to the Cloud

Moving infrastructure to the cloud protects businesses far more effectively than relying on outdated, on premise solutions. Cloud service providers should be able to guarantee 99.99 percent uptime.

This reliability is the top consideration that draw businesses to the cloud, according to a Frost & Sullivan survey of IT decision-makers. From a disaster preparedness perspective, scalability is also a key consideration in transitioning servers to the cloud. The ability to increase off-site server capacity at a moment’s notice through a web-based portal makes organizations even more nimble in responding to business disruptions.

Such a level of access makes it easier to get these resources up and running quickly, regardless of location, without any capital investment and with minimum additional IT resources. Beyond reliability and scalability, the cost effectiveness of cloud-based UC solutions is yet another strong factor in forcing businesses to reconsider their disaster preparedness solutions. All three factors interconnect to offer a high quality, effective solution to ensure business continuity.

Keep Communication a Top Priority

Clear, timely communication is more critical than ever during disruptions. To keep lines of communication open, businesses should look for cloud-based IP phone systems. Features like mobile twinning, which sends inbound calls to mobile and desk phones simultaneously, ensures employees are available at any location at a moment’s notice.

Businesses should also invest in voice services that use a dedicated circuit with automatic failover in order to reduce dependence on the Internet, proactively identify potential issues with the primary line and seamlessly switch to alternate lines without downtime.

To keep business functioning optimally, it is best to house 100 percent of communications in the cloud. While hardware such as phones and desktops are key for in-office productivity, any programming stored in a physical phone increases the odds of disruption when the unexpected occurs.

Keeping phone communication settings in the cloud allows businesses to leverage features like softphones, which aid mobile workers by allowing any Internet-connected PC, iPad, iPhone or Android device to be turned into another phone extension.

B2B companies must be able to address the needs and concerns of the businesses they serve – even in the midst of a disaster. Town Residential, a New-York based real estate company that deals in both commercial and residential properties, lived that reality during Hurricane Sandy. When businesses across Manhattan were shutting down, Town Residential did not miss a single phone call. In fact, the day after the hurricane hit, they closed their single largest deal of the year.

Too many businesses settle for surviving disaster, when the right technology would enable them to thrive despite it. Town Residential ensured business continuity in advance to the disaster by choosing the right provider and the right solutions.

While National Preparedness Month places business continuity at the forefront of business planning, companies should prioritize preparedness year-round. Backing up and moving critical data, servers and communications into the cloud, and ensuring open communication are foundational steps to reducing vulnerability.

Putting the right technologies in place today is critical to navigating accidents, failures and disasters in the future that might otherwise disrupt operations. With proper planning, businesses may never need to recover from disasters – because they will avoid them altogether.

IT Buzzwords that Need to STOP!

Anybody who spends more than about 5 minutes with me professionally knows that I have an aversion (understatement) to buzzwords and meaningless techno-jargon. Imagine my delight when I came across this blog post from  Stephanie Moncayo that riffed all over my allergy. It is a great- and humorous read.

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Buzzwords, also known as pretentious jargon devoid of meaning, can easily drive anyone crazy! Although most users and administrators are familiar with Macbooks, Androids and Fitbits, few are actually familiar with the underlying technology that make their lives easier. Often, IT buzzwords are used to oversimplify the complex work that technicians, MSPs, and programmers do everyday. It’s no wonder they’re so frustrating. If you have ever had to explain to someone that “you’re not an app designer [so do] not confuse the program that saves entire organizations on a daily basis with Snapchat,” then you will certainly appreciate this post.

We’re back with another IT Community post! We’ve again browsed online communities like Spiceworks and Reddit to find the most irritable buzzwords you wish would just die. After filtering through hundreds of responses, which might I add was very entertaining (big kudos to HardLuckMike for his own thread), I’ve narrowed it down to these few notorious buzzwords that make every person in the tech industry lose it. Enjoy!

The “Cloud”

So by now, everyone and their mom knows about the Cloud, but who can actually explain it? If you’re in the tech industry, you hear this word and probably more than 50% of the time it’s being misused. One of our respondents described this anomaly, claiming that “people think the cloud is some magical place, but for our clients I could tell them the exact street address of where the cloud is lol.” More or less, you wish people could take five minutes to Google the definition.

Here are some more awesome responses to the “Cloud”:

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Synergy and Stuff

This next series of responses is my personal favorite because everyone can relate to hearing corporate business jargon for fifteen minutes straight. Your eyes gloss over and you walk away thinking, “what in the world was that?!” Well, now there’s Buzzword Bingo, a game that captures these irksome phrases. The Bingo card includes buzzwords like: innovative, giving it legs, strategic partnerships and integrate. Basically, the first person to call out five in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally wins Bingo! Yes, we shared the gameboard below for you to play along.

I’ll let the Spiceworks participants take it from here. The first response below received 208 spices. You aren’t alone, Digital Man!

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Another paragraph without meaning:

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More business jargon you love to decipher:

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As promised, the Buzzword Bingo Game!

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The Internet of Things

Huh? This is a buzz “phrase” that really ticks people off probably because it doesn’t make any sense. A lot of our respondents feel very strongly about this phrase. Many of you feel that the Internet of Things is a vague phrase that encompasses all too much, making it a useless term in itself. According to one definition I found, “the Internet of Things (IoT, sometimes Internet of Everything) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software,sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices based on the infrastructure of International Telecommunication Union’s Global Standards Initiative.” So…on to the comments?

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Unfortunately, I can’t make the buzzwords stop! That being said, these Spiceworks and Reddit responses serve to remind us all of the solidarity within the tech community, especially as it relates to these overused words. I hope you had as much fun posting responses as I did reading through them. A special thanks to everyone who participated. It’s nice to see comments like the one below, which reminds us we aren’t alone. That’s why we write these posts. We are here to hear you out!

4 Top IT Decisions that Business Owners/CEOs Will Have to Make in 2015

In today’s business environment, owners need to assess the advancement in all technological areas, but paying special attention to these four areas will yield exponential benefits in the next calendar year. Here are the four decisions that need to be made:

Is It Time for Me to Downsize My In-House IT Department? IT departments have long served as a vital support structure for ensuring that all business operations run smoothly. However, as more software and hardware applications migrate to “the cloud” and the number of managed services providers grows, businesses need to start taking a hard look at whether or not it is fiscally responsible for them to pay for full-time IT staff. Advancements have made it possible for remote technicians to fix computer problems off-site and run constant monitoring, management and data optimization software to improve the efficiencies of a company’s network. In many cases, entire teams are used to ensure optimum network performance, something that a single employee cannot hope to deliver consistently. As the playing field has leveled, more sophisticated tools have been developed, making this job even more competitive. In fact, many large organizations are beginning to outsource key areas of their IT operations entirely, and it is not long before outsourced IT departments are commonplace.

Downnsize IT Department

How Can I Secure My Network From Threats? With cybercrimes on the rise, more and more businesses are beginning to take proper precautions to prevent company downtime or data loss. Spyware, malware, data backup and anti-virus protection are all vital to the economic well-being of any stable business. In emergency or negligence situations, critical data loss can set teams back for weeks and put a giant damper on productivity. Many businesses are reexamining their Acceptable Internet Usage Policies (AUPs), to make sure that employees are only visiting work-related sites when at the office. These types of threats are usually found on dangerous websites, which can be eliminated entirely with simple site filtering tools that restrict access to unnecessarily volatile sites. Many companies see this need, especially in the case where businesses derive funding from institutional and private investors. These organizations are often required to spend a significant portion of their yearly budget on security enhancing technologies to make sure that all sensitive information remains perpetually protected.

Network Security

Big Capital Expenditures or Small Cloud Transition Costs? With servers and telephony shifting from the standard on-premise solution of old, to more software-centric and remote operation, many businesses are choosing to invest heavily in the transition to the cloud. The biggest driving factor behind this decision is that from a financial standpoint, most businesses want to upgrade their technology, but don’t want to create a large amount of capital expenditures, which constrain financial resources. Technologies with rental programs, or lowered total cost structures are increasingly popular because of their minimal impact on a budget. With plenty of equipment nearly obsolete, many businesses are investigating technologies which leverage a fixed-cost of ownership in their cost structure. This helps businesses avoid big capital expenditures, keeping them lean and mean for the next year.

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What’s Our Policy Regarding Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)? Networks are the backbone of any business. However, when employees bring their own devices onto the network, they can often disrupt the infrastructure and slow the overall speed of the network drastically. Furthermore, these devices can pose as security threats when they are not properly configured to run in concert with all of the other technology endpoints on the existing network. It’s a complex web and network design is an intricate process, which is absolutely essential to get right. Some businesses refuse to let people bring their own devices onto the network, yet the vast majority of businesses allow employees to bring their own mobile devices onto the network, as long as they are properly configured by a leading technology specialist. That way, employees can utilize the tools they feel most comfortable with, without derailing anyone else’s performance on the network.

Bring your Own Device

 

Want to know more? Need help in talking out your decisions? Give us a call at 847 329 8600 and let’s begin the discussion.

3 Major Trends in Global Telecommunications

The competitive market of telecommunications creates a constantly changing global landscape. With all of the shifts and new technologies, following the trends as closely as possible is the best way companies can anticipate future demand and be better prepared.

What does that look like for the next couple months? Three major trends will take center stage to dictate the industry priorities and work to redefine the standards for years to come.

Data Management

Rather than storing huge amounts of data on overloaded infrastructure and software—weighing down internal departments with security and maintenance measures—businesses will begin to seek out more realistic ways of managing data.

Cloud deployments and analytics will play a big part in redefining how business leaders and managers view the location and security of their data. The flexibility of cloud architecture—and growing demand from businesses and across employee groups—will outweigh the skepticism and win companies over by showing benefits of convenience, cost effectiveness, and increased productivity.

Analysts anticipate the decline of small data centers as large ones grow and expand. As businesses determine how much of their data can be entrusted to the cloud and whether they should maintain private data centers, they must consider the investment in technologies and weigh the energy consumption, along with IT costs and the physical footprint.

Wireless Networks

One of the largest and most innovative sections of the market, the wireless network is also one of the founders of modern technology, and so will have to continue to deliver at the highest level in order to maintain its status. These operators must increase efficiency in order to provide the coverage, capacity and quality that will be expected of them.

Modernization of equipment will be evident in comprehensive upgrades to LTE and through the discovery of improved infrastructure. In order to be successful, operators will add capacity by cell splitting and via a metro layer, according to experts.

Mobile Accessibility

Experts anticipate mobile app development will double in 2015, with some 35% of big enterprises investing in the creation and production of these applications.

Mobile applications, once sufficient if produced for smartphones and tablets, will rise in demand to include the Internet of Things and wearable devices. The ability for apps to sync across multiple applications will be essential, and consumer expectation for high quality content and functionality across each platform will remain high.

Newer and better designs of small devices will soon appear on the market, and rather than picking and choosing, consumers will add to their mobile access points. Companies must meet these new needs with an increase in syncing capabilities and on-the-go accessibility.

Key trends will continue to shape the industry in 2015. The way in which companies respond and react will determine how effectively they can manage these trends and where they will stand in the resulting new normal.

 


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Warning- One Cloud does not Fit All!

Let’s just be clear from the get-go: one cloud does NOT fit all. It’s true that cloud computing technology can lead to some major benefits, including reduced spending, business mobility, greater efficiency and more – but today we see hundreds of cloud providers boasting the exact same benefits. When businesses see this, they assume they can play eenie-meenie-miney-mo and get a magical solution to fix their business operations.

Our suggestion? Don’t choose your provider or solution at random! Do deeper research to identify the strengths of each provider. Why? Because the cloud comes in all different shapes and sizes, including public, private and hybrid models, and some providers might not be able to give you exactly what you need. In that case, you’d be wasting time and money while seeing no business progress.

When deciding whether or not to move to the cloud, you first have to consider what you want. Everything depends on your business’ needs and goals.

So, plan ahead! Because the cloud is worth the planning time. You should step back and truthfully identify your business’ problems, expectations and goals. If you begin the process by trying to decide which cloud service to use, you’ve already missed a step. First, decide what parts of your business make sense in the cloud. Identify your strengths and weaknesses before moving forward. Let’s take a look at how different sized businesses require different cloud solutions.

Small businesses still require up-to-date IT resources to run smoothly, even with their limited budgets. The cloud can help. A small business solution has to be flexible and scalable, with a pay-as-you-go option. This allows the business to only pay for what it uses, which is much more affordable than typical CapEx spending. This type of cloud solution allows a small business to play on a level playing field with larger organizations without breaking the budget.

For a medium business, the issues are slightly different. These organizations focus on growth, and need a solution that can grow as they grow. These organizations also have higher expectations when it comes to software and technology tools, and the cloud can give them access to these resources. In this case, the cloud solution needs to be one that is scalable and offers leading technology applications.

And when it comes to large businesses, the focus switches again. These organizations need to manage all the IT resources while remaining innovative – and that can be a lot of responsibility for an in-house IT team alone. With the right cloud provider, these larger organizations get around-the-clock support and management for their system, allowing them to focus on moving the business to the next level. This cloud solution requires excellent uptime and security with great customer support.

These three examples display only a few ways in which one business’ cloud solution may differ from another’s. That’s why it’s important to establish a plan before making the move.

And when you do decide to make the move, you don’t have to do it all at once. You probably want to start with systems that are easiest to move, saving mission-critical items for the end. This will reduce interruptions during your transition. This also allows you to take time to understand how your business works in the cloud, and decide exactly how you want to move forward. Once you get going, it’s easy to scale your service up or down and move new systems into the cloud.

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it won’t solve every single one of your business problems. But that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit the majority of organizations.

If Space is the Final Frontier, what about China?

My colleague, Steven Weiss, is with China Telecom. China Telecom is the largest telecommunications provider in China. With 80% of China’s local access and transmission facilities and ChinaNet, the largest internet backbone in China, their network solutions are core foundations for business growth. I asked Steve to write some posts for us about the nuances of working in China. Here is his first post…

 

Space the final frontier… we still have a while until it is a viable place for commerce.  So, why not China? The air is slightly more breathable and there are plenty of people to build or buy your products.  With over 1.3 billion people, even a small hit for a product there would be a huge hit for any company.  In addition, relations with the US and China have never been better and continue to go in that direction.

Why not open up an office or a plant in China, purchase some internet and start growing your business like you would in most other areas of the world?  With the upside, there really is no reason not to.  China is poised to surpass the US in the next few years to become the world’s largest economy.  Although the GDP growth is slowing it was still 7.7% in 2013 compared with 1.9% for the US.  China has over 19% of the world’s population.  From 2000 to 2012 China’s middle class has grown from 4% of urban households to 68% and is continuing on that trend.  Middle class people make good money and spend most of what they make.  Selling your product to just .3 percent of the population would mean that you have put it in the hands of 4.2 million people.  Because of the government, the language and the culture, however, it is not that simple. It does not have to be that complicated either.  Like many things in business it comes down to making well advised decisions.

If you are currently doing business in China you have probably become aware of “The Great Chinese Firewall.”  This is not typically a big deal for traffic within the Middle Kingdom but when you are accessing content outside of China on an internet VPN it can range from excruciatingly slow to not working at all.  In addition, depending on the services and applications you use, you can be subject to whether or not the application provider is in the good graces of the government.  For instance, Google and China have differing views and because of that, Google’s products have been very limited there.  Just recently, Gmail was completely blocked in China and is slowly coming back up.  If you leverage Gmail and other Google products to run your business and are looking to do business in China, it is probably best to look at some alternatives or speak with someone that consults on such things to advise on how to get it to work.  The same rings true if you use YouTube (owned by Google), Facebook or other social networking sites in your day to day business.  If your employees will need access to these sites there are ways to do this and provide a good user experience.  The bottom line is the Great Chinese Firewall is something to be aware of but it does not mean that your internet access and the ability to leverage the applications that you depend on needs to suffer.

 

15 Quotes to Inspire Creativity in 2015

 

  • If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. [Albert Einstein]
  • Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. [Will Rogers]
  • When the rate of change outside is more than what is inside, be sure that the end is near. [Azim Premji]
  • The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. [George Bernard Shaw]
  • Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. [T. Dewar]
  • Stay hungry. Stay foolish. [Rashmi Bansal]
  • You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. [Andre Gide]
  • Innovation is anything, but business as usual. [Anonymous]
  • If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it. [A. Einstein]
  • Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. [Dale Carnegie]
  • Managers say yes to innovation when doing nothing is a bigger risk. [Gijs van Wulfen].
  • Ideas are useless unless used. [T. Levitt]
  • It is not how many ideas you have. It’s how many you make happen. [Advertisement of Accenture]
  • Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices. [L. Duncan]
  • Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer. [Dan Brown]Hit the ball out of the park