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Save money and the environment with an eco-friendly office

As the old saying goes, if you look after your pennies then the pounds will take care of themselves. In simple terms, if you don't waste small amounts of money here and there then eventually you will begin to reap the rewards of your thriftiness.

Moreover, this mantra applies to businesses just as much as it does consumers. At a time when companies have to be concerned with an increasing number of issues, from climate change to recession, it can be all too easy to lose focus on what really matters.

Most business owners want to run a socially responsible operation, but they also have to worry about balancing the books. However, there's no reason why companies can't kill two birds with one stone: building an eco-friendly office space doesn't only help the environment, but it can also save companies thousands of pounds in needless waste.

In cold weather, it's fairly common for businesses to overcompensate with the heating - just because it's freezing outside, doesn't mean staff need to be boiling inside. Similarly, during heat waves, there's no need for personnel to freeze with an over-performing air conditioning system. Thermostats are designed to regulate temperatures - by maintaining the office 'climate' at more tolerable levels in the winter and summer months, this won't only create a happier, more productive workforce, but it will cut energy costs and, importantly, be less harmful to the environment.

Thermostats aren't the only devices that can simultaneously save companies big bucks whilst helping to cut their carbon footprints. Technology underpins most modern businesses and with the advent of the internet era, digital communications means less need to travel.

A dedicated teleconferencing room, fitted with the latest voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology enables businesses to meet, network and build relationships with organisations and customers all over the world. Even for small to medium sized businesses with tight budgets, Skype offers a fantastic free video and audio communications service, making it a very cost-effective way of keeping in touch. Ultimately, it saves businesses a great deal of time travelling - and time, as we all know, equals money. Moreover, less travelling means another tick in the 'eco-friendly office' box.

Paper has traditionally been one of the biggest wastes produced by offices. With networked computers and centralised storage, everyone in an organisation - whether they're in the same room or a different country - can access the same files simultaneously. With laptops, PDAs and mobile phones, documents can be viewed digitally any time, any place, meaning that there's no real need to print any more.

Indeed, it is the duty of businesses across the globe to cut their waste. Whether an organisation has an office space in Washington DC, London, Paris or Sydney, the time to act against climate change is now, but everyone needs to be on board for a difference to be made. The fact that companies can save thousands of pounds a year in cutting their waste might be the very incentive.


The Benefits of Online Video

For many businesses, Internet access is indispensable. Enabling everything from communications and supply sourcing to a quick and convenient means of research, Internet access offers businesses of all kinds opportunities like never before.

However, while many people assume that "Internet communications" refers primarily to email access, another realm of online communication is climbing the ranks of popularity among businesses everywhere: online video. Online video enables a whole new level of valuable communication among businesses - not only within companies themselves, but with regard to their customer base.

To begin, online video enables video conferencing - a feature that allows businesses to hold meetings, conferences, training sessions and more, even if participants are spread out all across the world. Video conferencing allows a more personal approach to both international and local business operations, and is proving to be one of the most popular features among business communications today.

Another opportunity provided via online video is product promotion, advertising and marketing. Whether it's a video that advertises your products to customers or one that promotes your services to investors, online video can enable you to extend a clear understanding of what your business is all about. What's more, by creating a video on your products and services, you're likely to be perceived as a leader in your realm of business - particularly if you include both useful and promotional information to users. Because video is one of the more novel forms of communication among businesses today, its presence demonstrates a certain degree of innovation and current involvement to customers.

If you're considering utilising online video as a means of communication for your business, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, if you're planning to use videos as a form of promotion to your customer base, ensure they are high-quality, glitch-free, and interesting. There's nothing worse than having a video that does get viewed because it has technical problems - or even worse, because it's not engaging enough. The point is to use the videos to generate interest in your products and services, so clients and potential customers will make further enquiries.

However, if you're planning to use online video as a form of internal business communications - such as for video conferencing - you'll need a reliable broadband line. Many companies opt for leased line broadband, which provides a wealth of services and benefits - from online video features to email and general Internet access.

Whether you wish to communicate with your customers or enhance communications within your company, it may prove worthwhile to investigate what online video can do for your business.


Reasons to Have a Data Center Disaster Recovery Plan

Fire damage, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other destructive events can mean the end of thousands of important files. Losing a small amount of information due to a power outage can be an annoyance. Losing the data for an entire organization is a disaster.

Having a good data center disaster recovery plan in place can mean the difference between success and failure. That's because safeguarding information is a data center's number one job. If that information is lost for any reason, the data center has failed in its main objective. A disaster recovery plan is necessary for success.

Losing Data Costs Time and Money
Losing data to a disastrous event is not only an inconvenience, it costs money. That's because recovering vital business information, if possible at all, can be time consuming and expensive.

Each day that passes between the data loss and the recovery of that data means lost business hours, less chance of successful recovery, and more expensive recovery. A successful disaster recovery plan can help save you money.

In addition, for some data centers, lost data can be time-sensitive. Waiting a week for that information can make it useless. Even waiting a day can be too long. That's why it's important to have a disaster recovery plan in place that allows you to recover data from the moment of the disaster.

How Important is Your Data?
If the data center is down, the rest of the business may not be able to function properly. In fact, some studies have shown that computer outages of more than ten days can cause permanent financial damage to a company. Within 5 years, half of those businesses have closed their doors.

Your information is vital to your business, and that's why a data recovery plan is simply common sense. Recovery from a disaster needs to be straight-forward, and it can mean the difference between a short-term inconvenience and the end of your organization.

Implementing a Disaster Recovery Plan
The first step toward reducing the impact of a disaster is to obtain a disaster recovery planning guide and disaster recovery templates. After investing in these items, the strategy for recovery needs to be planned in detail. Having a vague idea of your recovery plan is not going to save you from data loss.

Like any precautionary measure, the upfront planning for disaster recovery can seem like a waste of valuable company time and resources. However, your organization will be grateful that it is prepared if disaster does strike.

A proper disaster recovery plan should also include an assessment of risk and the impact of a loss of information. This allows the company to prioritize data center operations, an important step in recovering business viability.

An additional integral component to any plan for business continuity should be rigorous and regular testing. Disaster recovery plans should be tested and reviewed on a regular basis. This ensures that the plan is ready for a true emergency situation.

Safeguard the Future Success of Your Organization
Problems with hardware or software often strike when usage is at its highest point. That usually means a very busy time for the organization. Peak usage times, while some of the most vulnerable, are also the last time you want your data center to have a crisis.

It is important not to be lulled into a false sense of security by the seeming reliability of your systems. Modern technology runs perfectly right up until the time it doesn't. You don't want that time to be the downfall of your business. Implement a disaster recovery plan, and safeguard both your data and the future success of your organization.


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