Uptake Digital https://www.uptakedigital.com.au Upgrade your managed IT Sun, 17 Sep 2017 09:07:54 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://i1.wp.com/www.uptakedigital.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cropped-facebook_profile.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Uptake Digital https://www.uptakedigital.com.au 32 32 122134113 Disruption Survival: Stop Selling “Technology” https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/disruption-survival-stop-selling-technology/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/disruption-survival-stop-selling-technology/#respond Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:25:01 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1171 I was recently asked for comment from one of Australia’s top industry magazines, CRN, after attending CRN Pipeline Conference for ICT leaders. I heard from the top leaders at companies like Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Amazon and Telstra that were sharing the keys to success in the business of IT. Here is what I said; My takeaway […]

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I was recently asked for comment from one of Australia’s top industry magazines, CRN, after attending CRN Pipeline Conference for ICT leaders.

I heard from the top leaders at companies like Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Amazon and Telstra that were sharing the keys to success in the business of IT.

Here is what I said;

My takeaway was clear, we as an industry need to make sure we are talking about business solutions, not amazing product features. As Stephen Parker puts it

“Painting business pictures with an IT brush” @sjkparker

Differentiation: SMBs IT providers should almost never sell commodity products

If you are a small business, you cannot compete with commodity products.

Let’s dive into a fictional example;

You are a small business who sells iphone cables to your customers. It costs you $5 to sell a cable to a customer, but you can sell that cable for $25.

One day, people start buying their cables on eBay. They can buy 3 iPhone cables for $1, delivered to their door. For you to do the same, you would need to charge at least $50 to remain profitable.

Now, instead of competing with ebay on price, you decided to offer a power solution to your business customer. You sell a package where the customer gets a power bank, 3 cables, unlimited replacement cables, free power bank replacement and free monthly backup of your iphone for $29 a month.

It might work, it might not, but its got 100x better chance of working than selling something the same, just more inconvenient and expensive.

 

Are you trying to play with the giants

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants. – Isaac Newton

Too many providers are out there trying reinvent the wheel to improve margins. I have spoken to a number of small businesses that proudly say “we host our own exchange server in house, we make awesome margins on it”

Ok, firstly, you don’t. So much time went into building the solution up, maintaining it, backing it up, power, emotional energy etc and you have like 500 customers on it. Say you can get $20 a mailbox for the service, you are generating $10k a month revenue. This quickly disappears in the first major downtime event where murphys law reigns supreme.

Imagine, some gun IT consultant (let’s call him Brenton) comes along and asks what the hell are you doing? For $30 a month, I can get you E3 licences that do email, but also include message encryption, 100% known malware detection, desktop office, 24×7 support, 99.9% SLA and all the cloud apps of Office 365. Hell if you don’t want the extra security or apps, the licences are $5 a piece.

Now, if the consultant has communicated the value proposition well enough (maybe using the dog picture above), the customer is going to change pronto to the new solution. Worse of all, they are going to realise that you have them on an inferior solution and may even have grounds to sue (depending on the circumstances, I’m not a lawyer)

Changing Focus

What if you spent all that time, energy, money, effort in building your solution stack on-top of Office 365, instead of trying to replace it?

Keep your focus fixed on getting the best customer outcome and figure out the smartest way to get there.

My ambition is to build up a strong suite of training materials and become the thought leader in leveraging these tools. I want customers to have the same superpowers I do so I can watch them delight their customers in ways they never thought possible.

 

Conclusion

It’s time to be a business consultant again. Stop showing your amazing technical prowess and start talking about business problems and business solutions. The tech is your super power that gives you the 10x + advantage over all the other consultants without it.

“There are no technology problems, there are only business problems with technology solutions.”

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Innovation:The Risk of Inaction is Larger Than The Risk of Action https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/innovation-risk-of-inaction/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/innovation-risk-of-inaction/#respond Fri, 19 Aug 2016 08:00:51 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1166 It has been said that the day before something is truly an innovation, it’s a crazy idea. if its not a crazy idea, its an incremental improvement, not a true innovation. Currently we have councils who are playing it safe and making small incremental improvements. The question that is not being asked today is; what […]

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It has been said that the day before something is truly an innovation, it’s a crazy idea. if its not a crazy idea, its an incremental improvement, not a true innovation.

Currently we have councils who are playing it safe and making small incremental improvements. The question that is not being asked today is; what is the risk of not innovating? what is the risk of not thinking differently?

 

Risk vs Reward

Put simply, decisions are made using this formula, risk vs reward. Reward being a positive outcome and risk being the potential negative outcomes.Traditionally speaking, in order to get a higher reward, you must take more risk. As people tend to be more critical of failure than praising of success, we as humans have successfully built up a culture where governments won’t take any risk, thus get almost no reward for their efforts.

 

Understanding Risk

The calculation of risk is far from something humans can be considered good at. For example, studies show that in the stock market, index funds (investing broadly across the economy) out-perform managed funds (where a person picks stocks for you) just about every time.No one knows what will happen in the future (not even me!), so we base all our decisions on data and experience of what happened in the past. The danger of this is that many of the problems of the past aren’t the problems of the future.

 

Experience is the enemy of Innovation

Let me clarify here, not all experience is the enemy of innovation, but rather using it as your sole basis for decision making it.

When people talk about experience, they are generally trying to tell people they can predict the future. For example, an experienced police officer with 20 years experience in violent crime, may be able to identify early when a violent incident is about to take place. This experience is extremely useful in dangerous situations, but maybe not as useful in helping you buy a house for example.To help take experience bias out of the equation, Eric Ries proposes a new form of accounting specifically tailored for testing new ideas. Its called innovation accounting and centres around getting data from the present, rather than getting it from the past.

 

Innovation Accounting

The basis of innovation accounting is that all the information you need about an idea, product or service exists outside the room you’re sitting in. Organisations who make decisions about the future without first testing those assumptions, are the ones who are making the biggest blunders in business today.

Working Example

We have recently had a roll out of Green Bins in Bendigo. There was a decision, then a trial and soon there will be 10’s of thousands of bins deployed in bendigo.Using the innovation accounting framework above, lets see how a startup would approach this problem. Lets start with a key assumption; people will use the green waste bins for their food scraps. To test this assumption, we might do the following;

  1. Build: Target a group of 50 random houses and deploy green bins with instructions
  2. Measure: Pick up the bins in 2 weeks and measure what percentage of the bins had food scraps in them.
  3. Learn: x% of bins did not contain food scraps. Lets contact those houses and find out why

This process is different to a trial because you are trying to test an assumption, not the validity of the program. The results of tests like these might have discovered that people don’t like having another bin in their house and refuse to use it for that reason.That information would help tremendously when making a decision. Note, this was about gathering data from a real world experiment, not leaning on past experience to inform decision making.

 

Conclusion

We need to start taking risks and innovating in the local government arena. This does not mean throwing money at things that look like they will be the future, it’s about really finding out how people behave and what they really want.Together, lets bring innovation into council and start getting massive rewards, not just small ones here and there.

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Disruption Survival! The Daily Habit That Will Make You Successful https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/disruption-survival-daily-habit-will-make-successful/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/disruption-survival-daily-habit-will-make-successful/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:55:10 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1131 When I talk to business owners and I’m trying determine whether they are going to make it through the disruption thats before them, I look for certain traits in their business. Is the business dedicated to the customer? Do they currently make most of their money with a product or service someone can do better […]

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When I talk to business owners and I’m trying determine whether they are going to make it through the disruption thats before them, I look for certain traits in their business.

  • Is the business dedicated to the customer?
  • Do they currently make most of their money with a product or service someone can do better and cheaper than they can?
  • Is the business agile, can it respond quickly to customer demand?
  • Is the business got the skills internally or is it full of soon to be redundant workers?

While I could dedicate this post to how i determine the viability of enterprises in a post-industrial economy, I thought I would instead talk about the traits of the leaders in these companies.

 

What about People?

As I look through my own client list and look at the real A players, there are a number of key things that shine through.

  • Understands playing it safe is riskier than moving to the edges.
  • They offer something unique to the marketplace
  • Is almost religiously customer centric, obsessed with the customer experience, not just customer service
  • They face challenges head on and embrace solutions.
  • They continually add value and innovate

But there is one trait that stands out above everything else I’ve said here.

Its the drive and lifelong decision to self educate.

Not convinced? Warren Buffett reportedly spends about 80% of his day reading, Bill Gates’s mother had to institute a rule: no books at the dinner table and Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every two weeks.

Author and self-made millionaire Steve Siebold has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people over the past three decades and has noted that  reading for self-education is a common thread among them.

Now don’t get this mixed up with intelligence or how ever you decide to define it. Self education is a conscious and concerted effort to be better today than you yesterday and the day before.

So the next time you are whinging to someone about how conditions are tough and how you can’t make any money in this economy, ask yourself when was the last time you read a book on the subject.

 

Examples of Reading Materials

Here are some common situations and some books you can read

  • Innovation is too expensive and doesn’t work in larger organisations – The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • My product isn’t selling well but I spend a lot of money on advertising- Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  • My competitors are too strong and I’m too small- Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim
  • I find it difficult to build relationships – How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
  • I don’t have time to read books – 80/20 rule? 7 Habits of highly effective people?

 

I do not subscribe to the theory that I can’t do X because I am X. You can’t do X because you have never made the effort to learn and practice X.

And just in case you’re wondering, the photo in the header is from reddit. It shows an artist’s first work 13 years ago and one they have recently completed.

Now go learn something!

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Cafe’s suck! Watch me Disrupt Them With My Vision For The B2B Coffee Innovation Centre! https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/cafes-suck-watch-disrupt-vision-b2b-coffee-innovation-centre/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/cafes-suck-watch-disrupt-vision-b2b-coffee-innovation-centre/#respond Sun, 19 Jun 2016 11:28:18 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1155 I don’t know about you, but most cafes I’ve been to are rather average. They all sell good coffee, most sell good food and they all have the same business model. So rarely is there a compelling reason to walk to the other side of the CBD to visit a certain coffee place. Most business people meet at […]

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I don’t know about you, but most cafes I’ve been to are rather average. They all sell good coffee, most sell good food and they all have the same business model.

So rarely is there a compelling reason to walk to the other side of the CBD to visit a certain coffee place. Most business people meet at the place which closest to the client and meets their minimum standard of quality.

Now there are some exceptions here; one of my favourites is Get Naked Espresso Bar who only sell coffee. Its an idea that really appeals to people with the mindset of “I don’t want the 80% coffee, I want the best money can buy”

 

Get Naked Espresso Bar – Overview [Promotional Video] (2016) from Hebron Films on Vimeo.

 

Understanding The Customer

So much business is started and closed in cafes all around the country. At the moment, there is not one cafe in Bendigo who provides a solution tailored to these customers.

As one of these businesses, here are the main problems I would like to see addressed.

  • Feeling of importance: I would like to be able to book in a table for a meeting where I can pre record the client’s first name. When we arrive, I would like to see someone say “Hi Brenton and Peter, we have been expecting you. We have the best table reserved over here for you”. Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
  • Money changing hands: At the end of every meeting, there is always a decision about who will pay. Imagine at the end of your meeting, someone came over and said “Thats been taken care for you Brenton and Peter”. Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
  • Meet People: When was the last time you meet someone in a coffee shop? It probably doesn’t happen all that often. Imagine there was a designated business networking space where business and go and meet new businesses? Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
  • Theming/Community: Imagine everything was themed for business, a wall of business cards, regular business events, maybe even a coworking space on the top floor? Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?

Now feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below about problems you have with the current system.

Revenue Model

The revenue model I would be pushing would be a membership model

  • $xx per month includes X amount of coffees, access to members wall, access to monthly events, access to online forums, co-working hours etc etc.
  • Corporate sponsorship packages include x amount of staff, coffees, naming rights on a custom beverage etc etc.

If you can create a high enough value community, the amount you charge will have nothing to do with how many coffees you sell them. The value comes from the other businesses you have in the community and your ability to help them be more successful in business.

Other sources of revenue could come in government grants, Headline sponsorship, employment incentives etc. I could see something like this be fully funded before a single coffee is sold.

  In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible. – Seth Godin

Why most people won’t build my idea

This is an idea that lives on the edges. Most people are happy being average, playing it safe and doing what everyone else does. My challenge to you; If you want to be remarkable you need to embrace the concept of “edgecraft”.

Don’t be A place a most people find interesting, be THE place your specific customer considers essential.

 

Your Turn

Tell me what you think of this idea, is it something you think will work. Is it close enough to the edges to matter? Is it remarkable?

How would you do it differently?

 

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Security: Why I’m in the top 1% of the LastPass Security Standing https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/security-im-top-1-lastpass-security-standing/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/security-im-top-1-lastpass-security-standing/#respond Thu, 19 May 2016 09:39:37 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=1124 If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me whether the cloud secure or not, I’d be running my own philanthropic foundation by now. The reality is that while no system is 100% secure, there are some very simple steps everyone can take to make their own systems more secure. Today I want to […]

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If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me whether the cloud secure or not, I’d be running my own philanthropic foundation by now.

The reality is that while no system is 100% secure, there are some very simple steps everyone can take to make their own systems more secure. Today I want to talk about 3 simple steps non-technicians can do to secure their systems against attack.

1 – Use long passwords that are easy to remember

The simplest thing you can start doing today is to change your password from a short complicated word to a passphase. The article above explains it better than I can here. If you prefer video, check out Edward Snowden’s video below.

 

2 – Have a different password for every service

Most people i speak to are very proud of the fact that they have a different password for their bank to their other services. While I applaud this mentality, unfortunately their bank password is far less important than their email or even facebook password.

There have been numerous examples where people have thought they were talking to a loved one online when it was a bad guy using social engineering to get information to unlock an account.

Now I know what you’re thinking, I can barely remember one password, let alone 10 or 100. This is where a password manager comes in. A password manager allows you to store all your passwords securely and access them with just one login.

3 – Use Multi-Factor-Authentication as much as possible

MFA or 2FA as its also known, means you cannot login to a system without two or more things;

  • Something you have (phone, token etc)
  • Something you know (password)

Banks have used this for years. Commonwealth Bank sends out a notification on your phone through their app (or SMS) if you want to transfer money to someone else’s account.

In the picture above, the MFA apps I use are;

  • Authy
  • Lastpass Authenticator
  • Logmein Authenticator
  • Google Authenticator

There are other options on the market but you are probably going to use Google Authenticator for most services.

There are also options like Yubikey  that you can use as well to secure your online services.

Conclusion

Increasingly it’s humans that will need to take ownership of their own security within an organisation. Its no longer good enough to leave all that stuff to the IT guys, it’s everyones responsibility to be safe with data in the workplace.

The good news is, with a few easy steps, you improve your security without a complicated technical knowhow.

 

Bonus tips

Offline passwords need to be more secure than online passwords.
Because offline passwords can be guessed a trillion times a second without anyone ever being able to know what’s happening, you should have a more complex password offline than online. Remember our horse passphrase with 44 bits of entropy(randomness)? well you need a password with 70 to 80 bits of entropy in order to be reasonably assured of its security.

Want to know how secure your password is?
Try putting your password (or something similar) into this checker online. I say something similar because no system is 100% secure.

Never enter your real password! https://howsecureismypassword.net/ 

 

 

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Top 5 Reasons Smart SMBs Mandate a Managed Services Plan https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/why-have-a-managed-services-plan/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/why-have-a-managed-services-plan/#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2016 08:57:58 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=779 Organisations that are constantly improving their technology are outperforming their competitors at a rapid rate and leaving a bigger and bigger gap between them and the competition. Here are the top 5 reasons why SMB’s choose a Managed IT Services Plan;   1. Increased efficiency/reliability of IT operations An unreliable and inefficient IT system can […]

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Organisations that are constantly improving their technology are outperforming their competitors at a rapid rate and leaving a bigger and bigger gap between them and the competition.

Here are the top 5 reasons why SMB’s choose a Managed IT Services Plan;

 

1. Increased efficiency/reliability of IT operations

An unreliable and inefficient IT system can mean the difference between winning and losing in business. No employee can work while IT systems are down, and even minor disruptions to key resources like email and files can significantly impact on the productivity of the company as a whole.

When an IT environment is managed, many of these issues can be fixed quickly or avoided entirely. This is because Managed Service Providers (MSPs) have access to expertise, business-grade solutions and the latest technology that the business wouldn’t normally have access to.

MSP’s use these specialised tools to monitor IT on computers and servers to monitor and repair problems in backups, antivirus/antimalware, computer performance and other functions of an IT environment.

2. Enhanced security/compliance

Who is looking after information security and compliance requirements of your business? Laptops, desktops, smartphones, applications, tablets, servers, operating systems, browsers, wearable technology all connected to the internet and all transmitting information.

While no security system is infallible, MSP’s understand how to implement all the various layers of security to make it far more difficult to compromise your organisation and your customer’s information. MSPs are also aware of security standards like PCI compliance and can advise to ensure your company has taken every reasonable step to protect the company’s data.

Top MSP’s now focus on the three main areas of security – Technology, Process/approach and the human factor. With business-grade solutions becoming more and more secure, the focus has now shifted to educating and improving the user’s ability to use technology in a secure way.

 

3. Proactive approach to maintenance

You don’t want to have to think about your day-to-day running of your IT operations. You don’t want to have to second-guess the reliability and speediness of their IT systems. You don’t want to have to worry about what the state your IT environment will be when you head to work each morning.

Using remote management software, MSP’s offer detect potential disturbances and vulnerabilities, and resolve these problems before they develop into more critical threats. MSP’s troubleshoot and remediate glitches or bugs before you are any the wiser.

 

4. ROI/cost savings

The best managed service providers not only save you money, but they make you money. While this was the number one factor in choosing managed services in 2011, organisations fail to recognise the value an MSP can bring in terms of increasing revenue using technology.

Cost savings are really easy to find; reducing downtime, using the cloud, decommissioning unsupported technology, free up internal staff, managing licencing costs, reducing risk, more predictable pricing and many more.

There are also revenue creating opportunities as well. What if your employees offered a much higher level of service because they had the tools to do so? What if you could increase the value you provide to your customers by using technology better? What if your staff could work better together using technology? These are all questions you should be working through with your managed service provide to increase revenue in your organisation.

 

5. Lack in-house IT functions

Many organisations lack the capacity in house to roll out critical IT projects and provide cost effective solutions to business problems. Many organisations hire IT staff too early and lack the knowledge to be able to set performance targets or assess their work.

In many organisations where they have a brilliant IT professional internally, they waste this person’s time with mundane tasks like helpdesk when they really should be focusing on strategic, revenue-generating objectives.

In organisations without a dedicated IT staff member, Organisations may designate a technology champion in the business who can amplify results by taking a supported role improving the organisations technology outcomes.

Based on a 2015 report – 4TH ANNUAL TRENDS IN MANAGED SERVICES

Also found on Linkedin

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What IT Looked Like Then, Now and in the Future https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/looked-like-now-future/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/looked-like-now-future/#respond Sat, 19 Mar 2016 03:39:03 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=674 How Has IT Evolved Over The Years? IT has come a long way in the last 30 or so years. It has gone from something only people with university degrees in computing could use to almost complete ubiquity. Now we all walk around with super connected super computers in our pockets that almost anyone can […]

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How Has IT Evolved Over The Years?

IT has come a long way in the last 30 or so years. It has gone from something only people with university degrees in computing could use to almost complete ubiquity.

Now we all walk around with super connected super computers in our pockets that almost anyone can use. Naturally, computer services have evolved in that time too, with new models emerging with superior service at an affordable cost (like cloud).

 

IT Then

If you have ever seen the IT crowd, then you get a feel of what IT used to be.

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When I first started formally studying IT 10 years ago, IT was about locking down environments and solving technical problems. There was no iPhone back then and the cloud was just starting to be born.

The internet was terrible back then, and trying to do anything computing externally was very difficult. Managed IT was also still emerging at this stage and many businesses only had a break-fix relationship with their IT provider.

 

IT Now

IT today is all about migration to the cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS). There has been a gold rush as people have scrambled to get into the cloud to cut costs and improve their IT services.

microsoft-datacenter-100058814-orig[1]

Australia is lagging behind other developed nations with cloud adoption, namely due to the poor internet speeds and our substandard NBN. There is also an issue with the business models of many managed service providers (MSPs) as well, their business model relies on the cloud not being a thing.

Of the over 12,000 Microsoft partners in Australia, only 2,000 are doing anything with Office 365. When asked why MSPs  , MSPs reply that they don’t know how to make money with office 365. It never goes down (no support hours), it maintains itself (no maintenance hours) and it’s dirt cheap (as little as $5 a month per user).

What these MSPs have failed to understand is that IT now is all about getting people ready for the future. Its about picking the right platforms, getting workers mobile and looking at cloud SaaS tools to make workers more productive.

 

IT in the future

IT in the future will make or break a company. While many can argue this is already the case, there are still plenty of industries that haven’t been disrupted yet.

We think there’s going to be more change in the next 5 years than there has been in the last 50 – GM President, Daniel Ammann

The major trends organisations will need to start looking at are Automation/AI, Security, Internet of Things, Big Data and everything as a service.

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Elon Musk considers driverless cars as a problem that is ‘essentially solved’, Administration jobs are set to fall by over 40% as automation takes their place, Sensors will be everywhere feeding data into information systems for decision making and you will pay for all of it as a service.

Your Managed IT provider will one of the most valuable members of your digital team who will take your business to the next level. The MSPs who fail to adapt will be eradicated as it’s the businesses who will take the lead on digital in the future.

How will the future affect you? What steps have you taken to be ready for the future?

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Business Email – There is a better way! https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/business-email-better-way/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/business-email-better-way/#respond Fri, 19 Feb 2016 03:09:55 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=664 The Challenges of Legacy Email Systems My first business in Bendigo nearly 3 years ago was a web design company that built websites in WordPress. My vision was to increase the value of a company by turning their website into a customer service tool rather than a brochure on the internet. Along the way I kept […]

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The Challenges of Legacy Email Systems

My first business in Bendigo nearly 3 years ago was a web design company that built websites in WordPress. My vision was to increase the value of a company by turning their website into a customer service tool rather than a brochure on the internet.

Along the way I kept noticing a consistent theme though, business owners were having huge issues with their email. The main issues i kept coming across were

  1. Unreliability of their current email service
  2. Poor support options if it did fail.
  3. Inability to get mail, contacts and calendars on mobile phones
  4. Mailbox size restrictions forcing mass deletion of critical business emails.

Most of these people had a gmail,apple or hotmail account which never failed, synced their calendars and contacts and worked perfectly on their devices.

Some business owners set up gmail accounts for their business. Unfortunately, the problem with this was every time they sent an email it looked like they were running a hobby business when people received emails from this address.

“invoice due – $23,560 – tradie8726@gmail.com”

So what’s the solution?

Well there are two main options that will allow you to haveAccounts@yourdomain.com as well as sync contacts and calendars across devices;

  1. Sign up to an enterprise ready mailserver service. (Office 365)
  2. Build and maintain your own exchange mailserver. (Exchange 2010,2013, 2016)

In the past, there was no Office 365. Small businesses would shell out $1000’s a year to build and maintain a server in their building to run their email on.

A 5 person business with a $5000-$10,000 a year server* would get enough value out of it to make it worthwhile. These days, however, it’s hard to justify when when that same business can get a better service for much lower investment (NFP’s get Office 365 it for free!).

By the time you factor in the uptime of Office 365 (it’s up 99.9% of the year) and the free support you get in the package, Office 365 pays for itself really quickly.

Where should I start?

You should talk to a Microsoft partner about your options of moving to the cloud. Look for a partner with a Cloud Solutions Competency (like ours below) as there are performance and references required in order to get one.

The training resources also give you a really good idea of whats possible in the Office 365 platform. (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Office-Training-Center-b8f02f81-ec85-4493-a39b-4c48e6bc4bfb)

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*depending on the size of the organisation, a small business server might be used for a number of different functions, including email, file storage, backups etc. By removing the email workload, you free up valuable server resources for other workloads.

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Measure your word of mouth with NPS https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/measure-word-mouth-nps/ https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/2016/measure-word-mouth-nps/#respond Tue, 19 Jan 2016 03:23:35 +0000 https://www.uptakedigital.com.au/?p=668  Measuring Customer Satisfaction is Hard Feedback is something that most businesses neglect to formally collect. Many people often gauge customer satisfaction by how much the client smiles or the frequency they return. Would you believe there is a better way? there is, its called the Net Promoter Score or NPS.   Enter the Net Promoter […]

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 Measuring Customer Satisfaction is Hard

Feedback is something that most businesses neglect to formally collect. Many people often gauge customer satisfaction by how much the client smiles or the frequency they return. Would you believe there is a better way? there is, its called the Net Promoter Score or NPS.

 

Enter the Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score splits your customers up into 3 distinct categories depending on how likely they would be to recommend your product or service. At a recent growth hacking seminar i attended in melbourne, the presenter said that this is the metric you need to be using right now. So lets take a look at this metric

 

In basic terms

When you ask this simple question “On a scale from 1-10, How likely is it that you would recommend (your company) to a friend or colleague?”, you will find your customers in one of three categories.

  • Promoters (score 9-10) These customers will keep buying but more importantly, they refer others
  • Passives (score 7-8) These customers are satisfied but may move to another company or product
  • Detractors (score 0-6) These customers are unhappy and often spreadnegative word-of-mouth.

Now, how do you work out your company’s NPS?

its easy, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.

Promoters% – Detractors% = NPS

Example:
100 customers surveyed, 45% are Promoters, 35% are Passives and 20% are detractors.

45% – 20% = NPS 20.

In this example, the NPS score could be higher. The business needs to discover what is upsetting their detractors and also work to provide a better experience for the passives. Lets set a goal to improve the NPS by 10 points over the next twelve months.

 

So why bother?

Many successful brands have used this including QANTAS and Kmart because it forces you and employees to put the customer first.

The best way to grow is when your customers are out promoting your brand to others, they are giving you the best source of marketing on the planet, word of mouth, and they are doing it for free!

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