The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

Top 5 Benefits of Server Virtualization for SMBs

Jordan Arnold

Posted by Jordan Arnold
Tue, Oct 11, 2016

Large enterprises have been utilizing server virtualization for about 10 years, and the benefits of this technology are now available to smaller businesses, too.

Server virtualization creates “virtual environments” that allow multiple applications of server workloads to run on one computer. This flexible method of computing has many benefits to offer, especially for small to mid-sized businesses.

Here are the top 5 ways SMBs can benefit from server virtualization:

  1. The Benefits can be Greater the Smaller the Enterprise
  2. Maximum Server Utilization
  3. Better Disaster Recovery Capabilities
  4. Smoother Business Continuity
  5. Enhance Security

Read on to learn more about each of these top 5 virtualization benefits for SMBs.

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Top 5 Ways VCIO Services Benefit Small and Midsize Businesses in DC

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Mar 08, 2016

In large enterprises, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has the responsibility of applying appropriate technology to help the company achieve its business objectives. Many small- to mid-sized companies cannot afford the expense of a full-time CIO, which can range upwards of $150,000 – $250,000+ per year in the DC market.

Read on to learn about these 5 VCIO benefits for SMBs:

  1. Predictable technology budgets 
  2. Decreased operating costs and improved productivity 
  3. Analyzes and reports findings and recommendations 
  4. Security, business continuity, disaster recovery, and compliance 
  5. Revenue 
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3 Steps to Defining and Maintaining Your SMB's Company Culture

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Feb 02, 2016

Okay — It's Time To Get Serious About Your Company Culture!

Culture is a common buzzword in today's modern office and, like most buzzwords, it gets a lot of usage, often without much thought. So, you may be left wondering, "What does company culture really mean, and why should I care?"

As defined by Wikipedia, organizational culture " encompasses values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization." To sum it up, company culture is simply the combination of your company's vision, values, norms, systems, language, and habits in action.

While you accepted your role within your small-to-midsized business (SMB), you may not have realized that doing so also meant accepting responsibility for defining and maintaining your company culture. In today's competitive business landscape, where disruption has become almost as common as remote workforces, it's vital to build and maintain a company culture which is suitable to you, your employees and your industry. Since your culture is essentially the living, breathing soul of your business, it must be consistent throughout the entire organization. Therefore, it is important that it is clearly defined.

RELATED: Mobility and Cloud Computing: a Natural Fit, but Enterprise Policy Needed

Read on to learn about these three steps for defining your company culture:

  1. Evaluate Your Company's Culture
  2. Attract Talent Which Reflects Your Culture
  3. Plan For the Future
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The Top 5 Most Popular Office Technology Blog Posts of 2015

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Jan 05, 2016

As we spring into the New Year, one of the best ways to ring in 2016 is to recap a few of the most popular posts published on our blog in the previous year. 2015 brought many successes and steady growth for the Meridian family. We showcased everything from ways small to midsized businesses can benefit from vCIO services, techniques that allow your business to “go green” to ensure environmental sustainability, along with a host of other blogs, which gave comprehensive access to information that could benefit you and your organization.

Most of our blog posts are aimed at answering questions we commonly hear from clients and prospects. Read on to take a look at the five most popular blog posts of 2015 — you may just find some answers to questions you've been wondering about, or ones you haven't even thought of yet!

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4 Ways DC Businesses Can Save Money Through Managed Print

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Nov 17, 2015

Running a small- to mid-sized business (SMB) in a market as competitive as the Washington, DC metro area is a challenge. Profit margins can seem slimmer than a sheet of printer paper. And that segues into a good way that SMBs can save money, increase efficiency, improve document security, and help the environment — managed print services (MPS).

In a continual effort to reduce expenses and increase profits, many SMBs closely monitor recurring expenses like travel and transportation costs, telecom and broadband usage, and energy costs. However, it's not unusual to find an SMB that keeps a frugal eye on those expenses while mostly ignoring its printing costs.

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4 of My Favorite Marketing Channels for Small Businesses on a Budget

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Thu, Oct 01, 2015

As we all know, marketing is vital to the success of any business. The way a company is marketed creates its brand personality and determines how the world will view the company, as a whole.

SMAC is the idea that four technologies —Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud — are currently driving business innovation. These emerging technologies are creating huge disruption throughout countless industries. For example, Uber and Lyft's success leveraging SMAC has not only disrupted the transportation industry, but also related industries such as insurance and manufacturing.

The most important thing to note is that while SMAC does impact specific industries, it is also proving to be disruptive to traditional business practices. This includes the proven methods businesses have relied on for decades to market and promote their brands, products and services. For most big brands, this disruption is more of an inconvenience or a challenge than an issue. Why? Because they have ample resources to set, or at least keep up with, the pace. On any given day, a large company's marketing budget can easily stretch into millions of dollars, if not billions.

What if you don’t have that kind of money? No Problem! There are several ways to leverage disruption, promote your business, and expand your clientele without emptying your pockets. 

Below are my top four favorite marketing channels for small businesses:

  1. Social Media
  2. Email
  3. Referral Programs
  4. Business Partnerships

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options, shall we?

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What SMBs Need to Know About Data Breach Notification

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Thu, Sep 17, 2015

 What You Need to Know...

When it comes to the law and data breaches, what you don’t know can hurt you. Small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) face many of the same data breach notification requirements as large enterprises. Most SMBs, however, do not have the same resources often available to bigger companies, such as a dedicated IT department, or a team of attorneys on staff. Now there is new federal legislation pending, in addition to the currently existing 47 state laws on the books, that requires organizations who store sensitive information to notify customers and clients if their personally identifiable information (PII) is breached.

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Is Your Data Security Vulnerable to Low-Tech Hacking Techniques & Physical Security Flaws?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Wed, Sep 09, 2015

Hackers are constantly looking for system vulnerabilities in order to plant spyware, malware and ransomware on unsuspecting computers, thus allowing them to infiltrate networks and steal data. They spend considerable time and resources writing new virus codes that can sneak past firewalls and antivirus programs. In fact, it's estimated that about 10,000 new threats are discovered every hour, over 200,000 new malware definitions show up globally each day.

Fortunately, security firms have gotten very good at thwarting most cybercrime attempts. If — and it is a very big if — your firewall and antivirus software are constantly monitored and updated, and your organization adheres to some basic data security best practices, then the chances of getting your system compromised digitally via the Internet can be minimized.

RELATED: 5 Key Principles for Data Security

A far more likely way that crooks get their hands on proprietary data, even in today’s Digital Age, is by using very low tech analog techniques such as simply walking into an office or cubicle and physically stealing it. Read on to learn more about these common low-tech hacking techniques so that you can better protect your data.

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Which Windows Server is Best for Your SMB? WS 2012 vs. 2008 vs. Azure

Brian Norton

Posted by Brian Norton
Tue, Sep 01, 2015

After a 15-month extension, support for Windows Server 2003 officially ended in July 2015, leaving many SMBs wondering what to replace it with.

Nearly 10 million WS 2003 servers will have to be shut down, have their data and apps removed and be re-deployed on new servers. This server migration will be challenging enough for large enterprises with dedicated IT departments.

For small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) with fewer resources, the task of a server upgrade may seem overwhelming. An assessment by a trusted managed services provider (MSP) — one who understands your company’s core mission — is a good place for an SMB to start the process.

Your MSP needs to understand both how your business operates, and its culture. Matching the right server with an SMB entails many factors such as the size of the enterprise and the number of users, budget constraints, and license fee costs.

The entire migration takes time and planning, but here is an overview of each of these three server options available to replace Windows Server 2003:

  1. Windows Server 2012 Standard and R2
  2. Windows Server 2008
  3. Microsoft Azure
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5 Data Backup Method Options for SMB Business Continuity Plans

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Data backup is essential for any business, and the small-to-midsized business (SMB) is especially vulnerable to the effects of a data loss, either as the result of a natural disaster or a data breach. After deciding on the type of backup to use (full, differential, and/or incremental), as I discussed in a previous blog, the next step is to choose a storage medium (or mediums).

Choosing the right data backup method for your small business is a serious matter. Often the best route is to consult with a managed services provider (MSP), preferably one who is brand agnostic and who aims to understand your business.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and each data storage option has its pros and cons. Read on to learn about each of these five data backup methods:

  1. Magnetic tape
  2. Hard disk drive
  3. Optical media
  4. Solid state storage
  5. Cloud-based storage
Read More

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About this blog

News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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