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 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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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
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3 Types of Data Backups: Full vs. Differential vs. Incremental Backups

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Wed, Aug 26, 2015

August and September signal the end of summer, the beginning of a new school year, and the start of hurricane season. As we approach the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy — which raced up the East Coast in October, 2012, destroying homes, businesses and even some data — we're reminded just how important data is to today’s business, especially the small-to-midsized business (SMB).

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 25 percent of small businesses never recover from a data loss. Every organization should have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan — and a key component of that plan should include a data backup system.

Data backup is a big topic, and businesses first must to determine what type of backup is the right choice for their business (full back up, differential back up, incremental back up, or a combination). Then, they must decide on how to implement it (tape storage, hard disk, optical storage, solid state storage, cloud providers, etc.).

RELATED: No More Excuses: Erase Tape Backups From Your Business Continuity Plan

In a different blog post, I'll detail the specific hardware and software backup methods available to SMBs in order to implement a data backup plan. In this article, I'll stick to outlining the 3 basic types of data back ups:

  1. Full backup
  2. Differential backup
  3. Incremental backup
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Who Needs to be HIPAA Compliant?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Wed, Jun 24, 2015

The common misconception that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is just for medical companies is one that could have serious consequences, especially for a small-to-midsized business (SMB).

The act has official rules that specify required compliance by covered entities (CE), which are: healthcare providers, health plans, or healthcare clearinghouses, and business associates — that is, any company that comes in contact with electronic protected health information (e-PHI). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all of these are considered covered entities and must comply with HIPAA encryption requirements to protect the privacy and security of protected health information.

Keep reading to learn more about:

  1. Who needs to be HIPAA compliant
  2. Why being compliant is a necessity
  3. PHI implications
  4. And more
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5 Factors for Secure Guest Access to Your SMB Wireless Network

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Wed, May 13, 2015

Wireless access to the Internet has become nearly ubiquitous, and it is the rare small-to-midsized business (SMB) that doesn’t wish to provide wifi access for guests. But some caution is needed. Connecting to a company’s wireless local area networks (WLAN) should be quick and easy for customers, contractors, business partners, and others with smart devices. However, without a WLAN security policy in place for such access, you could open the door for some major network security vulnerabilities. 

Here are the five factors an IT department, or managed service provider (MSP), should consider in provisioning wireless guest access without sacrificing WLAN security for SMB networks:

  1. Know who your guests are
  2. Use session based security keys
  3. Have a splash page agreement
  4. Set access time limits
  5. Use identity management

Read on to learn how you can implement each of these important factors for security.

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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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