Information Technology

Technology is constantly changing, so how can you be sure your systems are up-to-date?  We can help you learn how to manage and use the technological tools you need to operate efficiently.  You'll also find easy and affordable ways to outsource your information technology needs, ensuring the security and optimal effectiveness of your systems.  Because let's face it ... unless you are in the IT business, you probably need some help.

Cyber Security Resources

cyber threatsThe threat of a cyber attack on your small business is very real.

SBAM has put together a variety of resources to help you become informed. Click here for details.


Managed IT Services

NUWAVEAre your IT systems operating efficiently?

With the proper technology and implementation team, your company can realize dramatic productivity and profitability gains. NuWave Technology Partners' unique approach provides clients with a single point-of-contact for all their telephone and data needs, and covers the spectrum from servicing existing phone systems to complete new installations.

Related News

MEDC's Mike Finney and a culture change of supporting small business. Wednesday on the Business Next program!

There’s a new state culture that supports small business growth and entrepreneurship. Michael Rogers talks with MEDC President and CEO Mike Finney about how the culture change came about. Also on Wednesday's program, Dave Haviland of Phimation Strategy Group in Ann Arbor talks about the important it is that fast growing small businesses have accurate job descriptions; business consultant Tom Borg discusses his three tips for business success; and U.S. SBA National Small Business Financial Champion Dave Adams, CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League, talks about the role of credit unions in meeting the needs of small business owners and how to boost your chances of getting a business loan at your credit union.

Listen Wednesday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.    

Monday on Business Next! New survey that shows small businesses make more money if they utilize broadband

Business Next host Michael Rogers talks with Eric Frederick of Connect Michigan about their survey that shows small businesses make more money if they utilize broadband. Also on Monday's show, Murdick’s Fudge of Mackinac Island celebrates 125 years as a small business, Ken Hayward of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island talks about the hotel’s impact on tourism and small business, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant talks about the progress being made in making Michigan more regulation-friendly to small business owners.

Listen Monday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.     

New report says small businesses lag big firms in using broadband

A report issued by Connect Michigan finds that small employers are missing some business opportunities by failing to take advantage of broadband Internet connectivity in the workplace. The Broadband: Empowering Small Businesses to Grow and Thrive report is available online. Hear an interview with Eric Frederick, State Program Manager for Connect Michigan, on Mon. June 4 on SBAM’s Business Next audio seminar on the Michigan Business Network.

Key findings from this report:

  • About two out of three Michigan businesses with fewer than 20 employees use broadband, which is significantly lower than among larger Michigan businesses
  • Fewer than one-half of small Michigan businesses have websites, and they are also significantly less likely to allow their employees to telework or use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to communicate compared to businesses with 20 employee or more
  • Nearly four out of five broadband-connected businesses with fewer than 20 employees (79%) go online to buy or place orders for products or services, the most popular online application among these businesses
  • Broadband-connected Michigan businesses with fewer than 20 employees report median annual revenues of approximately $300,000, compared to just $100,000 among similarly-sized competitors that do not use broadband
  • Statewide, nearly three out of ten (29%) businesses with fewer than 20 employees earn at least some of their revenues from online sales; on average these businesses earn about one-third (34%) of their revenues from online transactions
  • Statewide, businesses with fewer than 20 employees generate nearly $6.9 billion in online revenues for Michigan
Availability is the main barrier reported by one in ten small Michigan businesses that do not subscribe – this translates into approximately 6,000 Michigan businesses that could go online if broadband were available to them

The report was released at the Michigan Collaborative Broadband Committee (CBC) meeting in Lansing. The CBC is a group of representatives from K-12 education, higher education, broadband service providers, non-profits, tourism, business, agriculture, government, and other organizations that have an interest in improving Michigan’s broadband availability and encouraging meaningful adoption.

"High-speed broadband is an essential catalyst for the growth and expansion of small businesses here in the state of Michigan,” said Tremaine Phillips, Chief Program Officer with the Prima Civitas Foundation. “Cloud computing and telecommuting can greatly reduce the capital expenditures of small businesses and start-ups. While ultra-high-speed broadband is becoming increasingly available, businesses that are unable to utilize these tools are placed at a competitive disadvantage globally."

Photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/firas1/

The economic impact of small business mobile technology firms in Michigan. Friday on Business Next!

Linda Daichendt, president of the Mobile Technology Association, talks about the economic impact of small business mobile technology firms in Michigan; Detroit News business reporter Jaclyn Trop reports on how southeast Michigan entrepreneurs are brushing up on their public speaking skills to boost their chances of business success; profile of a southeast Michigan small business (Cleanair Treatments LLC) that helps keep homes and businesses clean and sanitary; and how much space does you business really need when renting office space? Interview with Lynn Drake of Compass Commercial.

Listen Wednesday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.   

Employee-owned personal electronic devices: Think ahead or lose control

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

By Michael J. Burns

How often have you looked around the table at a business meeting to see one or more employees gazing intently downward, fingers furiously punching away on their personal hand-held devices? Hopefully, they are keeping up with their work this way; but, assuming they are, can you be sure that is a good idea? More businesses today permit employees to use their personally-owned equipment to access work, but how often do they realize the legal and security implications of that activity?

According to a BLR report of a recent survey by YouGov and Research Now, 67% of surveyed companies have no policy covering their employees’ use of their personal devices for work purposes.

What happens to company data and information, and even trade secrets, that find their way onto an employee’s electronic device and then leave with the employee to another job? Or to sensitive information that is hacked by an outsider from the employee’s smartphone? Or to information normally purged from the company’s system in a lawsuit that turns up instead on an employee’s personal device?

Employers are now confronted with several dilemmas around the value derived from the convenience of employees using their own devices—paid for by themselves—to work more efficiently. Typically the employer does not pay for the purchase of these devices, and many do not pay the usage fees even though they may have arranged for the device to “sync” up with the company system. Under those circumstances, who owns or controls the information and data on the devices when push comes to shove?

Suffice it to say, if an employer does not have a policy and certain controls in place, it is not the company that owns or controls what data and information gets placed in that device.

Companies have adopted three types of policies to address these concerns about employee-owned electronic device policies:

Shared Management. Company policy states that an employee accessing business resources from a personal device gives the company the right to manage, lock, and wipe that device. The policy is normally put into a written agreement.

Corporate Ownership. The company owns and buys the device. If employees don’t like the company-issued device, they can buy their own personal device that has no corporate access.

Legal Transfer. The company buys the device from the employee. Normally, the company will purchase the device for some nominal amount (e.g., $5) and give the employee the right to use it for personal purposes. The employee has the right to buy the device back for the same price when he or she leaves the company.

If a company wants to have access to all communications the only way to guarantee control over the device and information by the company is to buy the device. Otherwise, employers need to determine what their tolerance is to the security risk. What is the sensitivity of the information being handled? What security concerns exist in the company’s business/industry?

Short of owning the device outright,  employers should fashion policies that address the following:

  • Initiate a “wipe” policy. This is done by requiring employees download software that allows the company to access the device (remotely even) and remove the company data.
  • Require written agreements that confirm employee’s understanding of the risks and responsibilities.
  • Make the use of the company system by personal electronic devices exclusive only to designated persons or positions.
  • Require employees to submit their devices to periodic inspection and make device inspection part of the exit interview. (This should be agreed to in writing and in advance.)
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