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

“Spring into IT Seminar” for small businesses, May 11 in Ann Arbor

Online Tech will be hosting a spring IT seminar on May 11 at their newest Ann Arbor Data Center to discuss the latest trends in mobile, data security, cloud computing and HIPAA compliance. The free seminar, “Spring into IT,” will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature eight unique knowledge-sharing sessions from industry-leading technology experts. It’s open to small business owners across the state.

(Learn more about the Seminar by listening to an interview with Online Tech CEO Yan Ness on Wed., May 9, 10 a.m. on the Michigan Business Network.)

Presentation topics vary from how to prevent a data breach to securing data in the cloud, and provide valuable tips for security-conscious industries, from healthcare to ecommerce. The speakers include Brian Foley, VMware; Steve Aiello, CISSP, Online Tech; Chris Schmitt, Online Tech; Adam Goslin, High Bit Security; Joe Dylewski, Health Care Management; Noah Wolff, Online Tech; and Linda Daichendt, Mobile Technology Association of Michigan.

Presentations will focus on data security and compliance, ending with a special keynote speech by Linda Daichendit on the smartphone phenomenon. The speech, “The Mobile Explosion: What Does It Mean for You, Your Business and Michigan’s Economy?” will commence at noon and conclude the seminar. As Executive Director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, Daichendt has over twenty years of corporate, small business and franchising experience. Her focus is on educating Michigan business, government and education stakeholders about mobile technology's impact on growing Michigan's economy.

Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m. and will provide time for networking. Presentations will begin at 8:30 a.m. For more details and a complete schedule of events, click here

Coffee and a continental breakfast will be served in the morning and gourmet pizza for lunch. Seating is limited, so pre-registration is required. You can reserve your seat by visiting the event registration page

Ann Arbor firm honored for 2012 Innovation of the Year. How did they win? Details on the SBAM audio seminar of the week (3:47)

From left, MI-SBTDC State Director Carol Lopucki, Evigia founder Navid Yazdi, SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler

Evigia Systems Inc. of Ann Arbor was recognized May 3 in Lansing at the 2012 Michigan Celebrates Small Business event. Evigia received the Innovation Award for their products that allow a customer to track the location and condition of assets through long battery life wireless devices. Click below to listen to an interview of Evigia founder and CEO Navid Yazdi (from SBAM’s “Business Next” Internet radio show.) The Innovation Award is presented by the Small Business Association of Michigan and the Michigan Small Business Technology Development Centers.

Get Your Business Online: Spring clean your to-do list

Spring cleaning for small businesses typically means organizing invoices and answering unread customer emails. Given that 97 percent of customers are looking online for products and services, it's also a great time to consider creating a website. SBAM has partnered with Google to make it easier by providing a free website, domain name and hosting for one year. For more information, visit www.michigangetonline.com.

Mobile technology, an opportunity for small businesses

By Linda Diachendt (from SBAM’s member-only Focus on Small Business magazine)

Mobile technology; when you think of it, you likely think of all the things you can do with today’s smartphones and tablet devices. Perhaps you’re an avid social media user from your cell phone, or you use it to find directions to restaurants, or download coupons that the grocery cashier can scan, or use it to make price comparisons and get product reviews on potential purchases while shopping; all extremely useful – and all benefits from a consumer viewpoint.

But what if you’re a business owner? How can mobile technologies (and I do mean technologies – plural; more about this later) benefit businesses, particularly small businesses. The answer may surprise you.

Marketing

During the last two to three years you’ve likely heard and read a lot about the benefits provided by Mobile Marketing. And it’s true, it’s an excellent option – particularly for small businesses that are typically trying to maximize the ROI of every dollar they spend. It’s an exceptional channel for marketing because:
 
  • it achieves average response rates of 12 – 15 percent (many verticals achieve response rates as high as 60+ percent) vs. two to three percent for most traditional marketing channels.
  • 84 percent of cell phone users have their devices within 10 feet of them at all times, which means they’re always accessible.
  • 97 percent of people who receive a text message review them within 15 minutes of receipt, which means it’s highly likely they’ll see your marketing message
  • it’s a low-cost, high-impact marketing channel. 
But there are many other less obvious business uses for the wide variety of mobile technologies as well; technologies such as Bluetooth, GPS, RFID, QR codes, mobile apps, mobile websites and more.

Sales/Customer Service

Sales and customer service is a use of mobile technology that businesses are just beginning to explore as a way to increase functionality for consumers, as well as increasing staff performance levels and company productivity. Examples include:

  • Mobile Ordering/Payments – enable customers to order and pay for products or services via cell phone with a mobile website or app – you don’t even have to involve a staff member!
  • Client Management – utilize cloud-computing technology to enable staff to access company records from wherever they are via mobile devices.
  • Showcase Products/Services – use video technology on a mobile device to help sales staff more effectively communicate the benefits of your product or service.
  • News/Updates – important, time-sensitive customer updates can be sent directly to opted-in clients using SMS (text) messaging; send updates about product launches, product updates or upcoming events.
  • Emergency Notification – SMS (text) messaging is a great way to notify employees or customers during an emergency. Send critical updates during natural disasters, last-minute event location changes or cancellations caused by weather.
  • Customer Service – offer customer support and problem resolution via text; also enable customers to check order status, confirm appointments or reservations, change reservations and track packages via apps or mobile websites.
  • Customer Payments – use mobile technology to allow field staff to take customer payments via mobile; get immediate payment and protect customer’s credit card information, risk-free!
  • Lead Generation – offer value in exchange for signing up to your ‘opt-in’ list; provide prospects a link to a white-paper, a special discount, a video, or other standard B2B strategic tools in exchange for ‘opting-in’. Use mobile to gather additional info about prospects as part of the ‘opt-in’ process to enable effective targeting during future mobile campaigns.
  • Trade Shows – use mobile at trade shows to ex

Use your email more productively. Today at 10 a.m. on Business Next.

Michael Rogers talks about email productivity with communications consultant Jack Pyle, the "Face to Face Maximizer." Listen today 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

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.    
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