Servers for Small Business: Necessary?

Okay, so one of the things that we do best at Panacea Solutions is collaborate. How do we collaborate? We communicate! We are consistently in constant direct and indirect communication with one another and our customers. We like to stay on top of things with all of our customers by managing and keeping up-to-date with their needs. We pay very close attention to the continuous advancements in technology. We provide the best only because we continually strive to be the best. That is how we define excellence. That is our one purpose, our one goal, our one drive. Hey, that reminds me, have you ever heard of OneDrive? In all seriousness, I know most of us have heard of it or have been bombarded by pop-ups about it on our PCs. But have you considered using it as part of your business model?


If you are a small business owner, here are a couple of things you may have heard to "better run your business":


GET A SERVER


At one time or another you may have been presented with the concept of managing all of your information technology assets from a single device; a server. Having a server can be a wonderful thing.


If managed properly, a server will store and connect file shares within a company, manage user accesses and permissions, and provide individually configured segmented accesses for machines and users on the company's network.


It can even be used for patch management, setting group policies (group policy 2) (group policy 3), line of business application management, remote desktop management . . . the list goes on and on.


But, interestingly enough, most small businesses do not take full advantage of these capabilities. Most servers are used mainly for hosting a centralized file-sharing hub and adding or removing users so they can access and update those basic day-to-day files.


This is also known as Active Directory services.


It is not cheap to run and maintain a physical server. A cheaper server may be under $100/month when renting, or under $500 when buying. A more expensive server is typically over $100/month and over $1500-$2000 to buy. And that's mostly the server operating system licensing and IT Management labor costs for set up and maintenance. That's a lot of overhead for something that is not being used to it's full potential!!! Think of it like financing a luxury high-performance automobile, paying the insurance premiums, then only using it as a motorized grocery cart. Doesn't make sense right?


GET OFFICE 365


This I actually agree with. I know it's a subscription-based solution, which is a turn-off for most. But seriously, I cannot tell you how many times I have had to deliver the bad news to a user or a company that "Microsoft Office [year] is no longer supported by Microsoft" and that they have to, or should, upgrade to the newest version. It is not a fun conversation to have. Luckily the advent of Office 365 prevents that conversation from ever happening again, once you're on board with it at least, (again, not a fun conversation to have).


But here's the thing, it works!!! Office 365 keeps up-to-date with its software both physically on the computer and in the cloud (web-based). This means that if you happen to be at a computer that is not yours, but you desperately need to make a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or check your email, you can log in to your Office 365 account online and use the web-version of those applications from your account. Neat right?


What good is that for business owners that need to collaborate on certain projects and update files? Fear not, Office 365 offers services like SharePoint and . . . . OneDrive.


ONEDRIVE


OneDrive Microsoft's file sharing software. It lets you store and protect your files, share them with others, and get to them from anywhere on all your devices. Say goodbye to that file share server that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to maintain every month. And guess what? If you are already an Office 365 business customer, you already have access to this service!!! You're already paying for it, why not use it? Collaborate with co-workers on projects and work-flow documents at no extra cost than what you're already paying! Plus, it's all securely saved online! You can manage the content, user access, file share permissions, share groups . . . sound familiar? All of this can be configured through your Office 365 admin portal. Not sure how to set it up? Give us a call! We'd love to chat with you about it.


Seriously, this makes sharing files, communication, and collaboration so much easier. But if you are really committed to that server and the physical on-site storage, that's ok too. We are not here to judge, we are here to help. As a matter of fact, we'd love to chat with you about that too! There have been some exciting developments with on-site and cloud-based back-up storage, business continuity, and disaster recovery solutions . . . oh whoops, I am getting ahead of myself, that's for our next blog.


In the meantime, thank you for taking the time for reading this post. If you have any suggestions or feedback on current, past, or future content, we would love to hear from you. Let's collaborate! One purpose, one goal, OneDrive, Excellence.


Here are a few good articles to help you learn more about OneDrive and other file sharing apps for business:


Articles:


What is OneDrive for Work or School


OneDrive for Business Security: The Mystery is Solved


Top 14 Data Security Best Practices


What is OneDrive for Business, and Why Use It?


Small Business Servers: How to Choose the Best Server for a Business in 2020


Top 10 File-Sharing Apps for Businesses



Written by: Dan Ogle for Panacea Solutions, LLC.


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