#1 Ensuring your applications are compatible
Most new Computer Systems these days tend to come with a flabour of Windows Vista, the new Microsoft Operating System. Make sure that all applications are compatible before you commit to any purchases.
#2 OEM software
Buying software is usually cheaper when purchased as an OEM version when you buy a new Computer System. On some programs the discount can be hundreds of dollars.
#3 Central management
If you have multiple PCs at your office get a product that is enterprise ready which allows management, updates and configuration to be done centrally from a single Computer or a server.
#4 Microsoft Compatibility Packs
More and more companies are upgrading to the latest Microsoft Office Suite, MS Office 2007, if you are still using MS Office 2003 or earlier versions you will find that you may not be able to open/edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations. Microsoft have released a Compatibolity Pack and can be downloaded for free from Microsoft. Click here
#5 Big Brand Support
When looking for a new Server for the office it is probably best to buy a brand name like HP, IBM, DELL with 24×7 or 9×5 minimum 3 year onsite support. If something happens to the server you can call them and they will replace the faulty part. Saying that it is YOUR responsibility to have full backups of all your data in case a restoration has to take place. Your IT partner will take care of your backups and advice you accordingly.
#6 Backing up regularly
Make sure Backups take place on regular basis and multiple copies are kept at the premises and off-site. It is necessary to check those backups every now and then to make sure that data can be recovered successfully. There is no point of having backups of all your data if you can not restore your data.
#7 Business Grade Firewalls
Small companies tend to install on very basic firewalls, usually Home based products. Make sure your Firewall is business grade and properly configured. Your IT Partner will be able to help you configure it and advice accordingly.
#8 Looking into VoIP
When setting up a new office make sure you look into VoIP for your telephony. A well configured VoIP system will save you 20%, 30% up to 60% of your phone bill, give you a plethora of extra functionality and allow you to integrate with software packages. VoIP integrates fully with your network, does not require different cabling and moving your phones to a new office is exactly like moving your computer systems.
#9 Blocking spam
Spam can cripple a business, over 87% of the emails send on the internet are classified as spam. There is products that integrate with firewalls that can scan emails and drop spam messages. There is products that run along side your Mail Server (Microsoft or Linux based) that will clean the emails and move messages flagged a spam o a special folder for reviewing.