Running a small business requires making important decisions. One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make in the early stages of your business is deciding whether to invest in desktop computers or laptops. Here are some considerations to help you decide.
The pandemic has driven the majority of businesses to adopt remote work setups. If your business will implement a similar arrangement, investing in laptops is the smart move, as your staff can easily take their device with them anywhere they want to work. However, there may be instances when this can turn out to be counterproductive: if your employees can jump into work mode easily, they may get the impression that they have to work 24/7.
As such, you must not discount desktops altogether. While laptops are light and portable, modern desktop computers aren’t nearly as immobile as they used to be. In many cases, desktop screens are thin and light, and all-in-one desktops are easy to move around.
Memory and speed
Before, desktop computers had more memory than laptops, and they were faster because they had bigger processors. This has now changed, thanks to improvements in laptop technology. But until high-powered laptops become affordable to the general public, desktop computers are going to provide your business with more memory, speed, and power for your money.
How much speed and memory you need depends on the work you do. If your employees’ work mostly entails word processing and emailing, laptops should be enough. But if they need to run gaming software or access heavy media files, better invest in desktops.
A desktop computer is more physically secure because it’s often kept in one location, making it easier to guard. And because a desktop’s internet access is often a single source (whether through Wi-Fi or cable), it’s easier to defend it against malware and cyberattacks.
If you choose to invest in laptops, make sure to have strict policies on how to protect devices that are used outside of the office. Don’t let your staff connect to unsecured networks, and use encryption tools to protect data from unauthorized access. You must also employ mobile device management software to enable your administrator to wipe data clean off laptops should they get lost or stolen.
Laptops, especially the smaller notebook-style ones, are a lot cheaper than desktops. However, desktop computers are also becoming more affordable through local channels and lenient payment terms. And with a capable IT services provider that can provide you with infrastructure or offer cheaper desktop options, cost probably won’t be a deciding factor.
Although laptop computers provide the convenience of portability, they’re prone to battery and charging cord problems. They are also easily damaged, especially if they are dropped or mishandled. By contrast, desktops are generally sturdier. But when they do experience a problem, repairing them can be expensive.
The desktop versus laptop debate is an old one, with supporters on both sides touting the advantages of their choice. A growing company usually needs a combination of both types of computers, especially as their needs evolve.
If you have questions regarding choosing the best computer for your company, give us a call. We’ll be happy to assist you in improving your business.
If your business hasn’t already found the right platforms to support your remote workforce, it’s high time you did so. When it comes to business communications, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet are among the best. Both come with audio and video call functions, but you may prefer one over the other once you get to know what each offers on top of these.
Microsoft Teams and Google Meet both offer enterprise-grade security, 1080p HD-quality video, and screen sharing capabilities, but there are some slight differences.
In the free version of Microsoft Teams, there is no limit to the number of people who can use its chat and document collaboration functions. Meanwhile, up to 20 users can join an audio or a video call. This number increases to 250 in the paid version.
What’s great about Microsoft Teams is it supports meeting and group call recording, and even has captions and transcription features. It also has an inline message translation feature that translates messages into the language specified in a user’s settings.
On the other hand, Google Meet’s free version supports up to 100 participants in a video call. What’s more, it has intelligent built-in features like muting and auto screen focus, which automatically switches the screen to the person who is currently talking. It also lets people join meetings even without Wi-Fi or data through unique dial-in phone numbers.
Integrations and add-ons
Microsoft Teams is, first and foremost, a unified platform that allows users to communicate and collaborate on a single platform. It comes with powerful content collaboration on Microsoft 365 apps (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and easily integrates with hundreds of other productivity and collaboration platforms.
Meanwhile, being a Google product, Google Meet fully integrates with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). For instance, users can schedule appointments and set call reminders within Google Meet using Google Calendar. Users can even broadcast their presentations live on YouTube.
Both Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have free versions but with limited features. With the free version of Microsoft Teams, users can join a meeting and use its screen and file sharing features even without an account. However, they cannot record and save meetings. They also cannot take advantage of call encryption and call-in features if they do not have a Microsoft 365 account.
The most affordable subscription is $5 per month per user, and an additional $4 per user is needed for the call-in capabilities. Adding webinar features is also an additional cost if users want to livestream events to hundreds of people.
Meanwhile, users can use Google Meet for free with their personal Gmail accounts, but also with limited capabilities. A subscription that starts at $6 per month per user, however, lets users get Google Meet along with all the other powerful Google business apps and tools.
What works for you?
Knowing the similarities and differences between the two platforms, it should be easy for you to decide which suits your business the best. Google designed Google Meet for startups and small companies that need a low-cost communications solution, while Microsoft Teams, with its robust features, is suitable for small and large businesses alike.
If you’re still unsure about either product, you can opt for a free trial to help you in making the decision. Otherwise, you can contact our team today so we can recommend a VoIP solution that’s perfect for your business.
Do the features of your company’s chat application feel limited? With many tasks and people involved in daily work, having a centralized chat app to help you organize your team not only makes you more efficient, but it also saves time. Here’s how you can use a simple app that lets you do much more.
The convenience of chat apps has enabled workers to cut time spent chatting with colleagues and spend more time doing their tasks. What’s more, work-related software is increasingly becoming more mobile- and user-friendly, with apps like Microsoft Teams bringing together several different platforms. Here’s how you can use that to your advantage:
Use SharePoint to store and share files
You might already be using SharePoint to store files and collaborate with your teammates. But did you know that in every Teams channel, you can click the Files tab to share files from SharePoint with team members? You can also access SharePoint files already shared in the channel and use Office Online or Office Desktop to collaborate on those files.
Forward emails into a channel
You get countless emails every day, many of which might be buried in your inboxes. Fortunately, Microsoft makes it easy to forward any email message from Outlook to a Teams channel so they show up in both platforms.
To do this, click the ellipsis (…) next to any channel name and select Get email address. This generates an email address for the channel, which you can copy and use to forward files, documents, and messages.
Stick with a few groups
While you can create as many groups within your organization as you like, going overboard can result in a cluttered messaging interface that overwhelms team members. Instead, you can create groups based on the number of projects and team members involved ー you can always add more if necessary.
Set up audio conferencing
Teams lets you host voice meetings with groups or with just one team member. This is particularly useful when communicating with remote workers or clients, in which case you can give them guest access to your Teams channel. Guest access ensures they’re able to communicate with someone but unable to view private information.
Test communication strategies
Just because some of the features in Teams overlap with other Microsoft platforms, such as Yammer and Skype for Business, doesn’t mean they’re all redundant. Think of it as a chance to test different communication strategies to find out what works best for you. For instance, if most of your clients have a Skype ID, you can use Skype for client calls.
Share conversations with new team members
Teams makes onboarding new hires easy. Rather than forwarding numerous emails and documents to new employees, use Teams to share past conversations and projects with them. This enables everyone to catch up without having to deal with cumbersome documents.
Microsoft Teams and other Office solutions are equipped with plenty of useful features that can take some time to master. But by taking advantage of these tools, you’ll be able to save time and maximize efficiency without having to spend a dime. If you have any questions about Microsoft Office and how it can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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