Which Server Solution Is Best For High-Traffic Websites?

When you come to catalyst2, you have the opportunity to collaborate with a company that, thanks to twenty years of experience, has a keen understanding of this particular field. Being providers of top-tier UK dedicated servers means that unlike some of the other data centres in the country, we can offer insightful advice on the best course of action. Should you wish to educate yourself further on this matter, feel free to familiarise yourself with the words of wisdom imparted by our experts below.

Flexible Server

The moment that you start your company, you will undoubtedly be looking to try and enhance the way that you attract new customers – this is particularly true of those firms which are competing against a saturated market. Some of the other options, whilst technically superior, can take an extended amount of time to set-up, hence why you may not pay them much heed. However, there are ways in which to get around this; case-and-point, flexible servers are seeing their popularity spike, and it is not difficult to see why.

Many people believe that the most important advantage associated with flexible servers is the fact that you can create a bespoke agreement which adequately caters to your needs. This is a service which does not force you to continuously pump money into a service which does not directly benefit you. The contracts are a minimum of one week, meaning that you can use this service as a type of stop-gap prior to entering into a long-term deal. These offers are dedicated to those companies which are perhaps struggling to determine the direction that they are going in.

Unlike the majority of the other options listed below, what allows the flexible server to stand apart from the rest is the fact that you can continuously adapt and change. If you are thinking that more could be done to improve your campaigns, you can request that your assigned technicians pay closer attention to the typical accomplishments of your website. This type of information can serve to provide insight into what needs to be improved.

Cloud Hosting

In recent years, you may have noticed the fact that there have been significant advances in our technical capabilities. This can be seen in various aspects of modern-day life – from the smartphones that we use on a daily basis, to the compact-yet-powerful laptops which we utilise, the changes are evident. The evolution has also impacted the manner in which people host their business websites – one such innovative change has come in the form of cloud-based systems.

In essence, this is a service which looks to minimise the expenses of smaller corporations, whilst not impacting the way that their websites run. In times gone by, the only option for you would involve storing your data on a piece of physical hardware – these types of services are still available, as you can see from the other options listed.

There are few services in the modern technical world which can match the level of cyber security which is apparent in cloud-based systems. Due to the fact that they are based solely on the internet, without adequate protection they would be targeted by those with nefarious intentions. Not only will state-of-the-art firewalls be in place, but virtual LANs mean that sensitive client data cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties. Problems relating to malware will not be something that you will lose sleep over, and you can be sure that this will probe to be invaluable. A little-known fact that will also put your mind at ease is that you are capable of integrating bespoke software that has been designed in-house. – Read more

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5 Tips for Improved Productivity This Winter

Productivity doesn’t have to suffer when bad weather hits. Here are 5 tips to improve employee productivity this winter.

Winter may conjure up imagery suitable for a Norman Rockwell painting: gently falling snow, cozy indoor gatherings, and a parade of holidays. But the cold hard truth is that the business impact of winter weather is anything but idyllic.

Winter storms have a history of wreaking havoc on the economy. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), winter storms in the U.S. resulted in $3.3 billion of damages and 33 deaths in 2018. But it’s not just companies in the path of those epic nor’easters that need to take heed. The Arctic blast that swept across the nation in November 2019 affected more than 200 million Americans as far as the state of Texas.

You can’t fix the weather, but you can prepare for it. Having a plan in place ensures that your employees from across the company, remote or onsite, know what to do when bad weather hits. Depending on how your organization is structured, you may have a skeleton crew who has one set of instructions to follow during the office shutdown, executives with a different checklist, and local employees with completely different expectations.

Picture of snow-covered road

Winter Weather Preparedness ChecklistDownload our checklist to assess your organization’s readiness for winter threats.DOWNLOAD NOW

5 Simple Tips To Improve Productivity This Winter

If you want to improve your productivity this winter, follow these tips. Your employees will thank you, and your administrators, managers, and business leaders will appreciate the forethought.

Tip 1: Keep contact information updated

We all know that when an emergency arises, we want information and we want it now. Companies should take the time to make sure they have up-to-date contact information. Relying on an outdated employee directory that can only be accessed from an office computer doesn’t help anyone stranded at home.

Instead, use an integrated communication system that can target important messaging to specific audiences. Notifications can be sent via multiple channels, including push notifications, texts, emails, voice calls, and even social media. No matter where your employees may be, you can be certain they receive the information and have a way to respond. They will be able to get back to work more quickly, putting less of a dent in that productivity stat.

Tip 2: Stay in the know

Weather can change in an instant. As an office administrator or safety director, it may be up to you to determine whether or not the road conditions are safe for your employees to use. Don’t assume your employees are watching the local news feeds. Don’t rely on hearsay, either. Your employees need to hear it directly from you.

Set up weather alerts to help you make real-time decisions about road conditions, then communicate your decision rapidly across multiple communication channels using an emergency communication system. Your employees will receive a text, push notification, email, and/or phone call notifying them of road conditions, modified business hours, and even a phone number they can call with any questions. As the weather conditions change, send updates to keep employees informed throughout the event.

Tip 3: Be ready to make decisions

Before and during a weather event, business leaders need to be in constant communication to be on the same page. It can be challenging to get every stakeholder on a phone call and emails are grossly inefficient. There’s no way to ensure everyone received and read the email, and tracking all the responses can be a challenge.

The first step is to develop a list of roles and responsibilities per person–who will be assigned as lead communicator, decision-maker(s), point person, etc. This list should be developed well ahead of any threat of bad weather. Once the storm hits, you want everyone to know what they need to do. Use a communication system to keep everyone connected to quickly collaborate on decisions. AlertMedia can even set up a conference call among key stakeholders with just a click of a button. This can be especially useful if you need to have a brief conversation to discuss whether to close the office. Compared to a back-and-forth email chain, this will save precious time when you need it most.

Tip 4: Have resources ready

Part of the planning process is to have the actual plan ready before the event occurs. Anticipate every potential scenario. What if the roads are impassable for one day? For three days? What if the power at the office is interrupted? Or what if some employees can make it to work and others can’t? What if employees can get to work but all of the schools are shut down?

Work through these different scenarios so you aren’t scrambling when the ice begins to form. This plan may change per season, so it’s a good idea to have different action plans for the different types of threats. Be sure to include possible alternate routes, specific point people employees can contact, and any opportunities to enable employees to work from home. You may also want to talk with your building supervisor to see what plans they have in place to keep the parking lot accessible and power and plumbing in working order.

Tip 5: Use technology to your advantage

Technology has come a long way, even in the past several years. Email may have been the technology of choice in the past, but today it won’t cut it. Instead, companies are opting to use a comprehensive communication system. Why? It offers infinitely more flexibility, functionality, scalability, and something email simply can’t provide – instant communications you know are getting through.

AlertMedia’s communication platform gives organizations the ultimate solution for internal communications. Our system allows users to send employees messages quickly and easily across multiple communication channels. Segment your population to send messages to precisely the employees who need to receive them. Then track open rates to make sure that every employee is in the know. – Read more

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How CRM Helps Manufacturing Businesses Accelerate Their Marketing and Sales

As a manufacturer, it can be tempting to ignore your need for customer relationship management software (CRM). After all, your focus is mostly on your supply chain, production, and distribution. However, leaving your customers as figures on a spreadsheet can close many marketing and sales opportunities to you.

So how can CRM systems help manufacturers boost their sales and marketing? A strong CRM system primarily assists manufacturers by fostering a better understanding of who their customers are. With CRM functions, a manufacturing company can efficiently track sales pipelines, implement marketing campaigns, and perform more activities that improve their customer engagement. 

Why You Need CRM For Sales and Marketing

Customer relationship management software are tools that enable you to manage and improve your relationships with prospects and customers alike. CRM technology is built to give businesses a database about their customers and how these customers interact with the enterprise at every touchpoint. The two departments in every company that benefit the most from using CRM are sales and marketing.

CRM for Sales

As sales reps do their research and field work, they come back with plenty of data about customers and prospects. With CRM, they can spend more time building relationships and nurturing leads instead of manually typing or organizing information.

Aside from helping sales reps perform better, a centralized CRM also allows sales managers to track sales team performance and identify any bottlenecks that are clogging up company growth. Since everyone shares their information on one platform, performance hurdles become much clearer to upper management.

CRM for Marketing

Even better, the customer database on a centralized CRM won’t be limited for sales team use. They can share relevant, updated information with marketing so this team would know the customers to best prepare campaigns for. Maybe a prospect had a question and the sales rep typed this in the CRM. Instead of forgetting or misplacing a note, marketing would be able to see the query and maybe create content around that concern.

Marketing would have a better handle on what can capture potential customers and create more focused, targeted messages with CRM. Your marketing team would also see which campaigns were successful and can easily replicate what worked.

To sum it up, CRM can support your business in its marketing and sales efforts by cutting down the time you spend on manual data-entry and providing you valuable, fresh insights about your customers.

CRM vs ERP: What’s the Difference?

Businesses rely on two software solutions to automate their core business processes. CRM is one and enterprise resource planning (ERP) is another. Both are crucial data repositories that provide support for multiple departments. The best way to describe what makes them different is that CRM is for front-office management while ERP focuses on back-office tasks.

CRM mostly takes care of customers and tracks how they interact with the business. Initially, this software was conceptualized as sales force automation (SFA), with customer service and marketing thrown into the mix later on.

On the other hand, ERP combines financial and operational data onto a central database so businesses can make data-driven decisions quickly. Originally, ERP began as material requirements planning (MRP) which served as a system for manufacturers to monitor and manage all the resources they needed to operate the enterprise successfully.

At its core, ERP technology is all about managing finances, orders, inventory, and the supply chain. Some ERP software also touch a bit on production, procurement, distribution, and even HR or eCommerce.

In the manufacturing industry, ERP is an essential tool to have so it’s highly likely that you’re already using one. However, nearly all growing companies will eventually need to use both platforms to promote sustainable, scalable growth. After all, you can’t take on more customers without the right resources. You won’t be able to tap into all the rich data by relying on spreadsheets and sticky notes alone.

Whether or not you’re a small-midsize business or a thriving enterprise, it’s best to integrate CRM with your ERP rather than maintaining them separately. – Read more

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