How Small Business Owners Can Work from Anywhere - Page 2 of 2 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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Keys2Day Real Estate firm owner Syreeta Saunders-Keys found peace in the Cloud (Image: Courtesy of subject)

Now, for $110 per month everyone at Keys2Day Real Estate has access to each others calendars, and all of their email and file archives are stored in one of InfoStreet’s tier 1 SAS 70 data centers with backup generators. Another huge benefit is that Saunders-Keys and her employees can access their desktop no matter where they go. She can log in from her home computer and will see the same thing she sees when she logs in at the office.

If you are considering a migration from a local server over to a cloud-based server here are Thomas’s five tips for preparing your business and your employees before migrating to the cloud.

* Know your network. Your office network consists of not just applications that you use on a day-to-day basis, but also applications that run on the servers in the back room. By knowing what is on those servers you can eliminate any surprise when moving to the cloud.

* Be aware of the amount of support you need. Most cloud providers offer tiered support. If you can’t handle training your users then get the top support level and let the provider do it. If you can train people, go with one of the lower levels. Because support is flexible and normally month-to-month, it can be adjusted to your needs.

* Hold several training sessions. The CEO should take the time to learn how the tools work and also take the extra time to teach your team. It will pay off in the long run. Mmake sure they understand the benefits of making that change so they don’t fall back into the old system. When they take the time to train employees you see 100% adoption instantly.

* Make sure you have a good Internet connection. When you go to the cloud the internet is your lifeline. You have to make sure you have a good connection. Take some of the money that you are saving on servers and invest it into maintaining two internet vendors for redundancy sake. Also plan for internet disruptions by keeping a satellite enabled device like a cell phone with a WiFi hotspot.

* Remember price scales. Remember at all times that as your company grows, the price for your cloud tool normally reduces per user. Don’t forget to contact your provider to switch plans if you are experiencing significant growth. This way you will realize maximum savings.

* Make migration easy. “It is imperative that you mirror the current environment that you are using today as closely as possible,” says Thomas. “People hate change. “They won’t want to suddenly jump to a new piece of technology. Once you show them how it is similar and useful, it will automatically keep them from feeling threatened.”

* Eliminate the ability for them to go backwards. The hardest part about moving to the cloud is user adoption. When users don’t adopt the new tool they will fall back on your old systems, which is extremely counter productive. You will have to run both systems during a parallel time, but the second that you can cut off the old system, cut it off, says Thomas.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.