Top 3 Must Have services for your Business in 2010

"Jamie Dolan - Akiva & Vasco"

"Jamie Dolan - Akiva & Vasco"


by: jamie dolan

2010 is going to be the year that we really see online applications take off. We will see more and more programs move off your desktop and onto a web site. This method offers a number of advantages, including true automatic updates – the end user does nothing, professional back-up of all data and access to your files and application from anywhere there is Internet access.

1. E-mail marketing. If you’re not using e-mail to promote your business, then you’re missing out on a great way to stay in touch with your customers. The old way of sending out e-mails from your computer is out, for a number of reasons. If you send mail to your customers from your computer, you will find it quite difficult to comply with the numerous regulations that apply to e-mail marketing. You will also find that a very high percentage of your e-mail messages end up in SPAM folders, never to be seen.
This problem has been solved with online e-mail / mailing list applications. It is a great use for an online application. Providers like Aweber, and Constant Contact, whom you pay a monthly subscription fee to for their service, do all of the hard work. One of the most important features is that they ensure you stay compliant with the laws regarding SPAM. The other major benefit they offer is something that is virtually impossible for you to accomplish on your own. They maintain relationships with many of the major ISP’s as well as companies like Gmail and Hotmail. This allows almost all of the messages sent from their service to go directly to the inbox. These services start at around $19 a month and are well worth the investment if you have more than just a handful of clients.

2. Online Backup Services. While this isn’t completely an online application, it makes use of online server resources and takes care of most of the work for you. We are now seeing many mainstream backup services. The company that provides the backup service will allow you to download a small program onto your computer. This program will automatically upload your data via the Internet to their servers. They will let you know (the good backup companies) if there is a problem with your backup or if it was not able to connect to their backup servers for some reason. These services start at just a few dollars a month and will not only give you peace of mind, but will save you many hours of creating backup disks.

3. Professional E-mail hosting. For more than a decade now, many companies have hosted their own e-mail servers in house. Often Microsoft Exchange is used. Running a server often requires a dedicated full time systems administrator. This setup is not only costly, but can almost never approach the level of reliability that a commercial hosting company can offer. It wasn’t until recently that you had the choice, but now there are a number of companies that offer enterprise level Exchange server hosting. Enterprise level e-mail services for your regular, non Exchange e-mail are available now as well. These services offer e-mail backup, permanent record keeping of all incoming and outgoing e-mails, hippa compliance and more.

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