by December 2, 2003 0 comments





Is technology different for large and small organisations? Not necessarily. But what is implemented, the way it is implemented, and the money the small business may be willing to spend would all differ. Let me take a simple example, that of a car.

Designing the SME Network
Before deciding which hardware or software to choose, define what you want to run on your network and the throughput it would require
Planning your Power Requirement
First determine how much power outage your business can afford, and then decide the level of protection you need
Data Backup and Recovery
To decide what kind of backup solution you need, you have to first define how much data you really need to backup
Enough Bandwidth
What internet connectivity should a smallish organization go for
Setting Up An Intranet
Why you need an intranet and how you can set one up
Basic Groupware
With MS Windows SharePoint solution you can collaborate with colleagues on projects
SMTP Server for Small Networks
Setting up the PostCast server, a free SMTP server
Deploying Instant Messaging
Chat clients can help reduce long-distance phone bills. Using public clients in businesses is lucrative as they are free. But, keep in mind that you don’t have any control over who’s chatting with whom
Choosing the Right PC
Decide a PC’s specs, if you need to buy a new one or upgrade and the vendor support you’ll get
Choosing the Right Server
You could categorize servers by architecture, type of processor, usage, etc. Talk to any server vendor and you will swim in jargon. RISC or Intel? 32 bit or 64? Rack or blade? IDE or SCSI? You want RAID? Which level? How much redundancy?…. Confused?
Choosing a Notebook
Analyze your requirements and the features of the notebook before making your pick
Which Printer?
Choose between an inkjet, laser or MFD depending on your need: Personal or bulk printing
Print Economically
Save on hardware maintenance , paper and toner catridges
Must – Have Software
A list of software that make mundane tasks easier or enable you to perform tasks you could otherwise not have done
How To Do Patch Management
You could go for commercial packages, free software, or create your own patch management system using batch files
Faxing from your PC
Win 2000 and XP have built-in fax support, while for Win 98 and ME you need third-party software
Stream music on your network
Who says a smaller business can’t have the luxury of piped network music?
Network Security
This starts with educating users and devising a policy. Investment in security equipment comes next
Essential Anti-virus, Firewall and Anti-Spam
Protecting your system and networks from virus, worms and spam
Free Security Tools
A run through of the free yet powerful tools to keep your network secure
Your Company’s IT Policy
Create a set of general rules presented to employees at the time of joining, and specific policies for key areas of your IT infrastructure

Whether it is a Maruti 800 or a Merc, the basic technology is the same. But, it differs in the way it is implemented, the assurance of performance and the comfort and consistency of performance. The same holds true of technology implementation for smaller businesses when compared to global businesses.

A Coco-Cola can afford to have data for its Delhi operations hosted out of Bangalore. The rest of us may not have the need for such a setup.

This set of articles is written for the smaller business, what are popularly called
SMEs.

Let us start by defining SMEs. There are as many definitions for this acronym as there are vendors trying to sell to them (I have seen one which says that anyone who has fewer than five thousand desktops is an SME. Obviously, that definition was not made in this country!).

For our purposes we define a small or medium Indian enterprise as one that has the following characteristics:

  • Its operations are limited to India. That is, it does not have offices outside India
  • It has an annual turnover of more than ten crores (rupees not dollars) and less than three hundred crores
  • It has more than 25 but less than 250 PCs

Finally, we have not considered niche and specialist operations like BPO, research, etc, because their needs are too specific (and for them budget may not be an issue!). We have for similar reasons also not covered things like
ERP.

This set of articles tries to explain how you can implement technology solutions without paying for the moon. Rather than give specific solutions, we have tried to give an overview of the available solutions so that you get a holistic picture, and can then proceed according to your specific needs. A few articles are hands on, telling you how to implement specific solutions. We have also included tips on how you can stretch your IT budget, without feeling the pinch.

It is generally accepted that the Indian SME still has a long way to go in order to make proper use of available computing resources.

We hope that this set of articles will point a significant number of you in the right direction.

Krishna Kumar

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