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Interesting fact, but Rekall gets a lot of clients from attorneys who split off of existing firms.  These are attorneys who have worked for large firms long enough to know the ins and outs of their industry and feel comfortable enough to be able to call themselves THE BOSS.  We have a lot of respect for these entrepreneurs specifically because this is how Rekall was founded and we know how scary and exciting it is to cultivate a successful business.  While these entrepreneurs are masters of their industry, technology is where they may lack some knowledge.  This is where Rekall comes in, lighting the path to technological success, giving you what you need and leaving out what you don’t.  We often do business with people who rely on us to guide them in this way.  We thought it would be helpful to write a piece on “Entrepreneur Tech” giving people a realistic sense of what tech they would need in order to successfully launch an office.

 

HARDWARE

First of all, you need to get yourself an internet connection, call Comcast, Cablevision or Verizon to get yourself some Cable internet or FIOS, NO DSL!  Every user will need a computer & UPS battery backup device.  Battery backups are overlooked but for $99 bucks, they can save you hours of downtime and the cost of a new PC.  You will also need a place to store local data.  If all your work is web based, congratulations, most people do not have this luxury, and you will not need a server.  A server is usually needed to store office data, it provides file & folder security & permissions.  For smaller offices with no permissions issues, dropping your data on a workstation is fine as long as it is backed up daily, has a battery backup connected, and the data can be shared throughout the office.  Speaking of sharing data, you will need office wiring if your office does not come with wiring.  We’re talking about data & phone wiring.  You need a wiring guy, he is usually the phone guy or electrician, and you will need phones anyway, so go and kill two birds with one stone (score).  Back to the server, if you need a server, it needs to be accompanied by a large battery backup.  Again, these protect against power surges, brownouts, and all that stuff, think of it as insurance.  You will need a firewall if you store data onsite, and also a network switch to connect all your wiring together.  The switch makes it possible to share the internet connection throughout the office and the firewall protects your internal network from external attacks.  You will most likely need a copy machine or printer.  Make sure it can scan/fax/print/copy.  Make sure your copier guy gives you exactly what you want, and make sure they don’t lease you an ancient piece of crap.  Some people have the evolved thinking that dual monitor setups are more efficient.  WE TOTALLY AGREE.  You need to decide whether you want your workstations to have dual monitor support or not.  They increase productivity and they are fantastic to work with.  People who use them don’t know how they ever worked without them.  The difference will amaze you.

 

SOFTWARE

For a standard Windows based network everyone’s workstation will need Micro$oft Office.  The version depends on what applications you need.  You can always use OpenOffice which is a free alternative to M$ Office but some people like to stick with what they know.  Same goes for Adobe Acrobat Reader & Pro.  There are tons of PDF applications out there but Adobe makes the most popular one which everyone is used to.  You will definitely need antivirus on each workstation as well (Kaspersky).  As for accounting, time tracking, docket, & other document management systems, most people stick with what their previous businesses worked with or they go straight to the industry standard (Quickbooks, PCLaw, Amicus, Time Matters, Worldox, Imanage)

 

SERVICES

All office setups with data NEED offsite backup as their backup solution.  I don’t want to hear, “well we have a hard drive that we backup to and we swap it.” Let me stop you right there.  If you do not invest in backing up to an offsite location where your data is not only replicated within a server farm but replicated across the country to YET ANOTHER SERVER FARM ON THE EAST AND WEST COAST, then you must truly not want to protect your business data.  For larger amount of data tapes are acceptable, but this is really for LARGE amounts of data.  Unless you have an onsite IT person, system monitoring is very important.  You just spent all this money on a new server, network, workstations, security, why not ensure the network by having someone monitor logs, alerts, and errors remotely each and every day?  Rates are affordable, and setting up an entire office network just to forget about upkeep and maintenance is a shame.  It’s like buying a Ferrari, filling it with regular and never changing the oil, makes no sense.  As far as services go, email services would have to be the most important.  You need a way to communicate with your clients, and AOL, Yahoo, & MSN will not help you.  You need a corporate email solution, something with a domain name attached (@rekall.com).  Using a personal account is not only restricted when dealing with high-end corporations, it is also unprofessional.

 

These are just general things ALL entrepreneurs need and deal with when opening a new office.  A good IT company has the experience and knowledge to lead new entrepreneurs down the path for success.  Our goal is not only to provide reliable technology, but also to create lasting relationships between Rekall Technologies and small businesses.