A boutique bookkeeping agency owner and renowned entrepreneur Sophie Andrews may be fluent in four languages, but ‘tech speak’ is not one of them. Like many small to medium business (SMBs) owners, Sophie found that finding the right technology solution to grow and manage her business better can be a full-time job.
“Improving data security and centralised data management has been a focus for large enterprises for some time now so it is about time SMBs reap the benefits of these business process improvements” said Akihito Kondo, Group Manager within the Asia-Pacific Sales Department of Japan’s leading storage brand, Buffalo. “These systems are vital tools to help organisations to comply with privacy and data security mandates but importantly, they also provide a critical support for SMBs to grow their business.”
Yet for many small business owners data management and system upgrades are often perceived as an overhead cost rather than a business benefit. Budget concerns often lead small business owners to believe that IT
investments are a luxury they can’t afford. It is therefore imperative to select a technology solution which provides adequate return on investment fast.
Sophie Andrews is a case in point. When she launched her business, The Accounts Studio in 2005, most of her clients were local. Today, the business, which specialises in bookkeeping for the hospitality trade, employs five staff with clients across Australia. 90% of them communicate with the business via remote access.
With the expansion of the business, Sophie soon realised that her IT requirements had changed too. Because the data sharing systems remained outdated and relied on a loose system of computers being networked with each other, the data transfer between them was “painfully slow’”.
Initially, her perception was that moving from a business built around standalone laptop computing to a centralised server structure would be a luxury the business couldn’t afford. “I knew that you could get servers for $10,000 which was just not in my budget”, she said.
Sophie soon recognised that centralised data storage, security and speed of access to important work files and client financial records were key to the future success of her business. When the opportunity became available to trial a new storage solution from Buffalo, Sophie didn’t hesitate to take up the offer.
“To succeed in business you’ve got to be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In our industry most of our clients come through referrals and word of mouth, so customer service is an important differentiator in which technology plays a critical part.”
Effective data management and improving business process efficiencies is therefore part of The Accounts Studio’s commitment to exceptional customer service. In particular, the business uses its computer system to access or store extremely large financial files on behalf of its clients, which need to be accessed quickly and securely.
For a successful small business owner and author Sophie Andrews, Buffalo NAS has allowed her to log in to her work server from home and update documents remotely for her staff to access them the following morning. She’s also confident that she can provide remote access password to her clients to view and download their financial data files securely without having to send them via email, mail or uploading them to a drop box type arrangement.
“18 months ago it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if we didn’t have it, but today with more staff and a much larger client base, having the ability to access all our client files at any time, anywhere has just been indispensable,” she added.
“The Buffalo solution has been absolutely brilliant. It has saved us a few hours a week in downtime and I can see the potential for many more for not having to re-enter data as a result of data duplication”, she said.
Networking, data management and security from Buffalo NAS have helped The Accounts Studio to:
- Improve customer service through the ability to store large financial files on behalf of its clients more securely while providing quicker access to them.
- Operate more efficiently and transparently as a result of improved staff management process through centralised work in progress tracking system.
- Work from remote locations, such as home or while travelling via smartphone, when required with secure password protected remote log ins.
- Minimise security risks and delays in sending large confidential files to clients with the option of accessing them from a smartphone or tablet device.
- Control who has access to network data by managing different levels of password-protected access to centralised files and email.
- Enjoy increased security and peace of mind knowing that all the data is backed up and secure.
About Buffalo NAS:
With network attached storage, multiple PCs, Macs, gaming consoles and other internet-enabled devices can instantly access the same shared files and stream media across the network. In addition, printers can be attached to a NAS device enabling printer sharing between all computers on the network. Multimedia content stored on the NAS can also be streamed to TVs through the network since NAS devices can act as media servers.
Buffalo is a leading global provider of award-winning networking, storage, multimedia and memory solutions for the home and small business environments as well as for system builders and integrators. The company is the number one brand in storage in Japan enjoying a 55 per cent market share. Uniden has a strategic alliance with Buffalo in Australia and New Zealand, and is the company’s exclusive representative in this region. For more information about Buffalo Technology and its products, please visit www.buffalotech.com