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Do more with less

Do more with less

January 2014

Looking to maintain a competitive business edge during this economic recovery? Part of the solution may be to maximize productivity and overall operational IT efficiency. Doing more with less requires the strategic implementation of powerful off-the-shelf or built-in-house business management applications that accurately analyze detailed client data and measure overall company performance.

For all of their well-documented advantages, cloud-based applications often provide reduced functionality; more of a one-sized-fits-all solution. If you’re looking for a customized solution, server-based business management apps—including accounting software, inventory, customer relationship management (CRM) and human resource management systems—not only enhance efficiency. They allow you to focus on what you do best: delivering products and services that meet customers’ needs.

Integrated business management applications can also eliminate duplicated data entry and multiple point information gathering while enabling businesses to leverage sophisticated financial data for daily operational and planning purposes. CRM, for example, facilitates lead tracking, account management and customer outreach and collaboration. Point-of-sale (POS) apps can facilitate customer transaction tracking, vendor services and inventory.

Knowing what you need
It sounds simple enough, but there’s a wrinkle. Many apps require a server with more horsepower than businesses are accustomed to, or have considered, implementing. To choose the right server, remember to take into account app resource requirements, the server’s operating environment, and new employees and anticipated business and revenue growth.
 
With any given server’s average 5-year lifespan, it's a good idea to develop a short list of additional factors for consideration. You can take advantage of vendor-supplied online configuration tools to create the list, which should include:
  • Potential changes in product or service lines
  • Potential changes in the number or types of customers
  • Plans for expanding geographic reach
It’s also wise to buy more storage than what’s needed today. Will your storage needs double, triple, or more over the next few years?

Making the right choice
You should also factor in user needs and application access by considering a variety of future business scenarios and weighing those against hardware pricing and features. If possible, research what server solutions other offices and businesses similar to yours use to support integrated CRM, POS, accounting, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and productivity applications. Among other server solutions, these include:
  • HP's Just Right IT provides growing businesses the technology to support additional users and resource-hungry applications, with the added benefits of additional data protection and capacity for Microsoft Exchange 2013 and Microsoft SQL Server.
  • HP's suite of cost-optimized server solutions, most notably the HP ProLiant ML350e Gen 8 dual processor tower application server, is built on the latest Intel® Xeon® scalable processors and deliver the added benefit of HP Integrated Lights-Out 4 (iL04) embedded management technology. iLO4 allows IT and business administrators to manage hardware anytime from just about anywhere. Embedded high-end switches facilitate management of intensive throughput requirements such as VoIP for growing businesses.
The full line of scalable HP ProLiant tower servers is ideally suited to support integrated apps for businesses responding to growing customer demands while being challenged by limited financial and human resources.

Despite their power and functionality, increasingly sophisticated business management apps alone won't enable your business to gain a competitive edge. The right reliable and scalable server solution is key to improved time and cost savings that translate to future growth, whatever the economic climate.

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