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Making Technology Work for Both Enterprises and Small Businesses

December 2013

Comcast Business

comcastRemember sitting in your living room, waiting for your dial-up modem to finish its painfully long process of logging online? Seems like ages ago. The transformation from 56 kbps modems to cable was groundbreaking – for consumers. Businesses, however, had different requirements, so the solutions needed to be different too, and that solution was the T1. With enhanced reliability, speed and bandwidth capabilities, T1s were a godsend to companies. But with time, T1s became the “dial-ups” of the business world – and this meant they needed to be replaced.

Remember sitting in your living room, waiting for your dial-up modem to finish its painfully long process of logging online? Seems like ages ago. The transformation from 56 kbps modems to cable was groundbreaking – for consumers. Businesses, however, had different requirements, so the solutions needed to be different too, and that solution was the T1. With enhanced reliability, speed and bandwidth capabilities, T1s were a godsend to companies. But with time, T1s became the “dial-ups” of the business world – and this meant they needed to be replaced.

Dawning of Ethernet – And What it Means to Your Business
That replacement was with something called Ethernet. With speeds up to 33x faster than a standard T1, Ethernet offers enhanced security and substantially better service quality, allowing customers to download a 2GB file in approximately four minutes, which would otherwise take T1s more than 2.5 hours. And unlike its predecessors, Ethernet is only expected to grow in popularity as it matures, with analyst firm Vertical Systems Group predicting that Ethernet bandwidth volume will more than double by 2015.

As Ethernet continues its evolution, both enterprises and SMBs need to determine how to make this new technology work for them, and one way to simplify the process is by enlisting the help of a communications provider that has the geographic diversity and next-generation network to deliver Ethernet services quickly and reliably when and where they’re needed.

Comcast Business provides advanced communication solutions throughout Maryland to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through an advanced network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, TV and Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management. Its services can help companies expand, diversify and prepare for the future by providing the bandwidth needed today as well as the ability to accommodate tomorrow’s technology.

While T1 lines offer speeds of 1.5 Megabits-per-second (Mbps), Comcast Ethernet provides scalable bandwidth from 1 Mbps up to 10 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) in the form of point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, multipoint-to-multipoint, or Ethernet Dedicated Internet access to accommodate virtually any business demand.

The Cloud
Beyond its speeds, another benefit to partnering with a provider that can offer high-bandwidth, high-speed connectivity is that it also provides the necessary infrastructure to help support cloud, mobility and business continuity applications within your organization. Cloud computing provides employers with access to sophisticated tools that not only can make some of the smaller organizations more agile and competitive against larger companies, but can also offer them added flexibility in how they work, where they work, and which services they can offer to both their employees and customers.

Instead of running hardware or software applications on their own equipment, users can choose to rent some of those same services via cloud providers, who buy, upgrade and maintain the technology themselves. For small businesses, this means dramatically lower capital costs, along with operating expenses that can easily scale up or down as their specific needs change. For companies that do not have the IT budgets or knowledge of larger enterprises, this also saves them an inordinate amount of time in not needing to work out the technical details on their own.

Helping Businesses Move Up – With Upware
The benefits of cloud computing are no secret, so it is no surprise that a large number of cloud providers have emerged to fill the market. Many of these vendors offer reliable services that can quickly adapt to meet the changing needs of their customers, but business owners still need to do their due diligence to make sure that the tools they purchase are ones that will actually help – not hurt – their organizations.

Keeping this in mind, Comcast Business recently launched Upware™, a new and unique marketplace for cloud services specifically designed to help customers easily and effectively incorporate these cloud-based tools into their business. Upware aims to address the three main challenges that businesses face when it comes to the cloud: selecting the right service, learning how to actually manage it, and making sure that any necessary support is provided both quickly and effectively.

Comcast carefully curates the marketplace, only partnering with companies that offer best-in-breed applications in categories that include data backup, data security and collaboration, among many others. Only those applications that have passed Comcast’s rigorous testing process are those that can be viewed on the dashboard. Examples, just for reference, include providers like Carbonite™, DigitalSafe® and MozyPro® for data backup; Norton™ and Websense® for data security; and Box, Soonr Workplace®, Hightail™, and Microsoft® (in the form of hosted Microsoft tools like Outlook and SharePoint) for collaboration.

Upware also simplifies the management of cloud services. In the past, even a modest deployment of cloud applications could quickly become an administrative nightmare – 10 employees on five different services meant 50 user accounts to manage. Each time a new employee joined or left the company, numerous phone calls and excessive amounts of time would be required to update those details. With Upware, however, employees have a single login for all of their applications. Administrators manage all accounts and are able to change permissions as needed through the Upware dashboard, which provides a single, comprehensive view of all services and which users are assigned to each.

Finally, Upware enhances and simplifies support. Instead of searching for the right customer support number for each individual cloud service, users can simply call Comcast Business directly, where a top-level diagnosis and assessment will be done on the spot. Support technicians can view each customer’s Upware environment and provide initial support for the applications in question. Should the problem require more specialized support, Comcast Business can perform a live transfer to each Upware provider to ensure that any issues that need to be resolved will be done so promptly.

Taking the Next Step
Selecting the right technology partner allows business owners to focus on more important things instead of worrying about the technology behind their organizations. Comcast Business offers a comprehensive suite of services – from high-quality video and phone to high-speed Internet and Ethernet – to accommodate the needs of virtually any organization, whether you’re a Mom and Pop store with only a handful of employees or a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices around the country. For more information, visit business.comcast.com. I95

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