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 If there’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that you need to expect the unexpected. If you’re like a lot of people at small businesses, you’ve had to adapt and change repeatedly. Unexpected events like a global pandemic affect your people and where they work. Some small businesses have changed their business models completely, which means they’ve either added new satellite locations or consolidated offices. Maybe you have more employees are working from home or fewer employees overall. Whether your business expands or contracts, you almost always need to set up new locations.

Although it can be stressful, setting up a new office gives you an opportunity to take a fresh look at your network options. You need to ensure that your employees can effectively communicate and share information no matter where they’re located. And your network needs to be flexible enough to accommodate new connections without compromising security.

 

Setting Up a Robust Small Business Network

When you have offices in different locations, the networking infrastructure needs to facilitate 24×7 dynamic business requirements where people are often moving on and off the network from different locations and switching among devices and applications. New connections have to meet the same specifications as the original network setup, which means similar bandwidth, reliability, and security.

If you have a limited IT staff, meeting these requirements can add a significant burden on staff that may already be struggling to cope with ongoing management and operations. Even if your IT team has time to set up multiple network locations, it isn’t economically viable to travel between those locations to fix problems. On top of that, the time lost in redesigning, rewiring, or integration translates into a loss of productive time for employees and ultimately business revenue.

Although traditional on-site servers and databases were once the recommended approach, these solutions can be expensive to install and difficult to maintain. What small businesses need today are agile networking options that are reliable, secure, affordable, and quick to deploy.

 

How AlphaKOR Group Can Help

At AlphaKOR Group, we offer Cisco’s suite of robust small business IT solutions for efficient office networking that you can deploy quickly and scale over time. Our integrated networking solutions bring best practices to organizations that want to expand their network but have limited or no IT staff.

With Cisco, we’re also at the forefront in offering a complete portfolio of on-premises and cloud-based networking and security technologies that let you quickly roll out a customized network for your branch offices, retail outlets, or temporary facilities.

 

On-Premises Office Network Setup

Instead of a disparate system of loosely connected products, on-premises networking solutions unify your communications systems, software, and hardware so you can set up a new office quickly. The products in our Cisco Designed portfolio include routers, switches, access points, and mesh extenders with end-to-end security. You also can easily add Cisco Webex for voice and video conferencing and Cisco Security services.

Depending on your requirements, you can mix and match wireless access points and mesh extenders and quickly establish connectivity with low-cost internet services such as cable, fiber, or DSL. Your IT administrator can ship out devices to a new location and turn on the network with zero-touch provisioning, so your employees can get to work quickly.

 

Cloud-Managed Networks

Another alternative is to manage your small business network across multiple sites from the cloud using Meraki customizable, plug-and-play network solutions. You can manage your networking, switching, security appliances, WAN, and mobile device management using a single browser-based dashboard.

The cloud-managed Meraki routers, switches, and access points are quick and easy to deploy and manage. With zero-touch provisioning, you can get your new office locations up and running in a matter of minutes. Once they’re connected to the network, Meraki devices download configuration settings automatically and also receive ongoing updates delivered from the cloud. The central dashboard gives your IT teams real-time visibility into the network users, security threats, and device activity, and it can all be managed from wherever you are, as long as you have a connection.

 

Get Your New Office Location Up and Running in Minutes

With the Cisco Designed portfolio of enterprise-grade networking and security solutions, you can set up the network for your new office location in minutes and scale it in even less time. Whether you’re operating with a limited or no IT team, you can rapidly deploy and manage a secure network at multiple sites without costly investments in infrastructure.

Our partners can work with you to determine the right networking solutions for your situation. From planning, preparing, and designing your network to implementation, network optimization, and operations support, a Cisco Certified Partner can help you every step of the way.

This blog was originally written by Andy Scholl for Cisco Blogs.

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