Monthly Archives: September 2016

Computer Networking Fundamentals

A computer network is a collection of two or more computers with communication between them through a medium. The communication medium can be through radio waves, wires, infrared, optical fibers etc.

Computer network is an integral part of our daily lives, with the most important reason being that of communication. The use of computer networking is to share resources like fax machines, printers, modems, files etc., and its other uses are database server, computer server, email, chat, internet etc. The computer to which the resources are attached is called the server and the other computers that access the resource are called clients. In peer-to-peer computer networks there are no servers.

The sharing of fax machines, printers, and modems amongst many computers and users reduce the operational cost. A database on a computer network is a very important application as it stores and runs many important data and jobs. Emails and chats can be used for instantaneous communication and sending of files on a computer network.

The computer networks are classified, depending upon the size, as Local Area Networks (LAN), Wide Area Networks (WAN), Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) and Personal Area Networks (PAN). The topology (topology is the way the computer networks and network resources are connected) of the networking can be classified as Bus Network, Ring Network and Star Network.

The networking hardware basically consists of wiring, network cards and a hub. Computer network cards are required so that one computer can understand what the other computer is “talking”. Network cards have a unique MAC address to identify computers on a computer network. Hubs connect all the computers in the network. Hubs can also be used to connect to other hubs to increase the size of the computer network. Two computers can be connected using Ethernet cards or phone lines or power lines for communication, with hardware kits available at roughly a cost of $100.

As the number of computers in an office or a home increases, so do the number of cables, so wireless networking is a viable solution. In wireless networking radio transreceivers or infrared signals are used to communicate between computers and devices. Examples of wireless networking include Wi-fi and Bluetooth technology, though there may be security issues involved in wireless networking. However there definitely is a stronger preference towards wireless networking nowadays among consumers.

Computer networks have added a new dimension to the 21st century. Today the cyber world is much faster and wider than the real world. This has all been made possible due to computer networks. Computer networks have revolutionized business, communication, travel, research, defense, society and almost all human endeavors. The evolution of computer networks has helped the technological revolution take a big leap forward.

Computer Consulting Profit Secrets

Do you own or manage a computer consulting company? Are you having trouble growing your computer consulting company’s profits?

If so, then you must learn how to focus on your computer consulting firm’s profit and bottom line.

In this article, we’ll look at 7 profit secrets and strategies you can use in your computer consulting business, to ensure that you are able to balance your clients’ small business IT needs against your own computer consulting company’s profitability challenges.

Origins of the Problem

While focusing on your computer consulting profits may sound simple enough at first glance, this business-focused discipline often eludes many a computer consulting firm.

This usually happens because many computer consulting business owners fall in love the technology gadgetry, and get seduced by seemingly attractive reseller channel programs, at the expense of their business’ profit.

At the end of the day however, your computer consulting company is a business… not a charity and not a hobby. And your computer consulting company must be run like a business.

Profit Secret #1: Show motivation with your small business computer consulting clients.
To avoid being labeled as just another clueless geek, you need to position your computer consulting services to be more in line with those of a virtual CIO for hire. So always be on the look out for new ways to enhance your clients’ businesses… not just fix broken desktops and servers.

Profit Secret #2: Be dedicated to the task and relentless in your pursuit to improve the status quo.
Because it takes a lot of work to land the best computer consulting clients, you need to focus on lifetime customer value… not just one-shot-deal sales. So always remember that your proposed or recently implemented computer consulting technology solution isn’t a one-shot deal. This kind of long-term vision and planning requires tremendous staying power and perseverance… which often escapes many computer consulting business owners.

Profit Secret #3: Don’t be afraid to be creative with your client engagements.
Small business technology solutions often need to stay within relatively modest budgets. And your computer consulting solutions must work without the need for in-house IT staff. To satisfy these challenges, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when appropriate.

Profit Secret #4: Evaluate how your clients’ systems, both paper- and computer-based, function today.
As part of your virtual CIO role, look at how these existing clients systems are meeting or not meeting present and future needs. Most of this work will be done during IT audits… another key computer consulting profit secret that can really help to separate you from the pack of mediocrity.

Profit Secret #5: Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about what THEIR clients need from them.
Yes, as a computer consulting business owner, you need to have good people skills and a certain degree of empathy for your clients’ business problems. But an even more advanced computer consulting business owner doesn’t just stop at understanding their clients’ business problems. The virtual CIO really digs in and learns about their clients’ customers’ business problems… one layer down on the value chain.

Profit Secret #6: Keep up with advances and new versions.
As virtual CIO for your computer consulting clients, your clients depend on your firm to advise them on what tools can better help their businesses grow. So while you can’t allow this R&D and training to consume and devour all of your scarce weekly schedule, you do need to stay a few steps ahead of your clients’ IT needs at all times.

Profit Secret #7: Summarize and share that information with your clients.
The essence of your R&D and training should focus on one major objective: will this new platform or tool add value to your computer consulting clients’ existing or future installations? And how you can best summarize this information, in layperson language that non-technical clients can understand?

The Bottom Line
Your computer consulting firm’s needs to be your client’s virtual IT department can often be at odds with your computer consulting firm’s need to be profitable. A big part of this problem happens because computer consulting business owners fall in love with technology, at the expense of their marketing and sales activities.

To make sure you don’t fall into this same strap, which can kill your computer consulting profits, don’t go overboard with your training and R&D activities. Be sure to keep business development activities in your weekly schedule… EVERY week. If you want to keep your computer consulting profits as healthy as possible, make sure that you’re proactive in your marketing and sales activities… dig the well for computer consulting profits BEFORE you’re thirsty. A