Four Tasks All SMBs Should Really Be Automating

Four Tasks All SMBs Should Really Be Automating

Having a lean team can be a big boon for small businesses. The overwhelming majority of SMBs have less than 100 employees. Millions more qualify as “microbusinesses”, meaning they employ no more than nine people. Frequently, the owner of an SMB is the only one on the payroll.

Being a department of one can be great for overhead. But it can also be brutal for work-life balance.

If you’re high on ambition, but low on resources, see where it might be possible to start automating some of your workloads.

What is Workplace Automation?

According to Integromat, “In its simplest acceptance, workplace automation is the process of leveraging technology to complete tasks without human involvement.”

Typically, that means investing in a software programme to handle repetitive, lower-level tasks so you can free yourself up for more important work.

In its simplest acceptance, workplace automation is the process of leveraging technology to complete tasks without human involvement.

Hate data entry? Can’t stand to be glued to social media? Feel like you need a personal assistant just to help manage your calendar? Automation can help you outsource what you like least about your job.

No wonder 31% of businesses have automated at least one workplace process. If you want to join them, consider making one of these four tasks your jumping-off point.

Automated Marketing

It’s exceedingly difficult to land new clients and customers if no one knows who you are. But marketing yourself can be a full-time job all on its own. That’s why so many SMBs choose to automate it with social media scheduling tools, automated email drip campaigns, and solutions that monitor online mentions of their business.

Marketing automation on average drives up to 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.

How effective is it? Recent studies published by Invesp CRO show, “Marketing automation on average drives up to 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in the number of leads using marketing automation software, and 77% had an increase in conversions.”

Scheduling Software

If managing your own calendar is so labour-intensive you can’t even begin to imagine keeping up with an entire team, time to hire a scheduling tool. Many of them make booking meetings seamless and can even help with shift planning for international teams and colleagues.

The better you’re able to collaborate with stakeholders, the more friction-free your business will be. That’s where tools like direct messaging chatbots and email auto-forwarding also come in handy, ensuring no one misses anything important – even if your team of one is off.

Automatic Accounting

Who among us has time to run a business and be an accounting expert? With automated accounting tools, you can trust your tech to keep track of income and expenses until tax time.

Some software even offers users free versions of their programmes, complete with optional payroll features that can be managed from your smartphone. 

Customer Service Chatbots

You don’t have to be on call 24/7 to respond to customers as though you are. Forms, emails, and chats can all be monitored via chatbot and addressed using a simple automated inquiry. This friendly, responsive message can buy you some time or even pull from appropriate pre-scripted text to engage questions and concerns in real-time.

You may also choose to put your knowledge base to work, setting up automation tools to help direct customers to existing forums, FAQs, or blog posts that could answer their questions without waiting to speak with a representative.

Automating the workplace can help you outpace the competition while preventing burnout. Just remember that even if doing more with less sounds great, be mindful that you don’t automate everything. Your organisation is only as good as the people you hire and the personal connections you make with your customers and stakeholders.

The Rise of the Flexible Network

The Rise of the Flexible Network

New technologies such as 5G, machine learning, and the cloud enable businesses to boost their time to market while at the same time addressing customer demand for more or improved services. The rise of the distributed workforce has added a new dimension to digital transformation. From an IT standpoint, a distributed workforce also implies decentralised IT resource management.

Businesses are only as versatile as their network infrastructure. It can be challenging for IT departments to keep up with the rate of change as the number of devices, endpoint types, and connectivity grows. Despite constantly changing objectives, IT should ensure that company networks deliver stability, security, scalability, and compliance.

IT professionals require visibility and control across their whole infrastructure, but service delivery can be difficult because of the wide diversity of work patterns. Without proper visibility and control of the network, security risks and performance bottlenecks are virtually unavoidable.

Individuals working remotely or in hybrid environments need to be able to log into virtual events and conferences. Legacy information technology networking is insufficient to support present demands. Instead, what is required is a new kind of flexible network that SD-WAN can support.

Traditional wide-area networks are not adaptable and typically have excessive provisioning for the worst-case scenario. In contrast, SD-WAN gives IT administrators total control over the infrastructure, which enables them to respond more quickly to shifting requirements. Distributed networks are inherently more challenging to operate, but SD-WAN eliminates this complexity, which allows organisations to focus on projects that are part of digital transformation efforts.

Network-as-a-service is here to stay

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) is a new way of consuming enterprise network infrastructure designed to stimulate innovation at every step while minimising risk, accelerating ROI, and allowing organisations to accomplish desired business results while maintaining financial flexibility.

In Aruba’s recent survey of more than 5,400 IT leaders, there was an evident need for a network that can adapt to a rapidly changing and increasingly digital environment. According to the survey, the three most critical network requirements for businesses are:

  1.  The capacity to scale quickly
  2.  Alignment between network and business demands
  3.  Network security.

According to Aruba’s survey, access to new technologies was cited as one of the top four drivers of network investment (72%). This was closely followed by network security (70%), network update (60%), and reaching corporate development goals (57%). Businesses are already investing in their networks, and for the most part, for the right reasons.

Businesses need to ensure that they are spending in the correct areas at the right times in a continuously changing climate and guarantee that the network fulfills its full potential as a strategic asset. They can also look for ways to free-up their employees to focus on other critical concerns.

NaaS delivers a comprehensive business networking solution that includes equipment, capacity, and proactive administration for a single monthly subscription charge. It’s low risk, has a reduced total cost of ownership, and allows organisations to efficiently futureproof themselves by ensuring they always have the network they need.

NaaS marks a significant shift in the delivery of network services. Instead of paying exorbitant fees and settling for a one-size-fits-all connection solution, businesses can now get a customisable networking solution that is customer-centric and suited to their individual business needs for a fraction of the overall cost outlay. Network design is shifting from CAPEX to OPEX, providing organisations with significantly better control and flexibility as they grow.

HPE Greenlake for Aruba

HPE’s GreenLake for Aruba is a comprehensive NaaS solution that enables businesses to use Aruba’s Edge Services Platform in a cloud-like way, with a single monthly subscription payment and flexible consumption options. This service is provided where and how businesses need it by leveraging HPE’s extensive resources and the geographic reach of Aruba’s channel partner network.

HPE’s GreenLake for Aruba “service packs” are created around popular networking use cases to ease procurement and delivery while accelerating time-to-value. Each service pack contains all necessary Aruba hardware, software, support services, and access to the Aruba Central cloud management platform and Customer Experience Management. All are supplied through a monthly subscription and with flexible consumption choices.

Three standard service packs include wireless, wired and SD-Branch as-a-service. HPE GreenLake for Aruba Wireless as-a-service offerings are designed to enable major wireless use cases such as hybrid work/learning, connected retail, IoT and hyperaware facilities, and many others. It delivers the performance, scalability, and automation needed to service IoT, mobile, and cloud applications on the campus wired network. With a single monthly subscription payment, HPE GreenLake for Aruba SD-Branch as-a-service integrates wireless, wired, WAN, and security technologies into a single platform. With unified administration businesses can improve performance and security while minimising expenses at branch locations.


Just as the rapid digital shift was critical to surviving the pandemic, continuous digital transformation will be the key to managing this ongoing wave of change. This requires both an IT workforce capable of driving transformation and a network equipped to support it. To deliver this, technology leaders in every industry and geographical location are rethinking their present infrastructure and network setup.

Models such as NaaS provide a safe solution for IT departments to meet new workloads and business requirements. HPE GreenLake for Aruba is a comprehensive NaaS offering that simplifies network resource procurement and deployment, decreases time-to-value, and ensures your network is always available to serve ever-changing business objectives. Contact us, your IT partner, to see how GreenLake and Aruba can help fulfill your business networking needs.

Accelerate Your Data-First Modernisation from Edge to Cloud with HPE Alletra

Accelerate Your Data-First Modernisation from Edge to Cloud with HPE Alletra

Business data has never been more valuable. Data can speed up innovation, boost customer experience, and increase operational efficiency. Data innovation necessitates a shift in the application environment and brings complexities of installing and managing infrastructure.

Cloud computing provides on-demand access, elastic resources, and service fees depending on usage. “Cloud everywhere” helps companies stay competitive. However, without a cloud strategy, businesses are forced to manage, upgrade, and tune on-premise, edge, and cloud storage in separate silos.

The rise of the distributed organisation

A distributed organisation goes beyond the usual location-centric company where employees and customers are geographically dispersed due to changing working and travel circumstances. It comprises central office space, localised information technology staff, and networking capabilities. It may also include several other remote or branch sites with few or no IT staff, fluctuating levels of demand and varying degrees of scalability.

Adopting a distributed business strategy necessitates investments in both technology and employees. Enterprise-grade security, SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network), and cloud computing are examples of technological investments.

Traditional storage

Traditional storage systems are well-suited for dealing with structured data. However, due to the complex and fast-moving nature and large volumes of unstructured data, organisations must devise other techniques to reach the intended business goals.

Humans and IoT devices create millions of petabytes of data each year. Data is available in an expanding number of formats and from an increasing number of sources. Because of the data size, complexity, and speed, traditional data storage systems are under unprecedented strain:

  • Size – Petabytes are the unit of measurement for big data. Traditional data storage systems can manage vast amounts of data in theory, but when delivering the essential efficiency and insights, they often fall short.
  • Complexity – Big data is unstructured and is available in a variety of formats. Standard storage solutions are ineffective for coping with massive data because they cannot efficiently classify it. 
  • Speed – Big data’s magnitude grows relatively quickly, and real-time analysis is typically necessary. Traditional storage systems are not designed to manage such fast data flow.

HPE Alletra

HPE Alletra is a cloud-native data infrastructure powered by the HPE GreenLake platform that provides a cloud operating and consumption experience wherever data resides. HPE Alletra spans workload-optimised systems to give architectural flexibility without the complexity of conventional storage management. HPE Alletra unlocks the full power of hybrid clouds by mobilising data across clouds.


HPE Alletra is powered by HPE InfoSight, the industry’s most advanced infrastructure AI. HPE Alletra leverages cloud-based machine learning to forecast and prevent storage and virtual machine difficulties. AI-driven suggestions improve performance, availability, resource allocation, and planning.


HPE Alletra integrates with HPE GreenLake. This unifies workload-optimised on-premises and cloud systems. Each application will have the same agility and simplicity from edge to cloud. Deploy, provision, manage, and increase storage in 99% less time with a platform that installs in minutes, automates provisioning, and updates transparently.


Storage as a service reduces infrastructure costs, minimises overprovisioning, and can scale to meet business demands rapidly. Through HPE GreenLake, organisations can use HPE Alletra as a pay-per-use, scalable service or have it managed for a turnkey solution.

Multi-cloud experiences wherever your data lives

Several significant technological developments are impacting the IT sector and are closely aligned with the HPE GreenLake platform offering.

The edge is generating new data sources. Businesses require a secure connection to enable remote workforces and provide digital experiences to stakeholders.

The world is hybrid. Businesses increasingly expect to enjoy a cloud experience regardless of where their workloads reside. Consequently, there is an increasing need for multi-cloud experiences, including clouds that reside on-premises, at the edge, in colocation facilities, or in a public cloud.

Companies intending to capitalise on these possibilities via an agile-as-a-service consumption model increasingly turn to HPE GreenLake as their platform of choice.


To provide the cloud experience to every workload, a new approach to data infrastructure is required—one that is cloud-native by design. Cloud-native is purpose-built for cloud operations and consumption from edge to cloud, using the benefits of the cloud computing delivery model and ensuring IT resources are always-on and immediately accessible. Cloud-native data architecture is intelligent, simple to operate, and available as a service to answer any demand immediately.

Businesses can run any application, from traditional to modern, with cloud-native power without the restrictions of traditional storage management. Barriers are broken down by providing seamless data access and a uniform experience that optimises resources across on-premise infrastructure and the public cloud.

Traditional hybrid cloud implementations are complex and siloed. HPE Alletra enables cloud operation and consumption wherever data sits. HPE Alletra spans workload-optimised systems for architectural flexibility without typical storage management complexity. HPE Alletra unlocks the full power of your hybrid cloud by moving data between clouds. We, as your IT partner, can help you explore how HPE Alletra can benefit your business.

Your Guide to Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Your Guide to Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Since its introduction in the late 2000s, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has grown in popularity as an IT transformation tool.

Legacy infrastructure is generally complicated and requires time-consuming, costly management. This is often due to data and computation silos, distinct servers, and various vendors with several support points. Today’s businesses require HCI solutions that are easy to operate and maintain, allowing companies to focus on projects and activities that can accelerate business growth and transformation.

HCI combines processing, storage, and networking into a single system. The smart software that runs HCI abstracts the hardware underneath into flexible parts that can be changed to meet different business goals. The uniform interfaces made possible by the hyperconvergence of IT resources make management easier.


Top benefits of HCI

HCI simplifies deployment by using a single architecture with pre-configured nodes and a single vendor as a point of contact. HCI not only simplifies deployment, but it also simplifies IT infrastructure management. The software manages environments, makes backups easier, and provides solutions with a unified administration interface.

The software-defined infrastructure makes it simple to switch systems or add hardware without difficulty or risk. Regarding scalability, pre-defined nodes may be added or removed as needed without causing integration issues.

HCI systems are dependable as they are created with numerous nodes. An HCI cluster comprises multiple nodes that share functions to ensure the cluster’s reliability and ease of access.

Because storage and computing are close to one other, HCI enhances performance. Latency may be reduced, and SSD and HDD can be employed to accommodate differing workloads.

While an HCI platform is made up of fixed nodes, it provides excellent flexibility to accommodate various shifting workloads. Workload deployments may be automated and assembled using agile techniques. HCI gives a cloud-like experience by abstracting the underlying hardware resources and presenting them as consumable services.

With features like built-in disaster recovery and security management capabilities, an HCI platform secures organisational data. Users can also expect decreased expenditures due to the unification of hardware requirements (i.e. smaller footprint).


HCI challenges

One of the issues related to HCI operation is power consumption. HCI architectures compress a large number of workloads into a compact space, which may lead them to consume more energy than data centres were designed for. Administrators may need to rearrange their facilities to ensure appropriate power and cooling solutions are in place to meet demand, which may involve additional costs.

Businesses who use HCI frequently need help to estimate their computing and storage requirements appropriately. Based on this first evaluation, a solution is created and implemented with a predefined node configuration. The amount of storage and processing is fixed based on the original estimate. In the incident that there is an error in the assessment or demands change, the business must continue adding nodes to meet its computing or storage needs, even if one of these nodes is underused. Resources are squandered and expenses rise.

HCI has a performance cost. The scale-out distributed design demands an increase in computation capacity. CPU is shared between data services such as deduplication, compression, and applications need more nodes to give the same IOPS and performance as a three-tier system.


HPE dHCI solution

The disaggregated HCI (dHCI) solution from HPE addresses and eliminates the disadvantages associated with other HCI solutions. dHCI is designed for users that wish to grow computing and storage layers separately. The system is constructed with one of the most secure servers in the world,

HPE ProLiant. Businesses that already use this technology can instantly benefit from dHCI. This strategy has shown itself to be incredibly cost-effective in several IT projects to date.

The solution is advantageous for users who cannot readily forecast their workload. This is especially true for businesses undergoing a digital transition and cannot foresee the infrastructure demand as their business evolves. dHCI is helpful for companies of all sizes, and scaling may be accomplished with as few as two servers and as many as 100.

dHCI addresses IT workloads that fluctuate over time with the ability to grow to meet these new needs while remaining user-friendly. Its flexible, independent scalability enables businesses to scale computation and storage separately, extend over a hybrid cloud, and achieve market-leading data efficiency. The option to add only the necessary resources to meet the organisation’s goals minimises overprovisioning while allowing for growth flexibility.

HPE dHCI is robust and able to manage heavy workload applications while providing 99.9999% availability and sub-millisecond latency. With AI-powered HPE Infosight, the solution can identify impending difficulties and self-heal once they arise. Clients receive advice regarding when and how many resources a business needs and how to repurpose resources to maximise the solution. With native data mobility between on-premise and cloud storage, the system also proliferates to the cloud.

The system can scale to the cloud with native data mobility between on-premise and cloud storage. It enables clients to consume virtual machines as a service and generates substantial CAPEX savings by eliminating over-provisioning.

Consumption-based models as a component of HPE Greenlake, pay just for what is used, and the solution may be scaled up or down as needed. The HPE Greenlake architecture enables the technology to be updated when new technology is released inside the existing agreement and technological stack.



HCI also offers several compelling advantages, including simplicity, adaptability, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Some businesses may find HCI suits their needs, HPE’s Simplivity is an intelligent, hyper-efficient HCI solution that’s optimised for edge, VDI and general virtualisation workloads.

dHCI provides businesses with the advantages of HCI and added flexibility where organisations require it. dHCI is generally more versatile and agile than its predecessor, HCI. HPE provides dHCI solutions that incorporate these benefits and can meet a wide variety of business needs. Businesses with variable workloads and use patterns may achieve exceptional operating efficiency while supplying infrastructure to match individual demands simply and expediently.

HPE Greenlake is available for clients that seek to manage and consume their infrastructure as a service. As your IT partner, we can help you investigate and implement a tailored dHCI solution for your business.

Integrate Webex Into Your Learning Management System

Integrate Webex Into Your Learning Management System

Teaching, learning, and administration all now take place within an entirely new educational environment. Even in the post-pandemic environment, distance learning and remote access will continue to be crucial for keeping teachers and students motivated.

Learning Without Boundaries

When transitioning to distance learning and collaboration, don’t miss a beat with Webex. Webex help schools, colleges, universities, and research departments
quickly scale to virtual learning with a high level of security.

Enable learning regardless of where students are

Enable learning regardless of where students are

Enable learning regardless of where students are

Better Student/Teacher Engagement

Breakout into small groups to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and edit files.


Learning Never Stops

Keep collaborating before, during, and after lessons with 1:1 and group messaging, rich content and file sharing, video calls, and more.

Crystal-clear audio/video

HD audio and video transforms virtual classrooms into lifelike experiences for students and teachers.

Security you can Trust

Strong encryption to meet the most stringent security requirements

Two-way Engagement

Digital whiteboarding, co-editing and interactive polling mean students and teachers are always engaged, together.

Every Detail Captured

Record lessons for on-demand viewing in easy-to-share MP4 formats.

Take advantage of all the collaboration capabilities you know and love.Get Webex for your school or faculty.

How the Metaverse Impacts Your Business’ Present and Future

How the Metaverse Impacts Your Business’ Present and Future

The metaverse is in its infancy and already making headlines. Mark Zuckerberg has even gone as far as to say it’s the, ​​“Biggest opportunity for modern business since the creation of the internet.”

So what is this next digital frontier that’s poised to transform all of our lives, anyway?

This simple definition from Bernard Marr describes it as, “a persistent, shared, 3D virtual space linked into a perceived virtual universe.” Futurist and metaverse expert Cathy Hackl categorises it as, “a convergence of our physical and digital lives.”

Businesses who understand how to engage with the metaverse and leverage its power can grow their reach, staying worlds (or even universes) ahead of the competition. These four jumping off points are a few of the most logical places to put your focus in the near future.

Engaging Customers

Engaging consumers in the metaverse isn’t just a potentially lucrative opportunity, it also defies the physical bounds of how you’re able to do so – something to think about as you plan your next marketing push.

For example, during a recent collaboration with Sephora, Meta’s Creative Shop was able to virtualise the sensory experience of perfume shopping. Neuroscientists and animators were able to bring the sensations directly to shoppers’ smartphones using colours and graphics that told the “scent story” behind the fragrance.

People in the metaverse will be able to buy apps and worlds to enjoy. And within those worlds, there will be things to buy – both digital and physical – as well as services and experiences.

Selling Physical and Virtual Goods

Vishal Shah, the VP of Metaverse, explains that “people in the metaverse will be able to buy apps and worlds to enjoy. And within those worlds, there will be things to buy – both digital and physical – as well as services and experiences.”

The more time we collectively spend within the metaverse, the more virtual goods our avatars and digital spaces will require. If you’re looking for your next product line, give some thought to what you might be able to eventually offer in these spaces.


Virtual Events

For most people, it isn’t too much of a stretch to envision a virtual workplace. You get a meeting reminder and log in to your video conference platform of choice. Except when you do, instead of turning your camera on, you engage your digital avatar. The same might be true in coworking spaces or “in”-office days with your team. There are talks of doing entire conferences or training sessions within the metaverse to better engage with peers.

But what really has people keyed up are the concerts and other forms of entertainment with “metaverse” as the destination. Travis Scott has already headlined one such event hosted by Fortnite. The star power and sponsorship opportunities on the platform are just beginning to come into focus, so take notice.



Even an industry as decidedly physical as process manufacturing isn’t left out of the Metavere’s great expanse.

“Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is using metaverse applications to dramatically improve its operations,” shares Bernard Marr. “They used Azure Digital Twins to create a complete digital model of their breweries and supply chain that syncs up in real-time with the physical environment. The model enables brewmasters to adjust the brewing process and conduct quality control.”

In the end, the metaverse can have all the meaning you want for your business. But it ultimately still comes down to solidifying and deepening your customer connections. Take the time to experiment within the metaverse now, so when the time comes to make a full launch, you’ll be ready to deliver true meaning and value.