Every Day IT Buzzwords Translated for the Small Business Owner

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 3/7/13 8:04 AM

every day it buzzwordsThis week's buzzwords focus on every day information technology terms that may go overlooked or missunderstood when you, the small business owner, have that weekly chat with your IT guy. For small businesses with limited IT resources, these terms most likely form the backbone for your company's productivity and business continuity.

Here are this week's every day IT busswords

Network Switch

    Definition: A computer networking device that links wired network devices (like computers and printers) together.

    SMB Significance: If you have more than one computer and they can work on your network together you most likely have a network switch. A network switch is an important piece of equipment for any size network. The more data you run across the network the better the switch you may need. Today other things like VoIP phones may need a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch to provider power to your phones. There are all kinds of switches with different features. Understand your needs and don’t skimp on this important piece of equipment.

    UPS or Battery Backup

      Definition: UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply is a device that will provide power to your network equipment or computers should the power fail. 

      SMB Significance: It is important to have your business network systems on battery backup. This will ensure that important servers or computers don’t go down during short brown outs and can also provide enough time to have them shut down properly. UPS’s can range in price from $60 to thousands, be sure to get those important systems protected.

      Hosted Email

      Definition: Hosted email is an email system that does not reside on premise at your company and is hosted by a provider in the cloud or in their data center.

      SMB Significance: Hosted email systems like hosted Microsoft Exchange or Google Docs provide all the features a business class email system has without having to pay and maintain the equipment and software at your office. There can be some tradeoffs though so understand the needs of your system and ask the right questions to the potential providers about backups and controls.


      Definition: Programs that help people work collectively together. Also known as collaboration software.

      SMB Significance: Popular systems are Microsoft Exchange, Google Docs and Lotus Notes. These systems bring together email, calendar sharing and resource scheduling, shared contacts and task lists as well as instant messaging.


      Definition: A Managed Service Provider can manage a customer’s computers and networks that are either located on premise or at a third-party data center.

      SMB Significance: A MSP can monitor, repair and maintain a company’s computers, servers and network devices from a remote location by leveraging tools specialized for MSP’s. The MSP can monitor you systems around the clock or just during business hours and can provide almost instant support to end users by being able to remote control their systems when needed and authorized. 

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      Topics: IT Buzzwords