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VersaTrust has been serving the Texas area since 1997 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Ugly websites cost your business big time

Good things come to those who wait, and this is especially true for small- and medium-sized businesses that plan on creating an eCommerce website. According to Vistaprint's study on 1,800 consumers, 42 percent of respondents are “very unlikely” to buy from unprofessional or ugly websites. Go through your site and ensure everything is in order. These key indicators might help:

A variety of clean photosAlways take photos under professional lighting to really get the best images of your products. When customers are browsing, it’s normal for them to want to see as much detail as possible, so try to include as many photos, from as many angles your prospects might want.

Clear descriptionsThe last thing you want to do is to confuse your customers. That’s why it’s important to include all of your products’ technical information and dimensions before creating simple and straightforward product descriptions.

Establish policiesReturns and refunds are an inevitable part of online shopping. In fact, a large percentage of online shoppers make purchase decisions based solely on how streamlined the returns policy is. Make sure to establish clear policies for returning and refunding items that are easy to find for customers.

About pageCustomers unfamiliar with your brand need a story they can relate to on your website. In your About Us page, include information on who you are and what you do that sets you apart from the competition. Whatever you write, make it accessible from any page on your site.

NavigationFix broken links, make navigation straightforward, and remove outdated pages. You can’t sell 404 pages to customers, and if your site doesn’t make it easy to find what they’re looking for, game over.

DesignNot everyone is a web design expert, luckily you can always hire one. If your budget is tight, there are DIY site builders specifically geared toward small businesses. Or with a relatively low monthly expenditure, you can hire a managed website provider.

With more revenue originating online, small- and medium-sized-business owners can’t afford to overlook the importance of creating a fully functional eCommerce website. Prior to going live, it’s essential to go through your entire site and resolve any mistakes before consumers see them. For further information on completing eCommerce websites, feel free to call us today!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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New Office 365 updates for collaboration

Every now and then we all need a little help, especially in today’s digital era. To keep up with the competition, companies are gearing up, especially in the IT department. With the help of cloud computing technology, Office 365 is a productivity and collaboration-enhancing software that is changing the way small- and medium-sized businesses operate. Here are four of the latest features added to Office 365:

Real-time collaboration in PowerPoint

Users will now be able to share a PowerPoint deck and update documents with others in real time. This means you’ll be able to see edits as your colleagues make them. Microsoft was committed to expanding real-time co-authoring of a company’s native applications, with Microsoft Word already rolling out this feature beforehand. Currently, real-time collaboration is available for PowerPoint on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers in the Office Insider program and for PowerPoint Mobile on Windows tablets.

Move attachments to the cloud and share with colleagues in Outlook

According to Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team, this feature allows users to transform a traditional document into a shared cloud document within Outlook. Previously, Outlook users could only attach cloud-based documents to an email, but this new feature makes it easier to send large files and to collaborate on those files with ease.

Users can upload files into their own OneDrive or a document library as part of an Office 365 group and then designate sharing permissions for the email recipients. The new feature is currently available in Outlook on the web as well as Outlook on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers.

Mobile notifications for changes to shared documents

With this new update, users will be notified when any cloud documents in Word, Excel and PowerPoint are being shared or edited. These notifications let you know when changes are being made, even if you are away from a particular document, so you’re always connected and know when you have to act. This feature can be integrated with the activity feed on Windows desktops, and help businesses improve user collaboration. Koenigsbauer says that Microsoft will continue working on the notification feature “to provide more detail and transparency around shared document activity in the future.” Sharing and editing notifications are available for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint users on Android and Windows Mobile for Office Insiders. This feature will be available for commercial users in all Office mobile applications in the coming months.

Find, open, and save documents in a Shared with Me and Recent Folders tab

Microsoft’s “Shared with Me” tab in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint makes it easier for enterprise users to find and open shared documents without having to leave the app you’re working in. At the moment, the Shared with Me tab is available on Windows desktops and Macs for all Office 365 subscribers, iOS and Android devices included. And soon, it will be available on Windows Mobile. And the “Recent Folders” tab -- used to help quickly locate files as well -- is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers in the Office Insider program.

Technology has become an integral part of modern businesses, and investing in the right IT resources is needed in order to achieve success. With the latest additions to Microsoft Office 365, small- and medium-sized businesses will enjoy enhanced staff collaboration, increased corporate productivity, and an overall competitive advantage.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Lower your costs with virtualization

For the past year Strem Chemicals, a Massachusetts-based company which manufactures and markets specialty chemicals, has utilized virtualization. This process has seen them improve in several areas such as cost reduction and even disaster recovery. This is one of thousands of companies that has saved a substantial amount of money since incorporating virtualization into their business model. With that in mind, here are couple of ways SMB's like yours can use virtualization to enhance cost benefits beyond the bottom line.

Virtualization puts IT in control

When a new product launches, virtualization lends a hand by matching spending with fluctuating workloads. For instance, ACI Speciality Benefits, a provider of employee assistance programs and other wellness services, virtualized its desktops with Cisco systems and VMware solutions. By balancing the workload with the introduction of virtualization, this allowed the company’s IT department to develop even more detailed budget reports. So how can this virtualization feature help your business? In your next meeting, virtualization can enable you to present a matrix with a direct correlation of how spending affects the total cost of ownership as well as return on investment (ROI).

Virtualization also helps with power savings because it reduces the number of physical servers needed, meaning less electricity and fewer backup batteries are required. But overall, the reason why it has gained traction amongst SMB's has more to do with the fact that it enhances control and management of technology.

Scale your business

For iStreamPlanet, a video streaming provider for live events such as the London 2012 Olympics and Sunday Night Football, cozying up to virtualization required little persuasion. In 2010, the company incorporated virtualization into the development of a cloud-based Software as a Service platform for video workflow management.

“Media processing is an ideal service for a cloud-based, virtualized environment due to fluctuating workloads that require scalable compute, storage, hosting and management services,” Dan Penn, director of software engineering says.

It also aids in ensuring that software engineers and operating teams work closer together while testing and deploying across private and public clouds. Vince Tan, IT administrator for Strem Chemicals advises SMBs to embrace virtualization since they are the ones that normally have limited IT staff and resources. Establishing a virtualized environment grants you more scalability and reliability.

It seems that the adoption of virtualization would be beneficial in keeping up with the times, and since many have already made the virtual leap there would be no shortage of peers to consult with on the matter - yes, you are not alone.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our experts for more information on virtualization and its benefits for small and medium-sized businesses.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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