Is a Mac the best way forward for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ykickamoocow, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Ykickamoocow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    #1
    Hello All

    I need your knowledge and wisdom to help me with a business IT problem I have.

    I run a small online company with 3 other staff.
    We buy and sell items online through a third party website.
    If you can image we are a company that sells through a website similar to E-bay or Amazon supplier - sadly not all of our software is Cloud based.

    We produce our invoices and manage our sales through third party software, that is pretty rubbish and is windows 7 based - we hate it, however he need to use it.

    Currently I use a Mac Book Pro that I love using and my work rate is far higher than my staff who use Windows 7 based laptops.
    (I was stuck in Nice about 3 years ago with a laptop that went kaput. It took three days to get it working again, so when I arrived back in the UK I went straight to PC World and bought a Mac - Never looked back)!

    We have a big problem in our office, that I am trying to address and I need your advice with.

    Our Windows 7 Laptops are less than a year old (We need to use Windows 7 as that is what the software works on).
    If we switch to Macs - Can we use Windows 7 compatible software? Or will it revert to Windows 8?
    Which is the better Windows software to use on a Mac? (I don’t want to use it - however it is needed to run one piece of software only.
    We need a database software programme. Currently I am trialling FileMaker Pro. I have been told that we don’t need the Filemaker Server software as there are only 5 machines. (it is also on offer 2 for 1).
    I have purchased Office 365 for our computers and all that did was waste 2 days installing it and then lost our emails for 3 days.
    It is difficult to use and at £40 a month seems to be a waste of money.

    Solution - (This is where I need your advice)
    1 x desktop Mac, that can hold all of our images and use as a base computer - I would rather not have to pay for a server if I can help it.
    3 x Mac Book pro or Air, that can link together to share database contacts, that need to be updated in real time. (A database that holds names, emails and client notes, as well as invoices and inventories).
    Run the third party software though a Windows Parallel Operating System on a Mac.
    Update our contacts, diary, spreadsheets, tasks and notes in real time.
    For example a client phones in and requests information on a product, when can then log the call and any actions, which will update everybody else in the company, should they look at the clients details.
    We need to be able to look at each others diary, and amend info if required or add appointments.
    Set reminders for each other and have a task list that we can all use and amend.
    Can all this be done through iwork?

    Any advice would be gratefully received.
     
  2. Saltymac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Location:
    Rocky Mt State
    #2
    At this stage of your company development and existing equipment, I would stick with windows PC's. Your focus should be on the sales not IT changes.
     
  3. Stewart21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    #3
    I would be very careful before making the kind of changes you are talking about. It could end up consuming time and effort that could damage your bottom line. Does invoicing software have to run on the same machine as the rest of your software? Could you carry on running it on a Windows 7 machine (or machines) while using Macs for the other tasks?

    I would probably produce a list of requirements, work out how to meet those requirements and what the cost in hardware and software and time would be and then make a decision about whether the benefits justify the costs.

    Oh, and the best bit of advice I can give is backup every day, nay, every hour, before every change, store a copy of the backup offsite, maybe more than one. Test that you can restore the backup and access your systems and data. You would be amazed how many businesses fail because they don't do this. They get a system failure or a software upgrade and boom, there goes the business.
    This happened to my Dental Practice two weeks ago. A software "upgrade" was applied and 19 out of 20 practices could not access their appointment system for a week. No new appointments could be made, no reminders sent out, their business took a massive hit.
     
  4. Ykickamoocow thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    #4
    Thank you for your replies

    Thank you both for your replies.
    I realise that we should concentrate on the basics of the business. I have great staff and a very simple business. However the most important thing that we all need to do is share and update basic information.
    ie
    Contacts
    Emails
    Diary
    Tasks
    Some spreadsheets and Docs
    Photos

    Its really simple, but can we find a system that will do it - Simply?

    Nope!
     
  5. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #5
    Windows does all of those simply, if you are having issues with using Windows, and your staff is having issues, you should find classes that can teach you how to use computers properly.

    On a scale as small as yours, Windows vs Mac makes very little difference, focus on your bottom line.

    Also, Windows users are just as productive, the VAST majority of the business world runs on Windows.
     
  6. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    I'll also echo stick with Windows 7. Sounds to me that you need a server, which can be a real PITA to buy and get set up. Going the Mac route I'd pretty much guarantee you would lose a month making the transition. I hear lots of people reporting success using Google's cloud services for collaboration.
     
  7. Stewart21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    #7
    Google Apps for Business will do all this
     

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