Business Essentials

by Don Rodriguez

shutterstock_193540421Finding cost-effective ways to get the products and services needed to keep a business operating is a challenge for any company. When they also are essential to help retain quality employees, they can become mission critical. But when the competition is made up of goliaths with deep pockets, the challenge can seem even larger to small businesses, especially tech firms trying to make it past the startup phase. Business Essentials is a solution for members of the Arizona Technology Council.

The Business Essentials Program was launched to provide significant discounts on the products and services technology businesses need most. Partner companies participating in the program are active Council members committed to providing what others must have at highly reduced prices solely for Council members.

Each year the Council chooses up to 12 partners to participate in the Program. For 2015, those companies include:

401k Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) presented by Scottsdale Wealth Management Group. AZTC 401(k) MEP can help reduce a company’s responsibilities as a plan sponsor and allow the owner more time to concentrate on business. By utilizing the Council’s 401(k) MEP, companies have all the advantages and flexibility of a stand-alone retirement plan sponsor but avoid the expenses and administrative burden associated with sponsoring such a plan.

Cloud Services presented by Trans-West Network Solutions. The plan provides discounts on monthly IT managed services that include desktop support, help desk, on-site services and virtual desktop support. The all-inclusive IT services program assumes up to three devices per user.

Employee Benefits Program gives the purchasing power of the Council as well as pricing that reflects the actual cost of healthcare used by a group. Instead of paying increases even though a group’s claims are low, costs are based on employees’ actual medical claims pooled with those of other technology companies. The insurance package for groups with 10 to 150 employees includes medical, dental, vision, life and disability. A full range of supplemental products and administrative resources is also available.

Employment Law and HR Services is presented by Mountain States Employers Council, a trusted advisor that provides HR and employment law support for companies in today’s challenges. MSEC’s team of attorneys, HR experts, trainers and survey analysts work on employment law, HR, training and workplace survey needs. As a nonprofit association, MSEC has been supporting employers with their workplace matters since 1939.

Inbound Marketing Services presented by Prism Global Marketing Solutions. Inbound marketing software solutions include inbound marketing training/HubSpot training, website development, lead generation, search engine optimization, blogging, social media, email marketing, marketing automation and on-demand analytics. Also provided are CRM solutions.

LegalShield has been providing legal service plans to North American families for more than 40 years. Provided in Arizona by MapGo Enterprises, customers can access legal counsel and advice from qualified lawyers simply by calling a toll-free number. Access a variety of legal services, including advice on unlimited issues, attorney letters or calls made on your behalf, contract and document review (up to 15 pages each), and more. Lawyers also will review a plan contract for complete terms, coverage, amounts, conditions and exclusions.

onTop Technology. By creating an affordable means to get core services that run a business into the cloud, companies gain the keys to free themselves from fighting the traditional IT “forest fires” and moving into leveraging a world-class, state-of-the-art infrastructure with exceptional support. The products offered are:

  • Hosted Lync in two flavors: Lync Basic and Lync Enterprise. Lync picks up where phone and email leave off. By leveraging Lync, companies can close the gap on company communications and effectiveness. Integrating instant messaging, presence, audio bridging, Web meetings and video conferencing enables workers to collaborate in ways typically only afforded by large corporations.
  • Hosted exchange: All plans include Outlook Anywhere, ActiveSync, Outlook Web, and spam and virus protection with 1 gigabyte of online backups per user.
  • Virtual servers: For Amazon AWS customers, onTop can take you as a customer and instantly provide savings on your bill as well as renew subscriptions and start-up fees. As a bonus, it will even throw in three hours of Tier 1 support.

Website Design and Development presented by Tempo Creative. Deliver memorable, innovative and creative website design and inbound marketing campaigns built for measurable results and maximum ROI. Business Essentials Program participants get a 20-percent discount on all services, including Web design and development, search engine optimization, website hosting and maintenance, and branding and print design.

Wilkes University. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered with scholarships. Undergraduate degrees are available to individuals who possess an associate degree or equivalent and are seeking to complete the final two years of a bachelor’s program in one of six majors in the business field. The majors are accounting, entrepreneurship, sport and event management, management, finance, and business administration. Wilkes also offers graduate programming for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree and are interested in pursuing master’s degrees in business, engineering management, creative writing and education.

Partner companies of the Business Essentials Program must fulfill several requirements. To start, the discount to members must be substantive. When appropriate, partners must be willing to promote the program to current clients and customers through email marketing, company newsletters and the company website. There should also be a revenue sharing component with the Council. Email for more information or to see if your organization would qualify.

To learn more details about the Business Essentials Program, go to

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