All posts by SystemsNet Administrator

5 Reasons Your Company Can Benefit from Managed IT and Network Monitoring Services (Part 1)

Saas company business man with a laptop. Managed IT and network monitoring services concept

Managed IT and Network Monitoring Services

In the business world, everything runs on the network. Information of every stripe is constantly being processed and transmitted through multiple company machines, over cloud hosting, and stored in proprietary servers either locally or again on the cloud. Business software suites rule the day, often adding more network calls as they self-maintain and contact central data stores to keep all employees on track and supplied with the information they need to function and this is all without considering if a company is also providing online services to their customer we as well. With this overwhelming use of networking between company computers, clients, and the cloud, it’s no wonder more and more businesses are turning to outsourced help to manage their IT infrastructure and monitor their network activity. If you haven’t hired a crack team of IT experts to keep a watchful eye on your business network, here are five great reasons to consider doing so.

1 Ensuring Steady Service to Your Customers

Monitoring services are there to tell you when things are about to go sideways with enough of a head-start to prevent the oncoming disaster. You may be one of the thousands of companies that provide online services to customers that should not be interrupted under any circumstances. Many Saas companies provide real-time data, dashboards, and support that must be available when customers need them and some companies even serve medical providers and patients as part of an active health plan. If a server dies or a network connection goes down at the wrong moment, customers will not only be unhappy, they could be terribly disadvantaged and even lose money from their own businesses or the ability to interact with vital services as a result of the interruption.

Making sure the vital connection between your company and clients stays online is one of the things that a managed IT and monitoring as a service can provide for. If something is about to go wrong, your outsourced technicians can send you a timely message and help to redistribute resources to keep your services available without having to stack additional tasks onto your in-house techs if you have any.

2 Preventing Overload During High Traffic Hours

Most websites and services see cyclical visitation from their customers as log-in patterns match the requirements and opportunities of daily life. Companies with incredibly popular websites have to be aware of this ebb and flow pattern in order to prepare for their most high-traffic weekly hours. When many people all log into your website at once, this can create an overwhelming flood of activity on your network and has been known to overpower the available bandwidth and server resources.

While the extra business is good, young companies who experience a sudden increase in popularity have faced complete website failure when traffic exceeded their network capabilities. Managed IT and network monitoring services can help you both prepare your network for dangerously high traffic and offload resources at exactly the right time during these rush periods to keep your website up, running smoothly, and providing sales to your eager customers.

Managed IT services offers you a stability, constant maintenance, and optimization that break-fix IT simply can’t compare to. Of course, this is only the first half of our two-part article on the benefits of working with a managed service provide. Instead of just waiting for your computer system to eventually fail and then calling an expert, with managed IT your servers and infrastructure will be actively maintained, updated, curated, and load-balanced at all times Join us next time for the second half of this article where we’ll talk about optimization, detecting errors before they happen, and repairing any unavoidable or externally caused errors immediately. For more information about managed IT services, contact us today!

VoIP Telephony and Why You Should Consider Using It

Dialing telephone keypad. VoIP telephony and the benefits

Ready for the flexibility of VoIP?

The telecommunications age began in the 1830’s with the first telegraph equipment. It’s contemporary developments in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States, changed the world forever.

The first attempts at communicating “long distance” using electricity covered less than a mile. They were, however, responsible for the development of binary code, electrical rotary switching technology and many other techniques and technologies that form the basis of today’s communication revolution. From these beginnings through to the invention of the telephone and human-operated dialing and switching systems we have evolved to digitalized communication techniques and protocols for connecting to virtually anyone, any place, at any time. One of the technologies spawned from the simple wires and taps connection more than 150 years ago is VoIP telephony.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It represents a technology with global reach. VoIP works by digitizing sound. Ordinary POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service, no kidding, that’s what it is called) was invented in the mid-1800’s, with the first patent issued in 1876. POTS used analog interfaces to push or vibrate sound along a copper wire from one destination to another. VoIP expands this capability by encoding the values of the vibrations into binary code, dividing the message into small packets and reassembling them at the receiver’s end of the conversation.

While POTS has served us well for more than 100 years, VoIP is an improvement in many ways:

• The clarity of the digital signal is vastly superior to the analog version.

• The digitized signals can be transmitted cheaper and quicker than the analog signals.

• The digital signals can be moved out of the phone realm and into emails automatically creating a Unified Communication Platform.

• VoIP signals can transmit video and audio connections on a greater variety of devices. This means that you can have virtual machines known as “softphones” accessible from any computer, smartphone, or tablet.

• VoIP systems reduce the need for duplicate wiring that analog phones require by using your existing internet connectivity and cabling.

• VoIP phone systems make internal calling free even between geographically distinct sites by using SIP technology.

VoIP systems are available both as an on premise or as a hosted solution. In an on premise installation, you will need to set up a VoIP PBX, VoIP router and voicemail server. With a hosted solution you will still need a router to translate the VoIP traffic so that it goes to the right party with the proper quality of service assured.

While we’ve talked about some of the technical advantages and features of a VoIP system, let’s look at some of the benefits to the user community. VoIP systems being computer-based provide a much more comprehensive array of user experiences than a POTS PBX system can. With VoIP systems, you can set up users and features using a graphical user interface that allows drag and drop movement of phones and features. Your phone system can be accessed remotely and changes made from outside your office at full internet speeds rather than at the dial-up modem speeds of a POTS system.

VoIP systems allow, as mentioned before, Softphones. Softphones will enable a user to answer their desk phone from anywhere in the world provided they can connect to your installation through the internet. This function allows your team to work remotely at another internal office, at a different desk in the same room, from their home office, or from a customer site. When they are fully mobile, they can answer their desk phone on their cell phone as well. In some configurations, you can even use them for hot swapped offices by providing users a login code that will assign a specific desk phone to them for a given period or until they log out of the system.

The majority of VoIP systems create a receptionist console that can monitor all other lines to see if they are in use, manage out of office messages, allow hunt groups and a myriad of other features. All while reducing the total cost of ownership, improving call quality, providing video conferencing in certain circumstances and eliminating the expense of the site to site calls.

If you are interested in learning more about VoIP telephony and the benefits and applications for your business, please contact Systems Net today for an educational consultation or feel free to browse our website. As a premiere provider of VoIP and other IT services, we look forward to working to exceed your expectations.

How to Take Care of IT Tasks That Can’t Be Individually Managed

IT business support Managed IT services concept

Business processes change rapidly are you staffed to handle these changes?

A lot of small businesses are using third-party services. Sometimes automated tools replace a lot of administrative tasks, which mean the employees can focus on sales or human-powered creative tasks. SaaS can even replace invoicing management, basic cybersecurity, and financial projections. But for the remaining tasks that need to be handled by people, it’s important to decide if your business benefits more from dedicated employees or a hired service. Here are two logistical reasons to hire out:

There are no legacy problems.

Even though the trend of staying with the same company for one’s whole career is fading away, most employees assume they’re going to be with the company for several years. While that can be a good thing because they’re not just running out the clock or making short-term decisions, it can cause a few problems in the IT department.

If your company is employee-based, people will make custom tweaks and idiosyncratic fixes because they think they’ll be around to explain them or fix what goes wrong. That means you can be left with a jumble of unsolvable problems when the employee leaves or you have to scale the network. But if your company uses a third-party service, everything is transparent and standardized with no hidden surprises if you ever change services or transform your infrastructure.

You can forecast expenses.

Managed IT services are very different from traditional IT support. Instead of paying to bring a technician in and solve immediate problems, a managed service is paid monthly to prevent problems in the first place. Not only does that help reduce downtime costs and cybersecurity risks, it’s a predictable expense. The better you can accurately forecast your annual budget, the more comfortably you can take risks into new markets.

You can take advantage of standardized IT procedures.

Small businesses involve a lot of self-management. If you’re self-employed on a team of one, you have to manage your own time, expenses, and output. With a small group, you can turn to each other for support and time management. But there are some tasks that can’t be left entirely manual, especially as your business grows. Make sure you have a managed IT service that can:

1. Automate malware and cybersecurity software updates.

Every week there’s another patch. Operating systems need to reboot to install updates. Your anti-virus program has a frequent pop-up asking you to update to the latest version. It can seem like a headache or an attempt to upsell you. But when it comes to computer and network security, keeping up with the latest versions of your programs is essential. Give the task to your IT service, which can ensure that all of your company’s devices are updated regularly. Individual employees might just delay updates or have the pop-ups turned off. Automating the system not only guarantees the best adherence to security, it can be scheduled for common downtimes.

2. Manage business technology during employee turnover.

If someone quits the employee or they’re let go, a lot of information can go with them. A lot of assets can, too. Look for a managed service that can remotely track down business technology so you can retrieve it as needed. You can also set up a system to remotely wipe or disconnect technology so you don’t have to worry about data leaks and potentially malicious users after the fact.

3. Solve problems before they’re problems.

Most outages don’t strike without a warning. The warnings are just rarely seen. But a managed IT service usually starts a contract by installing software that lets them remotely monitor your network for system slowdowns, peak use times on the network, and suspicious CPU draws. They can track down the warnings signs and strengthen your security or suggest network growth before disaster strikes.

Go to SystemsNet to find out more about what IT support services can do for your business.

What Can ACT! Contact Management Software Do For Your Small Business Or Startup?

Small business owner on laptop using ACT! Contact Management Software

ACT! Contact Management Software

How many times have you heard conversations about how a contact management system like ACT! can help you in your small business or your startup business? You have probably asked questions about how a comprehensive customer relationship management system can be integrated with your marketing, financial, customer service, and sales departments. When your vision includes an integrated business plan and a CRM system, you will immediately begin reaping the benefits.

Maximizing Customer Interactions

One of the most important elements of having a successful business is the relationships you form. In order for your small business or startup to maximize its productivity and effectiveness, one of your focuses should be on creating and improving relationships and using the proper CRM system. Conversations will get deeper if the content you are using involves insightful notes and metrics. Potential customers and clients will trust you quicker when they feel you are thinking about what is important to them. Trust will also increase when you know their likes and interests.

Easy Access To Customer Information

There will be a continued need for instant access to important information when your sales reps are out in the field. Everyone needs to be able to have quick access to the relevant information that can be found in email histories conversations, and recent sales history. In order for everyone to have instant access to this information, the mobile devices will have to be linked to the company’s database so all relevant information and updates will be synced.

Finding New Opportunities

As a business owner or someone who is responsible for sales management, you will have plenty of responsibilities to determine where future business opportunities will come from. When you are able to understand opportunity management, you will have the ability to understand the importance and scope of future revenue. You will also be able to determine where you need to place additional focus on in the future.

Finding The Right Leads

When you create marketing campaigns, you have to make sure these campaigns will provide qualified leads. When your campaigns can provide you with qualified leads, you will be able to fully optimize your time with the prospect. Every email contact should provide the relevant information and feedback that will be needed to bring in constant revenue.

Matching The Processes And Preferences

You have probably discovered that many businesses have goals and challenges that are very similar. However, businesses will also have processes and terminology that are different, and as a result, there are different new processes and tweaks that will be beneficial to them. You can gain the swiftness you need to change your processes in the CRM with a variety of ACT! CRM features. You will be able to use sales processes that are specific to the buying habits of your customers and you will be able to improve workflow management with the proper tools.

Your small business or startup is going to need the perfect service to provide you with the right assistance you need in designing, implementing, supporting, training, etc. As a business owner or manager, we know you have your sights set on greatness. When you use the right tools and processes, you will have the tools you need to be more productive and efficient.

It will be important that everyone in your workplace will be on board and properly trained on the ACT! Contact Management Software features and components. Are you ready to introduce ACT! Contact management software to your employees? Do you have questions about how you should use the software once you have it implemented and integrated? Contact us today for more information.