Monthly Archives: March 2022

7 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know about VoIP

A laptop and a wireless headset showing VoIP system operation concept

Making calls online from any internet-enabled device.

Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony continues to gather momentum in people’s personal and professional lives. You probably even have an app on your phone that uses VoIP, or know a company that uses VoIP telephony. While this technology may appear as simple as calling people online, there could be many things you don’t know about it.

We can bet you’ve likely never known about these seven surprising things about VoIP:

1.      VoIP predates the internet

Although it has the internet in its acronym, VoIP came before the internet. The first VoIP call was made over ARPANET, a military network that gave way to today’s internet. The call was one-way, with a speed of 16 kb/s, but it still went through despite at a snail’s pace. This is certainly new to you because you tend to believe everything on the internet came after the internet.

2.      Started the culture of pushing ads without the “Skip Ad” button

Did you know where YouTube got the idea of using ads to generate revenue? Well, unlike YouTube, VoIP didn’t provide the option to “Skip Ad” as YouTube does. You just have to go through the entire ad before making the connection. This enabled VoIP to expand to outside companies and generate revenue. Social media revenue models need to salute VoIP for the ingenious idea.

3.      Thugs use it to launder money

VoIP got recognition from the most unexpected quarters: organized crime. Criminals use video games such as Second Life to commit money laundering scams and share hit information on their competitors. It’s so complicated that the police didn’t have much to do about it. You only have to watch The Sopranos to understand for an idea of how it happens.

4.      It was developed by gamers

Speaking of video games, gamers needed to find a way to communicate with each other in real-time during the games – and VoIP came to their minds. But you probably believe it was developed by some tech guys holed up somewhere burning the midnight oil. Today, gamers don’t have to use VoIP to communicate in-game due to a litany of instant messaging platforms available as well as the in-game chat platforms.

5.      You don’t need a phone to make VoIP calls

When people think about calls, a phone comes to their minds automatically and VoIP is no exception. What you don’t know is that you really don’t need an actual phone to make VoIP calls. Thanks to IoT, you can make these calls online from any internet-enabled device. Don’t throw away that good old laptop just yet: you can turn it into a VoIP device.

6.      It’s got superior call quality

VoIP call quality is better than PSTN calls because of its significantly greater frequency range. It makes it easier for your ears to differentiate different sounds compared to PSTN calls, which are sometimes affected by “noise”. And you just need an internet connection, not some signal boosters or booths or even satellites erected across the country.

7.      Big telcos are against it

Surprisingly, big telcos across the globe are lobbying governments to limit or block the use of VoIP around the world. This is because widespread VoIP services may easily cut into the profitability of the big telcos and probably drive some out of business. When it comes to VoIP you don’t need much infrastructure, potentially reducing phone call costs by up to 90%.

With SystemsNet on your side, you won’t have to worry about whatever you don’t know about VoIP or big telcos mounting pressure on world governments to limit the use of internet-enabled calls. Choose the level of service you want and we will deliver with a smile. For more information about VoIP services, please contact us today.

Understanding Business Downtime

Professional in an office showing stress while dealing with a business downtime.

Dealing with service downtime

Downtime is a factor that will determine the success of your business. It is the total time elapsed when a piece of equipment or a machine is not functional. There are two kinds of downtime:

Planned Downtime

This kind occurs outside the scheduled business trading hours. Weekends are appropriate for this kind of this downtime. Effective planning for this kind of downtime requires companies to know when their demand cycles occur.

Unplanned Downtime

Unplanned downtime occurs when there is an unanticipated failure of a process or equipment. This kind of downtime occurs when companies are less prepared to address it quickly. It usually occurs at the busiest time of the day.

How Does Downtime Affect Your Business?

The cost of downtime can be very high when not managed. The cost varies from industry to industry. Nevertheless, it does not affect only your income. Here’s how downtime affects different industries:

Manufacturing Industry

In manufacturing, downtime could lead to a lack of raw materials. It will also increase the cost of holding inventory. Manufacturers will experience loss in production during downtime. Reducing downtime in manufacturing will increase your production levels.

Distribution Industry

The supply chain requires an efficient workforce. Employees need to focus on their tasks to increase efficiency. However, downtime leads to issues that divert the focus of employees. It will lead to an increase in labor cost per unit.

Service Industry

Downtime could lead to damage to a brand’s reputation for your service industry. Clients who have had experience in your system could write a negative review of your brand. These clients could damage your brand image further by sharing their experiences with friends and family. It might push away your current and potential clients.

Online Industry

Loss of opportunity can be very devastating. This is usually the case for industries such as online shopping that experience downtime. Downtime could also lead to data loss. Cyberattacks are also common during downtime.

Advertising and Marketing Industry

Downtime causes a loss of traffic for marketing sites. Visitors of these sites also lose trust in the company. It takes a lot of effort and money to rebuild that trust.

What Causes of Downtime?

Knowing the typical causes of downtime helps to avoid future inconveniences. Technology is the leading cause of downtime. In particular, IT downtime is the most popular in businesses. IT issues from any of the following may cause downtime:

Hardware Failure

Out-of-date hardware results in hardware failure. It cannot execute complex applications. This can result in data traffic flow congestion. To avoid hardware failure, replace your old hardware with the latest collection.

Software Updates

Systems and processes need to be updated regularly to maintain their efficiency. However, relying on outdated software will lead to scheduled downtime. Out-of-date software is also vulnerable to bugs. Bugs in a server’s operating system will cause server downtime.

Employee Error

Human error is the most frequent cause of IT downtime. These errors occur when employees fail to follow laid-down protocols. Although human error can not be completely avoided, it can be controlled. You can consider documenting each task step-by-step to ensure that a standard procedure is always followed.

Internet Outages

Most businesses today rely on the internet to deliver their services and products. Internet outages are therefore a significant cause of downtime for businesses. Network congestion and faulty routers are some of the causes of internet outages. Failed link-to-internet provider also leads to internet outages.

Understaffed IT Departments

Businesses require enough IT experts to monitor their network, applications, and servers. Understaffed IT departments are unable to perform tasks effectively. Companies ought to hire dedicated experts to manage their IT needs.

Let Us Support You

Preventing downtime should be a top priority for your company. You need to have a team of experienced individuals monitoring and being proactive to prevent downtime and that is where SystemsNet comes into play. Ensure you contact us today to get started.

Business Continuity: How to Plan for Downtime in Today’s Market

An IT team on-call working on a laptop while dealing with a company's system downtime.

Building prevention plans for your company’s downtime risks.

Right now, downtime is a concern for nearly every business in all sectors. With shipping delays and material shortages at an all-time high, we are seeing a ripple effect of delays and shortages throughout the entire national (and international) marketplace.

Construction teams can’t finish houses due to lumber shortages. Vehicle manufacturers can’t complete their yearly production due to microchip shortages. Local restaurants are experiencing food delivery delays. Even tech companies can’t keep up with their schedules due to an IT labor shortage.  Downtime can and often does come from delays outside of your control. But what about the downtime that is inside your control?

There is more to downtime than delays. A company experiences downtime any time that services or the ability to work is interrupted. Power outages, road-stopping storms, malware attacks, and even software upgrade failures can all cause downtime. how can your business build a sufficient business continuity plan to prepare for the most likely downtime risks for your sector, industry, and company?

Determine Your Downtime Risks
  • Power and Internet Outages
  • Shipping and Materials
  • Extreme Weather
  • Equipment and Software Failure
  • Failed Software Upgrades
  • Cybersecurity Attacks

Most companies have the highest risk of downtime in the face of digital and technical failures. Power and internet outages are the most profound. But human error, equipment failure, and even failed software upgrades can all take down your business systems at exactly the wrong moment. Cybersecurity poses a rising threat for all sectors while the widespread shortages (from lumber to IT technicians) creates an equally widespread risk of downtime as a result.

Determine which types of downtime are the biggest risk for your company. You don’t have to choose just one. Any significant risk-factor is worth preparing for to create your business continuity plan.

Build a Prevention Plan for Each Downtime Risk
  • Backup and recovery planning
  • Deeper inventory and early ordering
  • Cloud-based data archives
  • Third-party partner solutions
  • Emergency generators and other fallback systems

Now that you have your list of downtime risks, start your prevention planning. A more robust network of backups and fallback systems are exactly what you need to make sure that if one thing goes wrong, your entire business isn’t brought to a halt.

This is your chance to build stronger systems, backup systems, and move many of your solutions to the cloud where a local disaster or device failure can’t damage your processes or backup systems. You might have a second internet provider, an emergency generator, or set up network monitoring so that system failures cannot happen without detection.

Third-party solutions are a great way to provide business continuity by networking your business functions.

Create Response and Recovery Plans: Red Folder Time

What happens if one of your major systems does go down? Your CRM upgrade eats itself and suddenly all your files are corrupted, or a shipment is delayed and production comes to a stop. What next? It’s time to build your red-folder file; your system of solutions should “the worst” happen in any possible circumstances.

Create a solution or network of solutions for every possible type of downtime. This is another place where third-party solutions are idea. It’s always a good idea to call for backup when your local systems are down and you need to keep the doors open and the phonelines on. You may have a bad-weather emergency generator service – those who deliver generators when the power goes out. You may have an IT team on-call to handle your software and hardware failures can be essential – especially if you don’t have on-staff IT to provide solutions.

Build robust backup and fallback systems. Find business continuity partners and work with third parties who can provide that fallback support when your business continuity is at risk.

Here at SystemsNet, we can help you prepare for business continuity for your hardware, software, and cybersecurity concerns. From backup recovery to software update protection, we’ll make sure your system and business stay online so you can focus on your other red folders like supply line and shipping concerns. Contact us today to take care of your technical business continuity planning with SystemsNet.