All posts by SystemsNet Administrator

4 VOIP Tricks Your Old TelCo Business Phones Can’t Do

Business people in an office using VOIP to have a confrence call meeting.

Is it time to review your phone options to improve productivity?

A traditional business phone system is made up of landlines and SIM cards. One number per phone, and a huge difference between internal and external calls. Doing anything fancy took a lot of training, but there are some pretty neat things an old business TelCo plan can do. Conference calling, call waiting and call center management. These are things that many businesses are afraid they’ll lose if they switch to VOIP. But their fears are entirely misplaced.

In fact, rather than losing features, VOIP actually adds significant capabilities to your business phone solutions. It can do everything a TelCo PBX system can do and much, much more. You may have heard about the call-following, one-number convenience, and the affordable scalability. But today, we’re here to talk about four different new VOIP features you may not have heard of, tricks that your old TelCo plan just can’t do.

Automated Call Transcription

Call transcription is one of the most widely useful features VOIP brings to the table. As a software solution with modern voice recognition capabilities, it has now become simple to quickly and easily transform a phone call or voice message into a transcript. This is ideal for anything from customer service to accommodating hearing-impaired employees.

VOIP transcription can send you your voicemails as emails, can transcribe customer service calls for the record, or even be used to dictate memos through the phone.

Video Conferencing

TelCo systems invented conference calls, but they also introduced the unbelievable headache causing hassle of conference calls. Trying to handle multiple lines, accidentally hanging up on clients, and the nightmares of speakerphone have all been thoroughly explored by modern business. But you haven’t conferenced until you’ve tried the silky smooth star-trek like experience of a VOIP video conference call.

With the right screens and microphones connected, you can practically place each remote meeting member in a chair in the room it’s so easy to connect and conference. In fact, you can have every single person in a different room on a different camera and VOIP will make your conference happen.

CRM Integration

Another major benefit of using software phones instead of physical landlines is the fact that it can integrate with other software. VOIP has the capability to connect with many varieties of business software solutions, but by far the most popular is to simply connect to your CRM. The CRM is already a modern rolodex, the place where you store all your client and vendor contact information.

With an integrated connection to your VOIP phone system, it becomes a breeze to both call clients directly from the CRM interface and to quickly pull up a customer’s CRM file when they call in. Integrating with your CRM even makes it easy to create CRM records of the transcriptions of every call held with a customer. Finally, you can track phone customer service records as well as email and chat histories to create a more continuous customer experience for your clientele.

Remote Call Routing

Last, but certainly not least, is the ability to route calls out to remote team members. Even in situations where you would normally need everyone in the office sitting next to each other on the same phone extension. The customer support industry, in particular, is experiencing a remote-work revolution as VOIP makes it possible to route support calls to employee computers no matter where the employee is located.

No longer do you need an entire floor of phone techs, because VOIP handles all the usual call routing hassle internally. If a person is scheduled to take customer service calls, they can be reached on any active device connected to their VOIP account. In or out of the office.

VOIP is one of the best things that has ever happened to modern businesses. No matter what kind of business you run or how much you rely on business phone plan features, VOIP can do all that and more. For further information on VOIP or advice on the right VOIP integration for your business, contact us today!

Microsoft Product Releases: What’s Going On With Windows 10?

Microsoft Product Releases

If you’re on our Managed Service Platform your already covered on how and when this rolls out in your environment

Windows 10 was released over three years ago, and the latest reports show that it’s now used on approximately 45.5 percent of all PCs that run Windows. This makes it the operating system with the most widespread usage around the world.

Since its release, it has also regularly undergone updates that have introduced new features and fixed various bugs. What’s the status of the latest update, and what can we expect in the near future?

Version 1809 Getting Rolled Out

Version 1809, the latest of the Windows 10 updates, was initially released in October of last year. Unfortunately, some users experienced problems with it, including file deletion and incompatibility with various applications.

Over the last couple of months, Microsoft has tackled these problems, and in the middle of January it began to roll out the Version 1809 update automatically. However, you may not have yet received the automatic update on your devices. The roll-out is phased, and the first devices to receive this latest version of Windows 10 are the ones that Microsoft has deemed most likely to run it without major issues.

If you don’t want to wait for the automatic update, you could try installing Version 1809 on your own. However, this may not be advisable, because it may not be a good fit with your device at this point; there’s a possibility you’ll experience frustrating performance issues. With a phased roll-out, Microsoft can carefully monitor the effects of the update and keep fixing it as needed. By the time it gets to you, you’ll receive the benefits of the improvements.

Exciting New Features for Windows 10

Along with monitoring the automatic updates of Version 1809, consider the upcoming features of Windows 10 explored in previews.

What are some of the highlights?

Intelligent Active Hours. Speaking of automatic updates, it can be terribly frustrating – and sometimes quite costly – when your computer starts an update when you’re in the middle of work. Windows 10 already lets you set Active Hours, telling your computer when not to initiate an update. Let’s say you’ve made your hours 9 am to 7 pm. What happens on days when you need to work later (or earlier) than usual? It’s unlikely you’ll remember to manually change your Active Hour settings. That’s when Intelligent Active Hours come into effect. Windows, on its own, will sense whether you’re still using your device outside of the Active Hours you personally set. This smart feature makes it less likely that an untimely update and restart will interrupt your work.

Windows Sandbox. This feature allows you to open an untested application on your computer without fear that it will destroy your device through malware or by other means. As you figure out what the application does, it will remain within the sandbox until you choose to dispose of it.

Windows Defender Antivirus Tamper Protection. Given the ever-present threat of viruses and malware, it’s critical to not only have Windows Defender Antivirus but to also limit who’s controlling its settings on your devices. Tamper Protection is a new feature that restricts the changes you can make to Windows Defender outside of the Windows Security app.

Cortana and Search Split. Cortana, the voice-activated digital assistant unique to Windows, has so far been integrated with Search in Windows 10, but Microsoft now plans to have them separated in the taskbar. What are the advantages to a separation? As discussed in an article at WindowsCentral.com, the rationale is that Microsoft can continue to develop the capabilities of both without having them interfere with each other.

There’s little wonder that Windows 10 is a popular operating system. Microsoft keeps coming out with improvements and is quick to tackle the bugs that crop up along the way. If you have any questions or concerns about Windows 10 installations, updates, and features, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll ensure that Windows 10 runs smoothly on your devices and that you make the most of what it can offer.

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan: Preparing For A New Year

Businessman hand using laptop with backup disaster recovery concept

Reviewing your disaster recovery plan is critical in keeping your network up and running.

Every business needs to be properly prepared for anything these days, including disasters. There will be plenty on the line for your business if a disaster strikes. If a disaster does strike, you could lose sensitive data that you may not be able to get back. If a disaster does strike, will your business be ready to handle a data loss incident?

People from all parts of the world have made their resolution as the new year was set to begin. One of the best ways your business can enter into the new year is to have an effective and efficient Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan that will greatly minimize any downtime and keep your business safe from any events that you cannot control. We want to help you create a BDR plan that will meet all of your business’s needs.

An Effective BDR Plan

Many small business owners do not always understand how valuable their business data is, but it is a very valuable asset to the business. This is why it is so important that you are able to protect your business data at all times. One of the best ways to do this is to find a BDR solution that will provide you with the tools and resources you need to restore your data. In addition, all of your data will not be created equally. You will find that some of your data will have a high value and others will not. If you want to build an effective strategy that will protect your business from any unfortunate data loss, we recommend that you sort through your data so you can determine what data you will need at all times and what data may not be as useful as the others.

Improving Your BDR This Year

We know that everyone wants to strive for better each year, and it should be no different when you have a business. Implementing an effective Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan this year is a great way for your business to improve this year. We know it can seem like a daunting task when it is time to implement the strategies that fit your business, but we recommend that you try some of the following guidelines and suggestions:

  • Make sure you are communicating with your IT team to plan the right recovery strategy for your business. You will need to have a plan that will fully outline your goals, missions, and objectives.

 

  • Find the right Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) platform that will give you every opportunity to back up your data without having long wait times and downtimes.

 

  • When you find the right platform and implement your platform, we encourage you to test your backup on a regular basis. When you regularly test your backup plan, you will be able to determine its efficiency and effectiveness. With a regular test, you will have the assurance you need in knowing that your BDR plan will be ready to roll when you need it.

Every year, small businesses, mid-size businesses, and large businesses are hit with threats, malware attacks, viruses, natural disasters, and more. Also, some businesses lose data due to a human mistake. Unfortunately, many of these businesses do not have the proper Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan, which will result in a significant amount of downtime as the business tries to recover its data.

We know the new year has just started and you have so many things on your plate already, but we encourage you to make room for BDR. We want to make sure your business’s data is available at all times, even when disaster strikes. For more information on our Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) solutions, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

How Can The Right Managed Service Provider (MSP) Protect Your Business?

Woman in office cubicle using a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for business protection

Having a team of support staff watching your back will prevent problems down the road.

The number of cyber security threats and attacks continues to rise. Last year, one ransomware attack impacted 150 countries. This ransomware attack impacted a variety of businesses, major companies, and hospitals and medical facilities. Over 100,000 computers were impacted before the problem could be addressed.

The recent attacks should highlight the major need for business and organizations across all industries to learn more about security issues. The attacks should also encourage business leaders and organization leaders to search for the assistance of IT and security experts to protect their data and prevent threats and cyber attacks.

These type of threats and attacks are constantly rising as hackers are becoming more advanced. Ransomware attacks involve a type of treacherous software that will block access to someone’s data until a certain amount of money is paid. Ransomware attacks are not uncommon because hackers are finding these attacks as ways to make a large sum of money from a small investment.

Your Business and Security

Businesses that do not have the proper equipment or the proper IT resources are some of the most vulnerable people in these attacks. Many businesses have outdated equipment and systems that leave the door wide open for ransomware attacks and threats. These workplaces generally lack the measures that will protect their system and equipment from the attacks.

Some businesses also have challenges when it comes to staff retention and lack of training. When there are constant staff turnover and a lack of experience or training, this can result in major errors that can result in falling for scams and not being aware of when a threat is actually taking place. Lack of experience can also result in leaders failing to use complex passwords or failing to update passwords.

Many businesses also lack the skills and experience of someone who is certified to create a security program for the organization. Times have certainly changed and hackers are becoming savvier than ever before, and some organizations are not prepared to deal with the savviness. When hackers see an easy opportunity to wreak havoc, they immediately see dollar signs because of the ability to access private and personal information.

If you continue to hold off on using the proper security and safety measures, you can find your business in a world of trouble. Thankfully, there are Managed Service Providers(MSPs) that have years worth of experience in cybersecurity and developing systems that will keep your data safe. Teaming up with experts will give you the peace of mind you need for your business.

Creating Passwords

Passwords can always present a security risk, especially when people use passwords that are not complex. We encourage you to use phrases or sayings that you can remember but will be difficult for someone else to guess. Your password should consist of at least 10 characters. It will take a longer time for a hacker to guess what your password is if it consists of longer characters.

Two-Factor Authentication

If you are looking for an extra level of authentication for your systems, you should consider two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication will require any user to have more than one type of credential in order to gain access to a specific account. Two-factor authentication may add an extra step when it is time to log into a system, but it offers another layer of protection. This will make it harder for hackers to obtain access to your data.

You do not need to be an expert at security when it comes to protecting your business or organization, but it is important to have someone on your side who can provide you with the support you need. You will not have the protection you need by simply creating a program and hoping it works. You need to have the right security experts on your side to help protect your systems from the bold and savvy hackers.

Contact us today for more information on Managed Service Providers and the steps you can take to protect your business.