How Can VoIP Impact Your Business?

Woman working at a spa talking on the phone with a VoIP system

Having technology that improves customer service is key to efficiently handling your customers requests.

In the personal and business communication world, VoIP is a fairly well-known name. More business owners are now moving towards this technology because it provides a significant number of advantages of the traditional methods of voice communication. As technology improves and as internet connectivity becomes more universal, more and more businesses will make the decision to use VoIP.

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve their business, their customer service, and their revenue. There is definitely more than one way to do this, but VoIP should certainly not be overlooked. The advantages and benefits that VoIP can provide should not be denied, and this makes VoIP one of the most ideal solutions you have to choose from, regardless of the size of your business.

VoIP can provide an outstanding number of benefits to businesses in every industry. How can your business benefit from using a VoIP solution?

VoIP and the Hospitality Industry

As a business in the hospitality industry, it is critically important that you maintain open, proper, and excellent customer service. It does not matter what the size of your business may be, the way you communicate with your customers and potential customers can be the difference between a successful business and a failed business.

One of the best ways to ensure your business maintains proper communication is to use VoIP. VoIP has a variety of features, including the auto attendant feature, that will allow you to properly manage the daily flow of phone calls. The incoming calls you receive can be transferred to the right person quickly and easily. You can use the auto attendant feature to notify your customers and guests of any promotional offers or events that may be occurring now or in the future.

When VoIP solutions are used in hotels and other business in the hospitality industry, the virtual numbers can be used to help create and maintain a positive and professional image. The virtual numbers that are provided by the VoIP solution can also be used to help you stay on top of all your marketing and advertising campaigns. Toll-free virtual numbers can be called from any location in the world. With a toll-free number, you will be able to reach more customers and the potential customers will not have to worry about paying any extra money when they want to call your hotel.

VoIP and the Production Industry

Production and manufacturing businesses can also find advantages and benefits in VoIP solutions. VoIP solutions offer a variety of benefits, such as improved productivity and flexibility. Production and manufacturing companies are generally made up of a variety of departments that are not all in the same location. When your business uses a VoIP solution, you will have a tool that can join the departments so communication and collaboration can be as effective and efficient as possible. When VoIP solutions are used in these industries, businesses will be able to use call management features, video conferencing features, instant messaging features, and many more. Businesses will also be able to use their phone solution with their other key business solutions.

VoIP offers a variety of benefits to businesses across all industries and helps each business save a significant amount of money while increasing productivity and efficiency. Are you still thinking about the impact VoIP can have on your business? Are you still having a debate with yourself about whether you should continue using your traditional phone system or make the switch to VoIP? If you are ready to consider choosing an alternative to your traditional phone system, VoIP can definitely be the solution you have been looking for.

Do not hesitate to contact us when you are ready to make the switch to VoIP.

3 Reasons Why Managed IT Beats Casual IT Services Every Time

Managed IT services

A team of technicians at your disposal is better than a single tech.

Choosing the right IT services for your business is a lot like hiring a new employee. A service that knows their way around a file server and phone system is great, but that isn’t enough. You need a service that is there when you need them and is so good at their job that they see problems coming before you do. Unfortunately, not every IT service is up to the task.

In the IT support industry, there are two types of agency or service: Managed IT and Casual/Break-Fix IT. And knowing the difference can define the success or failure of your business’ technology at a critical moment. Most people think of IT in casual terms: When something breaks, you call for help. But this plan has some critical flaws, like the time between the ‘break’ and the ‘fix’. Leaving your business out of service until the fix is implemented.

Managed IT, on the other hand, is all about constantly working with IT professionals to support, protect, and optimize your business technology. While casual IT may be the tradition, when you look closely the Managed IT approach is superior in every way. Here’s why:

1) Cost-Effective: Getting Your Money’s Worth

The primary difference between Managed IT and Casual IT is attentiveness. Take two IT service plans and compare them side-by-side. Both managed and casual IT services ask for a monthly fee for access to the technicians and the services they provide. But what is provided will be very different.

In a managed IT plan, skilled technicians are assigned to your case and work on it constantly throughout the month and year. They may monitor your networks for trouble spots, keep an eye on your website performance, and will also be available to solve any problems that arise along the way.

A casual IT service, on the other hand, is more like access to a tech-support call center. Rather than monitoring your networks and websites, you are paying for the privilege to call for help. From there, you talk to someone who is probably a stranger who will spend a few minutes solving your problem then leave you to pick up any mess created by the technical errors they resolve.

In other words, you pay for a month of service from both companies, but only managed IT plans actually give you an entire month of dedicated IT support.

2) Prevention is Always Better Than Break-Fix

The next undeniable benefit is technical problem prevention. When a managed IT team is assigned to manage your business IT needs, they don’t just wait for a disaster to fix. Managed IT technicians are proactive. They not only keep track of your systems, they also implement preventative fixes or give you a heads-up about potential trouble-spots on your horizon.

A managed IT technician might let you know that your server storage space is filling up, that there is better industry software available, or that your website needs an update to handle your increased number of daily online customers. Then they will implement these fixes *before* you run out of storage, your software becomes outdated, or your website crashes due to high traffic.

A casual IT service, on the other hand, doesn’t keep track of potential problems or implement preventative steps. They wait until your website drops and you call in a panic to fix it. And while they’re fixing it? Your website is down, your servers stop working, or your employees are unable to log into your business software until a fix is implemented.

3) Building a Partnership with Your IT Providers

Finally, perhaps the best thing about managed IT services is your opportunity to develop a real business partner. When technicians are assigned to your case and monitor your systems constantly to prevent disaster, they get to know your business.

Casual IT services are more likely to forget all about your system specs between calls, and you may even find yourself talking to a completely different technician every time. With managed IT, you get the service of professionals who learn your business’ unique computer system inside and out and can implement fixes without a ‘getting to know you’ phase for every single issue.

You’re not just asking for IT help from a technician, you’re partnering with professionals who will learn the needs of your business and, often, take care of those needs without even having to be asked.

If you’ve had bad IT experiences in the past, or want to avoid experiences you’ve heard about from others, it’s time to consider managed IT over casual IT services. For a free 60 minute consultation on the IT support needs of your business, contact us today! We’re ready to become our managed IT partners.

The Pros and Cons of Common Backup Storage Options

Backup Storage Options - Backup on laptop screen - cloud

What are some of my backup options?

There has been a great deal said about the importance of having a backup and recovery system in place. And, naturally, the first step to building a great backup recovery system is to take backups of all your important files and configurations. Some backups simply repopulate a vital database with all the right values while others are complex enough to restore a computer from factory-reset to functional workstation.

But however you build them, backups are essentially just compressed files that will need to be stored somewhere until they are needed. Each company has a different storage solution for their backups and the storage option you choose matters more than you may realize. Where you store your backups determines how easy they are to retrieve and whether they are at risk when the network itself is threatened.

Locally Stored Backups

Most of us still remember the days when the only data you controlled was data on your own hard drives and disks. For traditionalist businesses, this may still be the way backups are made and maintained, by creating copies of data stored on another local system.

Pros:

Locally stored backups are completely in your control. You never have to worry about a third party wiping, corrupting, or losing your data because it is on your local systems.

Cons:

Your local network is not as safe as it used to be. Network-wide malware attacks (like ransomware) can compromise your entire computer system including your backups. In fact, anything that threatens your main computers can also threaten your backups. Including physical disasters like power surges and outages, flooding, or earthquakes.

Offline Backup Drives

A safer approach to keeping local backups is to store them on offline drives and disks. This option has never been popular, but there are always a few individuals and businesses that decide their backups are safer offline than online. And they have a point.

Pros:

External hard drives, USBs, and disks can keep your backups securely off any existing network. This is the best way to defend from hackers and malware because there is no network for them to access or damage your backups through.

Cons:

Unfortunately, though safe this approach is also impractical. Given the amount of data most modern businesses need to back up, the cost of external storage and the wear-and-tear rewriting offline storage devices is quite high compared to online storage options. And, of course, offline storage can still be physically damaged.

Remotely Stored Backups

Remote storage is when you store your backups on a computer located somewhere else, much like remote web hosting or file storage. Rather than storing your backups on your own system, you buy server space in a data center or even with a sister company where your backups are occasionally updated and wait to be accessed.

Pros:

Remote storage is a very effective answer to many worries about backup security. Because it is on a separate network, local malware attacks cannot corrupt your backups. And if the files are stored far enough away, local natural disasters are not a concern either.

Cons:

There are a few risks related to remote storage. If the third party storing your backups is compromised, so too are your backups. Likewise, if you store your backups in only one remote location, disasters in that area could wipe out your backups even if your home region is unaffected.

Cloud Stored Backups

Finally, we reach the modern solution to backup storage. Cloud storage is more than just remote storage because of the way the cloud handles data. Rather than storing data in just one remote location, cloud storage replicates your backups across several data centers on the globe.

Pros:

The distributed nature of cloud storage allows you to more quickly access your data from anywhere. No specific network access is required because cloud-stored data can be accessed anywhere with internet access. And the distributed nature of the data means that even if one data center is completely wiped out, your backups will still be available in other data centers and therefore safe.

Cons:

The only downside to cloud storage is the challenge of choosing the correct storage provider. Make sure your chosen cloud server providers have high security standards and a good reputation in the industry for protecting the backups of others.

Backup data security is an important concern for any modern business. The way you store your backups matters a great deal and many careful businesses choose to pair up their backup storage solutions just to make sure there is always a backup available in times of need. For more information about choosing the best backup recovery solutions for your business, contact us today!

Getting The Most Out Of A Managed Service Provider (MSP)

WE MAKE IT EASY! on laptop screen, Managed Service Provider (MSP) concept

A managed service company makes navigating the IT world effortless and painless

We know that managing your IT is not an easy task to accomplish. There are many challenges that come with the territory of being part of the IT industry, including the training difficulties and the expense of continuously educating your employees to ensure they stay ahead of the competition. It does not matter if you are completely outsourcing your IT tasks or if you have a different type of workforce, an MSP(Managed Service Provider) can come in to save the day because it can reduce the amount of time and money you spend on these services.

In order for you to get the most out of your Managed Service Provider(MSP), we encourage you to do the following:

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

We cannot stress the importance of communication enough. You should make sure you follow up with your managed services provider at all times. Your Managed Service Provider is available to give you the things you need when you need them. Do not hesitate to communicate your needs, your goals, and your ideas so they can understand them, execute them, and eventually implement those things into your business. A Managed Service Provider(MSP) does not have to be another outside source that you use to improve your business. Take advantage of the ability to communicate to use your skills and the skills of your MSP to improve your business and take it to greater heights.

Re-Analyze Regularly

It is also important that you make time to meet with your Managed Service Provider on a consistent basis. Having meetings with your MSP will give you the opportunity to review the current and future state of your business’s IT operations. When you are able to know where your IT operations currently stand, you will be able to prevent any small issues from turning into major issues. During these meetings, you will also be able to determine your overall efficiency. You will be able to address questions about ticket status, resolution time, and more. Your Managed Service Provider should not hesitate to work with you to make changes and improvements to your operations when they are needed.

Do Not Hesitate To Receive Help

A Managed Service Provider can provide more help than some businesses may realize. A Managed Service Provider has the ability to provide different advice and strategies that will be more valuable than you may realize.  The advice that an MSP can provide you with include information about how to properly evaluate your technology and your networks and how to create solutions that can answer current and future IT problems. Managed Service Providers can also create a Backup and Disaster Recovery plan that will be vital to your business. You can communicate your needs to the MSP so they will know what features and services you need to be included in your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan.

Are you currently getting everything you need from your current Managed Services Provider? Are you being offered a variety of features and services that you can choose from to fit your business’s needs? If you have not been given an assessment of your IT network and you do not know the current state of your IT infrastructure, now is the time to find an MSP that will give you the insight you need into your networks.

If you are ready to get more out of your current resources and improve the current state of your business, please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information on the services we can provide. We are ready to provide you with the high-quality support you need for your business.