Why Your Small Business Needs VoIP

Why would a small business need VoIP? Not just another acronym to learn, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offers many advantages for small business. Especially SMBs that want to run with the enterprise-sized companies.

Basically, VoIP turns voice conversation into data packets sent between the two network points. Don’t worry, the person you’re calling doesn’t need to be on VoIP. The technology turns the data back into analog at the receiving end if needed.

If you’ve been on Skype, you’ve experienced VoIP. With VoIP you use your broadband Internet connection to make and receive calls. Bypassing traditional or mobile phones, VoIP users avoid long-distance or extra minute charges.

Beyond long distance savings, VoIP setups often include features such as voicemail and call forwarding, at no extra charge. Other useful features could include call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and call recording.

Plus, there’s cost savings from reducing and consolidating communications infrastructure. Streamlining voice, data, and …

Immediate Business Answers with Instant Messenger

You may have hated group projects in school, but collaboration is a lifeblood of business. Yet members of a team may not work in the same workspace. Even those who do, don’t want to spend their day crisscrossing the office to get quick questions answered. While they could send an email or pick up the phone, instant messaging is an even more efficient solution.

Don’t confuse this solution with the old AOL or MSN Instant messenger. Instant messaging (IM) for business takes group communication and collaboration up a notch.

First, IM is truly instant communication, faster even than email. When you type in your comment and hit Enter, your message appears on the screen instantly. You can see it, and everyone else in the chat can see it. While email is fast, it’s not instant. You must wait for the email to arrive and hope the recipient has their inbox up …

What Happens to Your Data When You Die?

Death is a morbid topic most of us try to avoid. Making a will and saying we prefer cremation is the extent of our advance planning. Yet, you may want to also think about what’s going to happen to your data.

Consider your digital footprint. You have photos, files, and emails on your computer and your phone. You’re also documenting your life on social media, and sharing on more than one channel.

Your wearable technology (say an Apple Watch or a Fitbit) may be recording information too. If you have a virtual assistant in your home, it’s recording your search history and saving that data on the cloud.

Yet many of us never think “what will happen to my data after I die?” Do you want it deleted? Are there digital assets you want to share? Perhaps there is tangible value attached to some of your digital assets. At the very least, …

Building a Good Relationship With Your Managed Service Provider

Good relationships are essential to your business success. Connections with customers, clients, vendors, suppliers, and service providers impact your bottom line. Here’s how to develop a strong relationship with your Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Improve efficiency and flexibility
Enhance security and compliance
Take a proactive approach to system maintenance
Reduce costs and enjoy predictable pricing
Gain access to new technologies

Along with overseeing smooth IT operations, the MSP’s experts can advise and consult. The following strategies can help you build a good relationship with your MSP.

Open the Lines of Communication

Transparency in the relationship can make a big difference. With a deeper knowledge of your needs, the MSP can better plan your technology solutions. Communicate goals and the direction you want to take your business. This lets the MSP collaborate to enhance your IT capabilities.

A service provider frees up internal IT staff for strategic planning, special projects. If those initiatives …

Stop the Inbox Insanity: Tips for Better Email Management

A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day. Your business is receiving only a small fraction of those emails. Yet your staff likely feel as if at least 269 of those are coming their way daily. In fact, the typical employee in 2018 received 90 emails, and sent out 40.

Email is a powerful tool. But its help with doing business ever faster creates added business pressure. Consider these five strategies for better email management.

Don’t start your day with email. Many people do. It’s how they set up for the day. However, beginning the day with a cup of coffee and clicking through your inbox, can backfire. Many of those emails become items on your to-do list. You put off important tasks from your day responding to other people’s requests. Plan your day around your business needs first. Even knock off some of the more important tasks, before …

MSP Facts: Common Managed Service Myths Busted

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are not stuff of legend like minotaurs and unicorns. Yet there are many common myths around managed services. These can cloud understanding of a MSP’s true value. Consider the facts to decide whether partnering with a third-party IT vendor is right for you.

 

Myth #1: MSPs don’t understand our business.

Not every MSP will understand your business, that’s correct. But not every MSP is the same. The right MSP examines your existing infrastructure and workflows. They’ll also meet with your people to understand their needs.

Hiring a MSP adds IT experts who can make specific technology recommendations. Meanwhile, your in-house IT team can focus on driving growth.

Myth #2: Outsourcing to a MSP is too costly.

Take a look at your IT budget today. Internal IT costs are typically high and often unpredictable. Managed services help you stay on top of your IT costs. Your business pays a …

3 Steps to Securing Cloud Data

Businesses are no longer confusing “the cloud” with those puffy white things in the sky. For many, the cloud is a backbone business tool. Yet, some worry about storing their data on the Internet using cloud technologies. Consider these approaches to boost business confidence in cloud data security.

#1 Encrypt Business Data

The cloud is a lucrative potential target for cybercriminals. Many enterprises have turned to this technology. In North America nearly 60% of enterprises now rely on public cloud platforms. That’s a fivefold increase over five years, according to Forresters Cloud Computing 2019 Predictions.

Some cloud service providers will promise to encrypt your data in transmission. Take this precaution further by encrypting data before it’s sent to the cloud. Encrypting data turns it into another form of code. Only the person with the correct password can decrypt it. If you use a modern encryption standard, it will be extremely challenging …

IT Problems Your Managed Service Provider Can Solve

Unlike quick-fix IT relationships, a managed service provider isn’t there just to solve short-term problems and leave. Your managed service provider is your IT’s mountain Sherpa, there to guide your business through the ever-changing technology landscape.

Like a mountain guide, your managed service provider gives you a detailed route that will help your business climb to new heights. The secret to a great business is avoiding the pitfalls, dead-ends, and traps inherent in bad IT.

Removing IT Worries

Technology in business presents both new solutions and new problems too. We are more efficient and more productive today than we’ve ever been before. On the other hand, we are also more vulnerable and more exposed to malware and hackers than in previous years too.

Major hacks of large firms are in the news almost daily, they affect millions of customers worldwide, and even large firms seem to struggle with the fallout incurred after …

Cloud Storage or Local Server – The Best of Both

Cloud computing is the biggest buzzword in business today, and for good reason too. The cloud provides many a new-found freedom to do and achieve more than ever before. Greater collaboration, unlocking work possibilities in new locations and often reducing costs provides a healthy boost for many companies.

Every business is unique however, and cloud solutions don’t fit for every scenario. Connection issues, internet plans, or technical requirements can rule it out as an option in some instances. In these situations, we might install a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution instead. Which is a very small server with lots of hard drives.

A NAS is particularly popular in small, mid-sized businesses, and even home environments. Due to their low power consumption, small footprint, and low cost, they often represent an ideal upgrade. Power users and businesses can enhance their networks and get more out of their systems by employing a NAS …

Keeping Control of Your Business with Office 365

Office 365 represents a complete shift in the way we interact with modern business computing. If you haven’t been introduced to it yet, now could be the time. Similar to the Microsoft Office desktop package that businesses have relied on for decades; Office 365 does even more to provide the critical tools you need to modernize your business environment and take control of your business.

Built with the cloud in mind, Office 365 allows you to access and modify your documents from any computer, tablet, or smartphone worldwide. These same cloud capabilities bring benefits to collaboration too. Groups and teams can work on a single document or group of files at the same time to maximize productivity and save time ahead of tight deadlines.

Safety, accessibility, and productivity are some of the amazing benefits Office 365 has introduced to modern business. Each one has clear, but obvious benefits that can be …