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3 Ways You Can Keep Your Communications Networks Safe

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In today’s society, technology is a part of everyday life. This is especially true in work environments, with there being around 11 million meetings every day in the U.S. — many of which utilize technology like VoIP services and video conferencing. But with the increased use of technology also comes an increased risk of data theft, which can be extremely problematic for companies. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few easy ways companies can protect their communications networks.

Use authentication tools: When a new device is connected to your Internet system, it should go through some sort of authentication process. Authentication protocols can determine whether or not the device is safe and not connected with malicious intent. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that allow employees to use personal devices for work-related tasks. Having an authentication tool in place will make sure any and all devices are valid and allowed to be on the server.

Update your router: Having a wireless internet access point can be extremely convenient. But if you fail to continuously update your router, it’s going to be easier for hackers to enter the system. This is why you need to keep your router up-to-date. Fortunately, router updates usually involve installing a new manufacturer-approved software and this is easy enough to do. Occasional updates will ensure your router’s security features are as strong as possible.

Limit network access: In many cases, especially at businesses, communications networks can be accessed by a number of people. This is important for everyone to be able to connect easily and access important information. However, you should only allow certain devices to access the network — by pre-approving devices that can access the network, you reduce the risk of an outsider being able to gain access through an open network.

While technology has certainly made things easier, it’s important to not feel too relaxed — forgetting to make important updates or secure a network can make it easy for hackers to gain access, which can be extremely problematic. But keeping these few simple tips in mind will help keep your network and connections secure.

6 benefits of structured cabling for data and voice in your business

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The need for a reliable network is currently a big thing for businesses as the need to move data and voice increase. As a result, it is important for you to ensure that your business gets what will work for it for now as well as within the expected growth, especially when data and voice are involved. For this to happen, structured cabling for data and voice is the way to go. This is because it provides an environment suitable for robust data transfers that integrate local and networked computer systems, telecommunication networks, and even security and surveillance systems.

 

With this post, we will discuss the benefits for the use of structured cabling for data and voice to your business.

 

Aesthetically pleasing network

 

Aesthetics is a matter of concern for the people interested in a neat setup that is well organized. Given that structured cabling for data and voice uses the star topology, it is neat as compared to a point to point system. This is quite important when looking to avert chaos since with cables running all over, it is easy for human-error to happen. This would lead to downtime, and this consequently affects the business negatively since it might take plenty of time to resolve.

 

Easy management

 

With structured cabling for data and voice in place, it is easy to perform management of the network with minimal effort or staff. This is made possible by the separation of equipment types and data to specialized outlets makes the management of the network quite easy. Likewise, when it comes to adding more functionality, the process is also easy and has minimum interruptions. Also, with designated outlets, it is possible to deploy a simple configuration that will support different devices.

 

Offers flexibility

 

The thing with structured cabling that network engineers love is that it is very flexible and is able to respond to quite a number of needs and configurations. For instance, if the needs in your business require a change of network architecture, all that is needed would be to plug the cables for your devices into the appropriate sockets, and the restructuring of your system is done. Also, since, structured cabling for data and video support data in all formats, devices can be easily swapped in and out as per the needs of the business, and this is highly desirable.

 

Easy to troubleshoot

 

From time to time, systems are bound to have some errors reported. In as much as this should be avoided, the most important thing is the time it would take to troubleshoot the issue. With structured cabling for data and voice, the troubleshooting process in quite enhanced and easy. This is due to the segregation of function and therefore when there is an issue on a particular function, it is possible to single it out and address it without interfering with the rest. This effectively means that if say the CCTV system has an issue, this can be troubleshot without affecting the business phones systems.

 

Cost-effective

 

When considering structured cabling, it’s important to note that in as much as the initial cost of the set up might be high; this is a one-time thing. This is because for anything that follows, all you need to do is plug cables to the required sockets and you are good to go. Compared to any other system, this is the most cost-effective type of installation, and this is the reason it is highly recommended for businesses.

 

Adaptability

 

Owing to the high bandwidth capacity that structured cabling offer, it makes it quite a dependable system for a business that is projecting growth or remaining active for a while. Essentially, the set is forward thinking and can be able to handle virtually any need that the business might have in the future, including the much-anticipated internet of things.

 

Conclusion

 

As per a study that was done by Sage Research, internet telephony brought about increased productivity by up to 3.9 hours per week per employee. This is through the use of wifi phone systems, VOIP among other phone systems. This being the case, it is therefore very important to build a network system that will effectively handle the requirement of your business and structured cabling can never disappoint.

More Delaware business are choosing hosted phone systems. Here’s why.

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Do you want to provide better service for your customers? Do you want to significantly reduce operating costs? Many Delaware businesses in the market for a new phone system are choosing hosted business phone systems over managing the hardware and phone systems on premise.

On premise phone systems are complex, require ongoing maintenance and upgrades, and rely on an expensive informational technology staff to keep them up and running.

Conversely, hosted Delaware business systems are the trend of the future.

1) Fewer phone system headaches: With hosted Delaware business systems, the telephone hosting provider handles almost everything for you. Using the state of the art, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, you can prevent many of the on-premise headaches. Hosted phone systems allow businesses to focus on doing what they do best – managing their day to day business activities.

2) Less downtime: Can you afford to have a phone system outage? Using a hosted Delaware phone system practically eliminates the need for downtime during maintenance and upgrades. The upgrades will be almost invisible to your team members and they can continue servicing your customers.

In addition, many hosted, commercial telephone systems are designed with multiple points of redundancy. This means if one segment of the system fails, another segment can step in and take over the operations.

3) More secure: When you contract with a hosted telecommunications leader, sensitive information and data are stored outside of your business and on your provider’s secure servers. In addition, the provider will keep up to date with hardware and software security patch needs, which will free up your technical staff to manage other technology needs.

4) Higher employee productivity: Your employees are the lifeline of your company and using hosted Delaware business systems provides them with many benefits.

Can you afford to take your employees away from their day jobs to sit in a multi-day, hardware and software training session for a new phone system? Between the drop in productivity and the costs for the trainer, food and conference rooms, this is probably not an ideal option. When a business installs a new hosted phone system, its employees do not have to be highly technical in order to use it. The system is intuitive, and employees simply need training on how to make and receive phone calls and to leverage the voicemail options.

Do you have team members that work remotely? You are in good company because up to 64 million U.S employees have a job that includes some telecommuting. When employees telecommute, they must have phone service. With VoIP technology, your phone system becomes flexible and portable.

In addition, with minimal downtime your employees will always be ready to service your customers.

5) Great business results: What is the formula for achieving a healthy business bottom line? It is ideal if you have highly productive employees, great customer service and reduced operating costs. Leveraging a hosted Delaware business system will give you all three.

For all of these reasons and more, hosted business phone systems are the trend of the future. It’s time to get on board.

The MVP meets the VOIP; VOIP Business Systems in an Educational Setting

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Communication solutions in schools are as valuable as an endless pencil dispenser, which is to say, every single classroom should have access to them. VOIP business systems are developing VOIP software to address exactly this issue across educational, commercial, and healthcare sectors. But what does this mean? How can VOIP and its integration into schools create a stronger network infrastructure? We can start by identifying what VOIP business systems are, and what they provide. 

A Voice over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, digitizes phone calls, essentially allowing a broader capacity for hosted phone systems. This makes any desktop, tablet, or even smartboard a viable venue for communication as a telephone system. VOIP business systems are creating a market for more accessible and affordable structured cabling for data and voice. Already in the U.S. alone, there are approximately 11 million meetings daily involving video conferencing and VOIP services. This may be all well and good for commercial telephone systems, or for small businesses, but how can this technology be applied in the education world? 

Creating a Stronger Network Infrastructure

A school is like an organism, every cell within it constantly moving, expanding, contracting, evolving. However, schools often don’t have as many resources to smooth out that movement, and usually need more robust communications networks to, say, share a lesson plan, or attend a student in crisis. VOIP business systems aim to grease the wheels of any enterprise with new phone systems able to address diverse communication needs in more ways than a traditional land line. What’s more, creating a unified phone system between schools and administration can allow for more powerful communication networks across districts. Really takes “show and tell” to a whole new level. 

Cost-Efficiency 101

In a time when public schools have to stretch every dollar, flexibility is key. By broadening telephone systems, VOIP integration falls among the more cost-efficient options in telecommunications. A monthly phone bill can be cut in half by replacing a traditional phone line with VOIP, and nothing counts more in math class than the opportunity to supplement learning with a few extra thousand every month.

Reach for the Wireless Stars

Educators endeavor to bring learning to life for students in the most authentic, real-world ways that they can. The modernization of classroom tools have expanded educator’s abilities to diversify learning opportunities. From foreign language teachers connecting kids with pen pals, to science teachers introducing the concept of astrophysics through Carl Sagan and Neil De Grasse Tyson’s Netflix opus, Cosmos. Introducing VOIP software can be another technologically adept step within classrooms. At a time when students have more access than ever to tablets and computers, there’s no better method to meet them half way than by using that technology to video conference a co-taught lesson from their local astrology college course, or chat in real-time with that pen-pal across the world at no international cost. 

Security Solutions in a Modern Era

The perpetual question on every parent’s mind, is this safe? VOIP business systems, by virtue of utilizing cctv, or closed-circuit television, take video security to another level that telephone systems previously could never. As schools across the country increase their security parameters, incorporating video surveillance systems that are only accessible to a closed school-based network, parents have one more reason to breathe easier. 

Structured Cabling: Six Pros for Your Business

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Also known as network cabling, structured cabling is a way of organizing all the cables in your business to create a good communications network. Larger cabling elements have smaller elements called subsystems connected to them, thus increasing the potential of your communications network. Here are six great reasons why structured cabling is so good for your business. 

# 1. Safety

Structured cabling has all wires and cables confined within a specified area. There are no dangling wires, no loose wires, and no swinging cables. This reduces the potential for fires, and also greatly reduces the possibility of individuals falling or tripping over wires and cables that have not been enclosed. Another advantage is that the risk of electrical shock is greatly reduced, too. 

# 2. Multiple Devices

In your business, you will probably want to expand your communications network beyond the confines of your traditional workplace. This would include new phone systems and the capability of connecting to Smart Cars, for instance, and Smartphones for your employees. Structured cabling gives you this capability. In addition, cameras, and video equipment are also able to be connected to this network, which increases the opportunity for effective cybersecurity, video security, and security solutions systems in your business and beyond. Surveillance cameras can help internally, too, by cutting down on employee theft, which, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, actually amounts to between $20 and $40 billion dollars a year, an amount which employers lose. 

# 3. Less Network Downtime

You are well aware, no doubt, that when issues of connectivity within your network occur, everything slows down in your business. Network downtime is an experience where no one wins. Structured cabling virtually eliminates the tangled wires and other situations which often lead to your network crashing or running improperly. 

# 4. Great Return on Your Investment

Since structured cabling is a much more efficient communications network, one of its best advantages will be that you and your clients will communicate much more efficiently. Also, your business will spend less money overall on maintenance, less money on wiring, less money on cables, and less money on equipment replacements. 

# 5. Easy to Manage

The brilliance of the structured cabling communications network design is that it is so easy to manage. It provides you with the capability of adding new wiring anytime you want. This is also very relevant if your company is growing and you are interested in expanding your system, as well as a great advantage if your business is considering moving possibly to another location.

# 6. Better Presentation

Making a great first impression is important in life, and in especially important business. The neat and orderly presentation associated with structured cabling for your network communications needs is more aesthetically pleasing than a tangled mess of loose wires dangling behind a desk. This attention to detail says a lot about you as a business person. Yes, you care about safety first; and yes, you also know that sometimes a book is judged by its cover. 

One thing is certain in business today: it is essential to have a fast, reliable communications network. With the various options available these days, and the ever-advancing world of technology, a structured cabling communications system is definitely a step in the right direction for your business needs. 

How to Determine What Your Structured Cabling Needs Are

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When it comes to your office, there are a lot of different forms of technology you probably use on a regular basis. This is especially true with there being 11 million meetings every day in the U.S., many of which involve technology like video conferences and VoIP services. And to make sure all of these different forms of technology are working properly, you need to start with the basics: cabling. So this article is going to explore a few tips to help you determine your structured cabling needs.

First off, it’s important to note that each structured cabling system is different because there are so many different variations to consider. This includes differences in cable and connection products, the structure of the building, the types of equipment the cabling is going to be used for, and overall customer needs. Depending on whether the cabling is going to be used for business phone systems, security solutions, VoIP business systems, or another business element, cabling needs can vary.

One of the first things you should consider when determining cabling needs is the speed you’re looking for. There are varying levels of capacity and flexibility with different cables, which means come cables can provide faster connections than others. Along with speed, it’s important to consider the distance the connection will have to travel. Measuring the necessary cable length can help decide what kind of speed can be met.

Additionally, security is a major deciding factor when considering your structured cabling needs. Different types of cables, like copper or fiber-optic, will have varying levels of immunity to electromagnetic interference. One of the biggest benefits of a hard-wired network is added security, compared to WiFi. So you need to consider which cables can offer more security, depending on the type and amount of security you’re looking for.

And last but not least, you need to consider what kind of quality you’re looking for in your cabling. A higher quality cable will more durable, easier to use, and more secure. But it’s important to remember that as quality goes up, usually the price does as well. So you need to find a cable within your budget that also meets your quality needs. This is where working with a reputable company will be extremely beneficial, as they can help find the perfect cable for your needs.

Having the right structured cabling system is important for easy use of your phone and security systems. So keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to find the right cabling in no time.

BTA: Hilyard’s Business Solutions Merges with Collins Business Systems, Inc.

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The Business Technology Association announced the merging of two major business solution companies.

According to the BTA, Hilyard’s Business Solutions merged with Collins Business Systems Inc. on February 14, 2017. The two paired up to bring technology packages, office equipment, and telephone systems to customers around the Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey areas.

Robert Hilyard, CEO of Hilyard’s Business Solutions spoke with the BTA about the merge.

“By merging our two companies, we will be able to offer every possible necessity to our customers for their business needs, in both equipment and software technology,” Hilyard said. “We are truly a one-stop shop for any business. The merger of Collins Business Systems Inc. will enhance our ability to fully cover the products needed by our customers. Business communication solutions are an exciting addition to the Hilyard’s family of products.”

Business phone systems are an essential tool in today’s fast-paced world. The Hilyards phone systems are essentially a one-stop-shop that allows a business owner to forward calls, obtain call logs, and host conference meetings. These telephone systems aren’t as expensive as older phone units. In fact, a traditional phone line can be replaced with VoIP, saving 20% to 50% on your monthly phone bill. Hilyards phone systems don’t cost a ton of money in phone system installation and don’t require continuous maintenance.

As a company continues to grow, the owner shouldn’t have to spend time and energy worrying about malfunctioning phone systems. They need to be putting all of their focus on the business itself. These new phone systems come with updated features that are more affordable and flexible than older systems. So you won’t have to worry about spending your days making sure they’re working and properly evolving with technology.

Both Collins Business Systems, Inc. and Hilyard’s Business Solutions have teams of specialized employees working to keep customers happy. They aim to work collaboratively to bring companies across the east coast up-to-date voice solutions. Along with the voice solutions, business owners can rely on the duo for customizable office equipment.

Business Phone Services: Considerations to Make Before Cutting the Landline

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With all of the new technology being released on a daily basis, it’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of new gadgets for your business. Advancements in technology isn’t a bad thing and new tech is revolutionizing the way business is conducted all over the world. However, sometimes you forsake certain technology in order to implement other, newer systems.

For many businesses, that dilemma is with landline telephones. It’s no surprise that landlines are fading away in homes, but what about for business phone systems? Many businesses are simply providing work cellphones to their employees to handle the majority of calls, with maybe one or two landlines for directory services. Others still have landlines in every department and on every desk.

So what should you consider before cutting the cord?

Costs

As with most everything in business, the majority of the consideration comes down to cost. Normally, traditional business phone system installations can be expensive and take time to get properly set up. There are numerous alternatives, however, such as VoIP services that cost much less and can be installed with relative ease and speed. Replacing a traditional phone line with VoIP can save you between 20% and 50% on your monthly phone bill. VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, are phones that connect using the internet rather than a landline. They can be hardwired or wireless (WiFi) phone systems.

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The downside to VoIP or cell phones can be the quality of service. VoIP services depend on the availability of the internet, and cell phones rely on a signal from a cell tower. How many times has your cell phone dropped a call or started breaking up due to bad service? At least a few, maybe more depending on your carrier and location. Same with VoIP, if the internet goes down or gets slow, then calls will be hard to make. Even though access to the internet is widely available and affordable, on the off chance you lose connection (and don’t have a cell phone), you’ll be without a phone system. Although a complete loss of connection doesn’t happen too often, there are instances (such as natural disasters) in which a landline might begin operation after the catastrophe sooner than the other systems.

So before you completely cut all ties to the cord, consider all options. Having more than one service is never a bad idea, but it comes down to your business and its needs. Contact a local communications provider to discuss possible options for your business and the benefits and hindrances of traditional business phones.

For more information about VoIP services, call ARG Communications today.

3 Tech Tools You Need If Your Employees Work From Home

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We don’t work the way we used to. The newer generations coming into the workforce work differently than past generations. They don’t stay in one place for very long and they like work flexibility, according to NBC News.

Work flexibility seems to be becoming the new norm, and that includes working from home. There needs to be quite a bit of trust between employer and employee before the work-from-home lifestyle can be accepted, but you know they are ready for it. There are some tools that you should explore for your office before you let them loose, though. Here are some that will make your work-from-home employees’ lives much easier.

Phone Systems

Conference calling is a must for employees who work from home. There are 11 million meetings that take place on an average day in the United States, and many of them involve video conferencing, VoIP services, etc. If employees had to be physically present for every meeting, working from home would be almost pointless. We offer a great phone system Delaware trusts, so we might be just right for you. We offer phone system installation as well, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Screen Sharing

This is essential when two employees are not in the same room but need to be able to view each other’s screens. If they want to discuss contracts, plans, documents, or quotes, being able to screen share with each other or their clients is a must.

Video Calling

This one goes along the same lines as the phone systems but adds one more step. Sometimes face-to-face communication is ideal, and video calling makes that possible without a trip to the office. These calls allow non-verbal communication to be apart of the meeting when a simple phone call does not.

If you want to allow your employees to work from home, that’s great. Make sure you have phone systems for calls, screen sharing capabilities, and video call conferences. If you are looking for a phone system Delaware relies on, or any other communication tool, make sure to contact us today.

Myth Busting: Security Cameras

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Security systems can be an immense help in keeping a person’s home or business safe and secure. They can help prevent crime, including burglary and vandalism. While security systems are a lot of help, many people hear incorrect “facts” about the product.

The technology available to us today can do some truly amazing things. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that employee theft costs employers between $20 billion and $40 billion a year. Surveillance cameras can help reduce this. However, many people choose not to use it because of what they have heard. Here are some common myths about security services.

Security Services Are Only for People Who Have a Lot of Money
It’s true, many wealthy people can afford to have security services in their homes. However, even if you aren’t the richest resident on your block, your personal items have value, too. You should never feel like your items aren’t important enough to protect, so purchasing a security system is a lot of help. And they’re not as expensive as people make them out to be.

Security Camera Systems Are Hard to Use
Many people think that security systems are hard to manage, but that isn’t the case. They’re easy to set up and can be viewed from inside your home on your computer, television, and even from your phone. Having it hooked up to your mobile device is great as you’re able to watch what’s happening from outside of your home. They’re simple to use, so the fear of them being too difficult to work with shouldn’t scare anyone away.

If Your Neighborhood Is Safe a Security Camera Isn’t Necessary
While you may think that your area is safe and secure, crime can happen anywhere. Sure, it is a shock when unexpected crime creeps up on you in your wholesome, family-friendly neighborhood, but it can happen. A security camera isn’t there to tell others that you don’t trust your surroundings; it’s there as a backup in case something were to happen. You want to do whatever you can to make sure your home is safe and protected.

Video security solutions are super helpful. They can prevent crime and stop other incidents in their tracks. While there are many myths, they all prove to be false and prove that security services are a smart idea no matter the circumstances.