Archive for the ‘Communications systems’ Category

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.

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. 

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.

Congratulations Rich Pharaoh!!

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Congratulations are in order for ARG Technician, Rich Pharaoh! He just became another one of our technicians that are BICSI certified for Fiber Optic Cabling IN250! Rich has years of knowledge in this industry and we are so glad to have him as part of our team!

 

3 Tips For Improving VoIP Call Quality

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VoIP, voice over internet protocol, is growing in popularity amongst American businesses who have begun to move away from traditional phone systems. One of the biggest reasons behind this change in business phone systems is that VoIP can save 20-50% on a monthly phone bill, making it a great investment for the business owner looking to save money.

However, many companies haven’t adopted VoIP business systems due to misgivings about the stability of the networks, viewing traditional systems as the better bang for their buck. And while a traditional phone system may remain a solid option for businesses, VoIP systems are improving rapidly and putting phone systems to shame.

But despite the issues of stability or quality, there are ways to improve your system without costly investments. Here are some ways to help make your VoIP system run smoothly:

  1. Hunt Down a New Headset
    Sometimes, the answer to your problem is the simplest solution. Assuming most of the work you do over VoIP comes from the computer, your headsets might be the issue for quality. Cheap or obsolete headsets can reduce audio clarity, making the call seem poor and unstable. You should invest in headsets with short, insulated cords, and replace them when the headsets start showing signs of wear and tear.

    This is very important if your employees make calls from home, as their headset might not be suited for your business needs.
  2. Lower Bandwidth Use
    Outside of purchasing an internet connection with a higher contention ratio, you can reduce the bandwidth use through simple changes to day-to-day operations. Cut down on simultaneous calls, pause downloads when using VoIP, and run a lower number of items on the company’s computers when the VoIP is in use.

    You should also check the network speeds regularly with speed tests on the computers. This can help you find the changes in the internet use, and when the most bandwidth usage occurs during the day.Then, you can analyze your findings and go from there.
  3. Consider Contention
    As we mentioned previously, the contention ratio measures the difference between the bandwidth available and the amount possible for service. Your VoIP compete with other users on the network that are doing a number of tasks that take up bandwidth. The more your company competes, the lower your call quality.

    You can buy an assured contention ration from your provider at an additional price, and it could see a large increase in call quality and stability.

Don’t run the risk of losing customers because of a power connection. You need a stable and quality VoIP program to run your business successfully, and hopefully, these tips can help you get just that.

Pros And Cons Of VoIP Systems And Why Your company Should Switch

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Many companies use a private branch exchange, or PBX, to connect their internal phones to their external lines. They then use these systems to carry out functions like call forwarding and call holding. Business voice offer internet protocol, or VoIP, systems perform the same functions, but at a lower cost.

Both systems work to replace the traditional phone systems of the past, offering as much, or more, than telephone systems could. But, both have their pros and cons.

One of the biggest benefits of the VoIP is the cost, both for the initial investment and for the monthly charges involved. If your company chooses a VoIP service that works with traditional phones, there is only a small charge to set it up and to pay for phone adapters.

The calls are free for low monthly charges, but some systems may have charges for outside of North America. They do, however, rely on a strong network infrastructure.

PBX systems need a cabinet of electronic equipment in the office, and you have to pay a higher rate for the equipment and the charges per month. Lower cost is one of the biggest reasons companies go to VoIP.

However, VoIP software is not without its disadvantages. It is reliant on the internet to function. If there is a power failure, or the internet goes down, your company is left without any sort of hosted phone systems, or a phone line.

A traditional telephone line gets power through the telephone wire, and can often function through power failures. VoIP will send calls to a message center and store them until the service is restored. Often, companies will keep one traditional phone line so that they can make a priority call if the service is down.

VoIP business systems are also limited by bandwidth for size. If the connection reaches capacity, call quality can suffer. PBX has a certain number of lines per system, and this can be increased by buying a bigger system.

This also affects voice quality at times, so a fast internet and a good bandwidth is needed by the company to ensure the best quality for the systems. VoIP software needs a good infrastructure to run well, and so you need to make sure you have a strong internet infrastructure.

If you have any questions regarding VoIP software, VoIP systems, or VoIP services, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

Looking At a VoIP Provider? Keep These 3 Things In Mind

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On average, there are 11 million meetings per day in the U.S., many involving video conferencing, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services. VoIP services have grown in popularity as the world has moved increasingly online, leaving traditional types of business phone systems behind.

But what is VoIP? VoIP, is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular phone line. So you make calls over the internet instead of a phone, using a system similar to a phone line. It requires a lot more network power than a traditional service, but after an initial investment? Is generally cheaper to maintain.

If you’re a small business considering getting VoIP there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind, however.

There are two different types of VoIP systems that one can use, at least on a basic level. One that you host, and one that another company hosts for you.

Hosted VoIP services for small businesses rely on an “open Internet” connection; meaning they (the poster) do not control the total connection to the switch. This type of service is more common in residential VoIP services and for the small office/home office. Some provider’s offer a good quality business VoIP service or hosted VoIP at this level.

Picking a good small business VoIP provider can be difficult, but if you follow a few guidelines, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

  1. Manage Your Network
    This is one aspect that you have complete control of. You need to make sure your network is running at the best levels, on your end. You need good structured cabling for data and voice. Structured cabling is a key part of network infrastructure.Simple networks can have problems that will affect the quality of VoIP calls. Make sure your computers are hooked up right, your switches are in good shape and that there is only one DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).
  2. Don’t Pick Low
    The lowest price is not the best service, and the cheapest parts are not the best quality. Going for the least expensive structured cabling, network components, and VoIP provider might cripple your business. Choose a provider that has a price that is reasonable with their competition, but not a low-cost provider. And never be cheap on hardware, they’ll last longer if they’re better quality.
  3. Choose Based On Features
    When comparing features from the various VoIP providers, keep in mind how the information is presented and what information is presented. The look and feel of a provider’s website can give a good clue as to the provider’s target customer base. Does their website convey quality? Does the information they provide appeal to you?Do their features benefit you, or are they more than you need, for more cost? Can you get what you need, without the additives, elsewhere? Keep it all in mind. You’re not going cheap, but you don’t want what you don’t need or won’t use.

Those are just some guidelines to keep in mind when comparing VoIP hosts. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Pros And Cons For VoIP For Your Business!

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VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems are becoming more and more popular, with statistics stating that by 2018 there will be nearly 1 billion users signed up for mobile. But what is it, and how does it affect your business? And is it really worth “cutting the cord” (moving away from traditional business phone systems) for?

There are two ways to approach VoIP business systems; hosting the service on your own servers, and having someone (typically a company that runs a service) host them for you. Hosting yourself takes a little more work, and means getting the necessary hardware to keep the servers running and stable.

Having another company provide the service for you, however, means that you just have to focus on the business side of things. The provider will handle all the heavy lifting, delivering calls to your phones and software client. In general, you’ll at most need to find a space for a small box of hardware somewhere on-site.

Now, depending on the size of your company, moving into a VoIP system could cost next to nothing, or cost a significant up-front expense. You’re going to need a lot of bandwidth on your internet in order to handle multiple clients at the same time, and your internal network needs to be able to handle the burden.

But is it worth getting for your business?

VoIP is significantly less expensive than traditional business phone services. You need to lease less hardware, and often don’t need to get any new hardware at all, unlike switching to new phone systems. You also don’t need to worry about location costs if some of your employees work in different locations.

The utility, price, and freedom of the product are what makes VoIP business systems a great investment. Especially with mobile VoIP becoming more popular, and no extra costs. Just register with your provider and your phone is now a mobile VoIP device.

The biggest drawback, however, is that your entire business relies on the internet, and so if it goes out, so does your company’s ability to run. That’s why it is imperative that you have a provider that is stable and offers services to assist in these circumstances.

VoIP could be a huge step forward for your business, but make sure you do your research to see if it’s right for you. Contact us for more details!

3 Things To Keep In Mind if You’re Company Uses VoIP!

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The internet changed the game when it came to business and professional work environments. It allowed companies to be run solely online, or to have employees work from anywhere in the world as long as they had the internet. Executives could use skype or other chat programs to host meetings using camera systems instead of phone systems. The only thing that seemed to remain was the phone.

But even that appears to be changing.

For those not familiar with it, Voice over IP, or VoIP, is not a new system. It’s been present for some time in the corporate world and has a thriving industry. The industry grew over $76 billion in 2015 and had a 50% increase in small office/home office subscribers that year as well.

VoIP business systems are designed to work differently than systems that rely on phone lines. They rely entirely on the internet to function, at least the more modern ones. That means that businesses can stop relying on commercial telephone systems, or home phone systems if a home-office based business, to operate and instead move to the internet.

These systems still need the use of a phone, or a headset, to speak. But VoIP can also be used in cell phones and smartphones, making it mobile and convenient.

For those who are already using VoIP instead of standard commercial telephone systems, here are some tips to improve your system’s performance:

  1. Ensure Core SecurityThough VoIP systems are mostly stable and secure, having improved as time progressed and technology developed, it is incredibly important to make sure that your network is secure. The internet is a dangerous place for data, and you may be vulnerable to attack. Keep your security systems up to date.
  2. Test and Measure Your Systems

    Constant testing is a must when dealing with technology. You want to make sure your systems have been thoroughly tested before going live with a new update or program. Don’t make the mistake of immediately pushing out an update without proper testing or else your systems may end up crashing.

  3. Keep the Core In Mind

    When making decisions to update your networks or your company’s systems, be sure to look at the needs of the update compared to your current infrastructure’s ability to support it. Specifications need to be kept in mind to avoid any system crashes or issues with customers.

If you have any suggestions about VoIP, or questions regarding the system, contact us today!

3 Interesting Features Found on NEC Phone Systems

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In any kind of small office or business setting, communication is key. It’s important to have a reliable system in place to keep in contact with both your workers and your clients, or else your business will struggle. While a traditional business phone system is a good start, it is rather limited in what it can help you with. For some businesses, that’s enough. But for businesses really looking to grow and flourish, they need more.

One of the many perks of replacing a phone line in a business with an NEC VoIP phone system is it can save you anywhere between 20% and 50% on monthly phone bills. But that is only one of the many bonuses NEC phone systems can offer. Below are three priceless features you can get when switching from commercial telephone systems to NEC.

  1. Contact Center
    Though some may cringe at the thought of needing to use a large contact center with a robotic voice that sends you on a wild goose chase until you get a human, NEC’s contact center isn’t like that. They are specifically tailored for small businesses. You are able to use this center to monitor the length of time you’re on hold, see when people call, and even deal with staffing challenges. It’s the ideal contact center for small businesses.
  2. Keep Your Business Connected
    For a growing small business, you may find yourself running into the problem of having several office locations in different towns. This can lead to a serious communication breakdown and really hurt your business. With NEC phone systems, you can maintain a consistent line of communication and even set up a routing system to certain numbers across all office locations.
  3. Mobility
    Whether you’re using your home as an office or you’re a technician who comes from home rather than a construction office, you can always stay connected by linking your cell phone to your desk phone with NEC phone systems. Now you don’t have to worry about missing calls or getting stuck in one place, waiting for the phone to ring. Wherever your cell phone goes, your business can go too.

For everything that helps your business run, you want the best of the best. A basic telephone system could help, but NEC phone systems offer your business a chance to prosper far beyond that. If you want to see your small business grow, consider a new phone system today.