It isn’t exactly a secret that small and medium-sized businesses appreciate any opportunity to reduce the amount of money they have to spend to successfully operate. One means that businesses of all sizes have used to do so has been VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony. Here, we’ll explore just how VoIP solutions are friendlier to a business’ budget.
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog
For the small business looking to transform both their communications system and their IT budget, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great solution. VoIP can deliver clear and reliable calling services that some landline services simply don’t offer. We take a look at VoIP’s more interesting features in this week’s blog.
Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as VoIP, has grown more popular with businesses in recent years, and it’s hard not to see why. The sheer amount of benefits that it provides to businesses--small organizations in particular--make your traditional telephone system look outdated and inefficient. We’ll discuss some of the greatest benefits today.
A VoIP solution can assist your business in multiple ways, most notably in the realm of savings. While the potential savings over time cannot be ignored, VoIP also allows a business to increase productivity and mobility.
It’s not every day that you encounter a business technology solution that’s capable of connecting all of your employees together in a quick and easy way. Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a great way for your business’ employees to collaborate, both in and out of the office. We’ll go into three reasons why your business should invest in VoIP now to further improve operations and efficiency regarding employee collaboration.
It’s not out of the ordinary for a business to sideline communications in favor of getting operations off the ground, but the issue is that communications are supposed to be used for augmenting operations. Therefore, businesses that don’t utilize a unified communications system are doing themselves a disservice in more ways than one.
If you’re trying to run your business without considering communication, you’re crippling your business unnecessarily. One of the ways that you can improve communications is by capitalizing on a modern phone system that uses the cloud. You might be surprised by how great a cloud-hosted VoIP solution works for your business--especially if you haven’t thrown out the traditional telephone handset yet.
Is there anything more important to your business’ success than communication? If you’re not ready to communicate, it becomes difficult to collaborate and make strides on major projects. Thankfully, like many topics in business, technology allows for more effective communication and collaboration than ever before. Let’s take a moment to review some of the best technologies to streamline communication in the office.
Voice over Internet Protocol
Gone are the days when you would be tethered to your desk using a corded phone. Nowadays, voice chat applications can be downloaded and installed on mobile devices, desktops, or laptops so that users can make or receive calls to their work number on their own personal devices. From a communication standpoint, you simply can’t beat Voice over Internet Protocol, as it allows you to cut out your old phone lines and replace them with services that run on your Internet connection. Since VoIP apps work on mobile devices, communication can happen either in-house or on the go, making it a valuable communication tool.
What about situations where you need an immediate answer on something important, and it can’t wait for an email but it’s not worth making a phone call over? Instant messaging is valuable for this purpose, as it allows your users to communicate in mere seconds without feeling like they are distracting anyone or pulling them away from something important. Instant messaging applications can be used on just about any mobile device, so they can be valuable tools to stay in communication during collaborative projects.
Shared Cloud Applications
If you’re using cloud storage, you can collaborate on projects quite easily. This is thanks to cloud-based productivity suites like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. For example, you can work on documents in real time, and they are updated for every other user that is working on it. This helps you edit documents, update spreadsheets, and work on presentations with everyone else who needs to be involved. Plus, information, data, and applications can be accessed on any connected device, allowing for even more flexibility and connectivity than before. This makes communication and collaboration much easier in the long run.
Unified communications and cloud software solutions are great ways to ensure your employees are always connected in a plethora of ways, all of which allow them to get in touch with each other whenever it’s needed. To learn more about unified communications, reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. at (508) 622-5100.
Miscommunication is something that plagues even the best, most organized organizations. Small businesses might be more tight-knit than your traditional enterprise, but humans are prone to miscommunication, and can be a major problem. We can help your business improve the way that it communicates and collaborates, and it all starts by considering how you can eliminate miscommunication in your office.
Here are some of the best ways that you can foster communication in your organization, in no order.
Consider an Intranet
Those who might not know much about technology will be somewhat hesitant to adopt it. This can make implementing a unified infrastructure tricky, as you might encounter users who have no clue what they are doing. After all, they’re going to need to access important files on a company network or accessing your cloud solution for sharing information or software. You can use an intranet to connect these employees to important resources that they might need on a daily basis. This acts like a central hub where all of your business' assets can be found in a moment’s notice. This allows you to minimize the risk of confusion or miscommunication.
Use Common Communication Solutions
If you don’t have a unified communications solution already put in place, it’s extraordinarily proficient at keeping threats out of your network and infrastructure. Unified communications consists of a unified email server, a phone system where each employee has their own individual extension, and instant messaging for quick and easy communication in a moment’s notice. These solutions can be hosted either on-premise or in the cloud--in fact, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is the preferred method of telephone communication. By providing your employees with several mediums to reach out to each other, you are giving your team the means to be as productive as possible with their time.
Make Important Information Easy to Find
If you’re hoping that you can find information about a solution your business uses online, perhaps there is an easier way to accomplish this same goal. Your company can benefit from implementing some sort of documentation system where frequently asked question are stored and compiled. This can help your business accumulate knowledge and cut down on time spent asking repetitive questions, as well as eliminate a portion of training for more self-driven lessons. It essentially provides your employees with the autonomy they might crave.
What are your business' specific communication needs? Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can help you meet them. To learn more, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.
Telephone solutions have long been a major pain point for businesses. Smaller organizations attempt to get the most bang for their buck, especially for something as important as communications, but it’s not always so simple. How can you get the greatest return on investment from your business’ telephone solution? You can start by implementing Voice over Internet Protocol.
VoIP uses your business’ Internet connection, rather than telephone lines, to transmit your voice to the recipient, and it has the potential to completely change the way your organization operates. Here are six benefits that your business can gain from VoIP.
VoIP Provides a Lower Cost per Call
Since VoIP uses your Internet connection--or, rather, your IP address--to send calls, you’ll get more value out of your telephone network in the long run. This is especially true for long-distance calls. As long as your bandwidth can handle the additional strain, you actually save money by implementing VoIP.
VoIP Offers Mobility
When you implemented your office telephone solution, you installed lines that run directly to specific handsets for each of your employees. This makes changing numbers or moving offices a huge pain, as you would typically need to contact the telephone company to get your services transferred elsewhere. VoIP eliminates this issue entirely and provides your business with the freedom to move things around as you see fit.
VoIP Has Dynamic Features
You may have all of the traditional telephone services with your landline connection, but more advanced features are likely out of reach for you. VoIP offers plenty of features, such as voicemail transferring, video chat, instant messaging, and much more, so that you can spend your time wisely during a telephone call.
VoIP Includes Simple Telephony Solutions
While VoIP provides great additional features that you can customize as your needs see fit, you still retain access to all of the basic services that make the telephone such a great solution in the first place. You’ll still retain access to conference calling and call forwarding the same as usual, so there’s plenty of room to grow and add services as your business needs change.
VoIP Offers Great Client Interaction
Have you ever had the phone ring in your office, but you’re simply too busy to answer the call? Well, with VoIP, there’s no excuses. You can have the call transferred to specific phones or devices if it’s not answered within a certain number of rings. This improves your business’ reputation with clients.
VoIP is Reliable When You Need it Most
More than anything, VoIP can be used on multiple devices. It can be accessed through mobile devices, or on a desktop or laptop. You can even use traditional handsets if you so desire. It’s a highly customizable solution that your business can leverage to its advantage.
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can equip your business with a powerful, enterprise-grade VoIP solution designed to work for your business. To learn more, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100.
Traditional telephone lines were once extremely important for your business’s success. You had to have dedicated phone lines in your office running to each and every desk so that each of your employees had access to a phone when they needed it. Nowadays, however, virtual telephone systems have become popular with businesses of all size. How does this new way of handling your business’s communications hold up compared to the more traditional model?
In the course of doing business your organization needs to lean on its communications investments. Efficient discourse between vendors, clients, and employees allows for productive action to be made quickly. If you have recently decided to deploy a feature-rich hosted VoIP business phone platform because of its ubiquity, you have to be cognizant of how to best secure your solution. Here are three variables that help you get the most out of your hosted VoIP solution.
Set Up and Utilize Private VLANs
A Private VLAN (virtual LAN) gives your organization’s IT administrator more control over your hosted VoIP solution. It acts as a single access and uplink point to connect a device to a network or server. By partitioning your network, you present your administrators with the ability to secure specific devices, essentially creating separate networks. By being able to single out devices, it makes it easier to group devices together, even if they don’t share the same network switch. A private VLAN gives your organization's another layer of security while allowing access to the same feature-rich phone system; and, it helps mitigate risk, something every business is looking for in their security solutions.
Track Your Usage
No matter what platform VoIP solution you use, there is a chance it may get hacked. Most of the hacks that businesses see are ATO attacks, or traffic pumps, which aim to utilize the target organization's phone system for calls that will cost them capital. To be sure to avoid this type of interference, tracking your organization’s call usage is a solid practice. Having an up-front conversation with your VoIP vendor about what they are doing to protect your business can be a good strategy to secure it from taking on parasitic users that drain your company’s resources.
Enable Strong Authentication Procedures
You can’t talk about security today without mentioning access control. To ensure that only your users are able to access your hosted VoIP solution, there are several practices you can implement. You can go ahead and implement a two-factor authentication strategy, or go for the gusto and deploy a powerful identity management solution. Whatever you decide, securing your solution through all applicable manners of entry is important. This includes the physical phones on your desk, mobile applications, and anywhere access can be granted.
A hosted VoIP solution is a great service to implement for the growing business. It allows you to save money while receiving all the dynamic features you are looking for in a business communications solution. For more information about hosted VoIP, communications, or how to better secure your company from threats, call Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. today at (508) 622-5100.
Flexibility is often cited as one of the major reasons to consider a VoIP solution, but what exactly does this mean for small and medium-sized businesses? We’ll explore some of the major benefits that stem from the flexibility of VoIP, as well as how your business can better leverage it for your business’s future.
A lot has been said about communications solutions, particularly in regard to the advantages and disadvantages of hosted and in-house telephony infrastructures. While businesses find that a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system is very convenient, there are others who believe that an on-site telephony infrastructure presents a certain value.
Software-based phone systems are an increasingly popular trend in the workplace. Businesses have found that traditional phone systems, while helpful under certain situations, are somewhat antiquated compared to Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is exceptionally potent for saving money on unnecessary costs and improving efficiency. However, the question remains: is VoIP right for your business?
Businesses have always relied on telephone communication systems to stay in touch with external and internal contacts. However, the traditional method of telecommunication has fallen behind the times, giving way to more flexible solutions that are designed to save businesses money and improve efficiency. In particular, Voice over Internet Protocol can be a valuable asset for small businesses that are experiencing growth.
Rather than using telephone lines to transfer and receive calls, VoIP uses the Internet to send your voice to the recipient. Considering how most businesses need an Internet connection in the first place, using VoIP is simply utilizing a technology that’s necessary in order to eliminate an unnecessary expense.
Differences Between VoIP and Traditional Phone Systems
Does your business utilize VoIP? If not, you should consider doing so as soon as possible. It’s a great way to cut down on your operational costs and improve workflow. Here are some of the main differences and advantages that your organization can experience from using VoIP as a part of your communications infrastructure.
- Additional features: While your traditional phone system might support services like caller ID, user blocking, call forwarding, conference calling, etc, VoIP offers all of these services, plus some. Unlike the traditional phone system, which you need to be close to the receiver to use, VoIP works right from your desktop PC, laptop, or smartphone. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can use your work number from anywhere, allowing for flexibility that the traditional phone system envies. Plus, VoIP offers several other features, including video conferencing, which can be very helpful for bridging the gap between employees while working remotely.
- Decreased costs: If you’re paying for both a landline and an Internet connection for your office, you’re essentially paying for one too many services. Considering that landlines are often bundled with other services that you may not necessarily want, it’s more affordable and efficient to simply use VoIP as your preferred communications solution. Add in the fact that you can say goodbye to long distance, and you have a convenient and cost-effective package.
- Flexibility: Traditional phone systems require an immense amount of work to add new lines to an infrastructure. Depending on your office’s setup, new phone lines need to be installed, and you might even need to remodel your office. Both can be expensive, but with VoIP, you don’t need to waste time or money on improving your infrastructure. As long as your Internet connection and internal network can sustain the traffic and strain, VoIP will work as intended.
If your organization is ready to implement a solid new communications infrastructure, a VoIP solution can go a long way towards improving operations. To learn more, give us a call at (508) 622-5100.
Traditional phone systems were once the only mode of communication for businesses and their clients. In-house workers would make outbound calls on a limited number of lines. The Internet changed this part of doing business for the better. Now, by taking advantage of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems, your team can eliminate the cost of traditional phone systems, while investing in flexible solutions designed to improve productivity and communications.
Many businesses see the value in allowing their team to work remotely, which sounds great on paper. Workers don’t have to be at the office to get work done, so long as they have an Internet connection. Most important of all, though, is how much money a business can save by allowing its workers to work remotely. Thus, the primary objective should be to make it as easy as possible for remote workers to perform their jobs.
Conference calls are a staple in the modern office environment. As a business owner, you’re probably drawn into more conference calls daily than you’d care for. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offers a significantly better way to go about your daily conference call duties.
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP for short, is an increasingly-common communications protocol in a small business’s tech repertoire. It aids with providing reliable communication solutions to all users within an organization, without the need for extensive telephone cabling. However, if your VoIP experiences hiccups from time to time, here are a few troubleshooting tips.