|Get Your Business Ready for VoIP|
Technology has advanced at a rapid pace over the past 30 years, with many devices moving from physical systems to digital versions, including one of the most useful: the telephone. While the use of landlines is still prevalent among some businesses, many have started to turn to the digital version, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.
VoIP has become the main backbone of voice communication for a growing majority of companies, offering numerous benefits including potentially large cost savings, and decreased maintenance costs. When it was first introduced, the technology needed to run a VoIP system was expensive, limiting it to MNCs and other large organizations. However, over the past few years, the technology has come down in price and is now available for next to nothing, allowing SMEs to make the switch to VoIP. If your company is thinking of ringing the changes, there are some necessary requirements you should meet before you migrate.
You should also investigate the speed and stability of your current Internet connection. While a fast DSL or cable connection is good for browsing, it may not be robust enough to handle VoIP communications, which need a connection that is both quick and stable. Look at your downstream (traffic into your network) and upstream (traffic out of your network) connection speed during a time when the network is experiencing heavy data use. Anything over 1.5 Mbps in both directions should be enough to handle the majority of VoIP systems. Most Internet service providers offer a connection speed well above that, but itís important to check it out first.
Once youíve determined your needs you can move on to picking equipment. If youíre a business that typically sticks to local, and some long distance calls, you shouldnít require much in the way of equipment. The vast majority of companies use a device called a media gateway that allows normal phones to interface with an Internet connection – essentially turning a regular phone into a VoIP phone. If youíre a business that would like to take advantage of the more advanced features of VoIP, like portability, youíll need more state-of-the-art equipment.
The final issue you need to address is security. On its own, VoIP is not the most secure of connections, as itís open to all the same types of security breaches that computers and networks can fall prey to. To combat this, many good VoIP service providers will have security measures in place to protect VoIP calls on their network. On your end, it also helps to keep your Internet security up-to-date and conduct regular system scans.
Once youíve addressed the internal requirements itís time to start looking for a VoIP service provider. Take your time, shop around, ask competitors and other businesses what service they use. One question to ask a prospective provider is if they will be able to migrate your current number onto their system? While most can switch over your existing numbers, it can take a while, depending on your location and local legislation. So be sure to check if the provider can migrate your numbers and how long it will take.
From there, you should be ready to switch over to VoIP. If youíre still unsure of the process, there are consultants available who can help with the preparation, selection and integration. Good luck, and if you need more information about VoIP, we are here to help you.
|Software or Template? A BCP Roadblock|
One issue thatís gaining steam, especially with SMEs, is business continuity planning. Many companies are starting to develop plans so that they can continue to operate through both problems large and small. If youíre one such company, and are stuck at the point where you need to choose between software and templates, we have some advice for you.
|P2P and Cloud Storage Can Have Risk|
Does your company use cloud storage services or peer-to-peer (P2P) networks for the storage and sharing of data? Many businesses are now using both these services in an effort to make work less complicated. But did you know that there are potential issues in relation to recoverability and security of data?
|BYOD. Itís like BYOB, but for Devices|
If you have a smartphone, you no doubt use it for more than just SMS messages and phone calls, and with todayís 24/7 work demands, youíre probably using it for the odd bit of work too. The next step is to then use your smartphone, or other mobile device, while at work, in place of or in addition to your normal desktop or laptop. This last step is becoming known as BYOD, or ďBring Our Own DeviceĒ. Is BYOD already happening at your place of work?
|What are the Best Note Programs for Android Tablets?|
One of the most popular technical trends in the past few years is the increasing amount of tablet computers on the market. With the development and application of mobile OSs like Android for tablets, they have been able to fill the mobile phone – PC gap. The Android OS has its own app market, with a ton of great apps for all users including businesses. Some of the most useful apps are the notes programs.