There’s a lot of buzz around the cloud these days and cloud communications is no exception. But buzz isn’t always an indicator of a business case for technology purchases. Smart businesses are asking what’s driving the rush to the cloud—and they’re getting solid answers. So why are so many businesses moving communications to the cloud today? Here are 10 real-world reasons:


Predictable monthly costs. This may seem like old news, but many companies don’t realize just how much they can save by moving their communications to the cloud. By hosting a phone system over the Internet, businesses are charged on an “as needed” basis, paying only for what they use. That makes cloud-based communication systems especially cost-effective for small businesses—eliminating the need to pay for the installation and maintenance of a traditional phone system.



Outsource IT support to the provider. The management of an on-site solution can be very expensive. Because of the complexity of today’s communications systems, it can often take an entire IT department to manage. Cloud-based communications can help alleviate the burden by eliminating maintenance, IT work load and some of the more costly internal infrastructure, including servers and storage systems.



Scale up or down based on users. Anyone who has moved or expanded an on-site phone system knows just how difficult it can be. Whether a business is growing, moving or sizing down, the cloud provides the flexibility and scalability the business needs now and in the …


When you tell me that ShoreTel has reached the end-of-life, what does that really mean?

Mitel acquired ShoreTel in 2017. The Connect platform changed in brand name only. With ShoreTel technology underpinning the Mitel Connect platform, it is now called Mitel MiVoice Connect. Mitel announced the end-of-life of the ShoreTel 14.2 software and all previous software releases.  All future bug fixes will be rolled into Connect release, while ShoreTel 14.2 continues to be supported through December 2019. Support for software updates/bug fixes will no longer be provided for ShoreTel 14.2 beginning 2020.


What are the requirements for us to upgrade to Connect?

While there are not many “requirements” for upgrading to Connect, there are some infrastructure requirements that should be noted:

Must be on ShoreTel version 14.x
If you are using Enterprise Contact Center, you will need the 8.x or 9.x versions to upgrade to Connect Contact Center
Mobility needs to be on 8.x
64bit Windows is required
VMWare ESXi 6 or 6.5 is needed if you are looking to utilize any of the virtual switches and appliances
30 GB HDD available is a minimum


Will we be able to use the same desktop handsets?

Connect Premise will continue to support all handsets.  On the other hand, the Connect Cloud supports only the 400 series handset. With Connect, the EdgeGateway will replace the VPN Concentrator. The phones from the VPN concentrator will not work with the EdgeGateway.  Also, only the …

What Could Be Hindering Your IT Department Productivity Levels?

Companies often find themselves in positions where they have to increase their IT department productivity. With “more for less” being an increasingly common expectation in today’s market, more is at stake when it comes to staying productive.

But just because productivity is top of mind does not mean that your current business strategy is supporting the productivity of your IT department. In fact, you may not even know how to measure that productivity. IT department productivity is essential to the development and growth of your business. Keep reading to learn how to understand IT productivity measures and what may be keeping your team from reaching its true potential.
Defining & Measuring IT Productivity
Finding the pulse of IT productivity can be like shooting in the dark. A few techniques have been posited and tested over the years though none truly manages to capture the whole picture with one single measurement. Some of the different techniques that have bee explored include:

Measuring software development using function points, as delivered per person
Calculating support desktops per system administrator
Calculating servers per system administrator.

While all of these can give valuable insight into productivity, no single measurement serves to adequately answer the question as to whether an IT department is getting more, or less, productive over time.

Instead, companies are more likely to be able to measure the true productivity and value of an IT department by assessing how the department is contributing to overall costs. IT projects can and …

5 Elements of a Great Conference Call

Conference calls are a critical element to businesses today. As companies move further away from having an in-house staff and more toward a mobile and BYOD-friendly workforce, conference calls are becoming the new face of meetings. But how do you make your conference calls as close to interpersonal communication as possible?
1. Evaluate Your Invite List
Most professionals who sit in a lot of business meetings would agree that there’s nothing worse than being forced to attend a meeting that doesn’t require your presence. Time is a valuable resource for busy professionals, especially high-level employees, so carefully evaluate who should be involved as well as who should be excluded before sending out that invite. The most productive conference calls typically only have about 4-5 people in attendance.
2. Create an Agenda and Stick to It
A quality conference call begins with the circulation of an agenda prior to the meeting. This helps provide structure to the call as well as a guidebook for call attendees to use in preparing themselves ahead of time. An agenda also helps to avoid getting sidetracked into another issue or concern that is better to be dealt with at a different meeting. Review the agenda at the start of the call so everyone is reminded of the sequence of discussions.
3. Delegate Roles
Because you carefully evaluated your invite list, everyone involved in a conference call should play a designated role. Delegate an attendee who is in charge of the time and continuous flow …

Smart Data Solutions: Combatting Common Data Security Threats

Data security continues to be a growing concern among businesses today – both large and small.  Rightfully so, with 43% of businesses reporting they have experienced some form of security or data breach within the last year. However, despite the risks involved, a majority of organizations still don’t have a data solution system in place to protect their sensitive company information and systems.

So what can you do to start the process of ensuring that you aren’t becoming one of those impacted businesses? It begins with understanding what causes these attacks and preparing your business accordingly.
Risk #1: Former Employees
One of the biggest security threats against business security today is its employees. Disgruntled former staff (especially those with IT controls) pose a tremendous risk against the security and confidentiality of company information. In order to prevent malicious attacks from those with access to data centers and administrational information, there must be a policy in place that monitors and controls all privileged accounts. Additionally, this process should ensure all former employees are immediately terminated from company systems and data access points. Make this one of the first courses of action after an employee leaves the organization.
Risk #2: Current Employees
Beyond former employees, there are also employees who may be uninformed or careless about how to protect the organization from a security breach. More specifically, they may use weak passwords or keep their devices unlocked frequently – putting the company at significant risk if lost or …