Cloud Technology

Should You Use an MSP For Your IT Solutions?

The managed services business model is booming as more and more businesses partner with providers for their IT solutions. The MSP market is forecasted to grow from $152.45 billion in 2017 to $257.85 billion by 2022, and is expected to continue to grow steadily beyond that point. But while widespread adoption is a nice endorsement, the fact that everyone’s doing it isn’t exactly the best basis for making a business decision.

We’ve written about the benefits your business can reap from using managed IT services before — with talking points like predictable monthly costs, better security practices, and faster responses for improved technology uptimes, it’s hard for us to not get carried away. But what makes MSPs really stand out? Why should you take the leap and use managed IT services?

More Business Partner than Tech Desk
While managed services providers can certainly fix your computer when it breaks, their capabilities are above and beyond the purview of technical support services. A good MSP works with you and your business to understand your practices and goals, then strategizes to ensure that everything they do helps to achieve those goals. All at once, they are technicians, data security specialists, technology advisors, industry experts, troubleshooters, hardware installers, and more. The break/fix model of IT is obsolete, replaced by the holistic approach of MSPs.

Expertise for Any Level of Service
Shifting the responsibility for commodity IT services – that is, services like email, web, and file serving which work more or …

How Big Data Solutions are Driving Business

Big Data: it’s useful, it’s interesting, it’s a little unnerving, and it’s here to stay. Companies large and small are leveraging Big Data in many different aspects of their business practices, and to great effect. But like with all new technologies and tools, data solutions require knowledge and a careful touch before employing them. Here are a few ways that Big Data is being used for business success:
Reduced Expenses
Big Data, or the information gathered from people about their demographics, habits, relationships, and more, can give great insight into how businesses can streamline their practices to best suit their employees and customers. With the ability to analyze what outfits people are sharing on social media and blogging platforms, clothing companies can predict demand for specific trends and accessories, and therefore can produce and ship the optimal amount for sales to their stores. The doors have been blown off of the accuracy and application of predictive analytics, and now it’s up to companies to utilize data solutions in new and creative ways.
Improved Innovation
These same predictive analytics allow companies to innovate like never before. Both producers of goods and service providers can brainstorm new offerings with unprecedented information about what their consumers want, need, and buy. Big Data applications can include risk analysis, market research, budgeting and planning, and beyond, allowing business decisions to be guided by information from the very people they want to target.
Customer Relationships
Of course, when business goals are informed by …

5 Benefits of Managed IT Services

With technology pervading every aspect of most industries, it’s more critical than ever to keep everything working the way it should. But sometimes the staff, resources, knowledge, and time you have just isn’t enough to keep up with the IT demands of a tech-driven workplace. IT solutions by managed service providers (MSPs) are an increasingly popular option for businesses of all sizes. Here are some reasons why:
1. Cost
One of the most visible benefits of a managed IT service is the cost. Most managed service providers operate on a monthly subscription, giving businesses a reliable expenditure and an easily measurable return on investment. This regular cost comes with many benefits that would be prohibitively expensive with an in-house IT specialist or department, such as 24-hour monitoring and fast response times, and because MSPs provide IT solutions to a number of different clients, they have the resources to hire more technicians and specialists than a single company does. Because of this, businesses that utilize managed IT services get more for their spend.
2. Knowledge
In addition to more people responding to work orders and doing installations, having access to more technicians means that businesses have a gigantic body of knowledge about the world of information technology. IT departments can get bogged down by the day-to-day, such as fixing broken devices, troubleshooting software issues, and doing basic maintenance, causing strategic technology goals and learning to fall by the wayside. Technicians at MSPs are out in the …

Why a Hosted VoIP Solution May Not Be Right for Your Company

You’ve probably heard all about why switching to a hosted VoIP solution is great for your business: lower maintenance costs, easy and fast integration, access to great VoIP features, and so on. And while both the cost and the features offered by switching to VoIP are vast improvements over traditional landline phones, a hosted deployment may not be the best fit for your company. Here are some things to consider:
Company Size and Projected Growth
Depending on the provider, large to enterprise-sized businesses may find that a hosted VoIP solution is not the best option for their phone systems. While hosted VoIP systems are capable of handling hundreds of lines, the pricing model usually includes a flat monthly rate per line. When compared to an on-premise deployment, in which the company buys and maintains their own infrastructure and hardware, the subscription model sometimes works out to be more expensive in the long run. The same is true for mid-sized businesses that find themselves growing and expanding; in terms of hardware, the only cost of expansion is the physical phone, but with a hosted system, more lines will need to be added.

However, the maintenance aspect of hosted VoIP systems may keep large businesses on board. Phone systems all require maintenance, and IP telephony has the added issue of data security that requires technical attention. For companies with limited IT support, or those that want to keep their specialists’ attention on other company goals, the maintenance and security …

Leverage Data Solutions While Protecting Customer Information

Data Protection Is Here To Stay
Big data is everywhere and it is important to protect your customer’s data. If you’re not using ambient data to market to your customers, you will be soon. Otherwise you risk falling behind their competition. While customers want relevant, personalized experiences when shopping for goods and services, they’re also nervous about what big data means.  Is your customer information safe?

Leveraging big data solutions can help you reach out to your customers and make meaningful connections with your best prospects.  In order to do so in a way that benefits your brand rather than harming it, you need to ensure that your customers’ information is secure. Read How to Get Started With Data Security.
Protect Customer Data
It is beneficial to business when data is used to enhance the customer experience.  But one data breach or successful cyber attack could send the company’s reputation down the drain.  Make a plan for how customer data will be handled and stored securely, not only to comply with industry regulations, but also to treat customers and their information in a respectful and ethical manner.

Systems should go through a thorough information security audit, and any points of weakness should be reinforced. Cyber attacks are evolving to target systems such as internet telephones and remote workspaces.  A solution that secures and stabilizes internet communications can help to safeguard your company and customers.
Make Customer Experiences Better
The term “big data” refers to data collected …

Upgrade Your Phone System to Reduce Risk of Cyberattacks

Just like technology itself, cyberattacks have been evolving. In the past, cyber criminals targeted mainly company databases and connected devices, or simple, remotely controlled tech that is connected to company networks, such as building controls and security cameras. While these attacks still make up almost two-thirds of all hacking attempts, the past year has shown a shift in what is being targeted by cyber crime. With remote desktops and private communication channels in hacker’s scopes, now is the time to be proactive with your company’s cyber securityand upgrade your phone system to a hosted VoIP solution.

Hackers Exploit Any Weakness
Your business probably already uses traditional cyber security measures such as firewalls and malware protection software, but more and more, these defenses aren’t enough to deal with new threats. Recent wide-reaching attacks such as WannaCry and Petya ransomware took advantage of vulnerabilities in Windows operating systems that hadn’t been updated to the latest version. In fact, non-current versions of operating systems and software are how a lot of malware gains purchase into computer systems.

While making sure that everything is up-to-date on your company computers seems like a simple enough task, it becomes harder when you think about all the software and applications you use every day. Not to mention, keeping drivers, apps and software updated is only the tip of the cyber security iceberg. For IT professionals and departments, performing cyber security tasks can be a full-time job, and can be sidelined for …

How a Hosted VoIP Solution Can Increase Revenue

If you’re considering hosted VoIP for your business, you’ve probably heard all about how it can save you money. With little hardware and no maintenance, the lower cost is a major selling point. But what about all the ways that a hosted VoIP solution can help you earn money? In this blog we’ll take a look at some VoIP features that drive better sales, customer service, and more.
1. Better Routing Means Better Customer Service
There are so many reasons why customers call businesses: sales, questions, complaints, order or account inquiries, and more. And depending on the size of your company, you might have different people addressing different calls. When a customer needs to be rerouted several times to answer his or her question, it can be frustrating for both the customer and the representatives. Hosted VoIP solutions have highly customizable and intuitive routing features that make it easier to get the right person straight from the start. If a customer receives fast, knowledgeable support, they’re more likely to stay happy and come back for more business.

2. Multiple Phone Numbers Give Customers Options
Companies that do any amount of business outside their local area know the importance of a phone number. If all they have is a local number, are they deterring potential long distance and international customers because they don’t want to pay hefty phone bills? With VoIP, in most cases you can keep the number that people are already familiar with, while adding features such as …

Do You Need a Cloud Consultant?

Cloud computing has become so pervasive in technology today that you may be using it without realizing. Everyday processes such as file storage and sharing or backing up the data on your phone use the cloud, but its capabilities go far beyond that. Migrating business applications to the cloud can not only save you money on internal data solutions but also enable your business to be flexible and scalable without a strain on your budget. And if you’re not quite sure what that means, don’t worry – a cloud consultant can help.
Cloud Consultants Mean Tailored Data Solutions
A rapidly advancing technology such as cloud computing can be confusing, and if you’re starting to get lost researching solutions, you’re not alone. While migrating to the cloud has many benefits, it can be frustrating and potentially costly if not done correctly. But don’t let that dissuade you: there are new IT specialists on the block, and they’re here to solve your cloud woes.

Cloud consultants have a different set of goals and values from traditional IT specialists. Old school IT is more or less about hardware, whether it be maintenance of devices and servers or upgrading and introducing newer, better tech. That’s not to say traditional IT doesn’t handle business software and network needs, but its goal is to acquire and sustain technology things that the business needs. Cloud consultants bring a different perspective to the IT table.

Because the cloud enables you to pay for only what …

Upgrade Your Phone System to Go Green

For businesses today, going green is more than a trend. With a wide range of benefits, including increased consumer support and reduced energy costs, making a conscious effort to reduce negative environmental impact is just good business. What’s more, becoming an environmentally friendly business is no longer difficult or expensive to achieve. By simply making green changes to your everyday practices, you can achieve a smaller footprint without disrupting operations. For example, choosing to upgrade your phone system can have a huge impact. Here’s how:

You may not realize it, but your desktop phones are horrible for the environment. Implementing Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) and Unified Communications (UC) in your business can simultaneously improve both efficiency and environmentalism, meaning double the benefits.
VoIP Requires Less Hardware
Your plain old telephone system (POTS) requires a lot of stuff. From the plastic used to make handsets, to underground copper cable systems, to switchboards and satellites, a lot of material and energy goes into communication that we take for granted. POTS require upgrades every two years or less, on average, which results in a lot of hardware being dumped in landfills. In comparison, VoIP requires much less investment in physical devices. Because it uses your existing internet connection, and doesn’t require a dedicated handset — your telephone hardware could consist of as little as just one VoIP router. With options such as softphones on desktops or laptops, or integration with employees’ personal mobile phones with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, you can say goodbye …

Why Your Startup Should Be In The Cloud

Very few startups have the luxury of starting out big. After all, funding comes rolling in only when the startup has proven itself to have profit potential. Think of all the multinational enterprises like Facebook, Google, Apple, etc. – all of them started from a garage and went on to become global phenomenon’s worth millions!

If you happen to run a startup company, team coordination and communication is vital. But how do you effectively communicate with your team members when there is no office space to unite them together? This is where cloud technology can come into play.

If you didn’t know already, startups and cloud phones are a huge thing now! And rightly so because of all the benefits this technology provides. Keep on reading to learn why your new business should use cloud technology. Pronto!
Why should you adopt cloud?
There has perhaps been no startup that didn’t benefit from simple and effective communication. Communication is now at the core of every modern business, and it needs the functions of the latest technology to grow.

Startups that utilize features of VoIP have the upper hand because they can reap the benefits of things that expand far beyond making and receiving calls. From instant messaging to video conferencing; from auto call response to voice to text conversion, the benefits offered by this technology are abundant.

These IP PBX phone systems can allow growing businesses to overcome multiple obstacles via an all-in-one solution that even costs less than other …