News about BCS Voice & Data in Virginia Beach

How to Stay Connected with Remote Employees

As more and more positions in today’s job market allow employees to work remotely, it is important to stay connected. Remote employees may often feel left out of office conversations or miss out on important client information if they are not actively engaged with coworkers. If your company utilizes employees that work remotely, consider these tips to keep your team connected:

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What Makes an Interactive Whiteboard Better?

Whether you are part of a company that strives to impress clients or a teacher at a school that wishes to really engage its students, your tools for giving presentations can make all the difference. As technology moves fast, more and more business and education tools are becoming available online. One way to harness what is available online while incorporating your own ideas to captivate your audience is to use an Interactive Whiteboard.

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StarLeaf Breeze Video Review

We recently asked one of our StarLeaf Breeze users to share a review of their experience.  They went above and beyond and actually created a video review of the video conference system. Here’s what they had to say:

Welcome to BCS Voice & Data’s New Website!

BCS Voice & Data has been serving Hampton Roads for more than 30 years, and across those three decades we’ve made many positive changes. The latest great change is the debut of our brand new website.

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We hope that the site provides you with information and education that is easy to find and appealing to your eye. Take a look around and tell us what you think!

 

Streamline Cloud Communications and Lower TCO with MiCloud

cloud storage services

Mitel helps service providers streamline cloud communications and lower TCO with MiCloud

New features expand on Mitel’s ‘speed-to-market’ advantages.

Mitel has added new features to its MiCloud portfolio aimed at helping service providers quickly deliver cloud communications to their customers. Additionally, the latest release of the MiCloud solution contains a number of enhancements to help service providers lower total cost of ownership (TCO) even further.

This coincides with news from Synergy Research Group that Mitel is the global market share leader for cloud business communications based on subscribers and seats, with nearly 20% worldwide.

“Customer interest in our Mitel-powered cloud communications solution has been growing as customers seek flexible, affordable communications solutions that fit their unique business needs. MiCloud’s new features further strengthen our offering increasing our scale up into large enterprises while adding even more mobility for our SMB customers,” said Bertrand Laurioz, Telecom BU Director, Hub One.

A comprehensive cloud communications solution, MiCloud powers Mitel’s own cloud services as well as providing the platform for a growing number of service providers. MiCloud enables service providers to customize solutions to reach their target audience, from small-to-medium size businesses up to large enterprises. New features enhance mobility, increase scalability for enterprise customers and further tighten integration with popular applications including Salesforce.com and Google Business Applications.

Lower TCO

With more features now included in Mitel’s licence bundles, MiCloud offers even more functionality at a lower cost. These include features aimed at supporting an increasingly mobile workforce. Additionally, Mitel has streamlined the provisioning, management and support of Mitel users to further lower the TCO.

Flexibility and speed to market

New features for MiCloud simplify provisioning of new services, helping service providers to quickly configure, upgrade or downgrade service bundles. Not only does this accelerate the on boarding of new customers, it also allows service providers to easily provide attractive new ‘try and buy’ promotional offerings.

To help service providers quickly deploy a new MiCloud solution, or to help optimize existing services, Mitel has introduced standardized and tested solution blueprints and an expanded suite of professional services.

“Mitel now offers what we believe is not only the most compelling cloud communications solution for service providers, but also the most price-competitive offering for their customers,” said Andy Bull, managing director of Mitel South Africa. “This lowers initial costs, and more importantly, the long-term total cost of ownership.”

MiCloud powers more than 33 million cloud connections per day. Solutions include applications for unified communications, audio and video collaboration, and contact centers.

For more information please visit Mitel.

Provided by Mitel.

June is National Employee Wellness Month: Manage Stress With BCS

Your employees are more than just employees, but you knew that. They are people with multifaceted needs, including the need for a balanced, healthy life. Without that balance, your workers won’t be able to do their jobs to the best of their potential. Since June is National Employee Wellness Month, we encourage you to consider what you can do to help improve your employees’ mental, physical and spiritual well-being, and learn a bit about how BCS can help you do that.

According to a 2011 Gallup poll, about 86% of workers in the U.S. are “above normal weight and have at least one chronic condition.” These workers missed an estimated 450 million more days of work than their healthier counterparts. In a separate poll, focused on U.K. workers, Gallup found that overweight and obese workers miss an estimated 103 million additional days of work, “resulting in an estimated cost of more than 21 billion pounds [over 32 billion U.S. dollars] in lost productivity annually.”

Employee wellness boosts productivity, improves office morale and helps reduce absenteeism. You can promote wellness in the workplace by offering corporate gym memberships and mental health screenings, stocking the office kitchen with healthy options, and most importantly, doing all that you can to help your employees manage stress–arguably the biggest contributor to chronic illness.

While BCS doesn’t have much say in whether or not your employees make it to the gym, we can help reduce stress in their work lives by making day-to-day communication a breeze.

Unified communications technologies like Mitel UC360 allow employees to work from home as needed without missing a beat. This capability is especially important for maintaining the work-life balance. If need be, a home-bound employee can give an entire multimedia presentation to the office from the comfort of their kitchen table using UC360.

IT outsourcing is another BCS solution that can cut down on office stress, not only for your employees, but also for you. We handle the maintenance, daily operations and support of your entire IT infrastructure so you don’t have to worry about fixing technical problems yourself or hiring an expensive internal department to do it for you.

What can you do this month to enhance the well-being of your employees and the productivity levels in your office? How can we make it easier for you? Call or contact BCS today for a free IT, VoIP or audiovisual consultation.

 

BCS puts latest technology on display at ALA retreat

Be sure to visit BCS’s booth at the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) Retreat next weekend, March 8th and 9th.

We will be at the retreat with a cutting edge Mitel VoIP phone system that you can have some fun testing. You will be amazed at the incredible new features Mitel’s line has to offer!  Not only that, but we will be raffling off a 47″ flat panel television to those who take the time to stop by our booth and say hello (so you really shouldn’t miss out).

According to BCS President, John Carey, “BCS is a longtime supporter of the ALA.” We are excited to spend some time getting to know you at the retreat and helping to answer your questions about IT in the legal field. Let’s talk at Kingsmill, March 8th and 9th!

BYOD Policy and Your Wireless Network

We live in an increasingly interconnected world and the line between people’s work lives and their personal lives becomes blurrier every day.  In the workplace, this “Work 3.0” culture translates to the common practice of employees using their personal technology (smartphones, laptops, etc.) to access the corporate wireless network both in the office and out of the office.  It used to be that employees came in at 9 a.m. with their company issued cell phones to sit in their company-issued cubicles and work at their company-issued desktop computers. At five, those employees went home—and more or less left work at the workplace.

 

These days, thanks to the consumerization of technology, corporate employees have no reservations about accessing company information and enterprise via their own smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers from the office, from home, or from the coffee shop down the street. Check out this breakdown of employee behavior on personal devices:

 source

While this culture enhances productivity and the flexibility of employee daily life, it presents a huge security challenge for IT professionals who must attempt to protect company information on a number of vastly different devices on and off of the network. It’s enough to make a CIO want to throw their hands up and ban all personal devices from accessing the server on the wireless network—which is a strategic option. The problem is that too many companies neglect to form any kind of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy at all, thus putting their sensitive data at great risk. Mitigate the risks associated with BYOD and reap the productivity benefits by following these three steps:

 

Define your policy

Weigh the pros and cons of BYOD for your business if you haven’t already. Are the productivity gains and the lower hardware costs worth the headache of Mobile Device Management (MDM) across myriad platforms for your IT department? Your policy is likely to fall in a grey area between total tech license for employees and total barring of non-company owned devices from the wireless network.

 

Promulgate your policy

You can develop the clearest, most reasonable BYOD policy out there, but if your employees are unaware of it, your efforts will be wasted. In our last blog post we talked about the importance of well-structured business-IT alignment, and the need for a top to bottom understanding of BYOD policy is a perfect example of why said alignment matters. When everyone is on the same page, your sensitive data is safer.

 

Enforce your policy

Once your BYOD policy is well known by all involved in the organization, enforcement of it becomes top priority. Of course, most of the continued implementation relies on experts in IT who must ensure that all firewalls and encryption mechanisms are in good working order.

 

How solid is your BYOD policy? Or perhaps it’s better to ask, how safe is your sensitive data on the wireless network? Let BCS provide you with a free IT consultation. We can help you decide the best course of action for a BYOD policy and provide wireless network monitoring solutions for your company. With these services, you can rest assured that no unauthorized device is infringing on your wireless network. Call us today. 757.497.1300.

VoIP Helps Hotels Provide Better Customer Service for Guests

Due to the popularity of mobile phones, many hotel managers may be concerned over the plummeting hotel telephone service revenue.

The best way to compensate for this loss in revenue is to take advantage of Voice-Over-IP Telephony (VoIP). It puts phones on the bottom line, and offers guests a lower cost than they can get from their own mobile phone operator.

As technology has developed, charging for long distance calls has become an old business model and the prices are now considered excessive. VoIP allows hotels to provide guests with a phone service for free. It provides better customer service and happier guests at a very low cost for the hotels.

One hotel chain has taken it a few steps further. Hotel 1000 in Seattle used a unified communication system and a series of VoIP applications to create a superior hotel experience.

The converged network provides a single infrastructure for data, voice, video and security communication. Among the unique applications is a video valet system, an automated system that gathers room ambience preferences and sets them prior to the guests entering their rooms, and a hotel entry application that sends video of a visitor to the hotel guest’s phone.

Anything IP-addressable can be put on the system–from security cameras to intelligent thermostats and minibar applications to phone management systems.

As an integral part of any business infrastructure, IP telephone systems can maximize the flexibility and functionality of your business communications. If you’re interested in learning more about what VoIP can do for your business, give BCS Voice & Data a call today at 757-497-3100.

Source: eweek.com

BCS Named 2012 Platinum Mitel Channel Partner

BCS Voice & Data Solutions has been named a Mitel Platinum Business Channel Partner by Phil Keenan, Executive Vice President of North American operations for Mitel.  The recognition of superior business performance, technical expertise and customer satisfaction is awarded to only a few Mitel partners each year.

“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for your extraordinary effort and value that your organization brings to Mitel,” writes Keenan in the award letter. “You exemplify the expertise, behaviors and customer care qualities that reinforce your status as a trusted advisor in the market.”

Founded in 1973, Mitel (Nasdaq: MITL) is a global provider of business communications and collaboration software and services.  The company operates in more than 90 countries and has more than 1,600 partners, serving more than 100,000 customers worldwide.