Stay on top of the Latest IT Tips and Suggestions with this Selection of Blog Posts from BCS

3 Things to Scare Clients Away

What’s the spookiest part of fall? It’s not always Halloween, horror movies or haunted houses. For the business owner or sales manager, losing clients or potential clients from communication issues can be the most frightening. But, how does it happen? Here are some common problems that can scare clients away:

  1. Never reaching the right person. If your phone system is too complicated and your employees can’t be reached quickly, or the call is dropped t in the process, clients can’t communicate their needs or requests efficiently. Make sure your phone system can handle your business needs, your employees are trained on how to use it effectively and your connection is solid.
  2. Being unprepared. You may have put together a great presentation, but if you can’t access the right files, or your conference room has dated equipment, it may fall flat — and certainly wont impress potential clients. Always have a backup method for storing your information, and consider updating your conference room with the right equipment for video conferencing and presentations.
  3. Down time. If you are a business that runs on technology, it’s important that your network is working at all times. Frequent down time is sure to scare away any clients that are relying on you to make announcements, updates or run their services. IT support and network monitoring can help your office run smoothly, without down time or data breaches.

If you’re looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your business and create the best relationships with your clients, it’s time to give BCS a call. Whether it’s remote network monitoring services and IT support, cloud-based phone systems or conference room solutions, our experts are here to improve communication and keep your information safe and accessible. Contact us today at (757) 497-3100 today, or use our online form.

Keeping Your Technology Running Smoothly

Keeping your technology running smoothly means protecting it with network security and IT support, but it also means taking your own actions to make sure your computer and phones aren’t slowing down. You may think that with today’s technology, computers will continue to run smoothly no matter how much you work on them. However, everything needs upkeep, including your technology! Here are some tips to ensure maximum productivity without a slow connection:

  1. Make updates regularly. If you are one of those people who clicks “ignore” on those update notifications, it’s time to stop. Your apps have updates for a reason, and keeping up with them will help them run faster and without glitches. If you keep losing important data because your spreadsheets and documents are shutting down without saving your information, check to see if your apps need an update.
  2. Cleanup your files. If your desktop background is completely covered with downloaded photos and files, or your browser has 50 open tabs, it may be slowing you down. Just like you clean your house regularly, you should clean up the information stored on your computer or phone. Complete a desktop cleanup, close out that email from two weeks ago  and get rid of those funny pictures you sent to your coworkers last Friday.
  3. Cleanup your apps and add-ons. If you have too many apps and add-ons running at once, it could be slowing your computer down. You may not be using it at the moment, but if an app or extension is running in the background, it is competing with the one you are using. Make sure they are closed and delete the ones you no longer use.

If you take these steps and still find that your technology is running slow, it’s time to talk to BCS Voice and Data about our IT Counseling and Support Services. Contact us today at (757) 497-3100 today, or use our online form.

Back to School Checkup

Almost every parent has a back-to-school checklist for their child: annual physical, new clothes, school supplies, etc. But what about the school? Many schools, both public and private, have been operating for a long time. This means that throughout the years, they have had their own checklist to run through to make sure every part of the building is running smoothly when students return – including technology.

For schools, the most important system is the phones. Parents need to be able to contact administrators without worrying about getting disconnected or a busy line, and administrators need to be able to connect to the right classroom to reach teachers quickly. For your back-to-school checkup, make sure your phone system is still working for you.

Another important system to check is the one you use to teach students. Is your school still running on old, roller cart projectors? To make use of all of the amazing tools out there for students and teachers now, and encourage participation through interactive tools, update your technology with new projectors or smart boards!

Finally, you’ll want to check your computers for updates, and double check your network security. With the amount of online programs used to log grades and assign upload homework, keeping your student’s information protected is important, and keeping your network updated and secure will make the school year a breeze for teachers, parents and administrators.

However, we know that busy teachers and administration don’t have time to manage technology and troubleshoot issues as they come. That’s why outsourcing IT strategy, maintenance, monitoring and repair is a smart choice for many schools and school divisions. For more information and expert advice on choosing the best options for your school, contact BCS Voice & Data at (757) 497-3100.

A/V Solution: Projectors

Communicating ideas, figures and numbers to an audience is already difficult – especially with no visual aid. With the availability of technology and the ability to connect your computer to a television, this may seem like the solution. But what about for larger rooms where more people might need to see the screen?

Projectors have come a long way, and are still one of the most affordable and convenient way to display your message. Not sure if a projector is right for you? Check out these examples of where they are commonly used:

  1. Classrooms. Teachers and professors need more than just a whiteboard or a chalkboard, especially when classrooms are maxing at 30 students and lecture halls hold hundreds of students. Visual aids are especially important for some students to retain information, which is why a projector is one of the most essential items for a classroom setting. This extends to professional training rooms as well as in the corporate environment.
  2. Events. All of your favorite TED talks? Inspirational speeches? Public film events? They are using projectors. Just like the way teachers use visual aids, accompanying an important point you’re making with an image will help listeners remember what you’re saying long after the event is over.
  3. Offices. Whether you’re training new employees or presenting statistics to a client, you’re going to have materials to show them. Printing charts out can get confusing for others, especially if you’re moving along quickly and they don’t know where to look. Posters and cardboard visuals can get expensive and can be wasteful if you’re going to throw them out afterwards. Plus, they are hard to edit with last-minute changes. A projector allows you to quickly flip back and forth through pages of information and physically point to where you want your audience to look.

If you think a projector is right for your project, contact BCS Voice & Data at (757) 497-3100 today for a no-obligation recommendation and estimate.

Encouraging Communication

Have you ever had that employee that just can’t bring themselves to make phone calls? With the way most businesses run, phone calls, emails and video conferencing are taking the place of in-person meetings between clients and other employees. This means that the employee avoiding phone calls may not be communicating with clients and coworkers much at all!

We’ve written before about the importance of telephone etiquette, which is often the first step in encouraging your employees to pick up the phone. People who have recently entered the work force may have an added fear factor from not having much experience on formal phone calls.

As with any activity, habits picked up in the office are often learned behaviors. Encourage your employees to pick up the phone by doing so yourself. If you have the time, instead of having your secretary or office manager pass messages throughout the office, pick up the phone and relay the message yourself. This will get them comfortable with picking up the phone without notice or an agenda, and they will get more familiar with the buttons and functions.

Another step is confirming your employees understand how the phone system works, and making sure it is easy to use. So many of us are used to making calls easily from our cell phones, and your employee may be avoiding making out-of-state calls because they just don’t know how! It is a great idea to include a phone system guide in your employee welcome packet.

If your office is having trouble making calls because your phones don’t work properly or are too complicated, it may be time for a new system. Whether you’re looking for something new or used, the experts at BCS Voice and Data Solutions can help you find the perfect phone system to get your employees excited about having good communication with your clients! Contact us today for a consultation.

3 Useful Tech Updates

With the quickness at which new technology is rolled out in 2018, keeping up with updates and new devices can be overwhelming, and may make you want to retreat away from phones and computers all together. We know it can be annoying and time-consuming to even update your devices, but these three useful updates may just convince you:

  1. Cloud-based sharing. Sending photos to your friends is easier than ever when you share them via icloud or similar devices, and on some devices, you can even share wifi networks with your contacts, allowing them to connect without finding and typing in a password. Make sure your device offers these services and has the latest version to use them. This tool is much faster than messaging or emailing, and downloads automatically to your computer or phone.
  2. Money-sharing apps. Nobody writes checks anymore, and few carry cash. So, how do you pay your coworker back for lunch? Money-sharing apps allow you to connect to your bank account and send your friends money, either instantly (with a fee) or within a few days. Be sure to check reviews or with your bank to make sure the app you pick is safe to connect.
  3. Banking apps. Does your bank have an app? If so, it can save you a trip to the bank to deposit checks with online depositing, or allow you to transfer money instantly if one account is running low and you need to make a purchase.

If you’re updated on the latest tech trends at home, but haven’t updated your work systems yet, check out our services to see what we offer. We continuously follow technological developments to introduce the best possible products! Contact us today to learn more and for select case studies relevant to your industry.

What Does a Modern Conference Room Need?

Conference rooms still serve the same purposes they have always served: a huddle room for the exchange of ideas and updates between employees, and a quiet place to communicate with clients. However, with more people working remotely, more companies expanding internationally and more businesses using digital platforms for their businesses, the modern conference room requires technology updates that bring us far, far away from conference rooms of the past.

So, what does a modern conference room need?

Your conference rooms need to have the technology to communicate with employees and clients who can’t be in the office with you. This means that you’ll need a great phone and video conferencing system, and the tools to support them. For instance, a phone system that just makes calls can’t help you keep up with remote employees. Choosing a system that is fully integrated means you’ll spend less time forwarding calls trying to connect to the right person, and more time on the work you’re there to do. Similarly, a video conferencing system is no good if you don’t have desktop or network sharing to make sure everyone on the call is looking at the right information.

Aside from the technology to make conversation and collaboration easy, your conference room should be comfortable! This means making sure your seating is arranged so employees and visitors don’t have to strain to see each other or the presentation in front of them. Make sure the color and lighting in the room is comfortable, but not too comfortable – you don’t want your clients dozing off because of yellow, dim lighting putting them to sleep.

Your company’s message and goals are the most important part of communication and connecting with new clients, but the way you send out your message can have a huge impact. To learn more about the solutions that BCS offers to update your conference room, give us a call at (757) 497-3100, or use our online contact form.

IT is Your Friend

Navigating technology and IT solutions can seem overwhelming, especially for employees who have no direct involvement with your company’s network. Many choose to leave the technical side of things to the outsourced company, and others may not trust an outside company with their information at all.

However, your IT company doesn’t have to be just a stranger – IT can be your friend! Getting to know your IT company can make you feel better about keeping your data secure, and help things run smoothly when problems arise. Here are a few ways to create a better relationship with your IT company:

  1. Get to know your technician. If your outsourced IT company has employees assigned to your company, be sure to get familiar with the technician assigned to your account! This will make things easier when you need to contact someone about your data or security by knowing who is familiar with your account.
  2. Ask questions. Become familiar with how your data is stored, where it is stored, who has access to files and what the plan is when it comes to a data breach or needing access to a backup by asking questions. There are no dumb questions, and becoming familiar with these procedures will help you trust your outsourced company and make you more knowledgeable about your own network and how IT support works.
  3. Know your services. There may be a service you need that you are unfamiliar with or aren’t sure is right for you. Talk with your IT company to find out every option and set up a service that is tailored to your type of business. For instance, companies who store customer’s personal information will need more backups and security.

If you’re interested in IT Support or Network Monitoring services, Call BCS at (757) 497-3100 today to learn more about how we can help your business run more efficiently and with a greater degree of security, leaving you worry-free during future data breach scares.

Hurry! It’s Hurricane Season.

It’s officially hurricane season, which for most people at home means stocking up on extra water, batteries and flashlights in case of potential power outages. But what about at the office?

You’re not likely to worry about a tree falling into your office building or having enough snacks on hand, but every time the power goes out or a bad storm hits, you risk the loss of your saved documents (and if you’re someone who doesn’t hit the save button frequently, all of the ones you’re working on). Now is a great time to take a look at your data protection plan and make sure you are up to date on all of your procedures.

First: Does your company have a backup strategy, and are your employees familiar with your data backup plan? Scheduling regular backups and making sure employees are following through on them, or outsourcing an IT company to handle backups for you will ensure minimal date loss if a problem were to occur.

Second: Where are your backups going? An on-site location, off-site where your IT company stores them, or to the cloud? If a storm is on the way and your information is stored elsewhere, you may want to check with your IT company or cloud support to make sure your data will be safe. Redundancy is good when it comes to sensitive or hard-to-replace data.

If you aren’t sure about either of these questions, BCS can help you develop an effective plan, and with our managed services, can take care of the entire process for you. Remember, backups aren’t just for storms, either – they help with data recovery for a variety of reasons, including hacking, virus & malware infections, drive or hardware failures, and even accidental deletions.

If you’re concerned about how to protect and recover your date during hurricane season, or any other time of the year, give us a call at (757) 497-3100 today.

Why Use Digital Signs in Restaurants?

If you’ve gone to a counter-service restaurant or coffee shop recently, you may have glanced up at the menu to order and realized something is different – the menu has changed. No, there aren’t any new items, and no, nothing was removed from the menu. However, the menu itself (the material it’s made of) is completely new, and it’s digital!
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