Remote work, network access and security all falls under the virtualization heading. The BCS team are experts at helping find the right solution for your business.

Achieve Active Growth with BCS Voice and Data

What are your business goals for 2020? If you’re like most companies, they likely involve expansion. Whether growth for your company means a larger physical space, more employees or increased sales flowing into your processes one thing is for sure–you need backend systems ready to handle more volume in place before you start scaling. 

That’s where BCS Voice and Data comes in. We are an amazing partner for growing companies. Not only because we know what’s needed to allow for easy growth, we know scalability too, so you don’t outgrow a new solution quickly. If you’re on the path to bigger and better this year, here are some ways BCS Voice and Data can help: 

Virtualization: 

For any business seeking growth in 2020, new tech will keep you competitive, especially when it comes to Virtualization. Our virtualization services allow you to keep up with adding more employees and contractors as you scale, by increasing the speed of your data sharing and allowing everyone to have the access they need, when they need it. All while keeping costs manageable and data safe.  

Improved Communication Systems: 

One thing is for sure in this day and age–customer service is key. Don’t expect to grow if you can’t communicate well with your customers, clients or partners. If you plan to increase communication with clients or remote employees, ask about our telephone and video conferencing system options. Our options are easy to use with no interruptions and best of all, your entire team can be easily reached. Customers have high expectations for good, consistent and reliable communication, no matter what industry.

Structured Cabling: 

Structured Cabling is an underrated but extremely important consideration in any physical space. If your network suffers from aging infrastructure or lacks organization, it will show as you grow. Position your company for growth by having our engineers and systems specialists create an organized framework that is easy to configure as your business expands, meaning you’ll be able to adapt quickly, without ongoing additional investments.

BCS Voice and Data not only makes the growth of your company easier, we create the systems that encourage expansion. Call us at (800) 365-8067 to learn how we can help you achieve your business goals this year.

Phone system for office va beach

Making Office Communication Easy 

Modern business relies on phone calls, emails, video conferencing and more for the bulk of information transfer. Unfortunately, many employees (and even their CEOs) are apprehensive when it comes to using virtual communication tools. Whether it’s because they’re unfamiliar with the technology or lack efficient and up-to-date tools, this apprehension hurts your bottom line. It’s important to make office communication easy.

If you notice too many dropped calls or missed important messages, it’s for a reason. It’s an employers job to identify and eliminate that reason. Below, we address the common fears employees have about using communication tools and how to fix-it them.

Lack of Etiquette –

Workers might be avoiding long email strings, chat-oriented apps or conference calls (video and otherwise) because they are unfamiliar with the k proper etiquette on these platforms. Not everyone grew up with virtual communication, so it’s important to ensure employees are comfortable using it. 

Write out guidelines and proper procedures when using different mediums and share it with the entire team. That way, no one feels singled out. If you notice there are still some who avoid picking up the phone or cam, suggest role play and coaching as a means to practice.

Too Complicated-

Not all technology is easy to use, especially complicated office phone systems. So many of us are used to making calls easily from our cell phones, and your staff may be avoiding making or answering calls because they just don’t know how to perform regular actions like transferring a call or conferencing in a colleague! It is a great idea to include a phone system guide in your employee welcome packet. If you still see people experiencing difficulties, it may be time for a different system altogether. 

Out of Date-

Yes, your office has a chat system, but if it takes too long to send and receive messages, your team won’t use it. Employees steer clear of a system that creates frustration and adds time to their work. That goes for any technology your office uses. It’s imperative to make sure all systems are up to date or they won’t be used. Identify where you need updates with a consultation from BCS Voice and Data. We identify areas where your business can implement better technology to improve efficiency and ultimately help your bottom line. 


Your employees’ biggest fear should be the office microwave, not the video conferencing room. BCS Voice and Data can help give your team the tools they need to work efficiently and quickly. Contact us today to learn about our suite of tools to get your team confidently communicating with those around them. 

 

Reasons to Invest in Your Remote Workforce

The advantages of creating a remote workforce are making it an increasingly popular option for business. Improved technology makes old deterring factors, like communication and data sharing, simple while employers save on facilities costs and scheduling hassles. BCS frequently connects remote staff to their corporate headquarters through cloud computing and networking methods, but we often see one drawback. That is, remote staff doesn’t always get the best equipment.

Although they aren’t on-premises, it’s still important (if not more so) to invest in the tools these workers receive. Why? Because more than other employees, they rely on their devices. If a remote worker is experiencing a malfunction, they can’t walk down the hall for help, and will lose valuable time if their network connection and equipment isn’t efficient. Your remote staff is only as good as the tools you give them, so consider these reasons for investing in the technology they use:

1. Durability
Satellite employees use their laptop every day. The last thing that you want is to replace it on a regular basis. Buying a cheap laptop now might mean saving money in the short-term, but over time, the cost of replacing cheaper computers quickly adds up. Instead, a high-end, commercial-grade laptop ensures they have a durable, reliable piece of tech that’s going to last a long time.

2. Quality Assurance
Make sure your workers trust the performance of their tools. Do the research to find what they need. Consider the tools, accessories and software most important to complete their duties. For example, a customer service agent requires a crisp, great-sounding headset and reliable telecommunications system to deliver the best service, while a graphic designer will need a fast processor to render creations without downtime. Ask your IT team or consult BCS Voice and Data if you need help determining what is best for your team.

3. Good Relationships
It’s common to see companies with not-so-best practices making employees feel unhappy or dejected. Distributing poorly maintained and repurposed devices demonstrates a low worth, leading to a negative response. Disgruntled staff contributes to low production, high turnover and reduced ownership over their duties and your company’s success. With so much research proving the pay-off, it’s necessary for businesses to show they value their teams, or risk losing them. One of the simplest ways to do so, is by trusting them with high-end tools that demonstrate their importance to the company they work for.

BCS Voice and Data implements efficient systems for business with both on-premise and remote staff, no matter what jobs they perform. Contact us today for a consultation or ask about services to keep your teams connected and up-to-date.

Critical Elements of a Business Backup Systems

There are countless ways to lose your important data, especially if it isn’t backed up regularly.  Information stored on devices falls victim to accidental deletion, hard drive crashes, theft or virus and malware infections. Storing information on paper runs the risk of losing it to fire, flooding or other natural disasters. By saving data on a single device or in one place and not backing up, you gamble on losing it forever. Without critical data, many businesses cannot perform, making a backup system crucial for protecting your business.

There are two steps to creating a proper backup system. First, identify the types of data you need to protect and second, make sure it’s performed regularly.

Identify Critical Data
What needs to be in a data backup? Anything you’ve created or modified. This includes everything from accounting files to emails. When deciding, live by this rule: If losing the data interferes with doing business, protect it.

It’s rare that you need to save applications. Most modern business software deploys through a browser, meaning they aren’t installed on the computer. This software is accessed online through any device. If you lose the device, simply reopen the application with another.

Implement Backups on a Regular Schedule
We recommend backing up your data nightly. There is software that allows you to set a schedule and perform these tasks automatically.  Software that also zips and encrypts files saves space and increases security.

Consider the Cloud
Now that you know the key elements of a backup system, it’s time to consider the best way to implement it. One of the many benefits of cloud storage is for safe, secure off-site backups. By using the cloud, your files live in a secured online account and you don’t depend on a single computer or server open to attacks or accidents. The cloud has other advantages, as well, like automatic backups, minimal infrastructure and quick recovery.

It isn’t easy finding the proper protection method, especially if your business quickly accumulates important information. Hiring a professional IT service like BCS helps navigate the confusion and find the best solution for your business needs. If you need assistance on backing up your data or moving existing archives, contact BCS Voice and Data services today.

Network Monitoring & the Importance of Technician Mobility

technician-mobilityAs a busy professional, the security, efficiency and stability of the network that keeps business running is a priority. But as busy professionals know, technology doesn’t always work the way you want or need it to. That’s where the help of a trusted network monitoring service comes in. You shouldn’t have to worry about the issues that cause network downtime and you need to know that the company you choose to manage it can correct problems quickly and completely. Read more

3 Things Virtualization Helps You Do

Virtualization isn’t just for companies with a need for huge servers.  Here are 3 ways virtualization can help small and medium sized businesses.

1)  Run old programs or applications.  Sometimes an older program doesn’t run well on newer operating systems.  That industry specific software that you really need every now and then that won’t run on Windows 8 will run just fine on a virtual machine (VM) that’s running XP.  VMware Player has a function called Unity mode, which lets programs running in the VM to look as if they’re running on the host computer.

2) Test updates or new configurations.  Want to make sure that an upgrade isn’t going to bring down the whole system?  Run a copy of your current system in a virtual machine, do the upgrade in the VM and test it for problems or discrepancies.

3) Run multiple operating systems.  Want to try Linux?  You can do it in a VM.  Have some employees working on Macs? They can run Windows in a virtual machine and have access to all the programs their co-workers on PCs do.

If you have questions about how virtualization can work for your business, call BCS at 757.497.3100 to speak to one of our IT specialists.  BCS Voice and Data serves the greater Hampton Roads area, including Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, and Northeastern North Carolina.

Is VMware Right for My Business?

VMware is a great tool for leveraging your IT infrastructure, allowing your your comptuers to run multiple operating systems and applications, without the expense of adding additional machines or servers.  You can consolidate servers, improve automation and implement disaster recovery solutions.

If you use leading business software operating on your servers, such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP, Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint and more, VMware can create a more seamless and accessible system, using virtualization to access multiple systems.  Typical clients implementing VMware experience 80 percent greater utilization of server resources, up to 50 percent savings in capital and operating costs and a significant benefit in server consolidation.

In addition to server virtualization, we can help with network virtualization — letting you run applications on a virtual network, rather than a physical one.  This is particularly beneficial to growing businesses that need a highly scalable network and fast provisioning, troubleshooting, cloning and monitoring.

There’s no simple answer to the question is “VMware right for your business?”, however, the experts at BCS Voice & Data Solutions use a collaborative approach to identify business needs, future potential needs, and help you and your team identify options that are right for you situation.  Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation.

 

3 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Virtualization

Virtualization–the business tech craze that’s been sweeping the nation for some time now. For large companies, virtualizing multiple servers on a single server increases efficiency and cuts hardware costs. For small businesses, virtualization manifests itself in the operation of multiple operating systems on a single server and the deployment of virtual desktops. Virtual environments can be of great benefit to business big and small.

Here are three virtualization facts and tid-bits. 

1. A virtual machine allows you to back up entire operating systems and servers. In this way, virtualization of your OS is the ultimate companion to a good data backup strategy. In the event that hackers attack the system, you can simply load the backup and the headache of losing the information framework. This is also your best defense against a natural disaster or other catastrophe.

2. Virtualization lessens the need to replace hardware as frequently. Because you can run new programs and operating systems on older machines through the virtual environment, you don’t need to upgrade physical workstations as often.

3. Browsing the web via a virtual machine protects your physical operating system. When you install a browser on a virtual machine and run it on a desktop, you are not vulnerable to viruses and hack attacks and you won’t see a difference in the speed and functionality of the browser.

If you’re considering investing in a virtualization solution for your business, call the experts at BCS Voice and Data Solutions. We can implement virtual environments on any scale through our certified partnership with VMware–the most respected name in virtualization technology. Whether you are interested in virtual desktop capability or multiple virtual servers, VMware has the solution for your company. And since BCS serves the Hampton Roads region, we can personalize these solutions with ground support and face-to-face user training.

Call or contact us today!

 

 

Should you work from home?

It’s a liberating idea, isn’t it? Hopping out of bed, walking down the hall and sitting down at a computer to start your work day? For one in five Americans, this is a reality. Working from home has become a viable option in this Work 3.0 culture and made all the easier by the latest business communications technologies like virtualization and unified communications. But working remotely isn’t for everyone. If your company offers a remote option, weigh the benefits and possible drawbacks first.

Pros of Working From Home

  • The ability to make your own hours. 
  • Lack of a commute saves time and money. 
  • More expenses may be tax deductible. 
  • Save money with a smaller career wardrobe. 
  • More time spent with family and possibly fewer daycare expenses. 

Cons of Working From Home 

  • Less structure can lead to more temptation to become distracted.
  • Working in a space that doubles as a living space can become tiresome. 
  • Lack of face time with coworkers can lead to feelings of isolation and an absence of camaraderie. 
  • It’s easy to get too comfortable and then fall into a rut (but let’s be honest…that can happen at home and in a traditional office. 
  • There may be more pressure to “prove yourself” professionally if most other employees are in-office.

The decision to work at home is not one that should be made lightly. Doing business is doing business, but doing that business from home presents some unique challenges.

If you’re a company owner who is considering developing a remote telecommuting program, be sure to read “Tips for Implementing a Telecommuting Program” and call BCS to help you create the most effective strategy. The communications technologies we offer enhance the benefits of working from home and mitigate the drawbacks. In fact, our  Unified Communications and conference room solutions can make it feel as though an employee working from across the country is right there in the office. In the digital age, things like geography are virtually relative. Let BCS streamline communication in and out of your office. Contact us today.

The Three “H”s of VoIP Productivity

You may turn back the clocks this weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should turn back the clock on your approach to business communications. Technology in this industry is always changing, and falling behind could mean the difference between efficient productivity and lagging progress. VoIP and virtualized IP environments, for instance, have been adopted in recent years by the higher education, hospitality and healthcare fields. All three industries utilize IP communications to simplify once cumbersome processes.

Higher Education

Colleges and universities are full of bright minds, great ideas and data…a great deal of data. Rather than risk the loss of vital scholarship and student records, schools are widely transitioning to virtualized environments.

From Mitel: “A virtualized, IP communications environment enables educational institutions to run multiple operating systems via one physical machine—all of which can run on multiple servers. This way, if a blackout suddenly sweeps campus, the school’s IT administrator can access the central, physical machine via a remote server to ensure that all documents, projects and important files that were opened can be kept safe and restored.”

Hospitality

Last year we wrote about the success certain hotels have had with the implementation of VoIP technology. As the rise of mobile phones devalued hotel phone systems, hospitality managers transitioned to VoIP systems which allow users to make calls at a lower rate than the mobile provider’s. Read the full post here.

Healthcare

Efficiency and accuracy are important, especially when it comes to caring for people’s bodies and health.  This year, Cibola General Hospital in Cibola County, New Mexico,upgraded their Internet, data storage and phone services to a VoIP based system. Cibola General is one of many small hospitals that have grown to recognize the value of cutting edge communications technology. According to Rick Smith, the IT director at the hospital, “We’ve dramatically improved performance with built-in redundancy, which means there are two points to get to the same data backup system…If we put in a whiz-bang system but the nurses and doctors can’t use it, then it’s of no value.” (Cibola Beacon).

We agree with Mr. Smith that IT is nothing if it’s not user-friendly. That’s why BCS is proud to offer extremely intuitive Mitel IP Business Phone systems, innovative VMware virtualization solutions and more. Call or contact us today to learn more about how VoIP can add value to your enterprise.

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