Learn How BCS Can Help Improve Your Business Phone Systems

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.

Cloud Storage is Risky

The Risks of Consumer Cloud Storage

You’ve undoubtedly heard the names and would recognize the logos of the biggest players in the current cloud storage market. This widely used software provided by GoogleDrive, Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive have millions of users between them. Just because they’re popular, doesn’t mean you should trust them with your company’s important data. We recommend ignoring the hype and doing some research before signing up. 

The convenience of consumer cloud storage: inexpensive syncing among employees and their devices, isn’t necessarily a fair trade off for the risks your company takes. These file share solutions answer a single problem while opening you up to many more. Here are three big risks you take when using cloud storage for your company: 

  1. No Tech Support:

    Users of cloud-based storage technologies must deal with slow to non-existent tech support. Many of these large companies divert frustrated customers (you) to a robot chat box or delayed online support for answers. That means, there will be little help and potential long-term downtime when you or your team has trouble accessing important data.

  2. No Control Over Data:

    Data is nothing to play with. If your employees and customers trust you with sensitive information, it’s your responsibility to keep it out of the wrong hands. You allow data to be stored in servers around the world by using third-party cloud-based services. That means, no assurance of what laws are protecting it or when. One thing you can be sure of, it’s only a matter of time until someone unauthorized attempts to access it. 

  3. Remote Devices:

    Using a remote staff will save on traditional costs associated with running a business. However, allowing remote workers to use their own devices introduces a significant security risk, especially if you’re using cloud sharing software. Remote employees’ devices are rarely adequately protected and easily become another portal for cyber criminals and hackers to access information. 

 

It’s critical that organizations keep the above security issues in mind before making the switch. Instead, hire a company like BCS Voice and Data, who will design and implement a secure wireless network to meet your specific needs. The cloud may be right for your business, but there are alternatives that significantly help mitigate the risks. Contact us today for a consultation or with questions about our services.

Protect yourself by creating a safety culture at work

Creating a Cyber-Safe Culture 

In this cyber environment, business owners and employees must be aware of the horrors of an insecure system. Criminals can hack into corporate property and compromise customer information, sometimes even holding it for ransom. Methods such as these recently brought the entire city of Baltimore to a halt for multiple days.

Although it’s everyone’s duty to assist their organization against targeted attacks and security breaches; the importance of cyber security should be strongly delivered from your top management team at all times. Here are three tips to build a sound cyber security culture in your workplace.

1. Maintain a sound password policy
The most common passwords of 2018 were “111111”,  “12345678” and “password”. Many of us, including your employees, will forgo a safe password for one that’s easy to remember or quick to type into their login screen. With data that must stay secure, you can’t risk anyone using something easily guessed. Avoid this issue by instituting a proper password policy. This policy should make common passwords off-limits and create a required framework for combining numerals, letters and punctuation. It should also force frequent password changes.

2. Train employees on Workplace security
Conduct regular training for employees to learn how to identify suspicious cyber activities and report them. Educate teams on how to use their resources to analyze emails and attachments and be wary of activity they did not do or request. Additionally, make it easy for employees to report anything out of the ordinary. Share incidents of cybercrimes with your employees and discuss how your organization is equipped to combat similar attacks.

3. Act as a Role Model
If you are a manager or business owner, it is up to you to enthusiastically communicate security objectives and adhere to them. Practice what you preach and lock your system whenever you leave your desk. Doing so will encourage your employees to contribute to a positive and secure environment as well.

If you have any questions about how to better protect your systems, don’t hesitate to contact us at BCS Voice and Data. We offer solutions and support for any business with safety concerns, and provide additional services depending on your business needs. Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation about how we help keep data safe.

The Benefits of Moving Your Phone System to the Cloud

Your company doesn’t need to keep up with every tech trend, but sometimes there are advantages worth investing in. BCS helps firms to decipher what new technologies best suit them, particularly deciding between phone systems. Rather than sticking with traditional hardwired telephone equipment, we’ve found universal benefits by upgrading to a system based in the cloud.

#1 Easy and Cost-Effective Install
Implementing cloud communication is simple compared to a hardwired install. On-site phone systems take longer to establish because they require bulky hardware and labor. With fewer physical components, VoIP (voice over internet protocol) costs are lower and up and running quickly.

#2 Simplify Multiple Locations
Creating identical settings across multiple locations is tricky with the tedious hardware of business phone systems. A key benefit of cloud phone systems is the ability to centrally manage company communications through a single online portal, instead. With a VoIP system, implementing settings through shared software is easy. It also prevents employees from making changes and guarantees all locations stay on the same page with a few clicks.

#3 Automatic Upgrades
Upgrades are inevitable regardless of the phone system you choose. Capitalize on the cloud and give your company an edge with automatic upgrades. Traditional phones require on-site visits and potential downtime while the business owner bears the responsibility and cost. cloud-based environments shift the responsibility to the provider, handling the update virtually. It’s usually done outside of working hours and without service interruption, allowing for frequent upgrades and fewer missed calls.

#4  Accommodate Remote Workers
An on-premise phone system limits the communication capabilities for anyone outside of the office. Keep your remote workers connected despite the distance with a VoIP phone system. It eliminates boundaries by routing traffic to its destination through any internet connection. Send calls to their home office as easily as the actual office.

#5 Trustworthy Modern Security Practices
While you have more direct control over traditional business phones, they aren’t as safe as they seem. Physical office connections suffer more attacks than their cloud counterparts, according to this article. Traditional office hook-ups lack the extra protection from the presence of built-in protocols and encryption tools, like passwords and firewalls.

As with any new technology, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. This is why partnering with an experienced business telephone system integrator like BCS is crucial. We will evaluate your needs and ensure that whatever solution you select, you’re well prepared for future growth. Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation about your business phone system needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Establishing a Guest Wifi for your Business

Business owners and their staff hear one question all too often, “Do you have WiFi?”.  Whether hosting a small business meeting or daily influx of customers, the need for visitors to connect is unavoidable. Granting unlimited access to everyone introduces many security issues, so consider establishing a guest WiFi as a solution. This practice accommodates visitors and protects your company’s network. Read more

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.

Is a Cloud CRM Right for Your Business?

cloud storage servicesBenefits of a Cloud CRM

Cloud computing has changed many aspects of business.  Some studies indicate that cloud platforms will dominate IT spending by next year, and half of all businesses will be using cloud-based software by 2017.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is frequently the first platform businesses move to the cloud.  Like traditional CRM software, these platforms track sales interactions and identify patterns.  Using a cloud-based platform has some particular advantages.

1) Cost

Many cloud solutions mean upfront costs are significantly lower. Cloud based CRMs are usually subscription-based and paid monthly.  There’s no upfront licensing or installation fees.

2) Productivity

Cloud-based CRMs are very helpful for employee productivity, especially for sales people that are working off-site, at conferences, or from a customer’s location.  The ability to access the CRM from anywhere is exceptionally helpful when a team is spread out. Additionally, it scales easily for businesses in a major phase of growth.

3) Advanced Data and Analytics

Many CRMs offer excellent business intelligence without the need for manual uploading and backups.  Because cloud-based softwares sync in real time, executives can always have a current picture of customer data, sales, and invoices.

 

While there are many advantages to Cloud CRMs, it’s important to ask the right questions when choosing a provider.  As many companies learned during the recent Verizon cloud outage, not all clouds are the same. Before committing to a platform, ask about up-time, back-ups, and security.  If you want help choosing the right cloud provider, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you find the right solution for your business.

 

 

 

Download Our Guide to Choosing a Business Telephone System

Selecting the right business telephone system for your company can be a daunting task.  Over the years we’ve helped thousands of clients work through the process and have found there are some consistent questions and functions that need to be addressed, no matter what size the business.

As a result of our experience and expertise, we developed a Guide to Choosing a Business Telephone System, available in PDF format.  Click here to download a copy now.  If you have any questions, please contact us for a no-obligation conversation about your business phone system needs.

The Risk of Relying on Consumer Cloud Storage Services

Stephen Pritchard of ITPRO believes that the consumer cloud is experiencing a crisis of confidence and that this has implications for businesses who elect to use certain cloud storage services. In reference to the Google downtime earlier this week and other recent consumer cloud shutdowns (Amazon/Netflix and Microsoft in particular), Pritchard says,

“Companies are increasingly allowing, or even relying on, the use of services such as Google Drive, or Microsoft’s Office365….If businesses use these services to store documents, or instead of desktop software, even a short outage can cause a real loss of productivity. If companies build business processes around services such as Google Drive, the impact reach[es] even further.” (ITPRO)

Even if the company doesn’t officially adopt consumer cloud storage services like Google Drive and Microsoft’s Office365, individual employees often find them convenient for easy document storage and collaborative work on a project-by-project basis. The use of these services by employees may seem harmless (or maybe a little reckless), but as we saw with the Google server issues on Tuesday, the unpredictable nature of the consumer cloud has the potential to stall important office operations.

Best Cloud Storage Practices

We don’t mean to shed any suspicion on cloud-based data storage as a whole, but rather to emphasize the superior security of enterprise-class cloud services, which can be tailored to the unique needs of each business. When it comes to the cloud, you really do get what you pay for. A business that deploys an enterprise-class cloud storage service on a private network enjoys far less risk of downtime and increased efficiency (especially when paired with 24/7 network monitoring).

It seems obvious that companies should refrain from depending on the consumer cloud storage services , but the issue presents a more nuanced choice for IT strategists: Should use of consumer cloud services be prohibited in-office on an individual basis? The challenge in answering this question is that it is nearly impossible to remove such services entirely. Instead, as Pritchard recommends, “…companies should look at improving their in-house IT to make it more attractive, or else invest in enterprise-grade cloud services, and promote their use.”

If your business is currently relying on consumer cloud storage services for data storage, don’t wait until major downtime hurts productivity and revenue to research your options for enterprise-class cloud services like VMware’s Private Cloud. And if a dated IT infrastructure is leading employees to opt for consumer cloud services, consider an upgrade.

Call or contact BCS to talk to IT experts about your company’s cloud options as well as network monitoring services and outsourcing. We are your IT department (if you want us to be)!

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Looking for a New Business Phone System? 10 Terms to Know.

When on the hunt for a new business phone system, navigating the waters of technical jargon can be exhausting, limiting and just plain frustrating. Whether you are thinking of investing in a cloud-based solution, a premise-based solution or even one of our used business phone systems to pair with your existing infrastructure, we’ve compiled ten key industry terms to help guide your search.

business phone system

  1. Auto attendant- a virtual receptionist that can run a phone system even in the event of network downtime. Directs callers toward their desired extensions and often has the capability, if the desired party is out of office, to direct said caller to the extension’s mobile device (see “mobile twinning”).
  2. Cloud-based business phone system-  Also known as a hosted phone system or hosted PBX (private branch exchange), a cloud-based business phone system stores all communications data wirelessly in the cloud. Requires subscription to a cloud-based VoIP PBX service like Mitel AnyWare and generally has fixed monthly charges on a per-user basis. Usually managed via a graphical user interface. (See: 5 Ways Hosted Telephone Solutions Can Help You Do Your Own Thing)
  3. Hosted PBX- See Cloud-based business phone system.”
  4. IP address- Internet protocol address. A series of numbers assigned to each device on a network. Can be either dynamic or static (fixed).
  5. Mobile twinning- A phone system’s capability to direct a call from a user’s desktop phone or softphone to his or her mobile device.
  6. On-premise PBX- Traditional Private Branch Exchange analog technology with hardware and connectivity maintained on site.
  7. On-premise IP PBX- Uses on-site SIP trunking to make calls and otherwise communicate over the Internet (VoIP). Communications costs vary month-to-month based on usage.
  8. SIP Trunking- Stands for “Session Initiation Protocol.” Acquired through an IP service provider, SIP trunking allows companies with IP-PBX phone systems to place calls outside of the office environment over the Internet.
  9. Softphone- Generally a Unified Communications client, a Softphone allows the user to place and receive phone calls from the desktop of their PC, just as they would from a desktop phone unit.  (See our recent product profile on Mitel’s MiCollab Client Softphone)
  10. Unified communications- Refers to the strategic integration of phone, instant messaging, video conferencing and other communication channels over the Internet through the private network.

Call or contact BCS to talk to an expert who can answer your questions about bettering your business’ communication potential. We’ll offer you advice, perspective and, most importantly, solutions.

 

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net