StarLeaf Breeze: Easy “Breezy” Video Conferencing for Companies of All Sizes

What is your conference call experience usually like? Depending on the technology you use, you might experience audio interruptions, frozen screens, disconnected users, and other annoying limitations. Conference calls, especially video calls, have a mixed reputation, with some business professionals preferring traditional phone meetings because they require less fuss and seem to have fewer issues. Does this sound like you? If so, it’s time to try StarLeaf Breeze.

The StarLeaf video conferencing software is easy to use and provides a great user experience for everyone involved, no matter how far away. If you have remote workers, national or international clients, or hope to have some, StarLeaf is the video conferencing solution for you and your company. Feature rich and adaptable, it’s also incredibly easy to use!

Watch this video for a fun look at the ease and capabilities of the StarLeaf Breeze technology:

https://youtu.be/Pn0NqCNHSfY

 

Will StarLeaf Breeze suit your needs? Contact BCS Voice & Data to learn more. We can let you experience a free test drive of the technology and walk you through your options. Call us today at (757) 497-3100. We serve clients in Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area as well as nationally.

Should I Buy a Used Telephone System?: Cons (Part 2)

In our last blog post, we talked about the benefits of buying a used telephone system rather than one that is brand new. At BCS, we sell and stand behind both used and new phone systems, but acknowledge that different clients have different needs. While used business phone systems typically cost less, are more readily available, and act as a good starting points for many businesses, they also have their drawbacks.

Cons

  • Possible shorter lifespan. While all the used systems we sell are of the highest quality and thoroughly tested, they are typically older and more likely to break down in the future. All products have a shelf-life. If you are planning to upgrade to a new system in the not-too-distant future, then used may be the best option, but if you plan to keep the system long-term, consider buying new.
  • Finding replacement parts can be a chore. Manufacturers start retiring system components after a number of years and when something breaks or you need to add new users, locating the part you need can be a challenge. When you purchase from BCS, however, we will do everything we can to find an identical or comparable component when your system requires it.
  • Less feature-rich. Buying an older system often means settling for fewer cutting-edge features. While this isn’t always the case, you will experience a bit of a trade-off when purchasing used.

No matter which route you choose, BCS Voice & Data can find you the business phone system that fits your company’s size, mission, and unique needs. Call our sales department today at (757) 497-3100 to talk about your options.

Should I Buy a Used Telephone System?: Pros (Part 1)

If you’re a startup with limited capital or a business owner who is simply looking to save a little money, you may be thinking about purchasing a used business phone system instead of buying brand new. When big companies liquidate, they often upgrade their phones and sell the old system to be refurbished and resold. This gives buyers major cost advantage and is often quite quick and convenient. At BCS, we sell both new and used phone equipment for businesses, and recommend the best solutions for a company’s unique needs. This is the first of a two-part series that covers the pros and cons of purchasing a used business phone system.

Pros

  • Cost. Like we’ve mentioned, the cost savings associated with buying used instead of new can be significant. A phone system is a critical part of any business, new or established, and it is also one of the bigger investments (alongside servers, computers, and other technology). For the decision maker looking to get a bigger bang for their buck, used may be the way to go.
  • Accessibility. New phone systems tend to have a longer lead time when it comes to ordering and delivery because of short supply and intricate customization, while used or refurbished systems are usually in stock and ready to go out of the box.
  • Helpful Stepping Stone. If your company is just getting started, you may not be ready to commit to a new, full-featured business telephone system. A used system, while still a significant commitment, allows you to figure out what works and what doesn’t before upgrading in the future.

If you don’t need to see the list of “cons” when it comes to buying used and are ready to see our used and refurbished inventory, give BCS Voice & Data Solutions at call at (757) 497-3100.

Untangle Your Cables- Structured Cabling Solutions

It seems like business technology is always moving forward. The frequent innovation and development can make “keeping up” feel like a real challenge for business owners. Since most business owners are solution oriented people, they are always looking for ways to improve their processes and efficiency. One way to help make this happen is to focus on cleaning up and reinforcing technology infrastructure with an organized structured cabling system.

Structured cabling systems may all look similar to one another, but each one is actually quite unique. The architecture of where the system is housed, the types of cables used, and whether or not the system is retrofit, all contribute to the individual complexity. This means that companies with a small IT staff (or none at all) should contact a networking professional to design and build a cabling system that can easily accommodate the company’s particular needs.

Room to Grow

Modern data center cabling is versatile and provides companies with plenty of bandwidth for expansion. An investment in structured cabling infrastructure is really an investment in the future that will help prevent downtime and allow for more users, applications, and hardware as a company grows. It also keeps your data center more organized than a point-to-point system.

If your business is poised to grow, it may be time to better meet its IT requirements with a structured cabling system. BCS Voice & Data will design and install a cabling infrastructure or retrofit an existing one. Go here to learn more about our comprehensive indoor/outdoor cabling and network installation services. Call us now at (757) 497-3100 to schedule a  cabling consultation.

Small IT Upgrades Lead to Big Improvements

Has your business technology kept up with the needs of your workforce? Many small-to-medium sized businesses stick with what they know over a period of years because updating technology seems like an overwhelming investment of both time and money. This leads to network downtime, lost productivity, and in some cases, frustrated employees. Our advice is to make the following upgrades piece by piece. It doesn’t all have to be done at once, but here are a few options to consider:

  • A Better VoIP Business Phone System. Most businesses have long since graduated from traditional PBX telephone systems to affordable, richly featured, and adaptable VoIP phones. Recent years have seen vast improvements on the VoIP model and it may be time to check out your options. Our manufacturers carry systems that offer mobile twinning, integrated video conferencing, and seamless unified communications functionality. These features make it easy for employees to work remotely and accommodate an expanding team.
  • Sound Masking. If your office has an open floor plan or is a call center, you probably face a great deal of ambient noise that can disrupt phone conversations and video conferences. Cut down on the chatter and clatter your clients hear with a sound masking system. BCS’s IT consulting pros can assess your office space and come up with a workable strategy to mask ambient noise and thus enhance your professional image and employee productivity.
  • Virtualization Implementation. Virtualization is the creation of a virtual version of operating systems, storage devices, network resources, or software. It’s smart to include a virtual component server-side, especially as your business grows. Virtualization

BCS Voice & Data Solutions is an IT consulting and network monitoring company in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that serves clients both locally and nationally. Whether you are looking for a VoIP business phone system, structured cabling services, or basic IT consulting, we can help. Call our sales desk today at (757) 497-3100 to discuss your company’s unique needs and how BCS can help!

Your New Year’s Resolution: 365 Days of NO Network Downtime

Did you make any resolutions at the beginning of the month? Maybe you want to lose a few pounds, spend less time on your phone, or save up for that vacation. Whatever you resolved to do, we’re at the point when you may be slipping on those resolutions (no judgment here!). One way to regain control over the positive changes you want to make is to get an accountability partner. This person can help keep you on track and remind you why you started in the first place! You can also carry this principle into the professional sphere.

Maybe you haven’t made concrete “new year’s resolutions” for your business, but we’re sure you have goals that you would like to accomplish in 2017. We have a suggestion: Resolve to totally avoid network downtime this year. Downtime can cause stress, lost productivity, and even loss of revenue. If your company experienced undue network interruptions in 2016, now is the time to make BCS your professional accountability partner.

Our network monitoring services  include:

  • Remote monitoring– We keep you connected from afar and can access any IP-enabled device and take control when necessary. Over 90% of our monitoring services can be delivered remotely.
  • Remote automation– Routine IT tasks no longer need to take up mental space thanks to automation. Things like defragging, back-ups, auto restart and end point security and other manual tasks can happen automatically.
  • Virtual Machine Management–We detect, monitor and manage  VMWware and oversee the key hardware components of ESX and ESXi servers. This allows us to identify and fix the problem before it causes any kind of downtime.
  • Self-healing–When a specified network failure occurs, BCS Network Monitoring automatically detects it and executes a pre-configured solution.
  • Technician Mobility– Our techs can access network monitoring capability from any iOS or Android device. This enables our team to log in and respond to all alerts and activites without being next to the BCS Network Monitoring console, thus increasing efficiency.

The bottom line is this: In the hands of BCS Voice and Data, you don’t need to worry about annoying, detrimental downtime. 365 days of no downtime? It’s like making a resolution that only involves a phone call to BCS. Call us today at (757) 497-3100 to talk more about our Network Monitoring Services.

Bring Calm to Your Office With BCS

The holidays bring with them their fair share of joy and cheer, but if we are being honest with ourselves, we know that they also bring with them quite a bit of stress. From parties to school concerts to traveling and relatives visiting, your personal life is full of extra obligations and “to-dos.” Your professional life doesn’t need to be the same way.

Let BCS Voice & Data Solutions bring you the peace of mind you deserve. We offer a number of services to businesses that take the pressure off of leaders and employees and streamline the IT processes that make companies work. Call us today about any of the following:

Happy holidays from BCS! We are your source for IT information and support. Relax this season. We’ve got your back. Call us today at (757) 497-3100.

What’s Not Working With Your Business’s Phone System?

Companies depend on a phone system to do more than just make and receive calls. Modern enterprise level phone systems offer video calling capabilities, mobile phone twinning and more. In combination with other communication technologies, the phone your employees use helps make business happen. When was the last time you evaluated your company’s phone situation? Start thinking about what may not be working for you and let BCS help. Common issues include:

  • Users finding the interface too complicated. Sometimes the system you’re using is excellent but your employees just need a little extra training to make the most of its features. Too many cool and helpful features are never utilized simply because the people using them don’t have the time to learn the ins-and-outs of the technology. BCS can train your employees on the advanced features of the latest phone systems. On the other hand, maybe your company could benefit from a line of phones with a simpler interface.
  • Hardware that has aged out. If you are trying to get things done with physical phones that simply can’t keep up with demands or are no longer compatible with other pieces of technology in your office, it’s time to upgrade. This is an inconvenient inevitability for older companies. The good news is that today’s phone systems are easier to update, rely more on software than hardware and maintain their usefulness longer.
  • Too many users, too little capacity. Growing businesses often run into this issue. Perhaps your cloud-based VoIP solution worked when there were only 5 dedicated users, but now you’re up to 20 users and the network can’t handle the volume without downtime. It may be time to move up to a premise-based phone system.

No matter the type of phone system your business needs, BCS is ready to meet your needs. This involves an assessment of your current phone infrastructure, the unique needs of your business, and training employees on new or complex systems. Based in Virginia Beach, BCS Voice and Data provides business phone systems to SMEs and large companies all over the nation. Call us today at 1 (800) 365-8067 to learn more.

 

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:

Should You Outsource IT Support?

What are your biggest barriers to productivity and progress as a business owner? If you’re like most people, technology issues are near the top the list. Whether it’s a hacked server or the time and energy required for keeping software and hardware up to date, some people find that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to effectively keep IT management in house.  This is especially true for small businesses with smaller staff sizes. One effective solution that many companies take advantage of is IT outsourcing and management. Would it be a good fit for your business? Consider these factors.

  • The size and skill diversity of your team. Like we implied, businesses with fewer employees tend to put many hats on each of those employees.  If the person replacing the toner in the copier is the same person you call when the network is down, you may benefit from outsourcing those network related tasks.
  • The extent of your IT needs.  Do you only have a few computers and a basic business phone system or is your situation more complex? If you have intricate structured cabling or require an enterprise-level cloud environment, outsourcing could help free up precious time.
  • The potential for a hybrid IT management strategy. When making IT support decisions, business owners sometimes take an “all or nothing” approach by default. Either they keep it all in house or outsource all technology and network related tasks. This doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, many of our clients thrive by hiring us to work with their IT staff.

What Can BCS Voice & Data Handle for You? 

At BCS, we tailor our IT support services to each company’s unique needs. Some of these services include:

  • 24/7 network monitoring
  • Priority queuing
  • Server maintenance
  • Onsite hardware maintenance for clients in Virginia Beach and beyond
  • Anti-Virus updates
  • Backup monitoring
  • Periodic security audits

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.