5 Tips to prevent VoIP downtime

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony systems are more mobile, have greater functionality, and cost less than traditional landline phones. But like any type of IT, VoIP is vulnerable to disruptions caused by equipment failure, disasters, and cyberattacks. To make your VoIP systems more resistant to unforeseen and adverse events, follow these tips.

Choose your provider wisely

When choosing which VoIP system to adopt for your company, carefully evaluate the service level agreements offered by each provider. Inquire about the provider’s security and availability guarantees and how these will be achieved.

Ideally, you must partner with the firm that can host your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters such as flash floods or earthquakes. Your provider should also employ advanced network security solutions to protect your calls and data.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services

Before implementing any of the next two VoIP continuity solutions, install a third-party VoIP monitoring service to keep tabs on the status of your phone system. This tool will identify all network issues disrupting your phone system, enabling you to resolve them quickly.

Have a backup broadband line

Since VoIP solutions are dependent on internet connections, you should have a backup or alternate internet service provider (ISP) in case your main network goes down.

Have one ISP dedicated to your VoIP service and another supporting your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to the other should one network fail. Thus, if your main phone network goes down, your VoIP solution switches to the other network and suffers no interruptions.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses. But if you perform a cost-benefit analysis, you’ll find that the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of downtime in case your only ISP were to fail.

Route calls to mobile devices

Cloud-based VoIP solutions allow you to choose where you receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. This enables staff to receive work-related calls when they’re out of the office on a remote assignment, working at home, or when your main office is hit by a local disaster or network outage.

To benefit from this feature, register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure such devices to receive rerouted calls. Don’t forget to set policies for remote working. For instance, you should forbid staff from connecting to public Wi-Fi networks because this can put them at risk of cybercriminals eavesdropping on VoIP conversations.

Test your continuity measures regularly

There’s little value in VoIP continuity and disaster recovery strategies if they end up failing when you need them the most. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your strategies and make the necessary adjustments to avoid potential hiccups from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, test, and monitor powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone systems to ensure your communications are always online.

This post was originally published on this site

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when investing in IT

Investing in new IT solutions can make your team more productive, ensure compliance with industry regulations, and improve the outputs you deliver to your customers, among other outcomes. But if you really want to maximize the returns you gain from any new tech investments, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

Spending without finding the perfect fit

Advertisers would have you believe that the newest technology will solve all your problems. While the latest cloud or virtualization offering will likely improve things for many companies, they may not work for everyone.

Don’t let the flash and hype of new products impress you. Carefully think about the results you want to achieve with technology. Make a list of your goals and see if they can be fulfilled through a new IT investment. A good IT provider should guide and not confuse you and should see to it that you make the best choice.

Believing everything will magically work together

As technology evolves, it tends to become more user-friendly, helping people work better and faster. However, some solutions do not follow that route and many business owners mistakenly assume that their new tech investments will work well with their existing IT systems.

Incompatible technologies can result in massive and costly downtimes that can cripple your business. Therefore, you need to be smart and do your research, or consult an IT professional before making tech purchases.

Not training your team

Just because you’ve found and purchased powerful new technology that integrates well with your existing infrastructure doesn’t mean you can set them and forget them. New systems won’t magically boost your company’s outputs and increase its bottom line. To achieve your desired results, your team will have to know how to use your tech investments first.

Keep in mind that not all of your employees may be able to quickly get a handle on new tools. Some may simply prefer the technologies they’ve become accustomed to. If you can, have IT experts who have considerable experience in your new tools train your staff. Because of their knowledge, these specialists will know how to simplify complicated steps and can offer tips on how to get the most out of your tech investments. Your IT provider is a good place to start when looking for an expert who will handle training.

Forgetting your budget

More and more IT solutions are packaged with pay-as-you-go monthly pricing. While this is a great way to help you avoid a large upfront capital investment, implementing too many different technologies quickly without thinking about recurring costs can exhaust your finances.

Think carefully before opening your wallet. Do a little research, draft a budget, or get help from a consultant. These steps will spare you from a lot of frustrations in the future.
Not getting feedback

Before you purchase new tech, consult the employees who will be using the new technology on a daily basis. Remember that not everyone may feel at home with fresh tools. They might even discover some downsides you aren’t aware of.

Need an IT professional to create a complete technology solution for your business? We’re happy to serve you.

This post was originally published on this site

Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when investing in IT

Investing in new IT solutions can make your team more productive, ensure compliance with industry regulations, and improve the outputs you deliver to your customers, among other outcomes. But if you really want to maximize the returns you gain from any new tech investments, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

Spending without finding the perfect fit

Advertisers would have you believe that the newest technology will solve all your problems. While the latest cloud or virtualization offering will likely improve things for many companies, they may not work for everyone.

Don’t let the flash and hype of new products impress you. Carefully think about the results you want to achieve with technology. Make a list of your goals and see if they can be fulfilled through a new IT investment. A good IT provider should guide and not confuse you and should see to it that you make the best choice.

Believing everything will magically work together

As technology evolves, it tends to become more user-friendly, helping people work better and faster. However, some solutions do not follow that route and many business owners mistakenly assume that their new tech investments will work well with their existing IT systems.

Incompatible technologies can result in massive and costly downtimes that can cripple your business. Therefore, you need to be smart and do your research, or consult an IT professional before making tech purchases.

Not training your team

Just because you’ve found and purchased powerful new technology that integrates well with your existing infrastructure doesn’t mean you can set them and forget them. New systems won’t magically boost your company’s outputs and increase its bottom line. To achieve your desired results, your team will have to know how to use your tech investments first.

Keep in mind that not all of your employees may be able to quickly get a handle on new tools. Some may simply prefer the technologies they’ve become accustomed to. If you can, have IT experts who have considerable experience in your new tools train your staff. Because of their knowledge, these specialists will know how to simplify complicated steps and can offer tips on how to get the most out of your tech investments. Your IT provider is a good place to start when looking for an expert who will handle training.

Forgetting your budget

More and more IT solutions are packaged with pay-as-you-go monthly pricing. While this is a great way to help you avoid a large upfront capital investment, implementing too many different technologies quickly without thinking about recurring costs can exhaust your finances.

Think carefully before opening your wallet. Do a little research, draft a budget, or get help from a consultant. These steps will spare you from a lot of frustrations in the future.
Not getting feedback

Before you purchase new tech, consult the employees who will be using the new technology on a daily basis. Remember that not everyone may feel at home with fresh tools. They might even discover some downsides you aren’t aware of.

Need an IT professional to create a complete technology solution for your business? We’re happy to serve you.

This post was originally published on this site

Why business continuity plans fail

Even the best managed IT services provider (MSP) can overlook certain business continuity plan (BCP) details. This is why businesses should always be on the lookout for the following pitfalls of BCP to ensure that the plan works as it should.

Over-optimistic testing

The initial testing attempt is usually the most important, because it’s when MSPs can pinpoint potential pain points in the recovery plan. However, they usually test the system in full, instead of in phases. This can cause MSPs to overlook specific points, with too many factors overwhelming them all at the same time.

Insufficient remote user licenses

MSPs give remote user licenses to businesses so that employees can access a remote desktop software when they need to, like when a disaster strikes. However, a provider may only have a limited number of licenses. In some cases, more employees will need access to the remote desktop software than a provider’s license can allow.

Lost digital IDs

When a disaster strikes, employees will usually need their digital IDs so they can log in to the MSP’s remote system while the office system is being restored. However, digital IDs are not automatically saved when a desktop is backed up. So when an employee uses their “ready and restored” desktop, they are unable to access the system with their previous digital ID.

Absence of a communications strategy

MSPs often use email to notify and communicate with business owners and their employees when a disaster happens. However, this form of communication may not always be reliable in certain cases, such as during spam intrusions.

Instead, you can use emergency communication applications such as AlertMedia or Everbridge. These programs automate necessary actions such as sending out mass notifications, sharing information, and mobilizing teams to prevent operational disruptions, so your MSP can easily notify you in case of any disaster.

Backups that require labored validation

After a system has been restored, IT technicians and business owners need to check whether the restoration is thorough and complete. This becomes an arduous task when the log reports are not easy to compare. This usually happens when MSPs utilize backup applications that don’t come with their own log modules and have to be acquired separately.

These are just some reasons why business continuity plans fail. While you should trust that your MSPs will secure your systems, it is important for business owners to be involved with any process that pertains to your IT infrastructure. Just because you believe something works doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually does. If you have questions regarding your business continuity plan, get in touch with our experts today.

This post was originally published on this site