Category Archives: Teledata News

Telecom Broker Considerations

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Telecom Broker

Businesses have more options than ever when it comes to choosing a Telecom Broker.  Here are some things to consider when making a decision that can achieve optimal performance and best value for your situation.

Experience:

  • How many years of experience does your Telecom Broker have working withTelecom Broker Service customers and suppliers?
  • With all the rapid changes in Telecom, how does your Telecom Broker stay informed with the latest technology and options available?
  • If your business has multiple locations or international offices, does your Telecom Broker have the resources and experience in working with multi-site companies?

Right Provider – Right Solution – Right Price

  • Can your Telecom Broker offer you real time price comparisons between service providers to make sure you are getting the best price?
  • Is your Telecom Broker able to provide you with bids from multiple vendors that include wholesale options?
  • Does your Telecom Broker have the experience to review telecom service contracts and identify any services that may need changing?

Value

  • Will your Telecom Broker manage telecom installs, and do they have a support or project manager to assist?
  • What type of resources are available from your Telecom Broker to assist your business when a telecom outage happens?
  • As the market place changes, will your Telecom Broker be proactive in updating you of the latest telecom mergers, changes and acquisitions that may affect your business?

There are a lot of Telecom Brokers out there competing for your business. By keeping these considerations in mind, you can be assured that you will be going into your broker selection process with the right questions that will assure you make the right choice.

 

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

This is Channel Partner’s Week in Las Vegas

It has already been a year since we were last in Las Vegas for the Channel Partner Channel Partner's ExpoConference and Expo. It is always a great opportunity to meet with service providers, manufacturers and resellers. We get to stay up to date on what’s new and what’s coming in the telecom services world…..and maybe take in a show or two. If any of you are out here too, contact us. We would love to see you.

 

 

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides voice, data, mobile and cloud business solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact the TeleData Select team at 404-257-1502 or CONTACT US  for via email for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of upgrading to a new cloud based contact center.

 

 

baby NY and Father Time

Looking back on Technology

While walking the aisles of Best Buy the other day, I got to thinking about how far technology has come in my life time. It is said that the cell phone in your pocket has 1000’s of times more computing power than the computer that got the Apollo 11 to the moon and back. I thought it would be fun to see how much 2017 technology used by us consumers has changed over the years.  

Computers:

Dual Floppy Disk Drives were how we shared information before the internet and computer viruses. At 1.44 megabytes, they wouldn’t come close to being able to store a single picture from your phone, a single MP3 song or the average Kindle Book.

Old Desktop PC        Tablet Computer

Phones:

When a phone was just a phone but one of the coolest things you thought you would ever see.

Old Brick Phone               iPhone X    

Cable TV:

Unless you count a younger sibling that you could order around, the first cable box didn’t have a remote and needed a clear channel 2 or 3 to work on.

Old Cable Box       Cable Channel Lineup Screen             

Video Rental:

Remember “Be Kind, Rewind”?

Blockbuster Sign    Netflix Home Screen

Video Gaming:

It would be an interesting test to see how long the original game of pong would keep a gamer’s attention today…..

    Modern Gamer Setup 

Watches:

Its amazing how a smart watch went from Nerd to Hip!

Calculator Watch    Smart Watch        

 

Sure, I still don’t have flying car in my garage but we definitely have come a long way in a very short time. The really impressive thing about these advancements is that with all of these giant step advancements, the prices continues to fall making them available to wider and wider audiences. This pushes demand for more and more technology that makes people’s lives better and look forward to using.

We look forward to updating this post next year to see how the photos above will change and what photos we use that we can’t even imagine now. Have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018.

 

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

Austin Mural

We are at the Channel Partners Evolution Conference

Channel Partners Evolution Logo

Hello from the Great State of Texas, Austin in particular. We are here for the 2017 Channel Partners Evolution Conference. The theme this year is about how solution providers must evolve to meet the changing needs of the end customers. There will be presentations of the latest technology offerings, innovative business strategies, speakers from the industry and more. Agents, VARs, MSPs, integrators and consultants will converge to meet vendors with state-of-the-art services and partner programs, network with peers and take in a new slate of educational programming.

It will be a busy couple of days but don’t doubt that we won’t be taking in some of that famous Texas BBQ that we have been hearing so much about.

Follow us on twitter as we update you on the comings and goings.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

Demarcation Point Image

Jargon Busting…What is a demarcation point?

In telephony terms, the demarcation point is where the public telecom services (telephone, cable, fiber, etc) connects with the customer’s on-premise wiring. In most situations, it is the dividing line which determines who is responsible for installation and maintenance of wiring and equipment; the customer/subscriber, or telephone company/provider.

Demarcation ClosetThe Demarcation point is usually in a separate room or closet from the customer’s office space or server/network room to limit the telecom service technician traffic to these areas. At the very least it should be in a locked, limited access location.

It is commonly abbreviated as demarc, DMARC. Some sort of network device, such as a router, switch or patch panel, often serves as the demarcation point.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via Contact us to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

Don Miller is a PMP certified Project Manager located in Greenville, SC. He has come to Teledata Select via Seattle, New York and Washington DC. His experience running small to multi-million dollar projects in the Banking, Software, Telecommunications and Insurance Industries across the US has given him a wide range of business experience.

Georgia Relay – Supporting Communication for the Communication Impaired

Teledata Select is spreading the word about the Georgia Replay Project.

Georgia Relay is a FREE public service provided by the State of Georgia to make communicating by telephone easy, accessible and reliable for everyone, including people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking.

For more information, Contact Georgia Relay

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling.  Contact us for a detailed discussion of your specific business technology needs.

Announcement: TeleData Select Partners with Nexmo

Sample Live Chat Window

Teledata Select is excited to announce that we have partnered with Vonage to offer their Nexmo service. Nexmo provides cloud based communication application program interfaces (API) to let other people and businesses integrate various forms of personalized communications, such as messaging, into their own applications.

Nexmo services are used by Uber, AirBnB, Alibaba, Snapchat, Expedia, KLM and others to provide:

  • Alert notifications
  • Realtime Chat via an App or webpage
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Mobile coupons and marketing promotions

Nexmo is a low cost solution that can help you add that extra layer of customer service and interaction that might just be the next step for your company. Contact Us to get more information on what value Nexmo can add to you business.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to find opportunities for savings. better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling.  Contact us for a detailed discussion of your specific business technology needs.

My Experience with ATT Gig Fiber to my home

As a Telecom Broker and Consultant, I am always looking for better, faster, less expensive options for my customers as it relates to high speed internet, voice and hosted VoIP phone solutions. I remember when one T-1 with 768K of internet and 12 voice lines from XO Communications was $1.169.00 per month for a business customer. Now that same service can be had for around $300 or less per month.

I sometimes forget that I am a customer too. Each month I spend over $440.00 for Cell phone, TV and Internet to my home. When I received my last bill from ATT, I decided to check out ATT’s the NEW Gig Fiber service available in my neighborhood.  Like many of my customers, the thought of Gig fiber speeds was enticing and the price was about the same or slightly less than I am paying today. At my house, we use as much bandwidth as we can get so I was eager to take advantage of the speeds Gig Fiber can offer. I decided to make the upgrade.

When it came time to install my ATT Gig Fiber services, I was determined to make sure the Fiber was “home run” to my modem which needed to run thru the attic. I helped the ATT tech run the Fiber Optic Cable thru my attic which involved inhaling insulation, dust and who knows what all. By the time we finished, I was filthy and drenched in sweat from the sauna that is my attic in the Georgia heat.

So now our Fiber is installed and guess what?  There doesn’t seem to be a noticeable difference between ATT U-verse and the ATT Gig Fiber. I asked my wife if she noticed a difference and she said “No”.   What is up with that?  Don’t they advertise Gig Speeds? Well yes but this is consumer level service. It is shared with your neighbors does not come with an SLA (Service Level Agreement) meaning the speed can vary.

How Fast is Fast Enough?

In addition to the advertised bandwidth from the provider, the capabilities of your home/office equipment that can limit the internet speeds you experience. Every piece of your network can have an impact on what internet speeds you’ll experience. Can your computer’s wireless card handle the speed? Are your switches and/or routers able to pass thru the extra speed?   Check these before you run your speed test to get bragging rights on how fast your internet speed is.

Would I upgrade my home to Gig Fiber again, knowing that I’ll probably only get a few Mbps of extra speed? Probably not.

On the other hand, if it is your business that needs a faster internet connection, make sure you evaluate a true “business class” internet connection that comes with an SLA.  You may pay more for a business class fiber connection, but by understanding your bandwidth needs, you won’t have to pay for more than you need. Or better yet, renegotiate your current agreement with a faster speed for less than your paying today.

Call us today and we’d be happy to share our stories with you in how we help many different sized businesses reduce their costs while getting more services.  Plus, we will take the hassle out of switching services providers. High Speed Internet, Business Phone System and Project management is what we help our customers do at TeleData Select.

 

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to find opportunities for savings. better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling.  Contact us for a detailed discussion of your specific business technology needs.
Customer Service Solutions

Clarifying Your Business’s Technical Needs

Following up on last week’s post regarding a review of your telecom solution, this week we’ll go into detail on what a review involves.

My experience is in Project Management of large Fortune 100 company infrastructure deployments supporting network and software requirements. That focus word there is requirements. My project budgets were often in the $5 to $10 million range. In that range, there is no return policy. When that invoice is fulfilled, you own the hardware and software regardless of whether it meets your needs or not. We always started by defining the problem we were trying to solve and what needs we were trying to fulfill. From that, we would build a requirements list and work with the vendors to create an overall solution.

Understanding exactly what the business needs are is one of the hardest things to define. Sometimes what a user thinks they want, can be much different from what they actually need. What engineering understands the request to be may be filtered through a history of bias for and against a technical solution.

A good Systems and Business Analyst can clear the fog and confusion. The analyst function is to understand the user’s work flow and get to the bottom of what they really need to do their job. The user requirements are then converted to technical requirements that are used by engineering to develop a solution that will meet the user requirements. That solution than goes out to vendors for bidding. Finance should definitely be involved in the process so they can make sure the expected costs are known ahead of time.

I am the first to admit that Fortune 100 companies have those job roles fulfilled in spades. It is uncommon that smaller companies have the skills on-site that can do all this work. It is common to contract analysts, project managers and engineers to fill the gap. The caveat is to make sure that you hire independent resources that won’t push you towards one solution or another based on their biases and partnerships.

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to find opportunities for savings. better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling.  Contact us for a detailed discussion of your specific business technology needs.

SD-WAN, The right solution for you?

We are back from the 2017 Channel Partner Expo and Conference in Las Vegas. Lots of buzz about SD-WAN (Software Defined, Wide Area Networks) and how SD-Wan can effectively replace traditional MPLS networks. Our experience with traditional network solutions is that they can be complex to manage, generally don’t scale quickly and are not always the best value. But we have to work with what’s available. Now there is another option, SD-WAN technology is a rapidly maturing technology that is garnering vendor support from major companies like Cisco, Riverbed and SilverPeak.

 

A few highlight of how SD-WAN can be a good fit.

  • Seamless Failover – SD-WAN can combine 2 or more internet links to create enhanced bandwidth capacity for one or more locations.
  • Rapid Deployment – As a company grows, SD-WAN can be deployed rapidly without the longer install time line typical with MPLS.
  • Lower location costs – By using cloud based network management software, managing networks over multiple locations is much easier.
  • QOS over any network or internet connection – SD-WAN makes it possible to increase performance for mission critical applications like voice and video traffic.
  • Centralized WAN Management – SD-WAN uses cloud based network management software simplifying network management over multiple locations much easier.
  • Firewall & Router – One device can replace a firewall and router.
  • Cloud VPN – Network traffic can be encrypted from the branch site to the headquarters over the public internet.

Based on what we are seeing with the technology, SD-WAN is something worth considering. Especially if you are currently using an MPLS network design. Contact us to discuss how SD-WAN may meet your telecommunication needs.

TeleData Select is an independent Telecom Broker founded in Atlanta, GA in 2006 with a single concept in mind: finding the Right Provider, Right Solution and Right Price for our customers — regardless of the telecom communication carrier. As technology changes, our team keeps up with the latest telecom options and service providers so we can truly be an agnostic resource that customers can count on for unbiased advice.

 

Polycom’s RealPresence Trio Speakerphone

I had the pleasure to attend a Conference late last year and got a chance to hear one of the founders of Polycom speak.  Polycom started in 1990 with a vision of transforming the simple speaker phone into an indispensable business tool.  Since then, they have become a global leader in video, voice and content collaboration solutions for industries and enterprises of all types and sizes.   You have seen the distinctive space ship styled speakerphone in a Conference Room, more than likely it was Polycom.

Polycom’s Real Presence Trio

This speakerphone is a smart hub for group collaboration that takes the basic three point Conference room phone and integrates it with voice, video and content sharing for large or small businesses.

The phone is simple to use, sleek and sounds great.  It has a very cool 5-inch color touch screen and intuitive navigation menu making it very simple.  I recently won one of these these cool phones at this years 2017 Channel Partner Expo in Las Vegas.  CONTACT US if you want to see one up close or have a demo.

In the meantime, click this LINK for the Polycom’s YouTube video demonstrating the RealPresence Trio.

 

 

The Windstream Earthlink Merger is Approved

Have you seen the news report that the Windstream and Earthlink merger was approved?    From the press release the merger will leverage both company’s infrastructures to strengthen their competitiveness and provide a better feature set to their customers.

That is all well and good but we have been through mergers before and they can be a very bumpy ride for customers when calling the support desk.    Many times what happens is you call the company only to be transferred to another agent because the agent you called does not have access to your account.   You then get transferred to another agent and you then have to explain your situation again or your call gets dropped and you have to start the entire process over again which really eats into your day.   If your lucky, you will finally get ahold of someone that can help. 

Mergers in Telecom are challenging.   Just recently XO was bought by Verizon Telecom, we also saw Level3 purchase TW Telecom.  Avaya a PBX phone system manufactures filled Chapter 11 bankruptcy and now Windstream merges with Earthlink?   So while the merger sounds good, you need to watch out for the pitfalls and challenges a merger can bring to your day to day telecom account.   It always helps to have a trusted advocate and resource.   

I am confident we’ll see more and more mergers in the coming years especially with premises based PBX phone providers and hosted cloud based VoIP providers.  

 TeleData Select is an independent telecom agent and consulting company based in Atlanta, GA.   WE help companies in three Primary areas:  Finding the best business internet service at the best price, Finding the best VoIP phone service and the third is we project manage everything so our customer do not have to deal with telecom “Stuff”  

 What makes us unique from other companies in the industry is that our 1) Experience allows for an unbiased objective analysis of options. 2) We provide comprehensive telecom bill audits.  3)  Our 7 step quality management process insures that deliverables and timelines are met. 4)  We validate our customer bills to make sure they are compliant with the carrier agreements and most importantly 5)  In the real-world things don’t always work as planned.  Should that happen, our team is always available as your one point of contact to streamline communications among all parties to get you up and running as quickly as possible. 

The Next Big Thing is Already Here.

Businesses now have the ability to merge all or most of their telecom tools under one overarching system to increase efficiency and lower costs.

This is termed Unified Communications (UC). It’s defined as the integration of the equipment, software and services tools that help people exchange ideas and do their jobs more effectively. It includes E-mail, Internet, Video Conferencing, Telephones, Cloud Computing and other tools that businesses are already using. A good UC implementation makes it easy to support new technologies and growth.

Contact Teledata Select for more information on how consolidating all of your telecommunication needs under the Unified Communications Platform can help you realize its benefits.

http://teledataselect.com/contact-us/

5 Things a Business Should Consider When Making a Telecom Change

Reliability & Service

In the course of making a decision on what telecom company to choose, you will face several decisions on what type of service is best for your business. This decision is based on a thorough understanding of your telecommunications requirements compared against available telecom solutions:
  • Compare the services provided by the various telecom companies for your location(s).
  • Understand the potential costs to your business of lost internet connectivity or voice issues.   
  • Reputable telecom carriers provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlining the services to be provided, metrics to be used to measure compliance to the agreement and remediation if the agreed service levels are not met. What does this mean for your business?
  • In the case where SLA’s are not met.  You will need to compare the costs of managing service issues and determine if you want to work to resolve those issues yourself, or have it done for you.  If you do choose to do it yourself, will you have the information and resources needed to resolve the issue quickly and expeditiously?

New Technology Upgrades – Phone systems

Your business may face a number of decisions when it comes to upgrading or purchasing new technology. Those decisions will include:
  • Will your communications systems reside “in the cloud”… and what does that mean for your business?
  • What are the long term advantages/disadvantages of buying or leasing new technology hardware and services?
  • Do you have staff and floor/rack space needed to support an on-site solution?

Backup & Redundancy

It is pretty common that small and medium sized businesses prioritize their day to day operations over preparing for the outside chance of a Telecom Service Outage. But the impacts of a service outage can cost your business varying degrees of time, money and reputation. Take a moment to consider the following:
  •  How will you continue to operate in the case of a telecom outage?
  • How would a telecom outage of minutes, hours or days impact your business? 
  • Who on your team would manage outage resolution and return to normal operations? 
  • How would you go about retrieving critical data in the case of data loss or corruption?

   Scalability – Contract Terms

Many businesses are faced with near and long term changes in their telecommunications needs and usage.  
  •  How does your current or planned telecommunications systems support variable or changing usage patterns? 
  • Does your current or planned telecommunications systems easily support a physical relocation of your business? 
  • The internet has becomes critical in accessing business applications and data. What service providers can upgrade your team’s web based tools within days or hours?
  • In most cases, a business can reduce costs by signing a long term agreement. However, do the constraints and obligations of the long term agreement negate the cost savings?      
  • Is it worth the extra savings to sign a three year agreement?     

Billing and Support

Beyond pricing, there are differences between the Telecommunications providers in how they handle the customer relationship after the sale.  
  • What is the Carrier’s reputation for billing accuracy?
  • How quickly are billing questions answered and resolved?
  • How does the Carrier respond to user support questions and comments?

Bandwidth speeds more important than ever

It is predicted that by 2017, there will be around 268 billion app downloads. The average person already uses 26 different apps per month. This growth is clearly driven by the younger work force, who use their mobile devices and tablets for both work and play. All of these apps use a lot of data, and so there is a problem on the horizon: all of this data use will lead to pervasive network strain, which will in turn result in performance problems in both apps and network-based services. This data overload creates frustration in both users and providers. App users will simply delete apps that do not perform well. This means fewer customers for Telcos and app providers.

The Data Challenge for Telcom Carriers

Therefore, Telcos have a challenge in front of them: invent new ways to improve user experience by making them more data efficient and scalable. The question on a lot of IT experts’ minds is: is it finally time for Telcos and app providers to work together to unclog the bandwidth bottleneck? The answer is still unclear, but intelligent data distribution is one solution everyone can agree on at the moment, i.e. Telcos can optimize their current network assets while app developers work to design more apps that use less data.

The Importance of Wide Area Networks Within Telcom Providers

In order to stay sustainable, Telcos need to offer more in connectivity. A solid Wide Area Network (WAN) is essential in accelerating applications and keeping traffic separate. It is also critical for day to day business operations; it both reduces operating costs and provides a level of predictability for system performance. Wide Area Networks consolidate costly tools, such as printers, phone lines, file storage, bandwidth, and security, because these items do not have to be purchased for each individual computer. Telcos are also learning that not taking advantage of Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is putting their business at a competitive disadvantage. Telcos need to be able to interconnect multiple locations and ensure the highest level of data connectivity performance between multiple locations. Equally important for Telcos is the advent of Ethernet over Copper (EoC). For small to medium businesses, EoC can gain greater bandwidth and flexibility in order to support various IP-based applications, including disaster recovery, Cloud, and IP voice services.

 

Proactive Networking Monitoring: What & Why

Your business relies more and more on healthy network infrastructure. Migration to Cloud, Compliance and IT Security all fuel the case to proactively monitor your network health. By proactively scanning your network, you can identify bottlenecks and other irregularities that could impact your network performance and network security. Identifying network compromise in advance will save your business time and money in the long run.

Here are some considerations of what to proactively monitor on your network and why:

Monitor Your Network Performance

Network performance monitoring may identify a number of issues impacting your employee productivity. In some cases it may be a hardware failure (network switch or router) that is causing intermittent outage. Data-intensive applications (e.g. remote backup, call center or VoIP) may need optimization to improve overall network performance. Regular proactive network monitoring will identify these issues that can easily be remediated to avoid any unnecessary downtime, loss of employee productivity, or other failures such as dropped calls and failed backups.

Monitor Your Network Access

A periodic scan of devices attached to your network will identify any unauthorized access to your network. You may identify devices including desktop, laptop and mobile access from terminated employees, unauthorized access on your wireless network, and other potential compromises to your network. A regular scan of your network helps you stay in compliance and avoid any security compromise.

Monitor Your Network Utilization

By monitoring your network utilization, you may identify usage patterns impacting your overall network performance. Social media and streaming technologies can chew up your company bandwidth. By monitoring your utilization you may need to implement internal policies on use of streaming and digital media to free up bandwidth for mission-critical services.

Monitor Your Network Security

Your network is as strong as its weakest link. Periodically monitor your network endpoints to ensure Operating System patch, Antivirus and Malware definitions are all up to date. One device out of compliance could be infected and compromise your entire network.

Proactive Network Monitoring is a healthy best practice that saves you money and time while reducing business risk. If you are unsure of your network health or need to know more about network monitoring contact TeleData Select today.  support@teledataselect.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IPhone Tips

Myself and Bill Gates be the only people that use a Windows Phone, however anywhere iphone
you look most people have an IPhone. When my family and I took a trip to Italy one summer the cab driver who picked us up was using an IPhone. While I have use an Android Tablet and a IPad I still like my Windows Phone for ease of use when searching business contacts. But let’s face it, a good many people use IPhones and love them. Here are a few tips from our friends and Network1 Consulting using the new IPhone 6S.

ttp://network1consulting.com/tuesday-tip-helpful-iphone-tips/h

Bill Consolidation

Factors to consider when making a Telecom Decison

Bill Consolidation Here are the things to consider when making a decision that achieves optimal perform and best value for your situation.

How much experience does your Telecom Broker have?

  • How many years’ experience does your Telecom Broker have working with customers and suppliers?
  • What kind of supplier relationships does your Telecom Broker have?
  • With all the rapid changes in Telecom, how does a Telecom Broker stay informed with the latest technology and options available?
  • If your business has multiple locations or international offices, does your Telecom Broker have the resources and experience in working with multi-site companies?
  • Does your Telecom Broker have the ability and experience to consolidate multiple location bills with diverse products on a single bill?

Right Provider – Right Solution – Right Price

  • How does your Telecom Broker make sure you are getting the best price?
  • How does your Telecom Broker demonstrate in detail what service options are the right solution for your company?
  • How does the Telecom Broker offer you real time price comparisons between service providers?
  • How does your Telecom Broker provide you with multiple vendors that include wholesale options?
  • What is needed from your Telecom Broker to show you how they can manage, monitor and control expenses related to Telecom services.
  • If your business uses audio and video conferencing services, what type of solutions does your Telecom Broker have?
  • When reviewing changes to your business phone system, how does your Telecom Broker show you what options are best for your business?
  • Does your Telecom Broker have the experience to review telecom service contracts and what items may need changing?

Value

  • How does your Telecom Broker pre-plan to minimize errors with telecom services?
  • When issues happen with telecom services, how does my Telecom Broker escalate trouble tickets when the going gets tough?
  • How does your Telecom Broker manage telecom installs, and do they have a support or project manager to assist?
  • What type of resources are available from my Telecom Broker to assist my business when a telecom outage happens?
  • As the market place changes, what does my Telecom Broker do to keep me up to date with the latest telecom mergers, changes and acquisitions that may affect my business?
  • Most people do not want to deal with their phone and internet provider, what does my telecom broker do to minimize my interaction with the telecom provider.

 

Research-Source-Deploy & Save

When was the last time you reviewed your business Telecom cost?     We recently did a telecom audit for a customer and discovered they were paying for a 10Meg  Fiber circuit they were not even using.  Let us provide your company a complimentary telecom audit and analysis today!  http://teledataselect.com/products-and-services/#telecom-expense-management

 

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9 Top Reasons To Use Telecom Brokers

Multiple Carrier Options:   Would you like to deal with one person for all you communication services, rather than dealing with a sales person from each company?    The broker will have contacts with many carriers and vendors which means he or she can quickly acquire quotes and information without you requesting it yourself.  A big time saver, especially when evaluating multiple locations and offers from vendors.

More Expertise:     A typical telecommunications company will have over 50%  sales turn over each year and end up hiring inexperienced sales people to fill positions.   Many Telecom Brokers have had years of experience working at various telecom companies,  they understand technology and are able to compare company A and company B.

Satisfaction:  Telecom Brokers long term success is dependent on the ongoing satisfaction of their customers.    Each month, Telecom Bookers get paid a small (residual) commission to manage the telecommunication service of their customers.  This ensures that Telecom Brokers/Consultants continue to provide clients with exceptional customer service for years.

Transparency:  Some telecom providers provide great pricing, but they take forever to install the services, others  have poor billing and are unorganized.  Good Telecom Brokers can explain the good and  bad of each carrier and what to expect.

No Sales Quotas:  Many telecom providers put their sales people under unrealistic sales quotas and end up with pushy unprofessional sales staff and high turnover.    Good Telecom Brokers have a vested interest in a customer’s long term success, helping customers make informed educated decisions without the need of sales quotas.

Single Point of Contact:   All too often after you purchase telecom services and need help with billing or service issues the sales person that sold you the service has left.   You are now have known one to call for help and are left calling the companies  800 number which can frustrating and downright time consuming.    A good Broker can  help escalate, troubleshoot or get resolutions resolved much faster than dealing direct with a telecom provider

Consolidation:  Many companies with multiple locations and difference providers get multiple bills and need help consolidating services. .   Good Telecom Brokers understand “Telecom Aggregation” consolidating multiple services on one bill and providing  a “one stop shopping” model that saves time and money.

Pricing and Support:  In some cases Telecom Brokers offer better rates to their customers than going direct with the telecom company.   In fact, many Telecom companies in an effort to reduce cost have fired their sales staffs and only work with “indirect” or Telecom Brokers.

John Hagan is the President of TeleData Select.  TeleData Select is an independent Telecom Broker and Consultant based in Atlanta, GA representing just about every telecom provider across the US and abroad.  They understand the pitfalls customers make in “going it alone” and dealing direct with telecom providers.  Their industry knowledge along with having “seen in all” allows them to provide customers unbiased quality solutions for Voice, Data Mobile and Cloud Solutions.  Contact TeleData Select today for a complementary telecom audit, you may find ways to reduce telecom cost between 20-70% and enjoy the overall experience and time saver.          

Is Your Network at Home Secure

Four Tips for Securing Your Home Wireless Network.

Many folks spend more and more time working from home which can be a great time saver.  My wife had worked out of our home for many years and finds she is more productive than driving to the office, parking the car in a large multi story parking garage and riding the elevator up to the 20th floor.

While my wife lives close to her office, it’s still takes about 25 minutes door to door.  As a business owner or someone working out of your home, chances are the security of your home network could be lacking and this can be a serious liability.

Some good pointers form Jack Marder:

  • Be aware of when you are sharing data. If you have any files in a public folder, move them to a more secure location.
  • Use a strong password for all your wireless networks. A string of letters, number and symbols about 14 characters long is best.
  • Use WPA2 security. Make sure your router is set up correctly. If you are using WEB or WPA security, change it as soon as possible.
  • Change your network’s name (SSID). Routers include a default name, and keeping the default tells potential intruders lax security measures may be in place.
  • Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices. Most home networks use a dynamic IP address. This is easy to set up but works to the advantage of the intruder.

Jack Marder with Zanacore Technologies discuss further how best to secure your home wireless network.

VoIP Buying Guide for Business

Features – What features are most important to your business? Does your business need auto attendant, voicemail sent to an email, mobile twinning (sending calls to both a cell phone and desk phone at the same time)? Does the receptionist want to see who is on the phone? How about the ability of having “hot desking”, the ability of logging into anyone’s phone and have it appear as your own. This feature works great for medical practices who have rotating staff working the front desk.

Equipment – What about the brand of phones that are used? Is the equipment proprietary or can it be used with other Hosted VoIP service providers? Should you purchase the equipment or rent each handset and what are the advantages? Make sure you are getting quality VoIP phones from a quality manufacture. Does each user on the system need a fancy phone with lots of features, most employees only use two or three features. Do you really need a cool looking conference room phone or will a basic handset do the trick? Many newer phones have excellent speaker phones, so a basic handset may work fine. A good provider should be able to offer multiple phone options as your business grows and expands.

Pricing – Many providers offer confusing or different pricing options. Some offer unlimited options that may be simple to understand but you pay for features not needed. Another consideration is whether to rent or buy phones. With some customers it makes sense to buy, but what happens when the phone breaks, who is responsible? The cost of renting phones has dropped dramatically, however pricing and features vary greatly. Make sure you understand how the companies long distance calling is priced; contrary to what many believe, Hosted VoIP is not free phone service.

Call Quality – This is where customers get burned and have poor VoIP call quality and get disappointed. It is important to know the difference between BYOY (Bring you own Bandwidth) compared to “managed VoIP” using a private MPLS data network. Some carriers provide an extra layer of call quality by using a managed router. Make sure you know the difference between managed and unmanaged services, there can be a big difference in call quality.

Vendor Experience – This is one of the most important considerations when considering a VoIP phone system. VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) has been around for many years and many service providers are now selling Hosted VoIP via the internet, out of car trunks, basements and garages. It would be disastrous for a business if the phone company went out of business and had control of your phone numbers? Make sure you find out how long the Hosted PBX provider has been in business, how many customers they support and the types of customers.

Disaster Recovery – It is very important to make sure you understand the providers network and how many POP’s (point-of-presence) they own and manage. Does the hosted PBX provider have built in intelligence that can determine when a business’s on-site phones stop working and can they re-rout calls to different numbers? How many network operation centers does the provider have, east and west coast only?

Summary – As Voice over Internet Protocol Communications gets better, Hosted VoIP PBX offers advanced features previously only available to much larger business all for a great value. Hosted or Cloud PBX phone service compared to traditional solutions offers no-hassle phone service without ongoing maintenance, service contracts, costly hardware and onsite trip charges.

Hosted Cloud VoIP Service can offer customers ease of management and outstanding features for the money.

John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta serving customers throughout the US and overseas.

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 End-of- Life

RIP-WS2003
Recently I was having lunch with one of our strategic partners that owns a successful  IT firm based in Atlanta.   One of the questions I asked during lunch:   What are some of the things customers should be concerned about in 2015 as it relates to their IT infrastructure?  My response was that customers need to be concerned about  End-of-Life for Windows 2003 server.   Windows 2003 was released in May of 2003 and Microsoft will end support officially July 15, 2015.   By Microsoft ending support and security patches, this will make Server 2003 more vulnerable to attacks, malware and ultimately a security risk.

Click on the link to learn more about  End-of-Life for Windows Server 2003  Windows Server 2003 Read More…

Technology Outlook 2015

996505-131022-cloud-computing-genericMany things enter our minds as we enter 2015 and what is to be expected in the area of technology in the upcoming year?   For many of us who run businesses, some of the technology changes came fast and furious in 2014.   I recently got a detailed lesson from my 18 year old daughter on Instagram, Snapchat and Vine.  She tells me no one uses Facebook anymore.  However, I am not so sure about that!  Several weeks ago I stopped in BestBuy to see what wasnew and cool and was checking out the 4K TV’s.    Just a few months ago 4K TV’s were $4,000, now you can buy a 4K TV for less than $1,300.   I only wish I held off a few months from buying my new 55 inch TV at Costco.

Technology changes fast and it is important to stay educated with the best options and solutions.  I have listed some things to expect in 2015.

Need for Network Security
Mobile applications and mobile search continue to drive the need for network security. Smartphone and tablet shipments are expected to outpace traditional desktops during 2015. With mobile devices on the rise, businesses need to ensure the security of these devices and prevent business networks from being compromised.

Cloud Adoption on the Rise in 2015
Estimates are that spending on hosted cloud services will exceed 25 billion by the end of 2015. Based on the dependence of using cloud computing, there will also be a larger focus on how best to secure customers data. We also need to be concerned with social and mobile encryption policies, along with disaster recovery and data protection. At TeleData Select we use Microsoft Dynamics CRM and are working to integrate our tablets and windows smartphones so we can access the same information on the go. Today’s customers and business need options that integrate many different elements which provide device convenience, but do not lack security.

Shop around for options
Before you buy any new equipment, explore all the different options for equipment, computer servers, phone systems, cloud providers and even internet service providers. The cost of internet service is getting lower all the time; plus there are some great deals from Hosted VoIP Telephone providers that have all the features of many high end PBX’s.
TeleData Select is an independent telecommunications agent and consulting company that provides Telecommunication solutions to small medium and large businesses. TeleData Select performs telecom audits, negotiates contracts and project manages the entire implementation process of voice and data services.

Hosted Cloud Phone Systems vs Premise Business Phone Service

Cloud PBX

So what are the advantages of a cloud based Hosted IP PBX vs. a premise based phone system? Let’s break it down to 4 simple components: Price, flexibility, ease of operation, and disaster recovery.

  • With a premise based system your primary expense is the “brain”, which you buy and it’s mounted on the wall in the phone closet. It’s outdated the moment it’s purchased. Any technology upgrades will have to be purchased at a later date.
  • Maintenance contracts. The moment you purchase your equipment, your representative will encourage to sign a long term maintenance contract to fix any ongoing problems you might have with the phones or the system.
  • Nothing flexible with a premise based system. Every time you want to move phones, extensions, add or subtract lines, you have to call a technician. (i.e. the need for that maintenance contract)
  • Even if you are under a maintenance contract, you still have to wait for the “certified” technician to be available to fix your problem. That can take hours or days!
  • Technology advancements: Unless you buy the upgrade you can’t make use of any advancements
  • No problems here. Most business owners know how to use their phones, features are very vanilla. Nothing new to learn here.

Disaster Recovery: There is none.

Compare the above to the feature rich, flexible of Hosted IP PBX:

Price:

  1.  No huge out of pocket for the “brain”. The brain is in the cloud being used by multiple clients.
  2.  Any technology upgrades are software downloads. Nothing to buy!
  3.  Handsets can be either leased or purchased
  4.  No maintenance contracts are needed

Flexibility:

  1. That is the beauty of this fabulous technology! It is completely flexible. Dial tone is generated by the static IP, phone can be moved at will. No tech needed!
  2. Pones mesh with Outlook so you can click to call.
  3. Need to work from home? Either download a soft phone, use the mobility feature, or pick up your phone and take it with you. As long as you have a reliable internet connection the phone will work and the caller ID will appear as if you are in the office!
  4. Need to add an office? So easy, just establish a reliable internet connection, order the phones, plug them into the Ethernet jack and you are good to go. It’s just that easy.
  5. No programing voice mail! Voice mail turns into a wave file and is delivered to your email.
  6. There are so many features available like call queuing, listen in, call recording, call detail. The possibilities are endless.

Ease of Use:

  1. Yes you will need to be trained but the phones and portal are so intuitive, no one should have a problem. If you can use a smart phone you’re already there!
  2. No more Remote Call Forwards! If you move an office you don’t have to worry about how you’ll move your main telephone number if you are crossing rate centers. That problem is a thing of the past!

Disaster Recovery:

  1.  By the very nature of the product, there is inherent disaster recovery.
  2. Should an office be destroyed by a natural disaster, you can be up and running the next day if you have a temporary location to work from and an internet connection.

There is so much more I could say about this HUGE technology advancement, but would take a book not a blog. To sum it up: what do I use in my own office? You guessed it, Hosted. The provider is the key and TeleData Select only works with established, reliable providers that know how to insure there is never a call quality issue. Call me or email us to learn more about Hosted Cloud Phone service.

TeleDataSelect is an independent telecommunications agent and consulting company that provides Telecommunication solutions to small, medium and large businesses. TeleDataSelect performs telecom audits, negotiates contracts, and project manages the entire implementation process. 

Telecom Aggregation

Have you given serious thought to using a carrier Aggregator?

Telecom%20BillsTypically, multi-location companies have multiple service providers across many different markets both domestically and internationally. This is a difficult task to manage!  From both an inventory, contract, and price prospective, the entire situation requires constant time and management.  For example:

How do you manage all the contracts and services from different providers?

  • How do you know you are getting the best rates and service offerings for data, voice TI, PRI, POTS(Plain old Telephone Lines), MPLS, Private line and wireless?
  • Is your business long distance rate the best you can get for 800 inbound and International long distance?
  • And all those bills!  Is anyone REALLY checking them?

There is a better way!

Wouldn’t it be easier to deal with one provider for all your voice, and data services in every market your company has an office?   One supplier, one bill and one contract with a dedicated team that can handle any and all issues for all voice, data and cloud services.
Telecom Aggregation can provide just that!  They are a cost-effective way to manage multiple sites and multiple carriers, integrating global voice and data services.  A one carrier integration approach can match underlying carrier strengths with clients’ needs to customize the most advanced, cost-effective and productive solutions for each customer and office.  All services can be delivered on one bill with a dedicated team handling all service related issues.  The end result, your precious time is saved and you are confident you are getting the best prices/term available.   Sounds like a win/win to me!

Key strengths in considering Telecom Aggregation.

  • Deliver a comprehensive portfolio of service solutions and streamline costs
  • Assemble, manage and seamlessly integrate multiple network providers into a single customer solution
  • Take the chore out of dealing with network focused carriers
  • Carrier portfolio and expertise to address clients evolving growth initiatives.
  • Can Customize reports or bills for multi-locations
  • Invoice can be paid by parent or individual sub-location
  • Customers can assign specific ledger numbers to each sub-location to assist customer with cost allocation
  • Provide 10 management reports; also can customize according to customers’ needs
  • Invoices can be sent in any format at no charge (PDF, Excel, CSV, etc.)
  • Wholesale contracts with every major 1st tier carrier in the nation that can customize solutions at the lowest possible cost
  • One call for support and trouble resolution
  • Improving overall support and simplify the customer experience

John Hagan is President of TeleData Select.  TeleData Select is an independent Telecom Broker and Consultant based in Atlanta, GA.  TeleData Select has over 45 years of Telecom experience and is happy to discuss the benefits of Telecom Aggregation.  Call or email TeleData Select for a compressive audit or review of your current telecom services.

Business Cable Internet Service

Today’s business are demanding faster, reliable, scalable business internet that is affordable.

When I first got in the telecom business many years ago, I remember selling voice and Business Cable internetdata T-1’s with 12 phone lines and 768K of data for $1,169.00.  Most customers would jump at the chance to sign up for the services especially compared to what the local LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) or ATT had to offer.  Today one T-1 is not enough Internet speed and customers are not about to pay  $1,169 for one T-1.

Business customers are demanding faster Internet like their home cable services which can deliver 10,  20 and 50Meg download speeds.   ATT Uverse, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Cable and Charter Cable now sell to businesses and offer speeds must faster and less expensive than traditional T-1’s or multiple T-1’s bonded together.    You can get a reliable 50 Meg download and 5 meg upload speed with basic cable television at your home for less than $139.00, why not for your business?

Comcast Cable, Cox Cable, Time Warner and Charter Cable are now selling high speed internet services to businesses at a fraction of the cost of traditional T-1’s.   Today’s businesses utilize the Internet to access essential business applications that can only be accessed over the internet.    Ethernet-based Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) and Cable Coax Internet access like the cable companies provide now offer businesses fast internet for a fraction of the coast of bonded T-1’s.

The Difference Between T-1 Internet and Cable Internet?

You may have had a sales person from a local internet service provider tell you they deliver their internet service via Fiber Optic cable and not Cable Coax or Ethernet.  They will tell you why Fiber is better and why their services are the only way to go.  Let’s face it, after many years in the telecom business I have found if you ask 5 people the same telecom related question you get 5 different answers, sound familiar?

Fiber, Coax, Copper, Ethernet, wireless are just different “delivery methods” for delivering  High Speed Internet services to the end user.  All “highways”  have distinct advantages and some disadvantages and each solution is priced  based on how easy your business can connect to the Telecom Companies network and what type of access they use.

Before you make any decision to switch of sign up for internet services, make sure you have all the facts and pricing options so you can make an informed decision.   Is it worth the extra money to have Fiber and is Fiber all that much better than Cable Coax?

John Hagan is President of TeleData Select.  TeleData Select is an independent Telecom Broker and Consultant based in Atlanta, GA.  John and his team have over 45 years of Telecom experience and are happy to consult with your business on the Right Solution, Right Price and Right Provider for Internet Service.  Click on the link to here how Greg Rush owner of Buyavette got connected with super high speed Business Cable Internet from Comcast.

Improving Internet Speed for faster uploads

Dedicated Servers vs Hosted or Cloud Servers

A key factor in choosing between a Dedicated Server and a Hosted Server is your short and long-term goals for growth.  What happens when you have outgrown your current server resources?  What is your estimated growth plan?  How many hours have you allocated for migration or performance tuning?  Adding CPU, memory or hard drive space to a Hosted Server can be done rather easy;  however there comes a point where you may want and need more dedicated performance.

Unless you purchase a Private Hosted solution, which most Hosted Providers can offer you will be operating in a Public Hosted environment which can be expensive.   Otherwise stated, this is still a shared storage and shared compute environment.  Thus, you will want to determine a time or resource point where a move to a Dedicated Server environment is best.

The move from Hosted Servers to a Dedicated Server or Servers environment is different for each company.  One key element in determining what provider to go with is to determine if the provider supports both Hosted and Dedicated Servers.  If so, this makes the migration and transition even easier.  If you select a Hosted provider (Company A) but then need to migrate to a Dedicated Server and Company A does not provide this type of service, you are now looking at migration to another provider completely, which adds additional issues to a migration.

Things like how the new company may handle support, the services they provide, the costs for those services, etc.  In short, this process can be both costly and time-consuming if not well planned and executed.  In such cases, having a fully managed hosting provider that offers both Hosted and Dedicated Servers is crucial to ensuring a smooth transition without delays.

Each organization differs significantly in their infrastructure needs. These needs will then change dramatically over time as the applications and business scale.  Unique requirements and growth opportunities are leading many organizations to seriously consider deployments of Hosted services and then over time, move to dedicated services.  For dynamic environments with a high degree of unpredictability in growth and/or seasonality, providers that have the ability to provide both solutions will be in high demand. For example, hybrid solutions fulfill the infrastructure needs for dedicated hardware performance while providing the cost efficiency, reliability, and elasticity of the Hosted. Also, for high availability environments, both Hosted Servers and Dedicated Servers will be in high demand as well as the business scales.

Have a conversation with your existing executive management and current solution provider(s) to identify the proper requirements for your organization before getting into deep discussions with additional solution providers.  Selecting the right provider from the start is critical

C.G McBride owner of Vitalysys Technologies is a strategic Parner of TeleData Select, we can help make recommendations about the best ways to get the flexibility, performance, economics, scalability, and reliability you require—regardless of the solution provider or direction you choose.

6 Considerations when Picking a Hosted Cloud VoIP PBX

Not all things are created equal, and when considering a new phone system for your business, not all Cloud Based VoIP Providers are the same.   Before you sign a contract, there can be huge differences among Hosted VoIP Providers.

Features – What features are most important to your business?  Does your business need auto attendant, voicemail sent to an email, mobile twinning (sending calls to both a cell phone and desk phone at the same time)?   Does the receptionist want to see who is on the phone?   How about the ability of having “hot desking”, the ability of logging into anyone’s phone and have it appear as your own.   This feature works great for medical practices who have rotating staff working the front desk.    Don’t forget to ask office workers what features they could use.

Equipment – What about the brand of phones that are used?  Is the equipment proprietary or can it be used with other Hosted VoIP services providers?   Should you purchase the equipment or rent each handset and  what are the advantages?   Make sure you are getting quality VoIP phones from a quality manufacture, the last thing you want to happen is finding out the phones you bought are not good quality.  Does each user on the system need a fancy  phone with lots of features, most employees only use two or three features.   Do you really need a cool looking conference room phone or will a basic handset do the trick?    Many newer phones have excellent speaker phones, so a basic handset may work fine.   A good provider should be able to offer multiple phone options as your business grows and expands.

Pricing – Many providers offer confusing or different pricing options.  Some offer unlimited options that  may be simple to understand but you pay for features not needed.  Another consideration is whether to rent or buy phones.    With some customers it makes sense to buy, but what happens when the phone breaks, who is responsible?  The cost of renting phones has dropped dramatically,  however pricing and features vary greatly.   Make sure you understand how the companies long distance calling is priced; contrary to what many believe, Hosted VoIP is not free phone service.

Call Quality – This is where customers get burned and have poor VoIP call quality and get disappointed.    It is important to know the difference between BYOY (Bring you own Bandwidth) compared to “managed VoIP”  using a private MPLS data network.  Some carriers provide an extra layer of call quality by using a managed router.  Make sure you know the difference between managed and unmanaged services, there can be a big difference in call quality.

Vendor Experience  – This is one of the most important considerations when considering a VoIP phone system.  VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) has been around for many years and many service providers are now selling Hosted VoIP via the internet, out of car trunks, basements and garages.   It would be disastrous for a business if the phone company went out of business and had control of your phone numbers?    Make sure you find out how long the Hosted PBX provider has been in business, how many customers they support and the types of customers.

Disaster  Recovery  – It is very important to make sure you understand the providers network and how many POP’s (point-of-presence) they own and manage.  Does the hosted PBX provider have built in intelligence that can determine when a business’s on-site phones stop working and can they re-rout calls to different numbers?  How many network operation centers does the provider have, east and west coast only?

Summary  – Hosted VoIP PBX offers advanced features previously only available to much larger business all for a great value.   Hosted or Cloud PBX phone service compared to traditional solutions offers no-hassle phone service without ongoing maintenance, service contracts, costly hardware and onsite trip charges.    While a hosted PBX offers customers ease of management;  an onsite or Premise PBX is can still be a more cost efficient solution.

John Hagan is President of  TeleData Select,  a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta serving customers throughout the US and overseas.  Their company providers business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses.  Contact John or their team  for a complementary telecom audit to make sure your getting the best value for communication services.  The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise VoIP phone system.

Computer backups for personal or home office

This Christmas Santa Clause finally decided to bring my 17 year daughter a new IMac Pro Computer, she was so excited and so was I! Over the years I keep telling me daughter she needed to back up her IPhone and PC pictures just in case she loses her computer or IPhone.

So this Christmas with her getting a new computer, I took the opportunity to educate my daughter the importance of backing up important data including the 1,000 pictures she accumulated on her old PC and IPhone. Just two weeks prior to Christmas, I purchased a terabyte hard drive made by Seagate at one of our local Costco Wholesale stores for $79.

Christmas day came and the computer came, however it was now time to help my daughter download her pictures onto the external hard drive and transfer to the new IMac. Big problem for dad when it came to uploading her pictures onto the IMac. This is where I stumbled miserably not knowing the IMac operating system. But after all are not Dads supposed to “fix things”!

I should have taken the Advice of Scott Spencer prior to Christmas. Scott is a senior marketing and brand expert with Convergent Marketing in Atlanta who’s firm is a total “Apple” shop. Scott suggested I set up an appointment for my daughter at the local Apple store Genius Bar, where my daughter can receive quality one on one training from an apple expert, not her Father!! The appointment is tomorrow, I will keep you posted.

This all leads me to continue the conversation about the importance of backing up data and what is the best solution for home computers or small home based business. We will talk about larger business in a future article, but for now let’s discuss the home computer.

So how best to back up a home computers data?

There are many technologies for implementing a regular and sound backup regime for a family’s home computers or a home based business. But there can be many problems, small devices such as the Seagate I bought can be exposed to conditions that cause failures more often than business class systems. Portable units are convenient and a good buy, but they lack any good security features such as password protection that could leave data open to theft. So what about ICloud for my daughters computer, Back blaze or Carbonite? Lots of options to select.

So here is where I turn to a few experts in the field, including David Gracey owner of Network 1 Consulting a 14-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. I consider David an expert in this area and plus David has 3 children. Last year David wrote a blog on his topic.  Check it out:  http://network1consulting.com/tuesday-tip-protect-important-data-and-photos/

Bottom line: You can find a number of suitable choices for your home or small office that will vastly reduce the chances important data will be lost or a single disk drive failure. I use a combination of Back blaze, similar to Carbonite and an external hard drive I keep in a fire safe. I will probably set my daughter up with ICloud along with downloading her data onto an external hard drive.