VoIP Phones in Austin, TX. What are the Benefits?

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VoIP Phones in Austin, TX

VoIP phone solutions in Austin, TX may vary from provider to provider. But are VoIP business phones what you really need? If you currently have a traditional phone solution and are curious about the benefits of VoIP, you might enjoy the flexibility, call features, and affordable price behind the technology.

If you don’t use VoIP for voice communication, then you are most certainly using the good old phone line (PSTN – Packet-Switched Telephone Network). On a PSTN line, time is really money. You actually pay for each minute you spend communicating on the phone. International calls are much more expensive. Since VoIP uses the Internet as backbone, the only cost you have when using it is the monthly Internet bill to your ISP. Studies have shown that, compared to using a PSTN line, using VoIP can potentially make you save up to 40 % on local calls, and up to 90 % on international calls.

In regards to the hardware needed to run a VoIP phone solution, it’s surprisingly affordable. Enjoy a light software package and the flexibility to utilize a small desktop or micro pc as your phone server. Bundled with expanded call features, VoIP solutions work well for small businesses or medium sized offices. A VoIP phone system can add multiple advanced services light voicemail to email, call forwarding, call tree, on hold music, and more. Perfect for the business professional on the run or executives out in the field.

Cisco, Polycom, and others feature several different lines of phone products for small to medium sized businesses. Enjoy HD quality voice and reliable hardware without a hefty price tag. VoIP phone solutions make working remotely or from home rather easy as well.

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If you work in an organization using an intranet or extranet, you can still access your office from home through VoIP. You can convert your home into a segment of the office and remotely use the voice, fax and data services of your workplace through the organization’s intranet. The portable nature of the VoIP technology is causing it to gain popularity as the trend is towards portable commodities. Portable hardware is becoming more and more common, as are portable services, and VoIP fits in well.

Here’s a few tips on choosing the right  IT provider to do business with:

CHOOSING THE RIGHT AUSTIN IT PROVIDER

For a free consultation or quote call: 512.600.2123

Choosing the Right IT Provider

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT IT PROVIDER

Choosing the right IT provider can be time consuming and stressful.  Austin businesses deserve someone they can trust.  After all, we love our city and want fellow business owners to be successful, don’t we? As a small business in Austin, identifying the need for an external IT services provider is essential. First, ask yourself a few questions.

Is your need project or initiative-based? Is your need on-going and consultative in nature? Do your needs encompass both? For businesses in the Austin area in the accounting, marketing, legal, dental, or print sectors, choosing the right IT provider involves knowing what help you need. Separating the strategic providers from the non-strategic ones depending on your desired results is key.

Customers need a reason to believe in your company. But how do you gain it? It doesn’t hurt to be honest and ethical. What most managers don’t get, though, is that the best way to build trust is to extend it to others. Beyond the technical considerations, there must always be an element of trust between the managed service provider and the business employing it. After all, if you don’t trust the service provider, why are you giving them responsibility over your infrastructure?

Indeed, the assurance that comes with knowing you’ve saved money, increased your security, and can hold someone accountable to a service level agreement. Be sure to check response times, monthly ongoing costs, and whether the potential for additional fees exist. The right company should deliver strong IT monitoring and management tools, a solid data backup solution, and the dedication to complete tasks on time.

Choosing the right IT provider may involve different philosophies and skill sets.  Let’s get to know each other.  If you’d like a free quote or consultation, contact us today. 512 // 600.2123

How a Server Can Help Your Small Business

Many business owners shy away from allocating funds to their IT infrastructure because the initial pricing is scary to them, which is understandable. Executives may get worried about the budget before truly understanding how hardware investments can actually save money, and even increase profitability if set up and managed properly.  As always, communication is key. Expressing your business needs is crucial, but more importantly, IT professionals should properly educate their customers to ensure a caring, friendly computing environment.

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A server can help your small business perform more efficiently while allowing your employees to be more productive. A network of computers connected by a server is far more efficient than employees working on individual non-networked computers. For starters, you’ll be able to access files more easily, better protect your business data, and perform computer security updates much more quickly and easily.  Almost every startup business uses computers and as your new business grows, adding laptops, PDAs and other communication or data devices is almost inevitable. Before you know it, you may reach a point where your computing infrastructure seems disorganized.

A server can provide and distribute all the information needs of all of your computers from a central source, ensuring that all of your employees and all of your applications are working efficiently together instead of haphazard isolation. As your businesses grows and you add new computers, smartphones and tablets, the need for a central server can often be the difference between success and falling behind.

Ask yourself the following – do you:

  • Worry about computer failure, theft and data loss?
  • Have documents scattered across multiple computers?
  • Want to share a printer or scanner?
  • Need access to your files when you’re out of the office?
  • Want to manage your documents and users better?

A server acts as a central, shared repository for your files and data. It can provide secure access to your files from the road and allow you to manage users and information better.  If you travel a lot for your business or like the ability to access your computers or files from anywhere at any time, a server can definitely give you the power to do so.

Even for small businesses, servers can be very helpful. You can:

  • Share documents and files
  • Share devices such as printers, faxes and scanners
  • Backup data
  • Gain remote access to data
  • Improve customer management
  • Management accounting and supply
  • Centralize messaging
  • Improve surveillance
  • Offer or use web services

Why is a server necessary? When a network starts to grow, either in number of users or in the amount of data that’s kept on it, a server can help a business stay organized and efficient. But there are a wide variety of servers available, all of them highly configurable.

First, you need to understand what servers are good at. Servers can be used to house files and manage printers. Better yet, they can manage which users on a network can access which resources. They can serve as machines handling a company’s website, email, databases, remote access and other tasks. Servers can range from simple, inexpensive tower PCs to sophisticated rack mounts designed to handle heavy workloads and provide disaster recovery with backup, data redundancy and fault tolerance. Sifting through the vast options in the server market need not be a headache, if you have a good understanding of what your business needs are, how scalable you need a server to be and how critical it is to have that server stay operational in the event of a disaster.

It doesn’t matter why you started your small business; it doesn’t matter how great your idea is; it doesn’t matter if you’ve identified a completely underserved niche; it doesn’t even matter how deep your pockets are, really—if you don’t get the tech right, you’re simply not going to succeed. And, let’s face it, most new small businesses don’t have bottomless pockets, so it’s absolutely critical to get it right from the very beginning. Small business servers are perfect for running your network in your company on a manageable level. Servers can even help with organizing and managing your network, which can save cost by getting the maximum efficiency from your small business server so you have the opportunity to do more with your business.

Servers also give you control over what your employees are putting on their PCs, blocking them from installing unauthorized and potentially harmful applications and giving you more control over what programs are running on your system.  To keep your data safe from outside threats you can tightly control Internet interaction. By using multiple levels of access control, data encryption and firewalls designed to keep intruders and viruses out, you keep your information safe from prying eyes and hackers, while also enjoying the convenience of a wireless office setup.

To learn more about setting up a server for your office, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can assist with server monitoring, management, installation, support, and setup. Request a FREE CONSULTATION by calling us today at:

512.600.2123

iPhones in Austin TX – Funny Videos

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Funny iPhone commercials have been spreading like wildfire throughout the internet. One can’t help but wonder where the current perception of Apple products stands now. Are people getting tired of dealing with the lines, higher prices, and limitations of the iPhone?  Apple competitors like Samsung and HTC have been giving the iPhone a run for its money with products like the Galaxy S3 and Windows Phone 8x.

Samsung’s gone on the offensive on early iPhone adopters once again with a new attack ad. It’s also not the first time Samsung’s gone after those waiting in line for an iPhone. A similar campaign last year, for the Galaxy S2, poked fun at the types of people who line up for the devices.

 

It’s exciting to see technology changing and mobile phone advancements keeping up with the demand.  Although it’s clear to see that the iPhone has its loyal fan base, it could slowly be losing some of its members to a more affordable non-OSx mobile platform. Check out this commercial below for the Samsung Galaxy S3 thatmocks those waiting for one of Apple’s new iPhones in front of company retail stores:

 

 

What is your favorite thing to do with your iPhone 5? Another one of our commercial favorites pokes fun at the fact we mainly seem to tweet and instagram photos of the food we eat. You know you’re guilty of it too. Who doesn’t send food porn to their friends?!….especially when it’s so delish! Check out the vid below. It’s our fave!

 

 

 

With the holidays coming up, it’s going to be interesting to see who ends up on top at the end of the year. When it comes to mobile phones, technology changes quickly. Is Apple going to keep up? Most seem to think they’ll stick around for sure, but it’s nice to see other products can provide top notch functionality at a great price for Windows phones and Android mobile users.

5 Ways to Relieve Office Stress

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5 ways to relief office stress could save your job and maybe even your life. We’ve all felt that feeling before. You might be having computer or printer issues at the office and you really want to throw it out the window. STOP! It’s not worth it. Most of all, you’ll being disrupting your co-workers daily operations. Isn’t that what you were upset about in the first place?

Let this video serve as a reminder of how ugly office stress and rage looks from the other side:

 

 

Here’s a short list of a few things you can do before you start throwing things:

 

1. Leave the Office for 5 Minutes – Sometimes simply stepping out the doors of your workplace can help relax you. Take 5 minutes and breath in some fresh air.

 

2. Take A Short Walk – Taking a stroll around the parking lot or down the street from your building works great for reducing stress. Don’t forget to breathe.

 

3. Do Jumping Jacks – You might look a little funny doing it, but not as silly as throwing your computer through the window.  Simply find a spot where you aren’t embarrassing yourself. It’ll get your mind off of the stress and rage.

 

4. Wash Your Face – Sometimes splashing your face with water can help you calm down. Get a break from the office madness and head to the bathroom. The water will help cool you off, both physically and mentally.

 

5. Go to Lunch – Sometimes you just need to take an early lunch when you’re having a bad morning.  You’ll feel better when you get back and hopefully a little refreshed. We recommend having something light so you don’t feel sluggish when it’s time to get back to work.

 

These few simple things will work wonders when it comes to reducing stress. Most importantly, you’ll be thankful when you don’t have to incur the cost of replacing all the hardware you just destroyed. Also, be sure to have the right IT support and proactive maintenance in place so that your computers, printers, and servers are always running efficiently.

 

For more information on Managed IT Services, please visit www.uonaustin.com/ccc

The Internet in 1969 Video

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THE INTERNET IN 1969 VIDEO - Do you  ever think about the way the Internet was first envisioned? The history of the Internet began with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s. Packet switched networks such as ARPANETMark I at NPL in the UKCYCLADESMerit NetworkTymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of protocols. The ARPANET in particular led to the development of protocols for internetworking, where multiple separate networks could be joined together into a network of networks. In 1982 the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) was standardized and the concept of a world-wide network of fully interconnected TCP/IP networks called the Internet was introduced.

This short video shows how they might have envisioned the Internet in 1969, including how it would effect us in every day life and even at home.  It’s pretty interesting to see how far technology has come and how quickly it still moves today.  And check out the size of all that hardware!!!

 

 

We’re definitely fortunate enough to live in a time where printing, email, and browsing happens so fast and comes in the shape of smaller devices like tablets and smart phones.  We can accomplish so much from an iPhone, Android phone, iPad, Windows tablet, etc.  Technology moves fast.

Of course, with so many devices to manage, comes the need to support them all and have them all synced to your customization.  We rely on the Internet every day.  Sometimes it’s interesting to think about how that human condition all started.

Check out our list of services and let us know if we can help in any way:

Begin with The Foundation, the core backbone of our service offering, and choose from an assortment of supplemental services to customize a comprehensive service plan for your business.

 

THE FOUNDATION

» Network Monitoring and Maintenance
» Full User Support
» Email Management and Support
» Proactive Hardware Maintenance
» License Management
» Software Maintenance
» Hardware Installation and Replacement
» Intelligent Patch Management
» Printer Support
» Inventory Management
» Managed Network Security
» Detailed Reporting
» Vendor Management
» Professional Ongoing Consulting

 

SUPPLEMENTAL SERVICES

» On-Site/Off-Site Data Backup
» Mobile Device Support (iPhones, iPads, Blackberry, Smartphones)
» Antivirus Management
» Complete Malware Protection
» Spam Filtering and Email Protection
» Hosted Microsoft Exchange
» Business Phone and VoIP Support