It just really p&%$#^ me off….

Every now and then you come across something that bugs you just so badly, that you really want to do something about it, but effectively your hands are tied, or it’s just not possible. They call this “Stress”.Our Sydney partner has been asked to assist with sorting out a phone system, a small firm of about 20, simple enough. So as if the IT game isn’t difficult enough.. stress
angry-face The previous band of thieving mongrels have convinced and sold their (previous) client that they needed some super duper Cisco (see my other comments on Cisco)VoIP system that isn’t readily available in Australia, and special software add-on is required to make it work, and linked to special Cisco phones that are known to have issues. What’s worse is that to get this system in with the special software you have to buy several different licenses for a minimum of a 1000 phones, and it’s a yearly license.. Now whether this is true or not, the cost for this system\server was $22k. The IT setup for this company was 14 virtual server.. Fourteen… WHAT THE *(&^^%. We are able to justify 4, and that was a struggle… Mongrels who do this make my blood boil…

They clearly have either no idea, or set out to rip a customer off for tens of thousands of dollars… A 20 phone system complete and setup should cost between $5k and $10k, complete and setup… including phones…. VoIP is a great money saver, but so, so , so many companies have no idea really what they are doing. They put a system in, and don’t ensure there is ongoing maintenance. (Not a lot of money. 20 phone system, about $120/month). This leads to system getting hacked, failing, and generally poor performance, not to mention they try to use cheap modem routers, and some at least try to utilise the QOS (Quality of Service) in those cheap modems…

Rules of VoIP:

  • Must have a firewall and configured so hackers are banned, (simple IP tables with fail2ban work, but configuring them is hard yakka… and difficult to get right… and the IP Ban usually comes to late.)
  • High quality QOS is essential if sharing with normal internet usage.
  • Pick a variation and stick to it, master it, and don’t wander to alternates on a whim.. We use FreePBX, and know it… Very very well…..
  • Use quality network gear. Yes I know TPLink is cheap, and not bad for the price, but when it comes to VoIP, it doesn’t cut the mustard. Minimum quality is Draytek. We will not touch the home brands like Netgear, Billion (They have gone downhill over the years I believe personally), D-Link, Linksys (The early pre-cisco days are gone people….)NetComm, etc.. There is nothing wrong with these devices, but they are not designed for business application and function…
  • Where you can use a real router like PF Sense and manage it properly, setup remote phones using VPN’s
  • Pre-built type systems like 3CX (Windows is not a good platform for VoIP server; Great for Microsoft Exchange or a Terminal Server) and appliance boxes just rip you a new one on licensing fee’s despite being based on Asterisk (An open source platform, that most VoIP is based on….)

VoIP is here to stay and the dodgy dans are going to be coming out of the woodwork.. Don’t fall for:

  • Convert you current system to VoIP… That’s nastier than the proverbial dog poop in a burning paper bag thrown on the doorstep.
  • A pre-built system that all you have to do is plug the phones in..
  • local and national calls that cost per minute unless you are buying SIP minutes by the bulk (10000 minutes etc..)
  • Stick to the tried and true VoIP Telco’s. These guys have been around a while, and know what it takes to provide you with decent service.
  • Beware of the large Telco’s offering… You remember the service you get from them and how much it pained you to deal with them…. Not mentioning any names of large multi-national carriers or anything like that…..

Cloud – Take pity on the poor guys trying to manage it.

The magical cloud. Touted for it’s simplicity, cost effectiveness, Eco-friendliness, works from anywhere, functions with BYOD, in fact it’s probably going to claim world peace soon, and provide magical healing powers.1466_male_god_zeus_in_a_cloud_holding_his_hand_up_and_a_lightning_bolt

So as a business, we need to compete. Al those things that it tout’s for the end user, certainly isn’t passed upline to the guys who have to make it work.  To all you old school guys running Postfix on Linux with various interfaces to access email, I feel for you. Going down the path of Exchange (it is good, because it provides everything) but the licensing cost, the amount of hardware, the complexity, storage, backups, redundancy, integration into existing web services: it makes my head spin thinking about it let alone trying to get it functioning. I must admit, Powershell is not my strength, in fact the scripting and coding guys have banned me from writing even good old DOS files…. (not quite, but you get the idea).

We are moving to ISPConfig for our websites, and are integrating Exchange as the mail host, along with traditional Postfix for the more price conscientious. So this means I need a web server to run ISPConfig, and several websites, a virtual server system for those who want to manage everything in their websites, or if they are wanting some special service running, a windows domain controller, and a server with Exchange on it. Then I need redundancy for each of them in an alternative data center with a central point to allow for load balancing\fail over and DNS fail over for that center point. For all you new guys out there who thought wow, all we need is a   server in the data center.. times tcamp_bbq-beerhey are a changing…. Now fair to say I can probably control all of this from 2 physical servers, but the software is going to be nothing short of painful. Setting the configuration up in a lab environment is one thing, but reality is something different. To get this running and secure before anyone can connect to it safely, we expect 3 months. Yes it can be done in a couple of days, but we all work long hours, and the client comes first, always. When the weekend comes around, the last thing we want to do is look at another computer.. Personally I need a mental break, and tend to enjoy amber fluid, or fermented grape juice with good friends while burning dead cow on the BBQ, while as far away from the city as possible.

As things move forward, you are going to see communications become more entwined with your computers/devices, already VoIP is entrenching itself, and those who understand VoIP are going to have to learn more about integration to these systems and visa versa. The VoIP telco’s haven’t turned on all the features here yet, and they are dreading it, simply because of the cost. Video over the VoIP system is already available, but the cost of data through their systems is still expensive. Talking to Frank at World Dial Point (Strongly recommend these guys, extremely helpful, great pricing, and generally exceeds any service you get elsewhere), an average video call will require an enormous upgrade to the systems to handle bandwidth. To understand, a simple voice call for 10 minutes will use loony_binabout 6.5 megabytes of bandwidth, while a video call will use for very low quality, 1024 megabytes through to very good quality of 1700 megabytes to very high quality video of 4700 megabytes. Now throw a 1000 callers all at once, and you start to see we require terabytes of data movement at very high speeds. Don’t get me wrong, these guys want to upgrade to this, but now you are talking a budget that Bill Gates has for capital investment into hardware, just to provide video calls, and then on charge the client who is going to say “its to expensive” so they just use the good old voice only version, and now the investment is going to go to waste… It’s going to be tough, and those who don’t evolve with it will dis-appear.

There is always going to be those who don’t want to play in the cloud, but these will become the minority, and using your own computer at work will become more and more popular. Companies will not want to spend on capital assets when they can link their outgoings to work load and vary them month to month to suit, therefore starting to drive their profit at a set rate by being able to vary their costs quickly as paying work goes up and down. I can see providers who can vary this down to a weekly basis, coming to the forefront of this cloud movement as the years move forward, but the poor guys trying to cope with it at the backend will become more and more hairless, stressed, coffee freaks, who when let out on the weekend go to caffeine withdrawals, and have shrinks on speed dial.

Have you ever looked at the real cost of software (SMB perspective)

So more of my ramblings.nobs
You go to the store, or jump on line and buy a piece of software and believe the price you pay is what you get. If only this was true.

The variation in software cost is staggering. Some companies will pay millions. As a member of the SMB community, I would love to have fancy software to provide a process and 90% of my workflow. The truth of the whole matter is that the actual purchase of the software is the cheapest part. Learning how to use the software, maintenance, high end hardware to run the software, or a dedicated server and its hardware management and maintenance, and if required customisation costs all escalate to some extra ordinary cost in the long run.

So we decided do some things here. We do need special software to allow for maintenance of our clients.. This cost $100k to buy, it then costs about 15% of that per year to provide maintenance on it, then there are the individual licenses for the Anti-Virus, Backup, Anti-malware, and roll out the software for me costs. So it ends up getting you at both ends. Initial purchase, and then like a good drug dealer, get you on the come back, before you know it, you are so invested in the software, you can’t afford to dump it, and look for an alternative.

We also use a software called Blue Nexus, this allows us now to customise how we integrate into our “end-point client software (The software I talked about above), but also lets me integrate directly into our accounting package, our ticketing system, and provide virtually a single point for all our other software, and then have a report telling me about the whole business using our KPI’s from several packages.. But again, understand the real cost.hidden-costs

As a an IT company we actually try to run software that our clients will likely need so that we can discuss it authoritatively with them as to whether it will suit their needs. Sometimes this isn’t possible, and always look to the open source community before taking the first step into the software drug trade. It at least removes the initial cost..

Why Open Source? You get what you pay for don’t you!! Well lets wander down this rabbit hole, despite the fact that I will possible get nail for what I am about to say.
Best operating system. Linux – one of the variants. Why? Instead of having a few developing the system, based around the vision of one, you have thousands developing based around what many want. Early days, yes it was very “Geek” driven, it still is but also by every other variety of end user.. No it doesn’t really support Microsoft Office, but it has it’s own, like Libre Office, my only regret is it doesn’t support Exchange Email… (The best mail server for a business) it only supports Imap or POP3. Great in its day, an OK for mom’s and dad’s, but not for Business… (nor is Google mail, Yahoo mail etc, it just doesn’t cut it… despite thousands that try)
I ran Linux for 18 months, but our main software will just not run on Linux, and believe me I tried. It was so much easier with Linux to do things, access things, and manipulate things… I finally submitted and went to Windows 8.1. This caused me much anguish dealing with what those tossers at Microsoft thought was a great idea. Metro. Holy crap, what a pile of steaming horse manure that is. Thank god for Classic shell. This works great. And the actual back end of Windows 8.1 is a solid performer. It’s no Linux, but not bad. Throw a couple of extra pieces of software like Dexpot, and we are close to Linux, but I miss Yakuake. Best commend line tool out.

Then along came Apple. My god, people actually try to use this for business. I accept it as a home machine, but in business. Sweet mother of god, what are you scaredthinking, and whats worse is they tout that you can’t get virus’ on a Mac, and there fore they are more secure. I love hacking these things when asked to do a security analysis. Part of the issue is the users lax attitude about this. If your IT guy hasn’t mentioned to you “Don’t use an Apple” (Some graphics apps are excepted) then he probably isn’t on the ball.

In short, don’t discount open source software, and be prepared for the real cost, and dearer isn’t better in software…..

Cisco…Really

This will cause a bit of an uproar, but is Cisco all that it’s cracked up to be…

I am coming from a bit of a biased point of view. I have never been a fan of Cisco. Doing anything within the devices really means you have to learn a language to program them or use their less than impressive severally limited GUI, if the device has one.
Now the die hard will be saying “but they are solid reliable performers, and just keep going.” True, they are, and don’t get me wrong They are a solid performer, and a lot of the worlds internet infrastructure runs on it, so it has to be good. I am talking value for money from an SMB perspective.. they are behind the times, typical of big companies that have market share, and have been the “standard”. Looking at the share market, their stock has stagnated, listening at the grapevine, and a lot of companies are not renewing with Cisco. Why? They are to expensive, and their technology is not evolving as fast as it should.
It creates a challenge for Cisco to keep up with companies that are providing similar and faster solutions with software; making them cheaper. Throw into that some things that Cisco has not made available in their devices (for some reason, like not listening to their customers) and Cisco is really in for challenges in the future. (Silly me even took some short term share options, only to blow my $$)

Now my personal issue with Cisco. My job is to provide clients with solutions, and fix their issues. I don’t want to go and spend the time learning how to program a switch, and then have a semi-colon, or full stop in the wrong place cause me hours of anguish. A GUI like other good switches, or a GUI like PFSense for the Router… and stop thinking you are the ducks nuts.. Hell, I prefer Huawei gear… Easier to work with, and I can look my customers in the eye when I tell the price. As for all you clowns who now jump on the security band wagon “Ohh , it’s Chinese spy gear”. really… pull your fricken’ head in and grow a brain..

If you are dealing with a government or a large corp I can accept this concern, and would insist you do so, but for a 15-50 man company…. I can only say.. “Don’t be a Wanker”

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As for Cisco VoIP. It works, it’s great, it’s so over priced you could buy a new house for less (Well not really) The phones are either the genuine Cisco or the old re-badged type Linksys.
The competition, phones like Yealink, Grandstream, older Snom (New ones, not so much) are fantastic phones, and link very nicely indeed into Asterisk, FreePBX, Freeswitch, the real standard for VoIP. Cisco are just not competitive at all when it comes to VoIP, and their back end system. Not even in the same ball park… And as for their G729 codec, well yes it uses less bandwidth, but what crappy voice quality, and you have to buy a license.. It is required in some cases, and yes they spent the R&D in developing it, so let them get a return, but declaring it as the the ultimate answer to VoIP.. Hell no. Use G711 codec, and put a good router like PFSense with QOS (Quality Of Service), and all your issues are solved…

And the growing requirement for wireless, we want our clients to have a simple mesh system that saturates a building to the point you can use a wireless VoIP phone across it, why not use OpenMesh. Simple quick, and effective. For the price of one AP from Cisco, and a controller from Cisco, you can saturate a smaller building of about 150 to 250 square meters…

All in all Cisco is good gear, but way over priced, and not justifiable in many businesses with less than 100 staff. As IT we should be working for our clients in many ways, looking for sound, cost effective equipment that provides reliable solutions, not additional cost to the client and profit in the IT providers pocket. Unfortunately that’s what our industry seems to be doing.
I urge companies to question why your IT company is recommending certain equipment in your business. Make sure they are not putting in cheap domestic grade gear, unless it has a reliability record, and make sure you are not going to equipment that is stupidly priced. Most companies that require a server, do not need new servers, but rather a refurbished server at half the price.

Hope this helps, and not cause to many detractors.

Cheers

Getting a New Website: 6 Web Designers Share Tips for Small Businesses

As reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics nearly half of all Australian businesses have an online presence. Having a website is becoming the norm even for small businesses, but many fail to unleash the full potential of their site.

What are the most frequent mistakes small businesses make when setting up a new website? What should they focus on to make their site a success?

We’ve asked several experienced Australian web designers and developers for their advice. This is what they said.

1. What is the most important thing a small business needs to consider when building a new website?

Try to remember what the customers are there for, some small businesses are so close to their products, they overload the site with information, that only ends up diluting the important stuff. It helps to talk to customers and find out what information is most important for making a decision… the next thing is obviously a clear call to action once they decide to take the next step.
Matt Webb

A business should decide what the most important end goal of a customer visiting their site is. Do they want them to call, do they want them to buy online or get a quote? Then all efforts should be concentrated on achieving that goal.
Peter Kawecki

It needs to look good, be easy to use and have relevant content.
Matt Mullins

I think there are a few “most important” parts of building a website. If I had to choose only one – I would says ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. With approximately 95% of mobile device users who search for local products and service on their mobile, you don’t want to miss out. You can do this by ensuring the site you have developed is responsive. This means your site is capable of adapting to any device like tablets and mobiles.
Kylie Meller

2. What is the most common mistake small businesses make when setting up a website?

I’d be happy to answer questions one and two together:

The biggest mistake I see small businesses make in a website project is a lack of goal-oriented planning. Your website should have goals, usually tied closely to your business goals. Write these goals down and base the rest of your website planning on them – this can be the difference between a bland 5 page website, and a detailed, useful, goal-achieving business asset.” Find out more here: How to make sure your website doesn’t work for your business
Angus Russell

Over cluttering a page with a thousand things to do with no hierarchy. Not placing a clear description of what the business is clearly on the front page. This makes it a guessing game for customers.
Peter Kawecki

Realising that the phone will be off the hook all day long – the website is only the beginning!
Matt Mullins

Underestimating the work involved and not having enough content or images for their site. If you wish for your site to be found organically via search engines, then you need to have enough content in it to showcase what your business is about. Listing your services might seems like the most obvious thing to do, but drilling down further and having a page for each service and more details about those services will enable your website to be found easier. If budget allows I would always recommend hiring a copywriter.
Kylie Meller

Set and forget. Granted most small business are time-poor and don’t have much time to update their website, but the occasional blog/news entry keeps your website relevant and helps with search engines. I also recommend regularly looking at your web stats to understand how your website is being used.

[Another frequent mistake is] not giving content the time it needs. Often a website looks great but it’ll have content with typos, is out of date, or is verbose.
Ben Bailey

Building a website without a clear purpose.
Matt Webb

3. What is one simple update or change a business can make to their website to improve leads?

Make sure their website has lots of relevant text relating to their business and also market their website from other sources such as social media and blogs.
Matt Mullins

Have a very clear concise call to action or point of contact on every page.
Matt Webb

Have relevant keyword rich content, such as projects, articles or products that have specific linked keyphrases. eg. a window manufacturer would have links on their homepage to “aluminium window frames”.
Peter Kawecki

Check your content and make sure it is relevant to the search terms you are trying to be found for.
Kylie Meller

Use the http://schema.org/ markup patterns. It won’t make your search engine results rank higher but it gives the search engine more information about your content. This can help improve the display of your site’s search results.
Ben Bailey

Example of using Schema.org markup: get starred ratings for your site in the search results

A well planned and executed website is an opportunity not just to better serve existing customers but also to find new ones. Hopefully these tips have inspired you to take a closer look at your business website and consider – are you making the most of your business website?

Review: Internal Hard Drives vs External Hard Drives

Today, when people access the internet, their computers are exposed to such security threats as viruses, Trojan horses, and spyware. Even when users have installed a thorough security application, there are still risks that their computer can be become infected by a harmful virus which could damage or destroy computer files. One of the best ways of protecting your files and other information on your computer is to use a Hard Drive.

Overview

The hard drive is commonly known as the Hard Disk Drive. It is one of the most essential features of a computer. There are two types of Hard Drives to use in the systems for the storages one is internal hard drive and other is external hard drives or portable

Internal hard drive is a storage device that can preserve the information that has been stored into, even when this device is not powered. In other words we can say that a hard disk is a non-volatile storage device. It is a fixed and non removable device.

External hard drive is a portable device and can be operated as a plug and play device. Normally, computers have the facility of USB ports. It is required to plug in the wire and your computer will recognize an external storage device. Now, you can operate and work on it as you do normally on the built hard drive. As it is a portable device, data can be transferred from one place to another which enables you to work anywhere you want to i.e. at home or during travel etc. It is more beneficial for a business person to secure their data and can carry their data with them anywhere.

With media vastly improving in quality on the PC nowadays it is no wonder that we have to continue to add more capacity to our hard drives to avoid running out of space on our hard disks. The external hard drive is one solution to this problem and it has many more benefits over the internal hard drive

Some Benefits

Some of the better external hard drives will also have a few other benefits and features over the internal hard drive such as a very large capacity for storage up to 3TB (terabytes) or 3000 GB. With such a large amount of space most PC users will not have to worry about running out of space. Another nice feature on some models is the ability to transfer files via Wi-Fi so you will not have to worry about keeping the hard drive right near the PC at all times. Another benefit with the wireless external hard drive is if you have multiple desktops in your home everyone can share the hard drive easily

While even the cheapest external hard drive will carry some added benefits, some of the higher priced external hard drives have many more benefits than an external drive. Starting out with the cheaper external hard drives, these will normally have a capacity of around 500mb and do not offer many extra features. But even without the extra features, they are still great products to buy especially if you travel often and need to take your data with you or if you just need more space for your files

Another benefit of having the external hard drive is the ability to back up your PC’s operating system and all its files. If you ever have any trouble with your PC you can easily reload your PC with the old configuration without having to worry about losing your old files. Some external hard drives have software for this feature where you can easily backup and restore files from your PC

Basic Benefits of an Domestic Hard Drive

  1. They are great for backing up your data in case your main internal hard drive fails
  2. They are small and portable and can be easily moved from computer to computer
  3. They will extend the storage capacity of a desktop or laptop
  4. Some external drives have inbuilt encryption and allow you to lock your sensitive data away from prying eyes. They can, of course, also be stored in safes or other secure places.
  5. Entire operating systems can be stored on external hard drives which can be used as boot-up devices to restore an operating system on a PC in case of any malfunction or serious security issues.
  6. They are getting cheaper and larger every month!
  7. USB is pretty much the standard connection protocol now, so hard drives can be connected easily to almost any computer.

Conclusion

It’s a fact of life that hard drives fail and this probably applies more to external drives than to internal ones.  Unlike the internal drive in your PC external drives are often carried around. Some are designed to be portable so, if you intend moving your drive from place to place, make sure you chose a model that is designed for this purpose. Unlike your internal drive they are more exposed to damage, easily knocked off desks, can have hot liquids spilled on them and are generally more vulnerable to damage.

What is an Internal Hard Drive?

All hard drives share a basic structure and are composed of the same physical features. However, not all hard drives perform the same way — the quality of the parts inside the hard drive will affect its performance. Hard drives are extremely sensitive equipment and the internal workings of a hard drive should not be handled by anyone other than an experienced professional.

If you have only one computer and all family members of your house are using it then you should purchase an external hard drive to keep your personal data secure, for example, financial data, or important files, or reminder etc. When you are done with your work, simply plug out its cable and keep it in a secure place.

What Are The Benefits of Managed Switches for Large Business and Unmanaged Switches For Small Business?

Ethernet devices, including computers, connect to the network switch via Ethernet cables. The switch is responsible for directing data to and from these devices. The switch also learns where to correctly send data to more efficiently use network resources.

An unmanaged switch is a glorified hub. It means that the switch does its thing with no user interaction. For most people, that’s quite all right. The switch’s benefits over a hub are full bandwidth to each

port, rather than smashing all the data over all the ports like a hub, and dealing with collisions.

A Managed switch has its own IP address, and has a telnet and maybe a web-based interface to monitor and secure access to each port on the switch. A managed port can have VLANs, which effectively break up different ports on a switch into different switches. This can be useful when you have a lot of ports but you’d like to, for instance, separate direct connection to the Internet for a few computers, from the rest of local area network.

Speaking from a strictly technological point of view, managed switches are far superior to non-managed switches, but that superiority comes at a price. More features equate to more complexity and often require a skilled network engineer to get the best performance out of them. Due to these factors, you rarely find managed switches outside of medium- to large-sized organizations.

A managed switch lets you take control of your network and all the traffic moving through it, while an unmanaged switch simply allows Ethernet devices to communicate with one another. For example, when you connect your Ethernet devices (PC, network printer, and so on) to an unmanaged switch, they usually will communicate with each other automatically.

A managed Ethernet switch tends to cost more than an unmanaged switch. Managed switches are especially beneficial to networks in industrial settings; however, the average home or small-business user may not require the features that the managed switch provides.

Benefits to use Managed Switch for large business

Virtual Local Area Network

  • Isolate traffic between groups of ports
  • Control access to the various VLAN groups
  • Allow devices that need to communicate to each other the maximum bandwidth

Bandwidth Rate Limiting

  • Set a maximum bandwidth for each port
  • Prevent unnecessary communication traffic from overwhelming devices

Quality of Service (QoS)

  • Allow “high priority” messages quick throughput
  • Define message importance

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

  • Monitor switch port parameters
  • Allows easy access to switch information for HMI, SCADA and other applications

Port Mirroring

  • Provides message troubleshooting access
  • Allows messages to be monitored for message content

Trunking redundancy

  • Relay contacts, flashing LEDs and SNMP traps help to quickly identify the broken links.
  • Trunking also provides more bandwidth between switches

Benefits of the Unmanaged switches for Small or mid-sized business or Homely business

  • Easy in installation and setup out of the box
  • Quality of Service on all models optimizes network performance
  • Energy-efficient technology on Gigabit Ethernet models helping save power and reduces energy costs.
  • They are cheap and reliable for small business
  • These switches have proved to be beneficial for some small businesses with few employees or PC’s.

Conclusion

The bottom line is this: If you’re connecting a very large network, which is distributed over a large area, then managed switches that can provide more diagnostic information about the status of each connection could prove to be more useful. If, however, you’re connecting a network that is limited to a small number of systems on local LAN, then a managed switch may add a lot of unnecessary complexity and expense to the equation that you don’t need unless you have someone looking after it for you.

Wireless Networking and Internet for Business

A number of small businesses are finding success in installing wireless networks. They produce higher production rates, better flexible application mobility, easier to reconfigure your office space as your company grows and changing to a wireless infrastructure is becoming much more affordable.

What is Wireless Networking?

It is a type of networking technology that allows computers to communicate with other computers (as well as other wireless-equipped devices) without using cables. Instead, wireless networking uses radio signals to receive and transmit data between wireless access points and wireless network cards operating on the 2.4 GHz frequency band.

Each wireless device exchanges signals with an Access Point, also called a Router. Access points, in turn, communicate with other network devices. An Access Point is typically a piece of hardware, but solutions are also available that allow a computer with a wireless card to act as an Access Point

Benefits of Wireless technology for business

  • Increased efficiencyImproved data communications lead to faster transfer of information within businesses and between partners and customers. For example, sales people can remotely check stock levels and prices whilst on sales calls.
  • Better coverageBecause wireless technology enables the user to communicate while on the move, they are rarely out of touch – no need to carry an extra cables or adaptors to access office networks.
  • FlexibilityOffice-based wireless workers can be networked without sitting at dedicated computers, and can continue to do productive work while away from the office. This can lead to new styles of working, such as home working or direct access to corporate data while on customer sites.
  • Cost savingsWireless networks can be easier and cheaper to install, especially in listed buildings or where the landlord will not permit the installation of cables
  • New opportunitiesWireless networking could allow offering new products or services. For example, many airport departure lounges, train stations, hotels, cafes and restaurants have installed ‘hot spot’ wireless networking services to allow mobile users to connect their equipment to their ‘home’ offices while travelling.

Possible Security Concerns with Wireless Internet

Wireless networks are great because they let you connect from anywhere in your office. But that same principle is what makes them vulnerable; hackers do not need to be physically connected (wired) to network to access it.

Having an always on wireless Internet connection affords hackers a new avenue to attack a business’s information security, making at the very least a password-protected wireless network a critical necessity of any virtual business operation other than the low priority hubs used in an Internet café, for example

In order to counteract the threat of outside users accessing the network, setting up a VPN, or virtual private network, creates an encrypted connection between the network and the individual user that cannot be easily hijacked.

Conclusion

As the business grows, the IT networks of company grow so it’s important to invest in wireless hardware that can grow with the companies’ growth with all the security measures.

If you would like more information about Wireless Networks and your company get in touch today. Contact Us

Why Monitoring IT Networks Is Crucial For Your Business

Overview

With smart Systems Management, companies can have access to a secure online portal which lets them monitor and manage data centres, giving instant insight into the performance of the systems all the time

Monitoring for a corporate network is a critical IT function that can save money in network performance, employee productivity and infrastructure cost overruns. A network monitoring system monitors an internal network for problems. It can find and help resolve snail-paced webpage downloads, lost-in-space e-mail, questionable user activity and file delivery caused by overloaded, crashed servers, dicey network connections or other devices. Monitoring is the regular observation and recording of activities taking place in a system or programme. It is a process of routinely gathering information on all aspects of the system.

Why Monitoring is Important for companies

Monitoring (M) is now recognised as a crucial activity for achieving and maintaining competitive positions in a rapidly evolving business environment. Monitoring systematises the process through which a company maintains its window on the technology developments in the world. It serves the purpose of: Monitoring is a fundamental aspect of good programme management at all levels (national, regional, local).

  • Changes and discontinuities in existing technologies,
  • New emerging technologies with potentially significant impact on the company’s products and markets and its production and business processes.

How Monitoring can help companies

Companies can simplify IT administration by using a single, unified portal to monitor company’s IT assets, hardware inventory and service contract status. This includes:

  • Monitoring potential hardware failures
  • Sending Alerts of potential problems
  • Helps in uncovering and analyzing problems with automated diagnostics
  • Providing proactive dispatch of qualified parts.
  • Help in accelerating resolution by automatically generating a support case when a hardware fault is detected
  • Providing advance notification of upcoming service contract expirations
  • Enabling better service to end users

This can be managed remotely with the help of a Managed IT Services provider by monitoring tools.

Remote Monitoring tools

There are many monitoring tools available in the market to help in managing the network system of the company,
For an effective monitoring experience the organization should look for a network monitoring tool that can do the following:

  • Allow the organization to monitor entire infrastructure components
  • Perform availability monitoring on all the devices.
  • Perform proactive health monitoring using thresholds.

Availability monitoring shows which devices are up and which are not. Every IT Manager of company wants to know failures in advance so that it can be prevented. A good network monitoring tool should help in monitoring the health of critical devices and alert the operators when health deteriorates. Automated polling of various devices for multiple health parameters is essential

Conclusion

Monitoring is the way to solve the problem of the daily downtime or challenges faced. The result is that IT staff will have more time and resources to keeps business running at top speed, and employees and customers enjoy both increased uptime and faster call resolution times.

Business Benefits of Video Conferencing

Good business depends on real-time, efficient information exchange. These exchanges need to be built on the foundations of reliable communication solutions and great support resources. Omega will help your organisation increase efficiency levels, turnover, market visibility and social responsibility through understanding your organisation’s unique communication needs and creating a tailor-made, turnkey solution to optimise business output.

Overview

Small and mid-sized business owners are faced with a special set of challenges and demands that don’t generally concern executives. The challenge of operating multi-office companies with an understaffed and overworked IT department, and tight operating budgets are a constant concern.

Video conferencing is the best optimum solution for such organization and gets the benefit of the cost saving in travel against this solution to implement. Video Conference has played a very important role in business meetings and conferencing. In this scenario where companies and organizations are highly related to worldwide businesses, it is very necessary to have any equipment and system that gives them the facility of organizing large meetings with beyond border clients. Because of the competitive business environments, most of the companies are very concerned with improving team work. Therefore, the video conferencing equipment is really helpful for such companies. So despite these challenges, how can mid-market companies grow their business, reach new markets and compete with companies many times their size, without dramatically increasing overhead?

Benefit of Video Conferencing solution for small and midsized business

The video conferencing solution helps both big and small organizations to reduce the travel cost as conferencingallows you to have meetings with your far away business partners or clients easily with a perfect sound and picture quality. This has made the demand of high quality video conferencing equipmentvery high. These video conference systems provide exceptional video and audio quality with efficient remote collaboration. Now, the industry of designing and installing video conferencing solutions are working at an advance stage.

Video conferencing equipment can also be helpful in terms of training your staff in some other area, city or country. You can train them through different presentations during the conference and remain in contact with them. This would be an interactive training course with the help of the innovative technology of video conferencing. Therefore, the video conference is the biggest innovation in the business line that gives you flexibility as well as time and cost saving advantages that were just a dream in earlier days. It is not a rather expensive investment either. Hence, video conferencing has globalized the world of business and corporation.

Why business are choosing to adopt Video Conferencing solutions for their companies

  • Meeting Budget Expectation

Video conferencing has helped organizations lower their travel-related expenses by up to 40%. Companies implement the solution by simply converting half of their traditional meetings into video conferences.

  • Increase Efficiency

With video conferencing and other collaboration services, organizations become more productive and efficient by resolving disputes more quickly, while not being tethered to the traditional 9 to 5 business schedule

  • Making Visual Presentations

Video conferencing is a form of visual communication which businesses are using to their advantage.

Businesses utilize video conferencing solutions to stand out amongst competitors and increase client fidelity through rich visual interactions.

  • Improve Identity and Communication

Video conferencing can become an extension of a corporate identity and image. Businesses can be seen as leaders in their industry who adapt quickly to innovative technologies.

Video conferencing is also being used to implement corporate communications strategies. The visual element allows for the control of all aspects of a business meeting and aids in portraying a corporate image exactly as desired.

Conclusion

The decision to implement a comprehensive video conference call solution is often done on the basis of cost/benefit and should demonstrate the potential for tangible results for business.