VoIP Offers Important Back-Office Advantages for IT Team

VoIP offers back-office benefits for your IT team, such as streamlined cable plant design and easy scalability.Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been available for the past 20 years, but it remains somewhat misunderstood. It’s often sold as a set of features that serve the front office and help management meet their cost-saving and efficiency objectives. What’s not stressed is the positive impact that VoIP can have on the back-office processes of the IT team.

The team that installs, supports, and maintains the information systems in the enterprise usually has surprisingly little involvement in telecommunications decisions. The push for a new system often comes from line-of-business managers. Fortunately, many of the benefits that result in a decision to move to VoIP are those impacting IT:

Design advantages: When an enterprise moves into a new facility, one of the first considerations that needs to be addressed by the IT team is the cable plant design. VoIP provides the potential for cost savings in this area because it allows for one line to run to the phone and then a jack in the VoIP phone provides a connection for the computer. This step eliminates half the drops required for the cable plant.

VoIP also offers easy scalability. Adding a new phone to the existing VoIP switch is as simple as plugging it into the network, then completing a quick initialization process. The phone is then ready for use. The addition of new phones can be completed easily by a technician with minimal training and perform multiple additions in a short time period.

Portability advantages: Remote access provides a way to extend the desktop. When VoIP was new, remote access was more difficult to offer, and IT teams spent a lot of time supporting remote users and troubleshooting problems. In most cases, bandwidth is no longer a problem, and current technology allows remote workers to travel with a laptop and a headset. They can conduct business as if they were on-site at a desk in the office.

Remote access and other monitoring tools significantly reduce the amount of time that IT spends helping remote workers manage their communications connectivity.

Promoting advanced technology: Integrating phones and voicemail was one of the first advantages offered by VoIP. Now technology allows for the easy transfer of voicemail to email and text. Hardware costs and conflicts between phone systems and email servers used to create a barrier to this function, but that’s no longer the case. Now IT managers can use these types of advances to promote the adoption of new technology.

The Focal Solutions team is committed to your business’s success in all areas of telecom deployment. Contact us about your goals for your telecom system and we will help you identify the right solution to meet your objectives. 

Preparing for Ransomware: Reliable Data Backup Is Key

While human error is part of the reason for ransomware attacks, securing data offsite negates vulnerabilities.Ransomware is taking center stage as a number of companies across industries are hit with digital attacks. WannaCry ransomware made headlines when it targeted PCs at banks and healthcare facilities; NotPetya, a malware that is an adaptation of ransomware, made similar headlines when it hit businesses in Europe hard. What can you do to ensure your data won’t be held hostage?

What we know about ransomware right now is that it looks a lot like a PC infection. Its “goal” is to go through your drives and encode all the data that it can, leaving you unable to gain access to critical records until you pay the attacker their ransom.

Business administrators pay large amounts of money to recover their data, in some cases $40,000 or more. The fight against these attacks seems fruitless as the attackers alter their models, always coming up with new ways to sneak into systems and latch on to important data.

As of last year, almost 30 percent of private ventures were involved in a ransomware attack, according to research from IBM. Nearly 60 percent of medium-sized businesses had experienced similar extortion. Security specialists can’t keep up with all the different strains of attacks, which means companies are simply moving to a mindset of paying the ransom as part of their business strategy.

The key to staying safe is to have a reliable data backup. It is imperative that your IT system is not outdated. Furthermore, employees need to be trained on how to use digital systems in a secure way that doesn’t compromise systems. According to Acronis, a data protection company, an inside person ineptly ushers in an attack on a company approximately 30 percent of the time.

New advancements in backup technology allow companies small and large to improve rather than replace their current backup methods. For instance, replication and snapshots have been determined to be a smart part of the strategy against ransomware. Replication involves making periodic copies of your data from one server and putting it on another server.

At Focal Solutions, we take ransomware attacks extremely seriously. We are an advocate for our clients, and we always focus on client satisfaction, and that involves staying prepared and ready for any malicious attack. As telecommunications industry insiders, let us help you get connected with the solutions that make the most sense for your company to keep you safe from attacks. Contact us today to hear the rest of the story.