Category Archives: Voice

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Using an RISP to ensure maximum uptime and a 600x increase in speed

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Is your Internet connection a dependency for your business? Do you suffer from outages? Do you use Cloud based services that need to running at peak efficiency? If so, then an RISP can help. RISP is an acronym for Redundant Internet Service Provider. The service includes a device that sits between your internal network and your firewall. It manages connectivity to multiple Internet connections of your choosing.

In your business right now, you might have a high-speed connection of 30-100MBs for your main Internet already. By installing a second Internet connection, like a cable modem or DSL that is less expensive, the RISP will monitor both connections to determine which is the best one to send traffic on. In the event of an outage by one of the providers, the RISP can re-route traffic to the secondary connection in a seamless manner.

Additional services that the RISP provides is the ability to determine the best path to route traffic for a majority of cloud services. This provides an up to 600x increase in speed to services like Salesforce & other CRM services, Office365, Microsoft Azure and others.

By performing this monitoring, the RISP also monitors your providers connectivity in reference to the Service Level Agreement you have with them. In the event that your ISP has an outage, the RISP will provide a report that helps you get a credit from your service provider.

Pricing for this service starts at $49 a month and is highly scalable for larger deployments.

Technology like this used to be an expensive proposition, but now it’s affordable to virtually anyone.

If your business is dependent on the Internet, like most are, let us know. We can help CBC Solutions can architect a redundant service for you and broker a deal with you and the best RISP for your business. There is not obligation. Contact us for a risk-free assessment today.

CBC Solutions
619-784-5211
info@cbcsolutions.biz


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5 Common Tech Mistakes Made when Moving Offices

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Moving an office is no simple task. Keeping track of where everything is, where it’s going, where everyone is going to sit and how to get them their while still maintaining some level of business continuity can be enough to drive a company crazy. By far, the most overlooked component when moving an office involves technology infrastructure and services. If you’re in the planning stage of a move, even if you’re just looking for property, this is for you.

1. Telecommunications – Connectivity is like the glue that holds our businesses together in the 21st century. Without it, it’s very difficult for a business to function. Internet & Voice lines can be especially difficult to move.

For example, your new location may not be one that is “on-net” with your current carrier. This means that the carrier will have to lease bandwidth from another carrier to continue service and that their lead time to swing service could be heavily delayed by as much as 90 days and your monthly rate will increase! If you’re still on contract, you will have to stay with that carrier and wait out the time it takes for them to get the install done, then pay the additional fees.

Furthermore, it takes a lot of coordination to get them to cut over service on a specific date and time. If you have a contract that’s coming up for renewal and you know you might be moving, see about keeping the contract on a month-to-month basis. This will allow you some options if you find out that there’s a long lead time or the new location is much more expensive.

2. Voice – Moving a business phone system is much more difficult than it seems. The equipment is the easy part. The difficulty comes when you need carrier services and someone to re-install the system at the new location. Generally speaking you can keep your same phone numbers, but if your moving to a different area code or even prefix, it could cost you extra to keep your old numbers.

Question if your phone system is even worth moving. If you’ve been in your current location for a long time and haven’t modernized it, it could be cheaper to change to a new service with the move.

3. Servers, Network Gear & Workstations – Anytime you’re moving computer and high-end electronic equipment, you should have a mover who is certified in that area. Movers that specialize in electronic equipment take special care to make sure that every device is cataloged, and stored in anti-static & shock resistant packaging. Getting equipment reconfigured the proper way requires a very systematic process.

If your employees have laptops and mobile devices, make sure you know who’s taking theirs with them and what’s left to the movers. Not knowing could mean that something gets lost or valuable time is spent looking for something that isn’t in the office.

Also, what about old equipment? If it’s legacy and not in production, why move it? E-waste recycling companies should be engaged to remove old equipment and dispose of it properly. In some cases old equipment can be resold, but often the depreciation value is so low it’s not worth the effort.

4. Cabling – Even if your new location is pre-cabled, it is a good idea to make sure you have it certified by a low-voltage cabling company. If not, you could be facing possible networking issues later on that will be very difficult to track down. Network cabling is very specific and can be quite sensitive.

Also, be sure your cabling vendor is on track to add any drops where they might be needed. Cabling vendors work off billable hours so they might not be available if you call them last minute.

Make sure you have proper cabling to get the connectivity lines from where the vendor drops them to where the equipment is located. If you’re in a high-rise, a third party company will have to extend the vendor terminations to your suite. Your building manager should have that contact info on file.

Don’t forget about wireless. Wireless access uses RF signals that don’t pass through concrete, glass and many heavy metals. Have a wireless site survey done to make sure you have coverage in the right areas and know your access point placement.

5. Conference Rooms – If you have meeting rooms, think about audio/visual devices. Are you installing a flat panel or projector? How are users going to connect to them? There are some really good wireless products on the market. Also, what about conference tables? Can you build cabling & power into the table? The best conference rooms have no visible cable when someone’s presenting. A tangled conference room can be a real distraction.

Bottom line, if your business has a dependence on Technology, don’t discard the concern. It takes a lot of coordination to move an office and still maintain business as usual. Start thinking about it now and have a trusted advisor coordinate your technology move. You’ll be glad you did and there’s a lot of room for improving it at the same time.

CBC Solutions is a holistic consulting company and trusted advisor. We can help demystify the office move from the technical side so you can focus on everything else. If you’re planing or even thinking of moving give us a call. We’ll look at your potential new location to make sure you can get service and coordinate the move so you stay in business as much as possible.

 


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How to cut telecommunications costs by 20-30%

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“If you haven’t completed a detailed analysis of your telephone bills in the past two years, there’s a 90% chance you are being overcharged—possibly as much as 20%.” — FCC

“Rather than getting better as a result of computerization, utility bills seem to be getting worse. They are indecipherable, lack itemization, contain inflated or phony charges, and cost customers billions of dollars a year.” — Ralph Nader

With the rise in Telecommunications costs, it becomes increasingly important to analyse your costs for errors, overages and omissions. Additionally, as the market gets more competitive, carriers are offering better and better deals. This, combined with changing business needs causes companies to have to re-analyze their current contracts on an ongoing basis.

CBC Solutions offers a 5 step process to help businesses find the best cost savings they can get while meeting the business needs of the organization.

  1. Assess business processes & determine voice and data needs
  2. Audit contracts and latest invoices
  3. Identify alternate vendors for service needs
  4. Provide a formal recommendation & assist with implementation
  5. Track invoicing and manage contract renewals

On average, CBC Solutions can find 20-30% or more savings on a telecommunication budget and drive down operating costs. With CBC Solutions at your side, you can be sure your getting the best possible rates. We cut through the loopholes and get the vendors competing for your business.

Our Commitment:

  • Absolute Neutrality – Our network of over 100 carriers contains no underlying commitments or quotas. We negotiate the best rates with your best interests at heart.
  • No Risk – CBC Solutions employ a risk-free auditing technique. We find the best rates for your organization so you can focus on your core business.
  • Lifetime Support – We want to earn your trust. As a result, we treat your account as if it is our own. Our vendor relationships allow us to get better support than the average person and we will support you as long as your contract lasts.

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What Can a Hosted PBX Offer You?

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In today’s fast paced environment, many businesses are turning to Telephony (the integration of voice, data and computing) to keep in contact with customers, suppliers and business partners.

Legacy business phone systems are being replaced with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Hosted PBX systems at a very fast pace.

Major phone system vendors are pushing their Telephony products over the traditional onsite, digital phone system model.

With all the new features and vendors on the market, how do you decide what to buy and keep from getting locked into the wrong contracts or systems?

Fortunately, there are some great options now. Hosted services like Hosted PBX, Hosted VoIP and SIP Trunking are allowing companies to tap into the market with lower risk and at a fraction of the cost.

What is VoIP?
The term “Voice over Internet Protocol” defines a system where normal voice communications are converted to digital data that can be sent across your existing PC network, then converted back into voice on the other end. It allows for low-level integration with the computer. This in turn allows applications such as Outlook, CRM systems and other software to gain insight to calling patterns.

VoIP can benefit your business by offering many features you wouldn’t ordinarily have:

  • Detailed Call Tracking
  • Customer Relations Management
  • User-level call routing
  • Voicemail to email
  • Status based call routing
  • Call center management
  • Mobility

What is Hosted PBX?
There are many ways to convert to VoIP. The fastest and most scalable method is through a Hosted PBX service. Hosted PBX is a from of Cloud Computing service where a carrier provides alll the features of an enterprise phone system from their location. With a hosted system, there is no equipment to buy and the system is managed and upgraded by another party. This architecture is also sometimes referred to as Hosted VoIP.

The architecture is very simple for the business. Pre-configured phones are plugged into the data network just like a computer, then configured with the users extension and contact info. from a dedicated web-based console.

Hosted PBX can offer many benefits to the business:

  • Easy to implement
  • Only pay for what you use
  • Bundled or free long distance rates
  • Fast setup
  • Enterprise level features at an affordable price

Enhanced Call Routing
A VoIP system allows you to be sure you’ll never miss a call (unless you want to). Every user on the system gets their own extension and voicemail box. As an additional option, everyone can have a direct inward dialing (DID) number as well.

Users manage their own extension through a call manager application installed on their computer and/or mobile device. The call manager allows them to:

  • Record voicemail messages
  • Handle voicemail routing
  • Instant message co-workers
  • Define call routing

Call routing features allow the user to configure how incoming calls are routed. This is done through profiles.

For example:

  • Standard – At your desk, ready to receive calls
  • In a Meeting – Don’t ring, send incoming calls to voicemail
  • Out of Office – Forward calls to mobile or an assistant
  • Extended Leave – Route calls to voicemail with a special announcement

These call profiles can be configured in any way you like. Once the profiles are configured, incoming calls will be handed in accordance with the Active Profile. A profile (otherwise known as “Presence”)  can be made active in a variety of way:

  • Manually set by the user
  • Manually set by a designated assistant
  • Automatically based on appointments in a calendar
  • Automatically by time of day, day of week, etc

Mobility solutions allow a user to place and receive calls from an app installed on a mobile device. This allows users to make calls from their designated extension without having to give out a mobile number. Also, callers only need to know one phone number to reach you no matter where you are.

Computer Integration
Integrating the Call Manager application with the computer allows additional features not found in legacy phone systems:

  • Enhanced call logging with notes
  • Dial from Outlook
  • Log calls in CRM
  • Easy forward and conference calling
  • Quickly find presence status of another employee

Hosted PBX Additional Features
Nationwide Hosted PBX providers add more features not found in an on premise system:

  • Multi-location disaster failover
  • Unlimited long distance
  • System upgrades
  • Pay only for what you use
  • New features automatically implemented
  • Bundled services with Internet access, calling plan, etc for even more savings

Conclusion
Business phone systems have come a long way since the days of calling a main number, then a 4 digit extension. Voice Over IP can greatly extend the features of the phone system to enhance the way you do business, improve productivity, and even low costs. Although there is some risk if you don’t get connected with the right provider, it still outweighs the risk of having the whole system onsite.

Have a question about Voice over IP? Want to know if it’s for you? Give us a call to discuss. We can help you decide if your business can benefit from a system like this and give you an idea of how much it will cost.


Free yourself from the worry of technology and get back to running your business today!