Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, has been widely accepted by the business community as an excellent communication tool. This is due to both the cost savings that VoIP offers, as well as the many, many features that are inherently bundled into the solutions available. There may be more of these features than you may realize. Here, we’ll review some of these features, and disprove some misconceptions along the way.
What Can VoIP Do?
As said above, VoIP has many features baked in that can assist businesses in their daily operations. Many will be very familiar, as they are those that conventional phone systems offer, but taken to the next level and offered at a more affordable price point. While not all providers will offer every one of these features, they cannot be ignored.
In addition to the familiar hold, call transfer, and call forwarding capabilities that most phone systems have, VoIP offers a few capabilities that lend themselves to productivity.
Outbound Call Control
You provide your employees with business phone systems for a reason–to conduct business. However, it isn’t uncommon for employees to succumb to the temptation and abuse their access to these phone systems. Outbound call control helps to eliminate this temptation by only allowing certain numbers to be dialed.
There are some very good reasons to have your employees record the business calls they place (with the permission of the other people involved in the call). Whether its for quality assurance or as a means of taking a more complete record of an interaction, these calls have proven exceptionally useful to businesses that want to ensure that customer service and satisfaction are achieved. Many VoIP solutions offer this functionality to the benefit of the businesses that leverage them.
Unfortunately, not all calls that your business receives will be welcome ones, and you may have to consider taking drastic measures if these kinds of calls persist. VoIP solutions also offer call-blocking, allowing you to prevent such calls from making it to your staff, ultimately preventing their time from being wasted.
As you can see, VoIP has a lot more to offer a business than just cost savings… but that’s a real benefit, too. To leverage all of these benefits in your business, give Kite Technology a call at 855-290-KITE.
Communications in the business world are absolutely critical to success. However, there are so many changes that it can be mind-boggling just to keep up. Thankfully, the latest and greatest communication solutions make it easy for small businesses to save money while also enabling them to improve the capabilities they already have.
Here are the five major business communications tools that are out there:
- Instant messaging
- Team collaboration apps
We’ll take a close look at what each of these solutions has brought to the table over the years, as well as how they help businesses like yours.
Let’s start with the basics. Telephone helps businesses improve operations simply by being available for use. The telephone has enabled organizations to grow in such a way that it’s a staple in the modern office. Telecommunication providers have only increased their number of services as time passes, layering new features and upgrades even if most companies don’t necessarily need them. As a result, telephone systems have become more costly than they’ve ever been.
To counter this, VoIP solutions have become much more affordable, leveraging your Internet service to make and accept calls. This comes with all of the features that your typical phone system would have, but at a fraction of the price. Kite Technology can help your business start to save money with VoIP today.
Email is another technology that has persisted through the ages, increasing in scope and use. If someone doesn’t have an email address, they can’t do various things online, like create an account on a website. Email is also incredibly important for correspondence with clients and internal employees. Through integration with a customer resource management software, you can push notifications to the center of your attention.
Email is much more intuitive than it ever was in the past, but this also makes it much more time-consuming. If you’re not careful with managing your messages, you risk exposing important information to the wrong people, opening the doors to hacking or phishing attacks that can cripple your infrastructure. Still, the fact that email is so useful makes people want to create solutions designed for integration with it, making it an easy way to achieve as much as possible with a single solution.
Collaboration is more important today than it has ever been in the past. Most organizations take full advantage of remote connectivity to hold virtual meetings to keep employees working together or to stay connected with distant clients. With solutions out there that allow for screen swapping, video presentation, and face-to-face communication, conferencing technology has come a long way. Some conferencing software solutions allow for integration with your VoIP solution, making for an easy way to stay connected with all of your employees–remote workers included.
Instant Messaging Apps
Instant messaging lets your team communicate easily and efficiently. In fact, it’s such a common program that many business apps have it built right into them. Unfortunately, these are also major issues that come from instant messaging, with the biggest among them being the distraction they cause. These programs often provide a “for business” product, though, so the issues that come from these solutions can be mitigated. Some of the issues presented that can be lessened include security, reporting, and media sharing, thus keeping your organization both secure and productive.
Project management is made much easier thanks to team collaboration applications. The two biggest on the market at the moment are Slack and Microsoft Teams. They both offer an interface similar to the modern email solution, along with email’s capabilities, real-time messaging, and countless other integrations that allow project managers to get the most out of their assets. Users can create forums to ask questions or start conversations, and useful information can be shared with the entire implementation team. By creating a solution that enables project managers to see a project’s progress at a glance, developers have provided businesses with a great way to collaborate across departments for success.
Does your business need better ways to communicate? Kite Technology can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.
One of the most notorious error screens out there has to be the Windows’ Blue Screen of Death, the devastating fatal error that occurs when something has gone horribly wrong with your computer. But what actually causes this error, and what can you do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again? Let’s find out.
The Causes of the Blue Screen of Death
A blue screen of death happens when your desktop’s hardware or drivers malfunction. They are typically not caused by software, but they can sometimes be caused by low-level applications in the Windows kernel. This tends to explain why an application crashing doesn’t necessarily mean that your operating system crashes with it. On the hardware end, however, if that were to crash, it creates a situation where your business’ applications will be force-stopped, potentially deleting unsaved data and other information.
The only way to resolve the blue screen of death is to restart the computer, but at that point, how much data has actually been lost? It’s a situation that no business owner wants to find themselves in.
Thankfully, there is a way to see what causes the blue screen of death. Upon crashing, Windows creates a file with information about what caused the crash. However, you might not know what to do with this file. If not, don’t worry about it. KiteTech has your back. Here are some slick tips for helping you figure out the cause of your blue screen of death.
- Update your drivers: If a driver is out of date, you can see if it’s the issue by updating it.
- Scan your systems: Malware and viruses can often create issues for organizations, including the blue screen of death.
- Boot up in safe mode. This boots your operating system in a barebones mode, allowing you to determine if the issue is an unnecessary software or in your root files.
- Check for hardware issues: If your computer is having memory problems, you can find out by looking at the task manager. Also pay attention to odd sounds or spikes in temperature.
If you’ve tried all of the above options, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kite Technology for additional assistance. We can help your business resolve any issues with your IT. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.
Are your employees putting your organization’s security at risk due to poor email practices? This is a question that all business owners need to consider–especially if you deal in sensitive information. We recommend that all businesses utilize a two-pronged approach to email security, including both technology measures to secure communications on the technical side and training to secure on the human side.
We’ll discuss some of the various measures you can take to keep your email communications as secure as possible, including encryption, spam protection, and employee awareness.
Encryption plays a key role in defending your organization’s data from outside eyes. The way that it works is relatively simple to understand. Data sent on an unencrypted connection can be viewed while it’s in transit, making this kind of communications easy enough to intercept. When data is sent along an encrypted connection, the data is scrambled for all those who don’t have the encryption key to unscramble it. This means that even if someone does manage to steal data while it’s in motion, they won’t be able to read it or decipher it without the encryption key found on the recipients’ end.
Depending on your industry, you might even be required to equip your systems with encryption protocols to keep data secure while it’s being sent. Examples include healthcare, government, and other highly sensitive industries that handle confidential information.
When there are employees using email, there will always be spam messages and phishing attacks that could potentially expose sensitive information or credentials to would-be hackers. It’s a necessity that your organization has an enterprise-level spam protection solution filtering messages that hit your inbox. This essentially minimizes the chance that someone will click on a malicious link or download a suspicious attachment in a spam message. Since spam can be sent to countless users all over the world with the click of a button, it’s an ideal way for hackers to spread their influence without much work.
Phishing attacks, on the other hand, are more difficult to protect against, as they have to be identified as malicious before they can be handled properly. Scammers can personalize messages to the user and get them to act impulsively when exposed to them, creating situations where an otherwise good employee would expose your organization out of fear that they would get into trouble for not acting. This is where the next part of email security comes into play: employee training.
Conditioning Your Employees for Security
As is the case with most network security, you can’t truly achieve it without the help of your employees. Since they are the ones handling your organization’s data in email, they need to be aware of how their actions could expose your business to malicious entities. One way you can do this is by providing them a list of best practices to check for when in doubt of an email’s authenticity. You should have them look for the following:
- Sender email address: If the email address comes from an obscure email domain that doesn’t have any rhyme or reason to it, it’s likely that it’s a spam message.
- The sender’s intent: If the sender is urging you to take immediate action, like paying a bill or claiming a reward, think twice before clicking on any links or making any payments.
- Spelling and grammar: Often times hackers come from countries where English isn’t necessarily their first language, making emails from them filled with spelling and grammar errors. If the message doesn’t look professional, it’s best to avoid it.
- Unrequested attachments: Hackers like to spread threats like malware and viruses through email attachments. If you receive a message with an unrequested attachment, think twice before downloading it. Double-check who it comes from and whether or not it’s legitimate.
- Sketchy links: Before clicking on any links in an email, hover the mouse over it to see where the link goes. If it doesn’t go where the link says it goes, don’t click the link.
Of course, the biggest thing to keep in mind is when in doubt, ask your IT department about the message. This is especially the case if the message seems to be from Windows support or an IT company asking to remote into the device. If your business wants to get started protecting its assets and reinforcing email security, look no further than KiteTech. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep an eye on how your staff communicates. Email and telephone have long been staples in this regard, and these solutions come packed with features like file storage and instant messaging. With more organizations taking their businesses on the go, these businesses are trying to take advantage of applications with the ability to integrate with their real-time messaging apps. Enter: Slack and Microsoft Teams, two solutions that hope to change the way business communications work.
What is Slack?
SLACK is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversations and Knowledge.” It takes all of the great features of enterprise email solutions and combines it with an instant messaging program for a single comprehensive interface. This type of combined solution is great for making communication much more efficient and manageable. Slack is hosted in the cloud, so it is available on any device that can access it, as well as drag-and-drop file sharing.
The bottom line is that Slack is used for collaboration amongst your employees. A user can set up a chat feed (think forums) determined by their responsibilities within your organization, complete with custom notification settings for each chat they are involved with. This gives a single worker a custom interface for each of their roles, allowing them to be productive on multiple fronts. Project management is also a major part of using Slack, as each project can have its own feed. Individual departments can be equipped to work on individual parts of each project, streamlining processes considerably.
Perhaps the biggest part of what makes Slack so effective for productivity is the countless productivity apps that Slack can work with. It can connect with Google Hangouts, Google Drive, Twitter, Asana, WordPress, Mailchimp, and so much more. Slack can give your organization the ability to work faster than you’ve ever imagined. Slack can be used for free, but an enterprise edition is also available for a small cost per user.
What About Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a chat and collaboration platform that can help your organization streamline communications and project fulfillment. Compared to Slack, Microsoft already has a major foothold in the business productivity environment with their Microsoft Office 365 offering. Teams basically ties all of these apps together, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Power BI, all in one easy to use interface.
Since Microsoft Office 365 is already used so much, this central hub can be a great way to change the way your organization manages itself. You can streamline access to files, take advantage of internal sites, and leverage dashboards, all controlled through Office 365. There are over 70 connectors that can help your Enterprise Office 365 offering provide value, including GitHub, Evernote, Mailchimp, and Salesforce.
Does your business need a communications management system? KiteTech can help. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.
IT is extremely important for not just enterprises, but small businesses as well. IT administrators are able to save businesses a considerable sum just by monitoring and maintaining network infrastructures. By carefully looking after systems, downtime can be reduced, leading to more resources being available for other purposes. Of course, considering the fact that an organization’s network can quickly grow far beyond expectations, this task becomes much easier said than done.
What Makes a Complex Network?
Computers are by no means simple things. If you’ve ever tried to administer even basic maintenance without knowing the details, then you know this is a task best handled by professionals who dedicate their working lives to understanding these complex machines. Traditionally, the workplace infrastructure is made up of centralized servers, which are then connected to endpoints (workstations) and networking components. These machines all communicate with one another toward your business’ end-goal. The Internet makes this even easier, as networks can rely on the Internet for data dispersal, but security takes a hit for this convenience.
Going even further, the more endpoints that you hook up to a network make it more complex. Think about all of the workstations, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other devices that all have access to your organization’s data. It quickly becomes a major issue for organizations that are constantly growing. Keep in mind that this doesn’t even include data that’s stored in virtual environments, like cloud platforms and websites.
Network Monitoring Best Practices
There are many network monitoring best practices, but we want to mention first that it’s much easier to trust the security of your network professionals. Not only does it save countless hours on your end, but it also improves security overall by having trained professionals on the task at hand. Our managed IT services solution is a great way to make sure that your network remains maintained, even under the worst of circumstances.
5 Monitoring Practices to Consider
- Pay Attention: If you can keep your network healthy, you’ll be sure to suffer from fewer system errors. This type of proactive maintenance is made easier if you are paying attention to issues on your infrastructure so they can be resolved before they become major problems.
- Find an Overreaching Solution: End-to-end monitoring can help you focus less on individual parts of your network, taking a look at the whole picture rather than just a fraction of it. You want a solution that can be used on both a wireless and wired network, as well as virtual and physical environments, databases, and applications. It should support all the necessary protocols and languages as well, on all types of different devices.
- Optimize Bandwidth: Data flow bottlenecks are major issues that can get in the way of your business’ tools being used effectively. You should be monitoring bandwidth levels to keep this from becoming a problem.
- Prepare to Scale: Scalability is incredibly important for modern businesses, as you can never know when you need to make changes to improve productivity or data access. You should be able to scale up or down to meet your business’ specific needs at any point in the near future.
- Ensure Your Solution is Flexible: When selecting a monitoring platform, be sure that it offers flexibility in its licensing models. This should allow it to be used on many different types of devices and applications.
Kite Technology’s IT professionals can hook you up with the best monitoring and management network tools on the market. To learn more, reach out to us at 855-290-KITE.