Cloud-Based File Storage Programs Enhance Business Collaboration, Safety and Simplicity

 

It’s become quite clear to us how valuable collaboration is to the health of a business in today’s marketplace. Today’s businesses cannot afford to have staff waiting around, in order to get access to the tools they need, so they can do the job.

As businesses grow from small teams to larger organizations, there is a growing need to communicate and collaborate effectively. The problem that central data storage solves is that it gives everyone on the team the ability to immediately retrieve, backup and share mission-critical files in real-time. Salespeople no longer need to wait around for support staff to send them follow-up files for customer contact. Managers can instantly access subordinate data in order to make sure that work is getting accomplished. In sum, everyone can get what they need, when they need it, wherever they are, without having to wait on other people.

 

When evaluating cloud-based data storage services, two primary concerns for businesses are security and ease-of-use. One of the pioneers of cloud-based data storage, Dropbox.com, is clearly a simple-to-use solution, yet they lack in security. According to Business Insider, “Nearly 7 million Dropbox usernames and passwords have been hacked, apparently via third-party services that hackers were able to strip the login information from.”  This security breach has huge implications for other off-the-shelf data solutions in that they lack the foundational feature of data storage technology; it must keep your company data safe

 

The second key factor is to examine a solution’s simplicity and ease-of-use. With many providers data storage can be set up at a secure physical location and a central file repository can work well within the confines of an office. Unfortunately, this falls short for the “71 percent of businesses who require technology that enables their staff to work anywhere, at any time.” Solutions that are cloud-based and work independently of employee location are clearly superior.

 

At Prime, we have a number of excellent data storage solutions available for business users. Feel free to reach out to us and let’s get the conversation started.

So Your Company Wants to Adopt VoIP… How Do You Know If Your Network Is Ready to Make the Transition?

While the cost savings and new applications of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are rapidly attracting many small to mid-sized companies to this popular communication solution, it may come with a significant price to your network.  Not only must your network carry more traffic, but VoIP traffic demands very high performance and is more sensitive to normal network problems like delays and choppy communication.  Even modest levels of impairment, unnoticed by users of most data applications, will cause significant caller frustration and will not sit well with your customers, business partners, or even your own employees.

Before investing in a large-scale VoIP deployment or even in a small trial, you need to know how well your network infrastructure will handle the additional, quality-sensitive voice traffic.  Many seemingly well-planned trials encounter delay after delay, exceed cost estimates, and are eventually cancelled when the network proves unable to meet the unique requirements VoIP places on it.  However, these business issues can easily be avoided if your telecommunications provider properly assesses your network ahead of time to truly understand the scope and type of work required to ensure a successful transition to VoIP.

Gartner reports that 85% of networks are not ready for VoIP.  What’s even more shocking is that 75% of companies that do not perform a pre-implementation analysis of their network infrastructure will not realize a successful implementation.  These are astonishing statistics because without conducting a network assessment with a quality assessment tool, the potential for wasting time and money is extremely high.  In order to increase the likelihood of a successful VoIP implementation, an evaluation of the network must be properly executed and should include the following four steps.

  1. Pre-Deployment Assessment

The pre-deployment assessment step analyzes the current capabilities of the network, evaluates its ability to support VoIP, identifies potential problems, and determines the requirements needed to handle expected call traffic.  It is strongly recommended that the pre-deployment test is conducted prior to the purchase or installation of any VoIP equipment.  The analysis should include such items as bandwidth, utilization, jitter, throughput and latency.

  1. Post-Deployment Assessment

The purpose of the post-deployment assessment is to gain a complete understanding of VoIP quality and network efficiencies prior to turning it on.  This step determines the level of success and prevents issues with call quality or dropped calls.  Whenever new equipment is introduced to a network the chance for unexpected issues rises; therefore, it is critical that post-deployment assessment is not overlooked.  This assessment should be immediately performed so any changes can be made in a timely manner.

  1. Regular Maintenance Assessment

As you’re probably aware, your network is dynamic and constantly evolves.  New devices such as IP phones, laptops, switches, and routers are added or removed.  Whether it’s a minor change or a major one it will impact your network.  Therefore, it is important to re-evaluate your network regularly to identify any faults so they can be corrected as soon as possible.  Conducting ongoing assessments will help your organization increase quality, optimize system infrastructure, and reduce costs.

  1. Break/Fix Strategy

Unfortunately, unforeseen things may happen to a network that’s not readily identified by your IT department.  The situation may be brought to your company’s attention by a customer, an employee or business partner.  The Yankee Group has reported that some companies’ labor costs grew 30 to 40 percent with VoIP because of dealing with network problems.  Having a network assessment tool in place enables one to take action quickly, diagnose the problem, and resolve it, while minimizing its impact to the system as a whole.

Essentially, these four key steps have illustrated the primary objective and the many benefits of conducting network assessments.  Whether your company is about to take the plunge into VoIP or has already gone down that path, it is critical to deploy a tool that can accurately analyze your network.  Surprisingly, most companies overlook this integral component of the VoIP implementation process and the research clearly shows its negative impact.

As you tap into this relatively new communication solution that’s changing how business gets done, make sure you ask yourself this question.  What is my telecommunications provider doing to create a network environment that enables my company to take full advantage of VoIP? If network assessment is not included in the response then something is definitely wrong.

Prime Telecommunications Offers Innovative Cloud Disaster Recovery Solutions

Prime Telecommunications, Inc., a leader in unified communications, announced today that it has launched a program that focuses on cloud-based data safety. This program is aimed to help small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to effectively store, manage, and transfer their critical business files seamlessly while simultaneously increasing the overall security of all of their business files. Whether employees are utilizing files on their servers, laptops, workstations or smartphones, this Cloud Disaster Recovery Program will change the way that business owners handle their sensitive corporate and financial information.

For those who aren’t yet familiar, disaster recovery, is a set of policies and procedures which enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster. The majority of enterprise-level organizations have recognized the blatant need for disaster recovery programs because they focus on strengthening the underlying IT or technology systems supporting critical business functions, especially in moments of need. For example, when an organization starts growing and adds on more staff, there are more possibilities for human-induced disasters or data theft. An accidental deleted or misplaced file can can cost companies dozens of hours in lost producitity. Futhermore, with more staff come more devices, which in an increasing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment, means that there are more vulnerability points for hackers to enter the network. When businesses begin to scale, these productivity interruptions are no longer tolerable.

“When a business begins its growth trajectory, it’s easy to sit back and enjoy the success,” stated Vic Levinson, President at Prime Telecommunications. “We know that feeling. It’s so rewarding to see your business growth outpacing your operating expenses and all of the years of sacrifice make it completely worth it. It’s so easy to kick your feet up, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor in that moment, however, this is precisely when businesses need to take the steps to protect themselves so they can continue to grow at that same rate. This is when they are most susceptible to virtual disasters and without a comprehensive disaster recovery plan and cloud technology that is engineered specifically to shrug off these types of disturbances, they are putting that stable growth at risk.”

In years prior, many businesses were hesitant to purchase cloud-based disaster recovery solutions because they required large, up-front capital expenditures. Prime Telecommunications’ cloud disaster recovery program breaks this pattern because its on a pay-as-you go model, so businesses only pay for what they use, enabling them to scale up and down their disaster recovery program in perfect sync with the pace of their businesses. It’s file syncing, syncing with business growth, syncing with a cost structure that makes this technology easy to implement into any growth-oriented SMB.

Prime Telecommunications sponsors a hole at the Action Sertoma Golf Outing!

Prime sponsors a hole

 

The Action Sertoma Club would like to thank all of our supporters of our 2016 Golf Outing Fundraiser which was held on July 13th 2016, at the Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park, IL.

 The event was a tremendous success, the weather was perfect, over 230 golfers and guests attended the event, and it would not have been such a great success without your support.

 We thank you for being a  Hole Sponsor.

 Each year our club attempts to raise more funds then the previous year. This year was no exception.

 All of the funds raised at this event will be donated to the Sertoma Centre, Inc. The Centre since 1971 has been assisting people with personal challenges, including mental health, developmental, mental and physical disabilities.

 This year over 1,200 people with disabilities are being served daily.

 Again we thank you for your support, without you we would not be able to assist in the donations we make to the Sertoma Centre, Inc.

 

Waazzzup? WaaS – Work Space as a Service!

Prime Telecommunications, Inc., an industry leader in unified communications, announced today the release of their newest technology deployment, which is their WaaS (Workspace-as-a-service) program that is being offered to the SMBs (small to mid-sized businesses). The program is designed to help businesses make the proverbial jump to the cloud. As the number of executives increase, so does the demand for more flexible and secure applications, hardware, software and virtualized components. WaaS takes this a step further, by taking office technology to new heights by running every component through a virtualized network, instead of requiring local device management. Prime Telecommunications is very excited to announce this program and to share the value-adds with their existing client base.

In layman’s terms, WaaS virtualizes every component on a desktop computer. So instead of having a physical component such as servers on-site, which can become obsolete, security-breached or malfunctioning, all components are run through the cloud. For end users, this means that every single component of an employee’s workstation will be available to them, regardless of where they’re located or which device they happen to have with them. Everything resides in the cloud including all software, data, file sharing capabilities, Microsoft programs, and line of business software.

“We’re so excited to offer our WaaS program to SMBs,” stated Vic Levinson, President at Prime Telecommunications. “The majority of businesses will be transitioning the bulk of their IT infrastructure to the cloud and our WaaS solution enables them to do it in a secure manner without compromising their need for flexible access to all of their software tools and programs. Most businesspeople don’t have access to all of their technology at any point in time and WaaS eliminates this problem forever. Furthermore, the complete virtualization of the IT network into the cloud bolsters security. For example, in a WaaS environment, employees can BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) onto the network without any hassle and if that employee leaves the company, their access to the cloud can simply be deactivated, drastically reducing the risk of data loss, systems-breach or malicious use. The case for WaaS is quite clear, because it increases employee flexibility and company security. Over time, these combine to drive productivity and boost the bottom line, which is the core reason for any technology to reach popularity in the business community.”

Presence Management: The Greatest Form of Communication

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Want to increase communications and productivity between employees and customers?  Then, presence management is the way to go.  This wonderful technology gives all individuals within a company the ability to know what everyone is else is doing in real-time.  Is someone in the building or even at their desk? Are they in a meeting? Are they on the phone? By having this information one can determine if and in what manner to connect with another person.  That’s essentially the purpose of presence management and it’s enhancing the way we communicate. Having this information presents one with an array of communication options that’s dramatically driving up productivity for those companies – both large and small deploying presence management.

Unified presence management is driven off of a company’s voice and data system and empowers people to control every facet of their communications.  It includes and functions off of all devices such as computers, cell phones, Voice over IP (VoIP), and personal communications services.  As soon as someone logs onto their computer a pop up window appears containing the names of fellow employees and their current activity as well as their location.  Essentially, the technology lets you see the presence status of others, send emails and voicemails, receive faxes, control all your phone calls via desktop phones or a softphone, send secure Instant Messages and voice messages, launch a collaborative web conference session – all with a single mouse click.  Users may also put notes into presence for everyone to see.  For example, a note may have the time when an employee will be back in the office from lunch or say an off-site meeting.  Another user may make everyone aware that they may be working from home that day.  Knowing everyone’s availability offers greater options to rapidly assist with everyday business issues.

The power of presence is absolutely incredible.  For instance, a customer may contact your facility with a question and the individual that answered the phone may not have the necessary information to respond appropriately.  Immediately, the employee can view presence and see who is available to assist the customer.  They may send a question via an instant message or put the caller on hold, contact their colleague to gather the information or directly transfer the call while giving the colleague a heads up.  The flexibility of presence is tremendous and one can assume that it is easily driving customer satisfaction levels through the roof.  A basic phone system cannot operate in this fashion and unfortunately those that utilize traditional telephony are missing the boat.

Included in presence are such features as find me follow me.  This unique technology gives people the ability to reach a specific individual anytime, anywhere based on the implementation of a few easy to set rules in the system.  A can call come in and the caller has the option of finding the person on their cell phone or at another predetermined location.  The user may also have all calls set to directly transfer to the cell as well.  Another relatively new feature is twinning – a setting that rings both the desk and mobile phone simultaneously.  Reaching the person you want to, has never been this easy.

Time is more important than ever in today’s business environment.  Presence management saves an incredible amount of time because of the technology’s innate ability to drive efficiency and productivity.  Every business owner realizes the positive impact that even a minimal amount of improvement in this area can have on an organization’s bottom line, not to mention the empowerment an employee has to make better-informed communication decisions that in the end drives satisfaction in the workplace.  Presence management is a true win for everybody!

Using Internal Chat for Your Business

Internal chat apps have quickly become a must-have communication tool for businesses. If your business communications are still centered on email, or your team is using personal Skype, Google Hangouts or social media accounts to chat internally, it’s definitely time to get a team chat app.

I saw this article on the Broadview Networks blog. Since I am seeing a lot of private chat apps come out with various providers, I enjoyed the read. It was written by Nicole Yeager. Nicole is the Marketing Communications Specialist for Broadview Networks, a top 10 UC cloud provider in the nation, where she enjoys writing about the latest technology and cloud products businesses can leverage to maximize productivity, improve security and reduce costs.

Chat apps build a stronger working relationship amongst your employees, especially if your business operates in different locations or employees are on-the-go. The ability to chat in real-time increases productivity and builds a forum for your employees to feel comfortable sharing ideas.

Chat allows employees to share information effectively, while minimizing the disruption of work environments.  Employees who use chat are able to instantly engage with colleagues while on calls with customers or in meetings. As we all know, our email inboxes are inundated and emails typically cannot be answered immediately. Chat, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to send a brief message and provides a quick and easy method for others to respond.  Employees are able to successfully communicate at the touch of a button–eliminating the time needed to run messages across the office.

Team chat apps are perfect for customer facing and sales departments and improve the quality of service. Employees who are on calls with customers can seek assistance from their colleagues in seconds to provide more prompt and accurate service to their customers.

There are plenty of chat apps on the market to choose from, but it’s important that the platform you choose meets all of your needs and works across all platforms, anything less is sub- standard. For the best user experience and to accelerate adoption, make sure your chat app works on desktops; either as a standalone app or from the web or both, as well as having apps for Apple and Android phones and tablets. Broadview’s MyOfficeSuite application offers a unique integration of an entire communication platform: online presence, click-to-call extension dialing and company-wide chat functionality in one and is available on nearly every device you own.

Whichever chat application you choose, be sure that it offers cross-platform functionality to unify and simplify your communications across departments and your entire organization, no matter which device your team is using. This will allow you to keep you communications in one place for optimal efficiency and connectivity.

 

8 Signs You Should Invest in the Cloud

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The word “cloud” may have bounced in and out of conversations at your office, but you’re still not 100% sure it’s for you. You’re waiting for some sort of sign that it’s worth your time. Luckily, we have eight. If any of these sound like your business, it might be time to invest in the cloud.

You’re looking to upgrade your software.

With cloud software, the upgrades are automatic. You don’t need to repurchase the latest version every time you want to update. You pay for your business applications on a subscription basis – think of how you’d pay for a magazine – and updates are included! And when you want to add new software, you don’t need one of your IT guys running around installing it on every single device. Instead, it’s accessible through the cloud and can be ready to go in minutes, rather than hours or days. And if you realize you don’t need a certain application anymore, you can simply cancel the subscription and be left with no waste!

You’re in need of a hardware refresh.

In the cloud, the hardware becomes the provider’s job. When you want to be working on state-of-the-art hardware, but just don’t have the bucks to spend, cloud computing is the answer. You’re not the one who invests in and maintains the hardware – the provider is! You simply get the benefit of real-time, flexible storage and modern equipment that you don’t have to manage yourself. This frees up both time and money.

You want a data backup plan.

The cloud is able to protect data both virtually and physically, with a dedicated team in place that’s available around the clock. Despite some concerns about cloud security, it has proven itself over and over in recent years. Cloud providers are paid to keep client data safe. Support and backup become their primary focus, when it couldn’t always be yours. With the cloud, businesses avoid losing data in accidents. Redundant, geographically diverse data centers keep data up and running no matter what. It’s the best backup plan, protecting a business even if its primary location or one of the data centers is damaged.

You’re looking to cut down on CapEx.

Then you’re looking in the right place. Cloud moves much of CapEx to OpEx, thanks to the pay-as-you-go model. Businesses end up paying for what they need, as they need it, rather than spending a lot upfront for resources they might not even end up using. With the cloud, many costs shift to the provider, including costs of infrastructure and maintenance, so it’s easier for organizations to decrease spending.

You want your employees to have greater flexibility.

They should have immense flexibility, especially in today’s modern, mobile business world. The cloud provides employees with anytime, anywhere access to company data and apps, on any device. This includes laptops, smartphones and tablets. The user simply connects to the company workspace using their login, and they’re good to go. When employees can work remotely, opportunities open up for a business. It’s easier to expand geographically, that’s for sure. Users have an easier time computing, connecting and responding with this flexibility too. The cloud creates seamless access across multiple devices, which employees and businesses will certainly appreciate.

You’re interested in implementing BYOD.

BYOD not only adds flexibility, but it can cut down on costs. The “Bring Your Own Device” trend puts the responsibility into the employees hands. Rather than a business purchasing devices and updating them regularly, it’s up to the users. This can be empowering, as employees can use devices they’re comfortable with, and know that they have a choice in how they work.

You want to focus your IT resources in new or different areas.

IT was traditionally more of a maintenance role, but with the cloud, many of those responsibilities move to the provider. Instead, IT personnel can transition into leaders and strategists, leading your business towards innovation. They can focus more on ever-changing technology, delivering business value, focusing on growth and the competitive landscape, identifying problems and solutions, and choosing which new tools to implement.

You’re rapidly growing.

Scalability is a key benefit of the cloud. It’s always one of the first things you hear about, and that’s because it accommodates ever-changing business demands. If your business is rapidly growing, it gets really expensive and complicated to continue updating resources. With the cloud, when you need more resources, you get them instantly. There’s virtually unlimited space in the cloud, making it easy to get more when you need it, and then scale back down again as things calm down.

IT Buzzwords that Need to STOP!

Anybody who spends more than about 5 minutes with me professionally knows that I have an aversion (understatement) to buzzwords and meaningless techno-jargon. Imagine my delight when I came across this blog post from  Stephanie Moncayo that riffed all over my allergy. It is a great- and humorous read.

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Buzzwords, also known as pretentious jargon devoid of meaning, can easily drive anyone crazy! Although most users and administrators are familiar with Macbooks, Androids and Fitbits, few are actually familiar with the underlying technology that make their lives easier. Often, IT buzzwords are used to oversimplify the complex work that technicians, MSPs, and programmers do everyday. It’s no wonder they’re so frustrating. If you have ever had to explain to someone that “you’re not an app designer [so do] not confuse the program that saves entire organizations on a daily basis with Snapchat,” then you will certainly appreciate this post.

We’re back with another IT Community post! We’ve again browsed online communities like Spiceworks and Reddit to find the most irritable buzzwords you wish would just die. After filtering through hundreds of responses, which might I add was very entertaining (big kudos to HardLuckMike for his own thread), I’ve narrowed it down to these few notorious buzzwords that make every person in the tech industry lose it. Enjoy!

The “Cloud”

So by now, everyone and their mom knows about the Cloud, but who can actually explain it? If you’re in the tech industry, you hear this word and probably more than 50% of the time it’s being misused. One of our respondents described this anomaly, claiming that “people think the cloud is some magical place, but for our clients I could tell them the exact street address of where the cloud is lol.” More or less, you wish people could take five minutes to Google the definition.

Here are some more awesome responses to the “Cloud”:

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Synergy and Stuff

This next series of responses is my personal favorite because everyone can relate to hearing corporate business jargon for fifteen minutes straight. Your eyes gloss over and you walk away thinking, “what in the world was that?!” Well, now there’s Buzzword Bingo, a game that captures these irksome phrases. The Bingo card includes buzzwords like: innovative, giving it legs, strategic partnerships and integrate. Basically, the first person to call out five in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally wins Bingo! Yes, we shared the gameboard below for you to play along.

I’ll let the Spiceworks participants take it from here. The first response below received 208 spices. You aren’t alone, Digital Man!

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Another paragraph without meaning:

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More business jargon you love to decipher:

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As promised, the Buzzword Bingo Game!

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The Internet of Things

Huh? This is a buzz “phrase” that really ticks people off probably because it doesn’t make any sense. A lot of our respondents feel very strongly about this phrase. Many of you feel that the Internet of Things is a vague phrase that encompasses all too much, making it a useless term in itself. According to one definition I found, “the Internet of Things (IoT, sometimes Internet of Everything) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software,sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices based on the infrastructure of International Telecommunication Union’s Global Standards Initiative.” So…on to the comments?

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Unfortunately, I can’t make the buzzwords stop! That being said, these Spiceworks and Reddit responses serve to remind us all of the solidarity within the tech community, especially as it relates to these overused words. I hope you had as much fun posting responses as I did reading through them. A special thanks to everyone who participated. It’s nice to see comments like the one below, which reminds us we aren’t alone. That’s why we write these posts. We are here to hear you out!

5 Pain Points Found in SMB VoIP Deployments

Sometimes small and medium-sized businesses focus too much on cost and not enough on deployment details.

In deploying VoIP, small and medium-sized businesses often experience pain points in five critical areas, Adtran found in examining its Custom Extended Services deployments. The troubles crop up for a variety of reasons, from poor equipment choices to shoddy installation work.

Is Somebody Managing the Switch?
Large enterprises may take managed networks for granted, but to many SMBs the concept of a managed switch doesn’t take hold until comparing a $119 stripped-down appliance lacking in features and performance to a fully managed switch appliance costing $1,000 or more. Throw in Power over Ethernet (PoE) and associated costs, and many SMBs will ask, “Why should we pay so much for a switch?”

In the answer to that is an old problem: value-added resellers (VARs) installing cheap retail solutions. While these “trusted” partners initially may garner kudos for providing low-cost deployments, they aren’t really helping their customers in the long term. Unfortunately, issues will eventually surface for any number of reasons, including when customers attempt to deploy VoIP, call recording, or a local server supporting voice recognition. Trying to troubleshoot a LAN without managed switches is akin to chasing your tail — and this can become very costly as VARs bill for time and material.

When installing managed switches back in the mid 1990s, we used to tell customers they had 10 days to cancel their orders. None ever did, because the managed switches resolved the target issues; business owners place value on solutions that address their problems.

During this same era, we had arguments with plenty of IT and non-IT people about ripping out hubs and replacing infrastructure with managed switches. Today, the argument spills over to managed vs. non-managed, with the inaccurate but deep-rooted perception that a switch is just a switch.

Got Enough Capacity on That LAN?
Insufficient bandwidth certainly impacts SMBs with streaming video requirements, but a sluggish switch is going to bog down performance for low-bandwidth applications, too. An unmanaged switch is going to allow havoc to occur on that customer network, and the ability to isolate core problems greatly diminishes.

When these off-the-shelf unmanaged switches are uplinked to other retail appliances, problems compound. “A switch is just a switch” — well, no, it’s not. This argument from the IT perspective isn’t only lame, it is ill founded. How much backplane bandwidth a switch supports matters just as much as which features it includes.

Making cost the key consideration is where many SMBs err. They shouldn’t be evaluating on price alone, but factoring in considerations such as productivity and ability to operate on a network with a degree of consistency. A user experience that involves constant rebooting as a “fix” is not a good one. A managed network can boost productivity, streamline business processes, and improve customer relationships.

You Really Think Your Cabling Infrastructure Is Ready?
In some cases, Adtran found that SMBs thought their cabling infrastructures were ready when they weren’t. It would find, for example, that materials in use were not appropriate for the type of job or environment. With such errors comes problems like reverse polarity; in general, shoddy work on cabling infrastructure can end up costing an SMB in repairs and lead to lost revenue and even lost customers. Yet, it’s totally avoidable.

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Sometimes I find cabling infrastructure that’s not just not ready, but a mess of old and new layers of cabling added in over the years. Different contractors touching the cable plant coupled with bad work or inferior or misaligned products spell trouble.

One of my favorite cabling anecdotes involves the men’s room of a certain establishment — its telephone connections are vulnerable and the work is shoddy. Even more importantly, who would hang a network interface over the men’s room door?

How Much Value Is in That Low-End Solution?
Customers cite the benefit of being able to log in to their IP/SIP telephone sets from anywhere in the world, but when it comes to logging into their LAN infrastructure locally or from any other location there’s a gap. Unmanaged LANs are troublesome and carry security and other risks. On the other hand, a managed switch can help an SMB meet compliance mandates and lock down the network and endpoint assets.

Many retail locations utilize low-end Wi-Fi to serve customers; however, these often uplink to unmanaged switches and a poorly secured LAN. These companies are putting themselves at risk and, when security issues arise, they disconnect and abandon the Wi-Fi. They utilize off-the-shelf products and, again, trusted partners or IT staffers throw in low-cost solutions that result in high-end problems.

The value of logging into a telephone is highly overrated; how often do employees really need this capability, and what are the real benefits of providing it? If the answer were to save on expenses for moves, adds, and changes, then I’d question that because most phones in most SMBs remain static for years or at least until there’s a turnover. Even then, some SMBs simply don’t manage or pay to manage these changes, and many users simply don’t care so long as they can utilize the desk phone for what they want to accomplish.

Got the Right Power?
Adtran found switch ports suffering damage and other issues caused by the use of local power supplies for endpoints. This timeless problem is completely avoidable, too. Local power bricks create the potential for a wired lightning rod of sorts. Investing in a centralized managed PoE switch that is power protected and backed up with an uninterruptible power supply pays off.

These issues are real, but some SMBs with whom I’ve engaged head on at times don’t fully understand the need to address them and the benefits in doing so — until they experience low latency and high availability after deployment. Adtran offers free pre-sales engineering services, including heat mapping for Wi-Fi deployments, and this should entice the many if not the few SMBs that move from off-the-shelf appliances and step into solutions that managed PoE switches offer.

Adtran has incorporated power protection into its Netvanta 1550 series switches to prevent damaged ports from the numerous transients that occur on LAN infrastructures. LANs and local power infrastructure married together equate to increased risk and loss from local power disturbances. Unless you mitigate those risks you will continue to have losses.

The was originally published on NoJitter. As a service to our readers-I thought to repost it here. Matt Brunk did a good job writing about this. Here is the link to the original post! http://www.nojitter.com/post/240170322/5-pain-points-found-in-smb-voip-deployments