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VLCM IT Industry News

E-Rate Lowers Costs of Protecting K12 Schools From Cyber Threat

Posted by VLCM on Feb 1, 2017 3:16:39 PM

In our hyper-connected world, it’s tough to stay safe from cyber threats. For K-12 schools responsible for protecting the privacy and safety of students and staff, data security must be a high priority.

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Topics: IT Tips

What SMBs Need To Know About Cybersecurity Insurance

Posted by VLCM on Jan 23, 2017 2:30:36 PM

No business is immune to cyber attack and the repercussions can be devastating, especially to SMBs. That’s why cybersecurity insurance is now a critical piece of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right policy for your risk profile and business.

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Topics: IT Tips

How to Evaluate VoIP Service Providers

Posted by VLCM on Feb 3, 2016 11:24:23 AM

You’re a small business owner who knows you need to start reaping the benefits that come with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). You also know the old way of analog phone lines and expensive equipment just doesn’t make sense for your business anymore. But there are so many choices out there today, you must evaluate your options so you select the right provider for your particular business.
 
Here are some tips to help you begin your VoIP comparison:

Tip #1: Know Your Needs

Modern phone systems can do pretty much anything outside of making you a cheeseburger, but that doesn’t mean you need every feature available.  Typically, features cost money, so it’s wise to invest resources into options that are going to deliver the largest ROI as far as productivity is concerned. Evaluate the features you will actually for day-to-day operations, and if the product listing offers services you won’t use, you may want to lower the budget.

Tip #2: Ask Questions

There are so many VoIP providers out there today, which means some of them are reliable providers and others are not. To weed them out, ask some questions. Start by focusing on their ability and infrastructure to support the phone system. Their hardware and software should be robust, secure, and adaptable to change.
 
Here are some commonly asked support questions:
  • How is the network infrastructure structured? (Who’s the owner, the service technician and who should be contacted with issues)
  • What is the redundancy structure?
  • What are the recovery processes?
  • Do you have a softswitch? (Software that’s used to bridge a network with the VoIP services)
  • Are there any third party services?
  • How will we be notified of new features?
  • What is the process of getting a system implemented?

Tip #3: Find Current Customers

The best recommendation for a business is a current customer, and the same is the case with VoIP service providers. Identify some businesses similar to yours in in size and ask them who their provider is and what they like or don’t like about them. Also ask about any challenges they’ve had with their provider and how they’ve overcome them.

Tip #4: Know The Support Process

When a system goes down, your top priority is figuring out how you can things back up and running as quickly as possible. You want to know exactly who you will need to call to get the situation resolved promptly and to your expectations. Providers should be clear about whether or not they offer 24/7 customer service or if they have another recovery process in place for off hours. 
 
Providers may also offer a service level agreement (SLA). SLA’s confirm in writing the level of service they will deliver as well as how they are prepared to compensate you if they are somehow unable to meet that level of service. Also, ask for statistics regarding performance and reliability.
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Topics: IT Tips

How to avoid presentation tech failure

Posted by Jessica Doucette on Jul 27, 2015 1:00:00 PM

We’ve all been there. That dolorous moment where your computer won’t publicly connect to the projector. The awkward laptop hover, muttering to yourself and begging for help from the audience. Whether you’re hosting a meeting for ten, or a presentation for a hundred, these tips for presentation preparedness are all about saving you time, and embarrassment. Here’s our guide to avoiding those cringe-worthy tech fails.

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Topics: IT Tips