By the DynaSis Team
Several recent reports have highlighted the growing importance for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) of outsourcing their IT functions. There is also new evidence that SMB owners are actively embracing the use of managed services.
Per a 2015 report from the MSPAlliance, an international association of cloud computing and managed services providers (MSPs), North American firms spend approximately $154 billion annually for managed services. The MSPAlliance also reports that SMBs are at the top of the list, in terms of adoption. Benefits cited by the SMBs contracting for managed IT services include increased operational performance, decreased operational risk, reduced IT costs and accelerated innovation.
The IT solutions offered as managed services range from computing, storage and networking resources to mobility strategy and management, expert, 24/7 support for users, and even telephony services. Some IT support companies offer ongoing monitoring, management and maintenance of the underlying infrastructure (with service guarantees).
The most engaged MSPs also offer IT consulting and strategic planning services to help organizations create roadmaps of upgrades and improvements, maximizing budget while minimizing downtime. With all of these options potentially—but not necessarily—available, SMB decision makers considering managed services must both identify their own priorities and vet their candidates carefully. Following are a few issues to consider.
In the long run, many organizations find that contracting with an MSP for all IT services is the most cost-effective solution. This is especially true when the provider offers proactive monitoring and problem resolution, which is proven to reduce outages significantly. With virtually all SMB staff requiring computing resources, IT outages quickly become costly based on wasted staff resource alone. When the cost of lost sales and goodwill are factored in, the price tag is even higher. For even the smallest providers, the new reality is that uptime is no longer optional.
Selection of an IT outsourcing company is a very important business decision. For almost a quarter century, Atlanta’s small to mid-sized businesses have relied on DynaSis’ for managed IT services, internet security, and 24 x 7 x 365 helpdesk support. Today, with cybercrime becoming an ever-increasing threat, DynaSis has become an industry leader in network protection and ransomware prevention. Please take a tour through our website at www.DynaSis.com or speak with a technical expert at 678.218.1769.
By the DynaSis Team
Although the cost benefits of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services are well-documented, business decision makers considering VoIP want more than just savings. Software Advice, a Gartner Research company, reported in 2014 that among companies with revenues of less than $100 million, business owners were more focused on reliability and scalability than price.
These concerns are well-founded, because call quality and system scalability—not to mention enhanced system features—can vary considerably from one VoIP provider to the next. Whether a firm is currently using VoIP service and considering a change or evaluating it as a new technology, evaluating all the criteria relevant to the organization is the best way to reap maximum value. Following are some key benefits that small and midsized business owners should expect from their VoIP solutions.
Fifty years ago, live operators made connections, ensuring that callers reached someone who could help them. With the advent of voice mail, callers increasingly found themselves forced to leave messages or be routed around the system, never speaking to a human. VoIP technology erased this scenario forever.
A well-designed solution should be able to route incoming calls automatically to the location and device designated to service that caller. If a caller leaves a voice mail, some systems can automatically convert it to an email or text message and deliver it electronically. These services increase the percentage of completed calls and reduce the lag time between a message being left and a call returned, which improves customer service and also boost sales.
Unlike legacy PBX systems requiring connections installed by “the telephone company,” VoIP systems can be scaled easily and inexpensively over existing office Internet (such as Ethernet) lines. Support for Wi-Fi calling increases scalability even more, since provisioning a new area of the office requires little more than adding an access point and a few handsets.
However, the price tag for upgrade assistance from a communications or managed IT services provider can vary considerably. Furthermore, VoIP platforms do require switching systems to route calls, and scalability can be an issue with on-premise PBX hardware. Cloud-hosted switching platforms are usually the most cost-effective option for system expansion.
Enhanced Communications Services
Many VoIP providers offer a palette of specialized communications services, from chat platforms to teleconferencing. All VoIP services, from basic calls to streaming HD conference feeds—travel over the same connection, providing the company has sufficient Internet bandwidth (capacity). Organizations should evaluate their current and future needs closely and align themselves with a provider that offers everything they want—along with the IT support to manage it. Switching VoIP providers after the contract starts can be cumbersome and even costly if cancellation penalties apply.
In this article, we have introduced you to some of the most fundamental VoIP considerations for business owners. To help you explore additional value-add features, we recommend this “Top 10” article from Tech Republic.