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Your One Stop IT and Telecommunications Firm


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Pro’s and Con’s of Business Phone Systems

The following are the pro’s and con’s of hosted, digital, and VoIP business phone systems.

Hosted Solutions 

Pro’s –

  • Cheap TCO (total cost of ownership)
  • Cheap monthly operating cost

Cons –

  • Relies completely on internet connections (if any connection between you and the other person has an issue your call may not work)
  • No guarantees of call quality (typically very poor)
  • No guarantee of ability to call
  • Not regulated by PSC (Public Service Commission) or FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
  • Company could be anywhere in the world
  • Company may not be around next month
  • Requires large data connections from your internet provider
  • No multi-office connectivity over VPN’s

Digital Phone System 

Pro’s –

  • Stable and reliable
  • Phone lines come from your local phone or cable provider
  • Supports Analog, PRI, and T1 signaling
  • Good for Hotel/Motel environment
  • Local phone companies are regulated by the PSC or FCC

 

Cons –

  • Very proprietary
  • Requires a special set of skills to make changes
  • Typically relies on specialty technicians trained in older technology
  • Facing end of life due to outdated technology
  • Not feature rich
  • Limited call control for receptionist
  • Cabling is expensive

 

VoIP Systems 

Pro’s –

  • Proven technology
  • Can be managed by any person that is computer literate
  • Supports Analog, PRI, and T1 circuits provided by the phone or cable provider
  • Easily connects to current computer network
  • Uses standard network communication technology
  • Reasonably priced
  • Feature rich with options like call center, monitoring, and remote administration.  Also follow me features which automatically forward to other phone numbers outside of the organization such as cell phones
  • Multi office connectivity over VPN’s

Cons –

  • Typically need to purchase new phones
  • Requires an analysis to see if the current infrastructure will support VoIP
  • Upfront coast (usually can be spread over time with leasing)

 

To find out what solution is best for you and your budget contact a Wilson Technology Group representative at:  352-796-9891; cs@wilsontechgroup.com  or visit our web site: www.wilsontechgroup.com

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Choosing A Business Phone System

There are about as many different business type phone systems on the market as there are different cars, so how do you really sort through them and make an educated decision about which one is truly right for your business?  The answer is you put them into different classes much like you would when you are considering buying a new car.  When you decide that it is time to replace old Betsy with a newer model you first have to decide if you want a Van, SUV, Car or Truck.  The phone system is much the same thing. Do you want VoIP (voice over internet protocol), a digital system, or a hosted solution?

Hosted Solutions – There are a significant number of companies out there that offer what is called VoIP Hosted or SIP trunks.  These solutions will offer a very low cost initially since you do not need to purchase any hardware.  The hosting company will typically send you the phones and set everything up for you free of charge in exchange for a yearly contract.  Although this solution looks very appealing as it is easy on the budget and appears to be a great choice by the marketing material, the reality is that it has a lot of pitfalls and potential points of failure that they do not want you to know about.

Digital Phone System – These include systems like NEC and Toshiba.   These systems are less expensive and typically offer a simple set of features, but do not offer the robust features that are found in the computer driven VoIP systems.

VoIP Systems – These include systems like Ipitomy, Digium, and SwitchVox.  90% of the VoIP systems that are available are all written on the same base Asterisk software with a nice user front end.  Depending on the company that wrote the front end will depend on what features are available.  This type of phone system runs on computer hardware and is typically very stable and reliable.  This type of system is newer technology and is rapidly replacing the old outdated phone systems.


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Why Online Backup?

Your business is growing….Digital data is rapidly growing at a rate of 80% each year, and businesses are responsible for maintaining 85% of that information.

Data loss happens….Hard drive crashes, spilled drinks, and accidental file deletion can occur at any time and put your future in jeopardy.  93% of all companies that suffer significant data loss close down within 5 years!

You need to do more with less….Traditional backup solutions can be expensive and take weeks to implement, leaving your business vulnerable to revenue and productivity loss.

At minimum, you need to back up your data locally on a daily basis and test to ensure the back-up was successful.   Recommended links for this and disaster preparedness planning (for your data) can be found below.  But is this enough?

Companies have a fundamental need to protect their data.  Legally, companies are required to protect their data.  Failure to do so is a legal offense which can result in significant legal consequences.   Some of these include HIPAA, SOX, GLBA and more.

Information security problems will have major ramifications for any company with consequences ranging from identity theft, data theft, regulatory fines, loss of customer confidences and possible jail terms.

Wilson Technology Group is prepared to protect your data.   The benefits of this are:

  • You can focus on your core competencies and leave the IT to the experts
  • Leveraging the third parties economies of scale to get comprehensive IT coverage
  • No costly assets need to be acquired, implemented or maintained

 

 

 

 

The Wilson Technology Group Advantage

 

There are multiple solutions to ensure data backup and prevent security incidents.  Wilson Technology Group has chosen to partner with Mozy who is part of EMC Corporation – the largest provider of data storage platforms in the world.  This ensures your data is encrypted locally with military-grade encryption prior to transfer via a secure SSL connection.   You choose a managed encryption key or a personal key for added security.  Data is stored in

state-of-the-art data centers which employ the highest security standards and are SSAE 16 audited and ISO certified.

 


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Aren’t All Computers The Same?

Most PC manufacturers get their components from China where the wages are extremely low, the working conditions are horrible, and there are no quality control standards.  The quality and reliability of a PC is based solely on the components that are inside.  If you go to the box stores  this is exactly what you are getting, the cheapest thing they can possibly get.  As such these PC’s are also not designed to last very long or to be very reliable because if they were why would you buy another one?   Now we have to look at the other side of the coin.  If you buy a custom built PC it will often cost 2-3 times the price of the cheap one that you get at the box store.  OK,  well then you ask yourself the big question – “If they are so cheap and I can get 2-3 for the price of 1 then why would I buy the more expensive one?”

This seems like a really good argument but is it really?  After all what is the real cost of a PC? Unless you are pretty computer savvy you have to pay someone to set up the PC ($250 – $500), get Windows configured, upgrade to the correct version of Windows (about $100+) load the programs you need like Office (about $200+), get it on your business network, remove all the garbage software that comes in it and make it yours.  OK,  now that $400 computer that you thought was cheap is getting pretty expensive.  Roughly $1000+ and still counting, but wait it is not over yet.  Now that same PC,  because it is made so cheaply is not designed to actually perform for 8-12 hours a day like you need your business to run so it starts slowing down and crashing after about 6 months.  You just figure, OK,  that is what computers do and I will just hire the local geek to come fix it.  Now you are spending a couple hundred dollars for the computer guy to come get it running better again.  When he comes in and starts working on it he tells you that “I got it running better but you really should think about replacing it because it will not last.” I know what you’re thinking – that guy is just trying to sell me another PC because that’s how he makes money.  OK,  you are running again and now another 6-8 months goes by and your PC dies.  Oops!  It is out of warranty and you have lost everything on it. You lost all of your data and you don’t have a backup or your backup doesn’t work. Now you have to make a choice:  pay a data recovery company $2000 to recover your data?  What do I do now? Go to the box store and start the vicious cycle again?  This is what most people do and this is what the box stores and PC makers count on.   I almost forgot one key element.  The IRS says that a PC is supposed to be depreciated over a 3 year period.  Uh, OK,  I guess the bill just got bigger.

Now the other side of the coin.  You purchase a “Business Grade Workstation” designed and built from higher quality components and is designed to last for 3-5 years and you get a good backup plan (I will talk about this more in the future) and a management plan to ensure the health of your network and you enjoy a lot less stress and are able to focus on what is really important, running and growing your business.  The downside is that you will spend more money up front but you will also not have to get up every morning and wonder if you are going to be able to go to your office and have a productive and hopefully profitable day or if you are going to be pulling your hair out and spending a lot of money to make repairs that should have never happened.

Always remember that just like the cost of the computer is dependent of the quality of the components, so is the cost of the Tech and his skill sets that you hire to work on it.