All-Hands Meetings

Company-wide meetings can be tricky, time-consuming, and costly, but they can also reflect positively on the company. By holding such an event, you are portraying to employees that your business cares enough to keep everyone informed of major company updates and emotionally connected to the company’s goals, while openly listening to honest, unfiltered feedback and questions.

Staying Transparent
This practice is reflective of how our society has evolved over time. Rather than sending messages down the rankings, business communication should be frequent and open, and not only flow top-down, but bottom-up as well. Achieving this can be challenging, but if done properly, it can be met with great benefits and success. Here are some common traits of successful all-hands meetings.

  • The CEO Really Cares

In order for transparency and bottom-up communication to be successful, you need a CEO who truly cares and sees this as a priority, rather than a CEO trying to simply make it appear so. Inauthentic efforts are obvious and may have a negative impact your employees.

CEOs that truly care put in the energy and effort to keep their teams in the know on what’s important and what they should care about. Enthusiasm for the common end goal comes across as genuine and makes employees feel valued, spurring their motivation.

The true willingness to foster open communication will show itself when the tough questions surface. They will exist whether they are addressed or not, so in order to gain the best insight from your team, CEOs should find ways to address all topics.

  • They Are Well Executed

A big, important event should be treated as one, and within companies who truly value all-hands meetings, this is exactly what is done. These companies have stadium-sized conference rooms with the best remote connectivity software for remote workers. They put lots of thought and care to the content being presented, with proper preparation for a near-flawless execution. There is no way that these meetings will seem like they were put together last minute, because, honestly, these meetings were planned well in advance.

  • Their Frequency Is Predictable

It is important to address employees often, whether it is annually, quarterly, monthly or weekly. However, it seems that companies in which CEOs address employees on a weekly or bi-weekly basis emphasize the importance of all-hands meetings and tend to have the most success. Rather than feeling like a hierarchy, these work environments foster a more cohesive team atmosphere.

  • They Are Not Contrived

When meetings are infrequent, they tend seem insincere and forced. Employees take notice when companies make the effort to demonstrate that they are important enough to communicate with directly.

In the same vein, opening the floor to employees can be scary for some. Some companies may filter questions, only allowing the ones in which they feel competent enough to address. Doing this, using a script, or all together avoiding Q&A can end up hurting the business. It may seem like a safe bet, but there’s no way around openly listening to the team if that’s the message you would like to relay.

  • Anyone Can Speak Up

Bottom line, everyone should be able to direct a question. However, this doesn’t mean that employees should be forced to raise their hands and participate, as some may have a significant fear of public speaking. With that said, every question, good or bad, should be welcome, from the most extroverted and risk-tolerant employees to the soft-spoken ones.

The use of a tool to gather and curate questions (anonymous or not) during the days or weeks leading up to the meeting could help generate more success. That way, the entire team may vote on which topics are the most important and the top-voted questions may be addressed in order of popularity.

On the surface, these meetings are expensive, time-consuming, and can be disruptive to work. However, these meetings are also necessary and vital in keeping your team well-informed, focused and engaged. They also give your executive team great insight into every level of your organization without rankings getting in the way.

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To enhance your conference room with the best new and refurbished conference phones and equipment, visit Startechtel.com to browse our stock. If you have any questions about our products and services, please feel free to call 800-564-8045.

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The Latest Business IT Trends

From startup companies to enterprises, business IT trends are important to know and understand in order for your business to succeed and thrive. These are some of the major trends impacting the business world and workplace today.

Always On & Everywhere
It seems “business hours” and “acceptable outages” are slowly fading away. Because our culture has evolved to be always on and accessible at all times, customers expect this from your business as well. Any technologies for your business should be designed to be available at all hours every day, and accessible from wherever the person may be.

You Can’t Assume The End Point
There was a time when you could predict which kind of device end users would have. But thanks to the advancement and abundance of smart devices, along with the increase in BYOD and CYOD (Choose Your Own Device), devices are ranging from smartphones to monitors to big screen TV displays for work. Along with that, interfaces and operating systems vary, thus businesses must make their systems as platform-independent as possible.

DIY Is Dying
Before, businesses would build and manage their own phone systems and technologies on-site. With the advent of the cloud and other hosted solutions, on-premise systems are declining. Because these systems can be complicated and expensive, most businesses are investing in cloud services (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) instead.

This means skill sets will need to change and evolve to include contract management and integration between different providers. And the development and delivery of applications are changing, from virtualization to the collapse of the serving operating system, which are being delivered by cloud services.

Engagement Is Critical
Businesses need to embrace social media as another form of engaging and connecting with customers. Aside from Facebook and Twitter, customers want new ways to communicate online, such as chat (possibly via chatbot).

More and more, employees are working together in teams rather than working independently. Productivity apps should allow staff to interact in real-time remotely. Whether it is your workers or your customers, they should be able to communicate and collaborate regardless of time and location.

Privacy & Security Are The Core Business For Everyone
You are responsible for protecting and securing any customer data that your business holds. There have been enough stories in the news lately to know that hackers and cyber attacks can happen to anyone.
Various critical security measures can be taken to ensure that business and customer data is safe and secure. And remember that other countries have their own laws when it comes to protecting information and data sovereignty.

Which business trends do you think will make the biggest impact? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a great selection of new and refurbished business phone systems and equipment, please visit Startechtel.com and browse our inventory. Can’t find what you need? Feel free to contact us at 800-564-8045 and we will do our best to assist you.

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Enterprise VoIP

When shopping for a VoIP phone system, you want to be sure you are getting the right system that suits your specific needs. If your company has 100+ users, you will likely need an enterprise-level VoIP system to accommodate your demands. Unfortunately, most hosted VoIP solutions are designed for smaller scale companies.

Look for these top four features to determine whether or not the provider and system is suited for enterprise companies with 100+users.

Customizable User Templates
In a large company, new hires and promotions happen fairly often, which means that access and permissions will change with each role. Rather than having the IT staff manually enable and disable features and functions every time, a template should be available. Enterprise phone systems allow for customizable templates, while most big-name hosted VoIP solutions do not.

Professional Installation, Training, & Support
A company with 100+ employees likely does not have the time or proficiency to install a hosted phone system themselves, nor would it make sense to hire a third party to do the work. Also, it simply would not be feasible for your IT department to conduct a company-wide training session on the new phone system. And lastly, you should not have to call a third-party vendor to troubleshoot your VoIP phone issues.

Providers who offer enterprise-grade hosted VoIP solutions understand this, thus cover all the bases for your company. They have professional, on-site installation and support as well as training available for your organization.

Custom Software Integration
For enterprises, simply integrating with other software applications (e.g. Salesforce, Outlook, and Google) will not cut it. An enterprise-grade hosted VoIP provider is ready to accommodate your needs and will build-out any type of software integration your company requires.

Dedicated Circuits
Call quality is a non-negotiable for large companies and enterprise VoIP providers understand this. There is always an option to deliver a dedicated VoIP circuit to your location in order for your provider to control QoS (Quality of Service) and ensure land-line call quality with every call.

If you still cannot find a hosted VoIP provider that offers all of these features, keep looking or enlist help. So long as you’re on a suitable platform, VoIP can work for large enterprises just as well as small businesses.

If you have further questions, or need assistance, please feel free to contact us at 800-564-8045. You may browse our collection of new and refurbished business phones, phone systems, and much more at Startechtel.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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Don’t Make These Video Conferencing Mistakes

As businesses realize the value of video calls and conferences, we are seeing an increase in adoption of video conferencing solutions. Video conferencing allows for increased productivity and a new level of collaboration among employees, however, these conferences should not be taken lightly. Despite their convenience, a misstep in execution could create an embarrassing situation and a potentially bad experience overall. Here are some major video conferencing mistakes you should actively try to avoid:

Not Playing With The Settings
Default settings are not likely perfect for everyone. Ensure that the camera’s angle is appropriately aimed at your face, not too high or low. Adjust the lighting and audio as necessary and ensure that you fine-tune any additional settings to suit your personal preferences.

Joining A Video Call While Inappropriately Dressed
If you are going to play with the settings of your video conferencing system, be sure to be appropriately dressed in case you accidentally turn on your cameras to an audience.

Not Checking For Bad Angles
Put your best face forward by testing out which angles work best for you. Choose the angle and lighting that is most flattering, allowing you to convey a pleasant and competent demeanor.

Not Fixing The Lighting
As mentioned, lighting also plays an important role. Be sure the place you are conducting your video conference is aptly lit (it should not look like you are in a dark cellar or dungeon). If lighting is out of your control try to find the brightest spot in the room.

Dressing Up In PJs
While you may be conducting your video conference from home, it is still a business meeting so you should dress the part. At the very least, change out of your pajamas and into something more presentable.

Not Picking A Good Spot
By not picking a good spot, you leave yourself susceptible to background noise and distractions. You want to choose your spot ahead of time, preferably somewhere well-lit, quiet and away from any foot traffic or distractions.

Not Knowing Your Tools
Learning to navigate through your video conference software before an actual meeting is a must. If you cannot troubleshoot a minor problem, you run the risk of wasting other conference members’ time and it can reflect poorly on you.

Logging In Too Close To the Meeting
Give yourself ample time to log in and iron out any issues you may have, from updates to adjusting settings and preferences. That way, you can avoid wasting time in the meeting and will not have to worry about delaying the start.

Letting Your Attention Wander
Meetings are not always the most fun and intriguing task ever. However, it is important that you stay focused. Do not play games, check social media, or answer emails while you are attending a video conference. By listening, taking notes, and participating, you can remain engaged in the conversation.

Not Looking At The Camera
Eye contact can make or break a conversation. When speaking to someone in-person, when eye contact is lacking, there is a sort of disconnect. You are left wondering if they are really listening and paying attention to what you have to say. When eye contact is being made, you feel like the other person is really invested in the topic at hand. These same rules apply for video conferences. Be sure to look into the camera and speak clearly with conviction to deliver your message and express your thoughts and ideas.

Try your best to dodge these mistakes and avoid embarrassment in your next video conference. Do you have any video conferencing wisdom you would like to impart upon your peers? Share your advice on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For the best in business phones, conferencing, and phone systems, visit Startechtel.com or call 800-564-8045 today!

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Protect Yourself From Phone Scams

Have you noticed an increase in the volume of spam calls you receive? Sadly, you are not alone. According to a study of over 1,000 Americans conducted by telecom service company First Orion, in the past six months, about 95% of people say they have gotten  call from a telemarketer (it was 84% in 2015).

Not all calls were fraudulent, however, the study revealed a 13% surge in phone scams, with 69% of participants receiving at least one scam call over the past six months. One in eight people report receiving over 20 different scam calls in the same period, which is four times as many people who reported that volume of scam calls in 2015.

Protect Yourself
While regular robocalls are a nuisance, scammers are potentially dangerous. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, fraudsters posing as IRS agents have accumulated $54 million from unsuspecting victims since October 2013.

Aside from tax scams, you should be wary of callers posing as debt collectors, employment agencies, or a sweepstakes company. The FTC have recently warned about callers claiming to be with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, demanding “fees” for routine services. They also shared some helpful tips:

  • Play hard to get – never give into a caller who pressures you to make up your mind on the spot.
  • Be wary of unknown callers offering “free” bonuses or services as bait. Question any fees (e.g. shipping and handling) that you would need to pay in order to get the freebies. Remember, free is free – if you have to pay, it’s a purchase, not a prize or gift.
  • Don’t know? Don’t answer! Avoid answering the phone whenever you see an unknown number, it is one of easiest ways to avoid getting caught up in a scam. If it is someone who needs to talk to you, they will leave a message.

Call-Blocker Apps
If you’re receiving these calls on your cell phone, which, within the study, was the case for eight out of 10 scam calls, you can utilize one of several apps that automatically identify incoming spam and fraud calls.

  • If you are willing to purchase an app, TrapCall and Truecaller (available for both iPhone and Android phones) are some of the most highly rated call blocking apps.
  • If you’re looking for a free service, Android users can try Should I Answer? while iPhone users can try the Hiya app.
  • If you want to avoid downloading another app, you can manually block a number on most smartphones.

No matter how you choose to handle these calls, remember to never give personal or private information to anyone over the phone. In addition, never buy a pre-paid gift card for anyone who claims you owe them money.

Share your scam call experiences and tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Find incredible prices on new and refurbished business phone systems and telephone equipment  from top manufacturers at Startechtel.com. Call 800-564-8045 if you have any questions or would like to place an order.

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Why Video Conferencing Can Be Intimidating

Despite growing adoption of video conferencing technology within various businesses and industries, employees still seem hesitant to turn on their cameras. Here are some common reasons why people are still wary of video conferencing software.

Multi-Tasking
Despite the fact that multi-tasking hurts productivity, many workers still believe they can get more done. A video call or video conference demands a person’s full attention, disrupting or preventing multi-tasking, thus employees tend to avoid them.

To counter these beliefs, try to help your staff understand how multi-tasking can be counter-productive and explain the great benefits of concentrating on a single task. Do they believe they have to multi-task because they are involved in too many meetings? Re-evaluate their importance to certain calls and move toward a more balanced workload.

Eye Contact
Video calls come very close to mimicking in-person conversations, however, the minor details can make a difference. For example, some people shun video calls because of the lack of genuine eye contact.

The way most video conferencing cameras are set up, someone gets left out. If you are looking at the other person on your screen, it looks as if you are not making eye contact. And if you look at your camera so that it appears as if you are making eye contact on their side, you cannot focus on the other person’s face on the screen. This may seem like a minor issue that most people can overlook, but for some, this is a big enough problem for them to forgo the process altogether.

Platform & Network Issues
Not all video conferences run smoothly. Because there are so many different video conferencing software choices, participants may need to download new software in order to partake in the meeting.

There are also the relatively minor issues concerning audio or video, from poor audio quality to choppy video, or maybe the presenter is having trouble sharing their screen. Regardless of what it is, this may leave a bad impression and you can easily lose precious time. Plus, this does not account for the highly technical issues, such as network instability or interruptions.

Personal Appearance
You can take a business phone call virtually anywhere these days, whether in office, on the go, or even at home. However, with video calls, you must make sure that your environment and appearance are presentable.

Something about being on camera tends to make people feel more self-conscious and put on the spot. This may be attributed to the little window where participants can see themselves, intended to ensure proper lighting and angles. Unfortunately, it ends up acting like a mirror and participants may sometimes become fixated on their appearance.

Interruptions
If you work in an open-plan office, video calls can be tricky. You may be in close proximity to coworkers who are on calls as well, while others may interrupt you with no regard to what you are doing. There are numerous ways and things that could cause a distraction, making it difficult to conduct video calls without interruption.

Knowing what causes hesitation in your employees can help you address the issues and create a more effective system, leading to increased participation in video calls and conferences. Have tips to share on how to increase video conferencing adoption? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest today!

Shop our great collection of video phones, conferencing systems, and more at Startechtel.com today! If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 800-564-8045.

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The 911 Emergency System

Believe it or not, 9-1-1 was not designated as the “Universal Emergency Number” until 1968. Before this, people would call random places for emergency services. As you can imagine, this was often chaotic and not every emergency was being tended to properly.

Considering all the cities and towns that make up the United States, getting each and every one of them on the same page for an emergency system or code is quite difficult. Every city is different and before the 911 emergency system was put into place, they had to figure out their own way to work these things out.

For example, in 1946 Rosamund Reinhardt of New York attempted to call in a fire at a nearby apartment. She dialed “0″ for the operator as it was the easiest number she knew. Because of the high volume of callers, her calls were constantly met with dropped lines. The time she wasted trying to call in the emergency resulted in the hallway becoming impassable because of all the smoke. Although she did survive, this shows just one of the many potential dangers of not having an emergency system in place.

Across the pond, in contrast, a three-digit emergency number (999) was in place as early as 1937 in London. The system was rather effective and run by the post office. Unfortunately, this took some time to reach the United States.

It was not that these emergency issues weren’t realized, the problem was simply figuring out how to implement and manage an effective system. For instance, the fire industry had concerns about how the telephone systems would work during emergencies since fire alarms relied on them. In the 1950s, some cities decided to install single-use physical telephones on city streets that would enable people to talk directly to the fire department should an emergency occur. As imagined, this led to many false alarms and controversy. But by the mid-1950s the International Association of Fire Chiefs began to make a case for a single, national telephone number for the public to call in case of an emergency. And thus began the move toward the 911 emergency system.

After much planning, it was in 1968 that the first 9-1-1 call was made in the United States. However, this emergency system did not work immediately after being put into motion, and some were hesitant to accept it initially.

In terms of funding, the Warren-911-Emergency Assistance Act was a California bill that was signed into law in 1973. The bill proposed a small surcharge on phone bills (a tax, if you will) in order to pay for the system. Its passing was significant in that it set the standard for similar laws and regulations across the nation.

In the same vein, The Johnson Foundation, named for Robert Wood Johnson II (whose father started Johnson & Johnson), played a major role in jumpstarting the 911 system. The foundation had launched a $15 million grant aimed to improve emergency services in rural areas, which, in turn, led more areas to pick up 911, or a similar centralized number. The Johnson Foundation continued to advocate for the growth of the 911 system, and since then, it is now widely accepted with the proper infrastructure to back it.

In 1999, Congress designated 911 the official emergency number, however, now the system would need to keep pace with the way we use our phones.

Since smartphones hit the market, they have been infamously problematic for emergency dispatchers. Although we would like to think that our advanced technologies would help dispatchers locate callers with smartphone GPS capabilities, it unfortunately makes it more difficult to pinpoint locations. People prefer sending text messages and even landlines are more likely to rely on VoIP than actual analog lines.

Sadly, 911 systems are mostly outdated and upgrades and overhauls for these systems are rather costly, let alone impair the quality of service.

The problems faced during the inception of 911 are similar to the ones we are facing now as technology continues to evolve. What are your thoughts or ideas on how we can improve the 911 system? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Find quality business phones, phone systems, and equipment at Startechtel.com. Visit us online or call 800-564-8045 to speak with a representative today!

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Cisco VoIP

Startechtel.com prides itself in offering the best selection of new and refurbished telecom equipment from quality manufacturers. When you browse our inventory, you will find smart pricing on a wide variety of popular products. Among our catalog you will find IP phones and accessories from Cisco Systems Incorporated, more commonly known as Cisco.

Over the years, Cisco has earned a reputation for developing exceptional telecommunication equipment, networking hardware, and more. Today, Cisco is seen as the largest networking company in the world, with a catalog that has evolved with the times. Learn more about Cisco’s impact on the telecom and Voice over IP industry.

History
Thanks to the bright minds of Stanford University computer scientists Sandy Lerner and Leonard Bosack, Cisco came to be in December of 1984. These two came together to innovate and pioneer the concept of a LAN (local area network) that would be used to connect companies remotely through a multiprotocol router system. This life-changing technology hit the public in 1990 and afforded Cisco a NASDAQ listing and an impressive market capitalization of $224 million.

Over the course of the next decade, their hard work and determination had accumulated more than $500 billion capitalization of the market, and Cisco was officially announced the most valuable company in the world in 2000. It was during this time, in 1997, that Cisco sold their first IP phone order. Since then, Cisco has made significant headway in the VoIP industry, becoming a major provider of VoIP solutions around the world. And now, acquisitions of heavyweights Linksys and Scientific Atlanta are helping their dream of moving into the home user market come to fruition.

Scientific Atlanta provides VoIP equipment to cable providers, including Rogers Communications, Cablevision, UPC, Time Warner. Linksys integrates consumer VoIP across cordless and wireless phones, partnering with companies like Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Skype.

Cisco has played a significant role in the evolution of IP phones. IP phones bring people together through advanced voice and video technology, and provide interfaces for numerous applications and services. As these technologies continue to develop and adapt, a new collaboration experience filled with virtualized, mobile, and integrated ways to communicate is on the horizon. Now, Cisco users can interchange between their mobile and desk phones, connect with tablet devices, and even join conferences through different interoperating services.

Cisco VoIP Portfolio
With in their portfolio, you will find full-featured, highly-user friendly IP phones built to meet organization-wide needs of employees and other users. Cisco IP phones are commonly used in executive suites, manufacturing floors, company lobbies, managerial desks, home offices, and more.

Many Cisco IP phones have been enhanced to provide new methods for collaboration, including:

  • Centralized management solutions designed to simplify remote access administration
  • Various deployment options including cloud-based systems, on-premise solutions, hybrid deployments and more
  • Apps from development partners that allow clients to enjoy a more personalized IP experience alongside a range of business features
  • HD Video that allows for face-to-face interaction on a geographical level
  • Basic and full featured IP phones that range from simple to effective solutions to comprehensive and innovative systems
  • Single and multi-line VoIP phones established to support various communication needs across a range of industries

Does your office use Cisco IP phones? If so, share your experiences with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Browse our inventory of new and refurbished Cisco IP phones, networking devices, and more at Startechtel.com. If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 800-564-8045.

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Preparing For A VoIP Phone System

If your business is transitioning from landline phones to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, you should understand the challenges that may arise and prepare accordingly. Whether you need to make minor adjustments or upgrades to your existing network, or you need to completely restructure your system, here are some excellent tips to prepare you for a VoIP phone system.

Calls
First things first, you should determine what kind of calls you will make. You can invest in VoIP phones to be used at a desk, you can make VoIP calls directly from a computer, or you can make VoIP calls via smart phones. Before getting into networking details, you should determine which of these endpoints (if not all) you will provide for your employees.

Cables
Next, if you are switching to VoIP, you will need Ethernet cables to connect your devices to the internet, but be sure that you are purchasing the correct cables. If it is within your budget, Cat 6 Cables are a great choice as they can typically support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) at 205 MHz for up to 328 feet. For a more affordable option, Cat 5e cables can support 100-MHz bandwidth. You will want to avoid using older Cat 3 cables, as their compatibility and capacity is not well-suited for VoIP.

Power Supply
To make sure your VoIP phones are receiving enough power, you want to invest in Power over Ethernet (PoE) cables. These allow devices that aren’t plugged into AC sources to obtain power from your internet. PoE is often used for surveillance cameras, ceiling-mounted access points, and even LED lights. If your Ethernet switch doesn’t allow for PoE, you can invest in a PoE Injector, which is an additional power source that can be used alongside non-PoE switches.

Manage Internet Traffic With A Dedicated VLAN
By building your network with a dedicated Virtual Local Area Network, you are able to better control and distribute network traffic to ensure minimal interruptions that may result in dropped voice or video calls. This method allows you to isolate and manage VoIP traffic without worrying about tertiary traffic.

Manage Wireless Traffic With Access Point Handoff
You should analyze your network and determine how many simultaneous calls your wireless connection can manage (Wi-Fi networks are mostly designed for laptops and tablets rather than voice and video). It is recommended that businesses use a managed Wi-Fi that supports access point (AP) handoff when one network is overloaded. Systems that are set for smaller packet sizes, on-premises or cloud-based controller that can manually control AP are other possible solutions.

Firewalls
If someone within your organization cannot help you determine the difference between media and data traffic, you should contact a professional. Software-defined firewalls are recommended as they are designed to filter internal data traffic and packets rather than just data traffic.

Router
Determine whether or not your router has Packet Per Second (PPS) capability, which provides traffic shaping and policing, allowing you to prioritize voice and video data on your network. To determine how many Mbps of traffic your router should be able to manage, assume that one out of every five people will be on a 1 Mbps voice call, and one out of every seven will be on a video conference at 100 Mbps. Next, multiply the number of voice users at your company who will be on a voice call and a video call at any given moment, and then multiply that number by a minimum of five. If your router cannot support this minimum amount, you should consider upgrading to a router than can.

Considering all these aspects will help you make the best decisions about your new VoIP phone system. If you need more assistance, have any questions, or are looking for VoIP phones and equipment, please feel free to call 800-564-8045 or visit Startechtel.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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Communication In The Digital Age

Gone are the days when businesses solely relied on snail mail to reach out to customers. Now businesses can utilize email, social media, and even text messaging to alert customers. This digital transformation has made communications much more convenient both externally and internally. Within the company, employees can access one another from anywhere, promoting the ability for remote work. However, this adds pressure on workers to meet clients’ increasing demands. Learn more about how companies are managing these changes.

Internal Communication
Before, employees were kept in the loop of company news and happenings via a newsletters or weekly email digests. In today’s modern work environment, those simply don’t cut it. Because everything is more fast-paced, employees need to feel more involved in every step immediately. When appropriate, they should be able to voice their opinions and insights and be heard.

With Unified Communications, which has been evolving and advancing with the digital transformation, companies can take advantage of video conferencing, webinars, virtual huddles, and more. Thanks to these communication tools, employees no longer need to be in the same room – with the appropriate devices and connections, they can access each other remotely and as needed.

Despite the shift toward remote work, the company intranet still holds value. Mobile and messaging apps are being implemented to keep employees connected and informed. For company alerts and announcements, text messages are more immediate than email and enable a relief in email overload. The result is an agile workforce on top of the latest happenings.

Customer Communications
As periodic newsletters and messages do not work for employees, the same goes for customers. The customer experience is a top priority, and these days, they crave a real-time relationship with companies.

A strategic communications plan should be put into place and aim to build loyalty and trust with their customers on an omni-channel level. For example, personalized and targeted email marketing and instant incentives sent to customers nearby can improve sales as well as the customer relationship. Social media is also a large part of the customer experience and should be included within the plan. Brands should establish a strong presence and engage with customers in a timely fashion. When it comes to social media, companies are able to address concerns and do “damage control” in the event a disgruntled customer decides to share their experience. To limit communication overload, push apps, artificial intelligence, and automation can assist marketing and customer service teams.

Digitization is not only helping the customer relationship, but it is also helping companies save money. Spending on tradition communication media (ex. printed brochures, catalogs) is eliminated as the use of digital resources and tools takeover.

Essentially, with this shift, companies are doing more with less. Only time and technology will tell where communications will go from here. Share your thoughts on the digital transition with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

Visit Startechtel.com to browse our expansive selection of new and refurbished business phone systems and equipment. To speak with us directly, please call 800-564-8045.

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