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Benefits of VoIP for Business

Have you been wondering about Voice over Internet Protocol, how it works, or the benefits of VoIP for business? Switching to VoIP offers many advantages to small and medium-sized businesses, mainly in the form of cost savings but also in other aspects. 

We’re going to take a look at some of the reasons you should consider using VoIP over traditional telephone systems, what VoIP is, and how this technology works. We will also give you a few pointers on how to choose a provider and plan that best fits your needs. 

Keep reading for more information. 

What is VoIP and How Does it Work?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of telephone system that uses computers and the internet to deliver voice and video communications to other users. Because this technology relies on the use of the internet, calls can be made and received from anywhere in the world; communication may also be made to cell phones, landlines, and other VoIP phones. 

Voice over Internet Protocol calling works by using traditional, analog voice signals and changing them into digital messages that can be sent through broadband connections. 

VoIP phones easily wire into your computer and internet with an Ethernet cable or you may choose to use the existing technology on your device to make and receive calls. While purchasing a dedicated VoIP or SIP phone is ideal, it’s not necessary as most traditional phone hardware can be used as a VoIP phone with a VoIP adapter.

Benefits of VoIP for Businesses

As mentioned, using VoIP allows for calls to be made and received anywhere in the world, to any type of phone. This fact alone gives businesses the benefit of flexibility and mobility; allowing for management to be productive while away from the office or employees to work remotely (saving on travel costs.)

To further improve the flexibility and mobility of your business, VoIP systems allow you to easily implement call forwarding. This allows any call made to your business number to be forwarded to your mobile device, preventing you from missing important conversations while still enjoying life outside of the office. 

VoIP systems also make scaling your business easy – adding a new user or removing one can be done by adding or removing a phone from your network. Business owners can also manage, maintain, and optimize their systems by logging onto the software provided by their VoIP service company, typically on the Web.. 

Because almost any traditional telephone hardware will operate as a VoIP phone, your business can save money by opting to keep the existing phones or by slowly integrating VoIP phones into your communications mix. When you do choose to purchase a VoIP phone, these systems are often less expensive than a traditional PSTN and have just as many (or more) features. 

The ease of adding new users combined with the ability to use your existing hardware helps businesses keep pace with increasing consumer demand and call volume. 

Switching to VoIP can improve the overall efficiency of your staff and business operations. This is often done through optimizing how voicemails and calls are transferred to other employees as well as the ability to share multimedia formats with other users during presentations or conference calls. 

Deciding to use VoIP over traditional phone systems can help you save money on your monthly operating costs and calling expenses because domestic long-distance calls are often included in the pricing. The use of the internet allows international calls to remain inexpensive, helping to further stretch your budget.

You can choose to purchase VoIP plans with a multitude of features, unlimited calling, and the lease of your phones – or you can choose a plan with basic features, limited minutes, and to bring your own system. Your monthly VoIP bill can be as inexpensive or as extravagant as you’d like, giving you full control of this operational cost.

Choosing a Plan and Provider to Improve Efficiency

There are a number of VoIP service providers who promise the lowest monthly costs, highest call quality, most features, or the best reliability. While finding a company that offers the best call quality, most features, and the best reliability may be an ideal solution, it usually comes at a price. 

Conversely, many companies that offer rock-bottom pricing won’t always be the best in other facets of service. 

To find the best plan and VoIP service provider for your business, you’ll want to determine the types of technology that are most important to you and consider how much call volume your business uses each month. For the amount of time your staff spends on the phone each month, consider looking at recent phone bills. 

A VoIP service provider should be able to help you find a plan to meet your calling needs while remaining cost-effective and within your budget. Ideally, your provider will own and manage their platform to ensure a high-quality user experience and to address any problems within the network. 

GroupOne is a managed service provider that offers Voice over Internet Protocol phone services. We own and manage our VoIP platform, allowing us to quickly respond to and take action with any issues that may arise. Additionally, should your team need any type of phone-related technical support, our staff is ready to help. 

If you are interested in VoIP for your business or learning more about the benefits of VoIP for business, contact us today for a consultation.

Navigating New Working Conditions in the Year 2020: How GroupOne Was Able to Help

No one anticipated how the novel Coronavirus could impact businesses in the United States and around the world. Many small business owners never expected that a virus from overseas would not only affect daily operations, but do so for an extended period of time, sending many employees to work from home. 

GroupOne was able to help their clients in the transition from a physical work environment to a remote one, helping with the initial set-up and providing support when needed along the way. 

Keep reading to learn how we worked closely with our partners and clients to ensure the continuity of business operations in the face of an unprecedented pandemic!

Transitioning to Cloud Services

At the beginning of 2020, many businesses were uncertain about whether they should transition to the cloud, which cloud platform was best for them, and if the cloud was truly secure. As the year and the pandemic progressed, GroupOne was able to help answer these questions. 

Transitioning to the cloud gives businesses and employees the accessibility they need in order to work from home. Additionally, this computing resource allows for collaboration on projects, easier communication, and the real-time saving of data. 

While cloud technology has been around for a while, business owners came around to the idea after consulting with our team of professionals to learn which platform would work best for them and how to implement it. 

Because GroupOne isn’t partnered with a single cloud platform, we are able to analyze a business to see what their internal workflows are, how they use computing resources, and identify the best solution available. Our partners were able to quickly implement the use of cloud computing with minimal problems and only a small learning curve as they adjusted to the change.

The adoption of this technology allowed our partners to continue business operations as normally as possible and know that their data was secure.

Lacking Hardware

Because of the pandemic forcing many employees to work from home, there seemed to be a shortage of everything office-related – from desks and chairs to important items like laptops, computer screens, and routers. 

When items such as these are in high demand, the prices usually increase. This can cause businesses to pay more for technology – if these items are even able to be found. 

Our clients who choose to lease their hardware from us were able to avoid this problem completely and instead focus on transitioning to remote operations.

Speeding Up and Securing Internet Connections

One of the biggest issues that working remotely can present is internet-related. Many employees will face slow internet connections, spotty service, or the inability to stay connected for an extended period of time. Additionally, security becomes an issue when connections to a workstation or cloud aren’t secure.

We understand that internet access needs to be fast and secure so we work with businesses to find the best possible solutions for this problem. Some of our partners have already given their employees business internet connections; others are considering this choice depending on what the next several months bring. 

Our team has helped businesses make these decisions by working closely with local Internet Service Providers to ensure the most cost-effective solutions. 

Fast internet is only half the battle – security is the other half. 

Because many devices and home internet connections are not secure, we offer our partners continuous monitoring of these networks as well as any business connections that may be used. Additionally, we were able to set up many of our clients with virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure the secure transmission of data from the employee’s home computer to the cloud.

These two services enabled businesses to ensure that their company and customer data remained secure without being compromised by cyberthreats and attacks.

Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol

When businesses began working remotely, many of them had to move their analog phone service over to an updated Voice over IP (VoIP) service to continue making and taking calls. Our hosted VoIP services allowed this transition to be seamless and allow our partners to continue providing customer service and making sales calls during the height of the Covid pandemic. 

GroupOne owns its VoIP infrastructure which means that all support needs can be taken care of quickly without major interruption to business, making this a great solution during remote operations, and after the virus when business operations returns to normal.

Covid-19: A Great Example of Disaster Recovery

Before people realized how real the threat of Covid-19 was and its impact on daily life, many small business owners were resistant to the idea of disaster recovery. Companies who chose to avoid creating a business continuity plan faced difficult repercussions and some had to close their doors. 

GroupOne was able to help our partners navigate the new remote working conditions in 2020, providing assistance with transitioning to the cloud, improving connectivity, and offering VoIP and VPN services. We gave our partners the IT support they needed in order to ensure the continuation of operations while quarantine orders were in effect. 

Our team is dedicated to finding unique solutions for each one of our partners and is excited to see what the year 2021 will bring in terms of the return to normalcy. 

If you’d like to learn more about how our managed services, VoIP, cloud computing, or IT support can help your business with a disaster recovery plan or while actively recovering from a pandemic, contact GroupOne for a consultation and needs analysis.

IT Consulting: Consulting Services

Ready to migrate your business data and files to the cloud? It’s important to keep your organization’s sensitive data safe and secure. The good news is that safe cloud migration is simple: here are the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re ready for the big move.

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Types of Managed Services / Looking at the Various Services and Security Options We Offer as an MSP

Ready to migrate your business data and files to the cloud? It’s important to keep your organization’s sensitive data safe and secure. The good news is that safe cloud migration is simple: here are the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re ready for the big move.

Business Benefits of Cloud Computing / Key Advantages and Best Practices for Today’s Cloud Products

Ready to migrate your business data and files to the cloud? It’s important to keep your organization’s sensitive data safe and secure. The good news is that safe cloud migration is simple: here are the questions you should be asking to ensure you’re ready for the big move.

5 Questions to Consider for a Successful Cloud Migration

Cloud computing is everywhere these days, and for good reason. From improving your business scalability to supporting flexible working practices, the benefits of cloud computing are numerous. However, before you move to the cloud, here are the five questions you should consider to make the transition as seamless as possible. 

1. Why am I moving to the cloud?

While it’s true that around 96% of businesses use some form of cloud computing solution, it’s still important to know why you’re choosing the cloud in the first place. Perhaps you want to reduce operating costs, improve data security, reduce the expenses associated with maintaining IT equipment, or speed up workflows. 

Whatever your reasons, understand what you hope to achieve from cloud migration before you get started. Maintaining a focal point will help ensure your money and resources are utilized where they’re needed most. 

2. What storage do I need?

Choosing the right cloud storage means choosing the appropriate storage for your unique business needs. Your IT service provider can help you with this, but when you’re researching cloud storage options, consider factors such as:

  • How often you’ll access the data
  • Who has access and editing rights to the files  
  • How large are the files and folders

To help reduce costs, you can always choose cheaper storage tiers for data you rarely use or archived files. Don’t rush into a cloud solution – make sure it’s the most cost-effective and functional package for your business. 

3. Am I migrating all business data to the cloud?

Chances are there’s no need to move all your business data to the cloud, at least not right away. To keep costs at a minimum, consider leaving historic data behind until a later date and only migrate the data you need on a daily basis. Migrating all your data can have a noticeable impact on your migration schedule and costs, so only move everything necessary for your business operations. 

If you’re unsure, always consult an IT professional

4. How do I minimize downtime and keep the business running?

It’s vital that you keep your business operations moving during a cloud migration.

Ensure that you keep personnel fully informed of IT changes and provide whatever training they’ll need to get up to speed on a new system. Review your data migration periodically to ascertain how long it will take to complete the process and identify potential downtime costs before they become realities. 

Your data is your legacy, make sure your IT provider has secured your data prior to migration.

5. How will I keep my data secure?

A recent study revealed that 64% of respondents worry about data loss and leakage from the cloud. Since you’re responsible for data security at every stage of the migration process, you’ll want to ensure that you encrypt data for the move. 

You should also ensure that you’re clear on whether any firewalls will hinder your access to the data once it migrates, and you should understand how you’ll manage access privileges if not all file permissions transfer with the data. 

Bonus tip: once you’ve completed your data migration, check the data to ensure there aren’t any corrupted files and that everything moved over properly. To this end, it’s crucial that you move data to the cloud in stages so you can troubleshoot any issues before they arise. 
Moving to the cloud is a big step, and without experience, this can be a daunting undertaking. Remember that your data is your legacy, and should always be in capable hands. For more information on cloud computing and devising a successful cloud migration strategy, contact the team today.

Cloud Computing: Is There Value for Your Company in the Cloud?

Cloud computing delivers hosted services over the Internet, including email applications, website hosting, and specialized software like Salesforce.com®. Software as a Service (Saas) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are both software services delivered via the Internet instead of installed on your computers. With cloud computing, you use someone else’s servers instead of investing in and maintaining the hardware yourself to run your business.

There are cloud services available for any business processes you have, and some businesses even move their entire operations to the cloud. There are also hybrid solutions if you have some applications or data that you want to stay on your property and manage others in the cloud.

Cloud services provide many business benefits, including cost savings, ease of scaling computing operations as your business grows, and extra data security.

How do you know if using cloud services is right for your business? Consider asking these questions:

1. Do you often have problems budgeting for technology purchases?

2. Do you struggle to manage your hardware and network?

3. Are you unable to implement mobility and manage changes to your infrastructure?

4. Do you find yourself wanting more time to manage your business instead of dealing with technology challenges?

5. Do you often wonder if your company’s technology and digital assets are secure enough, or worry what would happen if there was some disaster?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should look at what problems cloud computing could solve in your business.