The subject of business continuity has become a major topic over the last year and a half. Devising a plan to ensure your business stays up and running in the event of a disaster become the focal point of IT departments in the wake of the pandemic. Communications is a key element in every business model, making maintaining them in any environment of utmost importance. A VoIP solution offers a host of benefits when compared with an on-premise PBX system and has become the go-to solution for anyone looking to create a comprehensive business continuity plan. Here we take a look at a few reasons VoIP is essential to business continuity.
While mobile phones can be used in the event of a disaster, how many of your clients know your number? How many will answer the phone if they get a call from an unfamiliar number? This is where call forwarding comes into play. Being able to route calls to and from a cellular phone while maintaining a primary business phone number ensures client communications stay seamless. Not only does this allow you to maintain communications in the event of a disaster at your facility, it ensures clients can get in touch with you whenever necessary.
Most VoIP platforms are very reliable, with RingCentral paving the way with an industry leading 5 9’s uptime. PBX systems require periodic maintenance and legacy systems can be very difficult to find replacement parts for. When disaster strikes, you need to know that your communications, both internal and external, will be reliable enough to avoid costly downtime. A reliable VoIP platform provides that ensures you can always reach your team and clients is a must to sustain business continuity.
Since VoIP systems work over the internet, they are available to use anywhere you can make a connection. When the pandemic hit, those that had this capability were able to deploy large portions of their team without any loss of communication. This means that should anything happen at your physical location, having a VoIP platform will ensure your team will be able to stay connect with each other and your clients. It also allows those that travel for your business or work remotely to enjoy the same level of communications as those in the office.
Most VoIP providers have a host of other services that they include with their packages that can be extremely valuable to an overall business continuity plan. Features such as video conferencing, meeting software, document sharing, call recording, and instant messaging all contribute to better communications. You may also find that many of these additional features make your team more productive and improve the employee experience. Both of these can contribute to sustained success and continuity.
Through our strategic partnerships with both RingCentral and Amazon Web Services, Alto9 can offer solutions to help you establish both unified communications and business continuity.
Download our free guide: Ascertaining Unified Communications
For most people Cinco de Mayo is a holiday to go out and party, but there is a great deal of historical significance behind the holiday. One major misconception is that it is Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually held September 16th. Here we take a look at a few things you may not have known about Cinco de Mayo.
“In the early 1860s, Mexico had fallen in immense debt to France. That situation led Napoleon III, who had flirted with supporting the confederacy, to send troops to not only overtake Mexico City, but also to help form a Confederate-friendly country that would neighbor the South.”
“Cinco de Mayo, which isn’t widely celebrated in Mexico, commemorates an underdog victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The victory was galvanizing for the Mexican forces — and for those supporting them from afar — but it was short-lived, as France later occupied Mexico for a few years. Still, Cinco de Mayo continued to be celebrated in Puebla and, perhaps more significantly, by Mexican-Americans north of the border.”
“The Battle of Puebla was a triumphant win for Mexico. However, the country failed in its attempts to push out the French. They were defeated, and colonial rule lasted for the next five years. In 1867, with support from the United States, Mexico fought the French and won back their independence.”
“During the Battle of Puebla, a young officer named Porfirio Diaz distinguished himself. Diaz subsequently rose rapidly through the military ranks as an officer and then as a politician. He even aiding Juarez in the fight against Maximillian. In 1876, Diaz reached the presidency and did not leave until the Mexican Revolution kicked him out in 1911 after a rule of 35 years.”
“The U.S. celebration of the holiday began in California in 1863 as an expression of solidarity with Mexico against the French. By the 1930s, the holiday spread and was considered an opportunity to celebrate Mexican identity, promote cultural awareness, and build community.”
“Today, while the date is promoted as a day to celebrate Mexican food, culture, and tradition, many without Mexican heritage use it as an excuse to throw a party and drink. Still, many major cities, like Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, California, stay true to the holiday’s roots, hosting cultural and historical performances, alongside naturalization ceremonies for new citizens.”
“In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments. Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16th.”
“The strangest American Cinco De Mayo celebration takes place in the unlikeliest locale: Chandler, Arizona, where every year roughly 8,000 people arrive for the Chihuahua Races. They also crown a King and Queen Chihuahua. Oh, aye!”
Through our strategic partnerships with both RingCentral and Amazon Web Services, Alto9 is able to offer solutions to help you establish both unified communications and business continuity.
Download our free guide: Ascertaining Unified Communications
An essential piece of digital transformation, cloud computing has become prevalent throughout the world. In fact, 90% of companies today are on the cloud in some form. Cloud adoption has exploded recently as companies of all sizes have begun to realize the many benefits of migrating. Lower fixed costs, automatic software updates, mobility, flexibility and easier collaboration are all very attractive to businesses. Whether you’re looking to grow, become more secure or better serve your clients, the cloud is essential to your success.
How To Leverage The Cloud
While a large majority of businesses have adopted cloud technology, many do so in a limited capacity and only for certain tasks. The future is most certainly in the cloud, and as time goes on, organizations will need to use the cloud to remain competitive, increase security and ensure business continuity. The most common uses of cloud computing include:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
- Hybrid cloud and multicloud
- Test and development
- Big data analytics
- Cloud storage
- Disaster recovery
- Data backup
Implementing Multi-Cloud Infrastructure
“66% of executives from 19 different industries said a multi-cloud strategy is crucial to reducing costs.” Aside from the savings you’ll experience but leveraging a multi-cloud infrastructure, there are several other reasons organizations choose to go this route.
- Avoiding vendor lock-in: Many organizations opt for multi-cloud because they want to avoid being tied to a single cloud provider.
- Customizing the cloud to business requirements: If various apps in your business require different functionalities, a multi-cloud solution may let you maintain existing functionalities and processes rather than adapting to fit the capabilities of your cloud provider
- Mitigating risks from potential cloud outages: When you’re in multi-cloud, the outage of any one cloud platform is less likely to harm the business overall
The Cloud Is More Secure
When it comes to security, statistics show that 85% Of Enterprises are storing their sensitive data in the cloud. “Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.” Some other reasons the cloud is a more secure option include:
- Cloud architecture is homogeneous
- Public cloud providers invest heavily in security innovation
- Patching and security management are consistent
- Security architecture changes are much easier
- Continuous compliance assurance
- Resilience to threats
Alto9 is a Cloud solutions firm created to help customers migrate to, and make the most of Amazon Web Services. Cloud computing is a rapidly changing paradigm that requires a specialized focus, and our Amazon Certified engineers have the depth of experience and know-how to make sure your Cloud infrastructure runs efficiently, securely, and scales with you as your business grows.
Thousands of businesses made a rapid move to VOIP in the wake of the pandemic as the need to deploy remote workforces spiked like never before. While the ability to seamlessly work from home is one of the major advantages of VOIP, there are many others that can have a profound impact on daily operations and business continuity.
There are several areas in which a VOIP platform can save your business money. These platforms are typically half the price of traditional phone lines. Since there is no hardware or wiring required, you save thousands versus installing or maintaining a PBX system. Additionally, running over the internet enables businesses to significantly cut costs on long distance and international calling.
VOIP is an essential tool in deploying an efficient and reliable mobile or home-based workforce. Teams and individuals can work from anywhere and still have all of the communication capabilities as being in an office. Phone numbers don’t change wherever you go and all you need is an internet connection to be up running. The pandemic has highlighted this need, and when things get back to normal there is sure to be a major increase in business travel.
You don’t need to splurge on pricey hardware or install additional wiring when using a VOIP platform. Simply add a line with your provider at a predetermined cost and you can scale up and down as needed. This is particularly important if your business uses temporary workers for large projects, has a business model that requires flexibility in the number of employees working at a given time, or does not have the space to house additional physical phone equipment.
Most business VOIP providers include some kind of meeting software that allows for group video calls. This is a feature that has been widely used over the past year and looks like it will become an essential in any business tool kit. The ability to choose a phone number from any area code allows you to use local numbers in multiple different locations, making it easier for customers to reach you. There are many more examples of advanced features that vary depending on you provider.
Contact us to learn how a leading marketing firm converted to VOIP and thrived during lockdown.
Currently, in the United States, there is one topic that is on everyone’s mind for one reason or another. That topic is the current health scare called Coronavirus or Covid19. This virus has caused more casualties than the SARS epidemic, with little to no indicators of containment. There are two different types of mindsets surrounding the current outbreak, and that is how it will affect people, and then some are thinking of how it will affect their business. With most companies that can do so, sent the majority of their staff to work from home. The one thing that has now become even more widely used is cloud computing services and streaming services.
CloudTech released a timeline of changes listed below:
March 23: Banyan Security, a San Francisco-based vendor, said it would offer free access to its Zero Trust security offering ‘for a limited time’ in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
March 23: Cisco said it would commit $225 million to coronavirus response to ‘support healthcare and education, government response and critical technology.’ The funds, $8m in cash, and $210 in product will, in part, go to the United Nations Foundation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
March 20: Huawei said it had worked with Huazhong University of Science & Technology and Lanwon Technology on an AI project to help ease the burden on imaging doctors who can diagnose and quantitatively analyze Covid-19.
March 17: ServiceNow announced it was making certain apps available to any public agency in the world to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The first app, an emergency response operations app, was built by Washington State on the ServiceNow platform.
March 17: Okta is offering free single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) for secure remote working. “Any organization that would find value in leveraging the Okta Identity Cloud for remote work during an emergency should be able to do so at no cost,” the company wrote.
March 17: Dropbox said it was ‘proud’ to offer free Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise subscriptions for three months to non-profits and NGOs focused on fighting Covid-19. Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply here.
March 16: Box CEO Aaron Levie said via Twitter that anybody working on Covid-19 research or response efforts could email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up free secure file sharing and storage.
March 16: Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, said people working on Covid-19 research, response, or mitigation were entitled to free upgrades to paid plans, setting up a consultation for remote collaboration best practices, among others. Users are asked to email email@example.com
One thing that people are saying is going to happen is internet overload with the number of people teleworking due to current conditions where the number of people allowed in an office building is very minimal staffing, but the traffic would not change. The only thing that is being replaced is the amount of cloud computing that is being used and where the internet usage is coming from.
The newest thing in both businesses and homes is IoT devices and platforms. For anyone that does not know what IoT is, or what possibly an IoT device could be, the answer is simple. Most likely, you utilize IoT devices without even knowing that is what it is considered. IoT or Internet of Things is a network of connected objects that have been enabled to collect and exchange data. In simpler words, any device that is able to collect data and send it to the internet and that the data can be accessed by other things too. So now you are questioning yourself as to what these devices are, and how they are supported. Here are a few IoT platforms and some devices that most likely are in your own home.
With anything else in the vastly growing technology field, you can expect to find a multitude of “players” in the field that have begun supporting IoT devices. Along with several options of platforms, there are different pros and cons of each platform as well as a variety of features that each has. Some platforms have ease of use whereas others are more complex and have limitations on what kind of programs you can install on the specific platform.
Some of us may not even realize we are using IoT devices but use them every day. Some of the most common items you use such as thermostats you can control from an app on your phone, to the doorbells with cameras or digital locks for your doors. There are so many devices that are being manufactured these days that can connect to wifi to allow control through your electronic devices. It is so cool how far technology has come that you can simply turn the temperature down at your home once you are within a certain radius of your home.
IoT devices will continue to come out and things that we would not even expect to be connected to wifi will continue to blow our minds. As of right now there are a ton of devices already being used in every home and they all run on various platforms. Now you no longer have to question yourself when you hear the term IoT, as you will know what it is, and what types of devices and platforms you can find supporting these devices.