VoIP and video conferencing

How to Use VoIP and Video Conferencing to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

When looking for ways to cut your bottom line, consider a VoIP and video conferencing solution for your company. Not only will it save your business money, but it will improve relations and productivity amongst colleagues. Here we break down how businesses can use VoIP and video conferencing to increase productivity in the workplace:

Build Stronger Relationships and Better Communication

Body language is very important for reaching a common understanding in a conversation, especially when trying to collaborate for work. How many times have emails and texts been taken the wrong way because there was nothing to back it up, like a smile? Face-to-face meetings build trust, which is also lost over the phone. Video conferencing allows you to see body language from other participants who can’t be in the room with you, fostering more understanding with your colleagues. When the boss holds a meeting in real time with worldwide offices, it can make employees feel more secure and eager to participate.

Heightened Productivity Amongst Colleagues

In addition to better communication and relationships amongst employees, your company will reap the benefits of better productivity. Misunderstandings will be greatly reduced because of the face-to-face contact, which will eliminate unnecessary delays to work them out. As opposed to a conference call where the participants can’t be seen, video conferencing makes it more likely that the people participating will stay alert and on task. This means projects will get done quicker and better, because employees are more connected to one another and understand what the end result of the project should be.

VoIP phones can give your team access to your office phone system from any mobile device and from any location. Take your contacts with you, make and receive calls from your office number, and stay connected even when you’re traveling or otherwise out of the office.

Cut Back on Travel Costs and the Phone Bill

Video conferencing is the next best thing to meeting a client in person. It allows you to accommodate their schedule and not revolve around flight times and delays. Not only are you more accessible to the customer, but your costs will be cut tremendously over time when you consider the prices of travel, hotel, transportation, meals and time lost in transit. Video conferencing software as part of your VoIP solution will pay for itself in reduced travel costs alone.

A VoIP solution reduces your monthly phone expenses, too. You know exactly how much your bill is from month to month, since all of your phone features and calls are included in the flat rate billing.

Stand Out From your Competitors

Video conferencing lets you stay in the game and have a competitive edge in your industry. When employees communicate with clients through video, they can share information instantly. Instead of wasting time to bring it to your customers in person, new products and ideas can be shared via video first, and before a competitor does. When you work in the support team or customer service center, talking over video to a customer builds trust with face-to-face relations better than email or phone. This can give you a strong advantage over a competitor that does not use video. If they do use it, you have more of a chance of gaining their business than if you were the one communicated in an antiquated way.

Let Matthijssen show you how a VoIP solution with video conferencing can improve productivity in your office – read more about VoIP in our whitepaper, How VoIP Can Help Your Business.

managed print services

4 Ways Managed Print Services is Better for the Environment

A great way to cut waste and costs in your company is by using Managed Print Services. A whole 3-5% of your company’s overhead goes to printing costs. MPS gives your company the ability to document where, when and how much is being printed, plus provides complete management of your supplies. This stops your company from having to stock toner and waste space, since the MPS provider will know ahead of time when and what they need and send it to you.

However, even more important, using MPS will lower your company’s environmental impact.

  1. Lower Your Consumption of Energy

One area of great waste in a company is the consumption of energy. Keeping multiple printers running for each department wastes a great deal of energy.

Research has shown that there are two to four employees on average for each printer. With Managed Print Services, you can cut out the extra printers and lower your energy consumption significantly.

You can replace your old printers with Energy Star qualified devices which can lower your energy consumption by up to fifty percent. Looking for print features like automatic on/off and instant-on copying to get rid of warm up time can also lower the waste of energy.

  1. Recycling

One obvious way to take advantage of recycling is by using recycled papers. They can be a bit more expensive however, they are more friendly to the environment.

Where you really need to consider recycling is with other things which have to do with printing, such as ink cartridges, old electronics, toner cartridges and scrap paper. These things are thrown away every day and are filling up landfills at an alarming rate. When you use a recovery and trade-in service you can recycle these items and lower your waste.

Plus, when you have print services in-house, the amount of recycling needed will be reduced greatly. These services use less paper, so you’ll still be saving money even when you are purchasing more expensive paper. There will be less paper to recycle, and it is also more efficient when it’s centralized. There is also less usage of ink and toner, lowering how much waste there is for recycling.

  1. Reducing Paper Waste

There is of course the fact that you’ll be lowering the paper wasted in your office. The average worker in an office uses around ten thousand sheets of copy paper each year. Almost 3.7 million tons of copy paper, or 700 billion sheets of copy paper are used in the United States. Plus, almost forty percent of garbage is paper and cardboard.

There are several ways to lower your office’s consumption of paper:

  • Sharing paper copies
  • Circulating more digital reports and memos
  • Using documents which are two-sided
  • Get rid of forms which are unnecessary
  • Proofing materials electronically instead of printed out

Using Managed Print Services will lower the paper wasted by forcing your employees to think before they go printing anything.

  1. Going Paperless

There are always paperless processes, as paper documents aren’t cost effective. 15% of all paper documents are lost and 20% are misfiled. These lost documents can cost your company six times more than what the original document is worth, and reconstructing this paperwork will cost eleven times more than the original document.

Managed Print Services will integrate easily into a paperless office and lower your wasted and lost paper. Invoices, work orders and contracts can be scanned and electronically stored for easy access and secure archiving with no lost paperwork or time and resources needed to reproduce the lost materials.

The above are just a few ways in which Managed Print Services can help your office to be more environmentally responsible.

proactive support

Benefits of Proactive IT Support Services

As long as there have been computers in the workplace, IT support has been around to fix them when they crash. Typically, this is on a reactive basis – the call for help comes after there is a problem with the computer (or server, or network). The dispatched tech works to find a solution as quickly as possible to get the system working again, but it may result in down time until it is resolved. Once the system is up and running again, the customer is happy…until something else goes wrong and the process has to be repeated.

The reactive plan results in a constant battle in dealing with computer problems, which equals extended down time and service interruptions. This type of fix tends to patch the problem instead of finding the root of it. It can also be costly, and there is no way to budget for unpredictable, reactive IT expenses.

Maintaining a stable, high-performing infrastructure is vital. Access to applications, customer data, and financial information is critical for day-to-day operation. Any time there are IT problems or outages, the business is denied access to this information and it negatively impacts the bottom line.

Become Proactive

Avoiding IT issues is only possible if a business is proactive rather than reactive. The network should be monitored and maintained around the clock. But when everything seems to be running fine, no one wants to think about the need for proactive maintenance! Staying ahead of problems is the key to maintaining reliability and performance.

Proper proactive maintenance of a network will:

  • improve productivity
  • increase the reliability and speed of the systems
  • save money

This can only be done effectively if the infrastructure is being monitored and maintained twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. IT hardware is susceptible and vulnerable around the clock, not just during business hours.

Back-up failure. Aging Processors. The Antivirus system that hasn’t been updated in weeks. Any one of these things, and countless others, could easily develop into a crisis situation if left unchecked. These could lead to serious and possibly unrecoverable losses. Proactive monitoring gives you the ability to prevent such catastrophes.

What Kind of Proactive Monitoring is Involved?

Most problems display warning signs of some sort before becoming critical issues. Our support team will keep a close watch on your network, including:

  • Checking the server event logs for red flags
  • Managing AntiVirus updates and activity. Viruses that are detected can be removed; the infrastructure can be protected from new viruses that have been identified.
  • Monitoring backup status to prevent failed back-up routines
  • Monitoring firewall activity, safeguarding the system from hacking attempts
  • Examine inventory for outdated or inadequate equipment and applications and performing upgrades when necessary.

By utilizing proactive solutions, IT expenses are more predictable, downtime is minimized, and total cost is less expensive than reactive labor hours.

print management solution

4 Ways Managed Print Services Help Your Business

Every business owner relies on computers and the World Wide Web.

While you may rely on computer systems and the Internet to conduct the majority of your business, paperwork – printed documents – are still a necessity. While it is a necessity, that paperwork can sure pile up, and it can be difficult to sort through. So, how can you keep your desk clutter-free and keep that paperwork in order? With managed print services, of course.

Not sure what managed print services are? Wondering how they can help you? Keep reading to find out four very beneficial reasons what managed print services are and how they can help your business.

What Is Managed Print Services?

The definition of managed print services is simple and straightforward: It is the management of document output. In detail, this service monitors and maintains the mechanisms that are used for printing documents, ensures that the documents are kept in an orderly fashion and maintains proper output.

Four Benefits of Managed Print Services

There are several benefits that a business can reap by taking advantage of managed print services. Here is a look at four of those leading benefits.

  1. Time Management: In the business world, time is money, and the more time you spend searching for documents, the more money you lose. Thanks to managed print services, you won’t have to waste any more time sifting through piles of paperwork. This service will file, index and tag each and every document in your database, which will significantly minimize the amount of time you have to spend searching for documents – and that translates into more money in your pocket.
  2. Increased Security: You will never have to worry about sensitive information getting into the wrong hands, thanks to managed print services. All of those sheets of paper that include your and your clients’ information won’t be sitting around, waiting for someone else to scoop them up and use them in the wrong way.
  3. Easy Sharing: While you don’t want paperwork falling into the wrong hands, there are times that you need to share it. Should you need to share documents with co-workers, managed print services will allow you to do so easily and safely.
  4. Boost Efficiency: No longer will you or your staff have to sift through piles of paperwork. Thanks to managed print services, your business will become much more efficient. You and your coworkers will be able to easily locate documents, which means that you will be able to provide better service to your costumers.

Given these benefits, it’s easy to see why managed print services can benefit your business. So, what are you waiting for? Boost your business and your success by signing up for this invaluable service today! Contact us to find out more about managed print services and how they can specifically help your business.

email tips

5 Tips For Using Your Email More Efficiently

Organization is the key to stress-free living. Clearing clutter from your closets, drawers and workspace makes life more productive and enjoyable. This philosophy should spill over into the digital world, starting with arranging your email to work more efficiently for you. We have 5 tips to get you started on using your email more efficiently.

Tip # 1: Respond Immediately

If you’re in the habit of reading all your emails, then gong back and responding, you need to stop. This is a bad habit because a) it eats up valuable time, since you’ll likely have to read each one a second time in order to respond b) once messages are marked as “read”, you’re likely to forget about a few of them. This, or they will get mixed up with the ones you have already responded to and get overlooked. The best way to proceed is to read it, and answer it, immediately. This method is much more effective and will keep messages organized.

Tip #2: Manage Notifications

We all have several social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook or other outlets we subscribe to such as YouTube. When you set these up, you need to see how they have your notifications laid out. Chances are you’re getting an email notification every time a friend mentions you, each time a new video premieres, or when one of the celebs you follow on Twitter makes a tweet. If these are clogging up your mailbox, take a few minutes to change their notification settings, instead of wasting time deleting them every day.

Tip #3: Unsubscribe

Piggybacking on the notification management, take the time one day to sit down and unsubscribe. Get rid of newsletters, professional subscriptions, YouTube channels or anything else that you truly do not follow every day. They seemed like a good idea at the time, but they are just causing unnecessary clutter if you’re not reading them daily.

Tip #4: Create an Auto-Signature

Most email systems have an auto-signature function that is attached to your messages. Include items such as your name, contact information, company name, title and a short description of your company name of no more than five words. Consider including functional links to your website, online portfolio or blog. This will save you time with each email you send.

Tip #5: Use Labels and Create Folders For Organization

If you receive emails that cannot be answered immediately or need follow-ups, create folders with useful labels to keep things organized. If you’re working on a project, make a folder with the project name. Other suggestions are labels like “networking”, when you’re corresponding with a colleague, and be sure to archive as many emails as you can, so you have records of your correspondence. Archiving is also helpful if you need to contact someone in the future, or you need to remember details of a conversation. It can be your protection, if you’re accused of not taking actions or reaching out to an associate, when you actually did.

print management

4 Reasons You Need a Print Management System

Businesses in every industry are on the look out for ways to reduce costs and increase revenue – it’s how successful businesses grow! Extremely small businesses get by with their little all-in-one printer, copier, and scanner. As you grow, you probably start adding more printers and devices to your network to accommodate increased output and more employees. Before you know it, printing costs can become a costly line item in your budget. Print management can help reduce your printing expenses while providing a number of advantages to increase productivity at the same time. Here are 4 reasons you need a print management system:

  1. Reduce paper consumption.

A print management system will help your organization reduce the amount of paper you consume. You can look at which employee or group of employees are printing the most, and even regulate the amount of printing permitted by employee or group. There are many things you really do need to print – we’re not suggesting you avoid printing those things. But let’s face it; some employees will print every email (work related or not!), word document, and web page they view if their printing habits aren’t reeled in. Using less paper is good for the environment… and your bottom line.

  1. Migrate to energy efficient solutions.

The cost of energy is a commonly overlooked expense when it comes to evaluating what your print output costs. With a print management solution, you’ll learn about more energy efficient solutions and devices that can handle your print output needs better with less effort. As older, energy-hogging devices are replaced with more efficient devices, you’ll start to see your energy costs decrease.

  1. Integrate all of your devices.

In many businesses, printers, copiers, and fax machines are just purchased from the store and connected wherever you find a spot in the office. If you’re lucky, every employee has access to every device they need from their workstations, but in some cases – employees may have to email documents to another employee who has access to the device he or she needs to use. It can get really inefficient – really fast. A print management solution will integrate all of your devices so they can be used by anyone in your office. This not only makes it easier to use the devices when needed, but gives you more control of your total printing expense.

  1. Remote monitoring and automatic supply replenishment.

How many times do you try to use your printer or copier – only to find it’s out of ink? And, how many of those times do you also discover there is no more ink in the supply cabinet to replace it with? A print management solution puts a stop to this frustration, too. Through remote monitoring of your devices, toner, ink, and cartridges can be automatically reordered before you even know they’re empty – so you’ll always have the gear you need to operate your devices.


Do you wish you had a print management solution? Give us a call and we’ll talk to you about how to get started or let you know what other benefits you would experience unique to your business.


How Data Backup Can Save You From Business Failure

A smart business goes to great lengths to secure its network. You may think you’re safe
because you’ve invested in firewalls, antivirus software, and purchased cyber insurance. This
is a great start, but you’re not done yet. Nothing is 100% infallible, which is why you must
backup your data, no matter how large or small your company.

What Can Happen to Cause Data Loss?

Even with the best security systems in place, you are always vulnerable to many possible
scenarios: Hackers can penetrate your firewall, an employee can make an error resulting in
loss of information, natural causes like flood or fire can wreak havoc, your hard drive could
suffer other damage, and there may even sabotage by a disloyal employee. All of these
situations can result in loss of data.

How Will This Affect My Business?

Loss of data can translate into loss of profit for your business. If it can be recovered, it will
take up valuable time, with a minimum average of six hours to do so. But if your laptop is
stolen, for example, with no backup, this is permanent loss, which will be a major setback. If
an employee or business owner can’t access their computer while data is being recovered,
productivity is reduced, which equals loss of revenue. Plus there is the cost involved with the
recovery itself, if it can’t be done by someone in-house.

Depending on how severe the loss, studies have shown that companies that have a computer
outage beyond ten days will not ever completely recover, and half will be out of business in
the next five years. There is the chance you will lose customers, and the potential to be sued
if a client’s information is compromised. Most of all, your reputation will be damaged, which is
everything in the business world.

What is the Best Way to Backup My Business’s Data?

There is more than one option available but data backup can be done on and off the
premises. If you’re a smaller mom-and-pop type establishment, you can use flash drives,
CDs or another computer’s network drive, as a few examples. Larger businesses may want
to use a combination of on- and off-premises data backup systems. An off-site data center or
IT management service is a great way to protect your information, as well as cloud-backup
services. The cloud is usually the most affordable because it tends to have different levels of
protection, so you can purchase what you can afford.

What Needs to Be Backed Up?

The safest avenue to take is backing up everything, including: applications, software,
operating systems, eCommerce sites, and all customer information. If you don’t have a lot of
time or have a small budget to work with, decide what is the most important information
necessary to run your business, and start with that. Experts recommend backing up every
day, including the weekends, and do a weekly check to be certain your backup is working

new website

Introducing… Our New Website!

As you may have noticed, we’ve got a brand new website! We’ve recently partnered with TriDigital Marketing, and our collaboration has brought about some exciting changes.

Our website is both informative and aesthetically appealing.

So, go ahead and explore the site!


On our home page, you’ll discover:

  • How you can get the results you want for your business
  • How you can get the most out of your office equipment
  • How you can take steps to grow and expand your business
  • How you can collaborate more effectively


On our “How We Do It” page, you’ll discover our unique process:

  • How we identify problems and opportunities
  • How we help you plan for success
  • How we implement your solutions
  • How we help you achieve your goals


On our “Services” page, you’ll learn more about the services we provide, including:

  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Print management
  • Cloud Computing
  • Flat-rate IT
  • Virtualization
  • Network security
  • Professional services
  • VoiP


You can also browse our resource library or view our testimonials, and you can expect more blog posts in the near future.


And, of course, if you need to get in touch with us or if you’d like to chat, feel free to reach out to us on our “Contact Us” page.


Check out our website and let us know your feedback in the comments below – we’d really appreciate it!

Image Email-System-A.jpg

Why Your Email System May Not Cut It

Email plays a big role in the way people do business. Whether you work from a fixed location at an office desk or from a mobile device on the go, the kind of email you use can define your level of productivity. Are you sure that the email system you are using is the right one for you?

Whether you work from an office or are productive while on the go, email most likely plays a big factor in the way you go about your business. Unbeknownst to many, some types of email systems have certain limitations that by extension can also limit the level of productivity of your business, and especially for people in the organization who must also work while out in the field.

One major issue for many people is synchronicity. Many people need their emails to be accessible on their mobile phones, PDAs, or other mobile devices, and they need them to be properly synchronized with their desktop workstations. The need to constantly update conversations and email threads from mobile devices to desktops with certain types of email can prove to be tedious and unproductive– and some email system types don’t include this ability at all.

Depending on the way you use your email, especially when on the go, having full access and full control of your account can define how productive you and others in your organization can be. Besides providing a much better degree of synchronization and integration with mobile devices, certain types of email systems also have features for sharing and collaboration features that allow you to set schedules and share files from your mailbox, as well as central storage for emails that allows you to access your account seamlessly with any mobile device, regardless of where you are located.

Of course, having a full-featured email system might not be best for everyone. The key is to know whether adapting a more bare-bones system is cost-effective for your business (especially in the long run). Sometimes the top of the line may be needed, and sometimes all you need is a bit of tweaking on your less fully featured system. Not sure which is best? Call us and we’ll be glad to sit down with you and assess what kind of email system is best suited for you and your business.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
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Monitor and manage your reputation online using these online tools

Someone, somewhere could be talking about you or your company, anddepending on what’s being saidit can be either helpful or damaging to you or your business. This is of special concern in the online world, as the proliferation of websites and social media tools make it easy to share opinions with the world. In this article we point you to tools and online resources to help monitor and manage what’s being said about you or your businessand thereby build or defend your reputation.

Besides your own eyes and ears, there are plenty of toolsfor free or for a priceavailable to help you monitor your presence online. The simplest of these is your familiar search engines such as Google or Bing. By simply searching online, you can find where your name or your company’s name appears in various websites. With Google in particular, you can set up “alerts” which will email you when a specific word or term appears in their website index.

What words or terms should you use? Start with your name, or your company name, then try the name of your products and/or services, and maybe even the names of your employees, directors, and other stakeholders. It might also be helpful to search for the competition as well. As results come in you can refine your search by expanding or narrowing the scope of terms you would like to search or be alerted on. If you want to be able to search across all different search engines and not just one or two, you can use Monitor This.

Next you can use specialized website or social media monitoring tools to search only specific sites or services as opposed to the entire Internet. One example is Greplin, which allows you to search all of your accounts or accounts that you own. This is very helpful to be able to execute highly filtered searches on specific information in your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, or your blog. Another option is Rollyo, which allows you to set up your own specialized search engines that cull content from public or open websites of your choosing.

Other more generalized tools include RSS feed readers—which allow you to consume news or information feeds from news sites or blogs. Examples include Newsgator.com, Bloglines.com, Google Reader or Pluck.com. Other generalized tools include those that monitor specific newsgroups or message boards like BoardReader.com, ForumFind.com, Big-Boards.com, BoardTracker.com, iVillage, Yahoo Message Boards, and MSN Money. Still others track changes to content of specific sites (Copernic Tracker, Website Watcher and WatchThatPage.com), as well as their domain information (DomainTools.com and BetterWhois.com).

The really interesting new services actually give you an explicit idea of the status of your reputationespecially if you are a relatively well known name or your business has an established brand. In this category are sites like Amplicate, which monitors general feelings or impressions about brands, businesses, or services; Klout, which tries to measure the influence of individuals based on their social interactions; and SendLove.to, which focuses on celebrities and media personalities.

There are literally dozens more tools you can use to monitor and manage your reputation online. To find out more, a great resource is here at the Duct Tape Marketing blog. If you have any additional suggestions, feel free to let us know!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.