Business people making a deal

How to know if you’re getting adequate IT Managed Services

With more and more businesses depending on technology, the need for MSPs is steadily increasing. How do you know that you’re getting adequate IT managed services though? Well, let’s start by defining exactly what that means.

What are Managed Services?

Managed services means you have a variety of IT support available to you at a flat rate. Any size business can benefit from this, and these services are renewed on a subscription basis. The great thing about this billing method is that budgeting becomes simpler. Businesses also never have to worry about surprise bills.

Proactive Support

So, what kind of support is provided? IT managed services offers proactive support. This means there is a software that scans your system/server/computer/overall infrastructure 24/7/365 for any potential danger. This is much more beneficial than reacting after the damage has been done. Why? Well, firstly, if you can detect a problem beforehand and fix it remotely. This will save you the money and trouble of rolling engineers and technicians to come to your location. It will also save you any downtime. Nothing halts business more than a technology crash that prevents your employees from working.

Another benefit of this approach is that it gives you tremendous peace of mind. By knowing that your technological problems are taken care of, you can relax and focus on your business. Proactive support is also very efficient. It works by recognizing the issues first, then escalating the bigger ones to high-skilled resources. This allows for a fluid system where resolution can be achieved quickly. It also allows for the addressing of multiple problems simultaneously. And, if you ever have any questions, a help desk will always be available to you.

Preferred Technology Solutions excels in this by staffing the highest certified engineers to man the front lines. This way, clients can get the answers they need immediately the first time they call in. Customer experience is always the #1 priority.

Types of IT Services

Depending on the MSP, the types of services that can be included in a IT managed services vary. The offering can include, but isn’t limited to, disaster recovery, system monitoring and alerts, cloud services, hosted VoIP, help desk services, network infrastructure and upgrades, security, mobility, and much more. Preferred Technology Solutions also offers wireless installations, which makes them unique from their competitors. We will work with you to make sure your business is getting the solutions it needs.

What are you waiting for?

If you like what you’ve been reading so far, get in touch and we’ll take care of you. We keep our successful business up and running by preventing IT issues, so we’re pretty good at what we do! Our technology has been developed from experts, so we know how to provide more than adequate managed services. We’ll offer you that peace of mind you’ve been craving.

unified communications

The Numbers Behind Workflow and Efficiency Improves with Unified Communications

Meeting client needs while maintaining IT budgets and staffing expenses is a balancing act every company performs. Businesses small and large are feeling the strain to do less with more, and unified communications is one way to help you bridge the gap.

Unified communications is the bundling of all of your communication services into one application. This combines video calling, instant messaging, phone calls, and email all into one system accessible across many devices.

Flexible and Fast

Unified communications allows employees to use communication systems concurrently instead of having several applications running at once. This increases productivity by cutting down on time wasted and duplicated efforts to communicate with other members of the team.

Because all of the systems are in one place, fewer items will fall through the cracks. Employees will be able to stay on top of emails, messages, and phone calls because they won’t have to be cycling through multiple platforms to be sure they’ve seen every notification. This reduces inaccuracies and boosts productivity and quality of communication within your business.

Mobile Connectivity

Not only does unified communications increase individual productivity, but it also boosts team productivity. Your employees can collaborate in real-time because they’re all using the same applications. Impromptu video conferencing can connect employees who are working remotely with those in the office without juggling schedules and appointments.

Easier sync ups like this will allow your team to communicate quicker and more effectively, which means that finished work will be of better quality and completed faster.

Tracking Employee Communication Methods

Some unified communications come with a tracking feature that monitors how employees communicate and through which features. Management can assess and understand the most effective way to communicate with their employees. Improved communication can benefit team relations and create a better sense of community.

At Preferred Technology Solutions, we can help companies just like yours integrate a unified communications solution to help you streamline and enhance communication and productivity with ease. Simply give us a call to get started.

Vacation workflow with unified communications

Workflow with Boundaries with Unified Communications

Do you work to live, or live to work? Granted, there are some people in the world who simply adore what they do – so much so that they choose to do more work in their off time as a hobby. But if you’re like most people – while you enjoy putting in a full day’s work and boosting your company’s productivity, you still enjoy being able to go “off the clock” and just be you. Unified Communications can help you set some workflow boundaries to allow you to go “off the clock,” plus give you a whole lot more while you are working.

Indicate How and When You Can Be Reached

Unified Communications allows your digital phone, instant messaging, conferencing, and email all to work together. That’s a lot of mediums in which people can get ahold of you! Suppose you’re on your lunch break with a member of your family. How special will your lunch together be if you’re constantly being called? Unified Communications allows you to immediately select which medium people may get in touch with you. So, you could select “instant messaging,” put your phone on silent, and check your messages periodically to ensure there are no emergencies back at the office.

Temporarily Remove Your Availability

Let’s take it a step further: say you took the week off for a vacation. You’re sitting in a restaurant having brunch, and your phone chirps: it’s one of your customers with a question. With unified communications, you can remove your availability – effectively sending everyone to voicemail and putting messages in your queue until you’re ready to look at them. You can also send all messages to a designated voice or text message which informs them of your unavailability, and whom they can reach out to in your absence. And if you’re so inclined, you can always check messages later or even change your availability at a moment’s notice.

Preferred Technology Solutions Will Set Your Workflow Boundaries

Enjoy time for yourself. After all, we work to make life better. How can it be better if we don’t have any personal time? Preferred Technology Solutions will help you to set the boundaries you and your team need in their lives, and show you all the ways your entire office will benefit from integrating unified communications into your workflow.  Talk to us about it. We know you’ll be happy with what you learn.

video conference software

Expand Your Market World-Wide with Video Conference Software

Face-to-face communication is a crucial instrument to the business world. With the ever-increasing globalization of markets, in-person meetings may become more and more difficult, impractical, or even impossible to conduct between your business and your customers.

Video conference software has become a vital tool to help visually connect with people inside and outside of your company, or on the other side of the world, with user-friendly and dependable software that can be used across work stations, conference rooms, and mobile devices.

Connecting People and Improving Relationships

The key benefit of video conferencing is the ability to hold virtual meetings. This allows for anyone to communicate easily with each other from any location. Unlike traditional teleconferences, video conference fosters a more personal connection between the people talking.

When video is incorporated into a conversation, participants are more likely to stay focused and be more involved in the conversation. Video conference software can help to build rapport and improve relationships between participants. Most communication is nonverbal, and video conferencing allows for subtle things, like facial expressions and body language, to be capitalized on. These nonverbal cues would normally be missed on a traditional conference call, but video conferencing allows for interpersonal communication to be much more personal and familiar as well as effective and clear.

Reduce Costs and Save Time

While video conference software can strengthen relationships in and outside of your company, it can also help your business save time and money as well as help the environment.

Hosting virtual meetings cuts down drastically on the need for travel expenses to bring people together face-to-face. Less money spent on airfare, car rentals, and other travel-related expenditures can be a huge benefit to your business.

While you’re saving costs from travel, you’re also saving the time spent on flights, at the airport, and in hotels onsite. Video conferences can also save time by allowing team members to work more efficiently and make decisions faster and more effectively.

Reduced travel is a benefit of implementing video conference software that has an effect that is not always considered: sparing the environment. Whenever you avoid driving a car or catching a flight, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and helping to preserve natural resources.

Video conferencing is an excellent tool that allows your team to communicate more effectively while saving your business money and helping protect the planet. To find out the best video conference solution for your business, give Preferred Technology Solutions a shout today.

Proper placement of the wireless access point is integral to your work place.

Where to Position Your Wireless Access Point

It may seem like something small, hardly worth thinking about, but the position of your wireless access point is something that could determine how efficiently your employees work. Think about it, the average office space is too large to deal with a mass of cords strung around all over the place so you can plug directly into the router, which makes wireless networking so convenient. The impact of proper placement of the wireless access point not only increases overall performance but can also help stave off the inevitable recurring headaches brought on by a poor quality network.

Okay, but Where?

The best place for placement of the wireless access point is within specific rooms. You may initially think that placement in the hallway would be best, this way it can reach multiple rooms at once with ease. This sadly is not the case, it actually hinders the wireless access point and causes more issues that can be easily avoided. A couple of the best reasons for installing the access points within the room instead of a hallway are as follows:

 

  • The Giggahertz! – A growing trend is that devices will continue to use a standard of 5 Ghz chipsets for wireless given the amount of 2.4Ghz wireless currently being used, which overcrowds the area. The main hindrance of the 5 Ghz chipsets though is that they can be easily blocked by building materials like concrete, which means placement in the hallway would be fairly useless.

 

  • The Tablets, The Tablets, The Tablets! – In our current world of electronic devices, the majority of people have at least one (their phone), and possibly up to as many as four. These devices don’t have the strongest capability to transmit, so the closer they are to the access point, the better.

 

Where in the Room does the Wireless Access Point Go?

The best practices and through experience have lead us to learn that the ceiling is generally the best place that benefits users the most, specifically below the ceiling and not in it. Inevitably there are much fewer obstructions that the signal will have to deal with and provides the most direct path to the devices. Though sometimes this may not be the best option given the various types of offices out there, which is why we would recommend in those cases the wall is a good option as well. This will still allow a similar range of the ceiling and hopefully keep away any possible obstructions.
We at Preferred Technology Solutions can help and advise you on any further wireless questions you may have, feel free to get in contact with us!

Smiling successful businessman sitting with joy using the best VoIP service.

Why Settle When You Can Have the Best VoIP Service

What makes a VoIP service mediocre? Ultimately, it is being in the middle of ordinary and extraordinary broadband service and Internet connection for your phone service. In other words, it is the simplicity and uninspiring effects it has on the user. Phone carriers constantly letting you down and overcharging you should be a clear indicator – you deserve better. Granted, if you are like the millions of people who enjoy reliable connections from your business, then there are some high-grade, low-cost VoIP services you need to consider.  

What to Expect with the Best VoIP Service

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of technology that allows its users to make calls using the broadband Internet rather than the conventional or analog phone system. The best VoIP service works by converting sound into digital voice communication, then transferring it through Internet broadband. With VoIP, your business can expect to experience an increase in business operations that can include, but not limited to:

  • Increased Flexibility
  • Increased Mobility
  • Increased Productivity
  • Manageability
  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Reliable Communication

Preferred Technology Solutions Goes Above and Beyond with VoIP

Consider all of your options before making the jump into VoIP. Here at Preferred Technology, we can take the way you do business to the next level with our technology solutions. We’d love to talk to you about how we could move your company forward together. Call today for a free consultation.  

 

Businessman Wireless Access point

Top 3 Benefits of an Outdoor Wireless Access Point

Are the limitations of roaming getting you a little frustrated with your current wireless access point? Are your employees able to access certain bandwidth, but only around your office? Are they able to reach other floors, or even go outside, before losing their connection? Imagine a world where everyone was able to go anywhere and still be to stop, drop, and connect. Every minute counts, and whether you are at home or at work, you deserve the consistency of a wireless access point. With untethered access to documents, emails, applications and other network resources, anyone can roam where they need to, and still have constant access to the tools required to do their jobs. Companies are taking advantage of these 3 major benefits of an outdoor wireless access point, while increasing their exposure to endless possibilities.

Benefits of Outdoor Wireless Access Points

Expanded Connectivity

Outdoor wireless access points provide a business greater range to connect to a wired network. If you are unable to connect to hard-to-reach areas, this could smooth out the process. You will be able to open new offices and grow your business while providing complete wireless access.

Video Surveillance

Another great benefit will be the ability to maximize security. With IP surveillance, your cameras operate over Wi-Fi signals. This grants you remote accessibility, higher image quality, and easy video management. You can take advantage by installing video surveillance around focal points outside your business’s establishment.

Public Wi-Fi

You can take your business to new places when you use outdoor wireless access points to help you explore. Outdoor public Wi-Fi is by far the most popular outdoor application for a wireless network. Help bring quality experiences to your guests by offering this service.

Preferred Technology Solutions Goes Wireless

Learn more about how we can take you further with not only wireless access points, but with your entire IT network. Connect with us today!  

 

An employee connecting the dots to a successful wireless access point and the Internet.

How to Know if You Need a Wireless Access Point

There was a time before wireless access points, when cables and cords ruled the floorboards of offices and crept up the walls toward the ceilings. Setting up computer networks in businesses, homes, or establishments required running these cables throughout the infrastructure of the building. However, with the inauguration of wireless access points, network users are given the option to add devices that access the network with fewer or no cables. Are you in the process of simplifying your networking hardware devices? Don’t overcomplicate the situation if you don’t have to – find out if you actually need a wireless access point before you start drilling.

Extend Your Network with a Wireless Access Point

If you are looking to expand your wireless access points, they can be easily extended with additional networking hardware. Additional coverage can help you reach the corners of your office that are harder to touch with your main router, helping you experience faster Wi-fi throughout the office building.

Maneuver Around Obstructions

If your business has wireless dead spots or interference issues such as pillars or iron walls that disrupt your connection, then installing more wireless access points might be more effective.

Connection Problems

By implementing more wireless access points, you will be able to strengthen weak signals that make daily productions lag. Boosting your wireless access points helps you gain better coverage and better solutions.
Setting up a wireless access points should alleviate some stress from the walls that weigh you down. When you have a hardwired network, things tend to become easier as you use the Ethernet as a backbone for the network and begin to implement simple wireless access points. If you have any concerns if whether or not you need a wireless access point – Contact us today!

Wireless access point being obtrusively accessed.

Who Has Access to Your Wireless Access Point?

With today’s consistent use of wireless technology, there is a higher demand for wireless access points. Wireless networking products are so inexpensive and tangible that almost anyone and everyone can obtrusively gain access to a wireless point. Although routers and access points have an administrative password that is required before logging in the device, the security is usually very weak. Most devices default to a weak password like the manufacturer’s name or have no password at all. Which brings the question to mind, who has access to your wireless access point?

Any Wireless Systems

Wireless access points automatically broadcast the network’s name. Although this makes setting up wireless access points incredibly convenient, it also makes them highly vulnerable.  Your wireless access network will appear to any wireless systems within range of it. This increases exposure to not only your fellow neighbors but passersby as well.

Open For All

Unsecured wireless access points are potential risks that could affect not only your business but also your personal life. It is an open invitation to anyone who wants to retrieve secure data and files on your system. This means that bandwidth thieves, snoopers, and spammers can easily access your home or office network and snoop through all the devices that are connected.

Hackers

There are “wardrivers” who specifically search for open wireless access points with the intention to either spam or commit identity theft. This exposure will leave any of your private records public and accessible for malicious use. Any hacker that takes the time to examine your access point will identify its make and model and unlock the default user ID and password.

If you have a growing concern about intruders might be able to access your wireless access point, give Preferred Technology Solutions a call. We will be glad to give you a free consultation.

Wireless access point device.

Where to Position Your Wireless Access Point

The time before wireless access points was a weave of tangled cable cords. It meant that cables were run through walls and ceilings in order to properly provide network access throughout your entire building. A wireless access point is a networking hardware device that allows Wi-Fi devices to connect more conveniently to a wired network. A WAP, or a wireless access point, stands alone and can connect to a router or be directly integrated into the router. According to About Tech, “One of the world’s most popular network technologies, Wi-Fi connections support millions of people in homes, businesses, and public locations around the world. But how many people know even these basic facts about how Wi-Fi works?” How exactly should you unplug from the old ways and know where to position your wireless access points?

Centralize the Wireless Access Point

Unless problems arise, you will rarely touch the access point after installation. Make sure your wireless access points are properly mounted either on the wall or the ceiling. To optimize the router, it would be best to centralize the spot in order for the signal to spread throughout the entire building. Homeowners can choose to expand their network by adding a wireless AP device to their network instead of adding a second router, while businesses can install a set of APs to cover an office building.

Coverage of the Wireless Access Point

Transmission that comes from the radius of an access point is called a cell. Overlapping cells, which would require you to install a number of wireless access points, will help you create seamless access as you roam from one cell to the other. When you are passing through cells, the access point with the strongest and highest quality will be the one that is used.

A lot of obstacles come from the limitations of your building’s foundation. One example being the possibility of the building only allowing plenum-rated equipment to be mounted in the ceiling. This will limit you to either purchasing plenum-rated access points or mounting the access points somewhere below the ceiling. If you are in the beginning stages of thinking where to place your wireless access points, allow us to help you plan. Call Preferred Technology Solutions  for for a free consultation today!