The Advantages of Working With a VoIP Provider

When an emergency happens, it’s great to have an MSP (Managed Service Provider) with a VoIP Service.

Story Time: 2016 Texas Floods

About two months ago, we have a client out of Texas who does financial services for the local populous. Retirement packages, stock trades, trusts for entities etc, etc.

Well, if you have been paying attention to the weather down south, there are certain parts in drought and certain parts in flooding, unluckily for our client they were in a flood. The rain came, and came and came…

Office Flooded, But Everything On The Cloud But…

Their offices, which is a single story building, were flooded. Computers, networks, phones and copiers were all lost. Nothing that couldn’t be replaced, but their business still had to operate. Clients still had to make trades, still had to invest, and they still had to communicate. Luckily, years ago, we installed Office 365, Hosted Exchange and a virtual server on an Amazon S3 Instance, making their data safe….

…. but not their phone system.

Dead Phone Lines: VOIP to the Rescue

Calls were still coming in but it had nothing to go to, and AT&T couldn’t fix the infrastructure for months. The local coax provider was also out and the only thing functioning was cellular.

That’s where we came in.

Rapid VoIP Deployment

We overnighted a hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system utilizing Polycom VVX500 handsets, Cisco 24 port POE switch, Sophos 105W (might remember that name from our Firewall blog) with Amazon VPC (which attaches directly to Amazon for their hosted server), and installed a Microtech eCell cellular adapter to give their network access without a traditional provider.

Within 24 hours, we forwarded the phones to the new system, stepped them through getting setup by remote and by the end of the day phones were ringing, email being sent and their business in full operation.

At Triton Technologies we go out of our way to get our clients up and running and since we could provision and deploy a PBX system near instantly, it saved our client from going out of business. Being able to bring the right technologies together from multiple to meet client needs, and being able to do it quickly, is the hallmark of a great MSP. Let us be yours.

Why We Recommend Ubiquiti Wireless Access

Wifi isn’t complicated. What is complicated is people.

For a long time, most small business would go out to their local office supply store, purchase a router, create wifi and give it no password so their patrons could access it without an issue. Those days are long gone. Businesses need to scale and the wireless network technology has arrived to allow it.

Good Wifi: A Product and a (Quick) Story

Ubiquiti Wireless Access with Triton Technologies logo.

We recommend a brand called Ubiquiti. Never heard of them? They are the secret for many MSPs and IT consultants. Their technology is simple to install, simple to manage, and easy to deploy.

A prime example is a hotel we did in Massachusetts. Over 90 access points, 6 switches, 2 gateways, 1 load balancer and we got the install done in a day. Literally. All the changes, tweaks and configurations were done within 7 hours with only 30 minutes downtime programming the switches. It was truly a great feat to see.

With their technology it is also cloud based, so any network changes, from their login portal, firmware updates and more are done entirely over a web browser. It is a joy to access and modify the settings.

Why is Wifi Important for a Business Owner?

Wifi brings customers. From hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and more, wifi is an integral part of their business. The longer a client can sit at a restaurant, the more they order, the greater the profit. For motels and hotels, to get the luxurious conference contracts, businesses need to get great wifi and services like Ubiquiti can provide that service quickly with a minimum of fuss.

What makes them so great?

  1. No licensing costs. You bought it, you own it and can operate it until you replace it.
  2. Easy to install. Industry standard design, compact design and easy to install hardware kits.
  3. Cloud manageable. Just log into a single website and access thousands of sites at the click of a mouse.
  4. Low cost. Their access points are easily under a $100 price point.
  5. Accessories. Literally hundreds of easy to access accessory devices such as external mounts, antennas and more.
  6. Simple technology. The interface is clean, no fluff, no ads: just easy to read and understand menus and interface.

With hundreds of deployments, from the single access point or thousands of units throughout Worcester, we recommend the Ubiquiti line of wireless technology.

Let’s help you get it installed at your business.

Acceptable Use Policies Can Save Your Business

Policy, procedure and process.

I was asked recently why do I need a computer policy?

The short answer? It’s the law.

Massachusetts 201 CMR 17.00 Compliance

In Massachusetts, the law 201.cmr.17 clearly states that a business must have a clear and defined polices when it comes to internet and data access for their employees. To quote the purpose section directly:

This regulation implements the provisions of M.G.L. c. 93H relative to the standards to be met by persons who own or license personal information about a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This regulation establishes minimum standards to be met in connection with the safeguarding of personal information contained in both paper and electronic records. The objectives of this regulation are to insure the security and confidentiality of customer information in a manner fully consistent with industry standards; protect against anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such information; and protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information that may result in substantial harm or inconvenience to any consumer.

MA Privacy Law Compliance for Your Business

What does this mean for businesses? If an employee decides to copy client’s data to an external drive or an external network and their is no company policy in place, it could possibly cause a tremendous amount of fines and penalties when it comes to data loss and lack of accountability that comes from a data breach.

The other problem is failure to prevent the data loss can also mean something larger when it comes to their clients data. If they are so careless with your clients data, it shows that they could be careless with your companies intellectual property such as client list, client information and more. Nothing is worse for a business owner than their client and accounting information to fall into their competitors hands.

Reviewing Your Company Policies

What we recommend to our client is to review their client handbook and their company policies when it comes to networks, computers and mobile devices. Many times our clients and some new ones are surprised when we ask for a copy of their handbook so we can make modifications.

Many attorneys believes that they do a great job when creating an acceptable use policy when it comes to their clients networks, but from an IT perspective, it can always be tightened up. From social media, mobile devices, flash drive, and password policies, it is imperative that we advise clients to have us review it so they are not at risk to penalties and data loss. Too often there is the one-two punch of losing client data, and then losing clients. Let us help you be proactive.

Shared Hosting Dangers: Why It Needs to Go

Shared hosting needs to go.

What? Yes, we said it and we mean it. What is shared hosting to begin with?

Understanding Shared Hosting (And Its Drawbacks)

Shared hosting is a service in which on a single server usually at a hosting service that your company and many other companies share. So the resources, memory, CPU and more are literally shared at the hardware level from one company to potentially thousands of other companies. If you are trying to do something such as expand your website, a dedicated MySQL instance or more, the potential for other “tenants” taking your site down is absolutely huge.

What does this mean for the business owner? A LOT.

Shared Outages and Viruses

A down, unresponsive or slow to respond website can and will impact your business to be seen on the internet. From lack of traffic, reduction in potential clients and more, it can cripple a business especially if it is their primary means of getting new clients.

It’s worse than you think.

OK, you get the premium $5.99 shared hosting package, thinking you’ll save a bundle.

Well since you are sharing a server with potentially thousands, a single virus or WordPress infection on another client WILL impact you. It could compromise your server, compromise your database and make your site unrecoverable. This would be disastrous.

How Do You Fix This? Dedicated Hosting

We currently recommend a company called Liquid Web for dedicated web servers and hosting. Why? The plugins, systems monitoring and responsive servers are the best we have ever seen. Unparalleled service and response from their technical support staff is one to be envied by other providers.

It also gives you security where shared hosting cannot. When the server is yours, you can armor it up like none other. Port 80? No, excluded. SSH port with a single point of access? No problem. This is why we extremely recommend a dedicated server, it provides performance, security and customization like no shared package could ever do.

Learn more about our hosting management here, or contact us.