12 December 2018

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The 7 Amazing Benefits of Hosted Telephony

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

An unreliable business phone system can be a very costly expense. Your employees and customers rely on voice calling technology to communicate and collaborate. If your phones go down, it will have an immediate impact on productivity, customer satisfaction, and brand reputation.

Research shows that making the switch to hosted telephony can deliver significant cost savings compared to premises-based PBX phone systems. However, the cost isn't the only factor to consider when evaluating if cloud Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions are right for your needs.

Understanding the full scope of benefits made possible with modern phone systems can help you future-proof business communications.

Cloud phone systems no longer represent a high-risk investment for businesses. By the end of 2019, 90% of companies will be using cloud apps and services, and analysts predict nearly 100% of firms will adopt cloud tools by 2021. In this blog, you’ll learn seven remarkable ways that hosted telephony could transform the way your organization communicates.

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5 December 2018

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How to Ethically Record Business Phone Calls Without Breaking the Law

by Tom Collins

“This call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.”

You've probably heard that legally required disclosure countless times when you call your bank, utility company, or other service providers. Chances are, you rarely put much thought into it. However, when your business is starting to research solutions to record business phone calls, you can't just zone out and press 0 to speak to an operator.

Many companies are surprised to learn that the right approach to consent can vary from state-to-state and that failure to follow the laws can result in steep civil penalties.

Call recording software can provide immense business value for companies of all sizes as a tool for training, customer service, and performance. Before you can unlock the benefits of call recording, it's important to understand the right way to record telephone conversations legally and ethically.

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28 November 2018

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What to Look for When Buying Business Call Recording Systems

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

Using IP to carry voice traffic (VoIP) opens up a world of possibilities and new opportunities. Call recording is one of them. But, it's so much more than being able to make an MP3 mix of voicemails from persistent sales people. Buying a business call recording system can offer many other benefits to your business. Organizations of all sizes can use audio recordings to strengthen employee training, marketing, and customer service. Call recordings can improve record-keeping, boost regulatory compliance, and provide clarity during disputes.

With the wrong call recording solution, you may not unlock any of these benefits. Your business could face a lot of risks. You could face legal trouble if you fail to follow federal and state laws for wiretapping or recording. You could face costly regulatory fines for non-compliance with PCI, HIPAA, or other regulations. If your solution isn't interoperable or easy-to-use, you may waste a lot of money moving to a new solution.

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20 November 2018

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Finding the Best SD-WAN Solutions: What to Look For

Investing in business network performance can yield a high return on investment. Research has found that stronger network performance is associated with more profitable companies, due to cost savings, increased productivity, and lower risk. Not having to worry about the network or constantly troubleshoot it or discover bottlenecks that impede progress are result in your ability to increase the bottom line. If your organization is evaluating the best SD-WAN solutions, you’re on your way to unlocking better network availability, reliability, and reduced administration costs.

But which SD-WAN is the best? How do you know the difference between vendor marketing and solutions which will lead to superior network performance?

According to Gartner, there are over three dozen options for SD-WAN administration. The same survey found that shoppers are overwhelmed with their choices due to a lack of familiarity with the technology and skepticism about how reliably options can perform. If you feel the marketplace is confusing or crowded, you're in the majority among your IT peers. I had one CIO tell me that at a Tech Council cocktail party, he got over five different answers to the question, what is SD-WAN?

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14 November 2018

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Atlantech Online Adds More Lit Buildings in Gaithersburg, MD with a New Fiber Install at Shady Grove Development Park

Press by Tom Collins

Atlantech Online is continuing to set the standard for quality fiber connectivity and service for businesses in Montgomery County, MD and the greater Washington DC metro area. Atlantech recently expanded its coverage by installing and lighting fiber that can be used for business Internet and telephone service at the Shady Grove Development Park (SGDP). The SGDP consists of the addresses 15819-15887 Gaither Drive and 9246-9298 Gaither Road in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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7 November 2018

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Business VoIP Service: 6 Things You Need to Know

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

Voice-over-IP (VoIP) has become the most popular approach to business telephone service for business in the United States. Phone service is the fastest growing part of our business and in almost all engagements with customers, VoIP is what they are choosing. 

36% of businesses have made the switch to cloud phones, according to a recent survey. That means though many have switched, many more customers remain to migrate from analog or PRI phone systems to a VoIP-based system. 

Internet-based phone technology is now 20 years old. In fact, the first time Atlantech Online offered VoIP service to a customer was way back in 2002! That's over 15 years ago! Though progress was slow at first, it is now common knowledge that VoIP offers more potential benefits to businesses than ever before. Topping the list of benefits is cost savings, but in more and more cases, I see customers switching because of the greater flexibility in meeting the needs of their mobile and remote workforce.

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31 October 2018

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Building Riser Management Can Cost You 10X the Normal Rate

Fiber Connectivity by Tom Collins

One of my biggest pet peeves is paying someone a fee for something that really doesn't add any value to a product or service that I'm purchasing. One of the clearest examples of this is a relatively new cottage industry that has recently started up in the telecom community. It is the building riser management company. I understand why landlords are seeking help for managing the risers in their building. But, the exorbitant fees that are frequently associated with building riser management does not meet the needs of the tenants, resulting in extra, unnecessary expense and friction in provisioning telecom services. If you're considering moving into a location which uses building riser management services, make sure you consider the cost.

Riser management companies generally have a monopoly on a building’s infrastructure. New tenants can pay ten times more to connect to the internet in a commercial space which uses a riser management provider. Many commercial tenants pay these exorbitant fees since they aren't aware they have any other options to connect the new office space to Internet or phone service.

But, you do have other options.

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25 October 2018

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How a Riser Management Company Might Hurt Commercial Landlords

Fiber Connectivity by Tom Collins

The frenzy to wire buildings during the Gold Rush of the Dot Com era, resulted in many commercial office buildings having conduit full of cabling and telco rooms full of equipment that couldn't actually be used. The roll call of dead telecom carriers left this graveyard of gear as a symbol of their excess spending. As a result, riser management companies offered a seemingly attractive arrangement for commercial real estate landlords to untangle the mess. But, I think these managed service agreements, are just another example of landlords falling victim to sometimes unseen risks and unanticipated costs.

As a commercial landlord, your top priority is maintaining a safe, productive space for your business tenants. A poorly maintained cabling infrastructure can create the risks of physical hazards, such as fires, and threaten the constant data connectivity your clients need. It makes sense to maintain clean cabling and modern hardware in your building’s telecom risers.

However, giving a riser management company a monopoly on this service can hurt your tenants or even cause high-quality prospective tenants to lease from a competitor.

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23 October 2018

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The Top Community Colleges in Washington DC Leading in Technology

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

There are a lot of ways to evaluate the top community colleges in Washington, D.C. to find the right fit. Academic programs, location, scholarship opportunities, and culture can all play a role in the selection process. However, technology is an essential part of the college experience you probably never considered.

An investment in technology indicates a growing school with a solid financial footing. Every career in the modern workforce involves using technology in some fasjion, so college students need technical training to become well-rounded career candidates. Community college technology can enhance the student experience by providing a platform for communicating with professors, students, and online learning.

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17 October 2018

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How to Evaluate DDoS Prevention Services

Data Center by Tom Collins

Does your business need to be proactive to prevent a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack? Would you leave your store or home unlocked? Would you leave your work laptop open and unattended if you left the premises to go retrieve something from your car? Why do I keep asking these blatantly softball questions?

All kidding aside, recent Akamai analysis of the DDoS threat landscape revealed that this type of attack is up 16% in the past year alone. When you drill down into how criminal actors are evolving, the stats get grim. Attacks against applications have increased by 38% in the last year.

The February 2018 “GitHub” attack was the largest DDoS attack on record—more than twice the size of the Mirai Dyn attack which took down Amazon, Netflix, and other major websites in October 2016.

New forms of DDoS are cropping up all the time, including the previously unused “Memcached” technique used in the GitHub attack.

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