27 February 2019

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What Are the Best Office Phone Systems for Small Business?

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

Imagine a rogue nation fired 30 long-range missiles at major US cities. Within 30 seconds, the president is on the phone with our allies. Just as the directive is about to come through, the voices start to sound like they're underwater.

No one can hear what anyone else is saying. Why? Because the phone system is malfunctioning.

Now, your business isn't going to face the prospect of war. But, your phone system is still critical. No one thinks much about the phone system until it doesn't work. And, when your phone service gets caught in a technical sneak attack, your business suffers.

If that happens, getting a steep discount on that budget phone system won't seem like such a great deal. If your business is going to always be great, you need the best phone system.

As a well-respected business phone service provider in the Washington, D.C. area, we've helped hundreds of small businesses implement and manage office phone systems successfully and we'll show you the best systems to consider.

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20 February 2019

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Recording Business Phone Calls: How to Minimize Risk

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

"Call recording is illegal!"

Ever heard that before?

It's not true.

There are all kinds of benefits a company can gain by recording their phone calls. You can improve customer service, create comprehensive customer communications records in your customer relationship management (CRM) system, and protect yourself in the event of legal disputes.The drawbacks of business call recording, however, can include legal risks for failure to comply with state law, potential employee resistance to call monitoring, and additional costs for audio storage and access.

If your company decides to access the benefits, you'll need to mitigate the risks that call recording carries. By weighing the considerations, you can be confident that you'll get all of the benefits without the fear of angering customers or facing litigation.

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6 February 2019

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Telecom over PRI: How To Get The Best Solution

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

Are legacy systems based on Primary Rate Interface (PRI) obsolete?

While many businesses have made the switch to cloud communications with Voice-over-IP (VoIP) or Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), PRI is a reliable and well-established technology. PRI transmission protocols have successfully supported voice calling for over 40 years, but they're also being phased out by major vendors. Is PRI still a viable solution for telecom?

For a small percentage of businesses and some particular use cases, PRI could be the right choice. However, business adoption of alternatives is quickly reaching the tipping point. By 2020, over half of organizations will use UCaaS, according to BroadSoft. 95% of leaders believe cloud-based collaboration is a significant business opportunity.

The growth of UCaaS adoption has created seismic shifts in the telecom marketplace recently. Some major phone system manufacturers have announced end-of-life plans for PRI products between 2020 and 2025. Major vendors have announced they will no longer maintain copper network resources, including AT&T and Verizon.

Cloud communication tools are a better choice than PRI for most businesses, but your organization could be the exception. The right business communications strategy for your business could involve PRI telecom or a hybrid deployment of legacy and cloud tools.

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9 January 2019

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4 Steps to Preventing TDoS Attacks Before They Cripple Your Phone System

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

Telephone Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks are on the rise, and no business is exempt from this security risk. While phone spam is not a new threat to businesses, risks to your communication systems have evolved.

Today's hackers are using sophisticated malware to infect smartphones and flood the phone systems of agencies or companies with spoofed phone calls, resulting in phone line unavailability for legitimate callers.

The growth of TDoS is so concerning, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued warnings to businesses about this risk. If a telephone-based DOS attack targets your organization, you may suffer consequences that are even worse than phone system downtime. TDoS attacks can be used as a "smokescreen," or distraction from other information security threats against your network. Increasingly, TDoS targets also face extortion demands to pay a ransom to stop the attack.

While the Internet Crime Complaint Center has received thousands of reports about TDoS attacks, there have only been a few convictions to date. TDoS attacks equally impact every kind of phone system, regardless of whether a business is using traditional phone technology, premises-based systems, or voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephony. To protect your brand, it’s time to determine your risk level, evaluate solutions, and create a plan for response.

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19 December 2018

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TDoS Protection: How to Protect Your Business Phones from Denial of Service Attacks

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

If you feel your business received a high number of strange calls in the past year from telemarketers, robots or scammers, you’re probably correct. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 7 million complaints from businesses and consumers about suspicious phone calls and scammers. That represents a 34% annual growth in the volume of unwanted and criminal phone communications.

Cybercriminals and scammers are still relying on phone lines as a method for trying to extract money from their targets, and some of last year's most common phone scams included more IRS tax scams and fake tech support schemes. Phone risks aren’t going anywhere, and businesses are facing a new malware threat which could tie up their phone lines and smokescreen other criminal activity.

As a small business, your phone lines are a critical tool for communicating with employees and customers. If your lines are down, it can cause reputation damage to your business, even if you're the target of a threat.

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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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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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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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11 October 2018

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What is the Best Small Business Phone System?

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

Phone systems are a big investment with a long-term impact for small businesses. If you get the wrong system, you could have problems. If you go cheap, you could suffer additional expenses when you try to scale for growth. If you go expensive, you could pay for a lot of bells and whistles you don't need, which would put a strain on your budget.

Some of the features that you'll typically get with small business phone systems are:

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3 October 2018

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The 5 Reasons You Need DDoS Service Right Now

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

A survey of small business security professionals revealed that distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks cost an average of $50,000 for mitigation, reduced employee productivity, and lost revenue.

If your organization has the problem of 50 grand laying around and can't find anything to do with it, just sit back and wait. Hackers will help you out with that issue.

How common are DDoS attacks? According to one research team’s estimate, one is launched every 23 seconds. And that interval is shrinking. As a 20+ year old ISP, Atlantech Online has been on the front lines of network security issues and worked diligently to reducing risk for us and our customers. This has become even more crucial since becoming a Telephone company, as well, in 2005. 

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