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3 steps for Implementing VoIP in Your Small Business

The right IP phone system can help improve customer service and employee collaboration.

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that seems tailor-made for small businesses, especially now that IP networks are as common as landline telephones, and broadband Internet access is within anyone’s budget. And the benefits of VoIP for small businesses are many, including reduced phone expenses, improved customer service, and enhanced employee productivity.

Small business VoIP solutions include hardware and software dedicated to handling voice traffic and offer a variety of calling features previously out of reach for smaller companies using a traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network) phone system. VoIP systems are designed to be flexible and scalable. So whichever system you choose now will grow along with your business, allowing you to easily add users, upgrade features, and expand into more sophisticated modules as you need them.

If you already have an IP network and a high-speed Internet connection, you can implement a VoIP phone system—and you can do it in three steps.

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Save Time Managing Your Wireless Network

Clustering technology lets you easily configure and manage your wireless access points.

The success of your business depends on the ability of your employees to stay connected to applications and customers, and to work productively throughout your business location. More and more small companies rely on wireless networks to give their employees greater mobility and flexibility, and to support partners and guests at the business site. But configuring, securing, and managing your growing wireless networks can be daunting, especially for small businesses without an IT department.

How can small companies cost-effectively address these demands and realize the full benefits of business-class wireless mobility? One way to simplify this task is to install a clustering wireless access point.

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Securing Remote Locations in 3 Steps

VPNs, protected devices, and secure wireless LANs are keys to successful remote security.

Everyone understands how important it is to batten down the security hatches at company headquarters. But in the haste to protect the network and devices that store a small company’s critical business data and host its key applications, remote offices are sometimes forgotten. You need to make sure remote offices are equally secured, with an eye toward handling a few challenges specific to a location far from headquarters.

Any place someone works outside of your main facility can be considered a remote office, whether that’s an employee’s spare bedroom or a rented suite in a different state. All remote offices share a few security risks: a connection to your network via the public Internet; personal devices used for work, such as laptops; and the potential for unauthorized access to your company’s computing assets, both the equipment and the data stored on it.

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SCORE Veterans’ Fast Launch Program Answers the Call to Support Our Veterans

SCORE has been a leader in providing mentoring and training to entrepreneurs through its network of 13,500 volunteer mentors and trainers for over 45 years. Together with corporate partners, SCORE has created the new Veterans’ Fast Launch initiative to help accelerate veterans’ ability to succeed as small business owners.

The new program will be a combined package of services, scholarships, and free software (provided by corporate partners), and SCORE’s mentoring program. Assistance will be provided to 16,000 military veterans and their families to help launch 3,000 new businesses during the first year. Partners include: The Walmart Foundation, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, AVG, Cisco, ConstantContact,, HP,, Microsoft,,, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC). SCORE will work closely with the VBOCs, which reach over 45,000 veterans, service members, and spouses nationally.

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Seven Questions to Ask Your Partner About Service Plans

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

With all the interest and decisions around the products and new capabilities involved in your next IT upgrade, it’s easy to have key questions about the service plans slip through the cracks. Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Here are a few suggestions:

Who delivers the services?
In this wild, woolly world of contracting and subcontracting, you can’t necessarily assume that the company that closes the service contract will actually be the one that fulfills that contract. This is especially true if you have facilities in multiple locations. So if subcontractors are involved, you’ll want to know who those subcontractors are, what specializations, certifications, or other qualifications they have in place, and what their customer satisfaction scores look like.

Which organization is the point of contact for engaging the services?
If more than one provider is involved, does one organization serve as the entry point for access to services, or do you have to pinball around until you find the subcontractor who maps to the specific need?

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